I’m going to GP Manchester next month. The format is Theros Block Constructed. Problems are pretty obvious: I don’t know the full block yet, because Journey Into Nyx spoilers began just today. Has that ever stopped me?
Gladly we’ve been spoiled one pretty innocuous, but probably very good creature: Gnarled Scarhide. Its a one mana black creature, who happens to be a 2/1. However, since black can’t get very good cheap creatures, it has to have a drawback: it can’t block. This isn’t really new, but here’s the twist: It can be bestowed for 3B and the bestowed creature can’t block either.
Doesn’t seem like anything special, but this is actually the kind of card that has a lot of influence on decks in general. Two power is just so much more than one and the option of having that on table on turn one is pretty good. Putting your opponent on the backfoot that early is ideal, if you want to play an aggro deck.
Now, generally white and red are better at such low cost creatures. Especially white, which never has to contend with drawbacks on their creatures, but there’s a reason our new favorite enchantment minotaur will see play: Black has other strengths we can rely on easily, if we use a black or mostly black deck. If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know I’m talking about my favorite archetype: Suicide Black.
Actually, it might be that our monoblack aggro isn’t even much weaker than the standard version. Sure, we’d need better spot removal than [scryfall]Gild[/scryfall] or [scryfall]Asphyxiate[/scryfall], but otherwise, the deck looks great.
4 Gnarled Scarhide
4 Tormented Hero
4 Pain Seer
4 Spiteful Returned
4 Agent of the Fates
4 Herald of Torment
4 Hero’s Downfall
4 Dark Betrayal
? Whip of Erebos
? Boon of Erebos
? Bile Blight
? Mogis’s Marauder
? Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Based on Decks of the Week on the Mothership, this is a lower curve version of a pretty popular deck which gets a lot of play on MTGO, which plays plenty of Garys. My instinct is to go with the more aggressive version, but its hard to tell. The other decks in the format seem to be pretty slow in comparison.
We’ll see. I have plenty of other ideas (which I’ll return to in the future), some even with multiple colors. [INSERT FOREBODING MUSIC]