Today I am battling some two-man queues with the UB Inspired deck I wrote about earlier this week. I have been testing the deck a lot and came to the conclusion that some of the cards that seem great on paper just don't work in practice. Here's the list from Wednesday's article:
The first cards that had to go were the Disciple of Deceits. Don't get me wrong, I love that card. I often first pick it in limited and draft my entire deck around it. It's pretty good in Block Constructed but in Standard the card just isn't quite powerful enough. A 1/3, while a good defender, just can never get in the red zone against anything, so you'll rarely be able to trigger the inspired. Unless you draw a Springleaf Drum, this card is useless. We really aren't playing a toolbox-style deck anyway, so we can't really use this guy to his full potential.
The next card that got the axe was Thoughtseize. You might find it weird that I cut what is arguably the best card in Standard from my aggro deck, but this card just doesn't help us advance our game plan. UB Inspired is an aggro/tempo deck, and we really need to curve out with creatures every turn. Casting a Thoughtseize can sometimes hinder our board development. Thoughtseize is just much better in a midrange or control deck than in a focused aggro deck like this one.
We cut Hero's Downfall from the deck for the same reason. Three mana is way too much for us to spend to kill a guy and not add anything to our side of the board, so we removed them for cheaper removal spells like Ultimate Price.
In my article I said that most of the cards in the original UB Heroic list were too cute and didn't do anything by themselves. While I still stand by that logic, I actually have found Hidden Strings to be quite useful. Hidden Strings gives us valuable tempo, usually tapping two of our opponent's creatures and allowing us to swing with our team. When we cipher it we can target our own guys with them to untap them and trigger inspired and heroic. I ended up adding two back into the deck.
Finally, I added another copy of Hour of Need. I think the card is just bonkers, especially when you have two targets for it. Five mana becomes eight power and also allows us to trigger things like Agent of the Fates and Tormented Hero. Opponents never see two 4/4 flyers coming if you cast on their end step.
Here's the deck I played.
Onto the videos!
UB Inspired vs. RW Devotion
UB Inspired vs. RG Land Destruction
UB Inspired vs. Boros Burn
UB Inspired vs. Boros Auras
After testing against what seemed like an endless stream of Monoblack Devotion decks earlier in the day, I ended up facing four different red decks in a row. As you can see from the videos, our manabase can be quite punishing. Twenty lands really isn't that many and one land opening hands are something that happen fairly often with this deck.
The burn matchup was pretty rough because we really needed to draw removal to deal with the Satyr Firedancer and Eidolon of the Great Revel while also putting constant pressure on our opponent. The Firedancer is insane against an aggro deck and unfortunately for us out opponent had it on turn two in games two and three.
I was really impressed with how aggressive our deck was. The Gnarled Scarhides and Tormented Heroes were MVPs and I felt good about any game in which I had a 2/1 on both turns one and two. With Triton Tactics and Boon of Erebos to protect our early drops, it was really hard for our opponent to recover from the tempo.
The card that I was most unimpressed in our deck with was Artisan of Forms. It seems so good, but it very rarely did anything. We plan on killing our opponent way before they are able to resolve a creature worth copying and if we don't draw any ways to target it, it is nothing more than a 1/1 for two which is just unplayable.
Unfortunately, while this deck does a lot of really cool things and has some unbeatable draws, I'm not sure it's better than the most recent Monoblack Aggro list. Both UB Inspired and Monoblack Aggro play many of the same cards such as Pain Seer, Gnarled Scarhide, Tormented Hero, and removal spells. I'd rather have consistency and efficient creatures than situational cards and cuteness. If I were to play this style of deck in a premier level event like an Open or PTQ then I'd rather just stick to monoblack. However the UB Inspired deck is a blast to play and has a lot of sweet interactions. I'd totally recommend taking it to a smaller event like FNM or Game day.
Thanks for watching and I hope you enjoyed seeing the UB Inspired deck in action. This is only my second video series so any feedback is appreciated. See you next week and good luck at the TCGplayer Limited State Championship this weekend (#TCGStates). I'll be attending the Florida event, so be sure and say hey if you see me!
Melissa DeTorahttp://twitter.com.MelissaDeTora on twitterwww.facebook.com/melissa.detora on facebook