Atarka Cryptolith with Josh Utter-Leyton

Posted in Event Coverage on May 7, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Four-color Cryptolith has quickly become the flavor of the week in Standard. Last weekend, at Grand Prix Toronto, a number of players showed up with an innovative Collected Company strategy that aimed to use Eldrazi Displacer to its fullest potential. The deck functioned similarly to the Collected Company decks we’ve been seeing a lot of since Shadows of Innistrad was first released; The deck reached new heights by incorporating a powerful late game including an infinite loop with Eldrazi Displacer and Brood Monitor, which becomes instantly lethal when combined with Zulaport Cutthroat. The deck became a favorite practically overnight and started dominating the Magic Online Standard metagame.

Alex Majlaton - Four-Color Cryptolith

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Leading up to Grand Prix New York, Josh Utter-Leyton and (11) Luis Scott-Vargas were looking for something new and exciting to play with. Utter-Leyton was discussing the format with Pat Cox, who suggested that they try to play with Dragonlord Atarka in the sideboard of the Cryptolith Rite deck.

“In the sideboard?” Utter-Leyton mused, “why don’t we just play it in the main?!”

Pat Cox wasn’t willing to be that ambitious this weekend, but Scott-Vargas and Utter-Leyton were happy to take this new monstrosity for a test drive.

I caught up with Utter-Leyton and asked why he thought it would be a good idea.

Brood Monitor isn’t that good of a card by itself. The best combo in the deck was just Reflector Mage with Eldrazi Displacer anyway. Dragonlord Atarka does something very big. We can just ramp into it and beat other creature decks.”

It seemed to make sense even if it seemed wildly ambitious.

How’s it been working out so far?

“I’ve won all my matches so far. Last round, I blinked Dragonlord Atarka twice with Eldrazi Displacer. I needed to do it twice. Two Dragonlord Atarkas wouldn’t have been good enough,” laughed Utter-Leyton.

Zulaport Cutthroat and Brood Monitor enabled a combo finish for the Four-Color Cryptolith deck, but neither of those cards were very good unless they were operating alongside the appropriate board. Dragonlord Atarka has no such requirements and decimates boards while leaving a massive flying body on the board that can be blinked for value with Eldrazi Displacer.

Utter-Leyton is still undefeated with this new and innovative version of the deck. Is this the next evolution for Collected Company decks in Standard? Stay tuned to continuing coverage of Grand Prix New York to see how things turn out for Josh Utter-Leyton and his wild brew.

Josh Utter-Leyton - Atarka Cryptolith

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