Welcome back, my readers! Last week, I gave a card-by-card analysis of my new favorite deck. It’s a G/W deck that took me to a second place finish in a big tournament. If the Ferrett could provide a handy link here, then we can move right along to my second analysis of the deck: Overall play.
For those of you who need a refresher (and who don’t want to follow the link back to the previous article), here’s the decklist one more time:
4x Parallax Wave
4x River Boa
2x Nightwind Glider
2x Thermal Glider
4x Noble Panther
4x Charging Troll
4x Llanowar Elves
4x Birds of Paradise
4x Elfhame Palace
4x Aura Mutation
3x Last Breath
2x Light of Day
2x Circle of Protection: Red
1x Thermal Glider
1x Nightwind Glider
2x Kavu Chameleon
Now that that’s over and done with, let’s move along. I’m going to divide this article into all the major reasons that this deck is amazing. I’ll start with the most important, and go down the scale from there. Ready? Let’s begin.
Reason for Greatness* #1: Consistency
Each time I play this deck, things are almost always the same. Here’s a very common early game:
Turn 1: Forest, Bird/Elf.
Turn 2: Adarkar Wastes, Noble Panther
Turn 3: Plains, Charging Troll/Blastoderm
Turn 4: Armageddon, Elfhame Palace.
Turns 5 – Endgame: Bring it, opponent.
Occasionally, I’ll get a slower start with an Elfhame Palace, followed by an Elf, but in that third turn, I always have at LEAST two threats to choose from. I mean, look at my decklist: I have twenty threatening creatures, four in the two-casting-cost range, eight in the three-casting-cost range, and eight in the four-casting-cost range. If I don’t draw Blastoderm, I draw Charging Troll. If I don’t draw Noble Panther, I draw a Glider. And I always, ALWAYS draw a Bird or an Elf in my opening hand.** Ever since I picked this version of the deck up for the first time, it’s been consistent. And it doesn’t even need appropriation (see "Conglomerate Mess"; look under Topic #2.). Throughout the whole tournament, I was a good Magic player, and I only shuffled. I didn’t have to manufacture consistency; this deck makes it itself!
Reason for Greatness #2: Topdecking Capability
This deck topdecks like a tool of the gods, with its player being a topdecking god. In my semi-finalist match, I had out only a Kavu Chameleon that survived a Perish. He had out THREE Chilling Apparitions. For those of you who didn’t immediately realize the predicament, it was as so: Each turn, he could attack with two Apparitions. I’d block one, and he’d regenerate; I’d take one and lose a card. He’d then have one back to block my Kavu, making the game hopeless. He was at six life, and I had Wax/Wane in my hand. If only I could get through his blockers, I could win. What do I topdeck? Parallax Wave! Game, set, match.
In one game, my opponent caught me off guard with a Wrath when I had no threats in hand. I topdeck… Blastoderm! In another game, the second one against a black/red deck, I draw a Thermal Glider and play it on Turn Three. Guess who was on a ten turn clock from then on?
This deck’s topdecking is amazing. You can always be sure that what you need is a card away. And, if it’s not, then the next best thing is. And, with all the mana in it, you can ‘Geddon with no lands in hand and still recover easily.
Reason for Greatness#3: Tight Co-operation
I got an email in response to my article last week from someone who wanted to know why the versions of our decks differed. His had Rishadan Ports, Chimeric Idols, and Tangle Wires in it, and, you can tell that mine doesn’t. Those cards are obviously very good, so why don’t I run them? The reason is simple: My deck is tight. I can’t take anything out, not only because my deck wouldn’t function as well, but because the rest of the cards would shout at me.
See, the deck works as a unit. Each card is a necessary extension of the deck. If you look down the list, you’ll see four of everything except basic land (that is, of course, if you say that "Glider" is one card instead of the two subcategories of "Nightwind" and "Thermal"). To take out one card is to remove a limb from a fully functional unit, and I wouldn’t do that. Not to a deck, anyway.
Reason for Greatness #4: Sideboard
The sideboard of this deck, though it doesn’t deal with everything, takes care of most of the things that it needs to. The Aura Mutations are good enough for maindeck because I can almost always use one, but they’re not included for the same reason that Tangle Wire isn’t. But, the sideboard is an excellent place for them to reside until needed. Last Breath is an excellent way to deal with Nether Spirit and Pyre Zombie, and Light of Day functionally shuts down not only black, but also black/red. Also, Kavu Chameleon can deal with black’s Perish as well as blue’s counters, and CoP: Red deals with the non-creature half of B/R decks. Finally, the Gliders both come in against B/R, and against a deck containing one or the other (such as U/B Control or Fires), you can sub one in for the other.
Because, you see, though my deck works as a unit, it’s a versatile one. When faced with a bland "opponent," it does what it does best with the cards that it has. However, when it needs to specialize, certain unnecessary pieces can be discarded in light of more functional pieces, thus making the unit all that much more efficient.
Reason for Greatness #5: PolitiQuotes Muttered While Playing
See, this deck has its name for a reason. Each time you cast some certain spells, if you’re playing a casual game (or a light tournament one), then you can have some fun. For instance, when you cast Parallax Wave, you are actually casting the "Lockbox." When you play Armageddon, mutter "Strategory." Whenever you cast an instant in response to something being cast (in this deck, your options are Wax/Wane, Aura Mutation, and Last Breath, but other decks work as well; my favorite is when casting Counterspell), you can say, "Can I interrupt and answer that question as though it were my turn to speak?" And finally, if you really want to throw your opponent off guard, you can randomly say, "For every child done. I will."
Well, there it is. The five reasons that this G/W deck is great. I give you permission to take it to glory as I have. But know that if you do, in truth, it will be the one taking YOU to glory.
* – All "Reasons for Greatness" are lawfully copyrighted and owned by Daniel Crane, Inc. Any reproduction not filed with the Center for Reproduction of Bogus Copyrights of them shall result in a swift lawsuit that may or may not involve lawyers or scathing emails. At the very least, you’ll have a bad feeling inside.
** – By always, I mean, of course, always. Except for when I don’t. But, always is all encompassing like that.