Conley Woods, perennial rogue deckbuilder finally broke down and brought an established archetype (Tempered Steel), along with his Channel Fireball teammates, to the Magic: The Gathering World Championships this weekend. It paid off, the deck took Woods through the rounds of Standard undefeated. Woods sat pretty at 1st place all weekend, his only losses being intentional concessions to CF teammates Paulo Vitor Dama De Rosa and Luis Scott Vargas until the finals. After breezing through the early rounds, becoming the last CF team member standing of four (including PVDDR and LSV) after the semifinals, Woods finally dropped a match to Wolf-Run Ramp in the finals.
The Tempered Steel archetype has been around since shortly after the Scars of Mirrodin block was released. It was championed early on by many in Type 2, dominated the field in SOM Block Constructed, but has since fallen out favor by top players. Channel Fireball and Conley Woods took advantage of this, knowing the power of the deck still existed. The deck that had slipped under the radar, as it turns out, was extremely well positioned for a comeback. The team made some tweaks to the deck, including blue for Moorland Haunt, and adding Hero of Bladehold to the sideboard to help power attacks through enchantment hate targeting Tempered Steel itself. The decks biggest attribute is the explosive power it can produce very early in the game. Turn one or two Memnites, Signal Pests and Glint Hawk Idols followed by Tempered Steel often mean an early demise for any opponent. With blockers on the ground, a few hits from an Inkmoth Nexus with Tempered Steel threatens death by poison, as well. Here’s the Channel Fireball list that helped Woods go undefeated until the finals:
Team Channel Fireball’s Tempered Steel
4 Mox Opal