Tag: scgindy

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - January 7, 2014

Champion’s deck – Jund Depths by Kennen Haas (1st Place SCG Indian...

Dark Depths 620 x 229 
Jund Depths
Kennen Haas
1st Place at StarCityGames Legacy Open on 1/5/2014
Lands (30)

Creatures (2)

Planeswalker (4)

Spells (24)


Now here’s an interesting deck that’s really piqued my interest. The interaction between Dark Depths and Vampire Hexmage brought about a resurgence of Depth‘s somewhat around Zendikar but the inherent fragility of Hexmage being a spell allowed there to be some answer in countermagic. Then along comes Return to Ravnica with the interesting new Vesuva variation Thespian’s Stage to spin the power of a 20/20 flying Avatar in a new direction. Because copy effects like Vesuva trigger onto the battlefield effects it was not able to pair with Depth‘s for value but Stage is already in play so doesn’t get the tokens placed on it. Thus you are able to copy and trigger the token generating effect immediately. This is the basis for the win condition of this cool new Loam brew.

The deck is stacked half full of lands thus able to work with the very powerful Life from the Loam engine. This engine is fueled by an extremely heavy discard package which works not only to strip threats and answers from the opponent but also to gain back advantage from costs and effects from your spells. Starting with something as simple as rebuying the land pitched to a Mox Diamond, Raven’s Crime or Crop Rotation, reusing a fetchland or the dreaded Wasteland. Crop Rotation is able to tutor directly into play either piece of the Depths/Stage combo you’re missing or any of your utility lands such as Bojuka Bog against Dredge or Reanimator, Maze of Ith & Tabernacle against creature decks, Karakas to bounce pesky Legendary creatures that might get in your way or even Wasteland to punish decks relying to heavily on non-basic lands. There are very few non-land permanents in the deck but a full set of Liliana of the Veil are included to clear away opponents creatures on board and strip away potential threats or answers from their hand, and the built in synergies in the deck reduce the downside from pitching your own cards. Speaking of synergies there are several elements designed to fully take advantage of the devastating Smallpox. We’ve already seen how we recycle lost lands from the graveyard but we also find Nether Spirit which returns itself to play to be sacrificed again and Squee which returns back to your hand to be discarded for Smallpox or Liliana alike. We also find the very powerful Punishing Fire and Grove of the Burnwillows combo which can double as a secondary win condition in a pinch. Then rounding up the deck we have Entomb and Faithless Looting which combined with the rest of the parts of this deck form a formidable draw engine to get the rest of the decks combos working.
One of the main weaknesses of the deck is the difficulty in dealing with on board non-creature/non-land permanents. Obviously the goal of the deck is to deny mana then strip the hand but sometimes everything does not go according to plan. From the sideboard we find a trio of Pithing Needle used as a catchall to lock out planeswalkers primarily but also other activated abilities can be bricked easily. Also there’s an Ancient Grudge and a Ray of Revelation to remove artifacts or enchantments respectively. Interestingly we find Phyrexian Ingester which is possibly the most offbeat answer I’ve seen so far to creatures from Show and Tell decks. There’s added redundancy with some of his other picks in the sideboard but you’ll obviously need to tune it to your expected meta.
Definitely a deck that needs some play time to learn how to pilot it properly but a real treat of a deck with some amazing but simplistic synergy guiding a sheer bolt of lightning. If you’re able to pull it together don’t cheat yourself the chance to take this baby out for a spin.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Gregoire Thibault - January 6, 2014

Champion’s deck – Mono-black Devotion by Owen Turtenwald (1st Plac...

Underworld Connections
Mono-Black Devotion
Owen Turtenwald
1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 1/4/2014
Lands (26)

Creatures (16)

Other Spells (18)


Owen Turtenwald takes down the first standard tourney of the year with what is becoming his stock Mono-Black Devotion. What an excellent way for him to start off 2014 after having such an incredible run last year! Owen won two GPs back 2 back in completely different formats last November, one of them here using a solid Mono-Black Devotion build. There were also two winners at the SCG LA in December here, one from the Standard Open and the other the Invitational mixed Legacy with Standard. When we compare Owen’s list with the last three we showcased, we see it’s mostly streamlining the list to fight the metagame. He removed Erebos, God of the Dead from the main and opted for 3 in the sideboard, which is strong card advantage against control decks and stops life gain from Sphinx’s revelation. Adding more Pharika’s Cure against aggro decks like White Weenie and RDW to both remove and heal back a few life points, and finally a full set of Devour Flesh which is supremely useful against Blood Baron of Vizkopa. Mono Black Devotion shows that it is still one of the biggest contenders in the current Standard meta. I can’t wait to see how it holds up and gets further tweaked once Born of the Gods is released.