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That time I played HOR creatureless in the era of "everyone has good cards"

bken1234bken1234 Posts: 1,912GLOBAL_MODERATORS Chairperson of the Boards
I was privately challenged to play HOR with only creatureless decks this week -- since I found this challenge to be both intriguing and amusing (for the troll factor) I accepted -- further restrictions were put in place to try to score 90% + and limit cycling to one node with drakes (cycling cards can be used for other purposes -- only 3 per deck). 

The first round with Dovin Baan on white was a loss -- I overthought that deck and had to go back to the drawing board. My initial strategy was to go with a Nyx / Omni setup, driving out large spells (Dreadwaters, Approach and Kefnet's Last Stand) and using energy to support. It was a disaster and I got plowed by a very good Arlinn deck in 3 turns. I also further proved my point that Omni doesn't work in everything. I retooled it to a straight energy / control set up -- it was perfect after that. 

Supports:
Dynavolt Tower
Gonti's Aether Heart
Aetherwork's Marvel
DeadLock Trap
Insidious Will

Spells:
Swift Reckoning
Unsummon
Forsake the Worldly
Desert of the Mindful
Pull From Tomorrow

For red I chose Aj1. I was perfect with the exception of dropping both bonuses in one round. I decided to use this node to really see what HUF could do in a control setting, as I have only been using it for aggro decks. I was not disappointed (with the best card in the game). Some of these matches were long, but they always are as you wait for 3 creatures in the endless Kiora and N3 decks that only have monitor in them. The best was a 91 BL turn match against @Mainloop25 -(name used with permission)- who played Nyx lockdown Aj1 -- once I got his creatures killed, I had to spend a considerable amount of time popping his Gideon's Intervention which just keep coming back in order to deal damage to him -- it would have been much faster with 3 creatures on my board. It was fun, though, and worth every minute. 

Supports:
Starfield of Nyx
Desert's Hold
Pyromancer's Goggles
Gideon's Intervention

Spells:
Swift Reckoning
Hazoret's Undying Fury
Approach of the Second Sun
Deem Worthy
Inferno Jet
Unlicensed Disintegration


For blue, I knew I would go with an Imminent Doom deck, but I usually play this with Baral, Locust God and lots of draw on this node. I switched Saheeli out for Bolas because he can pack 8 spells instead of 7 --- the control is AMAZING! Not only that, but each match took less than 5 minutes :)

Supports:
Imminent Doom
Fetid pools

Spells:
Desert of the Mindful
Imaginary Threats
Pull from Tomorrow
Artificer's Epiphany
Strategic Planning
Violent Impact
Final Reward (would have preferred Fateful Showdown, but everyone is playing AoI in Platinum now)
Supreme Will


Finally for green -- this is the one node I usually play cycling on -- mostly because I hate green and I hate cycling and it just seems right. This week I started with this being my one cycling deck, played three matches and changed my mind and took out Drake Haven. It was perfect except for a freeze (which was the deciding factor in NOT cycling) 

Supports:
Thopter Spy Network
New Perspectives
Mechanized Production


Spells:
Imaginary Threats
Rishkar's Expertise
Turn to Frog
Unsummon
Lay Claim
Dissenter's Deliverance 
Anamist's Awakening

Overall, I loved this challenge -- and will probably play these decks again next week (fair warning if you come across me while you are playing red or green) -- with the exception of possibly trying something else in green without tokens and maybe going back to my almost always perfect Aj1 deck for red because I'm not happy about dropping 3 points. 

Final Score: 207 / 92%  -- Pretty much on par with my normal HoR performace. 

Some notes I wanted to make -- I've heard a lot here and in Discord and Line about how tough Platinum is now that everyone has crafted some pretty great cards. Over a year ago, when I tiered up too quickly, my teammates gave me some deckbuilding tips that I still use today -- when you look over these deck lists, you will see some trends. 

First, Gaea's Revenge is everywhere, you have to make sure you have some way of dealing with hexproof -- the best strategy is untargeted disable which will allow you to kill it. I used Deadlock Trap in my energy deck, Desert's Hold in red and Imaginary Threats in blue and green to accomplish this. 

Second is supports -- seems everyone also has Nyx -- There are great cards in almost every color for support destruction now -- and some Rare, Mythic and Masterpiece options for broad removal -- one of my teammates had very good luck with The Great Aurora this week, I will be working Consulate Crackdown into my Aj1 if I go creatureless next week (open for suggestions on what to replace, Deem Worthy is my top contender right now), for those who have it, Shatterstorm is also a good option. 

Finally -- keep your deck cost down unless you can get things for free (HUF, Goggles, etc) -- cheap combos go a long way -- Turn to Frog and Unsummon is one of my favorites in green -- it's basically 2 kills for 13 mana. And finally, don't discount common and uncommon cards. Swift Reckoning is one of the best kill spells in Standard format, Desert's Hold is S-bonds but cheaper, the single support destruction spells should be in almost everyone's library, and there are tons of draw and fetch options. 

I'd really love to hear more suggestions for Platinum PVP win strategies in this new era of "everyone has great cards" I think that booster crafting has added a new level of difficulty and is allowing us to break free from our normal bonds and try new things :)
[MOD MIC ON] means I am using my extraordinary powers of good to fix something or restore joy, peace and harmony to the MTGPQ forums. 

Any other time, I am just a player like the rest of you, and will be freely sharing my own thoughts, opinions, expertise and hopes for the game. 

Not an employee of D3 Go! / Oktagon. 

Comments

  • aesithaesith Posts: 53Age Unconfirmed Match Maker
    Biaaaaaanca.

    Hi.
  • Mainloop25Mainloop25 Posts: 1,638 Chairperson of the Boards
    Haha, well I'm glad you at least had fun. Those long drawn out battles can go either way. Sometimes I love them sometimes I don't. 
    My "Fun With Cards" Youtube Page Now featuring Depala and Endless Sands!
  • EldrosKandarEldrosKandar Posts: 48Age Unconfirmed Just Dropped In
    That was a great read, I always enjoy reading about thinking-out-of-the-box decks. Also great tips at the end.
  • bken1234bken1234 Posts: 1,912GLOBAL_MODERATORS Chairperson of the Boards
    That was a great read, I always enjoy reading about thinking-out-of-the-box decks. Also great tips at the end.
    Thanks!
    [MOD MIC ON] means I am using my extraordinary powers of good to fix something or restore joy, peace and harmony to the MTGPQ forums. 

    Any other time, I am just a player like the rest of you, and will be freely sharing my own thoughts, opinions, expertise and hopes for the game. 

    Not an employee of D3 Go! / Oktagon. 
  • rafalelerafalele Posts: 462 Mover and Shaker
    Nice to think about your ideas.

    I had already tried Ajani 1 with HUF after reading your HUF post.

    Thank you.
  • FroggyFroggy Posts: 276 Mover and Shaker
    edited February 7
    Nice post Bianca. :)

    I'm currently only running two creatureless with this HoR and both are solid decks.


    RED NODE: Ajani 1 (AbJani)

    Spells:
    HUF
    Exquisite Firecraft
    Fumigate
    Unlicensed Disintegration
    Hour of Devastation

    Supports:
    Nyx
    Black Vise
    Gideon's Intervention
    Gideon's Defeat
    Goggles

    Black Vise is never cast until I hit that 3 creature kill objective. Gideon's Defeat is protection against haste and hexproof creatures and I have it on the board as security to make sure I hit that 15 or less damage objective. The rest is self-explanatory. Have not taken a single hit of damage with this deck during this event. Black Vise is not required in this deck, but I use it as a means of ending the game quickly once I killed the 3 opponent creatures.


    WHITE NODE: Elsie

    Spells:
    Approach
    Refurbish
    Wrath of God
    Ipnu Rivulet
    Desert of the True

    Supports:
    Nxy
    Goggles
    Black Vise
    Gideon's Defeat
    Gideon's Intervention

    Wrath of God can be replaced out with any destroy spell - I used it as I have it. Those last two spells are just random spells to fill the deck and annoy the opponent. Black Vise is a bit more important in this deck, as it helps kill your opponent and without it, games can get kinda long. But possibly there is an alternative way of dealing with that - again, I use it as I have it and so wasn't bothered to look for alternatives. As a note on this deck, it is also very useful for other events, where one cannot kill more than X creatures. All actions in this deck are oriented around exile for that very reason. I only use Elsie's third ability with this deck - once Goggles are out. I never use her first or second, but I go fully creatureless.

    Hope others will also enjoy this. :)
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