Building_on_a_Budget

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10 Decks in 10 Weeks: Battle Royale!

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Battle_Frenzy The letter H!ello everyone, and welcome to the 10 Decks in 10 Weeks Battle Royale! Over the course of a month and a half, I built 10 different decks, each a two-color combination. At the beginning of each week, I would take the deck from the week before, yank out one of the two colors, and use that skeleton of a deck as the starting point for a new two-color build! By the end of the series, I had built a full ten decks.

I intended to leave off with 10 Decks in 10 Weeks, but an overwhelming majority of readers said they wanted to see a Battle Royale! amongst these builds—and who was I to say no? In order to best test the mettle of all of these decks, I decided the format for the Battle Royale! would be a grueling gauntlet of massive Magic: each deck would be played, in a row, against the other nine decks. This process would be repeated for each deck, for a total of ninety games played! This would accomplish two goals:

  1. This would allow each deck to play each other deck twice, so that unlucky draws (such as mulligans or land floods) would be mitigated by sheer numbers.

  2. I would be able to play both sides of each matchup. I'm intimately familiar with how each deck works due to hours and hours and dozens of matches of playtesting, and my results with each deck might be different than other people's.

I sent out a general call for help in my last column, asking for people to volunteer their time to play one of the ten decks. Dozens of people responded, and I tried to incorporate as many players as possible into the gauntlet. Unfortunately, real life and timing (and interest in certain decks!) prevented me from being able to include everybody, but a special thank you goes out to everyone who volunteered!

For the record: the most volunteers were for Rescue Me, Aeon in Flux, and A Blink in Time (each had five people specifically want to play those decks). Literally nobody volunteered to play both A Wild Pair and Profusion Confusion—the only people willing to initially play those decks were people who "wanted to play anything."

In the end, here's the breakdown of who played each deck.

Deck Pilot
Week 1: G/W – The Two Ladies (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson)
Week 2: G/R – A Wild Pair (MisterOrange – Evan Erwin)
Week 3: R/U – Aeon in Flux (AdamPlays – Adam Simpson)
Week 4: U/B – Grim Outlook (Majour1981 – Nicholas Sabin / one game by Brletich)
Week 5: B/W – Rescue Me (Rukland – Raymond Morse)
Week 6: W/U – A Blink In Time (Tussius – Morten Båtbukt)
Week 7: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson)
Week 8: B/R – Madness (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson)
Week 9: B/G – Profusion Confusion (Spambob – Eric Lewandowski)
Week 10: G/U – Fungal Behemoth (Major Havoc – Dick Curtis)

Each game was best one out of one; with 90 games to play, that was plenty of time and data to go on! Due to the huge number of game logs, I've only included a brief game summary with each game—just the highlights of how the West was Won, and no more than that. If anyone wants to read 8,000-plus words of game summaries, I'm afraid that you'll have to wait until... never!

On with the Battle Royale!

Week 1: G/W – The Two Ladies (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson)

Week 1 - GW The Two Ladies

Ben's Thoughts: This was the second-most popular deck from the 10 Decks in 10 Weeks experiment, due to its quirky nature. I wanted to build a deck around having eight Yavimaya / Mesa Enchantresses, because having just four in a deck usually did not equal enough consistency to have a card-drawing engine. Inspiration for this deck was drawn from decks circa Tempest / Urza's Saga Standard, which used Argothian Enchantress, Cloud of Faeries, Auratog and Rancor for the win. The stand-out card in this deck ended up being Temporal Isolation in testing—it could allow me to attack with an unblockable Auratog for the win (declare attackers, swing through non-shadow creatures, and then sacrifice Temporal Isolation between declare blockers and damage) or neuter an opponent's creature. Quite flexiable!

Game 1: G/R – A Wild Pair: He triple mulligans and I run him over. (0-1)

Game 2: U/R – Aeon in Flux: Countermagic and Jaya Ballard and Riftwing Cloudskate pretty much seal this game. (0-2)

Game 3: U/B – Grim Outlook: I get the Urzatron online, but all I have is a hand full of The Rack, and he gets a quick double Enchantress with Auratog going to kill me. (1-2)

Game 4: B/W – Rescue Me: I hose his sacrificed Aspect of Mongoose with Stonecloaker, and then Nekrataal does the rest to his team. The game ends in a showdown between his Stormbind and my creatures, but I have too much rescue for him to deal with. (1-3)

Game 5: W/U – A Blink in Time: After a long game of back-and-forth of me bouncing his Auratogs with Riftwing Cloudskate over and over, he finally lands two Auratogs, Retethers Temporal Isolation onto both, and comes in for double lethal. (2-3)

Game 6: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: I drop Pandemonium, and then play Keldon Marauders. In response, he Temporal Isolations it, stopping all the damage (including the Pandemonium damage). However, he doesn't have any creatures in play, and eventually I get enough dudes to take him down. (2-4)

Game 7: B/R – Madness: We go back and forth, and I eventually drop a face down Akroma, Angel of Fury with Null Profusion on the board. He Faith's Fetters it, but since morph isn't an activated ability, I am able to turn up Akroma, swing, and end the game in two turns. (2-5)

Game 8: B/G – Profusion Confusion: I combo off on turn five and win. (2-6)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: I get a slow start, but double Harmonize gets me to the gas soon enough, and I have an army that is crushing him on turn seven. (2-7)

Week 1: G/W – The Two Ladies (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson): 2 Wins, 7 Losses.

Week 2: G/R – A Wild Pair (MisterOrange – Evan Erwin)

Ben's Thoughts: When I initially came up with the idea for 10 Decks in 10 Weeks, I had no clue exactly how well the "carrying-over cards from one week to the next" would work out in practice, versus theory. I had envisioned a deck where I kept a 0/2 Enchantress, had a bunch of 1/1 creatures, and used Wild Pair and other enchantments from the week before to fuel a Wild Pair-based Enchantress deck. This didn't work out at all, and instead I ended up with a wildly unpopular deck based around 2/2 creatures. I think this was somewhat of an unfair assessment, because anyone who's played against this deck knows that once Cloudstone Curio and Wild Pair get onto the board, the game can turn around in an instant. Searching out triple Avalanche Riders, multiple Shard Phoenix, and Stingscourger with a single Ashcoat Bear in one turn can turn losses into wins in a heartbeat.

Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: I don't get an Enchantress, and he gets Wild Pair. (1-0)

Game 2: U/R – Aeon in Flux: I counter three guys, but he lands Ashcoat Bear with Moldervine Cloak. (2-0)

Game 3: U/B – Grim Outlook: I get a lock down with Blizzard Specter and Muse Vessel. (2-1)

Game 4: B/W – Rescue Me: It comes down to the last turn, but he gets Jaya to block my guy, shoots a flyer, and attacks me back with Blood Knight with double Moldervine Cloak. (3-1)

Game 5: W/U – A Blink In Time: He gets a couple of early Avalanche Riders, but I get Riftwing Cloudskate, Calciderm, and get Akroma Momentary Blinked. (3-2)

Game 6: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: Triple Avalanche Riders keeps me from getting enough mana to do much of anything. (4-2)

Game 7: B/R – Madness: He triple mulligans and then Smallpox takes out his world. (4-3)

Game 8: B/G – Profusion Confusion: I get out three Null Profusion, and misclick on a copied Early Harvest with Mirari out, which leaves me 10 Black mana under where I should be. I end up decking myself, while being able to copy a Consume Spirit for 18 with one card left in my library with Mirari. (5-3)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: I get turn-two Vinelasher, turn-three Vinelasher, turn-four Cytoplast Root-Kin and win. (5-4)

Week 2: G/R – A Wild Pair (MisterOrange – Evan Erwin): 5 Wins, 4 Losses

Week 3: R/U – Aeon in Flux (AdamPlays – Adam Simpson)

Ben's Thoughts: Of all the 10 Decks in 10 Weeks, this was the closest to a homogenized tournament deck. For those who have been paying attention to Standard, this deck comes very close to red-blue Izzet Control. However, at the time I wrote the original article, nobody, and I mean nobody was playing Aeon Chronicler. I found that the suspend guy was ridiculously good and pushed him heavily through word-of-mouth in my column on StarCityGames.com:

Aeon Chronicler is my pick for the sleeper card of the set right now. Maro has always been on the fringe of playability, but it's in the color that (before now) was short on card drawing. Aeon Chronicler, if you took away suspend, is a blue Maro that costs one more mana. In and of itself, that's not terribly exciting. Yes, blue's a better color for filling your hand than green, but it's not like people would flock to a white Wild Mongrel that cost 2 ManaWhite Mana instead of 1 ManaGreen Mana.

What makes Aeon Chronicler exciting, at least in my mind, is the suspend trigger. Let's say you suspend Aeon Chronicler for one on turn five. When he comes into play, you cantrip, plus you'll have five mana up (at the least) to defend him with countermagic. That, my friends, is a lot more exciting than Maro. This is Maro that costs one more, lets you play your lands untapped the following turn, and replaces itself immediately when it comes into play (or the time counter is removed). In the control / control mirror match, you can suspend the Chronicler for a lot longer, and have it act as Phyrexian Arena, except without the loss of life.

If there's one rare that is currently being valued at bulk that I would recommend people pick up now rather than later, it's Aeon Chronicler.

At the time I started this series, Aeon Chroniclers were running at two for a ticket on Magic Online. Due to their successful use in Standard and Block, they are now around 5 tickets each!
Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: He can't kill Auratog for good, and Auratog eventually gets lethal. (0-1)
Game 2: G/R – A Wild Pair: I get a bunch of guys, but he Pyroclasms, hits me a couple of times, and finishes it with Conflagrate. (1-1)

Game 3: U/B – Grim Outlook: Double Aeon Chronicler and Shard Phoenix outpace my Dimir Cutpurse, The Rack and Muse Vessel. (2-1)

Game 4: B/W – Rescue Me: My creatures go nuts, and he can't deal with double Calciderm. (2-2)

Game 5: W/U – A Blink In Time: I get a fast start with double Terramorphic Expanse, Whitemane Lion, Azorius First-Wing, and Draining Whelk with Momentary Blink backup. (2-3)

Game 6: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: Double Keldon Marauders (one gets Mana Leaked), double Calciderm (one gets Mana Leaked) is too much for him to take on. (2-4)

Game 7: B/R – Madness: Phyrexian Totem and Smallpox save the day! (2-5)

Game 8: B/G – Profusion Confusion: I go off on turn four and win. (2-6)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: I get a fast start, bait out counters with early creatures, and then drop the fat and win. (2-7)

Week 3: R/U – Aeon in Flux (AdamPlays – Adam Simpson): 2 Wins, 7 Losses.

Week 4: U/B – Grim Outlook (Brletich & Majour1981 – Nicholas Sabin)

Week 4 - UB Grim Outlook

Ben's Thoughts: Unfortunately, Brletich had to step out after Game 1, due to familial commitments. Majour1981 stepped in gracefully at last minute to fill this slot. Grim Outlook reused one of my favorite artifacts—Muse Vessel—with results much worse than those I had in my Stealing My Muse article. One of the problems with this deck was a lack of removal spells—each other deck had ways to either kill creatures, buy time through stalling, or to outright win through speed. This deck didn't have enough offense or enough defense.

Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: I get out double Enchantress and can race his discard. (0-1)

Game 2: G/R – A Wild Pair: I run him over with Gruul Guildmage and Moldervine Cloak. (0-2)

Game 3: U/R – Aeon in Flux: Jaya Ballard plus Invoke the Firemind equals doom for him, even with his Muse Vessel out. (0-3)

Game 4: B/W – Rescue Me: He draws a lot of creatures, and mine are all larger and can save each other. (0-4)

Game 5: W/U – A Blink In Time: Again, I run him over with a rush of creatures. (0-5)

Game 6: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: Turn-three Akroma, turn-four Calciderm, turn-five Stingscourger / Aven Riftwatcher, turn-six Whitemane Lion / Stingscourger, win. (0-6)

Game 7: B/R – Madness: After a war of attrition, I land red Akroma, and she brings home the bacon. (0-7)

Game 8: B/G – Profusion Confusion: I try to go off on turn five and fizzle, and he makes me discard two cards to win. (1-7)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: Turn-two Aquastrand Spider, turn-three Plaxcaster Frogling, turn-four suspend Fungal Behemoth, turn-five Cytoplast Root-Kin, attack with a 15/15 Behemoth and friends. (1-8)

Week 4: U/B – Grim Outlook (Brletich & Majour1981 – Nicholas Sabin): 1 Win, 8 Losses.

Week 5: B/W – Rescue Me (Rukland – Raymond Morse)

Week 5 - BW Rescue Me

Ben's Thoughts: One of the problems with writing Building on a Budget, in general, is incorporating reader suggestions and ideas. Due to the deadline / print time on articles, it's virtually impossible to use reader suggestions for the article I'm working on that week, unless it's a two-to-three part article. 10 Decks in 10 Weeks solved this problem, by giving me advance time in the form of a long-term deckbuilding plan. Readers could vote which two-color deck they wanted to see two to five weeks down the road, and I could take the most popular votes and run with them! The rescue mechanic is extremely popular, and the three decks that were built around rescue creatures (this one, and the next two) best embodied the ideas of 10 Decks in 10 Weeks—there are several similar white cards between the three decks, but each deck plays very, very differently!

Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: I get no creatures, and eventually he gets more creatures than I have removal spells. (1-0)

Game 2: G/R – A Wild Pair: I open the game with Utopia Sprawl, Wild Pair and Moldervine Cloak, and draw seven straight lands before he kills me. (2-0)

Game 3: U/R – Aeon in Flux: I get a counterspell for his Calciderm, suspend back-to-back Chroniclers, and finish it off with a huge Conflagrate plus flashback. (2-1)

Game 4: U/B – Grim Outlook: I get Dimir Cutpurse, double Blizzard Specter and Muse Vessel, and proceed to tear apart his hand. (2-2)

Game 5: W/U – A Blink In Time: I get down a turn-five flipped Akroma, and he doesn't draw a Nekrataal to deal with it. (2-3)

Game 6: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: Bouncing Nekrataal takes care of my creatures. (3-3)

Game 7: B/R – Madness: I get stuck with one red mana, five total mana, and triple Jaya, double Reckless Wurm and a Null Profusion in hand. (4-3)

Game 8: B/G – Profusion Confusion: I get down double Profusion, draw 20 cards, fail to find a single Early Harvest or Summer Bloom, and die. (5-3)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: I get turn-three Plaxcaster Frogling, turns four and five Cytoplast Root-Kin and turn-six Aquastrand Spider, and his board is all flyers. (5-4)

Week 5: B/W – Rescue Me (Rukland – Raymond Morse): 5 Wins, 4 Losses.

Week 6: W/U – A Blink In Time (Tussius – Morten Båtbukt)

Ben's Thoughts: This was the first match that I playtested for the Battle Royale! and it gave me an idea of what to expect (in terms of commitment, time, and length) for each of the rest of the matches. In general, it took about 90 to 120 minutes to play nine solid games of Magic in a row. Some decks took shorter (such as U/G Fungal Behemoth) and some took longer (B/G Profusion Confusion would take a long time to combo out!). Of the three rescue decks, I believe this one is the strongest—Sheer Pandemonium is the most explosive, and Rescue Me is the quickest, but A Blink In Time is extremely tricksy, and is ridiculously resilient to most other decks. It's tooled to handle both fast and slow decks.

Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: He wins with Azorius First-Wing and Calciderm. (1-0)

Game 2: G/R – A Wild Pair: He gets Blink with Riftwing a few times, but I get Wild Pair and Avalanche Riders on the turn before he kills me, for the win. (1-1)

Game 3: U/R – Aeon in Flux: Conflagrate for 16 for the win! (1-2)

Game 4: U/B – Grim Outlook: I get a little mana shy, and he uses 4x Riftwing Cloudskate to keep me down. (2-2)

Game 5: B/W – Rescue Me: He suspends 2x Riftwing Cloudskate, and I name it with Voidstone Gargoyle. That's pretty much that. (2-3)

Game 6: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: He gets too many Blinks, though I Stonecloaker two. (3-3)

Game 7: B/R – Madness: I just get run over, stuck at two lands. (4-3)

Game 8: B/G – Profusion Confusion: I fizzle comboing on turn five and combo off on turn six. (4-4)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: I get a slow start with triple Whirling Dervish, and he has blockers. He gets an air force and wins. (5-4)

Week 6: W/U – A Blink In Time (Tussius – Morten Båtbukt): 5 Wins, 4 Losses.

Week 7: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson)

Week 7 - RW Sheer Pandemonium

Ben's Thoughts: I take a hiatus from my StarCityGames.com weekly column because of my upcoming wedding, and then draft StarCityGames.com editor Craig Stevenson in to be my fill-in guy for the last few decks that needed testing, but that lacked opponents to volunteer when I was online. Poor Craig burnt his dinner one night while testing against me. You can check out Craig's fledgling webcomic Ungrateful Dead, which chronicles the journey of little Tim as the ghost of Jimi Hendrix guides him to form his own superstar rock band. Will there be success, or will Timmy be another one-shot wonder in the dark? Tune in to find out!

Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: I get Auratog, put double Spirit Loop and Moldervine Cloak on it, and keep myself alive against an entire horde of red and white creatures. I kill him in two swings with Temporal Isolations. (0-1)

Game 2: G/R – A Wild Pair: I get Cloudstone Curio and triple Wild Pair, and do naughty, naughty things while at 4 life, to come back and win. (0-2)

Game 3: U/R – Aeon in Flux: I get down Riftwing Cloudskate, but he Helixes it and swings with Calciderm. I get down Chronicler, but it gets Stingscourgered, and I die. (1-2)

Game 4: U/B – Grim Outlook: I get and keep Dimir Cutpurse and Blizzard Specter. I race him discarding his hand versus Calciderm and end up locking him with Muse Vessel. (1-3)

Game 5: B/W – Rescue Me: He plays Pandemonium, but I have the Calciderm and Stonecloaker, and I make him pay! (1-4)

Game 6: W/U – A Blink In Time: He drops Pandemonium and double Calciderm. I have a lot of blink guys, plus Jötun Grunts and Court Hussar. I throw him back in mana by dropping Riftwing Cloudskate on his bounceland and win on mana. (1-5)

Game 7: B/R – Madness: I leave him at one life with no permanents left after I swing with Phyrexian Totem and Reckless Wurm and he drops Stonecloaker to kill six permanents. (2-5)

Game 8: B/G – Profusion Confusion: I go off on turn six and win. (2-6)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: He Lightning Helixes my turn-two and -three Froglings, but I suspend Behemoth, make a 2/2 Elf, drop Cytoplast Root-Kin, and start my force in earnest. He dies quickly thereafter. (2-7)

Week 7: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson): 2 Wins, 7 Losses.

Week 8: B/R – Madness (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson)

Ben's Thoughts: Man-oh-man, I really loved the synergies in this deck, but man-oh-man did this deck not work as intended. I managed a 15-8 record with B/R Madness, but it consistently had mana issues—sometimes too little, sometimes too much, and sometimes the wrong color(s). The deck had a lot of built-in synergies, but they never seemed to click at the right times. There's a great black-red budget Madness deck that's enabled due to Future Sight, so I will probably revisit this deck independent of the 10 Decks in 10 Weeks experiment in an upcoming column.

Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: I get a great start with second-turn Enchantress, third-turn Auratog—and he kills them both with Lightning Axe / Fiery Temper. I then Faith's Fetters a Reckless Wurm and a Jaya Ballard and drop down Auratog with Moldervine Cloak and double Spirit Loop the turn before he's going to kill me. He tries to get a Smallpox to win but draws it with his last black mana already tapped. I untap and kill him with Auratog. (0-1)

Game 2: G/R – A Wild Pair: He gets an early start, but I get down Cloudstone Curio and Wild Pair. I use Stingscourger to get Shard Phoenix, bounce the Stingscourger and his Reckless Wurm, kill his morph and Jaya Ballard with Shard Phoenix, replay Stingscourger, get Viridian Shaman, kill his Phyrexian Totem, bounce back both my guys, replay Viridian Shaman, kill his other Phyrexian Totem, kill his Rakdos Carnarium, and leave him with only two Mountains and Null Profusion on the board. (0-2)

Game 3: U/R – Aeon in Flux: I triple-mulligan to four... and win. I get Urza's Mine, then Izzet Boilerworks, then Compulsive Research, then Repeal his Jaya Ballard, then suspend Aeon Chronicler, then Conflagrate his Jaya Ballard, then Repeal his second Jaya Ballard, then Conflagrate him for the win. (0-3)

Game 4: U/B – Grim Outlook: I mulligan, get stuck on two lands for too long, and get run over. (1-3)

Game 5: B/W – Rescue Me: He drops Akroma (face down) and double Stingscourger. I get to seven mana and have two turns to draw an eighth to double play Orzhov Pontiff, but I don't, and he flips his guy up and wrecks me. (2-3)

Game 6: W/U – A Blink In Time: After a long, drawn-out game, I land Calciderm and finally push it through a war of attrition. (2-4)

Game 7: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: A handful of burn and rescue creatures stops him from killing me or touching any of my guys. (2-5)

Game 8: B/G – Profusion Confusion: He gets me to 1 life with Smallpox plus Reckless Wurm and Phyrexian Totem, but I combo off and win. (2-6)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: I get turn-one Elves, turn-two 3/3 Vinelasher, turn-three Cytoplast Root-Kin, and turn-four Plaxcaster Frogling to protect them. I win. (2-7)

Week 8: B/R – Madness (Scouseboy – Craig Stevenson): 2 Wins, 7 Losses

Week 9: B/G – Profusion Confusion (Spambob – Eric Lewandowski)

Week 9 - BG Profusion Confusion

Ben's Thoughts: This was both the most liked and second most disliked deck from my 10 Decks in 10 Weeks experiment, and it's also the only true combo deck in the bunch. I made the mistake in the initial column of this deck of highlighting a 13-game comeback extravaganza to show the staying power of the deck even when the combo didn't work. People immediately took to the stance of "Why should I play a combo deck that takes 10+ turns to work? That's horrible!", ignoring that in most games, I was getting a turn-four to -six win. For the record: this deck averages a turn-five kill, with a less-consistent turn-four kill and a rock-solid turn-six window.

Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: He combos on turn six. (1-0)

Game 2: G/R – A Wild Pair: I get down an early Gruul Guildmage with Moldervine Cloak on it. I then drop Stingscourger so I can use Chord of Calling to get Avalanche Riders during my upkeep to kill a land of his with Overgrowth on it. This buys me enough time to win. (1-1)

Game 3: U/R – Aeon in Flux: I get stuck on four mana with one counterspell. He waits until turn eight, and goes off with mana to play around Mana Leak. (2-1)

Game 4: U/B – Grim Outlook: I strip him down to one card in hand, but he goes off with a Chromatic Sphere on the board. (3-1)

Game 5: B/W – Rescue Me: The four life I gain, plus using Stonecloaker to remove his Early Harvests from the game as he plays them, keeps me at 4 when he sends Consume Spirit to my head with no cards left in his library. (3-2)

Game 6: W/U – A Blink In Time: He goes off on turn five. (4-2)

Game 7: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: I get him to 1 with Pandemonium, double Calciderm and Jotun Grunt. He goes off on turn six and wins. (5-2)

Game 8: B/R – Madness: Once again, I can't get double red. Man-oh-man. (6-2)

Game 9: G/U – Fungal Behemoth: Turn-two Whirling Dervish, turn-three suspend Behemoth, turn-four Cytoplast Root-Kin, win. (6-3)

Week 9: B/G – Profusion Confusion (Spambob – Eric Lewandowski): 6 Wins, 3 Losses

Week 10: G/U – Fungal Behemoth (Major Havoc – Dick Curtis)

Week 10 - UG Fungal Behemoth

Ben's Thoughts: The readers voted for this deck, and at first I wasn't too keen on the idea of Fungal Behemoth, the card. I'd seen creatures that were dependent on other creatures to survive flare out before (Emperor Crocodile, Ancient Ooze) and I wasn't looking forward to playing around with a similar deck concept. Well, this deck proved the old saying "Never dismiss a card / deck idea without at least testing it first," because I was quickly coming across with 9/9 and 10/10 hasted Fungal Behemoths on turn four, leading an army of 3/3 and 4/4 creatures. This quickly became one of my personal favorite decks of the entire experiment, and it was definitely the most offensively oriented of any of the 10 decks!

Game 1: G/W – The Two Ladies: I get triple Temporal Isolation and triple Faith's Fetters, which buys me enough time to set up a one-turn Auratog kill. (0-1)

Game 2: G/R – A Wild Pair: He gets turn-one Llanowar Elf, turn-two Vinelasher Kudzu, turn-three Plaxcaster Frogling. I get down an Ashcoat Bear with Moldervine Cloak, but he gets Harmonize, drops four more creatures to the board, and runs me over. (1-1)

Game 3: U/R – Aeon in Flux: I get worked over by Vinelasher Kudzu, never drawing a Repeal. (2-1)

Game 4: U/B – Grim Outlook: Turn-two Dervish, turn-three Vinelasher Kudzu, turn-four Cytoplast Root-Kin, and I'm stuck on black mana for the Dimir Cutpurse and Blizzard Specter in my hand. (3-1)

Game 5: B/W – Rescue Me: He gets a fairly aggressive draw, and I draw a lot of lands. (4-1)

Game 6: W/U – A Blink In Time: His creatures just keep getting bigger and bigger! (5-1)

Game 7: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium: I start out strong, use a couple of Lightning Helix to kill his guys, but he gets Spike Tiller, Plaxcaster Frogling, Fungal Behemoth and Cytoplast Root-Kin to make a huge amount of beasts and runs me over. (6-1)

Game 8: B/R – Madness: I burn and kill everything, drop Null Profusion, keep chaining kill spells, drop Akroma, and win. (6-2)

Game 9: B/G – Profusion Confusion: I fizzle while trying to go off on turn five. He kills me on his turn 5. (7-2)

Week 10: G/U – Fungal Behemoth (Major Havoc – Dick Curtis): 7 Wins, 2 Losses.

Whew! After all 90 games were said and done, I tallied up the results for each deck. First I worked out the records of the person who had played the deck for nine straight games. Then, I worked out my records with the deck over the course of each game I played with the deck. In the end, there was only one!

10 Decks in 10 Weeks Battle Royale! Final Records
Ranking      Deck and pilot Pilot’s Record Ben’s Record Total Record
First Place
      Week 10: G/U – Fungal Behemoth (Major Havoc) 7-2 8-1 15-3
Second Place (four-way tie)
      Week 2: G/R – A Wild Pair (MisterOrange) 5-4 6-3 11-7
      Week 5: B/W – Rescue Me (Rukland) 5-4 6-3 11-7
      Week 6: W/U – A Blink In Time (Tussius) 5-4 6-3 11-7
      Week 9: B/G – Profusion Confusion (Spambob) 6-3 5-4 11-7
Sixth Place (three-way tie)
      Week 1: G/W – The Two Ladies (Scouseboy) 2-7 5-4 7-11
      Week 3: R/U – Aeon in Flux (AdamPlays) 2-7 5-4 7-11
      Week 8: B/R – Madness (Scouseboy) 2-7 5-4 7-11
Ninth Place
      Week 7: W/R – Sheer Pandemonium (Scouseboy) 2-7 4-5 6-12
Last Place
      Week 4: U/B – Grim Outlook (Majour1981) 1-8 3-6 4-14

Some Final Thoughts

The 10 Decks in 10 Weeks experiment was a success, and I definitely will try something like it again in the future. It probably won't be the exact format as this time around (as many readers pointed out in the forums, too many cards that were carried over were obviously going to be cut at the first opportunity, making for bad deckbuilding), but it will use the basic framework to present a deck a week in a structured format! The Fungal Behemoth deck has a lot of potential for FNM, or possibly Regionals, play—it pumps out creatures bigger and faster than almost any other weenie deck out there, and it can smash down control decks extremely quickly. With a more expensive mana base (Breeding Pools, Birds of Paradise) and some more control elements (some Mana Leaks or Remands), it has the potential to be a real force.

Thank you for tuning into the 10 Decks in 10 Weeks Battle Royale! Thank you for all your support during this project, and for your overwhelming response to those ten columns as a whole! Special thanks go out to Craig, Adam, Evan, Nicholas, Raymond, Morten, Eric and Dick for their help playtesting, and to everyone else who volunteered and did not get a chance this time. Thanks also to everyone who helps me playtest my decks on Magic Online each and every week! Thanks also to the crew at magicthegathering.com, for giving me the opportunity to write this column, and for doing a great job making this column look great week-in and week-out.

See you all next week, as I bring a little madness back into your lives.

–Ben

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