the haterator: infect variant

So today, Misty had their M12 game day. After some general confusion (Ben determined that Wizards sent him 2 D&D kits and no M12 Game Day kits… sad face), everyone got a Cultivate promo (win!), paid $5 entry, and we proceeded to top 8 (only 7 people showed up; I lent Ben my Eldrazi Amulet deck and he filled the last spot).

So my old Haterator deck relied on incidental damage while disrupting my opponent’s hand (Blightning, Thought Hemorrhage, pro-naming either by knowing the deck they’re playing or peeking with Inquisition/Duress/Tidehollow Sculler), then mucking up the ground (Scullers, Wall of Omens) until I can land a Baneslayer or Malakir Bloodwitch (when white and Doom Blade are the prevalent removal in the format, Malakir Bloodwitch after extracting all your Wraths seems good).

After playtesting the post-M12 Haterator against Eldrazi Amulet, we figured that my deck was too slow to deal with the slower combo decks currently out there (Amulet, Valakut, Splinter Twin), so I took out the Baneslayers and went for a poison strategy instead. Here’s the decklist:

Haterator, infect variant

I ended up 2-1, noticing that I was getting land screwed way too much to really count many games as helpful for analysis.

Round 1: Valakut.

Game 1, turn 2 Plague Stinger, Mind Rot for jank, get him to 3 poison with Stinger + Inkmoth while he lays Urabrask. I Clasp on his Urabrask (only creature), get him to 5 poison. I go to 13, draw more white cards with no plains/Marsh Flats. Next turn, he lays Inferno Titan, 1 to Stinger 2 to me, haste attack + pump = dead.

Game 2, turn 2 Plague Stinger again, but I get my white this time, although it doesn’t really help me this time. I am stuck on 3 land for the whole game. I double-Oust his Lotus Cobra, but he somehow gets double Green Sun’s Zenith and is able to fetch it back out both times, the second time also laying a Terramorphic Expanse to get off an Explore. I lay down more Plague Stingers, he plays another Inferno Titan, wiping my board, and I scoop.

Round 2: Naya Allies.

Game 1, Inquisition his Harabaz Druid, get down an early Plague Stinger and get in for a few poison. He lands a Survivalist and a Freeblade. I Oust the Survivalist, he Volt Charges my Stinger. Turn 4 O-ring his biggest ally, turn 5, lay Skithiryx, he has no responses, go to game 2.

Game 2, I keep a 4 land/3 removal hand… and draw nothing but land for the rest of the game. I figured if I can weather his initial assault with my removal, his hand will be empty while I draw into my creatures. Nope.

Game 3, he Celestial Purges my Stinger and Vatmother while I Doom Blade and O-ring some of his dudes. He ends up sticking a Survivalist, Autamaton, and Blademaster (after missing on Lead the Stampede for only the Survivalist). I stave off dying with double Emerge Unscathed on my Inkmoths, then finally draw into 2 Phyrexian Crusaders. I start pinging him slowly with an Inkmoth, Clasp his Druid, then finally am able to swing for the win at 5 poison by Ousting his Survivalist then attacking with both Crusaders, proliferating afterwards. After the game, he shows me his hand of double Act of Treason, lamenting that any other creature I drew would’ve allowed him to win.

Round 3: B/W lifegain

I reamed the kid; he was playing something with Palace Guards, Suture Priests, Ajani’s Pridemates, Serra Angel… kind of unfocused. Game 1, I had a good draw with double Oust, Inquisition, Mind Rot, and double Plague Stinger. I was able to lock him out of 2 turns after the disruption with the Ousts, and he had no answers for flyers. Same thing game 2, I had 3 Plague Stingers + removal.

So, I’d like to say that without getting bad draws, this deck is pretty well prepared to deal with most decks. The hand disruption combined with an urgent clock is pretty good. Afterwards, I played a few games with a guy playing mono-red, and again just got absolutely destroyed by horrible land draws. When I was finally able to get normal-ish land down (3 swamps, 1 plains), I stabilized at 5 life and was able to beat him out with double Vatmother, otherwise bad draws just kept me out of games. I’m pretty sure I don’t need more land; running 24 to get 5-6 land out each game seems reasonable, right? However, I keep getting stuck on 3 or drawing the deck out. Things will change significantly after rotation, since I lose Marsh Flats, but we’ll see if I can make it work. Depends on if there’s good replacement white removal in Innistrad.

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