Over the weekend I had a chance to go play an extended tournament at my local game store. It ended up being a small (9 people) affair, but I still had a great time. Earlier in the week, I asked Power 9 Pro’s very own Joe Klesert for some advice on what to play. He told me about a great deck from Patrick “the Innovator” Chapin that looked to take advantage of the current Dark Depths/Thopter Foundry (DDT) dominated meta-game. DDT is arguably the best deck in the format right now, punishing other decks based on the Depth’s Vampire Hexmage combo and the Thopter Sword of the Meek combo. The list that Joe gave me was this:
I did not have access to all of the cards I needed so I had to replace 1 Hallowed Fountain with Adarkar Wastes and the Cranial Extraction with another copy of Extirpate.
First round I played Mark who was running a R/G deck that i liked to think of as 2-color zoo. It ran the Punishing Fire/Grove of the Burnwillows engine that first appeared in the Ben Rubin Zoo deck now known as Rubin Zoo (great name). One neat piece of synergy that Mark had was the use of Kavu Predator to go along with his Burnwillows. Game 1 Mark stomped on my head pretty quickly even after having to mulligan. Game 2 went a little better, as I had answered all of his threats and he was in top deck mode. I had the Punishing Fire engine going, but was trying to find either Teferi or my Thopter/Sword combo as I was still in burn range from early beats. Unfortunately, he top decked Bloodbraid Elf into Punishing Fire and backed them up with Lightning Bolt to finish me off.
Second Round I played against Joseph playing a version of Elves!. I was really surprised to see this list, when I was doing research on extended there was very little mention of Elves!. In Game 1, Firespout was the superstar allowing me to blow-up 2 Heritage Druids and buy myself enough time to set up my Thopter/Sword combo to win. Game 2 was a blowout thanks to Engineered Explosives holding the fort until I could go ultimate with Jace.
Trying to gain some momentum I headed to Round 3 where I was playing against Johnny running U/B Teachings. His deck is similar to mine but it relies more on setting up Mystical Teachings to find Teferi. In Game 1, Johnny gets Teferi online quickly and I need to spend a lot of resources to get past the counter wall in order to get rid of him. It was all for naught as once Path to Exile finally got rid of Teferi, Crovax, Ascendant Hero came down to finish me off. Crovax is great tech against Thopter tokens, even if the opposing side has an army built up Crovax can still turn that combo “off”. Game 2 was the most fun I had in the tournament. Johnny and I were in an all out counter war. I had my Gargoyle Castle/Crucible of Worlds engine going, attacking with 3/4 tokens, trying to get past his team of Teferi and Sphinx of Jwar Isle. In the end, I forgot to activate and swing with my Celestial Colonade which would have put him low enough to burn out with Punishing Fire (in hand). He got off Pulse of the Fields and my opportunity was gone.
Sitting on my 1-2 record I drew the bye for the fourth and final round and decided to head home early (much to the delight of my wife). This deck was a blast to play. There are plenty of amazing interactions in the deck. I will definitely practice with it and try to bring it out again. One thing I noticed was that I wanted a way to put more pressure on my opponent, but only through more testing will I figure out what that should be (more Jace perhaps?).If you are looking for a deck to play, I would recommend this one, just make sure you have enough time to practice.