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Much Abrew: Splendid Temur (Standard)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during our Instant Deck Tech, it was our Standard option—Splendid Temur—that came out on top fairly easily, which means this week, we are heading to Amonkhet Standard to see if the plan of using Splendid Reclamation as a massive ramp spell can actually work in the format. On paper, the deck looks a bit weird, running cards like Contingency Plan to get lands in the graveyard to reanimate, so hopefully this is one of those cases where the deck plays more powerfully than it reads. The good news is we get a strong late game, highlighted by World Breaker and Part the Waterveil, to help us close out the game after we resolve a Splendid Reclamation. Will the deck be able to compete in the Aetherworks Marvel-infested waters of Standard? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll have some quick thoughts on the deck!

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Splendid Temur (Instant Deck Tech)

Splendid Temur vs. Zombies (Match 1)

Splendid Temur vs. UR Control (Match 2)

Splendid Temur vs. Mono-Blue Control (Match 3)

Splendid Temur vs. Splendid Temur (Match 4)

Splendid Temur vs. UB Colossus (Match 5)

Splendid Temur (Wrap-Up)

Discussion

  • First off, we finished our matches with a 3-2 record, which is pretty middling. The matches themselves were also pretty strange, featuring a ton of controlling decks. While we managed to dodge the biggest decks in Standard, I'm not sure that's a good thing—heavy control decks seem like a difficult matchup because counterspells are so good against our deck. 
  • The deck functioned pretty well in general. While we don't have much of a chance to beat counterspells, for the most part, we had enough enablers to get lands in our graveyard and were able to find Splendid Reclamation regularly thanks to Cathartic Reunion and Pieces of the Puzzle
  • Splendid Reclamation was great, with the first copy often ramping us five lands for just four mana, which is super far above the curve for a ramp spell; then, in the late game, the sorcery gives us some sneaky value because we often end up sacrificing a lot of lands to our World Breakers. 
  • Maybe the biggest problem I found with the deck is that closing out the game after Splendid Reclamation was typically a long and grindy process of casting a bunch of World Breakers to slowly eat away our opponent's mana. While this often worked eventually against the deck we ran into, I'm afraid the slow finish would come back to haunt us against a deck like Temur Marvel that can just topdeck an Aetherworks Marvel and find an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger that we can't really beat, no matter how many World Breakers we cast. 
  • With this in mind, I think the biggest upgrade that can be made to Splendid Temur is to play our own Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hungers. Splendid Reclamation often provided enough mana that we could hardcast an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on Turn 5 or 6, and it would be super easy to play Sanctum of Ugin to reanimate with Splendid Reclamation and then sacrifice to tutor up Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger when we cast our first World Breaker. Next time I play the deck, I plan on cutting one of the Nissa's Renewals and a copy of Part the Waterveil to make room for two copies of the Eldrazi titan. 
  • The other pseudo-problem with the deck is that we don't really have a strong backup plan. If we can't resolve a Splendid Reclamation, we can never cast our finisher, and many of our support cards aren't good without a resolved Splendid Reclamation. I'm not sure this is a reason to avoid playing the deck, but it stands in stark contrast to a deck like Temur Marvel, which can always beat down with Rogue Refiners and Whirler Virtuosos when everything goes wrong, while Splendid Temur is left casting Contingency Plans (which doesn't really do what its name suggests). 
  • So, should you play Splendid Temur? I think it depends on your goals. The deck is functional and fairly competitive, and would probably be even more competitive with the Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger upgrade. It's also super unique and fun, and seems like a great option to play at an FNM or run through a league on Magic Online. On the other hand, the deck also feels a lot like a bad version of Temur Marvel, which supports its "ramp" plan with real cards like Rogue Refiner rather than Contingency Plan and is faster at casting a huge Eldrazi (typically having a spin at Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on Turn 4, while the soonest we can use our Splendid Reclamation mana is on Turn 5). Because of this, it's hard to imagine that Splendid Temur is the right choice if your goal is to win a Grand Prix, at least while Temur Marvel is still an option in the format. 

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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