Goryo's Vengeance has been a bit under the radar for a while in Modern, but it may be time for the deck to break out.
It uses different discard outlets like, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, and Liliana of the Veil to discard Obzedat, Ghost Council and Griselbrand to gain an unfair amount of advantage on the early turns of the game. Bringing back our savior, Obzedat, Ghost Council to attack for seven on turn three while protecting it from sorcery-speed removal is just too hard for most decks to deal with. The reason I and other members of Team Genesis feel that this deck has legs is really written in the removal of the format. If we look at the popular decks in the format, the main ways to deal with creatures don't line up too well with Obzedat, Ghost Council. Fatal Push, Lightning Bolt, Malstrum Pulse, Lilliana of the Veil, Spatial Contortion and more are all pieces of removal that don't lay a finger on Obzedat – Path to Exile is basically the only one that hits it.
Whenever we can invalidate cards in our opponent's decks, it leads to a lot of free wins. With powerful graveyard decks also comes great responsibility – and I am not talking about Spider Man's responsibility to protect the people from evil. I am talking about the responsibility of protecting your deck from evil graveyard disruption spells. Easy game ones are usually met with hard fought-battles in games two and three. Being able to cast a Leyline of the Void for free or a Rest in Peace for two mana and effectively shut down our deck is a huge problem. The good news for us is that Dredge isn't seeing much play and most graveyard decks are flying pretty low under the radar. The current metagame we are in does have plenty of Grixis Death Shadow on the other hand, which in turn will still lead to some graveyard hate.
While I would love to take credit for this, it was our very own Lukas Blohon who started showing real drive to make this deck shine.
Let's get to a quick rundown of the matchups. Normally I would like to break down each matchup individually, but this deck doesn't really care about exact matchups.
This deck preys on creature strategies like Merfolk, Affinity, Humans, Elves and so on. Being able to effectively disrupt them with removal and hand disruption while dropping a bomb creature that can't be interacted with, is a recipe for success. Against these decks we don't have to sideboard much since our main deck is so well versed at dealing with them.
When it comes to control, we run into a lot more problems. We have a lot of dead cards like Fatal Push and Collective Brutality. This is where we get the opportunity to bring in Lingering Souls and Disdainful Strokes and grind out the games – and nothing grinds better than Lingering Souls.
Goryo's bad matchups are really very similar to the bad matchups of Grixis Death's Shadow. Redundant decks like White-Blue Control, Scapeshift and Mono-Green Tron are among the not-so-great matchups.
- Corey Baumeister