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Standard Shadows over Innistrad Decklist Analysis - Part 2

This is the second part of the two part deck building without testing series hidsnake and I did. We each built three decks before SGC Baltimore and after many hours meticulously researching each deck in the top 64 we went back to our original lists to make changes.



[d title="Pre-SCG Baltimore BR Midrange"]
Creatures
4 Olivia, Mobilized for War
4 Thunderbreak Regent
3 Thought-knot Seer
2 Goblin Dark-Dwellers

Instants
3 Lightning Axe
2 Fiery Impulse
4 Fiery Temper
4 Kolaghan’s Command

Sorceries
2 Avacyn's Judgment
2 Roast
3 Tormenting Voice
3 Transgress the Mind

Land
4 Drownyard Temple
3 Foreboding Ruins
4 Mountain
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
4 Smoldering Marsh
4 Swamp
4 Warped Landscape

Sideboard
3 Duress
3 Exquisite Firecraft
2 Flaying Tendrils
2 Languish
3 Ruinous Path
2 Chandra, Flamecaller
[/d]

I was pretty excited to build this deck because while most people saw [c]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/c] and started brewing vampire tribal, I thought some evasive turn 4 and 5 creatures suited her better. [c]Thunderbreak Regent[/c] comes down on turn four normally as a 4/4 flying dragon that bolts anyone unlucky enough to have to target it, but with [c]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/c] and a card that we can discard [c]Thunderbreak Regent[/c] becomes a turn four 5/5 dragon vampire with flying and haste. [c]Thought-knot Seer[/c] lacks any evasion, but it makes up for that by letting us see our opponents hand to get rid of any problematic cards. [c]Thought-knot Seer[/c] has the added flavor bonus of [c]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/c] turning this eldritch spaghetti monster into a vampire which makes me chuckle. [c]Goblin Dark-Dwellers[/c] allows us to cast any 3 mana spell discarded to [c]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/c]'s ability. There is a pretty standard burn package with an emphasis on madness cards like [c]Fiery Temper[/c], [c]Avacyn's Judgment[/c], and [c]Drownyard Temple[/c] to help with [c]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/c], [c]Lightning Axe[/c], and [c]Tormenting Voice[/c]. [c]Transgress the Mind[/c] helps get rid of threats and gives us something to do on turn two. [c]Kolaghan’s Command[/c] gets back a creature from the graveyard which is good when we are running so few creatures.

[d title="Post-SCG Baltimore BR Midrange"]
Creatures
2 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
4 Olivia, Mobilized for War
3 Sin Prodder
4 Thought-knot Seer
4 Thunderbreak Regent

Instants
4 Fiery Temper
4 Kolaghan’s Command
3 Lightning Axe

Sorceries
2 Roast
2 Ruinous Path
3 Transgress the Mind

Land
4 Drownyard Temple
4 Foreboding Ruins
6 Mountain
4 Smoldering Marsh
3 Swamp
4 Warped Landscape

Sideboard
2 Chandra, Flamecaller
3 Duress
3 Eldrazi Obligator
3 Read the Bones
2 To the Slaughter
2 Virulent Plague
[/d]

There were nearly zero reference decks from the open for my [c]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/c] deck, but I did find a few that gave me some ideas. I felt the creature count is lacking in the first version so I added [c]Sin Prodder[/c] purely because he is a 3/2 Menace for 3 and he can be cast turn 4 with mana up for [c]Fiery Temper[/c]'s Madness cost. [c]Sin Prodder[/c]'s ability does seem bad to me though and it is going to be difficult to know when to cast him and when to discard him to [c]Lightning Axe[/c] or [c]Olivia, Mobilized for War[/c]. It may be better to play [c]Asylum Visitor[/c] instead, but she doesn't have evasion. [c]Heir of Falkenwrath[/c] would also be an option in place of [c]Sin Prodder[/c]. If you can find space for enchantments like [c]Dead Weight[/c] or some of the the Vessel cycle you may be able to turn on Delirium for [c]Kindly Stranger[/c] which is another option. The reworked sideboard includes [c]Eldrazi Obligator[/c] to really push the creature plan, or we can slow down and try to win with a [c]Chandra, Flamecaller[/c].




[d title="Pre-SCG Baltimore Ojutai's always watching you"]
Creatures
4 Hangarback Walker
4 Knight of the White Orchid
3 Reflector Mage
2 Archangel of Tithes
4 Dragonlord Ojutai
3 Icefall Regent

Enchantments
2 Silkwrap
1 Quarantine Field
4 Always Watching
3 Stasis Snare

Instants
1 Negate
3 Silumgar's Scorn
1 Dragonlord's Prerogative

Lands
8 Plains
5 Islands
4 Port Town
4 Prairie Stream
4 Haven of the Spirit Dragon

Sideboard
2 Silkwrap
3 Declaration in Stone
2 Negate
3 Orator of Ojutai
1 Stasis Snare
2 Archangel of Tithes
1 Dragonlord's Prerogative
1 Sphinx of the Final Word
[/d]

This deck is meant to abuse [c]Always Watching[/c] by giving vigilance to creatures that really shouldn't have vigilance. With vigilance [c]Hangerback Walker[/c] can attack and activate on the same turn, [c]Archangel of Tithes[/c] can attack keeping both abilities active at all times, and [c]Dragonlord Ojutai[/c] gains permanent hexproof. [c]Knight of the White Orchid[/c] accelerates mana, [c]Reflector Mage[/c] gives us a few turns to draw answers to early threats, and [c]Icefall Regent[/c] is a dragon that can tap critters or be revealed while casting [c]Silumgar's Scorn[/c] and [c]Orator of Ojutai[/c].

[d title="Post-SCG Baltimore Every Breath You Take"]
Creatures
4 Archangel of Tithes
2 Consul's Lieutenant
3 Hangarback Walker
4 Knight of the White Orchid
3 Reflector Mage
4 Thalia's Lieutenant
4 Thraben Inspector
2 Dragonlord Ojutai

Planeswalkers
3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Enchantments
3 Always Watching
4 Declaration in Stone

Lands
12 Plains
2 Meandering River
4 Port Town
4 Prairie Stream
2 Westvale Abbey

Sideboard
2 Secure the Wastes
2 Silkwrap
2 Ojutai's Command
2 Surge of Righteousness
1 Quarantine Field
2 Negate
3 Stasis Snare
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
[/d]

I think hidsnake and I both figured out early that [c]Always Watching[/c] was going to be a thing. We were a bit more skeptical of [c]Declaration in Stone[/c] which was in pretty much every deck playing W so that shows what we know.

White weenie seems to be what the [c]Always Watching[/c] deck wants to do. Out comes the counterspell package to make room for the Humans. We are going to move [c]Silkwrap[/c] and [c]Stasis Snare[/c] to the sideboard to make room for a full set of [c]Declaration in Stone[/c]. The new mass of humans makes playing [c]Westvale Abbey[/c] possible which I regretted not being able to play in the previous iteration of the deck. I decided not to run [c]Kytheon, Hero of Akros[/c] because I don't understand aggro I want to try a slower deck with [c]Gideon, Ally of Zendikar[/c] in the main. Having both Gideons means we could end up having to legend rule one. I think its important to note that [c]Gideon, Ally of Zendikar[/c] is a human when animated so [c]Thalia's Lieutenant[/c] can give him a counter when she enters the battlefield. Nothing is more confusing than putting +1/+1 counters on a planeswalker.




[d title="Pre-SCG Baltimore BW Control"]
Creatures
2 Archangel Avacyn
4 Hangarback Walker
3 Wasteland Strangler
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Instants
2 Grasp Of Darkness
1 Ruinous Path
1 Anguished Unmaking

Sorceries
3 Declaration in Stone
3 Transgress the Mind
2 Languish
1 Planar Outburst

Enchantments
3 Silkwrap
2 Stasis Snare

Plainswalkers
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Lands
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Forsaken Sanctuary
7 Plains
4 Shambling Vent
4 Swamp
2 Westvale Abbey

Sideboard
3 Duress
1 Ultimate Price
3 Flaying Tendrils
2 Grasp of Darkness
1 Stasis Snare
2 Infinite Obliteration
2 Anguished Unmaking
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
[/d]

I started this deck with [c]Secure the Wastes[/c] as a way to get [c]Westvale Abbey[/c] to flip. With [c]Gideon, Ally of Zendikar[/c], [c]Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet[/c], and [c]Hangarback Walker[/c] I just don't see the need for another token generator. [c]Anguished Unmaking[/c], [c]Declaration in Stone[/c], [c]Transgress the Mind[/c], [c]Silkwrap[/c], and [c]Stasis Snare[/c] give us 12 ways to exile cards and turn [c]Wasteland Strangler[/c]. [c]Sorin, Grim Nemesis[/c] is an interesting card and I feel I am playing too few with only 2. I don't think you can feel bad with multiple [c]Sorin, Grim Nemesis[/c] since you can just -X or -9 the first one then play the second one and +1 to draw a card and drain.

[d title="Post-SCG Baltimore BW Control"]
Creatures
4 Hangarback Walker
2 Wasteland Strangler
2 Archangel Avacyn

Instants
2 Grasp Of Darkness
2 Secure the Wastes
2 Anguished Unmaking

Sorceries
3 Declaration in Stone
3 Transgress the Mind
1 Ruinous Path
2 Languish
1 Planar Outburst

Enchantments
3 Stasis Snare

Plainswalkers
4 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Lands
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Forsaken Sanctuary
7 Plains
4 Shambling Vent
4 Swamp
2 Westvale Abbey

Sideboard
3 Pitiless Horde
3 Duress
1 Ultimate Price
2 Flaying Tendrils
2 Ruinous Path
2 Infinite Obliteration
1 Anguished Unmaking
1 To the Slaughter
[/d]

I tried to have a little fun with [c]Myth Realized[/c] and [c]Shambling Vent[/c], but hidsnake had something to say about that. After bringing my attention to some of the mislabeled BW Midrange decks he went back to writing Part one of this two part brew post and I dove into "fixing" my BW Control list.

I think I like this updated list, we have too many exile effects to really make use of [c]Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet[/c] so he has been cut. I was a tad aggressive with 3 [c]Wasteland Strangler[/c]s I think, so I cut one. [c]Secure the Wastes[/c] is back now that [c]Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet[/c] is out. I was worried [c]Anguished Unmaking[/c] costing 3 life would be too expensive to reliably cast, but it was in most of the BW decks from the open and while [c]Anguished Unmaking[/c] isn't as good as [c]Vindicate[/c] it does exile at instant speed which is relevant against [c]Westvale Abbey[/c]. I added [c]Ob Nixilis Reignited[/c], I think he can provide enough card draw that [c]Read the bones[/c] isn't needed.

I saw many BW decks playing [c]Pitiless Horde[/c] in the sideboard which I really liked so I added 3 there. A few decks were running one [c]To the Slaughter[/c] in the main, so I may move it to the main depending on how the deck tests. With access to the best removal currently in standard I think WB is going to be a popular color combo.




I'll probably try to make BR Midrange work even though I think WB is going to be the best color combo for the foreseeable future. Splashing in White to get access to [c]Anguished unmaking[/c] and [c]Declaration in Stone[/c] may be what I end up doing in the long run depending on how deck testing goes with hidsnake.

Part One Part Two

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