maandag 31 oktober 2016

Archetype: Blue/Green Enchantment Aggro

My cube is very archetype-centered. Most color combinations have two or more distinct archetypes or themes available to them (outside of plain aggro/midrange/control) that overlap with archetypes in other color combinations.

The plan is to eventually talk about all of the archetypes in my cube. Some are quite straightforward, while others might be a little more off-beat.

Today's archetype:

Blue/Green Enchantment Aggro

Blue/Green Enchantment Aggro combines hard-to-interact-with creatures with creature auras to create quite a fast clock. Because of the reliance on auras, the deck also makes very good use of the green enchantment matters cards.
It plays a little bit like a creature-based combo-aggro deck.

Historic relevance
The closest analogue to this deck is probably the green/white Bogles deck that (among others) Seth Manfield played in the 2015 World Championships.
Other than that, the deck plays a little bit like a slow version of blue/green poison.

The main strength of the deck is that it can be hard to interact. Either because of unblockability, hexproof or shroud, or just because the creatures can get quite big for their cost.
The deck can be quite fast, and the pairing of green's acceleration with blue's permission means that opponents don't have a lot of time and room to deal with the threats.

The deck has 2 big weaknesses:
First, it's essentially a combo deck. You need to find a creature to suit up, an enchantment, and preferably some additional way to protect your assets. There's a delicate balance to find in drafting and deck building, because you don't want to have/draw too many or too few of any of them. This also means that it's not easy to get all the parts while drafting and you may find yourself abandoning the deck mid-draft.
Second, auras have an inherent drawback: if the creature gets killed, you just 2-for-1'd yourself. Hexproof/shroud and countermagic do help, as does carddraw, but it still can be somewhat risky.

Key cards
Blue: Invisible Stalker, Looter il-Kor, Daze, Curiosity, Sigil of Sleep, Unstable Mutation, Zephid's Embrace
Green: Dreampod Druid, Silhana Ledgewalker, Aura Gnarlid, Yavimaya Enchantress, Rancor, Vessel of Nascency, Wild Growth (and similar), Ancestral Mask, Boar Umbra (and similar)
Gold: Jhessian Infiltrator

Overlap with other archetypes
The deck overlaps well with other enchantment-based or pump-based decks, like:
- white/green double strike/pants
- white/blue double strike/pants
- white/green enchantment matters
- black/green enchantment matters

Experience with the deck
Somehow this deck always seems to come out of left field to make short work of opponents.

While the deck can be quite powerful and its nut draws very hard to interact with (and therefor annoying to play against) is mitigated by the fact that it doesn't come together that often (or easy) and sometimes loses to itself because the opponent manages to deal with the first suited up threat and the deck loses steam because of the card disadvantage or awkward draws.

It's not easy to support in your cube. Cards like Rancor, Looter il-Kor, Daze, cheap flyers, Wild Growth effects are great in any cube, but the cards that set this deck apart and give it its explosiveness and raw power are not mainstream. The archetypes it overlaps with aren't really mainstream either.

It feels powerful enough that it's exciting to see in action, but not overpoweringly so. Some of our most memorable games involve this deck, with sequences like turn 1 Wild Growth, turn 2 Dreampod Druid, turn 3 Zephid's Embrace.

We like the deck a lot, and have a lot of fun playing with and against it.

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