So the faithless looting ban happens, and it’s time to try a graveyard deck! However, I’ve always had a thing for transformative Sideboard Plans, so we got creative this week! Take a peek at the list!
Check out the video below
How I designed the deck
As I mentioned above, I’ve always wanted a transformational sideboard plan. I knew I wanted to try it with mill and bloodghast-type cards, so that’s where I started. It’s difficult to find enough cards that can do both roles. For example, you have to include enough threats to kill through damage in Game 1, but have to take out at the most 15 cards postboard. It’s tricky to balance.
I then just went and looked at different vengevine and mill lists, to see if there were any great cards that worked on both strategies. For example, Mesmeric Orb works both Game 1 and Game 2, but wouldn’t ever be included in vengevine decklists. Hedron Crab and Minister of Inquiries both trigger vengevines whilst being able to mill the opponent.
I messed with the numbers, goldfished a bunch, and then jumped into a league!
Editor note: the deck was cheaper when designed, because vengevine was considered dead. It’s since improved and had a price spike.
Warning – this section contains info on the matches. If you don’t want to know the results, don’t read on!
Match 1 vs MonoR Prowess – Game 1 opp makes 4x 1-drops that are attacking by turn 3. They put me to 1, and I can’t recover (on the draw). Game 2 we don’t try the sideboard plan, as it wont be quick enough, and our creatures can go on defense (at least some of them). Unfortunately, they’re quick and go wide again, killed me on 5 through a board full of creatures.
Match 2 vs Amulet – Our opponent has a reasonably early Primeval Titan, and we make some dudes, with mesmeric orb in play. We quickly realise that we’ll never punch through titans. So, we try to mill. The opp should win, but misplays quite badly and we mill them out – BEFORE sideboarding!
Game 2 we bring in all our mill stuff, since it’s excellent in this MU. However, we draw gravecrawlers and not enough spells, and the opp has a turn 3 hasty titan. We now have a choice – mill or agro Game 3! We go for Mill. Unfortunately, the opponent has double-amulet into Karn + Lattice very quickly, and we can’t get out of it. Demoralising loss, as Mill is very favoured vs Amulet usually.
Match 3 vs Amulet – we get paired with another amulet player! We go T1 Crawler into T2 Glimpse, and hit REALLY well. Turn 3 we have double vengevine and some other critters, and they’ve not had a quick start. They scoop on their T3 with us having T4 Lethal. We make the SB switch!
Game 2 Opponent makes a turn 2 titan! Ouch. Game 3 we land mesmeric orb and then ashiok, and it shuts them right out. Amulet triggers hurt them and Ashiok stops titan triggers. Woop!
Match 4 (special guest baby) vs Dredge – Ha. Do we mill them? Can we race them!? I’ve no idea. We mill 12 on Turn 2 (targetting ourselves), and have just 6 power on board. On Turn 3 though, we get 18 power on board, 11 of it attacks. Opponent can’t beat it!
Game 2 we suspect Leyline of the Void, so bring in the mill plan, since they help us with that. We have Turn 2 Mesmeric, Turn 3 Ashiok, and they’ve helped our mill plan. We drop to 4, and mill their library with Mind Funeral on Turn 4.
Match 5 vs Ad Nauseum – we mull to 5, but swing for lethal on Turn 4. Had the opp had Angels Grace or Phyrexian Unlife, we likely can’t win, but they stumble and we get there.
Game 2 we bring in the mill plan again, since they only have 2 wincons, and 1 of them requires a bunch of lands to work. New Jace is the only real concern, and we mill it, and they scoop!
Unbelievably, we managed to 3-2. The deck was not great, it had a bunch of issues, but having plans that work on the opposite axis makes it hard for the opponent to sideboard. The agro plan is powerful enough that it has to be respected Game 2, and that’s when the mill plan is at it’s best. There’s lots of changes I’d make going forward, but overall, very happy with the brew!