Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Scapeshift in Extended

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

So Worldwake is pretty much known to the masses, i havent really had time to take in all the cards, as there have been a load spoiled recently, but after a few reads i will compile a list of my favourite ones, and those that i think are not that hot, for constructed or otherwise.

For now i thought i would let everyone know just where i am up to in Extended right now, before it gets overshadowed by the child-like excitement of a prerelease.

Scapeshift was the deck i took to the Nottingham PTQ, where the power of zero hours sleep allowed me the grace of a 1-3 record - (1-3 because i forgot to drop after round 3, so conceeded my 4th round to Kenny so i could cube). After the little of the PTQ i played in i had very few, but some thoughts on the performance of the deck and some changes i wanted to make before i next played it.

The Bad News -

If you the article(s) i did going into the PTQ i thought about taking out the oracle, because i had been finding him a bit underwhelming. He is actually not the easiest chap to cast on turn 2, and although he can lead to some busted games, i am actually not that hot for him. He is best in the mirror where its a race to go off, but then again, he can still be underwhelming here. Against zoo there are far better bodies, and against control decks you dont need the body. I think the majority of lists still playing him are playing him because he was being played before.

I wasnt convinced by the electrolyze either - i know exactly why it is in there, and i understand that its massively risky being cold to certain hate. Everyone seems to be mixing it up with magma jet, into the roil, echoing truth, repeal and infi variants of combinations of them all to basically hose teeg and meddling mage. To be honest, I will almost certainly be cutting my magma jet/electrolyze slot for something else, because i think the implications of using them are quite slim and even then there are other outs that i either have in my deck or can/will have brought in for these matchups.

Repeal was also a pretty bad call - i think i got a bit too focussed on t1 repeal a chrome mox or something, or being able to bounce chalice (which doesnt really hurt me anyway). Basically, echoing truth does everything repeal does except draw a card, most of the time for cheaper - and it also hoses dredge, which is randomly awesome.

Ancient grudge was pretty bad in the sideboard - i dont really know if i should be finding room to bring this in against thopter foundry, and still i dont really know how the match should work ( i think generally badly for me). I think that scapeshift should be pressuring tezz to assemble the combo or disrupt enough to stop yours, but there is very little room for you to do both. I think i may have come up with an idea to solve this but im not sure.

I think i should have also played the second breeding pool. I was worried about blood moon effects and only played 1, but on 2 separate occasions across 3 rounds found myself searching out basic forest and sat with cryptic command in hand doing nothing, sigh.

The Good News -

Gigadrowse was definately the truth - it provides a one shot window to go off, and is very good against any of the blue decks, although weakest against faeries - which is probably true of the deck in general.

Not playing ponder made me realise how awesome it was. Being tired made me assert how bad ponder was in the deck fairly strongly, but in both my lossesw there were at least 1-2 turn windows where scapeshift in hand or drawn was a won match. Ponder is the extra bit of manipulation the deck needs to be reliable, and you can control your draws more with the shuffle effects of the ramp spells, it was certainly missed in Nottingham.

Vendilion Clique may the droid i am looking for. Coiling oracle proved to be anywhere from meh to ok, but a friend offered me clique instead, which i needed little convincing to throw in other the snake. The ability to apply pressure is pretty crucial, and he is better in the mirror match than coiling oracle, the matchup where he was best.

The List

Please dont take this as the 75 i will play for the remainder by any means, but consider this the working list.

4 x vendilion clique
4 x wood elves
4 x sakura tribe eldar

4 x scapeshift
4 x peer through depths
3 x ponder
4 x search for tomorrow

4 x remand
3 x cryptic command
2 x echoing truth
1 x gigadrowse

4 x steam vents
4 x stomping ground
2 x breeding pool
2 x valakut the molten pinnacle
2 x mountain
2 x flooded grove
3 x forest
4 x island

4 x Firespout
3 x ravenous trap
2 x relic of progenitus
2 x gigadrowse

Sorry for the 11 card sideboard, trying to keep some of the other cards secret in case it turns out to be good tech, although this probably wont turn out to be the case.

Hopefully this will be good for a ticket to San Juan, but more importantly hopefully I will be good enough for a ticket to San Juan.

Until then,

See you all soon,


As always, feel free to post comments underneath. If you would like to contribute anything to the blog, email anything you want published to (for severe editing!)


  1. You might want to sideboard some meloku for when your opponents have too much cranial extraction. (plus they take out their removal against you because your creatures are bad)

    Spell pierce may be what you're looking for in the blue matchups to win counter wars or stop turn 3/4 cranial.
    Or if you're not scared of cranial, you can just go for guttural response.


  2. Rude awakening has been played online as an alternative win condition and it seems ok, meloku post-board does sound attractive though given that they'll have boarded out all their removal.

    I think ponder is good despite probably agreeing with you about it at the ptq. Giving it more thought, it helps you smooth out your draw finding acceleration or necessary combo pieces so it's probably a good inclusion. Plus the low mana cost and the fact that it cycles make the cost of you playing it very low.

    I'm curious what the secret sideboard tech is, but some sort of negate effect would obviously be good. I'd probably prefer negate to spell pierce but then again it does have its advantages (can't be spell snared primarily). Lastly, with the amount of search you're playing (peer and ponder with shuffle effects) you could maybe afford to run less graveyard hate in the board, just leaving the ravenous traps.