Standard Retreat Control

Posted in Daily Deck on November 3, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

While we got a good idea of what the Standard metagame looks like after Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar, there were also multiple State Championship events taking place during the same weekend. One of the top decks that looked quite intriguing to me was at TCGPlayer Standard State Championships—Michigan Top 4 competitor Eric Thomasma's Retreat Control deck. This deck is an Abzan deck that plays three of the new Battle for Zendikar Retreats along with ways to get extra lands onto the battlefield to trigger landfall.

Herald of the Pantheon is the card that makes this deck tick. Since it reduces the cost of your Retreats, it allows you to play two Retreats in one turn to get a double landfall trigger. Without Herald, you're pretty much limited to playing one Retreat a turn, which means that you will be losing value on your triggers. I was pretty surprised not to see four copies of Herald in this deck.

This deck plays some pretty cool ways to get extra lands into play. The most common way is through a high land count. As you can see, there are 32 lands in the deck, which is a pretty unheard-of number of lands to play in Standard. In this deck, each land is like a spell, and that spell becomes more powerful the more Retreats you have in play, so it's really important to have a land every turn.

Oblivion Sower is another powerful way to get extra lands onto the battlefield. You can usually hit more than one land off of its trigger, but if your opponent was delving or doing anything else to exile lands, you could potentially put a really high number of lands onto the battlefield. Fetch lands and Blighted Woodland are other ways to trigger landfall, and these lands can be sacrificed at instant speed to create surprise blockers or put surprise +1/+1 counters on your Siege Rhino.

Eric Thomasma's Retreats

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