Magic Matt’s Menagerie – Week 8

Well met my fellow Planeswalkers. How has everyone been?  I took a break from the Menagerie last week. Nicol Bolas is making it hard to travel the Multiverse these days.  This edition of the Menagerie marks two months. Thank you so much for reading this far. It has been incredibly fun to come up with topics to talk about every week. If you are a new reader, welcome to the Menagerie. Let’s get into it.

This week i am going to talk about Standard. Masters 25 releases next weekend so next Menagerie’s topic will be a review of the set and a little nostalgia. A couple weeks ago Wizards of the Coast announced a brand new product for Standard. Dubbed “Challenger Decks”, these new complete 75 card decks (60 card main board and 15 card sideboard) are the latest in a line of new products designed to help people play Wizard’s flagship format. You can find some more information and the deck lists here:  You can bet your bottom dollar Kapow will be getting these babies in stock.

These decks were designed by a team of experienced WotC employees and professional magic players. Geared to help you play standard right out of the box. After looking through the variety of decks  i can tell you these look fantastic. An excellent starting point for anyone looking to get into standard. I really love that WotC has turned to players to help design Magic. This allows wizards to see product design from the players standpoint and in turn gives us better products. A notable WotC employee is Melissa DeTora. A former MTG pro and the first woman to make Top 8 at a Pro Tour. Melissa is just one of a whole bunch of pro player’s involved behind the scenes now.

Standard has always been a hot topic amongst MTG players. Its introduction wasn’t well received at all. Why would players want to have their cards rotate out of play?  Why would they want to buy cards that would lose monetary value? These were all questions and issues standard has always faced. Standard boasts all sorts of awesome benefits for a magic player. Cards do not rotate until the set has been in a full 2 years. Cards stay in for a good amount of time. Some even find their way into modern.

Standard is constantly changing and like a puzzle, is always a challenge to solve. The meta game is always being altered or changed as new cards come in and old cards rotate out. This keeps the format fresh and is an excellent format for brewers who love building decks. There are all kinds of products (including the new challenger decks) from Planeswalker decks to FNM promos that help buffer the entry cost for players wanting to play the format. The Pro Tour is mainly standard events. Aspiring Pro Tour players seek out standard events whenever they can. Like limited play, standard gives certain cards a chance to be played when they wouldn’t make the cut in eternal formats. I for one make sure i have a standard deck built at all times. It gives me a chance to play something new, exciting and challenging.

To better assist you in building and collecting decks and cards, Kapow has a detailed Top 50 list for both standard and modern. These lists are compiled from tournament results across the board. It’s a good way to see what the meta looks like and what the top strategies in the formats are. Either follow suit and build from existing decks and archetypes or use the lists to find ways to beat the top strategies. The Top 50’s are kept in the standard and modern cabinets at Kapow and are numbered so you can find them easily. The lists change every Monday. A hard copy is kept on each cabinet as well. Come down and check them out. Just ask one of our staff to show you.

We host a variety of standard events in the store weekly. Tuesday nights bring Standard Showdown. A really fun event where participants can earn special Showdown booster packs containing foils and cool reprints from sets currently in standard. Twice a month you can play standard for free at Friday Night Magic. It’s a good place to test a new standard deck or just come to learn and have some fun. Speaking of learning, I am always available and willing to give you a hand getting a deck together or show you the ropes at your first event. So don’t sweat about coming and joining our standard crowd at Kapow. Supporting the format is key in helping keep our game healthy and strong.

Tonight’s Standard Showdown was won by Jason Racine. Jason went undefeated playing Blue/Green Merfolk. A unique deck! Nice win Jason. Here is Jason’s decklist for the event:


Kumena’s Speaker x 4

Silvergill Adept x 4

Metallic Mimic x 4

Merfolk Mistbinder x 4

Merfolk Branchwalker x4

Jungleborn Pioneer x 4

Swift Warden x 4

Kopala, Warden of Waves x 1


Blossoming Defense x 2

River Herald’s Boon x 4

Spell Pierce x 2

Hadana’s Climb x 2

River’s Rebuke x 1


Botanical Sanctum x 2

Unclaimed Territory x 4

Forest x 7

Island x 7


Ghalta, Primal Hunger x 1

Herald of Secret Streams x 1

Seafloor Oracle x 1

Entrancing Melody x 2

Unsummon x 3

Baral’s Expertise x 1

Admiral’s Orders x 2

Deathgorge Scavenger x 2

Blossoming Defense x 2


Thanks Jason for letting me post your deck list. This deck looks awesome.


That’s it for this weeks edition of Matt’s Menagerie.  A few more MTG events scheduled for the week:

Thursday – Casual Commander, this is the time to get ready for Spring Commander League!

Friday – FNM this week is Modern. Free event with all the proper FNM promo prizes

Saturay – Spring Commander League Week 1 begins 1 pm. Free event. Come join the league and compete with the other commander players for the title of “The Archmage”. This event will be every Saturday a 1 pm for the next 8 weeks.

Keep those draws smooth and always remember your triggers! Until next time, safe travels friends



  2 comments for “Magic Matt’s Menagerie – Week 8

  1. Rico
    March 6, 2018 at 8:44 pm


    I hope posting winning decklists can become a thing! :D

  2. Matt Pope
    March 6, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    You bet. I’m going to do a local player spotlight every now and then. I will try and get deck lists up for events and such as this continues. Thanks for reading Richard.

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