C-3 and OBC

Bennie attended the Central Championships – the ccgprime.com-sponsored Midwest tournament where Type 2 and OBC met head-to-head. So how did Bennie do?

For those of you who do not live in the tri-state area of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, you may be unaware of a cool tournament organized by Dan Rowland of www.ccgprime.com called the Central Coast Championship (what’s I’ve been abbreviating C-3). He set up a series of qualifying tournaments where the winner would get an invite to the Championship, and the rest of the players would earn points based on your final ranking in the qualifier. At the end of the qualifying season, the top 10 or so points-earners would also get invites. Our local game shop TAG in Mechanicsville, VA held four qualifiers, and yours truly won the first one. We also got two more local boys q’d on points, so we sent a strong presence down there.

The interesting thing was that, while half the Swiss rounds and the top 8 were Type 2 format, the other half of the Swiss was OBC. OBC is a format that most non-Pro Magic players could care less about at this point in the season, but those of us going to C-3 needed to pay attention.

Luckily for me, Team Diaspora has been deeply analyzing PT Osaka OBC and I felt I understood the format fairly well. I also felt confident in choosing to play Monogreen. The archetype did fairly well against the top archetypes, but was off the radar of the OBC metagame. I hoped I could ambush a few people who were unprepared for it. For the record, here’s what I played:

OBC Monogreen, pre-Judgement:

4 Deserted Temple

20 Forest

4 Millikin

4 Werebear

4 Chatter of the Squirrel

4 Spellbane Centaur

4 Call of the Herd

3 Acorn Harvest

3 Beast Attack

3 Sylvan Might

3 Overrun

4 Squirrel Nest

This deck focuses on two very powerful Magic themes – mana acceleration and card advantage. The Millikins and Werebears give us eight two-drop mana accelerators. Eighteen flashback spells and the token-generating squirrel nests add up to often overwhelming card advantage. Spellbane can often generate virtual card advantage against blue bounce affects, and Overrun, as Jamie Wakefield once put it, is green’s Hatred (i.e. it’s an”I WIN” card). The Millikin is just nuts in this deck, occasionally”drawing” flashback cards while tapping for mana.

So how did I do? Well, first let me back up and talk about what I played in the first three rounds of Swiss Type 2. The night before the tournament, I was playtesting my version of B/G Braids. While I still wasn’t 100% comfortable with what seemed to be at-odds cards such as the mana-hungry Deed and Monger in a Braids deck, I couldn’t argue with the fact that B/G decks with Braids did better at Regionals than B/G decks without (such as the one I played). Here’s what I playtested:

Blairwitch Braids

4x Duress

4x Chainer’s Edict

4x Nantuko Shade

4x Ravenous Rats

2x Mesmeric Fiend

4x Phyrexian Rager

4x Pernicious Deed

4x Braids, Cabal Minion

3x Shambling Swarm

3x Spiritmonger

4x Llanowar Wastes

4x Tainted Wood

2x Forest

14x Swamp


4x Phyrexian Arena

4x Compost

2x Ichorid

1x Shambling Swarm

2x Mortivore

2x Tranquility

Looks pretty good, don’t it? Plenty of power, lots of early game and decent late-game finishers. There was just one problem: In testing, I was consistently getting mana screwed. I had to mulligan quite a few times, I’d stall at two or three lands as 4cc spells accumulated in my hand… It was stupid. 24 lands should really be enough, but I was debating adding in a 25th land as my 61st card.

Beside me, Kid was playtesting my monoblack build – something he’d been playing to great success in the past month. The deck just pulls off spectacularly broken plays, in particular generating a ton of mana. So… I call an audible, deciding to play our monoblack deck for Type 2. Here’s what we took down there:


4x Duress

3x Addle

4x Innocent Blood

4x Chainer’s Edict

3x Mutilate

4x Phyrexian Arena

3x Soul Burn

3x Corrupt

3x Diabolic Tutor

1x Mind Sludge

1x Haunting Echoes

1x Mirari

1x Planar Portal

3x Cabal Coffers

22x Swamp


3x Millstone

3x Engineered Plague

1x Addle

1x Mind Sludge

1x Haunting Echoes

1x Legacy Weapon

1x Crystal Quarry

1x Urborg Shambler

1x Caustic Tar

1x Phyrexian Colossus

1x Yawgmoth’s Agenda

The core of the deck has been constant and powerful; I’ve just been noodling around with the individual cards in the main and board over the past few weeks. This lineup seemed to work quite nicely. The maindeck Mirari is the latest addition, and it has been working great. I’ve seen versions of this deck that only run three Arenas, and I can only shake my head and wonder why. This deck needs Arena; it craves it like a thirsty man craves water, and it drives Arena better than any deck since the card came out. If I could get away with more than four I would. Duress’s and Addles in the main are a fantastic early punch to control decks, often opening the way to a turn 3 Arena. And Planar Portal, dismissed as a kiddie card, is really the lynchpin of the deck. Arena is the engine, but the Portal is what wins you the game. You can easily cast and use this card, and still have mana left over to cast what you tutored for. Mad props to Alan Comer for introducing this card into the monoblack archetype.

The board has some interesting choices with many one-ofs because of the Tutor base in the deck. The first consideration I had was what to do in the face of another creatureless deck. I’ve got eleven main deck creature hate that will need to be swapped out (though I will typically hang onto one Edict just in case of weird transformational sideboards). The plan here is to try and set up a nasty Haunting Echoes, so you bring in one more Addle, Mind Sludge, Echoes, and the three Millstones. The rest of the cards you can season to taste. Legacy Weapon/Crystal Quarry is easy to put together and use in this deck. Shambler takes care of pesky Shades and Ichorids. Engineered Plague for an assortment of weenies. Caustic Tar gets around the CoP: Black problem. Phyrexian Colossus is a recent addition and it’s worked better than I hoped. Not only is he a nice colorless source of damage, he’s a huge blocker, giving you nice protection from hasted beasties like Skizzik, Raging Kavu and Ichorid.

I went 2-1 with the deck in the Swiss, losing the first round at least in part to horrific mana screw (to give my opponent credit, he may have beaten me anyway but I didn’t put up much of a fight in two of our games). Game one I have to mulligan a no-land hand, and get Coffers as my only land out of six. I mulligan to five and keep a two land hand, and don’t draw a third mana until the game is way out of hand. The second game I managed to get a normal draw and end up winning that one. The third game, I have to again mulligan (with only one land this time), and keep a two-land hand (unfortunately, one is a Coffer). Keep in mind that I actually sided in a Quarry, so I’m now playing twenty-six land! I don’t draw a third land for a while – and when I do, I try and make a game of it with Edicts and Bloods until I can draw a fourth, but he slowly overwhelms my removal and I lose this one too.

In a fit of superstitious rage, I remove all the swamps from the deck (Beta swamps lent to me by Chris Faesi) and put in plain old swamps. Remarkably, the deck performs normally for the next two matches.


So now I switch up with monogreen for OBC, and get paired against a monowhite cleric deck. Completely rogue, completely unexpected – and apparently custom-made to defeat a deck relying on creature rush to win (hey, I thought my deck was off the radar?!?). He gets a slightly slow draw and I overwhelm him with help from Millikin and Squirrel Nest. Game two, he gets a turn 3 Dogged Hunter on the board to my absolute horror. I begin to realize how much I hate playing narrow decks that don’t have the flexibility to handle various things. That’s why I just love Pernicious Deed. Sigh. For the last match, I end up trimming out a few of the token cards (the Chatters and a Harvest) and decide to bring in”real” creatures. Unfortunately, I mistakenly choose Still Life, since I figured it’s a 4/3 beatstick. So when I draw Overrun for the win, I cannot also activate the three Still Lifes I have in play and attack with them. He uses Vengeful Dreams and some damage prevention to survive the attack, and eventually pings me to death with small fliers. If I’d boarded in Leafdancers instead, that would have been an extra fifteen points of trampling damage on that attack, which would have won the game and match.

The next two matchups were against blue/green decks, which are difficult but not unwinnable. I managed to take the first one to three games, but eventually lost to Standstill card advantage and big Roar tokens. I win the second matchup and ended the day at 3-3. Thankfully, TAG places two folks into the top 8, with Chuck Myers finishing 6th and Chris Faesi finishing 3rd. Way to go, guys!

But getting back to OBC and peeking into the future…

What does Judgement bring to this archetype? Let’s look at individual cards worth considering and then see how they might fit in a monogreen deck.

Elephant Guide


Enchant Creature

Enchanted creature gets +3/+3.

When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, put a 3/3 green Elephant token into play.

An absolute beating, making the target creature more durable against direct damage, and giving you a sizable consolation prize for when the enchanted creature does die. The one problem is blue bounce, so I think Spellbanes go in same deck as Elephant Guide and nicely plug that hole.



Creature – Incarnation

At the beginning of your upkeep, if Genesis is in your graveyard, you may pay 2G, if you do, return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

The beauty of Genesis is that it’s existence opens up the possibilities of playing”real” green creatures rather than relying on flashback critters too heavily. Obviously, we’d want Wild Mongrel and maybe other discard effects like Narcissism to make sure we get Genesis in the graveyard where it can start to work.

Living Wish



Choose a creature or land card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Living Wish from the game.

This very playable Wish is both cheap and extremely flexible. We can now utilize our sideboard to help us out of a landscrew (moving a Temple to the board), to fetch a Spellbane or protection from black critter in the first game… The main question is whether the loss of tempo is worth it, but since it’s cheap and we have access to mana acceleration, it may be worth it. It occurred to me that we could use this as a neo-green Impulse, letting us get away with running a slightly lower land count figuring we could Wish into a land from the board turn 2 if we were a little mana shy, but if we drew adequate mana we could instead have a higher concentration of threats.

Phantom Centaur


Creature – Centaur Spirit

Protection from Black

Phantom Centaur comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it.

If damage would be dealt to Phantom Centaur, prevent that damage. Remove a +1/+1 count from Phantom Centaur.


This card is just a card advantage machine. Blocks and kills both Call tokens and still swings for three. A perfect complement to both Elephant Guide and Genesis. Maindeckable for sure.




Play Seedtime only on your turn. If an opponent played a blue spell this turn, take an extra turn after this one.

Might be a big help in combating the blue/green decks… Giving you a reward for your opponent playing Aether Burst, Circular Logic and Syncopate.

Sylvan Safekeeper


Creature – Wizard

Sacrifice a land: Target creature you control can’t be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.


Very useful special ability, and yet another option in addition to Spellbane to help combat blue’s untimely bounce, making your token critters”real” critters.

Okay, I can see us going two routes here… The first will be to just strengthen the existing archetype. I think Safekeeper and Elephant Guide both could help:

OBC Monogreen, post-Judgement Deck 1:

4 Deserted Temple

20 Forest

4 Millikin

4 Werebear

4 Chatter of the Squirrel

3 Sylvan Safekeeper

3 Spellbane Centaur

4 Call of the Herd

3 Acorn Harvest

4 Elephant Guide

3 Sylvan Might

4 Squirrel Nest

I cut out the Overruns and Beast Attacks, since Safekeeper is likely to eat up lands in the midgame, making casting those spells less likely. Elephant Guide also gives a similar resistance to black removal that Beast Attack gave us. Safekeepers along with Spellbanes ought to give us excellent resistance to blue bounce spells.

The other route is to take advantage of Genesis and play with more”real” creature spells. Focusing more on creatures lets us also take better advantage of Living Wish. And Phantom Centaur… Well, what more can you say about that beatstick?

OBC Monogreen, Post-Judgement Deck 2:

3 Deserted Temple

20 Forest

4 Millikin

4 Werebear

4 Basking Rootwalla

2 Sylvan Safekeeper

4 Wild Mongrel

3 Spellbane Centaur

3 Phantom Centaur

1 Genesis

4 Elephant Guide

4 Squirrel Nest

4 Living Wish


1 Deserted Temple

1 Spellbane Centaur

1 Phantom Centaur

1 Genesis

4 Leaf Dancer

2 Seedtime

3 Still Life

2 Druid Lyrist

How yummy is Rootwalla in combination with Elephant Guide? Holy beatdown! I included a sideboard for this version in order to show how I intended to use Living Wish – depending on where you are in the game, get a Temple (to either get out of landscrew or to charge up your Nest), get a Spellbane against blue bounce, get a Phantom against black or beatdown, get a Genesis for the mid-game to start pulling recurring your critters, get a Leaf Dancer to break a creature stall, a Lyrist for any weird enchantments bothering you (particularly good along with Genesis).

In both builds I kept the Millikin/Werebear mana accelerator, I think it’s an important and powerful feature of this archetype. Millikin has synergy with the flashback in version 1 and Genesis in version 2. Ultimately, I think version 2 is the stronger build and takes maximum advantage of some of the new cards.

By the way, my beloved Editor-in-Chief, The Ferrett, will be coming to TAG this Saturday to engage in a group game throw down, along with Mr. Star City himself, Pete Hoefling. How will the Rodent Master of Group Games fare in the wack TAG casual metagame? Stay tuned next week for details!

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