When a new set comes out, most brewers end up having more ideas than they can test. Some concepts pop into their head to simply float away, never to be revisited. Some resurface time and time again — you tend to pursue those decks further. But every once in awhile, one of those random crazy ideas you had while reading a set spoiler comes rushing back into conscious thought.
It is at this moment that you can choose to ignore that thought in favor of better or more established ideas, or you can throw caution to the wind and give it a shot.
A few days ago, a friend asked me if I ever got Asylum Visitor to work. If I were focusing on testing for Worlds or something, there is a good chance I would have played it safe and ignored any desire to start brewing with the card, but instead, my curiosity consumed me and it was time to brew.
When I get down to brewing, I often expect hilarious, as opposed to competitive, results. Every once in awhile, something unexpected and great emerges from these experiments, but more often than not, I expect to have some fun and arrive at a dead end. A brewer's curiosity accepts the probable outcome though and needs to confirm it. Today's videos are exactly that.
After I was asked about Asylum Visitor, I realized that I had basically left vampires behind during my Standard travels. It isn't that I thought the tribal deck was bad, but it didn't have what it takes to compete against Bant Company, which essentially disqualifies it from Standard. I had no evidence to believe that had changed, but I had an itch for some vampires regardless, so I decided to comb Eldritch Moon once more for exciting new cards to pair with Asylum Visitor.
Luckily, some of the coolest cards in Eldritch Moon have synergy with being hellbent. After running across Lupine Prototype and Bloodhall Priest, I decided there was enough incentive to give this a shot.
Asylum Visitor and Lupine Prototype allow you to choose your own adventure — you can either strip an opposing hand away, or reduce your own to no cards and both cards are going to be equally happy. Bloodhall Priest is a little more selfish in that she only cares about you being hellbent. Upon examination of Standard, that seems to be the more consistent route to take.
While there are some decent discard spells in the format, most of them are one-for-one, which is really hard to get an opponent hellbent with. I decided it was more in my control and a better deck-building exercise if I could focus on making myself hellbent and reaping the benefits. With two vampires and Lupine Prototype already in the list, I had a great starting point to work from.
After assessing the various madness options in Standard as well as the cards that can discard them, being more aggressive seemed favorable. Madness creates card advantage, but it also tends to save mana. Asylum Visitor is a 3/1 for two, Bloodhall Priest is a 4/4 for three, and Lupine Prototype is a 5/5 for two, so you can see how an aggressive mindset makes sense. After a little massaging, here is where I landed:
There were a lot of areas I was not 100% sold on when building this deck. The lack of cards like Distended Mindbender is something I pushed back against for quite some time until it was the only logical cut. What remains is a rather cohesive unit of a deck, although it did play out rather differently than I would have expected.
While the deck looks quite aggressive, the reality is that your most explosive draws are still don't take off until the midgame; you won't get empty-handed before turn four at the earliest. As the game progresses, you use your utility to stay ahead and press your advantage. The deck can quickly run out of gas without Asylum Visitor in play, but that can be addressed in other manners. I think there should probably be more Geier Reach Sanitarium, for example.
I wouldn't claim we broke the format with this one or anything, but if you are looking for some competitive fun or a new deck project to work on and refine, then I recommend giving this a shot. Until next week, thanks for reading!