My name is Joshua Claytor, and I’m the content and community manager of PureMTGO.com. More importantly, one of my closest friends in the entire Magic world is Nate Lawrence, who recently purchased Legitmtg.com. A long long time ago, I worked for Nate, lived in his house, built shelves in his shop in Owensboro, Kentucky, and ran events of all types for him. When I got a text message asking for me to write an article for the content side of Legit, it was a no brainer for me. I’d get to help a friend out, pick up another gig and experiment with some things that I have wanted to try.
With that short introduction out of the way, I decided that my column for Legitmtg.com would be a simple series. I sadly do not get to play much paper magic anymore, health issues have kept me from travelling far from my house, so I play all of my Magic on Magic: the Gathering Online. I miss paper magic, and the camaraderie of hanging out with my friends on a Friday night. I miss physically shuffling cards, cutting the deck and just about everything else to do with paper magic, but until I get better I have to play online.
Playing online is fine, but I’m the kind of player that really likes to interact with people while playing. I missed cracking jokes with my friends, so the best way to still do that is stream obviously! You can find my stream here, I typically play two hours in the morning 8am to 10am Eastern Standard Time. I spent most of the day streaming weird Modern decks that I found in Player Run Events, and just generally having a blast. I mean is there anything more fun than casting a Blistercoil Weird and going off with a Paradise Mantle? Of course there is, but that is because fun has a different definition for everyone. I like casting decks that Mill people out, or take infinite turns.
This brings us to my column, Five Queues, which will take a look at an overlooked deck from a larger event. This past weekend was Grand Prix Vienna, and while various flavors of devotion decks dominated the top sixteen (If I counted correctly, ten of the top sixteen decks were devotion decks, and the event was won by Mono Blue Devotion.) it was a deck feature on Day two of the blog that really caught my eye.
Christoph Wagner played a Black Green Midrange deck. If you follow my work on PureMTGO.com (here is my first article on Black Green and here is my second.), you will know that I have had quite the crush on Black Green in Standard. If not, that’s okay, you can check out the links later on. This black green deck really seemed amazing to me. I’ve defended Deathrite Shaman to plenty of people, but never thought of pairing it with Commune with the Gods. I thought Elvish Mystic was unworthy of playing with, but looking at Christoph’s list really opened my eyes, and I figured I would give it a spin. I mean what deck that casts Witchstalker, Vraska the Unseen and Gaze of Granite could be a bad thing? Let’s take a look at Wagner’s list from the Grand Prix.
Black Green Hexproof by Christoph Wagner
At first glance the deck looked really weird. There was not a ton of removal in the main deck which really bothered me. If you’re in black why are you not taking full advantage of the removal suite? Why are there so many one ofs in the deck? Is Bow of Nylea really any good? Does Primeval Bounty fit in the deck? Is Commune with the Gods really worth it? Where are all of the Thoughtseizes at?
Those are the five questions that I wanted to answer with five queues. I built the deck, played a few games in the tournament practice room, streamed it a little bit, and finally decided that I was ready to put my money where my mouth is and enter some two man queues. The following matches and recap video I feel answer the questions that I asked. I apologize for the loud fan in the background of the videos, it was the combination of a heater going on and my processor fan being clogged with four years’ worth of dust. I’ve since cleaned the processor fan, it was a long and hard process, but my computer barely makes a noise now!
Match One: Mono Red Aggro
Match Two: Boros Aggro
Match Three: Kibler Black Green
Match Four: Mono Black Devotion Splashing Green
Match Five: Esper
Final Record: 2-3. I defeated Mono Red and the Black Green Kibler deck, and was overwhelmed by everything else.
So did my questions get answered? I’m not sure so let’s go over those again:
Why are there so many one ofs in the deck?
I’m not entirely sure, but I am positive that the one of’s take away focus from the deck. I felt like the deck needed more removal and disruption the entire time I played it.
Is Bow of Nylea really any good?
No, not in the main deck. The artifact is pretty awesome, but here it’s a just a random card to maybe find with Commune with the Gods. The lifegain effect was pretty neat against the aggro decks, but most of the time it got pulled and sat on the bench for games two and three.
Does Primeval Bounty fit in the deck?
This one is unanswered. I see Primeval Bounty as a Planeswalker. If it remains unanswered, it can and will take over the game, but I felt it was just there because Commune was in the deck. Commune is a cute tutor ability, and does work well with Deathrite Shaman, it just does not seem to do enough I feel.
Is Commune with the Gods really worth it?
I do not think so. As I have mentioned before it’s a cute way to find the one of enchantments, but I feel like the Black Green deck in standard needs to be packed full of removal and disruption. This deck suffers in my opinion from a lack of both.
Where are all the Thoughtseizes at?
No idea but in the matchups against Esper and Mono Black they were sorely missed.
I answered my questions, but the most important one is this, which fits in with the recap video: Is there a black green deck worth playing in Standard? I believe that there is, as I have had a ton of success on MTGO with the following list.
Black Green Midrange
This deck has been my pride and joy for the past two months. I started to work on it before Grand Prix Louisville in hopes that I would be healthy enough to play in it, but I missed out. It was designed to beat up on Mono Black, Mono Blue and the aggro decks in the field. It does a very serviceable job at those goals. It does not do very good against Esper and Blue White Control. The sideboard tries to make up for those two bad matchups but they remain uphill battles.
With that said, I hope you all enjoyed the videos, and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comment section. Thank you for reading and thanks for watching! If you have any decks you’d like me to cover feel free to let me know!
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