A Magic: the Gathering blog by and for the janky combo casual players alienated in a world of netdecking millionaires.

I value inexpensive (kinda) decks outside of the meta because I am cheap and easily bored.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Magic: The Mathering - FNM Standard W/B Fatgro

Rotation is coming!


Well, maybe, I for one will be glad to see the back of both pack rat and mutavault. I am a little saddened by the departure of the shock lands but frankly rotation is a good time to speculate on cards for modern, I'll be snaffling some shocks for myself the day after they're not standard legal.

My other tip for speculation, knowing what flavour the next will be is preeminent captain. I'm telling you, he will be bringing down the beats in an aggro-centric set near you soon.

Anyway, speaking of aggro, I've been testing and running with an aggro deck of my very own, it's not pure aggro, naturally, there are aspects of combo in there because that's how I roll, or rather, stutteringly travail. But it was built it before M15 came out with rotation in mind and so hasn't been updated much since. The thing is, I really, really, really like Athreos.

Main deck

4 x Gnarled Scarhide
4 x Tormented Hero

4 x Spiteful Returned
4 x Underworld Coinsmith

4 x Master of the Feast
4 x Herald of Torment
4 x Read the Bones
4 x Hero's Downfall
3 x Athreos, God of Passage

2 x Blood Baron of Vizkopa
1 x Obzedat, Ghost Council

4 x Temple of Silence
4 x Caves of Koilos
6 x Plains
7 x Swamp
1 x Godless Shrine


4 Plains (I know, I hadn't worked out the SB yet)
4 Devour Flesh
4 Odunos River Trawler
3 Swamp (ahem)

One land drops look for two damage on turn two.

At two lands coinsmith is another 2 power threat, relevant constellation abilities from a host of enchantment creatures and a potential finisher with his ability. The spiteful returned is my favourite card in the deck, no mana, no fuss, just lose two life because he's attacking.

A massive range of options await if I hit my third land drop. Athreos means I will attack into almost any board state with Spiteful Returned and to a lesser extent the Gnarled Scarhide. The master of the feast is a 5/5 flyer for three mana. I'm OK with letting an opponent draw on my turn for that.

As an aside the idea of bestowing a herald of torment on a tormented hero is just too flavourful to pass up.

The deck is a little busy around CMC 3, at 4 lands is where I try to restock my hand, downfall a threat, overload the board with another flying fatty or bestow the spiteful returned.

Turn 5 is where the big guns come down, a Blood Baron or Obzedat is usually met with a sigh and a win a turn later, especially if that activates Athreos. Once opponent life totals start to get around single digits, people don't want to leave themselves open but they'll find themselves losing two a turn from the coinsmith.

Notes on my standard performance, the deck was piloted to a 3-1 second place. (Promo Bile Blight FTW) Handily beating a Phenax U/B mill deck, a mono black Waste Not deck and R/G monsters and losing by the narrowest of a top decked lightning strike to a very creative Hornet Nest deck, it revolved around creatures with deathtouch and fight effects. Doesn't matter if you sneak out a 5/5 flyer on turn 3 if it fights a Sedge Scorpion before it can attack. Although I don't like green flyers from a flavour perspective you can't argue with results.

Anyway, my deck, along with everyone's deck will change in a few weeks but only the top end will be affected. I quite like how rotation ready the deck is.

So, Blood Barons are out, Obzedat is out and the devour flesh from the SB is out. Also coming out are the Read the Bones, a card which I like, but really found that I would rather spend the three mana on threats rather than digging for threats, but I have a like for like improvement in the wings.

Main deck post rotation plans.

4 x Gnarled Scarhide
4 x Tormented Hero
4 x Soldier of the Pantheon

4 x Spiteful Returned
4 x Underworld Coinsmith

4 x Master of the Feast
4 x Herald of Torment
3 x Hero's Downfall

3 x Athreos, God of Passage

2 x Ajani Steadfast
2 x Whip of Erebos

4 x Temple of Silence
4 x Caves of Koilos
5 x Plains
7 x Swamp
2 x Nomad Outpost


4 x Bile Blight
4 x Sign in Blood
2 x Erebos, God of the Dead
1 x Whip of Erebos
3 x Indulgent Tormentor
1 x Hero's Downfall


Ajani Steadfast -  Now this guy I'm not convinced about, I saw he curves into my deck at four mana. His +1 and -2 abilities are both very relevant. So I'm going to try him I think.

I like lifelink against burn, I like +1/+1 counters against just about everything else. His ultimate is nice but as with most walkers, not relevant, I should have won the game by then or died trying.

He's a bit too "nice" and will likely be the first casualty when sideboarding. Perhaps even moving to the board himself but a turn three Master of the Feast becoming a 6/6 vigilance, flying, first striking, lifelinking behemoth is a massive swing if he can attack on turn four and that is something I can get behind.

Soldier of the Pantheon - An aggressive 1 drop that I can't believe I didn't use the first time around. Strictly better on defense than the other two thanks to protection multicoloured, which I see becoming more relevant soon.

Whip of Erebos - Lifelinking my fat flyers will put me out of reach against a lot of threats and let me pay life to the coinsmith with reckless abandon. Bringing back a Master of the Feast from the graveyard for a turn with no drawback is also a very good play.

Sign in Blood - Or rather, side in blood. A-ha! How droll. It's in the board and it's draw two cards, lose two life. Boss. But I can hear the cries of "hold on Mather, didn't you just say that you'd rather draw threats than draw a card to dig for threats?" A tiny, key difference (aside from the double black mana cost) is that SIB is target player. Making it a potential finisher when least expected. 1 mana cheaper, good utility, ambush victory, frees up a 3 slot that was overcrowded.

Bile Blight - Additional removal won't hurt. Might be needed in the new set too.

Erebos - Opponents can't gain life. Good. 1B: pay two life draw a card. Good. The key here? An indestructible 4 mana, 5/7 beater? That's actually pretty good as well.

Indulgent Tormentor - If he was 4 mana this guy is a 4 of. As it stands he costs five, so he can sit in the sideboard instead. Most of the time he is card advantage, but if my opponent pays the life or sacrifices a creature than plays into my plan just as well.

Nomad Outpost - If these stay in, between them and the temples I'll have six lands ETB tapped, I need to work out if that will slow me down too much. I fear it will and these will become mana confluences thanks to lifelink from Ajani and the Whip. 9 Turn one sources of white mana for Soldier of the Pantheon isn't quite enough.

Then it's just a matter of digging around Khans and seeing what they have in the way of big stuff for cheap.

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