Dragons of Tarkir Event Deck Review

Again, some thoughts on the deck and a tournament report from an FNM.

Landslide Charge

Where does that name come from? Am I not getting some pun? Anyhow, its a Temur deck, where the blue is pretty much a splash.

Anyhow, first look tells me that the mana is horrible. Only nine (potential) sources of blue mana and fourteen (potential) sources of red mana. That’s not enough for either color. Red get close, but getting a third turn Savage Knuckleblade is just not going to happen enough. Not that you would ever even draw Savage Knuckleblade in your starting hand. For a card that’s not anything amazing in the late game, it seems kind of awkward in the deck. The major reason to play the card at all is to card him on the second turn, but withouth Yawimaya Coast, that’s just not possible.

Why did they have to make a three-colored deck? Khans Event Deck was only two and that set was supposed to be about the wedges. This is three colors, when the set is supposed to be about allied color combinations. Not that the deck even has that many cards from the set. The main deck has four and the sideboard has four more. That’s not really highlighting what the set can do.

Also, Golden Hind? You are just putting a spotlight on how bad this deck is. After all, there’s Rattleclaw Mystic out there. This deck really could use it, but with the pressure on the rares, I guess that wasn’t possible.

The rares are Yasova Dragonclaw, Savage Knuckleblade, Surrak, the Hunt Caller, Thunderbreak Regent, Polis Crusher, Mistcutter Hydra, Outpost Siege, Crater’s Claws, Temple of Abandon and Boon Satyr. Although Polis Crusher is kind of marginal, its actually a pretty good selection. Most get some play or will see play in standard.

Round 1 – Jeskai Tokens

Did not start strong. In the first game opponent was at 10 life, but that was because of his lands, not what I did. In the second game his landbase was much more accommodating and he only dropped to 17. Again I didn’t have a chance to do much. Some blocking in each game, but that didn’t help much when you have abunch of very big goblins or monks attacking you.

This deck just couldn’t compete in this match up. Sure Reclamation Sage would help, but its probably too little too late and Monastery Mentor doesn’t actually need the help of Jeskai Ascendancy to just blow this deck out of the water, completely. Polis Crusher would have been nice, too, but probably too slow.

0 – 1

Round 2 – UB Control

This deck was surprisingly good in this match. Of course, my opponent’s deck wasn’t cooperating, but the number of threats worked here well enough. First game I did win by simple top deck with the only Mistcutter Hydra, the second game I won with well timed Boon Satyr into huge Crater’s Claws into a simple Lightning Strike with counter backup. The counters were key here, enabling me to keep the huge threats in play.

1 – 1

Round 3 – Abzan Control

The first game was easily mine. I had a pretty perfect curve of Elvish Mystic into Yasova Dragonclaw into Surrak, the Hunt Caller. That’s nine damage on the third turn. After that, he began to stabilize, but I still had a Fanatic of Xenagos with counter backup to take the game.

The next two games didn’t go so nicely. I didn’t do any damage in the second one and I had to mulligan to five in the third one, which wasn’t very helpful when the opponent drew three Courser of Kruphixes and kept having lands at opportune moments on top of his deck.

A funny note: At one point I Act of Treasoned his Courser to find a land drop. Because of this, he saw the top of my deck and it was a Disdainful Stroke. He tried to bait it out of my hand with a Siege Rhino, but I had an Encase in Ice for that one. Because he couldn’t get the counter out of my hand, he didn’t cast Dragonlord Dromoka… and only noticed it can’t be countered after I told him.

1 – 2

Round 4 – UB Control

This time my luck didn’t hold. I won the first game, but couldn’t take the second one and flooded out in the third. Fanatic of Xenagos seemed to line up pretty well here against Ultimate Price.

1 – 3

Conclusions and Suggestions

This was my worst performance with an Event deck since my first Standard tournament right after RTR was released (with a Golgari deck). Back then I wasn’t really familiar with all the cards, so I probably didn’t play very well. This time I didn’t make any major punts (I noticed).

The mana was – as predicted – awkward. Not being able to play blue mana untapped was bad and in several places I needed two blue mana, but that just wasn’t available. The deck is very inconsistent, but it also seemed to be boon in some cases. My opponents had a hard time to line their removal properly, because they weren’t sure what they would need against my next threat.

If you want to use this as a base for your deck, you need to do a lot of work on the mana. Pain lands and Rattleclaw Mystics at the very least. Polis Crusher might actually be good enough to maindeck, but not for me today, although I didn’t see him once.

With the amount of lands and the curve, you might want to cut a few. You might also want to streamline the creature base and removal suite to match your local meta better. I’d also suggest taking out Rending Volley from the sideboard for now. It might change later and be important, but right now it doesn’t kill anything that important.

All in all, I think there is a good Temur deck somewhere out there, but I don’t think this gets even close to it.

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