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After seeing the spoiler for Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord , I decided to think up some ideas like everybody else did. This list will actually be standard by the time RTR comes out, so some advice would be nice, with full consideration that this is a temporary list and that I will of course be looking out for other cards once RTR comes out.
Jarad, Boneyard Wurm and Splinterfright are the fat-ass bruisers, with Demonlord of Ashmouth and Ghoultree providing some backup. Ambush Viper and Dawntreader Elk live ideally in the grave, providing removal and mana-ramping respectively. Young Wolf is for early game stability and to buff up the creature count, while Crypt Creeper can aggro it up and solve some graveyard issues.
Win by either beating the opponent to death or using Jarad's second ability to sacrifice a Boneyard Wurm or two for massive life loss.
P.S: The mana base looks screwy, but I do need those swamps for Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord 's CMC and last ability.
It has issues though; what deck doesn't? First, lack of straight-up, good to honest targeted removal. Second, it is capable of some utterly lousy starts. And card:Tormod's Crypt would naturally rattle my happysacks when it hits the field. Finally, aggro might pummel it into the floor.
I hope to take it to FNM to have a bit of fun and see what I can do, less for the winning and more for the experience. BUT any advice to make this deck meaner and leaner (while on a bit of a budget) will be very welcome!
Out of your suggestions, Rancor stuck out to me the most; that would be a great idea, not just for Boneyard Wurm s and the like but also putting on cheaper aggressive creatures like Ambush Viper and Young Wolf when I have the early unused mana. I did already consider Ghoultree , I may replace Moldgraf Monstrosity with him, but the trample on Moldgraf is really nice.
Tragic Slip and card:Altar's Reap...not sure. My deck doesn't really focus on dying per se, it's actually more mill-focused (Mulch , Splinterfright ), but it could work. card:Altar's Reap I'm not sure is necessary, as I perefer to have better board position than another creature in the grave and slight card advantage (I already get quite a bit of that off Mulch , kinda....well, not really...)
I'm just tetchy about keeping noncreature spells to a minimum to maximize the 12 creatures that do care about them, and Mulch , Killing Wave and Spider Spawning seem like the essentials to me. I'll have to think about it.
I'm not actually going to be playing this deck at FNM until Return to Ravnica comes out, so I'm going to be using the time to decide which deck I'd like to use and start the process of building it.
ya im not a big fan of altar's reap either I just thought maybe ud like it. If you do put in rancors(which I also think was my best suggestion) then I think at that point Ghoultree>Moldgraf. You don't really want to wait til 7th turn to play anything in standard right now and ghoultree can come out really early depending on how much u get in the grave. Then give it trample with rancor or fling it with jarad.
I am torn by Moldgraf Monstrosity 's inherent trample, beefy stats and card advantage opportunities, but I think you are right. Ghoultree can kill in two swings when lucky, and can come down earlier. It's just a matter of finding space for Rancor , probably two copies. Suggestions?
Here's my reasoning; having 4 Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord s is probably too much. His cost is a bit much, I often have at least one on field or in my hand and they often stack up. While it is good to have backup threats, the Lich Lord revives himself with his last ability. I may only need three to pull it off. Meanwhile, Ulvenwald Tracker is cute, but not necessary as a single copy.
Rancor could also be crucial to my sideboard plan. Let's say second game my opponent wins through card:Tormod's Crypt usage. My plan for the third game would be to switch the entire deck to an aggro variant. Boneyard Wurm and Splinterfright go out for Strangleroot Geist and Dreg Mangler . Possibly Spider Spawning out for Acidic Slime . Rancor would be amazing for this second plan; +2/+0 andtrample for my hasty beaters and deathtouchers would be great aggression, while the opponent's card:Tormod's Crypts would have lessened effectiveness and may even become dead cards.
The main reason is that as far as I understand it, Gravecrawler 's are pretty expensive. With only 5 zombies exist in the deck as is (possibly 4 after alterations), it would only be worth putting in a playset of Gravecrawler s to make them work reliably, and that would tot up to about 24. I'm saving up money just for the dual lands for this deck, let alone the Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord s.
I have had that suggested before, and also, they happen to be cheap. I would probably only have one or two, but what should I drop? The Ghoultree ? Not sure. Spider Spawning ? Not when it is my only defense against flyers. Acidic Slime s in the sideboard? Again, my only removal of that type. I have no idea what to do.
See, this is the problem with deckbuilding; there are so many cards you should put in that would do a decent job that it all becomes a clusterbugger.
The Young Wolf is there for early game stability; something the rest of the deck does not have. Meanwhile, Driver of the Dead is the only way I can get Boneyard Wurm , Ambush Viper and Dawntreader Elk out of my grave for a second go, whilst not decreasing the number of cards in my grave.
Since this deck tends to get Ghoultree out by paying 4G, that with the Cagebreakers would be way too many five drops for my deck to feel comfortable with. Swapping out the one Ghoultree for one Kessig Cagebreakers ; if in this deck they cost about the same, I'd rather have one that is not so easily chump-blocked.
Just because Grisly Salvage is in a different set does not make it better for this deck necessarily :$ Sure, it HAS more power than Mulch , but I would also have to alter my land balance to accommodate the GB cost; otherwise, half the games it would sit dead in my hand!
I know. I just like the new cards better then the old ones :D.
Right, it does not decrease the cards in your grave, but it could be one creature bigger. But I get what your saying.
That's why I'm torn between the two; Ghoultree can win a game flat-out when Jarad is around, but Kessig Cagebreakers can attack more solidly. I don't feel happy dropping any of the Splinterfright s for them as my mill engine is lacking, nor the Boneyard Wurm s due to mana cost and the fact that they are also part of the win condition. So really, I can only have one copy of one or the other, unless we ditch a Spider Spawning (somethign I am wholly apprehensive about considering the flying meta) and fitting another in.
I'm so indecisive. Ghoultree back in. I'll bring these issues up on the forum later.
Hmm ok. I agree about Spider Spawning . But after saying all those things about Ghoultree , how can you not go -2 Driver of the Dead ? He's 1 less mana for a 3/2 where as Ghoultree is one more mana and can literally win you the game! I still say -2 Driver of the Dead +1 or 2 Ghoultree . Hard decision.
One word: Budget. I'd love to have those Shocklands helping the deck out, believe me, but I'm already spending about 15-20 quid on the Woodland Cemetery playset! I'd have to do my best to trade for them.
Also, I don't think that's how his ability works. While yes, it goes well with Jarad, I don't think you could fill the " a Forest and a Swamp" condition with the single land, I think you'd need two. Clarification?
I am hoping to take this to FNM; not to win mind you, but to have fun with it, as it'll only be my third time at FNM if I do go.
I hope to trade for Overgrown Tomb s with other players (probably just a pair of them for the moment).
With that happening go ahead and switch out Mulch with the RTR version. It'll definitely be a much nicer fit.
I'm not really sold on Driver of the Dead . The deck wants to focus on putting creatures in the graveyard not bringing them back out even if it would be advantageous to do so. I think you may want to take him out and put in something like Butcher Ghoul . I'd also cut 1x Boneyard Wurm and 1x Splinterfright . You need to have cards in the graveyard first before you can even cast these guys which makes it a little trickier to get them on the field successfully. Consider going with 2x Mulch in their place. that way you would have 6 total cards that are sending cards to the grave by turn 2 giving you turn 3 a few cards already in the graveyard making way for splinterfright followed by turn 4 jarad who should be pretty massive at that point.
@rckclimber777: You've addressed another problem brought up by a friend; not enough early drive. I think the mill engine isn't enough, so more Grisly Salvage /Mulch may be needed. Do you think if I -1 Boneyard Wurm -1 Splinterfright for Mulch , the deck will have enough creatures to make it work? I guess so, seeing it'll be mostly Grisly Salvage .... I'll try it out.
Butcher Ghoul ....I'm not convinced yet, I'll have to look at other black creatures.
Overgrown Tomb I will always be on the lookout for, but I may struggle to acquire them.
Okay, considerations for replacing Driver of the Dead now also include Crypt Creeper , Giant Scorpion Ravenous Rats and (may god forgive me) Undead Executioner . The last one in particular I feel the need to say because the deck has barely any removal, as hopelessly average as Undead Executioner is.
I wager that by the time RTR is in the 2nd set you could probably trade innistrad lands straight up for Overgrown Tomb s. If not though there is always the gates that will still give you mana fixing (albeit a little slower). You'll have 25 creatures after cutting 1 of each so you should be fine on that account. That was the problem that I ran into when Innistrad came out and I tried building a similar deck. Could never get the graveyard filled up fast enough to cast those two.
As to Ghoultree - He's a 1 of imo no more no less. He's a great fatty that can do wonders as long as your deck is running correctly. Even if you dump 5 creature cards into the graveyard with Grisly Salvage he'll still cost 3 mana. And you're more likely to only dump 2-3 which means you'll still take a couple more turns to cast him only to meet with a murder or something similar
Demonlord of Ashmouth should be fine though. Nice sized beater with undying. Definitely worth its place.
I think I will leave it at one Ghoultree ; I really feel I have little space for anymore, or Kessig Cagebreakers . Thanks for the opinion on the Demonlord of Ashmouth ; with the changes being made, especially to the landbase (despite a probably rising deck budget), I do trust he will help me out as my only aerial threat/blocker.
I like either Crypt Creeper or Ravenous Rats for that slot. If you're concerned with removal then I'd go with Tragic Slip as you will definitely get morbid more often than not. Keep in mind though, if played right Ambush Viper basically acts as removal. I've always looked at him as "destroy target attacking creature who can be blocked this turn". Another thought though may be Nightshade Peddler who can make it easier for your creatures to get through and can serve as more removal.
That;s the reason Ambush Viper is a 4-of; my only source of pseudo-targeted limited removal that can attack, block and add to the grave count. :) I'd never plan to play him without flash, and that's why I love Grisly Salvage as an instant; it messes with my opponent's head in the early turns.
I'm tempted by Giant Scorpion as a removal option, and Ravenous Rats does put the opponent down a card, but I think I may test out Crypt Creeper first; it can sacrifice itself and can help a bit to solve some Flashback decks that will most likely end up in the meta once Izzet crashes in. It's also a more aggressive attacker.
If you're running Killing Wave , I suggest playset of Blood Artist s. It should help against aggro and give you some reach so can put away games, plus the combo w/ Killing Wave . +1 from me! Also, as an afterthought, Lotleth Troll , Slitherhead , or Dreg Mangler could be good, maybe as replacements for Crypt Creeper .