Deck Library – “Montoya’s B/R Vampires”: A Victory for Casual Play

Posted by zach - June 12, 2011 - Blog - No Comments

This may seem counterintuitive, even paradoxical, but I’m going to take a moment on this blog to praise the decklist of the winning player at this weekend’s SCG Open Series in Denver. This isn’t unusual at all for a Magic blog, but we’re more of a kitchen-table crowd here and we like our Magic like we like our Fridays – casual.

Because this site is geared toward casual players, we’ve got a lot to say to and about those of you who don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a single deck. Obviously, there are a lot of casual players who are willing to wheel and deal (and spend big) for their playset of Jace, The Mind Sculptor, but if you’ve played in a competitive setting recently you’re probably more than sick of Jace, of Stoneforge Mystic, of Lotus Cobra, and the rest of the standard fare out there.

To fully “suit up” with all the best mythic rares can cost hundreds of dollars, which isn’t exactly an option for a lot of us, that’s why I want to highlight Bradon Montoya’s deck from this weekend’s competition.

B/R Vampires
Creatures:Gatekeeper of Malakir
Manic Vandal
Manic Vandal
X3
Pulse Tracker
Pulse Tracker
X4
Kalastria Highborn
Kalastria Highborn
X4
Bloodghast
Bloodghast
X4
Gatekeeper of Malakir
Gatekeeper of Malakir
X4
Vampire Lacerator
Vampire Lacerator
X4
Viscera Seer
Viscera Seer
X3 

Instants:
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
X4
Dismember
Dismember
X3
Go for the Throat
Go for the Throat
X4

Land:
Swamp
Swamp
X6
Marsh Flats
Marsh Flats
X1
Dragonskull Summit
Dragonskull Summit
X4
Verdant Catacombs
Verdant Catacombs
X4Bloodghast
Lavaclaw Reaches
Lavaclaw Reaches
X4
Blackcleave Cliffs
Blackcleave Cliffs
X4

Sideboard:
Skinrender
Skinrender
X2
Dark Tutelage
Dark Tutelage
X3
Crush
Crush
X2
Doom Blade
Doom Blade
X1
Arc Trail
Arc Trail
X4
Mark of Mutiny
Mark of Mutiny
X3

 

Why I like it:

  1. It’s got great flavor: One of my favorite aspects of deck building is putting together a deck with a cohesive flavor. This deck is not only tribal, centering on vampires, but the splash of Red is consistent with the aggressive nature of the Black core.
  2. It’s cheap: The most expensive aspect of this deck is the lands, and even they’re not bad. There are no mythic rares here, and much of this deck’s core consists of commons and uncommons. Most players, even if they’re reasonably new to the game would have little trouble doing some small-time trading with friends and assembling this deck, though perhaps with some modification to account for a limited supply of the rare lands.
  3. It beat Caw-Blade: Most people have had it up to Squardron Hawk cruising-height with Caw-Blade. This deck does a great job answering Caw-Blade with minimal artifact and creature hate without going way out of its way to be the anti-Caw. Any deck right now that is not Planeswalker-Pals w/ Titan Support or Caw-Blade has my vote, and this deck has done that exceptionally well.
  4. It’s creative: Okay, so maybe liking vampires isn’t the most cultural innovative thing a person can do right now, but at least it’s not the by-the-book “Competitive Magic” deck. It resists the temptation of Stoneforge, Planeswalkers, Tempered Steel, the titans, and even Infect. Not even a Phyrexian mana symbol in sight.

 

So, kudos to you, Brandon, from The Casual Planeswalker. Congrats on your win this weekend and thank you for doing your part to shake up competitive play in Standard just a little bit.


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