The deck, originally designed by Wessel Oomens, builds on a strong Sea Stompy base, but cuts the red cards to get a more consistent and less painful mana base. Wessel found that the red cards in Sea Stompy (Seal of Fire, Kird Ape, and sideboard Rumbling Slum) didn’t really add anything special to the deck. Therefore he cut those cards and replaced them with Plaxmanta and more Llanowar Elves. Plaxmanta is actually very good in the current metagame full of Condemn, Mortify, Last Gasp, and Seal of Fire.
Good matchups are any non-aggresive and control decks, for example solar flare, heartbeat, magnivore, izzetron. Bad matchups are aggressive and anti-creature-decks, for example satanic sligh, ghaziglare, zoo.
This deck can rightfully be called a pile. This deck is similar to the GBR Aggro deck. The difference is that the above deck splashes white instead of red and it plays a couple extra creatures that do something special if they damage an opponent. How many of those do we have exactly? Let’s count. Hypnotic Specter and Ohran Viper, that makes eight. Two Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni, which makes ten. So far so good, these cards are perfectly reasonable inclusions. But then we get to Okiba-Gang Shinobi. FOUR maindeck? Wow. Fourteen creatures that generate an effect if they deal damage to an opponent? It seems that Robert really wanted to get an advantage if one of his creatures go unblocked and just doing damage wasn’t good enough for him. The rest of the deck is filled with an overabundance of mana elves, an incomprehensible white splash, and a completely random singleton Gather Courage. A pile indeed. Full of Ninja-style creatures. In other words, a Ninja Pile (hence the name). Don’t worry, I know Robert, the maker, won’t mind me saying that about his deck. He is very well aware his deck doesn’t adhere to normal deck building standards. Ah well, it has worked for him and for a couple players online as well.
The idea of the deck is to hold off early beats with countermagic, bounce, and burn, until you can put down an Azami, Lady of Scrolls - a perfect fit for a tribal deck. You draw some cards, until you find Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind. Once you get both Legends in place, your Wizards army turns into a card-drawing, fire-spitting team and winning the game is trivial at that point. A smart part of this deck is that it “cheats” on the Wizards count. As a control deck, you actually don’t want to play 20 creatures, rather you want more reactive spells. Martyr of Frost and Sparkmage Apprentice solve this problem. Their main function is as a counterspell and a removal card, while they also count as wizards at the same time!
This is the deck that eventually won the 86-player 4x Premier Event, and according to Meu nome é Baia, this is the best deck in the format. I agree with him. The deck looks solid, synergetic, and powerful. It is reminiscent of the Ghost Husk deck that dominated Standard a couple months ago. The deck is very good against the snake and elf tribe, mainly because of the amount of creature destruction it has: Wrath of God, Nekrataal, Mortify, Wrath of God, and Orzhov Pontiff tear opposing men to pieces. You have a harder time against control decks, but it’s still winnable. You have a fast curve, and backed up by degenerate Nantuko Husk – Promise of Bunrei – Orzhov Pontiff tricks you can pull off turn 5 kills. Nantuko Husk allows you to trigger Promise of Bunrei or Orzhov Pontiff’s haunt at will. Promise of Bunrei tokens have great synergy with Nantuko Husk (as sacrifice fodder) and with Orzhov Pontiff (make an army of large tokens).
This is an inexpensive, easy and straightforward deck with a game plan. The Elf tribe attempts to put out a semi-unblockable creature (Skarrgan Pit-Skulk or Silhana Ledgewalker) and then the elves boost, they pump, and enhance their unblockable kin to an unmanageable size. Might of Oaks and Blanchwood Armor allow a tiny elf to deal a lot of damage in a short period of time. Elvish Champion is the lord of the tribe. The main weakness of the deck is that it rolls over to Wrath of God and spot removal, mainly because of the card disadvantage the creature enchantments and pump spells impose when your creature is destroyed. Scrying Sheets helps to get some kind of card advantage in the late game, since it can help you get past a land glut.
This deck can be viewed as a variation on regular Structure & Force, which abuses Sensei’s Divining Top in combination with Counterbalance and Dark Confidant. Adding Scrying Sheets to that deck would be nice, since it would make Sensei’s Divining Top even stronger, but it is very hard to do that without ruining the 3-color mana base. I tried it, adding 2 Scrying Sheets and some snow lands to the deck, but wasn’t completely satisfied with it. This deck cuts the white from Structure & Force, replacing Condemn with Boomerang and Court Hussar with Phyrexian Ironfoot.
This deck is good against Solar Flare, because in the long game you should have an overwhelming card advantage via Scrying Sheets and all you need to do is counter his relevant cards. Scrying Sheets makes sure you never run out of gas. You have problems against aggro decks, since in game 1 you don’t have many answers to resolved creatures. But you can still hope to win 2-1, taking the post-sidebaorded games with all your anti-aggro cards. Your game plan against aggro is basically to stall the opponent, stabilize, and swing the game with Umezawa’s Jitte.
I like the deck. I prefer Structure & Force, but if the metagame were to swing towards control again, then I would be inclined to pick the Blue-Black version. I don’t think this deck gets enough love and I find it strange that almost no one plays it. The deck is not that bad. If I were to play this deck myself, I’d include a couple Watery Grave for better mana stability, maindeck Last Gasp to beat turn 2 Ohran Viper, and tune the anti-creature suite in the sideboard by including a couple Threads of Disloyalty and Deathmark.
“I chose to go with a Battle of Wits deck because I wanted to play a new and interesting deck. Since the Nationals season I had been putting in a lot of work on the mainstream and tier 1 decks. That got boring eventually, so I turned to the deck more for fun and variety. The metagame right now seems to be fine for a Battle of Wits deck. I have a very good matchup against midrange aggro decks, of which there are quite a few. On the other hand, the popularity of Satanic Sligh hurts me a lot, due to the lack of answers to a Genju of the Spires and because the deck can consistently get draws that are to fast for my deck. But I don’t see any major problems with the rest of the field. My deck has an abundance of removal and card advantage, so I can handle most strategies well. The diversity of the deck makes it impossible to play around specific cards, like you could if you were playing versus a popular list of 60 cards, so in that respect it causes opponents to misplay or overextend at the wrong time. It wasn’t cheap to collect all the cards for this deck, but it’s worth it. If you’re playing for fun, then 250 cards is better than 40 cards or 60 cards!“
The name comes from an awkward situation where I (Frank Karsten) was being confined in a bus together with Brian David-Marshall and Billy Moreno. They were making some ugly jokes regarding killing babies, and since I don’t enjoy the ritual sacrifice of cute little babies, I couldn’t really appreciate those jokes. A lot of confusion has arosen over who actually built this deck, due to a practical joke that got out of hand. I can honestly tell you that I didn't build this deck, Mike Flores did (for reals this time).
The major incentive of the deck is to accelerate into a turn 2 land destruction card. Turn 1 Llanowar Elves, turn 2 Stone Rain is a very strong opening. You can also substitute Boreal Druid for Llanowar Elves and Crycoclasm for Stone Rain and still get the same opening. This redundancy is what makes the deck good and consistent. Cryoclasm is a worthy maindeck card by the way, since about 80% of the decks play white and/or blue; Satanic Sligh is pretty much the only deck without targets.
By staying two colors, you open up your mana base to include Scrying Sheets. That is what makes this deck tick and many card choices have been made with that snowy card drawer in mind. After destroying your opponent’s lands in the early game, you will refill with Scrying Sheets / Sensei’s Divining Top in the middle turns. If you were lacking Scrying Sheets, Into the North will happily go and fetch it for you. You then draw into the snowy Ohran Viper or Stalking Yeti, play out those creatures, and finish with a Demonfire to the dome in the long game. If your opponent managed to resolve a big creature in the meantime, no worries. You play 4 Skred, which basically reads “1 mana: destroy target creature, no questions asked” in this deck. That’s marvelous!
This blue-black can be decomposed into three interacting parts. The first part of the deck is the graveyard fillers: Drowned Rusalka, Ideas Unbound, Thought Courier, Compulsive Research, and Vexing Sphinx allow you to discard cards often and early. The next part of the deck consists of the cards you want to discard: a couple Dragons and the clever Protean Hulk. The last piece of the deck that glues everything together consists of the reanimator spells: Zombify, Footsteps of the Goryo and Vigor Mortis. The goal is to dump a fatty in the graveyard quickly, then get it back in play for a cheap mana cost. The deck has a couple interesting choices, most notably Protean Hulk. This man is resistant to Wrath of God, searching a dragon out of your deck when it dies. He also allows you to play a couple silver bullet creatures that can be tutored up when the situation arises: Kagemaro, First to Suffer and Mindslicer can be potentially devastating.
Also note that this deck chooses Footsteps of the Goryo over Vigor Mortis, which is a good choice in this deck for multiple reasons. First, it is only three mana and it only requires one black mana to play. Second, most of the reanimator targets do something useful when they go to the graveyard, so you are actually happy you get to sacrifice them. Footsteps of the Goryo on Kokusho, the Evening Star is a ten point life swing for three mana, and playing it on Protean Hulk is awesome for similar reasons. This brings me to Drowned Rusalka, which is invaluable in the deck since it can trigger the leave-play abilities in a pinch. The deck is quite cleverly construed.
This deck aims to beat Aggro Loamby attacking its namesake card, Life from the Loam. Without Life from the Loam, Aggro Loam will have a hard time winning. Loaming Shaman and Scrabbling Claws empty the graveyard and a Chalice of the Void set on two prevents Aggro Loam from casting Life from the Loam altogether (or Burning Wish, Wild Mongrel, or Werebear, for that matter). Mono Green Aggro plays almost no 2-casting cost cards, which means that you are not hurt by a Chalice on two at all. The deck actually tries to skip the 2-drop completely by using Llanowar Elves, Birds of Paradise and Chrome Mox. The deck aims to accelerate into fat green creatures quickly. Turn 1 Llanowar Elves/Birds of Paradise, turn 2 Troll Ascetic/Call of the Herd, turn 3 Phantom Centaur/Iwamori of the Open Fist is an awesome start, especially if you follow it up with an equipment to beef up your guys. It’s a simple and straightforward plan, but early green monsters will put on a lot of pressure.
I got another decklist from jane_doe and it looked similar to the above one. The main difference was that jane_doe played Scrabbling Claws sideboard, Boreal Druid instead of Chrome Mox, and extra Call of the Herds instead of Iwamori of the Open Fist. Also, he played a couple Mouth of Ronom. Arguments can be made for all of these card choices, but the above decklist had the best results overall.