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.

Land:

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

Spells:

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

Creatures:

3x Torrential Gearhulk
2x Fleet Swallower

Sideboard:

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’

Yours,

GenericBadMagic

Advertisements

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,

Mathew,

GenericBadMagic

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.

Creatures:

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.

Planeswalkers:

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.

Spells:

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.

Land:

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.

Sideboard:

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,

Yours,

GenericBadMagic

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…

Creatures

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.

Spells:

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.

Artifacts:

3x Heart of Kiran

img_3125
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.

Planeswalkers:

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.

Land:

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.

Sideboard:

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,

Yours,

GenericBadMagic

GP Birmingham Part 3: Life, Burn and Taxes

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here for you with the third of four decks taken to GP Birmingham by my playgroup. This particular deck is an exciting, new, creature-centric take on Burn which made it to a 3-6 record in the main event. It was designed completely by Matthew Tidcombe, who plays out of Abbey Video Games in Arbroath, Scotland. Let’s take a look at the list!

Creatures:

4x Seeker of the Way
4x Soulfire Grand Master
4x Boros Reckoner
4x Thunderbreak Regent
4x Monastery Swiftspear
4x Vexing Devil

 

Monastary Swiftspear is a staple one-drop in Burn and naturally makes an appearance here with eighteen mainboard spells of the non-creature variety to trigger Prowess. Following a similar theme Seeker of the Way also appears with Prowess and the additional benefit of gaining Lifelink until the end of the turn if you cast a non-creature spell, helping you to stay ahead on life total or make a trade during combat more favourable. To finish off the Khans of Tarkir complement of creatures we have Soulfire Grand Master a two-drop who already has Lifelink and a static ability that gives all of your Instant and Sorcery spells Lifelink too! This means Lightning Bolt puts six points between you and your opponents while Lightning Helix becomes a nine point swing.

Vexing Devils acts as a psuedo-burn spell, offering the opponent the opportunity to take four damage immediately, forcing you to sacrifice it, or having to trade with it later in combat or by using a removal spell, possibly taking more damage in the long-term. Boros Reckoner is excellent against any creature heavy deck or strategy involving targeted spells which deal damage as it can hit back for the same amount, but at target creature or player. Thunderbreak Regent has a similar effect, dealing Lightning Bolt damage to any player who dares to target her with a spell or ability whilst also being a 4/4 Flying threat for four mana… Pretty sweet deal I would say.

Planeswalkers:

2x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Chandra TOD

Chandra can really help this deck live on into the late game, with her ability to create mana by adding one loyalty counter she can assist with casting your burn spells, she can also add one counter to offer card advantage by exiling the top card of your library but allowing you to cast it, but if you can’t or don’t want to cast it she will act as a repeatable shock to each opponent. Her ability to remove three counters and deal four damage to target creature can serve as solid spot removal for most mid-sized threats and if you manage to get her to seven loyalty you can remove all counters from her and deal five damage to target creature or player whenever you cast any spell for the remainder of the game! If you play red and you need to have some level of control on the game then Chandra, Torch of Defiance is for you.

Instants:

4x Lightning Bolt
4x Boros Charm
4x Lightning Helix
4x Deflecting Palm

 

Now we have four burn staples to tie the deck together. Lightning Bolt does what it’s been doing best since the dawn of Magic, dealing three damage either to a creature or to the dome. What this deck does though is make Bolt even better, allowing you to gain three life via Soulfire Grand Master turns Bolt into a cheaper Lightning Helix and even turns Helix into something much better! Boros Charm can really help push through some extra damage, make your permanents Indestructible or even give a creature Double-Strike until the end of the turn all while triggering prowess on your Swiftspears or Seekers. Last up is Deflecting Palm, useful in not just preventing lethal damage, but reversing it and since Palm is doing the damage, you still gain life from Soulfire Grand Master’s ability.

Land:

4x Sacred Foundry
4x Inspiring Vantage
5x Mountain
5x Plains

 

One thing about this deck which did concern me was the mana base, eighteen land feels like too little and to be honest I feel like the extra three or even four would have allowed this list to go a lot further in the main event. Too many times we would hear that the deck was mana screwed but this was always put down to bad luck. I’m not so convinced and if this were my own list the likely drop-out would be Thunderbreak Regent (due to no dragon synergy) for a playset of Arid Mesa, thinning the deck out slightly better and resulting in stronger opening draws. If a deck was ever made to not care about fetching then this is it, so much life can be gained in a single turn that four damage for four fetches is a complete non-issue.

Sideboard:

2x Sweltering Suns
4x Disenchant
4x Smash to Smithereens
2x Tormund’s Crypt
3x Ghostly Prison

 

In sideboard, to combat go-wide strategies, we have Sweltering Suns, which if timed right, can gain us a tonne of life courtesy of Soulfire Grand Master. Disenchant helps us to survive the Leyline of Sanctity match-ups, while Smash to Smithereens comes in as another answer to Ensnaring Bridge, removing it whilst also dealing three damage to face. Ghostly prison also helps to insulate us against Abzan Little Kids or other mid-range decks and Tormod’s Crypt removes target players Graveyard, shutting down Living End or Delve decks.

This is all I have for this deck but I would recommend that you make the adjustment to the mana base and then try it out, I feel that, from my limited Modern experience, this is fairly well suited as a deck out of left-field that can take many of the established archetypes by surprise! So let me know what you think and what you would change, is there anything in the list that I’ve missed?

Catch me on Twitter @GenericBadMtg with your feedback!

Next up tomorrow it’s a deliciously evil deck that you either love or hate… no it’s not Marmite spread on the inside of card sleeves, it’s 8-Rack!

Until then, have a good one.

Yours,

GenericBadMagic

GP Birmingham Part 2: Tron without the Sci-Fi

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers!

Mathew from GenericBadMtg here again to bring you the second of four decks which were taken to GP Birmingham by my travelling partners and I from Arbroath. Today we have some old-school R/G Tron to look at, the list was run by Alan Butchart-Stewart to a 5-4 finish and boy was he close to reaching day two, losing out in the very last round! Lets take a look shall we?

So we all know the idea with Tron is to assemble all of the Urza Lands as early as possible (turn three please!) to ramp into huge threats like Karn or Ugin, allowing us to control the board until we find and drop a game-ending threat like World Breaker or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, but lets look at the individual pieces here to start with.

Creatures
1x Walking Ballista
2x Thought-Knot Seer
2x Wurmcoil Engine
1x World Breaker
3x Ulamog the Ceaseless Hunger

 

To start off our roster of creatures we have a single copy of Walking Ballista, essentially filling every slot in the curve, an early game chump blocker or a late game powerhouse, always offering the threat of turning himself into a machine gun and taking down an creature or chipping away at the opponents life total.

Next up, we run a two of Thought-Knot Seer, coming down and ripping a card out of the opponents hand and giving us a solid 4/4 body to hold off in those games where achieving the perfect “Tronity” (pardon the pun) is proving difficult.

Another solid inclusion in this deck are two Wurmcoil Engine, a big old 6/6 with both Deathtouch and Lifelink that, when killed, spawns two 3/3 Wurm Artifact Creature Tokens, one with Deathtouch and the other with Lifelink! It can be very hard to eradicate that kind of value for the opponent and is not always easy to come back from.

Our other “one of” creature is World Breaker, a 5/7 with Reach for seven mana that can come down and cut the opponent off at the legs, exiling a land, artifact or enchantment card. In addition to this, World Breaker can even return from your Graveyard to your hand for the cost of three mana and discarding a land of your own, talk about hard to kill!

Last up in the Tron petting zoo is the Eldrazi Titan himself, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger! A 10/10 for ten colourless mana that comes down, exiles two permanents (yes, even land), has Indestructible and even causes your opponent to exile the top twenty cards of their library when he attacks… That’s one third of the optimal starting number of cards completely gone. This is huge and as we saw in Standard before the banning of Aetherworks Marvel, a turn four, five or even six Ulamog is unbelievably difficult to come back from.

Now that the creatures are all accounted for, lets look at where we take over the game… Planeswalkers:

Planeswalkers:
4x Karn, Liberated
3x Ugin the Spirit Dragon

Our not-so-gruesome twosome here are the Tron staples of Karn and Ugin, the best Planeswalkers that colourless ramp can access. Let’s see what they have to offer:


Karn gives us the utility to force a discard into exile from the opponents hand whilst also bringing himself closer to his ultimate ability, exiling any target permanent on the board, or, when he does reach fourteen loyalty counters, restarting the entire game and giving you access to all non-aura permanents that Karn managed to exile at the start of this new game. A common trick you may find here is to exile your own Ugin to Karn before restarting the game on the next turn, making for an insane turn one advantage.

This brings us nicely on to what Ugin can do for us. By adding two loyalty counters to Ugin he can serve as a once-per-turn Lightning Bolt, you can use him as a board wipe by removing counters from him and exiling all coloured permanents with CMC lower than the number of counters removed this way. Or you can remove a set ten counters to gain seven life, draw seven cards and then put up to seven permanents from your hand on to the battlefield. This last ability is a massive life gain, a hand refill AND a hand dump, pretty great advantage and very likely to come off if you followed the “exile Ugin, restart the game” plan from before!

Other Spells:
4x Chromatic Star
4x Chromatic Sphere
4x Expedition Map
3x Oblivion Stone
4x Sylvan Scrying
4x Ancient Stirrings
1x Fog

Our other spells can be put into two categories:

Ramp:- Chromatic Sphere, Chromatic Star, Expedition Map, Sylvan Scrying and Ancient Stirrings

 

Chromatic Sphere and Star both sacrifice to add one mana of any colour to your mana pool and draw you a card, whilst Expedition Map and Sylvan Scrying both let you tutor for a particular land, Helping you assemble Tron. Ancient Stirrings can either find you a Land card or a giant Eldrazi to close out the game later on.

And other: Oblivion Stone and Fog


Oblivion Stone is just a really powerful board wipe and puts real pressure on the opponent to try and close out the game whilst Fog is… well it’s Fog! No one expects it in the main board and certainly not in a Modern deck! I’m sure the guys from Mana Screwed would appreciate this addition, I mean, all I could think about when I saw this list was THAT play in Episode three.

Now for the most important factor to performance: Breakfast… wait, no, the Mana Base. (Breakfast is also important, eat your cereal)

Land:
4x Urzas Power Plant
4x Urzas Tower
4x Urzas Mine
4x Grove of the Burnwillows
1x Sea-Gate Wreckage
1x Sanctum of Ugin
1x Ghost Quarter
1x Forest


As we all know, the deck revolves largely around getting the three Urza Land out as quickly as possible because, with just a single copy of each the three of them they combine for seven mana, which can lead to a Karn on Turn three and a highly advanced boardstate which the opponent may not be able to get around.

 

In addition to our single Forest we run four Grove of the Burnwillows, a Green source for Sylvan Scrying, Ancient Stirrings and Fog, but also a Red source for Kozilek’s Return in the post sideboard games. Sea Gate Wreckage can help you by drawing a card, whilst Sanctum of Ugin provides colourless mana and can help you tutor for Ulamog after playing Karn or Ugin. Last up in the Mana Base is Ghost Quarter, which can help take out the annoying Non-Basic Lands, including the opponents Tron Land in the mirror match, offering you a small edge considering the lack of Basic Lands the deck will run.

One fun interaction over the weekend involved Grove of the Burnwillows, Alan’s opponent put down a 1/1 Death’s Shadow to apply some early pressure. Alan decides to play Grove, tap for green mana, giving the opponent one life, killing the Death’s Shadow before casting Ancient Stirrings to find more Land. A similar thing even happened in the late game as Alan floated three Green mana with three separate Groves to give the opponent three life and take their Death’s Shadow out of lethal damage range, going on to win the game.

Let’s look now to our sideboard and how we look to deal with some of the match-ups we may be presented.

Sideboard:
3x Relic of Progenitus
1x Surgical Extraction
1x Crucible of Worlds
1x Life From the Loam
3x Nature’s Claim
1x Oblivion Stone
1x Wurmcoil Engine
1x Thragtusk
1x All is Dust
2x Kozilek’s Return

EN MTGHOP Cards V3.indd

Relic of Progenitus stands up beautifully to the Death’s Shadow match-up, keeping their Graveyard in check and preventing Tasigur from coming down too early, but can also be used later on to just empty the Graveyards and draw you a card.

Surgical Extraction

Surgical Extraction works against the mirror match, where you Ghost Quarter to destroy a Tron Land, then cast Surgical, targeting that land to rip it from the game entirely, this really hampers the opponent and can give you a huge advantage going long as now only one player can possibly get Tron online! Surgical also comes in for a number of other match-ups, like Titan Shift, which was huge at the GP, removing Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle or against the Storm match-up, taking out Past In Flames.


Crucible of Worlds and Life from the Loam are both ways of making our Ghost Quarters recurring or recovering any of our Tron lands that the opponent manages to destroy.


Natures Claim takes care of any pesky Leylines or can slow down artifact-based strategies (I’m looking at you affinity), while Thragtusk helps to somewhat safeguard ourselves from Burn, gaining five life and eating up two burn spells through itself and the 3/3 Beast Token left behind if they cannot afford to take a hit and decide to kill it.


All is Dust and Kozilek’s return are just excellent silver bullets against Go-Wide strategies like Abzan Mid-Range or G/W Little Kids (or the Collected Company variants). But Kozilek’s return is just an absolute beater in this deck as it will regularly exile itself from your Graveyard when you cast Ulamog and wipe the board clean for you.

Alan ran this deck very effectively to a 5-4 finish missing out on day two to a U/W control build in round nine. He was the last of our group to still be live for progression and even with a deck like this one you have to be smart to remain in contention considering the standard of opposition available at the GP, so his performance was really quite admirable.

But that’s all I’ve really got for this list right now, catch me on Twitter @GenericBadMtg and catch Alan @TrustMe_MTG

If you have time check out our Local Game Store at http://www.facebook.com/AbbeyVideoGames and stop by if you’re ever in the area of Arbroath, Scotland.

Tomorrow I will be back with the third out of the four decks we took to the event, so stay tuned for Life-Burn and Taxes.

Until then, have a good one,

Yours,

GenericBadMtg

 

GP Birmingham Part 1: A first-Timer’s “Rich” Experience and Deck Tech

Hello, my fellow Planeswalkers!

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to talk to you about my recent experience at GP Birmingham over the past weekend. Four of us traveled from Abbey Video Games in Arbroath to the event and so I have four decks to tell you about! In order to best present these I will do four separate articles over this weekend.

To start with, I want to thank all of the people involved in making the GP an incredible first time experience, from the wonderful vendors hailing from all over the world to the Judges enforcing the rules, everyone came together brilliantly and the end product was a true convention for the game. Special thanks must go out to the nicest guy in Magic, Mr Rich Hagon for taking the time on Friday to talk to three random Scottish guys about old-school Magic, particularly patience in the game, and sign our newly purchased tokens from Trolltrader! (Sorry about the fuzzy picture!)


Another highlight of the event was the opposition, regardless of our game-records I was always able to enjoy a pleasant chat or a miniature festival of puns throughout the rounds, even when at one point I was 0-4! So wherever you all may be, thank you for making my GP experience as great as it possible could have been.

Onwards now to the list I ran, earning a 3-6 record in the main event: Almost-Naya Burn!

Creatures:
4x Monastery Swiftspear
4x Goblin Guide
4x Eidolon of the Great Revel


Our Creature base is just the established burn triumvirate of Guide, Swiftspear and Eidolon. Basically, I hit you harder than I hit myself and hopefully I win!

Spells:
4x Searing blaze
4x Lava Spike
4x Boros Charm
4x Rift Bolt
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Lightning Helix
4x Skullcrack


Our spells include Searing blaze for those pesky creature based strategies, Boros Charm, Lava Spike and Skullcrack to go straight to the face and Lightning Bolt, Rift Bolt and Lightning Helix to offer versatility in where we direct our damage output.

Land:
3x Bloodstained Mire
4x Wooded Foothills
3x Arid Mesa
2x Stomping Ground
4x Sacred Foundry
1x Inspiring Vantage
2x Mountain
1x Plains


Our mana base has everything burn wants, all of the non-fetches, bar one Plains, are sources for red and two even provide green mana for Destructive Revelry. With five sources of white we are usually online for Boros Charm or Lightning Helix by turn two.

Sideboard:
3x Path to Exile
2x Deflecting Palm
2x Destructive Revelry
2x Searing Blood
2x Stony Silence
2x Kor Firewalker
2x Rest in Peace


The sideboard is where the strategy starts to diverge. We still want to burn face as soon as possible but we also want to be alive to do so. This means we have to consider Kor Firewalker for the mirror match, keeping us ahead on life and usually getting in for damage itself, Destructive Revelry for any game involving a Leyline of Sanctity, because we really do want to be able to target the opponent. For the Death’s Shadow games we sideboard in Path to Exile for spot removal, Defllecting Palm for that late-game Death’s Shadow attacking and Rest In Piece, to make it harder for Tasigur to come down and have an influence on the game.

As we see this is a fairly stock burn list, with Destructive Revelry to try and deal with Leyline of Sanctity. One consolation I can take from the main event is that I was at least on to the right deck! But it was not to be for me as I failed to top deck that vital Burn spell that would have defeated Titan-Shift in round one and changed the entire complexion of my match-ups for the day. But as it is I fell to a lowly record of 0-4, out of contention for day two before even winning a game. With a final record of 3-6 though, I cannot be too disappointed with my first showing at a GP where performance was secondary and the experience meant everything.

That’s all I’ve got for this deck, but we have another three of these to come in the next few days which should be a little longer! So stay tuned, next time we look at a list from Alan Butchart-Stewart (see R/W Powerwalkers) with R/G Tron!

Do yourself a favour though and check out the brilliant products you can get from Trolltrader at http://www.trolltradercards.com/ as those tokens were truly top quality.

Until next time, catch me on here or Twitter @GenericBadMtg with your feedback!

Have a good one,

Yours,

GenericBadMagic

Pro Tours and GPs: My Upcoming Week Off!

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to talk to you today about competitive Magic. I, myself, am new to playing competitively, having only taken part in a single PPTQ so far. However, I will be attending next weeks Grand Prix in Birmingham for my first taste of a huge tournament and what I hope to be a great experience combined with a huge learning curve.

Going into it I’m naturally quite nervous about making sure I do things right, judges will be enforcing competitive and professional level rulings throughout, and finding my way around the venue effectively within a huge throng of people. Approaching this as purely an opportunity to experience the tournament environment somewhat mitigates my nerves but there’s always that nagging hope that you do well, even when the performance is secondary.

One thing I have found to be astoundingly motivating is logging on to Twitch whenever Magic is live to watch the latest top-level tournaments from around the world. This last Pro Tour was no exception.

HOU_Header

Pro Tour Hour of Devastation was memorable for many reasons, Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa securing his second Pro Tour championship, stealing Player of the Year by a nose in the process, coverage by the Maria Bartholdi, Rich Hagon, Paul Cheon and the usual gang, the emergence of mono-red as a huge chunk of the meta and that very unfortunate misplay in the semi-final which secured PV’s place in the final. This all culminated to produce what I felt to be an extremely exciting end product, complete with triumph and heartbreak in equal measure. When seeing broadcasts like these you can’t help but want to be part of it!

This is where GPs come in. They’re high level tournaments with an excellent field of opposition and steady coverage on Twitch, but they are also open to all-comers. Aside from PPTQs and the like, they are the true bridge between the semi-competitive Game Day events (soon to be Store Championships) we all know from our local store and the Pro-Tour itself and with so much to do at a GP you don’t even have to be a part of the main event to have yourself a great time! These are true Magic: The Gathering conventions, where the pro’s and the amateurs can mix with the artists and retailers at many stalls all around the venue, no one is left out.

Personally I will be participating in the Modern main event with a few others from my local game store, Abbey Video Games in Arbroath, Scotland, having my first taste of an internationally attended tournament. As such, I have no real expectations for my performance, but I do have hopes. I hope to win two or three rounds (I’m playing burn), I hope to not tragically misplay and embarrass myself, I hope to get one match up with an established pro-tour player (probably the least realistic hope) but I fully expect to enjoy myself and be happy for the opportunity to just play Magic for a weekend in a city I’ve never visited before and meet up with some brothers in content creation for the first time (I’m looking at you Orcs Head Magic guys!). So if you’re thinking about it and just haven’t got the time so far, please go and register, before they run out of spaces!

Long term, I’d like to play more competitively, improve my game and eventually earn myself a spot on at least one Pro-Tour but for now, I am happy to just ease into competitive Magic, feel it out and make some friends along the way!

GP BIrm Playmat.png

When I come back from the GP, with my delicious new play mat, my foil promo Progenitus and a handful of new stories to tell I will start work on another article, covering the four decks that myself and my local store-mates will be playing in the main event. So stay tuned for Friday 18th August when I will have well and truly returned!

Progenitus

Until then you can catch me on Twitter @GenericBadMtg where I will no doubt be providing updates. As always, though, enjoy yourself playing this game we all love and I hope to see you there!

Yours,

GenericBadMagic

Temur Energy: Rise of The Thopters!

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,

I’ve got something pretty special for you today, a sweet brew by two friends from my LGS. This Standard legal list is almost entirely rotation proof, an alteration of what is already a top tier deck and even has an infinite combo added to the mix. Welcome to Temur Energy: Rise of The Thopters!

Before getting into the deck and all the sweet greatness contained within, credit must go to Paul Grimley and Dylan Murray. These guys play out of the same store as myself on a Friday night and are always good fun to compete with, whether I’m playing against hordes of Eldrazi (Paul) or some control concoction (Dylan). This rather delicious combo does take some setting up but can go off around turn four or five if all goes perfectly. But the deck itself benefits from the already established Temur Energy staple Bristling Hydra to really help you close out the game, meaning we don’t have to rely on all of our combo pieces all of the time.

The combo itself revolves around getting two Decoction Modules and a Panharmonicon on the field. Decoction module creates one Energy Counter whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, Panharmonicon means that this effect will trigger twice, creating two Energy for every creature coming into play. With this in place our Whirler Virtuoso can pay three Energy to create a 1/1 Thopter token, which generates more energy than it cost off of the double Decoction Module/Panharmonicon synergy. Rinse and repeat an arbitrary number of times and you’ve got yourself an unreasonably large swarm!


Creature

4x Whirler Virtuoso
3x Rouge Refiner
4x Glint-nest Crane
2x Bristling Hydra


In this build, even without the full combo assembled we generally create enough Energy to make Bristling Hydra a major threat, saving him from removal by simply having the energy there to activate his ability, getting buff and becoming Hexproof. We can usually count on this guy to close out a game… Hail Hydra!

In addition to this, we supplement our previously mentioned Whirler Virtuoso and Bristling Hydra’s with Rogue Refiner to generate Energy and draw a card plus Glint-Nest Crane to help us find the all-important Artifacts quickly and put a body on the board.

Instants and Sorceries:

3x Magma Spray
4x Censor
3x Glimmer of Genius
4x Attune with Aether


Magma Spray protects from the persistent threat of Scrapheap Scrounger and can effectively remove an early game Relentless Dead, crippling the various Zombie strategies in the meta while Censor offers an early game counter spell and a way to help us get through our deck later when we just don’t have what we need. Glimmer of Genius is a staple in these decks, generating energy and card advantage in our pursuit of combo pieces and Attune with Aether is the obvious turn-one play, ensuring we hit our land drops and manage to get the Energy engine started off in the right way.

Artifact

4x Decoction Module
3x Woodweavers Puzzleknot
3x Panharmonicon


Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot fills out our Artifact package, keeping us ahead on life total and supplementing the Energy theme. This can be vital when you need that three Energy to activate Bristling Hydra’s ability or to create a Thopter and kick-start the combo.

Land

4x Aether Hub
3x Lumbering Falls
3x Spirebluff Canal
4x Islands
4x Mountain
5x Forest


The land package contains Aether Hubs to give our Energy the very desirable property of mana-fixing, fast land in the form of Spirebluff Canal and the only card due to rotate out of standard in Lumbering Falls, the Battle For Zendikar Green/Blue man-land that becomes a 3/3 with Hexproof, providing a blocker or helping us get in for damage.

Sideboard

4x Harnessed Lightning
4x Abrade
4x Supreme Will
3x Sphinx of The Final Word


Our Sideboard could likely do with some tuning but Harnessed Lightning offers us some more removal and Abrade gives us flexibility in the removal, while Supreme Will and Sphinx of the Final Word come in for the control match-up, digging for pieces or flat-out shutting the opponent down.

Friday Night Magic Record:

Game 1 vs Temur Energy – loss
Game 2 Red White Aggro – win
Game 3 Black White Zombies – win
Game 4 Grixis Control – win

This deck, while brewed as a fun build to catch people off guard with an onslaught of Thopters surprised many by going 3-1 against a fairly strong field. As expected, the deck does lose to the near optimised form of Temur Energy which survived the Marvel ban but has a good matchup against most of the field. At it’s heart this really is just a fun variation on what is normally an ultra-competitive build in Standard.

I’d encourage everyone to try it out, it was certainly a pleasure to watch and write up. Once you’ve had a go, let me know how it went and what you might change to optimise performance.

If you happen to be in the area of Arbroath, Scotland stop in at Abbey Video Games on a Friday night for some Magic and good laughs! You can find the store online at https://www.facebook.com/Abbeyvideogames/


You can also catch me on Twitter with your feedback @GenericBadMtg

That’s all I’ve got for now so in the meantime, have a good one and just keep on enjoying Magic!

Yours,

GenericBadMtg

Hour Of Devastation Draft: Deserts Matter Shenanigans

Hello My Fellow Planeswalkers,

Mathew from GenericBadMagic here to take you through my play experience with Hour of Devastation draft. Due to work commitments I’ve had only one opportunity to have a crack at this Limited format and even completely missed pre-release (send condolences and coffee please), but managed to attend two sessions of drafting at my LGS last weekend. My Friday record was two wins and a loss, finishing third overall with a tempo control White/Blue build utilising Striped Riverwinder and Angel of the God-Pharaoh as curve toppers.

However, I’m here to show off my shiny first place finish on Sunday 16th of July, where I played White/Green Deserts Matter (to a record of two wins, zero losses plus one draw) after a pack one pick one Ramunap Hydra and being passed not one but TWO Greater Sandwurms during the pack of Amonkhet. With a total of six Desert Lands in the deck I regularly controlled one or more and had some in the Graveyard for an optimal strength Hydra. Let’s take a look at the deck before breaking down my inclusions and my view on their utility in the deck.



Creatures:

1x Rhonas’s Stalwart
1x Binding Mummy
1x Mummy Paramount
1x Wall of Forgotten Pharaohs
1x Sidewinder Naga
1x Solitary Camel
1x Devoted Crop-Mate
1x Ramunap Hydra
2x Vizier of The True
1x Steadfast Sentinel
1x Ahn-Crop Champion
1x Crocodile of The Crossing
1x Shefet Monitor
2x Greater Sandwurm

To start with, Binding Mummy and Mummy Paramount made the cut simply as curve fillers but offered a little synergy in the hope of catching the opponent unawares. I can’t say it happened too often and most of the time they served a purpose as blockers when offered a trade.

Devoted CropMate

Devoted Crop-Mate helped to return a previously destroyed Binding Mummy or Mummy Paramount for a second block, occasionally even getting back a Wall of Forgotten Pharaohs.

Sidewinder Naga and Solitary Camel were just excellent value due to the number of Deserts in the deck. Camel being a huge point swing in the early game very regularly, having no problems turning on Lifelink, while Sidewinder Naga got through for pretty big chunks of damage. Further to the Deserts Matter theme our copy of Ramunap Hydra represented a dangerous threat with added utility as a big old blocker. Wall of Forgotten Pharaohs provided tremendous value, rendering most early game attacks useless for our opposition and doing as much as five or six damage over the course of the game with it’s tap ability, Deserts really do matter!

The real bomb in this list is of course Greater Sandwurm, usually coming down on curve and surprising the opponent just when they thought Hydra was as big as this deck got. The ability to completely ignore creatures with power two or less when attacking is invaluable and the presence of even one of these guys during a board stall is hugely intimidating to play against as it can beat almost any adversary when utilised as a blocker. When two hit the field? It was a game winner.

To fill out my curve and build up the the aforementioned Sandwurms we have cards like Vizier of the True, Ahn-Crop Champion and Crocodile of the crossing. Vizier and Champion really combine well in tapping down creatures your opponents control whilst also untapping your own attackers, such a high value synergy. Add on the utility of Rhonas’s Stalwart as another creature that Exerts to evade blockers with power two or less and you have some extremely potent combat phases.

Shefet Monitor

The last creature I’d like to talk about is Shefet Monitor. Need that last land to curve into Sandwurm? Cycle Monitor. Have that land in hand but want to lay down an intimidating Lizard? Play Shefet Monitor. This card is such a good enabler in this list and does a fantastic job of intimidating the opponent, swallowing up most creatures as a blocker and being fairly difficult for our adversaries to trade with.

Spells:

1x In Oketra’s Name
1x Djeru’s Renunciation
1x Act of Heroism
1x Gift of Paradise
1x Spidery Grasp
2x Ambuscade
1x Uncage the Menagerie

Most of the non-creature spells in this deck don’t do anything special, however there are two in particular I would like to discuss.

Uncage the Menagerie

Uncage the Menagerie was best cast for a total of six mana, allowing me to search out four of my four-drop threats, usually a Ramunap Hydra, Vizier of the True, Ahn-Crop Champion and Crocodile of the Crossing. This card is the reason the deck curved out so highly. Knowing I could pull four strong Limited cards with Uncage to help me gain an edge during board stalls I saw no problem with bulking out my four-drop slot. This allows me to play a big threat four turns in a row and if I hit my land drops maybe even play two on the same turn.

Ambuscade

Ambuscade… What a card, everyone loves it and I can’t say I blame them. This simply won me games, either by getting me ahead in the early game, or pulling me level in the late game. My favourite interaction of the day was casting Ambuscade to give my Solitary Camel +1/+0 (having fulfilled the criteria for Lifelink due to my Deserts), dealing four damage to an opposing creature, gaining four life, clearing the way to attack for four damage and gaining a further four life in the process. This combination was a twelve point swing on turn four. Spells like Ambuscade are just premium removal, fight spells without the downside of actually having to fight, buff spells for getting more damage in and I was lucky enough to be passed two in the same draft pack!

Land:

5x Forest
5x Plains
2x Desert of the True
1x Desert of the Indomitable
1x Hashep Oasis
1x Hostile Desert
1x Sunscorched Desert


In addition to the Basic Land package I included the above deserts, three of which Cycle to help satisfy Ramunap Hydra on both it’s Desert on the Field and it’s Desert in the Grave conditions. Hashep Oasis provided a nice interaction with greater Sandwurm, helping me push through for that extra few damage to make lethal on occasion, while Sunscorched Desert was just a nuisance where I took great delight in pinging the opponent for one damage and getting a land as part of the bargain. When Ramunap Hydra was either removed or irrelevant, I was happy to exile one of my cycling deserts from the Graveyard in order to activate Hostile Desert as an extra blocker.

I would like to note that the image provided shows Nissa’s Defeat in the main deck, however this was swiftly removed as it pushed my card count to that annoyingly odd number forty-one. Never sacrifice consistency to include what is essentially sideboard tech!

The resulting record of this list was 2 wins 0 defeats and 1 draw. (which came in what was almost a mirror match where I equalised right before the match clock went to time GG Daniel)

As the only undefeated player in my pod I took first place and earned first pick of the draft rares and foils. Pictured below are my prizes:

Draft Prize
This Draft format has been so incredibly fun to play, with so many great interactions and decks to play against (even a Locust God build in the final) that I would recommend it to anyone who can find a pod, either at their Local Gamestore or at home with friends on the kitchen table.

This past weekend was my first look at the new set and I can’t wait to get stuck into the new Standard with my previously posted Blue/Black Cycling list at my Local Game Store, fighting off the various concoctions of the most open Standard since Khans. The future truly seems bright for the format and so many exciting new deck archetypes are hitting the field that there is something for everyone!

Now that’s about all I have for this post, but catch me on Twitter @GenericBadMtg to let me know what you think of the build or if you’ve seen an interaction I didn’t mention here.

Please support your Local Game Store, you can find mine at http://www.facebook.com/abbeyvideogames so stop by and play if you’re ever in Arbroath, Scotland on a Friday night.

Farewell my Fellow Planeswalkers!

Yours,

GenericBadMagic