DECK THREE: 100c 4 Color Rec-Zur
For Deck Three this month, I had a hard time committing to just one initial list. I was seriously on the fence about which synergy-based deck to play. I knew what the basis will be (Exodus’s mighty Recurring Nightmare and Survival of the Fittest), but there are so many decks yearning for this powerful pair.
Before I lay out the nitty, gritty way to wield this sinister synergy, allow me to digress.
Survival will most likely get banned in 100 Card Singleton. I don’t want to see any more bannings (I want to see some things removed from the B/R list), but it’s good to be realistic about the power level of Survival. It’s a one card combo (essentially) and is close to Gifts Ungiven in degenerate potential.
That being said, this card is too much fun to play. I am compelled to enjoy it while I can.
It’s a great thing that we don’t have to look far to find a suitable home for Rec-Sur. One-hundred Card Singleton regular Gainsay’s enigmatic Midrange deck is a perfect fit.
Gainsay’s Four Color Midrange lovechild (see a recent Top 8 list: slug360, 4C Goodstuff, 4th Place, November 28, 2009, or Gainsay’s personal build: Gainsay, 4C Goodstuff, 2nd Place, September 26, 2009) uses a plethora of come-into-play and utility creatures coupled with Graveyard recursion to establish incremental advantages. While the deck does not usually win big (the exception being Living Death), it does find ways to frequently win. He even has Krovikan Horror to negate Survival’s only so-called drawback. (Also, Recurring Nightmare meet Acidic Slime, Shriekmaw, and friends!)
From the two decks above, I first made an amalgam that contained the best of both worlds (for example, Gainsay plays Vindicate while slug only has Maelstrom Pulse; Gainsay also has Zur the Enchanter to lend his abilities in finding the newest additions to the deck) and dropped mediocre cards like Krosan Tusker and Life Death. Then, I added newer cards (Yavimaya Elder, Avenging Druid, and Rec-Sur), some additional support (such as Enlightened Tutor to find the engine pieces), and overall solid choices (like adding lands to lessen the impact of comes-into-play-tapped lands).
After I had more cards than I wanted to think about, I thought good and hard about what the purpose of this creation was. This is what I came up with: Attrition.
This deck looks flashy, but it really isn’t in its older form. It simply aims to get 2-for-1 advantages as often as possible. Even the deck’s big spells (Mind Twist and Living Death) just want to trade up for as many cards as possible. To increase the frequency of this goal, I finished changing the mana base (eight CIPT lands seems like too many and additional fixers found a home). I also cut down on as many nonessential Blue cards (goodbye, Shadowmage Infiltrator and Sower of Temptation) as possible to further the stability of the mana- the deck needed to keep a fairly matched tempo to make its attrition strategy relevant.
While it seems like every card in this deck has several applications, some particular cards are worth highlighting:
- Genesis and Oversold Cemetery. When you factor in Buried Alive or Survival into the equation, both of these cards get obscene. I have heard stories of many a creature-based deck getting stopped stone cold in the face of Genesis-fueled recursion. It’s easy to sum up these cards in one simple musing: Imagine that you were guaranteed a 2-for-1 every turn, from now until… you win (which you surely should).
- Garruk Wildspeaker, Elspeth, Knight-Errant and Necrogenesis. The token factories fuel Recur shenanigans, ever stream threats into the fray or take turns playing bodyguard while you develop the mana to abuse your subtle advantages. Of course, there is the off chance of Krovikan Horror become a machine gun (pew, pew, pew), but his real purpose will be revealed shortly.
- Woodfall Primus. This guy is my end game, the top of the curve and an easy soft lock with Recur. He’s a little clunky (because 8 drops are bad), but he does go nicely with another inclusion (discussed in a bit).
- Reveillark and friends. Rev plays nicely with a majority of this deck’s creature contingent (even hold hands with Man-o-War for some gross card advantage), but it particularly loves Saffi Eriksdotter and Krovikan Horror. Remember the machine gun earlier? This card interaction is what it strives to be (insert more gun noises here).
Ah, now the fun part- there are so many options supported these two enchantments! (But perhaps too many options…) It will be a challenge to keep the deck focused enough so that I don’t require Survival to win. That being said (and it’s probably a bad time to mention this), I really want to look at including Painters Servant plus Grindstone in a Rec-Sur build!
But since I know that’s a bad idea… I just included Natural Order as additional way to bring out Woodfall Primus (so greedy but obtainable through Mystical Tutor)! But luckily for me, I think I can get away with it this time of year.