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If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em [at God Rank]: a list for people recovering from/annoyed by Blue Jump.
- Divine Guardian is a gatherer who might stick around all the way until the last turn, when she Timewalks your opponent because they forgot about her. Best T1, or on the far side of the board. Note that you never want two in play, as the sac trigger to save your life will kill both. Also note happily that Crackers most certainly can pump her (tho Embrace cannot).
- Sagami Warrior: The most effective way to beat Crackthorn is to starve it. Owlface is a T1 drop, a solid gatherer, and fixes annoying land situations (namely, where you can’t seem to reach past the well lane to place that last Mountain (for Axe Grinder) or Forest (for Groovecaller)).
- No Garudan: He just costs too damn much; if I needed another Firestorm, I’d play one. Yes, he’s a massive badass. But in a midrange meta, you benefit more from a T1 3/4 than from a giant uncastable dragon.
If you have a T1 gatherer, open the appropriate land and cast so you can gather T2. If you’re P2 with a Wood Elemental, the blank should be centered so you can gather T2; run the other G to the well. Otherwise, always start R. Run to all one side, preferring whatever side opp chose (if you can tell). Until you’re 3R/3G, you really ought not be making blanks. (The exception is mono-G: see below.) Generally, take it slow and save your mana. 6 is your golden number, so ending turn with 2 is massively better than 1.
- You absolutely ruin Blue Jump (this is why you’re flying Crackers, yes?). You want to always kill their early gatherer, so mull a little harder for early burn. All your critters are bigger, and all theirs are basically x/3s. Your pumps are especially bad on Woody. You can be especially rude by refusing to play lands near your orb on the side with the floating lake, as they really need your cooperation to push damage. Hold your Firestorm until it’s really, really funny. Advice: casting Crackthorn Beast is good.
- Yellow Rush is favorable; just be sure to have a Forest center, so you can park Woody there near the endgame. (I imagine nothing feels crappier than using Last Nightmare to clear a 3/4 so you can push me to 6 and end turn.) Playing around Choking Sand is important, as most seem to run it these days; so prebuff that 3/4 if they can’t hit 6 on their turn. Generally speaking, Groundshaker is the MVP here, but casting Crackthorn Beast is good.
- Burn is an even matchup, esp R/Y. This is where Divine Guardian shines, though. Unlike other matchups, adopt a control-y land placement and do your damnedest to keep them from dropping a red near your orb. Burn almost always runs up one side, so start with the defensive triangle over there. Trades are usually in your interest here as they run fewer creatures than average; this makes casting Crackthorn Beast good. This is ultimately an attrition matchup, so be attentive to economy. An Underground brawler that can only single-gather isn’t worth punching if you can wait a turn to burn it out. (fwiw, this is the only matchup I ever miss the dragon.)
- Mirror. We have a slightly higher creature count than most variants, so push that. No need to be aggressive with lands; much like with Burn, treat this as an attrition matchup and focus on economy. Just like in the real world, the guy with the most $$$ wins. Interestingly, casting Crackthorn Beast is good.
- Mono-Green. While this deck isn’t really Tier 1, it’s very easy to play, cheap, and tends to obliterate Burn from orbit. This makes it popular. Their monsters are huge, so expect most trades will work out against you. Yes, they always have a pump, but on the other hand, they have no removal: prebuff at will, use that burn to force trades. Starving G early is easy and productive as a result; toast all gatherers. Land placement also changes a bit: they’re likely to flood you with forests, so get to ~5 colored lands by reaching for your other well, and then run up that side with blanks once they’re low on mana and committed to their starting lane. Remember they’re even less mobile than you are; play around Groovecaller and Horseface. Hold your elementals midgame. If you see jumpers, laugh and pin them.
Aurora predicts one of these will come true in June:
- Crackthorn Beast will cost 7.
- Grovecaller will become a 2/5 for 5.
- They will do something dumb to buff Yellow, as it is not winning enough, esp Yellow Fliers. Maybe Khalim’s Follower needs flying, right guys?
Land type(s): Neutral, Forest, Mountain
Faeria cost: 3.8
2x SAGAMI WARRIOR (3f 1F)
3x SAGAMI GROVECALLER (4f 2F)
3x WOOD ELEMENTAL (4f 1F)
3x ELDERWOOD EMBRACE (3f 2F)
1x SEIFER, BLOOD TYRANT (5f 2M)
3x AXE GRINDER (3f 1M)
3x FLAME BURST (3f 2M)
3x GROUNDSHAKER (6f 2M)
3x SEIFER’S WRATH (2f 2M)
1x FIRESTORM (6f 3M)
3x CRACKTHORN BEAST (6f 3M 3F)
2x DIVINE GUARDIAN (2f)