Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

well, with nationals coming up soon, and the new bannings, I've gone from being 100% certain that I have the right deck, to very very uncertain and even slightly nervous that the metagame will be unhelpful...

 

for reference, this is the deck I am playing now:

// Lands
    4 [ROE] Eldrazi Temple
    2 [ARC] Khalni Garden
    3 [WWK] Tectonic Edge
    2 [M11] Mystifying Maze
    14 [P2] Forest (3)
    1 [WWK] Eye of Ugin
    2 [SOM] Forest (2)                   <-- different art to test whether I want 2 or 4 khalni garden

// Creatures
    4 [M11] Primeval Titan
    2 [SOM] Wall of Tanglecord
    4 [ROE] Overgrown Battlement
    4 [ROE] Joraga Treespeaker
    1 [ROE] Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
    1 [ROE] Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    1 [WWK] Avenger of Zendikar
    2 [NPH] Spellskite
    1 [MBS] Viridian Corrupter
    1 [M11] Fauna Shaman

// Spells
    4 [MBS] Green Sun's Zenith
    2 [ZEN] Summoning Trap
    3 [NPH] Beast Within
    2 [DDD] Garruk Wildspeaker

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [NPH] Spellskite
SB: 1 [M11] Fauna Shaman
SB: 1 [ZEN] Summoning Trap
SB: 1 [NPH] Beast Within
SB: 3 [M11] Obstinate Baloth
SB: 1 [NPH] Karn Liberated
SB: 3 [ROE] Vengevine
SB: 2 [MBS] Phyrexian Revoker
SB: 2 [NPH] Dismember

 

with the banning of stoneforge mystic, valakut surely must become the default best deck in t2, how would you attack such a deck, or such a metagame. I HEAVILY dislike valakut because you cannot really play zeniths as mana acceleration, however, with spellskites existing to stop act of aggression, I don't see how the deck loses easily any more, at least eldrazi green just sideboards into a  midrange green deck, with some number of karn (I won 21-24 packs at the NQ... can't remember, opening 3 karns and 1 batterskull, so I'm ok cost wise).

 

I would prefer not to splash black for the obvious memoricides, but I won't rule it out, even if it means I must play lotus cobras md... :S

 

so, some advice/feedback would be useful (even if you think you have little experience with the deck... just random thoughts even if they sound terrible would be welcome... I have no idea how to start).

 

My metagame thoughts are as follows:

1) Dismember will become more popular (ppl are only now understanding how good this card is for some reason). This is annoying, as it kills treespeaker for 1 mana. However, the ramping is less important than it was before because you don't need to race sword.

 

2) Koth will see a lot more play. Red decks are cheap, supposedly have a good valakut matchup (especially with act of aggression sb) and koth is by far the best card in the red deck. This means that at least 1 vengevine to tutor as an answer to koth is necessary. ulamog actually pretty good vs rdw, as they can't kill him (her? it?), and if they act, you easily have 5 permanents to sac (4 + 1 blocker) and then wipe their board over a couple of attacks. This means that I want 1 md viridian corruptor, and definately more sb for shrine.

 

3) Valakut will see more play. I have no idea what my solution is for this. This matchup is probably unfavourable for you as they can kill your mana acceleration with bolt, slagstorm etc., whereas you can't easily kill theirs. I want titans and karns for this matchup, but I don't know  how to make it heavily favoured. Maybe the 4th edge over 2nd maze is required md, but that will weaken the matchup vs mirran crusaders (especially if they sb in spellskites in the matchup).

 

4) Other assorted decks like UB control and twin will see more play. Both of these matchups are very very favoured, so not really concerned.

 

Cards under consideration:

1) Fauna Shaman. This card is already amazing, now, I think I want more.

2) Phyrexian metamorph. Can tutor it, makes a titan (too late) for 3 mana.

3) More dismembers/beast withins (the 2WW 3/4 flyer that shuts of activated abilities and fauna shaman will see more play).

4) More karns <-- this card is awesome :)

5) Terrastradon/avenger of zendikars/traps. Necessary vs valakut as the only cards that matter are titan + acceleration, terrastradon kills acceleration, trap gets you titans more consistantly (4 trap, 2 fauna shaman, 4 zenith, 4 titan) and avenger sometimes steals wins even if they get titan first (although your avengers are much worse than theirs)

6) All is dust....

 

Concerns

1) How to beat valakut?

2) How to hate on memoricide (not actually a huge concern), whether to play memoricide?

3) Whether to trade Karns (awesome!) for lotus cobra (bleh...) in pursuit of success (but not happiness)

4) What ppl will play in the new t2...

 

Little help? :)

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"Other assorted decks like UB control and twin will see more play. Both of these matchups are very very favoured, so not really concerned."

 

I crushed eldrazi green when playing with U/B control. I wouldn't underestimate the matchup.

it's certainly a possibility. sometimes the ub deck does have answers (and sb extractions)

 

however, I find that a lot of the answers ub has to the deck are not all that useful in the wrong circumstancesm vs. mono green:

Mana leak is only useful in the early game, nothing really answers garruck (unless you are planning to attack him twice with a tar pit), spot removal is necessary to play around trap, but titan still tutors 2 lands when it comes into play.

 

Also, the card advantage that ub has (jace... well used to, titan etc.) requires tapping out on your turn, this is very dangerous to do if you don't kill the mono green deck's acceleration. However, if you do, you have fewer removal spells to use on threats. In the late game, card like hand discard and mana leak are a lot worse, so you MUST play the card advantage, you can't just trade 1 for 1.

 

By contrast, the mono green deck has card advantage AND tutoring, as well as flexible answers such as beast's within (if you have mana leak, you have to leave 3 mana up, or risk beast within into titan). If both decks do nothing, the deck with more mana sources is advantaged (especially as mana leak is bad in the late game), and this is why I like eldrazi green more in the matchup. It's possible I am overating the deck I play though, it happens sometimes.

 

 

PS. did the eldrazi green player have fauna shamans too, not really sure how other ppl build the deck?

Sometimes between the Inquisitions and tectonic edges you can leave the Eldrazi player stranded on 4 -5 mana while you fateseal them out of the game with Jace - granted this cannot happen anymore but a grave titan kills in just a few turns too. I try not to mana leak anything unless I have seen the players hand and know it's safe to do so. G. probe and inquisition help with this. I think the goal of the UB deck is to never let the Titan resolve.

 

Overall I say if both the players are proficiant enough it seems quite even.

Considering the primary reason to play this deck was it's Caw-Blade MU, I would 100% drop this immediately for something else now.
Eldrazi green has been strong even before Caw-Blade might be worth testing. The worst thing to do would be to pick up something lame last min like Vamps or RDW as I can imagine a lot of people will be doing this.

This.  I feel you'd be more likely to find yourself in a position of regretting your deck choice than gaining a minor play skill advantage by going in with a deck that you've practised with, in this case.  You're in danger of falling in love with a deck that you make many solid arguments against.

 

Everyone is in the same position.  I think the question you need to answer is how to capitalise on a Nationals meta that is a lot less known than it has been in previous years. 

 

Dan Barrett said:

Considering the primary reason to play this deck was it's Caw-Blade MU, I would 100% drop this immediately for something else now.

I actually like ramp decks a lot, I've played ramp decks at every nationals I've played in (even that reveillark deck I top 8'ed with 2 years ago had 8 "ramp" spells, last year I played... something else, lets not dwell on that :P), it's not that it has a good cawblade matchup, that was just a bonus.

 

I like eldrazi ramp because it is  proactive "combo" (if you can call primeval titan + lands combo) deck with a lot of tutoring and an overwhelming late game trump (if you cast emrakul, it's almost impossible to lose). This means that you can easily incorporate a plan b vs. hate, and customize your deck as appropriate for individual matchups. This would make it a GOOD choice for a new metagame, if it wasn't for the fact that valakut is clearly seen as the best deck available, and will be hated as such (not to mention that I think valakut has a good eldrazi ramp matchup).

 

Tutors are also much worse if you don't know what to tutor up any more.... I almost regret choosing to play China Nationals over UK Nationals now to be honest...

 

What would you be playing instead?

 

 


Ben Titmarsh said:

This.  I feel you'd be more likely to find yourself in a position of regretting your deck choice than gaining a minor play skill advantage by going in with a deck that you've practised with, in this case.  You're in danger of falling in love with a deck that you make many solid arguments against.

 

Everyone is in the same position.  I think the question you need to answer is how to capitalise on a Nationals meta that is a lot less known than it has been in previous years. 

 

Dan Barrett said:

Considering the primary reason to play this deck was it's Caw-Blade MU, I would 100% drop this immediately for something else now.

RAMBLE MODE ENGAGED ETC AS USUAL

 

I've been going back to thinking about aggro a little, as Jace and Batterskull leaving possibly provide an opening. There are the obvious decks like mono-red and Vampires, but also possibly;

 

Tempered Steel is starting to look even more tempting now. Not sure if you can stay mono-white, as you probably want a backup disruption spell to Dispatch (Dismember would be fine against Twin, but it won't kill Titan.) Possible your disruption package is something like 4 Dispatch 4 Leak and a couple of Dismember. Can even play Spellskite in main/board and actually do something proactive with it, although I don't know if the meta's going to justify it (great against Twin and red Aggro, good at protecting Tempered Steel from Nature's Claim and other random things.)

 

The Relic-Warder/Metamorph WW deck is another possibility I guess, it should do well against Valakut and Twin, but not necessarily against Eldrazi, as they can annihilate your board and deck you.

 

It's also possible that Blumanji won't be critically damaged by the loss of Jace, and that it will still be a player. If so, it seems potentially problematic for Ramp as it has both counters and a non-trivial LD plan between Acidic Slime, Frost Titan, Metamorph to copy them and Shaman to find them.

I think Kiln Fiend aggro might be good again [starts grinning inanely]

 

But really, im not kidding. Mark of mutiny is probably maindeckable, and aposteles blessing gives any colour paired with fiend a pretend emerge unscathed. And god save me I love my kiln fiends

@Tom: What do you think about blumanji with genesis waves in the jace spots... maybe not.... although I do really love the idea of being able to sb in roil elemental in certain matchups

 

tempered steel is interesting, but doesn't it occassionally lose to itself? can the deck be played with quest for the holy relic? any deck that can drop turn 2 ascension vs ub control must be quite good :P

 

Relic Warder/Metamorph deck in a gw shell maybe? Lets you play shaman and friends

 

kiln fiend can't possibly be good in a format full of dismembers can it...?

 

 

Also depending on when your tournament is, you get Bolt, Shock, and Incinerate all at the same time.

Charlie Grover said:

I think Kiln Fiend aggro might be good again [starts grinning inanely]

 

But really, im not kidding. Mark of mutiny is probably maindeckable, and aposteles blessing gives any colour paired with fiend a pretend emerge unscathed. And god save me I love my kiln fiends

Peter - re: GW deck with the life combo, see Alexander Shearer's recent article on ChannelFireball:

 

http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/in-development-three-weapon...

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