Running the Gauntlet – Valakut, Day 2 (UW Cawblade)

Well, at least RUG went well. After beating Owen like a rug, I was ready to face the real test: UW Cawblade. I enlisted the help of wrapter, and he wasted no time in bringing me back to reality.

Here is the list I used:


As for the games, well, just take a look:

Channel LSV: Standard Gauntlet – Valakut vs. UW

To see the rest of this deck’s matchups, as well as the current Running the Gauntlet series, click here!

Preboard Games

Well, it wasn’t all bad. I at least went 2-1 in preboard games, and I think Valakut is a favorite there. Cawblade has 2-4 Mana Leaks, 3 on average, and past that they can’t really stop you from landing a Primeval Titan. I wouldn’t try and wait until hitting nine mana; just run out the Titan and hope. You also have Bolts to slow them down, and Oracle is a threat in its own right. Unfortunately, that is where the good news ends.


I went through a few configurations post board. I started by boarding in all the Walls of Tanglecord, Treespeakers, and Nature’s Claims, as well as Oracle, but that seemed bad. Wall of Tanglecord just wasn’t very good, and Treespeaker got owned by Oust really badly. With this list, I would try boarding like so:






Postboard Games

I got ranched pretty hard. Wrapter crushed me, four games to one. The addition of 3 Flashfreeze and a Deprive (I assume, don’t know for certain) was enough to make it so he could just counter all my threats, all while being ahead on cards due to either Jace or Sword. Preordain let him find what he needed, and his threshold for victory was just lower. In order for wrapter to win, he needed:

A number of counters greater than the number of six-drops I had (but only by the time I hit six mana).
Jace OR Sword.

That’s it!

Compare that to what I needed:

Six mana (probably by turn 5-6, since much later makes Jace too absurd).
Titans/Traps greater than the number of counters he has.

We both had other cards to aid us in our goals, but the problem was that his were just better. Not only did his win conditions cost less mana (if he got stuck on 4 or 5, it wasn’t a big deal, but that was lethal for me), his support cards were Preordains and Spell Pierces, as well as just the option of using Mana Leak or Flashfreeze on my earlier threats. My support cards were basically mana ramp and answers to Sword, which didn’t stack up well. Wall of Tanglecord was pretty bad, losing to both his sideboard cards (Oust and Tumble Magnet) as well as being terrible when I was short on green mana. In general, it felt pretty lopsided, and the games did nothing to convince me otherwise.

Moving forward, I’m going to make some changes and re-try the matchup, since any deck that can’t beat Cawblade is unplayable.

Cards I wanted

Koth of the Hammer. It’s hammer time! Koth is a threat that costs less than six mana (very important) and actually fights Jace. I don’t know if it’s the best answer, but I’ll try it.

Tumble Magnet. Instead of Wall of Tanglecord, I want to give this a try. It not only stops a Sworded guy for three turns, it also stops opposing Magnets, which is definitely relevant.

More Oracles of Mul Daya. Moving another main could help out somewhat, since Oracle was pretty awesome.

Possible Cuts

The entire deck.

Ok, fine, I’ll have some real suggestions.

Khalni Heart Expedition. I was pretty underwhelmed by this card. It has always been a horrible topdeck, and even early it really wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. It can certainly go.

Wall of Tanglecord. It is pretty obvious that I didn’t like this. I stopped siding it in, and this is the main matchup it’s for! I think we can do better.

Joraga Treespeaker. In a world filled with Ousts, this card smells pretty bad. In fact, with 5 Forest in the deck, the wisdom of including it to begin with is debatable.

Tomorrow I’m going to try this one more time, this time with a better list (hopefully). If it doesn’t work, I can’t say that Valakut has a bright future…


67 thoughts on “Running the Gauntlet – Valakut, Day 2 (UW Cawblade)”

  1. Luis,
    What do you think about the “aggro Valakut” decks that play Cobra/Viridian Emissary/Hero of Oxid Ridge?

  2. I still can recommend Precursor Golem in the board then obviously with Lotus Cobra Maindeck. It’s a threat that they are pretty soft to and it dodges flashfreeze plus randomly comes out on turn 3. CawBlade ist still probably Valakut’s worst matchup but the Golems do improve its chances, I find.

  3. ya i like golem too. its hilarious how just a month ago we were all complaining about how insanely broken valakut was and how no deck would ever beat it….now its arguably not tier 1. all that basically from 1 card.

  4. Khalni Heart Expedition is just gross… can’t wait to see Koth in. I think one card you didn’t mention much about, yet I think underperformed, is Raging Ravine. The situations where the manland function comes in handy are just too situational in Valakut, and being a dual land actually seems like a disadvantage, as you really, really can’t afford to be hit by Tectonic Edge before you get to 6 mana. It’s not like Valakut needs the ability to produce two types of mana from one land, as Valakut is never short of red mana, and replacing Raging Ravines with Forests doesn’t hurt your chances of getting green mana.

  5. Koth seems very good. It give you something to fight Jace with a that they have to deal with & it can also ramp if not killed immediately.

  6. Match 2, game 1 you chose to harrow before casting Titan. If you instead just cast titan for double mountain and left mountain & harrow in hand then you still get 4 triggers to kill jace + hawk + mystic and you can discard mountain and still have the harrow to deal with inkmoth a turn later.

    In both cases you would get 6 triggers, not 5 like you said in the video.

    Keep the video’s coming!

  7. I have played Valakut (without Cobra) a lot in the past two months and I find that you really need your Lightning Bolts. I wouldn’t board in Nature’s Claim, these are basically only needed against Boros and Quest.
    What I found out (and that of course might be wrong, since I play Magic only since a year) that against Cawblade you really want to handle the guys that can equip the sword (right as you did in the vid). They just don’t have that many people to stick the blade on and you can try to stick your threats. You basically can win against hem if they try the Blade/Guy plan, if they are playing Counter/Jace, you are in a pretty tough spot after sideboarding.

  8. Hi LSV,

    I dont like your list all that much, and all the changes you wanna make to make the matchup aginst cawblade better is already incorporated in Martin Juzas list which i believe is the best list right now.

    What are your thoughts on Martin Juzas list of valakut?

    Thanks for great videos!

  9. I am of the opinion that more Tumble Magnet is needed. It stops their sworded guys and Tumble Magnets until you can play a Titan.

  10. Aiden: Because Valakut beats RUG. Also the Golems are for the sideboard in my opinion. Inferno Titan is still a beating against the aggressive decks.

  11. Match 3 Game 3 you go on about how Valakut is a “well” constructed deck having to hit 6 mana, how you don’t have Preordain, etc. The thing is, you don’t run the card that fixes this problem – Green Sun’s Zenith. Sure it can get countered and you don’t get to trap – but exactly how reliable is a trap when you have 7 good targets, and at least 1 is currently in your graveyard? And how does Trap help when you are stuck on 1 Forest?

    What I’m saying here is – Summoning Trap is not the answer to Caw-Blade. At least not until you run 4 Oracles and 4 Green Sun’s Zeniths already. I’d even run Tumble Magnet before running the trap. Summoning Trap should be in the 75 in the sideboard because of UB Control, not in the main deck because of Caw-Blade. You said it yourself – on average your facing 3 Mana Leaks. Good luck beating 6 Titans, 4 Oracles and 4 GSZ with that.

  12. A key to the matchup is making sure your Traps don’t whiff. Terastodon does a pretty good Titan impression.

  13. @Tchoob: What on Earth are you talking about? Summong Trap is vital, because you can’t afford to slowroll a Titan while they have Jace or SoFaF on the field, and if you do get countered without Summong Trap you just lose the game right there if you don’t have another Titan, and might still lose the game even if you do. Them sideboarding in Flashfreeze doesn’t help anything. I don’t know what you’re trying to hint at with the statement “but exactly how reliable is a trap when you have 7 good targets, and at least 1 is currently in your graveyard?”. After 6 draw steps with no deck thinning counted, you have a 70% chance of hitting at least one of 6 Titans still in your deck, which is pretty good.

  14. Aha! I knew wrapter was a Sith lord.

    Would something like Ricochet Trap or Autumn’s Veil help out a bit more than your current SB options? Particularly with Ricochet, you could not only counter their counters, but also make them Oust or Into the Roil their own stuff.

    Juza’s list does look interesting…it lacks LSV’s favorite card, Khalni Heart Expedition.

    Also, what about running Koth main as threat + accel?

  15. This just reminds me that I hate boarding with Valakut. Every card is integral to the deck. It seems like any board you do makes the deck slower. I would just go 4 natures claim and be done with it.

    I definitely trust your judgment on the Khalni Heart Expeditions, but when one takes one or more out of the deck, it just seems worse in the later matchups because you tend to draw it rather than have it in your opening hand. Some games, although you would be less explosive to 4 mana if you played it before Wall, it would certainly help bring you from 4 mana to the magical six-mana level.

    Or maybe just try shatters because the mana isn’t too big of a deal and you wouldn’t run into the lack of green mana problems such as that game where he just grinded you out with Jace Bounce your wall + inkmoth nexus.

  16. I mean, who plays Quest now? Especially with Tumble magnet making significant entreaties on becoming maindeck in a significant part of the game.

  17. Besides, natures claims and shatters would kill an inkmoth, where your wall of tanglecord just sits there acting dumb.

  18. @Someguy:
    I’m saying there are better cards against Caw Blade than Summoning Trap. Cards that do something before you reach 6 mana. Cards that work 100% of the time and don’t change they’re counter into a 2 for 1 30-50% of the time depending on the number of targets already in your hand. I guess you can make a case for Summoning Trap over Tumble Magnet from the board – and that’s fine, I won’t argue, as I’m not sure which one is better myself. But don’t tell me that it’s better against Caw-Blade than GSZ or Oracle, especially preboard.

  19. Just a thought,

    slagstorm? lightning bolt with multiple targets? It eats flighty chickens…

    I play with Cobra and got turn three double Prim Titan…maybe you should try? 😀

    Never thought of multiple oracles…i’ll see if it holds water…thx!

    Keep em coming LSV!

  20. I guess Khalni Heart Expedition was pretty terrible a lot of the time… on the other hand, Match 2 Game 1 it seems like it could have been better to keep the Expedition than to discard it and keep the Harrow. As it is, Expedition is a guaranteed ramp to 7 (if you only crack one fetch before your turn begins). So if you keep Expedition and Oracle, then either you draw a untapped land (and play it, play the Oracle, etc.) or you don’t (in which case you play Expedition, Evolving Wilds, sac Wilds, sac the other fetch, and use the Expedition). The extra land actually just kills him (instead of dealing 12 to his creatures and 6 to him, it’s 21 to the face).

  21. @Tchoob: I am telling you it’s better than GSZ against Caw-Blade, especially pre-board. The only thing GSZ does before six mana in this list is get you Oracle, which does little to actually win you the game. You’re trading an important win condition for what is essentially a five mana ramp spell, which may improve how consistently you get to six mana but doesn’t actually win you the game. Without Summoning Trap, your only way to win is through luck – if they draw any one of their 3 Mana Leak or 4 Flash Freeze post-board, you often just lose the game right there barring extenuating circumstances. I’ll take a 70% chance of winning against counters over a 0% chance any day. Obviously exaggerating a bit here, but really… if you don’t draw more Titans than they draw counters, you have no way to win the game, and they can find counters easily via Preordain and JTMS. You say GSZ does something, but it really doesn’t, or at least by the logic you are presenting Khalni Heart Expedition “does something” before you hit six mana. If you want to put in cards that actually do something like Koth, go ahead, but more ramp in place of a way to actually win the game is not going to do anything but make you lose more.

  22. Hello LSV. You pointed it out ur self, but really seems like cutting the expedition is a good idea, 90% it was a really bad draw 🙁

  23. As someone else said on the 1st day, ur list of valakut seems pretty bad. khalni seems so bad in your deck without cobra and green fetchlands.. also, playing magnets in main or sb seems good.
    But let me tell me that i really like this series and hope that it is being continued !

  24. You really need some GSZ, playing 4 Summoning Trap main is also not great – They aren’t going to Trap you into Titan all that often, and good players won’t at all. Summoning Trap is really only needed as a 4 of in G2-3 when they board in flashfreezes and realistically can start countering all of your important plays.

    All 4 Summoning Trap do for you maindeck is create a brutal curve where you have 11 6-drops in your deck. GSZ can punish them for tapping out as early as turn 2 when they are on the draw. Summoning trap only punishes them for misplaying.

    Caw-X decks are favored no matter what, but this list was supposed to be designed with that matchup in mind – however just jamming summoning traps in there is fundamentally flawed. That was only a good plan when UB was playing 6-8 counters main, those days are long over.

  25. If Harrow is sideboarded out vs the majority of the other T1 decks don’t we feel like replacing it in the mainboard with something that may stick in Games 2-3 more?

  26. @someguy

    You obviously don’t understand why, but Summoning Trap as a 4-of main is terrible, some lists don’t even board into 4. GSZ is so amazing because it works as a ramp spell when played for 3 mana, and gets you a Titan at 7.

    You want to play enough ramp to reliably hit T4 Titan, and 4 traps won’t let you do that. The whole point of the deck is to put lands into play, and LSV’s list is terrible at that, it has only 3 spells in the whole deck (other than Titan) that guarantee more land goes into play when resolved. There is a reason most decks run 3-4 Harrow and 2-3 Cultivate.

  27. I would run Magnets over the Maindeck bolts. They are weaker in some respects (eg vs Lotus Cobra) but against Caw-Blade they are far better. If you stick Cobras and Green Fetches in there you’ll realise that Khalni Heart Expedition is one of the best cards in the deck – but it’s definately weak in this list.

  28. Luis, your deck doesn’t really take advantage of Trap at all. You’d want to have Lotus Cobra and Acidic Slimes and even Goblin Ruinblasters which I’m running now in sb, to have realistic targets for Trap earlier.

    Trap is good when used for two things -EOT instant Cast, cheating into play between Sword activations, or getting one off a t2 cobra.

    Lotus replaces KHE in my build, which admittedly allows you to hit Kut manually, but why bother really? Lotus can make some insane turn 3 games, especially with Explores, Harrows thrown in to mix. Rampimg to 6 mana on turn 4, reliably, unlike KHE (which is a problem of the card -you don’t want to use it T2, and it only gets worse after that turn) or even 5 mana to cast 2CMC counters leak proof, and start only fighting against Flashfreezes instead of Leaks.

    Besides, Cobra bashes faces!

    I wrote my deck at WotC forums, I’d love it if you’d care to check it out:


  29. The non cobra build is at a significant disadvantage in this matchup, lotus cobra makes the matchup more manageable. Ousting a treespeaker is a pretty big game, ousting a cobra just slows you down a little. Tumble Magnet is way better than Wall, at least in my own testing. Maindeck traps are great when you are running enough threats. Valakut really needs Green Zenith to be competitive right now, you need the consistency it provides. It doesn’t have to be a 4 of in the main, but at least 4 in your 75 is pretty crucial and I wouldn’t run less than 2 in the main.

  30. If you are not going to run Lotus Cobra and fetches, of course Khalni Heart Expedition underperforms. I actually feel like KHE is key tech against Caw-Blade precisely because you board out Harrows against them. You have to have something that fetches you two land at a time to trigger Valakut, and I vastly prefer the 4 KHE/4 Harrow versions of Valakut.

    Joraga Treespeaker is not an answer to Caw-Blade (in fact, it is only good main deck with GSZ as a 1of); Koth of the Hammer is, and you should be fighting fair-er with Koth over Treespeaker.

    I prefer Summoning Trap main deck to blowout the Caw-Blade matchup game 1, since sometimes the only out that Caw-Blade is to counter your Cobra/Titan, and then you hopefully Trap into a Titan. That’s a lot of hoping though, and I have whiffed too often on Trap to consider it reliable. It feels great when it works, crushing when it doesn’t. I do board Green Sun’s Zenith, and I bring it in a lot, so maybe my thinking is backwards there.

    Tumble Magnet is perfect for the deck, and I run them main deck over Lightning Bolt. You can run Bolt in the board if you feel it is necessary, but I would almost always try to fight the Sword than the man, and Nature’s Claim should do the trick there.

    I really like this video series, but I wish that your build would have a fair fight against Caw-Blade in its initial sideboard plan. As it is, it just wasn’t a strong plan.

  31. The game where you discarded Nature’s Claim to a sword hit… why not just Nature’s Claim the Inkmoth Nexus? Your wall of Tanglecord still stops the Stoneforge if it’s equipped with the sword on the ground.

  32. Thomas Rickarby

    My (humble) Suggestion against Cawblade:

    1. Run Lotus Cobra Main.
    2. Side in Thrun, Precursor Golem and Tumble Magnets.
    3. ????
    4. Profit

  33. Anyone notice possibly the greatest LSV-ism of all time? “Don’t want to draw a Joraga Treespeaker. That’d be Joraga-tory to my chances of winning.”

  34. I usally find that expedition is my best ramp card, its always the one I protect the most. I also think that you cant afford to play around counters when they have mystic out, if you get a 2mana play countered atleast you slow them a turn from hitting you. And your endgame is so much better than theirs. The game where you play out a battlement with 4 mana up insted of expedition so you have to discard the expedition seems bad. If you play expedition first, they can either counter that and be a turn after and you can still play battlement, or you have a ramp spell that doesnt get ousted and have titan mana. More than 1 ravine and no cobras seems wrong.

  35. I stand by my Day 1 statement: this isn’t actually a biased list vs. Caw-Blade. Summoning Trap isn’t that great… Caw-Blade usually seems to have the extra counter and the mana to cast it. I think I actually resolved 2 out of 12 Summoning Traps testing a similar list vs. UW Caw. Koth and Tumble Magnet are very good, as is Precursor Golem.

  36. I played valakut for about 3 months, and KHE at first seemed like a complete piece of crap to me. But then i found out that it’s the first ramp card you always cast. The faster you get it down, the better it is. Having KHE, 2 lands and a terramorphic is a great opening hand. No matter what else is in your hand, it’s your turn two play. But yes, it can be a miserable top deck at times. Yet, it can be awesome mid game when you need to have instant valakut triggers to hold off attackers. Also, having even an empty one out before you cast titan makes your titan that much more lethal.

    I wouldn’t cut KHE, I’d just go down to 3 of them.

  37. I agree with some of the other posters. Valakut is my ONLY complete deck (besides the cheap ones to make like Kuldotha and Mono-White Quest), and since I play it fairly often at FNM, the Summoning Traps in the mainboard are suspect. I agree with your take on Joraga AND on Koth.

    This list seems really non-traditional, and sometimes, I feel that the non-traditional lists are … well … too much of an experiment.

    Where’s the Gaea’s Revenge. It eats Caw-Blade for breakfast … seriously … I have two in my sideboard for that reason. They replace the Avengers of Zendikar, which you also don’t have any of. The problem with your deck is that it doesn’t have enough creatures in it, imo. And the Raging Ravines are also slowing this down. The deck feels muted. It kills through Valakut. And if that’s not available due to hate, it can overwhelm with Koth, Inferno, and Gaea’s Revenge.

    Two Acidic Slimes, mainboard, too. There’s almost never a point where a deathtouch creature that kills just about any threat the opponent might have when it comes into play gets old.

    The more I look at the list, the more disappointed I become, honestly. I’ve been waiting for the Valakut videos for weeks, but I don’t think this deck is close to the build that many of us play.


    My build isn’t great, I’m sure, but it feels better equipped to handle CawBlade than yours does.

  38. @ Tchoob and BT: As usual, SomeGuy is right. Read this article and enlighten yourselves on how to evaluate GSZ: http://www.gatheringmagic.com/the-danger-of-cool-things-revisited/. It’s also worth noting that the GSZ valakut lists NEVER posted any results, whereas the Trap ones do, at least sometimes. Counterspell punishing = kinda relevant. Having said that, LSV should be running 1-2 more boom-booms to take advantage of trap. Seven is a little light, and it shows in his whiffing.

    @ Lotus Cobra people: At first glance, Cobra looks good. Mana acceleration = faster deck, right? The problem is that Cobra only accelerates you to 4 and 5, not to 6, particularly in a deck that can’t run real fetchlands (so cobra into explore + fetch, fetch shenanigans don’t work). Actually, you even have trouple getting to five, because of the lack of real fetches – you need Cobra then Explore, expanse + untapped land to get to five (for precursor golem). Add to this that Cobra is ridiculously vulnerable to things like bolt and sparkmage and pyroclasm. Plus, Precursor golem is a nice threat, but similarly vulnerable.

    Ask yourself what Valakut is trying to do. It’s trying to accelerate out a big spell that seals the game, and gives it a board control/kill-you combo. That spell needs to be resilient to disruption once it hits the table. Titans and Avenger fit the bill, because they require double bolt to kill (and in Avenger’s case, Day of Judgment). Precursor golem does not.

  39. I can and do run real fetches in Val with Cobra. They are green and they replace forests, they just pay a life for the second landfall. You don’t have to use every non basic for fixing, it is purely optional.

    5 mana on turn 3 can get you to 6 land before you untap – KHE, fetch, Cultivate, crack KHE. As usual the problem stems from focusing only on what one can do that turn and not on the general progress of the deck’s general plan, which is inevitability. Val pours spare mana into the ramp until it can play even cost 6 spells right over the top of Leak.

  40. A lot of the specific sideboard choices that ‘work’ against Caw-Blade only work if they board out the Hawks, which a lot of people do, and/or board out Day of Judgment. If they bring in Tumble Magnet, counters and Oust, but take out Hawks and Day, only then is Gaea’s Revenge great. Otherwise it’s bad, and much worse than Thrun. Inferno Titan is also terrible, and much worse than Avenger of Zendikar.

  41. Shall we review what the opponent deck wants to do and what Val is trying to do about it?

    Blade wants a big turn 4 in which it hits with a sword and either plays Jace bouncing a mana producer, or adds a second small creature and leaves a counter up, after uptapping for its first sword it.

    With a nut draw and on the play, Val can stick a Titan by then, but most of the time it will be a turn slower, through Blade’s disruption, being on the draw, less than a nut hand, etc.

    This means Val’s plan in the first four turns should not be to race and hope, but to disrupt to get the time to go off.

    All the bolts stay in and Claims are also wanted. 3 Magnets out of the board are the best turn 3 play, with a cost 2 accel plus bolt up a second best.

    You should not be waiting to bolt critters at the moment they equip hoping to waste as much opponent mana as possible, if he can have any counter up. Summoning sickness is your friend – kill whenever you can whenever they are tapped out. You only need 1 turn.

    Slimes and green suns to find them are also very useful. Cobras help pay for ramp while leaving something for bolts and claims.

    Instead of just hoping they don’t have a counter for the first cost 6 spell, plan on having more threats and getting clear to 9, reducing them to their flash freezes or deprives alone. “How do I plan of having more threats?” By having switch hitters that ramp and threaten, either, like Green Sun and Oracle. You can also just counter-war them with Autumn’s Veils. Nothing about being blue gives blade more ways to trade one for one and win out, than green, and you don’t need to stuff the deck with 16 cost 6s to have more threats plus anticounters than they have counters.

  42. @LSV I really feel like the list needs the explosiveness of Lotus Cobra and Zendikar fetches. I couldn’t count the times that you pulled a Terramorphic or Wilds and I wasn’t yelling at my computer. Many of the games you lost you could have won by either having Cobra to ramp or an instantaneous green source. On the occassion that you’re lucky enough to go T2 Cobra –> T3 Zen fetchland –> Harrow –> Titan, you’ll thank Cobra very much. You can do additional plays on turn 3 that are even more powerful than that, like getting two titans out, but those are extreme godhands that I don’t need to get into.

    The SB looks like it needs a complete revamp, as most of your cards are lacking their intended purposes. I always find myself regretting oversiding for most matchups anyways, as if you do you significantly cut the decks power for mostly irrelevant answers. The deck plays so proactively that siding in reactive answers just weakens the gameplan.

    After seeing your success in testing Bolt, I may move them back into the main or at least run a few in my 75, but if i were playing at your level I would seriously consider upping the explosiveness of the deck with Cobra and Zen fetches, at very little cost to consistency.

    I highly agree with you on adding Koth to the 75. I run 2 MD, and he is an extremely strong play against a resolved Jace, or just on an board on turn 3. He can then proceed to ramp to a turn 4 Titan, which is a prerequisite of almost every non-Titan card in the deck.

    @Anyone saying Inferno Titan is bad: Look at the last few decks that placed and tell me otherwise. Inferno effectively deals with creatures, can win on its own, and is a very effective beater. it is a strong meta call right now, and is the correct one.

    @Anyone heralding Gaea’s Revenge and Thrun: In a world where there is no protection from green for only 2 mana, I’d be more than willing to have these guys in my 75, but until that happens two cards that have no effect to boardstate other than damage are useless for us.

    I guess I’ll just leave it there and see how people reply to my claims, facts, and accusations… : )

  43. Yeah, I think Wrapter missed a T2 stoneforge once, maybe twice, and that was during the mulligan games. In that matchup, it almost seems like the Cobra in RUG. Get it T2 and win, dont get it T2 and its a much shakier proposition.

  44. @Sean – Stop embarrassing yourself. Adding more threats to his list with 4 summoning traps would make it even harder to get to 6 mana quickly, which is what the deck aspires to do.

    Caw Blade isn’t countering your turn 2 plays, they are making their own T2 plays. No one is saying run 4 GSZ and 0 traps, but running 0 GSZ and 4 traps is terrible. You aren’t getting “free” traps vs good players, and GSZ is great in non-caw blade matchups, summoning trap is usually terrible.

    You are basically running 4 traps vs Caw, and they have, in their deck, total, 3 spells which turn it on for free, and that assumes they cast it on one of your early creatures and don’t have spell pierce. Postboard it is better since they board in flashfreeze, but we were advocating playing fewer pre-board, although I’m not even sure 4 PB is correct. That article you linked is very flawed.

  45. @Sean
    I’ll resist the urge to post sarcastic comments as this won’t get us anywhere. Let me say that the article does not cover points I already mentioned here – LSV is clearly having problems reaching 6 mana against Caw-Blade. Putting more “boom-booms” only makes this worse. If your plan is to get to 6 mana (fails 2 times out of 8 games), cast your Titan and get it countered to cast Trap… well, that’s not really the most failsafe plan. LSV has already realized how good Oracle of Mul Daya is. This is your game 1 plan against Caw-Blade – resolve Oracle paying 4 or 5 mana and get to 9 mana (which probably means getting a Valakut or 2 active) to power Titans through Mana Leak. If you can get a Tumble Magnet on the field too, it’s even better.

    As I’ve said before, I won’t argue about using Summoning Trap post board. That may be a good plan, but I prefer more Magnets. I wouldn’t have argued if Caw-Blade was a traditional permission deck similar to UB Control. But it’s not, so don’t make your mainboard plan as if it was.

  46. @Tchoob don’t bother, he just doesn’t get it. He wants 4 ST main vs a deck that runs 3 spells that turn it on, and the deck he is running it in has a whopping 6 spells that make trapping into titan before 6 mana possible.

    Summoning trap is already unreliable, but vs a deck running spell pierce it is pretty bad, especially when it doesn’t compliment your gameplan. Meanwhile GSZ is as good as a Titan at 7 mana, works if you are cut off green, and functions as a ramp spell, tutor, sometimes even artifact destruction of LD. But it’s obviously bad because someone wrote a poorly thought out article and Valakut lists haven’t been placing (except online dailies, where they run GSZ)

  47. ST is only good in decks where you are getting value, paying the full amount in Valakut is terrible, you never want to do that. The only deck that wants to run 4 main is Eldrazi Green because paying 6 for ST when you can cast 8-15 CMC spells is fine.

  48. I’ve never played Valakut, so could be entirely wrong here.

    In Match 2 Game 1, on the turn where you are casting Primeval Titan and Harrow when he’s tapped out, don’t you just have the win on the board there? Playing Titan for forest and the third valakut, then harrowing the forest away for mountain mountain gives six valakut triggers. You can then play the mountain from your hand for a further 3 triggers giving 27 damage. I presume I’ve missed something obvious here as that seems too easy and I’m sure someone else would have mentioned it in the comments by now if it really was that simple.

    One last comment. As someone just getting back in to MTG after a few years break, I have to say LSV’s video articles are amazing so a big thanks for that – keep up the good work!

  49. Nevemind, ignore the last comment. Obviously the forest comes in tapped so you don’t have the green for harrow… my bad!

  50. He’s playing Oust-heavy, KHE is, IMO, better than Wall, and keep all the Bolts in instead of siding in Tanglecord. All he has is (it looks like) 1 Roil, that’s just a beat you have to suck on if it happens.

    Also, Joragain’t the answer, as you know.

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  52. The player is still giving me all sorts of trouble. Like every other video freezes every five seconds.

  53. This.
    Honestly, I don’t think there was a single game where Wrapter didn’t have a turn 2 stoneforge, which I believe is THE biggest boot to valakut.
    Jace is incredibly overpowered as well, obviously, with the ability to bounce battlement (=timewalk) 3 times in a row (or twice + brainstorm), but turn 2 stoneforge is what hurts the most.And he honestly had it every time.

    That said, I think this list isn’t that good. No offense to Wrapter, but CFB guys aren’t Valakut specialists exactly. There are many ways to build the deck to make it more resilient. Cobra’s + fetches is one option. I guess the new video I haven’t watched yet (rematch with Caw-blade) has some changes, we’ll see 😛

  54. I must say this is about what I was expecting from Valakut, It’s a nice deck but in a Jace-and-caw dominated metagame, I don’t think valakut can hold up as well as it use too without some major updates.
    That being said – There may be a way to redeem it, some way to give it a chance against stoneforge decks and Jace… if there is, I don’t know what it is.

  55. This new player is giving me a lot of trouble. It will freeze and skip to the next video. Video messes up and I have to click somewhere to restart it. Audio will sometimes slowdown and LSV’s voice gets low-pitched. Or it will speed up and he will get high-pitched. Lastly it sometimes freezes., zooms in and the navigation bar is gone.

    I recently upgraded to Firefox 4, that’s the only reason I can think of why it’s messing up for me.

    Positive: It’s always fun watching LSV, and I approve of his puns. A gruesome encore for all!

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