On the 4th of August 2019 Lino Burgold proved he is a MTG master. With Bant Scapeshift he took down Thomas Holzinger on Bant Ramp in the finals of the Red Bull Untapped tournament series. Red Bull invited players all around the world to compete in paper Modern tournaments to qualify for the top eight finals on Arena. I love the approach of Red Bull Untapped. It combines multiple formats and ways to play Magic. Paper magic isn't neglected while Arena is promoted too. To mix paper and digital Magic is something I want to see more often in the future.
Here's how the contenders finished (you can find Arena exportable lists on the bottom of this article):
I think the deck choices of the players represent the current meta of Standard well. Also I like the deck diversity of Standard. It's a nice blend of controlling combo decks (Bant Scapeshift), aggressive decks (Jund Dinos, Naya Feather, W/B Vampires) and midrange style decks (Esper Hero, Bant Ramp). To expect more different top tier decks in Standard is utopian to me due to the small card pool of Standard.
Continuing with this article I want to talk about the winner's deck configuration in detail. The other decks I'll examine briefly.
For everyone not familiar with Bant Scapeshift in Standard I'll explain it's main idea. You want to ramp to seven or more lands. Then you cast Scapeshift fetching at least seven lands with different names including Field of the Dead. Field of the Dead "sees" all lands entering the battlefield at the same time triggering seven times. The more lands you can fetch with Scapeshift the better. Especially when you have multiple copies of Field of the Dead on the board. For example: You sacrifice eight lands and get two copies of Field of the Dead plus six lands with different names. Each copy of Field of the Dead will be triggered eight times resulting in sixteen zombies. There are more ways - too many to list them all - in the deck to create zombies with Field of the Dead. Another important part of the deck is the interaction between Scapeshift and Teferi, Time Raveler. You can use the +1 ability of Teferi, Time Raveler to be able to cast Scapeshift in your opponent's end step. There are three reasons why this is powerful.
The core of the deck is similar for all Bant Scapeshift decks in the top eight. The flexible slots of the deck are:
I think Lino Burgold used Time Wipe in the mainboard to have a better answer against the aggressive, creature based decks of the format. This is a smart call because the current meta decks win by attacking with creatures. Admittedly Deputy of Detention is able to hit all non-land permanent types but can't always clear the board of a horde of attackers threatening to kill you. That's why I think Time Wipe is currently the better safety line than Deputy of Detention. When you're playing against a deck that presents non-creature threats that need to be dealt with you can board in Deputy of Detention.
To omit Grow from the Ashes in Bant Scapeshift is a mistake. Lino Burgold seems to think so too. The more ramp is at your disposal the quicker you can assemble enough lands to activate Field of the Dead. At three mana Grow from the Ashes fits into the curve nicely. At five mana you can maximize the card. With Field of the Dead activated it basically turns into a five mana sorcery putting two lands and zombies into play.
What made Lino Burgold's version of Bant Scapeshift better than others is his sideboard. I already talked about the decision between Time Wipe and Deputy of Detention. It's a smart call to put the Deputies in the sideboard to replace Baffling End. Veil of Summer is just a great answer to decks using counter spells, black removal and hand disruption (e.g. Thought Erasure, Duress), or control magic (e.g. Mass Manipulation). Aether Gust is a powerful speed bump against aggressive decks such as Naya Feather or Jund Dinosaurs. Shifting Ceratops plays well against Teferi, Time Raveler, Deputy of Detention and control magic. In addition the dino can beat down slow opponents. Dovin's Veto doesn't need much explaining. It reliably counters opposing planeswalkers, sweepers or specific sideboard hate against Bant Scapeshift (e.g. Unmoored Ego, Alpine Moon). Ashiok, Dream Renderer comes in when playing the mirror match. She does a good job shutting down Scapeshift, Grow from the Ashes and Circuitous Route. Lastly there is Finale of Glory. It's an alternative win condition when your opponent could play Unmoored Ego to remove all of your copies of Field of the Dead. Conveniently Bant Scapeshift is also a ramp deck able to produce lots of for Finale of Glory.
You can find the Arena exportable decks here: https://www.tournamentcenter.eu/en/articles/decklists-red-bull-untapped-finals-london-august-4-2019