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June 24, 2016

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Bad Brews: Brutal Explosion

Hello and welcome back to Bad Brews!

This is the game we play each week as we crack open a fresh new booster pack of something from Standard, then we try to build a deck around its contents. As always, not all decks are created equal, but mine are especially bad. This week we are cracking open a pack of Battle for Zendikar, the set known for bringing back the Eldrazi, and giving us some sweet foil lands.

In this week’s pack we have…

And for the rare we have…

Brutal Expulsion is a four mana Unsummon card that is just, well, brutal. Not only does it bounce a creature back to its owner’s hand – one of yours with a nifty enter the battlefield effect – or one of your opponent’s creatures if they are really menacing you. Either way you’re good on that one. The other effect is really great too, dealing with low toughness creatures, including the ever so popular Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Plus the card is just so versatile, as it is instant speed. Play it on their turn post attacks after blocks are declared, save a creature outright, and lay waste to another after damage is dealt. All I have to say on this one is, “Great pull!”

Bane of Bala Ged is going to take a while to get on to the battlefield, assuming you don’t have mana dorks, but by turn seven, its going to be a problem for your opponent. The only Eldrazi in the new Zendikar block to have annihilator (even though it doesn’t actually use the key word, since players still have some salt about that one) it a monster that must be answered as quickly as possible, or you will lose the game.

Once you have exiled a few permanents with Bane of Bala Ged, let your opponent have some back. Processor Assault will deal five damage to one of their remaining creatures leaving the way cleared to swing in with Bane of Bala Ged. Don’t let the name fool you, Processor Assault actually get worse for having processors in the deck, and they will eat up your potential exiled cards. Instead, run a few cards with Ingest on them, and fill up the exile zone with your opponent’s cards.

Valakut Invoker is going to be a problem when you get to eight mana. Even though it’s just a 2/3, so it dies to so much removal, you can play it out at some point before getting your Bane of Bala Ged out, then the turn after, smack your opponent in the face for an additional three damage.

Nettle Drone is a beast. While you could swing in for its three damage, it might die. Instead, be prepared to cast colourless spells and ping your opponent to death with them. In an Eldrazi themed deck this card gets so much better, allowing you to tap and untap him as many times as you have the cards to do it. Also, don’t forget that artifacts are colourless, so they untap your Nettle Drone too.

What’s a blue deck with out a little help getting there? Filter through your library as you search for the perfect response with Anticipate. Looking at five percent of your deck at a time, Anticipate rocks the house, giving you both card draw and the ability to put unneeded cards low in your deck.

Now that we have filtered through the cards in the pack, let’s take a look at some of the other cards in standard that might help bring this deck together. I think, given the cards we have so far, that I might make an Eldrazi tribal deck to really make use of both Nettle Drone and Processor Assault.

Benthic Infiltrator, Salvage Drone, and Vile Aggregate all serve in this deck as an exile engine for your copies of Processor Assault. In addition to being kick ass at dealing with the problem of how to get cards into exile, they are each a threat in their own way. Salvage Drone will allow you to filter out unneeded cards from your hand when it dies, leaving you with only playable goodness. Benthic Infiltrator is going to be a powerhouse as well, with its unblockable damage. Sure its only a 1/4 but it will still pose a problem to our opponents in the long run. While Vile Aggregate serves only to deal more damage the more colourless creatures we have on the board. Left unchecked this could be a very big problem for your opponents.

Clash of Wills gets an add to the deck, allowing us to keep our opponents off the board in the mid game where we are going to have the most problems dealing with their creatures. Sure it means that turns four to six we are going to want to leave plenty of mana open, but that won’t stop our deck, just keep swinging in with Benthic Infiltrator and Vile Aggregate and we will see good results.

So let’s take a look at the deck.

Bad Brews: Brutal Explosion

Creatures (21)
Bane of Bala Ged
Benthic Infiltrator
Nettle Drone
Salvage Drone
Valakut Invoker
Vile Aggregate

Instants (11)
Anticipate
Brutal Expulsion
Clash of Wills

Sorceries (4)
Processor Assault

Lands (24)
11 Island
13 Mountain

So this deck is going to be a little midrange-y. Sure in the early game you have a few spells that will keep us in the game until we get there, but where this deck really shines is later on when we have enough mana on the board to be able to cast multiple spells in a row, keeping up the pressure and doing damage to our opponents face. The vast majority of spells in the deck are going to require at least three mana to cast, and that is going to affect our control strategy. Still if we can keep our opponent off the board and acting defensively, it might be an effective strategy.

So that’s it for this weeks deck, please be sure to come back next week when I will be doing another Bad Brew. If you think I left out anything that might have made this deck better, or if you have an idea for the sideboard, please hit me up in the comments below. And as always, until next week, may your brews be as bad as mine.