This is sort of a part two of my Previous article. Ever since the spoiling of Assassin’s Trophy I’ve been looking at putting together a green black version of the deck. Well one week after the release of Guilds of Ravnica I sleeved up eleven more cards and headed to the Toronto Face to Face Games Open+.
Looking at recent KCI Lists you start to see a trend moving away from red. There are less Lightning Bolts, Galvanic Blasts and Ghirapur Aethergrids in the list than there were when Matt Nass rode the deck to multiple Grand Prix victories. Now we see Sai, Master Thopterist, Negate, and Antiquities War. In the mainboard instead of Grove of the Burnwillows we see more Yavimaya Coasts. I think KCI needs to stomp on the brakes and drive in a completely different direction. I present to you Golgari KCI!
Have I gone mad? What am I doing with my life? With Assassin’s Trophy being printed in Guilds of Ravnica suddenly Nature’s claim seems to narrow to me. The main reason we’ve been running Lightning Bolt/ Galvanic Blast is to kill problem creatures. Assassin’s Trophy kills all problem creatures, artifacts, enchantments, and planeswalkers. Throw in a couple Abrupt Decay for our control match ups to take out Stony Silence and other problem converted mana cost three or less cards. Finallt lets add two Fatal Push for good measure because Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben is annoying.
Most lists are running Negate/Dispel/Swan song as permission. I would rather just tap out each turn setting up and hold up a pact of negation when I’m ready to blow up their hate piece and kill them. Sai, Master Thopterist has become a mainstay in most lists so I can’t leave it out. The cards I feel absolutely needs to be brought in with Sai are Sword of the Meek and Thopter Foundry. At this point we are just adding immense amounts of value.
Sai, Master Thopterist and Sword of the Meek is just bigger thopters and you can sacrifice it with a thopter for Sai, Master Thopterist’s draw a card effect play another artifact and get it back. Sai + Sword + Foundry now we’re starting to gain some steam. Sai, Master Thopterist is making thopters. Thopter Foundry is making thopters you’re drawing cards and gaining life. What could be better than this? If we add in a Krark-Clan Ironworks. You can now go infinite. Make all the thopters, gain all the life, draw all the cards. Not even Nichol Bolas can stop you now.
I’ve been running Thopter Foundry/Sword of the Meek in my sideboard since I first picked up the deck. I’ve heard every nay sayer put the idea down and yet it just keeps winning me games. I may very well be wrong but it just seems to work. When you get a key combo piece removed with Surgical Extraction suddenly you just don’t care anymore because you can just get more value off the foundry and maybe even kill quickly
My final record at the open was five wins and three loses. One loss to Burn, One to Infect, and finally on to UW control. I received a game loss in my match vs UW due to mistakes made over the course of the day. I’m chopping that off to trying to play too fast on too little sleep. Lesson learned. Not happening again. Given that I won the game two of that match up and was about 90% sure I was killing my opponent the game one my final record likely would have been 6-2 as that was the last loss I picked up that day.
My findings over the course of the day is that green black is a strict improvement over red green. The only card I kind of found myself missing was Ghirapur Aethergrid. Since I play rainbow lands I may just jam one or two in the sideboard regardless. One thing I felt was really strong when switching to black is the ability to use my sideboard to turn into an awkward Tezzerator list. This gave me the ability to either completely change gears in games where I didn’t think a combo kill was even a possibility or i could hybrid the deck to support both archetypes. The better removal definitely helped in my matches vs humans, spirits and UW as well.
Final take away lessons from the event:
– no one ever sees a Pact of Negation Coming
– Abrupt Decay can make life really awkward for UW
– Don’t mix up Chromatic Sphere and Chromatic Star
– I play the deck fast enough as it is I shouldn’t sacrifice tight plays for an extra 2 minutes between rounds
as should be obvious our sideboard plan is a bit different from traditional RGx KCI. The examples i’ll be using were my matches from the open