Home > Decklists, Spreading Cheese > Spreading Cheese – Opposite Decks and Value

Spreading Cheese – Opposite Decks and Value

Hi everyone. Last week, I promised that this week I would cover milling.

Alright, let me cover milling:

Milling isn’t really good in Standard right now. The only seemingly viable option is to go Pyromancer Ascension a la Mike Flores. I had a few builds going around in my head, involving all kinds of cool and crazy stuff, but nope, it really doesn’t work.

Alright, that’s one thing off my chest. Now, I want to make a public service announcement: Dear various MTG forum members, please do not embarrass yourselves. What am I talking about? Whenever I see some random person trying to build his own deck, there are many people who rush in to comment, “you don’t run 4x Frost Titan so this deck sucks!,” even if the deck has no business running Frost Titan (yes, not all blue decks HAVE TO run it; Pyromancer Ascension, for example, does not run it maindeck). So I decided I had some time to waste, and went back and looked in to previous posts by the same members. I wasn’t really surprised at all to see that the same players declared Frost Titan “the worst of the Titans.” When does this extreme change of opinion happen? When GerryT or Patrick Chapin or some similar high level player says the card is good. So, my point is, don’t play cards because you are told they are good, play them because you BELIEVE they are good. I know not everyone has the time to test and grind every day, but try to look at cards without prejudice. Remember the RUG deck from last week? I wasn’t really threatened by the Avenger of Zendikar in the deck. I thought it was unnecessary, and several people have disagreed with me. Cue the new list by the deck’s creator, Dan Jordan (he won another large tournament, without the aid of Avenger). I’m not trying to gloat here, the point is still the same. I won’t say it again, for fear of being repetitive.

Hey, I just realized that I tell you what to build myself! So I’m basically a huge hypocrite, right? Well, what I keep telling you in my articles is that my deck lists are just a base, and you should consider building for your own metagame, and I also say why I play the cards that I do, so you can understand the thought process and get on your own feet. The deck lists themselves are totally not integral at all, they’re there just to have something concrete at the end of the article.

By the way, I’m surprised how no one has ever asked me “Why don’t you just play RUG/PyrAsc, they fit your style quite well!” I guess it’s the ‘builder of rogue decks’ title that I’ve somehow earned myself. Well, I like building decks, and I don’t like the play styles of decks that other people build. I have a very specific play style, for example I always play into counterspells to force my opponent to deplete his hand, I always attack aggressively for several reasons. Some decks aren’t built to handle interactions like those, so I just build my own decks instead. I believe this is a very important aspect of deckbuilding that many can ignore. Yes, the deck IS good, but is it good FOR YOU?

Also, what’s wrong with rogue decks? Take a look at the recent 5k results. In top 4, 3 decks are rogue, and the winner is RUG, which was a rogue deck until Chapin pointed towards it. So rogue decks can be good! I’m particularly excited about the vampires list, since I was probably the first player to jump on the vampire bandwagon in my LGS while everyone still thought it was a bad deck simply because most people were running bad lists (I went undefeated for a month or two until I got bored of playing dudes that turn sideways and not much else). Hey, you can even look at the Top 16. There’s one UB control, one UW control, 4 RUG decks. So 10 out of 16 decks aren’t decks that are considered top tier (hey, some pros even say UW is suboptimal). It’s nice to see The Deckspace developing finally.

So I thought about a few deck ideas, encouraged by all these recent developments. Right now, out of the DDRS options (Denial-Disruption-Removal-Speed), Speed is the most underrated (yes, I am ignoring RDW as usual). Everyone’s playing decks with big spells, which leaves early game an open field for small creatures. Now, there are two problems with running many small creatures. First, you are basically begging your opponent to play Pyroclasm or Day of Judgment. Second, you don’t have much game against big creatures, you’ll have to block with all of your creatures to kill one big dude, and next turn your opponent will play another one, making you want to eat your lands.

Well, I have a solution for that! I call it Value. If you get good value out of your creatures, then you shouldn’t really be sad when they die. For example, look at Grave Titan. Even if he dies immediately, you get two extra bodies. Also, your creatures dying might be the thing that gives you the value, e.g. Wurmcoil Engine. This is generally the idea of the Rock deck archetype, getting as much value as possible from your cards. That’s my favorite archetype for creature decks, by the way.

How does this tie into small creatures though? Well, let’s look at a few creatures that do nice things when they die. Perilous Myr is probably one of the best when it comes to this kind of strategy. It’s small, and it kills an opposing creature or takes two life off of your opponent. Death Cultist is also pretty good, since you can sacrifice it in response to the kill spell or chump block with it and sacrifice to create a two point life difference. We can also take Perilous Myr’s older brother, Blistergrub. While we have a theme going of taking down an opponent’s life with small creatures, we can also include Pulse Tracker. Also on theme is the ever-powerful Vampire Hexmage. Finally, I’ll include Viscera Seer, you’ll soon see why.

Now, all these are well, but a few points of life swing won’t really get you anywhere in the long run. We need some reliability, and some card draw. Since the deck’s curve is so low, we can get away with playing one of my favorite cards in M11, Dark Tutelage. The Viscera Seer is for this card. And no, the life loss isn’t really relevant because all the cards cost really low and we’re kind of going for a suicide strategy here. I’ll top it off with the punchline soon enough, don’t worry. We can also run Sign in Blood, and let’s not forget that we can also cast it on our opponent when their life is low. For repeat value and resilience, we’ll play Mimic Vat, which gives us repeated value with Death Cultist and Viscera Seer. Note that the Vat exiles at the end of turn, so you won’t get repeat value off of your Grub or Myr, but that means your opponent takes 1-2 damage anyway, since they’ll either block and kill your creatures, giving you the opportunity to hit their life, or they just won’t block it, and you can sacrifice them for a Viscera Seer after you get in the damage. Now, let’s mention some removal before the punchline. Hideous End might be less optimal than Doom Blade, but you won’t really have a use for your mana later game, and you might as well take off some life from your opponent.

Alright, the punchline. Flesh Allergy. You just cast Flesh Allergy on their creature, and sacrifice all your creatures, dealing more damage to your opponent both through Grub/Myr interactions, and the Flesh Allergy damage. It’s a cute little trick that ensures you get as much value as possible from your creatures and finish your opponent at the same time. You can also do it after an alpha strike. By the way, we can run 23 (or 22 if you’re brave) lands and get away with it, since everything costs so low and we have constant card draw.

Speaking of lands, Piranha Marsh is also a nice trick. Here’s a tentative list:

Mini Black (Mono Black Suicide Weenies)
4x Perilous Myr
4x Death Cultist
4x Blistergrub
4x Pulse Tracker
3x Vampire Hexmage
3x Viscera Seer
3x Sign in Blood
3x Dark Tutelage
3x Flesh Allergy
3x Hideous End
2x Mimic Vat
4x Piranha Marsh
19x Swamp

Now, this isn’t a super amazing deck that blows minds on a daily basis, but it’s fairly resilient and also quite budget. If you want to add some more tricks and up the budget, you can play Kalastria Highborn in place of Blistergrub. Then you pretty much have a Vampire deck in your hands.

Now, let’s talk about something else. Again, what I’m going for here is Speed and Value. Remember how I’m fond of Lux Cannon? Well, thinking of proliferation got me to an interesting deck idea: Wouldn’t it be cool if I proliferated Luminarch Ascension? (Alright, I admit that this idea came to me because I found a Japanese playset of ascensions in my random junk box, and both cards start with “Lu”). Let’s take the traditional proliferate shell I had in my previous articles, trying to get value from Luminarch Ascension.

The repeat offenders here are: Throne of Geth, Contagion Clasp, Everflowing Chalice and Voltaic Key. While we’re at it, let’s take a page out of my archenemy’s book and play Necropede. Since we have so much proliferation, 1 poison counter can get there, and we can also take out a creature.

Now, let’s look at what white has to offer. I believe Day of Jugment is absolutely critical in this format right now, with the (pretty much) untargetable Frost Titan, Elves, Goblins, and many other creature based decks. I will go so far as to play a full set of DoJ. We have our Lux Cannons for instant-speed targeted removal, so we are okay with slow removal. As for the kill, we have Necropedes and Angel tokens, but we’ll get greedy and add more threats to be aggressive: Baneslayer Angel and Sun Titan. Sun Titan is great because he can recur pretty much everything in the deck, especially making Throne of Geth a big player, while Baneslayer just puts on immense pressure and swings the game instantly in your favor. While we’re at it, let’s be a miser and include some Mimic Vats. Why not? Sun Titan brings it back and you just wreak havoc after a Day of Judgment.

4x Contagion Clasp
4x Luminarch Ascension
4x Day of Judgment
4x Necropede
3x Lux Cannon
3x Everflowing Chalice
3x Voltaic Key
3x Throne of Geth
3x Sun Titan
2x Mimic Vat
2x Baneslayer Angel
4x Tectonic Edge
2x Emeria, the Sky Ruin
19x Plains

The Emeria lands are fur pure mising purposes to get a little bit more value, and Tectonic Edge is there because manlands are scary.

Wow, this deck has a really good threat package, attacking from all different angles with both strong and resilient threats. As for a sideboard, well, white sideboard is always really easy. Just fill it with Leylines, Firewalkers, Revokes, and depending on what you’re scared of, either Purges or Journeys. While it does have its weak spots, the deck has answers for pretty much anything in the meta, and it has a lot of cards that I really like. It’s not super fast, but if you get an Ascension down on turn 2, not much can stop you; and if you add a Lux Cannon as protection (from Volition Reins for example), then you’re good to go.

That’s all for this week folks. We’ll see what next week brings. I still have two decks that I’ve been working on for a long while, one involving Venser and one involving Beastmaster Ascension, but the Venser deck is still being tuned and GerryT pretty much spoiled the Beastmaster one by posting something that’s almost exactly the same as my list, so those are still going to stay on the shelf. I’m sure I’ll find something to talk about next week, don’t worry. Until then, may you all get maximum value from your cards!

P.S: Obligatory metal plug: Veil of Maya – Unbreakable

  1. Noyan
    November 13, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Last minute FNM change I made to the white list:
    -1 Clasp, -1 Baneslayer +2 Journey to Nowhere. The deck worked amazingly, it was really fun.
    My sideboard was:
    4x Revoke Existence
    4x Kor Firewalker
    4x Leyline of Sanctity
    3x Celestial Purge

  1. November 16, 2010 at 9:05 am

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