Strength of Stone Deck and Strategies

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Wow, looks pretty strong !
 thats more like it

lovely
So what is the theme? Hit them in the head until they die?

Seriously, I can't make out much. Grim Lavamancer's exile ability isn't supported by the rest of the deck. We should attack relentlessly and have our creatures die constantly? Eldershot Spike could do so much with aura enhancements. But only 1 copy. This is like the Teeth of Predator from first game in terms of simplicity.
The theme is rocks and molten rocks.
Not feeling this deck at all.

Why is there only 1 Spikeshot Elder?? Lame.

IMAGE(http://i46.tinypic.com/2b5wr5.jpg)

I want to merge Chandra's and Koth's card pool together. I'd like to have some cards from this deck in Chandra's deck.
Deck seems to have some nice cards. Nothing to complex, just beat the **** outta your opponent. I like it, maybe its just cause of the phoenix, but I think its a cool deck.
Interesting deck with some strong creatures.

Strength of Stone (25 land)
22 creatures:

2x Goblin Mountaineer
1x Grim Lavamancer
1x Spikeshot Elder
2x Koth's Courier
2x Vulshok Heartstoker
2x Molten Ravager
2x Rockslide Elemental
2x Oxidda Scrapmelter
1x Lavaborn Muse
1x Hero of Oxid Ridge
2x Tephraderm
1x Magma Phoenix
1x Flowstone Overseer
1x Earth Servant
1x Conquering Manticore

13 other spells:

2x Darksteel Axe
1x Fault Line
3x Spitting Earth
2x Act of Treason
2x Claws of Valakut
1x Cerebral Eruption
2x Spire Barrage

I'm not 100% about this, i wish i could have more creatures,  but there is not much to add... only one weak 1 mana creature and the rest is about 4+ mana. But the manacurve is already high, so i run Darksteel Axes to buff my creatures.
I like the damage spells are strong, so i run all of them. Sadly there is no place for all buffs, so i decide for the awesome Claws of Valakut and the Axes, because i can equip a other creature with the cheap axes too.
It will be interesting what buffed Goblin Mountaineer and Koth's Courier will do ;)








i think i must be a timmy coz i can't wait to toss some of these bad boys out !Yea!

if i could i would add in a few choice cards from chandra deck, and it would be awesome to mix it up with the white equipment deck.
Anyone using this deck?  I've been using it for the past hour or so in single player and I think it's the weakest deck.  The creatures are very inefficient.  There's no 2 drop.  The creature removal is decent but not enough of it.  Only way to deal with fliers is with spot removal, again, of which there is little.  No enchantment removal.

The best cards in the core deck, imo, are Spikeshot Elder, Claws of Valakut, and Flowstone Overseer.  Unfortunately, there's only 1, 2, and 1 of each.  Not enough to form any sort of reliable strategy.  Also, Claws is too vulnerable to creature removal/bounce/arrest to feel safe playing it early.  Tephraderm is actually great for blocking fatties but unfortunately it can't fly

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone's come up with an effective build for this deck.  Right now I'm running with both Darksteel Axes and all 3 Goblin Mountaineers because without them I feel way too vulnerable in the early game.  I took out all the Molten Ravagers because they eat up too much mana to be effective.  Also took out Rockslide Elemental but thinking of putting him back in. 


  

The fact that this deck is considered the worst somehow attracts me to it. Here is my go at it and at least the AI can't handle it so far:


Strength of Stone





Golden Urn is in because I need to buy some time for my mana to build and it's better at that than Goblin Mountaineer. The gameplan is to survive for a couple of turns, clear the board and strike with haste creatures and single target burn. Easy enough and works quite well, just be patient and consider it a good thing when your opponent has a lot of weenies in play to exploit your slow mana curve. Once you gain control after wiping them out, you'll have the advantage.
I have the same impulse - much like Ajani's Claws, I find myself drawn to the weakest deck, if only to see if it can be salvaged.

My thought here, again much like Ajani, is no.  It's simply not a competitive deck, and not in the league of the other decks.  And for the playstyle, Ancient Depths, Apex Predators, and Dragon's Roar are built better.  Even the Chandra deck is head over heels better than this one, and even has some of the fatties this deck should have had.

I think the best strategy is for everyone to advocate, repeatedly, for replacing some of the original cards with 2-3 Tunnel Ignus, a 2 drop with some really interesting flavor, especially against Ancient Depths and Apex Predators.  Obviously, that's the suggestion I made in the "Fixing Koth" thread, along with the inclusion of two Mycosynth Wellspring.

As for getting this to work, the only way I've gotten it to work in multiplayer is to get rid of every 5cmc and higher creature save 2 earth elemental and 1 hellion.  I put in all three golden urns and both axes, and the boost enchantments.  I get rid of spikeshot elder and ignore lavaborn muse, and then hope they have a mountain or forest for me to landwalk through.

If they do, I can get a win this way.  Not routinely, but better than average.  If they don't, if I'm playing Vamps or Illusions or anything with sufficient removal (like Chandra), I just go ahead and lose.
Of course, there are better decks for using haste (Dragon's Roar), for getting out big creatures (Apex and Depths and Roar), and for doing removal (Chandra's and Vamps).  Landwalk is really the only thing this deck brings to the table uniquely, so I figure it's the best thing to focus on for strategy.  Unfortunately, it doesn't do enough of it cleanly, there are too few boosters, and too high a mana curve.  Having seen the three new unlocks for expansion 1, this isn't going to get any better any time soon unless Wizards intervenes and changes some of the core deck.
@Gegliosch: I play many of your outtakes over some of your card choices.

I say forget about the haste. Hellions are bad as hell and out. Too expensive for the stats. Same with the Berserker. Koth's Courier is better here. The scrapmelter is way better, perfect to destroy equipment you can't handle and at least with better stats when there are no artifacts to destroy. Bloodfire Colossus is too expensive without mana acceleration and will never hit the table.

Assault Strobe and the urn don't help much to stop your opponent. Out. Two Goblins in to have a reliable 1 drop. Without a 2 cmc creature this is important against the fast decks. And they are a perfect target for the Claws in Round 3, stops Elves and White cold, if they haven't removal ready (even better enchanted in round 4 after having played a Rockslide Elemental in round 3). Opponents often don't have more than one removal and having a first striker on the table is great against the Weenie decks.

While playing the deck key is to have at least 3 lands (and a 1 cmc creature) on your starting hand. Without a 2 cmc you have to bring out your bigger creatures on turn 3 and 4 or it's over before it begins against fast decks.

@kenrufo: The deck isn't perfect, but way better than Claws of Vengeance before DLCs imo. It might be as strong as Apex Predators imo (which is also bottom tier for me). And I don't think the Landwalk, but the First Strike (on growing creatures) is a unique and very helpful ability.
Actually i think this deck is not that terrible. It has a decent late game and a good mid game. The only thing it just lacks is a good early game, more specific, good 1-3 mana drop creatures.
Turn 1 Spikeshot Elder, turn 3 Rockslide Elemental or Molten Ravager (when your under pressure) seems to be the best start. Turn 1 Goblin Mountaineer, turn 3 Claws of Valakut is good, when the opponent has no or few access to removal.

Of course you can't compete with the early game of Wielding Steel or Illusions, but you should be able to survive until mid game.
This deck wouldn't be so bad if there were more copies of the good cards, like Spikeshot Elder, Fault Line and Flowstone Overseer.  

I don't see what's the harm in giving us 4x Spikeshot Elder.  It's not like having multiple copies out on the table is beneficial, but it gives a much better chance to get one in the opening hand.
The thing is that surviving to the mid-game doesn't get you much.  By the time you've got the 5 or more land in play that you need to do much of anything other than landwalk/claw your way to a win, your opponent has either more land and bigger, more interesting creatures, or has the same or less land, but has creatures that are either very numerous (Elves, Vamps, Steel, even Roar) or armed to the teeth (Steel).  At the higher mana levels, other decks get Inferno Titans and Lorthos and Baneslayers.  The Earth Elementals, the Hellions, the Earth Servant, and even the Bloodfire Colossus are all pretty crap cards when you actually start comparing them to other decks around the same point in their mana curve.  So you get a very slow deck, and should you get lucky and draw all the land you need to cast the fatties, you get, well, weaker fatties than most of the other decks.  That doesn't seem to make sense, especially for a deck in which the design seems to be: landwalk a bit and then play your fatties.
The thing is that surviving to the mid-game doesn't get you much.  By the time you've got the 5 or more land in play that you need to do much of anything other than landwalk/claw your way to a win, your opponent has either more land and bigger, more interesting creatures, or has the same or less land, but has creatures that are either very numerous (Elves, Vamps, Steel, even Roar) or armed to the teeth (Steel).  At the higher mana levels, other decks get Inferno Titans and Lorthos and Baneslayers.  The Earth Elementals, the Hellions, the Earth Servant, and even the Bloodfire Colossus are all pretty crap cards when you actually start comparing them to other decks around the same point in their mana curve.  So you get a very slow deck, and should you get lucky and draw all the land you need to cast the fatties, you get, well, weaker fatties than most of the other decks.  That doesn't seem to make sense, especially for a deck in which the design seems to be: landwalk a bit and then play your fatties.



Elementals, Hellions, Servants and Bloodfire Colossus aren't good and should be left out. The replacements from the unlocks Magma Phoenix, Tephraderm, Conquering Manticore and Flowstone Overseer are at least decent to good.

Of course Ancient Depth and Apex Predators have better creatures overall, but in spite of these decks you have ways to deal with creatures (Spitting Earth) or to use them against their owners one time Act of Treason or Conquering Manticore), which can be enough in these match-ups (maybe combined with a finisher). It's OK for me to have the best creatures in the green decks, red has other advantages.

All in all I'm with you, the deck should get some improvements (especially a good 2 cmc). There are decent (Green, White) but more bad (Vamps, Blue, Dragons) and no real good match-ups.

Last but not least I won't call the landwalk ability a strategy in the deck. Hitting for 1 or 2 Goblins and Couriers just don't do enough. With a 2-of and a 3-of you often won't see the right one at all and against 5 decks there are no opponents Forests or Mountains.
After spending some quality time with this deck, I think I can confirm that it is booty.

Why there is only one spikeshot elder in this deck is baffling to me. 
I think the key to this deck is to survive the early game and dominate the mid-late game. Easier said than done against weenie decks but against Apex, U/G, even Tezzeret it can hold its ground.

Basic point, don't use the early creatures for their mountainwalk. Use them to block with until you can get yout 3 mana creatures.

And save Spikeshot elder until you know they don't have removal. Then drop and pump.

Sounds easy but it's not. You need really good draw and opponent needs a poor draw especially against Gideon or Jace.

Also you need to play your cards carefully because one mistake can end the game. Practise against the AI if necessary. Planeswalked AI is much harder in this game than the last. Maybe it gets better cards?
I think the key to this deck is to survive the early game and dominate the mid-late game. Easier said than done against weenie decks but against Apex, U/G, even Tezzeret it can hold its ground.

Basic point, don't use the early creatures for their mountainwalk. Use them to block with until you can get yout 3 mana creatures.

And save Spikeshot elder until you know they don't have removal. Then drop and pump.

Sounds easy but it's not. You need really good draw and opponent needs a poor draw especially against Gideon or Jace.

Also you need to play your cards carefully because one mistake can end the game. Practise against the AI if necessary. Planeswalked AI is much harder in this game than the last. Maybe it gets better cards?



You're saying a whole lot of nothing.  You can't dominate late game because there are no good late game cards here.  The big boys in this deck are booty compared to other decks.

Mid game is rough because a lot of the mid level creatures require mana to be effective.  And this deck doesn't have any means of mana retrieval, so you're playing dry for a long time.  Its not uncommon that in turn 5 I have 2 1/1 creatures on the board and while I'm spending 3 mana with a spikeshot elder to kill weenies that have been sitting on the board and whittling away at me for 4 turns to pump up my rockslide elemental, my opponent is dropping bombs.

In my opinion, Gideon's deck and the U/G deck are the best two in the game and no matter how you slice it, this decks doesn't stand a chance against either without a significant amount of luck.
In my opinion, Gideon's deck and the U/G deck are the best two in the game and no matter how you slice it, this decks doesn't stand a chance against either without a significant amount of luck.



The decks stands a good chance against Gideon with a decent hand. He doesn't have much removal, so your Rockslide Elemental or Claws of Valakut can hold back most of his less dangerous creatures like Elite Vanguards, Glory Seekers, Kor Hookmasters, Puresteel Paladins... even when equipped. Your bigger creatures later on are superior as well. Your removal should be enough to control his fliers and most dangerous creatures and if you're lucky you draw the Scrapmelter to burn his best equipment. Even you're Lavamancer and Spikeshot Elder can kill nearly every white creature before your opponent can equip them.

This deck can take care of those big boys. Stealing creatures and pumping a first striker plus dealing amounts of damage depending on lands. It's not as bad as it seems if you are patient. It has some nice unlockables. Turn 5 5/5 flyer that steals your 12/12 if I can't burn your elvish piper on my next turn after you cast it. I think it's underrated.

In my opinion, Gideon's deck and the U/G deck are the best two in the game and no matter how you slice it, this decks doesn't stand a chance against either without a significant amount of luck.



The decks stands a good chance against Gideon with a decent hand. He doesn't have much removal, so your Rockslide Elemental or Claws of Valakut can hold back most of his less dangerous creatures like Elite Vanguards, Glory Seekers, Kor Hookmasters, Puresteel Paladins... even when equipped. Your bigger creatures later on are superior as well. Your removal should be enough to control his fliers and most dangerous creatures and if you're lucky you draw the Scrapmelter to burn his best equipment. Even you're Lavamancer and Spikeshot Elder can kill nearly every white creature before your opponent can equip them.

I don't know about this.  Gideon has a better chance of drawing Arrest than you do of drawing Rockslide Elemental and Claws of Valakut.  Moreover, Claws of Valakut falls to Revoke Existence, and it's not a big deal anyway because Gideon has a decent amount of first strikers himself.

As Gideon, the only thing I worry about when going against Koth is Faultline and Cerebral Eruption.  But that's only 2 cards, everything else in my deck as Gideon outclasses Koth.  I think Koth will have a hard time surviving until turn 5 or 6 and even if he does, my Kor Hookmaster and Gideon's Lawkeeper will tap down his fatties my other creatures can swing in for the kill.


 
Elementals, Hellions, Servants and Bloodfire Colossus aren't good and should be left out. The replacements from the unlocks Magma Phoenix, Tephraderm, Conquering Manticore and Flowstone Overseer are at least decent to good.


I agree with this. Those high tier creatures are just garbage in my opinion. I think this decks needs to bring its CMC average waaay below.

But am I the only one who finds some of this deck's cards exciting? 

Grim Lavamancer     
Spikeshot Elder
Rockslide Elemental
Faultline
Cerebral Eruption
Magma Phoenix
Flowstone Overseer
Conquering Manticore (Ah, my first rare in MTGO. Pretty straight-forward when compared with the ones above, though)

Unfortunately, all of these are available in 1 copies except for the elemental. 

While playing with this deck, I often find myself making devious plans in my head only for my opponent to bring them crashing down. Spikeshot Elder's ability cost is ridicously high, you can't pump the Rockslide Elemental with Faultline because it starts off 1/1. I often find myself needing more mana and time, hence why people consider this deck to be weakest. But it has mad potential.
But am I the only one who finds some of this deck's cards exciting? 

Grim Lavamancer     
Spikeshot Elder
Rockslide Elemental
Faultline
Cerebral Eruption
Magma Phoenix
Flowstone Overseer
Conquering Manticore (Ah, my first rare in MTGO. Pretty straight-forward when compared with the ones above, though)



I agree.  Some cards in this deck have great potential.  Give it:

4x Furnace Scamp
4x Ember Hauler

Throw in an extra Fault Line, and you'll have some amazing synergy with Grim Lavamancer and Rockslide Elemental.  

 

Fortunately, DLC 1 brings Slagstorm, which is exciting for me.
 
This deck has so many Johnny cards, but a very badly designed core deck. Continuing my point from previous post, you have Grim Lavamancer but no way to feed your graveyard / draw extra cards. The list goes on and on.

I don't know about this.  Gideon has a better chance of drawing Arrest than you do of drawing Rockslide Elemental and Claws of Valakut.  Moreover, Claws of Valakut falls to Revoke Existence, and it's not a big deal anyway because Gideon has a decent amount of first strikers himself.

As Gideon, the only thing I worry about when going against Koth is Faultline and Cerebral Eruption.  But that's only 2 cards, everything else in my deck as Gideon outclasses Koth.  I think Koth will have a hard time surviving until turn 5 or 6 and even if he does, my Kor Hookmaster and Gideon's Lawkeeper will tap down his fatties my other creatures can swing in for the kill.


 



Gideon has three Arrests. But besides Claws, Rockslide Elementals (you don't need both of it so you have 4 vs. 3 copies) you have cards like your Spikeshot Elder and Grim Lavamancer (both pure card advantage against the small white weenies) he has to take care of, not speaking of later on fatties. If he spents his one Arrest (I don't think he might have more than one in that many games) on your Elemental he at least loses one turn for his early assault (bring down creatures and equip them). Gives you more time to bring out bigger boys. Besides that you can destroy his creatures after he spent his mana to equip them. All that slows him down.

About his first strikers. You mean Duelist and the cat when equipped? Threats of course, but you have removal to deal with them.

About Revoke Existence: We have to see how many players are using it.

All in all I don't want to say Koth's deck is better than Gideon's, don't get me wrong here. But in that certain match-up he does at least alright from my experience.

Fortunately, DLC 1 brings Slagstorm, which is exciting for me.
 
This deck has so many Johnny cards, but a very badly designed core deck. Continuing my point from previous post, you have Grim Lavamancer but no way to feed your graveyard / draw extra cards. The list goes on and on.




My take on the Grim Lavamancer is that it is more of a midgame card. A lot of the early game creatures are not meant to survive. They are supposed to keep you alive until you can finish your opponent off. Grim lavamancer is basically a chump blocker with a nice mid-end game ability.
Well I don't know if this deck is so bad.
I played through the campaign unlocking it, and only times I lost was against Kiora, Jace and Chandra.
True, it's harder than with other decks to get good hand, but if you withstand couple rounds, victory should be yours.
What's good about this deck that it has cards working fine against any other decks.
This deck being considered the weakest also attracts me. Still, it's fun to play and I manage more wins than losses.

My decklist:

Strength of Stone

19 creatures:

2x Goblin Mountaineer
1x Grim Lavamancer
1x Spikeshot Elder
2x Koth's Courier
2x Molten Ravager
2x Rockslide Elemental
2x Oxidda Scrapmelter
1x Lavaborn Muse
1x Hero of Oxid Ridge
2x Tephraderm
1x Magma Phoenix
1x Flowstone Overseer
1x Conquering Manticore

16 other spells:

1x Assault Strobe
2x Darksteel Axe
2x Volcanic Strenght
3x Spitting Earth
1x Fault Line
2x Act of Treason
2x Claws of Valakut
1x Cerebral Eruption
2x Spire Barrage

16 sideboard:
1x Goblin Mountaineer
2x Vulshok Heartstoker
2x Vulshok Berserker
4x Earth Elemental
2x Flameborn Hellion
1x Earth Servant
1x Bloodfire Colossus
3x Golden Urn

The list doesn't look very impressive, and many of you probably think its too short on creatures, but it works surprisingly well for me. Maybe the deck should be tweaked for one or two more creatures, but as I said, this deck has worked well for me so far. I actually won my first ever online match against the vampire deck with this setup. You can't base the strenght of a deck from the results of only one match of course, but I thought it was funny since he had Blade of the Bloodchief, Bloodghast, Gatekeeper of Malakir and Vampire Nighthawk in his opening hand.

Although I still agree this deck is weaker than all other decks. It needs some 2 drop creatures badly, and better synergy in general.

One thing is sure, you can't play this deck with too many high cost mana creatures. No ramp makes it useless.

Edit: I felt I had a bit too many buffs and not enough burn to play with so many spells, so I added two creatures. Removed x2 Golden Urn and put in one extra Molten Ravager and Tephraderm. I like the cheaper Ravager over any other fatties I have on my sideboard, due to its infaltable ability. Tephraderm adds some beef for a reasonable mana cost.
As a newer, more casual, player I tend to get quicker info based on what people have left on the sideboards.
As a new forum lurker, I'm taking a moment to learn how to link cards.   Kill 2 birds with one stone! (Pun unintended on this thread.)

So here is the sideboard for the above deck from Lezzard:

16 sideboard:
1x Goblin Mountaineer
1x Molten Ravager
2x vulshok heartstoker
2x vulshok berserker
1 x tephraderm
4x earth elemental
2 x flameborn hellion
1x Earth Servant
1x Bloodfire Colossus
1x golden urn

(Not hard at all, just needed to quote someone and see what the tag was!)
I'm also new to this forum, I found how to format a "deck". For example:
[ deck ]
1*Goblin Mountaineer
1*Molten Ravager
[ /deck ] 

will do:



 (remove spaces inside brackets)
Well I don't know if this deck is so bad.
I played through the campaign unlocking it, and only times I lost was against Kiora, Jace and Chandra.
True, it's harder than with other decks to get good hand, but if you withstand couple rounds, victory should be yours.
What's good about this deck that it has cards working fine against any other decks.

I just finished campaign with this deck and more or less breezed through it. Lost first game to Karn, won second. I'm now on Nissa's deck, but so far 1. Illusions, 2. Strenght of Stone, 3. Wielding, 10. Apex.

I'm really not understanding why so many think this deck is so weak. The Spitting Earth's are monsters. Buff Spikeshot elder and if it can't be removed. With this deck, the Acts of Treason are also very useful.

Grim Lavamancer is overrated IMO. But it is a great removal depleter. Berserker's are also out. Koth's Couriers much better. I've never been a burn deck fan but this one is actually pretty cool. I did put in Tephraderms for the Berserkers and they're pretty valuable, Fatty killers basically.
  
I understand Revenge is tougher though. Won't play that till I've taken all 10 decks through campaign.
1.  Can we all just agree, given the AI, that anecdotal experience against the computer in no ways provides evidence as to the quality of this deck?

2.  I am constantly amazed, and was amazed by similar conversations regarding Claws, how readly people substitute their own experiences for probabilities.  I feel like I'm seeing some commercial for The Secret or that some sort of implied law of attachment crap is working behind the scenes for these folks.  I've had great luck with Stone, but it's still a crap deck compared to the others when looked at mathematically.  And this is a game invented by a mathematician, so that stuff isn't a coincidence.  For example, regarding the previous post, do you know what's just as likely as drawing spikeshot elder?  Gideon drawing Baneslayer Angel.  You know what's less likely than Gideon drawing Baneslayer Angel?  You drawing Volcanic Strength and Darksteel Axe in time to equip it on the Spikeshot Elder and kill the Baneslayer.  Oh, but one might protest, Claws of Valakut is only 1 card (2/60), I don't need 2 different cards to take down the Baneslayer.  Right, but of course, what's more likely than drawing Spikeshot and Claws?  Gideon drawing Arrest.  Or Arrest or Brave the Elements.  Or Arrest, Brave the Elements, or sufficient equipment to boost the Baneslayer.  And in fact Arrest is 3x more likely to be in Gideon's hand than Spikeshot is to be in Koth's.  You know what's better than Act of Treason?  Having a bunch of large creatures, bigger than any creature in the Koth deck, that have shroud.  Or being significantly more likely to draw a counterspell or bounce than Koth is to draw Act of Treason.

Look, point being: when folks suggest this deck is weak, it's not because they don't know how to play it.  They just know how to use high-school level math.  Is there some metric we should be using instead to assess deck strength?

One could contend, I suppose, that this deck's high degree of randomness is it's strength, but given the lack of synergy - and in fact the frequent anti-synergy (Tephraderm + Sweepers, Oxxidens + Urns) and utter non-synergy (Hero + Few Weenies, Lavamancer + No Discard) - random isn't a selling point about quality, as much as it is an indication that some people enjoy surprising themselves.
Schooled by ego guy yet again.
1.  Can we all just agree, given the AI, that anecdotal experience against the computer in no ways provides evidence as to the quality of this deck?

2.  I am constantly amazed, and was amazed by similar conversations regarding Claws, how readly people substitute their own experiences for probabilities.  I feel like I'm seeing some commercial for The Secret or that some sort of implied law of attachment crap is working behind the scenes for these folks.  I've had great luck with Stone, but it's still a crap deck compared to the others when looked at mathematically.  And this is a game invented by a mathematician, so that stuff isn't a coincidence.  For example, regarding the previous post, do you know what's just as likely as drawing spikeshot elder?  Gideon drawing Baneslayer Angel.  You know what's less likely than Gideon drawing Baneslayer Angel?  You drawing Volcanic Strength and Darksteel Axe in time to equip it on the Spikeshot Elder and kill the Baneslayer.  Oh, but one might protest, Claws of Valakut is only 1 card (2/60), I don't need 2 different cards to take down the Baneslayer.  Right, but of course, what's more likely than drawing Spikeshot and Claws?  Gideon drawing Arrest.  Or Arrest or Brave the Elements.  Or Arrest, Brave the Elements, or sufficient equipment to boost the Baneslayer.  And in fact Arrest is 3x more likely to be in Gideon's hand than Spikeshot is to be in Koth's.  You know what's better than Act of Treason?  Having a bunch of large creatures, bigger than any creature in the Koth deck, that have shroud.  Or being significantly more likely to draw a counterspell or bounce than Koth is to draw Act of Treason.

Look, point being: when folks suggest this deck is weak, it's not because they don't know how to play it.  They just know how to use high-school level math.  Is there some metric we should be using instead to assess deck strength?

One could contend, I suppose, that this deck's high degree of randomness is it's strength, but given the lack of synergy - and in fact the frequent anti-synergy (Tephraderm + Sweepers, Oxxidens + Urns) and utter non-synergy (Hero + Few Weenies, Lavamancer + No Discard) - random isn't a selling point about quality, as much as it is an indication that some people enjoy surprising themselves.


That makes perfect sense to me, it's probably why i like this deck -but hesitate to choose it. I can just hope that wizards add the right cards to the deck in DLC to even things a little. because this deck ... rocks :P
In my opinion this deck isn't that weak as everyone says. There are pretty good creatures like [C]Earth Servant[/C],  [C]Tephraderm[/C] and [C]Spikeshot Elder[/C].

But the real killers in this deck are the sorceries like [C]Spitting Earth[/C]. It gets stronger if you have more lands.

Of course there are better decks but still its enjoyable and not such a crappy deck like Hand of Flame from Duels 09

IMAGE(http://oi39.tinypic.com/14mvxh5.jpg)