Bug Smash

Posted in Feature on November 5, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

It's rare to see Nightveil Specter, Scavenging Ooze, and Reaper of the Wilds all joining forces with Prognostic Sphinx and going on the warpath, but they certainly do in this deck. This is midrange at its finest, with a full complement of resilient threats that also play good defense, a light smattering of removal and disruption, and even seven Planeswalkers to turn board presence into card advantage.

Reaper of the Wild

Because this deck is by design less focused than most (a hallmark of midrange decks), it's useful to look at the curve more than just the categories of cards. There are no one-drops besides Thoughtseize, but seven scry lands give the deck a productive way to essentially spend mana on the first turn when the deck doesn't have a Thoughtseize. The two-drops force early interaction, and in the case of Sylvan Caryatid, even ramp while doing so. At three you have more removal in Hero's Downfall and Far & Away, with Nightveil Specter and Ashiok as the threats. Once you hit four+, you are in threat territory, with Reaper of the Wilds, various Jaces, and Prognostic Sphinx all providing significant pressure and board presence.

I like how well this deck generates card advantage, even without one big draw spell like Sphinx's Revelation. All the Planeswalkers, Nightveil Specter, Prognostic Sphinx (essentially), and even Far & Away contribute to the cause, and I wouldn't be surprised if the deck routinely is up three or four cards by the later stages of the game. Not being focused does have drawbacks, but each card here is individually powerful enough to make up for that.

The sideboard adds to the plan, with various removal spells and card advantage mechanisms coming in against the big decks in the field. This deck probably wants a little more against Esper, just because beating a topdecked Revelation seems tough, but it's easy enough to add a Negate or Gainsay slot to the board (and Gainsay even has applications against Thassa, who seems like she could be tough to deal with otherwise).

thebigO's BUG Midrange

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