There's nothing like ten rounds of Standard to prove the validity of a homebrewed deck. Of the 26 games I played on my road to first in Standard at StarCityGames.com Open: Dallas/Fort Worth I lost a grand total of three. Since this deck hasn't been on any other writer's radar I'm going to take you through my card choices sideboard plans and cards that didn't quite make the cut.
This deck is not trying to power out a Titan turn four. Getting blown out by Mana Leak is not a great start to a game. Instead we're just trying to move consistently up the curve by dropping threat after threat and setting the tempo for the whole game. If your opponent decides to overcommit you simply clear the board with Day of Judgment and do it again—generally starting where you left off.
- 3 Solemn Simulacrum
- 1 Wurmcoil Engine
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 3 Primeval Titan
- 2 Strangleroot Geist
- 4 Viridian Emissary
- 1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
- 1 Thrun, the Last Troll
The most important change I feel is choosing Viridian Emissary over Sphere of the Suns. My reasoning was simple: the metagame contains a lot of aggressive decks right now including B/U Zombies Humans G/R Aggro and W/B Tokens. Sphere of the Suns is nothing but fragile artifact ramp in these matches. Viridian Emissary will trade with the bulk of these decks' early drops netting you a land and at worst a chump block. It can put a counter on a Geralf's Messenger and force a Doomed Traveler to the skies—both of which mean your Day of Judgment will wipe the board clean. Against control Viridian Emissary is a very real clock. You don't want to cast Titan right away against control anyway because it will just get countered. In addition you don't really want to stuff extra artifacts in the deck (like Sphere of the Suns) as the hate will already be brought in for your Inkmoth Nexus. That hate should sit dead in their hand for the entire game.
About Day of Judgment: play the full four. Right now Standard is all creatures. You will never say "I wish I didn't have all these Day of Judgment clogging up my hand." All of the early creatures in this deck actually give you an advantage after you cast Day of Judgment. Viridian Emissary will get you a land. Solemn Simulacrum draws you a card. Strangleroot Geist gets bigger and can swing right after a Day to kill a planeswalker. Thrun the Last Troll can regenerate and give you dangerous board presence. Finally Day forces your opponent to play at the tempo you've chosen rather than their own.
The last card I'd like to touch on—despite being a one-of—is Mimic Vat. Lots of people as me "Hey Dye why the Mimic Vat?" Well I like Sliming out a land every turn. I don't know why anyone else wouldn't. Also it's great way to deal with undying creatures but that's totally secondary to nuking stuff every turn with Acidic Slime.
These matchups are pretty easy. You have Day of Judgment creatures to chump block with and fatties that win you the game. Protect your life total as much as possible. In general the sideboard plan looks something like this:
In addition the following changes are made for each of the following decks:
By extension Naturalize comes in whenever needed.
This is the easiest matchup. They have almost no way to remove a Mimic Vat. Just work your way up the curve. If they counter the little things lay down a Primeval Titan. If they don't counter the little things beat with them until you win. Garruk Relentless is particularly brutal against them. Play him when they're tapped out and just keep making 2/2's until you win.
+1 Mimic Vat +1 or 2 Ancient Grudge (if they play artifacts) +1 Autumn's Veil +1 Surgical Extraction +1 Thrun the Last Troll -1 Beast Within -1 Gideon Jura -1 Elesh Norn Grand Cenobite -1 Red Sun's Zenith -1 Strangleroot Geist
This match is a coin flip. Sometimes they'll have a Delver that flips and a fistful of counters and bounce. The best you can do is keep pressure on them so that they have to spend all their resources dealing with early threats then lay down a fatty for the win.
+4 Timely Reinforcements +1 Thrun the Last Troll +2 Ancient Grudge (if it's the equipment build Naturalize if it's enchantment-based) -3 Solemn Simulacrum -1 Garruk Relentless -1 Beast Within -1 Karn Liberated -1 Red Sun's Zenith
Control with white is going to be the toughest match. Luckily very few people are playing it right now. Their Oblivion Rings and counterspells can simply run you out of cards. Your Day of Judgments aren't great against them and what you side in depends on the match. You probably want to bring in the full set of Surgical Extractions to try and neuter their deck and Thrun the Last Troll can dominate the entire game if they don't draw the Phantasmal Image to kill him.
Other Cards that I Experimented With
Huntmaster of the Fells – After all the hype the Huntmaster was nothing but a disappointment. He does nothing to change the board state when I cast Day. I don't have cheap spells to flip him back and forth and I don't want my tempo to be dictated by a card that's not going to win me the game. Solemn Simulacrum draws me a card post-Day and nets me a land when it enters the battlefield and Garruk Relentless can win the game on his own. Huntmaster provides negligible life gain and four bodies—he just doesn't get there in this deck.
Oblivion Ring – I found that most of the time Oblivion Ring only clogged up my hand. When I did end up casting it my opponent often had a way to remove it and blew me out. I would much rather destroy something permanently at instant speed with Beast Within. The only time Oblivion ring was really helpful was against Humans when I could exile their Mirran Crusader with an Angelic Destiny on it. It simply wasn't working for me.
Garruk Primal Hunter – Drawing cards is nice but if I have a six-power creature on the board I'm already winning. Triple green is a drawback and caused me to search up Forests when I really wanted a Mountain.
Sun Titan – My thinking with the Sun Titan was to bring back Viridian Emissary Strangleroot Geist and Inkmoth Nexus/Kessig Wolf Run that got destroyed. He was good at those things but bad at winning games.
Daybreak Ranger – I thought he would improve my Delver matchup. Instead I'd draw him and he'd be completely dead against most decks.
Fun Times with G/W Wolf Run
Some people including myself like the anecdotal stories of victory. Here are a few of the highlights that weren't in the official coverage of StarCityGames.com Open: Dallas/Fort Worth.
Most games went like this: I'd lock my opponent out of the game so fast that I'd never really find out what they were playing. Turn 3 I'd cast Mimic Vat following it up with Garruk Relentless. Turn 5 I'd cast Acidic Slime blowing up one of their lands. I'd shoot down the Acidic Slime with Garruk Relentless and put it under the Vat. This is just a gross set of plays and since I can Tutor up Acidic Slime with Green Sun's Zenith putting it under a Mimic Vat happens more often than one might think.
Round two I faced Ashley Tibbett playing Zombies. I couldn't find Day of Judgment for the life of me but I did have a Mimic Vat out. She resolved and swung with an Obliterator and a team of small Zombies. I chump blocked what I could and ended the turn at five life with a Gravecrawler under the Mimic Vat. I topdeck Elesh Norn Grand Cenobite wiped out her Zombie team and shrank the Obliterator to a manageable 3/3. She played a Sword of War and Peace and passed the turn one mana short of equipping it and wrecking face. I played a Primeval Titan that had been sitting in my hand. She equipped Sword to Obliterator and swung. I blocked with my Primeval Titan and sacrificed eight lands to the Obliterator leaving me with three tapped lands and a Phyrexian Obliterator under the Mimic Vat. Next turn I activated the Vat and swung for nineteen just barely killing her.
Round six I played Jordan Topp and his B/W Tokens deck. After a grueling back-and-forth match of him landing Intangible Virtue after Intangible Virtue and me casting Naturalize/Acidic Slime I was at two life while he hung on at twenty. We both entered topdeck mode and I was able to clear the field with Day of Judgment. Finally I ripped a Wurmcoil Engine and slammed it down. He proceeded to cast Lingering Souls and flashed it back. On my turn I could swing with Wurmcoil Engine for six—putting me at eight—and drop a Primeval Titan to grab more lands for the win next turn or spend all of my mana pumping Wurmcoil with Kessig. I pumped Wurmcoil on the off-chance Jordan ripped an anthem effect. Sure enough he tossed down an anthem and swung for eight. We went back and forth until he finally ran out of life.
The finals match against David Palmer was an awesome match as well but since it was a video feature match I'll leave you to watch it for yourself here.
Finally I'd just like to say play Mimic Vat; it's amazing!