Rise Of Aintrazi – Good Rogues Gone Bad

With humor and grace, Ali admits: the GP was not a successful event. However, he’s learned from his mistakes and set aside Metalworker for Ancestral Visions. Check out the brewmaster’s plan for the Invitational.

Today, I share with you all a grand tale. A tale of triumph, glory, bravery, heroism, and sadly enough, defeat. Lend me ye ears, brethren, as we embark
on a sacred journey—a journey of growth and understanding. The journey begins in a warm place. A place where the beer flows like wine, a place
where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano—I’m talking about a little place called

Providence. Here is what happened:


All right, so the tale wasn’t that grand or entertaining, but it was true nonetheless. Here’s the less abridged version of what happened in
a much more realistic manner.

So a few days before the event, I found some decently priced tickets, and I tried to get a few friends to join me. I got one confirmation, which later
turned out to be a flake! Thanks, Zach Schaffner. Everyone go on Zach’s Facebook and boo him. Anyway, I decided to go alone and meet a
few of my other friends up there.

I arrived on Thursday, and per usual, I had no idea what I was going to play. I’ve been enjoying my Metalworker deck, but you all know me. I
can’t resist brewing. Thursday night, we all sat in the hotel room and started to brew a nice Grixis list with Chad Himes at 12 am; people
started falling asleep around 1 am. So we started shouting our suggestions.


That’s another fact about me; most of my brews start out as a Grixis list. Even if the end result is Mono-Green Stompy, it was at one point a
Grixis Control deck. We eventually decided to cut it down to U/R control, which meant I didn’t get to play my boi, Nicol-B. However, the deck did
feature other hits, such as Fire / Ice, Ancestral Vision, and Oblivion Stone!

Misdirection is amazingly good against Team America. Redirecting a Thoughtseize or, better yet, a Hymn to Tourach is delicioso!

Ancestral Vision allows you to 1-for-1 and 2-for-1 to catch back up if you fall behind. That card was MVP; nothing feels better than drawing four cards
in one turn. You disagree? Well you’re right; casting Time Warp or Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker is better—my bad.

Recurring land destruction with Crucible of Worlds was very unfair, especially since almost every deck has at least eight targets.

You could blow up the world multiple times with the help of Academy Ruins and Oblivion Stone. (To the FBI: I don’t intend to blow up the world.)
I wanted the Stone over Neveyrayyeyryl’s Disk so I could kill planeswalkers!

The lone Ms. Vendilion Clique was in the deck just for an opposing Jace, since we want ours to stick around.

I wanted to play Lightning Bolt but went with Fire / Ice so I would have more fodder for Force of Will and Misdirection.

Repeal is a nice catchall that will let you return anything that may have slipped past your counters and lets you counter it on the way back down.

Sadly, I wasn’t feeling it; as much as I liked this list, I just wasn’t comfortable playing it at this GP. What a mistake! After I got
crushed, I played some side events for boxes, always getting first or second, which gave me free entry into the next event.

I decided to roll with the Metalworker deck instead. This is the list I actually played.

I didn’t want to play fair. I wanted to put down huge robots and smash face. I felt the U/W Mystic deck was too fair compared to this deck. I
also thought Zoo was on the decline with Stoneforge running rampant with Batterskull.

I threw in three Defense Grids to slow down all these new control decks popping up. Defense Grid pretty much reads, “Counter me or you will not
counter anything else.” Against Standstill, Defense Grid and Crucible would make the Standstill player think twice before dropping Standstill
without any pressure. Crushing Merfolk also seemed like a good idea, since that’s usually the number one played deck in Legacy.

I hadn’t tested much for this format, and this deck didn’t really require much testing. Hey, I figured it was a good choice—cut me
some slack.

Here is a brief tournament report.

Round 3 Team America

He played something like three Goyfs and had two counters and a Wasteland game one. Game two, he had three Goyfs again, and I ran into three Dazes. Of
course I didn’t play around them 😀

Round 4 Zoo

Got pretty destroyed. With that deck packing as much removal as it does, it’s hard for me to even compete with their aggressive clock and ability
to stop what I’m doing.

Round 5 Zoo

Thank you sir, may I have another?

After my ass whooping, I decided to go eat with my roommates. Chad ate the Frankenstein, which would put any burger to shame. That thing was like the
Twin Towers of…. Burgers. It was pretty hilarious cracking on Chad as he ate it.

All right, with that out of the way—let’s talk about what I learned.


You have no idea how excited I was to see a deck like that doing well. I knew that the deck was performing well on Magic Online, but my inner rogue
loves to see scrubby cards like that in Top 8s. I think the deck is actually pretty good.

I mean, Show and Telling for a spaghetti monster or some ludicrous enchantment that somehow wins you the game is pretty sweet! It’s also another
rare deck that uses Grim Monolith, which not only helps you cast Hive Mind but also helps you pay for the Pacts if you have to use one. I really like
Mr. Eleyet’s list; the only thing I would want to meddle with is Slaughter Pact. Destroying an annoying Gaddock Teeg, Qasali Pridemage, or even
the rare Trygon Predator seems like an option worth having. I can’t justify any real changes though before playing the deck some. Nice deck, Mr.
Eleyet, and congrats on your finish!

I pondered on the Invitational which, at the time of writing this article, was soon coming up. I really wanted to play a deck similar to the U/R brew,
but I wanted a way to deal with Thrun, so having black seemed like the logical answer. Presenting U/B Control!

Innocent Blood and Diabolic Edict are really good. Killing bothersome creatures and hexproof dudes is pretty good. I was anticipating a lot of
Stoneforge Mystic, so I wanted at least three Spell Snares. After you get enough mana, you can just recur Oblivion Stone to your heart’s content!

In the board, we gear ourselves more against green aggressive decks like Bant with more removal. Against control and combo, we have five hand
disruption spells to slow them down along with heavy counterspells in the maindeck. We also have the triumph card of Teferi; if he sticks, it’s
good game! I’m so excited about playing this deck at the Invitational!

Well kiddies, that’s all I have right now. Hopefully the Invitational Top 8 was full of 4x Stoneforge Mystics and 4x Jace, the Mind Sculptors
(only 2x Jace, the Mind Sculptors in Legacy though). I mean who doesn’t love seeing that? Until next time, enjoy your brewing and have fun!

Ali, of the Many