Welcome back to the Reweave Experiment. After seeing the anemic response I received during the first day, I decided calling it the “Grand” Reweave Experiment was maybe a little much. Nonetheless, thanks to everyone who is reading.
In yesterday’s edition, I worked with a Reweave deck based upon a splice engine with Hana Kami. I liked that deck and it might be okay, but its mana base was pretty ugly and it was a little slow to beat White Weenie decks. There were other problems, too; whenever I would cast Reweave on a Sakura-Tribe Elder, it seemed like every time I needed to flip over a Dragon Spirit, I would turn over another Tribe Elder or a Hana Kami.
What I really needed was a way to go fat-creatures-only, and yet still get the Green mana acceleration involved. So I wanted to see if perhaps I could keep the splice engine, and still correct the other problems:
I love this deck. It possesses a ton of what Mike Flores has called Velocity; although you are not gaining card advantage per se, every card in your deck accomplishes more and more, until late in the game it seems like each draw step just breaks the opponent. It’s not uncommon for a Reweave that you draw in the opening hand to still be working your opponent over well into the late game, transforming Meloku tokens into Yosei over and over until you end the game with The Unspeakable.
Yeah, you read that right. When I was testing early versions of this deck against Gadiel Szleifer deck from PT: Philadelphia, one problem was that Szleifer.dec would accept the Yosei tap-outs. It just tried to trade Kokusho for Yosei as best it could, remove Keiga while the board was empty, put Sickening Shoal + Hideous Laughter in hand to take out Meloku, play Cranial Extraction for Final Judgment, and finally the regenerating badass Ink-Eyes would step in to clean up. I needed a guy who was even fatter than a Dragon Spirit, one who could rumble with Ink-Eyes and still walk away, but who would still be useful in concert with Reweave. At first I considered Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens, and he still may find his way into the sideboard, but he didn’t seem to say, “I win” when he came into play. Then the foil Unspeakable beckoned to me from my trade binder, and it was impossible to resist.
He’s the deck’s primary finisher. You just try to get in a hit or two with Dragons, keeping the opponent tapped low with Yosei, until you can Reweave into Mr. U. Then you can return Stream of Consciousness or Eerie Procession to hand, making it easier for you to set up a Reweave + Yosei lock should you need to Reweave away The Unspeakable. Plus, even if the arcane tricks don’t matter, he’s still a 6/7 flying trampler! What this all adds up to is, if you can untap with an Unspeakable in play, then your opponent has to have something like Final Judgment or Sway the Stars just to keep from scooping on the spot.
If there’s any deck that ever wanted Sensei’s Divining Top, it’s this one (yes, even more so than Tooth and Nail). The only real way for your velocity to run out is if you use up all of your arcane spells to splice Reweave onto; fortunately, Reweave gives you a shuffle every time, so the Top allows you to dig hard for the next one. In some test games my first Reweave would actually target Journeyer’s Kite, hoping to turn it into a Top. That’s a pretty good sign of how valuable it is.
I’m kind of ashamed to say that Eerie Procession came in to the deck very late, and you may want the full four. It’s really key just as a tutor; against aggressive decks it serves as Ethereal Hazes five and six, against Hana Kami decks it finds Stream of Consciousness to spoil the recursion aspect, against other control decks you might want to find more Kodama’s Reaches to keep developing your board. Of course there’s also the Reweaves to tutor up, derf.
I was concerned that the deck, as fun as it was to play, would simply scoop to a Hana Kami + Cranial Extraction lock, so I took the test games against Szleifer.dec very seriously. The results were not actually too much different than yesterday’s results: ten games were split straight down the middle. All games in which Szleifer.dec resolved more than one Cranial Extraction, it won; I assumed Szleifer.dec would Extract Final Judgement first, to turn its Ink-Eyes into a powerhouse.
However, there were some games in which the Judgments were removed, but the second Extraction was slow in coming and Yosei resolved. Yosei may well be the best of the Dragon Spirits because no deck, aggro or control, wants to see itself tapped out with the prospect of missing a future untap step. Szleifer.dec could no longer wait on Sickening Shoal because of the Unspeakable issue, and the “Eerie Procession for Stream of Consciousness” play made recursive Cranial Extractions a difficult prospect, so the resolution of a Yosei was a big deal. In fact I may have made a wrong assumption in thinking that Final Judgment will be the first Extraction target; if you’re playing Plains then an opponent with Extractions may want to remove Yosei first. He’s that good.
Other control decks hated him just as much; my Myojin Flare deck found it impossible to play Heartbeat of Spring too early because the idea of casting Reweave multiple times in one turn was just too crushing. While we’re on the subject of Myojin Flare, I should note that Reweave is approximately the best card ever against them; since it forces the opponent to sacrifice the target, it can destroy Myojins with counters on them. Additionally, if you should Reweave one of their men and flip a Myojin off the top of their deck, it comes into play without a counter on it (you knew that already, right?), which makes it a much worse creature to have on your team. It wasn’t until I moved Orochi Hatchery into my Myojin deck that it began to win games, and even then it had to set up a huge turn of “Hatchery for large number + activate Hatchery + Time Stop backup,” which ain’t easy to pull off.
The White Weenie matchup has probably gotten as good as it’s going to get, but it’s still a problem; Reweave.dec won only four out of nine games. Where the White deck’s speed was dominating the matchup before, now the games were running longer but the splice deck was not entirely safe. A late-game Samurai of the Pale Curtain forces the Reweave deck to play Final Judgment first before it can have any fun, and all the while Blessed Breath and/or Eight-and-a-Half-Tails are forcing through damage. Shining Shoal was even more embarrassing, as if the aggro deck forced through enough damage early on, it was impossible for the splice deck to win with creatures even if it stabilized. In one test game Reweave.dec was forced to try and win via decking with Stream of Consciousness (using Reweave as land destruction), which sadly failed as it ran out of arcane spells for splice vessels.
Still, if I were to take a Reweave deck to the Grand Prix Trial next week, this one (or one very close to it) would probably be my choice. I have rarely played a deck as much fun as this one, and it’s pretty resilient to hate. Join me tomorrow when I’ll finally be able to apply what I learned at the prerelease last weekend, and recommend some Reweave decklists for the post-Saviors Block Constructed format.