Tag: scavenging-ooze

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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - September 8, 2014

Jund Monsters by Chris Van Meter (1st at SCG Somerset Standard Open on...

Champion’s Deck

Polukranos, World eater - Jund Monsters

Jund Monsters by Chris Van Meter

1st at SCG Somerset Standard Open on Aug 30th 2014
 
The Beard is Dead, Long Live the Beard.
So finally CVM has conquered that demon which has eluded him for so long. And not for lack of effort as it was so close to his clutches many times before but now is firmly in his grasp. He can finally fulfill his commitment to not shave off the beard until he wins an Open and that face not seen all year will be bald and bare again. This was also a testament that sticking to a archetype that you’ve not only developed into your comfort zone but also mastered and tweaked to perfection is a key to finding success.
The deck starts very simply by building it ramp through Elvish Mystic and Sylvan Caryatid to gain access to extra mana and deploy your big threats as early as possible. This leads us to the central focus of the deck which is built around the monsters with Polukranos, World Eater who also doubles as removal and the hasty flier Stormbreath Dragon who are a straight up beatdown plan to smash your opponents to pieces. For support we find the only Magic 2015 update with the uber popular Goblin Rabblemaster which has been making waves in Standard as an amazing source of card advantage by adding pressure to the board each and every turn, and when your opponent is unable to defend against the rabbling hordes then it gets ugly fast. Scavenging Ooze is there as a hedge against any type of reanimation or graveyard abuse and is able to grow rather monstrous while gaining incidental life points here and there. The last creature Ghor-Clan Rampager isn’t often used as such but more for the Bloodrush ability to not only pump up an attacker but also Trample damage through a chump blocker often clearing the path of an annoying roadblock in your way. And finally we have a couple of Mutavault in the manabase to skirt decks loaded on sorcery speed removal. We compliment this robust creature package with two planeswalkers Domri Rade and Xenagos, the Reveler who both have great synergy with the high creature count. Finally, the deck has a splash of removal for those especially annoying obstacles with Dreadbore for pinpoint and Mizzium Mortars as the sweeper.

 

I’m happy to see CVM finally reach that pinnacle he had shackled to himself, not that he looked too much like a crazed ZZ Top hobo much. He has proven time and time again hoe power the Monsters deck is destroying competition in his wake. It is very likely that this deck will morph through the rotation to continue its dominance, quite likely as a RUG or Temur list. I’m excited to see what will emerge in just a few more weeks.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Email: ejseltzer@hotmail.com
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - May 17, 2014

Jund Modern by Andrew Huska (2nd at GP Minneapolis Modern on May 11th ...

 Deck of the day

Liliana of the Veil

 

Jund Modern by Andrew Huska

2nd at Grand Prix Minneapolis 2014 
 

By rights this is the deck that should have won in Minneapolis last weekend and would have if that Scapeshift had not been peeled off the top. Jund has long been a bogeyman of the format, but the recent ban on Deathrite Shaman did a lot to suck the wind out of its sails. But it continues to compete as a tier 1 strategy because it has so many powerful pieces of disruption and removal, backed by a team of beatdown creatures.

The main strategy to victory revolves around two key monsters crashing the red zone with longtime all star Tarmogoyf widely accepted as the best two drop beater ever printed as it continues to scale up as the grave fills with different card types, and also manland Raging Ravine which continues to grow with each attack and as a land is able to dodge any sorcery speed removal. There is also Scavenging Ooze which has the ability to grow to epic proportions as well but is most useful as a way to control the opponents graveyard if they are operating with any recursion now that Deathrite is no more. There is also Dark Confidant which is the decks main source of grinding card advantage and newcomer Courser of Kruphix which is largely a brick wall with its four toughness but also acts as a form of ramp and those life points will often be very relevant in the end. The next key element of this deck is the disruption package and that is found with three trios of discard with Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize as amazing turn one pinpoint extraction also enabling you to see the opponents current plans, and also Liliana of the Veil which is a symmetrical discard but you are able to prepare properly in advance and often force early misplays from the enemy. Liliana also double as removal with her sacrifice ability and is able to rid the board of troublesome creatures especially Hexproof or Indestructible ones that you normally would not be able to destroy. The remainder of the deck is basically more removal of varied flavors including Abrupt Decay and Maelstrom Pulse able to hit many different problem permanents, Slaughter Pact and Terminate as pinpoint removal for creature threats, and Anger of the Gods which provides the deck a sweeper capable of exiling the many recursive creatures especially from Melira Pod decks. There is also the requisite set of Lightning Bolt, almost a given for any deck in the format running Red, which doubles both as removal but also as additional reach to close out games quickly. The final card is a one of Chandra, Pyromaster which with her ability to negate blockers will be a road to victory in many games that she hits the table and her second ability help provide additional draw to the deck which is one element that is not a strength.

And so despite any attempts to suppress what has always been a very powerful Midrange strategy showing itself in its early days from a mere Standard deck then porting into Modern and ultimately finding success even in the wide open format of Legacy. Because the deck revolves not specifically around any particular card but instead is simply a conglomeration of available discard and removal backed by beatdown creatures it will always find a way to rise back to the top. It will be very interesting over the upcoming Modern PTQ season to see just how well the deck competes and what sort of evolution it may go through to again reign over the format.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Email: ejseltzer@hotmail.com
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - May 9, 2014

4 Color Loam by Niklas Kronberger (1st at Bazaar of Moxen 9 Legacy Mai...

Champion’s Deck

Life from the Loam - 4 Color Loam

4COLOR LOAM by Niklas Kronberger

1ST Place  BOM9 Legacy Main Event Top 8 – May 2ND 2014

The Bazaar of Moxen is a four day Eternal Magic event in Europe featuring Vintage, Legacy and Modern tournaments. Every year a devoted crowd makes a pilgrimage to compete for amazing prizes and have a great time. We’ve already featured the Modern Main Event winners decklist for you and here we present the Legacy. It is based around the interaction of Life from the Loam with the toolbox of lands and the creatures which interact favorably with that design. At its core we have a Junk deck, the combination of White, Black and Green, with a splash of Red to gain a little extra reach. It has heavy elements of disruption but also a formidable creature package capable of finishing the match in short order.

 

The title of the deck comes from the decks engine card Life from the Loam which is able to return lands from your graveyard to your hand and has the added benefit of Dredge to pull itself back from the grave to continue the cycle. This is invaluable to the deck as you have a lot of interaction involving sacrificing or discarding lands to advance your plan starting right with the decks fast mana source in Mox Diamond. There is also a slew of lands in your manabase which will naturally find their way to the grave starting with the disruption staple Wasteland which is an absolute blowout when recured every turn to shut down the opponents mana, the decks fetchland Verdant Catacombs, and the trio of card draw in Horizon Canopy, Barren Moor and Tranquil Thicket. There is also the creature land Dryad Arbor which can find itself used turn after turn as a chump blocker if the need so arises. Speaking of creatures we then get to those beatdown creatures which will lock down the game for you with Tarmogoyf, Scavenging Ooze which also does double duty to brutalize opponents graveyards if they are using it as a resources, and the Knight of the Reliquary which can balloon to epic proportions while searching up the decks toolbox of lands. And in the Knights toolbox we find Maze of Ith to nullify large creature based aggro strategy, Karakas which is absolutely necessary to fight against decks like Sneak and Show cheating legendary fatties into play way ahead of curve, and also Grove of the Burnwillows which combos with Punishing Fire to pick off pesky creatures at a very reasonable price. Adding to the draw from the land package there is also Dark Confidant which with an average converted mana cost over the sixty cards at less then one will pay off in spades and the powerful card selection tool Sylvan Library. There is pseudo-card draw from Green Sun’s Zenith which will search up your most relevant Green creature including the Arbor if that’s what you need. For the disruption we have some extremely powerful tools starting with Chalice of the Void to work against specific decks strongest cards at that cost, there is Gaddock Teeg to nullify high cost non-creature spells especially Force of Will, and Liliana of the Veil where you’ll be able to swing the discard disadvantage back towards your favor while working to control the battlefield. The final piece of our puzzle comes with pinpoint destruction from Abrupt Decay which in Legacy is such a power piece of removal and is able to hit such a variety of targets.

 

So while this is not a new strategy for Legacy it is a very strong deck that in the right metagame makeup is able to find its way to success. We certainly will see this strategy continue to thrive and grow as it gets stronger every time a new utility land is printed that it can find use for. We will see if it continues to show itself at the top tables or if players find answers to hedge against its power.

Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Email me at ejseltzer@hotmail.com
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - May 8, 2014

GW Hatebears by Serafin Wellinger (1st at Bazaar of Moxen Modern Main ...

Champion’s Deck

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben - GW Hate Bears

GW Hatebears by Serafin Wellinger

Bazaar of Moxen – 1ST Place Main Event Modern

It seems like the GW Hatebears motif was out in full effect this past weekend. In addition to the winner of the SCG Cincinnati we also saw this port over to Modern at the Bazaar of Moxen. And with good reason as the overall theme of the deck is a very strong disruption with aggro beats. While there are differences of course since the Modern card pool and metagame is not the same as Legacy it continues to show dominance across formats due to its incredible power.

The Modern version also utilizes Æther Vial as a very key component to the deck and while countermagic is not nearly as prevalent as it is in Legacy gaining advantage by dropping basically free creature and doing so at instant speed provides a huge disruption element which is the focal point of the deck. The other first turn play in the deck is Noble Hierarch which serves the deck well as a mana dork providing both White and Green for the deck as well as a bonus power boost if you are sending in a lone attacker for the beatdown. Moving up the curve to the two drop spot there is the all-star of the deck Thalia, Guardian of Thraben which does as much in Modern as in Legacy to slow down all non-creature based strategies, pesky Leonin Arbiter which shuts down searching the library unless you pay the price, and Scavenging Ooze to nullify the popular graveyard based strategies most especially the rampant Birthing Pod decks. We then go to our three drop slot where we have disruptive Aven Mindcensor to effectively shut down any deck looking to search the library for tools, we can Vial in a Flickerwisp as a way to protect our important pieces which may get targeted by removal, and even Blade Splicer can be a shocking surprise as the Golem Token it brings along to fight can First Strike an attacker to death which had expected a free and clear passage. And finally we get to the angels of the deck at the four cost with added protective redundancy from Restoration Angel and the unique disruptive ability from Linvala, Keeper of Silence which will shut down manadorks along with any other activated abilities from opponents creatures. The deck also runs a full set of Path to Exile to have some pinpoint removal to take out those most important threats. To assist in the beatdown plan the manabase includes Gavony Townships for additional creature pump and for disruption there is a full set of Ghost Quarter which combine with Arbiter and Mindcensor to effectively become Strip Mine.

Another fine deck makes its way to the forefront of the Modern meta showing how truly wide open the format really is. It will be very interesting to see how this deck fares this weekend at the Grand Prix in Minneapolis. Will it show that it was not just a one trick pony or is the meta going to react to this result by overcompensating. We will see.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer
ejseltzer@hotmail.com
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - March 20, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Jund Monsters by Philippe Monlevade (1st...

Dreadbore
Philippe Monlevade
 1st Place at Grand Prix Buenos Aires Standard 2014
This deck has but one goal and that is to bring the beats. It is focused on fast acceleration to power out huge monsters. There is some support from a trio of powerful Planeswalkers but the primary goal is to get some huge threats into play way ahead of the curve. The core shell is that of Gruul Monsters but the addition of Black to it allows for some extra answers and interesting threats.

The opening strategy is focused on your mana dorks to come and ramp to the fatties. We find full sets of Elvish Mystic, Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix all of which can speed you plan up by several turns. Also, removal aimed at them means less removal to deal with the big boys. As far as those ‘big boys’ are concerned there is Polukranos, World Eater and Stormbreath Dragon who’s ability to become Monstrous will often spell certain doom for your opponents well before they’re ready to deal with them. Then there are a few support creatures with Reaper of the Wilds with a Scry ability helpful when the opponent is removing your creatures or chumping with his, Ghor-Clan Rampager which can turn a game saving chump block into a game ending surprise, Scavenging Ooze with incidental lifegain and graveyard hate, and Xenagos, God of Revels pushing the beatdown plan into high gear. Speaking of Xenagos we find the same standard package of Planeswalkers as in Gruul with Domri Rade and Xenagos, the Reveler which both are invaluable in a creature heavy deck both accelerating and digging for them while also working hard to control the battlefield. The addition of Black is what allows an interesting one of Vraska, the Unseen which can spell certain doom if her assassins are able to infiltrate through the enemies defenses but will most often be used as removal of various types of threats. And speaking of removal the deck is completed with a minor removal suite which consists of a pair of Dreadbore and pair of Mizzium Mortars but is also somewhat supplemented by the Monstrous ability.

Definitely the addition of Black to the Gruul shell offers some more options to the deck but in all honesty this is really the Gruul Monsters with a splash of Black in it. Going forward it is going to be interesting to see if the splash is adopted or if the extra color offers an inconsistency to the manabase. In either case I’m certain that these monsters will continue to bring the beats in Standard for months to come.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - March 10, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Kiki Pod by Brian Liu (1st at Grand Prix...

Birthing Pod
Kiki Pod
Brian Liu
1st Place at Grand Prix on 3/9/2014
One of the marquee cards in Modern has been Birthing Pod and it’s unique ability to upgrade creatures into new creatures from your library. There is an entirely different Pod deck which centers around Melira, Sylvok Outcast but this version uses a different legendary creature Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to steal the ‘Twin’ win engine and combo kill your opponent with infinite creatures.

The engine of the deck runs primarily around the interaction of Birthing Pod with its ‘pod chain’ which is basically a set of creatures at each converted mana cost which you chain together to move up progressively. There is also a second way to ‘tutor’ your creatures with Chord of Calling which is why the deck is so heavily focused on creatures and has a toolbox which can find answers in the maindeck to many of the problems the deck may face from the different decks in the format.

We then get to the creatures in the deck which comprise an entire half of the deck. Starting at the bottom we have the one drop creature with four Birds of Paradise and three Noble Hierarch which serve as the primary acceleration of deck to power out you Pods as quickly as possible. Then moving to the two drops there is three Wall of Roots which complete the mana dork suite and have a favorable interaction with Convoke from Chord of Calling to provide two mana towards the casting cost. There is also two Voice of Resurgence which will leave behind its token when podded, two Scavenging Ooze for incidental lifegain and graveyard control, one Spellskite which can be used either to protect key creatures or disrupt opponents such as Splinter Twin, and one Qasali Pridemage that can destroy a pesky enchantment or artifact especially after sideboard. From the three drops there are two Kitchen Finks which helps to regain life lost from spending Phyrexian mana as well as basically two creatures each for Birthing Pod because of Persist, one Eternal Witness which can rebuy anything lost to the graveyard back to your hand, and one Deceiver Exarch which is a key piece in comboing off for the kill using its ability to untap your Pod or combined with Kiki create infinite creatures. At the next level the four drop are comprised of four Restoration Angel which is another integral cog in the combo by blinking a Pod or Exarch to continue chaining or as a Kiki target to create an infinite army of flying angels. There is also utility from one Murderous Redcap which can be used to kill off low toughness creatures or go to the dome to finish the last points of life, one Glen Elendra Archmage which is the decks only permission, and one Linvala, Keeper of Silence which shuts down many creature abilities to either stiffle the opponents chance to win or at least severily delay it. Finally we have the five drops where we find the namesake of the deck with two Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker the way this deck combo kills for an instant win and also one Zealous Conscript which can be used in the chain to continue by untapping a Pod to be used again.
This deck also has in its manabase two Gavony Township which allow it to switch to the beatdown plan if necessary and also remove -1/-1 tokens from the Persist creature to get additional use from them.
This deck is truly a work of art and only continues to improve with each new creature that is printed being another possible option to add to your pod chain. You should definitely expect this deck to be around for a long time in Modern and must either prepare to face it or learn to master it.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - February 24, 2014

Champion’s Deck – GR Monsters by Jonathon Habel (1st at SC...

Xenagos The Reveler

G/R Monsters

Jonathon Habel

1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 2/22/2014

No groundbreaking shake-up to be found here just a solid and consistent Midrange deck which aims to throw huge beaters at you whirled up with powerful planeswalkers to gain advantage.
Start it up with a ramp package consisting of Elvish Mystic and Sylvan Caryatid which is an integral cog in the machine to power your monster out ahead of the curve. The deck runs Scavenging Ooze as its two drop which can come down early but is best once there is already food in the graveyard for him to grow fatter upon. The main threats in the deck come in the form of the ‘Monstrous’  Polukranos, World Eater and Stormbreath Dragon ready to rip chunks of life from your opponent. Then you have the buffs in Ghor-Clan Rampager and Boon Satyr both of which can either make your monsters into ridiculously large game-enders or can turn your little guys into formidable threats in a pinch. The creatures are backed up primarily by the powerful dynamic duo of planeswalkers in Domri Rade and Xenagos, the Reveler with a little additional assistance from Garruk, Caller of Beasts. We have very few spells in this extremely creaturecentric deck finding a trio of the powerful onesided sweeper Mizzium Mortars and also a copy of Flesh // Blood which is used almost solely for the Blood half as removal or burn but the other half could be used with black mana from a Caryatid if necessary.

This deck is nothing new as this big monster strategy has been very successful for the past few months but what strikes me as odd was that the new players from Born of the Gods Xenagos, God of Revels and Courser of Kruphix are inexplicably absent from this list. Seeing as he did win the event I’m not so much questioning the decision but more wondering the reasoning, was it some sort of meta choice or more of a card selection issue.

Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - February 13, 2014

Deck of the Day – Golgari Midrange by Ben Dugan (21st at SCG Nas...

Golgari Charm
B/G Midrange
Ben Dugan
21st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 2/8/2014
Lands (23)

Creatures (22)

Spells (15)

Sideboard

Going several months back we find the original shell of this deck that was dubbed Kibler Golgari after the idea was pioneered by Brian Kibler. The basic premise was good valued beefy creatures powered out by some ramp, backed up by potent removal and some discard. Much of that previous shell still makes up the basis of this list just a little more streamlined and with a couple new toys from Born of the Gods.
It all starts out with the decks ramp in the form of Elvish Mystic, and while not a necessity for the deck is certainly welcome to speed it up. While it is the decks two drop you can hold back from playing your Scavenging Ooze until you have some free mana open and targets in the grave to boost him especially against burn spells from red. The deck is capable of pushing a powerful assault right out of the gate with the hasty Dreg Mangler especially if you’re lucky with Mystic first turn. The other three drops in the deck really double as fives with the Bestow creatures Boon Satyr and BNG newcomer Herald of Torment either fortifying your other creatures on the board but also easily dropping unbestowed to pound the assault.  We find the true powerhouse in four drop Reaper of the Wilds which at 4/5 is already a force to be reckoned as is but tack on incidental Deathtouch to kill high toughness creatures or Hexproof to protect itself from spot removal as a bonus. But the real value from Reaper is the Scry 1 which trigger whenever ANY creature dies. So it effectively throws a Scry onto each of your removal spell or even any chump blocks.
Speaking of removal spells is chock full of them with Hero’s Downfall, Abrupt Decay and another BNG newcomer Bile Blight able to take down a variety of different problems. There is also Golgari charm with the versatility to either sweep away token armies, rid the board of pesky enchantments like Underworld Connections or Bident of Thassa and perhaps most importantly save your troops from sweepers like Supreme Verdict. We wrap up the package with a full set of Thoughtseize which not only provide invaluable information about the opponents game plan but also as a way to deal with otherwise difficult to deal with threats like an Indestructible god.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter

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