I’m Tommaso Loss, ciurlo on mtgo.
For Paupergeddon Rome I really wanted to play Jeskai, my pet deck, but a pirate had other plans.
So I looked at the others spoilers to see if some of the new Ixalan cards were worth a consideration.
Both Fanatical Offering and Tithing Blade seemed to suit really nice in BG Gardens, a midrage/control deck based on a pile of removals, emblems, and value.
So I started testing the deck, based on the list played at the time by Pietrangelo Manco and Stefano Ghiara, fellow LPP players.
In two weeks of testing I came up with this list, prepared for a heavy red geddon metagame.
I played the same 75 at the Colosseum Team Trio and the Paupergeddon main event.
BG Gardens by Loss Tommaso (LP Pisa), Finalist
3 Crypt Rats
3 Thorn of the Black Rose
3 Avenging Hunter
3 Troll of Khazad-dûm
4 Cast Down
2 Spinning Darkness
4 Deadly Dispute
3 Fanatical Offering
2 Reckoner’s Bargain
1 Blood Fountain
4 Tithing Blade // Consuming Sepulcher
2 Ichor Wellspring
1 Haunted Mire
4 Khalni Garden
1 Witch’s Cottage
3 Relic of Progenitus
3 Weather the Storm
3 Drown in Sorrow
The two main goals of the list were consistency and reactiveness.
Consistency is provided by the new draw spell and the blade, by allowing 9 total draw two at instant speed and having 14 targets for them.
Reactiveness is provided by the removals, 14 in total, plus rats and duress. It is also supported by the manabase, from which I’ve chosen to cut all non-mandatory taplands (e.g. Bojuka Bog and Golgari Rot Farm.
In order to have as fast as possible defile active for the needed quantity, and as much untapped lands as possible to allow fast answers to aggro decks threat.
The third Troll of Khazad-Dum replaced the bounceland in the list, and it was pivotal, by being one more late game threat to close the game versus aggro strategies where almost all copies of Thorn and Hunter are sided out.
Also it interacts really well with the Map Token that Fanatical Offering generates, cause you can cycle troll for Witch’s Cottage, play it, put Troll on top of the deck, thus guaranteeing that the explore from the map gives a +1/+1 counter to the Crypt Rats, creating the dreaded “TechnoRat”.
The latter plays a pivotal part in the CawGates match-up, by providing a repeatable wrath effect against X/1 creatures.
The Colosseum Team Trio
Small parenthesis on this event, since I always loved team events. I played with the same team as last year, we lost the final: me, Matteo Palma (captain) and Paolo Donfrancesco aka Walker735.
I was playing BG, Matteo was playing CawGates and Paolo MonoR Kuldotha.
We won the first three swiss round, I faced MonoR Kuldotha (WW) Boros (LWW) and MonoU Terror (LWW). Then we drew to guarantee top8. In the final round we faced Gabriele Longo, Andrea romanzi and Edoardo Pascucci they were 3-1, we decided to play in order to try to be first in swiss to have play odds for top8. I lost against Ponza (WLL) but my friends won so we ended up first after swiss.
I felt sorry for Gabriele and his teammates (another ID would have had us both in top8), really nice guys, but we had to fight for Matte’s Palma who was missing the Paupergeddon ticket, and the only way he could play was to win this event and get the Bye and corresponding entry.
In top8 I faced Elves (WW), MonoR Kuldotha (LW) and Walls (WW).
We ended up winning the event, beating in the finals last year’s winners Daniele Migliaccio, Emanuale Navarra and Giovanni Navarra, in a nice rematch.
Given the deck performed great on the team event (5-1), I was a no-brainer to play it in the main event too.
R2: Bartolocci Francesco, Cawgates
g1: I resolved an early monarch, the strongest card in the mu, then protect it until he goes all in with double Guardian of the Guildpact and 3 other creatures, I killed the creatures then edict one guardian, then resolve a couple of draw spells to try to find the last edict in the deck. I was incredibly lucky to find it at the last possible draw.
g2: He had a slow start with no branza+hawk combo, I resolved a Crypt Rat and explored the token on to it, he had no journey, then duress + avenging hunter for game.
R3: Catapano Andrea, MonoU Terror
g1: A nice waiting game, at one point he draw five with Frantic Search in my end, then untapped and deployed just two creatures, I resolved them then dropped double Thorn of the Black Rose, he had counterspell only for the first one.
I thought to be safe but he almost got me with shadow rift, taking monarch and initiative, but he didn’t have enough snaps for all my creatures.
g2: I had a strong start of relic + duress, kill a couple of Delvers, then resolved a Monarch.
R4: Cruz Daniel, UW Glitters (Streamed)
g1: I had more removal then he had creatures.
g2: Drew the good sideboard cards, Drown in Sorrow and Deglamer to clean up the board, then resolved an Avenging Hunter.
R5: Mazzucco Edoardo, MonoR Kuldotha
g1: He destroyed me with a strong kuldotha start otp.
g2: I had drown t3 for the creatures, then stabilized with Weather the Storm.
g3: He mulliganed, I had answers for his threats and went to 46 life with a couple of Weather the Storm, ultimately found a Troll to win.
R6: Longo Gabriele, MonoR Kuldotha
Same guy from the team trio, eager for revenge.
g1: Early spinning darkness plus Crypt Rats with explore token gave me enough time to start looping lembas and stabilize.
g2: Drown t3 plus Weather the Storm.
He ultimately managed to get his deserved payback by defeating Paolo on day two in the mirror.
R7: Pietropoli Carlo, MonoR Kuldotha
g1: He started really strong but somehow managed to stabilize at 1, he saw no bolts for a couple of turns but I saw no lifegain either. Finally he found the lethal bolt.
g2: He mulled to five so I had just to find a sweeper and some lifegain to stabilize. I saw no threats (I side out a lot of them) and time was ticking, so I went to discard and discarded a Weather the Storm. He conceded.
g3: I saw Drown and Rats plus lifegain.
Ended up as the only undefeated together with Stefano Mannella, knowing I would face him in the first round next day.
R8: Mannella Stefano, Mirror (same 75)
g1: Mirror is a bit random, he saw more Thorn and Hunter than me.
g2: I mulled to 4 and he started with Duress, taking out my only draw spell.
R9: Carosi Gianmarco, Ponza
g1: He had 5 ponza spell but I kept drawing swamp after swamp, must be nice.
g2: A great back and fourth game, we traded emblems a lot then at one point he attacked with all creatures but an arbor elfs, since I had no removals he would’ve been able to take back monarchy and initiative, but he didn’t. That lost him the game.
R10: Druzinec Franc, UB Terror
g1: Cleaned up the creatures then dropped a monarch.
g2: He kept a triple Tolarian Terror hand with 2 lands and no mill spells. I duressed away an Annull then played a Relic of Progenitus, basically ensuring those Tolarian Terror would stay in his hand for a long time. Avenging Hunter closed the game.
R11: Monopoli Cyro, Cawgates
g1: We exchanged lots of resources, but I stayed ahead with draws spell and monarch, when he played the guardian I had all the answers.
g2: After I duressed his hand leaving him with no action, he gambled with a Guardian that was scryed to the top the turn before. I couldn’t find an edict in time.
g3: I duressed his brainstorm so he couldn’t ancestral recall with hawks, then won the attrition game thanks to a clunky draw on his part.
R12: Barbagelata Diego ID
Top8: Alessandro Moretti aka AdeptoTerra, Familiars (Streamed)
g1: He got stuck on three lands, I played Avenging Hunter t5 and he couldn’t keep up.
g2: I got stuck on three lands, couldn’t keep up with his value.
g3: Really complicated game, where he kept replaying creatures with Mortuary Mire and I had to answer them. At one point I went all in knowing I would’ve lost to 3 counters, he couldn’t find the third one so I got exact lethal with Crypt Rats.
Top4: Audizi Alessio UB Faeries (Streamed)
g1: Waiting game where he didn’t see Thorne so I just had to answer all his creatures while out-drawing him with disputes. Once I draw duress I committed onto trying to resolve blood fountain, which I did, then cracked it for two Troll. He answered both but to do so he had to commit lots of resources, ending up tapped out. So I played Thorn and Avenging Hunter to close the game.
g2: He went all in with Thorn turn 4, I had none so started an attrition game that was quickly going downhill. I had just one plan, keep playing trolls hoping he runned out of answers. Thanks to some good topdecks I used Duress to force him to tap out, then Crypt Rats to clear his board and the last Troll attacked for game.
Final: Alvisi Jeskai Glitters (Streamed)
g1: I got stuck at three lands, couldn’t keep up with his aggression
g2: I deglamer’d his tapland twice, then played Avenging Hunter.
g3: He had a nut start deploying his whole hand on turn 2, I tried to keep up with Cast Down on myr enforcer, but he drew Thoughtcast into All that Glitters and Acolyte. So I had to draw a Deglamer as the only out, luckily I drew it. He played a Thraben Inspector pre-combat so I had a chance to stay alive by killing a creature in response, so that to save it he had to tap one of the potential attackers in order to make white mana. After combat I was at 1 life.
Here again I only had one out, that is Drown in Sorrow, I played a Deadly Dispute and drew the Drown that completely cleaned up his board. He had 3 Gingerbrute and 4 Galvanic Blast left to kill me, he drew the dreaded bread warrior for lethal.
Sad to lose another final in a row, but at least this time we had a cool match to witness.
All in all, it was a blast, see you at Paupergeddon Milan!
Decks are listed in Paupergeddon meta-share order.
One general consideration, I tend to side out a lot Blood Fountain, even in non-aggro match-ups. That’s because I want to punish people boarding in GY hate, which almost become useless given I’m not playing Chainer’s Edicts.
Mono Red Kulodtha
Bad pre-board, good post-board, side out most win-cons, sweeper are key.
Mono Red Pingers
A lot better than Kuldotha since removals are much stronger.
Boros Synth – Good
The only realistic win-con they have is burn to the face. Post side with Drown it’s even better.
UW Glitter – Good
Only problem is their super fast starts. Duress disrupts the holding Glitter until counterspell protection plan.
A bit of a coin toss.
Cawgate – Even
Complicated match-up, I am not really sure what is the optimal sideboard choice. I do the following. Fanatical Offering really helps here by allowing easy access to a +1/+1 counter on Crypt Rats that really destroys their strategy. Key play is to use Witch’s Cottage to guarantee the explore success.
Mono U Terror – Good
The only really problematic card is Murmuring Mystic.
UB Faeries – Even
His monarch is way stronger than ours, key cards in the matchup are Blood Fountain and Troll of Khazad-dûm. The latter is really hard to out for them, only cast down or edict.
It’s pivotal to keep the board clear of creatures on their side.
UW Familiars – Good
It was a really good match-up before Murmuring Mystic, now it’s much closer.
Grixis Affinity – Even
It was a bad matchup before, it still is if they play Counterspell. New cards helps keeping up with their card advantage.
UB Terror – Very Good
Slower and clunkier version of MonoU Terror, stock lists also tend not to play Murmuring Mystic.
RG Ponza – Bad
Luck based match-up, if you get to 4 lands it’s really hard to lose, but land destruction spells plus initiative kills very fast.
Walls Combo – Really Good
Removal.deck vs creature based combo deck.
Jeskai Ephem. – Even
Worse than Familiars because of the 4 Counterspells.
Didn’t face any, luckily.