Deck Tech: Ooze Combo with Jacob Baugh and Drew Idoux
Jacob Baugh and Drew Idoux are both trying to combo off with Necrotic+Ooze in the Standard Open..
Many players find themselves doing an "Ooze check" when each new set comes out. Following the interaction between Phyrexian Devourer and Necrotic+Ooze that defined Legacy for some time, there's always the hope that you'll find the next big thing with the awkward Necrotic+Ooze, one of Magic's most unique monsters. For Innistrad, plenty of options became available!
The most potent one was Civilized+Scholar. Any Merfolk Looter variant is worth a look to combine with Necrotic+Ooze, as the deck needs a reliable way to dig for the Ooze in addition to binning creatures for his effect. Of course, if you read Civilized+Scholar, you'll realize that giving Necrotic+Ooze his ability grants the Ooze a free untap when you discard a creature, as ooze can't transform—it's an endless chain, so long as you've got plenty of creatures to pitch. Once you've got Bloodline+Keeper and Grimgrin, Corpse-Born in the graveyard—two other creatures from Innistrad—you can use their effects to make an infinitely large Necrotic+Ooze. Season to evasion of choice with Skinshifter, and you've got a sucy brew on your hands.
For starters, this deck is quite the brain teaser. "It's probably the most complicated deck you can play in Standard," Jacob said. "Jace's Archivist is probably the best creature in this deck, just because it lets you dig so far." Combining the high number of looters with complicated graveyard interactions makes the deck a tricky one to pilot. In fact, while the combo finish is a common route to victory, it's not really the only one. "In one game, I got there just playing Bloodline Keepers," Drew said with a smile. "There are multiple ways you can kill people. Grimgrin just sometimes wins the game on his own!"Primeval+Titan ramp decks," Jacob said. "You basically have access to eight Spellskites—they never, ever get to Wolf Run their own creatures." Turning off the namesake Innistrad land deals a heavy blow to Wolf Run Green, reducing their Dungrove Elders to just fatties. "Spellskite has been the best creature for me today," Drew agreed. "One of the reasons the deck is good is that Necrotic Ooze is so hard to play against, because people can't figure out all the interactions."
Mental+Misstep is the sideboard's superstar. "Surgical Extraction is a real problem," Drew said, and Jacob agreed. "That is why there are for Missteps in the sideboard. All the graveyard hate in Standard costs one mana—Surgical Extraction, Nihil+Spellbomb, and Purify the Grave." That problem does present both players with a quandary, every round. "Having to board in some number of Mental+Missteps in every matchup is pretty bad...but it's a necessary evil," Drew admitted. "If they have it then you're just dead otherwise, but if they don't then it's not that dead since you can loot it away."
The matchups, beyond a favorable one against Wolf Run, are up for debate. "I tested a little against Solar Flare, and it seemed to favor me 60/40," Jacob said. "Mono Red is tough in the main, but we have the sideboard package of Fume+Spitter and Tree+of+Redemption." "Sometimes you have to play a four-mana Fume+Spitter," Drew added with a laugh, considering their other pairings. "Tempered Steel is also a rough matchup."
Looking at other vulnerabilities in the build, both players are generally happy with the configuration. "The green might be a little greedy, since you can just play U/B and Trespassing+SOuleater," Drew admitted. That would bypass the need for Skinshifter but also remove one of the deck's reasonable Plan B beaters. "That makes your matchup against red abysmal, though," Jacob countered, pointing out how heavily their sideboarding strategy relies on Tree+of+Redemption. "I did test with one Mirror-Mad+Phantasm, since you can just deck yourself," Jacob noted. "And I would not advise playing it."
"There should probably be a third 'Skittles' in the board, for control," Jacob added. "You have to try and kill them on your turn—there are too many removal spells. Plus, this deck is a 34-creature deck, so you have the aggro plan." They both pointed at Civilized+Scholar. "You can definitely make 5/1s and get there with this guy."
- 3 Spellskite
- 4 Birds of Paradise
- 3 Bloodline Keeper
- 4 Civilized Scholar
- 4 Jace's Archivist
- 4 Merfolk Looter
- 4 Necrotic Ooze
- 3 Skinshifter
- 3 Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
- 2 Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon