Interesting Flavors of Deathmist Raptor

Posted in ARCHIVES - ARTICLES on May 3, 2015

By Frank Karsten

Deathmist Raptor is one of the cards from Dragons of Tarkir that has taken a while to find the right home. Its late-game recursion is extremely powerful, but as a synergy-driven card, it requires a dedicated deck. Building such a deck is far from trivial.

Nevertheless, we've seen it more and more in recent tournaments. We've caught the rise of Abzan Megamorph at the StarcityGames Open circuit, we've seen Bant Megamorph in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Kraków, and we've even spotted the dinosaur in Bruno Dias' R/G Midrange deck yesterday.

But that's certainly not the end of it. We're now deep enough in the format that the teachings of Darwin have kicked in and new hybrid species have evolved. Here are some of the more interesting flavors.

Willy Edel's Abzan AggroMorph – Grand Prix São Paulo 2015

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Willy Edel, currently ranked 22nd in the Top 25, showed up with this hybrid between Abzan Aggro and Abzan Megamorph. Compared to a typical Abzan Aggro list, he cut down on early drops like Warden of the First Tree and Rakshasa Deathdealer to add the megamorph duo of Den Protector and Deathmist Raptor.

Edel's record with the deck at the time of writing is 10-3, but he wasn't too thrilled with the deck when I spoke to him about it. "The morph theme is good, but my build lacks Hero's Downfall to deal with Stormbreath Dragon. Most of my losses come from that card," he said. "Maybe the green/white version with Collected Company and no black is just better because the mana base is such an improvement."

Javier Luna's Sultai WhipMorph – Grand Prix São Paulo 2015

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This Sultai deck was registered by Super Sunday Series 2014 Top 8 competitor Javier Luna. The inclusion of the morphs makes sense: If you're already milling yourself with Sidisi, Brood Tyrant and Satyr Wayfinder, then why not add Deathmist Raptor and Den Protector? They fit perfectly well with the graveyard engine that is already in the deck, and add a new angle of attack to the Sidisi-Whip deck.

Luna's record with the deck at the time of writing is 10-3.

Marcelo Zorzi Pinarelo's Bant MegaMorph – Grand Prix São Paulo 2015

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Wait, we've already seen Bant Megamorph before, right? Craig Wescoe introduced it at the Pro Tour and then Sam Pardee piloted it to a Top 8 finish in Kraków, so what's new? Well, how about Ethereal Ambush?

With the addition of extra morphs in Stratus Dancer, Hidden Dragonslayer, and Rattleclaw Mystic, the probability of hitting a morph in your top two cards for value has grown to approximately 49.7% in this deck, which must have been good enough for Marcelo Zorzi Pinarelo to add Ethereal Ambush. And who is going to expect it? Certainly not the Esper Dragons players who tap out for Dig Through Time or think they're safe after a Crux of Fate!

Pinarelo's record with the deck at the time of writing is 9-3-1.

Vagner Casatti's G/W Company – Grand Prix São Paulo 2015

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And finally, we have Green/White Collected Company with Deathmist Raptor. Willy Edel already praised this deck, and it was the choice for Vagner Casatti, who has several Pro Tours and a third place in the 2008 national team competition to his name.

His list has cut Reverent Hunters for the Deathmist Raptor/Den Protector combo. One key inclusion in his list is Collected Company. If you devote yourself to the Raptor, then you'd better do your best to collect multiples of them!