Testing: One, Two, Three

DECK THREE: 100c 4 Color Rec-Zur

Lands (37)
Creatures (35)
Other Spells (28)
Sideboard (15)
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100c RecZur Click the arrow to download the above deck in .txt format

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.

Happy holidays,

ChrisKool/Chris Kuehl

  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…