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Flyers midrange (azorius deck 1a in series) (Frontier)

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    Description

    What the deck does:
    *Azorius has some of the best flyers in Frontier, the color pair definitely has the best flyers for a complete curve.
    *Here, I'm looking to build a deck that focuses on playing flyers as much as possible on the curve.
    *I will not however play a flyer over another card, if the other card serves a greater purpose for the deck.

    What inspired the deck:
    *I'm doing a series of two colored midrange decks.
    *I was looking at all the great flying options azorius has at 5cmc and started debating to myself which are the best. From that I thought "let's see how good a deck I can make focusing on the flyers"


    Step 1: Where to start.
    *Usually I would start with the 5cmc cards in a midrange deck, however since there are so many options here I believe it best to fill in the creatures around it and see what 5cmc flyer fits the build the best.

    4cmc

    (a) Archangel of Tithes. 4 copies.
    *The mana is too taxing for most decks, however we are primarily a white deck so casting it will not be hard.
    *Consumes the opponents mana to do anything. They basically have to choose between attacking and blocking or casting spells.
    *5 toughness is great for evading Languish and Grasp of Darkness.

    (b) Gisela, the Broken Blade. 2 copies.
    *Legendary makes her a 2 of, but really we only want to play six 4cmc creatures anyways.
    *First strike makes her even more difficult to deal with in combat.
    *Lifelink is much appreciated against aggressive decks or even other midrange decks.

    3cmc

    (c) Spell Queller. 4 copies.
    *Can protect your board late or be a great tempo play on turn 3.
    *Answers many of the threats in the format that cost 4cmc.

    (d) Aven Mindcensor. 2 copies.
    *Messes with fetch lands in a big way.

    2cmc

    (e) Selfless Spirit. 3 copies.
    *Protects our main creatures from spot removal.
    *Two power flyer on turn 2 is acceptable stats, even without the ability.

    (f) Warkite Marauder. 2 copies.
    *Turns formidable blockers into chumps.
    *Strips away abilities from the most evasive creatures, allowing us to remove them much easier (Hazoret, The Scarab God,...)

    1cmc

    (g) Hope of Ghirapur.
    *Just enough disruption to give it the nod at the 1 cmc slot.
    *At any point, if you are going to cast a major creature and you are worried about a counterspell you can sacrifice Hope and feel safe to progress.
    *Guarantees you will not get hit with removal on your opponents next turn when you fear it the most.
    *Can be used to force an opponent to play a spell in response, thereby tipping their intentions before you proceed in your post combat main phase.
    *gets the nod over Siren Stormtamer in part because it is colorless mana on turn one, therefore allowing us to play one less blue source in the deck.


    Step 2: What do we want our 5cmc flyers to do.
    *Provide protection for our other creatures. By the time we hit turn 5 we may have enough of a board presence to finish the game off if we can just maintain it. The deck is already playing Hope of Ghirapur, Selfless Spirit, and Spell Queller to help achieve this.
    *Be a game ending attacker.

    (a) Archangel Avacyn. 3 copies.
    *She can destroy a big chunk of our board if she transforms, however having played her a ton I know that that happens very rarely. Usually she is the perfect card to save your board and swing for those last few points of damage.
    *even if she takes out a creature or two on a transform, doing 3 damage to the opponent and all there creatures usually tilts in your favor.
    *Flashing her in makes her pseudo removal as not only she gets to block and kill an attacker, but often your smaller creatures suddenly become removal pieces.
    *She is fantastic when paired with Archengel of Tithes as Tithes taxes the opponent enough mana to attack that they have little left over to respond to Avacyn.
    *Hope of Ghirapur and Selfless Spirit give you great control over whether Avacyn transforms or not. You can sac them to protect Avacyn entering the battlefield.

    ***Do not forget the multiple Avacyn trick. The few times I've been in a situation to pull it off, it was followed by an opponent scoop. If you have two in your hand and either Selfless Spirit or Hope of Ghirapur on the battlefield you can get up to all kinds of shenanigans. So here it goes:
    i) Cast Avacyn on your opponents turn and do all the normal wreckage.
    ii) before the end of your opponents turn sacrifice Hope of Ghirapur or Selfless Spirit. Now Avacyn will flip next upkeep.
    iii) At your upkeep let Avacyn transform, becoming Avacyn, the Purifier. Once she does the trigger for all the damage goes on the stack.
    iv) While the trigger is on the stack flash in your second Archangel Avacyn. She enters, making all your creatures indestructible.
    v) The trigger finally goes off and deals 3 damage to all creatures and your opponent, but your creatures all survive.
    vi) Both Avacyn's survive also because they have different names: Archangel Avacyn and Avacyn, the Purifier.

    (b) Dragonlord Ojutai. 2 copies.
    *Can be very hard for decks to remove on its own.
    *Just so much harder to remove with Selfless Spirit, Spell Queller, and Avacyn in the deck.
    *Once you get Ojutai's "Anticipate on a stick" going it is usually lights out for the opponent.


    Step 3: Do I want to play a 6cmc creature?
    *It puts a little pressure on the mana base.
    *There are a couple of very powerful 6 cmc options.
    *I believe there is room to play a one of 6cmc creature, however the more I look at it I just feel that if we stick Avacyn or Ojutai we are already laughing all the way to the bank. Better to focus our energy on protecting those two, rather than going bigger.


    Step 4: Address the curve. (11 cards)
    *There are two slots remaining at 1cmc.
    *There are five slots remaining at 2cmc.
    *There are two slots remaining at 3cmc.
    *There are two slots remaining at 4cmc.


    Step 5: Address the current needs. (11 cards)
    *There is currently no way to accelerate the mana. (2 slots)
    *There is no early game card draw. (4 slots)
    *There is no spot removal. (5 slots)


    Step 6: Add spot removal.

    (a) Reflector Mage. 2 copies. (3cmc)
    *Amazing tempo piece on a body.

    (b) Cast Out. 2 copies. (4cmc)
    *You have to be able to remove planeswalkers and difficult creatures in the main board at instant speed.

    (c) Declaration in Stone. 1 copy. (2cmc)
    *Exile is a must.
    *Getting two for one's is also a major bonus.
    *Eradicates token decks.


    Step 7: Add early game card draw.
    *three possible options: Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Chart a Course, or Smuggler's Copter.

    (a) Smuggler's Copter. 4 copies.
    *It can attack and it flies. Clear winner.
    *Does not play so great with 3cmc flash creatures, but we still will manage.


    Step 8: Add a mana accelerator.

    (a) Legion's Landing. 2 copies.
    *Supplies a creature turn 1, important for Copter.
    *Will almost always flip by the midgame since we have so much low cost evasion creatures.
    *getting to cast our 5cmc creatures a turn earlier is sweet when it happens, but simply being able to cast it more consistently on turn 5 is all that really matters.
    *The tokens do matter in grindy games.


    Step 9: Look at the sideboard.

    (a) Knight of the White Orchid. 3 copies.
    *I'm not playing them in the main deck because they are much better on the draw then on the play.
    *Played on turn three, it just gives us so much gas moving forward.
    *2/2 first strike for 2cmc is good on its own.

    (b) Reflector Mage. 2 copies.
    *It is the best card we can play in a lot of matchups and a vanilla 2/3 in others.
    *Goes in the main board in certain meta's.

    (c) Settle the Wreckage. 2 copies.
    *Every deck needs a panic button.
    *The drawback is not that big to us as we are not looking at going long into games.

    (d) Authority of the Consuls. 2 copies.
    *Shuts down Saheeli combo.
    *Grinds out aggro, the last thing they want to do.
    *Turns off haste when playing against red.

    (e) Disdainful Stroke. 2 copies.
    *Answers a ton of the threats in the format, especially the one's that are game over if not answered.

    (f) Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. 2 copies.
    *In versus control for Gisela.

    (g) Sentinel Totem . 2 copies.
    *Great against delve.
    *Shuts off God Pharoah's Gift.
    *I am playing too many juicy creatures too have a graveyard full against The Scarab God.
    *Playing Totem over Tormod's Crypt because control will likely be playing delve cards, Torrential Gearhulk, and The Scarab God...meaning I need to empty both graveyards.

    ***Not playing Sorcerous Spyglass***
    *a go to sideboard card for me.
    *Not what I want to be doing on turn 2.
    *I won't be naming Smuggler's Copter as I do not want to turn mine off.
    *As far as planeswalkers are concerned, I will rely on Cast Out, Spell Queller, Hope of Ghirapur, and simply racing them to throw off my opponent.
    *Aetherworks Marvel, Collected Company, and Refurbish will have to be handled by Cast Out, Spell Queller, sacking Hope of Ghirapur at the right time, and Disdainful Stroke out of the side.
    *The Scarab God has answers as well in the form of Reflector Mage, Cast Out, and Declaration in Stone, with Disdainful Stroke and Sentinel Totem out of the side.


    Step 10: Review and make changes.

    (a) Gideon moved to main board, Gisela to the side.
    *Gideon is just good against every deck.
    *Gisela has good matchups, but I just cannot think of a matchup where i wouldn't rather have Gideon.

    (b) Gisela cut entirely. Add two more Gideon's to the sideboard.
    *She will never get sided in for any matchup over the 4cmc cards we play now.

    (c) Cut a land slot.
    *Two Legion's landing and three Knight of the White Orchid in the side allows us to play 24 lands.
    *The old azorius tempo deck that featured many of these cards only played 24 lands.

    (d) Selfless Spirit. 1 additional copy.
    *I wanted to add a 2cmc or less card to keep the curve down.
    *Selfless Spirit is just so important to the deck that you want to see one every game and you never complain about multiples.


    Step 11: Build a mana base.
    *24 lands total.
    *Minimum 13 blue to play blue on turn 2 consistently.
    *Minimum 22 white to play Archangel of Tithes consistently on curve.

    (a) Flooded Strand. 4 copies.
    *Fetches not as important in this build.

    (b) Prairie Stream. 4 copies.
    *Best land to play with fetches and the high amount of basics.

    (c) Glacial Fortress. 4 copies.
    *Very easy to play untapped.

    (d) Island. 1 copy.
    *We can afford to play one.

    (e) Plains. 10 copies.
    *The wonders of two colored decks is getting to play a crap ton of basic lands.

    (f) Field of Ruin. 1 copy.
    *It's fun to mess with our opponents mana base when ours is so simple.


    ***Final Thoughts***
    (A) In the final product the deck plays 25 flyers. That's a lot of evasion.
    (B) Gideon is just so good that I had to go off theme to include him.
    (C) Two colored allied mana bases are so simple to build and are so consistent to play that it gives them a vast advantage over enemy and wedge based decks.
    (D) The sideboard in this deck is very strong and has answers for everything that you will see.
    (E) You could play a version of this deck in tournament play and easily hold your own.
    (F) There does not feel like there is a need for a third color. If I was to splash a third color it would be black, but that would be mostly for Fatal Push. Then, of course, you'd have to play more fetch lands and weaken the mana base. A lot to do for one card.

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    Sideboard price: 51.35 € | $ 36.55

    This deck appears to be legal in Frontier!

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