Mana Deprived started with a bang last week with 6 posts in 5 days. Unfortunately, do not expect this to be the norm. As mentioned in the opening post of this site, the aim is to only publish one post per week in an effort to not burn myself out. With that said, let’s move on to the topic of this article. GP Washington is coming very soon and the time to make a deck choice for that tourney is narrowing. Sadly, I have no original Mana Deprived tech to present in this post. What you will see, however, are a ton of decklists and hopefully, one of them will peak your interest.
Let’s start off with the new bully in town and the deck I would certainly sleeve up if I had to pick a deck for a tournament tonight. Good old Mythic Conscription. Why do I say this is the new top dog of the format? StarCityGames has taken all of the available Nats Q Top 8 results, used to them crunch down some numbers and made the following table available at their site:
As you can see, Mythic Conscription currently has won the most Nats Qs with 12 wins. Another thing to take in is the fact that Jund was the deck that awarded their pilots with the most invites. This Cascading beast is FAR from dead. Back to Mythic Conscription, which version should you play? The version recommended by Tom Cheung (Quebec Nats Q winner) and myself is Matt Sperling’s list with Sperling suggested’s changes in his article on ChannelFireball. His list can be accessed here:
Apply the following changes: -1 Elspeth, +1 Gideon and -1 Stirring Wildwood, +1 Arid Mesa and you have yourself a legitimate contender for this weekend’s GP. Most people were playing this list over the weekend, so it would definitely be the version to use for a testing gauntlet. If you want more Mythic Conscription info, check out Tom Cheung’s tournament report right over here.
The breakout deck over the weekend and the most-talked about new deck in town is Gerry Thompson’s Vengevine Naya. From what I have read, on the night before Nats Q, Gerry decided to ship his list to all of his friends in an effort to help them qualify for Nationals. At least one of his friends succeeded, as Brian-David Marshall (yes, the man who writes articles on the official MTG site) was able to finish 2nd. You can get the list here:
What do I think about this list? Kyle Boggemes expressed similar feelings to mine in his recent article. We are not sure about having the 4 Cunning Sparkmages main, but we would both definitely want to have access to 4 of them somewhere. With that in mind, this deck appears to be amazingly well-positioned against the top 3 archetypes. Pre-Rise, Boss Naya had a coin-flippish game against Jund, while Sparkmage + Collar combo was what gave it the edge against Mythic and now, the addition of Vengevines seem extremely good against control.
However, during my testing with bolov0 and Adam Yurchick, who were both playing UW, I was unimpressed with the deck against control. Wall of Omens has the power to make cards like Wild Nacatls and Bloodbraid Elves almost irrelevant. Once you have enough power to punch through, they will most probably have a Day of Judgment to shut you down. UW and UWr decks should be popular options at the GP and I would feel uncomfortable having a weak game against them. On a hilarious note, one of my friends, Kalvin Kwong, heard about me playing MTGO again and decided to challenge me with a budget deck. Surprisingly, he almost managed to win both games we played because he runs this man:
Now for some off the wall deck ideas, we have Billy Moreno who presented us with his updated version of his Aggro Spread deck. Kenny Fung, one of my teammates, was able to nab a Nationals invite playing an earlier version of Moreno’s deck, so I definitely respect this seemingly wacky concoction of Moreno’s. I was able to converse briefly with the mad deckbuilder and he will be playing this deck at the GP. I wish him all the luck in the world. His latest version can found here:
I had a brief talk with Vincent Thibeault today and I was extremely surprised to hear him say that the new version of Aggro Spread packs a lot of punch. According to him, he is not 100% convinced that Sarkhan Vol meshes with the rest of the deck, but I think it is quite a hilarious card against Polymorph. Then again, after this weekend’s results, one wonders if Polymorph will show up at all at the GP.
Last but not least, the deck I am most interested in testing tonight is none other than Mike Flores’ attempt at Vengevine Jund, which he affectionately calls Vengevine Monster Truck.
Vengevine Monster Truck
2 Malakir Bloodwitch
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Putrid Leech
4 Sarkhan the Mad
4 Sprouting Thrinax
4 Borderland Ranger
4 Lotus Cobra
4 Cunning Sparkmage
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Evolving Wilds
4 Raging Ravine
4 Savage Lands
2 Scalding Tarn
1 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Verdant Catacombs
I really do not know how good this deck is. I might be able to build it on MTGO tonight, play a few games and record a video about it. I forgot to mention something in my tournament report last week. It seems that a majority of MTG players love to make fun of Flores and trash his decks, but in my opinion, he is still a cut above most players when it comes to the theoretical understanding of the game. What has he done lately, you may ask? He made Coimbra’s world championship-winning Naya Lightsaber deck. He made my Raka Walkers deck which I used to top 8 Montreal’s biggest PTQ ever. Most recently, he made top 8 himself with his own version of Grixis. The man has still got it. Come Nationals, there’s more than a decent chance that I play a deck created by him, because otherwise, what kind of protégé would I be?
Until next time,