Running the Maze

Posted in Feature on September 9, 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).

I had an opponent try to reach the end of the maze at Pro Tour Dragon's Maze earlier this year, but unfortunately for him, I was able to slay him before that happened. He wasn't the only one trying to run the maze at that Pro Tour, but since then the deck has mostly disappeared.

Maze's End

That all changed last week, when I got an email from one Brian Griggs. He made Top 8 at a TCGPlayer Open 5k in Hartford using a pretty amazing deck. He did recommend running a second Witchbane Orb, and swapping the sideboard Ætherling for an Assemble the Legion, but otherwise he liked the deck.

Having your win condition be largely unstoppable and increase your mana base is a huge edge, and the main attraction of Maze's End (besides the challenge, of course). All you have to do is survive, and in the process, you get to blank a ton of the cards in your opponent's deck. Creature removal is useless (getting your Augurs and Gatecreeper Vines killed isn't the end of the world), counterspells aren't all that great, and any other defensive card does nothing.

Still, surviving isn't always the easiest, especially in a format full of all sorts of awesome threats. Brian's solution is similar to what the Pro Tour decks played: Fogs, Fogs, and more Fogs. Much like the Turbo-Fog deck I looked at earlier this year, the combination of Fog, Riot Control, Safe Passage, and card draw does wonders for buying you time. Brian even has a few new twists. Otherworld Atlas is a big one, and once it's charged up, you get to Fog every turn, using Elixir of Immortality and Negate to cut off all your opponent's outs.

Once you have successfully hidden in the fog, all that's left is to search out all ten gates. There are two of many of them, and Elixir of Immortality once again gives you some insurance against something going wrong. Gatecreeper Vine helps pick up whatever you are missing, and all the card draw is a nice backup. Hit ten gates, reach the end of the maze, and reap your rewards!

Brian Griggs's Maze Runner

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