Gaea's Cradle (Casual)2-h giant standard: Burn/WB aggro

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Elricity
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2-h giant standard: Burn/WB aggro

Post #1 by Elricity » Fri May 02, 2014 9:27 pm

We have a month to go through and build this so I have some time.

This isn't a format I'm the most familiar with as far as what is "good". I'm tweaking my deck to assist my teammate who is building his first standard deck this season. He's making some budget decisions as his starting point but for the sake of critique, screw budget and give it to me straight.

FYI, it's not best of 3 so there's no sideboards included which is making this annoying for me.

First, the burn deck. Since I think I'm the only one running removal, I shifted more on that end to support his creature swarm. This meant dropping Young Pyromancer for more banishing light and chain, a single Chandra for falters or win condition, and one blind obedience to clear blockers or haste and because extort counts double in team games since it's "each" opponent. Running plains instead of temple of
silence because he'll need them for his deck. I went with searing blood over flames because it fits a more aggressive strategy on his end.

[spoiler=Burn deck:skllx1lj][deck]
Creature (4)
4 Chandra's Phoenix

Enchantment (6)
2 Banishing Light
1 Blind Obedience
3 Chained to the Rocks

Instant (26)
4 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
2 Searing Blood
4 Shock
4 Skullcrack
4 Warleader's Helix

Planeswalker (1)
1 Chandra, Pyromaster

Land (23)
1 Boros Guildgate
7 Mountain
2 Temple of Malice
3 Mutavault
4 Sacred Foundry
2 Plains
4 Temple of Triumph[/deck][/spoiler:skllx1lj]

So now to his deck. He's trying a WB heroic/constellation theme which also abuses the "each opponent" parts of 2 head giant. Here's his current build.

[spoiler=Enchanting heroes:skllx1lj][deck]
//Creature (9)
3 Agent of the Fates
2 Tethmos High Priest
4 Tormented Hero

//Enchantment (3)
1 Blind Obedience
1 Dictate of
Erebos
1 Sphere of Safety

//Enchantment Creature (16)
1 Athreos, God of Passage
3 Eidolon of Countless Battles
2 Gnarled Scarhide
4 Grim Guardian
2 Herald of Torment
4 Spiteful Returned

//Instant (6)
3 Boon of Erebos
3 Gods Willing

//Sorcery (4)
4 Launch the Fleet

//Land (22)
4 Godless Shrine
1 Mana Confluence
1 Mutavault
5 Plains
7 Swamp
4 Temple of Silence[/deck][/spoiler:skllx1lj]

I'm a little worried that the curve is 3 heavy but maybe spamming 1 drops is bad in 2 headed? I'd be more comfortable if he went to 1 max Countless Battle just so he can balance his B and W mana better.

Dictate and Sphere seem cute but I could be wrong if the game goes later. I'd also like to squeeze in an extra Athreos and mana confluence. Tethmos is eh but I guess it can snag a hero back as a finisher.

He's testing the coinsmith and is finding it too slow so that is why it's out.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Post #2 by DerWille » Tue May 06, 2014 11:22 pm

My experience with 2-headed giant is restricted to FNM tournaments one of my LGS's puts on. Take what I say with a grain of salt.

The format reminds me of sealed because at times, it feels like I'm playing 2 player battlecruiser magic. That said, small aggro hasn't impressed me. The extra 10 life radically alters the clocks for small aggro. It requires more cards on the table to get a decent clock and it feels like every match up has at least 1 control deck running at least 4 board wipes.

Burn has had mixed success from my own play. You don't necessarily have to get 30 points of burn in hand to win, but it requires too many resources to kill someone else's battlecruiser as you may need to dump 2 to 4 cards to kill their dude. It was incredibly helpful when I went against someone running a Maze's End/Control deck pairing, but otherwise, it usually underperformed.

I've had the most success with VCA engines
like Assemble the Legion, Elspeth, Sun's Champion, and Primeval Bounty. I've also seen teams of Control/Control, Control/Midrange, and Midrange/Midrange be effective. Both players can handle problematic cards and win the game.

Burn Deck:
Chains/Light are going to be crucial. Chandra's Phoenix is extremely lack luster (recursion is nice, its damage too slow). Blind Obedience is awesome (each extort is -2, +2). Chandra can close out the game with an ult/card draw, but her +1 probably won't be relevant unless you already have your opponents on the back pedal.

White/Black Deck:
The deck needs 4 Gray Merchants. This is the most stupid, overpowered, and ridiculous card in all of 2 headed giant. A Gray Merchant by itself is an 8 point life swing. Even with a couple other 2 black creatures out, it becomes a 24 life point swing. I know that it doesn't fit the theme, but it's too good. I like the Grim Guardian idea. That deck should be the one running Banishing Light in my opinion. I'd also run
Desecration Demon over Agent of the Fates. 1 more mana, good wall, and is a 5 turn clock by itself. Why no Underworld Connections? It keeps the cards coming, triggers Grim Guardian, and adds hard to interact with devotion. I'd also x4 Hero's Downfall in this. It's too good not to.

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Post #3 by Toddington » Wed May 07, 2014 12:19 am

TL:DR, don't play Burn, do play Mono-Black?

Purphoros is pretty dumb in 2HG.

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Post #4 by DerWille » Wed May 07, 2014 10:04 am

Fairly close. Monoblack is stupid good in 2 headed. Gray Merchants, big dudes, and VCA engines are usually the best way to close out a game.

Yeah, I can see Purphoros being dumb. I can see Fanatic/Purphoros being a pretty good way to close out a game.

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Post #5 by Elricity » Wed May 07, 2014 9:46 pm

I did totally forget about Gary. It would be better than the other 5 drops he was trying to jam in. I'd easily go back to 23 lands for that as the curve topper.

Demon seems a bit iffy with two opponents to lock it down.

Not doing Purphoros but I understand the point. I finally traded all of them away and I'm not picking them up just for this.

I may leave like...1 phoenix in as a recurring threat but I think I agree and stick in an assemble or two as a finisher. May be bad with enchantment removal these days but we'll see. And throw in another BO because.

I'd been tweaking rebuilds but wasn't sure if this was going to get interest. I'll post something up when I get time and see.

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Post #6 by Elricity » Wed May 07, 2014 10:27 pm

I sold him on Gary but not on MBC as a whole. I'd have to build it from scratch but it's definitely something I could see myself trying to build.

In the meantime, how does this look for control jank? I cut some boros charms since I have very little to protect anymore and are likely saving it as end game double strike on one of his bestowed monsters. Wear/tear and cutting down on shocks were my most questionable decisions.

[deck]
//Enchantment (10)
2 Assemble the Legion
3 Banishing Light
2 Blind Obedience
3 Chained to the Rocks

//Instant (21)
2 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
2 Shock
4 Skullcrack
4 Warleader's Helix
1 Wear // Tear

//Planeswalker (2)
2 Chandra, Pyromaster

//Sorcery (4)
2 Flames of the Firebrand
2 Mizzium Mortars

//Land (23)
1 Boros Guildgate
7 Mountain
3 Mutavault
2 Plains
4 Sacred Foundry
2 Temple of Malice
4 Temple of Triumph[/deck]

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Post #7 by DerWille » Thu May 08, 2014 10:12 am

I'm not a huge fan of 2 headed giant. I stopped playing it and go to another store whenever it's that week's tournament anymore. It's kind of cheesy, hard to win prizes, and I thought standard was more fun.

I like the burn list you're running. 6 main board ways to kill big guys (+4 if you can convince your buddy to run Hero's Downfall) seems strong. The 1 of wear // tear might save your ass later. 2 of Assemble the Legion seems about right. It can close out a game, but it can take awhile.

Are you and your buddy aiming for a slower, grindier game where you burn/ping them to death?

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Post #8 by Elricity » Thu May 08, 2014 5:36 pm

It's honestly something I do once a month as a bonding thing with my brother.

We goldfished a bit last night and he wanted to go faster and avoid the grindy game so we tweaked to this:

[deck=Burn]
//Enchantment (8)
3 Banishing Light
2 Blind Obedience
3 Chained to the Rocks

//Instant (26)
4 Boros Charm
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
2 Searing Blood
4 Shock
4 Skullcrack
4 Warleader's Helix

//Planeswalker (2)
2 Chandra, Pyromaster

//Sorcery (1)
1 Mizzium Mortars

//Land (23)
1 Boros Guildgate
7 Mountain
3 Mutavault
2 Plains [or Temples of silence if I get enough]
4 Sacred Foundry
2 Temple of Malice
4 Temple of Triumph[/deck]

I cut the wear for now and went back to the full playset of charms as he wanted the reach and first strike as needed. I went back and forth on 4 shocks but I think I need to dump my hand if we face other aggro decks.

[deck=Enchanting Heroes]
//Creature (13)
4
Agent of the Fates
2 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
3 Hero of Iroas
4 Tormented Hero

//Enchantment Creature (15)
3 Eidolon of Countless Battles
2 Gnarled Scarhide
4 Grim Guardian
2 Herald of Torment
4 Spiteful Returned

//Instant (6)
3 Boon of Erebos
3 Gods Willing

//Sorcery (4)
4 Launch the Fleet

//Land (22)
4 Godless Shrine
1 Mana Confluence
5 Plains
8 Swamp
4 Temple of Silence[/deck]

I think -1/2 plains for more Mana Confluence is best but he's still budgeting some and this was as far as I could push it. My goal is to still get them on the side over the next month but we'll see. Athreos actually ended up being durdly since him turning on devotion with this deck isn't that simple. I think he should go to 23 lands but he's staying at this for now. Cut his vault.

I've heard that Countless battles is kind of medicore which has been kind of my experience. Cutting them for heralds would clean his mana base up huge.

He's basically banking on me covering all the key removal.
See how that works out in testing.


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