Dreadful Tribes

Do you love playing tribal decks….or do you love playing tribal decks? The correct answer is that since you love turning creatures sideways, of course you love playing tribal decks. If you’re looking to play a format where you can viably[1] turn something other than elves or goblins sideways, then look no further than penny dreadful.

Sure, Elves and Goblins can still be pretty good (and may be Slivers, or Allies, or Eldrazi, I wouldn’t know those all sound pretty boring to me.) But did you really start playing an entirely new format to play slightly powered down versions of tribes you already knew would still be good? Of course you didn’t. You came to run people over with something more obscure.

Let me begin by introducing, Myr Tribal aka Myr Grid:

Myr Grid

Creatures (27)
Lodestone Myr
Thopter Engineer
Myrsmith
Chief of the Foundry
Myr Retriever
Myr Sire
Myr Galvanizer

Spells (11)
Dispatch
Shrapnel Blast
Ghirapur Aether Grid

Lands (22)
Vivid Crag
Jungle Shrine
Plains
Mountain
Keldon Necropolis
Sideboard (15)
Dispense Justice
Master’s Call
Gold Myr
Iron Myr
Chief of the Foundry
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Darksteel Myr

The deck basically intends to use Myrsmith to generate a bunch of tokens, then pump them using one of our 7 maindeck lord effects (incidentally having several of Chief of the Foundry + Myr Galvanizer in play can also add up very quickly) . The deck can also create a huge, Lodestone Myr, that can even be given haste by Thopter Engineer, or we can mow down opposing blockers with Ghirapur Aether Grid. Dispatch is very strong removal, and Shrapnel Blast can give us insane reach.

The manabase is pretty straightforward. I added a couple copies of Keldon Necropolis just now, but I haven’t actually tested it. Given most of our spells being colorless, it seems like basically a free addition.

The sideboard currently consists of stuff I cut from the maindeck. Against decks that are light in creatures we can take out dispatch and bring in Master’s Call to simply create more bodies. Gold Myr and Iron Myr are there because it felt wrong to have a myr deck without any weird off-color mana dorks.

I actually could see a mono red or mono white versions of this deck having merit, although the combination of maindeck dispatch + shrapnel blast seemed too strong to pass up. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments.

Ok, so that deck was pretty cool, and had some neat synergies but it only had 8 (7 maindeck) ways to pump up our team of dorks. You say you wanna go really over the top? You say you wanna swing for 40 trampling damage in one turn[2]? I’ve got just what you’re looking for friend:

AAAROOOO

Creatures (22)
Immerwolf
Instigator Gang
Lambholt Pacifist
Wolfbitten Captive
Reckless Waif
Hanweir Watchkeep

Spells (16)
Full Moon’s Rise
Howlpack Resurgence
Burst Lightning
Moonlight Hunt

Lands (22)
Savage Lands
10 Forest
Mountain
Sideboard (15)
Gatstaf Shepherd
Daybreak Ranger
Burnout
Sulfuric Vortex
Slice and Dice

(Note I have included both sides of flip cards in the description here since it is a pet-peeve of mine to only ever see one side of the card on mouse-over).

Immerwolf, Full Moon’s Rise, and Howlpack Resurgence combine for a total of 12 permanent pump effects for your entire team. If that still isn’t enough, flipping Instigator Gang//Wildblood Pack can break through ground stalls and allow you to win games you had no business winning. The rest of the creatures are fairly efficient beaters on their own, especially when they flip. Having good blockers like Lambholt Pacifist // Lambholt Butcher and Hanweir Watchkeep // Bane of Hanweir to clog up the ground is pretty key because basically your deck is trying to set up a massive swing, and those creatures are more efficient blockers than most any other attacking creatures your opponents will be able to muster. Reckless Waif // Merciless Predator and Wolfbitten Captive//Krallenhorde Killer are probably some of the best one drops in the format.

This deck will make combat math extremely difficult for your opponent, especially since it’s surprisingly simple to just flip your team at will. The original draft of the deck did not contain Burst Lightning , but I really like having at least 8 removal spells. Moonlight Hunt usually varies from very good, to insane blowout.

The mana base is straightforward. The sideboard is just thrown together. I’m not sure if Daybreak Ranger//Nightfall Predator is any good, but it seems like it could be in some matchups. Gatstaf Shepherd//Gatstaf Howler is not terrible, but basically just worse than Lambholt Pacifist. Overall this deck is deceptively powerful, although you must remember to howl like a madman when you play it.

But if you would rather caw instead:

Birds

Creatures (23)
Aven Brigadier
Soulcatcher
Mist Raven
Keeper of the Nine Gales
Aven Squire
Warden of Evos Isle

Spells (15)
Soulcatchers’ Aerie
Immolating Glare
Dissolve
Airborne Aid

Lands (22)
Coastal Tower
Azorius Guildgate
Seaside Haven
Plains
Island
Sideboard (15)
Skymark Roc
Thrummingbird
Thieving Magpie
Suntail Hawk
Windbrisk Raptor
Aven Sunstriker

This deck is a little slower, so it plays a bit more like aggro control. Still dropping an Aven Brigadier to pump your squad, all of which fly, can be very powerful. Also Soulcatcher’s Aerie provides some insurance that if you can stick a threat, it will probably be big. Keeper of the Nine Gales is a pretty interesting card, that’s a bit slow, but can be very powerful in some cases. We also get a flying Man-o’-War, in the form of Mist Raven. Warden of Evos Isle lets us drop our threats more easily.

Honestly I’m not sure if Dissolve is where we wanna be at for disruption, but it’s probably one of the best counters in the format, and Immolating glare is fine removal. Airborne Aid can be a very serviceable draw spell after we dump our hand on the table. Turns out Birds are the only tribe that gets to play Distant Melody in PD.

The manabase is pretty standard, although Seaside Haven is pretty neat with the soulcatcher effects. The sideboard is literally just cards I cut from the maindeck.

Finally, remember when I said up top that I was gonna do something other than Goblins? Well, this is not strictly speaking a pure goblin tribal deck, although it does use goblin synergies and it’s still cool so I wanted to showcase it

Mardu Auntie

Creatures (30)
Wort, Boggart Auntie
Goblin Arsonist
Festering Goblin
Knucklebone Witch
Goblin Legionnaire
Butcher of the Horde
Grim Haruspex
Weirding Shaman

Spells (8)
Bone Splinters
Crib Swap

Lands (22)
Vivid Crag
Nomad Outpost
Vivid Marsh
Plains
Mountain
Swamp
Sideboard (15)
Goblin Trenches
Wort, Boggart Auntie
Butcher of the Horde
Murderous Redcap
Tarfire
Ember Hauler

This deck, although it can conceivably be considered a goblin deck, is really more of a Mardu aristocrats deck, that goes heavy on the “goblin dies” triggers. Therefore it runs the full set of Festering Goblin + Goblin Arsonist.[3] Knucklebone Witch grows bigger every time one of your plebs dies, and Grim Haruspex draws you a card. Weirding Shaman can be a slow sac outlet, but in grindy matchups can be very good. Butcher of the Horde is a very good finisher and another sac outlet. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine which is a better option between Ember Hauler and Goblin Legionnaire.

Wort, Boggart Auntie is the namesake of the deck. If you manage to stick her for more than a turn she will start generating serious card advantage. Besides getting back one of your goblins, the most twisted thing you can do against the various midrange strategies is recur your Crib Swap every turn. Crib Swap is also extra good in here since we have an excessive number of ways to pick off 1/1’s . Besides that we have Bone Splinters[4], the additional cost actually being a bonus here in many situations. You could also play Tarfire or Nameless inversion to recur with the Auntie, but I find I often have enough targets for her.

The Mana base is 3 colors so it’s a bit wonky. I used to have a Vivid Meadow in there until my reality was shattered by the revelation it wasn’t legal. So I grudgingly replaced it with a plains. The sideboard consists, again, of things I cut from the maindeck. I randomly had two copies of Goblin Trenches in my collection, so I threw them in there, and turns out its pretty good tech against control strategies that generally have a more difficult time dealing with a resolved enchantment (esp. if they didn’t board in enchantment hate after game 1, which would be resonable since we have no enchantments maindeck.)

Overall the deck is unique among today’s, since it actually tends to grind out wins  with card advantage rather than go aggro or tempo, which is especially odd since it’s a goblin deck. That being said, Goblin Warchief and Goblin Ringleader are both legal in this format, so if you wanna be more boring aggro goblins, then you should probably look into playing those.

That’s all I’ve got for today, although there are definitely numerous options I did not cover. Perhaps some kind of tribal faceoff is in order to determine which tribe is most dreadful of them all?

 

[1] “Viably” is used with trepidation here. Winds of Rath is still a card.

[2] preferably after spending one turn biding your time doing nothing…ok if you scrolled down to read this footnote you probably know where this is going. You probably also scrolled past the deck and definitely know where this is going.

[3] Festering Goblin actually should be the strictly better Shambling Goblin, although I actually thought they were the same card when I made the deck, and that the Dragons of Tarkir card was a reprint of the Onslaught card…until somebody pointed it out to me, and I just never made the change out of my nostalgic love for uncle fester.

[4] I really like 8 removal spells in my tribal decks it seems.

My Two Cents – Bant and Abzan Aggro

My Two Cents is a weekly article in which I share two decks that I’ve been playing, working on, or thinking about. Some will by own creations, some will not.

Bant Aggro

I spent the first week building the obvious decks centered around the obviously overpowered cards, but I’ve spent the second building three color good-stuff aggro decks built around Fleecemane Lion and Mother of Runes. After lamenting that linear aggro decks like UW Heroic and Elves were pushing out multi-color zoo decks, I decided to actually play some multi-color zoo decks. They are very good. The linear aggro decks need to accumulate a critical mass of effects. Heroic needs to pump their small guys enough and Elves needs enough elves. Individually, the card quality in each deck is not that high. One of the best ways to beat them is to force them to chump block Fleecemane Lion and his friends with their 1/1s.

Fleecemane Lion is so great in Penny Dreadful partly because a Watchwolf is already pretty good. In Penny Dreadful, it’s very difficult to kill a 3/3 for less than two mana, and Fleecemane lines up very well against the large amount of 1 and 2 damage red removal in the format. It always trades at mana parity, if not an advantage. The four damage removal that you get with kicked Burst Lightning, Flametongue Kavu, and Prophetic Bolt will still kill Fleecemane, but at least it doesn’t do it at a mana advantage. And Fleecemane always has a chance of going monstrous before it happens. Monstrous Fleecemanes are a huge problem for a lot of decks that would otherwise be reasonable against a thirty creature zoo deck.

Bant can afford to play close to thirty creatures because so many of the creatures have spell-like effects. Man-o’-War, Bounding Krasis, Mother of Runes, and Void Grafter allow you to play a very threat dense deck. They protect your threats while advancing your board, and they bounce and tap down blockers and enemy threats. Rhox War Monk helps you race, and Emancipation Angel sometimes lets you reuse the ETB affects on Man-o’-War or Krasis. Other times, she resets a Vivid land, or can even generate a land drop by bouncing a tapped basic and replaying it. With the exception of Mother, your creatures all hit for meaningful chunks of damage.

Rounding out the curve are Skyrider Elf and Woodland Wanderer. Skyrider helps you maximize your mana. With Vivid lands you can play Skyrider anywhere from a 2/2 to a 5/5 depending on your hand. Woodland Wanderer also gets buffed by Vivids, and you often cast it as a 6/6.

In the sideboard, you have access to powerful hosers for other strategies. Absolute Law and Absolute Grace do wonders against red and black removal decks, while Naturalize and Negate attack combo.

All in all, Bant has a lot of tools. Because it has so ways to 2-for-1 your opponent on mana, it can snowball games against other creature decks. You get to be threat dense against control without compromising your matchup against decks like Heroic. Fleecemane’s early clock multiplies the power of Bounding Krasis and Man-o’-War. Turning honest creatures sideways is always a viable strategy if they are efficient enough, and I’m glad fair creature decks can compete in this format.

Bant Aggro

Creatures (29)
Bounding Krasis
Emancipation Angel
Fleecemane Lion
Man-o’-War
Mother of Runes
Void Grafter
Woodland Wanderer
Skyrider Elf
Rhox War Monk

Spells (6)
Devouring Light
Repeal

Lands (25)
Forest
Island
Plains
Seaside Citadel
Vivid Creek
Vivid Grove
Sideboard (15)
Absolute Law
Celestial Flare
Dismal Failure
Naturalize
Negate
Plated Crusher

Abzan Aggro

While Abzan Aggro is also built around Mother of Runes and Fleecemane Lion, it differs significantly in style. What Abzan lacks in the blue tempo creatures of Bant, it makes up for in better removal and a very powerful modal spell, Abzan Charm.

My first builds of Abzan were bigger midrange decks. I was playing things like Gerrard’s Verdict and more removal. I still think Abzan Midrange has a lot of potential. Angel of Flight Alabaster, Crib Swap, and Nameless Inversion together form a powerful engine for grinding out midgames against other creature decks. The big fliers are very powerful as well. Bloodline Keeper, Desecration Demon, and Bloodgift Demon are all powerful finishers. In Penny Dreadful, however, once you start building your deck to be good on turns 4 onwards, you both have to be controlling in the early game against decks like Heroic and Elves, and need to be aggressive in the late game against control and combo. Doing both can be challenging.

This build of Abzan is trying to get ahead early and use our card quality to punch through clunkier decks. Mother of Runes is joined by another one-drop, Herald of Anafenza. Herald is a relatively unimpressive 1/2, but the outlast ability is better than it looks. Outlasting lets us optimize our mana curve and get the most out of a given draw. Having to Outlast at sorcery speed is an obnoxious limitation of an already very fair mechanic. The 1/1 tokens aren’t fantastic, but they are serviceable chump blockers when we need them to be, and they let us go wide and get through for lethal when our opponent is beginning to stabilize. We value extra bodies a bit more when we have ways of pumping them in Boon Satyr and Abzan Charm. Herald can chip in damage early, but then pump to stay relevant late. Not many one-drops are capable of that.

Both these decks are Mother and Fleecemane decks, and it’s not an accident. Fleecemane Lion is joined in Abzan by Rakshasha Deathdealer. The base stats on Rakshasha aren’t amazing, but again, having a way to spend mana profitably is appreciated. Against similarly sized creatures, you get through for free damage since you just pump if they ever choose to block. This deck is all about getting the most out of our mana, and using every part of the buffalo.

At the three, we have Boon Satyr, Emancipation Angel, and Abzan Charm. Emancipation Angel gets in over Serra Avenger because we can actually play it turn three. Furthermore, because Vivid Meadow is not legal in the format, playing double white cards usually requires depleting a Vivid land. Emancipation Angel lets us reset Vivids preserving our mana base. Abzan Charm is just great. Like Abzan Charm, Boon Satyr has many modes. Sometimes it is an ambush blocker and functions as a removal spell. Sometimes it’s a Giant Growth by flashing it in bestowed. Sometimes you EOT flash Satyr in and untap with four more power on the board. The combination of Boon Satyr and Abzan Charm gives the deck a lot of versatility on turn three and makes you hard to play against.

Turn four we don’t quite have Siege Rhino, but Woodland Wanderer is pretty close. With Vivids, you are often casting a 6/6 vigilant trampler for four mana. Not only is it too big to be killed by Flametongue Kavu, it can kill all the 5 toughness creatures other people are playing to dodge Flametongue. And it has vigilance! Complimenting Wanderer are a couple copies of Bloodline Keeper. In board stalls or games that go long, Keeper is better than Desecration Demon because it goes wide instead of tall. Demon gives the opponent too many options, and if you reach a board stall, it’s likely that the opponent has a lot of material to sacrifice to Demon. Furthermore, if you are behind, a stream of 2/2 tokens is a lot better than a creature the opponent can tap at will.

Abzan has a lot of play. While less flashy than Bant, good removal goes a long way. The configuration of these decks will evolve with the format, but I believe low-to-ground aggro to be viable going forward.

 

Abzan Aggro

Creatures (28)
Bloodline Keeper
Boon Satyr
Emancipation Angel
Fleecemane Lion
Herald of Anafenza
Mother of Runes
Rakshasa Deathdealer
Woodland Wanderer

Spells (7)
Abzan Charm
Murderous Cut
Terror

Lands (25)
Forest
Plains
Sandsteppe Citadel
Swamp
Vivid Grove
Vivid Marsh
Sideboard (15)
Absolute Law
Duress
Marsh Casualties
Naturalize
Plated Crusher
Putrefy

My Two Cents – UR Cruise Control & Elves

My Two Cents is a weekly article in which I share two decks that I’ve been playing, working on, or thinking about. Some will by own creations, some will not.

UR Cruise Control

Treasure Cruise is legal in Penny Dreadful as of this writing, and my first deckbuilding goal was to play four. This is the only format in which you can play four Ancestral Recalls, and I thought I would only be cheating myself not to try it.

I put together versions of UW Cruise, UB Cruise, and UR Cruise. Black offers the best removal in the format, White offers the best wraths, whether that be Scourglass or Phyrexian Rebirth. Red offers good cheap removal, decent sweepers, and because our burn goes to the face, we don’t have to dedicate any slots to win conditions.

The biggest two cards drawing me to play red were Electrolyze and Prophetic Bolt. Once the deck enters the Prophetic Bolt phase of the game, it is very difficult to beat. It just keeps chaining Bolts and Cruises and Anticipates.

Anticipate got the nod over many plausible alternatives. Strategic Planning fuels Cruise with an additional card but offers less selection and at sorcery speed. Frantic Search cannot be played until turn 3, sees fewer cards, and is card disadvantageous. Telling Time is just worse.

The rest of the deck is just critter removal and counterspells. Finding the right counter mix is an ongoing project. Dissolve is the best we have available, and it’s very good in the format. Very few decks present a threat underneath Dissolve that you can’t answer with Electrolyze or Burst Lightning, and the scry is valuable because the deck just takes off when it resolves its first Cruise.

Repeal is a great catchall and stopgap. It’s decent against big creatures that slip under your counters in game one. Hammer of Bogardan is the nominal finisher, but really it’s just an overpriced Lightning Strike that gives the deck its inevitability.

The mana base is mostly basics. Evolving Wilds gets in over dual lands because it generates a mana for Cruise. I play a single Thawing Glacier. You don’t want it early, but in any type of long game it will ensure you keep hitting land drops and draw three or four cards for you.

In an unknown meta, it’s not always wise to play a hard control deck. They key to playing this deck is knowing what to counter, when to trade a suboptimal removal spell for the opponent’s creatures when you could wait for a better one, and when to stop saving your burn for their creatures and start throwing it at their face. Counterspells, however, are great against a lot of the bigger mana decks in the format. The burn isn’t fantastic, but it’s serviceable. The counters aren’t fantastic, but they get the job done. And Treasure Cruise is Treasure Cruise!

UR Cruise Control

Spells (35)
Treasure Cruise
Dissolve
Hinder
Disdainful Stroke
Repeal
Anticipate
Prophetic Bolt
Lightning Strike
Burst Lightning
Electrolyze
Slice and Dice
Hammer of Bogardan

Lands (25)
12 Island
Mountain
Evolving Wilds
Thawing Glaciers
Highland Lake
Sideboard (15)
Burnout
Horribly Awry
Negate
Earthquake
Slice and Dice
Essence Scatter
Dual Shot

 

I think both UW and UB could be very strong. I’m particularly interested in UW because it can abuse the combination of Halimar Tidecaller, Whelming Wave, Familiar’s Ruse and Roil Sprout to force an opponent to continue to draw the same do-nothing creature every turn. Eventually you can kill them with an awakened Island, or something. White is somewhat lacking good spot removal, and Electrolyze and Prophetic Bolt let UR move through the deck in a way unavailable to both UB and UW.

GB Elves

Among the other cards with a power level much greater than the rest of the format is Priest of Titania. Early skeptics pointed out that Priest was also legal in Pauper and didn’t do much of anything there. Fortunately, we have access to a lot of great support cards.

Elves in the format should be built, I believe, as a hybrid midrange beatdown-combo deck. The combo finisher is Shaman of the Pack, the midrange threat is Wren’s Run Packmaster. Usually you win with a combination of both. Wren’s Run Packmaster is just a great card. A 5/5 for four mana, Packmaster can come down turn 3 in this deck, but often you save it until turn 4 as to not inhibit your development and to ensure you can immediately make a wolf token. Having five toughness is huge against the plethora of four damage sweepers in the format, most relevantly Slice and Dice and Wildfire. Shaman of the Pack lets you win games outside the attack step. Sometimes you chip in some damage early, Pack the opponent for 9 or 10 damage, and then get the final points with your 1/1s. I believe the combination of these two finishers gives the deck a great plan against the field.

The rest of the deck is mana and facilitators. I play 12 one mana dorks between Elvish Mystic, Gnarlroot Trapper, and Elves of Deep Shadow. This combination means your Swamps can cast dorks to make green mana and your Forests can cast dorks that make black mana. It allows the deck to get away with only basic lands, which is a huge tempo gain against most of the format.

The two drops are just Priest of Titania and Elvish Visionary. To bridge the gap between the mana dorks and the win conditions, the deck has access to Elvish Harbinger, which tutors for any piece you need and makes mana thereafter. Sylvan Messenger is fantastic and almost always hits at least two elves. Tower Defense is a bit of protection against damage-based sweepers. When you are so strong against so many things, it’s worth dedicating cards to what’s actually good against you. It also lets you profitably double or triple block against aggressive decks.

The sideboard is mostly speculative, and I can’t defend it at present. You’re already great against most creature decks, and most dedicated combo decks in the format just aren’t fast enough to race you if you are goldfishing.

Elves has a lot of options as a tribe because the power level of the key cards is so high. Wren’s Run Packmaster and Shaman of the Pack are such great and complementary threats that I don’t think the deck needs threats besides them.

Elves

Creatures (38)
Priest of Titania
Sylvan Messenger
Elvish Visionary
Elvish Harbinger
Shaman of the Pack
Wren’s Run Packmaster
Elves of Deep Shadow
Elvish Mystic
Gnarlroot Trapper
Primordial Sage

Spells (2)
Tower Defense

Mana (20)
15 Forest
Swamp
Sideboard (15)
Viridian Shaman
Duress
Eyeblight Massacre
Illness in the Ranks
Tower Defense
Naturalize

 

Taken together, Priest of Titania and Treasure Cruise are two of the most powerful cards in the format. Trying to build around them is great place to start. In both cases, enough supporting cards are there to make real decks. Time well tell if these cards are truly problematic, or if the format can regulate itself against them.

Naya Slide

One thing I love about Penny Dreadful is (re)discovering strategies that were once powerful in their heyday, but now no longer have a home. This is usually because some key cards are not legal in slower formats, and are not powerful enough for the eternal formats where they are legal. Naya slide definitely falls into this category, hearkening back to a different age in Magic’s history. In some alternate standard universe, where this particular combination of cards is legal, I believe this particular PD deck could be or could have been a very viable and powerful control deck (I’ve found PD is about on par with Standard in power level, but a lot deeper in terms of viable strategies, though I could be wrong in that assessment).

Indeed, R/W slide was a popular deck in the days of Onslaught Standard, and this deck borrows heavily from the deck of that era, while substituting some new tech for cards that are not penny dreadful legal.

Naya Slide

Creatures (13)
Flametongue Kavu
Acidic Slime
Valley Rannet
Cloudgoat Ranger

Spells (25)
Astral Slide
Decree of Justice
Slice and Dice
Edge of Autumn
Starstorm
Renewed Faith
Lightning Rift

Land (22)
Vivid Meadow
Plains
Mountain
Jungle Shrine
Forest
Vivid Crag
Sideboard (15)
Renewed Faith
Wall of Resurgence
Deadshot Minotaur
Azorius Arrester
Starstorm
Carven Caryatid

The deck basically intends to abuse its namesake card Astral Slide as well as Lightning Rift by triggering those enchantments as many times as possible. Even though the deck suffers a little bit from none of the cycling lands being legal, it actually gets a very good arsenal of cycling spells. Edge of Autumn is a rampant growth that allows us to trigger our enchantments for no mana, which can be huge. In addition, due to the way the deck plays by….well…cycling…it tends to have no difficulties finding lands as the game goes on, making sacrificing a land well worth it to trigger your enchantments in the late game. Edge of Autumn also shores up early game weaknesses, by ramping us making the green splash worth it almost alone.

This deck probably has the best sweeper suite of any deck I have played thus far in the format. Slice and Dice and Starstorm are both extremely versatile. Decree of Justice is probably one of the most underplayed cards in the format, being an extremely powerful finisher, and also providing utility in the midgame. Think of it as an uncounterable Secure the Wastes that cantrips, and you’ll quickly realize how good it is in general, but especially in control mirrors. Renewed Faith is a way to make sure we do not get totally blown out by decks that deal a lot of damage quickly. It is also a very cheap cycler, which is always nice.

Our creature base is intended to abuse Astral Slide triggers. Flametongue Kavu, or simply “FTK”, was known as one of the most format warping cards when it was in standard, and now it’s legal in penny dreadful. If you can get in a situation where you’re sliding this guy in an out, you’ll cause absolute headaches against any sort of creature based deck. Of course he’s usually just value when you play him on his own. Some old school Standard slide decks went g/w to (ab)use eternal witness. While we don’t get anything quite that powerful, acidic slime is very versatile and an answer to things the rest of the deck cannot answer. Usually we side him out against decks that run burn, since he is a 2/2 body for 5, but deathtouch allows him to trade pretty favorably as well, if your opponent does not have a good answer handy. Just another solid value creature that can get absurd very quickly with astral slide.

Valley Rannet, while lacking the raw power of Eternal Dragon, ensures we hit lands, and basically makes the green splash “free”. Cloudgoat Ranger is a finisher and can also generate a lot of tokens with an active slide.

The sideboard is still subject to tuning. Azorius Arrester is a card I’ve liked quite a lot against some decks that rely on attacking with big threats. I even used to maindeck some copies of him, since he brings the mana curve down, although I found that early, you either want to be casting your enchantments or ramping or cycling for lands, so I shaved him to the sideboard. Wall of Resurgence can come in against creature based decks that do not play a lot of spot removal. With Astral Slide it can become a pretty quick clock as well. More copies of Starstorm are warranted against decks like Elves.

The deck might struggle against really fast aggro if it cannot hit its sweepers, and if a deck runs a lot of maindeck or sideboard enchantment hate it might cause us problems as well . Nonetheless, in testing so far, I’ve racked up quite a bit more wins than losses, and I definitely think the deck is powerful enough to compete.

If you enjoy this deck (or do not enjoy it), and have any more ideas let me know in the comments.

Counting Coppers – BW Humans

First Episode of Counting Coppers!

Deck list hosted on MTGGoldfish

BW Humans

Mainboard (60)
12 Plains
Swamp
Scoured Barrens
Soldier of the Pantheon
Bloodsoaked Champion
Infiltration Lens
Trusty Machete
Daring Skyjek
Knight of the Holy Nimbus
Relic Seeker
Elite Inquisitor
Precinct Captain
Spear of Heliod
Xathrid Necromancer
Underworld Connections
Magister of Worth
Sideboard (15)
Frontline Medic
Intrepid Hero
Cruel Edict
Beckon Apparition
Magister of Worth

The deck plays very easily, curving out 1,2, and 3 drops and then playing aggressively to close out games quickly by about turn 5-6. Your core beatsticks are going to be Precinct Captain and Elite Inquisitor, relying on these two to trade into early drops from your opponents or taking down their life total.

Your recovery cards are going to be a proactive Xathrid Necromancer or a reactive infiltration lens/underworld connections. Magister of Worth is in the deck as an “Oh Shit” button to reset the board, and remember symmetrical effects rarely are, so keep a Xathrid alive to play your Magister into and you’ll have a board presence and your opponent won’t.

As for your sideboard we have Frontline Medic to replace Xathrid Necromancer in matchups where its not favorable to trade your creatures, but instead just push through damage without worrying about losing creatures. Intrepid Hero is to side in against heroic decks, reanimator, and midrange, while Magister of Worth is for decks that will bog down the board state so neither of you can attack, like elf ball.

For your non-creature cards in the sideboard we have Cruel Edict to hit hexproof creatures, reanimator targets, and heroic again. While beckon apparition is there to be sided into against graveyard decks like reanimator, worm, and heritage.

Now lets get to the matches!

 

Anyway that’s it for this week’s Counting Coppers, I hope you enjoyed the article and video and remember to like and subscribe if you did. I’ll hopefully see you next week with another new deck for Penny Dreadful and leave you today with a little hint, the next deck is Gunna be full of good stuff!

A Deck for Horrible People

Lets start off this blog with a Penny Dreadful deck for horrible people.  Lock down all the creatures and kill the opponent slowly.  Really though, don’t play this deck.

WB 32 Pacifism

Enchantment (35)
Blind Obedience
Cagemail
Festering Wound
Forced Worship
Kirtar’s Desire
Pacifism
Pillory of the Sleepless
Prison Term
Temporal Isolation
Weight of Conscience

Land (19)
Evolving Wilds
Forsaken Sanctuary
New Benalia
Plains
Swamp

Instant (1)
Reciprocate

Artifact (2)
Angel’s Trumpet

Creature (3)
Mesa Enchantress
Sideboard (15)
Blind Obedience
Cessation
Immolating Glare
Oppressive Rays
Soltari Monk
Soltari Priest
Wave of Terror

Works decently well against decks that go wide, but crumbles to proper control.