Five Decks You Can’t Miss This Week
For most Magic players, there's nothing quite like an awesome deck. Fortunately, we've got five of them! Efficient beats, absurd amounts of damage, efficient combos - we've got a little of everything this week, and you won't want to miss any of it.
If we're going to talk about sweet decks, the first one we have to talk about is Travis Woo's Primal Surge Deck that is capable of doing absurd quantities of damage without heading into infinite combo territory. Let's take a look:
Primal Surge - Standard | Travis Woo
The idea behind this deck is outlined in Travis's article, but here's the gist: You run out some mana guys and cast Diabolic Revelation to get all of the non-permanents out of your deck. Then you Primal Surge your entire deck into play. Resolve your Craterhoof Behemoth triggers, dump all of your mana into Yew Spirit, and turn all of your Craterhoofed-creatures into Wild Beastmasters. Exactly how much damage can you deal this way? Jon Johnson did the math on Twitter, and it turns out that you're hitting for a lot
Turns out if you swap the craterhoof triggers to resolve first, its actually 1.0106e26, or 101.06 septillion power. My bad guys.
— Jon Johnson (@jjflipped) January 25, 2013
Our next deck features some awesome Gatecrash cards being used in unexpected ways. No one thought that Undercity Informer and Balustrade Spy would be playable in Legacy, much less degenerate combo pieces, but Adam Prosak published an article unveiling this little number:
Oops, All Spells - Legacy | Adam Prosak
You'll notice that this deck plays zero lands. That way when we ritual out a Balustrade Spy or Undercity Informer, we can mill our entire deck out. From there, the deck wins by flashing back Dread Return on Angel of Glory's Rise, returning both Azami, Lady of Scrolls and Laboratory Maniac. This deck is the most fragile of glass cannons, but it's effectively a one-card combo that's capable of winning on turn one in Legacy.
Will this deck become a player? It's hard to say. It can't ever beat graveyard hate, but that's what your sideboard is for. Adam's sideboard has some convoluted mechanisms of winning, and explaining those is better left his words. The gist of it is that you can use Recross the Paths to stack your deck and kill with Goblin Charbelcher or use Doomsday to cheat an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play off Shelldock Isle.
All in all, this deck is awesome, hilarious, and terrifyingly powerful. Only time will tell if it is consistent enough to be a real player in Legacy, but I'm looking forward to finding out!
Let's move on from Legacy and Standard and take a look at some Modern. With all of the powerful things you can do in Modern, a Green-White creature deck is just about the last thing I expected to see doing well. Asnook has put together a new twist on Green-White Hatebears, a deck that has seen significant success in formats like Legacy and Vintage, but has yet to put up any real numbers in Modern. Let's take a look:
G/W Hatebears - Modern| asnook, 3-1 Modern Daily #4940473
There are a few awesome things going on here. First and foremost, the interaction between Ghost Quarter and either Aven Mindcensor or Leonin Arbiter. These cards not only shut down fetchlands, but turn Ghost Quarter into a pseudo Strip Mine. These let you pile on the pressure with Mirran Crusader and Hero of Bladehold, or lock the game up with additional disruption in the form of Linvala, Keeper of Silence or Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.
The best thing is that being in White means you have access to the best sideboard cards in the format. Stony Silence, Rule of Law, Rest in Peace; these cards crush entire archetypes, and your mana denial and disruption are there to make sure you have enough time to find your hate cards and resolve them.
For our fourth deck this week, we're going off the deep end. When you think of combo decks in Modern, you generally think of Storm, Birthing Pod, or Splinter Twin. Unless you're the shaftmeister, you don't generally think of Necrotic Ooze:
Ooze Combo - Modern| the shaftmeister, 3-1 Modern Daily #4940469
So...what does it do? Ideally you spend the early turns stocking your graveyard with combo pieces, and then reanimate a Necrotic Ooze. Then you can do whatever you want. Usually you'll want to start by drawing some cards with Griselbrand and then proceed to generate infinite mana with Devoted Druid plus Morselhoarder and dump that mana into Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius to kill your opponent.
There's no two ways about it, this deck is incredibly fragile, but it's also off-the-charts awesome and a very flexible shell. It's definitely possible to just get some of the fairer decks in the format, especially when people have no idea what you're trying to accomplish. Even once they know what you're trying to do, your sideboard does a pretty good job of fighting most of the hate that you can expect to see.
Last, we're going to start taking a look at what you can do with some of the Gatecrash legends in Commander. We got a sweet batch in this set, and I'm excited to see what people find to do with them! To start with, I want to take a look at one of my own decks that I'm experimenting with featuring Prime Speaker Zegana. Most of the Simic decks I've seen are very creature-centric, focused on generating value, but I wanted to try something different:
Zegana One-Shot - Commander
This deck tries to play draw-go as best as it can with a suite of counterspells and value creatures to help you grind out the midgame. Once you generate enough of mana and people have started depleting their resources, you cast Prime Speaker Zegana, and with her trigger on the stack you cast Invigorate for free, either targeting her or another one of your creatures. Just dump a hand full of pump spells and turn your Giant Growths into Ancestral Recalls. Seems fair right?
What's even better is that, once you start going in this direction, you get to play cards like Wild Defiance and Leering Emblem, and just go for one-shot kills by either flashing Zegana in with Alchemist's Refuge or giving her haste with Hall of the Bandit Lord.
I find this direction to be very interesting because, while Zegana encourages you to build around creatures, this is a very spell-oriented deck. There's certainly still a lot of tuning to be done, but any deck that turns Groundswell into a draw four that still might just one-shot someone has to be doing something right!
That’s all we have for this week. Once again, be sure to let us know what you think. Do you like what we’re doing? Wish we were covered a particular format more? Let us know what kind of decks you’d like to see more of by leaving a comment or tweeting @GatheringMagic on Twitter.