Friday 29 April 2016

Sneaky Oath

Sneak AttackThis is a reasonably nice pairing of cheaty effects that also doesn't require you to be in blue. While not a combo that outright kills people when you get it, nor is it the most reliable, nor the quickest, it is very robust. This deck is quite a solid midrange shell and has lots of tools to cope with whatever else is going on. This deck can easily just cast things and win without ever seeing Oath or Sneak Attack.

If you want to be in these sorts of colours and this style of combo you do have some options. You can go the reanimator route using green discard tools like Survival of the Fittest. Or you can pair Sneak Attack with Natural Order instead of the Oath which has both pros and cons. With Oath you cannot go running lots of little crappy dorks which means you can't play things like Survival of the Fittest, Recurring Nightmare or Natural Order. This does limit the design of your deck as a lot of the good green cards are creatures. Looking at it the other way round, you have to play little critters to play those other cards which limits available deck space and also therefore limits design. While creatures are great and do lots of good things there are basically none with decent library manipulation in Jund colours. As such the Natural Order Sneak Attack lists fall victim to their own poor draws a lot of the time. You either see the Sneak and not the dorks or you see the Order and have all the targets you want from it.
Oath of Druids
Another issue with running Sneak and Order is that the best targets for both don't have massive overlap. You end up running a couple that don't work well or at all with the other combo piece. Oath of Druids is a kinder cheaty spell in terms of the dorks you can play with it. This means with Oath and Sneak you can play a suite of dorks that are always pretty good whatever cheaty card you happen to have. I much prefer Sneak and Oath to Sneak and Order for overall consistency, Reanimator is much closer in power level to Sneaky Oath if you want to play with dorks. Natural Order is usually best as a supplement card in a ramp deck. If you want to play with little dorks you should probably go Reanimator with green, if you want to have the mightiest of big dorks then you should look to Sneak Attack and Oath!

24 Spells

Faithless Looting
Vampiric Tutor
Inquisition of Kozilek

Search for Tomorrow
Lighting Bolt

Oath of Druids
Moment's Peace
Scroll Rack

Moment's PeaceSylvan Library
Demonic Tutor
Abrupt Decay

Nature's Lore

Wheel of Fortune
Kolghan's Command
Bow of Nylea

Sneak Attack

Wurmcoil Engine
Grave Titan
Worldspine Wurm
Emrakul, the Eons Torn

16 Lands

(only including Forbidden Orchard if against creature light decks)

Worldspine WurmWhile you can get away with running just one or two threats with Oath should you be brave you need more than that to make a Sneak Attack worth it. Even with the pure Sneak cards like Serra Avatar it is rare you kill people in a single activation of it and Serra Avatar is very weak these days. You are better off running good creatures, sure they might not one shot people ever but even things like Titans do way way more for you towards winning the game than a single swing with your non evasive Avatar. The advantage of having some of your targets as six drops is that you can fairly easily cast them should you need. This gives you a reasonable amount of game against control players.

This list feels like it should have planeswalkers in it, they give you good action and utility and offer a lot of what utility utility dorks offer without disrupting your Oath. Sadly of the various Jund planeswalkers very few offer much to this list. As removal options spells are just cheaper and better, the ways in which Jund planeswalkers tend to yield card advantage is either too slow or not in a useful form. Discard outlets do little for this deck too. All told I couldn't find any planeswalkers that seemed to do something I wanted. The closest was Arlinn Kord for being able to haste up Oathed creatures and he clearly isn't a great fit for a deck with so few dorks in general.

ExploreThe deck has some ramp but not loads, it is partly for fixing, thinning and shuffling your library. The deck likes more mana but it operates fine without ramp. Being able to threaten a Sneak a turn earlier is significant even if you don't actually do it that often. Likewise, your six drop threats are a lot more relevant if you can cast them on turn five. They may actually save you from getting your head kicked in by an aggro deck.

There is some tutor, some draw, some dig, some removal and some recursion to fill out the list. Pernicious Deed is an obvious omission from the list, it is a bit slow and hits a couple of things you don't want it to but is also still nutty good. Well worth forcing in against any deck with lots of low CMC permanents. Moments Peace is nice as it gives you a free spell some of the time when you Oath. This list has no Swan Song (not being blue!) and no Forbidden Orchard with which to force an Oath activation. In my experience the decks that Oath is good against can't win without making dorks. Decks like blue control can avoid making any dorks all game and still win, the thing is they are generally pretty good at coping with what you Oath up so often you end up just milling yourself to death when you try that. Oath is just as great without playing weak lands in your list and bonus tutors to find them.

Bow of Nylea is the most cuttable card from this list. You have lifegain and reshuffle elsewhere in the list which are the useful things Bow offers the deck. Despite this I have found the Bow to be quite nice in this deck and makes you feel very safe in most situations. As cube combo decks go this is one of the more straight forward to play and build yet doesn't pay a cost for this simplicity in its power level.

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