Saturday, 16 March 2013

Golgari Aggro

It has been a little while since I last posted anything about Magic, but since my last post I've made a few steps forward in terms of knowing what's good and what's not, and I've moved away from trying to run a BUG deck and right now I've just been focussing on a BG Aggro deck. I prefer to call it "Golgari Aggro" personally. Others like "Kibler's BG Aggro", but naming after one (albeit quite famous) guy that did well with the deck, even though it was around before him, doesn't seem very fitting to me. Then over on MTG Salvation they've been calling it "The Plague", and that's fair enough, but I reckon "Golgari" is a pretty sweet name, and if we can have "Bant Control", "Jund Midrange" or "Naya Humans" then why can't we have "Golgari Aggro"?

Anyway, names aren't too importat I guess. What matters is that it's all the same thing really, and it all works the same.

The Loltroll

The decklist below is made of cards that I currently own. There are still a few cards that I need, and I'll run through those later too, but even without them I'm very happy with the deck.

Golgari Aggro
Land (22)
8x Forest
4x Golgari Guildgate
4x Overgrown Tomb
2x Swamp
4x Woodland Cemetery

Creatures (26)
4x Arbor Elf
3x Deadbridge Goliath
1x Deathrite Shaman
4x Dreg Mangler
4x Experiment One
4x Lotleth Troll
4x Strangleroot Geist
2x Wolfir Avenger

Instants and Sorceries (8)
2x Abrupt Decay
2x Increasing Savagery
2x Tragic Slip
2x Ultimate Price

Other Spells (4)
4x Rancor

Sideboard (15)
2x Dryad Militant
3x Duress
2x Golgari Charm
1x Ground Seal
1x Murder
1x Pithing Needle
2x Silklash Spider
3x Vampire Nighthawk

The main point of the deck is to set up an aggro, but very resilient creature base. Against other aggro decks this gives you the opportunity to either race or play a little more like a control deck, using your creatures to block but not losing any of them mostly thanks to Regenerate/being bigger than most aggro decks can handle, as well as having a bunch more removal than your standard RDW deck. After you take control of the board, creatures like the Lotleth Troll can cause some serious problems and you can usually beat them down in a couple of turns. Against control decks, the deck can come swinging quite easily early game but has a dangerous late-game too, and cards like Supreme Verdict really are quite sub-par against this kind of a deck. Control decks usually just can't handle such a resilient board.

The mana base is still being tweeked a little. I'm mostly trying to work out whether I need the swamps or not and how many Guildgates I should be running. Right now I'm quite happy with the Guildgates, they haven't caused me any issues thus far and it's another dual-land, which is really helpful. The only reason I'm running any swamps at all is because of the Nighthawks and Murder in the sideboard, which both have double-black casting costs.

The creatures, as mentioned, are mostly chosen because of their resilience. The only exceptions to this are those that bring major utility to the deck, like Arbor Elf and Deathrite Shaman. Those that aren't resilient and that have no utility in this deck have the added benefit of being useful in the graveyard because of Scavenge, which is an incredibly powerful and relevant late-game mechanic.

Of the creatures, I've been extremely impressed with all of them except Wolfir Avenger. Sure, he has Regenerate which is what this deck wants, but that's about it. Flash is hardly very useful on him and generally the best that happens is that I Flash him in at the end of my opponent's turn, swing next turn for 3 and then feel obliged to leave 2 mana open so I can Regen him. He's only still in the deck because I have nothing better to do with those slots.

I still need to get myself 4x Predator Ooze, who really is the main creature card in this deck. It's almost impossible to remove, and it doesn't even require mana left open for it. The Avengers will be cut when I get the Oozes, and I'll have to find a couple of other cards to drop too. I also wouldn't mind another Deathrite Shaman or two, and I'm still thinking on Ulvenwald Tracker as a 2-of.

The spells are mostly about the removal. Black has access to some of the best removal around and Abrupt Decay is, in my opinion, the best removal in standard. Rancor is an obvious inclusion. It provides evasion and better swinging potential. Increasing Savagery is just something I'm trying out in the deck. Its Flashback makes it incredible if the game drags on or you get mana flooded and it's basically a Deadbridge Goliath with haste. I'm not 100% on it though, because I haven't tested it a whole lot, but I think it'll work out nicely.

My sideboard is still a little awkward. Murder is there because it's the only removal without any restrictions that I have access to, but it's still a toss-up between that and another type of removal. The only cards I'm completely sold on thus far are the Vampire Nighthawks, Duresses and Golgari Charms. The Nighthawks are incredible against aggro and the other two are beyond useful in control match-ups. A bit of the sideboard is dedicated to Unburial Rites match-ups and the Silklash Spiders were suggested for when I run into some trouble flying creatures, as well as being fat bodies and making for some nice blockers. I'm not sold on them yet though because I haven't found a match in which I'd want to side them in.

"Hey there sexy..."
I also want to try out some Grisly Salvages. I might try a pair over the Wolfir Avengers and see how they go.

So there are still some bumps to iron out and whatnot, but even now the deck is really solid. Golgari Aggro is a serious thing, I reckon.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?


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