Argothian Treehouse
with Andy Van Zandt



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Argothian Treehouse

with Andy Van Zandt


Ok,  this is a deck I've been working on since before the extended season
started.  I'll start out with it's current decklist so you can make fun of
it,  and then I'll explain the deck.

4 Undead Gladiator
4 Squee, Goblin Nabob
4 Vampiric Tutor
4 Duress
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Diabolic Edict
4 Terminate
2 Faceless Butcher
1 Chainer's Edict
1 Helm of Possession
1 Visara
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Obliterate
1 Engineered Plague
4 Ghitu Encampment
4 Spawning Pool
4 Bloodstained Mire
2 Dustbowl
2 Mountain
8 Swamp

4 Reanimate
4 Entomb
3 Exhume
1 Recurring Nightmare
1 Phantom Nishoba
1 Llawan, Cephalid Empress
1 Symbiotic Wurm

You could say the deck is called Burrows because you "burrow" through your
deck with the Undead Gladiators and Vampiric tutors,  but in reality it's
because the original version had 2 goblin burrows,  to pump Squee,  since at
first glance this deck isn't heavy on the win conditions.  The deck has gone
through several changes,  and It turned out the mana was tighter than I had
thought,  and the burrows weren't integral.  They were still very good,  the
mana just couldn't support more colorless sources.  The deck also had more
Faceless Butchers originally,  but they turned  out to be less useful and
more hand-clogging than I originally counted on,  and at one point the deck
had a couple of burning wishes,  which were VERY useful,  allowing you to
get the Echoes or a Perish or whatnot out of the sideboard,  and also
basically increasing the number of cabal therapies you have.  These got
removed because of the transformation sideboard (more on that later),  and
when the Butchers and the wishes came out,  single copies of cards just
worked their way in.

The deck wants to get Undead Gladiator,  first and foremost.  If you don't
have one,  this is the first thing you vamp for.  If you do have one,  vamp
for Squee so you're doing an uncounterable Tome draw every turn rather than
a bad Compulsion.  You burrow through your deck and remove your opponent's
threats,  strip their hand,  and beat them down with man-lands.  Squee not
only powers the Gladiator,  he feeds your Cabal Therapies,  and eventually
beats down too.  Gain control of the game,  fill your hand,  and then lay
all the Gladiators you burrowed into and win in a couple of turns.  It's
very often a long road to the point where you start swinging for 8 or so, 
but it's a quick death after that point.  If everything goes wrong, 
Obliterate.  You have at least enough disruption that you should survive to
the point where you can do that.  If you draw the one-of's and can't use
them,  pitch them to recur the Gladiator.

As far as match-ups go,  you have a very good game against almost any deck
that doesn't run Dustbowls.  When someone lays a Dustbowl,  get rid of it
immediately,  even if it costs you 2 for 1.  Your manlands may be somewhat
inferior to Treetops,  but you have more than enough removal and card
drawing to move the Trees out of the way.  And despite what most people
think,  it's your Spawning Pools that are your better lands.  They block and
regenerate against fatties,  they regen from Dustbowls,  and they regenerate
from Pernicious Deeds.  They're very similar to Squee is (when he's in
play).  Against The Rock and Oath,  the entire game quickly becomes a battle
of lands.  Keep their Dustbowl off the table,  and you'll probably win. 
Scrounger Oath is a little harder than Cognivore-Oath,  but in either case, 
if everything goes wrong, Obliterate.  If you can't Obliterate, it's
probably because you didn't keep their Dustbowl off the table.

Against Psychatog,  if they don't run Corpse Dance,  it's an auto-win for
you.  If they do,  the game often takes a very long time and ends when you
Obliterate and then smash their face in while they try to recover.  Suicide
Black is generally an auto-win.  Sligh without scrolls is the same.  Sligh
with scrolls is considerably harder... until you sideboard.  Reanimator (in
case you couldn't figure it out) is an auto-win (tutor for the Helm of
Possession,  that should make them consider scooping on the spot).

Now this makes it sound like the deck has favorable matches almost across
the board,  which is not accurate.  Psychatog with Corpse Dance is a 50/50
match,  if they know what they're doing.  Cogniv-oath is in your favor,  but
Scrounger Oath is not,  especially if they get Dustbowl superiority.  Rock
is easy,  as long as they don't wish for extra Dustbowls,  then it becomes
hard,  and if they get Genesis active and you can't Echoes them, it becomes
very very hard.  Cabal Therapies and Duresses in many cases should be for
Living Wish in those 3 match-ups (even if you Echoes Genesis, they can wish
for him back).  And sometimes you just don't get your steam going before
some decks smash you and disrupt your removal.

That's where the sideboard comes in,  against all Sligh and Rock match-ups, 
and some Oath,  you turn into a Re-animator deck.  I'll not explain how to
play the match from that point on,  there are plenty of articles available
on the subject already.  The match is in your favor after sideboard against
Rock and Sligh,  although starting off down one game isn't optimal.  Also, 
the deck is VERY slow,  in many matches that you don't dominate right away, 
you will hit time during the second game,  even if you're playing fast.  It
simply takes a long time to win.  If you're worried about time,  even in the
favorable games,  side into Reanimator and you can try to win quickly.

Go ahead and try it out,  it's a harder deck to play than it looks like, and
much of that is because it plays differently against almost every deck.  If
you have any advice or criticism on the deck,  feel free to let me know, 
I've been playing the deck for a while and I'm still learning things about
it every game I play.

You can reach Andy at:

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