Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dredgimation Follow-Ups

A quick collection of posts after I had finished work on Dredgimation. Some of these may be in reply to other posters.


Having tuned Dredgimation into a nice casual T2 deck, and having created the janktastic pile of crap known as Gifts of Dominaria (Eternal Dominion/Tron deck; trust me, fun to confuse your opponent but no one is running the necessary bombs for that card), I now need another deck concept. I am looking only for T2 decks. A limited card pool keeps me focused and it is always easier to find standard games for testing. I am not seeking to necessarily break a card or make a deck around a junk rare or anything like that. I certainly could, if the idea interests me. But the only requirement for this thread is ideas. Not up for grabs: Milling, Searing Meditation, Dredgimation, and Epic spells.


I am working on 2 1/2 decks right now.

Deck 1: I am trying to create a milling deck with Dampen Thought. So far, it has not worked out as well as I want.

Deck 1.5: I am trying to create an arcane milling deck with Dampen Thought and The Unspeakable's combo. This sucks even more than the milling deck but I like the arcane milling part. What it needs is a black or white splash for board clearing.

Deck 2: Affinity with a combo - Blanket of Night + Kormus Bell + Cursed Totem. Blanket of Night turns all lands into Swamps. Kormus Bell turns all Swamps into 1/1 creatures. Cursed Totem stops all activated abilities of creatures (including mana abilities). This means my opponent is totally locked out. Of course, he will have a bunch of 1/1 lands. But I will have Frogmite and Myr Enforcer and Ornithopter and Cranial Plating in addition to my 1/1 lands.


Huggy, Dredgimation just took 2nd in a Standard tournament at O-Gaming. It decimated two different versions of the Rock, even winning a game against dual Cranial Extraction (Kokusho and Zombify; I beat him down with two Blazing Archons with counters from Vigor Mortis) but lost hard to Heartbeat Combo in the finals because I did not keep sideboard Naturalize (as you know, I keep all my idea cards in the sideboard; in order to join the tournament, I had to cut it down to 15). Nightmare Void was a key card all night. Necroplasm, on the other hand, may be getting the boot as I have seen fewer and fewer decks sporting tokens (although two decks tonight had Tatsumasa, and I was holding Necro both times, hoping they would play the dragon token).

I am going to test the deck with sideboard Naturalize in place of Plague Boiler. I have only twice brought in the Boilers, and both times were in the match against Heartbeat, so I am thinking Naturalize will be a much better choice (FYI, against Heartbeat side out Putrefy as it does nothing in that match and, if you feel he is close to comboing out, feel free to waste one on his Top in order to cut down his options, as long as you have another to take out Heartbeat).

Don't you hate that gut-wrenching feeling at the beginning of a tournament, when you wonder just how fast you will scrub out? And then as the games go on, it fades, only to be replaced by the wariness of not blowing your chance? And finally you end up feeling very pumped, whether you win or lose, because you made it to the finals with your own frickin' deck after taking down the netdecks?



Another deck concept: Goodbye cards! When 9th edition came out, it brought back Jester's Cap and Hypnotic Specter. My first thought was, "Great. Neverending Torment, Jester's Cap, Hypnotic Specter, and Cranial Extraction all in the same format. Does Wizards just not want me to play any spells?"

My new deck concept is mono-black control or possible Bu control (interestingly enough, bu is Mandarin Chinese for no). Ravnica gives us the awesome Nightmare Void along with Circu, Dimir Lobotomist. When I first read Circu, I thought he just removed cards from the game. However, he also says "your opponent may not play non-land cards with the same name as a card removed from the game with Circu." That means, cast a Nightmare Void with Circu in play, you get to take the top card of his library out of the game and then pull a card out of his hand. And since the other copies of that removed card cannot be played, you can leave any of them in his hand and grab other stuff.


Truth is, I rarely need to sideboard anything except Blazing Archon (4) for Grave-Shell Scarab and Naturalize (4) for Putrefy (typically; although I have replaced Stinkweed Imp before). Blazing Archon for Grave-Shell Scarab is done so often I continuously have to justify the bug in the maindeck. Usually, he makes my opponent think I am a fullblown Dredge deck and he makes some (minor) misplays. I have also brought in Recollect against a mill deck but I never used it (in part because he removed it from the game with Circu).

So officially my sideboard is:
SB: 4 Blazing Archon
SB: 4 Naturalize
SB: 3 Recollect
SB: 4 ???

I am actually considering Cranial Extraction and Shambling Shell right now. I want the Shell for matches where I want Necroplasm to stick around to hit bigger guys and against decks that have few creatures on the board.

There has been a change:
Out - 1 Stinkweed Imp (or Necroplasm; you end up with three of each instead of 4/3 split)
In - 1 Life from the Loam

Reasoning - In certain situations (Nightmare Void vs MUC), you end up dredging a lot and, therefore, not drawing extra lands/cards. Running MUC out of counters is all well and good, but then you have to hit 5-6 lands to hardcast your creatures and/or pull a reanimator. Life from the Loam gets you the lands and does it for cheap.

At first I put in a whole set instead of Sakura-Tribe Elder and I got screwed. The deck is not made to get cards by dredge and it needs to hit 4 mana as soon as possible. So I scaled it back to where it belongs. Ideally I would run 2 but I cannot figure out what to cut for the second Loam. I already do not like cutting down my 3-drops to 3 a piece and cutting a Grave-Shell (which I already tried), just delays the problem to when you try and sideboard in the Archons. With the Loam in hand or in the graveyard, you can Nightmare Void your opponent down then cast Loam, drop a land, and play Necro or Stinky. Next turn, you have 6 mana and can hardcast Kokusho or Grave-Shell and still have mana to Top.

The current changes being evaluated:
Out - 1-2 Grave-Shell Scarab
In - 1-2 Gleancrawler
Reasoning - Sometimes I really want/need to cast double Kokusho and then pull it off again over the next turns. Also, Grave-Shell has no evasion (the very reason he was not in the original build of the deck; I had been playing UB Reanimator and just about every deck I came against had chump blockers innumerable), whereas Gleancrawler tramples.

Now, why not just replace the dull Grave-Shell whole cloth? Because I may run into problems with Gleancrawler returning Kokusho to my hand. Getting to 12 mana takes a while with this deck. Getting to 10 happens two turns faster. Sometimes I want Kokusho to stay in the graveyard. However, I can also see the good aspects of Kokusho popping back to my hand turn after turn, especially when that means I still have a 6/6 trampler on the board. And God forbid I have Gleancrawler and Sakura-Tribe Elder.

Out - 1 Swamp
In - Miren, the Moaning Well
Reasoning - Back when I was playing UB Reanimator, I got crushed by Fungus Fire when he cast Devouring Light on the only win condition I had seen all game (Kokusho).

I hated UB Reanimator. It sucked so hard in my hands that I had to make a different version. Hence Dredgimation. Now, Kokusho is still here. I have yet to see Devouring Light from my opponent but I have seen a number of games where I lose the turn before my opponent would die. Miren is a win condition with Kokusho and a stall with Gleancrawler. My only problem with bringing in Miren is that it requires leaving 4 lands open. This is fine and dandy when I have Kokusho on the board for a turn, but they typically have that window of opportunity to screw me. Of course, it also opens up some windows of screwitude as well. Kumano takes a lot of mana to kill Kokusho. Neither would one Yamabushi Flame get rid of him. But use Kumano once or YFlame my dragon in response to Miren and say goodbye to my favorite creature.

Want to know why Kokusho is my favorite creature? I was playing a Champions-Betrayers sealed deck tournament. My bomb creature was Kokusho. I also had Stir the Grave and Soulless Revival. I also had Pull Under and Call for Blood. I won nearly half my games using those tricks. "Attack with Kokusho. Pull Under on Kokusho. GG."

No comments: