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By: Lord Erman, Nafiz Erman
May 04 2010 12:33am
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ROGUE PLAY
The Final Curtain

by Nafiz Erman

Hello dear readers. The past two weeks I did my Rise of the Eldrazi set reviews in this and this article, and talked about the new cards. In those two articles what I did was a more theoretical look at the cards. When talking about them I said things like "this is a great card and will see a lot of play" or "this is a nice card but will only see a limited amount of play". And now in this article, I will try to speculate which cards can be used in which decks. This will be another theory article but this time I will be using the cards in actual decklists rather than trying to evaluate them in vacuum.

My format for this article is ZEN Block. I like ZEN Block because this format is the basis of a future Standard where there is no Shards of Alara block. And therefore I believe that this format is very important. Those Tier-1 decks of ZEN Block will most probably be the Tier-1 decks of Standard in a few months. This is the reason why I think understanding this format is crucial.

Of course to be able to talk about the future, first we must have a decent knowledge of the past and present. And therefore I did a quick research. I looked at the recent ten ZEN Block tournaments and examined all the decks that went 4-0 and 3-1. There were exactly hundred decks and here are the numbers that you may find interesting:

 Vampires - 27 decks
Control - 24 decks
 Good Stuff - 14 decks
 Boros Aggro - 13 decks
Various Allies lists  - 9 decks
 Valakut - 5 decks
Others - 8 decks (this includes some Eldrazi Green, Kor Aggro, Control etc...)
 

A total of hundred decks.

Actually I don't think that these number surprise anyone. Vampires and  Control are the big contenders as usual. Then comes a rather new deck which I personally like a lot (more on it later). Looking at the above table I can also see that Boros and Allies decks also see some significant amount of play. Valakut unfortunately died after Tectonic Edge. Especially  Control decks play both Tectonic Edge and Spreading Seas and it's really hard if not impossible to have success with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle these days. 

And these were all the important decks we saw before Rise of the Eldrazi. The online release of the new set is only days away and therefore I believe it is now the perfect time to talk about the new post Rise of the Eldrazi ZEN Block meta. What will happen to those old decks? Will they survive? And which new decks will we see in the very near future?

In this article I will try to answer all those questions as much as I can dear readers. 

Actually I never knew I had a Timmy in me. I say this because I strangely feel an urge to play the Eldrazi fatties so badly! I never found fat creatures interesting but apparently the Eldrazi are an exception; that 12/12 monster for being the main exception.

Two weeks ago in my first part of the Rise of the Eldrazi set review, I talked about the Eldrazi and even gave you a rough deck sketch of an Eldrazi deck. Since then I am mainly thinking about that deck and even played a few paper games with proxies. There I saw that some of the cards I spoke highly weren't that impressive in action whereas some cards I didn't even take seriously performed above all my expectations.

First I want to share with you the final version of the deck and then we'll talk.

All is Green v.2 A ZEN Block deck by Nafiz Erman

24 Lands

4x Verdant Catacombs
4x Eldrazi Temple
3x Khalni Garden
2x Eye of Ugin
9x Forest
2x Swamp

12 Creatures

4x Kozilek's Predator
4x Nest Invader
2x Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1x Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1x Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

24 Other Spells

4x All is Dust
4x Explore
4x Expedition Map
4x Ancient Stirrings
4x Growth Spasm
3x Consuming Vapors
1x Dreamstone Hedron

15 Cards Sideboard

4x Tajuru Preserver
3x Tectonic Edge
2x Gravitiy Well
2x Pelakka Wurm
2x Rampaging Baloths
2x Naturalize
 

So what has changed? First of all I cut Mul Daya Channelers. That's a very good card on its own but I saw that this was not the deck to use it. I realized that the top of my library was mainly sorceries. And besides it wasn't very wise to use it in a deck with All is Dust.

Then I discovered two cards; Ancient Stirrings and Growth Spasm. Ancient Stirrings is incredibly efficient in this deck as my deck is full with colorless cards (let me remind you that lands are also colorless). It gives me my Eldrazi lands, it gives me my All is Dust or it gives me my Eldrazi themselves. But in all cases it gives me something I need.

Growth Spasm is also a simple yet very useful card. I cannot believe that I didn't mention this one in my Rise of the Eldrazi set review. It's basically the modern Kodama's Reach.

Then my (limited but very useful) testing showed me something else: Fast decks were a big problem. A timely All is Dust was solving all my problems but I wasn't always drawing it when needed. And this big problem I solved with Consuming Vapors. To be able to play it, I added two Swamps to the deck and with the amount of land fetching cards, I had no problems getting it out on time.

And finally I also added the new Grizzly Bears called Nest Invader to the deck. It's main purpose is to chump block but the 0/1 Spawn token is why it's in the deck. It buys time and helps me mana ramp; perfect!

Then came the lands. I cut my Eye of Ugin count to two. Four was really an overkill. With Expedition Map and Ancient Stirrings, it's very easy to get one out on time.

The sideboard is still under construction. I tested against vampires last weekend and against them Pelakka Wurm was really very useful. The rest is a bit theory at the moment. Obviously I will need Tajuru Preserver in mirror games but the other cards can change any minute.

This above is actually only one way to play the Eldrazi. Actually there is another way which I really do like and played a lot since the release of Zendikar. What am I talking about, you ask? Of course I'm talking about the deck we know as Eldrazi Green!

Eldrazi Monument Nissa Revane

This duo is the backbone of that strategy since the beginning. But the new set gave it many other new ones; most of us just didn't recognize them because we were too busy with the big and powerful Eldrazi cards.

First and foremost we now have a new "fodder producer" for our Eldrazi Monument; we have Awakening Zone. It can't be used together with All is Dust but in a deck without All is Dust, Awakening Zone becomes a superstar.

The second big addition to the Block version of this deck is Joraga Treespeaker. One of the reasons why the Standard version of this deck was successful was the number of mana creatures it had. We simply didn't have that many mana creatures in Block and no, Arbor Elf on his own wasn't enough. But now we have this fine lady. We have Joraga Treespeaker.

The other big additions to the deck are clearly Vengevine, Mul Daya Channelers and Momentous Fall. Vengevine is a self-explanatory card but Momentous Fall might look suspicious to you at first. After all we mostly have tiny Elves in the deck. But that's not true of course. We have Mul Daya Channelers, we have Vengenive and we already had Leatherback Baloth in the deck. So yes, there are enough juicy targets for Momentous Fall.

And considering all those things, here's the deck I have in mind for the next generation of Eldrazi Green.

Eldrazi Green A ZEN Block deck by Nafiz Erman

22 Lands

4x Verdant Catacombs
3x Tectonic Edge
3x Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
12x Forest

25 Creatures

4x Arbor Elf
4x Joraga Treespeaker
4x Nissa's Chosen
4x Mul Daya Channelers
4x Vengevine
3x Leatherback Baloth
2x Joraga Warcaller
 

13 Other Spells

4x Nissa Revane
3x Awakening Zone
3x Eldrazi Monument
3x Momentous Fall

15 Cards Sideboard

Yet to be decided.

This is indeed a very nice deck. Early turns you mana ramp with you elves and with your Awakening Zone. Then you start bringing in your beaters (Vengevine, Mul Daya Channelers and Leatherback Baloth), your Nissa Revane and finally your Eldrazi Monument. In the meantime Momentous Fall targeting either your Vengevine or Leatherback Baloth or Mul Daya Channelers fills your hand and gains you lots of life.

By the way a few words about Mul Daya Channelers: My Eldrazi deck was indeed a wrong deck for this fine creature. But this is exactly the one you'd like to play it in. She's a 5/5 for most of the time and when she isn't, she assumes the role of Fyndhorn Elder which is also very crucial for this deck.

And a final note: Maybe testing will reveal that three Awakening Zones are not needed. If so, then I would add one more Eldrazi Monument to the deck.

So yes, I expect to see a lot of Eldrazi Green in the coming days. I would still prefer playing All is Dust but this is also a fine way of enjoying Mono Green.

Next I will look at the good old vampires.dec. It was the most played deck before the new set and let's see how it will look like after it.

I examined many versions closely and saw that the widely used formula for a vampires.dec is this:

24x Lands
24x Creatures
12x Other Spells

Now let's see what Rise of the Eldrazi offers to each of those parts.

Actually it offers nothing to the first "Lands" part. Between Verdant Catacombs, Marsh Flats, Tectonic Edge and Swamps (obviously), there is no place for another land; especially not for something like Evolving Wilds.

So the original list of lands of the vampires.dec will stay as it is.

Okay what about the creatures part then? There are actually two creatures that we can use in our next level of vampires.dec; one is Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief and the other is Guul Draz Assassin. I cannot decide about the assassin but Drana is a must. But she's a legendary creature and that fact prevents us from using four copies of her.

For the other spells part the most important addition is Inquisition of Kozilek which will automatically replace Mire's Toll. Vendetta surely is perfect but it's useless against other vampires decks and therefore we will add it to our sideboard. Our sideboard will also contain Consuming Vapors and we will bring it in against  Control only. Consume the Meek is useless because it costs a ton to cast. Marsh Casualties has almost the same effect and it can also be played for to wipe out some Steppe Lynxes, Plated Geopedes and Cunning Sparkmages.

Considering all those things, here's my suggestion for a post Rise of the Eldrazi vampire deck.

Vampires A ZEN Block deck by Nafiz Erman

24 Lands

3x Verdant Catacombs
3x Marsh Flats
3x Tectonic Edge
15x Swamp

24 Creatures

4x Vampire Nighthawk
4x Gatekeeper of Malakir
4x Vampire Hexmage
4x Bloodghast
3x Kalastria Highborn
3x Malakir Bloodwitch
2x Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief

12 Other Spells

3x Inquision of Kozilek
3x Urge to Feed
2x Grim Discovery
2x Smother
2x Quest for the Gravelord

15 Cards Sideboard

3x Vendetta
3x Bloodhusk Ritualist
2x Marsh Casualties
2x Consuming Vapors
1x Sorin Markov
1x Malakir Bloodwitch
1x Tectonic Edge
1x Smother
1x Grim Discovery
 

This list definately looks very nice. The only thing I need to test is the fourth Inquision of Kozilek. I have to see if I need it or not. If yes, then I will add one more to the sideboard and reduce my Bloodhusk Ritualist count to two.

Okay let's move forward and talk about ZEN Block's big bad boy a bit; I'm talking about  Control of course. Rise of the Eldrazi gave White an incredible amount of good cards and one doesn't have to be Einstein to guess that this Control deck will be the deck to beat in the coming days.

Actually building the optimal deck is very hard considering how many good options there are. And those options create also many different ways for building this deck. You can play a more aggressive version with Emeria Angels and Calcite Snappers backed up by some Dispels, or you can even play a creatureless version with tons of removal, bounce, counters and then win with Gideon Jura.

But I think I will prefer a "mild" version. Emeria Angel is surely a nice creature for mid game but I don't want to invest in creatures too much; nor do I want to invest in cards that protect my creatures. And playing with only one Iona, Shield of Emeria or even zero creatures is very boring and time consuming in the same time.

So yes, a mild version it is then. And what do I mean by mild by the way? Actually this is exactly what I mean:

Control A ZEN Block deck by Nafiz Erman

26 Lands

4x Celestial Colonnade
4x Sejiri Refuge
3x Halimar Depths
3x Tectonic Edge
2x Marsh Flats
2x Misty Rainforest
4x Island
4x Plains
 

7 Creatures

4x Wall of Omens
3x Sphinx of Lost Truths

27 Other Spells

4x Day of Judgment
3x Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3x Cancel
3x Journey to Nowhere
3x Everflowing Chalice
2x Oust
2x Deprive
2x See Beyond
2x Treasure Hunt
2x Gideon Jura
1x Dispel
 

15 Cards Sideboard

Yet to be decided.

This was what I meant with mild. I have here seven creatures but one is a wall and the other is there mainly for card drawing purposes. Then I have six counterspells; not too many but not too few either. I haven't decided about the sideboard yet but it may contain a few more counterspells as well (probably Spell Pierce).

My removal package is as strong as it never was. I have the good old Journey to Nowhere and Day of Judgment, I have Oust and I also have Gideon Jura. The only card I wanted to add but couldn't is Into the Roil. That is a very important card especially against opposing Gideon Juras and Jaces, and therefore I need to make room for it somehow.

My card drawing engines are also very impressive. Sphinx of Lost Truths and Jace, the Mind Sculptor are no new things. I only lowered the number of Treasure Hunt in the original decklist and added two See Beyond. Of course testing will show which is better than the other and how many copies I need of which one.

But this decklist, even though an untested theory list, looks nice to me. I will start with this and time will tell where my  Control deck will go from here.

The next deck I want to talk about is a very fast and aggressive deck and no, it isn't the Boros one. I want to take a look at  Aggro and see whether or not it is possible to play in Block.

Actually I know how effective Boros Aggro can be. I am fully aware of the power level of Plated Geopede and Goblin Guide. I am also aware how awesome those burn spells can be. But I am also aware of the mana problems of that deck. The only real mana fixer is Arid Mesa and I don't think four copies are enough. I don't want to experience things like having a Goblin Guide in my opener with no Mountains but only Plains'. Therefore I will stick to one color only.

Oh that, and I also want to play Student of Warfare without any problems.

Somewhere above I said that since two weeks I'm mainly thinking about my mono Green Eldrazi deck. This is true of course but the key word there is "mainly". There is a second deck I'm working on and that is a  Aggro deck. I'm truly in love with Student of Warfare and from the moment I saw her, I knew that I wanted to play her. And so I started building a deck around her. It obviously started as a Boros deck and it obviously became a mono color deck.

And long story short, here's the version I ended up with.

Mono White Aggro A ZEN Block deck by Nafiz Erman

22 Lands

4x Marsh Flats
4x Arid Mesa
1x Emeria, the Sky Ruin
2x Tectonic Edge
11x Plains

25 Creatures

4x Student of Warfare
4x Steppe Lynx
3x Kor Aeronaut
3x Kor Skyfisher
3x Transcendent Master
2x Stoneforge Mystic
2x Emeria Angel
2x Kor Duelist
1x Kor Sanctifiers
1x Devout Lightcaster

13 Other Spells

4x Hyena Umbra
4x Journey to Nowhere
2x Brave the Elements
2x Basilisk Collar
1x Gideon Jura
 

15 Cards Sideboard

4x Luminarch Ascension
3x Kor Firewalker
3x Day of Judgment
2x Devout Lightcaster
1x Gideon Jura
1x Kor Sanctifiers
1x Tectonic Edge
 

Careful eyes among you will notice that this is another tested deck list. Not heavily but the deck went through some testing. There are still a few things I must test further such as those two copies of Brave the Elements and those two Kor Duelists but I will do that after the online release of the new set.

There is one card I must talk in detail and it is this one:

This card is amazing. Actually the whole totem armor idea is amazing but unfortunately this one is the only playable one. It saves the creature from all kinds of deadly burn spells, it saves it from Day of Judgment, it saves it from a deadly encounter with a Vampire Nighthawk and it also saves it from being Assassinated by Gideon Jura; I mean what else can you ask from a one mana enchantment that also gives the creature a +1/+1 boost plus first strike!

So yes, Hyena Umbra is one the most important cards of the deck.

The rest of the deck must be self-explanatory. I have Day of Judgment in the sideboard against those crazy Allies mainly but also against vampires and I have Luminarch Ascension against  Control; a second turn Luminarch Ascension is truly devastating against them. The rest should be clear.

The final deck of the article I want to talk about is a truly facinating deck which is called " Good Stuff". First the original list:

 Good Stuff As played by FFfreaK

28 Lands

4x Misty Rainforest
4x Raging Ravine
4x Scalding Tarn
3x Halimar Depths
3x Kazandu Refuge
4x Mountain
3x Forest
3x Island

9 Creatures

3x Oracle of Mul Daya
3x Sphinx of Lost Truths
1x Cunning Sparkmage
1x Pilgrim's Eye
1x Avenger of Zendikar

23 Other Spells

4x Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4x Explore
4x Burst Lightning
4x Comet Storm
4x Spreading Seas
3x Searing Blaze

15 Cards Sideboard

4x Goblin Ruinblaster
4x Lotus Cobra
2x Rampaging Baloths
2x Dispel
1x Cancel
1x Cunning Sparkmage
1x Roil Elemental

This is the deck that helped Mr. Nelson (aka FFfreaK) winning a MOCS tournament. After he did that, the deck became quite popular and became the deck choice of many players. In his tournament report article Mr. Nelson wrote something about the deck which caught my attention immediately:

"... the one thing we found out, though, is that the games you win with this deck made you feel like you were not even playing in the same format as your opponent. You were doing some very powerful things while they were still tapping five mana for something like Malakir Bloodwitch."

Looking at the deck, I can clearly understand what he means.

And what is the future of this deck? What can be done to adapt it to the new meta? It's already a perfect deck but I'm sure there are a few nice addition we can take into consideration from the new set.

First and foremost, with the amount of mana this deck can produce, it won't be too hard to play an Eldrazi titan. It should be tested of course but maybe there is space in the main deck for a lone Kozilek, Butcher of Truth. Avenger of Zendikar is an excellent creature and I'm not saying that Kozilek will automatically replace it, but maybe a little bit of testing could be worth the effort.

The other card I think this deck must test is Staggershock. Those three Searing Blazes can easily be replaced with Staggershock. I am aware that it can't kill Vampire Nighthawk or Kor Skyfisher but dealing four damage for three is not something that can be ignored that easily. And besides, the deck already has Burst Lightning and later Comet Storm to deal with those creatures.

Then if the Eldrazi decks become a real threat, the sideboard can always include Tajuru Preserver. Other than those, I don't think the deck needs anything else. It is already a very strong deck as it is.

 

OTHER DECKS

The above decks are the ones I personally find interesting but there are obviously more options out there. Such as these:

Goblin Guide

 Boros Aggro
It was an important deck before the new set and that fact won't change after it. Cards like Forked BoltDevastating Summons, Staggershock, Kargan Dragonlord and Hyena Umbra will be surely tested for this deck. I don't think too highly of this deck but I'm also aware that it is something one must take into consideration.

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle  Valakut
I don't think this deck will die completely. It just has to adapt itself. It should find better ways to use that big mana it produces. One game might end with a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle but the other nine won't. So Valakut decks should find other ways to end games. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth could be one. I would even test Gelatinous Genesis.
Abyssal Persecutor Big BUG
This is a deck I will personally try as soon as I have my new cards. This is a different version of that  Good Stuff deck. Instead of Red, we have Black in this deck and that means we will have access to powerful cards like Abyssal Persecutor, Sorin Markov and Ob Nixilis, the Fallen. Definitely worth a try.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor  Control
What happens if you combine Blue's counterspells, shroud creatures, card drawing and Jace with Red's burn spells? The result will be a very nice Tier-1 deck. This can also be the home of my new favorite combos; Splinter Twin + Mnemonic Wall and Selective Memory + Explosive Revelation.
Slavering Nulls  Discard
This can also a be a nice deck. Slavering Nulls, Inquisition of Kozilek, Guul Draz SpecterMire's Toll, Bloodhusk Ritualist and Quest for the Nihil Stone would be the backbone of this deck. Then some Red burn spells plus Black removal would complete the list.
Admonition Angel  Control
There are now many great cards added to this deck's card pool and I'm optimistic that something powerful can be done with those cards. Even the sheer thought of Ruin Ghost targeting a Kabira Crossroads while Emeria Angel and Admonition Angel are on table, is enough to lure me into this strategy. Gideon Jura, Oust and Wall of Omens are also very nice new additions.
Kabira Evangel Allies
Just because there are no new allies in the new set doesn't mean that this strategy will vanish. I'm sure that we will continue seeing lots of players having success with Kabira Evangel and friends. The speed of this deck is amazing and if the meta will lean more towards slow Eldrazi decks and  Control, then we might see this deck played even more often than before.
Summoning Trap  Summoning Trap
This is also a deck that I like a lot. And the juicy options for a Summoning Trap are almost endless! Blue already gave Jace, the Mind Sculptor to this deck in Worldwake and now it gives See Beyond. Those big Eldrazi titans are perfect targets for our trap while Green mana ramps us and White protects us from nasty surprises. Definately a perfect deck.

 

SUMMARY

A very healthy and rich block environment is upon us. There are some incredible deck options available and the power level of those decks is amazing. I think that WotC really did a wonderful job with the Zendikar block as a whole and now it's time to enjoy it. I know that I will fully enjoy it!

 

NEXT WEEK ON ROGUE PLAY

I have many things in my mind that I want to share with you but don't know yet which one I will write about next week. I have an extraordinary rogue deck for Standard which I must share with you. Then there are still two more Seven Deadly Sins articles to go. I am also storming the BYOS scene and I would really like to talk about that subject too.

Let's see which one it'll be next week!

Thanks for reading.

See you online
Nafiz Erman, aka Lord Erman

13 Comments

Great article as always, I by ArchGenius at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 11:22
ArchGenius's picture
5

Great article as always, I think you're right on with the Blue/White deck, it will keep getting stronger and it will be THE uber expensive deck to beat.

I think you're looking at the wrong direction when it comes to vampires though. Drana is too expensive and will probably not see much play. Bloodthrone Vampire combos with so many things in the Vampire deck, including Kalastria Highborn, Blade of the Bloodchief, Quest for the Gravelord, Abyssal Persecutor, Bloodghast, Cadaver Imp, and Pawn of Ulamog. Bloodthrone Vampire will be a 4x in Vampire lists and Vampires will go the aggro weenie route in order to try to beat UW before it can stabilize. Or at least that is what I'm going to be trying out once Eldrazi comes out.

Also, Hyena Umbra isn't that great, it loses to Journey to Nowhere, Into the Roil, All is Dust, Eldrazi, Gatekeeper of Malakir, and sometimes Urge to Feed. I would play equipment with Stoneforge Mystic over it any day.

Loses to seems kind of harsh. by Paul Leicht at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 11:47
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Loses to seems kind of harsh. Sure the aura is vulnerable to 2-1 but that's always been true. If it is free cast from a Sovereigns though who cares?

Well, perhaps "trumped by" is by ArchGenius at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 12:06
ArchGenius's picture

Well, perhaps "trumped by" is a better choice of words. Still, I think my point stands that Hyena Umbra is a rather weak card for constructed.

Also Sovereigns isn't in Zendikar block and would more likely be fetching bigger auras like Eldrazi Conscription anyway.

Thanks for the comment. I by Lord Erman at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 13:56
Lord Erman's picture

Thanks for the comment.

I guess you're undervaluing Hyena Umbra. Creatures already die to the cards you mentioned with or without this aura. But it can at least save the creature from a Day of Judgment, Vampire Nighthawk, any creature with a Basilisk Collar on, burn, Vendetta, Hideous End etc... The ones you listed are heavily played cards but the ones I listed are also heavily played cards.

Your fully leveled up Student of Warfare would die to my Day of Judgment whereas my fully leveled up Student of Warfare wouldn't die to yours. At least not to the first one. Also the +1/+1 boost plus first strike is a bonus. Oh and all that service is available for a mere W. I think I'll buy! :)

LE

I concur. by Paul Leicht at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:40
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I concur.

You could be right, I could by ArchGenius at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:51
ArchGenius's picture

You could be right, I could be undervaluing it. However very few auras have made the cut into constructed decks. The notable ones I can think of are Elephant Guide and Armadillo Cloak. Both of these are nice because they offer a bigger boost than a simple +1/+1 and first strike. I believe you're looking at the Umbra with rose colored glasses. How often are you going to save your creature with a Hyena Umbra and how often are you going to draw it in the late game without a creature to play it on? If it comes out first, it saves your creature from a Basilisk equiped Sparkmage for one turn, if it comes out late, it doesn't do any good against that Basillisk Sparkmage If your opponent has another creature attached to the Basillisk collar, he will probably just try to race you, until he can find more removal. In that case a simple +1/+1 isn't going to give you much reach.

River Boa also has protection against Day of Judgment, and it even has unblockability in many cases against UW, however it's still not that difficult for UW to deal with it. Control decks aren't all about the Day of Judgment, They have a lot of other tools to use.

There's no question that Hyena Umbra is a very efficient little aura. But it's just asking for card disadvantage without adding much speed to the creature its enchanting.

You are of course right that by Lord Erman at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 17:06
Lord Erman's picture

You are of course right that auras in general have a big problem: They need other cards to do something. If you have no creatures on table and you're in the top deck mode against WU Control, drawing an aura (any aura) is as good as drawing a land. But Armadillo Cloak had the same problem yet it saw play. Rancor had the same problem yet it saw play.

And you're forgetting two things:

1- The whole meta won't be WU Control. Against vampires, which is still a very important deck, Hyena Umbra is a real bargain. And that +1/+1 and first strike matters a lot against them. To kill your creature they need to spend two removal spells. Against other creature based decks this aura still matters a lot. Against decks with burn it still is very good.

2- Against WU Control it's a dead card surely; I'm not saying it isn't. But that's what the sideboard is for! Surely Jace can simply bounce back any fully leveled up creature with 4 Umras attached on it in game 1. But in game 2 those Umbras will become Luminarch Ascensions which is not something Jace can handle.

Anyway, just test it. I'm sure you'll change your mind.

LE

Fair enough, I will test it. by ArchGenius at Wed, 05/05/2010 - 09:38
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Fair enough, I will test it.

while I'm not too thrilled by JustSin at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:20
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4

while I'm not too thrilled with the Eldrazi, I have to say I can appreciate a set that allows for not only white weenie, but (essentially) black weenie as well

If ROE lacked the colorless by Paul Leicht at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:52
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If ROE lacked the colorless spells Id be just fine with that.

I'm going to try out adding by Flippers_Giraffe at Tue, 05/04/2010 - 18:50
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I'm going to try out adding four All is Dust to my Valakut deck and concentrate on the beat down from Raging Ravine if Valakut its self has been tampered with.

RDW is not a contender in by dunkle_stille at Wed, 05/05/2010 - 17:33
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RDW is not a contender in this format?

Until now it wasen't. Steppe by Lord Erman at Thu, 05/06/2010 - 02:55
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Until now it wasen't.

Steppe Lynx was too good to pass and people prefered playing both Steppe Lynx and Plated Geopede for even more Landfall craziness. And Kor Skyfisher was also very efficient. Oh that, and mono Red had no playable solution to Kor Firewalker.

LE