GB Rock (Standard) at GP Paris 2015 by Fabrizio Anteri

GB Rock (Standard) at GP Paris 2015 by Fabrizio Anteri

Hello everyone,

Today I want to share with you the deck I played in GP Paris, for a 44th place.

After the success of Esper Dragons in GP Krakow, I wanted to find a deck to beat this archetype, without sacrificing the matchup against Mono-Red. I tried different brews: some were horrible, others were decent. [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card] + [card]Den Protector[/card] was the path I chose for it.

[card]Den Protector[/card] was at his best when mixed with a good number of non-creature spells, Black was the best companion for this goal. But at the same time 8 morphs didn’t feel enough to maximize the value of [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card].

I discarded Abzan Megamorph for the high number of creatures, mana requirements, and because [card]Satyr Wayfinder[/card] was the best two-drop I found to mix with Protectors, Raptors and [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card]s, so [card Fleecemane Lion[/card] was not enough to push me into White.

Sultai got my attention, but [card]Sidisi, Brood Tyrant[/card] pushes you to play more creatures. I thought about splashing Blue only for [card]Treasure Cruise[/card] and [card]Stratus Dancer[/card], but finally decided to give an honest Green/Black mana base the chance.

As for additional on-colour morphs, [card]Grim Haruspex[/card] was the closest to playable I found. After a quick testing I found out that [card]Whisperwood Elemental[/card] was the tool I was missing: very good win condition by itself, manifest was good enough to find more creatures to trigger the Raptors from the graveyard, and it’s one of the best answers to [card]Crux of Fate[/card].

After some 10 days testing online, this was the list I put together for the trip, with some additional cards in my bag to make last minute changes:

Paris GB Rock by Fabrizio Anteri

[deck]4 Satyr Wayfinder
4 Den Protector
4 Deathmist Raptor
4 Courser of Kruphix
3 Whisperwood Elemental
2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
1 Garruk, Apex Predator
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4 Thoughtseize
4 Hero’s Downfall
2 Bile Blight
1 Ultimate Price
1 Murderous Cut
2 Read the Bones
4 Temple of Malady
4 Jungle Hollow
4 Llanowar Wastes
2 Wooded Foothills
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Forest
3 Swamp[/deck]


[deck]3 Self-Inflicted Wound
3 Drown in Sorrow
2 Duress
1 Ainok Survivalist
1 Feed the Clan
1 Read the Bones
1 Pharika, God of Affliction
1 Crux of Fate
1 Nissa, Worldwaker
1 Liliana Vess[/deck]

Right before leaving to the airport, I got warned by a friend that French players love Control decks – so I should be prepared to play against Esper Dragons many times. I got to the venue on Friday evening and did a little scouting between the Trial tables to get an idea of what decks were more popular. The earlier warning was true: the numbers of Esper Dragons I saw were massive.

Before going to sleep I decided to improve a bit the control match for my deck, so I made the following changes:


[draft]Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Ultimate Price
Hero’s Downfall[/draft]


[draft]Nissa, Worldwaker
Read the Bones
Murderous Cut[/draft]


[draft]Nissa, WorldWaker[/draft]



With these maindeck changes I was improving one of my threats (Nissa instead of Tasigur) and reduced dead cards by one, getting an extra [card]Read the Bones[/card] in the process. I didn’t want to add more five-drops, so the Nissa I moved from sideboard was replaced by an extra [card]Duress[/card].

Game 1 against Control is still hard, close to 50-50 or worse if they are prepared against Green Raptor decks. Sideboard improves the match a lot, at least 60-40 I would say.

By removing all the copies of [card]Ultimate Price[/card], [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] became a problem – but I wasn’t expecting as many Mardu as they actually were. Going forward, I would cut one of the [card]Self-Inflicted Wound[/card]s from the sideboard for one copy of [card]Ultimate Price[/card].

Mono-Red could be punishing, if you keep a slow hand game one, but post-board games are very good. Mulligan aggressively is a priority to success here.

Midrange mirrors are, as expected, going to be long. Having access to powerful planewalkers as [card]Garruk, Apex Predator[/card] and [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card] from Game 1 is the key to win these matches.

Overall the deck is an honest and classic Rock deck: game ones are going to be hard to win, but never impossible. Post-board games are always going to be better, they will rarely have something relevant against you, while you are cutting your bad spells for good ones.


Esper Dragons:


[draft]Satyr Wayfinder
Satyr Wayfinder
Bile Blight
Bile Blight
Murderous Cut
Murderous Cut
Courser of Kruphix
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/draft]


Read the Bones
Self-Inflicted Wound
Self-Inflicted Wound
Liliana Vess
Ainok Survivalist[/draft]

Ainok may be relevant, if they are bringing [card]Perilous Vault[/card] from the sideboard. Even if not, it’s a morph that will represent a threat for them and can trigger the Raptors. I would bring one [card]Murderous Cut[/card] back for game 3, if they have Tasigur.

Mono-Red, Atarka Red:


Read the Bones
Read the Bones
Read the Bones
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/draft]


[draft]Drown in Sorrow
Drown in Sorrow
Drown in Sorrow
Feed the Clan
Ainok Survivalist[/draft]

Hands without [card]Bile Blight[/card] or [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card] should be sent away 95% of the time. [card]Duress[/card] into [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] could be an exception for the rule. [card]Garruk, Apex Predator[/card] is quite slow and awkward, but even gaining 2 life by killing [card]Monastery Swiftspear[/card] sometimes makes the difference between winning and losing. So I would rather have it and not any other of the options.

Abzan Aggro:


[draft]Courser of Kruphix
Courser of Kruphix
Courser of Kruphix
Courser of Kruphix


[draft]Self-Inflicted Wound
Self-Inflicted Wound
Self-Inflicted Wound
Crux of Fate
Pharika, God of Affliction[/draft]

I don’t like [card]Thoughtseize[/card] here, but I just hate what [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card] does to a Courser, so I would rather cut all of them and avoid two-for-ones. If they start casting creatures on turn 2 and you don’t have a two-mana removal, it may get problematic. Otherwise you should have the time to answer all their threats and start casting your own – which are bigger and scarier to them.

Other decks have many different builds and the sideboard plan may change according to how aggressive they may be or not. I think the idea of the deck and the cards you want in each situation are clear.

dragonlord ojutai

Now’s the time for a quick report how I’ve got to 44th place at GP Paris.

I reached the 11-4 record.

After my three byes, I beat two versions of Abzan, before losing to the third I played. Both games he won, the opponent topdecked his best and only outs the turns before dying. Then I beat Esper Dragons, lost to Mardu Dragons – the lack of [card]Ultimate Price[/card] cost me here – and beat Esper Dragons again to make Day 2.

Sunday started well with two wins to Green/Red Devotion and GW Collected Company. Then I lost my chance to Top8 to Esper Dragons in the feature match. I drew too many dead cards and found no Raptors game 1, then I got mana screwed game 3. I beat Mardu Dragons and lost to GW Collected Company, because I rushed and misplayed game 2. In the last round I beat Sidisi Megamorph.

Three of my twelve opponents were Grand Prix Champions. Another one had multiple Grand Prix Top8s. Yet another one was a Pro Tour Champion. There was also a Pro Tour finalist sitting across a table. Overall I played against more top players than what an average Grand Prix should look like. I was expecting to get more free wins for playing a rogue deck and having opponents misplaying for not knowing what to do or how to sideboard, but it was not the case. Still, I am really happy with the performance of the deck and I will keep working on it. I think it has potential and I would recommend it to whoever is looking for something new and competitive to play.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the deck, I would love to hear it.

Thanks for reading,


Community Question: Do you have any suggestions for this Rock deck?

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