Monsters of the Great Hunt (ORI)

Standard* Kamotz


PPTQ - Vancouver // Herkimer, NY —Feb. 7, 2015

Record: 5-2-1

Final Standing: 2nd place

I hadn't played in a competitive Standard event since the release of Fate Reforged, nor had I played in one during the latter few weeks. I'd played in one of the last (actual) PTQs in the area with the 4-Color Soul/Delve deck. I brought both the 4-Color Delve deck and the Temur Monsters deck with me for the event, eventually deciding on Temur because of my familiarity with the archetype, and the plethora of U/B Control lists I was expecting.

Fate Reforged brought a bunch of new cards for Temur: Shaman of the Great Hunt, Yasova Dragonclaw, Wild Slash, and Reality Shift. I had contemplated things like Flamewake Phoenix, Frost Walker, Monastery Siege, and Whisperwood Elemental; but the Phoenix seemed less impressive than my current 3-drops and unable to turn on Ferocious by itself. Frost Walker was a bit too fragile for my tastes. Monastery Siege didn't have enough immediate impact. And Whisperwood Elemental competed with Stormbreath Dragon, Surrak Dragonclaw, and Nissa, Worldwaker for 5-drop spots.

I went with Derek, a friend and coworker from, and played the above list to a 2nd place finish.

Round 1 vs. Derek P. [UB Control] 2-0 WIN - Getting paired against Derek was both hilarious and unfortunate...for him. I was his worst matchup, and we've played enough games for him to know the matchup inside and out...and that it was basically a freebie for him. When most of my deck reads: "you take 4," then it's hard for a control deck to come back from that. Indeed, when backed up by counter magic like Stubborn Denial and Disdainful Stroke it's almost impossible. Game 2 ended off the back of a timely Surrak Dragonclaw coming down on his end step after he had exhausted all his removal spells.

Round 2 vs. Orren T. [Jeskai Tokens] 2-1 WIN - Jeskai Tokens is one of the deck's hardest matchups. Game 1 was close. With both of us at 2 while he had the last pieces of burn to take me out. I misused Yasova; instead of attacking with her, I should have just continued to steal his creatures and hold her back. Instead he was able to kill her in combat and keep me on the back foot. Game 2 was different. I had compete control. Arc Lightning and Wild Slash were all stars in keeping his board clear. Game 3 was much closer. But those same cards kept me from dying.

Round 3 vs. Jake K. [RW Aggro] 1-2 LOSE - The RW deck shares many cards with Jeskai, so the matchup is equally difficult. I was able to take Game1 pretty handily. Though I stumbled in Game 2. In the clincher, I kept 1 land mull-to-6 and didn't hit the second land until it was way too late.

Round 4 vs. Stephen R. [RW Aggro] 2-1 WIN - I managed to take the last two games of this round. I wasn't able to get my footing in the first though. As with Jeskai Tokens, Wild Slash and Arc Lightning were all stars. And between them and my much larger creatures, I took the last two.

Round 5 vs. Andrew G. [Sultai Control] 1-1-1 ID - After doing some quick math, we both realized we were locked in for Top 8 as long as we drew.

Quarterfinals (Top 8) vs. Andrew G. [Sultai Control] 2-0 WIN - As it always seems to go, I end up playing my draw from the previous round of Swiss I. The Top 8. He was on Sultai Contril. But like UB, these matchups are very easy. I took damage from my fetch and pain lands, and that was it. Everything else was my creatures pushing through.

Semifinals (Top 4) vs. Carlos C. [GR Aggro] 2-0 WIN - It had been quite a while since I'd played a GRx mirror. I was undefeated in Monsters Mirrors lifetime during the RTR-THS era standard, and was hoping to continue my streak through this season too. Game 1 was tough, but I had it in the bag. He was a bit more Aggro-centric than my build, which allowed me to slow down and take a punishing route. The end was a Crater's Claws to the dome. Game 2 was VERY close. He got me down to 2, while I swung to clear his entire board except an elvish mystic and drop him to 1. He drew an Ashcloud Phoenix that I saw revealed off ofCourser of Kruphix. And I was pretty sure I was set. Then he revealed a Chandra, and I thought I was dead; thinking he could cast the Chandra, ping me, and attack for lethal with his elf. His lands, however, betrayed him. One of his 4 lands was a Mana Confluence, and he wouldn't have been able to cast Chandra and attack on the same turn.

Finals vs. Zach M. [RW Aggro] 0-2 LOSE - Zach and I split the prize payout before playing and decided to just play for the invite to the Regional PTQ. I did my best Game 1, and almost had it. But some timely burn put me out of range. By the start of Game 2, I'd been playing for more than 7 hours and was tired. I took a mulligan to 6 and kept a hand with 4 Elvish Mystics and 2 lands...they almost got me there. But in the end it just took me WAY too long to get anything going.

Here are my general sideboard notes for the day, broken down by archetype.

UBx Control: IN: 1x Stubborn Denial; 2x Disdainful Stroke; 1x Surrak Dragonclaw; 1x Nissa, Worldwaker; 2x Xenagos, the Reveler.

OUT: 2x Wild Slash; 2x Polukranos, World Eater; 2x Crater's Claws; 1x Elvish Mystic

Notes: If they're playing Green, they often end up playing Kiora. In that case it's sometimes right to keep a Wild Slash in as insurance. Elvish Mystics are also notoriously bad Topdecks, so if you're on the draw, you don't mind removing one.

RWx Aggro:

IN: 1x Stubborn Denial, 3x Arc Lightning, 1x AEtherspouts, 1x Reality Shift, (2x Back to Nature)

OUT: 3x Boon Satyr, 2x Stormbreath Dragon, 1x Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

Notes: Sometimes it feels right to bring in Back to Nature. It's a solid card when your opponent is casting Chained to the Rocks and Jeskai Ascendency. I'm still not sure if that's the right thing to do though.

GRx Aggro:

IN: 1x Burn Away; 1x Nissa, Worldwaker; 1x Surrak Dragonclaw; 1x AEtherspouts; 2x Disdainful Stroke; 1x Reality Shift.

OUT: 2x Stubborn Denial; 2x Wild Slash; 1x Boon Satyr; 1x Yasova Dragonclaw; 1x Shaman of the Great Hunt

Notes: I brought out a lot of 1-ofs because I wasn't quite sure which of them was best/worst in this matchup. The deck runs a lot of 4/2 creatures, so with my opponent playing Magma Jet and Lightning Strike I knew they probably weren't great. There was, of course, the chance that the opponent sided-out those burn spells, but having those out already seemed like a good idea.

Overall I had a great time. The deck performed really well, even if I didn't at times. Would I play this deck again? Absolutely. I'm still King of the Monsters.

raysabucsfan says... #1

I like the build. With all the big creatures, you should try Temur Ascendency. With Savage Knuckleblade you can bounce him and draw two cards a turn. I have a similar build you should check out. I've been smashing my metta. The "Real Deal" Holyfield!(temur).

November 2, 2014 11:51 a.m.

DEER says... #2

I guess I could say that "you know nothing" about deckbuilding.

jkjk no i just wanted to put a GoT pun in. Instead of Savage Punch in sideboard, I would play Setessan Tactics. It's alot better, and pretty good with Hornet Nest.

November 12, 2014 9:39 p.m.

Hider1120 says... #3

I'm questioning the Stubborn Denial in the main-deck. Seems more like a sideboard card. You should consider Xenagos, God of Revels. It really lets you go over the top of Abzan decks and the like. Seems like a real solid list!

November 12, 2014 9:41 p.m.

Kamotz says... #4

@ DEER: I play the Savage Punch because it doesn't require tapping. It helps in matchups against Abzan as well as against Mardu and Jeskai. It has been pretty stellar.

@ Hider1120: The Stubborn Denial is AMAZING. It stops Mardu and Abzan pretty dead. And it's almost always awesome. Xenagod is pretty "bleh." This deck already gives Abzan trouble. And it's a juicy exile target on top of everything else. On top of that it's generally poorly positioned on an empty board. With all the 5-drop competition I'd rather be chock-full of Dragons, Sarkhans, and my Keranos/Surrak one-of's.

November 16, 2014 7:02 p.m.

shepherdofire says... #5

Is it me or does the temur clan look a lot like the nords of Skyrim in The Elder Scrolls series?

November 17, 2014 4:25 p.m.

Have you considered Hooting Mandrills? delve it out for 1 and it sets off ascendancy?

December 11, 2014 4:09 p.m.

DrFuzzyGloves says... #7

my deck uses all 3 listed in your descritpion and has torn through fnm's only loosing when i get a mediocre draw and they get the perfect hand. those games are even close. Gruul Monsters / Burn

December 24, 2014 11:24 p.m.

Rovirtz says... #8

This is...fantastic. I must run this! +1Great job

December 29, 2014 10:59 p.m.