darthbalmung's picture
By: darthbalmung, Sean Menken
Feb 11 2013 12:50pm
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Standard Heirloom is a Player Run Event/format that is held every Friday through Pauperkrew's Gatherling. It uses the Standard cardpool except it has an additional restriction based upon price; the idea being to keep the expensive cards out of the format and keeping it affordable for everyone. What this means that the decks played here often have little in common with competitive Standard decks as you won't see Thragtusk or shocklands you also won't see Delver of Secrets for the reasons of cost. Before we get into the week's matches let's go over the deck that I used.

Gutter Vengeance

 deck by darthbalmung

4 Augur of Bolas
4 Guttersnipe
8 cards

Other Spells
2 Flames of the Firebrand
4 Silent Departure
4 Syncopate
4 Think Twice
2 Desperate Ravings
1 Devil's Play
4 Searing Spear
2 Burning Vengeance
2 Geistflame
4 Dissipate
29 cards
11 Island
10 Mountain
2 Evolving Wilds
23 cards


 The reason why I decided to use this deck was because it seems like it has some decent match ups for decks that are heavily played and also because I thought it would be fun to play. While I don't have the greatest success with it I still had fun.


Deck Tech


Island Mountain Evolving Wilds

 Lands are what you expect, basics and Evolving Wilds for fixing. There aren't any duals that are legal in Heirloom and are for U/R. Wilds also has the marginal advantage of it can shuffle my deck after an Augur puts Guttersnipe/Burning Vengeance.

Win Conditions

Guttersnipe Burning Vengeance

The goal of this deck is to burn out my opponent by using Guttersnipe and Burning Vengeance. The reason for running both of these is that it makes harder responding to threats and makes the deck better. The reason is Burning Vengeance is harder to deal with but requires a more dedicated deck. Guttersnipe is squishy and doesn't give the opponent of attacking creatures but gives the possibility of more triggers. 


Geistflame Searing Spear Flames of the Firebrand Devil's Play 


Geistflame was selected over Pillar of Flame as the instant speed and flashback outweighs sorcery speed and exiling something if it dies. Searing Spear is the premier burn spell right now for good reason as its cheap enough and powerful enough to kill a decent amount of things. Flames of the Firebrand is for weenies and things with 2 toughness to get more value. I’m only running 1 Devil’s Play as I’ve found that any more is often problematic as I want to do other things with my mana and it often serves as a way to just finish off my opponent.


Card Draw

Think Twice Desperate Ravings Augur of Bolas 


Think Twice is just a solid card all around, cheap instant speed cantrip and the flashback gives me card advantage. Desperate Ravings is only a two of since I hate casting it if my hand if full of anything other than other cards with flashback or lands.  While Augur of Bolas isn’t card draw he can be card advantage with a nice body attached with the only real downside is that he’s rather bad to play turn 2 on the draw since if I grab anything with him then I have to discard. Also, there is a not insignificant chance that I have to put something good on the bottom of my library.



Syncopate Dissipate 


Syncopate and Dissipate are the only two counters in the main for the reason of they are universal counters and also have the added bonus of exiling if they’re successful. Exiling is important as Haunted Fengraf is a card that gets played a not insignificant amount as well as any problem cards with flashback. I’m also not a dedicated control deck so running Essence Scatter or Negate in the main deck dilutes my effectiveness as well as being really bad cards in certain matchups.




The sideboard is admittedly rough; this is partly due to the fact that answering specific things has a week delay since this is the only time where this format gets played and my own inexperience. Blasphemous Act is for aggro decks that rely upon creature quantity. Vandalblast is for Staff of Nin, Manor Gargoyle, and Witchbane Orb. Essence scatter and Negate is more refined counter magic. Pillar of Flame is when I need either more burn in general or more ability to exile things.


 The Event Itself

 Round 1: Mihahitlor with MBC




Round 1 was against Mihahitlor who was running his Mono Black Control deck. As game 1 shows the way that this deck wins is by just being able to answer all of their threats. This deck has inevitability on its side since while the MBC can easily deal with creatures, the only way that it can life back is through Vampire Nighthawk and while it is a strong creature its 3 toughness makes it easy to kill. He scooped it up eventually as it was clear that he wasn't going to win. When it comes to Sideboarding the most important thing is that Vandalblast is very necessary here as he is going to bring in Witchbane Orbs and Manor Gargoyles. I cut down on creatures in order to make room for more potential answers. As game 2 shows if this deck doesn't have enough answers in the early game then it gets beaten easily.  Game 3 I get luckier in my opening hand/early draws and its enough to just enough to get me the win.

Round 2: Jackfrost86 with Jund


Round 2 was up against jackfrost86 who was playing a Jund deck. Game 1 I was able to win by having 2 Guttersnipes and a Burning Vengeance out at the same time, which is going to make an opponent's life drop really fast. Game 2 I was having some mana issues which were only compounded by a ramped out Acidic Slime blowing up my Burning Vengeance. While I put a valiant effort in both games 2 and 3 the main issue is that my deck needs to win fast here as he can muster more threats than I have answers and him playing Acidic Slime and thus being able to blow up my Burning Vengeance means that my threats don't necessarily stick.

Round 3: UAHatch with Burning Vengeance


Round 3 was up against UAHatch who is playing a more dedicated Burning Vengeance deck and is a straight up control deck. This is a really bad match up since he has more counter magic then I do and a good number of cards are just bad or either unplayable against him. I also made two major misplays in this match: 1. I didn't process what Mystic Retrieval actually did and 2. I left Silent Departure in my deck after sideboarding. On the second point while I do know he is running Manor Gargoyie it is not worth keeping it around just to answer that.

As I'm sure this surprises no one, 1-2 finish in the Swiss portion meant that I wasn't going to make Top 4, which means that my time in this event came to end. I hope you found this entertaining, until next time.