iverse formats like Modern and the current Standard format tend to lead to a very slow development of new decks, with constant shifts in existing decks. This is because most of the best strategies are found early, and without a clear target, it's hard to build a level-two deck (that is to say, a weaker deck that's designed to prey on a known metagame). Instead, we just see gradual evolution among a changing shift in power and prevalence of the dominant decks.
Today, I'm going to look at an interesting way to develop the Junk Reanimator deck to prepare for a metagame of aggressive red-green decks and Bant Hexproof. L1X0 recently finished 4–0 in a Standard Daily event with this take on Junk Rites that minimizes the conventional creature count, instead relying on Farseek to accelerate, which allows Gaze of Granite to answer a wide variety of potential problems, from creature rushes to opposing dedicated hate cards like Rest in Peace or the more common main-deck card, Ground Seal.
Aside from that, the creatures are chosen to support a heavy Restoration Angel theme. L1X0's choice to main-deck Centaur Healer instead of Sin Collector or Acidic Slime fits the metagame prediction to be ready for aggressive decks with Gaze of Granite. And, of course, L1X0 still has Sin Collector and Acidic Slime in the sideboard.
L1X0's Granite Rites
Standard – 4–0, Magic Online Daily #5561445
Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013. If you have an original deck you'd like to see featured, email him with the link above.