Leviathan's picture
By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
May 03 2013 12:06pm
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The Deck:


Deck Tech:

This deck should have been better, but it just couldn't put up a win.  And I tried a bunch.  The big problem was that I felt like I wasn't doing anything powerful or strong.  And that can be an issue when facing off against some of the bigger boppers out here.  Despite having a decent amount of removal, without card draw to fill my hand I felt like I was bringing a knife to a gun fight in every game I played.

Some underperformers include Alliance of Arms (giving everybody dudes without providing evasion doesn't work well), Death Mutation (overcosted for what it does), Hex (requires too many targets), Tribute to the Wild (doesn't get rid of the problems cards that you want it to), Nemesis Trap (works ok sometimes, other times it's just way overcosted), Soul Snare (the creature has to be attacking you, which is a serious restriction), Monk Realist, Deadly Recluse, Aquastrand Spider, Celestial Force, Chorus of the Conclave, Spike Feeder, Penumbra Spider (all just bad or overcosted).

Additional card draw could be helpful.  Mentor of the Meek and Fecundity both seem like they'd be good fits.  If you push the token theme harder you could even run stuff like Slate of Ancestry or Collective Unconscious.

The deck could use something to make bigger dudes, such as Cathars' Crusade or Juniper Order Ranger, or even Beastmaster AscensionTwilight Drover isn't bad either.  Black gives you options for tutors, such as Demonic Tutor and Diabolic Tutor, and destruction, like Decree of Pain and Maelstrom Pulse.  Really, the deck just needs to feel more powerful.  One of the biggest problems with Ghave is that it's real easy to break him.  You could use Geralf's Messenger with a sac outlet to ping people to death, or do something similar with Woodfall PrimusSadistic Hypnotist to make people dump their hands with a bunch of tokens.  If you want to go more controlling you can always add Grave PactMartyr's Bond and planeswalkers.  It could also use a board wipe or two, like Damnation or Oblivion Stone.  Really it just depends on what kind of player you are.

Game 1:

This game was interesting until the end.  The Xiahou Dun player immediately hit the Riku player with two discard spells, Hymn to Tourach and Wrench Mind, then tutored up Cabal Coffers to get an early lead on mana.  However, when the Jenara player played Enchanted Evening I knew we were in trouble.

Eventually the Riku player got a Consecrated Sphinx out, and it became a game of Cloneing it and reanimating it while I kept trying to kill it with Shriekmaw and Dark Hatchling.  While that was going on, the Jenara player quietly got Aura Shards into play, followed it up with Mirari's Wake, then a pretty big Genesis Wave.  After knocking out most of the non-land permanents with the creatures she put into play, she Tooth and Nailed for Avenger of Zendikar and Avacyn, Angel of Hope, wiping the board of all permanents that weren't hers.  The game ended quickly after that.

Game 2

Ok, so people that have seen tuned Bruna decks know that she is the most powerful Commander at the table and the Krenko player obviously shares my sentiments.  As Krenko and I pick away at Bruna's life total, Bruna stalls out on lands.  However, she does get 2 Rhystic Study's into play (with Copy Enchantment) and when the Krenko player and Grimgrin player decide not to play the tax several times she's able to get Hakim, Loreweaver into her graveyard, resurrect Hakim and Umbra Mystic with Reveillark, put Celestial Mantle onto Hakim and start recovering her life total.  In addition she plays Moat, effectively stopping the armies of her 3 opponents.

Eventually the Bruna player plays Aura Thief and Wrath of God, stealing Krenko's Goblin Bombardment (which he had been using to try and keep Bruna's army in check since he was still able to make dudes) and Grimgin's Rhystic Study and Endless Ranks of the Dead, among others.  This caused both Krenko and Grimgrin to concede.  My only defense after that was a Squallmonger, but Bruna played a Sword of Feast and Famine, which would shut down the Monger.  Although I had a decent amount of mana and was able to kill Hakim once (reanimated with Resurrection I think) and Bruna once as she tried to equip the Sword, I eventually ran out of mana, and she stomped all over me.  I never drew an answer to the Moat either, and would have needed more than one with Greater Auramancy out.

Game 3

This game could have not completely spun out of control if I hadn't screwed up early. The Phelddagrif deck was a Group Hug deck with a little bit of pillow fort, as I saw Norn's Annex.  The Hippo also played an early Heartbeat of Spring, Helm of Awakening and Shizuko, Caller of Autumn, ramping everyone up quick.  Lazav did a little bit of milling, while Kemba played a bunch of equipment.  I got Celestial Force out, along with Ghave and Awakening Zone, to gain some life and make some tokens.

What really made the game go nuts was when Phelddagrif played Hive Mind along with a Heartwood Storyteller which got copied.  People drew a crap ton of cards, and all hell broke loose.  The creatures would get killed, but Phelddagrif had a Lifeline in play and things would come back.  You have to watch the video, I can't describe everything.  I actually drew into Mortify and forgot that I could stop the madness by blowing up Hive Mind.  And when I finally used it, no one used their copy to kill the Hive Mind either. 

Eventually I got a hand of almost 20 cards when the Lazav player played Windfall.  Since Hive Mind was still in play, everyone drew the rest of their decks, and the game ended in a draw.

So yeah.  The deck just doesn't do powerful things.  Sure, it has a decent amount of pinpoint removal.  But it needs draw, ways to make more tokens, and ways to pump those tokens up.  In addition to some more removal.  It's really easy to break Ghave, so if you want to do that feel free.  It's probably more difficult not to break Ghave, and I think that would be more of a challenge.

Hope you liked this review.  Next week I'm going to cover the Heavenly Inferno deck.  I'm thinking of skipping Political Puppets, because it is freaking horrible.  Really, really bad.  If anyone thinks I should cover it anyway, let me know.

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com



Posting here too so I can by Doctor Anime at Mon, 05/06/2013 - 11:33
Doctor Anime's picture

Posting here too so I can rate. Also to reaffirm that Political Puppets is stronger than you'd think, so long as you get lucky with its terrible manabase.

Heh, well I'm basing my by Leviathan at Mon, 05/06/2013 - 16:00
Leviathan's picture

Heh, well I'm basing my opinion on the fact that it was the only precon I bought and tried to play when they first came out, and I didn't have much luck with it. Of course, my opinion may be changed now after having played with the others. I'll give it the old college try, as the saying goes. Heavenly Inferno is up next tho.

Cool, because I ended up by The D.K. at Mon, 05/06/2013 - 18:44
The D.K.'s picture

Cool, because I ended up getting both Political Puppets and Devour for Power in a special deal Walmart had (it included an Archenemy deck and a New Phyrexia deck as well, but it was only the cards, no cases, no oversized commanders... Still happy for thirty bucks though). I tried both decks and preferred Political Puppets. Not a bad group hug and it is actually a nice shell to work with.