Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Vortex, Quit Vexing Me

I got q's, v's and x's in that title, what's not to love?

But let's get to the meat of it:

If the core concept of Vortex-using Mirri's Guile and Dark Confidant to set up draws to make for better Gamekeeper use-is good, then one solution I haven't put enough effort into is redundancy.

Enter: Pattern of Rebirth. With six board resets, Pattern is very likely useful and it may even serve as an additional consequence to removing Dark Confidant, something every opponent is going to want to do. I've added two in place of Worldly Tutor.

I've got Plated Slagwurm in as a placeholder at the moment-untargetable giant monsters aren't bad-but I'm looking through Gatherer for something better, preferably something in theme but anything scary will do. The issue with the Slagwurm is that it doesn't have trample or any other interesting ability, so it can be chumpblocked easily and taken down by anything with deathtouch. The next closest options are Siege Behemoth (which I'd run just for the name) or Plated Crusher, because of the trample.

Liliana Vess is still a possibility: raw power can't be overlooked as a solution.

Then I remembered: I own a Griselbrand. Just one, but I do have one. And if I'm going to try and go for raw power, well, that's one of the most powerful cards ever printed so...why not swing for the fences?

With the new tests, things have gotten better. Pattern of Rebirth and Languish have been good additions. The ability to reset the board more frequently and Pattern's buttressing Gamekeeper's ability has been helping Vortex get there and the creature-lands have been great at providing additional pressure.

So far, things have been positive. Griselbrand hasn't made an appearance yet but I've finally had a chance to test Liliana against Fuz against a UW aggro spirits deck and a UG delver deck.

I lost the UG match because I used Liliana's ability to get a Griselbrand instead of Languish or Pernicious Deed in game two. The glory of cool things biting me in the ass on that one. I won the UW match when Fuz got stuck on one Island with two Boomerangs in hand. I also got a little greedy in game 3, swinging for 4 damage with the ability to take 6 next turn, Languish at 1 and then fetch something massive and maybe get lucky to get another big dude.

Plaxmanta-a card I hadn't seen-came in to ruin my day. I went big and lost. However, twice during these matches I was able to use Liliana's +1 ability to discard Darksteel Colossus and set up a better opportunity for Gamekeeper. She earned her keep.


  1. Sheoldred if you wanted to be cute.

  2. Another cute option is the black bringer...black dawn or something.

    1. Sheoldred, awesome as she is, wouldn't have enough graveyard targets to really use her well. Bringer of the Black Dawn seems interesting but Liliana has taken that role, I think. Cheaper to hardcast, more versatile, more difficult to remove and the psychological impact all help.