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Chasing Victory – Cascading into Victory

It’s been a while since I’ve written an article like this, but that’s because it’s been a while since I’ve had a deck that I’ve had a ton of confidence in. Naturally, that point comes at a time when Standard is largely irrelevant.

I started with the typical 5cc list, but I wanted to adopt DannyG’s Glen Elendra Archmages, as he won his Nationals by using them to protect his Baneslayers. Archmage was a solid sideboard already, and Baneslayer was definitely my finisher of choice, so playing Archmages main seemed like a natural fit.

I was becoming increasingly frustrated with how poor the counterspells were in the format, not only because of their inefficiency, but because of things like Putrid Leech, Bitterblossom, and Bloodbraid Elf just being really awesome against countermagic.

I didn’t start out with Chapin’s Nationals deck, but what I ended up was pretty close to it. I had worked on the deck leading up to Nationals and eventually decided against it (probably for the worse), but it was certainly nice to be able to use all the knowledge I gained from working on the deck. This is basically the reason why you should always, if able, try to learn all the decks in the format you are currently playing.

The Plumeveils had to go. I wanted something else, and that something else happened to be the mini-Baneslayer, Rhox War Monk. I used War Monks to great success in the past, and they seemed even better if I was cutting the loose counterspells for things like Archmage and Bloodbraid Elf.

Monks are difficult to cast, and I went in basically knowing that Finks would potentially be better, but I wanted to give Monks their chance. Sadly, I did end up making the switch over to Finks, but not because the Monks were bad. They were just very hard on the mana.

Getting the mana for War Monk, Bituminous Blast, and Esper Charm early was a difficult task, but it was a job that Rupture Spire could handle. With Chapin’s 5c Cascade deck, you could easily run out of Vivid counters if you didn’t draw Reflecting Pool. Add some Rhoxes into the equation, and that goes double.

Rupture Spire is generally worse than a Vivid, but certainly not to the point where it’s unplayable. Steve Sadin t4ed the Kentucky Open with two Rupture Spires, in a different 4c Cascade deck that we worked on, and he liked them. When I was working on that deck and Chapin’s, I liked them too. Obviously everyone else was going to be a hater.

Leading up to the 5k in Dallas, I got a few messages from friends asking if I had anything spicy cooked up, and while I knew that my deck wasn’t exactly tuned, I had no problems shipping them the current list with that warning attached.

Kenny Castor spread the list to some friends, and as far as I know, four people played the deck. Steve Nichols started 6-0, but then went 0-3, while George Blankenship finished 3rd with this list:

5CC Cascade

Steve Nichols had this to say about the deck:

“We put 4 copies together. George Blankenship and I did well with it, as we did a fair amount of testing the night before. My losses were to RB aggro, random Colfenors Plans (with Figure of Destiny), and Doran. Lost to RB because I couldn’t deal with Figure, and tilted game two by not drawing lands.

“Lost to Plans because he drew more Baneslayers than me game 1, game 2 he cast turn 2 Figure, turn 3 Vendilion Clique, and I couldn’t keep up. Vs Doran I mulled to 5 twice and that’s all she wrote. I was in 3 feature matches on Ggslive.com, but I’m not sure you want to watch them, I honestly didn’t play the best. Call it excuses, but 9 rounds with no lunch break is terrible.

“I felt like I could turn around any game at any time with a good Bit Blast cascade. Literally my loses were to bad play, bad sideboarding, or ridiculous no land draws (double mull to 5 round 9. Ugh.)

“The Rupture Spires were amazing, except for my mull to 6 double Rupture Spire hand. I loved the confused looks I got all day, and the mockery people gave me before I used them to cast spells withou running out of Vivid counters every game.

“George did well and luckily is already Q’d for Austin. I did very poorly at the PTQ on Sunday, losing to Merfolk and 5cc.”

This is my current list:

5CC Cascade

Kitchen Finks: As I said earlier, War Monks are better on average, but cutting Monks does a lot to alleviate some of the mana problems. Finks are still pretty solid, easy to cast, and better than Monks in some matchups.

Bloodbraid Elf/Bituminous Blast: The backbone of the deck, and the reason why you crush aggressive strategies in the midgame, despite having few sweepers. Most of the aggro decks are sweeper resistent, and I would rather just be affecting the board while getting a little bit of value out of the cascades.

Bituminous Blast is a card I wouldn’t side out in a single matchup, and therefore the fourth deserves to be maindeck. Initially, I had some Ajanis, but Blast is generally just better. With the lack of Ajanis, it’s possible that I don’t have enough lifegain to reliably crush decks like Rb, but if those decks are popular, feel free to play some Ajanis and Wall of Reverence in the sideboard.

Cruel Ultimatum: I’ve spoken harshly about this card in the past, but it’s quite good in a cascade deck. A lot of games tend to follow this script: They are playing some threats while you play Bloodbraid and get a two for one, then you play Bituminous Blast and get a two for one, then you play a Baneslayer or some other threat which they kill.

At that point, you have probably stabilized but don’t quite have the game locked up. You lack actual card drawing, so it is possible that you are getting flooded, although I would rather be flooded than mana-screwed, so that is the price you pay for needing to hit every land drop.

If you have a Cruel Ultimatum, great; you have most likely just won the game. If not, you have to continue to one-for-one their threats, hope to stick a Baneslayer, or hope that Bloodbraid gets in there for 20.

Cryptic Command: While many consider it a sacred cow, I could see cutting it. It is extremely transparent when you have it, but then again that also makes it easy to bluff. I wouldn’t feel very comfortable having no way to defend myself though.

Volcanic Fallout: Sometimes it makes your cascades whiff, but sometimes it is awesome to cascade into and you won’t regret it. I don’t like drawing dead, and Fallout helps accomplish that against a quick Merfolk draw, or a Bitterblossom swarm. Post board your cascades will always be awesome, so I would rather have access to these maindeck.

Esper Charm: Sometimes not the greatest off a Bloodbraid when you are getting beaten down, but there is no way I would play less than four. You need a way to draw cards, and Esper Charm compliments the sideboard Blightning plan.

Runed Halo: Basically the random “removal” spell you can cascade into. I like having one in every matchup, to name Mistbind Clique, Cruel Ultimatum, Baneslayer Angel, or Anathemancer.

Primal Command: Game one in the pseudo mirror can be a nightmare. You are trading spells left and right, and eventually you are both exausted. I have found that I often draw more cards than them, which leads to me getting decked. I have since added a singleton Primal Command to prevent that from happening. I considered a Spitting Image in it’s place, but I feel like Primal has more utility.

28 Lands: Most 5cc lists play 26. Please stop. Consider the risk vs reward. The risk is you lose the game because you can’t cast anything. Being mana-screwed is difficult to come back from. If you are flooded you can always just rip a Bloodbraid, Baneslayer, Cruel, Bituminous Blast, etc and be right back in it. Basically any spell you draw goes to great lengths to help you stabilize, but if you can’t cast them, what good are they?

Blightning/Scepter of Fugue: Post board against other control decks, all of your cascades hit Mind Rots or the lone Scepter of Fugue. I like the Scepter because often I would knock out their hand and go to play my bomb the next turn, only to find it being countered by a topdecked Negate or some such. They tend to have a lot of counterspells post board, so this was a frequent occurrence.

Great Sable Stag: If you are extremely worried about Faeries or Merfolk, you can play four. They are hard to cast, but they are good in multiples and can make up for a lack of tight play. Evaluate what you need, and feel free to make some changes.

Shriekmaw: I’m not a big fan of the card, but most of the decks relying on Baneslayer have a slow clock otherwise. Archmage into Baneslayer can send you packing, but if you have the Shriekmaw, suddenly you have a million turns to live.

Wickerbough Elder: I used to have a couple Pulses in this spot, mainly for smart players with Runed Halo. They could name Baneslayer and Cruel and I would have a very difficult time killing them. Part of that was because I didn’t have a Primal Command, and part of it was that because I didn’t have a Scepter of Fugue. With all of these pieces, I find it hard to lose the 5cc “mirror.” With the Primal, it also feels like I have access to more Disenchants, both because of the searching option and reshuffling option.

There are a few things I feel are necessary in order to succeed with this type of deck.

1) Lifegain/Halos vs Anathemancer and random burn decks: These decks exist, and Anathemancer is fairly popular. Taking ten damage from a single one is entirely within the realm of possibilities, and you will suffer the consequences if you’re not prepared. Baneslayer helps a little, but if you think you need to be prepared for Anathemancer, you should really have cards like Ajani Vengeant and Wall of Reverence.

2) Great Sable Stag vs Faeries/Merfolk: As I said earlier, feel free to play as many of these as you deem necessary.

3) The Mind Rot plan: In the 5c mirror, they will often find themselves with no hand on turn six or so, while you’re sitting on a full grip. This plan in entirely necessary because otherwise, they are the better control deck. They have more answers to your important cards, while you can’t effectively deal with everything they play, so you kind of have to “cheat” your way through it.

4) Good mana: This is imperative. If you take away one thing from these points, it should be that you absolutely need to play a land every turn. If not, you will fall behind. You just need to get to the late game, at that point you should be winning. If you can’t get to the lategame, you have no chance though.

5) Access to sweepers: Merfolk is running over the Standard metagame, and decks like Combo Elves still exist. I feel like four Fallouts between the maindeck and sideboard is enough, but if you still think you need some bullets for Elves and Kithkin, Hallowed Burial is your best best. I would recommend Firespout, but those are not only weak against Forge-Tender, but they are not good with cascade.

5cc

Probably the deck you are most likely to face, which I am more than fine with. The matchup is good, especially post board, but you need to play tight. Game one you should be aggressive, as they play the control role better. Force them to deal with your threats and hopefully slip through a Baneslayer or Cruel Ultimatum.

Be careful how you use your Esper Charms. If you enter into a draw-go situation, try to save up a few of them, so you knock down their hand during a single turn. If they have seven cards at their end of turn, and you are able to Esper Charm them twice, you are in a great position. Either they reduced to basically nothing, or you fight a counterwar on their turn, and then your Cruel reduces them to actual nothing.

Using Charms to draw two in the midgame is often foolish, unless you are digging for something, usually an answer to their threat or lands.

+ 4 Blightning
1 Scepter of Fugue
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
1 Wickerbough Elder (if they keep in Halo, which they should)
2 Shriekmaw (if they have Baneslayers)

– 2 Volcanic Fallout
4 Kitchen Finks
1 Runed Halo

If you need to bring in Shriekmaw, you can get away with shaving a Baneslayer and Bituminous Blast, depending on their deck. What do they have to Blast into? Are they siding in Stags, which means that your Baneslayers are more important?

Merfolk

The new kid on the block. Most players have found that Merfolk beats 5c, but that refers to the versions without cascade cards. Cascade allowing you to play two spells in one turn gets around their Dousing and Cryptic Dismisses, which torment normal 5c decks.

Game one isn’t great, depending on if they know what’s going on. Generally, they play around Fallout, which can be a good or bad thing depending on if you actually have it. Usually they slowplay their hand, only to get run over by Bloodbraid Elf and friends. Post board, that is less likely to happen, at which point you can hit them with a Fallout or Baneslayer.

+ 2 Shriekmaw
2 Volcanic Fallout
3 Great Sable Stag

– 3 Cruel Ultimatum
1 Primal Command
1 Runed Halo
2 Cryptic Command

There is almost no way for Cruel Ultimatum to be good in this matchup. You will probably not live that long and if you do, it’s probably because they are sitting on countermagic. Halo doesn’t have any good targets, and the Commands are pretty slow. I like the pair of Archmages to protect your Baneslayers from Path, but I don’t want to draw a bunch of them, so I wouldn’t side in the extra one.

Aggro Jund

Generally, these decks are too different to give a set boarding strategy, as it just depends on what cards they have. I would definitely bring in the Halo, and have brought in Shriekmaw, Archmage, Stag, and Blightning at different points. I usually cut Fallouts and could see cutting some combination of Archmage (if they have Shriekmaw to kill Baneslayer), Cryptic (since they slow), and Esper Charm (again, you don’t have much time to cast these and usually want to hit a Finks or Halo off cascade). Primal is usually fine since you can gain 7 to put you out of Mancer range, and search up a Baneslayer.

If their deck is more controlling, I would consider bringing in Blightnings and keep in the Charms and Cryptics.

Faeries

The bogeyman, but the same thing applies to the Merfolk matchup. Cascade allows you to somewhat sidestep their countermagic and actually profit. The red splash is worse for you, but that just means you have to bring in the other Halo. It’s not like you were relying on Stag to straight up win you the game, were you? Most players should have answers to it by now.

+ 2 Volcanic Fallout
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
3 Great Sable Stag

– 3 Cruel Ultimatum
1 Primal Command
1 Runed Halo
1 Kitchen Finks

UW Baneslayer

Another supposedly bad matchup. They are surprisingly weak if they don’t have a Baneslayer in play, and while it was pretty easy to capitalize on that in the past, that isn’t quite the case these days.

+ 2 Shriekmaw
2 Volcanic Fallout
1 Glen Elendra Archmage

– 3 Cruel Ultimatum
1 Primal Command
1 Runed Halo

Watch out for Sower. Try to catch their Archmages in your Fallouts. Don’t allow them to get a tempo advantage.

I don’t want to sit here and say that this deck beats everything, but it certainly can. The downside is that it’s hard to come back from the tempo that some decks can create, and that is really frustrating.

Putrid Leech, Boggart Ram-Gang, Bloodbraid Elf into anything.

Bitterblossom, Vendilion Clique, Mistbind Clique.

Meddling Mage, Vendilion Clique, Glen Elendra Archmage, Baneslayer Angel.

These draws are all difficult to overcome, and it sucks to not really have a draw like that of your own that you can exploit, but that’s the risk of playing control. You have all the answers, you just need to draw them at the right point.

Hopefully, you do.

GerryT

33 thoughts on “Chasing Victory – Cascading into Victory”

  1. For extra sweepers, I would suggest infest over the firespout or hallowed burial. It is usually better than fallout because it avoids forge tender and sygg river guide.

  2. I went a fairly simmilar rout at my last ptq but played it alot more aggressively playing 4 enlisted wurms and 3 bit blasts and of coarse 4 BBE, but instead of baneslayers I relied on the wurms hitting things like primal command or incendiary (which btw I found to be the most game changing card I played all day) it’s a sta-rong deck and had I not made the biggest lapse of well brain power ever in the 6th round I was well on my way to the T8 with it. Anyway I found Jace a little better than esper charm md just a thought. I mean I played three esper charms in the board for 5cc and random control decks, but personally I found that making as many spells as I could be worth 2 or more was a better route than baneslayers as they were both gunned for by everything and only seriously effective when paired with a second card like archmage or cruel ultimatum.

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  4. wow…your decklist looks insanely slow, aggressive decks should have their way with it…

    not only that, but the list shows no respect towards time seive combo…auto lose

    there are only 11 spells that cost less than 4, only the 4 finks and 2 fallouts can deal with any early beats; and possibly the 1 runed halo…

    bad matchups for this deck: everything

  5. @ Jeremy

    on the surface this may seem true, but in reality you couldn’t be further from the truth on that one. True sieve is an auto lose if you don’t see cryptic, but otherwise you are outclassing nearly every spell your oponent is with your much more efficient and deep spells. Plus I can’t remember the last time baneslayer didn’t nullify aggro plans pretty easily

  6. @ Jeremy…
    I think you missed the 4 esper charm, 4 blighting… if you disrupt timesieve early you are in a good position. End of their turn esper charm, untap, blightning… seems really really bad for timesieve… then there is crptic command, wick, and three archmage..
    This deck is pretty weak to aggro, but after sideboard this deck is a whole different deck.

  7. What matchups demand you do something before turn 3? I’ve played the hell out of this deck. Only in the Elves and Kithkin matchup is it really important to do things early. Fortunately, those decks don’t exist, ++ Fallout and Shriekmaws are really good against them.

  8. Casey fatguy_poolshark

    lol random doran player raises hand…. such a uninteresting feature match that i had been looking forward to all day…

    As for jeremy I will take an auto lose to a 3% of the room deck that almost NEVER gets there. As for the rest of your statements, you should test decks by better players before downing said decks… Most pros put out some shit lists from time to time but I will definitely try them our before passing judgment(except 5cb)

  9. Jeremy: If you don’t have anything to deal with an aggressive opponent, you can always mulligan. Otherwise, things like Bloodbraid Elf and Bituminous Blast go a long way toward removing any tempo advantage your opponent has.

    As for Time Sieve, you can basically refer to what Casey said. It’s not a very large portion of the field and it’s also not a very good deck. I think your efforts would be better spent preparing for decks that are actually played by a decent amount of people.

    But still, there are a lot of Mind Rots after sideboarding that make the matchup solid if they don’t have a Howling Mine. Regardless, I wouldn’t worry about being paired vs combo decks.

    Kyle: Both lists look right to me.

    Eryk: I like Baneslayer way more than Enlisted Wurm. I played a lot with the cascade deck from GP Sao Paulo and disliked the Wurms and Commands, especially Incendiary.

    I like Jace, but it’s not good with Runed Halo, and the Mind Rot aspect of Esper Charm is very important (for reasons why, feel free to read Josh Utter-Leyton’s PTQ winning report).

  10. This deck is sick and I would explain it the same way as Gerry, when you play this deck correctly and mulligan aggressively you feel like you can beat anything. The only loss I had in swiss was to faeries with a double thoughtseize and vendilion draw both games.

    The comment about this deck being weak to aggro is hilarious, as this decks best matchup by far is jund aggro, as they cant beat a stuck baneslayer and war monk slows them down so much.

  11. What do you think about Captured Sunlight in the board for the aggro matchups. It’s gain 4 versus red (which is alot), and brings a Finks or a sweeper onto the table. Seems good?

  12. We had some in Chapin’s deck, but the it has the same problem as War Monk: The mana cost is too awkward. Wall of Reverence is usually pretty good against red.

  13. I worked on a very similar deck before Nats (albeit with Wurms instead of Baneslayers) and gave up because Combo Elves was close to unwinnable game 1 and not an awesome matchup postboard. I think you need to try harder if you want to beat it consistently. That probably means Thought Hemorrage or at least Infest in your board.

    If you decide to cut Cryptic and want a card that deals with Mistbind Clique and isn’t an awful cascade on an empty board (especially in the mirror), consider Grixis Charm. If you make that switch then I would cut the Flooded Groves and some number of Islands for lands that make casting Cruel easier. Alternatively, a couple of Fetid Heaths would make Captured Sunlight fine and help cast Esper Charm.

    Archmage is pretty good against Time Sieve, and Ajani would help as well. If you’re really scared you can board a couple of Teegs, but I don’t think you should be.

    I don’t like the MD Halo because I don’t like the card in most matchups, but that’s kind of a nitpick.

  14. I have what is basically a Block list of this deck, with a myriad of trilands, Exotic Orchard, and the always lovable, and always eyebrow-raising 14 Charms. I have yet to lose big to any strategy. I’ve played against a fully-powered Standard Red Deck, winning by chaining Captured Sunlight into Naya Charm twice. In testing, literally the only problem I’ve had was against decks with very few creatures, as Bit Blast and Grixis Charm lose a fair amount of value. However, after playing the deck as much as I have, I absolutely love the flexibility and versatility of the Charm set, and the fact that Obelisk of Alara can steal games, provided you’re not dead before you untap with it.

  15. I’ve really enjoyed messing around with this deck. Kitchen Finks improves the reliability of the list a lot, and I like dropping down to 2 glen elendras and cutting the ajanis. My solution to the “early pressure” problem was to cut the primal command and runed halo, run 26 lands, and play 4 meddling mages. I’m still testing it out online, but so far there isn’t a matchup where I don’t slow them up enough to get out one of my win conditions. What do folks think?

  16. The incendiary commands were used in gp sao paulo to destroy heights/treetop and deal with the small critters at the same time while also making the ld sb plan even better. ATM treetop isn’t legal / heights isn’t played / ld plan isn’t possible, so there’s no reason to play it.
    Wurms were played just cuz nothing else was better.

    I wouldn’t play fallouts md, going with maws instead and having 4 infest on board. I’d prob remove a cruel too, since you don’t rely on it like 5cc does. 3rd maw or 2nd halo md looks better.

    blightning is better than fallout vs faeries in this deck 🙂

  17. 20 games against WW(not kithkin) and 20 games against time seive…both bad matchups,fairies seemed unwinnable… we went a few matches against everything else and it seems like coin flip for most part… and this includes sideboarding

    oh ya…and it probably isn’t relevant, but this deck is 100% auto lose to boat brew(boat brew out of radar basically) but i have a friend that is still fan of brew and wanted to see how the deck holds up against it…after five games of losing badly(to boat brew) i just laughed, never thought that siege gang commander is so good for removing baneslayer

    am i missing something?

  18. if ur losing to boat brew and says faeries in unwinnable the thing ur missing is prob the good plays 😛

  19. @ Jeremy

    After that, I would honestly just have yo either question your integrity in posting honest results or your play skill with the deck. As I don’t know who you are I will just assume its either or not one or the other specifically. As the deck had proven time and time again that it’s definately a tier 1.5 deck or better.

    @ Gerry T

    I play in L.A. and as such knew that there would be alot of 5cc, Mfolk and random decks. The incendiary was a hunch play that worked out much much better than expected. Being able to destroy a land and a field of critters is too essential and crippling but it’s all in how you utilize the card. Many a time it blew up an Ajani or twice it just outright won me the game, and funnily enough twice it read as destroy target land and draw 6 to my opponents none. Bottom line is that it always performed berry well and also diddnt get in the way of aggressive BBE cascades. As fir being able to deny lands 3 incendiarys and 3 primals were more than enough to halt 5cc all day long, but they were also not dead to any single other deck unlike other options. The reason the wurm was to me a better choice was that it could outright win games before attacking sometimes; unlike baneslayer, and it found the second card all by it’s self unlike baneslayer where you needed to draw it and play it. Yes in a vacume baneslayer is waaaaay better but in a deck I found wurms to be less demanding and game changing more frequently. I even got the beloved wurm to bitblast to bloodbraid to maelstrom pulse to my oponent scooping with 20 life with it , and others on the same caliber.
    As for Jace; the reason he played better for me over esper charm was simple. He esentially played the same early game role if drawing cards as the charm, but unlike the charm could fill the role of blocker in turns 3-5 untill my card advantage really got online. Most aggressive decks are scared [email protected] of an active Jace and thus send over there attacking resources more often than necesary. And as I mentioned I played with 4 esper charms and 3 blightnings SB as they were just game overs v control decks not named grixis fae. Thanks fir the feedback. (I honestly don’t mean that sarcastically)

  20. lol my friend played both copies of the deck at the 5k with elementals and only lost to one of them because of time and the other game wasnt even close, so im not sure how good the deck was, cool yes but a reg 5cc or 5cblood list would prob be better

  21. @ Eryk H.

    want to know my skill, look me up…Jeremy Tiszai

    several PTQ top 8’s including a second place finish in Birmingham AL a few weeks ago with 5cc, a Victory last year in Memphis PTQ Berlin playin Block 5cc and others…im not pro but i know a bit bout this game and i posted honest results. this deck is good and fun but i wouldnt even enter FNM with this list.

  22. Shooter: This deck definitely relies on Cruel far more than regular 5cc, and I said why in the article.

  23. Jeremy

    I don’t know what to tell you, like I said I don’t have any judgements of you other than you are doing something wrong. Again I don’t need to get into a “size” competition with you but I think I know a bit about the game and the deck pretty much always plays well for me. I think Gerry knows a bit about the game and he does well. Plenty of others do well with the deck. Your the odd one out here buddy.

  24. Eryk

    True, everyone seems to be doin well with it…i prematurely downed this deck pretty hard due to lack of early answers(which is still downside, cuz this deck is slow).

    The 5cc matchup is ok, along with merfolk. Fae that gets the thoughtseize in its opener is really hard to win.R/B is probably the easiest match to win unless they hit multi blightning

    But like i said, what are players doin to win the WW matchups/ Jund matchups/ elf combo/time seive combo….these matchups have been really tough to win, or should these decks be ignored?

    🙂

  25. @ Jeremy

    I don’t really understand how you can say the 5cc matchup is “ok”, they cannot handle the early mind rots at all. Fae with multiple hand disruption effects is hard to beat but that doesnt happen that often especially not pre-board.

    WW and Jund are both very easy matchups, and they are both about protecting baneslayer with either an archmage (which I wouldn’t move down from 3) or by making them discard their hand. Once you do this you cannot lose and its not hard to get to that point with war monk and cryptic, not to mention halo post-board.

    Elf combo and time sieve are not hard matchups either, Elf combo is surprisingly weak to multiple mind rot effects as they only have a certain amount of relevant cards in the matchup. When you move up to 4 Esper, 4 Blightning, 4 Fallout after board it is very hard for them to beat you.

    This deck is infinity times better against time sieve than traditional 5cc because you have the possibility of an aggro draw and you can back that up with archmages.

  26. You talked about how it’s good to hit it after a long atrittion war, which of course it is, but you don’t NEED to hit it since you have other ways of creating card advantage (so does normal 5cc, but not as powerful as the cascade engine this deck packs)

  27. Shooter: Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear in the article, or perhaps you just need to play the deck to understand. You are gaining some card advantage, but that is basically balancing out the fact that you are going to draw a lot more lands than your opponent.

    You’re both trading cards, and going into the midgame, you will both most likely have nothing, except you’ll be up a bunch of lands. Cruel will probably put them away, as you get to peel a bunch of cards and rebuy a Bloodbraid or Baneslayer.

    If you don’t have Cruel, you can easily lose to them peeling Cloudgoat, Bitterblossom, Bloodbraid, Primal Command, etc. Every deck has a ton of insane cards, so you need to kill them pretty quick.

    I also don’t understand why you would think that regular 5cc leans on Cruel moreso than this deck, when in my eyes, that is completely backwards.

    Make sense or are we going to still disagree? =/

  28. Jeremy

    Unlike GerryT I play(ed) with Enlisted Wurms and 5 commands MD 3 Primal and 2 Incendiary 2 Maws 3 Doom Blades and 3 Lightning Bolts. THe decks play similar as they both rely on mid game beatings, Gerrys by sticking a Baneslayer and protecting it, mine by not being susceptable to Baneslayers generally and making all of my spells just plain ol more powerfull than anything other decks play. With the package of removal that mine plays its literally a bye when you sit accross from Kithkin, WW, Elves if you play right. Jund is a deck that always seems like your loosing till turn 6 but I was like 15-2 (more like 16-1 as in one match i forgot that Cameleon Collosus was pro-black and played out my hand entirely wrong asuming that I could just maw it instead of do something else that i could have (I was a tard there)) against Jund in sanctioned play with the deck. 5cc is a hard game because a good player will make you misstep with the deck, but otherwise if you play a tight game all of your spells are just plain better than thiers, Merfok is a weak matchup for my version as they can effectively get an attacking engine online before me and they can sit on Cryptics and Sages ftw. Fae is by far my worst matchup as they are essentially the same as Merfok just better. I go on a tangent though, as you were more asking about the Matchups with Gerrys deck specifically, but it simply goes fairly mutch the same but instead of reacting to specific threats you drop a baneslayer on turn 5 with a archmage in play and aggressive decks cant comeback at all. Kith is a bye, jund is pretty easy to beat as they will be wasting too many spells on trying to get rid of your baneslayer and by then they are just way to behind on the count to do much but fold up. Dont forget Cruel Ultimatum is pretty forgiving when its played against decks not called merfolk or Fae.

  29. I understand your point, I just don’t agree with it 🙂

    I like having cruels in the deck, I just think 3 is too much. Most games you lose playing cascade-based decks are the ones where you were stuck with too many high-costing spells in hand (yeah I know you can mulligan, sometimes it happens anyway), and cruel doesn’t help that.

    And most 5cc are built to rely on cruel, since they don’t rly have a way to draw cards other than it, while you have cascade engine and glenelendra + angel strategy too. That’s why I think normal 5cc relies more on cruel than this deck.

  30. Shooter, what was the last typical 5cc deck list you looked at??? Almost all of them are runnind MD esper charms and the baneslayer package. So I really don’t think your point is all that valid when the new lists are concerned, not to mention a fair amount play Jace too.

  31. ?

    where did I say they don’t?

    I said their draw engine isn’t as powerful as cascade is, and by baneslayer strategy I mean glen elendra + baneslayer. the angel by itself isn’t good enough usually, since it’s easily killed

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