Big Gruul

Posted in Feature on March 22, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

Standard is reaching the point at which it's been explored enough that most decks that are winning are extremely familiar, but every now and then there are still a few twists.

This deck played, by Tobey on Magic Online, is similar to a deck my team was working on before Pro Tour Gatecrash that Owen Turtenwald in particular was interested in playing for a while, before shifting to Jund.

Tobey has made one important addition that we didn't have: Gyre Sage. Like many players, we looked at Gyre Sage as a slow mana producer, which it is, but failed to think about its power as a reasonably sized evolving creature. The fact that it can also tap for mana is a nice bonus, as it lets you play a fast Wolfir Silverheart—which can be huge—but the real strength of this creature in this deck is simply its ability to get into combat.

I like Tobey's card choices except the exclusion of Thundermaw Hellkite, a card that was excellent for us in testing. I would consider cutting some number of Rancors and Searing Spears for Thundermaw Hellkite and maybe another land.

This deck is definitely a serious threat. Domri Rade is really pushed here, since he's likely to draw cards often, the cards he draws will matter a lot going long because the creatures are so big, and he's great as a removal spell because the creatures are such good fighters.

If you're looking to beat down at FNM, and you like big creatures, this is an excellent choice.

Tobey's Domri Gruul

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