Happy Monday, everyone! Kaladesh may be on it’s way, but we’re still on Innistrad as we kick off the Top 8 picks from the August Rogue Master Brewer competition (Eldritch Moon Edition) with a week of little deck-techs of decks picked by the RDB crew, as well as two special guests. Everyday on the site, we’ll put up an article, then end it all with a poll for you all to vote for your favorite deck. Next week, we’ll have our winner right before we start to get into Kaladesh!
Welcome to the first day of the Rogue Master Brewer Competition Top 8 Picks! For those of you wondering who the heck I am and what makes me qualified to pick decks for this, I’m Greg, and I’m a somewhat competitive Modern player with absolutely zero qualifications for picking good decks. None. None at all. So for those of you who’s decks I’ve picked, don’t feel too great about yourselves. I’m just the guy who does the graphics.
So let’s get to it. My first deck choice came down to a toss-up between two very fun, but also very similar decks. Both focus on using Nahiris’ Wrath to end the game, but approach it in very different ways. One also has 62 cards in it, so there’s that. Rather than pick one right now, I’m going to start writing descriptions for them and see which one appeals to me more when I’m done.
First is Nahiri’s Ragged Pact (or Nahiri’s Wrath Combo), a deck by J Simkovich & Tim Meadows. This one’s an all-in, all-out combo deck that tries to stick a Ragged Vein or Spiteful Shadows on an opponent’s creatures and then teach it a lesson by Nahiri’s Wrathing (or it’s doppelganger Kindle the Carnage) an Autochthon Wurm or Old’rakul at it (and by extension, it’s controller). There’s very few better feelings in the world that doing 15 damage to your opponent as early as turn 3. Going all-in on this combo means that you get some flashy turn 3 wins, but as with most combo decks, it also has the potential to lose to itself if it doesn’t draw the right sequence.
The other deck is Nahiri’s Reckoning, the vengeful brainchild of Daniel Mraz. Daniel takes a more midrangey approach to the combo by playing out Spitemares and Boros Reckoners as blockers and repaying them for their loyalty by burning them within an inch of their life with the likes Pyroclasm and Volcanic Fallout. Some top-end, high damage cards like the all-stars Shivan Meteor, Blasphemous Act, and of course Nahiri’s Wrath help to end it all for both his creatures and his opponent. This deck feels like it can play the long game a little better, but lacks the explosive turn 3 win potential of the other one. Also, it doesn’t use Nahiri’s Wrath quite as well (the highest cmc is a measly 9!)
After some goldfishing and playing around with the decks, Nahiri’s Reckoning performed better for me. While the idea of a full-on combo deck is appealing (especially to me, a Kiln Fiend player), the Reckoning version of the deck feels like it can function well without the combo, especially against a deck that’s going wide. Being able to keep the board clear of pesky 2 toughness creatures and deal some damage to your opponent (or use it to take down a 4 toughness creature) just feels like value. There’s certainly some tweaking that could happen, but this deck seems pretty solid.
Whew, got through the first part. Still with me? Good. My second completely unqualified deck choice is a little more straight forward. Jessie Black submitted a little brew called Sigarda’s Permeating Aid. You see, the issue I’ve had with Permeating Mass in constructed is that when everyone has the same ooze, no one’s ooze is better. You’re just kind of left bouncing oozes off each other until one player accumulates that critical mass of 1/3 oozes for the win. Jessie seems to have solved that problem; Jessie’s oozes have training.
Jessie’s combined the amazing assimilation of Permeating mass with the equipment power-ups of Weapons Trainer and Stone Haven Outfitter, ensuring that their oozes are strictly better. Along with Open The Armory and Sigarda’s Aid, Jesse makes sure that the oozes stay well-equipped, even as an instant speed combat trick. My personal favorite inclusion is Iona’s Blessing, which doubles the oozeifying potential of Permeating Mass, as well as spells certain doom for the ooze-to-be’s. The only thing this deck is really missing is a way to give Permeating Mass first strike, but that doesn’t really exist in standard as an equipment right now.
Well, that does it for my picks – tomorow Kevin will have his two favorite for your review. Until then, congratulations to Jessie and Daniel for making the Top 8, and Happy Brewing!