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…


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