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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Mar 05 2018 1:00pm
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Last week, I gave you a run down of what we consider to be the tier 1 decks of the Penny Dreadful format. We had a look at four decks: Temur Ascendancy, Mono Black Zombies, Azorius Control and Infinite Infinite Combos. This week, we will run through the tier 2 decks. And once again, thanks to "Thundershot899" for helping compile the list.

To remind you, the tiers were as follows:

Tier 1Temur Ascendancy, Mono Black Zombies, Azorius Control

Tier 2: Mono Green Stax, Orzhov Presist, Red Deck Wins, Goblins, Esper Blink

Tier 3: Elves, Turbo Fog, Mono Black Control

Unknown: Infinite Infinite Combos


Mono Green Stax

The first deck we will look at this week is a Smokestack deck. This particular list was runner up in a recent tournament:


As you can see, the deck's game plan is to play out a bunch of creatures, hopefully ramping into a token maker like Ant Queen, Deranged Hermit, Thopter Assembly or Wolfbriar Elemental. This then gives you something to sacrifice to Smokestack, all the while depleting your opponent's board. You can also just create a bunch of tokens and cast Overrun, killing your opponent that way.

The deck has had 2 tournament wins and 12 top 8s this season, with a 55.6% win rate. What holds it back is that it has unfavourable match ups versus Zombies (30.4% win rate) and Temur (25% win rate), and this keeps it firmly in the tier 2 bracket. 


Orzhov Persist

This deck seems to have fallen away a bit lately and I had to go back a way to find a tournament deck, but it still has an impressive win rate that keeps it as a tier 2 deck:


The deck is an "Aristocrats" deck, where you aim to sacrifice your own creatures for value. While you have cards like Grim Haruspex for value, the main thing you want to be doing with this deck is this: with a sacrifice outlet and a Vizier of Remedies in play, cast Murderous Redcap and then sacrifice it. When it comes back, it comes back without the -1/-1 counter thanks to the Vizier, creating an infinite loop which you use to kill your opponent.

This archetype has had 1 tournament win and 10 top 8s this season, but has largely fallen out of favour lately. Its win rate across tournaments and leagues is an impressive 62.5%, but it suffers very badly against Zombies and has an even match up with Temur. 


Red Deck Wins

This is my favourite deck of the entire format (and, to be honest, every format). And the following list won a tournament in the last week:

Red Deck Wins
by The_Wolf
Firedrinker Satyr
Rakdos Cackler
Stormblood Berserker
Boggart Ram-Gang
Chandra's Phoenix
4 Village Messenger
Ire Shaman 
2 Kessig Forgemaster
28 cards

Other Spells
Burst Lightning
4 Incendiary Flow
Flame Javelin
12 cards
Keldon Megaliths
20 cards

Firedrinker Satyr


Okay, so I am being a little vain here, as this is in fact my deck that I won a tournament with. It has the classic red strategy of curving out with cheap, efficiently-stated creatures while either clearing a path with burn spells or finishing the opponent off with them. My list is a little unusual in that I play Firedrinker Satyr, where most mono red decks in the format choose to run Falkenrath Gorger. I prefer the Satyr, as I'm not really worried about my life total.

Red Deck Wins has had 2 tournament wins and 14 top 8s, but suffers from the same issue as the first two decks. While its overall win rate is good (60.7%), it does poorly against Temur and Zombies. It does, however, have a massive 85% win rate against Azorius Control.



In a similar vein to mono red, Goblins is another aggro deck:


As you can see, this is a deck that is looking to flood the board with creatures and attack for the win.  Cards like Goblin Lackey and Grenzo, Dungeon Warden can cheat Goblins into play, while Boggart Harbinger, Goblin Ringleader and Wort, Boggart Auntie can all get extra Goblins into your hand.

The deck has been on a bit of a decline in tournament play and is in danger of slipping to tier 3. It's had one tournament win (which was at the start of the season) and 7 top 8s, with a win percentage of 57.9%. It has an even match up with Zombies but is not great against Temur.


Esper Blink

The final deck is actually one that I think might almost be tier 1 now, Esper Blink:


I haven't actually played against this deck, nor have I played with it. It's a value toolbox deck, using creatures with enters the battlefield abilities, and then using Momentary Blink or Mistmeadow Witch to "blink" them to get the trigger again. It is also another Murderous Redcap deck, and Animate Dead can also be used to bring stuff back and get more triggers.

The deck has now had 3 tournament wins, all of them in the last two weeks. It has had 8 top 8s and with a win percentage of 66.7%, I think it is very close to being tier 1, if it hasn't made it there already. It has a favourable match up against Zombies and a decent match up against Temur, so it is likely a good choice of deck right now.



That's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the look at the decks. If you are interested in getting into Penny Dreadful (and you should be, the format is great!), check out these links: