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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
"Ryan's Red and Green"
ber 3, 2010 

It speaks to the enduring appeal and resonant flavor of the Ravnica block that people still use the names of the guilds to refer to various color pairings. When Ryan here said he had built a Gruul deck, I imagined a casual deck of old-time favorites like Rumbling Slum, Burning-Tree Shaman, and Scab-Clan Mauler. But lo and behold, this deck is Standard-legal, and so I'll keep it that way for him. 



This is my attempt at making a super agro Gruul R/G deck, and I was wondering what you thought of it? Is there anything that you would change about it or is it good the way it is?

Creatures (23):

1 Baloth Woodcrasher
1 Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs

1 Hellkite Charger
1 Conquering Manticore
2 Rage Nimbus
2 Ogre Sentry
2 Overgrown Battlement
1 Pelakka Wurm
1 Engulfing Slagwurm
1 Liege of the Tangle
1 Mul Daya Channelers
2 Leatherback Baloth
1 Garruk's Companion
2 Scythe Tiger
4 Llanorwar Elves

Artifacts (4):
2 Panic Spellbomb
2 Trigon of Rage

Sorceries (1):
1 World at War

Instants (6):

2 Untamed Might
2 Giant Growth
2 Vines of Vastwood

Enchantment (4):
2 Khalni Heart Expedition
1 Asceticism
1 Bear Umbra

Land (22):
2 Copperline Gorge
2 Turntimber Grove
11 Forest
7 Mountain

Thank you for the help


Ryan, your deck looks okay, but I noticed something that makes me raise an eyebrow and wonder. You described this deck as being a "super aggro" deck. Aggro doesn't just mean attacking with creatures, it means being fast. As in, you should have a creature on the board ready to swing no later than turn two. Ideally, an aggro deck has a mix of aggressive one drops, two drops, and three drops, and is poised for victory by turn five or so. Most aggro decks don't bother including any card that costs more than five. Your deck, by contrast, has very few cheap creatures that are good on the attack, a lot of expensive creatures like Liege of the Tangle, and the one thing aggressive decks avoid like the plague-- creatures with defender.

Your deck can be made to work, Ryan, but it's important that you understand that this is NOT an aggro deck. What you've built is either a ramp deck-- a deck that seeks to propagate as much mana as possible and play large, devastating spells before the opponent is prepared to cope-- or a control deck-- a deck that stalls and endures until the late game where it can win through wearing its opponents down. If you can understand that, and adjust your play style accordingly, this deck can be a real winner.

So, what you need to do is spend your early turns biding your time, minimizing your losses, and developing your mana base so that you can cast your heavy hitters reliably and strike once your opponent's initial push has run out of steam. In order to do that, you should drop Garruk's Companion and Scythe Tiger in exchange for more copies of Overgrown Battlement and Rage Nimbus. The Battlement is at its best when you have more of them, and Rage Numbus's 5 power and flying will keep opposing attackers at bay, or kill off small creatures that you can kill by blocking. Ogre Sentry can come out too-- it just doesn't do enough compared to your other defenders.

Speaking of killing off creatures, I noticed you have no removal. Rage Nimbus can help, but you really should have some actual burn. I'd take out your Spellbombs and Trigons, since they grant only temporary bonuses, and add in some burn spells. Lightning Bolt is probably the best choice. As for your instants, they all do the same thing in different ways. Giant Growth is the best of the three-- sure, it can't protect against targeted kill like Vines of Vastwood, but the mana cost can't be beat. Vines needs double green to act as pump, and Untamed Might will always be more mana than you want to pay. Go up to a full set of Giant Growth.

You also need to drop Baloth Woodcrasher. Sure, an 8/8 trampler for six sounds good, but that's only if you've dropped a land. Once you get to six mana, there's a good chance you're out of lands to drop, unless you've been drawing almost no spells. And without a land dropped, it's a vanilla 4/4 for six.

And speaking of lands, Khalni Heart Expedition isn't as good as Cultivate. Yes, the Expedition puts both lands into play, but you need to play three lands after drawing and casting it for it to go off. Cultivate gets you the lands now. I'd recommend going to a full four-of of Cultivate as well.

World of War can come out too. It's a neat trick, but I have a feeling that your deck usually won't have a lot of creatures out at once, it'll usually have one or two big ones, unless one of those is Kazuul or Liege of the Tangle.

I like Bear Umbra in this deck, but you also need to realize that the Hellkite Charger/Bear Umbra combo isn't going to work very often. More often, you're going to draw one and fail to draw the other. That's not as big of a problem as it sounds though. Bear Umbra  also combos nicely with the Liege of the Tangle, to give all your awakened 8/8's psuedo-vigilance, and it can simply be used to play a big spell, swing, then get all your mana back to play more spells.

Finally, your lands. They look fine, but I think you should add the other two copies of Copperline Gorge. My sources say that they're going for pretty reasonable prices for a dual land, and since they want to be dropped early game, they're of more use of you play four and can count on drawing one before turn three.

You've got a lot of one- and two-ofs in this deck, but I've made my cuts and told you which of your cards I feel are going to benefit you the most. It's up to you to determine what you think deserves to have more copies put in, and what you think deserves to be cut.

Good luck!




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