Hi, I promised I would write some articles for the Gambit Games blog so here goes!
am going to write about a sweet brew I am not playing. It is really
awesome, has some great interactions and I believe it is strong in
The deck is a kind of Jund deck, splashing blue for Snapcaster Mage, Izzet Charm and the flashback of Tracker's Instincts.
plays Cavern of Souls. More often than not this will name human, but
cavern naming beast can be nearly unstoppable in some matchups. Blue
based decks often don’t have many good ways of dealing with a Thragtusk
once it hits the board.
of our favourite beast.. how can he not be in a list like this? He is
easy to cast(only 1 coloured mana symbol), makes up for all the pain we
have to go through to cast our spells, catches us up against aggressive
decks who get a fast start and as if all that was not enough, he beats
for five a turn and makes removal bad.
Huntmaster of the Fells is like Thragtusk junior with some potential removal
stapled on. He is quite a nightmare for control decks since he forces
them to play their spells in their turn incase we start to play the
‘flip my Huntmaster back and forth’ game and go to value town on them.
against Supreme Verdict decks we want to play out 1 Huntmaster and
commit nothing more to the board until they are forced to use supreme
verdict to deal with our 1 card. Meanwhile
we have been drawing cards, fixing our mana, using our removal etc. and
are ready to drop a Thragtusk or two on them post board sweep.
Olivia Voldaren is a boss in any kind of creature match. Though be sure to
treat her as a 6+ drop unless a blocker is needed. Ideally we want to
play her after decks have burned all their removal on our value guys and
she will go unchecked and just dominate.
Borderland Ranger is a three-drop that draws the exact card we want. Assuming that
the card we want is the land we need to play our fourth colour of
spells. Greedy mana bases need some concessions.
Zealous Conscripts has been stealing everybody’s stuff since 2011. Conscripts
is one of the best finishers in a tight race, excellent at pressuring
planeswalkers, removing blockers and just winning the game out of
nowhere. We don’t want more than two as conscripts will often be the
last play we make in the game. Also, in matchups where it is bad it is
really, really bad. A five mana 3/3 blocker is pretty unexciting.
one-ofs are sweet and it is hard to find a sweeter one-of than Deadeye Navigator. He is super value extreme with any of our other guys. On
Gatecrash games day I won through an Aurelia, the Warleader and a
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight at the same time(!) thanks to being able to
blink Huntmaster several times, gain enough life to go to 1 after my
opponents attack and swing back for lethal with lots of wolves and a Kessig Wolf Run. I actually can’t think of any other creature that would
have won that board state.
Snapcaster Mage is just awesome. He rebuys removal and can be a suprise blocker or
lethal attacker. Snapcaster - farseek is pretty good too - especially
if we are planning a lethal Rakdos's Return, wolfrun activation or
Deadeye Navigator blowout. Snapcaster also has a surprising amount of
synergy with Huntmaster. We can use his flash-ness to avoid playing
spells on our turn, so as to go Ravager or, we can use him on our turn
to flash a spell back, casting two spells to gain some life and a wolf.
Tracker's Instincts is the second best card in the deck. Blue mages know how good
drawing cards is - and drawing the card we need? Awesome. Filling the
graveyard up for Snapcaster? Bonus.
Farseek is the reason we can play this deck at all.
Izzet Charm is tricksy. It deals with everything from opposing Huntmasters to
unwary Sphinx’s Revealers. It even helps to get us out of land flood. I
am never sad to have one of these in hand.
isn’t much premium removal going round at the moment, so it is hard to
say what is right. Dreadbore is solid, but, sorcery speed hurts a bit. Abrupt Decay got a lot better recently. Boros Reckoner, Gyre Sage, lots
of other nasty little things to kill. I like the 50/50 split. Our mana
won’t support BB for Murder or Victim of Night and Ultimate Price
doesn’t kill enough.
could play Mizzium Mortars or Tragic Slip in either of these slots.
Mortars if there is lots of aggro about and Tragic Slip against Falkenrath Aristocrat.
Rakdos's Return is just brutal and if we can get them for 4-5 in the early turns
of the game can just win the game for us unless they manage to draw
wise.. it is a bit of a struggle. The land base is built around
farseek/borderland ranger, so green is important. Also, the extra copies of Overgrown Tomb are there because black is important to have early for
Kessig Wolf Run is there to help win long, grindy games and also as a mana sink when we want to flip Huntmaster.
went with Hinterland Harbor and Rootbound Crag since they are the M10
lands that will come into play untapped the most often - only 1
shockland for each wont work, and both work with Overgrown Tomb.
Sideboards are personal things and really dependant on what other people are playing and what we expect to play against.
main weaknesses of this deck are highly aggressive decks and reanimator
so a large chunk of the sideboard should be dedicated to them.
aggressive decks consider cards like Izzet Staticaster + Nightshade Peddler, Mizzium Mortars, Bonfire of the Damned or Pillar of Flame. We
want to cut cards like Tracker’s Instincts, Rakdos’s Return and Zealous
Conscripts in these matchups.
decks will just go over the top of us. We need a way to disrupt their
strategy and force them to play fair. Graveyard hate like Tormod’s Crypt, Ground Seal and Grafdigger’s Cage can be good. Deathrite Shaman
is quite good value, but a little fragile and sometimes doesn’t do quite
enough. Slaughter Games can be pretty effective if they are playing a
combo style reanimation deck like human reanimator with Angel of Glory’s Rise. Going after their mana dorks can be a legitimate strategy too.
With either of sideboard plan it is important that we can apply enough
pressure so that they can’t just win by hardcasting a fatty on turn 7.
Make sure we keep hands that have threats as well as answers. Cutting
Rakdos’s Return, Tracker’s Instincts and Deadeye Navigator should give
us space for our sideboard answers.
control strategies we are already well positioned so sideboarding
should be minimal. Psychic Spiral is really strong against Nephalia Drownyard decks and Negate is good against most control decks. Slaughter Games naming Sphinx’s Revelation is one of the better ways of dealing
with decks that rely on that card to win games. I would look to cut
Olivia Voldaren and Abrupt Decay or Dreadbore depending on whether we
fear planeswalkers or Detention Sphere.
Restoration Angel is always going to be hard for this deck to deal with - with only
two cards in the deck that can kill it. Most of the time we can race
it, or use a Thragtusk or Kessig Wolf Run to force a trade.
So there it is - the sweet brew I am not playing.
am I not playing it? Because with the World Magic Cup Qualifiers coming
up I want to play a more consistent deck. As you can tell the mana base
is really greedy. Sometimes the deck either mulligans to oblivion or
just fails to do anything and that is not a place I want to be for
serious competitive magic!
But other than that the deck is sweet, surprising and lots of fun. It is my friday night brew of choice at the moment!
Let me know if you want me to look at any of your decks! I could even write about it if you want!
Just write it up in deckstats.net and send it my way!
Thanks for reading and I hope it isn’t too cold over your side of the world!
I am writing this whilst sitting in a wonderful sun beam.