Ever since we brewed a Genesis Wave deck on episode 33 of Horde of Notions, there’s been a lot of interest in the list from listeners of the show. It’s tremendous fun to play, it’s explosive as hell and even if you don’t draw a Genesis Wave you’re still on the mono-Titans plan. All the ramp means you are more often than not dropping a Titan on turn 4, and then every topdeck is a potential nightmare for your opponent.
Here’s the list, with explanations of each choice.
1 Pristine Talisman – I’m not sure this needs to be in the deck. The life gain rarely matters and this might just be better as another Manalith.
4 Primeval Titan – Go on, pretend you’re surprised. Every ramp deck should be running this card, at least 3 and probably 4 in most cases.
3 Manalith – One of two maligned cards in the deck. Seriously, you need this. It ramps you AND lets you use it the turn you play it, plus it helps with the three-colour manabase without limits on usage.
3 Dawntreader Elk – Speed bump that ramps you. Be careful when you use it as it enables Morbid. Helpful against attacking Obliterators.
2 Massacre Wurm – A necessary evil. If you Wave into it, it helps clear the way of Spirit tokens and blockers. If you hard cast it, it keeps you alive.
2 Solemn Simulacrum – I would try up to 4, but normally by the time I can cast the second I would rather be casting a Titan. Good speed bump though.
4 Birds of Paradise – If there were a non-creature 1cc ramp spell, I would play it. Relying on this in a world of Tragic Slip, Gut Shot, Vapor Snag and Galvanic Blast is perilous to say the least. Still, there’s no better choice right now.
1 Shrine of Boundless Growth – People have stopped reading when they see this. Don’t sleep on this card. You drop it turn 2 or 3 and it beats a Mana Leak on your GWave by itself. I might play a second but any more would be wrong for sure.
2 Grave Titan – A case of it being better than any other creature option in these three colours, and it’s just stupid with Urabrask off a Wave.
3 Urabrask, the Hidden – Absolutely vital to the deck, especially against sorcery-speed sweepers. You can board this out against decks without them for more beef, or for like a Karn maybe. The only thing better than Waving into 3 Titans is Waving into 3 hasty Titans. Well, maybe Waving into 4…
4 Genesis Wave – You might actually be able to get away with 3 in the deck. Risky though.
4 Sphere of the Suns – I want Fellwar Stone back
3 Inferno Titan – The best Titan when you have Urabrask. Just a beating.
1 Inkmoth Nexus – Plan C, in case something goes wrong (waving into nothing, for example).
1 Kessig Wolf Run – See Inkmoth.
4 Woodland Cemetery
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Copperline Gorge
2 Evolving Wilds
2 Dragonskull Summit
The mana base is solid, I have only had issues with BBB for Wurm once or twice. Sideboard needs something to answer heavy permission (likely Autumn’s Veil), a plan in case you want to side out of GWave (Garruk 3.0 or Karn seem fine, even 2.0 would work), more beef against decks without sweepers (extra Titans probably), potentially Acidic Slime for Pod (which has been a rough matchup) and maybe Markov Warlord (against Obliterator, which is BAD for you) or Warstorm Surge.
So how does it play? Against Delver they basically have to either counter your ramp and race you or counter your beef and hope you die before you run out. Neither plan is particularly good for them. Remember many Delver decks are only running 3-4 counters main. Post-board they likely bring in Dissipate and maybe Flashfreeze, so you need either the Autumn’s Veil plan or the planeswalker one. Massacre Wurm is a bomb against the non-anthem versions of the deck, so never cut those. Urabrask however is a liability as it WILL be Vapor Snagged after the Wave. If you have the Veil then that’s not a concern, but consider siding him out.
Wolf Run needs a nut draw to compete. You’re both ramping in the early turns but their turn 4 or 5 Titan looks really bad next to your turn 5 or 6 Genesis Wave. Slagstorm can be an annoyance if you don’t play out your Elks with mana open, but otherwise you just shrug and go off. The white version on the other hand can be a real problem. Gideon Jura can ruin your day, especially if they have Day of Judgement in hand. Elesh Norn is also not something you want to see. That’s a bad matchup for you and I’m still trying to figure out how to beat it, though it probably involves Karn.
Zombies can be bad if they get a fast start. The nine-power-attacking-turn-three draw is tough for any deck to handle, and we’re not exempt from that. It’s made worse by the fact that a Massacre Wurm will wipe their board…and deal 3 to you in the process. Obliterator can also be nasty, though sometimes your Wave will be good enough to just attack on through it. Karn, Warstorm Surge and Markov Warlord are all options here, as well as playing out Urabrask before they can drop Obliterator, then Waving the turn after they do.
Humans needs anthems to have a hope. Champion into Gather is a tough start but fortunately it doesn’t have trample. Without anthems your Massacre Wurm is just that – a Massacre. Acidic Slime is a must out of the board, as is the fourth Inferno Titan.