Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Goat Deck Wins

Another silly casual deck today, but this time with a twist. This deck was built to go along with a customer Planechase planar deck. If you don't know what that is, check this out. Planechase is a pretty fun twist on Multiplayer, although it can be used in duels just as readily. Alternately, sometimes in Planechase game, on player will end up feeling like the Planar cards dominated the game too much and they lost more to their opponent getting lucky chaos rolls while they always came up blanks.

My experience with Planechase has been mixed, but overall I quite like it. I usually just play with a stack of all the Planes in one deck (minus a very select few that my entire table just doesn't like, such as Skybreen and Eon Fog), and usually with EDH decks to boot.

However, I wanted to try to build a 60 card deck and a 10 card Planar deck in tandem, to be played in "normal" Planechase games. One of my favorite Planar cards is Goldmeadow. Goldmeadow makes 0/1 Goat tokens. One token each time you roll Chaos, and three(!) each time a land enters play under your control. God, why couldn't they have made Rampaging Baloths make 0/1 Goats instead of 4/4 Beasts??? Any dork can win with a horde of 4/4's, but it takes some degree of ingenuity to win with 0/1 Goats.

Anyway, I don't want to toot the ingenuity horn too much, as I did have some help and inspiration from the interwebs, notably this article here. I also found a few other goat deck examples on various forums, but most were in the W/U realm with Mirrorweave and Momentary Blink. Godhead of Awe was an inspired choice in many decks, but since I couldn't take credit for it, I left it out.

Going back to Jacob Van Lunen's build for a jumping off point, I nonetheless made it my own deck, with quite a bit more removal - JVL's had none, in fact. Here's the list I came up with, but keep in mind that I haven't battle-tested this yet, and will likely make some adjustments. I'll update if that is the case:

4 Auriok Champion
4 Boros Guildmage
4 Springjack Shepherd
4 Hearthfire Hobgoblin
2 Furystoke Giant
4 Cloudgoat Ranger

4 Lightning Helix
4 Journey to Nowhere
4 Glory of Warfare
2 Rise of the Hobgoblins

3 Spingjack Pasture
3 Ancient Ampitheater
3 Rugged Prairie
3 Arid Mesa
6 Plains
5 Mountain

Notes: The mana base listed is pretty much what I'd run given the card pool, but most of my good R/W duals are in the Ajani/Searing Meditation deck posted earlier. Just use whatever you've got, but leave plenty of Basics, because a couple of the Planechase planes will want to have basics to fetch.

Auriok Champion seems good here. I was intending to add some Volcanic Fallouts initially, thinking that the Champions would survive them handily, plus having a Glory of Warfare out means none of my critters bite the dust, so long as I cast it on my opponents turn (which you generally prefer to do anyway). Somehow the Fallouts got cut, but the Aurioks seemed worth keeping in regardless.

Boros Guildmage is a card I'm not sold on, but I do really think I want at least two in there. I just couldn't figure out what else to run. Haste and First Strike are both abilities this deck will like to have now and again, but the Guildmage doesn't play well with the Auriok Champions, alas. Weird, because the Boros chick totally looks like a lesbian... maybe she tried to hit on the Auriok hottie once and got shot done, now she holds a grudge? Or maybe it's just the Protection from Red thing...

Anyway, the remaining creatures are no-brainers and absolutely belong in the deck. The spells are all pretty self-explanitory too.

Lightning Helix kills smaller things, whilst Journey to nowhere removes obstacles of the toughness-four-or-greater variety. Anything these two fine spells can handle, you'll just have to overrun them with Goats and hope they get there. Glory of Warfare is kinda one of the mainstays of the deck, and shouldn't be removed lightly, but if you have something just plain better, let me know at once!

Rise of the Hobgoblins can be cast early, but they're mostly in there to recover from Wrath effects. You can usually make 5 or 6 goblins with it immediately after a boardsweeper, leaving your opponent feeling depressed, probably.

There are a lot of different ways you could take the deck, naturally, but the core of the deck: Glory of Warfare, Cloudgoat Ranger, Springjack Sheperd, and Spingjack Pasture can't really be cut without it becoming a whole different deck. Some cards I had on the mind when building:

Volcanic Fallout (may go back in if Journey doesn't cut the mustard)
Ajani Goldmane (already in my OTHER R/W deck)
Kitchen Finks (Spoils the lovely R/W aesthetic, but a damn fine card anyway)
Noblis of War (One of the worst of this cycle, but a decent fit here, or at least an acceptable replacement for the Glory of Wars if you don't have them)
Godhead of Awe (makes everything 1/1, but YOUR guys will be 3/1 or 1/3, depending on whose turn it is)
Boros Swiftblade (excellent with Glory of Warfare, but I kinda feel he wants to be in a different deck with Glory)

And now, M. Night Shamalamadingdong fans... the twist ending:

A Planechase deck to compliment the Goat deck, each plain was hand-picked to add something to the deck. Some do what the deck already does, others bring something off-color that the deck could utilize.

Velis Vel
Horizon Boughs
Isle of Vesuva
The Aether Flues

Goldmeadow, duh, makes Goats. Seems relevant, no?
Velis Vel is basically Coat of Arms, which I here is pretty good in token decks.
Murasa gets you lands, which are going to come in handy.
Horizon Boughs: couldn't find it in Gatherer, but it's Awakening, basically and its Chaos ability grabs you 3 basic lands. Holy cow!
Isle of Vesuva - play a Cloudgoat Ranger with this as the active Plane. It's fun!
Agyrem- because, yes, your guys will die. This plane will discourage them from targeting your token-makers, and if they just Wrath, you basically get it all back.
Minamo- Draw cards. Now draw more cards. Wash, rinse, repeat. (yeah, the Chaos is useless to you, but DRAW CARDS DAMMIT).
Aether Flues - you'll have plenty of tokens to sac to this, so why not?
Sokenzan: +1/+1 and Haste? Shit yeah, helluva deal. The Chaos can pack the game in right there, too.
Krosa is the iffy one here. The Chaos isn't great, but CAN randomly power out a Cloudgoat on turn 2, but really it's just there for the +2/+2.

Really, Minamo could be Panopticon, and Krosa could be Stronghold Furnace... I dunno, what do you all think?

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