What I Would Play at the Standard Showdown

Posted in Top Decks on December 13, 2016

By Gaby Spartz

By night, Gaby streams Magic on Twitch. By day, she's co-founder and VP of Content at Dose, the Chicago-based media company behind Dose.com and OMGFacts.com.

It's easy to take a snapshot of the current Standard metagame and think that Standard is reduced to Red-Green Marvel, White-Blue Flash, Black-Green Delirium, and Red-White or Mardu Vehicles. You wouldn't be wrong either. These are the most prevalent decks in the current meta, and if you're running deep into Day Two at a Grand Prix, you can expect to see a field full of these decks.

But not necessarily at the Standard Showdown. And that, to me, is exciting. The Standard Showdown is a four-week celebration of Standard that gives you the chance of winning a special, three-card booster pack that could include a Masterpiece Series Kaladesh Invention or Zendikar Expedition (see details here). Three weekends of Standard Showdowns are in the books, and this weekend is your last chance to join in the fun.

At your local shop, most people aren't going to be playing the deck that won the most recent Grand Prix or StarCityGames.com Open, which gives you an opportunity to play something that's a bit different and off the beaten path. You can play decks like this awesome Panharmonicon deck, which Seth Manfield piloted to a Top 8 finish at Grand Prix Denver. This is what I would play at Standard Showdown:

White-Blue Panharmonicon

Download Arena Decklist

The namesake card, Panharmonicon, is a card brewers everywhere have been excited to break since it was previewed.

The deck's primary plan is to squeeze as much value from your cards as possible. The way to enable that is by getting Panharmonicon in play, ideally on turn four. If you don't have Panharmonicon in your opener, your Glint-Nest Cranes can help you find it in a pinch.

This deck can get run over by fast aggro and Vehicle decks. Cards like Thraben Inspector, Smuggler's Copter, Reflector Mage, and Glint-Nest Crane can help mitigate that and try to slow down the game. Once you've made it into the midgame, you can start casting Cloudblazers with Panharmonicon in play, which gains you 4 life and four cards. Cloudblazer even dodges Spell Queller. Skysovereign, Consul Flagship can help you take down your opponents' large threats, including opposing planeswalkers, which this deck is somewhat soft to.

Another very cool feature about this deck are the infinite combos that are available. A lot of things need to fall correctly for an infinite combo to happen, but it's wildly exciting when it does. If you use Eldrazi Displacer's activated ability to blink Drowner of Hope when you have Panharmonicon in play, you'll make four Eldrazi Scions each time the Drowner enters the battlefield. You can then sacrifice three of them to use Eldrazi Displacer's ability again, netting you one Scion each time you activate it. This by itself is enough to win you the game, but if you want extra style points, you can take it a step further.

If you have a Thraben Inspector in play, and once you have infinite Scions/mana, you can use Eldrazi Displacer to blink the Inspector and make infinite Clues. With infinite Clues you can draw your whole deck. But it gets better. When you find your one copy of Thought-Knot Seer, you can then blink that until you make your opponent draw their whole deck and lose to decking.

So happy together

This combo is convoluted and by no means the primary win condition, but it's a nice benefit to have available—especially when all the pieces for it are functional in the deck. In dedicated combo decks like Red-Green Marvel, you play cards such as Woodweaver's Puzzleknot, which is needed for the combo but weak in a vacuum. You would've been happy to play all the combo pieces needed in White-Blue Panharmonicon regardless of the combo.

Up until Grand Prix Denver, this deck was relatively unknown, but I'm certain it'll pick up steam now. It's not clear yet if this the deck is here to stay, but bringing it to the last weekend of the Standard Showdown (that's this weekend!) would be an excellent opportunity to continue to test and tweak the deck.

This deck wants to grind and play a long game, so you should be mentally prepared for that, but I think right now is a perfect time to take it out for a spin. What other cards would you want to try in this deck? I'd love to hear how your Standard Showdown goes if you play White-Blue Panharmonicon. You can let me know on Twitter @gabyspartz, or on my stream at twitch.tv/gabyspartz.


Standard Showdown is four-week event celebrating all that is Standard, with local tournaments, cool prizes, and opportunities for bragging rights and brewing.

Looking for a Standard Showdown tournament near you? Use this locator to find your nearest store hosting one of these fun events.


Already been to an event and crushed it? Submit your name, decklist, record, store where you played, and any fun photos you have at standardshowdown@wizards.com or by filling out the form below.

Latest Top Decks Articles


August 2, 2018

Team Trios Constructed at the Pro Tour – Modern and Legacy by, Simon Görtzen

Pro Tour 25th Anniversary Coverage Begins Today! Tune in to twitch.tv/magic for four days of Pro Tour coverage celebrating Magic's 25th Anniversary, beginning TODAY (August 2) at 2 p.m. ...

Learn More


July 31, 2018

Team Trios Constructed at the Pro Tour – Standard by, Simon Görtzen

Tomorrow, I'll board a plane to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to cover Pro Tour 25th Anniversary. On Thursday, August 2, the $150,000 Silver Showcase kicks off the action with a once-in-a-lifet...

Learn More



Top Decks Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All