When I last discussed my pet Threshold project, I was taking it off to a small Swiss tournament with the build I discussed…. Which I’ll post, just in case you missed the last installment of”Fun with Flores,” as my editor so daringly titled it. I’m certain Mister Flores was just blushing from the compliment, oh my.
But anyway, here’s the deck after fine-tuning from Flores’ original build on the Sideboard:
//NAME: Hunting Sound 2k3
1 Ray of Revelation
4 Careful Study
3 Mental Note
4 Roar of the Wurm
4 Anurid Brushhopper
4 Wild Mongrel
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Windswept Heath
4 Flooded Strand
2 City of Brass
I don’t recall my sideboard. See, while I had originally planned to write about the decklist after the little event and some testing, I did so horribly because of simple, silly mistakes and thus I became a bit frustrated with the decklist. I put it aside for a while. The three main things I learned was this:
First, this deck doesn’t deal with Visara very well.
Second, don’t take the Mystic Enforcers out of the sideboard. Just don’t. They make look suboptimal at times, but they’re really not.
Third, Withered Wretch does not necessarily shut this deck down unless you draw very few enablers or have no other threats. Usually Wretch removes Wonder, but you’re still able to get Roars and threshold if you’re coming out of the gates fast enough.
Deck Construction And Card Analysis
To re-explain the deck to the uninitiated,”Hunting Sound” is the pet name for the Hunting Grounds deck I played six months ago, re-applied to the updated U/G/w aggro mold. The deck was extremely aggressive, with almost no board control elements whatsoever. This pure aggressive style has its ups and downs when facing down other decks; if it gets the nuts draw, few decks can pour as much pressure on the table as this one. The problem is, without control elements, the deck felt something like flying an airplane, strapped to the bottom of the plane via your underpants. There really is a feeling of complete abandon, which can make the deck completely unnerving and at times unreliable.
At the same time, this made the deck somehow comforting to play. You either beat your opponent upside the face with a gleeful smile, or the deck just didn’t deliver and you’d almost inevitably shrug your shoulders and give the deck a nasty whack, showing your disdain for those overpriced fetchlands that don’t even fix mana 75% of the time. “Flooded Strand,” you’d remark,”Who needs ’em?”
After playing it for a while and watching the evolution of U/G madness into superior builds that featured fewer Roars and more consistency, I slowly changed Hunting Sound 2k3 into something very much the same, but just different enough to matter:
//NAME: Hunting Sound 2k3
2 City of Brass
4 Flooded Strand
4 Windswept Heath
4 Careful Study
2 Mental Note
3 Roar of the Wurm
4 Anurid Brushhopper
4 Wild Mongrel
4 Nimble Mongoose
SB: 2 Upheaval
SB: 2 Turbulent Dreams
SB: 3 Ray of Revelation
SB: 2 Krosan Reclamation
SB: 2 Mystic Enforcer
SB: 2 Compost
SB: 2 Worship
(Note: I occasionally test the deck at +1 Mental Note, -1 Island. It generally works fine, so I might keep it that way.)
Explaining card choices, just for kicks and possible re-evaluation. Who am I kidding? I’m not even sure I did this the first time around.
Lemme check. No, not really.
5 Forests: With eleven sources of green in the deck, and a need for only a single symbol, you are generally fairly consistent in your mana supply. The deck’s fetchlands help somewhat if you don’t get a green source by fetching the white or blue sources out of the deck, and Careful Studies often let you dig deep enough to get around it. This mana fixing is what helps U/G madness stay even remotely consistent when other off-color decks mess up – and here, it works even better.
7 Island: Simply because you need more blue for the Wonders, the ‘Heavals, and the Dreams. Notice there’s nothing that needs GG, but there are a few things that need UU. You get the picture, eh?
1 Plains: I’ve seen it eaten by a Mental Note, but the Cities will cover for you. Remember to always fetch a plains if you have the other two colors, as Mental Noting out your only plains can suck very much.
2 City of Brass: It’s a three-color deck, and this is the best tri-land in the format. Strangely enough, this is a deck that would likely use Treva’s Ruins given the format. Sure, Wurm a turn later instead of three points of City damage … Yeah, I can deal with that rub. Oh well, come back in 8th, Ruins!
0 Nantuko Monastery: I noted that I occasionally test without one of the islands, but if you feel you could use another solid threat, a single Monastery works nicely in that 60th card slot as well. I don’t usually run them because I’m so leery of the manabase – but if you’re a betting man, go ahead.
2 Genesis: Everything worth saying about this card has already been said. It’s a highly effective weapon against almost any deck, since your fatties can (and will) stall the board on occasion. It has solid synergy with Anurid Brushhopper; even if you don’t plan on playing the recurred creature, the added cards help keep him hopping. If nothing else, it’s a 4/4 for a decent price. Multipurposed fat is the best kind.
3 Breakthrough: This can be both your best and worst threshold enabler. It’s the best because in the late game, it is just”draw four cards” or”draw three and pitch that Wonder that’s hanging around.” In the early game, though, it is not advised to go down to two cards unless you’re a topdecking king. Sure, early threshold is good, but so is developing your mana base and not losing gobs of card advantage. Threshold is a means to an end; it is not self-justifying. Especially since this deck only has eight threshold creatures – yeesh. Watch yourself with this card.
4 Careful Study: Probably your best threshold-enabler, mana-fixer, and hell – even without madness, you almost always want those cards in the graveyard, with a total of nine maindeck cards that give a benefit while in the graveyard. Careful Studies can be somewhat worse than Mental Note or Breakthrough in the late game, but careful usage of Genesis can allow you to sort cards effectively and so on. It has bad synergy with Anurid Brushhopper, though, as losing your hand size weakens them.
3 Unsummon: Wow. I never thought I would say this – but frankly, this card is so good in the format right now I’m at a loss for words. Really, it’s bounce, but it’s just so good against all the top decks that I can’t get enough of it. Against U/G, it nails Roars and disrupts turn 2 Wild Mongrels if you go second. Against R/G, it does the anti-Guide duty perfectly, or occasionally saves your four-toughness dudes from multiple sources of damage (like a blocking Elephant, or a Firebolted Werebear) and it’s even decent against Tog, letting you disrupt a nine-mana floated Heave or just trading for their pinpoint removal spells. Your threats are so cheap, you don’t really lose much tempo for replaying them.
I considered Aether Burst for a bit, since it had synergy with Mental Note and Breakthrough, but the one-mana difference is just incredibly important in this deck. This deck utilizes its mana very, very well, so keeping your costs down is important.
0 Ray of Revelation: Usually, Unsummon accomplishes what has become the primary goal of the Ray – killing Elephant Guide – but it also kills Wurm tokens. However, should you be put in a situation where you’re playing against a lot of Wake or Slide and not facing quite as much U/G, feel free to swap out an Unsummon for a Ray. You may want to put the Unsummon in the board, though.
2 Mental Note: This card hasn’t fallen from grace with me – it’s still quite good, but it’s the worst of the threshold enablers. It’s the one I’ve been cutting to add Unsummons; well, this and Ray of Revelation. Yes, I’ll miss the Ray, but Unsummon is better in almost every single matchup.
One thing I will miss is the instant-speed threshold. Nothing I love more than using Mental Note as a combat trick, but you can do that with Unsummon on occasion, too.
0 Upheaval: I’ve heard many calls to put this in the maindeck, but I’m unsure why I would want to. Tog regularly ‘Heaves against me just to get out of the Genesis trap, and ‘Heaving against U/G or R/G seems like a waste of time. If I’ve gotten to the point where I can cast the Heave, I’ve probably already won anyway. This isn’t to say Heave isn’t amazing in this deck; it just doesn’t seem that amazing against the top tier decks. Feel free to maindeck it, of course, if you’re facing the same situation as I implied in the Ray of Revelation evaluation.
1 Glory: While the fourth Wonder is usually pretty good in a couple of matchups, Wonder alone can be quite weak. Glory is rarely activated; in a game where you’re winning, you would never want to see this card. However, in a game where you’re under pressure, Glory can do a measure of things, allowing you to break stalls against other Wonder-equipped decks, hold off larger attackers, or protect your dorks from the ravages of burn and sliding. A solid addition overall that has won a few games.
3 Wonder: The original four-Wonder build was good – and while I love Wonder when it’s in my graveyard, the problems of multiple Wonders and the occasional need for Glory pushed me to swap one out for a Glory. If you’re uncomfortable with going down to three Wonders, just swap it back out. Glory helps in the exact spots where Wonder is at its worst, though. I’ve also had fun casting Wonders against various decks; it’s quite amusing.
3 Roar of the Wurm: A card which is either absolutely incredible or absolutely terrible, the Roar is so powerful you can not deny it the slots in your deck. This deck uses more Roar slots because of the threshold angle as well as the lovely effect mental noting into a Roar has on your opponent’s face. You’ll notice, however, that this card gets sideboarded out a lot.
4 Wild Mongrel: The ubiquitous four-Mongrel trend, which occurs in 90% of the aggro decks in the format, continues in this deck, too. I learned the word”ubiquitous” from Tim Aten; he is the teacher of vocabulary.
I had problems with playing Mongrels in the earliest version of the deck; there, I tended to get threshold and motor through my deck without difficulty… But of course, I also wasn’t laying quite the same late-game beats. Changed or not, the Mongrel is a steady friend of this version of the deck. Not as good as he is in U/G, but probably better than R/G’s Mongrels.
4 Nimble Mongoose: One mana for a 3/3. That it can not be targeted gives it an air of reliability in combat situations, or just when it comes to smashing face. An enemy of most every deck in the format, pardoning U/G, where he’s a little undersized for combat. (But he’ll be no less difficult to get around should Glory be in your yard!) The Goose is frankly the best of the three threshold creatures in the deck and sideboard.
4 Werebear: The problem with discussing the creatures in this deck is that, while the spells change and adapt, the creatures form a solid backbone which I haven’t changed since almost the first revision of the deck. With Seton’s Scout poor against R/G and not all that great in general, there hasn’t been any real changes in over five revisions. The Werebear remains best against decks where playing a 1/1 mana accelerator isn’t going to get punished.
4 Anurid Brushhopper: Just a stand-up guy, the Brushhopper. One of the deck most consistent stars, simply because he’s always big and he’s always hopping. I would note he’s the reason why you should be careful laying down late-game land or using late-game Careful Studies; always consider if it’s better to hop or Study. Sometimes it’s hop.
Like all sideboards, this one is dictated by the metagame I play in. Your own local scene should dictate changes to this board, obviously. Don’t pick up a sideboard cold, because changes in overall metagame can negate the overall value of cards, and so on. I’ll talk about the sideboard more when I talk about the matchups.
I will, however, note the inclusion of Mystic Enforcer is not because it is”mad good” against any deck in particular – only that is it is a solid replacement for Roar of the Wurm in some matchups, and generally good against black decks otherwise. This makes him pretty good overall, which is why he keeps finding his way into my sideboard. I don’t expect the card to win games on its own like Compost or Upheaval do, but I do think it’s a solid card to put in against like, oh, half the field. And of course he provides an”out” against black decks packing Wretch.
Playing The Deck:
Hunting Sound is not a devoted threshold deck; in fact, it can easily win games without ever actually using a threshold creature. However, that doesn’t mean the deck doesn’t see benefit from its graveyard interaction – it simply means that your overwhelming goal isn’t to slap seven cards into your ‘yard. The overwhelming goal is to deal twenty to your opponent while he doesn’t deal twenty to you.
This can be a somewhat elusive point to make when dealing with a deck that’s primarily motivated around moving things in and out of its library, graveyard, hand, and play more than just about anything else.
Generally, you should use your threshold-enablers if it’s to your benefit. Just pitching cards to Careful Study or Breakthrough doesn’t do anything if you’re throwing away useful cards or if you don’t have an immediate pile of threshold-fueled pain to deal out. With that in mind, don’t drop lands on the table unless you have Genesis recursion ready to go and so on.
This is what makes the deck a lot harder to play or explain than most aggro-decks: You will make a lot of mistakes with it until you’re used to it, and you’ll often end up keeping hands that just don’t work out simply because it’s hard to predict the flow of the deck. On the other hand, all the land and card filtering lets this deck be rather consistent in the late game. Against most beatdown decks, you are actually something of a control deck. It’s not difficult for this deck to build up enough firepower to kill in a single swing.
Against most control decks, you’re highly aggressive, all your creatures are solid threats (except Wonder, but hey, it’s a flier) and you can use your threshold enablers to speed through your deck and thin out your land.
Sadly, this deck’s lack of disruption means it does fall to the Wake combo decks pretty thoroughly – but I’ll get to that later.
This is essentially a U/G Madness mirror matchup, with you running slightly smaller creatures half the time and slightly bigger the other times. The weakness of this matchup is what led me to adding Glory and Unsummon to the deck, allowing you to keep Wurm advantage and break through a stalled board position.
My only real suggestion in this matchup is to remember that Unsummoning their Wurms puts you at a huge creature advantage, especially if you’re able to start recurring your Werebears to deflect their Arrogants, so be very smart about their Circular Logics. If you think you can taunt them to tap out, do so before laying the U-N-S beatings.
It’s very difficult to get a bead on who’s got the advantage here; U/G is capable of the most blistering offense – but on the other hand, you have almost every bit of their size and speed on your good draws, making this a draw-dependent matchup.
Games 2 and 3, you can sideboard in Worship, Mystic Enforcer, or Krosan Reclamation in reaction to the different types of U/G decks. If they show a lot of bounce, take out two of the Roars for Enforcers – They have the added perk of not losing flying should your Wonder take a Krosan-sponsored trip, assuming you still have threshold. If they don’t show a lot of enchantment removal, side in the Worships, as they with Glory can basically promise you the game. K-style Reclamation should be boarded in every game against U/G, obviously.
This is a hard matchup to write about, since for all the interactions between the two, it basically comes down to who’s got the muscle and who’s got the wings. Glory, however, can let you break the whole matchup right open if you get the chance.
Here, the deck either shines or absolutely blows. If you get a slow hand without early threshold or a ‘Hopper, you’re basically a sitting duck. Not only will R/G run you right over, you’ll be helping them kill you by tapping your fetchlands and Cities.
If you do get the quick threshold draw or get out a mana curve of Mongrel/Hopper/Wurm, the R/G deck will be sorely-pressed to handle you. It doesn’t take many swings from your creatures to kill a player, meaning you can stabilize the board and generally knock them out in a pair of attacks. If you get into the fifth turn and they haven’t dropped your life under ten, they may as well scoop, since your Wurms will start smashing them into pieces.
The only really serious threat that R/G has is either turn 1 Elf, turn 2 Call, turn 3 Call or an Elephant Guided Mongrel. The Call offensives force you into the unwieldy situation of having to block-kill two 3/3s, without them really losing much card economy from burning your larger dudes out – which can be rough if you don’t draw well. Guide is, well, Elephant Guide on Wild Mongrel. It hits hard and is nigh-impossible to stop without topdecking an Unsummon. Of course, if you do, you’re trading card for card with a giant tempo swing in your favor – which is exactly the sort of situation that this deck can take advantage of to beat R/G.
Your sideboarding options are basically Turbulent Dreams and Worship. Worship works extremely well if your opponent isn’t betting on it, as a Worship down is just as effective as Ensnaring Bridge, if not more so. Nimble Mongoose will generally keep you alive; just remember to throw away Fetchlands to Careful Study once you’ve hit the one-life point. The Dreams is for Bridge, and since Worship will stall them out, swinging for twenty in a single turn is pretty easy to do as well if they get down an early Bridge.
If you believe they’re siding out Elephant Guide, side out Unsummon. Otherwise, it generally works to side out Mental Notes and one or two other random cards. Since you really don’t want to note away your plains, and early threshold isn’t quite as important if they dilute their deck by adding Ensnaring Bridges.
Keep in mind they will probably side in Krosan Reclamation on occasion, as it can mess with both your threshold and Wonder capabilities. With that in mind, if you draw a second Wonder and you have the Mongrel around, hold it back unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s fun to watch them Reclaim your Wonder, only to watch your creatures spring right back into the air.
Of all your matchups against the big three, Tog is probably far and away your best. Your threats are generally cheap, you have card advantage in both Genesis and Breakthrough, and you dig for Wonder faster than most U/G decks will, either. To boot, Glory is rock-solid here, and the version of Tog that lack edicts or bloods can’t deal with your Mongeese, which can be quite delightful if you’ve got Wonder in the yard. Best of all, you don’t really have a”symbiote” problem; a Tog deck can’t kill your turn 2 Mongrel to slow you down. In fact, Smothering your turn 2 Mongrel is likely to be responded to with a burst of laughter. And they will do that in game one, since they won’t know what you’re up to.
Wishless versions of Tog are generally at extreme disadvantage, since they can’t wish for Coffin Purge to deal with your Genesis. Versions that do, however, have the unusual situation of being likely to lose card advantage anyway, assuming you’re smart enough to hard-cast the Genesis. Beyond that, Glory can be good and Mongoose – well, I just can’t tell you how much I love Mongoose in this matchup. Because of the extreme pressure even one of your threats can put down, Tog players will often rush head-first into Heaving just to remove your Genesis recursion. In this situation, Unsummoning their freshly-dropped Tog will often buy you the time you need. It’s just not a good deck for Tog players to play against, unless your draw completely sucks. Of course, since they’re not going to put you under much pressure, unless you draw 80% lands you’re likely to get moving before their turn 9 anyway.
Incidentally, your sideboard contains a pair of tools against Tog even though you don’t run them to hit Tog with anyway – they just happen to fit in to your board for other decks, which is somewhat amusing. Enforcers take two of the Wurm slots, since Mystic Enforcer is something like a meaner Phantom Centaur once you’re past threshold. Wurm tokens aren’t horrible, but they do tend to get Smothered or Bursted away, making them less than ideal. Compost is something you’ll have to judge for yourself, it’s good against many Tog decks, but certainly not all of them. Generally, though, I would drop a Breakthrough and a Study for the ‘Post.
Now let’s get into what is likely one of the two worst matchups: Wake. You lack any real disruption, making you quite vulnerable to Wake’s Wrathing’n’Fogging’n’Miraring ways. Generally, if Wake gets a decent hand, you will be unable to win games against it, since while you can swing for a huge amount of pain, you just won’t be able to break through the final points of damage.
My only real advice is to count their life total and try to get them down as fast as possible without overcommitting to the board – which can be a tricky situation to balance. The Wake player will probably expect you to have Circular Logics in game one, though, if he doesn’t realize you’re running threshold, which can turn things to your advantage sometimes. I’m not saying you can’t win games against Wake: You can pressure them very hard and consistently bounce back from Wrath after Wrath, but if they get the repeating Fog going early, you just can’t win game one.
You board in Upheavals and, well… This is one of the situations where the given sideboard is simply not designed for a Wake-heavy metagame. If you expect a lot of Wake, I honestly think the Turbulent Dreams aren’t good enough, and that a Ray of Distortion or pair of Naturalizes needs to somehow find its way into the deck. But likely, you’ll put the Dreams and Heavals in, taking out Wonders and Unsummons. Some versions of Wake nowadays run Exalted Angels, which might make it a bad idea to take out the Unsummons. Up to you.
Obviously, the Upheavals improve the matchup gloriously, letting you force all their junk back to hand, screw up their Krosan Verged lands, and generally give them a rough time. But that assumes your ‘Heaves resolve. I’m not quite as solid on the Dreams, but if you can catch them with a slower start and jam the Mirari back in their hand, it might just buy you the time you need to win. This is, however, not something I would call a good matchup.
…Through maybe I’ve just had bad games in testing. No idea. My experiences with Wake are pretty limited; it’s hard to find people who want to test Wake.
Slide is, again, a generally bad matchup for this deck. Angels, Wrath of Gods, Wurm tokens getting Slid out, mass removal killing off your pre-thresholded dorks like it ain’t no thang – it’s just a bad situation to be in. And I’ve made the matchup even worse by removing the one maindeck Ray, though perhaps the Unsummons might save a Werebear from a Wrath or bounce an Angel out of the way, so I can’t really say if it’s much worse. And the absolute worst thing is the fact Slide decks often Burning Wish for Morningtide, which can really screw you up.
Like Wake, I don’t have a lot of experience in this matchup, but generally you’re going to want to pressure them hard and hope they don’t get out an early Angel, since nothing you have can match an Angel in the air. Recurring Mongoose, of course, can annoy Slide to no end by being impossible to deal with via Rift or Slide, which is somewhat in your favor… But again, you need to see them not get out an Early Angel.
You should board out the Wonders, the Unsummons, and the Roars for the Rays, the Enforcers, and the Upheavals, which will suddenly give you a number of ample weapons against Slide. The Enforcers go in simply because Slide has trouble killing them, and they can not only match the angel in the air, they’ll knock her down to earth in a heartbeat without suffering the Wurm token problems. The Upheavals, of course, give you reason to smile if you can keep the Sliding Angel problem from cropping up.
This is not a great matchup, but the post-sideboard situation should be somewhat in your favor by removing your dead cards and giving you some nasty surprises for the Slide player to choke on. If you win game one, you will likely be able to find yourself winning the whole thing… I think.
Like I said, I don’t have a lot of practice against Slide. Though Slide is the fourth-strongest deck in the format (according to the Nationals Qualifier results, anyway; take that as you will) I can’t stand playing or playing against it. It’s one thing to get spells countered – after years of playing, you get used to that. But having”No” said to your creatures attack phase after attack phase? That I can do without.
Mono Black Control
MBC’s best weapon against you is Haunting Echoes. If they Echoes you, you’re an unhappy camper since you’ve probably lost threshold and it can have a serious effect on board position – a bad thing for Echoes to do. The thing is, they basically need to draw their Echoes off the top, since you’re just not going to give them the time to move through the Tutor-to-Echoes plan.
Which then brings up their second best weapon – Visara. A turn 6 Visara is just plain hell for you unless you’ve got access to Glory or an Unsummon to set back their Visara clock… And even then, you need to be hitting them hard and fast to finish the job. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t win, just that certain cards tend to spoil hard against you.
The sideboard offers some sanctuary in the form of Enforcer, Compost, and Upheaval – all three of which are generally solid against them, with Enforcer being a special little friend who can really shine in this match up. Not only does he not care about Visara, if they don’t Echoes, he’ll be hitting them so hard they won’t be able to keep up. Upheaval is, of course, also backbreaking here, much worse than its effects on Wake – Which can Peace, Peace, Wrath if they get lucky – and Slide, which you have to worry about that whole”Sliding Angel” thing.
(Of course, there’s nothing saying you can’t get your opponent to Slide out an Enforcer for you, and then heave the world, which can make even the Angel a little bit less than scary. Tee hee!)
I do not feel this is a bad matchup, but Visara and Echoes are very solid weapons against you. If they don’t see either of them, or for some reason aren’t running them, you’re a lot better off than most other decks. Don’t let the two Composts scare you; U/G/w threshold is very good at going through its cards, so you’ll often be able to find them.
The last”real” deck I have experience playing against Hunting Sound against, Reanimator is somewhere between bad and good depending on your draws. They have Visara, they have Phantom Nishoba, they have annoying Duresses and …
…And they have no real early defense, so you can pressure them with absolutely reckless abandon.
Again, Unsummon really shines here, letting you throw Visara or Akroma, Angel of Wrath or just whatever huge insane beatsticks they throw out right back where they might never be able to cast it.
If you don’t get Unsummon going, you’re a sad panda in game one if they get reanimating. The thing is, of course, you can hit so hard that Reanimator might not ever really put up much of a fight, even on half -bad draws. This is a deck that will answer a Phantom Nishoba by swinging for thirteen on the next turn, so sometimes you’re not quite as frightened as you’d assume. This is probably a deck where Akroma is nastier to see than the Nishie.
Bear in mind, though, that many Reanimator decks do feature Sickening Dreams, which punishes you heavily for committing too many pre-threshed Bears or ‘Geese to the table. The games I lose against Reanimator often involved him throwing a way three cards and watching my little 1/1s wither away in a breath of nauseating pixie dust.
Sideboarding offers you Compost, which is obviously often disturbingly good against them, and Krosan Reclamation, which is a bit mean to use on them. Worship can be added if you don’t see a lot of Sickening Dreams; otherwise, I would avoid it as the mass removal will kill your Mongeese anyway. Mystic Enforcer can go in if they run four Smothers; otherwise, you may not want to.
I would probably suggest sideboarding out Breakthrough and Genesis, as they tend to be a too slow to be good, and card advantage is not your primary concern here – smashing face is. I’m not really all too sure, because Reanimator decks can show a surprising amount of variety, and playing against each has been a different experience.
Missing decks: I have not tested, or not tested enough, against B/G, Beasts, W/G, W/U Punisher, Clerics, Zombie Bridge or Canu Opposition. The fact of the matter is, I’ve played tons and tons of games with this deck, but the format is quite large after the first tier. There just isn’t enough time to test against every deck out there, but I’m not sure you’re going to see a lot of these decks out there anyway.
Based on a different metagame, I would probably add or remove cards from the sideboard or even maindeck to better suit the decks you’re likely to face. These are generally thoughts generated from theory, as it’s pretty freaking hard to test seventeen variations of a deck against what – ten Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks out there? Too many. But these are my thoughts on what can be added or removed from the structure to be beneficial. You have a lot of options, many of them very good.
U/G: The main sideboard cards against U/G are Krosan Reclamation, Intrepid Hero, Reprisal, and Equilibrium. If you expect a lot of U/G, I would probably add some Heros and perhaps increase the Glory count.
R/G: The main sideboard cards against R/G are Worship, Turbulent Dreams, and Naturalize. It is also possible, strangely enough, to add Exalted Angel to the deck just to mess with their heads. She’s not too hard to cast off even okay draws, but you might want to add more white land if you decided to do so. Nantuko Monastery is very solid against R/G, so if you’re seeing a lot of it, those can be added as well.
Tog: The main sideboard cards against them are Enforcer and Compost. Seedtime and Genesis can be added as well, if you really want to grind Tog into a bleeding pulp. Glory is probably not as good as Wonder against Tog, so you might want to consider taking it out.
(You’ll notice I’m generally only use the first or second sideboard card against a given deck. This is pretty much because Hunting Sound is geared towards a wide field, and a wide field it is. If the field was narrowed down, however, one would probably be able to better narrow down the board.)
Wake: Upheaval, Naturalize, Circular Logic, Ray of Distortion, Counterspell, and so on are all very useful against Wake. Just about anything that disrupts their game plan helps move this out of the bad matchup range. Nantuko Monastery is pretty good here, too.
Slide: Pretty much the same deal as Wake – only I wouldn’t suggest Ray of Distortion, since it’s so slow and unwieldy. Then again, perhaps that’s why it never sees much play? Heh.
MBC: More Composts, more Enforcers, Acorn Harvest, Reprisal, Solitary Confinement, Genesis, Nantuko Monastery… Trust me, if MBC got big, Hunting Sound would have a lot more firepower against it than you’d want to admit.
Reanimator: Pretty much the same stuff you’d use against U/G, actually. Odd, that.
Keep in mind that the maindeck is very flexible and actually takes very well to changes in responses to different decks. Many of the options available to the maindeck, like Upheaval, Nantuko Monastery, Ray of Revelation, can and should be added if the metagame dictated they’d be useful in your deck.
This is, like U/G Madness, a very flexible deck that can be tooled with almost endlessly to suit your needs.
Why did I write this article? Am I going to run this deck at Regionals? Probably not. I love the deck and I really enjoy play it, but I’m not of the mindset that I should run one of my own decks. I have a certain lack of confidence in my own deckbuilding skills, which tends to taint my playing skills – so I think I’ll just steal one of Carl Jarrell’s decks.
I don’t know if I’d recommend someone pick this deck up cold and play it at a major event. It definitely has a feeling of malleability, which lends to being played with for a while, then being suited to your local metagame. The harsh reality of the situation is this: U/G/w Threshold is just harder to play than U/G Madness, making it less of a good choice for Regionals simply because in the last rounds you’ll be tiring out and making stupid mistakes – like oh, not fetching plains with your Flooded Strands or fetching a land when you’re at one with Worship out.
I hear some players play fine when they’re tired, but I’m not one of them.
And so on. Mostly, I wrote this article because it’s a deck I enjoy and think it can be quite enjoyable to play, if you’re got the components for it. However, since Regionals is this weekend, I think I’m going to start pushing myself towards learning OnBC and practicing more outlandish Standard decks to help get a better feel for the coming formats.
Oh, and of course, I wanted to conclude what I’d written earlier and shown I did, in fact, give this deck a serious shakedown. While I won’t be playing it at Regionals, I think I’ll be playing it the day after – just for kicks.
Iain (Taeme) Telfer
I don’t dream of flesh and I don’t dream of death. I dream of Chaos, in red roses and lilting laughter.