Building_on_a_Budget

Too Fast, Too Furious

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The letter H!ello, and welcome to another edition of Building on a Budget. I'd like to start this week off by congratulating Building on a Budget reader Jason Ford on his first PTQ win. I played against Jason in Round 6, and he played very well. His win is very well deserved.


One of my favorite decks I've designed for this column was a Giantbaiting deck lovingly referred to as Dating Baiting. Here's the list for reference:


Giantbaiting seems more powerful now than ever to me. A Warrior deck with Giantbaiting is very capable of winning games on the fourth turn more often than not.

I'll start by explaining each of the cards and their purpose in the deck.


Llanowar Elves: The Elves are a perfect fit for this deck. They accelerate us into our more powerful cards like Obsidian Battle Axe and Imperious Perfect.

Nettle Sentinel: The Extended combo piece is perfect for this deck. It even gets a +1/+1 counter from our Bramblewood Paragon. The most exciting thing here is the fact that we can untap it after using it to conspire our Giantbaiting.

Bramblewood Paragon: Any Warrior-themed deck would be hard-pressed to not play four of this powerful creature. Its +1/+1 counter clause will also allow us to steal games with the reinforce ability on our Hunting Triad.

Imperious Perfect: Most of our creatures are Elves. Imperious Perfect also happens to be a Warrior, so it gets bonuses from our Paragon and can be suited up for free with an Obsidian Battle-Axe.


Obsidian Battle-Axe: The Axe is incredible here. It gives the deck a lot of resistance to Wrath effects.

Hunting Triad: Three Warriors for one card is a nice deal, and the reinforce will steal a lot of games.

Wren's Run Vanquisher: This is probably the most powerful two-cost creature in standard. It has a lot of limitations as to what decks you can put it into, but the Vanquisher is a really important piece of this deck.


Boggart Ram-Gang: I love this card so much. It trumps Kitchen Finks a lot of the time. It makes Chameleon Colossus just sit there gathering dust. Most importantly, though, it's a 3-power haste creature that only costs three mana to play.

Giantbaiting: The namesake of the deck. Giantbaiting will steal a lot of games here. It's very important that we play four.

Overrun: One of the big issues this deck can have is a board stall. The deck is obviously a dog when your opponent has card like Cloudgoat Ranger and Spectral Procession in these scenarios. Luckily for you, you can just topdeck an Overrun and end the game.

Treetop Village: Spells? We don't need no stinkin' spells.


After we put the deck together it looks like this.

Updating Baiting
Standard


The deck is almost identical to its original incarnation. The difference between now and then is pretty significant, though. With the absence of Time Spiral block we lose most of our roughest matchups. We also find ourselves in a format where very few decks can keep up with this kind of speed.

The sideboard for a mono-green deck practically builds itself.

I want Scattershot Archers for the Faerie matchups. I used to want to bring it in against decks with Spectral Procession too, but nowadays those decks all seem to have Glorious Anthem effects, or they side out their Processions expecting the Archer.

Naturalize seems good against Swans, so I'll definitely pack some of those.

Overrun is great for the creature matchups, so it's good to have extra.

Snakeform is awesome against decks with difficult creatures like Reveillark or Chameleon Colossus.

Primal Command is a great answer to burn spells.

Once all is said, and done the sideboard looks like this:

4 Scattershot Archers
4 Naturalize
4 Snakeform
2 Overrun
1 Primal Command

I took the deck into the casual room earlier this week to play some games.


I win the roll and keep Treetop Village, Forest, Forest, Nettle Sentinel, Bramblewood Paragon, Bramblewood Paragon, and Obsidian Battle-Axe. I play my Nettle Sentinel and pass. My opponent plays a Sunken Ruins and passes. I draw a Llanowar Elves, attack for 2, play my first Bramblewood Paragon, and pass. My opponent plays a Bitterblossom and passes. I draw a Giantbaiting, attack for 4, and play my second Paragon and my Treetop Village before passing the turn. My opponent plays a third land and passes. I draw another Treetop Village and play Giantbaiting using the smaller Bramblewood Paragon and the Nettle Sentinel to conspire. My opponent responds by playing Agony Warp to kill my 3/3 Paragon. I untap my Nettle Sentinel and attack for 12. My opponent blocks the Sentinel, then untaps, goes to 2, and concedes.

Sideboarding: -1 Overrun, -2 Hunting Triad, -1 Imperious Perfect, +4 Scattershot Archers


I keep Forest, Forest, Llanowar Elves, Imperious Perfect, Obsidian Battle-Axe, Wren's Run Vanquisher, and Hunting Triad. My opponent leads off with a Mutavault. I draw a Treetop Village, play my Llanowar Elves, and pass the turn back. My opponent plays an Underground River and passes. I draw a Forest, play my Obsidian Battle-Axe, and pass.

My opponent thinks for a bit and takes 1 point of pain to Terror my Llanowar Elves. He plays another land and passes. I draw a Scattershot Archer, play my third Forest, play my Archer, my opponent has Spellstutter Sprite, I play my Vanquisher and reveal the perfect, I attack for five. My opponent plays an Island and takes a pain to play Bitterblossom after attacking for one. I draw another Treetop Village and attempt to play my Imperious Perfect, but my opponent has Remove Soul at the ready. I attack for 5 again, play my Treetop Village and pass. My opponent makes a Faerie Rogue token, attacks for another 1, and passes. During my upkeep he plays a Mistbind Clique championing his token, amd I respond by putting three +1/+1 counters on my Vanquisher. I draw another Scattershot Archer. I attack with my Vanquisher, and my opponent has no choice but to block with his Mistbind Clique. On his next turn he plays a Deathmark, killing my Vanquisher. He attacks for 1 again and passes. I draw an Imperious Perfect and play it. I snap-equip the Axe, make a token thanks to haste, snap-equip the axe to the token, attack for 4. My opponent chumps with a Faerie Rogue token. The next turn he plays Infest. On my next turn I activate the Treetop and attack, and two turns later his Bitterblossom does him in.



I lose the roll and keep Treetop Village, Forest, Wren's Run Vanquisher, Wren's Run Vanquisher, Obsidian Battle Axe, Hunting Triad, and Hunting Triad. My opponent plays an Arcane Sanctum. I draw a Forest and play my Treetop Village. My opponent plays a Bitterblossom and passes. I draw a Bramblewood Paragon, play it, and pass. My opponent makes a Faerie Rogue token, plays a Glorious Anthem, and passes. I draw a Nettle Sentinel, play a Wren's Run Vanquisher and a Nettle Sentinel, and pass. My opponent plays a second Bitterblossom and gets in with his token for 2. I draw a Giantbaiting, attack for 7 with my Vanquisher and Sentinel, and I play my second Vanquisher before passing. My opponent plays goes to 9 from his Bitterblossoms and plays another Glorious Anthem. He attacks for 6 and passes. I draw a Treetop Village, play Giantbaiting using the Nettle Sentinel and the Bramblewood Paragon to conspire, and attack for 21. My opponent has no blocks that let him survive, and he promptly concedes the game.

Sideboarding: -3 Obsidian Battle-Axe, +1 Naturalize, +2 Overrun


I mulligan two hands with no lands and keep Forest, Llanowar Elves, Bramblewood Paragon, Obsidian Battle-Axe, and Imperious Perfect. My opponent plays a land and passes. I draw a Treetop Village, play my Llanowar Elves, and pass the turn. My opponent plays a Knight of the White Orchid and passes. I draw a Wren's Run Vanquisher, play my Bramblewood Paragon and my Treetop Village, and pass the turn. My opponent plays a Spectral Procession and passes. I draw another Treetop Village, play my Obsidian Battle-Axe and the Village, and pass the turn. My opponent plays Ajani Goldmane, activates it, attacks, and passes the turn. I draw a Hunting Triad, play my Imperious Perfect, equip, make a token, equip, attack with the token, and pass. My opponent untaps and plays Cloudgoat Ranger, and I concede.


I keep Forest, Forest, Forest, Llanowar Elves, Obsidian Battle-Axe, Imperious Perfect, and Hunting Triad. I play my Llanowar Elves and pass. My opponent plays a land and passes back. I draw a Treetop Village, play my Obsidian Battle-Axe, and pass the turn. My opponent plays a Bitterblossom and passes. I draw a Bramblewood Paragon, play my Imperious Perfect, equip it, make a token, equip it, attack with the token, and pass the turn. My opponent makes a token, Terrors my Imperious Perfect, and passes without playing a third land. I draw my Overrun, play my Bramblewood Paragon, attack for 4, and pass. My opponent plays his third land and plays a Spectral Procession. I draw a Forest, play my Hunting Triad, and pass the turn. My opponent plays a Glorious Anthem and passes. I draw a Wren's Run Vanquisher, play Overrun, and attack for 26.



I win the die roll and keep Forest, Forest, Forest, Nettle Sentinel, Bramblewood Paragon, Giantbaiting, and Giantbaiting. What a draw! I play my Nettle Sentinel and pass. My opponent plays a land and passes. I draw another Giantbaiting, attack for 2, play my Paragon, and pass. My opponent plays another land and passes. I draw a Hunting Triad, play a Giantbaiting, and attack for 12. My opponent plays a third land on his turn. On my turn I conspire a second Giantbaiting, and the game is over.

Take that, combo deck!

Sideboarding: -4 Obsidian Battle-Axe, +4 Naturalize


I keep Treetop Village, Forest, Forest, Wren's Run Vanquisher, Wren's Run Vanquisher, Bramblewood Paragon, and Naturalize. My opponent plays a land and passes. I draw a Treetop Village, play it, and pass. My opponent plays another land and passes again. I draw an Imperious Perfect, play my Bramblewood Paragon, and pass. My opponent plays a third land and passes. I draw a Hunting Triad, play my Imperious Perfect, and attack for 3. My opponent plays a Bloodbraid Elf and flips up a Seismic Assault. He attacks for 3. I draw a Forest, play my first Wren's Run Vanquisher, Naturalize the Seismic Assault, and attack with my creatures. My opponent blocks my Perfect and goes to 13. On his next turn he plays a Swans of Bryn Argoll and passes. I draw another Wren's Run Vanquisher, play both my Vanquishers, attack with both my guys, the paragon gets blocked and I draw a forest and an overrun. My opponent goes to 9. On his next turn he plays a Primal Command with a painland, netting 6 life to put him at 15 and putting a land on top of my library. I attack for 12 the next turn, and he thinks for a bit. He decides not to block and I use the Hunting Triad to provide the last 3 points.


The deck worked out really well for me this week. I think this is an excellent choice in today's Standard, and I hope some of you decide to take it for a whirl. As always, keep your options, and minds, open.

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