Due to my own personal preference, I tend to revisit a BUG list with every new set to see if the archetype is any more viable than it was with the previous set. With M15 containing not one, but two different planeswalkers that look amazing for the archetype, how could I not at least try it out?
The list we're playing today is going to be similar to the list I played the last time I dug up a BUG list, with a few fitting changes from M15 and Journey into Nyx. Let's take a look.
Some of the main cards from M15 that I wanted to try out were Genesis Hydra, Garruk, Apex Predator, and Nissa, Worldwaker. I also ended up adding things like Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and a full set of Temple of Malady. Other than that I tweaked some numbers and gave the list a try. Let's see how it did.
BUG Superfriends vs. Rabble Red
BUG Superfriends vs. Jund Devotion
BUG Superfriends vs. Monoblack Devotion
BUG Superfriends vs. Azorius Control
Noooo! My precious Superbros!! To be fair, three of the five superbros were actually broettes. Er, females that is. I wasn't thrilled with how the deck performed this go around, but I liked the feeling that I always had a ton of options each turn/game, and that I had a ton of plays to think through. I felt like I had many more decisions to make than if I were playing something like Monoblack Devotion or Azorius Control and that's really a great feeling to have. I might even say I like that feeling more than winning; it feels like I'm in control, even if my options don't realistically bear that perception out. It's kind of like land destruction: Everyone hates getting their lands killed. It just doesn't feel good from a psychological stand point. But even if we're able to cast our creatures and have them immediately killed, it still feels better than if we had our lands destroyed. I think the feeling is akin to that, in the sense that regardless of the inevitability of the situation, the hope of survival and the feeling of control are both positive in the long term. Feeling like I'm in control due to having plenty of options was much more pleasant than simply have no options, regardless of the fact that I was fighting an uphill battle.
If anything, I think this is something we're going to be able to improve on in the coming months, and I'm super excited about that.
I do feel like it might have been slightly preemptive to show off a BUG Superfriends list again, as the archetype will undoubtedly get stronger once Return to Ravnica rotates out and Khans of Tarkir rotates in. Off the top of my head, let's take a look at what cards we no longer have to fight against:
- Planar Cleansing: This card is insanely good against us. When it leaves, we will be much safer.- Sphinx's Revelation: This is the card that we were always envious of, as we had no direct competitor. We currently have both Opportunity and Jace's Ingenuity (and to a lesser extent things like Divination and Read the Bones), but none of these do what Sphinx's Revelation does. We even have Urban Evolution, which I love, but being an sorcery is a pretty huge drawback.- Mutavault: This is one of the best cards against us. Abrupt Decay doesn't kill it. Ultimate Price doesn't kill it. Golgari Charm doesn't kill it. Our planeswalkers don't kill it. It's incredibly hard to deal with and a great answer to a planeswalker. This card is incredibly good, but I won't be upset to see it go.- AEtherling: While we play one ourselves, we can easily substitute something else in its place. Truth be told, this card is a real pain to deal with and I won't miss it when it's gone.
I also won't really mind when cards like Ash Zealot, Firefist Striker, and Burning-Tree Emissary leave the format, but they'll undoubtedly be replaced by other red creatures of similar ability or value.
Nevertheless, I think we have a great set of cards that survive the rotation, Check out that list:
- Kiora, the Crashing Wave- Jace, the Living Guildpact- Nissa, Worldwaker- Garruk, Apex Predator- Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver- Liliana Vess- Sylvan Caryatid- Courser of Kruphix- Dissolve- Hero's Downfall- Prognostic Sphinx
Aside from all those, Khans of Tarkir will even have a BUG wedge! That means an entire section of cards devoted to the color combination, ala Bant or Naya or Esper. If you recall, all of those shards had a ton of cards in them. In fact the entire block was basically cards revolving around those color combinations. This being the case, if Khans is anything similar to Shards of Alara in this regard, I wouldn't be surprised if a BUG archetype ended up as a tier one deck. The density of playable cards would simply be too high for it not to be.
Unfortunately we do lose cards like Golgari Charm, Doom Blade, Ultimate Price, and Abrupt Decay. I hold out hope that some form of playable one or two mana removal will be present in Khans, but it was a little strange that Ulcerate was the only card of this nature in M15. Nevertheless, it seems like a no brainer, so I'm just eager to see what pops up.
Either way, BUG remains one of my favorite color combinations and I will definitely miss Vraska the Unseen. But again, who knows what's going to turn up in the new set, including new planeswalkers! I for one can't wait for the spoiler season to begin in a few weeks, and I look forward to the huge change in Standard that comes with it. That's all I have for today. Thanks for reading and I'll catch ya on Monday!
Frank Lepore@FrankLepore on TwitterFrankLepore on TwitchTV
PS. Also, what's the deal, Mason? Way to miss Gen Con!