Friday, April 1, 2011

Build With Me- Standard Aggro Part 3

I didn't expect to keep on with this deck, but I've played a few matches with the deck against various opponents and I've quickly come to hate the choice in a few things.
First off- Red is bad.  Manic Vandal is cool, but rarely will see relevant play.  Plated Geopede is largely irrelevant for more than five damage (if he actually sticks, unlikely) and I'd rather cast my other two-mana spells first (Stoneforge up a sword is always good, Hawks let me ditch Venges, and Fauna is best sooner rather than later as well.)  The only card I kinda want to keep red for in the current build is Goblin Guide, who is a beast, but a splash for a single 1-drop in a deck that already has two colors and the only way to get a T1 red source is mountains and mesas just seems bad to me.  So I want red to leave, no matter how good Goblin Guide is.
GG, son.  Only not, because I don't have red mana.

It's not all negative, though.  Loam Lion is a house for dealing with Goblin Guide decks.  Either they have the Bolt or the Lion will just start blocking those Guides and other assorted aggro creatures.  A sword on a Loam Lion makes it a whopping 4/5 beatstick coming in as early as turn four, essentially like dropping a T3 Leatherback Baloth with benefits.
Rawr.

Lead the Stampede also didn't disappoint, providing me with usually 3-4 extra cards in my hand, I think the worst I've ever gotten was three fetches, a Stoneforge Mystic and a Vengevine with another Lead in my hand.  The second one netted me a Guide, two Geopedes and a Loam Lion, serving to ditch them Vengevines, ?, and profit.
Again, this thing keeps reminding me of The Lion King.

The most bothersome thing about this deck was the lack of disruption.  If I face down a Kargan Dragonlord, Grave Titan, Primeval Titan, Baneslayer Angel, etc. etc, I just lose.  I really don't like that at all.  Running more removal means running less creatures, so less benefit from Lead, but I think I need it.  Man, where's the Shriekmaws when you need them?
Hint- sounds fun for extended.  Just sayin'.

So basically, I'm looking to cut the red spells in favor of some replacement early creatures and some spot removal.  I'll probably cut a couple lands as well, depending on what I add.

The first thing I want to take a look at is the replacement for Goblin Guide.  The trick is to find yet another creature that provides some aggro beats early in the game but is still a fine topdeck later on.  My first thought was Ardent Recruit, but I simply don't want to turn this into a metalcraft deck, I might as well play GW Quest.  I basically have a few options, and they are Elite Vanguard, Student of Warfare, Kor Duelist, and the Copperhorn Scouts.
No slot in the deck for you.

Vanguard is another source of two mana for one damage, what's not to love?  However, the fact that he dies to anything short of a Wall of Omens makes him absolutely horrible to draw later in the game, even with a sword out.  It will be another way to pump out those vengevines though.
So 1337, it's like he plays WoW.  Only he's cheaper.

Student of Warfare is fast, but disrupts my plan, and he needs mana pumped into him, specifically the mana used for all my other one-drops.  Unfortunately, this makes him tough to play, but probably the best card to draw into mid to late game like GGuide was.  Linvala will make him strictly worse than Vanguard, though.
Actually gains levels.  Thus, even more 1337.

Kor Duelist is a beast with swords, and choosing him will basically mean I also go +1 Mystic and fill out the last few slots with some more equipment.  Seems decent, but I'm still undecided.
I bet he ragequits a lot.

Copperhorn Scout was considered in the original list due to his interactions with many of the other potential cards in the deck.  That number's been slimmed down a bit though, so the scouts are less and less relevant.  Similar to the equip boost with Duelists, running Scouts will force me to run more ways to abuse him than just using Fauna and SFM in postcombat, something I usually don't want to do.
I have nothing to say about this.

Aaand the winner is...Kor Duelist.  I like the idea of having more swords anyways, and although Student can eventually get to that level of awesome as well, he's just too slow compared to Duelist.  Plus, Duelist doesn't weaken my plays from mana dependency.  I'm much more willing to cycle him out with Fauna Shaman as necessary as well.
Unlike Survival of the Fittest, this card manages not to tempt the banhammer with her 1337 skillz.

Basically, this means +4 Duelist, +1 Stoneforge Mystic, +1 Sword of Feast and Famine, and +3 Journey to Nowhere to give my deck that extra push past a blocker as well as an answer to huge potential threats.  Tumble Magnet could be better, but I just like the reduced mana cost of Journeys.
WoW joke.

Basically, this deck curves out the same way like it used to, and still relies on the same plan.  The deck becomes a bit slower with the loss of Goblin Guide, but becomes much more consistent and can survive much later with the addition of Journey to Nowhere, as well as being a potential win condition as well in eliminating that last blocker.


4 Kor Duelist
4 Loam Lion
4 Student of Warfare

4 Squadron Hawk
4 Fauna Shaman
4 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Journey to Nowhere

4 Lead the Stampede
1 Sword of Body and Mind
2 Sword of Feast and Famine

4 Vengevine

4 Sunpetal Grove
11 Plains
7 Forest

I'm not entirely sure if this is right, however.  I'm considering the package of Birds of Baradise and Leatherback Baloth, which screws with my deck's original tempo plan but makes for a great play and provides not only a huge set of fatties to draw into but another set of evasion targets for the swords.

I <3 Fatties.  Like Yo Mama, and people who buy sleeves from StarCityGames.

2 Kor Duelist
4 Loam Lion
4 Birds of Paradise

4 Squadron Hawk
4 Fauna Shaman
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Journey to Nowhere

4 Lead the Stampede
1 Sword of Body and Mind
2 Sword of Feast and Famine
4 Leatherback Baloth

4 Vengevine

4 Sunpetal Grove
10 Plains
7 Forest

This list could have some more explosive draws, and leatherback seems like a decent late plan, but the mana is a bit more tight and could be a bit touch and go.

If you're looking for more Naya instead, Team Leeds over at mtgUK have done well at GP Barcelona with a Lead the Stampede based deck.  You can find Rob Wagner's report of the events here.  Their deck is less aggro and more toolbox, using Fauna Shaman with singleton cards like Linvala, Precursor Golem, Acidic Slime, etc.  It's definitely interesting to consider.

Until next time, check out the facebooks and the twitters.  This was Jim Bowie from Yo Mama: The Gathering, and next time can you bring me back my pants?

1 comment:

  1. nice deck hope i see it this friday

    ReplyDelete