A-Bomb Highlander – Revel in the Ark

Played in the A-Bomb tourney today, I believe I was playing for Mind Bogglers of Croydon, but who I was playing for wasn’t all that important to me (sorry guys). I’m going to lead you guys on a bit of a story before I bother getting the tourney report.

After seeing the general goodness of Reveillark in both Standard and Extended I felt that the concept of a highlander Flash combo deck needed to be done with updated Reveillark tech. I felt the deck now had enough redundancy in combo pieces that I should be able to manage a version of the deck that just overloads with combo pieces and comes out with the win somehow. Here is the decklist skeleton I started with:

Combo Cards: (12)
Carrion Feeder
Mirror Entity
Flash
Protean Hulk
Body Double
Volrath’s Shapeshifter
Sparkmage Apprentice
Dakmor Ghoul
Highway Robber
Imperial Recruiter
Reveillark
Natural Order

Tutor for combo: (2)
Summoners Pact
Worldly Tutor

Green Dudes to make Natural Order good: (8)
Wall of blossoms
Carven Caryatid
Multani’s Acolyte
Dryad Arbor
Bird of Paradise
Llanowar Elves
Fyndhorn Elves
Boreal Druid

After some suggestions from friendly people over at the Cave Forum I attempted to put this deck list together for A-Bomb:

Combo Cards: (13)
Carrion Feeder
Mirror Entity
Flash
Protean Hulk
Body Double
Volrath’s Shapeshifter
Sparkmage Apprentice
Highway Robber
Imperial Recruiter
Reveillark
Natural Order
Karmic Guide
Kiki-Jiki, Mirrorbreaker

Tutor for combo: (2)
Summoners Pact
Worldly Tutor

Green Dudes to make Natural Order good: (6)
Carven Caryatid
Llanowar Elves
Dryad Arbor
Bird of Paradise
Llanowar Elves
Boreal Druid

General Goodness: (5)
Brainstorm
Ideas Unbounded
Entomb
Buried Alive
Thirst for Knowledge
Misdirection
Daze

Land: (24)
5x Fetches
7x Duals (all blue and green ones)
Simic Growth Chamber
Breeding Pool
Yavimaya Coast
Grand Coliseum
City of Brass
Gemstone Mine
3x Island
3x Forest

Sideboard: (15)
Dudes that interact well with the combos against certain decks. So graveyard, artifact and enchantment removal.

I liked it, there felt like there was enough synergy between the combo pieces that I should be able to win in most situations. I felt confident of managing to win some rounds.

Round 1 – Alex Sutton:
Game 1 is silly, opening hand is Flash + Hulk with land and protection. Cast Flash on turn two, show the Hulk and Alex wants me to combo out. This is bad, I’m not 100% sure how to combo out, I probably should have run through it a few times before the tournament. Eventually I figure it out and attack him with a handful of Karmic Guide tokens.

Game 2 is less of a good thing, it starts with me having no idea how to sideboard. All I saw game 1 was a pair of Forest (they may have been snow covered, but I put that down to bling most of the time) and a Skull Clamp, so no sideboarding for me. The game is defined by my early Carven Caryatid, who forces his team of dude to stay back as he can’t attack profitably. The end game is defined by the slight issue with my deck list that some may have noticed above. Have a close look at my collection of green creatures. Notice the pair of Llanowar Elves?

So a game loss later (replacing the second Llanowar with a Deep Shadow) I’m shuffling up for game three not really sure what I should be sideboarding. I did do some, but it wasn’t much, I just wasn’t sure what to bring in against random green beats, possibly the right answer is some anti-anti-graveyard tech, but that would just be a stab in the dark. I forget how this game goes but I do remember that I lost it, probably because Alex’s deck did its thing this time, instead of looking like a pile of good cards.

Round 2 – ‘Fred’ playing Alex Wynnter’s UB steal your stuff, sacrifice your stuff.dec
I’ve played against this deck quite often, but never with the deck I’m playing with. On the plus side though, ‘Fred’ has only played one match with the deck he is play up to now. So I should have the edge here, unless his deck just beats mine. Game 1 takes quiet a while, with me eventually winning with the hulk combo not having shown him any of the Reveillark pieces. Game 2 he mulligans to 5, but I don’t have the hand to punish him, specially when he plays a turn 1 Scrabling Claws. The game gets further locked down by Chamber of Manipulation + Carrion Feeder, but I manage to keep things in my court despite having my own Carrion Feeder on the table. The final play was as follows:

LovesTha: Flash?
Fred: Chamber your Carrion Feeder?
LovesTha: Discard Protean Hulk to Vesuvan Shapeshifter, Sac VS to Carrion Feeder, Combo out?
Fred: :(

So yes I was greedy, but it worked.

Round 3 – Luke Mulchay playing LD
This was a matchup I was quite scared about. I thought my deck was quite slow and Lukes is known to destroy a land on turn 2 through 6, I was pretty sure I couldn’t cope with that. It appears I was forgetting that I had quite a few mana elves and random things like Misdirection and Daze.

Game 1 Luke made a small mistake on turn 3 or 4, he played something random, mana acceleration I think, followed by a stone rain. I responded to the stone rain with Misdirection, which was quite a boon for me. The correct play was Trinisphere followed by the stone rain, that way I couldn’t have Misdirected. In the long run though my mana elves were keeping me far enough ahead that I could keep playing things. LD doesn’t cope when the opponent keeps playing things.

Game 2 I have an opening hand with Summoners Pact, Gush plenty of land and Karmic Guide. So I attempt to go off on turn two (Luke had played Mark of Eviction on my turn 1 Dryad Arbour, so it seamed like a good idea). After a few shenanigans with Hulk all I could manage to end up with was 3 mana elves along with Harmonic Sliver to kill the Mark of Eviction. Eventually having 6 mana on turn 3 was enough to let me win the game once I could cast the Karmic Guide in hand.

While wandering around waiting for round 4 Luke realised that I had failed to pay for Pact, I had enough mana to pay for it, but I hadn’t. Still it was too late by now for anything to happen, but the day was well into comedy of errors land.

Round 4 – Jamie Holmes
Sorry Jamie but I have little recollection of this match, it was fairly short with me winning 2-0. What I can remember though is that I won game 1 after showing only part of the combo, which was a mistake of Jamie’s as I had two pieces in hand that meant I couldn’t win on the spot, so Jamie would have got a look at another card.

That managed to get me a 3-1 record with 7-2 as my game result (might have been 7-3, my memory isn’t perfect) which on tie breakers let me reach 1st place in the Highlander. Making me a very happy boy.

If I was to play the deck again tomorrow I would find room for the following cards:

Survival of the Fittest

A card with this much synergy for the deck would be an obvious inclusion, I just forgot about the card. Sure the 4 points is a large part of the 10 allowed, but I currently only have 3 in the deck.

Recurring Nightmare

Another obvious inclusion, also just forgotten about. The three points from this would take us to the full 10.

Vorosh, the Hunter

Sometimes the deck just needs a large beater to find when Hulk dies. There were several options I considered, but this guy helps with many things. What this guy needs to be is:

  • Large
  • Evasive
  • Cost 6 or less
  • Green
  • Blue

I can’t think of many other creatures that fill this role.

Body Snatcher

Many times I had Karmic Guide in hand and was unable to combo as efficiently. Not having body snatcher was purely due to a mix up on cards I was borrowing.

What would I cut though for the above? The following would be on the list:
Highway Robber – Only needed against Burning Tree Shaman when I am on low life.
Buried Alive
Entomb
Volrath’s Shapeshifter – Too many times the creature you want to copy ends up under an instant or sorcery, so the card appears to be a lot worse than I was hoping.

I hope some of you enjoy this post.

Advertisements

One response to “A-Bomb Highlander – Revel in the Ark

  1. Played yesterday at CH with the above list but changed:
    -Entomb
    -Buried Alive
    -Highway Robber
    +Intet (should have been Survival of the Fittest, bloody Lesso)
    +Vorosh
    +Recurring Nightmare

    Went 2-2, lost to Neils RDW (high on the burn side) in 3 games, attempted to win game 3 during turn 4 when Neil had incorrectly tapped out. Couldn’t think how to win with the tools available to me, pretty silly on my part I couldn’t think of how to sacrifice the Hulk after I had reanimated it with Recurring Nightmare. Its pretty obvious that the answer would be to cast RN again :). Sometimes its the obvious ones that you miss.
    My other loss was to a BW deck with a fair bit of hand control. I think I need more sideboard options for such cards. That new Wilt-Leaf Safe would be a good options I feel.
    I wont detail the rounds I won, but I will comment that the two Dragons were very good for the deck. I suspect one of them will end up in the sideboard once the Survival of the Fittest enters the deck.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s