Challenger Decklists announced
Wizards recently announced "Challenger Decks" as a replacement for the old Event Decks; today, the decklists were posted here.
These 75-card Standard decks have an MSRP of $29.99, and seem to actually have quite a lot of value in them. One contains Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Hazoret the Fervent and Glorybringer. Another contains a full playset of Heart of Kiran, Dragonskull Summit, Inspiring Vantage, and Concealed Courtyard. A third has 3 Verdurous Gearhulk and a Walking Ballista. I don't know about you all, but if all of the decks are like this, it could be a great way to lower the cost of Standard and help get new players into the format for cheap.
Wow that looks really good - I am somewhat surprised that they can sell the red deck for $30 when Chandra herself is more than that, plus the Hazoret which is $20 and some other good stuff. Hopefully something good for the format.
February 23, 2018 11:51 a.m.
Wow these are great. Actually playable preconstructed decks?!?! This is long overdue and awesome!
February 23, 2018 11:56 a.m.
The Mardu lands in the 'Vehicle Rush' deck are 1-ofs, but still worth the investment!
February 23, 2018 12:19 p.m.
The other thing these decks COULD do is create NEW deck ideas. When some of the strongest decks in standard start becoming more and more common, the brewers of the world start building decks to counter them the best they can.
February 23, 2018 12:39 p.m.
Im actually impressed with the overall power level of the decks. Idk if that's because these are good, or if it's just because they're so much better than the garbage that wotc usually pumps out.
February 23, 2018 3:18 p.m.
These are really good, a huge step in the right direction to lower the cost of Standard. Wow, a Chandra, Hazoret and Glorybringer in the Hazoret Aggro deck, I'm very surprised. Is this the first time that more than one Mythic rare has been in a precon Standard deck before?
4x Heart in Vehicle Rush and 3x Verdurous in Counter Surge is also very surprising numbers. These cards use to be $20 Mythics. Only one Mythic in Second Sun Control, should of been Torrential it's the symbol of Control in Standard rather than Kefnet to even it out with the rest of the decks and bring it's price down.
Overall these look to be amazing new products. Good job Wizards!
February 23, 2018 8:46 p.m.
I totally agree that Second Sun's mythic should have been the gearhulk (not just because I want an easy way to get them), but it does have two mythics, it's just that the second copy of Kefnet is in the sideboard.
February 24, 2018 8:19 a.m.
To see if these new Challenger decks can in fact be good out of box for $30 with no upgrades I've been testing Counter Surge vs the rest of the decks.
Counter Surge is good out of box it's wrecking the rest of them mostly because the manabase is so much better than Vehicle Rush and Second Sun Control because of 8x Golgari dual lands Aether Hub and Foul Orchard. Being able to produce enough energy to power Hub gives the deck a huge advantage.
3x Verdurous Gearhulk is basically not fair compared to the other decks. Blossoming Defense wrecks Hazoret Aggro. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner wrecks Second Sun Control because Aether Meltdown doesn't stop it from attacking gaining energy. Longtusk Cub and Walk the Plank are the worst cards in the deck and could easily be cut for Servant of the Conduit or Merfolk Branchwalker and Moment of Craving. 3x Dreamstealer is one too many.
Budget upgrades for Counter Surge:
- Cut 4x Cub for 4x Servant or Branchwalker
- Cut 1x Dreamstealer and 2x Walk the Plank for 3x Moment of Craving
- Cut 2x Appetite for the Unnatural for 2x Naturalize
- Cut 1x Slice in Twain for 1x Lost Legacy
- Cut 1x Cartouche of Ambition for 1x Crook of Condemnation
Vehicle Rush has a great decklist out of box, the best of the decks, but the manabase is shit. It's also missing Abrade in the 75 cards. The manabase is relying too much on Spire of Industry it needs 4x Inspiring Vantage. Aether Hub doesn't make sense for the deck other than using this land as an appealing reason to buy this product. Buy it for the complete decklist and put some money or trade into upgrading the manabase with Vantage. 4x Heart is a big draw it's still Standard legal for the rest of the year. A card or more could be printed in the next few sets that could break Heart again.
Budget upgrades for Vehicle Rush:
- Cut 3x Hub for 3x more Vantage
- Cut 2x Evolving Wilds for 1x more Dragonskull Summit and 1x more Swamp
- Cut 2x Lightning Strike for 2x Abrade
- Cut 3x Harsh Mentor for 1x more Abrade, 1x more Cast Out and 1x Ixalan's Binding
Hazoret Aggro is not good out of box it lacks punch; it needs Earthshaker Khenra and Invigorated Rampage to make up for having only one Hazoret. Harsh Mentor doesn't do enough for the deck to warrant main deck spots. It's a sideboard card in Vehicle Rush, but some reason it's a main deck card in Hazoret Aggro?
4x Fanatical Firebrand is very lackluster. 8x main deck burn spells that can go to the face and 4x Ahn-Crop Crasher are saving graces for the deck. Crasher is the best card in the deck because you draw it much more than singleton Hazoret, Chandra or Glorybringer. 4x Chandra's Defeat in the sideboard is strange as it hits very few cards vs all the other decks. 2x Defeat and 2x more Abrade is better to stop Verdurous and Heart. Buy this product purely for the three stand out cards: Chandra, Hazoret and Glorybringer.
Budget upgrades for Hazoret Aggro:
- Cut 3x Mentor for 3x Earthshaker
- Move 2x Pia Nalaar from sideboard to main deck replacing 2x Firebrand
- Cut 2x Magma Spray for 2x Invigorated Rampage
- New sideboard: 3x Spray, 2x Mentor, 2x more Abrade, 2x Defeat, 2x Kari Zev's Expertise, 2x more Rampage, 2x Key
Second Sun Control is the worst of the decks out of box. You need more time to cast Approach of the Second Sun better cards to delay your opponent. The manabase could be better needs budget 4x Meandering River or 2-4x Aether Hub or both. You need to be able to hit double white, but 12x Islands which includes 2x Ipnu Rivulet is not helping. Aether Meltdown and Glimmer of Genius can power Hub.
The lack of Essence Scatter in the 75 cards is confusing, to upgrade start by including 3-4x Scatter. Kefnet is not a very good second win condition, but it's the Mythic in the deck, can't cut it right? A second copy of Settle the Wreckage would of been better than a second Kefnet.
The best thing about Meltdown is flash, but overall it's not a good card because it doesn't prevent the creature enchanted by it from attacking which is not good vs Bomat Courier or Glint-Sleeve, two of the best cards in these decks vs Control. It is however good to stop Heart of Kiran, but I would cut some for Baffling End because it can exile Scrapheap Scrounger, Earthshaker, Dreamstealer as well as Glint-Sleeve or Bomat all these creatures are hard for Control to deal with. 4x Cast Out, 4x Censor, 4x Supreme Will, 3x Fumigate, 1x Settle the Wreckage and 4x Irrigated Farmland are the reasons to buy this product. This is a nice a starting core of a Control deck, but not sure it's worth an investment of $30.
If budget upgrading I would make a lot of changes. New main deck:
- 1x Kefnet
- 4x Censor
- 3x Scatter
- 3x Will
- 1x Cancel
- 4x Glimmer
- 1x Pull from Tomorrow
- 4x Cast
- 2x Baffling
- 2x Meltdown
- 1x Farm
- 3x Fumigate
- 2x Settle
- 3x Approach
- 4x Farmland
- 4x River
- 2x Hub
- 2x Ipnu
- 6x Island
- 6x Plains
- 2x Ruin
In the end, if I was to buy one of these decks to just play right out of box I would get Counter Surge. If I wanted the best constructed decklist I would buy Vehicle Rush, but it requires upgrading the manabase to compete with Counter Surge. If I want the most monetary value for my $30, but the deck is not good out of box then I would get Hazoret Aggro.
The only deck I would avoid is Second Sun Control because I feel it's no good out of box requiring too many upgrades and Kefnet is a let down. Too bad the Mythic wasn't Torrential Gearhulk.
February 24, 2018 2:37 p.m.
Great breakdown multimedia!! If Standard wasn't totally dead in my area I'd be buying a couple of these for sure.