trying to write an article on the possibilities of green
blue in OBC but I keep running into this problem where
the format changes, and people start playing with new
cards and stop playing with others. Here is a run
through of the available strategies employed and a
somewhat dated view of the meta game involving these
in mind I’m only focusing on Green/Blue with no splash
color. The mana is too inconsistent to play more than 2
colors in OBC.
To a lesser extent:
There is real power in using Quiet Speculation, which is very evident if you get three Roar of the Wurm. It’s the equivalent of getting 3 Hunted Wumpus with no drawback and putting them in your hand. The thing to realize is that it doesn’t look as insane when you cast any other spell that is listed above. Catalyst stone is more hate for your opponent’s flashback than there to help you cast your spells. There is power to be abused, but not a lot of it. Grizzly Fate has made a large rise in popularity lately, but is much easier to just hard cast.
The Madness Engine:
To be able to discard:
while using mongrel or Aquameoba to pitch the spells is
just cost reduction, while using looter, Careful Study
or Compulsion gains card advantage. There is definitely
power here, but there are only 3 spells that you really
want to madness, and Basking Rootwalla is sometimes
better being cast on turn one, than pitched to a
creature later for no card advantage.
Don’t forget that Roar of the Wurm or any
flashback card can work like madness at sorcery speed.
Roars and Grizzly Fate work perfectly well in a
deck with Wild Mongrel and Careful study.
Wonder and Genesis are not really Madness or flashback, but I consider Wonder the equivalent of Madness 0: You must have an Island in play, all of your creatures are unblockable, and Genesis to be a flashback spell that never gets removed. Wonder is essential to most Green/Blue decks, and I find it to be a very deciding factor in the mirror, while Genesis on the whole is too slow.
With all of the other abilities in this set rotating around the graveyard, getting 7 cards in there is not a problem. Remember, since this is a graveyard-oriented set there are plenty of things to do with cards after they are put in the grave
The Other Stuff:
are the only decent removal spells Green/Blue decks have
at their disposal. Upheaval
works best with Werebear to speed it up, and Aether
Burst must be played in 4’s, however obvious that is.
These two spells are the most used forms of card drawing, not counting ones that require a discard. Standstill requires a different build to increase your chances of being in a winning position when it’s cast. Usually people play only 1 or 2 Deep Analysis because the real advantage from it comes from flashback, and losing three life can only be done without losing a few times a game consistently.
Living Wish slows the deck down but leaves open the possibility to have a lot more answer “main deck”. However the format is very well defined as consisting of very few decks, so a standard deck and sideboard may work better.
There are very few playable enchantments nowadays, but these two cards fit the bill for dealing with decks with the mass destruction common in most black decks. Squirrel’s Nest has the problem of that a Rancid Earth can destroy it, where Bearscape can’t feasibly be destroyed by black. If you play nest, make sure you are running 4 copies of a counterspell, preferably envelop and you will be fine. Bearscape on the other hand can run out of fuel to make more bears and should be used sparingly since having more than one in play is useless. Therefor you only need 2 Bearscapes as opposed to 3 to 4 Squirrel’s Nest and 4 Envelop.
These are the counterspells that have been played in tournament winning decks. I personally believe that rites is terrible, but here is the important reason. Many people that build in Rites count on it as a discard outlet to be able to pitch Wonder or rootwalla if they don’t draw a Mongrel or Careful Study. The problem is that you don’t discard the cards until resolution of the spell. If you really need to pitch a wonder, and they counter your Rites, you cannot get the wonder into the grave. I won a match once because of this. Envelop is you best option, since most of the problem cards are sorceries and Circular Logic requires enough situations to be in place that it should be built into the style of deck (madness version of U/G).
Let’s look at some tournament winning lists.
This is a threshold version that is very tempo oriented. Note that in the sideboard he plays Squirrel’s nest and Envelop to beat black. The forest also gets brought in with the Nests so that you have enough green to support them. Krosan Reclamation is key to the mirror match where most of the time you will be battling over Wonder superiority.
This deck is the style of deck I played at worlds. It is a madness-based deck with a small number of Quiet speculations and cards to get. It wraps together the power of turn 3 Arrogant Wurm, the hard counter of Circular Logic and the card advantage of Quiet Speculation. This deck also goes through a transformation when playing against black, bringing in Bearscape, Envelop, Touch, and possibly Centaur. The Cephalid Looters are for the mirror match.
After reading this I hope that you are more informed about building your own OBC green blue deck.
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