FNM: Is U/W aggro an option?

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I'm currently using a U/W spirit deck at FNM. It went 2-2, I've made some changes, and we'll see if I can do better this Friday. However, I think I want to try something more aggressive and have looked at U/W aggro archetypes. This is what I put together, modified from Steve Lynn's deck from 2012 States - Wyoming:

"Saint Traft's Vengeance"

Creature (30)



Other (7)
[deck]3 Feeling of Dread
3 Spectral Flight
1 Temporal Mastery[/deck]

Land (23)
[deck]4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
3 Island
12 Plains[/deck]

Sideboard (15)
[deck]3x Detention Sphere
3x Knight of Glory
3x Riders of Gavony
3x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3x Tormod's Crypt[/deck]

I haven't played it yet: I am hoping for some constructive feedback before I buy the cards I'm missing. Things I'm thinking about:

- Do I have enough methods to push Geist of Saint Traft through?
- Do I want to get Azorius Charm in?
- Should I mainboard Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- Do I have enough land?
- Will this be a huge disappointment?
yes to thalia, makes these new ramp decks cry as well as the controls, also azorius charm is definetly a must, makes combat tricks and it can swing the game with lifelink or can draw if you need it. you don't need the temporal mastery, also knight of glory is a must, makes your war falcon a delver on turn 2. 
you don't need the temporal mastery, also knight of glory is a must, makes your war falcon a delver on turn 2. 

Thanks for the feedback. Temporal Mastery is just there for fun: Taking it out won't really make a huge difference.

I don't see mainboarding Knight of Glory if I'm not facing black. I'm rarely going to be attacking with a single creature, so Exalted is not going to help much. Or am I missing something?

What would you take out to make room for Azorius Charm and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. I could see Elite Inquisitor become a replacement sideboard card for Thalia, but that's still only four slots.
I would cut the 4x Elite Inquisitor and replace it with 3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and then sideboard 2 Elite Inquisitor and a 4th Thalia. Add 2x Azorius Charm mainboard and cut Precinct Captain down to 3x.

I ran GW humans at FNM last night and only had 2 thalia in my mainboard and man do I wish I had 2 more. I went 3-2 overall. But when your opponent has to cast Farseek for 3 mana, it can really mess up their game and you can rush in for a quick kill. Plus Thalia is awesome against any deck as it has first strike as well. 

Also definitely give Faith's Shield some consideration. I literally had it win me a game by playing it on a pumped up Champion of the Parish That had Rancor on it. Dropping Increasing Devotion my next turn and swinging with Champion to win. Also maybe consider swapping out the Angel of Jubilation for Sublime Archangel and maybe toss in 1x Angel of Glory's Rise

Also Spectral Flight is in the decklist in the creatures section and the spell section just so you know.
I like including one or two copies of Impervious Roots in the sideboard for two reasons:

1 - It effectively counters Supreme Verdict, which U/W Humans is very vulnerable to.

2 - It makes a permanent copy of Giest's 4/4 Flying Angel if used at the right time. 

You can occasionally use it against other aggro decks to blow them out.

I also like including a couple sideboard Negates against stuff like Flames of the Firebrand, Rolling Temblor, or even Golgari Charm; you have a lot of low toughness creatures, so spells like that could easily 3 for 1 you.  It doubles up as an anti-Planeswalker card as well.

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I would cut the 4x Elite Inquisitor and replace it with 3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and then sideboard 2 Elite Inquisitor and a 4th Thalia. Add 2x Azorius Charm mainboard and cut Precinct Captain down to 3x.

Sounds good. Thank you especially for helping me decide which cards to cut. I'm usually good at figuring out good cards to add. It's the cutting part that is hard.

Also definitely give Faith's Shield some consideration.

Faith's Shield is one of the key cards in my U/W spirits deck and really helps G.o.S.T. One thing I don't like about it is that in practice the Faithful hour mechanic rarely activates. Otherwise I like it since it's cheap and almost always useful.

Also maybe consider swapping out the Angel of Jubilation for Sublime Archangel and maybe toss in 1x Angel of Glory's Rise

I think you are right about Sublime Archangel. I don't own any and have resisted buying because of price, but I think I will cave in and order 2x after Christmas. Will come in handy in my daughter's G/W aggro deck too. I'm less certain about Angel of Glory's Rise: The CMC seems huge. Do you see it come into play much?

Also Spectral Flight is in the decklist in the creatures section and the spell section just so you know.

Fixed, thanks.
I like including one or two copies of Impervious Roots in the sideboard for two reasons:

Do you mean Rootborn Defenses? That's also a staple of my U/W spirit deck, for copying the Angel, and pushing through Geist of Saint Traft. I will consider it here as well, but too many instants will make Thalia less valuable. If you mean something else, please let me know.

I also like including a couple sideboard Negates against stuff like Flames of the Firebrand, Rolling Temblor, or even Golgari Charm; you have a lot of low toughness creatures, so spells like that could easily 3 for 1 you.  It doubles up as an anti-Planeswalker card as well.

I think I will try that. There is probably some overlap between Knight of Glory and Elite Inquisitor, so I migh try just carrying 3x of one of them in the Sideboard, instead of both.

Updated deck list based on advice received so far:

Changes:
-2 Angel of Jubilation / +2 Sublime Archangel
-4 Elite Inquisitor / +3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
-1 Precinct Captain / +2 Azorius Charm
Plus misc. Sideboard changes.

Creature (28)



Other (9)
[deck]2 Azorius Charm
3 Feeling of Dread
3 Spectral Flight
1 Temporal Mastery[/deck]

Land (23)
[deck]4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
3 Island
12 Plains[/deck]

Sideboard (15)
[deck]3x Detention Sphere
3x Knight of Glory
2x Negate
3x Rootborn Defenses
1x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3x Tormod's Crypt[/deck]

So Riders of Gavony are gone from the Sideboard, and Elite Inquisitor is gone entirely, its role filled by Knight of Glory instead. Thoughts?

Having said all of this, what about replacing Precinct Captain with Knight of Glory in the mainboard?
The typical UW Human decks actually are very Exalted based and run Geist as a "good 3 drop"

Turn 1: Champion
Turn 2: Knight of Glory - Champion for 3 - 17 Life
Turn 3: Silverblade Paladin SB to Champ - Champ for 4 Double - 9 Life
Turn 4: Sublime Archangel - Champ for 8 Double - -7 Life 
Turn 1: Champion
Turn 2: Knight of Glory - Champion for 3 - 17 Life
Turn 3: Silverblade Paladin SB to Champ - Champ for 4 Double - 9 Life
Turn 4: Sublime Archangel - Champ for 8 Double - -7 Life 

T5 - Dead to Pillar of Flame and Brimstone Volley.

I will mainboard Knight of Glory. From my perspective it looks like Precinct Captain is the card to take out. Thoughts?
Precient Captain isn't bad as it's another 2 drop human that makes more dudes. But it's probably the weakest 2 drop here. I don't like 4 Geist of St Traft. It's a common rule of thumb to very rarely play 4 of a legendary.
I don't like 4 Geist of St Traft. It's a common rule of thumb to very rarely play 4 of a legendary.

I agree with the rule of thumb, but Geist of Saint Traft is easily blocked, and the risk of having a second one in hand is outweighed by the increased likelihood of drawing him early. A lot of competitive U/W decks carry 4x (I've seen some that carry 4x in the Sideboard). I've played him in decks before where I had 3x, and it is based on that experience that I've upped it to 4x. In this deck though, he doesn't carry as much responsibility for being the wining condition (despite the name I gave to the deck), and I could see going to 3x to make room for the fourth Knight of Glory.

Try Hate Lion- it plays well in the 1-drop department with War Falcon. Lyev Skyknight should probably be your high-end. The archangel doesn't really do much that Traft isn't doing better. Cathedral of War is good here for choices, but think of it more as an exalted trigger spell that produces mana for free than one of your lands.
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Also maybe consider swapping out the Angel of Jubilation for Sublime Archangel and maybe toss in 1x Angel of Glory's Rise

I think you are right about Sublime Archangel. I don't own any and have resisted buying because of price, but I think I will cave in and order 2x after Christmas. Will come in handy in my daughter's G/W aggro deck too. I'm less certain about Angel of Glory's Rise: The CMC seems huge. Do you see it come into play much?

Take a look on ebay. I picked up 2 for $40 including shipping. They are about $30 usually, sometimes $35, so ebay was a great way to do it. I traded for the rest of my playset at my local shop. Also ebay is a great place to pick up popular cards for cheap sometimes, which gives you great trade value with other players. For example I got a playset of Rakdos's Return with 1 of it foil for $15, the foil card alone is worth that much so I basically got about $40 value for $15.

As for Angel of Glory's Rise, I only drew it once at FNM the other night, but that one time was the time I needed it (I had been bonfired twice already that game.) I played Angel of Glory's rise after drawing for a few turns after the 2nd Bonfire and got several humans back, two of which were Champion of the Parish, so they instantly got pumped up to 4/4 and 5/5 and I swung next turn with everything to win. 

Also I would honestly have 2 Knight of Glory AND 2 Elite Inquisitor in the SB. The Inquisitor can blow right past a lot of very powerful creatures and can then block them if they attack you next turn. Its a powerful 2 drop, but not one that is needed every game. 

Hope this helps

I play W/u Humans just about exclusively these days and I can add a lot of pragmatic and functional opinions to this discussion.  

A few random points- Never ever play ANYTHING that costs more than 5, but realisticly, 4 mana.  I'm a maniac and side board 2 angelic overseer because I know my meta.  This is an aggro deck and just because a 7 drop won 1 game for some dude doesn't mean it belongs in your deck.  Spoilers: it doesn't.  By the way, Craig Wescoe has said 4 4 drops is where the  curve for this type should top out.  Sublime and Jubilation are fairly close in power.  That being said, I am a real sucker for Riders of Gavony.  It's a wonderful budget card and the guy can win games.  If nothing else, I'd let some live in the sideboard.  My guilty pleasure is against Control, where I call "Angel" and their angel of restoration can no longer be dropped in as a blocker.  But Zombies also hate it oodles.

Other bits

* Don't run  cathedral of war unless you don't have Mooreland Haunt.  Even this card has recently been reduced to a 1-of in a lot of the lists which place.  

* Now that you Main Deck Thalia, you need to run less spells or run the risk of handicapping yourself.  I'd only keep feeling of dread or faith's shield.  

* Cut the Temporal Mastery shenanigans. 

* Get your creature count back up now that we've kicked your spells to the curb.  That's what is going to win you the games; threat density.   Remember, every human you play amps up Mr. Parish.  Bring those Knights of Glory in from the sideboard.  I am also a huge fan of Elite Inquisitor for double blocking big dudes with his first strike... which he can do often due to vigilance.  

That should do for now. 
Whoah... cathedral of war comes in tapped?  Nevermind, don't run any regardless.  

A few random points- Never ever play ANYTHING that costs more than 5, but realisticly, 4 mana.  I'm a maniac and side board 2 angelic overseer because I know my meta.  This is an aggro deck and just because a 7 drop won 1 game for some dude doesn't mean it belongs in your deck.  Spoilers: it doesn't.  By the way, Craig Wescoe has said 4 4 drops is where the  curve for this type should top out.  Sublime and Jubilation are fairly close in power.  That being said, I am a real sucker for Riders of Gavony.  It's a wonderful budget card and the guy can win games.  If nothing else, I'd let some live in the sideboard.  My guilty pleasure is against Control, where I call "Angel" and their angel of restoration can no longer be dropped in as a blocker.  But Zombies also hate it oodles.

* Now that you Main Deck Thalia, you need to run less spells or run the risk of handicapping yourself.  I'd only keep feeling of dread or faith's shield.  



I play GW so I can afford having higher cost cards. Guess it doesnt really fit in for U/W. Good point about removing the spells though, I forgot to mention that with adding Thalia. I run 6 noncreature spells myself, but the are 4x Rancor and 2x Selesnya Charm so they are cheap even with Thalia on the field. 
Yeah, GW plays with a different set of rules than W/u.  Additionally, it has better spells.  The only advantage W/u has is its evasion creatures.  I've almost jumped ship a few times.  
Lots of good new advice here, thank you all! Let me take some time to absorb and I will post an updated deck list.
Take a look on ebay. I picked up 2 for $40 including shipping. They are about $30 usually, sometimes $35, so ebay was a great way to do it. I traded for the rest of my playset at my local shop.

I often get my expensive cards from ebay, since the prices tend to be best once card prices execeed $5 or so. The current 1x price for Sublime Archangel seems to be ~$22, about the same as on tcgplayer.com. If I have a choice between ebay and tcgplayer, I always go with the latter.

Also I would honestly have 2 Knight of Glory AND 2 Elite Inquisitor in the SB. The Inquisitor can blow right past a lot of very powerful creatures and can then block them if they attack you next turn. Its a powerful 2 drop, but not one that is needed every game.

I think a strong case has been made for mainboarding 4x Knight of Glory, which would leave room for 3x Elite Inquisitor in the Sideboard.
 Never ever play ANYTHING that costs more than 5, but realisticly, 4 mana.  I'm a maniac and side board 2 angelic overseer because I know my meta.  This is an aggro deck and just because a 7 drop won 1 game for some dude doesn't mean it belongs in your deck.  Spoilers: it doesn't.

This is the same reason I was skeptical of a 7-mana card and one of the reasons I swapped out Angelic Overseer with Sublime Archangel.

That being said, I am a real sucker for Riders of Gavony.  It's a wonderful budget card and the guy can win games.  If nothing else, I'd let some live in the sideboard.  My guilty pleasure is against Control, where I call "Angel" and their angel of restoration can no longer be dropped in as a blocker.  But Zombies also hate it oodles.

I'll try to fit some into the Sideboard.

Don't run  cathedral of war unless you don't have Mooreland Haunt.  Even this card has recently been reduced to a 1-of in a lot of the lists which place.

I own both. I stopped playing Moorland Haunt in my U/W spirits deck, because it only had 14 creatures. In that deck I am putting in Cavern of Souls instead. In this deck, Moorland Haunt makes sense and I am putting it in. I'll start with the classical 2x and see from there.

Now that you Main Deck Thalia, you need to run less spells or run the risk of handicapping yourself.  I'd only keep feeling of dread or faith's shield

I agree with your general notion. I'm not sure it has to be that drastic: As long as I have fewer non-creature spells than my opponent, I should be ahead. I'm guessing 6 is a good number. I've changed it to 3x Feeling of Dread 3x Spectral Flight.

* Cut the Temporal Mastery shenanigans.

I have because I needed to make room for other changes. But I'm playing FNM: Every deck can afford one fun card. I run Entreat the Angels in my Selesnya deck, and while there are probably better choices, it is just too much fun to put five angel tokens into play.

Bring those Knights of Glory in from the sideboard.  I am also a huge fan of Elite Inquisitor for double blocking big dudes with his first strike... which he can do often due to vigilance.

I think I'll have both in the Mainboard in the next update.  

That should do for now.

Thank you for all the advice!

Try Hate Lion

Dryad Militant would kill my flashback, so I don't see it as a good match. For the same reason, I run Tormod's Crypt in the Sideboard instead of Rest in Peace.

If you have Cavern of Souls, play them in here.  They are wonderful.  I'm tellin' ya... I'd cut even more spells with that many Thalia MB.  Try it, but it's not just enough to be a little ahead, you want to be a LOT ahead.  The more spells you run the more counter-synergy in your own deck.  Consider running fiend hunter as some removal which is also a Human for Cavern and Parish.
Latest update:

-1 Temporal Mastery / -2 Azorius Charm / -1 Geist of Saint Traft / +4 Knight of Glory
-3 Precinct Captain /  +3 Elite Inquisitor
-1 Island / -1 Plains / +2 Moorland Haunt
Misc. Sideboard changes (including putting Riders of Gavony back in)

Creature (31)


Other (6)
[deck]3 Feeling of Dread
3 Spectral Flight[/deck]

Land (23)
[deck]4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Moorland Haunt
2 Island
11 Plains[/deck]

Sideboard (15)
[deck]3x Detention Sphere
2x Essence Scatter
3x Riders of Gavony
3x Rootborn Defenses
1x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3x Tormod's Crypt[/deck]
If you have Cavern of Souls, play them in here.  They are wonderful.

I don't think I need it for mana fixing, so at best I'd get the counterspell-killing benefit. It seems to me that Moorland Haunt is the better choice for utility land, and I'm not sure I will want two utility lands. But I have 2x Cavern of Souls on the way (right Santa?), so I can definitely experiment with it.

I'm tellin' ya... I'd cut even more spells with that many Thalia MB.  Try it, but it's not just enough to be a little ahead, you want to be a LOT ahead.  The more spells you run the more counter-synergy in your own deck.  Consider running fiend hunter as some removal which is also a Human for Cavern and Parish.

I'm not convinced, but if you look at the last list and tell me which cards you would remove, I am willing to change my mind.
Try Hate Lion

Dryad Militant would kill my flashback, so I don't see it as a good match. For the same reason, I run Tormod's Crypt in the Sideboard instead of Rest in Peace.




Should it really matter? The militant is a powerful 1 drop as well as a Falcon enabler and you shouldn't need the Dread until your last swing, or you've already traded off the Hate Lion anyways.
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Should it really matter? The militant is a powerful 1 drop as well as a Falcon enabler and you shouldn't need the Dread until your last swing, or you've already traded off the Hate Lion anyways.

Good point. I missed that it was soldier, which increases its attractiveness.

If she enables War Falcon, then what would you recommend taking out? Maybe the Spectral Flight go to maximize Thalia's ability?

Here is the updated deck list:

Changes:
-3 Spectral Flight / +2 Sublime Archangel
-3 Feeling of Dread / +4 Faith's Shield
Plus misc. Sideboard changes.

Creature (33)


Other (4)
[deck]4 Faith's Shield[/deck]

Land (23)
[deck]4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Moorland Haunt
2 Island
12 Plains[/deck]

Sideboard (15)
[deck]3x Detention Sphere
3x Fiend Hunter
3x Negate
3x Rest in Peace
3x Riders of Gavony[/deck]

I'm struggling with deciding which is the best non-creature spell to put in. I settled for Faith's Shield as it has the ability to push through a Geist of Saint Traft at a cheaper cost that Feeling of Dread and then I don't have to worry about losing flashback. I also considered Azorius Charm. I'm very much open to advice on what to use. I also use Rest in Peace now instead of Tormod's Crypt since I don't have flashback.

Other changes I may consider is mainboarding a fourth Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and making adjustments to the manabase, including possibly replacing  Moorland Haunt with Cavern of Souls. If I sideboard in Rest in Peace then Moorland Haunt won't do me much good. On the other hand Cavern of Souls doesn't help me with Geist of Saint Traft, so I may still need one or two Island.

I did not include Dryant Militant, but it is an interesting option, and I put Fiend Hunter and Riders of Gavony in the Sideboard.

One weakness of the deck as I do feel vulnerable to Electrickery at the moment.

Thoughts?
So I did alright at last FNM with my midrange Selesnya deck (2 wins, 2 ties, 1 loss), but it wasn't really my style of play. I miss my Geist of Saint Traft. So for next FNM I'm chosing between a U/W/b spirits deck or this U/W (or maybe it should be W/u) aggro deck.

I've seen versions of this deck that use only creatures, combined with Ajani, Caller of the Pride. This would look something like:

Creature (35)


Planeswalker (2)
[deck]2 Ajani, Caller of the Pride[/deck]

Land (23)
[deck]4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Moorland Haunt
1 Island
10 Plains[/deck]

Sideboard (15)
[deck]3x Detention Sphere
3x Fiend Hunter
3x Negate
3x Rest in Peace
1x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2x Riders of Gavony[/deck]

Questions:

What is the wisdom of the community regarding an all-creature option?

If I run Fiend Hunter, is it worth using the Cloudshift trick?
I play tested this tonight, but without Ajani, Caller of the Pride, which I don't have yet. I ran it first with 2x Angel of Jubliation (which I never had the mana to play out) and then with 2x Riders of Gavony (which never came out). I remain unimpressed and can't even beat the Creep and Conquer RTR event deck. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben hasn't done much for me yet: I see her more of a sideboard against R, B/R, and control. Fiend Hunter, on the other hand, was quite useful.
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