Deck Spotlight

Posted in NEWS on February 8, 2014

By Marc Calderaro

Deck Spotlight – Josh Fleisch’s Bant Midrange

by Marc Calderaro

There are those decks that just looked like you jammed into it every good card within your reach. There might not be amazing synergy among the cards, but you make up for that in raw, independent card power. Josh Fleisch's tri-color deck reeks of that raw-power stench. Before Born of the Gods, playing three colors in anything other than a control deck was very difficult. But with the addition of Temple of Plenty, Temple of Enlightenment and Temple of Malice (2/3s of which are in Fleisch's deck) allows midrange decks to get a bite of the three-flavored apple.

Josh Fleisch

Fleisch sees this deck as built around Archangel of Thune. The flier is powerful against almost every creature in the format (besides Stormbreath Dragon, as Fleisch learned last round). "It might be a mistake to not play Supreme Verdict if you're playing white and blue; it depends on how the metagame shapes up." We agreed that in the midrange context, you have to pick either Archangel of Thune or Supreme Verdict, not both. Though those two go side-by-side in the Azorius Control deck—as No. 14 Alex Hayne showed and Grand Prix Vancouver—in the midrange context, Archangel pulls you to play more creatures, and Supreme Verdict pulls you to play fewer. The large number of Temples force you to limit your one-drops (Fleisch is running zero), so playing Sylvan Caryatid or not will probably be the deciding factor.

Fleisch, who's been playing longer than you have—his first big result was 12th place at Pro Tour Tokyo back in 2001—went the creature (and quasi-creature route) and stuffed the deck to the gills with the best non-one-mana creatures mana can buy, and many of them from Born of the Gods. Courser of Kruphix, Brimaz, King of Oreskos and Ephara, God of the Polis all make important appearances. And out of the sideboard, Fleisch can turn the deck more control-heavy with cards like Kiora, the Crashing Wave and the seven-drop, instant-speed Wrath of God, Fated Retribution.

Here's the list:

Josh Fleisch’s Bant Midrange

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Fleisch swears there's a lot more synergy than I'm giving it credit for. Trostani, Selesnya's Voice and Prophet of Kruphix both allow immediate triggers of Archangel of Thune to grow the team. And the token creation of Voice of Resurgence, Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Brimaz, King of Oreskos all pair well with the pumping of Archangel and the populate of Trostani.

Yeah, yeah. Synergy, smin-ergy. Who needs synergy when you're playing the most powerful cards in the format. Try out this deck at home. You'll be extremely happy with your results—though, as Fleisch warns, watch out for "multiple Stormbreath Dragons."