Extending Tier .999 Decks

Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 by llarack
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Posted in mtg, serious business, strategy

I’ve decided to switch gears, since for most people, the next relevant Constructed format will be Extended. For those of you who do not remember, Extended used to be a very different beast. When I first started playing, Extended was Tempest -> Mirrodin, with a significant banlist to keep Urza Block in check. Now Extended is Lorwyn -> Scars of Mirrodin with M10 and M11 as legal core sets.

As a result, a lot of reasonable Extended decks will be the old Standard decks of these past three years, with a chance for innovation by looking for cross-block synergy.

I’ll start by considering what I think are reasonable lists for major archetypes, and discuss what other cards could be considered.

An old boogeyman of Standard:

This Faeries list is probably a bit different from ones you have seen in the past. For one, I do not believe Scion of Oona or Vendilion Clique are particularly well-positioned, so I move to a more controlling Faeries build with 5 spot removal spells, and really only 4 Mistbind Clique, 4 Bitterblossom and 8 manlands to win with.

You are also able to board into pure UB control if necessary (vs aggressive decks). 4 Molten-Tail Masticore, 2 Wurmcoil Engine, and 4 Disfigure usually come in for this plan.

I am not 100% sold on Tectonic Edge, since it is another colorless land, and might be replaced by the best land in Magic: Island. Also of note, I am not sure maindeck Thoughtseize is necessary, but turn 1 Thoughtseize followed by turn 2 Bitterblossom is one of the best openings Faeries can have.

There’s not much to say about the gameplan of this deck. It is worth noting there’s a lot of room for variation in card choices (Demigod of Revenge or not), since that forces you to play more lands. Goblin Guide and Figure of Destiny are invaluable one drops. I was even considering Spikeshot Elder, but realized it was probably too weak. You could also play Burst Lightning as a potential burn spell, but I believe Flame Javelin and Staggershock are both superior here. Smoldering Spires and Teetering Peaks are both pseudo-spells that you can justify playing more lands for to help with Demigod as well. Boggart Ram-gang is also worth consideration, but probably will not make the cut.

Stigma Lasher is a fine guy on turn 2 to disable Kitchen Finks, Wurmcoil Engine and possibly even Baneslayer Angel if he connects. Ratchet Bomb lets you answer Kor Firewalker and Burrenton Forge-tender with relative ease. Koth of the Hammer is an annoying card for Control decks to answer. Searing Blaze is a great card to have in any sort of aggressive mirror. Notice that in this deck, you have to cast it as a sorcery to get value, since there are 0 fetchlands to be seen.

I played in quite a few PTQs with this deck while it was legal in Standard. Not much has changed since then. You play the best spells at the top end, stapled together with a reasonably good manabase and removal spells. There’s quite a few ways to build this deck as well. You could build it as a very planeswalker heavy build with Ajani Vengeant and Jace Beleren, though he is often overshadowed by his big brother (Twin? Future self?) now. There’s any number of removal spells you could play, including Path to Exile, Condemn, and more Plumeveils.

In short, I am hesitant to really give you an exact build of this deck that I would be comfortable playing 100% until we see what happens at Worlds next weekend. This build should give you a good starting point for your own 5CC ideas, though.

Another boogeyman:

This is probably a much more aggressive build of Jund than most of you are used to. It was called Jund Blood at GP Seattle (in 2008) and there was a 5 color build of it that splashed Cryptic Command and Cruel Ultimatum. You are able to aggressively curve out as well as back up that curve with efficient removal, and also burn your opponent to draw cards off Sygg, River Cutthroat during their turn. This deck is not quite as good at grinding people out as builds with Bituminous Blast, but it still has Blightning and Sygg, River Cutthroat as sources of card advantage.

You could also consider: Bitterblossom as an additional 2 drop (somewhat slow), maindecking Great Sable Stag as an addition or to replace a three drop. The sideboard could also probably use some work after we see what occurs next weekend.

Not quite as big of a boogeyman, but still seeing some play:

I personally have not done a lot of work on this archetype – this list is merely a tweaked list from a recent magic-league first place showing. Merfolk has always nipped at Faeries’ heels, but has generally been regarded to be worse overall. However, it does have the advantage of having tons of creatures that pump the Merfolk, making it generally better in creature on creature matchups, as well as having access to Cryptic Command for fogs/falters.

Other cards to consider: Molten-Tail Masticore is a great card that gives you ways to kill them out of the combat zone, and also lets you be slightly more resilient to Day of Judgment. Reveillark is a card that gives you resilience to removal heavy decks. I have also seen Sage’s Dousing over Mana Leak, but I think that it doesn’t have enough of an upside for being on the wrong spot in the curve – especially after cutting the weak Stonybrook Banneret.

This deck is an evolution of Zvi’s Mythic deck for PT Amsterdam. Its plan A is to Hideaway an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and get it out with a Primeval Titan or by activating Knight of the Reliquary in the case of Mosswort Bridge, or simply attacking with your small guys for Windbrisk Heights. It’s worth noting that Mutavault can help activate the bridge when you have Primeval Titan plus another 2-power creature. Plan B is to cast Baneslayer Angel / Primeval Titan and just swing with them, or hardcast Emrakul later in the game. I would believe that this deck is pretty favored vs everything that does not have a lot of burn or sweepers.

I am hesitant to mess with this deck too much, since there’s not a lot of room to sideboard cards in or out, and the deck seems very focused as it is.

And finally, a deck after kingcobweb’s own heart:

This deck still seems relatively powerful and resilient to whatever hate people throw its way, especially with the introduction of Vengevine as a viable board card. For those of you may not know, you can loop Primal Command if you get your library small enough (courtesy of Regal Force) by casting Primal Command to shuffle your graveyard in (including the Primal Command that was already in your yard) and search for another Regal Force. At this point you can shuffle and put their lands on top of their deck if necessary or just get an Ezuri, Renegade Leader or Joraga Warcaller to kill them with.

Other cards to consider: Arbor Elf is another Llanowar Elves, although you would have to put more Forests in the deck. Eldrazi Monument can serve as another win condition as well as giving you protection vs sweepers. I am not sure about Acidic Slime in the sideboard, but I think it is worth having access to in case if someone shows up with a crazy Platinum Angel or Platinum Emperion that you otherwise cannot beat.

As a bonus, I will share the current standard deck I’ve been grinding with:

The deck is not very innovative, but it is very strong at doing its own thing – which is to spit out huge threats early and finish people with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle triggers or Plant Tokens. You could probably justify cutting the Wurmcoil Engine for a 3rd Avenger of Zendikar, as well as putting the 4th Lightning Bolt back in for it. Otherwise, I am really happy with this list so far and feel good about its matchups except for the mirror (which is a direct coinflip).

I hope this article has been enlightening, and as usual, feel free to leave comments in the forums or to PM me.