#TeamCFBP Deck Tech – Maze’s End and More

I tilted pretty hard for this PT, and decided to last-minute audible to an untuned Maze’s End deck when I had two other totally viable options. I should have just gotten on board and played Black/White Control, the “team deck,” but for some reason decided I didn’t like it.

So, I decided to work on white/green beatdown and spent the last few days before the Pro Tour tuning it. Even though Advent of the Wurm is tempting, I found out I wanted more cheap drops so I started but cutting all of them as well as most of the Boon Satyr. The edge you have against a deck like Mono-Black is that you start playing out threats on turn one and even though a turn 4 Wurm might seem good, it usually doesn’t make up for missing one of your early drops. Here’s the list I would have played if the intensive gaming in Government Camp, Oregon hadn’t left me sleep and lucidity deprived:

In hindsight, I might have been playtesting too much against control and Lifebane Zombie decks, and everyone who played W/G at the PT seemed to love having Boon Satyr and Advent of the Wurm.

One important tip regardless: mulligan a lot, don’t keep any hand without both colors, and don’t keep a hand without a one- and a two-drop unless it’s very good.

Here is what I played instead:

I actually thought about building a Maze’s End deck with 10+ sweepers and card draw, but this brew didn’t even make it to its first game as I decided to abandon ship after proxying up the first six cards.

I didn’t think I could cast my expensive spells in a timely fashion with all the enters-the-battlefield-tapped lands, but when on Thursday during the drive from our house to Portland I heard about a Fog version Tom had played against on MTGO in a two-man queue, I decided to give it a shot.

The deck seemed to be doing very well in game ones since most of the archetypes in Standard have no way to effectively stop what you’re doing (even Gray Merchant is usually too little too late), but then fell apart when the opposition got to switch out their dead cards for weapons like Duress, Rakdos’s Return, or counterspells (as suspected from previous experience with Bant Control variants).

I felt like I needed to be proactive after sideboard, since blue and black decks could just pick my Fog strategy apart and I could no longer ignore what they were doing. I don’t think that this list makes it a tier one deck, but I feel like with a little (or a lot) of work, the deck could be competitive. I definitely missed having more sweepers after board in the games I played, most likely good old Supreme Verdict, and I think I got a little too scared of Nightveil Specter in my card choices, but the Coursers were pretty good for me. The transformational sideboard worked out enough of the time that I rattled off the two necessary wins to make Day Two, but I feel like I got lucky to even get those two wins.

I went 4-4 on Day One and my second draft didn’t come together, but I still had some tools to work with. Unfortunately I misplayed in round one and got fairly poor draws in round 2, and decided to just drop with six losses since I didn’t really feel like playing more Standard and decided to 3-on-3 draft and railbird my teammates.

I was left with a lot of regrets, wondering what could have been if I had just played W/B or W/G, and if it’s not the first time I’ve made that mistake, I hope it’s the last. WMCQs are coming up and I might give it a shot. I will almost definitely play the one in Paris (where I live) and probably the one in Lyon too, which is a two-hour train ride away. I’m going to work a bit more on W/G but I also want to give Maze’s End another shot, even though I’m guessing it’s going to come up a bit short against the tier 1 decks.

Here is the next list I plan on trying:

I might also work some more on various Caryatid/Courser decks even though Reid Duke and I couldn’t make anything work during testing. Those decks had the same problems the Maze’s End deck has as they usually had a pretty good game one but not good enough to make up for the fact that things got real bad against Black decks after sideboard.

I’ll share one of our later lists with you since even though I don’t think the deck is quite tier 1, it might fit your style and it’s definitely a lot of fun to play since it is highly interactive:

I’ll also make sure I give Ivan Floch’s U/W PT winning deck a try as I find the use of 4 Quicken especially sweet.


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