Sunday, 3 October 2010

Tournament Report - 15 Card Highlander Part 2 - the banning of Sadistic Sacrament

By Wagz

Hi all, as a follow-up to my previous article on 15-card I thought a lot more on the format and what the good cards were. We had a 15-card WNM on 29/09/10 and two of the decks I was interested in trying were Mono-Black control and Sti's Grixis deck with some improvements. After both decks were doing alright but having complementary weaknesses I amalgamated the two to create:

Inquisition of Kozilek
Lightning Bolt
Gatekeeper of Malakir
Liliana's Specter
Sadistic Sacrament
Consuming Vapors
Goblin Ruinblaster
Grave Titan
Crumbling Necropolis
Creeping Tar Pit
Lavaclaw Reaches
Dragonskull Summit
2 Swamp
Tectonic Edge
Pithing Needle
Doom Blade
Leyline of Sanctity

The deck is full of 2-for-1's with the key card being Sadistic Sacrament as it is just a blow-out and will now be banned from the format if I'm organising it. I gave my list to Rob Catton and we both went in to battle in the 18-man event.

Round 1 I faced Andy Pemberton with a good WRg planeswalkers deck. I made Sad Sac early both games and removed his opportunity to cast spells. I felt extremely mean as you shouldn't win by resolving a 3 mana spell as your only spell.

Round 2 was against Chris Simpson. He had entered the event and then just after round 1 pairings went up came to me saying that he hadn't got a deck. He said he had a bunch of standard-legal cards and I said he had 5 minutes to put a deck together. Turned out he meant future standard as he had a GB poison deck. Luckily the poison creatures are all a bit tiny and after I dealt with them he didn't have any way of winning.

For round 3 I was paired against Rob Catton and we agreed to ID rather than mirror it out. I beat him in the for-funsies game so I vaguely regretted playing it out but we were pretty sure we had the best deck in the room and would easily both 4-0-1 anyway.

Round 4 I played Mick Edwards who was back to Leeds for a week to see people. He had a mono-white control deck which had Luminarch Ascension and Elspeth to trouble me. Sad Sac did its thing and Pithing Needle after boarding dealt with our 'Spethial friend. 4 counters is a lot to get on the Ascension and I let him have 3 before stabilising the board - manlands are good for this.

The final round was against Steve Tyson with Naya planeswalkers. Once more I beat him with Sad Sac, including one for the last 3 cards in his library - Ajani V, Elspeth and Garruk.

Rob and I both went 4-0-1 with this sick deck. Sadistic Sacrament is definitely too good for the format as an unconditional 3-mana 3-for-1 but I think the deck is still really good anyway, with lots of card advantage. Planeswalkers are also very strong in the format but a lot of the good planeswalkers are rotating out so we'll have to see how they work out in new standard 15-card. The deck moves into new Standard by replacing Crumbling Necropolis and a Swamp with the new Black dual lands (so good in 15-card) and the sideboard Pithing Needle for something; it really doesn't lose much, if anything. If your TO doesn't ban Sad Sac (and does run 15-card, probably a harder find) then I'd run this deck as it is by far the best deck. Thanks, as always, for reading.

BONUS! I just won a 4322 with the following:
1 Preordain
3 Tome Scour
2 Doom Blade
2 Jace's Erasure
2 Augury Owl
2 Maritime Guard
1 Gargoyle Sentinel
1 Assassinate
1 Call to Mind
1 Mind Rot
1 Aether Adept
3 Scroll Thief
2 Foresee
1 Azure Drake
1 Nether Horror
1 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Swamp
12 Island
1 Cancel
2 Negate

1 comment:

  1. And Mick wonders why people go on about his marriage to Elspeth...