Well m13 is officially live and well in standard and although it hasnt made a huge splash for much of anything it is still making its voice heard. Green has been seeing the most play from m13 so far as I have seen. Thragtusk, Rancor, Elvish Visionary, Arbor Elf and Quirion Dryad have snuck into quite a number of decks. Talrand has seen a bit of play and one deck using him a good bit has made a very strong showing with a hint of Augur of Bolas. Im sure we will see more once people get comfortable and test more the less obvious cards.
That being said, ive been playtesting the hell out of Trading Post over the past week. It is still a very strong card but it seams that no matter what version i tried(about 6 versions usually blue, black or some combination) it always fell short hard against too many matchups. Delver and Naya usually just fly over you or out agro you. Wolfrun ramp often ground out games when they didnt overcommit. There were just too many games where it got to trun 4+ where it was either have the sweeper and pray its not countered or I die. Then there were the surgical extractions for the wurmcoils that made it much harder to win. That being said, I thought in the current meta I was going to need something much more broadbased with earlier threats who could also be functionally used with Trading Post later on.
My first thoughts went to black since id used some of its shenanigans in the prerelease with the new zombie that comes back when a swamps played and the swamp fetching liliana. Add in some gravecrawlers and i thought I might be going somewhere. It then dawned on me that none of them block and theyd be kinda worthless without the post. This got my head twirling as id been through soooo many black/blue variants ove the past week and was just about to give up entirely when I was going through an old box and found my play set of Chandra's Phoenix.
The Lightbulb went off in perfect cartoon fashion and cards started flowing in to add. Chandras Phoenix was an obvious start. An early defender when needs be and agressor depending on my opponents deck. Can be sacked for either an arti in the grave or from my hand for 4 life with trading post and possibly most importantly... fly's. This got me thinking into what artifacts I might play differently in a red deck and could also benefit from some Phoenix Shenanigans and thought, Shrine of Burning Rage sounds perfect. Even late game it can tick up fast with recastings and at worst just be trading post fodder. I started to add all the usual artifacts to the build like the wellsprings, solemns, batterskull, wurmcoil, spine,metamorph and tumble magnet so not gonna bore you with a recap of why those are in there but made a couple other changes that might need a little explaining.
Perilous Myr- An early defensive drop who often chumps and takes out a utility guy with him. Being he is easily reacquired and can often finish off cards like restoration angel and other big but critters during a sweeper, i have found him to be very stron versus some decks but often gets sided out in others.
Kuldotha Phoenix- Ive always loved this guy and cant be more excited to finally have a deck to play him in. Hes great in many ways Chandra's Phoenix is but twice the body.
Galvanic Blast- Good in most decks. Sexy with 21 artis in the deck.
Bonfire of the damned- Pretty sure this one doesnt need explaining
Slagstorm/Whipflare- Not as backbreaking usually as Bonfire but crucial to the early game. Also you rarely if ever care when your creatures die since there is a way to get almost every card back.
Chandra, the Firebrand- This may seam a bit silly I know but she does a few things in the deck. First of all is the easy rebuy of the Phoenix. She also pings little dudes. She also Pings big dudes that survived sweepers. She also double casts sweepers for those really annoying critters. Galvanic Blasting for 8 is fun:). Control decks have a hard time dealing with her and against aggressive decks she can be a Planeswalker Fog. Bonfire=good,Double Bonfire is Doubly good.
Buried Ruin, Ghost Quarter, Phyrexia's Core- Not much to explain here just some typical utility lands.
Hellion Crucible- Playing Multiple sweepers, this allows you to have even more hasty recovery to take advantage of a clear field. Love that as a 4/4 he even makes your opponent double think flashing in his restoration angel to block.
I still havent done my usual "every card" check to see if there is something im not considering and would gladly welcome any thoughts on what else would make this build flow more smoothly. For any interested here is what I have built so far. Wanting to test it a bit before trying to make many more changes.