Last week I mentioned that the Diabolic Revelation end game from my U/B Control videos doesn't need Archaeomancer or blue if you are just willing to play two Diabolic Revelations which helps get to the end game anyway since there's no way (in the decks I'm building) to find Diabolic Revelation outside of drawing it.
While watching me play my U/B Control deck on my stream Simon Goertzen mentioned that he thought the blue didn't really do anything. It was too slow and low impact and just wasted a lot of my time.
In his article Fixing Black Market: MBC At The Tail End Of Standard Adrian Sullivan wrote "One of the problems that MBC had was that it didn't have a way to really grind out the late game." Adrian's suggested solution to this problem was Trading Post but I think I know a better way to win the late game.
I don't see a great reason to be mono-black at this point but here's where I'm starting in that direction:
- 1 Phyrexian Metamorph
- 1 Solemn Simulacrum
- 1 Wurmcoil Engine
- 1 Borderland Ranger
- 2 Disciple of Bolas
- 2 Thragtusk
- 1 Viridian Emissary
You'll probably notice that as with my U/B Control deck there are a lot of odd numbers of cards. You'll probably also note that there are no Ponder or Augur of Bolas to help make sense of this. There is still a lot of card draw and Diabolic Revelations but it might be a little more spread out than it needs to be. I like to start with as much variety as possible in my early builds of decks to get a better feel for what works.
Viridian Emissary is one of the cards I'm just trying out in a way. On the other hand I think one is a reasonable number. I want creatures to be lying around in play that I can sacrifice to Disciple of Bolas I want more ramp and I want a speed bump. Too often Viridian Emissary doesn't die when you just want a Rampant Growth. This is a real problem if you draw too many of them but with just one I don't think it'll hurt too much. I think I can find a way to get the land I need off of it before too long.
Disciple of Bolas is one of the key cards in the deck and its interaction with Thragtusk is one of the main reasons I want to play green but I don't have a lot of creatures so it's easy to have a board state where I can't cast Disciple of Bolas. This would be a huge problem if I had a hand full of them which is why I have to play a conservative number of them. Similarly Thragtusk is awesome here but I'm also trying to include an artifact end game with Trading Post Batterskull and Wurmcoil Engine which also works well with Disciple of Bolas. I might find that the Thragtusks are just better but I don't have room for four Thragtusks with all of those so I'm starting just two Thragtusks.
This should be enough to give you a sense of what's going on here especially if you watched my videos from last week. If you haven't it's really a lot easier to understand what's going on with the deck if you've seen it play. Let's get a few games out of the way.
Trading Post decks that try to grind out the late game as Adrian described are going to be my easiest matchups. They want to give me time and try to win the late game through incremental advantage. I use that time to go way way over the top.
Viridian Emissary looked pretty bad there but it really wasn't his matchup so I'm going to give him another chance.
Batterskull was a lot better than another Thragtusk in game 1. Game 2 the discard was excellent but the matchup as a whole was just another example of this deck going over the top of other end game decks. As Mike Flores might want me to say this deck just has the best Stage Three. Memoricide which I mentioned in the second game is a reasonable idea that I'm going to table for now.
I didn't manage to win that match but I think it did demonstrate a few things. First that I'm not quite perfect at playing against Pod—I didn't know exactly what was important in sideboarding the first time and I think I expected my Thragtusk to be better than it was. Second I think it showed that that matchup can be pretty rough which helps show the importance of having access to Grafdigger's Cage. Third game 2 really illustrated the end game power of this deck. I didn't think there was any way I'd win but after getting a little lucky I won a really incredible game 2.
As for what that match showed about deckbuilding considerations I think it might indicate that I'd like another Naturalize in my sideboard. Access to Naturalize is one of the things I like most about playing green. I know Crushing Vines has gotten some press but I like Naturalize over it when I'm playing black since I have access to black removal to kill big flying creatures.
I didn't really learn a lot from that match.
As for closing thoughts I think Trading Post is probably not where this deck wants to be but I like all the other artifacts even without the Trading Post. Trading Post feels like it wants to be its own end game and I have a better end game which it isn't great at getting me to so it's just a waste of time. Disciple of Bolas was roughly as sweet as I imagined but it was also about as difficult to cast as I imagined so I don't know that I can really play more in a configuration like this.
Liliana was consistently good but one basically lets you hit all the lands you'll ever need so drawing two would never be very good. I think one is the right number. The Trading Post could just become another removal spell Sorin Curse of Death's Hold or any other sweet mid game threat.
Thanks for watching
@samuelhblack on Twitter