Battle for Zendikar Event Deck Review, part 1

There’s no Standard Event in Tampere this week, so I can’t do my usual test run with the deck in an FNM. I’ll do that next week and write a report. However, since this thing seems to interest people, I’ll write about it right now.

First, the list:

4 Blisterpod
1 Warden of the First Tree
2 Sultai Emissary
2 Zulaport Cutthroat
4 Rot Shambler
1 Grim Haruspex
2 Nantuko Husk
4 Catacomb Sifter
1 Eyeless Watcher
1 Smothering Abomination
1 Whisperwood Elemental
1 Brood Butcher
1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
1 Hangarback Walker
4 Bone Splinters
2 Murderous Cut
2 Vampiric Rites
1 Evolutionary Leap
1 Corpseweft
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Jungle Hollow
1 Llanowar Wastes
2 Rogue’s Passage
6 Swamp
7 Forest
3 Duress
3 Caustic Caterpillar
4 Jaddi Offshoot
3 Cranial Archive
2 Ultimate Price

Leaving us with two mythics ([scryfall]Warden of the First Tree[/scryfall] and [scryfall]Whisperwood Elemental[/scryfall]) and eight rares ([scryfall]Hangarback Walker[/scryfall], [scryfall]Llanowar Wastes[/scryfall], [scryfall]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/scryfall], [scryfall]Evolutionary Leap[/scryfall], [scryfall]Corpseweft[/scryfall], [scryfall]Smothering Abomination[/scryfall], [scryfall]Brood Butcher[/scryfall] and [scryfall]Grim Haruspex[/scryfall]). That’s easily enough value to buy this. Hangarback is very expensive right now and Tasigur will be played in modern and eternal formats until end of time. [scryfall]Brood Butcher[/scryfall] won’t ever amount to anything and I’m not sure about [scryfall]Corpseweft[/scryfall], but otherwise I’d use the word ‘solid’.

I do like the deck. I’m not sure this is the deck you would want to give a beginner, but it seems like fun. I’m not sure all the shenanigans actually amount to much. Sure, you’ll do lots of stuff, but can you actually win? Probably yes. You don’t have many things the opponent really needs to answer, but on the other hand, you there’s enough to put real pressure on your opponents answers. Well, its more like you have enough ways to get to the creatures your opponents need to answer.

Your real wincon is probably just grinding out small edges. I’m not sure all your cards help this strategy, but I guess they need to leave room for improvement, at least just a little bit. I’m might have told this story before, but seems to fit here: Back in the 50s some company began to manufacture some readymade meal, but they just couldn’t sell it. So, what they did was make you work for it just a little bit. Actually, you only needed to add one egg to the mixture. That made it a hit. People wanted to feel like they were actually cooking, but even a little went a long way. Maybe its the same idea here. After all, people like to tinker with the decks they netdeck (I do), why wouldn’t they leave room for that here? Getting that little buzz for making this deck your own will maybe draw them deeper into the game.

I’ll know better after trying this out, but the combination of fun theme and valuable cards makes this a clear recommendation.

Suggested Changes

What to take out? Its actually hard to say, because its a pretty synergistic deck. You can’t just take out parts of the whole and not expect the rest to just crumble. You probably do want more [scryfall]Smothering Abomination[/scryfall]s. Is there enough stuff to sacrifice if you take out [scryfall]Eyeless Watcher[/scryfall] and [scryfall]Brood Butcher[/scryfall]? I don’t think [scryfall]Warden of the First Tree[/scryfall] is quite pulling its weight, so it can probably leave. [scryfall]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/scryfall] feels more like a sideboard card in this deck.

Of course, you should probably get more [scryfall]Llanowar Wastes[/scryfall] to make the mana better. Also, once the BG creature land comes out in Oath of the Gatewatch, you should get those too. Maybe think about [scryfall]Mortuary Mire[/scryfall] because you don’t generally need black mana on the first turn. [scryfall]Spawning Bed[/scryfall] might work as well. Maybe even over [scryfall]Rogue’s Passage[/scryfall], although you probably need those.

So, Here’s the Plan…

I wanted to put myself into the shoes of a newer player, so what I’m going to do is take the deck and after the FNM next week, I’ll keep it separate from the rest of my collection and I’ll improve it using cards in this collection and from this collection alone. I will put more cards into the collection from what I draft and from the boosters I win. I’ll also trade from this collection. I’ll play the deck as often as I can in FNMs and other REL Regular events, but I’ll get a separate deck for competitive events.

I’ll report on how the deck is doing regularly.

2 thoughts on “Battle for Zendikar Event Deck Review, part 1

  1. One more note: The number one deck in the format is Abzan. Does this work at all against that deck? No. You’ll lose most of your triggers if [card]Anafenza, the Foremost[/card] is in play and even if you manage to kill her, she’ll probably just come back with the help from Mom (that would be [card]Den Protector[/card]). That’s going to be quite bad and you’ll just lose with your 1/1s that can’t actually block [card]Siege Rhino[/card] profitably or even chump.

  2. Pingback: The Event Deck Project, Test Run with the First Changes | Guild Blog

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