Did a bunch of standard playtesting this week for states. Decks represented:
- Artifact Aggro (Tempered Steel, Myrsmith, Quest for the Holy Relic, Steel Overseer)
- Boros (Goblin Guide, Steppe Lynx, Cunning Sparkmage, Stoneforge Mystic)
- Valakut Ramp (Summoning Trap, Primeval Titan, Wurmcoil Engine)
- Dredgevine (Necrotic Ooze, Vengevine, Renegade Doppelganger, Gigantomancer, Hedron Crab)
- Pyromancer (self-explanatory)
- Elves (Ezuri, Genesis Wave, Elvish Archdruid, Garruk Wildspeaker)
- Monoblack control (Mind Sludge, Corrupt, Abyssal Persecutor, Gatekeeper of Malakir)
I’m not a big fan of the aggro builds (Boros, Artifact Aggro, RDW), but they’re definitely out in force. Ramp is like the deck I don’t want to play but also the deck I don’t want to face. The 3 I tested with were Pyromancer, MBC, and Elves.
Elves is a lot of fun and can do crazy things, but it’s quite draw dependent and can’t necessarily stabilize well while setting up. Pyromancer is extremely draw dependent, made worse by the fact that there’s so much card draw. You’d think it would get what it needs eventually, but more often than not the problem becomes more of sequence than availability. You can’t have all the cards you need *and* the mana at all times. If you don’t go off on Ascension, you’re just delaying your own demise, more often than not. MBC runs into the same issue Wafo-Tapa’s UW Control did last season: it doesn’t have any particularly good matchups, but neither are there particularly bad matchups. Whether a match goes well or poorly is 100% dependent on your draw, but, when you’re winning, it’s extremely hard to lose, and, when you’re losing, you have a lot of outs.
I’m still not sure what I’m going to play, but there will be more playtesting tonight, so we’ll see what happens.