iceage4life's picture
By: iceage4life, Timothy Pskowski
Feb 02 2008 12:16am
Login to post comments


This week saw three events fire with strong attendance.  The average attendance this week was 32.25 players; think I will start keeping track of this.  The countdown timer on the MTGO page started again so it looks very likely we will only have one more article before v2 comes down.  This will be a big change for MTGO and I hope everyone remembers to come back to their MTGO only formats afterwards!

No review this week.  When v2 comes down and we don't have events for at least a week I will do an article devoted to reviews of each format.  Hopefully this will help us all get through that week.  Nothing shows an addict that he is addicted like going cold turkey.  I'm not looking forward to it.


Standard with Vanguard 2x 1/26/08 24 Players
Placing Player Vanguard
1 UB Control Dakkon Blackblade
2 Doran Rock Mirri the Cursed
4 GW Aggro Mirri the Cursed
4 Tamanoa Control Ashling the Pilgrim
8 geneticfreak47 ?
8 MUC Dakkon Blackblade
8 GB Madness Jhoira of the Ghitu
8 GW Aggro Mirri the Cursed

With replays being turned off on weekends I didn't get to check on them until Tuesday.  As a 24 person event from Saturday the Vanguard event had already disappeared.  The chart above lists the accounts that made top 8 and where they placed.  As far as what they played I am not sure. Hopefully Umii will fill us in with another of his excellent articles covering Vanguard.

Update: Thanks to Umii have most of top eight, see his comment at bottom for more on the event.Update #2: reaper9889 brings us one deck closer, thanks guys.

Morningtide for Standard with Vanguard

Noggin Whack is a powerful card.  Casting it using the Prowl cost makes it the best discard two printed in years.  Arguably better at that price than Gerrard's Verdict.  This can be fit into existing Faerie decks with a few adjustments.  It might also show up in dedicated Rogue decks focused on getting Prowl cards to fire off.  Patrick Chapin showed a deck just like this on Star City Games two weeks ago.  It was mono black, Faerie focused and ran Bad Moon.  It also might be worth it in other black decks as a sideboard option versus Squee Dragonstorm.








Singleton 2x 1/26/08 34 Players
Placing Deck
1* UW Control
2* 5c Rock
4 UB Control
8 UW Control
8 UG Control




*Split Finals

There were two unknown decks.  One of which played a Mountain then conceded the match.  The other timed out.  The first thing you might notice about this top eight is its' control-heavy nature.  One of the unknown decks was probably aggro based on the mountain which means control took six of seven slots.  I played in the event going 2-2 with an aggro deck tuned to beat the mirror not control decks.  I played four control decks in four rounds.  The winning Blue White deck was very set up for this control heavy metagame its game against aggro was not quite as strong as I beat it round one.  I proceeded to loose to the MUC and 5c Rock decks that made the top eight in rounds three and four.  How many people were in this event again? Bad beats.

UW control does seem to have replaced Blue Black as the default control deck and I think after this top eight as the number one deck in the format.  The winner of the event Dr. Greens gave me his decklist but thanks to some stupidity on my part I lost it, sorry about that.  The five color deck that split the finals simply played the most powerful cards from each color.  When I played it with my aggro deck I won a game which surprised me because it seemed set up to crush aggro.  It made it to the finals showing it also has game versus control.  I think this is simply on the back of card quality.  I would give it a shot next week but am missing three cards.  While three cards is not many when they are Pernicious Deed, Vindicate, and Vampiric Tutor they cost quite a bit.

Next week expect plenty of control decks.  If I were to play an aggro deck I think that RDW with lots of LD and maybe a splash is the way to go.  As I learned this week aggro can't compete with control if it is having any mana issues.


Morningtide for Singleton

Get your wad of tickets ready folks.  In the great tradition of cards like Tarmogoyf and Thoughtseize here is a rare that everyone will want four of. However, the Singleton player will only need one.  Mutavault is worse than (Mirsha's Factory) in non-tribal decks.  However it is still a man land that comes into play untapped and is colorless.  Decks like Blue Black control will want to run it.  If it is better in decks than say Ghitu Encampment I'm not sure.  It depends on the deck.  This is also pretty much an auto-include in any mono colored deck.  MUC, RDW, MGA yes all combinations of three letters will want one.  Two color decks will sometimes run this and three-plus color decks will rarely want this.  Plan on getting one, plan on playing against it.







Tribal Wars Standard 2x 1/27/08 29 Players
Placing Tribe Colors
1* Merfolk UW
2* Goblins RB
4 Goblins RB
4 Goblins RB
8 Goblins RB
8 Goblins RB
8 Goblins RB
8 Elves GB

 *Split finals


Wow.  Just wow.  Goblins takes six slots the first time one tribe has so dominated a top eight.  The goblin decks in the top eight also varied greatly.  The goblins deck that placed second had an interesting piece of tech for the format in Grave Pact.  One goblin deck that placed in the top eight was running Shriekmaw.  The goblins deck placing fourth ran Spinerock Knoll, Void and Pithing Needle.  Another goblins deck ran Nantuko Husk to go with its token generating goblins.  However one deck didn't care about the goblins and placed first in the event.  Merfolk; a tribe that has made top eights here and there went all the way in the goblin-heavy field.

ChronicHeaves's UW Merfolk 1st
Lands - 23
4 Adarkar Wastes
4 Faerie Conclave
10 Island
4 Wanderwine Hub
1 Windbrisk Heights
Creatures - 20
3 Tideshaper Mystic
4 Silvergill Adept
4 Lord of Atlantis
3 Sygg, River Guide
4 Merrow Reejerey
2 Mirror Entity
Other Spells - 17
4 Sunlance
4 Ancestral Vision
2 Unsummon
4 Rune Snag
3 Cryptic Command

CH has made it to the top four (or better) all three times he played this deck.  Also of note he says in those three events he is 8-0 or 9-0 versus goblins lists.  He thinks keeping the deck simple is the smart move, and to avoid cards like Teferi's Moat.  The deck has plenty of ways to gain tempo with a full set of Sunlance and a pair of Unsummon complementing the tap ability of Merrow Reejerey.  The deck trades the evasion of Faeries for more powerful creatures.  White also offers up the powerful Mirror Entity and a card that almost seems custom-made for the format, Sunlance.



Morningtide for Tribal Wars Standard

Now I'm going out on a limb here.  Honestly I doubt Battle-Axe will see much play.  What it does bring up in a shift in Tribal Wars.  We are used to Elves fighting Goblins.  What we may see in a month or so is Elves fighting Soldiers or Faeries facing off against Warriors.  If Warriors are a viable tribe the Battle-Axe may well be worth it.  Keep in mind that Elf tokens are Elf Warriors.  This turns a token into a 3/2 with haste at no additional mana cost.  Another warrior?  Imperious Perfect.  How does this opening sound?

Turn one: Llanowar Elves
Turn two: Obsidian Battle-Axe
Turn three: Imperious Perfect, attach Axe, activate, attach Axe to token swing for four.

Not a bad opening.  You heard it here first, Battle-Axe Perfect decks FTW!

Battle-Axe and the card I'll cover for Classic could also increase the power of Giant decks for Tribal.







Classic 2x 1/27/08 42 Players
Placing Deck
1* Goblins
2* UW Landstill
4 UGW Thresh
4 4c Landstill
8 RDW splash Goyf
8 Goblin Burn Hybrid
8 Doran Rock
8 Burn

 *Split finals

This week we have an absence of combo decks in the top eight seeing two control decks, two aggro-control decks, and four aggro decks.  We see both UW and 4 color Landstill making up the control part of the top eight.  Threshold and Doran Rock are the aggro-control decks.  The Threshold was a UGW build unusual in Classic but very popular in paper Legacy play.  Doran Rock is a popular Extended deck and this is the first port of it to Classic that I have seen.  The aggro decks were varied.  Burn took one top eight slot, goblins another.  A Red Deck Wins build splashing Tarmogoyf looked much like some Extended versions of the deck.  Lastly there was a Hybrid goblins/burn deck running both Goblin Piledriver and Lava Spike.

Major's UGW Thresh 4th
Lands -
2 Hallowed Fountain
1 Temple Garden
2 Windswept Heath
3 Breeding Pool
4 Island
4 Flooded Strand
Other Spells -
4 Ponder
3 Spell Snare
3 Counterbalance
3 Sensei's Divining Top
3 Stifle
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Pithing Needle
4 Force of Will
4 Brainstorm
2 Counterspell
Creatures -
4 Tarmogoyf
2 Mystic Enforcer
4 Nimble Mongoose
Sideboard - 15
3 Kataki, War's Wage
3 Threads of Disloyalty
3 Tivadar's Crusade
3 Tormod's Crypt
3 Krosan Grip


I like this Thresh list.  Major wanted to thank Caleb (who also made top eight with Doran Rock) for helping with the list.  Personally I think that white adds some very good cards to the deck.  I played against Major in round four and had very few answers to Mystic Enforcer.  A 6/6 pro-black flyer can win against pretty much any creature in the format.  Swords to Plowshares, Mystic Enforcer, and Counterbalance give the deck a very solid advantage versus UGR Threshold game one.  The sideboard as a 3x/5 is probably not ideal.  The Tivadar's Crusade seems out of place in Classic but with a pair of Goblins decks in the top eight it seems like they were the right call.


Caleb.'s Doran Rock 8th
Lands - 19
2 Temple Garden
3 Treetop Village
4 Windswept Heath
1 Bloodstained Mire
2 Forest
1 Godless Shrine
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
2 Swamp
Other Spells - 19
3 Thoughtseize
2 Profane Command
1 Vampiric Tutor
4 Vindicate
3 Cabal Therapy
2 Chrome Mox
4 Swords to Plowshares

Creatures - 22
4 Doran, the Siege Tower
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Dark Confidant
3 Eternal Witness
3 Loxodon Hierarch

Sideboard - 15
1 Armageddon
1 Cabal Therapy
4 Leyline of the Void
4 Pernicious Deed
2 Umezawa's Jitte
3 Krosan Grip


This is a textbook example of a port from Extended to Classic.  Classic as usual offers nothing new in terms of creatures, mainly offering more powerful spells.  Caleb added a Vampiric Tutor and Swords to Plowshares to increase the power of the maindeck.  The sideboard looks similar to Extended sideboards with the addition of a singleton Armageddon (which can be tutored for).  This is a powerful follow up the turn after Doran or a Tarmogoyf comes down.  Doran Rock is one of the most popular decks in Extended right now and it will be interesting to see if it makes the transition to a Classic staple.



Morningtide for Classic

This and Mutavault are looking to be the sets top two rares.  Crusher gets very big very quickly.  We're talking Tarmogoyf big bigger than Tarmogoyf.  In fact this card might be what I've been wanting Wizards to print, a red answer to Tarmogoyf.  I expect this card to see at least some play in every format I cover.  I'm showing this in the Classic preview slot because it is one of the few cards that may see Classic play.  So lets look at the Crusher in Classic as opposed to smaller formats.

Advantages Disadvantages
Saclands pump it Swords to Plowshares&Lightning Bolt
Sensei's Divining Top and Brainstorm

Good vs Counterbalance/Spell Snare/Engineered Explosives/Threads of Disloyalty

Circle of Protection: Red & Moat

See there are pluses and minuses.  Casting this to see Swords to Plowshares sucks thanks to the comparative mana costs.  You also need to be careful versus Lightning Bolt  Crusher will get big but he starts in Lightning Bolt range.  If your opponent is running Bolt cast him with a Wooded Foothills in play.  And for the love of god don't crack it if your opponent has open, they will just kill it in response.  Two cards that are gaining popularity are Circle of Protection: Red and Moat, clearly crusher doesn't want to see ether of those White enchantments.  His last big disadvantage is the double red in his casting cost.  Red is a fairly weak color in Classic outside of dedicated burn decks and as a splash color.  Honestly Crusher is a beast but I have no idea what deck he goes in.  As far as his upsides in Classic there are a good number.  First he dodges the four popular control cards I mentioned.  At least somewhat, he can still be blow up with Explosives and counted by Counterbalance just much less often than a two mana creature.  In a deck with Sensei's Divining Top and Brainstorm you can really get his ability going, not to mention still draw lands if you need to.  The deck that he might go into is a RW deck packing Armageddon.  Crusher+blowing up all the lands in the game could be a pretty potent combination.  That said I'm not sure what else the deck would do, might just work in casual.  Hope this gave everyone something to think about with Countryside Crusher, time will tell if he is Classic worthy.


End Note


I want to thank everyone who helped me out with decklists this week.  I would also like to apologize to Dr. Greens who won the Singleton event.  He provided me his decklist but thanks to a technical glitch on my part it was lost. Next week we should hopefully be back to updating earlier in the week.  It is quite possible that next week will be the last Roundup before v2 shuts down.  If that is the case better get your playtime in while you can.  During the OWWMODOWWBH (One Week Without Magic Online Digital Objects Which Will Be Hell) I'll be poking around on various forums and trying to get in some paper play.  As always comments, suggestions, and criticism are welcome here or in-game where I am iceage4life.



by iceage4life at Sun, 02/03/2008 - 09:07
iceage4life's picture

Well lucky for Tribal Wars Standard, it is based on Standard.  So if there is a good warrior deck it will work there.  I think there will be.

RE: tarmotog yeah I have no idea think a Singleton control tuned for mirror is the way to go (U/W)

Thanks Umii for the info looks like Vanguard didn't fire this weekend.  Stupid Mirri.

by Reaper9889 at Sun, 02/03/2008 - 13:25
Reaper9889's picture

Mituliak was playing BU control with Dakkon.

Btw. the most obvious interresting card I can see in morningtide: Oonas Blackguard. All Mirris creatures becomes Spectars after a turns delay.

But yes Mirri mirror is THE most non interactive games ever. The one who win the die roll wins the match in 80% or more of the games (this is putting it low, I suspect) and you cant really construct your way out of it (high toughness only gets you so far). 

Re: battleaxe by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 02/02/2008 - 12:46
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

Forums everywhere are pouring over this card, mostly because the warriors in standard are pretty good.  Whether the deck is good enough to cut it is something yet to be determined.    I see a decent 'warrior' deck on the backs of Countryside Crusher and Imperious Perfect. 

by Tarmotog at Sat, 02/02/2008 - 10:20
Tarmotog's picture

lol.. Yeah.. Aggro decks can't win control if they have mana issues. Avoid spamming lands that come into play tapped too. They really make you lose the edge. Similarly, I learnt it the hard way some time ago.

Your thinking that rdw will win is quite a good one because of the characteristics of the format which allow you to punish greedy decks.  A 5c rock deck with such a high placing is evidence that aggro decks are not having much business. Rock based decks with at least 4c tend to have a very strong mid-late game but they can't efficiently fight early because of early mana problems which will definitely arise.

I would believe that the pilot of that deck was either very brave or very smart when choosing such a deck.

Anyway, if you want to play rdw, you would need some form of backup plan against aggro decks cos they are very tough to beat. Sadly, I have yet to be able to come up with an effective plan but I believe that Morningtide should help alot in that area.  (You could always just cross your fingers and make a brutal anti control deck) Good luck =)

by Umii at Sat, 02/02/2008 - 09:05
Umii's picture

Nice roundup.  It's weird to see Goblins so dominant since it never seemed that popular before.

As for Vanguard, I played GW Mirri.  I didn't write up an article because the PE was, frankly, boring.  I played two Mirri mirrors, and I played one match where my opponent conceded as soon as he saw my avatar. Something is wrong with an avatar when you can make the semifinals and not have fun.

I can fill in half the top 8 though.  caliban was playing Tamanoa Ashling; plastik6- MonoU Dakkon, Reaper-Doran Mirri; renappel-GB Jhoira. I would be stunned if cwllc did not play GW Mirri.  Not sure about Mituliak or geneticfreak.