Splinterfright (Gruul Version)

58 posts / 0 new
Last post
I'd really like some advice on constructing a Gruul deck based around Splinterfright; and before we continue, yes, I know Rest in Peace is a thing. I'll address that concern at the end of this post. I really like that Bloodrush dumps creatures in the graveyard and I think there's real synergy there with Splinterfright. When choosing cards for this deck, there are a few rules that I followed; either the card is a creature, or it has some utility if you place it in the graveyard (Mulch is the only exception). Rancor is great, but if you mill it out it does nothing for you, so it doesn't make the list. Here are my thoughts on some cards that could make it into the deck.


Kessig Wolf Run - Ghoultree will be in this deck.
Rogue's Passage - I think Kessig Wolf Run is strictly better in this deck, but this one is still worth a look.

CMC 1:

Faithless Looting - Dump two cards of your choosing in the graveyard on the first turn and dig deeper into your deck? With flashback? Yes please.
Vexing Devil - Get a creature in the graveyard on the first turn and cause four damage? That's another yes.
Legion Loyalist - Nice finishing move once a Ghoultree is in play; a decent option.
Ulvenwald Tracker - I want the deck to be fast, so I'm not sure if this guy is going to fit the theme, but he's too good not to consider. There will be some Ghoultrees in the deck, so removing key blockers could be a kind of pseudo-trample in this deck. We will see.

CMC 2:

Mulch - Very important in a deck like this.
Boneyard Wurm - With plenty of first-turn creature dumps, this guy could actually see play on turn two.
Dawntreader Elk - Not too bad, but I don't see the acceleration being necessary. I think I'd rather have a Bloodrush creature, but who knows.
Nightbird's Clutches - Potential finisher, but I'm not sure the deck can squeeze in too many non-creature spells overall; worth a look, though.
Wild Guess - A free dump and two extra cards? That's badass in this deck, but there are only so many non-creature slots available.

CMC 3:

Splinterfright - Did you see the name of the thread?
Shattered Perception - This card can make some bad draws very playable; intriguing card, I like it.
Gnaw to the Bone - I think this card is too good not to run, but again, there are only so many non-creature spells that can fit; if the deck's speed is there, this won't be necessary.
Slaughterhorn - Very cheap Bloodrush cost and decent bonus make it worthy of consideration.
Rummaging Goblin - I think it's much too slow to make the cut, but worth some mention.

CMC 4:

Ghor-Clan Rampager - Reasonable Bloodrush target due to his trample, and excellent Bloodrush cost should you discard him; looks good to me.
Scorchwalker - Hit a Splinterfright with that Bloodrush for +6/+2! Wow.
Huntmaster of the Fells - I'm playing Gruul, how could I not consider this guy? Not sure he fits, however.
Deadbridge Goliath - This guy has above-curve P/T and you can still get value if you mill him out; seems good to me.
Cinder Elemental - A creature body goes great in the graveyard, and he can hit to the face for the win pretty cheaply; there's potential here, especially when faced with Rest in Peace. Potential maindeck, definite sideboard.

CMC 5:

Wrecking Ogre - Bloodrush that on a Splinterfright and say gg; I like it.
Zhur-Taa Swine - Excellent Bloodrush value for the price; Splinterfright gets +6/+5 for !
Kessig Cagebreakers - You swing and you win; what's wrong with that? Also you can Bloodrush any unblocked wolf for tons of face damage.
Creeping Renaissance - Too slow for the deck, I think, but still worth a look.

CMC 6+:

Ghoultree - This guy is going in, the only question is how many of him.
Rubblehulk - Very good Bloodrush cost, but the creature version doesn't have trample and at six mana I don't want that creature; makes the deck solely for Bloodrush value. Two copies, maybe?
Increasing Savagery - Very good value for four mana, and flashback potential if you mill it; I think this is strictly better than Skarrg Goliath at the top of the curve (at that point in the game, Sorcery speed shouldn't matter too much), but neither is really good enough for the main deck.
Devil's Play - A finisher if you draw it, and decent value if you mill it; worth a look. I know the CMC is technically one, but 6+ is where you're actually going to cast it.
Grim Flowering - Hard not to mention, because drawing that many cards will allow you to discard a lot of them; but I think it's much too slow for the deck overall.

Preliminary Decklist:

As for Rest in Peace, I can't think of an answer outside of four copies of Ray of Revelation and some Shimmering Grottos to make it castable from your hand.

Sundering growth for enchant/artifact hate. Possibly naturalize
Your curve's really high for creatures. You don't really get anything that stays on the battlefield until turn 3. Doesn't really give you much to bloodrush early on and makes your deck pretty slow. Zhur-twa swine is going to be be more useful than rubblehulk a lot of the time. Zhur-twa swine's bloodrush is better when you have 3 or 4 lands out and isn't much different than rubblehulks's when you have 5 lands out. Zhur-twa swine is a better bloodrusher than scorchwalker if you're using scorchwalker mainly for bloodthirst which you should be. Fling also seems fun for this deck. Goes really well with Ghoultree,bloodrush, splinterfright, etc. I would recommend checking out my "casual bloodrush" thread as I also tried to make a deck with splinterfright and bloodrush. It was more bloodrush focused than splinterfright focused, but I think there could be a good decklist somewhere in between your decklist and mine.

"This list much made Niche barf a lil' in his mouth, so I can be proud of that." -rstnme

Acidic Slime can take out enchantments and it is a creature. A nice one at that. But it is a bit slow. :/ And other than splashing white for Keening Apparition, War Priest of Thune or the above mentioned Ray, you don't have much that fits your bill of creature or useable from the graveyard. :/ 

The deck looks nice though. Bloodrusk and Splinterfright is a pretty sexy mix, if I do say so myself. 
Well how about this, then:

I lowered the creature curve by adding Boneyard Wurms in place of the Kessig Cagebreakers, and went to the max with Ghor-Clan Rampager because he's just awesome. I removed the Scorchwalkers and Rubblehulks and replaced  them with a few Zhur-Taa Swine.

How does everyone feel about Shattered Perception in this deck? I think it has potential, but I haven't tested anything yet so I have no data. Thoughts on this card?

Also, how do you feel about the manabase? Do I need 24 lands in this deck, or could that be cut down a bit, considering the possibility of overcoming flood/screw by casting either Faithless Looting or Shattered Perception?
Idk about perception but reforge the soul could be fun
Well, I don't like the idea of a card that I can't use from my graveyard. I'll proxy it to test, however.
Are there no other suggestions? Does the deck seem viable?
Final bump before I abandone this entirely. Disappointed with the lack of feedback/interest here!
One... last... attempt...
There's no such thing as 'a bit slow' when :G: is involved.

Dawntreader Elk boosts creature count, and land count; it's also a 2/2 to swing if you need to hit for damage before it dies. Wreath of Geists is a natural go to for further pump, doubling your bonuses on Splinterfright

DCI Judge Level 1

Seems like it could go slow, even with the way you have t set up. What turn do you average a win in? I can see it going down to early game removal or control, even some agro builds have a good time with it. I mean you have some beaters don't get me wrong, but it seems that people would find a way around it. It kinda reminds me of a dirty trick. First time no one sees whats coming. Next game they are ready to handle it. I usually don't see much trouble from these deck builds in my meta. 

Early game control is where it seems would be it's down fall. I like the list tho, I really do. I would need to know how the play testing is going for you. I really want to know how the play tests go for you, and what are the match-ups. 
"I don't do tactics. I don't do guard duty. I do damage. Take it or leave it." "Some have said there is no subtlety to destruction. You know what? They're dead" -Jaya Ballard, task mage "The enemy has been destroyed, sir. So have the forest, the city, your palace, your dog . . ." Keldon soldier "Someday, someone will best me. But it won't be today, and it won't be you."
I am thinking about building an aggressive sideboard and boarding out all the graveyard-based stuff after game 1. They board in some graveyard hate, while I am playing an aggressive Bloodrush deck instead. Thoughts on this idea?
I absolutely adore this idea! Ill chisle out my own version later. As people have said, I think this could get a lot more agressive.
Looking forward to your decklist, please post it when you get around to it!
You could also take preventitive measures such as having Ancient Grudges and Naturalize. Actually Ground Seal could be your best defense against graveyard hate since most people will have Deathrite Shaman for Reanimator decks. I'm not sure what other things this deck would have a hard Time with, perhaps Skull Crack for control, Ash Zealot for Zombie, You could also Fling your Wurms or Frights upon facing removal. I actually won a draft by doing that once. Pretty funny.

Made this while super tired and it's mostly untested so whatever. I like the way it looks though...
I like Chaos's list, but I'm much less comfortable with super aggressiveness, so here's my take.

3 Rolling Temblor
1 Nightbird's Clutches
2 Slaughterhorn
4 Flinthoof Boar
1 Kessig Wolf Run
2 Ghost Quarter
2 Gnaw to the Bone
IMAGE(http://i998.photobucket.com/albums/af108/acatan/sigwynzermancopy.png) Signature by IMAGE(http://www.poke-amph.com/heartgoldsoulsilver/sprites/258.png)
I tested creeping renaissance before I posted. Its great for getting bloodrush back, but remember, it instantly kills all your wurms and frights. You only play one though so it might work.
This deck is very fast, but reliant on a single creature at a time so it can be disrupted. I had a T5 win on the play tonight by bloodrushing Wrecking Ogre onto my already 5/5 Splinterfright to make him a 9/9 double-striking trampler. Vexing Devil has enabled several T2 Boneyard Wurms, so that's been great. Having the opponent start at 16 in an aggressive deck like this is very useful.

Your opponent's removal in response to bloodrush is only useful if you have Ghoultree because it makes him cheap pretty fast. Kessig Wolf Run is in this deck just for him. I may have to go to four copies of him since I can pitch multiples to Faithless Looting. Not to mention that seeing him milled away by Splinterfright or Mulch is pretty sad.

I didn't see Shattered Perception once, but I didn't really need it. I think a few copies of Devil's Play could perhaps be better to provide some reach.

Wrecking Ogre is a monster finisher, I think I need to go to four copies there as well. More testing to come. 
This deck can't really run without Faithless Looting; It's been one of my best cards in the limited testing that I've done. Looks good, though.
I'm not sure I see a ton of need for it.
How do you build a graveyard beside a Mulch? Vexing Devil?? I have had Splinterfright as big as 4/4 the turn I cast him and then swung for 10+ (with Bloodrush) on T4.
With bloodrush and with splinterfright?
I cast him T3 almost always due to Devil/Looting. One game he was 4/4 when he came in, milled another at upkeep to go to 5/5 and then I bloodrushed him with two Rampagers to make him a 15/15 trampler swinging on T4. That was a nut draw, for sure, but in this deck if Splinty swings twice, you win. If he gets removed, you play a cheap Ghoultre and give it trample with the Wolf Run. Very impressed so far!
I've tried to make a deck that with your last changes Hakeem, really looking forward to trying it out later. Though I really wanna fling in there, not sure what to take out though :/
Just tried the deck against my own engineered Gisela RGW deck that my friend was playing. Lost terribly, wasn't fast enough at all
Devil's Play is just a terrible card when cast from the graveyard, so I did end up going with 3x Fling in that slot. Now if the deck gets disrupted, I can play a cheap Ghoultree and toss it for the win. It's also great in the second main phase after a Bloodrush attack.

This deck is very fun. I won a game last night with an 11/11 double-striking Splinterfright, my biggest turn 5 bash yet.
Fling instead of devil's play sounds nice. I'm about to buy the cards I need for this so we will see how it fairs at my lgs.
Let me know how it goes for you and any changes that you think are necessary.
I read through a lot of threads of new (or more experienced) players with deck ideas that are hopelessly beyond any shred of redemption in a competitive environment. I saw this thread and assumed this deck was in the same category. There were some card choices I disagreed with but I built a version around the core idea and was impressed. The deck was much much better than I had anticipated. That said, I think all this double striking and faithless looting is a bad idea. This is an aggro deck. We want it to be as fast as possible. 


This deck is like a burn deck. Bloodrush their face at every opportunity. It only runs 21 lands, but our curve tops out at 3 and we have 4x mulch. The major difference between this deck and some other versions is experiment one over faithless looting. Instead of card disadvantage, we are playing a creature that can quickly balloon in size. Vexing devil triggers evolve. My first match with this deck went experiment, experiment, vexing devil-> swing for 2. Less aggressive starts can be along the lines of experiment->skinbrand goblin-> slaughterhorn. By playing a powerful one drop, we get the option of bloodrushing on turn 2, which means we will almost always have the option of splinter/boneyard on turn 3. Playing the lower drop bloorush guys also dramatically improves fling. We hope to end the game with 4 mana in play, which means we probably wont have time to bloodrush-fling a zhur-taa swine. If we do have time, great, they are probably dead and we didnt need wrecking ogre. Fling really helps get around removal. Flinging ghoultree is also pretty scary. 

EDIT: forgot about flinthoof boar. That guy should be main, over skinbrand goblin. Id like to fit 4x but what spots should be cuts Im not sure. Having experiment and flinthoof means we can reasonably transform into gruul aggro and dodge grave hate.
Thanks for the input mr.physics, I'm glad you liked the idea. I didn't consider bloodrushing on T2 as a more aggressive way to allow a T3 Splinterfright, that's actually pretty sweet. From my experience, Fling has been absolutely devastating in this deck, as has Ghor-Clan Rampager. I have swung with Ghoultree, bloodrushed with Ghor-Clan for 14/14 trample, and then thrown him at my opponent's face for another 14.

My build isn't fast like yours, but it only needs to connect twice to win, on average. If I get disrupted by removal, the Ghoultree/Fling combo usually costs 5 mana or less to close out the game.

I am going to give your aggressive version some testing, it looks good. I love my Wrecking Ogre, however. +4/+4 and double-strike on Splinty is downright cruel.
flinthoof boar was really the best thing from that list. Though I will admit that having more than three potential bombs does sound nice.

as far as looting being disadvantage I think that would depend on the deck. Refreshing a couple of cards to potentially draw into creatures that want you to have creatures in the grave sounds advantageous to me.
Further testing appears to indicate that my initial positive reaction may have been due to the overall power of Gruul Aggro. Slaughterhorn and rampager are simply pretty good cards due to versatility. Unfortunately, the deck has the speed of aggro but the consistency of combo and the weakness of combo. Part of the issue is that deathrite shaman is good enough to maindeck and just wrecks us, and there doesnt seem to be a reason to use this build
There's always Ground Seal for the SB in case of Deathrite Shaman. Anyway, it's a fun concept, and can produce some jaw-dropping wins if it gets a good draw.
No I agree its a lot of fun, it just feels close to being fun and inexpensive to build and good but I havent found the right build yet.
Deathrite won't catch up in time to the amount of damage that will be dealt, unless they found a way to untap him. Also deathrite is so easily dealt with. Its a 1/2 creature, and there's room for burn/removal in the side. Pillar of Flame and he goes up in smoke.
I tried some of your changes, mr.physics, and I have to say they're spot-on. The best line of play I havefound yet goes T1 Experiment One, T2 Vexing Devil, swing for 2 and Bloodrush with Slaughterhorn for 5; this is 9 dmg on T2 and we have two creatures in the graveyard.

I have gone to 21 land as you suggested, but I have had some clunky draws; I think the problem could be solved be either reducing or eliminating the Kessig Wolf Run. Fling seems more reliable than trample for closing out games, so I'm not sure it's needed anymore. We really need to have a T1 play, and right now 7 of our 21 lands won't let us make one.

Sign In to post comments