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By: Psychatrog, Eric Levine
Dec 26 2007 9:45am
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Last time, I focused on a new deck in the standard scene- Uri Peleg's Doran Rock deck.  For those of you unfamiliar with the deck, I give you, once again, his decklist:


Uri Peleg's Doran Rock

I took the deck through its paces in the Tournament Practice room to see how it would do.  Unsurprisingly, it went pretty well- the five matches I featured in my article last week were 4-1 in my favor (8-3 in games), showcasing the deck's ability to beat Dragonstorm, Red/Black Goblins, and Green/Black Elves.  (To be fair, the Green Black Elves player had a penchant for concession.)  Obviously, I tested more matchups than just those three- I played many, many matches before entering these constructed queues, and I will say that the deck did pretty well.  It performed amazingly well, in fact, and somewhere between the well-built deck and my at least fairly okay playskill, I managed to get an idea of what this deck does well against:


Seriously, I couldn't find a consistently bad matchup in testing.  I was a little worried about Red Green Big Mana (after all, who doesn't love getting owned by Siege-Gang Commander?) but I managed to avoid that deck somehow, probably because Big Mana has some pretty serious problems with Dragonstorm and therefore isn't getting played nearly as much.  I will also say that I learned a lot about how to play the mirror match.  No, really.  I play the mirror match pretty well, mostly because I know this list really well and I know what it's capable of.  I will say that I did less well against Mannequin decks than I might have liked- all that card advantage can be too much, but Mannequin has trouble dealing with a Doran, the Siege Tower immediately following their Damnation. I play Mannequin on paper, and I like the fact that I know how the deck works and where its weaknesses lie.

I would try to tune the list up, but I can't find a way to tune it that doesn't weaken it severely, especially given the precarious nature of the mana base.  I guess I'll live with it for now.

So I hit one of the constructed queues, hoping to get some good results.  As usual, opponents’ names are left out to protect the innocent.  My first game loaded up, and lo and behold:

Match 1: Dragonstorm! Horizon Canopy FTW
Game 1:
My opponent plays two straight Spinerock Knolls.  I pull off 2nd turn Doran, the Siege Tower.  Double Thoughtseize reveals (Pyromancer’s Swath), Grapeshot, Mountain, Mountain, Rite of Flame, and Grapeshot.  I hit a Swath and a Grapeshot.  A few turns later, a Bogardan Hellkitecomes down off lands, the Rite, and a Lotus Bloom.  It eats Doran and leaves me with a Birds of Paradise and a 4/5 Tarmogoyf… but that Goyf gets +1/+1 as I dump the Horizon Canopy I’ve been holding into my graveyard.  Between that and Treetop Village, my opponent’s three remaining life wouldn’t last long, and he knows it.  He concedes.
Game 2:
My opponent mulligans to six and drops a Mountain and a Lotus Bloom.  I drop a Gilt-Leaf Palace, reveal (Eyeblight’s Ending), and play a (Birds of Paradise.)  Opponent plays a Fungal Reaches.  I drop a Caves of Koilos and a Doran, the Siege Tower.  My opponent draws a card and… concedes.  I had another Doran in hand… I guess he didn’t have anything and didn’t want to get beat down.  I guess you have to know when to fold ‘em.
Matches: 1-0  Games: 2-0
Thoughtseize also FTWMatch 2: Blue/Black Faeries
Game 1:
I got down an early Llanowar Elves and Ohran Viper, but my Thoughtseize met a Spellstutter Sprite and my Garruk Wildspeaker got hit with a (Familiar’s Ruse).  My Tarmogoyf got eaten by a second Sprite.  However, Treetop Village proved to be tough to deal with.  My opponent conceded.
Game 2:
My opponent whines about my first turn Thoughtseize that hits a Sower of Temptation.  My opponent whines about pretty much everything while we go back and forth.  I beat him.  Even Mistbind Clique can’t stop the onslaught from Doran, the Siege Tower.  The last thing he sees is a Profane Command to the face.  Which he whines about. 
[A quick note on people who whine while they lose: I try not to whine while I lose because it’s unsporting.  However, when people do whine, I enjoy beating them even more.  So take note: If you’re losing to me, don’t bother whining- it only makes the win taste better, because I get that self-righteous feeling of knowing I’ve just beaten someone who is probably at least college-age who turns out to have the maturity level of a five-year-old.]
Matches: 2-0  Games: 4-0
I split the finals.  Why fight over a pack, right?
So I hit another constructed queue, and I ran up against my favorite round 1 matchup:
Round 1: Dragonstorm
Game 1: Hypnotic Specter knocks a Dragonstorm out of my opponent’s hand. Double Ohran Viper and Tarmogoyf hit the table. A Bogardan Hellkite eats the Specter and a Viper but quickly meets an (Eyeblight’s Ending). Nothing much goes on after that.
Game 2: Thoughtseize grabs an Incinerate. I drop Tarmogoyf and a Loxodon Warhammer, but the Goyf gets Sulfurous Blasted. This is exactly what I was expecting, and honestly, what I was hoping for. I grab Ohran Viper, drop the Hammer on it, and start swinging. A Treetop Village or two later, my opponent concedes.
Matches: 3-0 Games: 6-0
One of the great things about this deck is that Dragonstorm just can’t stand up to it, especially post-board. With Stupor, Cloudthresher, Loxodon Warhammer, and Riftsweeper, the matchup is a no-brainer, but even pre-board, D-storm has trouble dealing with the high-toughness creatures like Tarmogoyf, Ohran Viper, and Doran, the Siege Tower, not to mention the pain that our four maindeck Thoughtseizes cause it. Unfortunately, I think Dragonstorm is getting forced out of the format, leaving us without that good matchup.
Round 2: Green/Black Elves!
Game 1: He makes a huge play mistake, Nameless Inversioning my Tarmogoyf without actually killing it. (The old Psionic Blast quandary.) I drop a Garruk Wildspeaker and he concedes.
Game 2: We fight back and forth, but I drop a Shriekmaw and a Tarmogoyf out of his hand with Thoughtseizes. (Those Seizes being in there only because I still thought his deck was G/B Rock, but they worked out.  I know his deck sounds Rock-ish, but it had Imperious Perfect.)  Between Ohran Viper, a Beast token from Garruk, Treetop Village, and a Llanowar Elves backed up by Pendelhaven, I get him to 7. He drops a Shriekmaw, killing my Beast, and the Viper trades with a Masked Admirers. I drop a Doran, the Siege Tower and send in my Village, which trades with a Llanowar Elves and the Shriekmaw. He plays another Admirers, but that’s his only creature, and I have Profane Command. He concedes while he sees me removing mana from my pool to pay X. 
Matches: 4-0 Games: 8-0
Split the finals again.
So, it looks like we rocked the constructed queues pretty hard.  I didn't drop a GAME over two queues.  Doran Rock has been rocking PEs pretty hard as well, according to Jamuraa’s last Standard Deviations article!  (#3, at the time I wrote this.)  I won’t get much playing done over the holidays- gotta go back to my ancestral home and see my family- but when I get back, I plan to hit the PEs.  By then, the metagame will have evolved, sideboards will be rearing their ugly head, and I might have to (shudder) adjust the list! 
Until then, happy holidays!    


by Psychatrog at Thu, 12/27/2007 - 02:15
Psychatrog's picture

Fair point.  However, I faced four (well, really, three- two Dragonstorm, 1 U/B Faeries, 1 G/B Elves/Midrange) popular deck archetypes in the queues, which is why I find this a pretty decent showing of how this deck does.  Anyway, I played in these queues on or around Dec. 20th.  My next article will be about the PEs, so don't worry!

metagame dates by zahori (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 12/26/2007 - 13:15
zahori (Unregistered)'s picture

The constructed queues are notorious for having a different metagame than PEs.  People that are testing 'newsish' decks also often use the queue for such purposes.  Hence I think that it would be good if you posted when you played when doing similar articles in the past.

seo by seooseoo at Wed, 04/06/2022 - 10:24
seooseoo's picture

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post.