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Much Abrew: Bant Superfriends (Standard)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we are heading to Dominaria Standard to play a different take on Superfriends. A couple of weeks ago, we played an Esper Oath of Teferi Friends deck for Against the Odds, and while the deck is super sweet, there are a ton of options for building around planeswalkers in Dominaria Standard. Today's build—a slightly updated version of our Bant Superfriends Instant Deck Tech from last week—heads into green to take advantage of some Nissas while also going the extra-turns route for even more planeswalker activations thanks to Karn's Temporal Sundering. Is Bant Superfriends the right color combination for a planeswalker deck to thrive in Dominaria Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Bant Superfriends (Standard)

The Deck

  • As for our record, we played a competitive league and ended up 3-2, although we were super close to having an ever better record. One loss was to Mono-White Aggro, which is a super-high-variance matchup (we almost always win if we draw our sweepers early in the game, but we almost always lose if we don't), while the other one was the Bant Superfriends mirror, which is pretty much about who runs better (also, our opponent looked to have more copies of Karn's Temporal Sundering, which is one of the best cards in the mirror match). 
  • One of the big questions for Bant Superfriends is why we should play it over the Esper build we played for Against the Odds a couple of weeks ago. The easiest answer is Nissa, Steward of Elements, which was an amazing finisher for our deck. With Oath of Teferi, it's pretty easy to cast Nissa for six mana, use the first activation to +2, and then use the second activation to ultimate and hit the opponent for 10 damage in the air. If we can do this a couple of turns in a row, it's a great way to finish off the opponent. We even had one game where we got Nissa, Steward of Elements up to enough loyalty where we could ultimate the same one twice in the same turn. Plus, the ability of Nissa, Steward of Elements to scry works really well with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, since we can dig for the card we need and use Teferi to draw it right away.
  • On the other hand, the major downside of Bant Superfriends compared to Esper is that since we need to rely on white enchantment-based removal rather than black spell-based removal, we don't get to play Urza's Ruinous Blast, and Urza's Ruinous Blast is incredibly powerful, especially in a Superfriends deck, where we can get back all of our planeswalkers exiled with Cast Out and Ixalan's Binding along with sweeping the opponent's board. 
  • Otherwise, Esper Superfriends and Bant Superfriends are pretty similar. Adding green also gives access to Nissa, Vital Force (which can ultimate right away with Oath of Teferi, giving us another strong card-advantage engine) and Ajani Unyielding (which is a fine one-of on the top end of our curve).
  • One of the unique aspects of this build of Superfriends is that we have Karn's Temporal Sundering, which ended up being extremely high variance. In some matchups, it's the best card in our deck, essentially winning us the game by allowing us to activate all of our planeswalkers another two times (assuming we have Oath of Teferi), which is an almost insurmountable advantage. In other matchups, it was too slow (and occasionally even uncastable). In the end, it mostly felt win-more, allowing us to push ahead when we were already winning (or even) but not doing enough when we were behind, even with the bounce attached. 
  • Another option for the Karn's Temporal Sundering slot is Kamahl's Druidic Vow as a sort of planeswalker Genesis Wave. While we aren't overloaded with legends (outside of our 14 planeswalkers), even just getting a couple of planeswalkers along with a bunch of lands seems like a pretty big deal.
  • Heart of Kiran was a bit hit or miss. In game one, it's our only card that dies to Abrade or Fatal Push, so turning on our opponent's removal feels pretty bad. On the other hand, it gets better in game two, when our opponent sideboards out most of their creature removal, and it does offer a good way of pressuring opposing planeswalkers (while also blocking for our planeswalkers) if it manages to stick on the battlefield. 
  • In the end, Bant Superfriends felt a lot like our Esper Oath of Teferi Friends deck, and I'm not sure that one is better than the other. Instead, both decks take a slightly different path toward the planeswalker win, with Bant Superfriends looking to one-shot with Nissa, Steward of Elements, while Esper Oath of Teferi Friends is more willing to grind out the long game with the help of Urza's Ruinous Blast. Despite the differences, both decks are good, and if two related but different takes on the same archetype are good, then there's probably a build out there that is really good, if only we can find it. I wouldn't be surprised if, at some point over the next year or so, Superfriends developed into a legitimate tier one archetype. It's just a matter of figuring out the best build—the power level is there.
  • So, should you play Bant Superfriends? I think the answer is yes. While I'm still not sure which build of Superfriends is best, the most expensive cards in Bant Superfriends (like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Karn, Scion of Urza) will be at home in most versions of Superfriends (along with a bunch of other decks), so if you pick up the staples, you'll have a lot of flexibility in changing from one build to another as we start to figure out the optimal build of Superfriends. Plus, the deck is competitive and a ton of fun to play!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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