Feature Article – Mistmeadow Witch for Block Constructed

Visit the StarCityGames.com booth at Grand Prix Denver!
Tuesday, July 1st – In his first article for StarCityGames.com, Pro Tour winner Chris Lachmann brings us the lowdown on the Block Constructed deck he co-created with Stuart Wright for Grand Prix: Birmingham – a spicy control number that fully utilizes the strength of Mistmeadow Witch…

When I meet people, they often ask me what I do. They are usually both surprised and interested when I tell them I play Magic. After the life changing experience that was Pro Tour: San Diego, I have been pouring a lot of time into the game, making great friends along the way and having the time of my life. The best strategy tip you will ever get from my articles is that you should enjoy every tournament you go to, always try and meet new people, remember that this is after all just a game and you should be having lots of fun.

Starting with PT: Hollywood, I planned a two-week Magic vacation. Steve Sadin, Jacob Van Lunen, and myself were all on board with Rich Hagon hosting the second leg of our trip to Birmingham. Disaster nearly ended the trip to England, as Steve had a very bad infection in his foot and had to be hospitalized for several days the night before our departure. This left us with a bit of a problem, since Steve had all the info for once we arrived. We dropped off all Steve’s luggage at the hospital, and he assured us that Stuart Wright would be waiting for us once we disembarked the airplane in Manchester.

A quick tip to anyone planning on traveling to England, you need the exact address of where you are staying or they will not let you into the country. Also, it is probably not a good idea to tell the customs agent that you are there to play in a card tournament for thousands of dollars. This will end up with you sitting very impatiently at customs, wondering if you will even be able to get into the country. After that debacle, we finally got through customs to find our luggage carousel was empty. Thankfully, the airport was not that big, and we found our bags sitting on the other side of the baggage claim, getting processed. We then waited for Stuart Wright, who was supposed to have the travel itinerary. After about an hour and a half of waiting, we figured out that there are no more planes coming in from the States so Stu had already arrived. Finally we found an antique Internet station, and found an emergency email from Rich Hagon giving us a detailed description of what to do on arrival. Thanks again for that, Rich. It was a lifesaver. We finally made it to the train station, and met up with everyone for the train to Scunthorpe.

Going into the tournament I knew that I wanted to play a deck with Reveillark in it. The card is just too powerful, and is easily abused with the creatures in Block Constructed. When I got to the train station in England, Stuart Wright and Neil Rigby were awaiting my arrival and were brewing up decklists. I took a look at their paper, and all they had written down was Mistmeadow Witch.

It took us about five minutes to thrash out a rough sketch of the decklist below, and I fell in love with it right away. It’s loosely based it on the Ten Commandments deck, which had done well in some of the Hollywood PTQs. The deck started out with only 2 Firespouts, but then went up to three and eventually four. The card is just too good in this format. It is a backbreaking spell against Kithkin, and can be very good against Faeries as well.

Here is the decklist that Stuart Wright and I brewed up while staying at Casa de Hagon:

Going into the Grand Prix, I had three byes due to being Level 5 in the Players’ Club. The judging staff announced that there were 570, players and the tournament would be over eight rounds. A record of X-1-1, or maybe X-2, was needed for a spot on the Day 2 roster. Walking around during my bye period, I saw an awful lot of Kithkin and Faerie decks floating around. This made me feel both good and bad. The Kithkin matchup is considerably good for this deck, while the Faerie matchup, if not unwinnable, is very tough.

I sat down for round 4 eager to play my first match. Of all the people in the world to sit down next to me, who would be the most appropriate? It was, of course, Jacob Van Lunen. We high-fived a couple of times and asked our respective opponents if they would like to play 2HG for our matches. They politely declined, and we started playing.

Round 4: Brian Gouiller (FRA)

Brian was a nice guy. We chatted a little before the match, and I found out he was from France. He was playing a Five-Color Control deck similar to Ten Commandments.

Game 1 he accelerated into an Oversoul of Dusk, for which I didn’t have Cryptic Command, and it went all the way. Game 2 I accelerated with Fertile Ground and Farhaven Elf, and then lay Mistmeadow Witch. I can’t tell you how many people picked up that card and read it over the weekend, and then watched in horror as I evoked Mulldrifter and then Blinked it. This is exactly what happened in this game, and I won handily. For game 3 Brian served some quick beats with Cloudthresher, which I finally dealt with. Then he played an Oversoul of Dusk. This time I had sided in my Cloudthreshers to deal with them. He attacked, and I played Cloudthresher… and Brian played Counterbore.

My friend, standing behind my opponent, said that Brian had ripped the Counterbore that turn. I didn’t play the Thresher on my own turn because there wasn’t a counterspell I was afraid of. If he ripped Cryptic Command I’d die anyway, so I tried to gain as much advantage as possible and make him throw away his Oversoul. He also had no cards in hand going into that turn.


Round 5: Jerome Piovan (FRA)

This round was my opponent piloting a Doran deck. Game 1 he came out fast, and I couldn’t draw Austere Command to stabilize. Game 2 I took complete control of the game with a Mistmeadow Witch. Game 3 he dumped his whole hand on the board by turn 5. I Cryptic Commanded twice looking for answers, but couldn’t find an Austere Command or second Firespout to wipe the board.


At this point I probably couldn’t make Day 2, since my breakers would likely be very bad, but I kept playing since the deck was a lot of fun… and I love playing this game.

Round 6: Pierre Gruson (FRA)

Three Frenchmen in a row… it must be a conspiracy. Pierre was another nice guy, this time playing Five-Color Elementals. The highlights of these games included my theft of his Horde of Notions on three consecutive turns with Sower, Sower, evoke Reveillark to bring back both Sowers. He scooped it up when I was about to start recurring my Mulldrifters with his Horde of Notions.


Round 7: Ivan Stanoev (CZE)

I’m sure Ivan is a nice guy, but he played slower than anyone I have ever faced. He’d sit there after I had passed the turn, staring at my board while he was tapped out. The match ended up in a draw… we were in game 3, and I had my Mistmeadow Witch and Shriekmaw in play with twelve mana open. If I had still been in Day 2 contention I probably would have called over a judge and made him watch for slow play. If you are ever in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to call over a judge. It is well within your rights to make sure your opponent is playing at a reasonable pace.


I decided to stick it out for round 8 and try and gain back some rating points.

Round 8: David Naimi-Akbar

David was a really nice guy and a pleasure to play against. He was playing a Ten Commandments deck, which is a really good matchup for me. Game 1 we both drew some cards, and I finally stuck a Mistmeadow Witch with Mulldrifter out. David scooped as he realized I was about to draw about two billion cards. Game 2 I Mind Shattered his whole hand away and won easily from there.

5-2-1… 118th place

Overall it was a very fun tournament, and I’m glad I made the trip. I met some awesome people and had a blast at the Hagon household, both in testing and when watching Hawk the Slayer (one of the greatest movies ever).

I will most likely be playing this deck at some local PTQs, so here is the updated list and a quick sideboarding rundown for the major matchups.

Adding 2 Cloudthreshers helps a lot against faeries and decks that are running Oversoul of Dusk. I also added a third Primal Command since it felt like every time I cast that spell and it resolved I won the game.



+2 Oblivion Ring
+2 Cloudthresher
+1 Sower of Temptation
-2 Austere Command
-1 Shriekmaw
-2 Farhaven Elf

Faeries is your worst matchup by far. If you expect a lot of Faeries at your local PTQs, I would add all 4 Cloudthreshers to the maindeck, or maybe not play this deck at all. Your best chance is to get ahead early by resolving a Kitchen Finks, or Oblivion Ringing their Bitterblossom and then backing that up with Cryptic Command. If you don’t have O-Ring for their Bitterblossom, you need to time your Firespout and Threshers to make them race their own Blossom.


+3 Shriekmaw
+1 Kitchen Finks
-2 Farhaven Elf
-1 Cloudthresher
-1 Reveillark

Kithkin is probably one of your best matchups. If they have maindeck Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender it can get a little tricky, but after sideboard you have multiple ways to deal with them. They have to play a bit of a balancing act trying not to commit too many guys to the board, and trying not to get blown out by Shriekmaw then Firespout. Don’t feel like you have to save your Firespout for anything better than a two-for-one. Your main goal is to shut down their Windbrisk Heights, which isn’t that big of a problem after sideboarding the extra removal.

Five-Color Elementals:

+2 Oblivion Ring
-1 Cloudthresher
-1 Primal Command

This matchup is fairly easy as they are a creature-based control deck. Firespout does very well here, usually being at least a two-for-one. You should try not to let them get an active Soulstoke out, or things could get ugly. Playing a long game against them is fine, since you have the more powerful deck, and all they have for the long run is Horde of Notions which is a Must-Counter-or-Kill card. After sideboarding, make sure to avoid putting your Fertile Grounds on non-basics as they will most likely have Fulminator Mage.

Five-Color Control:

+3 Garruk Wildspeaker
+3 Mind Shatter
-2 Kitchen Finks
-2 Firespout
-2 Austere Command

This matchup is all about gaining tempo and resolving a Mind Shatter. You have more mana acceleration while they have access to a couple more counterspells. Mistmeadow Witch can be backbreaking in this matchup, as it provides you with a huge source of card advantage since a lot of the removal is boarded out. You should be trying to bait their counters until you can resolve a huge Mind Shatter. A lot of the time they will tap out to cast a Mulldrifter or Command, and then you have a window to cripple them with discard. Don’t get too greedy by trying to get their whole hand. A lot of the time, Shattering them for most of their hand is good enough to win.

Overall, this is a very fun and challenging deck to play. On most turns you can make multiple decisions which will affect the outcome of the game. For example, if I had played round 4 a little differently I probably would have made Day 2 of the GP. If you expect a field heavy with Kithkin and light on Faeries, I think this is the deck to play. You should put in some time getting familiar with the deck and its nuances or you will find yourself in the 0-0-2 bracket. Stuart Wright ended up piloting the deck to a 10-4 record, good enough for 25th place and 2 pro points. If you have any questions about the deck or anything else, feel free to email or send me an IM or post in the forums. I will also be at U.S. Nationals, so feel free to talk to me there… or challenge me to draft.


Chris Lachmann
[email protected]
Chris615odg on AIM