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Worst deck I ever played?

August 20, 2010

While I plowed through some old episodes of the Magic Show, I found a hilarious topic asked a couple of pros in this episode:

(Watch from 3:35)

That got me thinking about the worst decks I myself ever brought to play and I have managed to compile a Top3 list. The very top of the worst. So without further ado, I present the worst decks yours truly ever played in a DCI sanctioned event:

#3 Jund @ Nationals 2009 (Lorwyn-Shards of Alara-M10 Standard)

// Lands
    1 Forest
    3 Swamp
    1 Mountain
    4 Savage Lands
    2 Graven Cairns
    4 Twilight Mire
    4 Reflecting Pool
    3 Vivid Grove
    3 Vivid Marsh

// Creatures
    4 Putrid Leech
    4 Black Knight
    4 Boggart Ram-Gang
    3 Sprouting Thrinax
    4 Bloodbraid Elf
    2 Broodmate Dragon

// Spells
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Blightning
    4 Bituminous Blast
    2 Doom Blade

// Sideboard
SB: 1 Doom Blade
SB: 4 Dragon’s Claw
SB: 4 Anathemancer
SB: 3 Infest
SB: 3 Maelstrom Pulse

Jund as an archetype was good an all this summer but the actual 75 that I brought to play at Nationals that year was pretty smelly. How did this happen? That year I started doing testing for Standard on my own a month or so before Nationals and it didn’t take long for me to realise that the combination of Putrid Leech, Boggart Ram-Gang, Bloodbraid Eld, Lightning Bolt and Bituminous Blast was pretty ridiculous. The question was really what 15 cards (besides the 25 lands) you wanted in addition to them.

Without having a real clue about that I headed down to Gothenburg about a week before the event to hang out and test with friends there. And here started the part that I’m really ashamed about. While we did playtest a lot during that week, very little of that actually helped me out in filling out my deck list. So in the end a lot of those 15 cards in the main as long as 7 of the sideboard slots (Infest, Maelstrom Pulse and Doom Blade) were just filled out on pure assumptions.

For example, we can take the Black Knights in the main deck. This card was from the very start Volcanic Fallout but since I have played a lot of Kithkin earlier that season I knew that Volcanic Fallout wasn’t very good versus that deck and even versus Elves it wasn’t too impressive after boards when they got access to 4 Burrenton Forge-Tenders. So instead I went with Black Knights. The real problem was the Black Knights wasn’t good enough versus Kithkin either and that card didn’t do squat versus Elves. They were okay versus Faeries but off course not as good as a Volcanic Fallout. I just assumed that I would be better off with Black Knights instead which wasn’t true at all.

Not surprisingly I kind of crashed and burned at the constructed portion of the event. If I learned something from that event it was to be careful with assumptions. And don’t do them if you don’t have to! Just figure out the real answer instead!

#2 Teachings @ PTQ Valencia, Stockholm 2007 (Time Spiral Block Constructed)

// Lands
        1 Plains
        1 Calciform Pools
        9 Island
        2 Swamp
        1 Molten Slagheap
        2 Tolaria West
        4 Terramorphic Expanse
        1 Urza’s Factory
        3 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
        2 Dreadship Reef
        1 Academy Ruins

// Creatures
        1 Venser, Shaper Savant
        1 Triskelavus
        2 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
        1 Draining Whelk
// Spells
        4 Prismatic Lens
        2 Coalition Relic
        1 Temporal Isolation
        1 Strangling Soot
        4 Mystical Teachings
        1 Haunting Hymn
        2 Careful Consideration
        1 Spell Burst
        2 Tendrils of Corruption
        1 Pull from Eternity
        1 Cancel
        1 Slaughter Pact
        4 Damnation
        3 Foresee

// Sideboard:
SB: 3 Aven Riftwatcher
SB: 1 Cancel
SB: 1 Disenchant
SB: 3 Dodecapod
SB: 1 Extirpate
SB: 1 Haunting Hymn
SB: 1 Imp’s Mischief
SB: 1 Pull from Eternity
SB: 1 Spell Burst
SB: 1 Sudden Death
SB: 1 Tendrils of Corruption

The problem with this deck isn’t either with the archetype, it’s rather with the 75 I registered and played with. I started to play Mystical Teaching-based decks about a month before the mentioned PTQ. At first I played “oldschool”-lists with 4x Cancel and what nod and started to get familiar with that line of play. Then with two weeks or so to go “Tap-Out-Teachings” was picking up speed and I got into that version.

And then when it was time for the actual PTQ I was confused to say the least. I didn’t know what version I liked the best aswell as I had a problem with card availability. So in the end I kinda mashed together the two versions and cutted cards until I got to 60 which became the abomination you can see above.

I went 1-2-1-drop at the PTQ and was kind of depressed because I had playtested for that PTQ for a long time and felt very comfortable with the format itself. From this event I learned two things. First, check in good time with card availability and don’t get stuck like I did at that PTQ and secondly, from this event I started to despise late audible. I can’t say it’s never right to switch decks at the last seconds every now and then but for a majority of the times it’s better to stick with what you know, even if it’s at the very moment not the “optimal” deck.

Moving on the dreaded number one…

#1 White Weenie @ Nationals Qualifier, Västerås 2007 (Ravnica-Time Spiral-9th Standard)

// Lands
    18 Plains
    3 Ghost Quarter

// Creatures
    4 Icatian Javelineers
    4 Knight of the Holy Nimbus
    4 Savannah Lions
    4 Suntail Hawk
    4 Leonin Skyhunter
    3 Paladin en-Vec
    3 Stonecloaker

// Spells
    4 Glorious Anthem
    4 Griffin Guide
    3 Bathe in Light
    2 Temporal Isolation

// Sideboard
SB: 3 Aven Mindcensor
SB: 3 Cloudchaser Kestrel
SB: 3 Tormod’s Crypt
SB: 4 Sunlance
SB: 2 Temporal Isolation

I could summarize the issue I got with this deck in this sentence:

In world swamped with Wrath of God and Dragonstorm, one man rose to fight them with little white men…

Guess how it went… 2007 was the year I started to play competitive Magic and this was my first Nationals Qualifier ever. And White Weenie was my pet deck so I brought that to battle. Safe to say I didn’t succeed. The lesson from this experience was while you should play decks that you feel comfortable and easy with, it’s no excuse for playing just a down right bad deck.

So there you got, my list of the worst decks I have ever played. Before I finish I want to make an honorable mention to a deck that I ended up not playing in an actual tournament but I did playtest and consider (for a short, short while) to bring to a PTQ. I have a friend by the name of Samuel Korsell. He likes making wacky decks. For the Time Spiral Block Constructed season he brewed up a Dragonstorm deck that went off with the help of Spellshift.

Yes, you heard me. Spellshift. So what you did was that you played Pact of the Titan which you used Spellshift on which in turn flipped over a Dragonstorm for at least a storm of x=2 but you had a Lotus Bloom or something to resolve also that turn you would win on the spot. I don’t have an actual decklist left to this day but I remember that he only instant and sorcerys in the deck was a single Pact of the Titan aswell as the Spellshifts and Dragonstorms.

That deck did have a lot of…flaws. If we just ignore the fact that playing through countermagic was difficult to say the least, there was the major flaw of that even if you pulled off Spellshifting your Pact of the Titan there was still a chance you flipped over a another Spellshift, which meant everything was in vain. Then there was also the problem that most of the time you Dragonstormed for 3x Bogardan Hellkites which wasn’t enough if you played against a deck with Damnation.

Yeah, the deck doesn’t sound too good when you put it like that, doesn’t it? I’m glad I got this deck idea out of the way or this one would have been an easy number 1 on my list for sure…

Anyways, until next time…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2010 20:35

    Spellshift is an instant, so we would respond to an opponents “EOT Flashback Teachings” with pact, shift, 20 to you. I wasn’t as bad as it sounds and it had the desperate ritual-guy and lotus blooms as well as Intet, the Dreamer to actually cast DS.

    The worse deck we ever build was a aggro control deck I brought to a ptq in Time Spiral Block. The problem was that there were only like 2 creatures in the deck with power greater then one (morphs)… It took ages to kill off the opponent.
    (Even when you have the discard-merfolk, finkel and some other utility guy in play, he may never resolve a spell put it’ll still take you 10 turns to win….)

    • balthazar88 permalink*
      August 21, 2010 23:40

      Hehe, yeah I remember that there was some inital sex appeal with the Dragonstorm deck. It just didn’t really work out in reality against the actual field…

      I remember the “fish” deck to. It was my win in said PTQ 😛

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