Just returned from a tournament victorious. Nothing big. Just a sealed tournament between people from this our guild. Its more or less a tradition when a new set comes out. I get a box of boosters and we play. It was close. One player had a same record as me and if a third player would have won his last game, I would have been third (out of six).
What was the secret of my success? Did I read through strategy guides and research possible archetypes? Did I plan my curve out perfectly and dig out every possible beneficial interaction between my cards?
Well, no. I had a [scryfall]Rise of the Dark Realms[/scryfall] and that was all I needed.
Admittedly, I had some great synergies within my deck. Besides the Rise, I had a [scryfall]Liliana’s Reaver[/scryfall], [scryfall]Doom Blade[/scryfall], [scryfall]Festering Newt[/scryfall], [scryfall]Quag Sickness[/scryfall] and so forth. As great as these were, the cards that did most work were [scryfall]Gnawing Zombie[/scryfall] and the true MVP of my deck, [scryfall]Blood Bairn[/scryfall]. Child labor for the win.
Why was Blood Bairn so good? If you’ve played the format, you might not be asking this. To me this was obvious: The majority of removal I saw were enchantments, such as [scryfall]Pacifism[/scryfall] and [scryfall]Claustrophobia[/scryfall]. With Blood Bairn (and Gnawing Zombie and the very underrated [scryfall]Altar’s Reap[/scryfall]), those creatures weren’t just lost. I could still use them to my advantage.
[scryfall]Molten Birth[/scryfall] sealed red as my secondary color. [scryfall]Shivan Dragon[/scryfall] helped too. Some removal and enchantments topped off the deck, which I liked very much.
1 [scryfall]Accursed Spirit[/scryfall]
2 [scryfall]Blood Bairn[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Child of Night[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Deathgaze Cockatrice[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Festering Newt[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Goblin Shortcutter[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Gnawing Zombie[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Liliana’s Reaver[/scryfall]
2 [scryfall]Nightwing Shade[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Shivan Dragon[/scryfall]
2 [scryfall]Altar’s Reap[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Chandra’s Outrage[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Doom Blade[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Haunted Plate Mail[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Lightning Talons[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Molten Birth[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Quag Sickness[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Rise of the Dark Realms[/scryfall]
1 [scryfall]Vile Rebirth[/scryfall]
The deck included all black cards in my pool, except for one [scryfall]Shadowborn Apostle[/scryfall]. I didn’t really sideboard anything. I did have some leeway with the red, but the only change was that at some point [scryfall]Dragon Hatchling[/scryfall] was in my deck, but I already had three other flying creature I could pump, so decided not to use it.
The curve is pretty good. [scryfall]Tenacious Dead[/scryfall] or a [scryfall]Young Pyromancer[/scryfall] would have made this absolutely insane, but this was fun and effective enough as it was.
I asked the other players for their favorite cards in their decks (mine being the Blood Bairn, which I adored).
Mikko, who came in second with the same record I had, liked his [scryfall]Ogre Battledriver[/scryfall]. As a self-admitted Timmy-player, Mikko probably enjoyed the way the Battledriver changes the game.
Henkka said he didn’t want to choose between his [scryfall]Young Pyromancer[/scryfall]s and [scryfall]Primeval Bounty[/scryfall]. Since my only match loss was to Henkka, I could see why he liked the Pyromancers. They just shut my bigger attackers down. I only saw Primeval Bounty in action for a second, but it seemed to do its job just fine.
Teemu said [scryfall]Woodborn Behemoth[/scryfall]. Since the games had a tendency to stall, seeing it as an 8/8 trampler was probably more common than the smaller form.
Timo said [scryfall]Banisher Priest[/scryfall]. Again, understandable. With all the slivers running around, Pacifisms and Claustrophobias just aren’t enough. Banisher Priest can at least remove the card from the game, where it isn’t giving whatever its giving to all the other slivers.
I didn’t get an answer form Peetu yet. Maybe I’ll add it into comments.
Peetu says his favorite was [card]Imposing Sovereign[/card]. I’m not sure of its usefulness, but obviously, in a situation where you have managed eliminate your opponents creatures, you don’t want surprise blockers. Sovereign helps. I think the jury’s out though. I’ll probably try to make him work in constructed.