This week we're going to try out the Green-White Midrange deck that won the online PTQ this past weekend in the hands of Team5c. It's the sort of deck that is right up my alley, combining disruption with creatures all along the curve. It also plays both Karn and Lyra!
After playing a few leagues with the deck, the first change I would make is replacing the third copy of Shanna, Sisay's Legacy with a second copy of Shalai, Voice of Plenty. Drawing multiple copies of the legendary Shanna can be awkward since she isn't exactly a card like Lyra where she dominates the board if you have one on the battlefield. So going down to two feels right. And Shalai was one of my best cards against Settle the Wreckage, especially out of the White-Blue Control deck, so I want a second copy.
|Shalai, Voice of Plenty||
The other change I would make is to cut Seal Away altogether from the deck. It got boarded out most of the time and I felt like we weren't really facing down offensive threats nearly enough to make it worthwhile. I would replace it with a third copy of Shalai, Voice of Plenty and one copy of Cast Out. Cast Out gives us the instant-speed flexibility while also providing us the ability to cycle it against decks where we don't want the extra removal spell. I would also replace one of the two Ixalan's Bindings with a second Cast Out for the same reason. I also want the fourth copy of Lyra in the sideboard for matchups where that is our best card. I would cut one of the Baffling Ends to make room. I would also want to try one Ajani Unyielding in the sideboard over the third Lifecrafter's Bestiary.
This leaves us with the following changes:
Jadelight Ranger would fit nicely into the deck, though I think Harvester and Brontodon are better, so I'm not sure what to cut to fit it in. If you do, then Wildgrowth Walker also starts looking reasonable. Heroic Intervention could be a nice sideboard card against Fumigate, though it's kind of awkward that it doesn't stop Settle the Wreckage.
Carnage Tyrant could also be a sideboard card to consider for the control matchup, though it gets beat by both Settle the Wreckage and Fumigate, so maybe it's just not the right card to combat control decks these days.
A bigger change of direction the deck could undergo is to add blue for Teferi, Hero of Dominara. This would also give us access to Negate in the sideboard which would conveniently answer both of the sweepers in the control matchup as well as just being a fantastic card in that matchup. If we do this, adding some number of Servant of the Conduit could help smooth out our mana, in addition to adding Botanical Sanctum, more Aether Hubs and potentially Glacial Fortress or Hinterland Harbor.
Overall I think there is a lot of power in this shell and I'm not surprised it won the PTQ. I'm not convinced it has an acceptable White-Blue Control matchup, though, and I see that deck on the rise and I want a few more tools for that matchup. Maybe it can be solved without adding a third color or maybe the blue splash is needed. I'm not sure yet, but as the format continues to evolve, I'm pretty sure pairing Llanowar Elves with Shalai, Voice of Plenty and Lyra Dawnbringer will continue to be a viable strategy for quite some time.
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