First, let me congratulate all the Filipino Planeswalkers who got the invite to the Protour and those who got into the top 8! It’s always nice to see our fellow Filipinos getting some well-deserved spotlight where their skills and deckbuilding skills are showcased and celebrated. I’m sure they gave all their opponents a hard time, placing them in a quandary of decisions only to succumb to their defeat!
Speaking of a quandary, today’s deck tech is by a Brothers War reprint, Painful Quandary. It’s a control card that punishes people for playing spells and forcing them to pay the price with their life totals or discard another card. If you damage an opponent once with this card, you’ve got your money back already. The trick here is to attack your opponent’s hand as much as possible to make sure they don’t have any left and will be forced to take damage from Painful Quandary.
The deck plays very straightforwardly but has a number of play lines that keep it interesting and maneuverable. We fashion Orzhov’s most efficient removal in Cut Down, Go for the Throat, Soul Transfer, Fateful Absence, and Depopulate.
Both our Planeswalkers, The Wandering Emperor and Liliana of the Veil serve as removals as well, while the former punishes opponents that go all in into the red zone, and the latter attacks the hand if the opponent fails to put out a threat.
We are playing a playset of Edgar, Charmed Groom because he’s essentially a two-for-one card forcing opponents to use 2 cards to kill him which makes a midgame Painful Quandary so much more potent.
The deck can also go wide thanks to Edgar’s opposite side, but we also get some help from Wedding Announcement and Reckoner Bankbaster. There is a 1-off Spirit-Sisters Call so we can recycle the cards in our graveyard with things on the battlefield that may have served its purpose, like getting Sheoldred back in exchange for a 1/1 Human or Vampire token, or getting a destroyed Wedding Announcement and sacrificing your current flipped announcement to restart the token generation.
From playtesting, the deck can be overwhelmed by very aggressive decks as well as decks that win without going to combat like Anvil-based decks.
We pack a couple of Disenchant in the sideboards, together with Dreams of Steel and Oil to get around artifacts. Knockout Blow and Parasitic Grasp is in for the early aggression and lifegain to get to our midgame. Sunset Revelry of course deserves a slot especially for other go-wide strategies while we dig for our Depopulate.
One other card on the sideboard worth mentioning is Graveyard Trespasser. She’s a 2-for-1 card as well forcing the opponent to discard whenever they attempt to interact with her. She can definitely be slotted in the mainboard if you’re anticipating an aggressive meta. She takes the place of The Cruelty of Gix which is better suited against midrange or control decks.
I hope you enjoy putting your opponents in a tight spot with this brew! Till next time.