Izzet Aggro? No, Really, is it?


Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers!

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to bring you all a deck that was voted for by the good people of Twitter. Earlier this week I ran a poll allowing my followers to choose the colour combination of this weeks scheduled deck tech. The options available were Dimir (Blue/Black), Rakdos (Black/Red) and Izzet (Blue/Red) and after an initial draw between Dimir and Izzet our final victor in the follow up poll was Blue/Red!

This is one of my favourite colour combinations to brew and mess with due to the high volume of aggressive non-creature spells and efficient methods of sculpting your hand to be found amongst the card pool offering almost unreasonable flexibility. From here all I had to do was decide “What kind of Izzet deck do I want?” We’ve all seen the control mode which made a huge splash in Standard not too long ago but I wanted to run with something more suited to FNM than a feature-match table, good ol’ Izzet Spells Aggro!

Onwards, to the ingredients!


4x Soul-Scar Mage
4x Daring Saboteur
4x Bloodwater Entity
4x Enigma Drake

To make this work we need a creature package to live in harmony with our suite of instants, either by receiving some benefit or facilitating the optimal hand. Soul-Scar Mage, to start with, has the old favourite keyword “Prowess” providing a temporary +1/+1 buff each and every time we cast a non-creature spell. On top of this he also turns the damage caused by our spells into permanent -1/-1 counters for the opposing creatures, a sort of two-step answer to Hazoret and other dudes with Indestructible.

Daring Saboteur doesn’t really benefit from our other spells but rather facilitates the sculpting of your ideal hand via doing combat damage, we can even use our excess mana to make this abseiling pirate unblockable and guarantee a loot effect. This can be very useful in a game where you either want to ensure you hit land number four or simply need some more interaction in hand to take care of a threat or go into overdrive and wreak some havoc.

Bloodwater Entity is another creature with evasion in the form of Flying, which makes the Prowess keyword all the more intimidating as the only limit to how much damage you put over their ground troops with this guy is your potential mana pool and cards in hand. It even facilitates it’s own Prowess triggers by returning any one Instant or Sorcery card from your Graveyard to the top of your own Library, meaning you can play it again the turn you want to attack and make sure you get at least one Prowess trigger.

Last in the main-deck menagerie is Enigma Drake, coming down and getting a huge bonus for all the spells you cast over the course of the game due to it’s power being equal to the number of Instant and Sorcery spells in your graveyard at any time. As a late game bomb or just a solid creature in the mid-game this card has potential to really spiral out of control and take over a game. If anything is going to eat a removal spell out of the opponents hand, I’d be betting on Enigma Drake.

Non-Creature Spells:

4x Opt
4x Shock
4x Lightning Strike
2x Abrade
3x Repeating Barrage
3x Heiroglyphic Illuminations

In a deck like this it’s useful to note that all of your non-creature spells have a good chance of doing more than they naturally should, due to the presence of Prowess triggers. This can lead to some very interesting decisions on when to play spells and how to get the maximum amount of damage in. With Opt, this isn’t a question you would normally find yourself asking, as it has the sole purpose of drawing you a card after scrying. But here it can turn on a Prowess trigger and find you a burn spell or removal, thus getting another Prowess trigger if you can cast the newly found spell and ultimately making your Soul-Scar Mage, Bloodwater Entity and Enigma Drake far more dangerous than they otherwise would be.

Shock and Lightning Strike are cheap staples in any Standard burn/red-based aggro decks, once again triggering Prowess for next to nothing and also doing damage to face or clearing the path of obstacles in the way of your attackers. Abrade fulfils a strictly removal niche, either causing three damage points to a creature or outright destroying an Artifact. Plenty useful in this, the world of God-Pharaoh’s Gift and as a result we run two in the main board by default.

Repeating Barrage is one of those spells that doesn’t want to stay gone once you’ve cast it and can be returned to your hand for a moderate fee, which in the late game you’d be happy to pay to get back a Prowess enabler that’s capable of going straight to the opponents face for three damage or potentially removing a creature from contention in future combat phases.

Heiroglyphic Illumination offers versatility as a spell to either cast when in need of a couple more cards and a Prowess trigger or you can just cycle away when it just isn’t doing the business for you and mana is a concern.

To close out the main deck spells we have Sweltering Suns, an excellent reset button against other fast aggro strategies and, much like our previous card, can be cycled for another when it isn’t relevant. I’d also like to remind you that with a Soul-Scar Mage on board this would put three -1/-1 counters on EVERY opposition creature permanently and if you can trigger prowess a couple of times before it resolves your mage will even live through the damage!


4x Spirebluff Canal
6x Island
12x Mountain

Spirebluff Canal

In order to cast spells we need mana and since this deck is mostly red there is a heavy slant towards Mountains compared to a relatively low number of Islands, but we do run a full playset of Spirebluff Canal in order to facilitate both of our colour requirements.


2x Abrade
2x Sorcerous Spyglass
3x Negate
2x Spellweaver Eternal
2x Neheb, the Eternal
2x Field of Ruin
2x Crook of Condemnation

In th sideboard we fill out the playset of Abrade for those games against God-Pharaoh’s Gift, Sorcerous Spyglass to get some early information on what the opponent is up to in game two and shut down a card (I’m thinking Walking Ballista or Hazoret). Negate allows us to pick our battle when we really need something to resolve and stay on the board for the win where it may be countered or removed and Crook of Condemnation can fairly effectively combat Torrential Gearhulk strategies as we wipe the field of graveyards in general. Field of ruin is another card for the control matchup, usually taking care of one of the many flip lands in Ixalan and helping us fix for our second colour.

In games where we struggle to get damage through I’ve elected to try out Spellweaver Eternal, a creature which still has Prowess but also causes the opponent to lose life for blocking it through the Afflict mechanic. Following in a similar vein we get to use Neheb, The Eternal, a bigger, badder Afflict creature that generates mana post-combat based on how much life your opponent has lost so far that turn, allowing you to then throw out another creature or even a couple more burn spells to close out the game.

That’s about all I’ve got on this list so far and hopefully a few of you guys make it up, apply adjustments and take it for a spin. You can locate the complete deck on MTG Goldfish for pricing, just click the link!

If you do, you can let me know how it was on Twitter @GenericBadMtg or by email at genericbadmtg@gmail.com

Until next time, have fun, draw well and respect each other.




GenericBadInsights Part 1: Misplays

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers!

Mathew here from GenericBadMagic with a subject we can all relate to. Whether it’s on the kitchen table, your local FNM or PPTQ we have all had a misplay that lingers in memory long after the fact. Something you find yourself thinking about months later, wondering why? Why? Why didn’t I play that differently.

Here’s mine:

Picture the scene, round one of GP Birmingham 2017, the format is Modern, I’m playing Burn and I’m tied at 1-1 against a Scapeshift deck, I have an empty hand, four land plus a fetchland in play, on 9 life facing down an angry Thragtusk while my opponent is on 3 life.

Seeing this raging Thragtusk I made the rookie mistake of trying to preserve my life total, choosing not to fetch and find a land. Two turns in a row I fail to topdeck that all important burn Spell or creature to apply pressure, two turns in a row I neglect to fetch, reluctant to spend that seemingly precious one life.

I should truly have fetched at the earliest opportunity, thinned out my deck and gave myself the best possible chance of finding what I needed, a Lava Spike, Lightning Bolt, Rift Bolt, anything. The simple truth of it was that I was on a two turn clock, whether I fetched or not Thragtusk had to hit me twice to kill me and I failed to appreciate that.

I finished 3-6 for that tournament and while I wasn’t expecting anything special from my first run at a major event I didn’t see any other top tier decks that I knew I had a decent matchup against from my very underwhelming testing experience. I only naturally feel that I could have don much better if I’d only won that game but it would be a mistake to beat myself up about it, to decide that I definitely would have went 7-2 or 8-1 or otherwise made day two and excelled if I had just made the correct play. That would be too easy an excuse to hide behind.

The right thing to do now is to learn from it, apply my knowledge of using life totals as a resource in future games, reading the boardstate and understanding the clock my opponent puts me on and use that to make more optimal gameplay choices going forward.

So just remember, whatever the mistake, learn from it. Do yourself a service and work to understand what you did wrong, don’t hide behind it. Make better choices, informed by the errors of games gone by. Be mindful of this and you will improve as a player, certain things will become second nature, you’ll miss less of the nuances of the game and over time become a better player. Keep in mind though, it’s virtually impossible to catch everything and you will make errors in judgement. Think of these as lessons and every day becomes a school day!

I’d love to hear from everyone else, catch me on Twitter @GenericBadMtg or in the comments here with the plays you wish had gone differently, let’s learn together as a community and work to truly better our understanding of the game.

Until next time, enjoy yourself, draw well and respect each other.



Y2k: Apocalypse of Steel

Hello My fellow Planeswalkers!

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to bring you another Standard deck to bring along to your local game store for FNM or dominate the kitchen table. Today we look at a somewhat under-the-radar strategy that pops up every now and then without ever quite making the breakthrough to mainstream tournament play, it’s… a Tezzeret deck!

The goal is to Utilizing spells like Tezzeret, the Schemer, Tezzeret’s Touch and Chief of the Foundry to take over the board with artifacts of great power and toughness in order to beat down your bewildered opponents. There aren’t enough copies of Abrade in the world to stop your legion of obedient artifacts taking over the board like a fearsome horde of SkyNet T-800’s coming back from the future to assassinate the opponent.

Let’s take a look at what goes into making this happen.


4x Ornithopter
4x Gifted Aetherborn
4x Chief of the Foundry
4x Hostage Taker

Four copies of the old crowd-pleaser, Ornithopter, gives us a free flying blocker in the early game with potential to completely take over the skies in conjunction with some of our other pieces.

Gifted Aetherborn is just a fantastic card when dealing with the current meta-game. Everything without Indestructible at worst trades off with this guy and you even gain some life from attacking or blocking.

Chief of the Foundry is the lord effect the deck needs to really overwhelm, a prime target for removal and four copies is usually good for drawing an abrade or two out of the opponents hand.

Hostage Taker fits well in the deck at the very least as temporary removal that may even steal one of the opponents better threats.

Instants and Sorceries

4x Opt
4x Fatal Push
2x Vraska’s Contempt

Opt, meaning to “make a choice” allows us to do exactly that, looking at the top card of your library and deciding if you want it or not. Do you choose what is revealed or the unknown below? All I know is I certainly opt to include a full playset of this card.

The best one drop removal spell in Magic, Fatal Push, also takes up a full playset as a way of staying ahead against Ramunap Red and other small-creature strategies in the early game.

Vraska’s Contempt comes in as a way to take out those bigger threats, a clean answer to a resolved Scarab God or Hazoret, which also gains you two life. This can be extremely relevant against the rising tide of aggro decks in the format.

Non Creature Artifacts

4x Aethersphere Harvester

Aethersphere Harvester

Aethersphere Harvester is one of the strongest Vehicles to come out of Aether Revolt, both due to having Flying and also fuelling its own Energy requirements for two turns, allowing you to choose the most strategic combat scenario to gain some life and stay ahead of the game.

The Tezzeret Package

4x Tezzeret’s Touch
4x Tezzeret, the Schemer

Tezzeret’s touch is a three mana investment to turn any of your non-token artifact army into a big ol’ 5/5 that doesn’t stay dead, giving your Ornithopters a real fear factor and likely forcing the opponent to use up an Abrade or Fatal push just to deal with it.

The main man himself is excellent as a four mana Planeswalker starting at 5 loyalty this means that with just a single +1 activation he can survive a hit from Torrential Gearhulk or Hour of Devastation. Big flavour win for Wizards right there! Speaking of his abilities, adding one loyalty counter to him provides you with an artifact that can be cashed in for one mana of any colour. This also helps to fuel both of his other… talents. Having lots of artifacts can really power up his -2 ability as a mode of removal, the more you have the greater the decrease in your targets toughness, this is an ability you should only really use on particularly threatening creatures and when the target is sure to die. If you make it to seven or more loyalty counters we get an emblem turning one of our artifacts into a 5/5 on each of our turns combat steps, taking over the board with huge threats (which you can keep generating by using his +1 ability. (if Tezzeret survives removing the counters in the first place)


2x Evolving Wilds
2x Fetid Pools
4x Drowned Catacombs
4x Island
10x Swamp

Our three featured land all help to ensure we have both of our colours online as early as possible. Evolving wilds also offers the utility of enabling Revolt for our Fatal Pushes pretty much on demand. Fetid pools can always just cycle away for another card in the late game and Drowned Catacombs will come in untapped almost every single time after turn one.


3x Nimble Obstructionist
4x Spell Pierce
4x Costly Plunder
4x Walk the Plank

Nimble Obstructionist can offer us some versatility from the Sideboard, either coming in as a flyer at instant speed or cycling to counter an activated or triggered ability you really don’t want to happen (think Ramunap Ruins, Bristling Hydra or Hazoret).

Spell Pierce comes in and acts as insulation in the early game from control decks, allowing us the time we need to get set up with minimal disruption.

Costly Plunder is the new Altars Reap, except with even less downside in this deck. Any of our Etherium Cells or other artifacts can be cashed in for two cards off the top of your deck.

Walk the Plank is the downgraded replacement for Grasp of Darkness in this format, removing most threats. Surprisingly this spell has really come into its own in a format yet to see a major Merfolk uprising… (hint, hint, check the link)


This deck has some great synergy and is a very strong contender at FNM level, maybe missing something to take it really over the top, but still good if you want to have fun beating people with a legion of animated toasters and microwaves.

So try this deck out for yourself and let me know what you think, full credit has to go to Matthew Tidcombe, a player out of my LGS who’s had this deck built since Kaladesh, tinkering with each new set release.

As always you can find me here, on twitter @GenericBadMtg or by email at genericbadmtg@gmail.com.

Thanks also to @wintargetgame for the recent interview which has been posted up on the Life Successfully website along with interviews of other small content creators like Magic with Zuby, MTG Youngmage and Orcs Head Magic, so please go check them out and support the online content creator community.

That’s about all I have to say today so until next time remember to  draw well and respect each other.



Arcane Gene-Splicing: A Mad Scientists Dream

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,

In this era of modern science and technology have you ever wanted push the boundaries and cross breed horses and cats with… well, everything? Meet me in a reality where science meets magic and I’ll show you, though the medium of my new deck… Arcane Gene-Splicing!

It’s Mathew here from GenericBadMagic to show you a brew of mine that takes everything from Humans to Artifacts and turns them into weirdly intimidating Cat/Horse… things. We do this by splashing Blue in our otherwise mono-white list for one of the weirder junk rares from Ixalan, Arcane Adaptation. Lets take a look at the creatures we have to play with here.

The Creature Package

4x Crested Sunmare
3x Regal Caracal
4x Metallic Mimic
3x Annointer Priest
3x Cloudblazer

So to start with we have Crested Sunmare and Regal Caracal as our ideal cards to take advantage of  Arcane Adaptation. Offering our chosen tribe either indestructible as a Horse, lifelink and +1/+1 as a Cat or even both with two Adaptations in play. This is then supported by Metallic Mimic as we simply name the creature type chosen with Adaptation to ensure everything enters with a +1/+1 counter on it.

To help our game-plan as best we can you can find both Annointer Priest and Cloudblazer in the creature suite. Annointer Priest gains us life from tokens entering the battlefield (through Sunmare or other sources) and Cloudblazer doing what it does best with lifegain and card draw on entering the battlefield, fulfilling the criteria on Sunmare to create a horse token and giving us something else to use our blue mana on.

Non-Creature Spells

4x Oketra’s Monument
4x Annointed Procession
4x Arcane Adaptation
4x Legion’s Landing
4x Cast Out
2x Settle the Wreckage

Our non-creature suite is where we see how I’ve put together the white cores of U/W Monument and the currently popular Abzan Tokens deck to generate advantage through token generation whilst also introducing tribal synergy to the mix. Monument creates a 1/1 Warrior whenever I cast any of my creatures, which are all cheaper due to being white, this token then subsequently gains us life from Annointer Priest. Annointed Procession will double this impact and in conjunction with Arcane Adaptation everything comes in with Indstructible or Lifelink due to the tribal synergies afforded by Sunmare and Caracal.

Legion’s Landing is the ideal turn one play as it offers long game inevitability in token generation after flipping into Adanto and the vampires it generates can keep you ahead on life. Cast Out is a must, taking care of prominent threats like The Scarab God or Hazoret and cycling for another card when it’s sitting dead in our hand while Settle the Wreckage can clear the board of aggressive decks when we’re on the back foot.


4x Glacial Fortress
2x Field of Ruin
1x Scavenger Grounds
10x Plains
4x Island

Our mana-base is fairly stock with four copies of Glacial Fortress to enable our spells of either colour, two Field of Ruin to combat the opponents non-basic lands like Adanto or Orazca. A single Scavenger Grounds helps remove graveyards to minimise the impact of The Scarab God or Torrential Gearhulk and a ten to four split of Plains to Islands to round it all off.


2x Fumigate
3x Oketra’s Last Mercy
3x Gideon’s Intervention
2x Cataclysmic Gearhulk
4x Forsake the Worldly
1x Sorcerous Spyglass

Our sideboard options can help to insulate against aggro and combo decks. Fumigate clears the board and gains us life. Gideon’s Intervention targets Approach of the Second Sun and kills their game-plan dead while Cataclysmic Gearhulk can beneficially reset the board state, serving as both a vigilant attacker and an intimidating blocker. Four copies of Forsake the Worldly targets opposing Search for Azcanta or God-Pharaoh’s Gift to significantly cripple the engines of U/B control and the various Gifts decks in the current format. If we find ourselves in dire need of a reset we can fire off Oketra’s Last Mercy to return our life-total to 20 and allow us that extra turn or two to turn the corner. The last inclusion in sideboard is a one of Sorcerous Spyglass, a silver bullet to negate the Activated Abilities of cards like Orazca, The Sunken Ruin, Hazoret or even Ramunap Ruins.

In Closing

This deck is most certainly a work in progress but one I feel you can have a lot of fun with, even if just role-playing as a mad scientist with an army of Cat/Horse-abominations (obviously my chief motivating factor). I highly recommend you try this list out and let me know what you think!

As for in game decisions I feel the first tribe chosen from Arcane Adaptation will usually be horses. The ability to give all of your tokens and other creatures indestructible from the off is excellent, allowing you to block favourably and leverage better positions throughout the game. The second Adaptation will likely nominate Cats to assist in gaining life and generating more and more Horses to take over or force a board stall.

Please hit me up on Twitter @GenericBadMtg or email at genericbadmtg@gmail.com with your feedback, if you like the article tell your friends and follow the blog for email updates when I post anything new!

In the next month or two I should also be up and running with a stream playing Magic online on Twitch and maybe even have YouTube in the works. But while we wait I’ll keep on writing up (hopefully) interesting deck lists for you all to try out!

Until next time, have fun, draw well and respect one another,



Simic Merfolk: Aggro With Gills

Hello my fellow Planeswalkers!

Mathew here from GenericBadMagic bringing you a new list, fresh from the rivers of Ixalan, yes it’s U/G Merfolk! Now anyone who’s ever played Magic anywhere other than the kitchen table probably knows that Merfolk is a strong tribal deck in Modern, usually relying on powerful Merfolk Lords and Spreading Seas to lock down the opponents mana base, but with the new set comes all sorts of Standard Fish-Person potential. This deck really focuses on swarming the board early and going for the throat, but has the potential to go longer and eventually overwhelm the opponent with beefed up, unblockable and very, very angry dudes.

Credit for this list has to go to Mark Shepherd and Daniel Hunter, both players from my local game store who I have known for a very long time and always have a lot of fun playing against. In fact, this list has done all but 4-0 for the last two FNM’s, not too shabby boys.

So without further ado, lets dive in (get it?) and have a look at…

The Creature Package

4x Kumena’s Speaker
4x River Sneak
4x Merfolk Branchwalkers
3x Herald of Secret Streams
3x Vineshaper Mystic
4x Metallic Mimic
2x Kopala, Warden of waves
1x Tempest Caller
2x Verdurous Gearhulks

To start with we have four copies of Kumena’s Speaker, River Sneak and Merfolk Branchwalker for our opening two turns, each applying pressure in a slightly different way. Speaker has a sort of watered-down Wild Nacatl ability and will almost always be attacking for two damage on turn two, River Sneak gets in under the opposition by being unblockable and even gains a temporary boost whenever you cast one of its buddies and Merfolk Branchwalker offers card advantage through explore, either grabbing you a land from the top of your deck or beefing up and giving the option of binning the top card or keeping it for your next draw.

Three copies of Vineshaper Mystic helps you get permanent +1/+1 counters on your unblockable creature and can even put itself out of reach of spells like Sweltering Suns or Essence Extraction and Herald of Secret Streams makes all of your beefed up Merfolk unblockable, helping you through board stalls you may encounter against the likes of Temur Energy or that one Naya Dinosaur deck that shows up every single FNM. (because there’s no party like a Carnage Tyrant party these days right?)

I want to take a moment to talk about Kopala now, this is a card I can see making it’s way into Modern Merfolk, even just as a budget alternative to Kira, Great Glass-Spinner. Sure, he doesn’t outright counter the spell or ability, but he does tax the heck out of it and is also another Merfolk to receive a boost from the likes of Lord of Atlantis or Master of the Pearl Trident. So yeah, Modern playable, just think about it. In this deck anyway he’s still super sweet just through making spot removal that much harder for the opponent to utilise.


To close out our mass of twenty-seven creatures we have one copy of Tempest Caller, to tap down the entire opposition board when unblockable dudes just aren’t enough, four copies of Metallic Mimic because he it goes in every tribal deck ever since his arrival in Aether revolt. Here he makes your guys come in bigger and stronger and will even benefit from tribal perks which, to my eye, merits a maybe spot in modern Merfolk too. Our last creature is one that no one wants to see resolve opposite them, Verdurous Gearhulk, distributing four +1/+1 counters however you like among your creatures is an incredibly powerful ability and the fact we also get a 4/4 body with Trample to go with it, all for five mana I might add, is just great in this deck. Expect him to come along and close out games.

Despite being a creature based strategy we still find room for eleven non-creature spells to support our watery onslaught so lets have a run down.

Non-Creature Spells

2x Opt
3x Blossoming Defence
3x Deeproot Waters
3x Nissa, Steward of Element


Both of our one drop non-creature spells are instant speed so, much like The Spanish Inquisition, no one will see them coming.

Spanish Inquisition
Proud of me yet Dad?
But, Monty Python references aside, Blossoming Defence is instant speed protection from spot removal, or just a pump spell for those last points of damage while Opt lets you get that little bit deeper into your deck and find some of the stuff you need.


Deeproot Waters can generate a tonne of Merfolk tokens over the course of a game to help you run over the opponent or provide chump blockers for the big guns they may deplow and Nissa seems to have found herself a home, almost always getting something with her 0 ability if she has three or more Loyalty counters and closing out a game if you sink all the mana into her and start her on six or more.


4x Unclaimed Territory
3x Hashep Oasis
3x Botanical Sanctum
1x Scavenger Grounds
5x Island
6x Forest


Our mana base is pretty simple, with Unclaimed Territory fixing mana for a chosen creature type (Merfolk, in case you hadn’t guessed) and Hashep Oasis giving us utility in the later game by buffing up a creature to get through some more damage. The single copy of Scavenger Grounds is a kind-of silver Bullet against Torrential Gearhulk, exiling  graveyards before it can enter the battlefield and bring back an instant. In all twenty-two land feels fine in this deck as everything is pretty low to the ground and the mana curve is more of an undulation than a big old hill.


3x Supreme Will
2x Negate
3x Crushing Canopy
3x Heroic Intervention
2x Essence Scatter
1x Rivers Rebuke
1x Crook of Condemnation


Our sideboard against control will almost always see a number of the above brought in as Negate and Supreme Will can deal with counterspells, while Heroic Intervention insulates us against sweepers and spot removal.


Essence Scatter and Rivers Rebuke help us to gain an advantage over our aggro counterparts and go wide strategies like Ramunap Red or Abzan Tokens.


Crushing Canopy comes in to attack opposing Flyers or Search for Azcanta, even taking care of Deeproot Waters in the mirror match while Crook of Condemnation can selectively remove cards with the ability to come back from the Graveyard or even just take away one (or all) spells an opposing Gearhulk can make use of.

In Closing

This deck is great fun to play against and just looks fantastic to pilot, it’s maybe missing a slight spark which is sure to come with Rivals of Ixalan and I may have a few suggestions for cards to switch out for (a catch all that gives information like Sorcerous spyglass would be great) but I would very highly recommend putting this deck together and taking it down to your local game store for a good time.

I’d love it if anyone who reads this wants to take the time to give me feedback and I’m always available through Twitter @GenericBadMtg or email at genericbadmtg@gmail.com

Until next time, have fun, draw well and respect each other.




New Standard: The Return of GenericBadMagic

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers!

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here and it’s been a few weeks since I last produced any content but in that time I’ve put together what could be a nice and competitive deck list with a twist for Ixalan Standard. Ever since the release of Hour of Devastation, and it’s namesake boardwipe, I’ve been dying to try out U/R control but never had the resource available to put a list together due to the costs of Torrential Gearhulk and Chandra, Torch of Defiance.

With the release of Ixalan I find myself with enough new and untested toys for the deck to really have me interested and today I’m going to talk you through my concept for what the deck could be.

As a disclaimer I will say this started out as a fairly stock list, in fact I copied the basis straight from the list Paul Cheon ran for Channel Fireball months ago on YouTube, this gave me an idea of how to put together the mana base, which is extremely important in control. I then proceeded to load the deck up with the usual staple spells and supplement them with new releases. Let’s take a look at the list and then I’ll talk about the unusual (or simply new) additions.


4x Aether Hub
4x Spirebluff Canal
11x Island
6x Mountain


4x Opt
4x Spell Pierce
3x Harnessed Lightning
4x Lightning Strike
4x Censor
2x Fraying Sanity
2x Disallow
4x Glimmer of Genius
1x Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2x Vance’s Blasting Cannons / Spitfire Bastion


3x Torrential Gearhulk
2x Fleet Swallower


1x Chandra, Torch of Defiance
2x Glorybringer
2x Sweltering Suns
2x Hour of Devastation
2x Abrade
2x Disallow
2x Magma Spray
2x Crook of Condemnation

The Usual Suspects

As I mentioned previously this list started out as an established template for the archetype. To supplement or even improve on the already established suite of instants and sorceries we see Opt, Spell Pierce and Lightning Strike join the staples of Glimmer of Genius, Disallow and Harnessed Lightning. The loss of Incendiary Flow to rotation is mitigated by Lightning Strike and it’s return to the Standard format, offering the same damage output and versatility to go for the dome, losing the exile effect but coming in at a whole mana cheaper for the privilege.

Torrential Gearhulk and Chandra, Torch of Defiance absolutely take their places at the head of this deck with Gearhulk often being the finisher on the eventual beatdown and Chandra providing mana, card advantage/damage, removing creatures or even potentially providing a pretty busted emblem.

The New Experiments

One more reason for the inclusion of Opt and Lightning Strike at such low mana slots is the addition of Vance’s Blasting Cannons to the deck. With an ability straight from the Khans mode to Outpost Seige it already offers solid enough card advantage but it’s true power (and reason for inclusion) lies in transforming the enchantment after casting our third spell of the turn.

Vance's Blasting Cannons
Welcome to the mana base, Spitfire Bastion! Of course we can use this to generate a red mana but where’s the fun in that? Just pay 3 mana (one of which must be red) and tap it to bolt any opposing creature or player. The perfect threat to hold up and significantly harder to remove than Dynavolt Tower, which would have filled the role of providing reach without our new toy.

Spitfire Bastion

The Alternate Ending

Another card that really excited me during spoiler season is Fleet Swallower, a 7 mana 6/6 fish which traumatises (rounded up instead of down) whenever it attacks. But how does that help? Always removing 50% of a library doesn’t get them to 0 cards, so how do we finish off this alternative win condition? Fraying Sanity. That’s how.

Fraying Sanity is an Enchantment Aura Curse which, at the end of every turn, causes the chosen opponent to put cards from the top of their library into their graveyard equal to the number of cards that hit the yard for them already that turn. So if they have 40 cards left when Fleet Swallower attacks they put 20 cards into the graveyard and when you pass turn they do it again. This should cause the opponent to lose on their own draw step since Laboratory Maniac is nowhere to be seen!

Contingency Planning

I’m very aware that the mill-win is an experimental inclusion for the archetype but I’m prepared to take that leap!

Supreme Will
A potential upgrade

Long term, to be more competitive if this doesn’t pay off, I can see the Fraying Sanity/Fleet Swallower combo being removed for a playset of Supreme Will, providing card advantage and more spells to trigger Vance’s Blasting Cannons.

In Closing

That’s about all I have about this list but it is the one I plan on playing long term, tuning and adjusting to the metagame in a bid to start putting up some results, starting with my first constructed PPTQ at the end of October!

If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to hit me up here or on Twitter @GenericBadMtg

You can also find this list for a more visual view at Mtg Goldfish

While your’re at it check out Kitchen Table Mtg for a wide selection of content creators (including myself) to enjoy.

Until next time, keep on Planeswalkin’



Ixalan Spoilers: Dinosaurs… That is All

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers!

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to talk about a newly supported tribe for Magic: The Gathering, fresh out Ixalan, the upcoming set… Dinosaurs!

This will be a run-down of my five favourite cards with the Creature type Dinosaur that come out in the new set! Coincidentally four out of the five I talk about today all share the Enrage ability, granting some sort of effect whenever they take damage, allowing you to take advantage of normally unfavourable combat decisions. Let’s dive in to the list shall we?

1- Ranging Raptors

More like “Ramping Raptors” am I right? At three mana this creature is a 2/3 with a pretty sweet Enrage ability. Allowing you to search for a basic land card, put it on to the battlefield tapped and shuffle your library whenever Ranging Raptors is dealt damage. 

This card has great potential in ramp builds which sink their mana into creatures like Walking Ballista. You can take advantage of the ability to remove a counter from Ballista to deal one damage to the Raptor, tutoring up a basic land in the process. You can do this twice in a turn and letting your Raptor survive, or do it three times and cashing in for three land cards to put you way ahead of the curve.

2- Sun-Crowned Hunters

Sun-Crowned Hunters is a six mana investment for a 5/4 which bolts target opponent to the dome whenever it is dealt damage. This is another great card to combine with Walking Ballista, acting as a repeatable bolt, up to four times in one turn.

Another plus to this card is that with rotation rearing it’s ugly head out old friend Grasp of Darkness won’t be around to efficiently deal with the Hunters. That’s not to say this card will see much play outside of Limited though as six mana is a huge investment in any Constructed format and this doesn’t quite offer the value you’d want for it.

3- Ripjaw Raptor

Ripjaw Raptor costs four mana but gives us a 4/5 (pretty great base stats already) in return with an Enrage ability that nets us a card whenever it is dealt damage. I’m pretty certain Walking Ballista’s ears (if he has any) are burning because this is another card that offers us some superb levels of value but removing a counter and dealing one damage to it. This could see you drawing anywhere up to five additional cards in a turn through this combination and can also be repeatable for a few cards per turn if you can keep your Ballista topped up.

4- Bellowing Aegisaur

Bellowing Aegisaur is a 3/5 for six mana with the ability to add one +1/+1 counter to each other creature you control whenever it is dealt damage… have I mentioned Walking Ballista yet? Because I feel like I can’t mention it enough right now. This is essentially up to 5 free counters on all creatures you control, aside from Walking Ballista (who’s counter number will remain the same in the end, provided it started on two) and Bellowing Aegisaur, who will sadly have died to give us this gift. RIP Great Lizard of Getting Swole.

5- Carnage Tyrant

So, I was a huge fan of Plated Crusher in Battle for Zendikar and I was kinda sad not to have made a deck with it yet before it rotates out. But Wizards have clearly sensed my despair and granted us a strictly better version of it!

Crusher was seven mana for a 7/6 with Trample and Hexproof, Carnage Tyrant is six mana, SIX! For a 7/6 which can’t be countered and also has Trample and Hexproof. I see this as a reason to consider ramp in the new standard, a solid curve topper that control just doesn’t interact with could be invaluable and I would not be surprised to see this in some fringe decks for tournament play.

So that’s my five favourite dinosaurs that have been spoiled thus far for Ixalan, are there any you prefer? Anything I missed about these ones? Or are you simply sick of hearing about Walking Ballista synergising with everything? Whatever it is, please be sure to let me know!

I’ll be back with another article for you next Friday!

But until next time you can catch me on Twitter @GenericBadMtg 

Have a good one,



Posthumous Trampolining: Otherwise Known as U/B Zombie-Bounce

Hello My Fellow Planeswalker,

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to talk you through a ghoulish deck which is sure to send opposing creatures running back to their owners hands, this is Zombie-Bounce!

The flavour here is achieved by filling the deck with twenty-two creatures, mostly of the type Zombie, to strike fear into the hearts of your adversary. Their creatures will scurry back to their hands under the influence of spells like Compelling Deterrence and Unsubstantiate. Lets take a closer look at what makes this deck tick.


4x Cryptbreaker
2x Dread Wanderer
3x Relentless Dead
4x Prized Amalgam
3x Diregraf Colossus
2x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
2x The Scarab God
2x Gisa and Geralf

So, smaller creatures first, everyone knows the kind of engine that a Cryptbreaker can be in any Zombies list and here is no exception, helping you to generate tokens and draw cards rather effectively.

Dread Wanderer is another Zombie which can be tapped to help Cryptbreaker draw cards for you, whilst also being a recurring threat from the graveyard.

Following this same pattern Relentless Dead, whilst being evasive with Menace, allows us to chose either paying a single black mana to return it to our hand, or paying x mana of any colour to return a creature with Converted Mana Cost (CMC) x from the graveyard to the battlefield when Relentless Dead dies, turning itself, and your other creatures, into truly relentless threats.

All of the above help, in some way, to trigger Prized Amalgams return from the graveyard to the battlefield. With Cryptbreaker you can discard it, Dread Wander can bring them back by returning itself and Relentless Dead can revive them by returning another creature. A very tasty synergy in the early game indeed.

Diregraf Colossus is another big player in the Zombie decks which have been so prevalent lately, benefiting greatly from a stacked graveyard and generating tokens whenever you cast a zombie spell, another resource for Cryptbreaker!

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and his Lifelink can be a real thorn in the side of aggro decks, even converting their small creatures that die into 2/2 zombie tokens for yourself.

*Cough* Cryptbreaker *Cough*

He can even utilize these tokens with his activated ability to pump himself up with two +1/+1 tokens, intimidating all in his path!

The Scarab God really takes advantage of all these zombies gaining life and scrying for X (the number of zombies you control) during your Upkeep steps, making this ability even more useful by exiling creatures from your graveyard and making a 4/4 black zombie copy to further fuel your synergies. (have I mentioned Cryptbreaker recently?) Our creepy-crawly overlord also has the added advantage of just not staying dead, returning to it’s owners hand at the end step following it’s demise.

The final creature to tie all of this together is Gisa and Geralf, entering the battlefield to ship four cards from the top of your library off to the graveyard and hopefully dumping a couple of zombies to bring back later in the process. The second ability on these grisly siblings is allowing you to cast one zombie creature card from your graveyard on each of your turns as long as they are in play… a huge swing if you buried your Prized Amalgam’s in there earlier.


2x Liliana, the Last Hope

Liliana, the last hope.jpg

Liliana presents a threat that must be answered, no one wants to see her remove seven loyalty counters and suddenly present an army with the power of exponential growth. No one except you, that is. To help her get there she can give up to one target creature -2/-1 until your next turn, somewhat protecting herself, for the benefit of adding a loyalty counter. With her minus ability also returning a creature from the graveyard to your hand you shouldn’t struggle to maintain a number of blockers to keep her safe and insulate your own life total.


3x Cemetary Recruitment
3x Grasp of Darkness
3x Supreme Will
3x Unsubstantiate
3x Compelling Detterence

Let’s take a look at the Instant and Sorcery options that don’t bounce creatures. With Cemetery Recruitment we can return a creature card from the graveyard to our hand and, as an added benefit, draw a card if that creature was a Zombie… it probably will be!

Grasp of Darkness is solid removal, killing most creatures in the format, including Hazoret the Fervent, Standard just won’t be the same without it!

Supreme Will is brilliant for card advantage, either digging through our deck or acting as a counter spell when the opponent is low on mana.

These two spells both offer us ways of bouncing creatures back to the opponents hand and buying ourselves some time. Compelling Deterrence even hits nonland permanents in general and can knock back a Heart of Kiran or Skysovereign, Consul Flagship at will. Due to our large Zombie contingent the opponent will then often have to discard a card, which can be great when they’re nearing top-deck mode.


2x Choked Estuary
4x Sunken Hollow
2x Evolving Wilds
3x Island
10x Swamp

The mana base is pretty straight forward, Dual-Lands in the corresponding colours and Evolving Wilds because sometimes we just need to go find a blue source and thin out the deck a little bit. The heavy concentration of black mana symbols in the deck justifies only three islands, Evolving Wilds is just insurance for our fixing.


3x Flaying Tendrils
2x Bontu’s Last Reckoning
2x Torment of Hailfire
3x Jace’s Defeat
3x Liliana’s Defeat

These cards in the sideboard all offer us a kind of boardwipe, Flaying Tendrils sweeps away most of the low toughness creatures you find in aggro strategies like Ramunap Red, Bontu’s Last Reckoning clears the board of all but indestructible things and claims your mana for an extra turn by not letting you untap and Torment of Hailfire (with enough of an investment) can eat your opponents hand, make them clear their own board and even eat into their life-total quite nicely if timed correctly.

To add to this versatility, Jace’s Defeat offers us a real silver bullet against control and in the event of countering a Jace Planeswalker also lets you scry 2 while Liliana’s Defeat can take down Nicol Bolas, Innistrad’s verion of Liliana (The Last Hope) or even a big black creature like Razaketh. If it does take down a Liliana Planeswalker the opponent also loses three life.

That’s the rundown of this deck and although it is due to rotate out shortly this really is a deck which can provide some real fun shenanigans, so could be worth it to put together and jam a little before rotation rolls around!

If you do try it out or otherwise want to give me feedback anyway please catch me on Twitter @GenericBadMtg

Next time out we’re going to look at the Dinosaur spoilers of Ixalan! (or at least my favourite ones)

Until then, have a good one,



Back to Standard: Jund Aggro

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,

You know those decks you build in draft events and have a whole heap of fun with? The ones that make you say “I gotta make this in constructed”? Well for Alan Bruce, a fellow player out of Abbey Video Games in Arbroath, this is one such deck.

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to take you through a Jund Aggro deck which was built around two key cards in Draft; Samut, the Tested and Insult // Injury.

Let’s take a look…


4x Greenbelt Rampager
4x Bloodrage Brawler
4x Servant of the Conduit
4x Rhonas the Indomitable
4x Bristling Hydra
2x Glorybringer

First up we have Greenbelt Rampager, a one mana 3/4 which requires you to pay two Energy when it enters the battlefield, if you cannot then it returns it to your hand and provides you with one Energy. Usually this card comes down and stays down on turn two as players use Attune With Aether on turn one to sort their mana out and gain a couple of Energy in the process, all in all this is a solid creature for the one mana investment.

Bloodrage Brawler at 4/3 for two mana is another good deal with the downside being that you must discard a card when it enters the battlefield. Having two Aftermath cards in Insult // Injury and Cut // Ribbons totalling six copies means you have a good chance of getting actual value out of this condition.

Servant of the Conduit is a reasonably good mana fixing creature that buys you a turn or two whilst trying to gain access to that third colour of land by tapping for one mana of any colour in exchange for one Energy.

Time to show off our more powerful creatures now with Rhonas, The Indomitable. It’s relatively easy to meet his condition for attacking or blocking due to our early game Bloodrage Brawler, meaning we can get in with Rhonas by turn four, the way the mothership intended! If this does not pan out as planned you can always use Rhonas to buff a creature or use turn four to put out a Bristling Hydra or  Glorybringer (Servant of the Conduit allowing), either way making Rhonas a threat as soon as possible.

Bristling Hydra is just one of the best cards in Standard right now, an absolute beater in Temur Energy builds due to the ability of making itself bigger And Hexproof for a turn at the cost of three Energy. It even pays for the first usage of the ability on entering the battlefield! Overall just a solid card.

Where to start with Glorybringer? The Dragon that just dominates in limited and can come down and shift the tempo substantially in the current Standard constructed format. A 4/4 Flyer with Haste for five mana seems like a good deal but when you can Exert during an attack and deal four damage to any non-Dragon creature you choose he can also work as a fantastic removal spell. Use him to clear the opponents flying blocker and get in for damage himself, or protect a valued asset on the ground, either way Glorybringer is a great card which is only going to get better when Grasp of Darkness rotates out of the format.


3x Fatal Push
3x Attune with Aether
3x Cut // Ribbons
3x Insult // Injury

To start with we have three copies each of the following spells to help us further our gameplan and insulate ourselves against early threats. Fatal Push deals with creatures played in the early turns, while Attune with Aether helps us find a basic land to fix our mana and provides Energy for Servant of the Conduit, Greenbelt Rampager and Bristling Hydra.

Insult // Injury is an Aftermath card allowing us to double the damage output of sources you control for the rest of the turn and ruling out damage prevention for the opponent. The Injury side of it can be cast from the Graveyard and deals two damage to target player and the same to target creature.

Cut // Ribbons is a solid win condition in this deck and probably a card that I am very happy to discard for Bloodrage Brawler. In the late game having Ribbons online to cast from your graveyard is a huge thing to hold over the opponents head and forces them to sideboard in graveyard disruption as you can just sink mana into it and attempt to drain the last of their life. At its best, Cut // Ribbons is a great card and at the worst it influences how the opponent approaches the matchup, which is invaluable in itself.


3x Heart of Kiran

Heart of Kiran fits in here nicely, as a big Vigilant Flying threat it can be fairly sure to get in for some damage or at least force an Abrade out of the opponents hand. Another nice little interaction here is tapping Greenbelt Rampager to crew Heart of Kiran and bring Rhonas online at the same time, so this is definitely a justifiable inclusion.


2x Samut, the Tested

Samut, The Tested.jpg
Samut is the second build-around card in this deck, alongside Cut // Ribbons, allowing you to give your creatures Double Strike until the end of turn, splitting two damage as you chose between target creatures or players or tutoring for two creature or Planeswalker cards and placing them onto the battlefield. She is not the strongest Planeswalker out there and probably would not be present in a deck built from the ground up, but this is a modification based on a Draft deck and her performance in Limited justifies the inclusion in a fun constructed build.


4x Moutnain
4x Forest
1x Swamp
4x Blooming Marsh
4x Aether Hub
4x Game Trail

Aether Hub allows us to fix our mana with the energy from Attune, whilst Blooming Marsh and Game Trail cover the three colours between them. The single Swamp inclusion is simply to give Attune a target if you are low on Black mana sources and need one fast.


3x Magma Spray
2x Glorybringer
3x Sweltering Suns
2x Hazoret the Fervent
1x Samut, the Tested
2x Crook of Condemnation
2x Abrade

Magma Spray allows us to dispatch of those troublesome Scrapheap Scroungers and Relentless dead against Zombies whilst also taking care of most early game creatures in Ramunap Red decks.

Sweltering Suns is a great sweeper against these decks as well and can even be cycled away for another card if you decide it does not further your game plan.

Abrade helps to support the removal package whilst also offering modality, destroying any artifact from Heart of Kiran to God-Pharaoh’s Gift.

Crook of Condemnation helps you to shut down Graveyard shenanigans in Reanimator decks which look to utilize God-Pharaoh’s Gift but can also be used as precision removal for Scrapheap Scroungers and other naturally recurring creatures.

Hazoret makes this list because she is just an absolute powerhouse, you will rather regularly be left with few cards in hand and as a result Hazoret will be ready to beat face and keep her brother Rhonas ready for battle too!

Everything in this deck aside from Game Trail is rotation proof and can be enjoyed for quite some time, so I would encourage you all to try it out. Let me know what you would change about the list, what little edits do you feel can push this from an above average FNM deck to a Store Championship victor?

Catch me with your feedback on Twitter @GenericBadMtg

Check out Abbey Video Games at http://www.facebook.com/AbbeyVideoGames and stop by if you’re ever in Arbroath, Scotland on a Friday night for some good old Mtg fun!

Until next time, have a good one,



GP Birmingham Part 4: Always Take the Draw

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,

A wise old man (sorry Shep) once said “Always take the draw”. You could be forgiven for thinking he refers to intentionally drawing, or ID’ing as it’s known to competitive Magic players, but he is, in fact, giving fantastic advice for the startup procedure in any game where you play with a very specific Modern fringe deck: 8-Rack.

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to talk to you about 8-Rack, the deck chosen by Mark Shepherd, another one of the Arbroath players who attended GP Birmingham last weekend. Mark has been playing Magic for quite some time and often yearns for the old days of completely locking your opponent down and making them suffer for it (I said wise OLD man right?). 8-Rack fully facilitates this approach, stripping your opponent’s hand, removing their on-board threats and then dealing damage to them for having three or less cards in hand due to The Rack!

Always taking the draw and going second means you start the game effectively with one or two more cards than the opponent and it means they are holding less cards for you to take away before The Rack or Shrieking Affliction come online.

Lets start by looking at the cards which spawn the name…

The Win Condition:

4x The Rack
4x Shrieking Affliction


So, the deck runs four copies of a card called The Rack, when this card comes into play you choose an opponent, then at the beginning of that player’s Upkeep step The Rack deals X damage to them, X is equal to three minus the number of cards they have in hand. This means that with one card in hand the opponent takes two damage.

The deck also runs four copies of Shrieking Affliction, which causes each opponent to lose three life at the beginning of their upkeep if they have one or less cards in hand, an effect pretty similar to The Rack.

So in essence, it’s like just having eight copies of The Rack! (It took me longer to realize that was why than I’d like to admit)

To support The Rack and Shrieking Affliction we have a number of Spells which cause the opponent’s hand size to diminish in some way, let’s have a look:

Discard and Removal Spells:

2x Thoughtseize
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
3x Raven’s Crime
3x Wrench Mind
2x Collective Brutality
4x Smallpox
1x Surgical Extraction
2x Dismember
3x Fatal Push


These are your premium, turn one cards for gleaning information and starting to shrink the opponent’s hand size. Remember to always Thoughtseize first, because it can hit any nonland card AND let you know if an Inquisition will catch anything next turn.


Who can argue with the effectiveness of repeatedly forcing your opponent to discard a card? Raven’s Crime offers that value, retracing from your graveyard if you have a spare Land in your hand to discard in addition to one black mana. Better yet, it does not exile itself from your graveyard like a lot of similar re-usable spells do!

Wrench Mind is great if you know they either have a great artifact in hand that you’d like to encourage the opponent to discard and even if you know they don’t! Forcing two cards out of someone’s hand for only two coloured mana which is easily produced in your deck translates to superb value and really furthers your gameplan.

Collective Brutality offers modality, the first choice is always to look at the opponent’s hand and try to choose an Instant or Sorcery, forcing the opponent to discard it, but you can also shrink an opposing creature or drain the opponent for two life in addition to this by simply discarding a card for each additional effect.

Smallpox is ideal for forcing a discard, Land sacrifice, creature sacrifice and the loss of one life, this can be a real pain for the opponent in the early stages of the game when mana fixing is still a priority and can be devastating for Tron players, setting them back a whole extra turn from a Karn or Ugin, a pretty huge tempo shift in that example.

What do we do when we’ve removed a key piece? A Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle perhaps, or a Death’s Shadow? We use Surgical Extraction of course! This nifty silver bullet can force the opposition straight into Plan B, likely taking them more time to become effective and sometimes just shutting them down altogether!

Want to draw the opponent’s attention away from your life total and represent more soul-crushing hand disruption? Look no further than…


4x Liliana of the Veil



Hey look, it’s everyone’s favourite necromancer, worth, quite literally, more than her own weight in gold! (cardboard doesn’t weigh much) She has fun forcing each player to discard a card, effectively suppressing your opponent when they run out of things to do, whilst letting your win conditions do their thing. She can also force the opponent to sacrifice a creature or, if the game goes long, she can even let you separate an opponent’s permanents into two piles and let you watch them agonize over which one to sacrifice… Delicious, salty tears should follow.

As with most decks we need a solid Mana Base to support these actions, so here it is:


4x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4x Mutavault
4x Concealed Courtyard
2x Godless Shrine
2x Bloodstained Mire
2x Verdant Catacombs
6x Swamps


Mutavault allows us to use our mana in the late game to turn it into a creature and get in for two damage a turn, a reliable, if frustrating for your opponent, way to win a war of attrition. (I mean, who wants to be on a ten turn clock?) Bloodstained Mire and Verdant Catacombs both fetch for our Swamps or Godless Shrines whilst also representing that we may are in Jund colours and hinting at Death’s Shadow, likely influencing how the opponent plays out the first few turns.

Godless Shrine and Concealed Courtyard both provide white mana which facilitates a sideboard strategy that requires us to go into a second colour.

But what ties this together nicely is Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, making everything a swamp, even the fetches, meaning they can tap for black mana and anything in our mainboard can then be cast with any configuration of other Land plus Urborg.

Lets have a look at what we bring in against some of the strategies we may face:

3x Ensnaring Bridge
2x Disenchant
1x Fragmentize
2x Surgical Extraction
2x Bontu’s Last Reckoning
2x Relic of Progenitus
1x Leyline of the Void
2x Death’s Shadow


Disenchant and Fragmentize offer two answers to Leyline of Sanctity, letting us continue to target the opponent with our forced discard spells.


Bontu’s last Reckoning is excellent when facing off against Mid-Range or Go-Wide strategies, while Ensnaring Bridge helps prevent the opponent attacking. Bridge also helps as it means the opponent is unlikely to get an attack in while you wait for Land to untap after Bontu’s Last Reckoning.


Both Relic of Progenitus and Leyline of the Void help to insulate us against Living End and Death’s Shadow builds, partly because the opponent can’t delve for a Tasigur but also because Living End can’t remove it’s graveyard from play and dump it on the field if it doesn’t have one!

Death's Shadow


Last up in sideboard it’s Death’s Shadow himself, due to the deck having no creatures in the mainboard, this guy can usually come in and meet zero removal and force the opponent to board a lot of it back in, even though you might have boarded them out for game three. (Thanks Shep…) Such is the polarizing effect this can have on any game, totally changing how the opponent plays.

Referring back to my first statement, regarding always take the draw, there are exceptions to this rule. Mark found, through his performance in the main event that any decks that run Chalice of the Void can usually lock out your one mana spells on turn two, before you have much of a chance to take them from the opponent’s hand. This means that Affinity or Tron are two such matches that you would likely prefer to be going first, in order to give yourself as much of a chance as possible to take it out before it wrecks your game plan.

Mark managed to put in a solid performance with this fringe deck, running up a record of 5-4 in the main event. To put that into perspective, I only know of one other player at the whole tournament on that deck, because I played them in round six! This really did nearly come out of nowhere and steal a strong finish. I find myself wanting to have a shot myself…

That’s pretty much all I’ve got for this deck and that then marks the end of the GP Birmingham article series so I’d like to thank Alan, Matt and Mark for letting me write up their decks to provide content to you all.

I’d also like to thank yourselves for taking the time out of your lives to read this, in favour of other content out there, so thank you.

And one last thanks has to go out to the great people I met at GP Birmingham last weekend, from the staff to the judges and my opponents… You were all fantastic. Thanks especially to Jordan and Luke from Orcs Head Magic and also Holt Hauser from Murphy’s Vault in Edinburgh for always being available to have a chat, discuss game records and generally console each other when it went pear-shaped!

Catch Jordan @OrcsHeadJordan, Luke @OrcsHeadLuke and Holt @CapnPowerHaus on Twitter

Until my next scheduled Friday article, I reckon I deserve a rest! (Four articles in four days is more than I expected!)

Have a good one.