GP Manchester swiftly approaches us and after the marathon viewing experience that was Pro Tour Journey into Nyx, we now have some idea of what to expect to come up against.
After all, why do all the work when we can let the professionals tell us what works? Brewed in a secret laboratory on a secret island some Soldiers of the Pantheon put up an amazing show with a BUG midrange control deck with the awesome combo of Courser of Kruphix and scry lands.
Though the BUG deck wasn’t crowned the winner of the event it put up a winning record for “The Pantheon” team members. Nine out of a total of the twelve players piloting the BUG deck made the money with Gabriel Nassif only losing out due to a less than stellar limited score.
I believe a lot of players will be taking this deck, tweaking it a little and jamming it in sleeves ready to 3 people to death with Sensei’s Divining Helicopter (Prognostic Sphinx).
If the topocopter is the answer to Elspeth, flying under her need for reprisal and finding the answers required for the other problems presented in the process of doing so.
Playing something equally slow against them is going to be painful as they find all the answers they need whilst placating you with an endless supply of “nope“.
Personally I quite enjoy this, powerful and popular decks that supply no real clock with a stretched manabase that includes 12 tapped lands and some number of Mana Confluence means that equally powerful decks that are smashing domes can come on top, sneaking in annoying little threats and relevant pieces in under counter magic and kill spells.
Having a powerful end game that punishes slow opponents whilst also having the ability to transform into more of a board control deck post board against the expected UW, RW and Mono Red heroic decks feels like a good place to be.
I feel like my Red Devotion list can go one of two ways, as I’m already using scry lands for the associated value I could quite easily splash a second colour –Green or White.
I do like the idea of Xenagos, the Reveler but ultimately my fours are clogged as it is – though he does make an alright team with Purphoros, God of the Forge it’s not quite as explosive as Elspeth, Sun’s Champion machine gunning people and Planeswalkers without fear.
These Planeswalkers however aren’t a direction I want to be going in I want the games to be swift and brutal, I want to hear “time on the round” when I’ve been sat down with a burrito and a bottle of water for fifteen minutes already, refreshed and ready to go whilst my future opponents are working out the ten lines of play a turn afforded to them by their BUG and Junk lists.
Some new additions to the deck as concessions to what I actually expect to see.
What aggressive start can come back from this? I will be jamming this beauty into the maindeck, now that I’ve removed Firedrinker Satyr and shaved Everflame Eidolon I feel this is a much more comfortable inclusion.
Even against Caryatids this works quite well, punishing the greedy manabases and forcing them to use their Mana Confluence whilst bottle necking their mana and stranding the more greedily costed cards in hand.
I will be splitting the 4/75 Flame-Wreathed Phoenix to being a 2/2 split with these guys in the main, a 4/5 body blocks a lot of things including Brimaz, King of Oreskos and is the perfect post-anger play to prevent any further developments.
When you’re ahead he can act like an Armageddon with upside if your remaining lands are red source, red source, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx you can continue to develop your game plan whilst smashing in for 7.
The only thing I dislike is whatever that artwork is going on about.
I will be putting much higher priority on this one, it basically kills any plussed Planeswalker most notably the two Plainswalkers that do dreadful things like making an army of 1/1s and then putting counters on them.
A lot of the time you will be scrying 2 with this, and that’s no joke. In a deck with no real card advantage outside of the card selection afforded by its spells this can be pretty big. Also a card that allows you to trade one for one with Master of the Feast after he has outlived his usefulness is stellar.
I like this as singleton in the sideboard now that with the inclusion of Destructive Revelry I have some space in the sideboard now I’ve booted the Reckless Reveler himself, I can go for this crushing one of that is a strong reply to a tapped out Elspeth of Sphinx, untap and burn them out from 12+ with my sandbagged Lightning Strike
I won’t be posting my complete decklist, as I’ve still not finalised the last few pieces and there might just be some sweet tech that I discover before the day.
When the keys to the format are an 0/3 into a 2/4 into a 3/5 I don’t want to be going small, I want to be going big and sending you home.
Thanks for reading, and see you at the GP!