Bo1 Standard Simic Spells Deck Guide: The Budget-Friendly Control Deck Killer
Hello everyone! It’s been a hot minute since I touched Best of One deck guides but I am absolutely thrilled to be back. Why? I like Bo3 since I’m a competitive player at heart, but the Bo1 metagame is so insanely diverse and if my other videos are any indication, you are privy to facing the same few strategies. ad nauseum. In Bo1 though, anything is possible and everything is infinitely more viable which makes it the ideal format for the brewer.
With that, I wanted to test the waters with some spicy new build arounds and I came across a super cool one early: Stormchaser Drake. Drake is a really unique card that rewards you every time you cast a spell on it as it’ll recoup the loss you incurred from casting it. So what deck naturally wants to cast a lot of spells targeting their creatures? Magecraft. With that, I rated Stormchaser Drake as one of the most underappreciated cards going into Crimson Vow (and you can read the article it’s from below if that interests you).
So the main choice I had was between Azorius Spells and Simic Spells, but I opted for Green as although White is the color with Magecraft in it, I’m nuts for Blizzard Brawl and Snakeskin Veil. Here’s where I started.
I left it here for awhile as I was only playing Best of 3, but a few days ago the temptation struck and I just had to try it out. Overall, the deck kind of sucked. I was disappointed since the concept was cool, but it didn’t perform so I dropped it. However, a night ago it came to me in a dream… Okay, I was up at 1am thinking about Magic decks, you’ve been there too. Anyway, I realized that the spells were fine but the threat package and mana were all off. If my threats were better and mana worked on, it would be much better. With some testing and tuning, I arrived at a list that’s been winning me a lot of games.
A quick note, I have not played this in Bo3 but this is how I would configure the sideboard if you wanted to try. At the moment I don’t want any Learn cards, so it’s no issue to have the Bo3 sideboard in case you want to foray into those queues.
As I said I needed to readjust the threat suite, so I decided to add in some spicy one drops. First we have a pretty traditional spells matter creature with Delver of Secrets. I actually didn’t think putting Delver into a Magecraft shell until one of our amazing users suggested it, I would shout them out but without knowing if they want that I’ll choose to leave them anonymous.
Anyway, Delver is great since it’s a threat that requires no further additions to be killer. Every other creature in the deck needs additional support, but Delver can just cruise it’s way to victory. On the other hand, Ascendant Spirit is a strong creature that needs a lot of work, but pays off a lot of dividends. You’re going to need to invest a truckload of mana to make this a threat, but this doesn’t need any spells to grow bigger which lets us save our resources for the creatures that do.
On the topic of creatures that need resources, we have Stormchaser Drake. Considering all 23 our spells can target our own creatures, you’ll be able to draw cards early and often. Charge Through and Drake is likely my favorite combination as it’s a 1 mana Divination which is clearly quite powerful. Although I like Stormchaser Drake a lot, I’m not foolish enough to think it’s the best threat in the deck. Dragonsguard Elite is an old favorite from Strixhaven that lifts an unbelievable amount of weight in this deck. Growing with every spell cast is nuts and can make turn 4-5 kills happen extremely often.
Although we have some sweet threats, they aren’t anything without our spells to back them up. I think Simic has a distinct advantage over the White versions of this deck as you can have an absolute surplus of protection spells which I believe are very important right now. I like 9-10, and currently I’m on 9 with 4 Snakeskin Veil, 3 Wild Shape, and 2 You See a Guard Approach. These spells are great as: protection is excellent when losing your creature is extremely detrimental and they’re multipurpose. Snakeskin Veil grows your threats, Wild Shape does a billion things including surprise blocks, surprise lethals, and of course hexproof. You See a Guard Approach can tap down creatures which is pretty great without potentially shrinking your threat which is nice as well.
Although not technically a protection spell, we also get access to 4 Decisive Denial which is a bit clunkier than I normally like (2 mana is literally double the ideal cost! Double!) but it’s extremely versatile by being a kill spell or a counterspell for the scariest cards for this deck.
Speaking of kill spells, Green is super important for Magecraft in my opinion if nothing else than Blizzard Brawl. One mana kill pretty much anything, target a creature, and make combat really annoying for your opponent is super powerful and worth building around. How do we build around it? It’s all in the mana.
You may be looking at the mana base thinking that it’s intended to be a budget deck. I mean where’s the Barkchannel Pathway or Dreamroot Cascade right? Believe it or not, I think this is the optimal mana for this deck. With Blizzard Brawl and Ascendant Spirit, having as many snow lands as possible is ideal and considering our spells aren’t very color intensive it’s easy to get away with a lot of basics. You will have awkward color moments from time to time, but if you have 2 of each color at some point, you shouldn’t struggle to cast your spells. 21 lands has also been good, but to split the difference a little bit, 2 Vastwood Fortification has been solid as a cheap spell or land in a pinch.
Overall, this deck is obscenely powerful on the play as it’s super snow bally and great against the slow decks since we can tempo out most decks in the format. You would think that this could crumble to aggro as a result, but I’ve had pretty solid results against aggressive decks as well. All in all, this isn’t going to take over Bo1, but it’s definitely playing out significantly better than I initially expected.
NOTABLE EXCLUSIONS / POTENTIAL INCLUSIONS
You could go a bit lower on lands and play some Consider to mitigate flooding if you prefer, but I found I like having excess mana most games.
This is a great spell against creature decks and not bad against slower decks since you can bounce your own creatures as well. However, most of your threats really hate to be bounced so you would have it just for creatures which could be reason enough if you prioritize that.
Could be an interesting threat as Flash works really nicely with our Instant speed stuff, but I’m not clamoring for this either.
We’re already quite strong against slow decks, but with this and 9 protection spells, you could have a really gross grindy engine against them.
I would avoid playing 2 mana interaction when possible, and while this is decent against creature decks, I think I would play Fading Hope before this.
Could be a sweet one of, haven’t tried it out yet personally as it’s a bit clunky.
I want this card to be good, but getting extra lands just doesn’t do too much for us in terms of threats so it didn’t make the cut.
Another creature in the original list, this was pretty much a 3 mana Dragonsguard Elite which I anticipated maybe being good enough, but didn’t work out that way as 3 mana is a lot to spend just for it to get bonked by a removal spell.
I would talk about matchup dynamics here normally, but a lot of the games are going to play out similarly. You play out a threat or two and you try to hold up interaction so they can’t bonk it. Picking your spots to jam and when to hold is the hardest decision in the deck as any mistake can be deadly since we pour lots of resources into our threats. This deck can be challenging, but definitely rewarding.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- I like holding off on leveling up Ascendant Spirit as a lot of players keep attacking into it with 2/2s and getting blown out by a 2/3. I don’t know if that’s necessarily optimal playing, but it keeps working so may as well point it out.
- Saving protection spells for removal is obviously great, but just cycling them with Stormchaser Drake when you have excess can be a great play as well (presuming you’re not tapping out to do so).
- Try to avoid playing out Dragonsguard Elite without a protection spell if possible as it’s the way you’re going to win most of your games.
- With Wild Shape it makes the creature a base 3/3 with Trample which will grow anything with counters on it. Use it as a surprise blow out mechanism with something like Dragonsguard Elite. Alternatively, if you’re forced to use Wild Shape to give Hexproof it’s very likely to shrink your creature so I like using it when the opponent is trying to kill something on their turn or post combat in some capacity.
- Holding Blizzard Brawl to get double fight turns with that and Decisive Denial can be really powerful if you can set that up.
Thank you for reading!