Howl & betray (culling 8)

by wickeddarkman on 20 February 2023

Main Deck (51 cards)

Sideboard (15 cards)

Instants (4)

Land (1)

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Deck Description

The cards missing above are the 9 worst performing cards in the deck:

2 betrayal:
Due to few enemy creatures at this stage these cards have lost their place within the deck.

1 cephalid scout:
Lost ground again. I really hope that it works it's way back into the deck as it's rather impressive when it performs.

1 counterspell:
Despite having been kicked out of the deck early, it looks like it's close to earn enough points to return to the deck.

1 fade away:
Again, few creatures means this has gained to few points to be in the deck.

1 flood:
It's going out, and my guess is that over time it will take betrayal with it.

1 lotus petal: (from the green halfdeck)
One moved back into the deck meaning that it now has 5 petals again.

1 nantuko Vigilante:
I honestly think this is going to lose out. I wonder a lot about the mechanisms behind how evolution at some times favor cards like these and then ditches them. I believe the initial focus on flood and betrayal somehow created room for these to thrive in, and now that the mass draw is gone, they are too specific to win the race for survival. Naturalize has seen a lot more play despite the Vigilante being more flexible, but on the other side, they could be played at turn 1 via lotus petal.

1 tinder wall:
It's funny how this moves out when lotus petal moves in. Go take a look at the older collings to see this dance.

Evolution seems to be a little unsure about ditching either a lotus petal or a wall of tinder, but I think the lack of attackers and tinder walls "high cost" will be the reason why the petal will win.

Most of the removal and stall cards seem to get the axe, as evolution is putting more faith into howling wolf, burn and repulse, which can all be used in a variety of different styles between attacking and defending. Even Man-o'-War seems to gather more points than betrayal, but both Man-o'-War and repulse can be used on your own stuff, which betrayal can't.

Thermokarst is back at two copies and it seems like they will be staying there.

With only 6 testdecks left to measure against the decklist seems pretty solid as it is now, so I'm not expecting any drastical changes, though I admit that they happen way to often.

The colors of the worst cards have reversed, going from 3 blue and 6 green to 3 green and 6 blue, which is quite a reversal. I expected green to continue being the place for the biggest changes to happen, instead it seems like blue is going to receive a lot of mutations this time, which I'm excited about.

I've learned that foil and rites of refusal can easily get a thing going with flash or madness, so I'm definitely going to prepare the mutations in that direction.

Burn and howling wolf is an extremely useful teamup, so I'll try to add more burn or possibly some avarax, but with just 3 mutations available there it might be hard to find the space for both things, and I'm aiming at trying to add stone rain as well.

It's theoretical so far, but more draw could be a way to add more problem solvers, so draw will be another thing that I'll invest some focus into.

Veiled serpent has been a sweet surprise. In games against blue it has been an added layer of aggression that I've needed, and against other colors I've either cycled it or used it as a blocker. I think adding more of these as well as a few sea's claim, might be a direction to move in, and other bigger sea serpents may be an aspect that I need to test out.

The overall lessons are that I need aggro, draw and flexible removal.

I've managed to defeat a fifth deck, pushing up my winrate to be 5 out of 44 decks. The defeated deck was mill, which is a very hard matchup for this couple. The number of search effects in my deck is too dang high against archive trap, and the thinning effects also add to the problems. Mill in general and decks with aven Mindcensor can wreak havoc on my gameplan, so defeating mill was a golden moment.

I'll return with the final results after 7 more testdecks.

Deck at a Glance

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Mana Curve

Mana Symbol Occurrence


Card Legality

  • Not Legal in Standard
  • Not Legal in Modern
  • Not Legal in Vintage
  • Not Legal in Legacy

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