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Felipe Musco
Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:52 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
--- description ---
Planning on attending PTQ Valencia? Then, check this out!
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For those of you who have benn longing for a smaller article by yours truly, your prayers have been answered! This article will not have a Table of Contents, or detailed lists. This article is all about an idea I had for Block PTQ, that seems to be paying off pretty well, making for a really cheap deck, and a good one, at that! So, without further ado, letís start yapping!

I was really pleased when I checked the coverage of GP Strasbourg and saw Tomoharu Saito win on the back of Greater Gargadon, a card I loved since day 1 of TS (I opened one in my prize boosters from the Pre-Release), piloting a monored deck! You see, for quite some time, the pros have been discussing the best decks for the format, always leaning towards UBw control. And who can blame them, right? After all, in a format where a deck can start out off 4 Prismatic Lens and 4 Terramorphic Expanse, 1 lousy Plains give you access to 9 mana sources of your off-color! Also, a lot of people have been arguing that the format is much slower, with RG Big Mana having the fastest clock, and that is still dependant on Lotus Bloom resolving soon, and Radha living until the attack phase. However, Saitoís deck showed that things are not always like they seem to be, by featuring a VERY fast clock, nigh unstoppable by control decks unless they had pretty good draws, too, and played really well. Hereís Saitoís list:

25 Lands:
20 Mountain
3 Molten Slagheap
2 Pendelhaven

20 Creatures:
4 Magus of the Scroll
4 Blood Knight
4 Mogg War Marshal
4 Greater Gargadon
4 Sulfur Elemental

15 Other Spells:
4 Disintegrate
4 Browbeat
4 Rift Bolt
3 Dead//Gone

Sideboard:
4 Avalanche Riders
3 Wildfire Emissary
3 Word of Seizing
1 Dead // Gone
4 Keldon Marauders

With suspended Gargadons, no creatures are dead cards, even if you play them and your opponent follow with Damnation or something like it! Also, Sulfur Elemental is REALLY good against control decks, and Browbeat as a burn spell is pretty efficient! His sideboard has, basically, concentrated White Weenie hate and Control hate. And this was one pretty good deck, IMO.

Then, FS came out, and I started looking at some cards that could fit this strategy. Rift Elemental seemed pretty good, of course, right off the bat, but this is not the card that really got my attention. Itís a much more "humble" card. "Meek", actually. Yes, thatís the one, Sword of the Meek. At first, I wanted to use some copies as "free" Gargadon fodder, since well, a lot of our creatures are 1/1 anyway, so it wouldnít be truly card disadvantage. But then, while playtesting against a friend, it struck me! Look at the potential this card has!
Turn one, mountain, suspend Greater Gargadon (10 counters). He plays Terramorphic Expanse.
Turn two, (9 counters) mountain, Sword of the Meek. He sacs Expanse eot to get a plains, plays an Island and plays Prismatic Lens. Eot, I sac Sword to get a counter off Gargadon (8 counters).
Turn three (7 counters), mountain, and then, it gets tricky. I tapped two of them, and played Mogg War Marshal. As soon as it came into play, I returned the Sword equipping it, with the token-creating ability still on the stack, and sacíed the Sword (6 counters). When the token came into play, I returned the sword equipping it, and sacrificed both, plus the War Marshal (3 counters), in place allowing me to put yet another token into play, returning the Sword yet again. I sacrificed these, too, (1 counter), and since I drew a Magus of the Scroll for the turn, played it returning the Sword (2/3 for 1 mana, not bad, huh?). Then, I sacrificed a land, and just like that, I swung for 9 on turn three! He still tried to stabilize, playing a creature on turn 3 to try and chump, since he was still out of Damnation mana, so on my turn, I played Gone on his creature, swung for 11 more, and it was all over. This was when I realized the power that the sword had! All of a sudden, my 1/1 creatures were 2/3 out of the blue, and weenieíing out didnít seem like that bad of an idea anymore! So, I decided to push the theme further, and this is where I got to:

Crimson Blade (60 cards)

22 Lands:
18 Mountain
2 Dryad Arbor
2 Keldon Megaliths

21 Creatures:
4 Mogg War Marshal
4 Magus of the Scroll
4 Greater Gargadon
3 Rift Elemental
4 Sulfur Elemental
2 Gathan Raiders

17 Other Spells:
4 Browbeat
4 Rift Bolt
4 Sword of the Meek
3 Dead//Gone
2 Disintegrate

Sideboard:
2 Arc Blade
1 Gathan Raiders
3 Word of Seizing
1 Dead // Gone
3 Rough//Tumble
1 Disintegrate
4 Keldon Marauders

This deck focuses on getting Gargadon into play fast, or at least pumping out some solid beaters, since basically any wimpy 1/1 you play has potential to become a 2/3 out of the blue. Additionaly, almost nobody plays graveyard hosing tactics in block, so even if your opponent DOES counter some Swords, theyíll eventually be returned to play. Also, notice that, against a control deck, not only you get to cast a 3/2 beater, but you also get to swing with a 4/4 in your turn! Also, notice the interaction between the Swords and Dryad Arbor! This opens up a lot of possibilities, like outracing White Weenie long enough to get some Sulfur Elementals into play, meaning you wonít have to worry about some things, opening up a lot of sideboard room. Now that Iíve introduced the deck, let me walk you through itís structure:

Dryad Arbor - I knew I wanted access to green mana, so Iíd just go and stick with Pendelhaven, since it also works well with the 1/1 subtheme. However, when I play a 1/1, I want to return the Sword attached to it, instead of "losing" a land to pump a creature. Also, Arbor is uncounterable, making it a formidable threat against control decks, specially mono-blue.
Keldon Megaliths - Keldon Megaliths is the final touch to the manabase this deck was needing. Surely, itís a tad slower, but then, again, itís another uncounterable damage source (this deck is filled with cheap spells, so my hand will be most likely empty in no time), and it also helps my smaller burn spells to take out bigger threats.
Mogg War Marshal - Part of the heart and soul of the deck, this little fella is the ultimate Gargadon fueler when you have Sword of the Meek out, as seen above.
Magus of the Scroll - An amazing one-drop. Fills an important slot, itís a 1/1, and has an AMAZING ability to break stalemates AND help me keep mirrors or semi-mirros under control by shooting the opposing forces.
Greater Gargadon - Amazingly solid beater, specially good when you can pump him out THIS early.
Rift Elemental - Replaced Blood Knight. Now, Knight is still an amazing creature, mind you, but the thing is, Rift Elemental has potential to be bigger for a lower cost (if I have a sword in my grave to pull back), and it can also speed up my Gargadons WHILE getting itself bigger, making for a very solid threat. Also, has a lot of synergy with Arc Blade for matches against other aggro decks, or perhaps some combo decks, allowing me to hit hard, and hit fast.
Sulfur Elemental - MVP in the control match-up in Standard, why wouldnít it be present in block, right? Shuts down white weenie pretty nicely, dodges counterspells and swings for a reasonable amount of damage. What else could you ask for?
Gathan Raiders - He drops early, and also helps me get my Swords in the graveyard, turning them into real card advantage. Plus, he plays along quite nicely with the whole hellbent mechanic of Keldon Megaliths, although he could be considered a tad expensive for the deckís curve, although the fact that heís easily a 5/5 for 3 more than makes up for it!
Browbeat - As mentioned above, Browbeat is more of a burn spell, but even so, itís 5 damage for 3 mana in a format considered to be "too slow", or drawing 3 cards for 3 mana out of a RED spell, so itís a win-win situation.
Rift Bolt - Itís a solid burn spell, and one that you can suspend to make a big turn helping you try and dodge some countermagic. Also, if you want to hardcast it and you have a Rift Elemental down, for the same converted mana cost you get to suspend the bolt, remove the sole counter (thus casting it right away) AND make Rift Elemental +2/+0, meaning yet another solid point for the new guy, since you get to "force" 2 extra points of damage "for free".
Sword of the Meek - Heart and soul of the deck. Makes all of your guys a serious threat, helps you dodge countermagic with the help of Dryad Arbor, AND annoys A LOT of control decks, since even if they counter/discard it, itíll come back to haunt them. Also, notice that, while it helps the deck out A LOT, itís not CRUCIAL to the deck, meaning that if even if an opponent Extirpate it, you can still manage without them.
Dead//Gone - Cheap burn, or you get to banish a big attacker for a turn to either stall them so you can burn them out (if his creatures are bigger than yours), or to force through some damage, like shown above.
Disintegrate - I do not play with storage lands, so I donít expect to pump out a lot of big Disintegrates. However, I DO have better beaters, so I expect to force more damage through that I wonít need to, so 2 Disintegrates should do the trick, selaing the deal when we need to, or helping to take out a large late-game threat if the match drags out too much.

And, of course, hereís an inner look into itís sideboard, and the reasons behind the choices:

Arc Blade - Arc Blade is really cool when I face off against another aggro deck, since it helps me keep the match in control, specially with Rift Elemental out! I get to make a big attacker AND clear a path, or just sit there controlling the pace of my burn, taking out all their threats.
Gathan Raiders - Here in case I need another big, solid threat quicker in a certain match, be it to race against control, or to have bigger creatures to face-off against an aggro deck. Depending on your meta, could be replaced for the fourth Rift Elemental, helping enhance the Arc Blade tech.
Word of Seizing - Amazing to snatch, say, Spectral Force and swing FTW, and ALSO to hose down control decks by "stealing" Teferi before YOU "go-off" combo style, getting Gargadons into play without them being able to counter them. Also, OF COURSE, notice you can sacrifice their Teferi to bring out the Last Gargadon as part of the "combo". You can also get an annoying Teferiís Moat out of your way for a turn to try and swing for lethal damage, or at least enough so you can burn them out. Snatching Stormbind late-game is ALSO a nice tech.
Dead // Gone - In case you have a hard time dealing with the threats their playing at you, could almost certainly go for 1 Disintegrate, if you feel you might need the extra burn range, or perhaps for 1 Gathan Raiders, for a bigger body. For now, Big Mana is popular in block, so Iím keeping it.
Rough//Tumble - Another tech. Instead of trying to hose White Weenie with Wildfire Emissary, just abuse the power of the swords, by making your important guys (like, say, Magus of the Scroll?) 2/3 (or 4/4, in the case of Sulfur Elemental, although in this case you have to pay for the euip cost) and then "wrath" away with Rough, or get rid of those pesky, annoying flying beaters than youíll most certainly be facing, like Tombstalker, Tarox Bladewing and Bogardan Hellkite and swing past their defenses!
Disintegrate - If you need more burning power because a match drags on too much, basically.
Keldon Marauders - Very good against aggro to stop an early wave, since no one wants to "waste" a creature against a wall thatís dying soon anyway, and ALSO very good to speed up the clock if you feel the need to do so, since no one wants to block a 3/3 thatíll only swing once anyway, so you basically get to deal 5 damage for 2 mana, AND remove a counter off Greater Gargadon, if itís suspended.
- As a sideboard note, if the neoduals start being used more, sideboard can most likely accomodate some Magus of the Moon (sideboard, because maindecked theyíd shut down Dryad Arbor) or Detritivore, mostly over Disintegrate and Gathan Raiders, or over Gathan Raiders and both Arc Blades.

Now, comes the best part about this deck. Counting both deck AND sideboard, you have champ-winning material, and a very solid deck even for Standard, although some stuff should definitely come in, like for instance Raging Goblin, for a grand total of U$ 57.60!!!
So, anyone interested in going to Spain? Wink
Last edited by Felipe Musco on Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:33 pm; edited 2 times in totalI don't like YOU.
Felipe Musco
Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:54 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
After GP Montreal, well, this deck is still as rogue-ish as it first started, so it may be a fine choice after all! Iíd just recommend, perhaps, 4 Dead//Gone maindeck.
Last edited by Felipe Musco on Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:57 am; edited 2 times in totalI don't like YOU.
c3poquino
Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:05 am
Joined: 04 Sep 2006 Posts: 47 Location:
Glad to see a great final article, and I certainly liked the rogue idea, although Iím not sure it can beat the green/white aggros that have been appearing lately.
corvus
Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:20 am
Joined: 13 Oct 2006 Posts: 1696 Location: Roaming, but dangerous!!!
Great PTQ idea! If i could my hands on a plane ticket, iíd grab one of your ideas and go 4 it!!!! Moreover you got a small artcle over there, much easier to read. A well deserved 5!!!
Click here if you want to trade some foils away Wink
Far, Far beyond the island we dwelt in shapes of twilight
Through draught and weary days
Through grief and endless pain
Felipe Musco
Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:24 am
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
Iím confused as to wether I should thank you or not, making fun of my lenghty articles! Laughing
Anyway, thanks, corvus! Homage
Letís get on MWS and play sometime! I have to train for the PTQ. Arenít there PTQs in Greece? Win one, and they GIVE you the plane ticket.
I don't like YOU.
physcosick
Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:45 pm
Joined: 18 Oct 2005 Posts: 229 Location:
I didnt expect you to come back... thought u were gone.

Afterall, you said u were leaving in the members lounge and your article use to say "matchup analsis coming soon". But i figured it wouldnt get updated...

well... i was half right. So... your article is incomplete.

Your list is somewhat questionable, as well. In theory, itís the same deck with minor changes. But something that I noticed right away that I disagree with is the lack of storage lands. I just dont see the deck performing too well against WW or UB. Against WW the best thing you had in the original list was blood knight. Sure you can burn as many of their creatures as you like. However, that does two things: 1. Stalls your plan of gargadon and 2. Makes you reactive and potentially lose in the long run. What would you do when they lay down a Calciderm? Lose? thats about it. Sure you have sulfer elemental but a lot of times, that can actually help WW out... again with the calciderms.

UB? Obviously their creature control will hurt you a lot. Sure, you can make the claim the greater gargadon will give dying creatures a reason to die but thats assuming GG will be suspended every game which is not always going to happen. And then when it resolves? I dont even know how many times i suspended mindstab just to have the UB player teachings for a draining whelk the turn before mindstab resolves. Itís the same deal.

So I had a couple problems with your list, I donít like your lack of matchup analysis... perhaps you decided on a whim to return and didnt want to finish the article... perhaps you tested and realized the deck was bad and you didnt want to give any results... so... not sure why but your article is incomplete. If it was complete, I might give it a 4. If it was complete and bad, I might give it a 3. But itís incomplete.
Physco's Like List: Felipe Musco, Elflvr, yerkamig, theOmnipotentOne, AgentDrake

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mojo
Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:25 pm
Joined: 09 Aug 2006 Posts: 32 Location: your mom
umm whereís the test results? and block play is pointless at the moment since the season is over, but i do like your idea about using sword of the meek and it really is a decent deck in theory but you dont have your test results to back up ur theory.
Barry Gibb
Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:46 pm
Joined: 27 Jan 2007 Posts: 15 Location:
I saw your article when i stopped by a few weeks ago and u said that you would have test results. Sadly you didnt do them i would be interested to see them but truthfully iv tried a variant of GG but it was horrible and i feel as this would have the same results. It can beat control cuz they will just counter GG and the rest isnt good enough to be a aggro deck. You did however do a good card analysis. This is not what i used to c from you and i know for a fact you can write well and this was not one of your good decks or good articles. But im not gona be a mean person liek that one guy who made me quit so ill give u ok score cuz you were nice to me when i was here.
Felipe Musco
Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:09 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
Interesting. I see a lot of people complaining "this canít beat control" and "this sucks", but a Pro Player WON A TOURNAMENT with, I should add, a less powerful version of this deck. So, before stating something like, that, I advise you all to read a littlemore on the subject... Also, I see some people complaining this article is "incomplete". Well, sorry, but the OTHER article running with me for the month happens to be a completion article, and the FIRST article won, even being imcomplete, with votes by some of the same people backing that... Weird, huh?
Last edited by Felipe Musco on Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:46 pm; edited 1 time in totalI don't like YOU.
gustavcf
Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:29 pm
Joined: 01 Jul 2007 Posts: 2 Location: cabo frio
Smile Yours Article is very interesting Felipe!
I liked him very much and he will be of great help. Good job!!!
I want to read more articles!!

Very Happy

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