The Daily Shot: The Walamies Deck

This is just a thing of beauty. I’m still learning to play it, and I’m not sure how the sideboard works against Monoblack just yet (it’s a tough matchup), but I’ve just crushed the U/G and W/G decks I’ve played against. Let me tell you what I’ve learned about the deck from about thirty test games.

“I don’t mind stealing bread from the mouths of decadence.”

-Temple Of The Dog,”Hunger Strike”

No, I’m not turning into Sean McKeown.

I bet you PTQ hopefuls have been going over the Worlds OBC decklists with a fine-toothed comb. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fire the master list right up to check out the 6-0 decks.

I found one deck that I already love, just because it shrugs at when the dog comes out to play. This deck seldom cares about a second-turn Mongrel draw – the most dominating, defining play of the entire environment. I am not ashamed to admit that I will be playing it, with very few changes, at a PTQ that is only one day distant as of this writing. By the time you read this, it’ll be over and done with. I am going to Xerox myself a copy and take it out and see what I can do with it.

It’s the U/W Quiet Speculation Beatdown deck played by Tomi Walamies and a couple of others. The only non-Mongrel, non-monoblack deck to go 6-0.

Time for the Daily Shot”Middle Finger Of The Day.”


This is for Wild Mongrels everywhere.

Yeah, I’m taking it card-for-card from the listing on the Sideboard. I’m going to stand on the shoulders of the best deckbuilders in the world. Try not to be too disappointed; I’ll tell you why I’m doing it.

Wild Mongrel rules OBC. The Hound is King. Time and again, I’ve tried to build a deck that can cope with the nuts Mongrel draw on a regular basis… And it’s no use. Second-turn Mongrel with the usual supporting cast is the 2002 version of”The Fix.”

I’ve tried packing a U/B Upheaval deck full of Innocent Bloods and Chainer’s Edicts, and they just discard a Rootwalla to soak it up and cornhole you on turn 3 anyhow with something dumb like a second Mongrel and a Logic for whatever you were going to do. Or they play Standstill with the Mongrel still on the table. Or an Arrogant Wurm comes down. Or the Mongrel hits for three and another Rootwalla comes out, and all you’ve got left is an impotent Aether Burst.

Sure, sometimes you eat the bear and you’ve got a big-time removal draw with multiple Standstills – but more often than not, the dog eats you. Anyhow, the second-turn Mongrel of a blue-green deck is probably the thing I hate most about OBC… Especially when going second. I could play U/G myself, but then I might as well just flip a coin when I get matched up with the other guys who are playing Walla/Mongrel/Standstill/Aether Burst type stuff.

I don’t want to play Monoblack control, because I’d rather slam a nail through my thumb than learn to play the Monoblack mirror. I don’t want to play U/G for the reasons discussed above. All my rogue decks can’t handle the Mongrel draw no matter what I put in there. No amount of removal is enough because only a few spells in the environment actually kill the damn thing. Ghastly Demise does nothing. Chainer’s Edict and Innocent Blood work, but only if you get the little bastard by itself and without a Nimble Mongoose, Rootwalla or Safekeeper for company.

I took one look at the Walamies decklist and I knew – just knew – that it would crush U/G and W/G. And man, my smile was a mile wide. I knew right away I was going to take the deck and run with it, no qualms. You see, pros have a lot of luxuries when it comes to playtesting- more time, better partners… You name it.

If it will help me stomp U/G, I don’t mind stealing bread from the mouths of decadence.

Here’s the deck:

U/W Speculation Beatdown

4 Spurnmage Advocate

4 Tireless Tribe

4 Beloved Chaplain

3 Patrol Hound

3 Glory

2 Suntail Hawk

4 Battle Screech

4 Quiet Speculation

4 Divine Sacrament

2 Deep Analysis

2 Envelop

1 Prismatic Strands

13 Plains

6 Island

4 Skycloud Expanse


2 Envelop

2 Deep Analysis

2 Prismatic Strands

2 Stern Judge

2 Kirtar’s Desire

2 Sphere Of Truth

1 Commander Eesha

1 Ray of Distortion

1 Frantic Purification

A thing of beauty. I’m still learning to play it, and I’m not sure how the sideboard works against Monoblack just yet (it’s a tough matchup), but I’ve just crushed the U/G and W/G decks I’ve played against. Here’s a few quick clues about what the cards do and why they’re so good in the matchup against the damn dog. This is what I’ve learned about the deck from about thirty test games:

Spurnmage Advocate means that Mental Note and Careful Study enthusiasts will pay a price for their chicanery. This guy eats Mongrels for breakfast and puts Wonder back in the hand while he’s at it. The Advocate is pretty much amazing, and any deck that relies heavily on threshold, like the deck Zvi played at Worlds, will have major trouble with him. Testing against Zvi’s U/G with this build, I flattened it every time, though my own playtesting was much too short to be conclusive.

The Tireless Tribe is great because he can live through Mutilate and block early Mongrel and Arrogant Wurm and thresholded Werebear beats while you’re setting up. He puts Glory in the yard as well and makes sure you have a way to put extra land towards threshold.

Beloved Chaplain is my new hero. This guy is the freakin’ Dogbuster 2000. Mongrels can’t do jack when he’s around in the early game. I can’t count the number of times when the usually ridiculous U/G start just ground to a halt because of this guy. No Wonder = all the time in the world for you. As a nice bonus, he can’t be Butchered.

Patrol Hound is in there because not every two-drop can be Wild Mongrel, but sometimes you have to throw out Glory quick and can’t find a Tribe. It serves the purpose; any warm body is fine when it comes to flashing back Battle Screeches. I briefly wondered why you might not try something like Phantom Nomad here, but the ability to discard Glory is very important and you can’t take chances – when you don’t draw a Spurnmage and they have a nuts draw with Wonder, you need flyers and a Glory in the yard.

Glory is such a house that I have to pay quarterly tax payments just to have it in the deck. If you fire out a bunch of birds and put this guy in the yard, the opposing offense will grind to a halt, which is good for you. I haven’t found it to be much use against monoblack yet- and I suspect it might be on the list of cards to board out. Even though it has a use against Butchers and the like, it doesn’t do enough in the early game when pressure is needed.

Suntail Hawk is a good one-drop for beatdown, and a good blocker if you have Sacrament with threshold and/or Glory in the yard. Most of the time you just want any creature so you can go off with multiple Speculated Screeches. The number two seems arbitrary, but hey – I’m sure the designer has his reasons. If I play this thing long enough, said reasons will probably become evident to me.

Battle Screech is the nuts with Quiet Speculation. Sometimes you can cast three of them on turn 4, with a Prismatic Strands waiting in the grave to boot. Then you drop the Sacrament and swing.

Quiet Speculation is there to get three Deep Analysis against Black or two Battle Screeches and a Prismatic Strands against beatdown. Helps toward threshold too. The deck probably wouldn’t be nearly as good without the explosive Battle Screech plays you can pull off with this card, sometimes as soon as turn 3.

Divine Sacrament really speeds things up. Four birds isn’t a big deal when they’re doing four damage… But eight is tough to bear and twelve is downright intolerable. This little beauty lets you fight the war of attrition with U/G (even if the stupid Mongrel can take advantage of them) and multiples can get downright unfair once you’ve flashed all four Battle Screeches.

Deep Analysis gasses you up in the mid to late-game against Monoblack. I assume they come out against U/G.

You know the drill with Envelop. Sometimes the Black player really needs that Mutilate, and it can be the difference between utter defeat and that one extra turn of attacks you needed to finish the job.

Prismatic Strands is one of my favorite cards ù and it’s key because you can tap all your guys to go Screech-crazy and still survive an opposing Alpha Strike. Great against U/G for this reason – even though the Mongrel once again is immune to the effects. I just hate that card. The two in the sideboard come in against beatdown.

The extra Envelops and Deep Analysis come in against Monoblack. So do the Stern Judges. What comes out? I’m not sure. I’m thinking the one copy of Prismatic Strands and all three copies of Glory could go, despite any opposing Butchers. The Spurnmage Advocates aren’t stellar so you might switch them for the Judges, or you could switch out the Patrol Hounds, though they do beat down faster.

Kirtar’s Desire goes in there against U/G; you’d probably remove the two Deep Analyses. (It’s another great answer to the damn dog, by the way.) While you’re sideboarding, make sure you bring in the two extra Prismatic Strands and the Commander Eesha, and give the boot to two Envelops and another random card of your choice.

The Ray of Distortion and Frantic Purification must be in there for Solitary Confinement decks or Wake Combo or whatever. The two Spheres of Truth are for the mirror, where you of course take out your Divine Sacraments (and also put in Eesha, and probably the Prismatic Strands).

Against U/G you stall the usual candy-ass Mongrel draw, fire out a bunch of Birds, and win. The usual Speculation is two Battle Screeches and the Prismatic Strands. Against Monoblack (which I didn’t have much luck against, by the way…must be inexperience), you probably want to Speculate for a bunch of copies of Deep Analysis and keep casting them while you drop one weenie a turn. Try to keep another Blue open to Envelop the Mind Sludge or Echoes or Mutilate if you can. It isn’t easy.

I’m still learning to play this deck, so take these instructions with a grain of salt. With any luck, we might see a report pop up somewhere from the original designers of the thing, and they’ll explain how everything works. For now, use common sense, and have watching second-turn Mongrels skid to a halt when you play a Chaplain.

OBC is the real”Temple Of The Dog.” One hound in particular has to be put down like Old Yeller.

Screw You And The Mongrel You Rode In On



Counter target activated ability. If this ability belonged to a creature, shuffle that creature into its owner’s library.

Draw a card.

It’ll come too late, but they should print it nonetheless. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be blue – green would work, too. Or they could make it black and have it destroy the creature. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.

Geordie Tait

[email protected]