The Tragic Arrogance of Osyp Lebedowicz

Tragic Arrogance
Osyp played three, Three, count em THREE copies of Tragic Arrogance in the main deck of his G/W tokens;ind out why that was awesome.

Thanks Eldritch Moon! Mike is happy that that stupid G/W Tokens deck is no longer top dawg in Standard!

Um, Mike…

Turns out that longtime friend, Pro Tour and Grand Prix Champion, (and notable troll storyteller) Osyp Lebedowicz cleared out last week’s Standard Open with — you guessed it — G/W Tokens.

But Osyp’s version of G/W Tokens, despite playing absolutely no new Eldritch Moon cards, was innovative and ingenious.

G/W Tokens by Osyp Lebedowicz

4 Sylvan Advocate
4 Hangarback Walker
4 Archangel Avacyn

4 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

4 Oath of Nissa
4 Dromoka’s Command
2 Declaration in Stone
2 Evolutionary Leap
3 Tragic Arrogance

4 Canopy Vista
9 Forest
4 Fortified Village
7 Plains
1 Westvale Abbey

1 Clip Wings
2 Tireless Tracker
2 Declaration in Stone
2 Lambholt Pacifist
2 Linvala, the Preserver
2 Stasis Snare
1 Quarantine Field
1 Aerial Volley
2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer

Notable in Osyp’s list is the presence of two main deck copies of Evolutionary Leap but the aforementioned trifecta of Tragic Arrogance. There are a number of reasons this is so innovative and effective:

  • Tragic Arrogance costs five mana – I know! Weird, right? But going up to five is actually subtly advantageous in Standard if the dominant interactive card is Spell Queller. Simply, you can’t Spell Queller Tragic Arrogance.
  • It goes over the top – We talked before about using five casting cost creatures like Archangel Avacyn or Ishkanah, the Grafwidow to the same effect [against Spell Queller]. That’s fine… Tragic Arrogance trumps other big stuff, especially in this deck.
  • Tragic Arrogance is wildly asymmetrical in this deck – Since Osyp’s G/W list has enchantments like Evolutionary Leap, artifacts like Hangarback Walker, multiple Planeswalkers, and different kinds of creatures it can retain quite a lot of material post-Tragic Arrogance; much more, typically, than the opponent will.
  • It forces the opponent to sacrifice – Unlike Planar Cleansing or Radiant Flames, Tragic Arrogance outdoes the defense of Selfless Spirit or Archangel Avacyn. Take that, interactive creature defense creatures!

This G/W retro-win headlines this podcast but Mike and Patrick also go over big moves in G/B Delierium, Bant, a resurgent look at Eldrazi Displacer, and the first big appearance of Crush of Tentacles. Check it all out in “The Tragic Arrogance of Osyp Lebedowicz”:

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