I had planned to finish writing up my Avacyn Restored Pre-Release report tonight.. but then I saw this from Andrew Magrini (@A_Magrini) on Twitter:
“I want to build an FNM deck that uses Misthollow Griffin, Surgical Extraction, Skaab Ruinator, and Heartless Summoning. Anyone wanna try?”
YES! I DO! I guess my Pre-Re report will be put on hold tomorrow then.
Now normally I draft out my blog posts and spend some time re-wording, re-ordering, scrutinising and making corrections before I hit publish. Seeing as I’d like to get to bed quite soon however, this time I’m just going to be writing on the fly so please bear with me in the case of any mistakes or nonsense!
Ok, so to kick off, the requested 4 cards. You can immediately see we are Blue/Black. Since I’ve been playing a UB Control deck recently, I’m imagining something combo-esque in a control-ish shell. However, being creature based this is likely going to be relatively aggressive, so I’m thinking lets go counter-magic light and stick to the Black side of control.
Misthollow Griffin – Core of the deck, 4 of these.
Surgical Extraction – Great for getting the Griffin into exile, but I don’t think you’d want to overload on this effect, so I think I’ll include 3 in the maindeck. It’s also a great card for neutering some other decks (especially Zombies) so the 4th will be in the sideboard.
Skaab Ruinator – Works beautifully with the Griffin, and will likely be the main beater in the deck, another 4-of.
Heartless Summoning – A nice engine to get everything going. Definite 4-of.
So there’s 15 cards straight off. For a manabase, the dual lands Drowned Catacomb and Darkslick Shores are no-brainers, assuming you can get them. If not, some Evolving Wilds should be nice for a budget version. I have found Nephalia Drownyard to be fantastic as an alt-win con, but here it also helps fuel your deck. Perhaps add a couple of Ghost Quarter too if you’re worried about seeing opposing land threats (although remember, no counters means no need to worry about Cavern of Souls here! Fill out with Swamps and Islands up to 24(ish) lands (I’ve been having mana screw problems lately even with 26 so I might go a bit higher).
Once you have a Ruinator in play, making duplicates on the cheap seems like it could be a good idea, so a few Phyrexian Metamorph can’t hurt (not you at least, hopefully they’ll be hurting the opponent lots!) Also great for mimicing opposing threats
21 cards left to find. Memoricide has just jumped to mind with potential for inclusion, but taking a few moments to think about it, since we already have Surgicals and the Ruinators to exile the Griffins I think it would be an unnecessary inclusion.
Perilous Myr seems good. Bit of spot removal (especially against those pesky Mirran Crusaders). Another 2-drop that I’ve grown to love using with Heartless recently is Black Cat. Yet another creature that opponents hate swinging into.
Now perhaps this is a bit too obvious, and feel free to criticize me for this one, but Havengul Lich jumps out. Yes, Lich-combo has been done before. But it’s a solid creature to have at the top end of the deck, and it can’t hurt to include a couple.
One final creature I’d personally love to play with is Griselbrand. With a couple of Heartless Summonings down he is the same cost as a Phyrexian Obliterator. Seems… fair? Probably only include one though.
Ok, finally onto the removal suite. Tragic Slip is great at the moment. As is Black Sun’s Zenith, but since you want to be having guys down I don’t think this is optimal. Instead, I’d rather have Sever the Bloodline right now. A fantastic card to deal with opposing Titans/Undying guys/etc and probably at about the right place in the curve of this deck so you can get rid of their main threat and continue to beat down. Finally for a little more spot-removal, a couple of Go for the Throats could be good, but since we already have the Myr acting as pseudo-removal, I think I’d like a couple of Tribute to Hunger to help deal with those damn Hexproofers.
Since this deck has been put together in a hurry off the top of my head I won’t bother dreaming up a full sideboard just yet, but I guess a few counters and perhaps even those Black Zenith’s I mentioned could be a good idea there, just in case. One final card that should probably be in the sideboard, but because I’ve been having fun winning with it along side Drownyard, is Increasing Confusion. So im going to throw one of those into the deck for kicks.
To finish, here is a round-up of my proposed decklist:
And there you go! Just over 30 minutes from when I wrote the first word until now, that’s pretty good going I think! I hope you like the deck (especially Andrew, if you took the time to read then thank you) although I am sure there are plenty of improvements that could be made. Do let me hear any feedback you might have, and perhaps even try it (or something similar) out at you local FNM. If you do, be sure to let me know how it goes!
Until next time! (Which will be tomorrow, when I finally get around to publishing my Pre-Re report)
(Edit: I’ll admit, I did just do a quick 2 minute proof read before posting to twitter lol)