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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:05 pm 
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So I love this deck archetype, and I think I have honed it a bit. Still not sure about the Sanguine Bond, I'll have a little play with Covenant of Blood or Suffer the Past instead but the rest is awesome.

[manapie 90 w -u b -r -g][/manapie]

Orzhov Lifegain

A deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (22 :creature: , 15 :instant: , 23 :land:)

Creature22 cards
■■■
Ajani's Pridemate2/2
■■■■
Lone Missionary2/1
■■■
Vizkopa Guildmage2/2
Brimaz, King of Oreskos3/4
■■■■
Phyrexian Rager2/2
■■
Graveborn Muse3/3
■■
Rhox Faithmender1/5
Baneslayer Angel5/5
■■
Battlegrace Angel4/4
Spell15 cards
■■■■
Swift Justice
■■■
Ordeal of Heliod
■■■
Tribute to Hunger
■■■
Angelic Accord
■■
Sanguine Bond
Land23 cards
■■■■
Orzhov Guildgate
■■■■
Radiant Fountain
10
Plains
7
Swamp


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:30 am 
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I don't like the fountains at all, not even in a lifegain deck, but the rest looks solid. I'm not sure how good Tribute to Hunger is without much other removal, though, I would probably just play Ulcerate because you can afford the life payment and it's even good against fatties because you can shrink them and kill them with Swift Justice.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:24 pm 
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One of the first decks I was looking forward to playing with the new DLC was the Vampire deck, so I have been testing one today. I started looking at the pool of available Vampires and noticed that all the best ones were black. Red only offers Bloodcrazed Neonate and Rakish Heir, and neither of them is particularly exciting. With this in mind, I decided to try and slot a Vampire subtheme into an Orzhov Heroic shell. I tested this deck earlier this morning for several games:

Spoiler


It didn't take long to realize the Guul Draz Vampire wasn't very good. He doesn't help turn on his own clause because he's so small, so for the most part he was just chilling out doing nothing. Also, having seven black one-drops and plenty of white two-drops with no such thing as Shocklands made curving out a real chore.

Kalastria Highborn was really good, though, and she really makes Bloodghast and Child of Night playable. The deck also has Devouring Swarm to sacrifice Vampires and trigger her, so that's some added value.

Child of Night was a questionable card before, but the inclusion of Nimbus Wings, Kalastria Highborn, and Ajani's Pridemate give her a lot of synergy with the deck.

Speaking of the Pridemate, he's got some real upside here with Child of Night, Swift Justice, Tormented Hero triggers, and Kalastria Highborn triggers. One of the better cards in the deck from my testing today.

That brings me to the next testing point. I'm not sure about Brimaz with only 10 white sources, but I'm going to try it because he's so powerful.

[manapie 90 w -u b -r -g][/manapie]

Orzvov Heroic

A one vs. one deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (24 :creature: , 15 :instant: , 21 :land:)

Cost 14 cards
■■■
Tormented Hero2/1
■■■■
Dead Weight
■■■■
Swift Justice
■■■
Ulcerate
Cost 17 cards
■■■
Ajani's Pridemate2/2
■■
Bloodghast2/1
■■■■
Child of Night2/1
■■
Hero of Iroas2/2
■■
Kalastria Highborn2/2
■■■■
Nimbus Wings
Cost 6 cards
■■
Agent of the Fates3/2
■■■■
Devouring Swarm2/1
Cost 2 cards
■■
Graveborn Muse3/3
Land21 cards
■■■■
Orzhov Guildgate
6
Plains
11
Swamp


Thoughts and opinions?

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Last edited by Hakeem928 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:59 pm 
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Man you lub you some Tormented Hero, don't cha? ;) You had your G/W aggro shell that you used Akrasan Squire over Elite Vanguard for the 2/1 vs 2/2 explanation. Considering how little a chance there is for the Heroic trigger here, wouldn't you consider the same logic (especially since; after T1, Tormented Hero comes in tapped and can't affect the board till the next turn whereas the Squire or even Vanguard can chump)?

I didn't find the same thing with Guul Draz Vampire. It's a 1/1 and your expectations need to stay at 1/1 creature level. In an aggro shell though, you're generally quick to get to the 12-8hp life total in a few turns which is the point of including this card. A 3/2 for 1 mana that quite likely is unblockable can be a real problem especially at that life total. It's something they have to waste removal on and is also good vampire sacrifice fodder for your outlet. It's one of the things that made a lot of sense in your Rakdos version. Actually with things like Squire/exalted, you could at least be 'pumping up' early attackers like Guul Draz to make them more worth while.

Considering the limited number of Vampires, is Kalastria Highborn worth it? I get that Bloodghast recurs but it doesn't seem worth it to incorporate for just that synergy (The Rakdos deck had 12 Vamps, this one has 8).

Granted tempo is king in an aggro theme but I'm surprised you didn't squeak in Mentor somewhere.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:17 pm 
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Tormented Hero is amazing because he's two-power for one mana and his triggers provide a bit of reach while putting counters on the Pridemates. With Nimbus Wings he's a 3/3 flier, which is pretty huge in this meta, especially on the second turn. I like him a lot.

As far as Guul Draz, I don't want a 1/1 for one in my deck so I don't want this guy. I thought about adding Ordeal of Heliod into the mix and treating him like a Trained Caracal, but this deck has a problem casting its white two-drops the turn after a black one-drop (there are only six basic plains). In Boros, Caracal has seven Auras plus the three Paladins as viable T2 plays that let him swing as a 2/2 lifelink. Here, I can't do anything like that because of the mana. Unstable mana makes for a slow and clunky aggro deck.

As far as Kalastria Highborn, yes I feel she's worth it. Most of this deck's creatures are just Bears but all of them have upside. Even one Shock is a substantial amount of reach for a deck as aggressive as this and she's never dead because she triggers her own ability. The ability also has synergy with Ajani's Pridemate and helps race other aggro decks.

I thought about adding Mentor but I don't have anything like Goblin Rabblemaster to really abuse him and with only 21 lands in the initial version, I was afraid I'd never have the spare mana to sink into him. I went to 22 lands so I could add another white source to support Brimaz, but I think I'm going to cut him and go back to 21 after having just played five test games or so. The :w::w: cost was too rough and I got up to five mana or more too often for my liking. I think I'm going to add Graveborn Muse as my draw engine in those two slots because it doesn't require any mana investment to sustain and also because I have a bit of life gain to offset the loss.

I've updated the planner, above.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:51 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
Tormented Hero is amazing because he's two-power for one mana and his triggers provide a bit of reach while putting counters on the Pridemates. With Nimbus Wings he's a 3/3 flier, which is pretty huge in this meta, especially on the second turn. I like him a lot.


Oh I've gotten the impression you like the card a lot :D I was only referring to what you had said before on your own changes.

Hakeem Selesnya Aggro

Hakeem928 wrote:
The one-drop slot was completely vacated by the incumbents and replaced with the Akrasan Squires. The Vanguard couldn't attack on a lot of boards because it died to a 1/1, so the switch to Squire feels good because he comes down and attacks as a 2/2.


I got behind this change because it effected the toughness of the creature making it more resilient in it's first few attacks. Just assumed that logic would be viable here.

You're triggers are basically Wings and Swift Justice (unless it's a desperate play where you kill your own creature for a 2 for 0) and I question the amount of mileage you'll get out of that for the Pridemate. I'd often be looking to put the Wings/ Justice on the Pridemate instead (unless it's a case of trying to force the 1hp growth so it moves Pridemate out of shock range the turn it's cast. That seems narrow though since they could target it anyway unless they were tapped out). It is a possible upside so it is at least a thing. I'll put that back to you though on how often you'd have exalted triggers over hp triggers.


On a separate note, I do hope that my comments/questions etc are coming across as constructive (or light hearted joking/ribbing) and nothing else (here and everywhere else). Just doing my best to help out and wanted to make sure they weren't coming across any other way. :thumbsup:

Cheers

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:57 pm 
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You can't get under Hakeem's skin. It's impossible, I've tried.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:05 pm 
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No I get your vibe, don't worry about that at all.

I don't think the Squire logic can be applied to Tormented Hero here, though, because I don't have a better option in my primary color. If I were to cut Hero then I wouldn't be adding another one-drop. Elite Vanguard is a fine card but once Squire entered the pool I felt the swap was an upgrade. If not for that I'd still be playing Vanguard because two-power one-drops are good! If you're suggesting Squire here, I cannot play white one-drops in this deck because of Bloodghast/Kalastria and all the three-drops that also require :b::b:. It's all about the mana and this deck is predominantly black.

On another note, my first test deck was monoblack Vampires and I was even playing Vicious Hunger! It wasn't that great so that's why I looked to white as my splash.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:25 pm 
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So.. I think I found something Guul Draz Vampire does well.. synergize with Blood Tribute. If you cast Blood Tribute, Intimidate is instantly online.. and the opponent is on a significant clock. If you have Sanguine Bond out, its obvs GG.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:40 pm 
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But that's six mana. Grixis Vamps with Goblin Electromancer?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:01 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
But that's six mana. Grixis Vamps with Goblin Electromancer?


It was in my Golgari Elves and Vamps deck.. I had plenty of draw with Elvish Visionary, Masked Admirers and Hunters Prowess. Guul Draz with a Timberwatch & friends on the field also made for some quick knockouts if I hit Blood Tribute but not Sanguine Bond. Timberwatch & friends with Child of Night races like a mofo.. and the combo with Bond gave awesome reach. Bond with Kalastria Highborn activation hits for 4. The deck has good synergy.. the only bombs it runs are Craterhoof and Sheoldred. I'm running all the 5cmc pumps.. Enlarge on Child of Night is sick, especially with Bond out and even more sick with Timberwatch pumping it.


If you take an opener with Bond and Blood Tribute in it.. you don't even have to attack, just defend and setup the combo.

Edit: Also.. Cultivate helps a lot.. but I hate taking a turn off to cast it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:44 am 
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Here is an Orzhov list I had been mucking around with before the DLC, updated with Brain Maggot.

Basically just a deck to leverage ETB effects as much as possible (well, I could include Seance too, but I already have a Seance deck so I left it out here).

[manapie 90 w -u b -r -g][/manapie]

Undying Shift

A one vs. one deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (28 :creature: , 8 :instant: , 24 :land:)

Creature28 cards
■■■
Tormented Hero2/1
■■■
Brain Maggot1/1
■■■■
Lone Missionary2/1
■■■
Wall of Omens0/4
■■
Agent of the Fates3/2
■■
Banisher Priest2/2
■■■
Liliana's Specter2/1
■■■■
Phyrexian Rager2/2
Baneslayer Angel5/5
Shadowborn Demon5/6
■■
Rune-Scarred Demon6/6
Spell8 cards
■■■■
Cloudshift
■■■■
Undying Evil
Land24 cards
■■■■
Orzhov Guildgate
10
Plains
10
Swamp


A little bit of a different take on Orzhov.

Eschews some of the more common Lifegain and Heroic stuff in favor of just generating a bunch of value off of ETB effects.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:53 am 
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@Eon - that's similar to my Orzhov deck! I feel the ETB deck is a pretty cool on that many overlook simply due to not being able to get their heads around anything but lifegain in those colours. Just on a kick of posting my DLC updates, so it'll be cool to compare the two.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:59 am 
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@Eon - that's similar to my Orzhov deck! I feel the ETB deck is a pretty cool on that many overlook simply due to not being able to get their heads around anything but lifegain in those colours. Just on a kick of posting my DLC updates, so it'll be cool to compare the two.


Cool! Yeah, the combo of having both Cloudshift and Undying Evil can leverage a lot of value with ETB effects, on top of blanking removal.

There is something really satisfying about using Cloudshift/Undying Evil to blank removal on something like Brain Maggot, Agent of the Fates, and Banisher Priest.

Then again, I am sort of a value whore. My Abzan Seance deck is the same way. It would probably do better if I included something to turn all the lifegain into a direct win-con, but the deck often doesn't need it because it just BURIES people in value with Seance abusing ETB effects twice a turn.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:01 am 
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DLC updated deck.

[manapie 90 w -u b -r -g][/manapie]

Dark Clouds

A one vs. one deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (22 :creature: , 15 :instant: , 23 :land:)

Cost 16 cards
■■■■
Pharika's Chosen1/1
■■■■
Cloudshift
■■■■
Gods Willing
■■■■
Undying Evil
Cost 3 cards
■■■
Brain Maggot1/1
Cost 10 cards
■■
Agent of the Fates3/2
■■■
Banisher Priest2/2
Brimaz, King of Oreskos3/4
■■■■
Liliana's Specter2/1
Cost 7 cards
Baneslayer Angel5/5
■■
Indulgent Tormentor5/3
Shadowborn Demon5/6
■■■
Rescue from the Underworld
Cost 1 card
Sheoldred, Whispering One6/6
Land23 cards
■■■■
Orzhov Guildgate
9
Plains
10
Swamp


An Orzhov ETB deck that is based on hand and board disruption to gain tempo, and reusing ETB triggers via a number of methods, which also double as combat tricks.

Gods Willing, while not able to trigger ETBs, serves a similar funtion in terms of saving creatures in combat, triggering the Agent, and allowing Deathtouchers to kill without trading. The Maggot allows the deck a lot more disruption than previous versions, which allow you a more proactive and aggressive game much earlier.

Sheoldred is simply wonderful as top end. She pulls back all your ETB creatures, and has a great synergy with the Shadowborn Demon, as emptying the graveyard triggers his sacrifice ability, so you can either sac a creature and pull it back next turn, or sac the Demon and recurrable kill every other turn. She also doubles down on the Tormentor ability, and basically synergises with everything.

Brimaz and Banelsayer are just value cards to round the deck out, as there aren't any other combo enablers apart from Wall of Omens, which with the increased focus on pressure was superflous. Being able to protect them in a number of ways though means they are generally even more dominant than usual here.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:07 am 
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Interesting take on things Steve!

I considered Gods Willing and it may be worth it to run it in my deck as well. I ended up deciding to leave it out because I was a bit more focused on ETB effects and it isn't quite as good there. I could probably just as easily drop Tormented Hero to make room for them but I kind of liked having an early creature with 2 power on the table.

I left Sheoldred out of my build because I didn't feel it was correct to run 2x Runescarred AND Sheoldred for the sake of ending up with my hand getting clogged. Thinking about it though, I may be better off running a 1:1 split, since I could always fetch Sheoldred off of Runescarred.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:14 am 
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I had two Demons in the original build, but found my deck worked better as a faster build, and the lack of top end meant they were just fetching mediocre stuff or Cloudshifting themselves, which made them not very useful.

I went to 1:1, then finally just stuck with Sheoldred, and removed my walls entirely. Your build is a lot closer to my original one in being more defensive and controlling, but I just found it much better to push your advantages rather than sit on them, as many decks can recover the hand an creature advantage in the middlegame, and short of a board wipe (which I also had at one point, and doesn't always benefit you) there's not a lot you can do against it sometimes.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:24 am 
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I had two Demons in the original build, but found my deck worked better as a faster build, and the lack of top end meant they were just fetching mediocre stuff or Cloudshifting themselves, which made them not very useful.

I went to 1:1, then finally just stuck with Sheoldred, and removed my walls entirely. Your build is a lot closer to my original one in being more defensive and controlling, but I just found it much better to push your advantages rather than sit on them, as many decks can recover the hand an creature advantage in the middlegame, and short of a board wipe (which I also had at one point, and doesn't always benefit you) there's not a lot you can do against it sometimes.


I can see where you are coming from with Runescarred. Outside of fetching himself he usually isn't fetching a bunch of fat, it is mostly utility stuff. Which may seem like a waste of the tutor, but I kind of like the extra ability to fetch stuff like Banisher Priest/Agent of Fates or Brain Maggot/Liliana's Specter to snipe particular threats. Fetching Baneslayer isn't terrible either of course.

Either way, I enjoy playing this type of deck much more than I do the lifegain decks. It seems like lifegain was one of the major things they wanted to push in this version. Considering we got a LOT of lifegain cards by comparison, and they actually did a good job of including a good amount of playable cards for lifegain and converting that into a win.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:55 am 
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DLC updated deck.

[manapie 90 w -u b -r -g][/manapie]

Dark Clouds

A one vs. one deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (22 :creature: , 15 :instant: , 23 :land:)

Cost 16 cards
■■■■
Pharika's Chosen1/1
■■■■
Cloudshift
■■■■
Gods Willing
■■■■
Undying Evil
Cost 3 cards
■■■
Brain Maggot1/1
Cost 10 cards
■■
Agent of the Fates3/2
■■■
Banisher Priest2/2
Brimaz, King of Oreskos3/4
■■■■
Liliana's Specter2/1
Cost 7 cards
Baneslayer Angel5/5
■■
Indulgent Tormentor5/3
Shadowborn Demon5/6
■■■
Rescue from the Underworld
Cost 1 card
Sheoldred, Whispering One6/6
Land23 cards
■■■■
Orzhov Guildgate
9
Plains
10
Swamp


An Orzhov ETB deck that is based on hand and board disruption to gain tempo, and reusing ETB triggers via a number of methods, which also double as combat tricks.

Gods Willing, while not able to trigger ETBs, serves a similar funtion in terms of saving creatures in combat, triggering the Agent, and allowing Deathtouchers to kill without trading. The Maggot allows the deck a lot more disruption than previous versions, which allow you a more proactive and aggressive game much earlier.

Sheoldred is simply wonderful as top end. She pulls back all your ETB creatures, and has a great synergy with the Shadowborn Demon, as emptying the graveyard triggers his sacrifice ability, so you can either sac a creature and pull it back next turn, or sac the Demon and recurrable kill every other turn. She also doubles down on the Tormentor ability, and basically synergises with everything.

Brimaz and Banelsayer are just value cards to round the deck out, as there aren't any other combo enablers apart from Wall of Omens, which with the increased focus on pressure was superflous. Being able to protect them in a number of ways though means they are generally even more dominant than usual here.


Gonna be giving this thing a try. I see all the little intertwined plays but I would worry about the lack of draw. Brain maggot is easily my favorite card from the card pack.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:46 am 
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I originally had a little draw element, but realised that disrupting their board state and draws was a more consistently winning option that increasing my own.

Also, eventually, the Tormentors become draw unless you're facing a token deck.

It's a fun deck. Could likely be improved upon at the expense of theme, but I prefer a fully thematic deck to a fully optimal one, as I'm sure people are sick of me stating. :)


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