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SCG 5K Kansas City – Gettin that Top 8

January 10, 2011

I don’t believe in the whole New Year’s resolution thing. That being said I do believe in goals and you can set goals any time of the year. I have goals I want to accomplish this year and I already nailed one this weekend. Friday night me and seven other adventurous souls headed out from Southeast Missouri on our way to the Starcitygames.com Open Series 5k in Kansas City. I was really looking forward to good times and the draft open. On Saturday I planed to play in the Standard event and assuming I did not top 8 that event I would be drafting in on Sunday.

I did top 8 the Standard Open but lost in the first round which meant I got to draft! I failed at drafting though while my buddy David got 9th on tie-breakers in the Draft Open, Dagger!!

For the full event coverage click here.

A little back drop to this story – I hate the standard format right now. The format is full of possible decks but only really a few that can consistently place people in top 8’s. One problem is that this format is hard to metagame for as you could face so many different decks.  Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Primeval Titan decks are generally the most powerful decks, but super fast aggro can get lucky and provided they draw well will make deep runs and ruin people who planned on setting up big turns.

After about two weeks of standard testing and brewing I was left without a clear idea of how to attack standard. All I knew is I wanted to run land disruption and not be easily disrupted. This lead to the construction of a silly U/G deck that focused on accelerating out acidic slimes and frost titans. The deck was sweet. Crushes control and has solid game against ramp. Problem was that the deck was really pretty bad against B/R vampires.

On Saturday, the morning of the Standard Open, I was walking the room trying to get a feel of what the meta might be like. I saw a ton of mono green aggro and elves, U/B control, B/R vampires, and Quest decks. Oddly missing were Valakut and Eldrazi green. This was bad for me. My U/G deck is not great against an aggro field. I was about to audible to B/R vampires and just hope to get good draws when I suddenly decided filling out a second decklist was way to much work and that I’d run my deck with some minor last minute changes.

The Nest Invaders were stolen directly from Craig Wescoe’s BUG list – read his article here.

Here is my submitted list for reference:

Main deck:

Artifacts
1 Ratchet Bomb

Artifact Creatures
1 Molten-Tail Masticore

Creatures
3 Acidic Slime
1 Avenger of Zendikar
2 Frost Titan
4 Lotus Cobra
4 Nest Invader
2 Sea Gate Oracle

Instants
4 Mana Leak
2 Spell Pierce

Planeswalkers
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Venser, the Sojourner

Sorceries
3 Explore

Basic Lands
7 Forest
6 Island
1 Plains

Lands
1 Evolving Wilds
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Scalding Tarn
4 Tectonic Edge
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Verdant Catacombs

Sideboard:
2 Ratchet Bomb
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Acidic Slime
3 Obstinate Baloth
4 Spreading Seas
2 Nature’s Claim
1 Spell Pierce
1 Jace Beleren

There is a lot of odd numbers in this list but that was all intentional. Side-boarding is very important depending on match up and these numbers worked best for me. I’ll discuss a couple odd ball choices but I think a lot of this list is pretty standard for any deck running U/G.

1 Molten-Tail Masticore – This guy came in last minute to help fight elf lords. I don’t’ have a lot of removal options for creatures in the color combination and I thought with all the creatures in my list that he could often give me the reach to close games or the opportunity to stabilize the board. Paired with Jace you are still getting to draw cards each turn. He does a great job of protecting walkers too. This guy actually won me about 2-3 games at the event.

1 Garruk Wildspeaker – Garruk was added to the deck as a way to create a constant stream of threats as well as the potential of early Frost Titans or Avenger of Zendikar. His main reason to be in the deck though is as a possible finisher. Sometimes you just have a bunch of 2/2’s and need a way to force through damage. His overrun ability could provide that. In the end I boarded him out a bunch and he never really impacted the board. He almost saved me in the Top 8 but my opponent ripped the bolt to take out the beast and finish off Garruk with a pair of weenies. I’d cut him if I ran the list today.

The many 3 of cards – Most of these cards are essentially duplicates of other spells in the deck. For example Explore is really very similar to Lotus Cobra and Nest Invader because it allows me to drop Jace a turn early. Explore isn’t as exciting in a deck without Oracle of Mul Daya or Valakut but when paired with Lotus Cobra you can get the nut draw of turn three Titan. I did live the dream twice and cast a turn three Frost Titan against Eldrazi Green, and turn three Wurmcoil Engine against Boros in the swiss.

The sideboard needs a little work still but overall I’d say I’m 95% happy with my list.

Tune in later this week when I get my tournament report completed and posted. I didn’t keep any notes so I’m working off memory. There are many great plays to be made with this deck and I plan to highlight some of the more epic ones of the weekend.

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