I played the following decklist last Saturday at NG Galleria, giving it the incredibly clever name “Nameless Deck Wins”
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Llanowar Elves
4 Spike Feeder
4 Yavimaya Dryad
3 Giant Solifuge
4 Call of the Herd
4 Mwonvuli Acid-moss
4 Hit // Run
1 Krosan Grip
3 Stomping Ground
3 Overgrown Tomb
3 Blood Crypt
1 Karplusan Forest
1 Molten Slagheap
2 Gemstone Mine
2 Gruul Turf
4 Strangling Soot
2 Fortune Thief
2 Rain of Gore
2 Krosan Grip
3 Magus of the Scroll
The strategy is simple:
– chip away at the opponent's life total with creatures
– minor land destruction for disruption
– pull lands out of the deck and into play
– go for the Demonfire finish
Cryoclasm and Hit // Run provide additional damage in addition to removal. Main deck cryoclasm is good, as 5 out of 7 opponents had the requisite islands or plains to be targetted. Spike Feeder keeps me alive against Boros/Dragonstorm. People are usually surprised when I play the Strangling Soots in games 2 or 3, but the Soots do something unbelievably good against aggro decks: they trade evenly with Call of the Herd.
0-2 vs Mono-green aggro
Ugh. Not a good way to start the day. Multiple weenies, some sporting cloaks or armor, definitely a weakness of my build. I drew mostly lands too. This matchup is probably around 40-60 in their favor, as I need to draw into 2 strangling soots to win, or bring out a Fortune Thief (backed by a Spike Feeder) to stay alive.
2-1 vs Dragonstorm
I felt that I had a good game one against Dragonstorm, but I made a misplay where I didn't play the second spike feeder that would've kept me alive. Even with four dragons out, as long as I survive, there's a chance to win because of Hit // Run. Game two I managed to resolve a Persecute for red, bringing his hand to one mountain. Game three, he didn't draw the storm.
2-0 vs Rakdos
Lucked out here. First game, opponent had mana troubles, only three lands came out, and one got taken by an Acid-Moss. Second game, I was able to deny him of black sources
throughout the game, and a Solifuge wrapped him up real nice while Strangling Soot cleared the blockers. Thing about land destruction, it really punishes bad draws.
2-1 vs WGr Aggro
His deck was mostly Elephants (Call of the Herd / Hierarch) and random small critters, plus Disintegrate as a finisher. First game, I got him with the second turn ryoclasm + Acid-Moss on the Selesnya karoo. Game two, I sided out all the LD, and brought in the Soots and the Grips, expecting Sacred Ground, Worship, and/or Glare. He drew three Call of the Herd and I couldn't stop the stampede, I took damage down to 5 and he showed me the Disintegrate. Game three was a race, but I had a Solifuge and an early forestwalker, and the Demonfire in my hand for the win.
1-2 vs UR Tron
I was playing in a bad mental state here, holding back on my spells for fear of permission. A friend who was watching rightfully told me that keeping my spells in hand doesn't reduce the number of counters he had. I should've been playing threats one after another until I could resolve a Hit for massive damage. In the second game, my weakness to Pyroclasm becomes the end of me as it kills half my mana.
2-1 vs Triskitron
I knew what to do this time. His hand runs out of counters and he desperately throws Demonfire for 16 at me. I stay alive and respond with Demonfire for 9, winning the round. Mental note: When they play the Compulsive Research early, they have a bad hand and are looking for permission! Based on experience during the Gold Rush tournament, I usually side out the Cryoclasms against ‘Tron – they usually have only 4-8 viable targets, and I'd much rather have a Persecute or Krosan Grip available.
2-1 vs Simic-Tron
I like the matchup against SimicTron better, as they have Breeding Pools that the Dryads can walk through. The dryads take him down in game one despite the presence of a Sky Swallower. Game two, I'm confident of winning; I have the hellbent Demonfire in hand and he's within reach. But I fear the Commandeer, so I point the Demonfire at a nearby Hellkite instead. Completely illogical, I lost game two because of that. I was thinking I would wait for a Persecute to clear the hand before going for the Demonfire. Game three, he was able to handle all my threats except for an early Elf and Dryad, which took him down to 1 life before he was forced to Wildfire to clear the board. PS Demonfire for one.
All in all, a pretty good performance for a “Rogue” decklist, 5-2, although I had seriously bad tiebreakers so I finished in 17th place, last among the 5-2's. And I didn't get to test my mettle against Boros. And seriously, the metagame here… it's like 50% of people are playing some X-tron deck.
One more Standard tournament next week before Planar Chaos!