War Standard: UG Flash

A couple of weeks ago I made a budget deck tech talking about Simic Flash. It was a simple deck based around the adapt mechanic and holding up mana to either activate the ability or cast more creatures. Flash is one of my favorite keywords, as it gives you so many options in how you can approach the game. The deck was fun, but I quickly shelved it and moved onto other decks. A $25 budget can only get you so far. Much to my surprise, War of the Spark released a new card that has completely reinvigorated my desire to call an army to my side in the blink of an eye in Vivien, Champion of the Wilds.

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Vivien is not the planeswalker we are used to getting. In the past, if you cast a planeswalker you are expected to win the game in the next few turns just off of that one card. I want to make it clear that Vivien does not win us the game just by existing. Instead, she changes how we play the game and to take advantage of that, we need to build the deck around her. Giving all creature spells flash is a powerful ability, as it gives you more time to react to what your opponent is doing.

As I learned a couple weeks ago, one of the best ways to play around with flash is mana sinks. If you pass the turn holding up several islands, your opponent may try to play suboptimally to avoid their best card from getting counterspelled. You don’t want to waste your counterspell on bad cards so you let it resolve. They then pass the turn and if you have done nothing, they will pull ahead. This is why control decks love to play instant speed card draw spells such as Chemister’s Insight as this allows them to still do something if their opponent does nothing. We can do the same thing using adapt. This lets us play a very powerful game of tempo, and keeps the game moving at our pace.

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Another reason why flash is a great mechanic is the same reason why Nexus of Fate would be unplayable if it were a sorcery. Using Wilderness Reclamation we can effectively double our mana, allowing us to cast sorcery speed spells such as Vivien and still be able to protect her on our opponents turn. Wilderness Reclamation also lets us have some really amazing plays, such as flashing in a Hydroid Krasis on our end step after untapping all of our lands.

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UG Flash offers a new take on tempo in the current Standard, going in a different direction than mono-blue. With this version of the deck, we focus on casting much more powerful cards such as Hydroid Krasis and Dream Eater, in exchange for consistency. Sometimes, we might have a draw that includes 3 Wilderness Reclamations. If you want to experience a new form of tempo, it might be worth experimenting with flash. Thank you all for reading, I hope you all have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!