4-Color Midrange at StarCityGames Open

Posted in Daily Deck on December 11, 2014

By Shuhei Nakamura

Shuhei Nakamura is a member of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame, former Player of the Year, and is one of just six players with more than 400 lifetime pro points.

First Boros Beatdown, then Mardu Midrange. I have to admit, lately I am always excited to see a Brad Nelson decklist.

His latest creation, however, concerns me a little because my first impression is that I'm not even sure it can work. Why? Well, in order to function properly it has to have access to green mana by the second turn, then on turn four it wants GGWBR. Turn five? GGWBRR. By turn six, the mana base needs yet another white, bringing the total to GGWWBRR. Oh, and you really want one of those R to be coming from a Mountain.

I know that turned into a long string of letters, but I wanted to emphasize that this deck basically wants access to more mana each turn than the number of lands. AND, one of those lands, those precious few lands, should be a Mountain.

The concept is based on Brad's previous Mardu Control deck, removing the strong removal from that deck to add the popular platoon of Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix. This gives the RWB deck access to green mana and therefore allows it to include Siege Rhino. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he started with Caryatid, Courser, and Rhino, and then built on top of that. The inclusion of green also smooths out mana development more, and this in turn leads to the addition of what is currently the strongest Planeswalker—that white recluse from Theros. And since there's already white and green in the deck, might as well include her mentor to keep her company, right? And there you have a deck.

It's easy to overlook with all the flashy cards in the deck, but we can't undersell the work Satyr Wayfinder does balancing out the colors. It's not the best of creatures, but its inclusion is a necessary evil if you want to run four colors. That's the question you have to ask yourself: is it better to stick to three colors and willingly give up some of the good cards, or put up with weaker cards to get access to stronger ones?

Brad Nelson's 4-Color Color Midrange—StarCityGames Open Richmond

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