Power and Toughness—Fettoblaster’s BR Aggro


Happy Wednesday everyone!

Josh Fetto convinced me to play his version of BR Aggro after I threatened to draft. It looks like this:

4 diregraf ghoul
4 gravecrawler
4 knight of infamy
4 geralf’s messenger
3 hellrider
4 falkenrath aristocrat
3 thundermaw hellkite

3 tragic slip
4 searing spear
1 ultimate price
2 brimstone volley

4 cavern of souls
4 dragonskull summit
4 rakdos guildgate
4 blood crypt
1 mountain
7 swamp


2 rakdos charm
3 vampire nighthawk
3 bonfire of the damned
3 appetite for brains
1 zealous conscripts
3 pillar of flame

Round 1 vs Li Xu’s Naya Snappling Counterpart

mj-tnm3- 1

Li had been playtesting with Josh Fetto for about an hour prior to our match. Li and I both mull to five and he instantly tosses his five back and takes himself down four. Edgar Flores, commenting from the game next to us, says “that’s a pretty good four” and chuckles (despite his claims that he has no fun while playing magic). Edgar’s statement has me worried that Li can pull this off but I am able to get through two one damage Bonfire of the Damned (Gravecrawlers come back!) and a Thragtusk. Two Falkenrath Aristocrats, back to back turns, remove Li from game one.

Game two I emotionally and self hatredly scoop after Li Pillars a Ghoul and I fail to sac it to my Aristocrat which is eaten by his Bonfire for one. This is where smarter players would shrug it off as a mistake and move on. I scoop up my cards even though my hand is Aristocrat, Hellrider, Hellrider. I’m plenty pissed at myself. Next time: pay more attention to my options I not scoop, don’t think “my Ghoul? Who cares, it’s Aristocrat I care about.” Apparently not as I left her Ghouless and vulnerable to Bonfiring.

Game three isnt much of a game. I have four red spells in hand and eventually five mana (two Cavern of Souls, two Swamp, and a B/R dual of some kind). Casting a single red spell per turn will not get me there and I stew over game two a little more before I remember I bought an awesome chocolate chip cookie earlier and can crab of from my pocket and console myself with its sugary chocolatey deliciousness.

Also of note: I saw no Snapcaster Mage and no Cackling Counterpart (from which the name I made up for Li’s deck originates).

0-1 in matches. 1-2 in games.

Round 2 vs Adam Woolfolk’s Mono Black Unblockable

mj-tnm3- 3

Prior to his match with Edgar, Adam asked me to pick one of his two decks. I picked the left one which turned out to be a mono black. Game one I’m having problems with a Cavern overdose but my sugar high is strong and I power through a Dutybound Dead and Dark Favor’d Tormented Soul with two Aristocrats, one with a +1/+1 counter on it from a sac’d Knight of Infamy.

Game two Adam drops a Tormented Soul on turn one. I play an untapped Blood Crypt and say “go”. He says “no spell?” and untaps. He casts Dark Favor and I Tragic Slip his Soul. Things dont go much better for Adam. He gets me to three and I win on my next turn.

We play one for fun with his other deck, a GW populater. Our results are similar. We talked a bit about his builds before out match, before we knew we would play each other. I’m no brewer. I net deck or crowd source my friends for decks. I suggest looking at http://www.mtgo-stats.com for decklists and ideas of what the grinders are playing and tuning and trying one of those out. If you don’t have the time or resources to test intensely it doesn’t make much sense to try when there are crazy people testing decks for hours each day and all you need to do is pick a list and practice it. This puts all of your MTG energy, focus, and time on tuning and testing saving you all the time proper brewing would cost you. You do lose the edge of having a deck no one’s seen before. I’m sure the first time someone played Omniscience (Travis Woo probably) his/her opponent thought they were totally insane and then lost. Woo is an example of a great brewer and he’s come up with some excellent off the beaten path decks as of late. He also said this yesterday in his Facebook stream:

“Streaming fresh content 5 nights a week with an article on top of it is a JOB. That kind of lifestyle is not long term sustainable without bringing revenue. Flat and simple.”

Magic can’t be a job for everyone. While Adam’s mono black deck was fine it would benefit from hours of testing and brewing but probably be better off becoming an established Jund or BR deck (expensive cards being Bonfire of the Damned, Olivia, Thragtusk, Geralf’s Messenger, Gravecrawler, Falkenrath Aristocrat, and Thundermaw Hellkite). Those are two pretty pricey decks and probably price most sane people out of playing them. Adam’s GW populate deck does some funny things with life gain, Essence of the Wild, etc., but it should probably be one of the GW non-populate aggro decks out there that had been winning Standard Dailies on MTGO (it hasn’t since 12/8). The least expensive deck to put together to be competitive is RDW. It looks something like this and 4-0’d a Daily this week ($46 on MTGO):

22 Mountain
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Searing Spear
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Pyreheart Wolf
4 Lightning Mauler
4 Hellrider
4 Brimstone Volley
4 Ash Zealot
3 Gore-House Chainwalker
2 Traitorous Blood
2 Hellion Crucible

3 Pillar of Flame
4 Mizzium Mortars
3 Flames of the Firebrand
2 Volcanic Strength
3 Thunderbolt

1-1 in matches. 3-2 in games.

Round 3 vs. Tyler Schwartz’s LSV Omniscience


This match was a total wash for Tyler. He rolled out his chessboard playmat (the man owns and operates Chess @ 3 so the chess theme is legit) and more or less plays six mana in two games. Game one he’s stuck on two lands forever and I beat him down 20-17-9-3, Searing Spear’ing him to end the game. I think I sideboarded in three Appetite for Brains and a Zealous Conscripts. Game two he’s still not too hot on lands. I Appetite and eat a Tusk, writing down “cavern, lantern, farseek, harbor”. He plays another Tusk and at some point a Faithmender which I grab with my Conscripts and feed to an Aristocrat. This all proves to be too much and Tyler’s deck fails him. We play an insane third game that has him winning with Griselbrand.

This morning I went to www.chessat3.com and watched their company trailer video. They’re all so serious in it and I couldn’t stop laughing. They’re a great group of guys those Chess at 3’ers with a super posi awesome program. If you have a child I suggest leaving it in the care of one of these fellas for an hour and that kid’s brain will thank you.

2-1 in matches. 4-2 in games.

Round 4 vs Johnny Chang’s Jund

mj-tnm3- 2

Johnny’s been on Jund since 1982. He’s good at playing it. I smash him game one with multiple Messengers and Aristocrats through at least one Thragtusk. Game two I never get him below 13 life. I had sided into Appetite for Brains, and Pillar of Flame, maybe one Bonfire. Pillar is a one mana red turd in this matchup (as Li later explains to me) as it only kills Huntmaster and seriously who cares. “Killing Huntmaster in a Naya matchup is more important than in a Jund matchup,” Li says. It makes sense. The rest of Johnny’s threats are 3/3 or bigger and meaner.

Game three I get Johnny down to three after he Thragtusk’d once. He’s consistently getting me with a Rakdos Keyrunes and my life total is dwindling. There are a number of turns that I can top deck an Aristocrat, a Thundermaw Hellkite, or a Searing Spear for the win and instead I draw two Dragonskull Summits and a Swamp (I already had five or six lands in play). That’s eleven cards I could’ve drawn to win. Oh well. After Johnny beats me I throw my deck on the floor, leave the store, flip a car, and set it on fire before walking into the black night.

2-2 in matches. 5-4 in games.

I think Appetite for Brains becomes Slaughter Games in the sideboard. Appetite gets their Tusk or Angel or whatever but can’t get Sphinx’s Revelation (which I thankfully never saw). Appetite does this on turn 1-3 which isn’t that big a deal timing-wise because casting Slaughter Games on turn four is still the right turn to nab Tusk and Tusk decks are slow enough that it’s ok to do this.

Some practice is required and I’ll hopefully do well at FNM and the Sunday Monthly Standard tournament at Twenty Sided. Overall I’m happy with the deck, not so much with my emotional play (though not too bad actually), and looking forward to playing Fettoblaster’s deck again.

Ragily yours,
Matt “The Obliterator” Jones

14 Responses to “Power and Toughness—Fettoblaster’s BR Aggro”
  1. Tim says:

    Am I missing something? Why do you care about Ray of Revelation?

  2. Fetto says:

    Good report! You gotta keep your calm even if you may play mistakes. Conley Woods addressed similar situations where a player will make a mistake, realize it after the fact, and then not make better plays later on to either hide their mistake or otherwise play in a way that reduces their chances of winning. It’s good that you recognized that you should have eaten the Ghoul, even if the risk averted by doing so was minimal. Next time, just own the mistake and play on for the win.

    I’m still on the fence about Pillar. Having played against it with this deck I can attest to how annoying it is when you only draw the bottom half of your curve. But it seems pretty slow/dead agaisnt BR’s 4/5 drops as well as Healers, Thragtusks, Resto Angels, etc.. That it’s red further janks the mana (which is already shaky). That’s one of the reasons I was running Slip instead (also kills aristocrat and, potentially, anything else). Slip is definitely more awkward against Huntmaster, though, but it performs at least as well as Pillar v. the big dudes (chump attack and Pillar kills most blockers. Chump + Slip kills any targetable creature).

    Did Brimstone Volley ever play a significant role during your matches? 3cc is a lot, but so is 5dmg, even if it’s situational. But if we cut them and move 2 Bonfires from the board, we’d have better game v. geist and GW decks and open the board up for other options… i like dreadbore.

    • Li Xu says:

      In my experience you want at least 3 Bonfires mainboard, otherwise you never see them. I ran 2 in my RUG deck, which thins its deck with Farseeks and Borderland Rangers and Jace activations, and there were still matches where I never saw Bonfire ever.

  3. Matt Jones says:

    Volley won me a game I probably would’ve won anyway against Tyler. It + spear did the deed (after a bunch of attacks with other dudes).

    Pillar was never awesome/useful really. I heard you on cutting the volley’s, who knows? I can try that. I wasn’t impressed with bonfire. I don’t know if I’d run any ANYwhere. dreadbore sounds good. ultimate price was almost always good. slip is great.

  4. Matt Jones says:

    I’m presently in an MTGO daily, packing the studio between rounds – though I don’t know how since I’ll be posting after each round.

    R1 vs. Naya (looks like the SCG list). G1 I keep a 2x Guildgate, Cavern, other dudes hand and get squashed by Tusk and Restoration Angel.

    G2 I mull to six and keep something crazy. I eventually get to Diregraf Ghoul + Aristocrat. I swing a few times, s/he Tusks once. S/he Pillars my Vampire, I sac Ghoul to her and there’s a pause (now we know how this works says my opponent). I Dragon and it gets chamred. I Dragon again but can’t attack b/c I’m gonna die if I do. He swings with his team including Tusk and Angel. I block Angel with Dragon, and he Wolfruns her. I Spear Tusk and Tragic Slip Angel and go to one life. S/he’s tapped out so I swing with Vampire and Dragon then finish him/her off with a top decked Spear.

    G3 I mull to six and keep Swamp, 2x Crawler, Cavern, and maybe Dragon, Slaughter Games, and Messenger. Not much happens as my opponent is also stalled on lands. Then s/he plays turn three Borderland Ranger after a turn two Pilgrim and his/her juices start flowing. The game and my hand end up looking like this after I draw two more Messengers: http://mattjonesrules.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Capture.jpg

    How low can this deck mulligan to? I shouldn’t have kept G1 hand 1 or G3 hand 2. Is five horrifying? Probably. I’ve had bad luck with Caverns and Guildgates so far. On to round two.

    • Matt Jones says:

      R2 vs GW Aggro. Very down to the wire and I take game 1. Game 2 I keep an awkward TONS of mana hand. Something like Spear, Messenger, five lands. Thinking “shit, i don’t want to keep mulliganing and I’ve got the land, I won’t draw more.” I don’t think one time in my entire life I’ve not drawn land on the first drawstep following this decision. Also – my computer shits the bed and I have to restart MTGO twice to eventually lose after I make a similar play mistake to the one I made vs. Li last night. S/he blocks Messenger with Wolfir Avenger, I sac Messenger to Aristocrat, s/he Spears the Vampire. After two restarts of the program it was frustrating.

      G3 I mull to six and keep Crawler, Aristocrat, Knight, 2x swamp, Guildgate. T1 Crawler. T2 Knight. T3 Guildgate. T4 Cavern on Dragon, cast Aristocrat, do four damage (my Knight died). T5 cast second Aristocrat, win game.

  5. Matt Jones says:

    Another standard daily. I took out the slaughter games and rakdos charm, added appetite and cremates (3 and 2). R1 Mirror. I keep a janky 3 mana no play on turn 1 hand and get a gravecrawler. Things play out perfectly and I win off of ghouls, messenger, and vampire. G2 i side out knights and brimstone volley for 1 bonfire, 2 cremates, and 3 pillars. I mull to five. and keep three lands, a ghoul, and a messenger. he’s stuck on two lands, etc. I win.

    • Matt Jones says:

      R2 vs. URW. g1 s/he answers all my messengers and vampires and casts geist with pike and wins. I board in bonfires and cremates. Charm probably would’ve been better. Didn’t matter as g2 isn’t a game as I keep threelands, hellrider, messenger, aristocrat, ghoul and then draw swamp, swamp, swamp, swamp, cremate, guildgate, scoop. 1-1 rounds, 2-2 games.

      • Matt Jones says:

        r3 vs RDW. g1 = bad. my opponent is playing very slowly so I type “is your internet broken?” to which s/he replies “no” then smashes me. S/he’s like five minutes behind on time (playing RDW!!! AAAAHHHHHH!!!). I side in 3x bonfire, 3x pillar, 3x Vampire nighthawk and out 4x knight, 3x hellrider, and … two something else. G2 nighthawk is an allstar. i win well. bonfire a solo aristocrat. no big thing. next game is slow as balls and i rock three thundermaws, s/he gives me some shit so I say ggs.

      • Matt Jones says:

        I agree to split with Voxtex in R4 if s/he plays it out. Agreed. They’re on UW Flash. G1 I crush. G2 I gots nothin. G3 I could’ve won on a volley but didn’t have a stop at the end of my turn. I later win with dragon number two (already cast and recast Aristocrat more than four times (thanks Charm) and a non-morbid Volley (that should’ve already killed him/her two turns earlier). 3-1.

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