At the Gathering – Worldwake Preview Card… and Hypergenesis!

Grand Prix: Oakland!

Tuesday, January 26th – I want to talk about Extended today, specifically Hypergenesis. In preparation for Grand Prix: Oakland and the PTQ season, we’re getting down to testing and tweaking decks. I decided to take a look at Hypergenesis and see exactly what people were playing…

Worldwake spoiler season is upon us, and as usual, there’s a spoiler card to be found in this very article. Now, you’ll have to look hard to find it. What’s that you say? No you won’t, it’s the only image? Very well, let’s just put it at the top…

Mire's Toil

Okay, let’s look at the card.

Sorcery speed, pretty typical of discard spells.

It has a converted casting cost of one, which is a bit deceiving, as you likely don’t want to cast this on your first turn. Still, it makes it cheaper to use this and something else later in the game.

Similar to Mind Sludge, it gets better the more Swamps you have. Ideally, you’ll want to have at least as many Swamps as they have cards in hand.

One important thing to look at is that it doesn’t place any specifications on what you can take. You could take a land, if you so choose. The limitations of the spell are merely the amount of Swamps you control.

Now, let’s look at some applications. In Limited, it may be a decent disruption spell, but mostly will be disruption for your Mono-Black deck to try to buy you enough time. Unless we see the format slow down a lot (unlikely) then we should expect it to disrupt your opponent just enough to take advantage of the gain.

In Standard, the best location is in Vampires, for much the same reason. You’ll have enough Swamps to make this reasonably efficient by turn 4 against almost anything but the Koldest control decks, who will likely still have a meaty grip of cards.

In Extended and beyond, it is likely not strong enough to make more of an impact than Thoughtseize, and as such isn’t quite strong enough to make a dent unless you are on some sort of Megrim plan.

EDH Mono-Black decks may like it, especially in concert with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to power it up regardless of your manabase.

Overall, I think this card will be playable in Limited in a Mono-Black deck, and will likely see some sort of action in Standard Vampires. Information is good, and I could see Vampires using this turn 4 or 5 to plot exactly how they want to end the game, or as a precursor to Sorin Markov to ensure the coast is clear of counterspells (o take the counter away).

Moving on, I want to talk about Extended today, specifically Hypergenesis. In preparation for Grand Prix: Oakland and the PTQ season, we’re getting down to testing and tweaking decks. I decided to take a look at Hypergenesis and see exactly what people were playing. With that in mind, I went to Worlds Coverage and looked up the Top Extended Decks. There were 5 Hypergenesis decks (Here‘s the link, for those interested) piloted by the following, and their respective records:

Przemyslaw Nagadowski, 6-0
Niels Noorlander, 5-1
Dennis Stone, 4-1-1
Ceraj Kucukuagloyan, 4-2
Ken Yukuhiro, 4-2

I took their deck lists and ported them into a spreadsheet, so I could see exactly what was being played. Here’s the spreadsheet.

The fourth list, by Ceraj Kucukuagloyan, appears to be more of a Dragon Combo kill, trying to kill you the turn it enters the battlefield rather than just laying the beef like most of them. Interesting to note that the three best performing builds all maxed out on Angel of Despair, while the other two did not. One thing that another player had done was add Pillar of the Paruns as a four-of in the land base, but we found that to be a weaker play, in that you couldn’t use it to try and actually cast anything, or more importantly, suspend a Hypergenesis.

Looking at the composite build, I definitely believe 21 lands to be correct. Brandon, one of my semi- local play test partners, believes you need less, but it’s just too important. After that, looking at the spells, I decided to err on the side of lower, choosing 17, as the top two performing decks had less. This left me with 22 creatures. The data suggests running 2.4 Angel of Despair, which I rounded up to 3, but should probably be 4 regardless. Progenitus is also a 4-of, and is definitely the most powerful creature you can throw out there. Other than that, I just tried to put in creatures that would help end the game in various ways. I wanted a diverse set of creatures to make side boarding more difficult for my opponents, as one time might be Iona, and another might be Magister Sphinx, which affect the game in vastly different ways.

I definitely think that Ardent Plea is a better choice than Demonic Dread, because it doesn’t target, and it may help you later with its exalted. It requires stretching the mana base a bit, but that isn’t that hard to do for this format. I did choose a basic Swamp in the sideboard to help combat All-In-Red, so that you have a few more outs to either of their Moon effects.

Here is the deck as the data suggests:

After testing, we decided that Ingot Chewer definitely belongs in the main deck, mostly as an out to Chalice of the Void or other hoser artifacts, but also to give you a few more outs to All-In Red. (We played a lot of All-In Red, and have one player pretty well convinced to play it over his home made Tron and Nail Build.) We thought we had made a breakthrough in protecting the Hypergenesis in Mindbreak Trap. Costs 3 or more, safe from cascade, exiles any number of spells, nice, and can be played for free! Eureka! Cascade spell is one, Hypergenesis is two, and their counter is three! Sweet! One quick gatherer search later and we found that you only get to play Mindbreak Trap for free if the opponent has cast three or more spells this turn. Less awesome. After testing, the deck looks like this:

The deck is not positioned very well right now, as Control decks with Thopter Foundry just wait and counter your Hypergenesis. Unless you have a way to cast it very early, you don’t have much of a chance. Overall, I think that if I’m going to try and play a deck that wrecks people before they can counter anything, I think All-In Red is a better choice. Many players are very deflated by the turn one Blood Moon effect; either from the namesake or the version with legs, Magus of the Moon. Upping the Ingot Chewer count helps against hate cards, as does the extra Oblivion Ring in the sideboard. Overall, I still wouldn’t recommend the deck unless you have a way to deal with counterspells. Vexing Shusher is just too disruptive to your own game plan to expect him to have the effect you want. If only the Shusher had cost three. On option that was moderately successful was suspending on Hypergenesis, and then trying to go off twice in one turn. It worked by surprise the first time or two, but after that, it again became “Oh, it’s about to unsuspend. Guess I’ll need two counterspells. Better off might be putting Cancel or something similar in the sideboard, and trying to go off with 3 extra mana available. I don’t think it’s viable, though.

After our marathon testing session, we talked a bit about the format, and how it shakes out: Thopter Control is probably the best deck right now. What beats it? Well, if you can answer that, let me know. The only deck we’ve been able to beat on it with any sort of consistency is All-In Red, and only if they don’t have Path and access to a Plains. For those out there brewing, good luck. As for me, I’m going to try that new ELVES! build that’s going around the interwebs.

Until next time, this is Jeff Phillips, reminding you: Don’t make the Loser Choice.