Untapped Potential – StoneSkull

Hello everyone to my very first article here on ARG. My name is Wilson Jose Laboy and I’ve been playing the game of Magic since I was about 11 or 12 years old. It was only just recently that I started playing competitively at local tournaments. It’s been a long and winding road from my first tournament at ARG to where I am now but I’ve learned A LOT about the game and have made many friends in the process. After all, Magic is all about “The Gathering” of players of the game.

Enough about me, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty at what’s picking at me about Magic; Standard to be more exact. It seems that Stoneforge Mystic is the bane of all Standard players at the moment. If you want to win, you either have to play a deck built just to beat Stoneforge Mystic or play Stoneforge Mystic yourself. Even I jumped on the Mystical bandwagon but have since given up on it because it wasn’t my kind of deck. The famous, or infamous, deck that’s defining 2011 is obviously CawBlade but nowadays, there’s not a lot of Caw- these days. Squadron Hawk has since been replaced with lots of things. I’ve seen people cut him for Spellskite, Mirran Crusader and even Vampire Nighthawk. Some players believe Squadron Hawk is the worst card in CawBlade but I don’t believe so. Even though Squadron Hawk may appear as the worst card, it’s the fact that Stoneforge Mystic is so powerful that makes it look as so. Demonic Tutor+Aether Vial on a stick in the Standard format at the same time as Batterskull is just depressing.

Thursday night I had no deck to play but borrowed BR Vampires from a friend and the only matches I lost was simply because Batterskull was on the field. A 4/4 Vigilance and Lifelinker that cannot be countered if Stoneforge Mystic survives is VERY over the top and is hard to comprehend what R&D was thinking.

The demonic dual of Stoneforge Mystic and Batterskull has even been running rampant in Legacy, of all places. Stoneforge Mystic has always been played in aggressive decks to fetch Umezawa’s Jitte or Sword of Fire and Ice, but now Stoneforge Mystic can tutor up a Tarmogoyf-sized creature and put it onto the field without a single worry of getting countered.

I believe Stoneforge Mystic is definitely on the brink of getting banned but not for Standard, but in Legacy. I can be wrong but she’s just too much to deal with. Arguably, the best deck to me in Legacy is Merfolk but if they let a Stoneforge Mystic resolve on the field and a Batterskull is tutored up, the chances of winning that game goes from pretty high to very, very low. It’ll take about 2-3 lords to be on the field for a chance to kill the germ token that’s on the Batterskull. Even if the germ token is killed, Batterskull can easily just be bounced back to their hand and replayed for a fresh germ.

With all this being said, the power trip of Stoneforge Mystic has about 5 months left within Standard, but the question now is, “Will Standard survive a summer of Stoneforge?” We can only find out in the next coming months.

Until then, play hard or go home.