The Friday night grind is upon us once again and with it a new article by yours truly. I returned home from vacation last Friday, and while I made it to my local game store in time, I was unfortunately left without a deck to play. I decided this would be a good chance to play some games on Magic Online with a cool deck.
I have recently been receiving a lot of submissions with decks that include Trading Post. Trading Post to me is a card that seems like it does it all. I call upon my inner Brad Nelson when I say this: Trading Post is an awesome card. It grinds out card advantage against control decks and keeps you in the game against aggro decks. My good friend "Token" sent me a list I particularly liked. It is a B/W version that plays one of my favorite cards, Lingering Souls. Bonfire of the Damned seems to have pushed Lingering Souls out of the limelight, but I still feel that it has its place as a good card. Online in particular, I have noticed the Bonfire decks are falling out of favor while Infect, Delver, and Zombies are taking over the scene.
I originally planned to do a recording with the deck, but my headset didn't think it was a good idea. I decided I would hop in a couple two-man queues and try out the deck. Here is the list that Token sent me while I was on vacation:
Let's start by getting one thing straight. This list isn't 61 cards by accident; sometimes you just need the extra slot. I'm writing this part of the article before I actually play the games. This way I can give my initial thoughts about the deck and then talk about how they changed afterward.
My first thought about the deck is that it seems very week to control game 1. It has a lot of removal and anti-aggro cards in the maindeck, but it only has a decent card advantage engine to fight control. There are cards like Mindslaver that are strong against control, but the overall game plan in game 1 seems weak. After boarding, it seems like that can change a lot with cards like Spine of Ish Sah and Staff of Nin. You are able to change gears to have almost all of your late game be absolutely devastating against control.
The other thing that seems kind of weird to me is the lack of a fourth Trading Post. I have watched a lot of people play Trading Posts decks, and it seems like a lot of games are won by using two Trading Posts to Mindslaver lock people or make infinite Wurmcoil Engines. While that can be done with only one Trading Post, it is significantly easier with two. I'll see if I felt like I needed the fourth one after I play some games with the deck.
Here is how each match went.
Round 1: Mono-Green Aggro
For the first match, I didn't sign up for a two-man but instead battled against Legacy specialist Will Nehlsen with Mono-Green Aggro. I took a suggestion from a reader and am going to avoid putting the match result at the beginning of the match so I don't spoil it.
I started off on the draw for the first game and my hand was
He led off with a Strangleroot Geist into Predator Ooze, and I could tell that I was already in trouble. I messed around with some Wellspring action and cast Go for the Throat on his Strangleroot Geist. He played a Dungrove Elder so I was able to get some value from my Day of Judgment, but when he played two Rancors on his Predator Ooze I died shortly after.
In game 2 we both went to six cards, and the hand I kept contained:
I drew an Ichor Wellspring by turn 2 so I was able to start drawing cards. He didn't have any action until turn 3 when he played a Dungrove Elder. He had another Dungrove Elder on the following turn, but a Day of Judgment I had drawn solved that problem. He didn't have much action left going for him, so I was able to put him away with a Wurmcoil Engine and a Trading Post.
We both kept our seven for game three, and my hand was:
He had a good start with Llanowar Elves into Dungrove Elder into Strangleroot Geist, but I was able to keep myself alive with a Timely Reinforcements. He amassed quite the team by adding a Thragtusk, but I used a Gideon Jura to make everything attack and the tokens to keep Gideon alive. A Day of Judgment got rid of most of his stuff, leaving him with just a Beast token. It was only a matter of time before I took the game over with a Wurmcoil Engine, especially when he just drew more lands.
Round 2: G/W Elves
I went down to five cards on the draw to start game 1 and kept:
I wasn't happy about the hand, but it seemed better than the average four. He started off with a couple of mana dorks and an Elvish Visionary, and I used a Lingering Souls to make sure he couldn't keep connecting with his 1/1s. He played a Restoration Angel to blink Visionary and start an offense. I was able to resolve a Wurmcoil Engine, and he kept just playing lands and doing nothing else. I used another Lingering Souls with flashback. He kept playing lands and eventually played an Ezuri, Renegade Leader, but it wasn't enough to overcome my Wurmcoil Engine combined with two Buried Ruins to recur it.
Game 2 it was his turn to go to five cards, and I kept
He had a turn 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, but that met a Doom Blade two turns later. From there he didn't really do much, and I played a Wurmcoil Engine. Towards the end he tried to come back with a pair of Genesis Waves for four and six, but neither gave him enough to overcome my Wurmcoil Engine and eventually Gideon Jura.
Round 3: G/W Infect
I was on the play with a mulligan to six with this hand:
He started off with an Inkmoth Nexus, but my Ghost Quarter was a good match for it. He finally played a creature, but I used a Day of Judgment to get rid of it. In the meantime I had finally gotten a Wurmcoil Engine out, but he matched it with a Wild Defiance. He still didn't have anything but the Inkmoth Nexus, and I was making sure to leave the Ghost Quarter up. I was letting him hit me for four points here and there, but I made sure that he couldn't kill me. I played a Lingering Souls and flashed it back, and he didn't have any way around my Ghost Quarter and glaring lethal.
In game two my opening hand was:
He had an Inkmoth Nexus beating me down for a point at a time after his Glistener Elf met a Go for the Throat. I got a turn 4 Gideon Jura out on the board, but he matched it with a Livewire Lash. I drew a couple more lands, and he used pump spells to deal me lethal through a Gideon Jura.
In the final game, I went to down to five cards and kept:
After playing the three matches and some others that aren't worth writing about, I got a really good feel of what the deck is trying to accomplish. This deck is different than most Trading Post decks in that you aren't trying to play the long game and grind your opponent out with card advantage. You are using the engine to get to the late game where you use Gideon Jura, Wurmcoil Engine, and Lingering Souls to finish the game. You don't use the Posts to win the game like other decks, but use them instead to make sure your other win conditions will actually win you the game. This makes the three Trading Posts completely understandable. You can still win the game by grinding them out with the two Trading Posts on the field, but it isn't necessary.
I also realized that the deck has two Phyrexian Metamorph, which can become the second Post if you want. The Perilous Myrs were pretty underwhelming for me, but I can see their inclusion for early defense. They feel almost like an additional two Lingering Souls at times. As far as changes, I think the deck may want an additional Pristine Talisman. That was often the card I wanted in my opening hand so that I could power out my big threats quickly. Curse of Death's Hold might be a reasonable sideboard card to give additional game against cards like Moorland Haunt, but it may not be necessary thanks to Wurmcoil Engine and its ability to take over the game.
That's about all for this week! Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think about this article. I did a couple of things differently, so let me know what you would like to see in future articles. Also, continue to submit decks as usual. For next week, I may try out that B/W Pox deck that I talked about or maybe something different altogether. I brewed a cool Immolating Souleater deck that is very bad but really fun, and I've been working on a U/B Delver deck though it may not be the kind of deck that would fit in this column. Sometime in September I may start streaming if I can get the equipment, so look out for that too. Good luck at FNM for those who are playing tonight, and let me know if you are playing anything sweet.
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