Two from the rock garden

While I’ve been thinking about the legendary midrange, and generally shying away from Elves in these B/G/x decks, I’ve been considering the value of different additions to pure B/G Rock builds as well as what happens when you start splashing for other colors.
In the extended, we have two concepts. The first is Dryad Rock, which eschews everyone’s favorite Wayfinder in favor of someone who delivers the goods right now. The second is Bombs, a red-splashing variant that brings the, well, bombs. Click through for more.


Dryad Rock

16 Creatures:
Yavimaya Dryad
Kitchen Finks
Shriekmaw
Cloudthresher
Tombstalker
21 Spells:
Thoughtseize
Search for Tomorrow
Sudden Death
Damnation
Liliana Vess
Profane Command
23 Land:
Llanowar Wastes
Treetop Village
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Twilight Mire
Swamp
Forest
Murmuring Bosk
15 Sideboard:
Extirpate
Riftsweeper
Krosan Grip
Puppeteer Clique
Primal Command
Cloudthresher

This Romper Room revision came from my looking for more creatures iwth handy abilities, and coming way with, among other things, Dryads. Let’s take a quick look:
The namesake card
In place of the Civic Wayfinders often found in dedicated Elves builds, I’ve opted for four Yavimaya Dryads. The Dryad has a couple advantages over the Wayfinder. Let’s take a look:

  • Brings the land into play, rather than into your hand
  • Can fortuitously Forestwalk an opponent from time to time
  • Can grab Murmuring Bosk, for black-green color fixing
  • Still hits for two

The only real downside here is that it’s not an Elf. But if you’re not relying on that tribal quality, you’re all set. I also really like having the land come into play right now, because that achieves the important goal of letting you hit five (or six!) mana by turn four, and it can still hit for damage.
Everyone else
The rest of the creature base is a mix of utility creatures. Finks for blocking and life gain, Maws for killing stuff and beating down, and Threshers and Stalkers to end the game. Solid.
Everything else
The rest of the deck fits well with the earlier Romper Room build. I’ve stuck in Sudden Deaths to deal appropriately with Swans and Demigods, and we have four Profane Commands, to make use of the the big mana that those Searches and Dryads are building up for you. As an aside, I really, really do love Search. I’ll take it over Elves and Birds, both of which tend to draw the first piece of removal your opponent can fire of. Lands, whether provided by Searches or Dryads, generally can’t be dealt with nearly as easily by your opponents.
Hopefully, the remainder of the deck speaks for itself. Note the abundance of basic Swamps, included with an eye toward being able to Damnation or Profane your way out from under a Magus.
Bombs

14 Creatures:
Wall of Roots
Shriekmaw
Siege-Gang Commander
Bogardan Hellkite
23 Spells:
Thoughtseize
Search for Tomorrow
Pyroclasm
Sudden Death
Void
Garruk Wildspeaker
Liliana Vess
23 Land:
Vivid Marsh
Vivid Crag
Vivid Grove
Reflecting Pool
Treetop Village
Mountain
Swamp
Forest
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Fire-Lit Thicket
Twilight Mire
15 Sideboard:
Extirpate
Guttural Response
Detritivore
Krosan Grip
Primal Command

Did you see Shouta Yasooka’s deck from GP Krakow 2007? Shouta, who I already think is awesome for frequently making quirky deck choices (he was the one blue-white-green control guy on day two at PT Kobe 2004), came to Krakow with a three-color deck feature quadruple Siege-Gang Commander, quadruple Garruk, and double Liliana. Inspirational.
Bombs is basically my take on that idea, tilted toward the current environment and with a dose of extra love for the Hellkite, all too soon rotating out of Standard. Let’s take a look at what I’ve jammed in there.
Average CMC? 4.6
I’m packing a full set of Wall of Roots here, where it can do double duty as a sponge against aggro decks and as acceleration. The Wall is a solid card in this role, one that served me very well in the Extended PTQ season for Hollywood. I follow this up with a quarter of Shriekmaws, there to be evoked early and kill pesky Figures and such. Finally, we have four Siege-Gangs, just like Shouta, but topped off with double Hellkite. Wham.
Killing stuff
Quadruple Pyroclasm, triple Void. You know what’s awesome about Pyroclasm?
You have a Vivid Grove and a Fire-Lit Thicket in play.
They play a Magus of the Moon.
You shrug and Pyroclasm.
Woot.
I love Void for the “rip stuff out of your hand” effect, as well as the “leave my dudes on the field, but kill your dudes” effect. Solid. I briefly vacillated between Voids and Damnations, but settled on Voids for the afore-mentioned regions.
Other stuff
The mana base is a mess of Vivids, Pools, and the occasional basic and filter land. You’d be dead to a Magus, except that resolved Magus lets you play Pyroclasm, drop a Siege-Gang and machinegun it, or in the later game, just Hellkite it in the head and start swinging. I really appreciate that aspect of the deck. I’ve also added back in the Garruks in this version, because “massive Goblin army” combines well with “Overrun.”
Do they work?
I’ve done a bit of testing with both decks, and both have done pretty well against a limited testing pool drawn from this year’s UK Nationals top eight. My primary recommendation these days, for anyone, is to Extirpate the Demigod once you kill it. You’ll be so much happier afterward.
Ah, if only I had a Standard event of any kind to attend.