Card Discussion #2: Experiment One
Time for another card discussion! Today I would like to talk about Experiment One. This is a card I’ve tinkered around with before and it was a used in my very first Rogue deck that was featured on Kevin’s YouTube channel; my Evo Aggro deck, utilizing aggressive Unleash creatures such as Rakdos Cackler and Gore-House Chainwalker to utilize Renegade Krasis’s ability and create a large wave of creatures on curve. It was a fun deck and with the meta having many U/W/x Control decks, I wanted to revisit Experiment One because I believe it can fit in an aggressive shell.
So let’s get on with my evaluation. Just like last time, everything said is a mixture of both objectivity and my own general opinions about the card (So there is a bit of “fun” factor in there). I’ll be looking at the cards mostly from a deck building perspective looking to unlock the power of the card, hopefully with your help! The goal is to find different ways to implement X card to possibly increase its playability.
Playability (Strengths/Weaknesses)Experiment One is a very interesting card. It’s something that grows stronger the longer the game goes on, and if it gets two evolve triggers off it has some staying power through regeneration. That’s a huge factor in today’s Standard. With every deck having some way to get rid of your creatures whether it be burns, board wipes, or Doom Blade effects, having resilient creatures can be very important.
I enjoyed my Evo Aggro deck but I built than when Standard was a little more forgiving. Now you either need to have a deck able to play resilient threats (ie. Stormbreath Dragon and Blood Baron of Vizkopa) or just play a deck that kills in the first 4-5 turns. After seeing this past weekend’s SCG Open/Invitationals I saw one of the masters of aggro decks, Tom Ross play a Gruul Blitz deck. This is the type of deck I feel Experiment One can thrive in since you end up playing creatures on curve fairly easily and it has some staying power.
One of the main reasons why I enjoy it is the fact it’s a better Rakdos Cackler, one of the more common aggro one drops. Sure, Cackler starts out as a 2/2 but if you T1 Experiment One and T2 any one of your other creatures you’re still swinging for 2 anyways with the benefit of:
A) Ability to block while still being on the offensive
B) Resilient to most removal (Especially Wraths) T3 and on (assuming you get two evolves off)
C) And starts doing more damage over the course of the game meaning more pressure
I wanted to build a deck that was fast to take advantage of the control decks and make use out of all the strengths I listed above. However, Before I get to my deck let’s talk about the problems with Experiment One].
The mono-colour characteristic of the card hurts it, opening it up to both Ultimate Price and Doom Blade. Not to mention being green means getting snagged by Lifebane Zombie. One thing I’ve learned while playing Magic, and especially aggressive decks is to not be afraid of playing a card just because of X card. Of course they’re things to consider but I feel the strengths of Experiment One are at least a reason to try him out some more. Removal is there and always will be. Just gotta fight through it!
It also has the sad case of relying on other cards to make use out of it. It’s not terribly reliant on it though so in my opinion it’s a minor set-back. Doesn’t have much top deck potential but if we’re playing an aggro deck we’re looking to end the game before we have to sit in top deck mode anyways!
Any counter based deck will be sure to have Experiment One. I could also see more aggressive green based decks playing it (like the one I’m about to show you) because unless you’re playing Elvish Mystic there aren’t a ton of one drops in green that you’ll want to play if you have nothing to ramp into. There are many fringe decks such as Evolve decks that would again, usually be seen playing Experiment One. When it comes down to it, any heavy creature based deck could play it with the right shell. Since it does require other creatures to be most effective I wouldn’t try it in any other deck than an aggressive creature strategy.
Example Deck: “Gruul Pumps” by Michael Yee
This deck aims to be as fast as possible with the ability to reach and take games out of nowhere. Since Experiment One utilizes the Evolve mechanic I needed to make sure I had a solid curve of creatures being able to at least get it to 3/3 as soon as possible to ensure I can make use of its regeneration before I get Supreme Verdicted. I also included pumps because not many decks play them anymore other than cards such as Ghor-Clan Rampager. I feel tricks are very good right now since they’re the perfect type of card to take people by surprise. Not only that but being able to do 7+ damage in a turn with a 2/2 or 3/3 changes the whole dynamic of the game which I feel is very important when playing an aggressive deck. If you’re not putting enough pressure on your opponent you’ve already lost. It also allows you to punish harder. Many decks have to use mana efficiently and control decks always find themselves tapping out in the early turns to play cards such as a Divination, Jace, Architect of Thought, or Detention Sphere. Being able to pump to fight through something like a Jace is great.
So, here’s the deck list:
4x Burning-Tree Emissary
4x Experiment One
4x Fanatic of Xenagos
3x Firedrinker Satyr
4x Ghor-Clan Rampager
4x Lightning Strike
3x Magma Jet
4x Rakdos Cackler
2x Zhur-taa Swine
2x Ash Zealot
So, again just like last time here’s a deck tech so I can go into more detail about the deck so this article isn’t thousands of words long:
Hope you guys enjoyed today’s discussion. Please leave comments either in the video, on the Roguedeckbuilder site, or in the Facebook group with your own thoughts on Experiment One or my prototype deck.
Feel free to let me know how I can improve this series as well as any other cards you’d possibly like to see in the future!
– Michael Y.