The beginning of a format is an exciting time, and people get brews together much like they do business ideas. “What if we did this? That’d be cool, I’d
bet it’d be successful!” Then they move on to the next one. Sometimes, though, you can’t get that first idea out of your head. It just rattles around in
there until you inevitably sit down and think it out.
Thanks, Jim Davis.
Jim tossed this deck around about a month ago, and I loved it immediately. He’s using an unusual resource to do some unique things, and he’s using an
unexpected mechanic to do it. When you use effects like Journey to Nowhere, Oblivion Ring, and others, you don’t really care that whatever your targeting
is exiled, you just want it gone. Eldrazi Processors like Wasteland Strangler utilize this as a resource to give you better-than-cost effects attached to a
Jim’s deck was white and black, but I wasn’t as excited about just that, so I decided to tackle my least-played shard: Esper. And hey, then you get to call
A Mystic Snake should be enough to pull me into the color, especially as long as I can reliably exile two cards by turn 4. An evasive Mystic
Snake, at that. Along with Silkwrap, Stasis Snare was Jim’s main way to get creatures ready for processing, and I agreed with the Stasis Snare more than
the Silkwrap. Also, my local shop didn’t have any. All I had to do was have the right combination of exile feeders and Processors.
Because of the presence of a fair number of enchantments, I decided to add some Myth Realized to give me something to do while I waited for exile cards,
and some auxiliary enchantments. I even threw in a Helm of the Gods for good measure, to either slap onto a Myth Realized or an anemic Processor. As I
added and cut, I slimmed them down a bit, but I still liked them as potential lategame draws.
At a first pass, here’s my line.
Seemed like a good place to start. I’ll just cover some of the highlights.
Out of all the potential ways to leverage exiled cards into advantage, I found Blight Herder to be the most efficient. It’s a respectable 4/5 for five,
which blocks Siege Rhino for a while, so that’s not bad if things are going south. If I am able to exile, it’s just seven power across four bodies that can
help me double up on spells the following turn. Next turn I can attack, sack the three Scions and cast another Blight Herder for two mana, replacing the
tokens. It can also be cast on a late turn without leaving my shields down. Just one or two colored mana up means I can cast any instant with Scions to
provide the rest. On that note, Ulamog’s Nullifier gets a lot better for UB. Remember, exiling is just part of what this deck does, so I’m not going too
far out of my way for it. In the end, this did end up being a control deck that likes to draw lands, so I thought a single Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
would give me something to shoot for in the lategame that can just take over.
In the spell land, most everything exiles. Transgress the Mind seemed to be the most reliable exiler, hitting something in most every deck, and it’s not
reactive, so I can always hit something for my Processors whenever I want. Painful Truths is another payoff for being three colors, as drawing three for
three is still pretty good in my book. I even liked a one-of Hallowed Moonlight. Sure, it stops tokens, but how awesome would it be to counter their
Dromoka’s Command with it? Okay, I’ll sack my Stasis Snare, but your creature’s exiled. +10 style points. It also seemed like a clean way to handle Rally
the Ancestors on the off-chance I face it. Reality Shift, a card that’s seen nearly no play at all, also seems decent. Exile your creature, untap,
Wasteland Strangler to clean up the manifested creature. Why not?
The landbase was a challenge to create, as I needed enough Plains and white sources to cast Stasis Snare but also manage the other two colors. I only have
one Flooded Strand, so I had to make do with this base.
In the sideboard, Infinite Obliteration is 100% on-theme while also being a powerful option against Eldrazi and other single-creature strategies. Still
gets Siege Rhinos. Remember, you’re exiling, so a smart naming can get you four exiled cards to feed Processors for turns to come. Languish seems prudent
when one-for-one trades aren’t going to do it, and Ruinous Path gives me a way to deal with planeswalkers. Because I have more Plains than anything, I
liked Mardu Woe-Reaper as a sideboard choice. I can cast him on turn 1 to block an aggressive start, and the exile clause comes in handy later. I split it
two and two with Fathom Feeder, another good attack-stopper. I liked an extra copy of Wasteland Strangler and Stasis Snare in the sideboard, and Ugin, the
Spirit Dragon can exile a lot of things, giving my Processors fuel lategame if Ugin can’t kill my opponent by himself.
Instead of my typical Wednesday night foray, I went to a shop featuring an SCG Game Night, the first I’d attended. It was the first night this shop had
held it, but there were still enough people to do a three-round Standard flight. I finished sleeving my deck a few minutes after the round started (yeah, I
was running behind as I put the finishing touches on the list), but I sat down from my opponent round one.
Round 1 – G/W Hardened Scales
Round one was a clumsy one; after a mulligan to six, I kept with counterspells and removal in hand for game 1. He put out a Hardened Scales; I cast an
on-curve Wasteland Strangler with no exile, which he answered with a Managorger Hydra. I untapped, played a fourth land and stared at the Utter End in my
hand. Could just exile the Hydra now and bash. He was tapped out, I guess. Maybe he’ll think I won’t have drawn anything though, so I’ll just pass. He
untapped, played his fourth land and proceeded to cast Dromoka’s Command, giving a counter and fighting my Strangler. Time to spring the trap.
I hurriedly tapped my lands for Utter End, aiming it clearly at the Hydra’s head. Well, one of its heads. Without missing a beat, my opponent tapped two
mana and cast Feat of Resistance, calling protection from black.
His Hydra got ten counters. Ten. And that, my friends, is what you call BlowoutCentral®.
In my head I was screaming and everything was on fire. Alarms were blaring. I remember extending my hand and mumbling something about “good game” through
In game 2, after putting out the mental fire, I felt the kindling getting hot again after a mulligan to six and keeping a hand with no black mana. While my
opponent played three Hardened Scales before resolving a creature after I answered his first one, he played an 8/8 Endless One I couldn’t answer, mostly
because I never drew a black source.
Round 2 – B/R Dragon Aggro
My next opponent was on an aggressive strategy. I kept a decent hand, and after exiling his first Bloodsoaked Champion, I began to stabilize. He Draconic
Roared, revealing a Dragon and killing a Strangler, bringing me to five. I fetched, going down to four, and I stuck a Blight Herder with tokens, which put
me pretty close to victory. I pushed him from eleven to four and cast a second Herder the following turn. He untapped and had the Exquisite Firecraft for
In game 2, I got stuck on a mulligan to five and never cast anything relevant.
Round 3 – Bye
That’s embarrassing. Not a single game win all night, and all of them were my fault, either in deckbuilding, keeping a bad hand, or just playing bad Magic.
The mana turned out to be horribly misaligned, and there were several vestiges of the enchantment theme that were horrendous by themselves. I was so close
to tilt. I was basically sideways at this point, but instead of freaking out, I just broke the deck down, gutting all the cards that didn’t work and
adjusting the deck to do what it did best; process. It’s no surprise that cards like Helm of the Gods, Deadly Wanderings, and their ilk hit the bricks
pretty hard. Fun cards, but this was the wrong deck for them. The tournament was done very quickly; only about an hour and a half for three rounds, so
after some retuning of the manabase, the sideboard, and the maindeck, I wanted to try it again.
The deck is now more about black and blue, but the fixing should be strong enough to support the double white for Stasis Snare. Wasteland Strangler was, to
be honest, mediocre. Most of the time, I wanted the removal spell more than the 3/2, so I switched it out for Complete Disregard, which not only feeds the
Processors but it targets roughly the same creature demographic while also being an instant. More and more of the deck leans towards leveraging the end
step, so I feel like this is the right direction anyway. The Strangler is outstanding in matches where you need really good two-for-ones, but until then,
it sits in the sideboard.
To fill in for round three, I played the night’s winner, piloting a Jeskai Black deck, and it was not bad. Though he got me in game 1, I flattened
him in game 2 after a solid game. In game 3, he eked out a win, but in all three games I made him sweat. Also, countering a Dig Through Time with Ulamog’s
Nullifier felt so good.
Fighting a deck this powerful was definitely a baptism by fire, to be sure, but it wasn’t a fluke. In three more pick-up matches over the weekend against
Abzan Aggro, Allies, and Jeskai Dragons, this deck was out of control; the mana was much better, the threats were real, and the removal was very sturdy.
Although it took a bit of wiggling, this is a very strong choice, and I’m going to keep working on it. White’s ability to exile combined with solid blue
and black Processors was pretty great. I was close to throwing it and the whole evening in the trash, but I’m glad I didn’t. It just needed some work.
There’s a lot of potential here, and I encourage you to try it or something like it at your next event.
What’s your favorite Processor? How have you been testing it, and what’s your favorite way to feed it?