The Pros and Khans of Tarkir After Release Weekend

Source; Kyle Fitch

After the open this weekend, it looks like the decks to beat are Gx devotion, GRx monsters, and jeskai tempo, and abzan midrange. So here’s what I’ve come up with to try to fight those matchups.

4x Butcher of the Horde
4x Goblin Rabblemaster
4x Seeker of the Way
3x Wingmate Roc

3x Bile Blight
4x Hero’s Downfall
1x Last Breath
2x Banishing Light
3x Sign in Blood
4x Thoughtseize
3x Sorin, Solemn Visitor

3x Battlefield Forge
1x Bloodstained Mire
4x Caves of Koilos
1x Mountain
4x Nomad Outpost
1x Plains
4x Swamp
3x Temple of Malice
4x Temple of Silence

I think it’s important to have a very solid early game. Something more meaningful than playing a thoughtseize and hoping it’ll last you until turn three when you can actually do things. Sometimes it’s really hard to do that when you’re playing the wedge shells. The approach to this build was to play a BW midrange with splash red for butcher and rabble.

I also wanted to build it in a way that would benefit playing Seeker of the Way. Where Jeskai Tempo wants to use seeker as a means to race, this approach aims to utilize it as an early game beater fueled by discard and removal as opposed to burn. Another quirky interaction that came up is that if you need to drown in sorrow opposing mono black or red aggro decks, seeker will live through it.

We could also take this deck and be more red-heavy than black and play it the way Jeskai likes to use it. By cutting some thoughtseize, bile blights, and sign in blood, adding some number of stoke, strike, and magma jet, and replacing wingmate rocs with stormbreath dragons (or sarkhan) we can play a more RWb burn that can still utilize many of the same end game cards. Anger of the gods could also be played at this point at the cost of favorable board-wipe with seeker.

Another way to run this deck is more aggro-centered. Something like:

4x Bloodsoaked Champion
4x Soldier of the Panthion
4x Seeker of the Way
4x Goblin Rabblemaster
4x Butcher of the Horde

Some number of either burn spells or removal

At this point, i can’t tell you which is better, let alone if doing this strategy is even better than just outright playing jeskai tempo.

I’m not sold with wingmate roc yet for this wedge. Abzan seems like it would want it more. It might be worth it to ditch Wingmate Roc for some other spell like elspeth, but she seems underwhelming now. Whatever we replace Wingmate Roc with, it needs to be proactive.

I really am not liking Brimaz for this deck in particular. there’s so many other things I’d rather be doing on turn 3, and blocking creatures via vigilance doesn’t seem to be in my best interests. It’s a cool interaction with butcher and sorin though.

I’ve only played maybe 10 games with this build, but I can already tell how much more consistent it is now without playing such mana-intensive spells like charm and crackling doom.

Anyways give me some feedback. Thanks for reading this wall.