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The main theme of this deck is to flicker cards like Thragtusk , Fiend Hunter , Borderland Ranger , Acidic Slime , and Angel of Serenity . I'm flickering these cards with Cloudshift and Restoration Angel , while using Undying Evil and Unburial Rites as secondary methods to utilize the LTB and ETB abilities of the other cards.
Blocking with a Thragtusk to kill one of their attacking creatures, and throwing an Undying Evil on my Thragtusk before it dies. When it returns, Cloudshift it, giving me a total of 10 life and two 3/3 Beast tokens, all ready to attack on my turn, and for only TWO mana!
Casting a Garruk, Primal Hunter , and then immediately using his -3 ability to draw cards equal to the greatest power among creatures I control. This usually allows me to draw 5 cards mid-game.
I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions, or even some insight on how you think this deck would fare against current archetypes at FNM's, since I haven't been to one in a long time, and I have no idea what kind of cards people are playing.
Thanks for the interest!
The first FNM went pretty well considering I only won one match. I might have been able to win two others, but I just wasn't paying attention correctly. For instance, I ended up sideboarding against myself against Zombies in my third match. I brought in my Curse of Death's Hold and Rest in Peace while leaving things like Unburial Rites and Undying Evil in my deck. Such fail...
My next match was very close, but I completely ignored my Vault of the Archangel . This would have been an easy win if I would have just swung in to gain some life to sustain myself for another turn or two. Another fail... Hopefully, next time, I won't be so careless.
Aside from all that, I've decided to change up my deck slightly. I wasn't able to utilize Duress as much as I had hoped, so I'm going to pull it out for now. However, if it seems I'm not getting much use from my Undying Evil s, I'll probably bring them back for a permanent exchange.
Few quick changes before FNM.
Removed: 1x Unburial Rites .
Added: 1x Fiend Hunter .
I think the the recent changes have made the deck feel clunky. Since I feel some of the changes were a detriment to staying competitive, I'm going to have to go back on some of my decisions to keep the deck running smoothly.
Up against a competitive Standard deck this weekend, and was given some tips on what might improve the deck. More significant changes.
Removed: 3x Acidic Slime , 3x Avacyn's Pilgrim , 3x Borderland Ranger , 3x Undying Evil , 2x Wolfir Silverheart , 2x Garruk, Primal Hunter , 3x Cathedral of War , 1x Sunpetal Grove , 1x Plains , 2x Woodland Cemetery .
As much as I've played with this deck, it seems a little creature-lacking.
After a few suggestions from Reddit users, I've decided to make some minor changes.
Removed: 1x Avacyn's Pilgrim , 2x Primordial Hydra , 1x Yeva, Nature's Herald , 2x Scorned Villager Flip , 2x Elvish Visionary , 1x Mentor of the Meek , 2x Conjurer's Closet , 7x Forest , 1x Wolfir Silverheart , 1x Sheltering Word , 2x Divine Reckoning , 2x Prey Upon .
Added: 3x Borderland Ranger , 2x Restoration Angel , 1x Thragtusk , 3x Borderland Ranger , 3x Undying Evil , 2x Disentomb , 4x Woodland Cemetery , 3x Swamp , 3x Defy Death , 2x Avacyn, Angel of Hope , 1x Liliana of the Veil .
The deck has been running pretty well, winning about 70% of the time I play with my friends at home. But, I'm not very confidant that it will do good in FNM games. Although I have plans to splash black in this deck, I'm going to update the deck to reflect the changes I've made since last logging in.
That's right, I basically just gutted my deck. lol But, I think it was really worth it to see what cards were working for me, and which ones weren't. At this point, I realize there's some cards I really want to put back (Garruk's Packleader ), some I'd like to add more of (Restoration Angel ), and some new black cards I'd like to introduce (Undying Evil ).
So far, I think I'd like to replace 2x Conjurer's Closet for 2x Restoration Angel , replace 2x Scorned Villager Flip for 2x Borderland Ranger , replace 2x Elvish Visionary for 1x Griselbrand and 1x Avacyn, Angel of Hope , replace 2x Primordial Hydra and 1x Mentor of the Meek for 3x Undying Evil , and maybe removing 1x Yeva, Nature's Herald for 1x Unburial Rites .
Still, a lot of work to do, but I really like the direction this deck is going.
Just played a few games with a buddy of mine. He played a mill deck using Mind Sculpt which ended up working really well against me. I threw in 3x Witchbane Orb s, replacing 1x Garruk, Primal Hunter and 2x Sheltering Word since I had been using Sheltering Word mostly to gain health, and health was not an issue in these matches.
Although 3x Witchbane Orb seems a little excessive, I feel pretty confidant putting such a large amount in to work against having them milled out of my deck is the right decision. But, I'm still up for suggestions. I'm wondering how well it will work when playing a red deck using Bonfire of the Damned considering they wouldn't be able to target me. Perhaps it has more utility against other decks as well.
I was also able to play against his Zombie deck which utilized a lot of undying creatures like Geralf's Messenger , which was a pain. I'm wondering if Fiend Hunter would fit my three-drop problem here, or if I should take the suggestion from SwiftDeath and add a few Somberwald Sage s to the mix. It would help me ramp to an Angel of Glory's Rise , which I could then flicker to keep exiling his zombies. I could also see if I could fit some Oblivion Ring in there as well.
Gavony Township was also a real winner in these games.
All in all, the deck ran pretty good! Walked away with a few ideas on what to put in my sideboard, which helps! Another couple play-testing sessions and I should be able to graduate to an FNM or two! ...maybe.
The deck works a lot quicker with this combination. However, three-drops are non-existant which you can really feel.
Awesome suggestions, guys! I'm still unsure how useful Cathedral of War will be IRL, but there's been a few occasions when play-testing here that I've been able to swing for 4 on turn two by going Turn 1 Forest into card:Avacyn's Pilgrim, then Turn 2 dropping a Cathedral of War and luckily having a Rancor to drop on the Pilgrim. And, the mana doesn't seem to suffer from having it in there. But, I've been wondering about putting in two Cavern of Souls for "Beasts", and seeing how that works as well.
I would like to get rid of Garruk, Primal Hunter since it's the only card that goes against my "only Innistrad, Dark Ascension, Avacyn Restored, and M13" rule in preparation for October.
Relentless is way better. I can see you like packleader, but you said you want this doing well in fnms so I'm going to have to tell you that its horrible. 5cmc is the top of the curve for pretty much all decks in standard. A 5cmc card needs to come into the field doing something awesome. The 3 cards that opitomize this are Zealous Conscripts Thragtusk and Wolfir Silverheart . All of these 5cmc creatures come into the game doing something game-changing(and are powerhouses in it of themselves). Packleader sits around and could maybe draw you a card if you were to already have garruk out the turn before. Why do you only have 2 of your main creature? I wouldn't go with primal huntbeast either. You need more restoration angels. Scorned Villager will flip maybe twice per fnm. Arbor Elf would be better. I would also up your rancor count to at least 3. Also I would think about Fiend Hunter . If your unaware of it, it plus cloudshift is an amazing combo. It permanently exiles one creature and does its ability again to exile another til its dead. I've never seen blessings of nature perform better than Increasing Savagery . I think I'm done vomitting out help now. Go check out my deck U/G Savaged Stalker please!
I'm trying a similar deck. So far its performed decently in testing. I haven't been using the card:Conjurer's Closet though, has it been pivotal in getting it to work? I do have 4 Restoration Angel , so maybe that reduces the dependance. Get as many as you can, they make this deck run.
Consider Borderland Ranger while it isnt a huge card on its own, pulling the land from your deck to improve your draws is never a bad thing. I would definitely include Oblivion Ring as they are game-winning. I'm still torn between the need for two or three at this stage.
While it's a bit on the high-drop side, Acidic Slime is very useful if you score an early ramp into it. I've had turn 3 slime, EOT 4 Angel, then Cloudshift targeting lands. It's devastating, especially to delver, since it tends to run a lower land count at 18 or so. A couple of unlucky draws with no mana and its game. It's also good to have for killing off enemy Oblivion Ring , Birthing Pod and card:Runechanter's Pike
I'm looking at adding Fiend Hunter as well, looks very promising. I'm still weighing the kill potential of Champion of Lambholt . A couple of blinks turn your board into a monster that can sweep past for the win, but I'm not sure if what I'd take out would be worth the addtion at this stage. Give it a go!
Last suggestion is look at using Rancor instead of Prey Upon . I've been running 3, and they allow big beats from walking over, or Angels flying through for 5. Since they return to your hand, blinking doesnt diminish their use at all!
Hope I helped a bit, let me know how it goes!
Thanks for the suggestions, ChiuChiuSan!
I've been away from the site for about three weeks, but I've been able to play-test a lot more. I've made some decent changes, but I'll definitely be trying some of your suggestions as well. And, I'll update the deck with my current changes in the next couple days.
However, I am really considering splashing black into the deck. With more spoilers coming out with RTR, it's looking like GB is going to be really strong. I'm not too sure about adding Rise from the Grave , but it might be a good idea if I can get some better ramp. I definitely want to add Borderland Ranger as you suggest to fix my mana, or something that will help put land into the battlefield quicker.
But, what I'm really excited about using in black would be Undying Evil ! Can you imagine using it on Thragtusk when an opponent tries destroying it, and profiting a 3/3 Beast token and 5 life, and getting my 5/3 creature back with a +1/+1 counter? I'll also have the option to Cloudshift him again, removing the counters, and allowing me to do the whole thing over again! That's 10 life and TWO 3/3 beasts for only two mana! And, if I have a card:Garruk's Packleader on the filed, I'll also be drawing FOUR cards!
The best thing about this deck is being able to use the Fiend Hunter and Cloudshift trickery by exiling two creatures if I Cloudshift my Fiend Hunter immediately after casting him. You can also do this at the end of your turn using Cloudshift after card:Conjurer's Closet's ability on your Fiend Hunter .
I'm also considering Unburial Rites since having black, but I'm unsure if I'll even have the room for it. But, yeah, these are just a few of my ideas since I've been gone.
ChiuChiuSan, I forgot to mention that although card:Conjurer's Closet did work at times, it was too clunky to use. Bumping up my Restoration Angel s, as you suggested, works far better. I'm not running 3x Restoration Angel , 4x Cloudshift , and 3x Undying Evil , which I seem to be hitting just as I need them.
Honestly, I don't have any 2 drop creatures in my G/W either. I'd much rather drop a mana dork and drop a decent 3 drop Turn two instead. Like Temple Garden to Arbor Elf , next turn into Borderland Ranger , Loxodon Smiter , or any other decent 3 drop. Possibly even Ajani, Caller of the Pride .
I would cut your 3x Duress for more creatures and another Garruk Primal Hunter. I personally feel theres not enough creatures in your deck and your trying to do too much with undying evil and cloudshift. I would cut undying evil for more creatures, maybe Centaur Healer ?