Dubious Challenge

When I saw Dubious Challenge show up in a 5-0 list, I knew i had to play it. When I saw how cheap it was to build on MODO, I knew I could play it with very little effort (so few tweaks to hit our 100 tix mark). It’s go time!


Check out the video below

That… could have been better!

How I designed the deck

Shout out to K_F_Chicken for his 5-0 list which is here:


Instantly when I saw the list, i thought “pendlehaven shouldn’t be sideboard” and “why aren’t we trying to use Arbor + Utopia Sprawl to make Turn 2 Dubious Challenge”. So, I swapped the Avacyn’s for sprawl, and dropped pendlehaven (suprisingly i couldn’t afford it)! A Collector Ouphe became a Kataki and I was off to the races 🙂

Spoiler Alert!

Warning – this section contains info on the matches. If you don’t want to know the results, don’t read on!

Match 1 vs Jund Death’s Shadow – They play a few interactive spells and kill me quick with 2 shadows. Game 2 the opp is much slower, with no discard and just a turn 2 tarmogoyf. We have smugglers copter fixing our hand a little, and then we get a turn 5 Dubious Challenge win! Game 3 there’s a key moment where they have a basic swamp and overgrown tomb. I have Path for Goyf and Field of Ruin. Because I let them untap, they manage to cast Inqusition + Deaths Shadow. Had I fired off the Field + Path on my turn, they would have had to chose between the 2. That tempo gain would have impacted all the following turns, but soon I’m facing double-deaths shadow. I have a tonne of outs, but never find them. I also misplay a Veil of Summer, not getting a draw from it. We fire off a desperate Dubious Challenge which would have won us the game had the 2 previous misplays not happened! We lose 1-2.

Match 2 vs G-tron – Game 1 we lose to All is Dust after using field of ruin. Game 2 I misplay on Turn 3, missing a smugglers copter attack + loot. The loot would have found utopia sprawl which would have enabled a turn 4 Dubious Challenge. Instead, we can’t challenge. We get beat up by Ugin + 2 Karn – the opp actually draws extremely well to get out of trouble, we had plenty of outs, missed with challenge and threw in a misplay, but actually looked favoured if it weren’t for the opps extremely good draws.

Match 3 vs Burn – I kept a clunky hand that I probably shouldn’t have and lost pretty quickly. Game 2 we go Turn 2 Charming Prince which gets bolted (effectively gaining me 6). We Turn 3 Knight of Autumn for 4 more life. Turn 4 we play Dubious Challenge and get a Tristani and some lifelinking tokens for a our trouble. Opp scoops with us still on 19 life! Walk-over! Game 3 we have Turn 2 Prince, Turn 3 Prince, Turn 4 Challenge into Emrakul win 🙂

Match 4 vs Gtron – Game 1 we have a really fair hand, with T1 Elf into T2 Splicer. We flicker the splicer, make 10 power and have 2 Mossworts ready to flip. Opp plays O-stone with the mana up, and we can’t beat it. Game 2 we manage to disrupt the opponent, and then use Ephemerate to flicker Flickerwisp, which lets us remove a tron piece for a turn. However, the opp plays O-stone fairly, plays a 2nd Tower, and gets a power-plant back from the flicker to have wrath. It’s basically their only out, and they have it. We then untap and dubious challenge, and get ourselves an emrakul. However, they have the karn to deal with it and that’s that. Their answers lined up perfectly and there’s nothing we could do!

Match 5 vs GW Hatebears – In the 1-3 bracket, and we have a list playing SFM and Leonin Arbiter (though we don’t find this out until Game 3). In Game 1, there’s a bunch of equipment on their side, and we have dubious challenge on Turn 5 for Iona + Flickerwisp. Their batterskull is swinging for 10 unblockable and we’re beat. Game 2 we get to use flickerwisp on blade splicer on turn 3, making our clock quite good. Emphemerate flickers splicer twice more and opp scoops. Game 3 is where we feel the pain! I dont use the fetch in my hand, because I’ve not expected arbiter in an SFM deck. They play Turn 2 arbiter plus Ghost Quarter, and we’re stuck with windswept in hand and not enough mana to crack it. We play arbor elf, and they have path. We draw Field of Ruin, and have to use it to pay for arbiter. A 2nd path comes out and we can never recover. 1-4 finish!

In Summary – I think I made the deck worse! Turning on Smugglers’ Copter is important, so cutting mana dorks for utopia sprawl was certainly a bad move. Who knew the decks creator had actually tested his deck before going 5-0!!!

I also misplayed the first 2 matches (some more glaring than others), and could have fetched G3 to play around Arbiter just in case. So although it was 1 of our worst results since starting, it felt like 1 of the better decks. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, and with some tighter play and better knowledge of the deck, I’m sure I could turn that 1-4 into a 4-1 (or maybe even better)! As I say in the video “I don’t think the deck is as bad as I made it look”!

Happy Gaming and have fun!

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