Posted in SUPER SUNDAY SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 on January 25, 2015

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

It's weekend #1 of Fate Reforged being Standard legal, which has opened up the format into some new territory. Old hits have had some new life breathed into it, and current mainstays have gained a couple of great new tools to bring them to the top.

Let's take a look at some of the more interesting decklists in this field, starting with some of Japan's most notable players.

Ken Yukuhiro – R/W Midrange

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Gold-level pro Ken Yukuhiro's sporting a popular recent deck, R/W Midrange, which has become popular over its similar Jeskai brethren both thanks to a better mana base but also because of cheap removal like Chain to the Rocks, which cannot be supported by Jeskai's lands.

Chain to the Rocks, in particular, does some extra work with new mainstay Monastery Mentor. The cheap removal is a quick and easy way to begin gaining value off of the new white mythic.

But the real star of this deck, and the card that has been making a big impact on the games I've observed, is Outpost Siege. The new red enchantment does a fantastic impression of Chandya, Pyromaster's zero cost loyalty ability, and its non-legendary status makes multiples of the new red card-drawing engine utterly devastating once online. With multiple forms of creature control and two different cheap creatures that enable lifegain, reaching the point where Outpost Siege gets going is far from difficult.

Watching Yukuhiro play with the card is a good reminder on how drawing extra cards each turn is very, very good.

Another big Japanese name that has been sporting a recognized deck with a sick suite of new cards is Tomoharu Saito, with Blue-Black Control.

Tomoharu Saito – Blue-Black Control

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While Blue-Black Control typically has small little variations between each player's particular build, Saito's take on the deck has much in common with most of the other Blue-Black players here this weekend, most notably the wide adoption of two new cards: Crux of Fate, and the iconic Planeswalker himself, Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.

Saito's particular deck sports a variety of two-ofs, the catch-all for a field that is all but predictable. Four Crux of Fate is a very vocal statement though on the expectation that creatures were expected to be in play this weekend. The new sweeper was shown in varying numbers across all decks, with some players cutting them entirely, and the verdict is out on whether this new sorcery deserves the full supply in the main deck or if it should be in the side instead.

Ugin, however...well, aside from it being yet another sweeper, ultimate activations are a very real thing. Just ask Joel Larsson, who won his Round 5 match today in which both games ended with drawing seven cards and putting a bunch of things into play (usually including a new copy of Ugin, which would then go on Ghostfire duty until the game ends).

But the last awesome concoction, sporting the sole representation from South Korea, is a deck that speaks to me on a larger level.

Park Jun Young – Sidisi-Soul

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Picture this if you're Silver-level pro Park Jun Young. You keep your seven cards, and are on the play:

  • You play Sidisi, Brood Tyrant on an empty board and with the necessary lands, binning three creatures including a Soul of Theros.
  • You smile, because you can cause a 34 point life swing right there, and potentially net even more zombies on the next attack.

I suspect we will see this in action at some point under the camera this weekend. Maybe not the magical dream scenario of Sidisi making three creatures, but it still has to feel good.