Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hybrid Wolf Run

It's been a while since I've posted a decklist. I just needed to take a break from MTG after previewing Dark Ascension cards and creating nearly 100 posts on this blog. The good news is that this pats weekend, I did catch the live broacast of the Pro Tour 2012 Honolulu action on Twtich TV. (They have video of the hot MTG action on Youtube. My point is that Wolf Run Decks were at the event in force and one of those decks eventually took the tournament. In watching this, it occurred to me that I combine two of my old decks, hybridize them with a Standard format Wolf Run deck, ship it all into Legacy, and what resulted is something that I call Hybrid Wolf Run:

Hybrid Wolf Run
Legacy Deck

Creatures (13)
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Eternal Witness
2 Primeval Titan
2 Inferno Titan
2 Sun Titan
1 Serra Avatar

Other (17)
2 Mayael's Aria
3 Unburial Rites
4 Faithless Looting
3 Life from the Loam
1 Berserk
3 Swords to Plowshares
1 Naturalize

Mana (30)
4 Trace of Abundance
4 Mox Diamond
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Wasteland
2 Diamond Valley
4 Inkmoth Nexus
2 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Windswept Heath
2 Arid Mesa
4 Savannah
4 Taiga
1 Plateau

How does the deck work?

Like every other Wolf Run deck out there, the deck wants to ramp out to Primeval Titan as soon as possible. You then use the titan to fetch out an Inkmoth Nexus & Kessig Wolf Run, putting 2 legitimate win conditions on the board. If that fails, the deck falls back on the Mayael's Aria & Serra Avatar combo that I've tried (and failed) to exploit multiple times. The idea is that if you cast a Serra Avatar with the aria in play, if your opponent allows them both to stay in play by your next upkeep and if you have 9 or more life, you win the game instantly. (The 9/9 avatar will get a +1/+1 counter, the 10/10 avatar will gain you 10 life, and the 20/20 avatar will win you the game.)

Ironically, in the midst of all these combos (and 3 win conditions), it's actually the Sun Titan which ties all of these ideas together. Mayael's Aria just happens to be a 3cc spell which can be fetched with the titan. Faithless Looting and Life from the Loam fill you grave and between flashback, Unburial Rites, Eternal Witness, and Sun Titan, the deck has many ways to take advantage.

How does this deck differ from similar decks out there?

In my introduction, I pointed out that there were 2 decks I hybridized with Wolf Run to make this monstrosity. The two decks are a casual Junk Depths type deck (which featured Mox Diamond, Life from the Loam, Dark Depths, Maze of Ith, and Knight of the Reliquary) and any of my many Gain Life Decks, specially the ones that tried to use Maeyael's Aria & Serra Avatar/Ajani Goldmane.

What is your favorite thing about the deck?

I like the amount of tricks this deck has going for it. The life gain from Diamond Valley, Swords to Plowshares, and Mayael's Aria are very relevant in a deck that can win with Serra Avatar. I like the fact that there are 7 creatures in the deck that can innately activate the 1st ability of Mayael's Aria. Even better, I like the fact that only with a little help from Kessig Wolf Run or Berserk, any of those creatures can activate the 2nd ability from the aria. (If nothing else, how can you not like a deck with 3 legitimate win conditions?)

***edit: After a little play testing, I've replaced Serra Avater with a Breath of Fire and... it's awesome. Titans with haste are great and the fire breathing can help abuse Mayael's Aria. With Berserk, you can still manufacture that mythical 20 power creature. I'll have to update this decklist later.

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