So if you read my previous post, you’ll know that I picked up first place in an FNM with a G/R Aggro deck. It was nothing special, no cheesy combo, no massive bomb, just a lot of pressure applied quickly with a decent bit of reach. The whole deck is fairly inexpensive and would be a great place for anyone starting out competitively. I’m going to do a run down of the cards in the deck, and a little review of their performance, more for my own records and musings.
4 x Bloodlust Inciter
2 x Greenbelt Rampager
4 x Longtusk Cub
3 x Servant of the Conduit
4 x Voltaic Brawler
2 x Duskwatch Recruiter
3 x Lanthu Hellion
4 x Bristling Hydra
4 x Blossoming Defense
3 x Highspire Infusion
4 x Harnessed Lightning
2 x Fabrication Module
1 x Chandra, Torch of Defiance
So with Amonkhet hitting I thought I would take it upon myself to try out one of the new cards I had actually had my eye on. The thought of dropping this guy turn 1, followed by a Voltaic Brawler or Longtusk Cub with haste on turn 2 was promising, and in my very first game of the night that’s exactly what happened. And when it works like that it’s great, but overall the guy is very limited in scope. I would hate when I’m late game and top deck one of these. I may as well have drawn a land. Overall I found myself dropping him inbetween games for something a little more exciting on the sideboard.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Greenbelt Rampager. On one side he’s a great card to drop turn 2, my favourite combo is to follow him up with a Lanthu Hellion on turn 3 and swing for 7 damage. It puts your opponent in a very awkward position. Despite this, I find him very costly, eating up 2 of my energy whenever he comes out can be devastating. Don’t get me wrong this deck generates a LOT of it, but it can be the difference between a dead Hydra or a Greenbelt. On the plus side, the very low mana cost means you can hold onto him for a while, until you have enough energy to play him safely. Love/hate. I found myself sideboarding him out against black, Fatal Push just loves him. But I think 2 of them is the right number. He preformed solidly, but nothing outstanding.
The bread and butter of your energy build, can generate energy, be pumped to ridiculous sizes and is just a great card. 4 of them in the deck, and I wouldn’t drop a single one, despite being easily picked off early in the game or having a 10/10 Cub die to Fatal Push! Did great as always, I think I need to be more aggressive with my cubs though. I can be very conservative with energy and that extra point of damage or 2 could make the difference in the long run.
Mixed feelings with this girl, on the one hand she mana fixes, which is always great. But other than that and the couple energy she provides on the way in, doesn’t do an awful lot for this deck. I mean yes, playing a Hydra on turn 3 is simply outstanding, but when you top deck one late game she doesn’t really pull her weight. Saying that, if you’ve got a fabrication module running she will come in as a 3/3 which isn’t so shabby. Toying with the idea of dropping her for something more aggressive, probably the wrong move but we will see!
Probably my favourite card in the deck, always reliable, if I can play him on turn 2 I will, over anything else. He just pulls his weight so much, getting reliable damage through every turn and forcing trades with 4 drops. 4 drops! Did great as always, especially with a few +1/+1’s from the Fabrication Module, his trample really pays off then.
This guy though. This guy. The absolute star of the show. This was the first time including Duskwatch Recruiter in my deck, I only put 2 copies in and to be honest I think I’ll be adding 4 in the future. While his flip side is great, it’s his main that you want to try to keep him on, the ability to search for a creature card every turn was indispensable and literally won me a few of the games that went late. It helps to keep up pressure, I was happy to hold onto him, dropping more aggressive 2 drops, and when my hand got thin I would be able to play him and immediately use his ability, so even if he did die to a removal spell, he had at least paid for himself. And if you’re done with him, let him flip and he’s not a bad beater. 10/10 would use again.
Another creature I am unsure of, no one can doubt this things prowess. a 4/4 3 drop is incredible. Online I’ve won games, killed Planeswalkers and just put my opponent in a very difficult position with playing him, but I find that runs out of steam quite quickly. If your opponent can’t deal with the Hellion quickly, you’ve probably won the game, otherwise he will quickly eat your energy until the point he dies. Not very fun for anyone. I have 3 in the deck at the minute, I would consider moving him to the sideboard. However with Amonkhet introducing exert he might be able to take advantage of this, we’ll have to wait and see.
One of the best 4 drops in the game? Certainly in an energy themed deck. Pulled his weight as always, usually leave a bit of energy to the side so this guy can come down safely as he makes such an impact. In my last game I came up against a lot of deatchtouch, which obviously slowed him down a bit, but still wouldn’t have changed him for anything. Big hearts for the hydra.
Hate hate hate people killing my creatures. So obviously I love Blossoming Defense, saved me a few times, helped me keep up tempo. It’s a mainstay and won’t be moving. As a side note, half tempted to add Hapatra’s Mask from Amonkhet due to how much removal is being used in Standard at the minute, just for added protection. However, perhaps with Copycat gone it will tone down a bit? Here’s hoping.
An okish pump, missing trample which really lets it down. I added it with the idea of triggered fabrication module, and it saved me from a few Grasp of Darkness’s, but I would probably cut this for something with a little more bite. I am a big fan of instant speed pump spells, but this is a little lacklustre.
One of the best burn spells in the format at the minute, not going anywhere. Worked especially well with fabrication module, triggering it when it was cast. Not going anywhere, if I could take more I would!
So this was my first time really using Fabrication Module, and I must say that I was impressed. There are no real 3 drops to speak of in this deck, but I did find that depending on the pace of the game, I wanted to play another 2 drop and leave a mana up for Blossoming Defense. In the end Fabrication Module sat in my hand for a lot longer than I had anticipated. It worked a lot better in slower games, where I could slowly but surely pump my guys up. It always gave me something to do with my mana, and it triggered off almost anything I played. I really wanted 4 in the deck, but only had 2 in my collection. In hindsight I think that 2 was the right number (although multiples could be hilarious!)
I threw Chandra in last minute, just because I haven’t had much of a chance to play around with Planeswalkers. She preformed ok, I leaned on her +1 where she would exile a card and then it could be played. The other abilities only came up a few times. She really changed the tempo of the game, where previously I was happy to force trades and was attacking almost every turn with everything I could, I was now hanging back to defend Chandra. I did not like this. One thing she does bring however is scare factor. I practically won a game from an opponent tapping everything they own to kill her, the look on their faces when I chose to block with nothing sacrificed her and then went all in myself. Overall I think a Planeswalker does have a place in this deck, I just don’t think it’s Chandra. Arlinn Kord would be a much better fit.
While I haven’t went into detail with regards to the side board (it contained mostly things to kill artifacts and additional removal), I will say this. Heroic Intervention won me at least 2 games that night. And it wasn’t to a full sweep like a fumigate, it was just against removal spells and more importantly, deathtouch, which I come up against a lot of. A great sideboard card, I would never maindeck it, but it won’t be leaving my sideboard unless something better comes along!