Friday Night Magic: The Winner’s Circle #15

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It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve been able to get together with one of our Friday Night Magic winners, but we got it done this week! Nate Hess finished on top of the standings this past week and found himself standing in the Winner’s Circle with his awesome Red/Green Gruul Deck! Check it out!

4x Stomping Ground
4x Temple of Abandon
10x Forest
6x Mountain
4x Elvish Mystic
4x Kalonian Tusker
4x Boon Satyr
4x Polukranos, World Eater
4x Stormbreath Dragon
3x Sylvan Caryatid
2x Scavenging Ooze
2x Ghor-Clan Rampager
3x Mizzium Mortars
4x Domri Rade
2x Xenagos, the Reveler

4x Mistcutter Hydra
2x Nylea’s Disciple
2x Arbor Colossus
1x Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
2x Shock
2x Plummet
2x Destructive Revelry



Bill: From the looks of it, you’re making the most out of what Red and Green have to offer in Standard right now. Lots of ramp, lots of planeswalkers, and lots of big scary monsters will overwhelm your opponents. What else do we need to know about how this deck works?

Nate: So obviously this is a pretty straightforward Gruul deck that accelerates into significant threats. Stormbreath Dragon is typically my finisher. Domri is pretty compelling because usually he has the safety to tick up. And even if I’m perilously behind on board I usually have a creature out so he’s a three mana removal spell that eats another attacker next turn. I don’t really know what else to say about it. It doesn’t require much brainpower to run so it’s perfect for me! Gruul stronk!

Bill: Ha ha ha! Sure is! I love this deck. It’s right up my alley. It’s very straightforward. Just play your spells until they die! So how are the matchups for this deck?

Nate: Blue/White control is probably my best matchup and it doesn’t get much easier for them after boarding even though Blind Obedience is really rough. With Stormbreath Dragon, Xenagos, Mistcutter Hydra and Ruric Thar I have a strong anti-control suite. Esper control is still a favorable matchup for me but they fare better against me because of Doom Blade and Hero’s Downfall. My worst matchup is probably Red/Boros aggro. I almost need to overload Mizzium Mortars to stabilize, which isn’t a completely futile proposition because of my ramp. Mono- Green devotion is also problematic because of huge Reverent Hunters and Kalonian Hydras. I have the tiniest of windows to burn them down or I just lose. I’ve been playing this deck for pretty much this whole standard season, though, so I’ve lost to everything at least once. I got blown out by a Maze’s End deck a couple weeks back because I only do combat damage and they played a fog effect on almost all of my combats.

Bill: I’ve seen that Maze’s End deck in action. It can be pretty nasty once it gets going. It’s so frustrating to get fogged every turn. Too bad there’s no big fireball type card in Standard right now. That would put that deck in its place for sure! But you must have dodged that deck this week, right? How did the rounds of FNM work out for you?

Nate: I played maybe the most insane match of my life Round 2 this week. My opponent was playing Gruul Devotion and we stalled out with a legion of Xenagos satyrs on each side. He had a Purphoros and I was slowly losing to his trigger. My final turn I started at one life, finally hit Domri Rade’s ultimate, then played three more Domri Rades to minus and eat up his board. Once the coast was clear, I swung in for lethal! (Thank God for the new planeswalker rule.) Round 3, again against Gruul, I won game three with 2 Elvish Mystics wearing Boon Satyrs. And Round 4 against RUG I was carried by Stormbreath Dragon. I displayed the whole gamut of ways in which I kill people this week, I guess.

Bill: Gotta love that versatility! Boon Satyr is so powerful right now and Stormbreath Dragon is proving to be worth his price tag every week. Nicely done! Any shoutouts before I let you go?

Nate: Yea. Shoutouts to Volpe, my boyfriend, and Rob Saraceno. They’re almost always here with me at FNM and make it fun and stuff.

Bill: Thanks Nate and congrats again! We’ve got lots of events coming up this weekend. FNM is on Friday of course. This will be our first week with Born of the Gods legal in Standard. Plus we are running Modern as well! I know a lot of people are excited for that. Then on Saturday, we have 2 events for you. Our Sealed Release event starts at 10am and then our WNY Team Sealed Championship kicks off at 3pm. So make plans to join us at our Transit location and you might find yourself standing in the Winner’s Circle!

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