Lots of people have asked about the decks I played at Grand Prix Charleston. So I decided to put them all up here
so everyone will leave me the hell alone for all to see. Since I was going to be there representing MTGCast, I decided that I wanted to play some decks provided by the various and sundry podcasters on the network! So I poked around and begged for things, and came up with a handful of lists I liked. I ended up with three decks for Standard, three decks for Commander, and two Pauper decks.
Might as well get this over with. These decks were not inspired by anyone else, I just picked three of my favorites and played them. I had the Spirit of the Night deck, the Johan deck, and of course my Kaervek the Merciless deck. Those have all been discussed elsewhere, thus the links. Click on them and be amazed! That was easy, now let’s check out the poor man’s cards!
First up, we have a Pauper deck recommended by none other than Chris Plummer (@cmplummer) of the Pauper to the People and Meet the Cast podcasts. As soon as I saw the list, I was in love. Just look at the first creature!
KROSAN TUSKER! Best deck ever! Mind you I only got to play it once at the GP, which is unfortunate. As such, I can’t give a very good idea of how the deck plays. I know I managed to windmill slam a Snuff Out just when I needed it on TWO separate occasions, but those are really the only notable happenings. I couldn’t help but have land, it was ridiculous. Twice I used a Yavimaya Elder to grab two land, and the card I drew with him was…another land. That was frustrating. But it was a good game from what I recall. I know my early Putrid Leech was threatening my opponent for quite some time.
Not wanting to get into a rut, I wanted to do something completely different for my second deck. I found this one in an article by Andrew Wilson (@silent7seven). He’s the copy editor and a columnist at Gathering Magic as well as the author and creator of the Cevian Father podcast and blog. Here’s the deck, before I go any further.
Whoa, is that really a Swirling Sandstorm? HA! Love it!
This deck isn’t really something I’d play normally, but what could be a better time to expand my horizons than playing with a bunch of complete strangers? The deck is trying to get artifacts in the graveyard and find a Scrapyard Salvo or two to destroy your opponent’s face. It does so by sacrificing a bunch of artifacts that draw you cards. It’s crazy how that works, isn’t it?
Again, I only got to play one game with it, and that didn’t go so well. I did churn through a fair number of artifacts, but I couldn’t find any of my burn spells to keep myself alive. I also couldn’t find a second Salvo that would have given me the game. But it was still pretty cool to play, regardless of the one game of bad luck. Sort of a poor man’s Eggs, you know?
First off is a Rats & Cats deck built by Cluze (@lacluyze), one of the hosts of the Card Advantage podcast and my frequent guest host on Monday Night Magic. He just let me borrow it for the duration of the tournament, since he was doing that judge thing that he does so well. Here it is, with the minor alterations I made because I’m silly.
ZOMG SO CUTE! Pack Rat is absolutely devastating in Limited, but what about Standard? Cluze decided that he would build the deck and find out. Not knowing how the deck worked, I thought that Pack Rat without card draw seemed odd, so I took out three Mind Rot and a Shrieking Affliction that was in there on a lark (his words, not mine) and added in the copies of Sign in Blood and Staff of Nin. I never got a Pack Rat to stick long enough to do anything, but Jack had plenty of fun with it over the course of the weekend. Mostly I would clog the ground with rats and cats and drop a Desecration Demon to utterly destroy my opponent. It was a lot of fun, and I definitely appreciated Cluze letting me bum his deck to play!
You know, there’s something about durdling around that just makes me happy, and this deck was seriously durdly. No I don’t know the exact definition of durdle, but I can damn sure use it in a sentence properly! Anyway, I wanted something more casual and goofy to play that wouldn’t be expected, and of course I found it in our forums! This deck comes from the user KhaosKontrol, who also happens to be the same guy that did this Edric video, who ALSO happens to be Joe from the Four Guys Play Magic podcast! Holy crap this dude is everywhere.
I called it Defender Control, because it doesn’t really do anything other than play creatures with defender, ramp, and blow stuff up. I had to tweak the decklist a bit to compensate for the cards I couldn’t find, but here’s what I played.
Yeah, this was a weird deck. Fog Bank was definitely an all star, leading to quite a bit of frustration on my opponents’ parts many times throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, I never seemed to be able to get enough mana and card draw to actually FIND the win conditions and then win with them. Well, not never. I won several games with it (at least a couple) but it never felt like it worked like it was supposed to, you know? It was fun though (sense a theme running through this post?) and I’d love to tinker with it and figure out how to make it better.
For my final deck, I had to go to the one person that I knew could recommend something fun that wouldn’t suck a lot of balls. I went to Chris Lansdell (@lansdellicious) of the Horde of Notions podcast. Because I’m me, he gave me a black and green deck that involved demons, planeswalkers, and…GRISELBRAND! Again, I had to make a few changes based on card availability. Here’s what my stack looked like.
3 Garruk Relentless / Garruk, the Veil-Cursed
2 Vraska the Unseen
2 Liliana of the Dark Realms
1 Garruk, Primal Hunter
4 Tragic Slip
2 Essence Harvest
1 Rakdos’s Return
1 Demonic Rising
My only changes were the two weird one-of creatures. The Bloodline Keeper was because I couldn’t find another Desecration Demon, and the Deathrite Shaman was in my binder when I couldn’t find a second Reaper. I also added in the Cavern of Souls when I couldn’t find a final Blood Crypt.
This deck was a blast. It’s amazing how much synergy has been crammed in here. Desecration Demon works really well with the Reaper. Essence Harvest and Liliana are pretty sweet together, and Disciple of Bolas goes with the lady as well. In fact, this version of Liliana is just great. She can kill things, she can fetch lands, she can make a guy STUPIDLY big. I never even tried to use her limit break, as I always seemed to have plenty of mana. Both versions of Garruk were good. I used Garruk Relentless multiple times just to trade with a Thragtusk before I Mutilated the token with the rest of the board. Both Essence Harvests in one turn won me a game, but then they weren’t enough to win another game. They were always a trip to play because almost every opponent had to read it (“The hell is this again?”). Even the Demonic Rising pulled its weight, winning me one game (almost) all by itself. All in all, I think this was my favorite of the Standard decks to play.
So there are the decks I took with me to Grand Prix Charleston. I would like to thank all the aforementioned guys for helping a brother out, whether they knew it or not. A super big thanks goes out to Cluze, who just handed me this stack of multiple hundreds of dollars worth of cards to borrow for these decks. I mean it, damn near all the Shocklands, all the Thragtusks, most of the planeswalkers, a bunch of the rares came from him. And that’s not even counting the ENTIRE DECK he let me borrow! A big thanks also goes out to Twitch and George from the Phoenix Games crew. George went out and tracked down all the cards I still needed, brought them to me, and we worked a massive trade so I could actually keep them. He’s the reason that I finally own a GRISELBRAND! Without those guys, I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun because I’d have been playing a massively watered down version of all these decks, and I appreciate it so incredibly much. Thanks to them, thanks to you guys for reading this, and I hope you enjoyed it!