RB mid-range decktech
The current standard is full of options when it comes to choosing which archetype we usually play best. We have aggro, heavier and lighter mid-range controls, but what all these archetypes have in common in the current format is heavily focused grind gameplay. The small explosion of individual archetypes is a paradise for every fan of longer games – in which decisions have time to matter. The golden mean for all the available options is the deck that I will tell you about today. It has all the possibilities and combines all archetypes. Depending on the requirements of a given matchup, we can focus on a quick end of the game or a long-term process of punching our opponent. The RB mid-range is the successor of the famous Witch Oven package with a familiar, i.e., the so-called cat in the oven. In addition to strong synergies connecting the cards, this time we have much stronger cards that can turn the game on our own – which the older versions of RB sacrifice decks usually did not have and relied heavily on their mutual combinations. I will present deck lists after my slight changes; it was based on the list of Gabriel Farriola who managed to reach the top 8 of one of the last GGtoor.
In addition to the old stars of this format, like Meathook, there are many cards from Kamigawa here. They filled the previous gaps in the strategy by adding the missing power level to the deck required to fight other kings of longer games such as BB or Esper mid-range. You will also focus your attention on them and mark the combos available in the deck when describing them.
Main engine; Oni-Cult Anvil
The card itself gave life to this archetype. The missing sacrifice outlet that left the format has been worthily replaced. The card, together with the Meathook, exquisitely bleeds our opponent out, even during the very beginning of the defensive survival game. In other words, thanks to the two mentioned cards, our defense is often our offense, and it is through the combinations of these two cards that we will most often be able to win a matchup for decks based on creatures, but not only creatures. This engine is also perfect for control decks, eliminating the value of the enemy Meathook, further piercing the opponent’s damage. Of course, we try to launch cards in our turn to benefit from the creation of tokens. However, this is not a problem because most of the cards want to be sacrificed in our main phase…
We are talking about such cards. The synthesizer is already the star of the pauper classic format, but in this deck, it also gains extraordinary shine as standard. The ideal turn to play this card is at least turn number three when you are already in the Oni-Cult board. Then the number of cards that we can reveal from it gives us the most opportunities to use them in the right way. The card is an amazing top deck in the late game, and this deck performs not surprisingly well on that point. Personal cards work out great values for how inconspicuous they look… Fable of the Mirror-Breaker The third consecutive Kamigawa card that cannot be ignored. Best play of turn number three on the deck. It filters our hand incredibly and gives an extremely important token. The token plays several roles in this deck, being its strongest creature. A permanent producer of tokens for our main engine is something worth protecting. Extremely important when it comes to ramping us to Lolth or the bigger Meathook. Create targets for our Deadly Despite or for main removal of this deck…
One of my favorite cards from limited Kamigawa is also on the list. He is our surrogate sacrifice outlet when we don’t have ONI in the table. Contrary to them, he has much more offensive possibilities and can quickly end the game vs control, especially insured with a post side discard. The rest of the cards are just a complement to the engine and powerful finishes like Lolth being our best late range top deck and the end of the curve out. The basic creature set in the package: Voldaren Epicure (VOW) 182 and Bloodtithe Harvester (VOW) 232 is also irreplaceable for one simple reason. They produce extremely important tokens under sacrifice for us and are also a source of consistent damage in the early range. As befits a 2-color deck, the Mana base works very well. The useful functional lands of Kamigawa and the well-known and well-liked creature generating lands fit in perfectly. Finally, let me tell you a bit about siding with this deck for the main matchups in the current meta: Vs WB / ESPER mid-range / control+ 4 Duress (M19) 94+ 3 Go Blank (STX) 72- 2 Infernal Grasp (MID) 107- 1 Deadly Dispute (AFR) 94-1 The Meathook Massacre- 2 Sokenzan Smelter (NEO) 164- 1 Voltage Surge (NEO) 171 This is definitely not a rigid binding into these matchups and you should react based on what the verb showed us in game number one. If he plays the version with more minions then we will need more removals, less damage. Conversely, when we play very controllable versions – then it is also good to leave Smeltery as well and rely heavily on discard. In general, as the game usually takes a long time in these MUs, the better player usually wins. I judge these matchups strongly based on both sides’ ability to navigate the late game. It is very important to keep Oni on the table with Meathook and bleed our opponent slowly by controlling his hand and table. Versus White Ween / Boros Aggro / other aggro decks+ 2 Ray of Enfeeblement (AFR) 116+ 2 Abrade (AKR) 136+ 1 Infernal Grasp (MID) 107+ 1 The Meathook Massacre (MID) 112+ 2 Sorin the Mirthless (VOW) 131- 4 Voldaren Epicure (VOW) 182- 2 Deadly Dispute (AFR) 94- 2 Sokenzan Smelter (NEO) 164
In these matchups, we simply play the role of control. We are focusing on a long game and close the game via Lolth / Sorina after the situation on the board is under control, when our opponent is only playing from the top deck. We spend the whole early game on 1 for 1 exchanges to get a card advantage in the mid game with the Meathook. We try to make the board as clean as possible so that we can easily place our planeswalkers on it. The deck will potentially gain a lot with the release of the new expansion, the enhanced mana base can allow you to play with even three colors, not to mention how well Ob Nixilis, the Adversary looks in it …
Tomasz “Neef” Krupanek