Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Winding Constrictor .dec


Winding ConstrictorTime for a bit of a theme deck. I don't expect this to be tier one by any means but it has a lot of depth in support and even in payoff while containing a lot of independently powerful cards. I first wanted to do this when Reyhan was released but never got round to it. Then again, when Winding Constrictor came out it looked even more appealing. The last couple of sets haven't offered all that much to power this kind of thing even more but we already have plenty. The issue for this deck will not be lack of cards but rather lack of space. The more synergy you ram in the better that aspect of the deck gets, each card with +1/+1 counter synergy improves. The problem is that you leave very little space for solid interactive cards which you will need to not fold to certain cards you might face.

The deck wants four kinds of cards, things that improve +1/+1 counters, things that are improved with +1/+1 counters, things that give or gain +1/+1 counters and then some interaction, removal and disruption.

Reyhan, Last of the Abzan


In our first group we have;

Hardened Scales
Winding Constrictor
Reyhan, Last of the Abzan
Corpsejack Menace


In our second group there is;

Avatar of the Resolute
Inspiring Call
Amourcraft Judge
Servant of the Scale



In our third group we have the bulk of the cards; (arguably some of these should be in group 2)

Walking BallistaExperiment One
Scavenging Ooze
Walking Ballista
Lotleth Troll
Hangerback Walker
Tireless Tracker
Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
Rishkar, Peema Renegade
Renegade Krasis
Flesh Carver
Den Protector
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Yehenni, Undying Partisan
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Verdurous Gearhulk




In our last group we have loads of options too but far less space;

Thoughtsieze
Inquisition of Kozilek
Collective Brutality
Go for the Throat
Abrupt Decay
Maelstrom Pulse
etc.
Some one mana ramp is likely well worth some space

Mixing that lot together I got this list. I went super light on group four cards so as to maximize the synergy cards for a first run sort of deck. That way I get to see which cards are weaker and what I need more of. I expect some of the higher power cards that are off theme somewhat like Kalitas or even Scavenging Ooze may well be easier to cut after testing. I expect I will want to replace them with some more removal. Some of the deeper cards may also turn out to just not be worth it. Looking mostly at that Servant! Due to the high power of a couple of specific interactions it feels like some creature tutor effects may well be a nice way to power this list up. The importance of Walking Ballista is why I am running the Den Protector but something to find it from the library is probably worth finding space for.

Experiment One24 Spells


Experiment One
Elves of Deepshadow
Birds of Paradise
Thoughtsieze

Hardened Scales
Servant of the Scale

Winding Constrictor
Scavenging Ooze
Walking Ballista
Lotleth Troll

Avatar of the Resolute
Nissa, Voice of ZendikarAbrupt Decay
Hangerback

Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
Rishkar, Peema Renegade
Flesh Carver
Inspiring Call

Reyhan, Last of the Abzan
Den Protector
Drana, Liberator of Malakir

Corpsejack Menace
Armourcraft Judge
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Verdurous Gearhulk


16 Lands

Hardened ScalesThe main engine cards for this deck are the things that increase the +1/+1 counters added to things. The Constrictor and the Scales are nice cheap things that increase the number of counters by one, which in most cases is double. The Corpsejack Menace is always a doubling of the counters which can get out of hand with a couple of cards but for the most part it is just a bigger, costlier version of the Constrictor. Lastly we have Reyhan who essentially gives all your creatures modular. Reyhan in particular gets very out of hand with the Menace. Assuming the Menace is in play the whole time then Reyhan comes in as a 6/6 and will give twelve +1/+1 counters to something upon death! So all these cards significantly improve the value and efficiency of creatures with +1/+1 counter on them and ways to give and gain them. Value is all well and good but messing around to get bigger guys for less mana than you otherwise might isn't all that great of a plan. A good plan wins a game and while having bigger guys can win games it doesn't do so directly. A lot of decks will either disrupt your plan and leave you with small guys and weak cards or they will kill you before you get round to killing them. I would love to have thrown in a Survival of the Fittest and a Recurring Nightmare so I could more reliably abuse my best interactions but that seemed even more durdly! At least the list I have presented is fairly proactive and redundant. It might not always have the best synergy cards together but it doesn't hang about in getting some killing done!

Inspiring CallSo we have things that buff counters but what about the things that +1/+1 counters buff in return? Armorcraft Judge and Inspiring Call will draw a pile of cards. They are both pricey cards and they need to be appropriately setup however they are pretty abusive. While I don't much like Inspiring Call it does seem like it counters the things you are most afraid of - Wraths. Being able to draw so many cards is another reason to be a little off cards like Survival and Nightmare, in you manage to hit a big draw on the back of a Hill Giant or mass removal counter then you have all the gas you will need. There is also Avatar of the Resolute which is a substantially lower payoff than card draw but none the less pretty dangerous. The trample and the impressively high floor on this card make it well worth including. It is one of the better finishers in the deck despite being one of the cheaper cards. Ideally it is not made on curve but it is still better than doing nothing.

Servant of the ScaleServant of the Scale is the Arcbound Worker of the deck. Calling it a payoff is perhaps generous! Unlike Avatar this has a low floor and as such really isn't great on curve. Ideally you want to wait till you have your Constrictor or something in play before dropping it down. Although I have them just in the dorks that have and gain +1/+1 counters section both the XX artifact dudes are amazing in this list. They are some of the best scaling cards with the support and some of the best payoffs for dumping a load of counters on them. Both get very dangerous very quickly and will be a focal point of the games.

The rest of the deck is made up of a smattering of removal and disruption and a healthy dose of top rate stand alone dorks (and Nissa) that have, gain and/or give +1/+1 counters. Drana is a little slow as she comes with no counters but the deck has very little in the way of flying. She is also one of the few ways you have to carpet your board with counters thus empowering Thopters and the like. Nissa is the other but she is an obvious lock in being significantly less conditional and again, a stand alone good card. Renegade Krasis can get it done but it felt a little bit wishful. This is the only chance the card has in cube really and so I should probably let him have his chance! Rishkar is pretty nuts in the deck. She is very versatile and high power level as a stand alone. In this deck she is also a +1/+1 giver and mild payoff card. While you won't be tapping your dorks for mana that often the option to do so is great and the fact that most of your dorks will be able to is also nice and convenient.

Avatar of the ResoluteLotleth Troll is another decent finisher like Avatar. The trample allows you to push through and the regenerate allows you to go big with less risk than with some other cards. Also being a zero mana ability to apply counters is nice. If you have a Troll, a Constrictor and some cards in hand that Troll could become pretty huge without warning! Gearhulk is another no brainer for the top end simply for extreme power level on top of +1/+1 synergy.  Flesh Carver is a good all rounder with high power level and mild +1/+1 synergies. The sac outlet aspect should be more useful than usual however with the modular aspect to some of the cards. Kalitas on the other hand far less so and is seeming more and more like something I should cut... Experiment One and Scavenging Ooze are just decent cheap cards you can throw out on curve and that work with the decks theme. With the options on synergic and powerful card declining as you get lower in CMC for this deck the good cheap cards feel like lock ins as well.

Corpsejack MenaceThis list will crush any midrange deck. It has good cards to be able to go toe to toe in the early parts of the game and then in the mid and late game the synergy elements will simply be way too much for other midrange decks to handle. Aggro decks will give you less chance to do your thing but having generally good dorks is a great way to survive an aggressive strategy. Just surviving and getting to do a bit of +1/+1 counter shenanigans should close out those games. Combo decks are the main problem for this kind of thing, it is too slow and value focused to put up a good enough clock and it has far too little disruption to slow down the opponents. Control decks won't be a pushover and getting to do insane counters things won't happen very often against them but it will still give them a good game. For a fun themed deck this looks far more potent than most, if not all, of the others I have looked at on this blog. It also has a substantially deeper pool of cards to choose from. In the right meta this deck could be tier one.

1 comment:

  1. Nice theme indeed, and a way to give an identity to green other than ramp. You may play kalonian hydra instead of kalitas, it is spot on the theme

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