Saturday, November 3, 2012

Standard Deviations - Get Off My Lawn

"I like how you have given up on playing fair Magic" - Mark Everson, Team Dickwolf

To be completely honest with you folks, I kinda hate writing about my Standard decks. I always feel like some sort of traveling door-to-door saleswoman; practically begging someone to let me in the door so I can display my wares. Even worse; at least door-to-door saleswomen get paid for grovelling like that. In my case I'm writing for a free blog with about a thousand regular readers at most. Perhaps more germane however is the fact that if you as a reader are looking for "hawt new Standard tech" you really shouldn't be trolling random Mtg blogs but rather devouring top 8 deck lists from SCG opens, GP-level events and Pro Tours. These decks win multi-hundred person tournaments for a reason and to tell you the truth the vast majority of my successful builds aren't all that different than the decks you can find making the cut at these events. As such, I typically find myself ignoring Standard altogether here on the blog unless I feel the deck I'm playing is significantly different than the run of the mill netdeck version you can find basically anywhere. Obviously since you are reading this and I am writing it, I feel that is the case with this deck.

Genesis: Like most good ideas in Magic the original concept for this deck was savagely stolen from other, more successful players. After messing around with Jund for a couple of weeks to start the format I got tired of getting my teeth knocked in by Rakdos Zombies and decided a change was in order. After asking a few of the stronger players I know on Twitter for some advice I was eventually pointed towards this deck by none other than Seth Burn. Frankly, there is a lot to like about this build in the context of the format it was created for. Namely it has an incredibly strong game 1 against both Rakdos Zombies and Jund Mid-range; the two accepted "big bad wolves" of the early post RtR-Standard format. For the exact moment in time that it was designed this deck is literally almost perfect. The problem of course is that by the time I got my grubby little paws on it and started testing that moment in time was over; the metagame had shifted firmly towards grindy mid-range decks with Thragtusk or lightning fast aggro decks built around Geist of Saint Traft. This didn't mean that Jund and Zombies were dead per se, but they were no longer popular enough to ensure that simply beating "them" would lead to winning tournaments. More perplexing however was the fact that the deck wasn't actually all that good at winning "grindy" Thragtusk mirrors. While cards like Jace, Garruk and Sphinx's Revelation showed promise I discovered that the vast majority of the time both players would bounce non-trampling ground-pounders at each other until someone cast an Angel of Serenity that wasn't answered. Since the match hinged on such a limited number of cards there were a number of games where I simply didn't draw my "mirror breakers" and my opponents did. Finally even rock solid match-ups like Jund and Zombies were started to become more difficult post sideboard. Jund players began running Appetite for Brains and Rakdos Returns to answer Bant's card advantage while Zombies began boarding in multiple "Threaten" effects to simply steal your 5 power beasties and bash you with them. After a solid week of tinkering and losing in the top 8/top 4 of my local store's Gameday events I finally accepted that the deck as presently constructed was "yesterday's news".

Enter the Pod-Father:  Unable to solve the problem myself I quickly sought outside council while preparing to trade for yet another new deck. Fortunately heaven sent me an angel in the form of sharp dressed, fast talking podcast host Scott MacCallum. In a moment of sheer serendipity Scott happened to stop by my office for a random friendly visit and before long we got to talking about Bant decks. Naturally he had a more recent list in mind and showed me this article on To be completely fair this deck was much more in line with how I felt a good Bant deck should look as the format evolved. It's much faster than the previous deck, maindecks 4 copies of the cheapest mirror-breaking card in Standard (Geist of Saint Traft) and is generally less confused than the Montana build. In short rather than jamming half of a control deck with half of a beatdown deck, Bianchi has chosen to be a strong beatdown deck with "some control elements". This strategy is basically right up Scott's alley and after some minor threats he convinced me to read all of Alex's well-written article there on the spot. As I read through the article and poured over the card choices it suddenly dawned on me why I disliked virtually every Bant deck I'd seen online. I turned towards Scott and said simply "it's too confused sir." Scott demanded an explanation and by way of careful interrogation helped me verbalize my issues with "traditional" Bant midrange:
  • Too many of the cards argue with each other. If this deck were a high school student, she'd be the emo chick who listens to Dead Can Dance while cutting herself. Whether we're talking about the inclusion of counterspells in a ramp deck full of 4, 5 and 7 casting cost cards, the general inability of it's big finishers to actually finish or the sheer insanity of running 3-6 sweepers in a deck trying to beat down with 5/3's these builds have serious "focus" problems.
  • Depending on the build, the mana base for this deck is genuinely horrible. Either you're trying to run Jace, Garruk and Angel of Serenity in the same deck or you're dropping Cavern of Souls/Gavony Townships into builds with multiple greedy non-creature spells that all want to come down as soon as possible on the curve. This is literally a recipe for disaster in the current "go over the top" Standard.
  • The decks generally lack a clearly defined path to victory. This once again speaks to the lack of synergy in the build to some degree but it's actually much deeper than that. It's hard to win games when you're tucking your own finishers under your library or drawing dead Sweepers/Counters when all you need is some more "action". This deck wants to see it's cards in a very specific order and when they come out of sequence you generally sit around sulking about it until you die.
  • 40 minute game 1s. I really don't feel this bears much explaining. This deck's finishers are traditionally pretty horrible at actually finishing; you've got 5-6 flyers and a bunch of guys who don't trample. It's virtually impossible to finish 3 games in 50 minutes versus a competent mid-range opponent with the Montana States build for example.
As Scott and I debated back and forth the road to enlightenment became clear; we would take the stronger parts of Bianchi's deck, combine it with the genuinely superior manabase of the Montana States build and staple both elements to a clearly defined endgame. With Scott's help I threw down some preliminary numbers and we continued tweaking the deck through the night over email until we'd settled on the ideal "core" of the build. The only question then of course was how to actually end the game before minute 40 and thanks to some test games against Jeremy Skelton (@peeps_champ) I had the perfect idea in mind :


Creatures - 16:

4x Centaur Healer
3x Geist of Saint Traft
3x Restoration Angel
2x Thragtusk
2x Sigarda, Host of Herons
2x Armada Wurm

Spells - 19:

4x Farseek
4x Azorius Charm
3x Cyclonic Rift
2x Selesnya Charm
3x Detention Sphere
3x Jace, Architect of Thought

Lands - 25:

4x Hallowed Fountain
4x Temple Garden
4x Hinterland Harbor
4x Glacial Fortress
3x Sunpetal Grove
3x Forest
2x Island
1x Plains

Analysis: Before we talk about what this deck is and how it works, I'd like to take a moment to discuss what this deck isn't. For starters, this isn't a control deck. There are no counterspells, no sweepers and no "win the long game" Planeswalkers in this build. Jace is included primarily because drawing cards is freaking amazing and while I have used his -8 ability it's exceptionally rare that games will go long enough to actually do so. This also isn't a "grindy" mid-range deck either; you win games by keeping your creatures alive rather than trading monsters and milking marginal card advantage effects for 15 some odd turns. Finally, only a fool would call a deck who's creature curve starts at 3 and finishes at 6 "aggressive" so it certainly isn't an aggro deck either. No folks, this is a sledgehammer; a big ole, super-mean junkyard dog that simply refuses to interact with other decks until it finally goes over the top for the immediate win. In fact, if anything Sandy Bant plays like a combo deck where the combo is "Cyclonic Rift and 12-24 power worth of broken creatures". If you don't believe me let's take a basic look at how this deck wins games in Standard:

  1. Play lands while simultaneously "Time-walking" your opponents with Az Charm and/or Centaur Healer/Restoration Angel if he attacks before you're ready to allow it.
  2. Cast the best creatures in the entire Standard format for 2-4 turns; pausing only to play a Jace, Architect of Thought if necessary.
  3. If cards like Traft, Sigarda and Armada Wurm haven't already killed your opponent play your 7th land and bounce all of his permanents back into his hand; sometimes at Instant speed!
  4. Turn your guys sideways into his empty board and kill him
Sound easy enough folks? No more confusion, no more questions and especially no more agonizing over potential combat damage math for 3 minutes at a time as you decide whether or not to "miracle" your freshly drawn Terminus. Your game plans against aggro, control and mid-range decks are virtually identical; give or take playing around the occasional counterspell and/or Thundermaw Hellkite. Frankly half the time this deck doesn't even have to block; if you curve naturally from Centaur Healer into Restoration Angel and then into Tusk/Azorius Charm it's literally impossible for aggro decks to outrace the Cyclonic Rift. Even decks with heavy "burn" elements will struggle to do so and I personally take great delight in telling Zombie players "no, I will not interact with your Messengers, Grave Crawlers or Blood Artists in any meaningful way sir." Against control decks you simply present must counter threats turn after turn while daring him to tap out to cast sweepers/answers or to counter flashed in Restoration Angels. Finally a simple re-reading of Cyclonic Rift should make it clear why you aren't overtly worried about the mid-range mirror; just save the Rift until endstep and then Detention Sphere his Beast tokens if absolutely necessary. Even if you don't kill him in one shot (say because he's been casting Thragtusks too?) there's little chance he will be able to establish board presence quickly enough to stop you from killing him on the next turn in my experience.

Questions, Answers and Advice: Traditionally in this type of article the author will chew through a few pages describing the usage, corner case applications and selection rationale for each and every single card in the deck. In virtually every single case this will be terminally boring unless the deck designer is supernaturally talented or the reader is an absolute rank beginner. I am not a brilliant writer and you aren't a rank beginner so why is this necessary? You don't need me to tell you that Geist of St Traft closes out games, Restoration Angel works well with "187" triggers or that Farseek lets you play Jace on turn 3 into an empty board. In lieu of this tired old trope I'd like to take a few moments to answer some of the questions I am most commonly asked when I share this deck list.

  • "Why haven't you included a sideboard?"  
This is actually a really simple answer. We built the deck roughly 4 days ago and as such the sideboard is not completely settled. What's more I generally feel that a good sideboard will be specifically tailored towards the tournament the pilot is trying to win. In other words the sideboard that's good for my FNM may not be acceptable for a SCG Open in Florida. For the sake of completeness here is the current sideboard I am using for this deck:

3x Cavern of Souls
3x Loxodon Smiter
1x Geist of Saint Traft
2x Thragtusk
2x Acidic Slime
2x Rest in Peace
2x Sphinx's Revelation

The Caverns, Smiters, Geist and Tusks are for control decks that run counters and sweepers. The Acidic Slimes are there to kill Kessig Wolf's Run. Rest in Peace attacks both Snapcaster control decks and Reanimator. Finally Sphinx's Revelation is there to win mid-range mirror matches that drag too long; think of them as Cyclonic Rifts #4-5. I should also mention that there are no SB cards for aggro decks in here because your deck should already beat the holy crap out of aggro. You can always bring in the 2 bonus Tusks if you absolutely must have additional answers.

  • "Why are you only running 2 Thragtusks in the main? Isn't it the best card in Standard?"
Well for starters Alex Bianchi and Phil Blechman were right. The correct natural progression for this type of deck is Centaur Healer into Restoration Angel followed by a 5 drop of some kind. Sandbagging the Angel until you've had time to cast a Thragtusk is both greedy and extremely clunky. That isn't to say that you won't profit by targeting a Tusk with a freshly drawn Restoration Angel later in the game but waiting around to do so has a habit of getting you "perished". More importantly however he costs a whopping 5 mana and yet is by far the worst "finishing" creature in this deck. Armada Wurm tramples, the Angels fly and the Legends all have hexproof while Thragtusk is simply a souped up Juggernaut that quickly turns into a 3/3 Beast token whenever his extremely relevant toughness of 3 comes into play. In fact I'd dare to say that the only thing he does better than the other creatures in this deck is provide some relief from Terminus/Supreme Judgment (along with naked Restoration Angels) and that's the primary reason he makes the main-deck at all. In other words, Thragtusk is nice but he's no Sigarda/Armada Wurm and he's almost completely dependent on Cyclonic Rift to actually finish off your opponent. Naturally the Tusk remains excellent in a defensive role but as I've mentioned previously this deck is in no particular rush to adopt such a posture.

  • "Bitch, have you ever even read Time Walk? How do I timewalk with Azorius Charm?
Yes, I have read Time Walk. Now I have a question for you; in a primarily creature based format have you ever really thought about what a "turn" really means? For an aggro deck it means drawing a new card, playing a land, declaring another attack to deal X damage and likely casting another threat before shipping the turn. This is also essentially true of mid-range decks in this format with the only real exception being they typically spend the first few turns forcing mana sources into play so they can cast bigger threats and declare larger attacks. When playing against a control deck this can be more narrowly defined as a new draw phase and the ability to untap your lands; in many cases attacks and damage will not occur until board control has been firmly established for either side. In other words we're talking about resource management and tempo here folks. In the early game using an Azorius Charm on an enemy creature provides 3 major benefits; you preserve X points of life, you deny your opponent a live card draw opportunity and you remove a permanent from the board (at least temporarily). This becomes critical once you realize that most of the "action" here in Standard occurs at or above the 4 mana threshold and that many aggressive decks will skimp on lands to jam more sources of damage into their builds. By "topping" a cheap monster in the early game you not only have a chance of keeping your opponent off his all important 4th mana but even if he does have the land in hand, you present an either or choice: "you can have the little dude, or the 4 drop from hell but not both sir." Of course, once your opponent does manage to cobble some lands together this trick loses some of it's luster; after all you certainly don't want to start "topping" cards like Thundermaw Hellkite and Armada Wurm right? Thankfully Azorius Charm has got your back folks; once the game degenerates into a back and forth exchange of sizable threats (a very common occurrence here in Standard) you simply attack with a bunch of dudes and cast the charm in lifelink mode. This allows you to generate a "cushion of life" that will net you an entire extra turn where you don't have to block or interact with your opponent's creatures at all. Let me tell you folks, turning all of your men sideways for a massive attack while sneering at your opponent's creatures behind 30 some odd life points is pretty fun. You like extra attacks right? Remember how good Cryptic Command was? I thought so. Finally, cashing in a Charm for a card at the end of your opponent's turn allows you to generate "library velocity" when facing down a Control deck. This can be critical because in this match-up we're trying to present our opponent with more threats than he can answer; more cards equals more potential threats. Perhaps equally importantly it gives us something to do when our opponent is representing a counterspell as he passes the turn. Obviously we'd rather drop a Restoration Angel in this situation but beggars can't be choosers and anything is better than doing nothing because we're afraid of counter magic.

  •  "Doesn't this deck just snap lose to Control?"
This is a fair question and as you can see from the sideboard above I certainly felt Sandy Bant had a problem with control decks that ran counterspells and to a lesser degree board-sweepers. A funny thing happened during play-testing/local tournament play however; I kept beating control decks senseless in game 1. While we're obviously talking about a small sample size here I'm beginning to suspect that the deck's general "threat density" is simply too much for the meager counter-suite run by today's Control decks. By my count this deck presents roughly 18 "must-answer" problems in game 1 alone including: Geist of Saint Traft, Jace Architect of Thought, Thragtusk, Sigarda, Cyclonic Rift, Armada Wurm and especially Restoration Angel. Naturally of course not all of these spells have to be countered but if they aren't it's a reasonable bet that your opponent is going to have to tap some mana to play some sort of answer. This in turn means he will find it more difficult to counter the next threat and so on. What's more, because the vast majority of the cards we're talking about here threaten to win the game by themselves you're never really required to dump multiple targets into a potential board sweeper. When he drops a Supreme Judgment on your Centaur Healer and Restoration Angel? You simply cast Sigarda. When he produces a Terminus for that Sigarda you demand he find another with Armada Wurm and so forth. Arguably the most direct example of this strategy involves using naked Restoration Angels as either a beatdown clock or a Mana Short. You simply leave up 4 mana and wait for your opponent to pass his turn before flashing in the Angel (even if she has no targets); this forces him to either counter the Angel or accept a 3 damage clock until such a time as he can remove her while still leaving up his counters. Naturally if he does counter you respond by playing a better threat like Giest of Saint Traft, Jace or Sigarda on your turn. If he doesn't counter you happily begin chipping away at his life until he decides to do something about it or you draw another Angels. In my experience they run out of either time or counterspells before you run out of threats but millage may vary I suppose. Of course, if you're using the same sideboard I listed above games 2 and 3 become considerably easier. This may however be largely irrelevant since as of this moment I have no definitive evidence that Sandy Bant is the underdog in this match-up.

  • "Why did you choose Armada Wurm over Angel of Serenity?"
 While there is no question in my mind that Angel of Serenity is one of the most powerful cards in the format the simple truth is that she's pretty redundant in this deck. We already have 5 power flyers in the form of Sigarda and we already have a 7 drop that removes all of our opponents permanents from the table in Cyclonic Rift. What's more, because our plan is to cast a bunch of fatties and then overload a Rift the fact that she doesn't come down until the turn we're already planning to drop Upheaval only serves to slow us down an entire turn. Finally once we do drop Cyclonic Rift it's safe to say that 10 power worth of trample is noticeably better than 5 power worth of flyer folks.

  • "Is Cyclonic Rift really the best card in Standard?"
Well, I certainly think it is. At a very minimum it's definitely better in a creature based Bant deck than either Terminus or Supreme Verdict. Have you noticed that it's an Instant yet?

  • "Why Selesnya Charm? Can I replace those cards with counterspells?"
To answer the second question first; you could but you would lose flexibility and live in constant fear of Thundermaw Hellkites and Angels of Serenity. The key to remember here is that much like Az Charm, this card serves an important function in all 3 modes depending on the match-up. Against weenie hordes the 2/2 knight often trades for a random attacker while the +2+2 Trample ability is extremely useful in creature combat. I've sent more than one opponent to the sideboard shaking their head and muttering about "limited cards" after trampling over a Snapcaster Mage for lethal damage. Another favorite trick of mine is to suddenly grow my Geist of Saint Traft to 4/4, thereby liquidating their 3/3 blocker and surviving another turn to make more Angel tokens. Finally of course exiling 5 power monsters at instant speed for a mere 2 mana is "some good" and can be particularly rewarding if your opponent was counting on getting immediate value from said fatty. 5/5 Olivias, rampaging Thundermaw Hellkites and marauding Angels of Serenity all come to mind but frankly any ole' 5 power beater will typically do.

  • "Why didn't you answer my question?"
I'm not psychic; the above questions are merely a representative spread of the questions I've been asked by those I've shared the deck with. If you have a question I haven't gone over in this article please feel free to ask me in the comments section below. I can't promise an instant response but I do promise that I'll work my way through any questions at a reasonable pace and respond to your comment with my own.

Well gang, that's about all the time we have for today. When I original sat down to write this article I expected it to be about 2 pages long and take roughly 3 hours to complete. Roughly 9 hours and 8 pages later I'm still not sure I've gone over all the important details. Unfortunately tired eyes and sore fingers will not be bargained with and so I bid you adieu for the time being. Before I go however I'd like to thank Scott MacCallum, Tommy Liu and Jeremy Skelton for all the deck ideas I stole from them when constructing this deck. I would also like to thank Alex Bianchi for his wonderful article on that helped me finally crystallize what I felt Bant mi-range decks were missing in the format. Until next time then; always remember that it's extremely easy to kill an enemy mage when your board is full of fat, broken monsters and his is comprised only of lands. Ciao folks.


  1. As always a good read. While reading here is a few questions that jumped into my head while reading.

    Would you want Dungeon Geists for the sideboard for a general tournament? Or is it to slow, as it helps push through a geist and seems like a good solution to thragtusks.

    Also maybe 1 Garruk Primal Hunter in the MD or Sb? As he may not play into you trying to smash your opponents face in, he does lead to some rather stupid plays, though again may be to slow. But would seem good in against other similar decks.

    Why this deck over the UWR Geist decks that seem to be popular, or how is the match-up? It seems to rely on who goes first.

    Do you think 2 Selesnya Charm and 4 Azorius is a good mix?

    The manabase seems like it could support a ghost quarters or 2, but that may be greedy/unneeded.

    1. Okay so one at a time here:

      "Would you want Dungeon Geists for the sideboard for a general tournament?"

      The issue here is that he's neither a great beater nor a great removal spell. At 4CMC but with only 3 toughness the DG is basically in the worst possible position in this format. He's vulnerable to Searing Spear, trades *down* with 3/3 for 3's and gets absolutely blown out by Restoration Angel (a very popular card). As for removal, well once he dies/gets exiled right? SB card at best.

      "Also maybe 1 Garruk Primal Hunter in the MD or Sb?"

      Tried it: he's very hard to protect vs the best decks in the format, GGG is ridiculous and Cyclonic Rift breaks mirrors better and faster.

      "Why this deck over the UWR Geist decks that seem to be popular, or how is the match-up?"

      The mana base on that deck is awful and I don't believe passively sitting behind counters is where you want to be in this format. G/W has most of the best creatures in Standard; U/W has Geist which we get anyways. Not saying UWR Midrange isn't a deck but I just don't think it's as good as this one is.

      I have played against the deck 3 times in total and won 2-0, 2-1, 2-0. M/u didn't seem that tough to me.

      "Do you think 2 Selesnya Charm and 4 Azorius is a good mix?"

      Yes. I'd love to add a 3rd Sel Charm but there's no other card in the deck I like less than that option. Do not cut Azorius Charms, you'll lose games.

      "The manabase seems like it could support a ghost quarters or 2, but that may be greedy/unneeded."

      Your deck runs 16 spells that require 2 specific types of mana (and that's not counting creatures). Include colorless sources/Cavern of Souls at your own peril (ie, I don't think that's a good idea at all).

      Lol, sorry if that all sounded so negative.


  2. Having played this deck online mostly against Jund midrange, Bant control, etc. I want to ask what is our modus operandi in battling these decks. As I have mentioned via twitter the clock is a factor, being new to Magic that much is expected. But the majority of turns 6-10 I spend a lot of time asking what am I am doing? I understand that the objective of the deck is to create a board state where our side has a lot of creatures -> overload Rift -> profit. I am finding it hard to create that board state though with supreme verdicts and terminus and mortars and rakdos revenge etc. Also has more card draw been considered? I wouldn't know what card draw I would want specifically (maybe sphinx rev. MD) but I don't know what I would cut. I've been siding out Selesn charms almost every game for revelations but I assume this is wrong. Thanks in advance.

  3. Breaking this down into 2 parts:

    Part 1) The problem I see when reading your question is the assumption that you need to get "a lot" of creatures in play. This is not true; we're just trying to play enough threats to send him to zero. If you're casting multiple finishing creatures into Terminus you're doing his job for him. There is absolutely no rule that says you must kill your opponent the moment you Rift; if you're pecking him for 3-5 with an Angel and then you rift while he's at 12 and can only do 7 who cares? You're going to kill him next turn right?

    You also need to use the resources at your disposal: Geist of St Traft, Sigarda, Restoration Angel and Thragtusk are all very important in this m/u as each of them subtly plays around the various problem cards you listed.

    I repeat, stop making it easy for him to get "value" out of his removal/sweepers and you'll stop fearing them so much.

    Rakdos Returns is a very frustrating card; it's often included in the SB tho so the Sphinx's Revelations provide some relief. The fact is however that you CAN play around Revelation, you just need to dump part of your hand and sandbag Restoration Angels in response. If he's Rakdos Returning to make you discard more than 3 actual cards you probably did it wrong.

    Part 2) I often board out Sel Charm myself in game 2. It's value in game 1 is that it's versatile and affects all 3 major strategies we face in tournaments. I typically only leave them in if I expect Thundermaw Hellkites (Jund/UWR) or Angel of Serentiy (Junk,Frites,Bant mostly). Not saying you should always board them out but if you aren't targeting those cards in G2-3 it's way less relevant.

    Part 3) Yes more card draw would be nice, I can't fit it and early testing showed that Revelation wasn't as strong as Rift or Sel Charm in enough m/u's. You can always put them in the main if you're playing too many games against the decks they were Sb'd for. I would not go beyond 2 however, card is clunky.

    hope that helps


    1. Umm "3 Parts" and "you CAN play around Rakdos Returns". Sorry.

  4. Great article Nina, as always. It's nice to see justification for your choices made in a logical manner instead of "OMG TUSK IS THE BEST CREATURE IN STANDARD." I've been playing completely shocked that cards like Sigarda and Giest are sitting in people's SB's when they are two of the best creatures in Standard right now.

    A couple of questions...

    1 - Strangleroot Giest worth testing here? Even in SB against Control to put on a faster clock and soak up some removal/counters?

    2 - If you had to replace Wurm with anything, what would it be?

    1. 1) I never really thought of it to be honest. My instinct says no because I'd rather Farseek/Az Charm on those turns and cards like Traft and Smiter are just more relevant. That having been said I won't lie, I never tested it whatsoever so I could be wrong.

      2) Probably a 4th Restoration Angel and a 4th Geist of St Traft or 3rd Thragtusk; local meta depending. There are obviously reasons I included the Wurm over those cards but in a pinch I say just load up on the best other dudes in the maindeck.


  5. Got yourself another follower. Good read, thanks.

    1. Thanks kindly; if you're interested in articles about Standard I've released two new ones since this one was posted. Just check the bar on the right; they're all called "Standard Deviations - Something Something"