Future League: Designing Post-rotating Standard

Vesner, the Sojourner

With only 80 cards from Scars of Mirrodin officially spoiled, and with ¼ of those being basic land, it’s probably too early to start designing decks for after rotation. Well frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. States is just one week after rotation, so it’s never too early to start designing decks and testing them out to see what improvements they need. If the improvements they need are in the remaining spoiled cards, that’s fantastic! If not, either find them in the existing cards or go back to the drawing board.
So the basis of this deck is the fact that Venser is ridiculous. There was a lot of uncertainty when Jace, the Mindsculptor was spoiled, but I read it and immediately said “Oh, it’s the best planeswalker they’ve printed.” Well I had a similar reaction to reading Venser, although admittedly I only declared it the second best planeswalker. I know this card is going to be amazing, and I want to be one of the first to top 8 or even win an event using this guy. I only spent about 5 minutes designing this last night at like 3 am, but this is the deck I started with. The quality of the deck is reflecting in that, but there’s still something to all of this:

4x Halimar Depths
4x Celestial Colonnade
4x Mystifying Maze
6x Plains
6x Islands

3x Venser, the Sojourner
4x Jace, the Mindsculptor

4x Day of Judgment
4x Mana Leak

4x Brittle Effigy
4x Everflowing Chalice
1x Mox Opal

4x Aether Adept
4x Thrummingbird
4x Trinket Mage

I playtested this a little today against Mythic Conscription, and the deck definitely has some flaws. For starters, it’s really inconsistent. I never seem to draw any of my creatures, and if I do I don’t draw Venser. Mox Opal was a cute idea, but it’s not active oftened enough, not relevant often enough, and frequently gets shut off when I activate a Brittle Effigy. Thrummingbird is interesting and works great with a Chalice out, but I never had a planeswalker or more than one chalice out while a Thrummingbird was out.
I will say, however, that Brittle Effigy and Mystifying Maze were absolute champs in the games I played. I’d frequently be drawing land after land because I have NO card draw and almost no library manipulation, but the mazes, effigies, and colonnades made sure I stayed alive. All is Dust seemed like it would be good, and I think I may focus more on a Trinket Mage toolbox style control deck.

In short, yeah, the deck needs an assload of work. There were far more cards I wanted to run than there was room for. That said, I encourage people to start preparing and thinking about the new standard. You’re not going to win states with a Zen block deck, and there won’t be time for any proven netdecks to exist before you show up, so it’s all on your shoulders. I also encourage anyone who likes this style of deck to make comments and suggestions, and to post your own lists and any testing results you have.

42 Comments

  1. getlefty says:

    If it wasn’t for the white Vesner would be ridiculous in a scalpelexis milling deck. I don’t play competitively so I’m not even buying new cards anymore but that would be a hell of a boost to a couple of my decks.

    Although I say that and I still have a Garruk that has been sitting on my shelf waiting to get tossed into a green deck.

  2. troacctid says:

    Venser is good, but he needs things to interact with. This deck has Trinket Mage and AEther Adept and maybe Halimar Depths, and that’s pretty much it, and none of them is especially amazing. Wall of Omens seems like it ought to make sense, and Spreading Seas is still okay, right? Is Mystifying Maze really a 4? It seems underwhelming in multiples. I’m not impressed by Thrummingbird here either. If you’re going to Proliferate, maybe Contagion Clasp is worth a shot because of the ETB ability to synergize with Venser.

    Basically, looks pretty awkward. Venser needs more friends in order to be good.

  3. Dr. Jeebus says:

    I agree, Venser doesn’t have enough toys in here to play with. Wall of Omens is one of the many cards that didn’t make the cut because I didn’t have room, but those Thrummingbirds are clearly inferior to the Walls. That’s going to be change number 1, and we’ll go from there. That or I’ll just say fuck it and make a poison deck, cause that dragon is ridiculous.

  4. PLETHORA says:

    I saw that on the spoiler… he looks pretty awesome… Would it be worth it to add utility creatures from other colors? Isn’t there a black creature that gives a creature 3x -1/-1 counters when it comes into play in the new set? Might be worth putting one in. That, of course, is my inner rock speaking but seems like it might be a nice way to try it out.

  5. Syd Lexia says:

    I don’t know about Venser. His ultimate ability is cute, but it seems too slow for constructed. His +2 ability simply isn’t very good. Yeah, it’s an extra trigger on Wall of Omens or an Aether Adept, but still not that great. There’s better card draw, and there’s better and extra bounce each turn isn’t that great.

    The deck seems too fragile. Your win condition seems to be this: Hope you get a lock and then either beat them down with Celestial Colonnades or set off Jace and deck them. The problem with this is Koth. Koth decks are going to run Destructive Force and a Turn 5 destructive force shuts down your deck. If you can’t counter Koth, your current deck needs to be holding double Mana Leak when Force is cast or it’s essentially Game Over.

    I think you, and everyone else, are looking at Venser wrong. Venser’s most important ability is his -1 ability. Run a mono white weenie deck with Venser splashed in, and make sure to run Armored Ascensions. That ought to get the job done.

  6. dusty says:

    Well I’ve been looking into the ruling and brittle effigy and venser are sick. Use vensers first ability on brittle effigy and on the stack activate b.e. vensers ability brings it back at the end of turn. Doesn’t seem legal but an an old deck ran the same function. Totally sick!

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