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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Jul 11 2010 11:57pm
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I.  Introduction

Dogged HunterFangren HunterRazorfin HunterWitch Hunter
No, not these hunters!

 

After writing about Teneb last article, I decided to bring my Vorosh deck out of retirement.  This deck was another that I hadn't really updated for a while (this one since Morningtide), but I knew it was more powerful than my original version of Teneb.  As a matter of fact, I didn't even have to perform a major overhaul to bring this deck up to speed.  However, I did want to include some of the big goofy stuff that I hadn't really been able to play.  Vorosh gives you opportunities to play cards that you just wouldn't be able to in other colors.  Let's get on to the deck.

II.  The Deck:  Hunting for kills!

Let's take a look at our Commander:

Vorosh, the Hunter

Vorosh is kind of awesome.  He gets larger whenever you connect.  If you really wanted to, you could go with a counter/token theme.  As a matter of fact, I did start to put something together like this, and I may show it again at some point in the future.  But I really didn't want to go overboard with this theme, and the only card I included that was specific to Vorosh was Fireshrieker

Now, there is a fairly general, but very competitive type of Vorosh deck out there.  The main method of winning for this deck is through recursion of a Temporal Manipulation type of effect, usually through Eternal Witness getting bounced with something like Crystal Shard.  So you include a couple more ways to get multiple turns, with Time Stretch and similar cards.  The black is used for tutors, card draw and board control, using Decree of Pain and Damnation.  You can use Erratic Portal as a duplicate Crystal Shard effect.  Beacon of Unrest can bring back stuff you need as well.  The beatdown is provided by Vorosh himself.  But I didn't want to go that route.

Like I said, I had an older deck using this guy.  Let's take a look.

Vorosh, the Hunter
A Commander Deck
Creatures
1 Aeon Chronicler
1 Arcanis the Omnipotent
1 Avatar of Woe
1 Bane of the Living
1 Body Double
1 Deadwood Treefolk
1 Dread
1 Duplicant
1 Eternal Witness
1 Forgotten Ancient
1 Genesis
1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
1 Kagemaro, First to Suffer
1 Keiga, the Tide Star
1 Krosan Tusker
1 Lord of Extinction
1 Magus of the Future
1 Mindleech Mass
1 Mulldrifter
1 Mystic Snake
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Shadowmage Infiltrator
1 Shriekmaw
1 Simic Sky Swallower
1 Skeletal Vampire
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Trygon Predator
1 Vorosh, the Hunter
1 Vulturous Zombie
1 Wickerbough Elder
1 Woodfall Primus
31 cards

Other Spells
1 Coalition Relic
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Fireshrieker
1 Loxodon Warhammer
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Scroll Rack
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Mystic Remora
1 Necromancy
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Evacuation
1 Krosan Grip
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Putrefy
1 Barter in Blood
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Damnation
1 Decree of Pain
1 Diabolic Tutor
1 Explosive Vegetation
1 Farseek
1 Harmonize
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Life from the Loam
1 Primal Command
1 Scapeshift
1 Spitting Image
29 cards
 
Lands
1 Bad River
1 Barren Moor
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Dimir Aqueduct
1 Dreadship Reef
6 Forest
1 Golgari Rot Farm
5 Island
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Lonely Sandbar
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Rupture Spire
1 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
4 Swamp
1 Temple of the False God
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Underground River
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Grove
1 Vivid Marsh
1 Watery Grave
1 Yavimaya Coast
40 cards

 
vulturous zombie

 

Although this deck hasn't been updated since Lorwyn block, it's still actually pretty good.  You can take this right now and win some games with it.  However, what I really wanted to do was increase the fun factor of the deck and update it a little.  There aren't going to be a ton of changes, but there are some. 

Vorosh, the Hunter
A Commander Deck - New and Improved!

Creatures
1 Aeon Chronicler
1 Arcanis the Omnipotent
1 Avatar of Woe
1 Bane of the Living
1 Deadwood Treefolk
1 Dread
1 Duplicant
1 Eternal Witness
1 Genesis
1 Gilded Drake
1 Graveborn Muse
1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
1 Keiga, the Tide Star
1 Lord of Extinction
1 Mindleech Mass
1 Mulldrifter
1 Nezumi Graverobber
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Shriekmaw
1 Simic Sky Swallower
1 Skeletal Vampire
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Thada Adel, Acquisitor
1 Trygon Predator
1 Vigor
1 Vorosh, the Hunter
1 Vulturous Zombie
1 Wickerbough Elder
1 Woodfall Primus
1 Wrexial, the Risen Deep
29 cards

Other Spells
1 Coalition Relic
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Fireshrieker
1 Loxodon Warhammer
1 Mind's Eye
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Strip Mine
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Future Sight
1 Mystic Remora
1 Pestilence
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Evacuation
1 Krosan Grip
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Putrefy
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Bribery
1 Damnation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Explosive Vegetation
1 Farseek
1 Harmonize
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Life from the Loam
1 Primal Command
1 Recurring Insight
1 Rite Of Replication
1 Scapeshift
1 Spitting Image
33 cards
 

Lands
1 Barren Moor
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Dimir Aqueduct
5 Forest
1 Golgari Rot Farm
3 Island
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Lonely Sandbar
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Rupture Spire
1 Shizo, Death's Storehouse
1 Simic Growth Chamber
3 Swamp
1 Temple of the False God
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Underground River
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Grove
1 Vivid Marsh
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Watery Grave
1 Yavimaya Coast
37 cards

 
Lord of Extinction

 

I'll be honest, I'm not sure that I made the deck better, but I really wanted to play with some of these cards.  I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out what the updates are.  I know I was bad by reducing the land count from 40 to 39, so sue me.

Card Draw
Aeon Chronicler
Arcanis the OmnipotentAeon ChroniclerGraveborn MuseMulldrifterFuture SightMystic RemoraPhyrexian ArenaStroke of GeniusRecurring InsightMind's Eye
Arcanis the Omnipotent, Aeon Chronicler, Graveborn Muse, Mulldrifter, Future Sight, Mystic Remora, Phyrexian Arena, Stroke of Genius, Recurring Insight, Mind's Eye:  A good amount of card draw provided by blue.  I like the blue creatures that provide some card draw, as they bring either large amounts of draw or a beefy body.  Mystic Remora is underplayed, I think, as typically people don't pay the cost to keep you from drawing, unlike Rhystic StudyStroke of Genius has the benefit of being an Instant, which is awesome when you have Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth out.
Mana Help
Oracle of Mul Daya
Coalition RelicDarksteel IngotFellwar StoneSolemn SimulacrumOracle of Mul DayaExplosive VegetationFarseekKodama's ReachLife from the LoamScapeshift
Coalition Relic, Darksteel Ingot, Fellwar Stone, Solemn Simulacrum, Oracle of Mul Daya, Explosive Vegetation, Farseek, Kodama's Reach, Life from the Loam, Scapeshift:  This is pretty basic stuff.  Some land search and mana artifacts help with acceleration.  The stand outs here are Life from the Loam and Scapeshift.  Loam gets back your cycled lands and fetch lands, as well as any lands that get destroyed.  Scapeshift typically searches up Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers, as well as any other help you need.  Oracle of Mul Daya is good enough that I will need a really good reason not to include it in any future green deck I make.
Mass Destruction
Pestilence
Bane of the LivingDamnationPestilenceOblivion StoneEvacuation
Bane of the Living, Damnation, Pestilence, Oblivion Stone, EvacuationBane of the Living is cool because you can recur it with GenesisPestilence is in here to combo with Vigor.  I put Evacuation in here because it generally works as an instant speed Wrath of God.  Other cards up for consideration are Decree of Pain, which was in the original deck, and All is Dust.   It's always good to have a way to reset the board.  Evacuation is great because you can use it at instant speed.
Removal
Krosan Grip
DuplicantShriekmawTrygon PredatorWickerbough ElderWoodfall PrimusKrosan GripPutrefy
Duplicant, Shriekmaw, Trygon Predator, Wickerbough Elder, Woodfall Primus, Krosan Grip, Putrefy:  Pretty much your standard set of removal, with a heavy emphasis on creatures.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  However, Trygon Predator is pretty cool, as all you need is to hit someone to take out something on the board.  And there is usually someone out there you can hit. 
Recursion
Genesis
Nezumi GraverobberInk-Eyes, Servant of OniEternal WitnessGenesisDeadwood TreefolkBeacon of Unrest
Nezumi Graverobber, Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni, Eternal Witness, Genesis, Deadwood Treefolk, Beacon of Unrest:  It's always nice to get some of your creatures back for another round in the fight.  Nezumi Graverobber doubles as graveyard hate.  Beacon of Unrest can also return artifacts to play.  My unsung hero is Deadwood Treefolk.  That guy just works.  Eternal Witness and Genesis are green recursion staples.
Theft
Bribery
Gilded DrakeKeiga, the Tide StarBriberyThada Adel, AcquisitorWrexial, the Risen DeepMindleech Mass
Gilded Drake, Keiga, the Tide Star, Bribery, Thada Adel, Acquisitor, Wrexial, the Risen Deep, Mindleech Mass:  Obviously your opponents are going to be playing some good stuff, so you might as well use their stuff against them.  As I've said before, every deck with blue should use Bribery, so that you can use your opponents' Eldrazi against them.  Everyone plays artifacts, so Thada Adel can always get something.  Mindleech Mass is pretty fun and can get some good stuff out of people's hands when he hits.  And the landwalk abilities of Wrexial are great.
Beaters
Lord of Extinction
Vulturous ZombieLord of ExtinctionWrexial, the Risen DeepMindleech MassSimic Sky SwallowerSkeletal VampireDreadVigor
Vulturous Zombie, Lord of Extinction, Wrexial, the Risen Deep, Mindleech Mass, Simic Sky Swallower, Skeletal Vampire, Dread, Vigor:  Everyone likes large dudes, and each of these brings a little something extra to the table.   Vigor goes well with PestilenceSimic Sky Swallower is just a beast that is hard to deal with, with multiple abilities that are all useful.

There aren't really a whole lot of combos in the deck.  It's just a fun deck that has a lot of stuff that I like and haven't really played yet.  There are no real tips or tricks to it.  It's just beatdown with card advantage.  The correct plays are usually pretty easy to figure out.  The deck has some defense, some offense, recursion, removal, and ways to reset the board.  It can produce big mana, make some tokens, and just beat down.  It's fun.

Now, there's nothing wrong with the other type of Vorosh deck that I mentioned.  As a matter of fact, just by adding the cards I talked about and a couple more tutors, you can turn this deck into an extreme killer.  However, I like the goofier side of the game, and you can pull off some wins with this guy as is. 

III.  The Game:  Fight!

This isn't the best game I played using this deck.  However, what I wanted to show you guys is a look at threat assessment.  I basically had a chance to win, but I didn't correctly assess who the biggest threat was.  Instead, I ended up playing more emotionally and it cost me the game.  Let's take a look at the opponents for this game.

ThraximundarGrand Arbiter Augustin IVLinvala, Keeper of Silence
 
As we know by now, Thraximundar is usually Grixis control, but everyone has their own spin on him.  GAIV is typically a griefer type of deck, punishing you in various different ways.  Unfortunately I don't realize just how much of a threat this type of player is until it was too late.  This is my first game playing against a Linvala deck, so I am curious about what I am going to see.  Each of these Commanders can be threatening, but Linvala was the unknown quantity for me. Thraximundar wins the roll.  Here is my opening hand:
 
 
Not the best hand in the world, but it does have 3 lands.  I decide to keep.  The Linvala player mulligans to 6.  As usual, T = Thraximundar, G = Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, and L = Linvala, Keeper of Silence.
 
Round 1
T: Creeping Tar Pit.
Me: Draw Garruk Wildspeaker, play Llanowar Wastes.
G: Plains, Land Tax.
L: Plains.
 
Round 2
T: Swamp, Stromgald Crusader.
Me: Draw Forest, play Forest.
G: Uses Land Tax to get a Plains and two Islands. Plays Island, Marble Diamond. Discards Plains to get to 7.
L: Plains, Wall of Omens.
 
Round 3
T: Badlands, Taurean Mauler
 
Taurean Mauler
A great early game play.
 
Attacks G with the Knight (38).
Me: Draw Fireshrieker, play Forest.
G: Doesn’t use Tax. Plays Island.
L: Plains.
 
Round 4
T: Swamp.  
Me: Draw Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni. Play Miren, the Moaning Well, the Garruk Wildspeaker. Make a Beast token with Garruk.
G: Uses Tax to get an Island and two Plains. Plays Island. Discards three basics at the end of turn to get to 7.
L: Kjeldoran Outpost, then makes a Soldier token.
 
Round 5
T: Island. Animates Creeping Tar Pit. Gives the Knight flying. Attacks Garruk with the Knight, and G with Tar Pit and Mauler. G Condemn’s the Mauler,
 
 
making T go up to (44). Garruk dies, and G goes to (35)
Me: Draw Farseek. Play Farseek for Watery Grave. Attack T with my Beast (41).
G: Plains. Casts Tunnel Vision targeting T, naming Taurean Mauler
 
 
Brutal.
 
This should have been a clue about who was the biggest threat in this game.  G is playing a deck that makes it harder for you to cast stuff, and basically uses a two card combo to get rid of an opponent in the first few turns of the game.
L: Attacks G with his Soldier (34). 
 
Round 6
T: Draws the only card in his library, Taurean Mauler.  Plays Swamp. Profane Command, killing my Beast and hitting G for 4 dropping him to (30). Then attacks G with the Knight (28).
Me: Draw Island and play it. Cast Mulldrifter, drawing Damnation and Genesis.
G: Uses Land Tax to get 3 Islands. Transmutes Tolaria West for Reliquary Tower and plays it.
L: Attacks G with the Soldier (27). Casts Luminarch Ascension.  That gives me the uh-oh feeling.  The Ascension is a pretty good threat, so something usually has to be done about it pretty quick.  The Ascension is actually what throws me off here.
 
Round 7
T: Loses because he has no library. Ascension gets 1 counter.
Me: Draw Dimir Aqueduct. Attack L with Mulldrifter (38) so that Ascension can’t get a counter. Play Vorosh, then the Aqueduct, bouncing Miren, the Moaning Well. At the end of my turn I discard Genesis to get to 7 cards.
G: Halimar Depths, then Reveillark. Doesn’t have anything is his graveyard to be worried about yet. Ascension gets a second counter.
 
 
L: Plains, then Aurification.
 
Aurification
A "don't touch me" card.
 
 
So basically L has played 2 pretty powerful enchantments.  One, however, is purely defensive.  I should have taken this into account, but I didn't.  What would you guys have done in this situation?.
 
Round 8
Me: Draw Scapeshift. Play Miren, then Fireshrieker, and attach it to Vorosh. Aurification is really, really annoying, and the best way I can think of to get rid of it is to kill it's owner.  I attack L with Vorosh. After his first strike I pump him, hitting L for a total of 18 Commander damage (20). Vorosh gets 2 Aurification counters.  If I'd thought about it more, I could have just attacked G with Vorosh and L with Mulldrifter.
G: Island, then evokes Nevermaker, putting the Luminarch Ascension on the top of L’s library. A good play, and give his Lark a target in the graveyard.  Attacks L with Reveillark (16), which get an Aurification counter. 
L: Casts Kor Cartographer. In response, G drops Aven Mindcensor. This is another clue as to who the biggest threat is, as he's willing to keep someone from searching for a basic land.  As a result, L can’t find a Plains.  So we have L with Aurification put out in an attempt to get an active Luminarch Ascension, and we have G who used a two card combo to eliminate a player early then prevented another player for searching for a basic land.  Which one is the bigger threat?
 
Round 9
Me: Draw Avatar of Woe. Attack L with Mulldrifter (14), which gets an Aurification counter. I then cast Scapeshift, sacrificing a Forest and Llanowar Wastes and forgetting that Aven Mindcensor is in play. Luckily, I am able to pull Temple of the False God and Reliquary Tower. I then cast Damnation. G gets back Nevermaker and Aven Mindcensor due to Reveillark, but I'm fine with that at the moment.  I should have been more worried.
G: Island. Casts Grand Arbiter Augustin IV. Attacks L with Mindcensor and Nevermaker (10), both getting Aurification counters.
L: Plains, then Linvala, Keeper of Silence.
 
 
Round 10
Me: Draw Coalition Relic. Play Deadwood Treefolk, getting Mulldrifter back to hand. Equip the Treefolk with Fireshrieker.
G: Plays Island. Breath of Life, targeting Reveillark.  Uh-oh again. 
L: Luminarch Ascension.  Not as worried about it this time, but it's still annoying.
 
Round 11
Me: Draw Spitting Image. I attack L with the Treefolk, again unnecessarily worried about the Ascension. L blocks with Linvala.  I then cast Keiga, the Tide Star. Ascension gets a counter, but it won’t matter.
G: Plays Journeyer's Kite. Uses it to get and play a Plains. Attacks L with Reveillark and GA (4), both getting Aurification counters. 
L: Day of JudgmentNevermaker going to the graveyard makes Ascension go to the top of L’s library. I return Keiga back to my hand with the death of Deadwood TreefolkReveillark returns Aven Mindcensor and Nevermaker for G. 
 
Round 12
Me: Draw Minamo, School at Water's Edge and play it. Play Coalition Relic, then suspend Aeon Chronicler with 3 counters.
G: Recurring Insight, drawing 5 cards. Attacks L with Aven Mindcensor and Nevermaker, taking him out.
 
Round 13
Me: Draw Trygon Predator and Tranquil Thicket. Play Keiga, equip Fireshrieker, and cycle Tranquil Thicket, drawing Island. G casts Path to Exile on Keiga, and I search up nothing because of Mindcensor. 
G: Recurring Insight rebounds, and he draws 6. He now has 15 cards in hand, which is obviously really bad for me. Plays Vesuva, copying Temple of the False God. Then casts Eldrazi Conscription, targeting Nevermaker.
 
 
Attacks me with Mindcensor and Nevermaker. I sac Fireshrieker and Coalition Relic to the Eldrazi, and drop to (26).
 
Round 14
Me: Draw 2 Swamps. Play Island, Trygon Predator and Mulldrifter. Draw Vulturous Zombie and Forest. 
G: Enclave Cryptologist, and levels it up 3 times. Attacks with Nevermaker, and I sac Mulldrifter and an Island, hoping that Trygon Predator will live. I drop to (14).
 
Eldrazi Conscription
Makes any little dude a true beast.
 
 
Round 15
Me: Draw Harmonize and Mystical TutorAeon Chronicler comes into play. I attack with Trygon Predator and the Chronicler, but the Predator gets hit with Pongify. That’s too bad. G then casts Wing Shards, and I sac the Chronicler. I could have sac’d it to Miren, but forgot. Play Forest, then Harmonize, drawing chaff. G takes me out the next turn.
 

IV.  Conclusion

So let's look at what the two opponents did:

L:  Plays a semi-threatening general, Luminarch Ascension, and Aurification to keep you from hurting him.
G:  Plays a punishing general, takes out an opponent in the 5th turn with a two card combo, recurs Reveillark, uses Aven Mindcensor to keep people from searching their libraries, then draws a bunch of cards and is able to keep them in hand.
 

After the fact, we know which is the bigger threat, but in game things are a little different.  If anything, this shows that you should take a better look at your opponents and the threats that they play.  Purely defensive cards are annoying, but they aren't the end of the world.  You can always play around them.  The worry is that they give their controller time to set up and do something horrible in the future.  Luminarch Ascension is nothing to laugh at.

In addition, Eldrazi Conscription is actually really good.  For 8 mana, you give your critter and extra 10 power plus trample!  That's huge.  The Annihilator is just icing on the cake.  I may consider using it in future decks.

On top of the Time Walk effects, other things you can consider some other cards such as Pestilence Demon and Tooth and Nail to go with your Vigor, Mephidross Vampire and Triskelion, and MortivorePuppeteer Clique is another card that I wanted to fit in here.  Actually, all of these can probably go in a Golgari deck, so you will probably be seeing them in the future some point.

So I hope you guys can use this game to better assess threats, and it gives you a better idea about what to look for.  Obviously threats can change as the game state changes, but you should also take a look at the long game as well.  Until next time!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO

2 Comments

I love the deck and think it by burn3000 at Mon, 07/12/2010 - 14:54
burn3000's picture

I love the deck and think it has a lot of potential. Could use a time warp at least to try to hit the vorosh win with dmg, and even rystic study in addition to the other draw. It has a lot of similarities to your old deck, and I think it can take great advantage of some of the new m11 cards as well.

he cries by laughinman at Mon, 07/12/2010 - 18:22
laughinman's picture

because you didn't include him
Fungal Shambler

the only other GBU creature in existance.