100%: Meta Call(ing The Audible)

Judgment calls’ in the world of Magic, we make them all the time.’ Whether it’s keeping a questionable hand, assessing the risk(s) of a potentially game-altering play, which sideboard tools to have at your ready, or even what deck to play, this is a game of constant decision-making upon which the outcome is intrinsically tied.

Now that I have waxed (or possibly waned) strategic, I’d like to share the last deck I played in the Saturday, January 30th 100 card Singleton Premier Event:

UW-Sink 100c by so many trolls

Creatures (20)
Other Spells (13)
Other Spells continued (29)
Lands (38)
Sideboard (15)
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100c UW Sink Click the arrow to download the above deck in .txt format

My Inspiration?

At a glance it should be easy to determine what this deck’s primary function is: windmill kicking Gobbos and RDW in the downstairs nether regions! I, for one, have never really found either a particularly hard match up to overcome, but after three consecutive months of Red decks performing well I called the audible on Rec-Sur five hours prior to the PE (with practically no testing whatsoever) and went with the above build.’ This was hardly my inspiration though.

In actual fact, I’ve been kicking this idea around since Kool and I made our ‘Top 100 Cards of 100 Card Singleton’ list.’ The idea was this: play a deck that packed ‘Geddons, Cataclysm, and Upheaval (though I relegated it to the sideboard) with counter-magic.’ Anyone that knows me or, at the very least, my philosophies on the format, is well aware that I am wholly convinced the ‘Geddons are the most underplayed yet overpowered cards at our disposal.’ They have been a fixture in nearly every single deck I have piloted to a successful finish and I will continue to lean on them for as long as I possible.

Baby Steps

My first draft of putting this concept into motion started off as a Bant deck that took it a step further by playing Opposition.’ As with all my other Bant builds, something just didn’t feel right.’ The Green seemed borderline vestigial (save for a scant few inclusions: Bant Charm, Rhox War Monk, Eladamri’s call, Loxodon Hierarch, etc.).’ I either had too many guys or too few.’ I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but, yeah, something was off.

And then it hit me: ‘Oh yeah, what about running a bunch of pro-red bears?!’

I was certain this deck would give me an easy, impediment-free jog to the Top 8 given the week-after-week Red menace.’ This main deck hate coupled with my obscene anti-Red sideboard, would make the match up, essentially, impossible to lose.

Little did I know that this would be the week that the meta shifted toward Control’

A Few Little Details

Before I embark upon a tirade of complaints and delve into the card-for-card analysis of this deck, I should point out that, despite adversity, I managed to navigate my way to a 4th place finish with this little stack of anti-incendiaries.

On the day, I played two mono Red decks ‘ one Gobbos, one RDW ‘ handily defeating both (although I nearly lost my very first Round to a gentleman that had Turn 2 miner every game as well as five specific hate cards of his own in our final bout).’ Beyond this I played only one other Aggro Match (which I won), and then three Rounds of Permission (one of which was straight mono Blue).

  1. Another very well built deck. Random thoughts
    I really like land tax here, makes enlightened tutor so much better. Cataclysm looks really good as well.
    I’ve been pretty happy with into the roil as a bounce spell. You kind of suggest the pro bears weren’t that good. I’m pretty sure you can have a solid match-up vs. red without them.

    I’m sure I would not want to see multiple people running this deck in any PE I join.

  2. I looked at making this Bant last night (splashing Green for some wincons), but I might convert it back to Blue-White to see how they feel in comparison.. Green is: Tarmogoyf, Call of the Herd, Rhox War Monk, Loxodon Hierarch, Knight of the Reliquary, Qasali Pridemage, Trygon Predator, Eladamris Call, and Bant Charm.

    The Pridemage felt a little dinky in my testing, and now I only have 11 basics, but the deck was pretty enjoyable. Even with a few play mistakes, I still won against mono Red (Propaganda and Armageddon provide unfair synergy). The deck is pretty slow to win though… I won the RDW match with 8 seconds left. I suggest not multitasking heavily unless you plan on playing perfectly. :)

    JustMe- This kind of reminds me of your deck. The main difference is Props and the increased chance of having something with teeth in play pre-Geddon (as opposed to manafacts). I also like Into the Roil- I cut Repulse for it. In my RDW match, I didn’t miss the Pro Red bears Game 1, but with double Prop + Geddon, who would?

  3. If you want a moat substitute for aggro, You MIGHT want to look into Teferis Moat It’s a little more expensive on your curve, but is still a silver bullet for gobbos that your dudes can still walk through.

  4. Love the build, love the video too. Its the little touches, like being willing to experiment with “bubbles” for potential synergy (even if it doesn’t work out) that make your decks really interesting. Kira is also inspired, I haven’t seen her floating around the tables much yet.

    PS – I’m sure you are familiar with F4, right? F4 = F6 except that it comes off if they do anything you can respond to.

  5. Wow. Thanks for the positive feedback, guys. Allow me to respond to each and every one of you gents:

    Justme: Yeah, I considered Roil, but didn’t include it. I think that’s a fine exchange for Capsize, actually. As you can see, I was fond of maybe like half the dudes in this deck, so yeah, I could def make some cuts here. I do like running Deft Duelist, but I’m not too certain what men I would replace them. Having early drops is so essential with the ‘Geddons and Clysm. Any thoughts?

    Kool: Yeah, my testing with Bant was weird, as always. Why can’t that deck just easily materialize?! To me, the inclusion of Green not only janks with the mana base, it just feel really weird (you def need to up your White mana count, as most of the dudes are GW that you will want to play). In the end I really liked the two-color build.

    Rhythmik: Firsy off, I have to think how to spell you name every time I use it. Secondly, yes, Teferis Moat was in my potential sb list for a few minutes. The problem is two-fold: it’s very slow (like “I may already be dead slow”) and these decks have a way to adapt and just lob damage at your face. With the prison enchantments, they tend to still send a guy (if possible), and tie up their mana. I’d much rather create the illusion of hope while I set up. I guess is just felt a bit weak in comparison to the other anti-Red cards in the board and like there would have been one-too-many had I included it.

    RoninX: I’m familiar with the Function Key Commands; I just have a number of stops on my opp’s turn. Couple this with running Windows through a buggy Virtual Machine program on a Mac, and trust me, clicking is the same, only safer.

    Yeah, if any one has some stand-ins for the lackluster men in the deck, do say so. I want same relative cost replacements for the two-drops, just an overall upgrade in terms of use. I think there is most def something to this deck. I felt like I battled my buns off to get as far as I did, but if it places 4th against 75% harder matchups perhaps this is a testimony to how viable the deck in fact is.

  6. Well i know Exalted Angel isn’t looking as powerful as it did a few years ago but it is still a card that can win by itself vs. Red assuming you can interact with their early game. I would consider splashing a few black cards if you want quality creatures. My inclination would be to play a few more expensive spells that are just powerful and improve your non aggro matchups. Reveillark, Mind Twist, Psychatog, Coalition Relic, Traumatic Visions. If you are willing to play 4-5 black cards you can think about taking out Oblivion Ring for Vindicate which is a pretty big upgrade.
    As far as 2 drops go you can play Kor Firewalker once Worldwake comes out…

  7. This is probably my favorite of the decks you’ve made (reanimator was previous fave).
    When i first saw it, i thought the idea was a sort of aggro-prisonish deck built to stretch their resources whilst maximizing your own, slightly disappointed to find out its just a “beat red”.dec.
    I agree with JMB that the deck should be able to beat up on red without the pro red bears.

    Replacement beater suggestions –
    Mini Rebel chain – Defiant Vanguard, Amrou Scout, Whipcorder and Knight of the Holy Nimbus (Blade of the Sixth Pride/Riftmarked Knight?)
    UW Sygg, River Guide
    Man o war
    Wake Thrasher
    Weathered Wayfarer
    Looter Il-Kor
    Azorius Guildmage
    Emeria Angel
    Windborn Muse
    Guardian Seraph

    Also Borderposts? (wasn’t sure if the lack of artifacts was intentional to reduce vulnerability to something red revels in destroying).
    Spirit Mirror is a fake Moat that can beat for 2 in a pinch. Aven Riftwatcher is obviously a Rebel if you find yourself needing lifegain.

  8. Well, Kha, it’s not “just a beatred.dek,” but moreso an experiment in trying to meta inside of a viable strategy. As a guy that writes about the game, I sometimes have to put things into practice rather than just write about whatever I am doing with the hopes of it being interesting. The pro-red bears are cheap threats that help shore up against a heavy Red meta- hardly a one-dimensional answer to problem I don’t have. People are constantly chattering about RDW and Gobbos, which is why I have done content on the topic twice. Remember, we are a site, not a blog. While I do pontificate quite a bit, I want my stuff be more than me flexing in front of a floor-to-ceiling mirror.

    I like some of these suggestions. I don’t really know why I cut the jellyfish (as it was in the deck hours before the PE). I think I wanted Capsize, for its potential (though unfulfilled). I appreciate the thoughts, though I’m not into adding Black, as it just becomes a different deck. Sure, some of the mentioned cards are insane, but such is to be expected when you delve into a third color. One of this deck’s biggest strengths is its mana and lack of susceptibility to Moons, miners, and general bad off-color mana draws.

  9. Hello guys!

    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions posted on our site. A small hint for everyone interested to increase readability if you add “{card}cardname{/card}” and replace the curled brackets with square brackets your card suggestions will be autolinked and people that are not as familiar with the format and cards played in it will be able to see what we are talking about. I know that it’s easy to fall in the “lingo trap” where cards are referred to with short names or nicknames but to help out players new to the format we should maybe try to spell out the card names and link them for easier reference.
    Thanks again for your contributions and suggestions and have fun everyone!

  10. I had Sygg, River Guide, in first draft, but the mana intensive nature caused me to cut. If, in fact, Control is rearing its head he would be great. The Snapper is cute, but not really what I think I want in a three-drop. I like the Sejiri Merfolk, but he may not be a hot one post ‘Geddon.

  11. Oh, and, before I forget, I don’t know if Kha and JustMe read the comments on Mox Diamond, but I don’t think the answer is to include additional artifact mana, especially one or two cards. This plays into variance, instead of against it, it increases your blank draws, and short of drawing one on the random they don’t have the same easy-access Diamond has. Sure, in the right situations, they could prove helpful, moreso the Borderpost (which I didn’t even consider until you mentioned- I never forget stuff, but ya got me on this one!!!), but on the whole this would be abandoning one of my main tenets in the format, one that has really helped me to place well time and time again: fight variance at all costs! They gel, same as a Signet or Mind Stone or any other artifact could, but I want to keep this portion of the deck scarce. I would, however, add Chrome Mox if the deck had more draw to offset the card disadvantage.

  12. This may sound insane, but I’m curious if Puresight Merrow might be decent. He would be insane with Opposition. He does give you some dig, is a bear, and can run the beats and blocks. Thoughts, or am I just insane? I def want two-drops, and without stuff like the Kor Firewalker available right now, I’d like to fill these slots as best I can.

    I think Deft Duelist and Knight of the White Orchid could easily stick in the deck; they were great every time I played them. Just need some guys that don’t totally suck onions. I’ll try the Riverguide again, and I had Azorius Guildmage and Looter il-Kor (which, now that I think about it, is infinitely better in Scholar General as far as cost is concerned) in a rough untested draft, but I think they are obviously the first men that should be considered. There has to be something I am missing though.

  13. I think it would be fine to introduce a morph package to keep your opponents guessing a little. the trio of Fathom Seer, Willbender and Exalted Angel seem like the best options to me. I think Coalition Relic would be a much better fit if you were willing to splash a few black cards and increase your curve. It does present a huge advantage post 1 of your power cards but I agree it seems unimpressive in this configuration.

  14. i nearly mentioned puresight merrow but didnt want to spam with ideas. I think the rebel chain is close to powerful enough, though possibly not quite there, obviously their pretty good if resolved vs control. Duelist, looter and White orchard i love, guildmage im not sure if a simple tapper Stormscape apprentice,goldmeadow harrier,Whipcorder etc might not just be better given the cheaper cost for the ability your going to use the most (though Stifle‘ing Fetchlands is living the dream).

    Borderpost i only mentioned because it works so well with other stuff in the deck and is more akin to the ravinca bouncelands than a true mana artifact.

  15. Juton Grunt can be a great 2 drop in a deck like this. Vs aggressive decks I find that you can usually drop him on turn 2 or 3 and he acts as a speed bump for two turns or so. Later in the game he is a cheap guy to drop that can stick around pretty long. He also eats rec sur’s grave. Might not pan out but potentially worth trying. I have mainly used him in more aggressive bant style decks sort of like a white Keldon Marauders.

    Just a suggestion.

  16. Yeah, the borderpost could be great. Might be worth exploring. I did hit a lot of 3 lands and then stall out hands. This could help.

    Grunt is just so situational and essentially a virtual dead draw early. Not a fan, even as a sb option, but def worth mentioning. Thanks.

  17. Quick update:

    I made some edits this afternoon. This evening I played in 3 back-to-back with no breaks 2-Mans and won all three. Strangely, I played an Aggro (Gobbos), a Combo (Scapeshift.weirddek), and a three-color Permission deck. I won all three, with no sweat I might add!

    Here’s what I did:

    I took out Spellstutter, Scholar General, Fathom Seer, the 3 pro-red bears, Dismantling Blow, and Sower.

    I replaced them with Looter il-Kor, Man-o’-War, Disenchant, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Into the Roil, Sygg, River-Guide, and moved Aura of Silence to the main.

    I took Jace Beleren out of the sideboard for Luminarch Ascension and added Gainsay (both for shoring up Control match up- Jace was underwhelming).

    I was leery of Arbiter, but my god he won me 5 of the 8 games I played, gelling with the mana denial package and allowing me to reduce the cost on my stuff post-’Geddon. Looter is def right for this deck, especially at this cost. Man-O’-War should have been in there to begin with. Haven’t drawn Sygg yet and I would gladly replace him with something a little more well rounded perhaps (if such a thing at two-mana presents itself). Lastly, Borderpost has been great! Nice suggestion. I was wrong on this one (*bow, followed directly by fart).

    Thanks so much for the ideas, fellas!!!

  18. I remember this deck creamed my Boros Goblin deck. I like it.

    The Grand Arbiter is a great addition. I definitely had a lot of trouble playing against it.

    Yes, My Scapeshift deck that you beat is very rough. I also don’t think it’s a very good match-up against an heavy Armageddon strategy. I’ve seen way too many Valakut decks in Extended and Block and wanted to try it out in 100 Singleton.

    However I did manage to take one match from you. However I know the luck of the draw had a lot to do with that. It definitely wasn’t my lackluster play skills. (Must stop playing after 11pm, my brain shuts down)

    I have a couple of questions.
    1) Why no Ancestral Vision? It seems to go well with the concept of mana denial and efficient low casting cost creatures and spells.
    2) What about Descendant of Kiyomaro? He’s very good with the Gush plan, and he’s practically a 3/5 lifelinker for 3 against Goblins.
    3) I’ve tried Puresight Merrow and Opposition before and it’s rather underwhelming. I don’t really want to play Opposition unless I have a lot of ways to generate tokens, which basically requires a lot more mana than this deck wants to spend on anything.

  19. You know what’s weird, ArchGenius, I wasn’t even talking about you when i referenced the Scapeshift deck! I had played another one earlier in the evening (when I managed to hit three back to back 2 mans) You were my fourth and fifth matches that evening, a little later after I wrote this post, but yeah, def much harder to beat as you have burly dudes and not just a ton of ramp with the Combo included.

    To answer your question, I feel like Visions is too slow against Control and Aggro, well, for this deck. I call it Control’s Aether Vial- if you don’t find it in those first few draws it starts to lose its luster. I know many would disagree, I just don’t like the card that much. Seems like you’re as likely to die to beats or it will give the Control player enough turns to find counter-magic for it. No surprise factor at all. But thanks for the games and presenting a nice reminder that there’s always room to improve. For an hour I thought I had cracked the Da Vinci Code or something.

    Descendant… hmmm, I didn’t consider him, so I don’t much to say as to whether or not he would be a good duder. I can say if I am looking for men they need to be two-drops, as my three slot is crowded as heck already.

    Yeah, the Merrow is a bit silly. I just like that he’s a bear.

  20. Had date night with Tessa, bro bro. We saw the most f’d movie ever at IFC. 70′s Japanese horror musical: House. I recommend you look it up on youtube if you wanna laugh.

  21. I love this deck! Where was this deck when I was brainstorming for ways to stick it to red?

    If I was ever going to run this deck, I’d leave the pro-red guys in. Killing red decks is fun. I agree with leaving this as a two color deck. Running basic lands and having really consistent mana is underrated.

    Also, I enjoyed your comments at the very end of the video.

  22. Thanks! I have since edited the deck, here and there, and it’s performing amazingly!