Decks of the Week - 5/24/16

Well since life got in the way of David’s Magic Monies and Decks of the Week here is an update written by me. To all those who actually read this… May god have mercy on you all.


No standard events this weekend. I was going to find a homebrew to talk about, but they were all dreadful. So I didn't do that. It isn't because I am lazy. Honest.


[d title="Eldrazi & Taxes by Gilbert Saiz, Jr." style="embeded"]
2 Reality Smasher
3 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Thought-Knot Seer
4 Flickerwisp
4 Leonin Arbiter
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Tidehollow Sculler
4 Wasteland Strangler

4 Path to Exile

4 AEther Vial

1 Swamp
1 Vault of the Archangel
2 Shambling Vent
3 Plains
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Godless Shrine

1 Anguished Unmaking
2 Aven Mindcensor
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Hallowed Moonlight
2 Kor Firewalker
2 Pithing Needle
2 Rest in Peace
2 Stony Silence
2 Zealous Persecution[/d]

This is my kind of deck. Tons of hand disruption, unfair lands, [c]Aether Vial[/c] putting creatures into play, various ways to make exiled cards never come back, bouncing creatures for multiple etb uses, and [c]Reality Smasher[/c], who doesn't like a good [c]Reality Smasher[/c]?. The single [c]Anguished Unmaking[/c] in the Sideboard is notable, I think there is enough exile to run Vindicate even at sorcery speed.

[d title="Affinity by Ethan Brown"]

1 Master of Etherium
3 Memnite
3 Steel Overseer
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Etched Champion
4 Ornithopter
4 Signal Pest
4 Vault Skirge

4 Galvanic Blast

4 Cranial Plating
4 Mox Opal
4 Springleaf Drum

1 Mountain
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Glimmervoid
4 Inkmoth Nexus
4 Darksteel Citadel

2 Spellskite
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Spell Pierce
1 Wear // Tear
1 Blood Moon
2 Whipflare
1 Dismember
2 Thoughtseize
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Ghirapur Aether Grid
1 Relic of Progenitus[/d]

This looks more like a Metalcraft list to me, which is probably what I like so much about it. The different lines you can take with this deck make it much more interesting to me than the "play my entire hand turn one, go" style Affinity decks. You can go for a good old fashioned [c]Etched Champion[/c]/[c]Vault Skirge[/c] [c]Cranial Plating[/c] beatdown or use [c]Steel Overseer[/c]'s ability with [c]Ornithopters[/c]/ [c]Memnites[/c] in play to go wide or pull out the 'ol [c]Inkmoth[/c]/ [c]Blinkmoth[/c] infect clock. Oh yeah and the deck’s pilot; Ethan, is 13. Half my age with more top 8s under his belt than I will probably ever see, well done.

[d title="Death's Shadow By Sam Black"]
3 Steppe Lynx
4 Death's Shadow
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Street Wraith
4 Wild Nacatl

2 Lightning Bolt
3 Become Immense
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Temur Battle Rage

3 Thoughtseize
4 Gitaxian Probe

4 Mishra's Bauble

1 Arid Mesa
1 Blood Crypt
1 Godless Shrine
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Stomping Ground
1 Wooded Foothills
2 Verdant Catacombs
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Windswept Heath

1 Lightning Helix
1 Stony Silence
1 Phyrexian Unlife
1 Natural State
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Pyroclasm
3 Hooting Mandrills
1 Forest
1 Dismember
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Tarmogoyf
1 Grafdigger's Cage[/d]

This deck looks to be going face, a "we're messing up if we don't turn sideways" kind of a deck. I am unfamiliar with the [c]Death’s Shadow[/c] archetype, but looking at this deck I think the plan here is to go face with your 1 drops while quickly depleting your life by fetching shock lands untapped and paying 2 life to phyrexian mana symbols so [c]Death’s Shadow[/c] is big enough that [c]Temur Battle Rage[/c] + [c]Become Immense[/c] kills your opponent.


Format: Legacy - SOI
Location: 2016 MOCS Championship - Legacy
Players: 13
Finished: 1st Place

[d title="Sneak & Show by Niels Noorlander"]

4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand

1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

4 Force of Will
4 Spell Pierce
4 Brainstorm

2 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
2 Preordain
4 Show and Tell

4 Sneak Attack

4 Lotus Petal

3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
1 Flooded Strand
3 Island
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
1 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Volcanic Island

3 Blood Moon
1 Flusterstorm
2 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Pyroblast
1 Pyroclasm
2 Sudden Shock
3 Through the Breach
1 Wipe Away[/d]

Whelp it’s sneak and show. Cheat a big 'ol card draw dude in the game that will find her highness the flying tentacle thing who you can also cheat in to, um, win the game… Quick. I guess. Got 1st place...

[d title="Shardless Sultai by Gerry Thompson"]

3 Baleful Strix
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Shardless Agent
4 Tarmogoyf

2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

4 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will

4 Ancestral Vision
1 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Thoughtseize
1 Toxic Deluge

2 Bayou
2 Creeping Tar Pit
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
2 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Wasteland

1 Baleful Strix
2 Disfigure
1 Flusterstorm
2 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Hymn to Tourach
1 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Pithing Needle
2 Sylvan Library
1 Thoughtseize
1 Toxic Deluge[/d]

Here’s something more my speed, Shardless BUG. I have been a fan of BUG since before it had a clan on Tarkir; Shardless BUG, or “Sultai” plays a grindy game using the Cascade on [c]Shardless Agent[/c] to out value other decks. Cascade lets you do a few fun things, one of the most notable is probably casting an [c]Ancestral Vision[/c] without suspending it. The deck runs some fun cards, [c]Baleful Strix[/c] replaces itself and nearly always trades favorably, [c]Deathrite Shaman[/c] can drain for days while manipulating graveyards or accelerate mana, I don’t think I need to explain Goyf at this point. Aside from the creatures the deck runs top tier removal, has great card draw, and 2 copies of the best planeswalker ever printed is(are?) the cherry(s) on top. Ok, enough fellating the Sultai deck no matter how much Tasigur was enjoying it, lets move on.

[d title="Miracles by Joe Spanier"]

1 Snapcaster Mage

4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

4 Brainstorm
2 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
1 Predict
1 Spell Pierce
4 Swords to Plowshares

2 Council's Judgment
2 Entreat the Angels
4 Terminus

4 Counterbalance

4 Sensei's Divining Top

3 Arid Mesa
4 Flooded Strand
5 Island
2 Plains
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island

1 Blood Moon
1 Blue Elemental Blast
1 Containment Priest
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Flusterstorm
1 Humility
1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Moat
1 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Rest in Peace
1 Supreme Verdict
2 Vendilion Clique
1 Wear // Tear[/d]

David could probably talk more about the intricacies of legacy miracles since he has piloted it before and seemed to enjoy it. I have a more… “Burn it with fire” relationship with this particular kind of deck. Do you want to hate magic? Play against an ensnaring Bridge deck, If you can’t find someone douchey enough to play that, then legacy miracles is the next best thing. Sensei's Divining Top coupled with Counterbalance is one of the most annoying soft locks I have ever played against. I think the only thing more annoying are some of the “Heart of the Cards” wins Miracles pilots can pull out of their ass. Nothing is more frustrating nor as satisfying than an “Oh, I win.” in a Miracles matchup.

That's it for decks of the week. Don’t expect too many from me, even this one was unplanned. My analysis is more anecdotal and thus probably less helpful than David’s so if that’s your jimmy jam, too bad.


  1. Some quick notes to add:
    - That Eldrazi and Taxes deck is super popular right now. Been on the rise for weeks.
    - That Affinity deck played 3x Steel Overseer. That slower style of affinity has been out of favor compared to the more smash face fast and win style. Interesting to see it have a top showing.
    - The theory of Death Shadow is to get your life total down to around 5 by T2 or T3, and go for a kill the following turn with Become Immense + Temur Battle Rage. It's as fast as you get in the format, but very high variance. Blows out decks that run low counts on removal like Storm and Affinity but gets punished by decks the stack up on cheap answers. FYI, this deck can kill on T2 with a right combo of Death's Shadow, Mutagentic Growths, Street Wraiths/Gitaxian Probes, and Temur Battle Rage.
    - Yum. Miracles. I tend to prefer creature heavy Joe Losset-style over the spell heavy versions. But Counter Top lock is a Counter Top lock.


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