ello, and welcome to another edition of Building on a Budget. Many of you probably already know that Obsidian Battle-Axe is one of my favorite cards in Standard. I haven't had the chance to sleeve up my Axes recently, but that's probably just because a certain key piece of information had eluded me for the past few months.
Marisi's Twinclaws is a card I've wanted to play with since it was printed. It was printed alongside Colossal Might, and its power level definitely warrants Constructed play. The key piece of information I had been missing was the Twinclaws' creature type. Marisi's Twinclaws is a bona fide Warrior. This means that after your opponent plays Hallowed Burial you can simply cast Marisi's Twinclaws and bash in for 8 damage. Excited yet?
Here's another fun fact about an underplayed Shards block creature: Viashino Slaughtermaster is also a card-carrying Warrior. This means my new Obsidian Battle-Axe deck can play a full eight creatures with double strike. Imagine having two copies of Obsidian Battle-Axe in play—your opponent can virtually never tap out.
Enough hype—let's make a deck list. I'll start by taking a look at what cards might make the cut beyond Marisi's Twinclaws and Obsidian Battle-Axe. From there, we can trim the deck and make it as beautiful as it deserves to be.
Bramblewood Paragon: A key creature in the Warrior archetype. I think we can confidently assume that we'll be playing four of this fine card.
Nettle Sentinel: A very efficient one-drop. One-mana 2/2s are the gold standard for aggressive, creature-based decks. Nettle Sentinel is a very likely candidate for the main deck.
Llanowar Elves: Not a Warrior, but these Elves enable us to accelerate into our Battle-Axes. We will probably end up playing at least a few copies of "Old Faithful."
Wren's Run Vanquisher: Deals don't really get better than this. A 3/3 for two mana that can fearlessly charge into Plumeveil seems like a solid roleplayer. As long as our Elf count is high enough we can count on this being a four-of.
Viashino Slaughtermaster and Marisi's Twinclaws: I've already explained how good double strike is in this type of deck. I want to give the list a test drive with a full count of eight double strikers.
Giantbaiting: I've always been a huge fan of Giantbaiting in aggressive Warrior decks. If we have room for the Nettle Sentinel package then Giantbaiting may be a very good choice for this deck. If not, I think we'll be better off playing some spot removal.
Colossal Might: Perhaps the best pump spell printed since Berserk. When playing the deck, you should be careful to not get blown out by Path to Exile or other instant-speed spot removal. It's very important to watch your opponent and be aware of how confident they seem. If they were just given a great opportunity to blow you out with spot removal and didn't, then perhaps you should just play your Colossal Mights with reckless abandon and hope for the best. Cards like this are great skill-testers. You can and will steal a lot of games with Colossal Might. You just need to find a happy medium between patience and aggression.
Obsidian Battle-Axe: This is the reason we're building this deck to begin with. This card was Tier 1 material when it was first printed in Standard. I think we can prove that it still has what it takes to cut the mustard these days.
Imperious Perfect: Another classic friend of the Axe. When Obsidian Battle-Axe was first printed, Imperious Perfect was its partner in crime. Cast my Imperious Perfect, attach my Axe, make a token, attach my Axe, and swing was a regular day in the neighborhood. The printing of Volcanic Fallout definitely changes things, but Imperious Perfect is still under consideration.
Boggart Ram-Gang: Probably the best Warrior in standard. Boggart Ram-Gang is fast, efficient, and reasonably costed. Almost definitely a four-of in our final list.
Lightning Bolt: One of the best spot removal spells in Standard (alongside Path to Exile). I really want to squeeze a playset of these into the list.
Bloodbraid Elf: One of the most powerful spells you can cast in Standard. It's an Elf, and it "tutors" up our Battle-Axe. I can virtually guarantee that four of these will make the cut.
Double Your Pleasure
The final list misses out on a lot of the cards I'd like to be playing. I would really like to be playing Lightning Bolt over the Imperious Perfects, but I couldn't bring myself to a point where my deck didn't have a high enough Elf count to play Wren's Run Vanquisher. After I play a few matches with the deck I'll go back and take a look at what I might be able to change about the list.
I made a fairly generic sideboard to use for now:
4 Guttural Response
4 Magma Spray
I lose the roll and keep Forest, Mountain, Bramblewood Paragon, two Obsidian Battle-Axe, Boggart Ram-Gang, and Colossal Might. My opponent leads with a Vivid land and passes the turn. I draw Bloodbraid Elf, play my land, and pass the turn, and my opponent plays another Vivid land and passes. I draw a Forest, play my land, cast Bramblewood Paragon, and pass the turn. My opponent plays Cascade Bluffs and passes. I draw another Bloodbraid Elf, play my land, cast Boggart Ram-Gang (4/4), and attack with just the Ram-Gang. (I'm playing around Plumeveil.) My opponent casts Plumeveil and trades with my Ram-Gang. My opponent plays another land and passes. I draw another Forest, play it, and cast Bloodbraid Elf. I cascade into Obsidian Battle-Axe, then attack with both of my creatures, but my opponent casts Volcanic Fallout. On my opponent's turn he casts a Mulldrifter. I draw a Viashino Slaughtermaster, play my Marisi's Twinclaws, and attack. My opponent takes 8, going to 10, and gets the turn back. My opponent taps out for a Broodmate Dragon and passes. I draw another Bramblewood Paragon and attack with my Twinclaws. My opponent chump-blocks with Mulldrifter, and I cast Colossal Might and win the game.
Sideboarding: -4 Boggart Ram-Gang, +4 Guttural Response
I mulligan and keep Forest, Mountain, Mountain, Wren's Run Vanquisher, Imperious Perfect, and Obsidian Battle-Axe. My opponent leads with a Vivid land again and passes. I draw a Forest, play a land, and pass the turn. My opponent plays a Sunken Ruins and passes back. I draw a Bloodbraid Elf and cast Wren's Run Vanquisher revealing the Imperious Perfect, but my opponent casts Agony Warp on my end step. My opponent plays a third land and passes. I draw Guttural Response, cast Obsidian Battle-Axe, and pass the turn. My opponent casts Plumeveil during my endstep, then plays a fourth land; this time it comes into play tapped. I draw another Guttural Response, cast my Imperious Perfect, attach the Axe, make a token, and attach the Axe. My opponent casts Volcanic Fallout, then after I pass the turn plays a Vivid land and passes. I draw a land, play it, and cast Bloodbraid Elf cascading into Bramblewood Paragon. My opponent attempts to counter the Paragon and bounce my Axe with Cryptic Command, but I cast Guttural Response.
I attach the Axe to my Paragon and attack, and my opponent blocks with Plumeveil. My opponent casts a Broodmate Dragon the next turn. I draw Marisi's Twinclaws, cast it, and attack for 8. My opponent cast Cruel Ultimatum the next turn, and I sacrifice Bloodbraid Elf. He attacks for 4 and passes. I draw a land and attack with my Twinclaws, and my opponent chump-blocks. My opponent attacks for 4 again, casts Hallowed Burial, and passes. I draw a Wren's Run Vanquisher and attempt to cast it for its full cost, but my opponent has an Essence Scatter. Then it's another Cruel Ultimatum the next turn. I can't muster a miracle and I lose.
I keep Mountain, Forest, Forest, Viashino Slaughtermaster, Colossal Might, Boggart Ram-Gang, and Marisi's Twinclaws. I play my land and pass. My opponent plays a land and passes. I draw a Mountain, cast Viashino Slaughtermaster, and pass the turn. My opponent plays a Vivid land and passes. I draw Bloodbraid Elf, cast Boggart Ram-Gang, and attack for 5. My opponent plays Mystic Gate and passes. I draw another Colossal Might, play my fourth land, and attack with both my creatures. My opponent casts a Plumeveil and blocks my Slaughtermaster. I cast both Colossal Mights, and my opponent dies.
I win the roll and keep Forest, three Mountain, Wren's Run Vanquisher, Imperious Perfect, and Boggart Ram-Gang. I play my land and pass. My opponent plays a Vivid Marsh and passes. I draw Marisi's Twinclaws, cast Wren's Run Vanquisher, and pass the turn. My opponent evokes a Shriekmaw and passes. I draw an Obsidian Battle-Axe and cast it before passing the turn back to my opponent. My opponent casts Kitchen Finks and passes. I draw a Forest, cast my Marisi's Twinclaws and attack, my opponent blocks with Kitchen Finks. My opponent plays a fourth land and passes. I cast Imperious Perfect, attach the Axe, make a token, attach the Axe, and attack with the token and the Twinclaws. My opponent casts Makeshift Mannequin on Shriekmaw and kills my Twinclaws. On his turn, my opponent attacks with both his creatures, and I go to 15. Postcombat he casts a Caldera Hellion and devours both his creatures. I draw Colossal Might, cast Boggart Ram-Gang, attach the Axe, and attack for 5. My opponent blocks with his Hellion, but I cast Colossal Might to get in for 4 damage and make sure Boggart Ram-Gang lives. My opponent hardcasts a Shriekmaw and destroys my Ram-Gang. I draw a land and pass. My opponent attacks for 3 and casts Mulldrifter. I draw Viashino Slaughtermaster, play it, attach my Axe, and attack. My opponent chump-blocks with Mulldrifter, then attacks for 3 and passes. I draw another Viashino Slaughtermaster, cast it, equip, and attack my opponent. plays Makeshift Mannequin on Caldera Hellion and devours both his creatures. One attack later and I'm dead.
Sideboarding: -4 Wren's Run Vanquisher, +4 Magma Spray
I mulligan to five and keep Forest, Forest, Bramblewood Paragon, and two Boggart Ram-Gangs. I play my land and pass. My opponent plays Twilight Mire and passes. I draw Bloodbraid Elf, play my second land, and cast Bramblewood Paragon. My opponent plays Reflecting Pool and casts Putrid Leech. I draw Marisi's Twinclaws and pass the turn. My opponent casts Kitchen Finks and attacks with his Leech. I go to 16 and he goes back to 20. I draw another Bloodbraid Elf and pass. My opponent evokes a Shriekmaw to destroy my Paragon and attacks for 7. I draw a third land and cast Boggart Ram-Gang. My opponent plays a fifth land, hardcast a Shriekmaw, and attacks me. I draw a card. It isn't a land, and I concede.
My newest Warrior deck probably has what it takes to take down the best decks in the format. Any deck with eight double strike creatures and Colossal Mights will inevitably steal a lot of games. After playing a few games I think the deck needs Lightning Bolt and probably can't support Wren's Run Vanquisher once we cut the Imperious Perfects. I'll share the a non-budget list with you guys. If you have any suggestions about the budget list I'd love to hear about it in the forums or in an e-mail.
Double Your Pleasure (Non-Budget)