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Much Abrew: Five-Color Azcanta Friends (Standard)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we're changing things up a bit. Rather than playing an Instant Deck Tech deck, we're going to run a brew I've been working on through a competitive league! Search for Azcanta is a very powerful card, but so far, people have mostly used the enchantment to dig for boring stuff like counterspells and removal. The thing is, Search for Azcanta can find any non-land, non-creature permanent, so what if instead of searching for Negate and Fatal Push, we overload our deck with the most powerful non-land, non-creature card type in Magic: planeswalkers? 

The idea of today's deck is simple: we're playing five colors, which means we have access to all of the most powerful creatures in Standard. We back up our planeswalkers with some sweepers and targeted removal and look to use Search for Azcanta to dig for even more planeswalkers. The end result is a deck that's looking to slam a powerful planeswalker every single turn: Five-Color Azcanta Friends! Sure, our opponent might have some Negates and maybe a Vraska's Contempt or two to kill some of our planeswalkers, but our deck is stuffed so full of planeswalkers that before long, we'll overwhelm our opponent's defenses and run over their deck with planeswalker power! Can we make a five-color deck work in Ixalan Standard? How many planeswalkers is too many? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Five-Color Azcanta Friends (Deck Tech)

Five-Color Azcanta Friends vs. Sultai Energy (Match 1)

Five-Color Azcanta Friends vs. UB GPG (Match 2)

Five-Color Azcanta Friends vs. Temur Energy (Match 3)

Five-Color Azcanta Friends vs. Ramunap Red (Match 4)

Five-Color Azcanta Friends vs. Esper Tokens (Match 5)

Five-Color Azcanta Friends (Wrap-Up)

Discussion

  • As far as the record, I first played the deck in the two-player queues and went 5-0, which made me think that maybe the deck was good enough for a competitive league. While we finished the league 3-2, we weren't that far from picking up another win along the way (the third Rampaging Ferocidon in game three against Ramunap Red was a killer). 
  • All in all, the deck feels surprisingly competitive, despite its simplicity. We played against a lot of tier decks, and even in the matches that we lost, we were in the match and never really got blown out.
  • Five-Color Azcanta Friends is actually a really hard deck to write about because it's surprisingly simple. We don't have much synergy at all (apart from Search for Azcanta finding planeswalkers). Instead, we are hoping to overwhelm our opponent by playing an extremely powerful threat every single turn. Most decks have a hard time keeping up with a planeswalker each turn; even if our opponent has some removal or counters, we'll run them out eventually, and at that point, it usually only takes one or two planeswalkers to finish the game. 
  • Search for Azcanta is extremely important to the deck. One thing I've noticed is that our odds of winning a game increase significantly when we play the enchantment on Turn 2. While the late-game payoff of tutoring up endless planeswalkers is great, in the early game, the ability to mill expensive cards and make sure we hit our removal and lands is really key to staying alive long enough to make our planeswalkers relevant. 
  • Speaking of our planeswalkers, I was pretty happy with most of them. Dovin Baan is the worst of the bunch, and while it can be good in the best-case scenario, it impacts the board less than our other planeswalkers, which make it really bad when we are behind. We could probably cut it for something else.
  • Gideon of the Trials is perhaps the strangest planeswalker in the deck because having double white on Turn 3 is actually pretty challenging. While it might make sense to cut Gideon of the Trials altogether, the problem is we need double white for Settle the Wreckage and Fumigate anyway, so we don't really gain that much (in terms of better mana) by just cutting Gideon of the Trials
  • Chandra, Torch of Defiance is—by far—the most important planeswalker in our deck because it give us the nut draw of playing Chandra, Torch of Defiance on Turn 4, untapping on Turn 5, using Chandra, Torch of Defiance to add mana, and then playing a Vraska, Relic Seeker or Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh. Most decks in Standard really struggle to beat a Turn 4 Vraska, Relic Seeker, and Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh is even more unbeatable. 
  • The main challenge of the deck is surviving the early game. Our late game is more powerful than that of any other deck in Standard, without exception, which means we often make some strange-looking plays in the early game (like throwing away planeswalkers as overcosted removal spells). Once we get to the point where we are resolving Fumigate and untapping with a planeswalker or two on the battlefield, it's really hard to lose.
  • Let's talk about the elephant in the room: the mana. While it probably looks horrible, it actually functions pretty well. It's actually pretty rare that we have trouble casting our spells because we are missing out on our colors. The combination of Attune with Aether and Aether Hub is key, while having Gift of Paradise is also important. While we only have 22 "real" lands in our deck, Attune with Aether is basically an enters-the-battlefield-tapped land, and our five three-mana ramp enchantments mean we actually have close to 30 mana sources in the deck.
  • In sum, Five-Color Azcanta Walkers is surprisingly competitive. While we could probably tighten up the list a bit and find some way to improve the aggro matchup, it really can keep up with basically all of the tier decks in Standard. Ramunap Red (especially on the draw) is our hardest matchup, while we tend to crush energy and tokens decks since our deck is just much more powerful than our opponent's once the game goes long! I plan on continuing to tune the deck on Magic Online, and unless your local meta is extremely flooded with aggro, it seems like a fine (and super-fun) choice to take to an FNM.

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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