As usual, I bought the event deck and took it out for a spin.
The deck is black-white warrior deck. Apart from [card]Pain Seer[/card] and [card]Herald of Torment[/card], each creature (altogether 23) in the deck is a warrior. It was surprisingly good, although their warriorness didn’t really come into play that much.
[deck title=Conquering Hordes]
1 Herald of Anafenza
3 Mardu Hateblade
3 Tormented Hero
1 Bloodsoaked Champion
2 Chief of the Edge
2 Chief of the Scale
2 Seeker of the Way
3 Oreskos Swiftclaw
3 Mardu Skullhunter
1 Pain Seer
1 Mardu Hordechief
1 Herald of Torment
2 Timely Hordemate
1 Rush of Battle
1 Bile Blight
1 Silence the Believers
1 Spear of Heliod
1 Spirit Bonds
2 Banishing Light
2 Raiders’ Spoils
1 Dictate of Erebos
1 Dictate of Heliod
1 Caves of Koilos
4 Scoured Barrens
2 Solemn Offering
3 Glare of Heresy
3 Dark Betrayal
1 Drown in Sorrow
2 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Brain Maggot
The rares are [card]Caves of Koilos[/card], [card]Dictate of Heliod[/card], [card]Dictate of Erebos[/card], [card]Pain Seer[/card], [card]Herald of Anafenza[/card], [card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card], [card]Herald of Torment[/card], [card]Spirit Bonds[/card], [card]Silence the Believers[/card] and [card]Spear of Heliod[/card]. Nothing particularly valuable, but the Champion isn’t cheap right now, either. Surprisingly good selection, though. All at least marginally usable in Standard (with the white Herald being very, very marginal).
As usual, the deck lacks in consistency, as there’s plenty of one-ofs. However, mostly I didn’t lose because of that. I lost because of loose mana.
Round 1 – Four Color Jeskai Ascendancy Combo
I’m guessing there’s a more concise name for this deck, but I don’t know what it is. The idea is to dig a [card]Jeskai Ascendancy[/card] out of the deck, get down a [card]Kiora’s Follower[/card], cast cantrips and keep untapping the Follower, while it grows at the same time.
As one might guess, four-colored combo deck didn’t really work out in Standard, although it wasn’t for mana. Just not enough good cantrips to pull it off, although Timo (who played the deck) did win one match eventually.
1 – 0
Round 2 – RDW
This felt like a good matchup, and it probably is. I mulliganed down to five cards in the first game and it was still pretty close. I lost to flooding. In the second game, I went down to six, and flooded out again. Just couldn’t catch a break.
1 – 1
Round 3 – UB Control
I didnt’ feel good about this matchup in the beginning, but variance was on my side on this one. The deck is basically [card]Prognostic Sphinx[/card]es and [card]Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver[/card]s supported by various removal and disruptive cards.
The first game I lost. I couldn’t get anything together while my opponent managed to kill my early drops. I decided to concede the game at 19 life, because I just couldn’t build a board.
The second game went much better. My deck curved out perfectly, and managed to hit three raid triggers in a row. For a deck that tries to exchange resources on a one-on-one basis, discarding a card to [card]Mardu Skullhunter[/card], an extra 1/1 from [card]Mardu Hordechief[/card] and bringing back the Skullhunter with a [card]Timely Hordemate[/card] was just too much.
In the third game, I couldn’t get quite as nice a curve, but I got going, got a few raid triggers off and managed to get a 5/6 flyer with [card]Mardu Hordechief[/card] with a [card]Herald of Torment[/card] bestowed on it. Attrition wasn’t working for my opponent and I won.
2 – 1
Again, I felt this should be a pretty strong matchup, as my deck was just a bit bigger than his deck, which should mean that I should be able to stop the onslaught and take the match.
In the first game, I had to take a mulligan, and couldn’t really get anywhere. In the second game, the size came in to play and I was able to take the game after gaining 17 life from lifelinkers with prowess. In the third game, my mana sucked again, so I lost without being able to put up much of a fight.
2 – 2
The main reason I lost, was awkward mana. I mulliganed a lot because I had mana sources and spells from different colors in hand. With a couple of more [card]Cave of Koilos[/card]’s I should’ve been able to win a couple of games more. Maybe. Hard to say. I would have drained my life total as well, but on the other hand, I would’ve been able to build my board much more effectively.
Another problem was the “bombs” in the deck. They would often be stranded in my hand, as their casting cost was just too high to use. In a deck like this, you can’t generally afford to have five-drops. The only time I was able to cast the [card]Dictate of Heliod[/card], it was more of a win-more card than anything else.
Also, the sideboard seemed kind of weak.
So, if you do decide to buy this and play with it and want to make this deck better, the first thing to do is to get the full set of [card]Caves of Koilos[/card]. They aren’t very expensive, but they are very good in a deck like this. Next, I’d take out [card]Oreskos Swiftclaw[/card]s and [card]Seeker of the Way[/card] on your way to having full sets of the other Chiefs.
Also, get rid of most of the spells. [card]Rush of Battle[/card] might be a nice sideboard card against aggro decks, but otherwise its pretty bad. [card]Raider’s Spoils[/card] doesn’t seem good either. More removal in their place might be good. If do keep the Prowess guys, some more instant speed removal would be a great improvement. Now you can’t really get the full benefit out of it. Otherwise, more [card]Banishing Light[/card]s would be great.
If you want to put more money into it, [card]Soldier of the Pantheon[/card] in lieu of [card]Mardu Hateblade[/card] would be nice, although there’s the problem that Soldier is a soldier, not a warrior. You might have to go more black in order to maybe fit in more [card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card]s.