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Much Abrew: New Perspectives (Standard)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, we had a bit of a surprise during our Instant Deck Techs, with our Standard options—New Perspectives—coming out on top. As such, we are heading to Standard this week to see if we can combo off by cycling our way to victory. This will actually be the second time we play New Perspectives—New Perspectives was the hot new deck for a two-week period around the release of Amonkhet block, but it quickly faded away. The idea of the deck is pretty simple, although playing the deck is pretty convoluted: you play New Perspectives and (hopefully) win the game on the spot by cycling through your entire deck, making tons of extra mana with Vizier of Tumbling Sands and Shefet Monitor, and eventually closing things out with Faith of the Devoted drain or by tutoring an Approach of the Second Sun from the sideboard with Mastermind's Acquisition. This makes New Perspectives one of the only pure combo decks in our current Standard format, and it's also worth pointing out that the deck costs less than $90, which technically makes it a budget option! How does New Perspectives line up with our current Standard format? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: New Perspectives (Standard)

Discussion

  • First off, the record. We played a league and finished 3-2, although we probably should have been 4-1. In our third game against the UW Auras deck, I talked myself into a convoluted line designed to play around counterspells (which was saw in game two) but likely would have won if we had simply played New Perspectives
  • As such, lesson one of playing New Perspectives is to just go for it. One of the deck's biggest weaknesses is counterspells because our game plan revolves exclusively around resolving a New Perspectives, and while it's worth trying to play around counters in some situations, losing with a potentially lethal New Perspectives in hand because you're worried about it getting countered is far more painful than taking the chance, casting it, and hoping for the best. If your opponent does have the counter, at least you can lose knowing that you tried.
  • As for the rest of the matches, our other loss was to Mono-Black Aggro, and the aggro matchup felt like a tossup. Typically, they can't interact with our combo, and we can't really interact with their aggressive creatures and burn spells, which means it's basically a race. Sometimes, our Turn 5 win is fast enough; other times, it's not. It mostly depends on the hands and who wins the die roll. 
  • In our wins, we played some pretty insane games. The combo isn't likely to fizzle, but it will take some practice to play it efficiently. Especially on Magic Online, the goal isn't just to win but to win in the lowest number of clicks possible because timing out can be a concern. 
  • We basically have two plans for winning the game. First, we can cycle into Faith of the Devoted and win by draining our opponent out of the game with more cycling. Second, if we have enough mana, we can tutor up Approach of the Second Sun and win by casting it twice in the same turn. Approach of the Second Sun takes a lot less clicking but also requires more mana.
  • While it took us a while to figure it out, being able to Mastermind's Acquisition for Perpetual Timepiece is very important. Sometimes, we have to cycle our Vizier of Tumbling Sands early in the game in desperation to try to stay alive, and being able to shuffle them back into our library is key to eventually comboing off because Shadow of the Grave only returns cards we cycled during the turn that we cast it. Plus, if Faith of the Devoted is at the very bottom of our library, it's possible we won't have enough cards left in our deck to win by cycling. While we can win on an empty library with a potentially lethal "cycle" trigger on the stack, this requires a lot of our Vizier of Tumbling Sands to be active, which means Perpetual Timepiece is still important.
  • The biggest advice I'd give for playing the deck is don't cast your cards. This is the biggest mistake I've seen people make with the deck. While it's fine to cast Haze of Pollen or Cast Out if it's the difference between living and dying, casting cards is a huge cost in the deck because you need seven cards in hand  to combo off with New Perspectives (which means at least five cards in hand at the start of the turn when you cast New Perspectives). With the rotation of Clue tokens, it's even harder to cast our spells as real cards because getting back up to seven cards in hand if we cast too much stuff is difficult (we usually have to skip a turn or two to refill our hand, which often leads to us dying in the meantime). 
  • It's also worth mentioning that almost any hand is keepable, thanks to the absurd number of cycling cards in the deck. This is especially important because of the seven-card-in-hand requirement we were just talking about. Mulliganing has the same effect as casting a spell (meaning we need to make up that card at some point in the game to have seven in hand), so rather than mulliganing to find New Perspectives, it's typically better to just keep your opening hand (assuming you have at least two lands) and then spend the early game cycling to find what you need to combo off.
  • One question a lot of people asked was if the deck felt less consistent without Traverse the Ulvenwald (which was used in the old builds of the deck to find Vizier of Tumbling Sands). The good news is that consistency wasn't a problem, at least in our league. Other than some self-inflicted misplays, which will go away the more we play with the deck and get used to the combo, the deck never really fizzled after we started to combo off, even without Traverse the Ulvenwald as additional copies of Vizier. 
  • On the other hand, the deck still has some of the same problems as the initial build, with the biggest being counterspells. We only have four New Perspectives in our deck, and apart from cycling (which is effective but slow) and the one Mastermind's Acquisition, we don't really have ways to tutor up copies. As such, if our opponent can Negate or Disallow our first New Perspectives, it's very possible we won't find another copy before we die. While we can bring in our own counterspells to help fight these battles after sideboarding, counterspell matchups are still the toughest matches for New Perspectives. 
  • As for good matchups, any non-aggro deck without counters feels great. Aggro, as mentioned before, is mostly a coin flip that depends on who wins the die roll and how fast our opponent's hand happens to be. We are fairly consistent at winning on Turn 5, but it doesn't really matter if our opponent can win on Turn 4 or 5 (on the play).
  • So, should you play New Perspectives in Standard? I think the answer is yes, if you are a fan of combo decks and looking for a budget-friendly option for the format. While the deck has some bad matchups, it's very consistent and can beat most decks in the format, assuming you can dodge counterspells!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting 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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