It’s been 10 grueling days of delicately balancing work hours, wedding preparations, business trips and preparing for Grand Prix Singapore that I haven’t had the chance to brew much. I have been busy testing my UB Conjecture list as well because I plan to pilot that in GP SG but the meta after Protour Dominaria has not made the meta safe for control decks that like to set up and get to 5 mana without being close to death.
Before the Protour, I was hoping that well known deck builders at the professional level like Sam Black, Gerry Thompson, Patrick Chapin and the likes and one of the cards I was hoping the pros would explore into is Muldrotha, the Gravetide.
Muldrotha is the epitome of late game resilience if you manage to stablize in the early game, exhaust your opponent’s threats, position the game where you and your opponent each rely on the top deck, and then slam Muldrotha and start your trip to Value Town.
Because Muldrotha enables you to play up to one permanent type from your graveyard in each of your turns, it is fundamentally sound to build a deck with as much relevant permanent type as possible. Creatures, Artifacts, Enchantments and Lands.
The deck is essentially Sultai with blue as the lightest color only for Champion of Wits, Scarab God and Muldrotha which all costs 1 blue mana to cast.
We will run 27 creatures, 8 noncreatures and 25 lands to round the main deck so let’s begin with the creatures.
Llanowar Elves and Kitesail Freebooter starts the curve and serves two very distinct purposes. Llanowar elves helps us go to the 3-drop slot 1 turn faster where most of our powerful cards begin. Kitesail Freebooter is a Duress on a 1/2 flier which is great at blocking Bomat Couriers and non-prowessed Soul Scar Mages. With Muldrotha, Kitesail essentially can sit on any removal or threat turn after turn despite getting removed. Walking Ballista is notably one of the best creatures in the deck because you can replay it with Muldrotha even after replaying a creature by simply declaring that your’e playing it as an artifact super type. Nothing beats shooting your opponent turn after turn after turn relentlessly with unlimited bullets thanks to Muldrotha.
The 3-drop is where a lot of the fun begins. We have Deathgorge Scavenger which sets us up for the long game thanks to the lifegain it gives. It’s also a great mainboard answer to Scrapheap Scrounger. Champion of Wits helps us get the lands into our hand, or out if we draw too many. Yes it dies to Chainwhirler but at least you get the value out of it unlike Glint-Sleeve Siphoner which does nothing and dies. Jadelight Ranger caps off the 3-drop slot which smooths out our next draws or populates the graveyard for Muldrotha to play with. With 2 explore triggers, it has a higher chance of survival against a Chainwhirler.
The 4-drop slot is our utility slot where Gonti and the Chups reside. Gonti is a great control match-up answer to bag a wincon out of the opponent’s deck and have a 2/3 that blocks super well. Ravenous Chupacabra is a removal that we can keep replaying with Muldrotha if the situation requires it.
The lone 5-drop slot is reserved for the almighty Scarab God. He has defined the meta more than Chainwhirlers could in my opinion because it has forced decks to pack Exile removal to answer it, sideboard graveyard hate to counter it, or splashed blue to Temur Energy decks just to include it. If it didn’t cost 5, it would have been played as a 4-off.
Muldrotha sits at the 6-drop slot to cap off the creature list which glues everything together and bring the game to the next level. It’s a 6/6 for 6 mana which is a solid uncommon card stat but her ability is very unique in Standard. Replaying creatures and artifact that your opponent invested turns and cards to kill shifts the resource value to you over time. But because we don’t just play any hodgepodge of creatures but instead run real threats that need answering, the opponent may not have an answer for Muldrotha on turn 6. Having the ability to recur and recycle your resources is the best way to fight the attrition war.
Starting the noncreature spells we have Planeswalkers and Enchantments.
Sultai Walkers are quite formidable and offer 9 distinct advantages spread across Green, Black and Golgari.
- Nissa – 5/5 body, recurssion, card advantage
- Liliana – 2/2 body, graveyard manipulation, sweeper
- Vraska – 2/2 body, noncreature removal, win condition
We also don’t mind ticking down often with Muldrotha because we can always replay them for full loyalty points. You can sometimes tick down and kill the Planeswalker, replay it, and tick down again.
Before we go to the Lands, we still have one more permanent type we can extract value from and that’s Enchantments. This permanent type is not very easy to kill but must find its way to the graveyard for Muldrotha to replay. This is why Sagas are a great option here because it naturally dies after 3 turns.
The Mending of Dominaria provides great synergy to our overall game plan. It churns the library to place cards in the graveyard, gives us a creature back which can be already in the graveyard, and then ramps us for more actions like casting Mending again with Muldrotha (it doesn’t get reshuffled with the graveyard). Another thing that Mending gives the deck is redundancy because it mimics the ability of Muldrotha in a way.
Let’s now go to the lands for the deck.
Checklands from Dominaria greatly helps ensuring our lands come to play untap if we play enough basic lands which we do. The only challenge in the mana base is ensuring we have enough green to cast our GG spells and have access to blue before turn 3 to get Champion of Wits in play on time. For Scarab God and Muldrotha, it shouldn’t be a problem to get blue mana by turn 5-6 thanks to Mending, Wits and Jadelight.
4 Walking Ballista
3 Llanowar Elves
3 Kitesail Freebooter
4 Champion of Wits
3 Deathgorge Scavenger
3 Jadelight Ranger
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
3 Ravenous Chupacabra
1 The Scarab God
2 Muldrotha, the Gravetide
3 The Mending of Dominaria
2 Liliana, Death’s Majesty
1 Nissa, Vital Force
2 Vraska, Relic Seeker
1 Blooming Marsh
1 Botanical Sanctum
3 Drowned Catacomb
2 Fetid Pools
1 Hinterland Harbor
3 Woodland Cemetery
3 Fatal Push
1 Kitesail Freebooter
3 Thrashing Brontodon
3 Vraska’s Contempt
The sideboard is quite tricky because the best ways to combat control decks and Planeswalkers do not come in creature form so we have to dilute our creature base a bit to afford some direct removal.
Against control, you will want Duress, Negate and the 4th copy of Kitesail Freebooter to ensure you can snipe Settle the Wreckages, Teferi and Seal Away. If you expect the control player to board in more enchantment removal, you can side in Thrashing Brontodon as well which is handy at dealing with Cast Out, Search for Azcanta and Ixalan’s Binding (but I don’t see much of these getting played anymore).
Against artifact based decks and Vehicles, Fatal Push is effective at killing Heart of Kiran or the driver like Scrapheap Scrounger, Toolcraft Exemplar and Veteran Motorist. Manglehorn is a great tech card against them because Scrapheaps enter tapped disabling them from auto-crewing Heart. Late Bomats are also slowed down thanks to Manglehorn’s kismet-like ability against artifacts. If you have Muldrotha out, you can kill the Scrapheap Scroungers all day until they run out of creatures to exile.
The last catch-all sideboard is Vraska’s Contempt which is super useful against recurring threats, Planeswalkers and Gods. The lifegain is a good bonus but we’re just playing this for the versatility of targets it can exile forever.
That’s it for now – I’m looking at possible bringing this to Singapore for the GP in case I doubt my Conjecture deck but I think both are great rogue decks that offer great plays and fun win conditions.
Till next time,