Testing: One, Two, Three

(A 100 Card Singleton Experience)

Hey everybody!

After a partially disappointing maiden voyage, I’m back for another go. My mission this month: to be the guy applying beatings instead of receiving them. Hopefully that means I won’t have to start this month’s summary with “Thank you ma’am, may I have another!”

This Month’s Outlook Looks… New!

This month I have a set schedule for content (according to the editor, this is important to placate the Ox), which is as follows:

  • Sunday, December 6, 2009- Month Intro Article (Which is today’s article!)
  • Friday, December 11, 2009- Video One
  • Friday, December 18, 2009- Video Two
  • Friday, December 25, 2009- Video Three
  • Sunday, December 27, 2009- Month Summary Article (Phew- all done.)

Well, that was quick and painless (I promise). On to the meat!

Month Two — UWB Combo/Control, Elves!, & Rec-Zur

DECK ONE: 100c Blue-White-Black Combo Control

Lands (37)
Creatures (5)
Other Spells (26)
Other Spells (cont.) (32)
Sideboard (15)
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100c UWb Combo Control Click the arrow to download the above deck in .txt format

(To load a .txt deck into Magic: Online’s Deck Editor, click “Load”, select “Local Text Deck”, find the location of the downloaded deck file and double-click the deck.)

This month’s numero uno deck list is a personal favorite of mine. I’ve been twiddling with it for a while (as seen by this early abomination: WotC Deck of the Day), but Control aficionados Samwise_GeeGee, SICKSICKSICKSICKSICKSICKSICK and prolepsis9 also have fine (and more contemporary) lists that have posted results. Check them out: 1st, 7th and 8th Place, October 24, 2009.

I have mused about Blue-White in the past (see an ancient DeckTech for the Deck of the Day list here), but now the deck is much more focused. Since I have spent many minutes rambling about the deck’s minutia, I’m gonna forego talking about many of the individual card choices and hit only the biggest topics.

  • Exodus additions- at a cursory glance, I only found Forbid desirable. This deck plays a lot of narrow cards for the early game (see the next section for some examples), and Forbid finds a way to put the chaff to good use when it’s not needed.
  • The ability to douse a fire- this is a common theme of late; I hate losing to Red. Perhaps I am a bit polarized and/or my undergarments are uncomfortably bunched, but I had the main deck set up to address creatures and burn. Most of these cards should be obvious (with their life gaining or creature killing capabilities), but even Divert can be a rude surprise for a Red opponent aiming something malicious at you.
  • Calling all combo pieces- I am running both Painters Servant/Grindstone and Mana Severance/ Goblin Charbelcher as primary wincons. In addition, nine (!!!) tutors aid the delinquency. Note that I almost always prefer BelcherSev if I have the option, since it is harder to disrupt (Severance and then Belcher) and doesn’t lose to Gaea’s Blessing.
  • Control versus Combo- The deck is primarily a Control deck, but in a pinch you can go balls to the wall Combo. If a quick Combo is your only out (or the risk is greater from trying to play a Control game), drop the axe and c-c-c-combo! (And don’t forget that a quick Angel can seal the deal just as well, if the situation presents itself.) Though, mostly you just say, “NO!” or chuckle and kill things until you can safely Belch all over your oppo’s (avatar’s) face.

Just thinking about how obnoxious Blue-White can be makes me start to smile; this is a deck for the truly sadistic. (Wait, did I just call myself sadistic?) I suggest any Island lovers to try this strategy. (And if you don’t love Islands, perhaps the next deck will tickle your fancy!)

  1. After playing the control list in the 12/6 PE, I was never sad when I had lands to drop, hated the signets, and would make a few changes…. Cut signets in favor of either coldsteel heart/mindstone, or 2 more lands. Exalted Angel always felt clunky, and is generally bad against RDW/RG which is most of the meta when dropped for its morph cost…. if it gets there it gets there, but I generally want to have answers than playing a card into the wind. In place of Exalted I would probably shove Tabernacle to the main.

    Also, PTE. Oh how I love thee, yet hate thee. Pathing red usually ensures I get killed faster ;/ I would probably push it to the board for Survivalesque decks and move something a little more stable into the main, maybe even Piracy Charm! :)

  2. Well after playing a near identical list to your RecSur/RecZur list in the 12/6 PE and going 5-0 in the swiss without any prior testing on the specific build, I’ll say it has quite a bit of power and potential. (Near identical because I did some collaborating between my list and Chris’s.)

    I would like to add something about Survival of the Fittest. Chris alluded that there is a strong possibility for this card to be banned. After playing with it I don’t think it yet deserves that fate. Only once all day did I use Enlightened Tutor to find SotF and when I did I really only activated once or twice. Survival on it’s own is not really that broken. Sure if you are not under pressure from an opponent it can be nuts, but in the current metagame you are often under extreme pressure from aggro decks. Also the card is nuts with Living Death, but we already have quite a few instant 2-card kill combos in the format, so that is poor grounds to ban the card on as well. I would like to see the card prove itself ban worthy and not just get the hammer based on reputation from 6-8 years ago. Honestly, Goblin Recruiter deserves to be banned before Survival most likely as they do about the same thing except one requires extra mana and creatures to discard, but I am not saying i want Recruiter banned either.

    The differences in my deck were as follows (not including differences in my manabase) :
    -1 Necrogenesis: Too slow vs all the red decks and your mana is often tied up doing better things than paying 4 mana for a 1/1 or 6 mana for 2x 1/1s
    -1 Oversold Cemetery: It can be great late game, but it can also be a virtual mulligan
    -1 Pale Recluse
    -1 Pernicious Deed: A while back I was testing Gainsay’s deck quite a bit to understand it and tried this card main it never performed as well as I wanted it to. I should have maybe played it SB.
    -1 Yavimaya Elder: Double green can be hard especially under a moon
    -1 Avenging Druid: Seems easy to block for not much benefit unless you have Death/Nightmare already in hand. I like to guarantee that I will get the land I want vs waiting 2 turns to try and get some CA.
    -1 Wood Elves

    +1Krosan Tusker: I like it better than options like Pale Recluse
    +1 Sterling Grove: I actually didn’t want to play this card but put it in the list when I was including potential cards and it slipped past me while I was making cuts. That said it is not terrible for the deck.
    +1 Rhox War Monk: More red hate
    +1 Civic Wayfinder: I ran these guys over Yav. Elder and Avenging Druid
    +1 Borderland Ranger: see above
    +1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror: Meloku just does crazy things and is a nice high end card that comes back with Lark.
    +1 Empyrial Archangel: I wanted another Natural Order target
    +1 Knight of the Reliquary: This guy can just be huge, plus finds all the good special lands run in the deck.

    -1 Aura of Silence/+1 Aura Shards
    -1 Circle of Protection Red/+1 Sphere of Law
    -1 Faerie Macabre/+1 Loaming Shaman
    -1 Heartwood Storyteller/+1 Bitter Blossom
    -1 Ghost-Lit Stalker/+1 Flash Flood
    +1 Pernicious Deed
    Using my list as a base cards that I would consider cutting are:
    Fact or Fiction – I never really needed the Card Advantage
    Sterling Grove - I didn’t mean to play it in the first place
    Sylvan Library – This is a hard card to use effectively in the current metagame. I would prefer to drop something that can block on turn 2.

    Cards I would consider:
    Wild Mongrel – Can be great with Living Death and other reanimation spells, Also blocks and is a green guy to sac for Natural Order
    Maelstrom Pulse – I had cut this for Mystical Tutor
    Pernicious Deed – I’m on the fence with this still
    Nekrataal – good with Recurring Nightmare
    Harmonic Sliver – another CiP guy
    Angel of Despair- I’d likely have to cut the Archangel
    Ancestors Chosen – Another gain life guy if you want to go with a heavier grave theme, better in the side
    Spike Weaver – I’d just like to test him in the format, but may not be worth it

  3. Heya dragonbgx! I think we both use Krovikan Horror over Squee, Goblin Nabob since Krov has more in-game impact (that was my reasoning at least). Squee is very good (don’t get me wrong), but between reanimation and Genesis we won’t be going crazy with Squee. He might make a good sideboard inclusion versus Control, but if you play him main deck I am sure you’ll still be happy with his performance. :)

    Plat- I’ll need some time to craft a proper response. Also, I am still missing Survival (so not testing yet)!

    Zwick- I made some changes. I’ll keep you guys updated and post an interim list when I do BelcherGrind videos.

    Cheers everyone!

  4. I didn’t forget about Squee. I just don’t think he is auto-include for this format. Squee is pretty crappy if you draw him in this deck without survival and you are not guaranteed to get survival in any given game. If this were a 60 card 4x card format maybe squee would be auto-include because you are nearly guaranteed to get survival every game. Krovikan Horror functions nearly the same and has more impact when drawn without survival as Chris already mentioned. Survival is plenty good on its own and doesn’t really require Squee.

    In reanimator Squee is decent because there are numerous cards that combo with squee instead of just one as in this deck.

  5. Nice job Chris, perhaps one day i learn how to play, and them someone will call me to write something. Meanwhile I will learn reading your articles. Trolls’ too, but don’t tell him please. XD XD XD

  6. I played a game with RecZur and have talked to trolls (who is playing Green-White-Black RecSur), and we both are happy with the abilities of the package. Maybe Survival is going to be Green’s answer to Goblin Recruiter. It seems like Blue doesn’t add a lot to the deck, so 3 color may be the way to go. (You only really miss Zur and Mystical Tutor. I may also try Oath of Ghouls main over Oversold (and move the Oversold to the SB).

    el_fake: :P Glad to see you around! I won’t tell trolls, but I fear you may have just told him yourself…