GP Seattle brought us some interesting take on Standard these season. Though there are defined decks that dominate like Grixis, mono Red, RB Aggro, Approach, Scarab Gods and GPG decks, a lot of brewers still pushes the envelope and break the meta.
Andrew Tolson got a spectacular run if 9-2 before things probably went sour. However, getting into day 2 of a GP with a brew is not an easy task which we often leave to the Pros to do. Andrew essentially used treasure spells like Spell Swindle, Hornswoggle and Depths of Desire and cash these treasures in with Indomitable Creativity and go crazy.
What creatures get cheated into play, you ask? Andrew uses blue and red’s best and baddest creatures. Let’s start off with Combustible Gearhulk that kills even Carnage Tyrant in combat. Torrential Gearhulk to recur his spells. The Locust God, which never stays dead and can swarm the opponent fast and easy. And lastly, Nezahal, Primal Tide. This elder dinosaur escapes removal easily and makes short work by taking a third of the opponent’s life per swing.
The deck is very creative, sweet and quite effective in camouflaging this line of play inside a UR control shell that packs counter magic, spot removal and sweepers.
Today’s deck tech is a derivative of this and replaces the Gearhulks and Gods with more dinosaurs. Why? Because we want to win in the same turn!
Here’s the deck list first and let’s break it down.
The deck is simple and quite effective at killing the opponent on turn 6 the earliest. The deck packs early removal to keep you alive and a bunch of spell-based artifact and creature generators we can ditch to Indomitable Creativity and bring in the claws, fangs and scales!
Early removal is key against a meta filled with aggressive decks like Red-based decks. Constrictor decks are not as fast but their creatures can get pretty big so we also pack something just for them.
Thopter Arrest is great on the draw to disable a Rekindling Phoenix. Cast Out is great on the draw against Glorybringers! When thing get crazy, but you’re not the one going nuts, a Fumigate usually helps us stabilize and restart the setup.
For our creature generators, we have Servos and Vampires to help cushion the initial onslaught but we need to make sure we leave some behind for Creativity to eat.
Since we don’t have blue, we will use Pirate’s Pillage to help us draw into our combo pieces and leave behind some treasures we can sacrifice. It’s a 2-for-1 basically for what the deck wants to do – create tokens, draw into the combo piece.
Now I spoke about hitting the opponent once and KO him, and we achieve this by using a simple equation. Haste + High Power + High Power.
The magic number if 3. When we can Indomitable Creativity, we want it to be at least 3 to get at least 1 of these dudes into the battlefield. Looking at their power composition and abilities, whatever combination you get from these 3, you will get at least 17 damage.
- Zetalpa + Zacama = (4+4)+9 = 17
- Zetalpa + Ghalta (4+4)+12 = 20
- Zacama + Ghalta = 9+12 = 21
How do you punch with any of these 2 on the same turn?
Even if you revealed Zetalpa and Zacama but get to cash in a Regisaur Alpha, he will bring the 3/3 token into the fray to complete the 20 power on board. Thanks to haste, you can swing for 20+ damage on turn 6!
What if you reveal the 2 Regisaur in the deck, will it be enough with any of the elder dinosaur? The answer is yes!
- Regisaur + Regisaur + two 3/3 Tokens + Zacama = 4+4+3+3+9 = 23
- Regisaur + Regisaur + two 3/3 Tokens + Ghalta= 4+4+3+3+12 = 26
- Regisaur + Regisaur + two 3/3 Tokens + Zetalpa = 4+4+3+3+(4+4) = 22
Remember the revealing 2 Regisaur Alpha gives the other one haste and puts two 3/3 tokens into play so that’s 14 damage there.
Possible lines of play are:
- T1, land. End step Spray or main phase Authority
- T2, land, Abrade
- T3, queen’s commission or servo exhibition, with mana up for Spray
- T4, thopter arrest or pirate’s pillage and make 2 treasures
- T5: indomitable creativity for 3 by sac-ing 1 treasure, then sacrifice the 2 vampires and 1 remaining treasure and spin the wheel!
The sideboard plan is somewhat transformative. From a combo deck, we transition into a control deck with Planeswalkers.
Gideon helps shut down 1-creature decks like UB control decks that win behind Torrential or Scarab God. Chandra comes in against Approach decks that will attempt to counter the token makers to disable Indomitable. These 2 are great as well versus decks that plan to Lost Legacy the Indomitable Creativity or pack more creature removal.
Ixalan’s Binding replaces Cast Out if we’re not against fast decks. It’s a much stronger solution against Gods and Rekindling Phoenix.
To play around low-curve decks, we can hold back our token generators and just use them to bait the opponent to keep playing creatures then we can sweep them clean with Sweltering and catch them off guard expecting we only rely on Fumigate. Struggle is also a great way to kill creatures our Magma Spray or Abrades can’t deal with. Survive is a utility card we can use to wipe graveyards clean and deprive GPG and Scarab Gods from reanimating. It’s also good against Azcanta if we really have to.
Approach decks and counter-heavy decks this deck’s worst match-up so I want Carnage Tyrant in the sideboard to at least have some game and try to kill them.
I am pretty excited to try this out at a local FNM. This is purely a funky deck and I don’t expect to win a PPTQ with this iteration and maybe the UR shell is better – but I am eager to catch my opponent’s jaw drop when he gets hit with 20 damage and really unleash Ixalan’s dinosaurs against him!
If you miss this card, this deck might bring back some memories!