Monday, October 24, 2011

SCG Open Baltimore 2011 Review

Hasn't the last few weeks been a meta-game roller coaster?  One week the deck is soooooooo good, next week it is soooooo bad.  I spent most of the day Saturday trading and testing my latest brews to try and bring them up to the next level.  When I came home, I was just in time for SCG Live to turn on the stream from round one to the finals.  The first thought that came to mind was, "Where did all the Lilianna's go?"  What has she been up too lately?  For the most part, not a whole lot.

SCG Open 2011 Baltimore
DeckTop 16 Decks
Wolf Run Green5
UW Blade2
Solar Flare1
Wolf Run Red1

In between Baltimore and Nashville we had the State Championships that had really given us a nice idea of what the format had panned out to be.  If you haven't seen the deck lists, click here.  For me, nothing really shocked me all too much or got my brewin juices flowing.  What I did get out of this was that Wolf Run Ramp style decks had really taken off since it took first at Nashville.  This is all due to one card- Prime Time!  The fact remains, Primeval Titan is still doing it's broken things, ramping out card advantage and putting your opponents game on tilt.  The card is that good and he seems to be the king of the titans.  Most people heard the news, a resolved Primeval Titan beats most opponents.

Then comes Baltimore and some are prepared and others are not.  Those who decided to drop that horrid mana base of Solar Flare and tried some 2-color control lists seemed to have a better time beating the Wolf Run style decks than those attempting to shove too much into one deck.  While I have to say Solar Flare is one of the more fun decks to pilot at the moment with all of its flashiness and synergy, when it stumbles on mana, it stumbles hard.  I think this had prompted a lot of good players to shy away from it and start working on other control strategies. 

Here are my take aways from Star City Games Baltimore 2011:

People need a serious plan for Wolf Run Ramp

Counterspells and targeted removal is great for dealing with most of the threats that this deck dishes out.  Ramp decks have always been incredibly resilient against 1 for 1 removal and counters.  They can count on always having their next card be just as threatening as their last and things are just going to get more threatening as the games go on.  Things like 2 for 1 removal and discard have been the best ways in the past to deal with these style decks. You will also need a plan against their newest buddy Dungrove Elder. Opting out of playing Tribute to Hunger is not an option for UB lists as you will have no answers to this guy.  Equipping a Sword of Feast and Famine will help you defend against this monstrosity but he will keep getting bigger.  Also, you need to run more Ghost Quarters as this will help you beat their plan B (Inkmoth Nexus).  In my testing Wring Flesh has been a great addition to most decks I have put it in.  Against Wolf Run it also nails turn 1 Birds of Paradise and activated Inkmoth Nexus's.  Try it out, you will like it.


I know Gerry T had been advocating this deck as viable, and I have agreed.  Phyrexian Crusader is a house in this meta.  Red has only one answer to this guy, Shrine of Burning Rage, and white decks, especially blade style decks have no answer to him main.  He will quickly take over a game and enjoy ticking up the poison counters.  Another reason this deck is doing well is the lack of people playing solid flyers.  Whispering Specter, Plague Stinger and Inkmoth Nexus all have one thing in common, they fly.  The only flyer people are playing at the moment, Consecrated Sphinx.  Anywho, I recommend this as a solid agro deck in this format as it has everything you need- disruption, a quick clock, and a meta not tuned against it.  Need something to beat it?  See Wring Flesh.

Skeletor Rising

Did you take a close look at the top 8 deck from Chris Pregent?  Check it out as I am going on record to saying that you will see more of these coming to a top 8 near you soon.  This deck is beautifully designed for this meta.  I was watching some matches a buddy of mine was playing recently of UB vs Wolf Run.  He had a very similar list to Chris here and was using Snapcaster with Sword of Feast and Famine to finish the game once he had full control.  His only other back up was Inkmoth Nexus.  More often then not, he ran out of threats to even win the game.  With Reassembling Skeleton, all those problems are gone and you will be getting more out of your sword.  Take a look at the mana base also, did you see that?  3, count it, 3 Ghost Quarters main!  This guy had his finger on the pulse of this format knowing that Wolf Run was a problem.  While I think there are some improvements I might make, like lowering the Dissipate and Doom Blade numbers in favor of Wring Flesh(2), Druidic Satchel(1-2) and a Batterskull(1). 

Coming up soon, I'll have some updates for my Necrotic Ooze Combo deck and also my BW Zombie deck within the next day or so.

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