Welcome back to On The Hunt, where this week we head over to the darker side of the color pie with a new brew after the release of Mirridon Besieged. I've been wanting to make a poison deck during Scars, but it didn't have enough oomph to really do anything. However, with Besieged we've got more Infect guys to purge the unbelievers and to kill your opponents faster! So for the typical poison archetype, we have a certain amount of choices color-wise to work with: We have mono Green, mono Black, GB, and UB. We can set most of these into multiple aggro, midrange and control variants, so for now let's use my development list to see what we have to use for each archetype.
Here, we are looking at the basic infect colors of the set, and there are a vast number of choices here to try out: most notably the new additions of Phyrexian Vatmother, Phyrexian Crusader, Viridian Corrupter and Inkmoth Nexus stand out.
Glissa, the Traitor
So let's take a look at the basic list of new additions to the infect line of Besieged, since the war now appears to have a 50/50 chance of either side winning (GO PHYREXIA!...) Ahem, anyways Blue really didn't give us any usable tools infect-wise except a limited bomb Mind Control in the form of Corrupted Conscience with, in this author's opinion, the best art in the set.
Tidbit of what deck is suppose to do: The point of the deck is to get your infect guys out as fast as possible then use Bellowing Tanglewurm, the Swords, Eldrazi Monument, and the Mimic Vat+Putrefax combo to win.
Tibbit of what deck is suppose to do: More or less the mono Black equivalent of the infect deck (without Green or Blue). I'll be blunt, it has trouble against maindeck Sword of Feast and Famine. Luckily we can put enough pressure to poison out and take out any creatures that we might have trouble with by -1/-1 counters, Go for the Throat, and Black Sun's Zenith.
Tidbit of what deck is suppose to do: Yes, this is basically a UB Tezzeret deck that pumps out Tezz to make all the artifact infectors into huge beatsticks, while the backup plan is for Jace to either ultimate or to help get turn card advantage into our other threats. Trust me, when you're on the wrong end of a 5/5 Inkmoth Nexus, you know just how beastly the deck can be.
Tidbit of what deck is suppose to do: Typical GB infect deck that uses Lotus Cobra's landfall to quickly put out our infect creatures with Garruk as a finisher.
Here is a quick match report on the mono Black list I ran:
Match 1- Qna's UB Shape Anew/Colossus
So I was very excited for a long time to be able to test out this deck list and finally got the chance to do so. The first thing that came to my mind was that this was a typical Tezz deck, but I found out during game two that it was indeed something out of left field. I win the die roll and I draw 2 Swamps, a Phyrexian Crusader, a Marsh Flat, Black Sun's Zenith, a Hand of the Praetors and Inkmoth Nexus.
I lay down Marsh Flats and pass the turn. Qna then plays a Darkslick Shores and follows up with an Inquisition of Kozilek which gets a grunt from me. Now if anyone knows how to Jedi mind trick, I pulled this off somehow: I reveal my hand and immediately take Black Sun's Zenith and place it in my graveyard and say, "Okay?" He agrees and passes the turn, when he certainly should have taken my Crusader. I pop the Marsh and go to 19 (M:19 - Evil:20/0) getting a Swamp. I draw a Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon and play Inkmoth Nexus, passing the turn. He draws and play his own Marsh Flats and goes to 19 (M:19-Evil:19/0) and passes the turn.
I draw Go for the Throat, and I play a Swamp and the Phyrexian Crusader, fully aware that he has Mana Leak mana up. I wanted to bait him, knowing I have ways to bring it back to my hand, but he lets it pass and I was worried that I might have walked into a Go for the Throat or something similar. Alternatively, he might be trying to let me overextend my board. Turn 3 he plays a Drowned Catacomb and taps all three to play a Trinket Mage which left me with a "Huh?" look as he fetched up a Darksteel Axe (which made me go out of the Tezzeret gameplan and think he was maybe on some mediocre UB metalcraft deck). Turn 4 I draw another Inkmoth Nexus, play it, and tap out for Hand of the Praetor's. My attack with the Crusader takes him to three poison (M:19-Evil:19/3).
He draws for his turn and quickly plays a Go for the Throat on my Hand and taps his Catacombs for his Darksteel Axe, passing the turn. Turn 5 I draw a Verdant Catacombs, play it and tap two Swamps to activate both Inkmoth Nexuses and attack with them and the Phyrexian Crusader. He blocks the Crusader with the Trinket Mage and takes two poison from the Inkmoths (M:19-Evil:19/5). During his turn he taps his three lands and plays Black Sun's Zenith, putting the Crusader at 1/1 as he shuffles up the Zenith into his library. On my turn, I pop the Catacombs and got to 18 (M:18-Evil:19/5).
This game went pretty fast, and I wasn't smart enough to actually remember to log this game, but I know he mulliganed to 5 (much to my delight) and I kept my initial hand of Ichor Rats, 2 Swamps, an Inkmoth Nexus and a Hand of the Praetors, Go for the Throat, and Black Sun's Zenith. He decided to play first, playing a Darkslick Shores and Inquision of Kozilek that took my Ichor Rats. I draw and play a Marsh Flats, passing the turn, while on turn 2 he plays another Shores and plays See Beyond. As for me, I'm still confused as to what the deck could possibly do, and I go to 19 popping the Marsh Flats. I draw a Swamp and play it before passing the turn.
He plays an Inkmoth Nexus getting me back into the, "Oh hell, he's actually is playing some sort of Tezz build", and plays a Trinket Mage for a Darksteel Axe, and all of a sudden I'm thinking, "Please equip Axe to Nexus so I can Go for the Throat!" Basically here is what happened: I draw my Ichor Rats, play it, and we each get a poison counter. He plays a Swamp and taps it for Darksteel Axe and passes. I draw a Phyrexian Vatmother, much to my happiness but soon to be my grief. Now here is why he's playing Darksteel Axe: he plays another Nexus, taps four, and much to my surprise, Shape Anew. Cue the head banging on my desk, because there's only one reason to play that card and that card was Blightsteel Colossus. Apparently only two artifacts in the deck besides the Nexus were the one-ofs Axe and Colossus. Soooo, we go to game 3.
Only thing I get out early is a Plague Stinger, which gets killed by a Disfigure, and I follow up with an Ichor Rats and him with a Crusader of his own. The next couple of turns he Trinket Mages into an Axe and casts Shape Anew for the Colossus.
I'll see you next time with some news and some more interesting deck builds and another match report from those builds.