Josh Silvestri – Vampires in Standard

With the results from the Indianapolis SCG Open in it’s time for a bit of instant analysis! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

The world is a vampire

Matthew Landstrom, 1st – SCG Open Indy

Matthew Landstrom was content to bring stock Vampires to the party and came away with victory at the end of the day. Beating a pair of Valakut decks in the top eight was impressive, especially with one packing maindeck sweepers. One interesting question that I’ve had over the past few days was if Vampires was going to have enough juice to hang around in the post-Besieged format. For the most part, every other deck in the format made some gains while Vampires only received a token upgrade from Doom Blade to Go for the Throat. While I’m sure killing Grave Titan is a nice bonus, it isn’t exactly the game changer that cards like the Zenith’s, Signal Pest and Contested War Zone looked to be.

Regardless Vampires showed it still had some oomph left in it and was actually reasonably well-positioned for the tournament. Multiple writers, including myself, had espoused on the potential in decks like Kuldotha Red and the rise in popularity that may follow. B/R Vamps happens to be one of the few decks with a valid game one gameplan against the Goblin hordes without being driver to specialist cards. The removal trifecta of Lightning Bolt, GFTT and Arc Trail in the maindeck, as well as the ability to gain life and consistently play creatures is certainly not what a goldfish deck wants to see. Unlike normal RDW which could ride an early life-lead into a victory just off burn, Kuldotha Red has too many creatures to make that a realistic option pre or post-board.

Vamps already had a good match against control strategies and gaining a removal spell that could kill everything UB could throw down didn’t hurt. I still think the Valakut match is shady and against normal red decks I don’t like my odds, but the performance of Matthew is something to take note of. I don’t really like the lack of hand disruption, but that could be a byproduct of skewing too far against Valakut with [card]Slagstorm[/card]. This performance could be a flash in the pan, but it also shows the benefits of sticking with an old favorite.

Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage…

Christoffer Andersen – 4th SCG Open Indy

 

Everybody knew Kuldotha Red was coming and anyone who bothered to spend a handful of games testing it knew it was the real deal. In playing with it more and more the deck felt like Dredge, a very powerful deck that could manhandle the majority of decks in the field on speed alone. However the glaring flaw was that it was incapable of standing up to cards dedicated to beating it and that the percentages of the deck dropped dramatically against a prepared opponent in games two and three. While the combination of Jinxed Idol and TukTuk the Explorer could give it a better shot, it remains a weakness practically any deck in the field could exploit.

Despite this, two Kuldotha Red still made top 16 and was the talk of the tournament and the coverage (to an obnoxious extent actually) and is definitely a deck to keep an eye on. Some decks have to sell out to beat this deck and the cheap cost combined with such explosive starts is going to get a lot of people on-board. Still to keep people from going too nuts, here are some cards that can potentially cripple any explosive starts from the deck.

White: Perimeter Captain, Choking Fumes, Kor Firewalker

Red: Pyroclasm, Seismic Shudder, Slagstorm, Arc Trail, Forked Bolt

Black: Shrivel, Marsh Casualties, Black Sun’s Zenith

Green: Dudes that can block into Obstinate Baloth

Blue: Ok you got me here, but at least you can still use Ratchet Bomb

I wrote about the general composition of the deck last week and I really only feel the need to talk about two cards. The first is Chimeric Mass a card which I underrated in my initial builds of the deck. Originally I just considered it a worse Ornithopter / Memnite, but after trying it out more, I find setting it at a single mana is far more useful than previous iterations of the deck. It remains a cheap attacker that ducks sweepers and capable of dishing out real damage with the addition of battle cry and Contested War Zone. Additionally with the flat curve of the deck, a single Mox Opal activation can be absurdly good and the Mass as additional artifacts helps that goal.

Next up is Goblin Chieftain and why everyone decided to cut the former best Goblin in the deck. The problem with Chieftain is paying for the +1/+1 ability just isn’t worth the extra mana, at R or RR which all the other pump creatures and lands enable it’s fine, but at three it just feels unreasonable. Throw in the fact that now the deck has all the 0cc artifact creatures and Signal Pest as blanks for the Chief and suddenly it’s the worst creature in the deck; not close.

The future of this deck will be one of varying success depending on how many people come to respect it. I doubt it’ll see much play at the Pro Tour simply because of the nature of the deck, but the number of people underestimating it should be small in number.

All my cool and cold – like old job

This deck actually just blows my mind and is something I would normally only see for an ‘ideal metagame’. One with the assurance of only seeing a small number of aggro decks and banking on playing control mirrors and Valakut all day. It features 11 counters and maindeck Inquisition of Kozilek, while still finding the space to keep in Preordain, Jace TMS and even a full set of Jaces Ingenuity. This kind of specialization would be what I’d expect to see at Paris, setting yourself up in a superior position against spell decks and playing in such a fashion that you almost never have to tap down without protection of some sort. It’s certainly the closest to a true draw-go deck we’ve had in the format.

Despite not being a big fan of blue decks in general, this one I really like and have no real complaints with the listing. Sure it can’t ever beat a Vengevine and it’ll be hard-pressed to beat a good red hand on the draw, but that seems like a small price to pay. Even better is that those are actually fixable, since bringing in another Grave Titan or a pair of Wurmcoil Engine out of the board isn’t unreasonable and the same with any other cheap removal. While other UB decks used Vampire Nighthawk, it favors a tap out approach that doesn’t seem exceptional in a fight where each side is throwing haymakers. It feels reasonable against the type of aggro expected at Indy, but another week of refinement will likely make the card miserable outside of Kuldotha Red match-ups

Really the only thing I have an issue with is the lack of win conditions and the vulnerability of them. Sure you can eventually set-up a situation where you can protect them, but it feels a lot like the Psychatog mirror of old where if people know what’s up, they can just run you out of threats. A pair of Grave Titan isn’t exactly the toughest thing to deal with, even in the UB mirror, and Tar Pits or Jace single-handedly getting the job done doesn’t make for a consistent plan. Jaces Ingenuity as a 4-of just feels so clunky that I’d honestly be surprised if that was the ‘right’ number for the deck. Could be wrong, but the feeling of wanting just a few more ways to win an end-game is overwhelming.

Tell me I’m the only one
Tell me there’s no other one

Drew Levin, 2nd at SCG Indy

 

Valakut was another big winner this weekend, it failed to take down the tournament, but had five in the top 16 and nearly all of them were showcasing the Mirrodin Besieged bounty of Green Suns Zenith, Slagstorm and Thrun, the Last Troll. Only one Valakut build failed to run Green Sun and it didn’t even bother running the full Summoning Trap package, making me wonder what exactly it was trying to accomplish. Everyone else either had full sets or a 2-2 split and while I’m firmly on the side that GSZ is the nut, I can at least understand why some people are slow to give up the Trap. Still the added consistency to the deck instant to be underrated and a version like Julian’s in the top 16 takes it a step further with the addition of maindeck Birds of Paradise and Joraga Treespeaker at GS targets.

To me this is the deck to beat going into Paris, simply because it’s the default deck that everyone has a decent list of and has proven to be the most powerful deck in the format. Really this is the one deck that feels like it’s doing unfair things even against decks prepped to stop it, with the one drawback being the number of loose opening hands it gets compared to control. I’d easily recommend Levin’s deck if you didn’t expect a heavy Kuldotha field or if you felt comfortable just ducking it. Even against control decks that supposedly have a good match, a combo of Thrun, Koth and Summoning Trap in the board should handle it without too many issues. Like I said, the biggest issue with the deck largely comes from the natural variance of playing a mono green deck with 15-16 mono red sources.

Oddly enough the RGx deck I thought would be rather favored didn’t even show up in the top 16 and was barely mentioned the whole weekend. RUG Life which won the San Jose Open was nowhere to be seen despite getting its own set of upgrades and arguably being the best control deck in the field. The lack of RUG decks I think largely comes down to the popularity of red decks on the weekend and short time span to refine the deck with Besieged cards. While I personally like running a pair of Slagstorm, Green Suns Zenith and Thrun in my RUG build, I know many people are still testing to see what individual cards they like let alone any serious combinations of them.

Speaking on control decks in general, and I touched on this earlier, the move to artifact creatures in control decks to dodge Go for the Throat isn’t entirely unreasonable. Wurmcoil Engine is the early favorite for obvious reasons, but creatures like Precursor Golem and Myr Battlesphere should also see some future consideration. The quality of artifact threat has gone up a great deal and it doesn’t shock me to see people running them to dodge the premiere removal spell in the format. Consider that if your creature is immune to throat slitting and Lightning Bolt, that you’ve effectively reduced the number of commonly played answers down to Jace bounce who has his own set of conditions attached. Molten-Tail Masticore is another guy I expect to see more of in midrange red decks and possibly green, even though people don’t seem to like the Core too much.

Uninstall, Uninstall…

Brian Boss – 16th SCG Open Indy

If I was going to make a midrange green deck I’d start here simply because it reminds me of W/G Quest if you took out the Quest combo. Not having Squadron Hawk is somewhat vomit inducing and the idea of running some of these awful singletons over a 2nd Stoneforge Mystic while running multiple pieces of equipment is bad. Despite these flaws, the concept of the deck isn’t horrendous and the effectiveness of the deck really comes down to how much control you anticipate versus Valakut. W/G Quest had a pretty insane control match and that was before room got cleared out for a real Stoneforge package including tutorable Mortivore and Thrun, the Last Troll.

The next step I’d take is seeing if I could fit in Tectonic Edge, the deck really wants more than 22 land here and trading in some Llanowar Elves for them doesn’t strike me as a bad deal at all. Combined with boarded Leonin Arbiter it just might give a reasonable anti-Valakut package in the short term. Heck even Leyline of Sanctity looks a little more impressive when you have Vengevines and shroud creatures. Staying on focus though, after throwing in Squadron Hawk, another Stoneforge or two and a few more land I’m definitely interested in seeing how a true midrange deck fares.

That’s it for now, next week we’ll have Paris to look at and more PTQ results to sift through, seeing if Besieged has an impact or just some creative decks pop up now that the season has been in full swing for 6 weeks. Good luck to anyone attending the Magic Weekend in Paris.

Email me at: joshDOTsilvestriATgmailDOTcom

44 thoughts on “Josh Silvestri – Vampires in Standard”

  1. I sure hope Vampires, can remain consistent or some what consistent, I enjoy playing that deck so much!

  2. My friend Chris (Hurley) has played the UB deck close to that for some time now. He became very comfortable with it and just decided that was the way to go. We didn’t get to put a ton of time into testing but he thought Jace’s Ingenuity was amazing. He was always able to find and protect a win condition in plenty of time and when asked about cards like Wurmcoil his answer was simply if I am dumb enough to let one resolve I’m losing anyway. The one matchup we did test was Kuldotha Red and we decided that it was just clunky and that if he had “some” amount of game against it he should be fine because we didn’t expect it to make it much past the first few rounds. His eventual loss was to the deck in the quarters and in that match he mulliganed to 5 and then the next game just could not find a sweeper fast enough.

  3. Why was Vamps running Demon of Death’s Gate in the sideboard? Considering that it’s not good against any aggressive deck, any deck with counters, or any deck with removal…is it good against ramp?

  4. I don’t think slagstorm and black sun zenith are that good against kuldotha red imo since they can easily kill you turn 3 on the play, and you dont really want to be taking that 3 dmg off slagstorm either. Pyroclasm is really good against the deck but I don’t think the deck can just be hated out with 4 sideboard slots. I think that’s going to be a common occurence going into the future — people assuming they have a good kuldotha red match if they have some sort of sideboard against it, then being surprised that they lost to it games 2 and three after they put in their sweet anti-aggro package

  5. Most of those hate cards are not hate cards. You’re already dead by the time you cast them with a normal draw.

  6. First off Slagstorm doesn’t deal 3 to you if you deal it to creatures. :/

    Second, the idea that you’re ‘dead on turn 3’ isn’t all that real. For a 3-mana sweeper not to have any impact it assumes you’re on the draw, had no other plays and Kuldotha Red started with t1 Rebirth or double 0cc + 1cc guy.

    Third, I specifically picked out cheap ones and please don’t give me the response that I’m dead on a 2cc sweeper. Then the deck would actually just be the blade instead of good. In fact it’d be better than actual Dredge if that were the case. A Shrivel or Pyroclasm isn’t the end-all, but it most certainly is going to put a damper on Kuldotha.

    Finally this was the best shot it had at winning a tourney (underprepared field and least time to refine decks with besieged) and it didn’t, which should raise flags.

    Kuldotha is a fine deck, no longer some gimmick trotted out because it cost 40 tix on MODO to build, but it isn’t unbeatable either.

  7. @GRF

    Yeah, it’s amazing against ramp. Ramp auto scoops to a turn 2 demon, and as late as turn 4 it still usually closes out the game, since it really only needs to hit twice and they should be at 18 from like a highborn trigger or a bolt or something. It’s a perfectly acceptable 2-of in the board.

  8. Yeah guess I needed actually to read slagstorm, sorry about that. And yeah I dont think it’s unbeatable either (nowhere close), I just think it will be a top tier deck capable of winning tourneys in the coming months

  9. “For a 3-mana sweeper not to have any impact it assumes you’re on the draw, had no other plays and Kuldotha Red started with t1 Rebirth or double 0cc + 1cc guy. ”

    Not to add fuel to the figurative flames, but that is a fairly commonplace start for the deck, and it is not unreasonable to assume that certain decks will not have an impactful play before T3 or so. In general, you won’t be dead-dead by T3 (though it is within the realm of reason), but most keepable hands will have you on high alert by T3, and a single sweeper may not be enough to bail you out…which segues perfectly into my next point.

    I’d also like to mention how good the deck is at recovering from a single sweeper. Multiple sweepers are definitely an issue, and the deck has no late-game to speak of beyond bushwhacker shenanigans, but it is definitely a legitimate contender, at least until the season further develops.

  10. While one sweeper won’t win you the game by itself, it gets most decks into a mid-game where their designed to take control of the game or at least attempt to snowball an advantage. The problem is when you aren’t on the play, suddenly all these slower sweepers and cards like Obstinate Baloth have time to actually make an impact and they have many more of those every turn they can keep both feet out of the grave. It’s like how Spell Pierce is probably the worst card even on the draw, but on the play a blue player can snag a Rebirth and blow the Red player out by default.

    Like I thought Kuldotha Red was very well situated this weekend and would have been on my short list were I playing at Indy.

  11. What do people think of this crazy 2x Captivating Vampire in the maindeck? What the hell is a +1/+1 vampire lord doing in a format that now has Slagstorm and Signal Pest? Aren’t there obviously better choices here? Also interesting that he cut 2x Hexmage, 2x Burst Lightning and 1x Dark Tutelage for this package plus 3 Go For The Throat; do Vampires need removal against Grave Titan badly enough to lose these spells?

    I think this build lost a lot of SB consistency trying to prepare for Kuldotha Red (witness 1 SB Arc Trail 2 SB Forked Bolt) and I’m pretty sure 4 DoDG vs. Valakut is more important than a 4-drop Skinrender (though it’s sweet in the mirror). This build seems like a semi-fluke to me.

  12. 4 Jace’s Ingenuity is pretty essential in a list like that. I’ve been running one very very similar for quite some time and you almost always want it. You are 1 for 1’ing your opponent so often that you NEED to keep your hand filled. Also, your first Ingenuity will help you find your 2nd, which will help you find your 3rd and so on. It’s insane card advantage. Not to mention you can really make your opponent think at the end of his turn…for instance, maybe your trying to bait a counter, etc.

  13. Sorry for the double post but I’d just like to add that Jace’s Ingenuity is probably the most important card in the deck…and if that doesn’t really make sense to you then you probably shouldn’t be running a permission heavy build.

  14. Definitely agree with sol kauffman. Captivating vampire seems so bad I refuse to even test it. I also don’t like go for the throat and would prefer more burn to give you more reach. Haven’t played with it obv but I didn’t play doom blade so I doubt this slight upgrade would warrant an inclusion.

  15. Many of the decks were still awfully build at this event and thus the results of this event are not really noteworthy.

  16. @ Sol and Fresh: Really? Captivating Vampire seems underpowered in comparison to Pulse Tracker? I understand your hesitation, as I wasn’t running the card before Tom Ross advocated it, but Captivating is a great way to increase your threat count while making sure you don’t have lots of dead cards vs. the field. It’s more consistent than other options, such as Hexmage, Dark Tutes, and Mark of Mutiny.

    In testing, I convinced Matt to cut Hexmage because the card is only necessary against Gideon, and I expected most of the control players to be playing UB. Meanwhile, most good vamp players have been off Burst Lightning for a while (see GT’s list from KC).

    I know Matt pretty well. I mean, we tore up the invitational together with my list. In Indy, I was his only loss in the swiss, and he went on to sweep the top eight without dropping a game. Not only is his win not a fluke, but he’s one of the better vamp players around.

  17. Capt Vamp is to push the toughness to 3, with the growing popularity of goblins, boros etc, it keeps valuable players from arc trail range, don’t like the idea of only having 2 demon’s as it really is one of very few ways to beat valakut, i always found dark tutelage to be an all star, so i’m wondering what the effect of cutting 1 from the MB will have
    I can see playing gfft in SB as obviously it’s better in so matchups than the burn, but on the other hand is the MB really going to miss 2 burst lightnings in favour of a spell that pretty much kills everything? Forked bolt may become a star depending on your meta and whether the new swarm decks star seeing more play..who knows

  18. Come to think of it, Matt was also pretty hesitant to try out Captivating, but he trusted me (like I trusted others) and in the end he seemed happy with the card, telling me it “had been sweet all day.”

  19. @caleb: Eh, I have bloodthrone/mark of muntinys that no one else seems to play but have been amazing. You probably know vamps more than me so I’ll give the build a try.

  20. this article had nothing to do with vampires. It would be a much useful one if you’d care to explain sideboard options etc. instead of giving us what we could easily get from starcity website.

  21. /agree with Caleb

    I haven’t played Vamps in a few weeks but I have certainly been on the receiving end of a Captivating Vampire.

    Just slow roll the Captivating Vamp and when U/B taps down to stop the onslaught of dudes with a Grave Titan you drop the lord and steal their big guy. It’s not too hard to get 4 other vamps on the field when most of your deck is low cost and Bloodghasts are so hard to keep dead.

  22. Since blue tends to be combined with colors that have sweepers, Lethargy Trap could give it the time to cast the sweepers against Kuldotha Red. It doesn’t really do much outside of Kuldotha Red, but Shrivel and Seismic Shudder don’t seem like they’d do much in other matchups either.

  23. That last deck is a mess. No Squadron Hawks, no Green Sun Zenith, no Body&Mind vs Jace control, multiple Trolls?

  24. Josh – Id love to see an article or update for your ideas on the GW mid-range. I was working on an update using GSZ and that top 16 list gave me inspiration to get Leatherback Baloth in the main. Also, does the deck have anything it can do vs Kuldotha Red?

  25. I find it very sensible to cut one of the tutelages if the meta starts to show some kuldotha decks: the chance of a tutelage revealing another becomes a real issue and having two tutelages in your opening hand against kuldotha is pretty much an auto-mulligan.

    I’d definitely find a way to sneak the extra demon in the sideboard. I’ve made quite a few valakut players whimper when I play the big black s.o.b in 2nd or 3rd turn.

    The Captivating Vamps seem quite cute to try. I don’t dream of having 4 more guys in the table, but I could really like to see 3/2 hasty bloodghasts.

  26. Pingback: MTG Congregation 02-08-11: Standard » Jacob A Grim - The professional writings and varied interests of a young American writer.

  27. I think I like the third Nighthawk over the third Skinrender in Landstrom’s board. I’m also not sure if you want six damage-splitting effects but I’m not sure whether you’d cut a Forked Bolt or the Arc Trail. It was definitely a good call for the Kuldotha Red explosion though.

  28. Wow, Caleb Durward in the flesh, I’m a little star struck 🙂 Love your beard, dude.

    The problem I always run into with Demon, that I had when I was testing Raid Bombardment, and that I worry about with Cap Vamp is cutting those one-drops, which the deck really wants to win. It’s what helps you recover from a wrath, and Pulse Tracker lets you swing through walls which is pretty relevant sometimes (what did you mean about him being compared to Cap Vamp in terms of power?). I rarely ever have more than three vamps on the board at any time as I often make aggressive blocks and get wrathed a lot; Cap doesn’t seem super great when it gives the opponent an easy choice for what to use their burn on. I don’t think +x/+1 on a field of 1/1s, 2/1s and 2/2s isn’t that relevant especially with the prevalence of Slagstorm now (and Consume The Meek–>BSZ in UB), and I don’t want to play any other three drops really while Dark Tutelage is maindeck. Out of the sideboard, Nighthawk just seems strictly better to me as a three drop, and running a bunch of three drops seems really slow. I’m surprised there are so many lists with him in the top Vamp lists of 2011 so far, so I will probably have to playtest a bit. I think one of the strengths of this deck is already having very few dead cards against different fields, in fact.

    I’ve actually found myself questioning Hexmage recently as well as First Strike just isn’t that relevant and she is such an easy target for Arc Trail and etc. I certainly enjoy having multiple Jace answers beyond swinging in and burn, but she may get relegated to SB. You’re right that Gideon isn’t on many fields these days. I suppose Burst Lightning is another thing worth maybe replacing, though it’s almost always come in handy for me early game against ramp creatures and things like that. Honestly I’ve probably just been riding a commitment to the version Eric Froehlich took to worlds as I figured that was the best result, though I still don’t like Skinrender. I feel a little dirty cutting Burst Lightning as it seems we’re harshing ourselves quite a bit landwise for the advantage of only 7 maindeck red spells, but obviously putting Slagstorm in the SB vs. Elves makes that more relevant.

    I’m sorry, I know Matt’s win isn’t a fluke–he’s certainly better than me and most of the commenters on here, I just think I’d balk at playing a deck with a bunch of these card calls. Obviously the deck was a bit tailored towards beating Kuldotha Red and it obviously did a pretty sweet job.

    Re: GT’s list from KC… Staggershock seems pretty terrible with DT maindeck, and my brain doesn’t like the rebound effect much. Do you think this card is good?

    I just wanna say, it’s really cool that you guys are open to speaking to commenters and engaging us; that’s super cool of you. Thanks a lot.

    @Freshlop, I still can’t stand that Bloodthrone/Mark combo, no matter how much I playtest. I think I’d rather have Cap Vamp and his second ability than it. Froehlich said he hated it too, and I think we agree it’s just a really slow spell. You should have won by the turn they cast the titan, or be able to burn them out with Kalastria triggers.

  29. well it is a very funny times. standard format are quite boring and the introduction of MBS didn’t do much to change that.
    the problem with red deck is that they run out of gas very fast. many have tried, some succeed some failed catastrophically. sure it did win game 1 but after sideboarding?…. ha ha. i didn’t mean to offend red mages out there but kuldotha red will have a hard time once the hive mind picked up the news.
    as for vampire, the deck still runs the same way it used to be. it is great, but during playtesting i found the deck is too repetitive and i got bored. captivating vampire deserve some respect. since “the godfather” left the building the icky lord have filled that spot (although he is not as strong as the godfather). and yes, vampire deck need to kill grave titan that much since it is not funny to see your board crumble once your opponent slam a grave titan. have fun with your blood-sucking card until it rotates.

    meanwhile i need to go back to drawing board to figure out what to do with these new cards. i find it very difficult to make a viable aggro infect deck even with the introduction of new and powerful infect cards. the power level just didn’t get there.

  30. Not tried it in vampires myself, but I do find myself pondering mortarpod in it. Anyone had a go yet?

  31. Sol: Bloodthrone is just awesome without the mark’s. It’s another card that survives clasm and especially insane with bloodghasts. I’ve been very impressed by the combo especially since there really isn’t anything else I want to add. A benefit to my version is that it is so fast it actually has a reasonable valakut g1 matchup.

  32. Considering that was edited out a couple of hours after the article went up, my guess is you didn’t bother reading it and just rushed to the end. A quick use of find reveals that this is the case and I award you no points. This isn’t that hard.

  33. A comment on UB and Kuldotha. I actually played an awful version of Kuldotha red at my FNM and it beat me (sheer luck as I was at 6 and he got lucky enough to draw double bolt).

    Aggro was so mediocre before in my metagame that I had a strongly anti-control list in my UB board. I still smashed goblins first turn but lost 2 subsequent games where I had double ratchet bomb in hand and a turn 4 or 5 black sun. Kuldotha does so much hasty damage in one turn that it gets you in critical range for lucky burn topdecks. It is an extremely high-variance deck that has great nut draws. I would not underestimate it as I think it is tier 1 now in it’s ability to race the other guy down.

    Kuldotha can be hated but with valakuut stronger and more consistent now, you can’t be terribly strong against both IMHO.

    The big winner from MBS was Valakuut because

    1) aggro has some new tools (and an entirely new top-tier deck) to annoy control players which are stuck metagaming against stronger control decks.
    2) Valakuut has way more consistency now with green sun zenith.
    3) Valakuut can deal with all these aggro decks easily with the best sweeper in the format (a 2 cc pyro), a new sweeper (slag), and the best jace-fighting creature in the format (thrun, who also happens to be great against aggro as well).

    Valakuut is still the king for some time to come.

  34. Errata: 1)… metagaming against stronger aggro decks and thus have less room in their lists for valakuut hate.*

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