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By: iceage4life, Timothy Pskowski
Dec 12 2007 2:17pm
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The Oddball Roundup #5


Standard with Vanguard
Tribal Wars Standard

Classic Review




Welcome to another Oddball Roundup.  Last week I promised a metagame breakdown showing aggregated top eight results over all the events I've covered.  When I started compiling this information I realized that doing this every five articles means that every fifth article would be twice as long as the others.  I've decided to instead rotate my roundup.  Each article will have the breakdown for one format covering all events between that article and the last breakdown.  I'll cycle them in the same order they appear in the articles.  Normally I'd start with Standard with Vanguard however with it and Tribal Wars Standard I'm excluding pre-Lorwyn results as they would be irrelevant.  Singleton did not fire this week, Tribal is short one week of results for the same reason as Vanguard so I will start with tribal.  Each week the review will be in it's own section at the bottom of the page to keep things clearly separated.

Standard with Vanguard

12/08/07 2x 24 Players
Placing Deck Avatar
1* UG Fearies Heartwood Storyteller
2* Mono Blue Pickles Dakkon Blackblade
4 GB Elves Heartwood Storyteller
4 Mono Red Storm Squee, Goblin Nabob
8 UW Control Ashling the Pilgrim
8 Mono Red Storm Dakkon Blackblade
8 Mono Blue Pickles Dakkon Blackblade
8 Mono Red Storm Dakkon Blackblade
*Split in finals.

This top eight shows Heartwood and Dakkon cemented as the avatars to beat.  The mono red storm deck which placed two players in the top eight of World Championships in New York City made itself felt in this PE.  Two decks running Dakkon and one using Squee made it to the top eight with Dragonstorm and Spinerock Knoll.  The top two decks had the tools to beat them with a Heartwood Storyteller deck in first place and a Dakkon control deck in second.  The Dakkon control deck was mono blue Pickles with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Damnation, Thoughtseize, and Slaughter Pact in the sideboard.


This is the first place deck form the event.  Like the Blue Black Makeshift Mannequin deck from a couple weeks ago it is a Standard deck ported to Vanguard and using Heartwood Storyteller.  The Storyteller Avatar can lead to some very explosive starts for this deck as being able to cast Spellstutter Sprite on turn one could disrupt your opponent's plans.  The seven additional life helps versus other aggro decks as our small men fly over for the win.  A pair of Thorn of Amethyst double the Storyteller's effect on your opponent and a big problem for Dakkon control decks as well as mono red storm.  Prolepsis9 didn't want to share his sideboard but I assume it is not too different from a Blue Green Fearies Standard sideboard.  I think this weeks top eight shows that to do well in Standard with Vanguard you'll have to be able to beat decks using Heartwood and Dakkon as their avatars, as well as mono red storm decks.



12/08/07 2x Did Not Fire

Possibly due to Worlds in New York City Singleton did not fire this week.  I'm starting to get worried that like Prismatic before it players will slowly be driven away from the format (bans) and then Wizards will cancel the events.  The fact that like Classic it still pays MED packs could be part of this.  Check this message board thread for more on the issue.  So please everyone, play Singleton next weekend!

Tribal Wars Standard

 12/09/07 2x 30 Players
Placing Tribe Colors Notes
1* Faeries UB decklist below
2* Zombies B  
4 Zombies B decklist below
4 Humans WU  
8 Goblins BR  
8 Giants RW decklist below
8 Fearies UG  
8 Elves GB  
*Split in finals.
Tribal this week saw six slots taken by decks we've seen before.  Faeries took two slots, with a Blue Black build placing first.  Zombies made their debut post-Lorwyn and did so in a convincing manner.  A pair of mono black Zombie decks made it past the quarter finals.  The metagame of tribal seems to be shifting to slightly slower decks.  With only a pair of strait aggro decks in the top eight we can see aggro-control and mid range strategies are becoming popular and powerful in tribal.  Should be interesting to see how Tribal develops in relation to standard.  Treefolk did pretty well at Worlds, will they start showing up in tribal top eights?
Unlike the Blue Green Faeries we've been seeing lately this is a Blue Black take on the tribe.  One advantage of this color pairing is access to River of Tears and Secluded Glen. This makes the mana base much more stable allowing the use of Desert which is a very good card in the mirror match.  Oona's Prowler and Wydwen, the Biting Gale  are the two black faeries in the build and both are very good.  Ancestral Vision gives the deck more card advantage than many faerie builds.
Two mono black zombie decks made the top eight and both ran most of the same cards.  A snow land engine powers the deck.  Versus most decks Zombies play the control role, with Damnation and plenty of spot removal they can sit back.  Tendrils of Corruption a card that has fallen by the wayside in Standard shines in this deck providing life gain against fast aggro decks.  Korlash is a very powerful threat in this format as many decks have no way to deal with him once he is in play.  Loxodon Warhammer provides more lifegain and can give Korlash trample.  A full set of Profane Command allows the deck to win from stalled board positions or just get a two for one.
RougeDesigner's RW Giants - 8th

Lands - 24
4 Ancient Amphitheater
4 Battlefield Forge
9 Snow-Covered Mountain
5 Snow-Covered Plains
2 Mouth of Ronom

Creatures - 24
4 Stinkdrinker Daredevil
4 Brion Stoutarm
4 Desolation Giant
4 Thundercloud Shaman
4 Cloudgoat Ranger
4 Sunrise Sovereign

Other Spells - 10
2 Incinerate
4 Oblivion Ring
2 Skred
4 Pyroclasm

This is an updated Giants list.  Wrath of God has been cut relying on the decks other 12 wrath effects.  Oblivion Ring, Incinerate, and Skred join the roster for removal.  I totally forgot about Skred when looking at the deck and think that is should be four Skred zero Incinerates.  (Blind Spot Giant) has also been cut which eliminates some amazing plays with Stinkdrinker Daredevil but strengthens the deck versus decks with lots of removal.  Giants looks like a poorer metagame call now then before.  The top eights have moved towards more controlling decks and fewer Elf and Goblin decks for Giants to prey on.


12/09/07 2x 24 Players
Placing Deck
1* Bomberman
2* UGR Threshold
4 Mono Blue Control with WB for Explosives
4 burn.dec
8 BGW  Aggro Control with Rack
8 RGB Aggro Loam
8 Flash
8 burn.dec
 *Split in finals.

This week's Classic event saw Bomberman and Threshold into the finals.  A pair of burn decks made the top eight along with Flash.  Three new decks also made it into the top eight. Aggro Loam, a top extended deck from six months ago that has not made a Classic top eight in many months got there on Sunday.  A mono blue control deck also made top eight.  It was a little different from a MUC deck a few weeks back as it ran Watery Grave, Hallowed Fountain, and plenty of saclands.  This initially threw me off as I saw no white or black cards.  From what I could see the white and black mana are only used for Engineered Explosives though some white or black sideboard cards wouldn't surprise me.  Explosives gave the deck a powerful reset button versus on board threats.  Lastly my clan-mate Rozia made top eight with a BGW aggro deck packing lots of discard, The Rack, and of course Tarmogoyf.  It looked very strong and should be interesting to see if it shows up again.  Gerrard's Verdict is a very good card against the burn decks common in the format while also hurting combo and control.  I have two lists today of a pair of newer decks.  One lost in quarter finals and the other missed top eight on tiebreakers.



Despite the colors this deck should be looked at as a Deadguy Ale style deck.  Tarmogoyf fits perfectly in the deck as he is aggressively costed (biggest understatement of the article) and will grow quickly from the deck's large number of discard spells.  Tombstalker is also included as most Classic decks not running Swords to Plowshares can not deal with a flying 5/5.  Tarmogoyf, Jotun Grunt, and Tombstalker might look odd all in the same deck and feeding off the same graveyard but it is not as much of an issue as one might expect.  Using these three undercosted cards that rely on the graveyard lets this deck pay very little mana for top powerful creatures.  This deck's sideboard is clearly built to destroy combo and control decks with a pair of Jitte's as the only strictly anti-aggro card from the board.  Extirpate can be powerful versus other decks running Tarmogoyf where 'goyf advantage can be huge.  A mulligan to five in the quarter finals contributed to it's loss to Bomberman.  Look out for this deck in future Classic events. 

largebrandon's Dragon Stompy - 9th
Lands - 19
4 Crystal Vein
15 Snow-Covered Montain
Other Spells - 17
3 Chalice of the Void
3 Trinisphere
2 Umezawa's Jitte
2 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Chrome Mox
3 Seething Song
Creatures - 24
4 Arc-Slogger
4 Rakdos Pit Dragon
4 Magus of the Moon
4 Gathan Raiders
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Sulfur Elemental

Sideboard - 15
3 Blood Moon
4 Pyroblast
4 Shattering Spree
4 Skred

This is the first time I've included a deck that did not make top eight but I figure as this deck missed it on tiebreakers it'd be okay.  This is a Classic port of the Legacy Dragon Stompy decks.  It aims to get large red creatures into play as fast as possible.  I have no idea how viable this deck is but it looks fun and if you want to try something different give it a shot.

Classic Review


I have six weeks of Classic events to review stretching back to the 2x on October 10th.  That means forty eight decks, and six winning decks.  However due to the incredible popularity of splits online tracking which deck "won" is nearly meaningless.  I instead have tracked the number of times a deck saw the finals.  Finals appearances are shown with a red dot and other top eight results with a black dot.  There are also the percent of top eight slots that deck has taken along with the ratio of finals appearances to top eights.  Decks with only one top eight were clumped into the "Other" category with the exception of decks that have made the finals.

Deck Top 8s Percent Top 8* Finals/Top 8 Ratio*
burn.dec 10% 20%
Flash 10% 0%
UGR Threshold 8% 75%
4 Color Landstill 8% 75%
RGB Aggro 8% 0%
Goblins 6% 67%
Bomberman 4% 50%
4 Color Goyf 4% 0%
Affinity 4% 0%
Ideal 4% 0%
Stiflenought 4% 0%
Mono Blue Control 4% 0%
Dredge 2% 100%
Erratic Explosion/Draco 2% 100%
Other 19% 0%
Unknown 2% 0%
*Rounded to nearest whole percentage point.
Now that is a ton of information, how to digest it all?  Lets start with some random factoids.
  • The top five decks make up 46% of top eights.
  • Eleven decks only have made top eight once, those decks take 23% of top eight slots.
  • Six decks have made top eight twice for 25% of the slots.
  • Three decks have a better than 50% shot of making the finals once in the top eight.
  • Three decks that have seen more than three top eight slots have a less than 25% chance of making the finals.

Lets break this down some more, first I'll look at the big boys with 4+ top eight slots.  Flash and burn are at the top of the list for number of top eights but have faired poorly when it comes to making the finals.  Flash has yet to do it and burn has only seen it happen once.  Blue Green red Threshold and Four Color Landstill on the other hand have an amazing record for making the finals.  How can we explain the disparity between the top two decks for top eights and the two two decks for the finals?  First and possibly most importantly Flash and burn.dec are easy to hate out.  Stifle hurts Flash as does Leyline of the Void and many other cards.  Pryoblast, Sunbeam Spellbomb, and many other cards can hate out burn.dec.  There are cards that are good versus Landstill or Threshold but both decks are much more resilient.  The decks that have seen little play but that have done well are hard to evaluate.  Dredge and Erratic Explosion/Draco both placed first the only time they made top eight.  Clearly both decks are capable of beating other Classic decks but how consistent are they?


If you take anything away from this review of the metagame it should be this; Classic is wide open.  What ever style of deck you like there are several options.  There is no clear "best deck" so your best bet is to play a deck that you enjoy and has at least a decent matchup across as wide a range of decks as possible. 

Thanks to all who provided me with decklists and to's deck database.  A few more classic decks from the event can be found there if you are interested.  Tune in next week for another t8 roundup as well as a look back at the past month of Standard with Vanguard.  As always comments are appreciated and you can always reach me in game at iceage4life.  A special tip of my hat to Rouge Designer who sent me his Tribal decklist via a PM on the forums, made my life that much easier.


by largebrandon at Thu, 12/13/2007 - 15:57
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That dragon stompy deck looks good!  Yeah, I almost made top 8. . but it wa close.

Thanks from the Pink Designer by RogueDesigner at Wed, 12/12/2007 - 19:58
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Thanks for another great post.  Maybe I should become a pink designer :)

by jamuraa at Wed, 12/12/2007 - 20:52
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Love reading these every week, another excellent week.  Finals in these oddball events seem to split more than in standard though, which I find interesting.

A lot of people are getting a by lenyrose2013 at Thu, 10/06/2016 - 08:14
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A lot of people are getting a round on it. They find it to be amazing. - Marla Ahlgrimm