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Decklists that wreck Avacyn's Glory in Revenge

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Decklists that wreck Avacyn's Glory in Revenge

Postby addict insane » 15 Jul 2015, 21:06

I like playing against Avacyn's Glory in the Revenge difficulty because it is the A.I.'s best deck (A.I. can't fully exploit modded decks) and because it's the broken deck of the game. It also wrecks many, many of the modded decks.

The following are good decklists for playing against Avacyn's glory in the revenge difficulty. Some of them are very good against it, some of them just have an equalized matchup with a slight lead. The power level is top-to-bottom, top being most powerful.

I wish I could post the decks themselves for download, but I'm not a programmer like some people here and I don't know anything about content enablers or anything like that. I'm just a Magic enthusiast.

I'll also post a small intro explaining why I play these decklists rather than other modded decks, as well as a few words analyzing Avacyn's Glory's Matchup against the most popular decks in the formats.

Intro | Open
I didn't know that much about Magic when I started playing Duels of the Planeswalkers. I did know enough to know Avacyn's was the broken of 2014.

So I decided to use modded decks against it. Surely I would win using a World Tournament-winning, international menace, right? Right?!?

Boy was I wrong. Mostly since decks use meta calls like Thorn of amethyst, Wasteland, Pyroblast, Spell Snare, etc. I lost to Avacyn's even using the best decks. Me being a Spike, this tickled my interest.

So I began net decking with tournament decks from Modern and even Legacy, such a high-power format. I used Legacy and Modern decks against Avacyn's in Revenge. Did I win? Well, not most of the time.

Given that I'm a spike, I decided to learn a lot about magic and build my own decks, based both on the knowledge I had acquired and on the best/most fun decks I found in tournament sites.

The results are the decklists that follow.

Analysis of Avacyn's matchups versus decks in Magic's formats

Avacyn's Glory versus Legacy | Open
Avacyn's glory is a deck that by nature many legacy decks have weaknesses to. It's a swarming strategy, and right now in Legacy swarming strategies are not that common (except for Merfolk. I'll talk a bit about Merfolk every now and then troughout the text). Zoo and its like have fallen out of favor with the rise of combo, the arrival of True Name's Nemesis, and, of course, Countertop.

Countertop is the only exception of a legacy deck prepared to deal with swarming aggro, with its 4 terminus and its swords to plowshares plus snapcaster mage. Even so, if you were to play an exact card-by-card iteration of a Countertop deck against Avacyn's, you would sadly realize that your Countertop soft-lock can only consistently interact with one and two cmc spells, so when the 5 cmc bombs start dropping, your countertop lock will be useless unless you have a Force of Will in your library's top three. Amongst sumomole's modded decks there was a countertop that abused the Rest in Peace - Energy Field lock, but it was fragile to Oblivion Ring, it was slow (I think it was published when planeswalkers were still not coded, so no Jace, the Mind Sculptor, which meant even less win-cons) and the Countertop lock didn't do much against the bombs anyways.

Delver Variants have particular trouble against Avacyn's (they have trouble against Merfolk, which is probably the only surviving swarming strategy right now in Legacy). In BUG Delver, Deathrite Shaman and Tarmogoyf don't find enough ammo against a deck that exiles instead of killing things, the deck can't defend Liliana of the Veil from so many creatures and Abrupt Decay won't hit the 5 cmc bombs.

Grixis delver's lightning bolts are dead to a lot of things, specially when Honor of the Pure hits the battlefield. Champion of the Parish and Geist-Honored Monk sometimes grow huge, exceeding the scope of almost every burn spell. Tasigur and Gurmag, Grixis's bombs, don't trade with the angels, they die. Young Pyro's tokens are laughing matter to Fiend Hunters and Honor of the Pure'd creatures.

Moving out of Delver decks, Stoneblade has a few saving graces Against Avacyn's, them being Swords to Plowshares, Batterskull, True Name Nemesis and Umezawa's Jitte.

On the other hand, the Legacy decks that easily beat Avacyn's are combo decks, which are OmniShow, Reanimator, Storm, Berserk Poison, Craterhoof Elves, and the like. The problem is they have zero interactivity with the opponent in this case (Avacyn's having no discard, no counterspells, no Thalia's, no Gaddock Teegs) so I don't like playing them against the A.I, because then the A.I. has no chance against me.

I think the only deck that I had fun with when facing Avacyn's was a Merfolk build with the sorcery-countering one drop sideboarded out, and that ran Spreading Seas and Thassa, used to make sure big scary Merfolk lords where unblockable.

The conclusion to this being: even if you play a Legacy brew against Avacyn's, you can't play the exact brew, you have to modify certain spells that are Meta choices, Wasteland being the highest example of this. Otherwise there are too may dead draws and you loose without enjoying the match.

I just want to end this note by saying that in all lists posted in legacy tournament results, the only creature that could block a Baneslayer Angel or an indestructible Angelic Overseer and survive the impact is Marit Lage, which is played only in combo decks, the decks that are boring to play against Avacyn's. There isn't a single creature in creature-based decks that could block those two angels and survive. Not one. (Griselbrand is a demon and requires combo to come out soon enough, so no).

Avacyn's Glory versus Modern | Open
Moving into Modern we run into decks that are a bit friendlier against this type of matchup, modern being slightly more creature oriented. There are still some variants of Zoo, Suicide Zoo being particularly fun for me. There are also CoCo Elves, Podless Coco's, there's Tron (but we have no Karn Liberated) and there's Affinity (but we have no spellskite nor whipflare).

There's still Grixis delver which does lots of nothing versus Avacyn's. Again it packs Lightning Bolts and just a few Terminates. If Delver flips late, he'll for sure take 5 in his non-angelical face.

Regarding G/R Tron, even if we did have Karn Liberated coded into a mod, I think he would be eaten alive by Avacyn´s aggro. There's no way you can defend him from multiple attackers because your few creatures, your Wurmcoil Engines, will get Fiend Huntered/Pathed/Oblivion Ringed. G/R Tron plays Pyroclasm as a sweeper which doesn't kill Champions of the Parish after the Champion -> Gather the Townsfolk opening, doesn't kill fiend hunters, and doesn't kill anything you're interested in killing besides mentor of the meek (a one-of in the list) and Goldnight Commander (two-of). In the Side board, G/R Tron runs rending volley to catch deceiver exarchs at instant speed, which would be a nice addition to the Avacyn's matchup, but still does nothing to stop angels. I think present-day G/R Tron lists would not be good against Avacyn's fastest draws, in which case you could switch by running Firespout instead of Pyroclasm, but then again you need both green and red mana to deal damage to flying and non-flying creatures, which isn't always possible in Tron.

About UWb Tron, well, I've never casted a single Gifts Ungiven in my life, so I can't say a thing about that. Still, Elesh Norn won't stop the stompy horde anyways, and will get fiend Huntered. Iona is your only hope.

I haven't had a chance to test Affinity because I refuse to try an Affinity brew without having access to Spellskite. There was a Tinker deck somewhere around the mods that ran four tinkers and I think eight Moxen, all ilegal, and still played like a clunky, casual brew, not like the blazing fast, turn 4 win machine it is in modern.

Do remember, however, that since the baneslayer angel has first strike, it would receive no damage from a +X/+0 flier with cranial plating. You can't even deal a bit of damage to it so galvanic blast deals the rest, because it doesn't trade, baneslayer is just a killing machine, and you have to go bigger or die while gaining Avacyn's five life a turn.

To conclude, all variations of Twin have an autowin button against Avacyn's, as do all variations of the Birthing Pod and Podless Collected that go combo. Obvious statement is obvious.

Not a single creature in these decks that can block Baneslayer/Indestructible Angelic Overseer and survive the impact either.

Avacyn's Glory versus Standard | Open
I think this is where the cream of the crop lies for playing against Avacyn's. Standard is the most creature-based format, and since more powerful creatures have been printed of late, so have more powerful creature removal spells and spells for creature-based play (Crackling Doooom!). Some of these decks are relatively good when playing against Avacyn's, some are not so much, but the experience is always fun. You get to play a good creature-based game and Avacyn's gets to put up an ugly fight.

Except when playing old standard decks like Aristocrats. Aristocrats versus Avacyn's just sucks.

Getting back on topic, cards like Anger of the Gods, Ojutai's command, Crux of Fate and Crackling Doooooom1!!! are all awesome ways of getting rid of creatures. This is also the format where you find a creature that can block Baneslayer / Angelic Overseer, which is Arbor Colossus. And since aggro is somewhat present in the meta, some decks are prepared for it (Den Protector-Deathmist Raptor like what?!)

Current Abzan decks are the ones that seem to have the most trouble dealing with Avacyn's. Recent Abzan builds seem to be usually running few but very high value creatures which Avacyn's loves removing. Also, Abzan has speed issues and when Avacyn's gets lucky, the hands can be very explosive and close the game fast. Abzan likes to trade card by card, while Avacyn's likes virtual card advantage through playing tokens, making tokens bigger/provide other sort of value, or playing large creatures that make smaller creatures in the board loose value (Angels are not scared of rhinos). Also, Elspeth, Sun's Champion doesn't kill Angelic Overseer. Neither does Crux of Fate. Elspeth does, however, loose horribly to angels.

Mardu is where the fun is. Crackling Doom, Anger of the Gods, Stormbreath Dragon. No more needs to be said, except that among the decks in the community wad there is a mardu midrange deck that comes without sideboard and therefore comes without Anger of the Gods. I'll take this chance to mention the problem of some of the decks in the mods not having a sideboard.

Many times, when I've played against Avacyn's and won, it was because of the sideboard cards in the deck. Many of the decks in the mods come without sideboard and therefore have even less of a chance to deal with a swarming strategy. Cards like Anger of the Gods, Glare of Heresy and Disdainful Stroke are all Tournament staples but for some reason we can't have access to them. Instead, we're stuck with the cards on the mainboard, even though some may be irrelevant to our matchups. Stratus Dancer and Cursecatcher are awesome, but mostly underpowered against Avacyn's. Xenagos is an awesome planeswalker, but how are you going to defend him from an indestructible angel without your precious Arbor Colossus?.

Jeskai midrange needs sideboard but it has Glare of Heresy, Disdainful Stroke and Anger of the Gods. Is not an autowin, which makes it more exciting.

Devotion to Green runs Arbor Colossus, Hornet Nest, and Ugin. Hornet Queen is nice, but sometimes too slow. This deck is insane if you're willing to add cards that are not Standard legal.

So the end of the story is that I've modified certain tournament-legal decks in order to be able for them to take the heat both from Avacyn's bombs and early aggro. Some of them I've just played with the adequate sideboard they already had. Some of them are tournament lists with a few extra cards to spice them up. I think only one of them was my creation, the All-in Slivers one.

Modern Small Zoo | Open
(19) Lands
4x Wooded Foothills
4x Windswept Heath
3x Arid Mesa
3x Stomping Ground
1x Temple Garden
1x Sacred Foundry
1x Forest
1x Mountain
1x Plains

(13) Sorc and Instants
4x Path to Exile
4x Dromoka's Command
3x Dismember
2x Atarka's Command

(28) Creatures
4x Wild Nacatl
4x Experiment One
4x Kird Ape
4x Burning-Tree Emissary
4x Flinthoof Boar
4x Tarmogoyf
4x Ghor-Clan Rampager

The original of this deck runs 4 Goblin Guide instead of 4 Dromoka's Command and 4 Lightning Bolt instead of 4 Path to Exile (Which are in the Sideboard).

This deck is fast and fun. The only weakness it has are its two-power creatures, which is solved with Atarka's and Dromoka's Command. Dromoka's Command can remove an Honor of the Pure (which kills this deck) and fight creatures, or put a +1/+1 counter on a two/power creature and fight a Fiend Hunter to get your creature back. All Commands in this deck overperform, as they should, cause they are borderline broken cards.

I think the original deck ran 2 forest and 1 mountain as basic. Testing is in order, but I added the plains because of the added white requirement from the command and the Path to Exile.

Experiment One goes crazy in here. Becomes a 4/4 sometimes with Tarmogoyf.

Karnless G/B Ugin Tron | Open
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Tower
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Overgrown Tomb
3 Forest
1 Eye of Ugin

4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Expedition Map
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Sylvan Scrying

3 Go for the Throat
4 Toxic Deluge
3 Oblivion Stone

3 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Ulamog, The Infinite Gyre
1 Platinum Angel
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

4 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

I tried to make G/R Tron work but with Champion of the Parish running around as a 4/4 or a 5/5 at turn three it was obvious that Firespout wasn't going to be enough. So I switched to black for Toxic Deluge which, though risky, seems to run ok. Go for the Throat is there instead of Rending Volley and because the deck folds to artifacts anyways.

What I like about Tron is that I usually play aggro decks against Avacyn's, so I'm usually in a hurry to win before an ugly angel lands. With Tron, it's the opponent who is in a hurry. This Uginized Tron does feel like riding on the shoulder of a giant dragon planeswalker.

That said, this deck would not be able to coexist in a meta with Burn and Affinity, since it uses its own lifepoints as a resource for cleaning the board and since Ugin is a boardwipe for everything but artifacts.

In this matchup, however, Ugin overperforms so much (tokens cost 0 cmc, so 0 counters to remove) that I never missed Karn. 4 of him means sometimes you get to clean the board, play another Ugin, +2 until you ulti, draw seven cards, play another Ugin fresh from the seven drawn, and thus keeping the pressure. Or replacing him if he gets O-Ringed. He is instrumental to the defense because he exiles instead of killing, because he can get rid of Honor of the Pure, and because he stays afterwards. At the same time, his ulti is usually a won game. I used to have 4 Wurmcoil and 3 Ugin, but Wurmcoil is worthless on defense, it gets removed and you die.

Platinum Angel should be a Spellskite. However, she is also there to cushion the aggresion because sometimes you're getting hit from the air and Wurmcoil can't block it. Also, I see people in tournaments are sideboarding her in against infect, so it seemed like a decent defensive choice. Though fragile, she has saved me at least once where no other card could. She should be a Spellkite though, but Spellskite cannot be coded.

I love playing big scary things that cost unreasonable ammounts of mana to play. Through its sweepers and spot removal this deck survives double and triple Champion of the Parish openings which sometimes have you defending from 4/4s and 3/3s too early in the game. When you assemble Tron, Ugin activations plus Eye of Ugin fetching Wurmcoils/Angel/Ulamog can keep the offensive until you can finally cast Emrakul. You should almost never put Emrakul into play from Ugin's ultimate, as you will not get an extra turn. Instead lay all the lands from your hand after drawing seven and that should give you enough mana to cast Emrakul. If you've survived the game to the point where you can cast Emrakul, then usually the board is yours and spaguetti monster will be enough to win.

Oh, and in the early game, if you have a kill spell, kill Champion of the Parish on sight. He can take over the game with damage, the same way mentor of the meek can do so with cards.

The fact that, in this semi-vacuum of playing against the AI, the deck doesn't need cavern of souls nor ghost quarter means that you can play three forests, increasing greatly your ammount of keepable hands.

Since playing black means you loose life to Overgrown Tomb and Toxic Deluge, I would understand if you instead wanted to play the G/R version.

For playing the G/R Tron what you should do is switch:

4 Toxic Deluge for 4 Firespout/Pyroclasm
3 Go for the Throat for 3 Rending Volley/Combust (Already a sideboard choice against twin)
4 Overgrown Tomb for 4 Grove of the Burnwillows

Almost-Standard-legal Devotion to the Green Bonfire | Open
I tweaked this deck at first because manifest and morph weren't working for me, so I needed options for Whisperwood Elemental, Deathmist Raptor and Rattleclaw Mystic. I looked just a bit outside of standard too, so the result was powerful.

(24) Lands
11 Forest
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Temple of Abandon
1 Mountain
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Whisperwood Elemental
4 Courser of Kruphix
3 Birds of Paradise (Instead of Rattleclaw Mystic)
3 Polukranos, World Eater
3 Dragonlord Atarka
3 Genesis Hydra
2 Hornet Queen
1 Arbor Colossus
(5) Other
3 Xenagos, the Reveler
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

3 Hornet Nest
3 Nylea's Disciple
2 Arbor Colossus
2 Bonfire of the Damned
2 Combust
1 Consign to Dust
1 Destructive Revelry
1 Setessan Tactics

I love sideboarding because you get this feel as if you were in an real life match, planning your sideboard against an opponent. So I won't tell you my personal sideboard plan against Avacyn's, I'll leave it up to you so I won't spoil the fun.

I will tell you though that, to me, Xenagos is indefensible in the early game, I need to stabilize the board first but then, by the time I can play him, I no longer need him.

This deck is fun because it's still a challenge, it still has a slight vulnerability to fliers, and Baneslayer is still protected from Atarka, but then again you still get to play a huge Bonfire of the Damned even if it's not a Miracle draw.

I do have to say, though, that both Bonfire of the Damned and Combust were supposed to be Mizzium Mortars, but the Overload cost of Mortars is not working for me so I had to switch. If Mizzium Mortars is working for you, I think it's a good choice to try since it's more versatile. In the early game it can kill the ugly turn 1 Champion of the Parish that may get out of hand, and on later turns it can get rid of almost all creatures in Avacyn's repertoire. You won't be able to touch Baneslayer with Mizzium Mortars, though.

If you were thinking about what crazy stuff outside of standard you could play in a devotion to green deck, I think the Miracle choices are just what you're looking for. Even a devotion to Selesnya version could work with Entreat the Angels.

Mardu Control | Open
(25) Lands
4 Temple of Triumph
4 Nomad Outpost
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Temple of Silence
3 Battlefield Forge
3 Mountain
1 Caves of Koilos
1 Haven of the Spirit Dragon
1 Temple of Malice
1 Swamp
3 Orator of Ojutai
3 Soulfire Grandmaster
4 Thunderbreak Regent
4 Stormbreath Dragon
2 Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury
(17)Sorc. and Instants
4 Crackling Doom
3 Draconic Roar
3 Anger of the Gods
2 Read the Bones
2 Bile Blight
2 Utter End
1 Murderous Cut
(2) Other
2 Outpost Siege

This was a decklist I found in reddit and slightly modified it. It was made originally to survive Bile Blight and Anger of the Gods, so most of your creatures are at least 4 toughness or higher. Orator of Ojutai is a flying Wall of Omens, Crackling Doom and Anger of the Gods handle everything that is thrown at you, Utter End is there to handle Honor of the Pure which is the only card that gives trouble in this matchup. Stormbreath Dragon is your own version of an unblockable Angelic Overseer and Outpost Siege is, well, Outpost Siege.

Getting mana screwed is; I think, the only way this deck looses, and, since the mana base is a little wonky, I would consider changing it a bit, starting by perhaps running 2 swamps 2 mountains, but I haven't tested that yet.

Standard Jeskai Midrange | Open
(27) Land
4 Temple of Triumph
4 Flooded Strand
4 Mystic Monastery
3 Temple of Epiphany
3 Shivan Reef
3 Battlefield Forge
2 Mountain
2 Island
2 Plains
(15) Creatures
4 Soulfire Grandmaster
4 Mantis Rider
3 Goblin Rabblemaster
2 Dragonlord Ojutai
2 Stratus Dancer
(18) Sorc. and Instant
4 Lightning Strike
4 Stoke the Flames
3 Ojutai's Command
3 Valorous Stance
2 Hordeling Outburst
2 Dig Through Time

3 Disdainful Stroke
3 Anger of the Gods
3 Mastery of the Unseen
2 Glare of Heresy
2 Arashin Cleric (I think, I'm not sure)
1 Roast
1 Elspeth, Sun's Champion

This is one of the decks that doesn't exactly wreck Avacyn's, but with the sideboard plan it does have a favorable match up.

weird Bloodbraid Zoo | Open
(24) Creatures
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Bloodbraid Elf

(7) Sorcs or Instants
2 Path to Exile
3 Dismember
2 Council's Judgment
2 Dromoka's Command

(5) Other
3 Domri rade
1 Baterskull
1 Umezawa's Jitte

(24) Lands
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Savannah
3 Taiga
2 Plateau
2 Arid Mesa
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Forest
1 Plains
1 Mountain

I wanted to play a Zoo list with card advantage, so here you have stoneforge, Domri and Bloodbraid Elf in a Zoo list. Council's Judgment to get rid of an unwanted permanent of any kind.

A bit clunky, not the finest brew. Gets the job done, though.

Esper Dragons | Open
(27) Lands
4 Dismal Backwater
4 Polluted Delta
4 Temple of Deceit
4 Temple of Enlightenment
3 Island
2 Caves of Koilos
2 Haven of the Spirit Dragon
2 Swamp
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Flooded Strand
(5) Creatures
3 Dragonlord Ojutai
2 Silumgar, the Drifting Death
(27) Sorc. and instants
4 Silumgar's Scorn
4 Dig Through Time
2 Crux of Fate
3 Bile Blight
3 Hero's Downfall
3 Thoughtseize
2 Anticipate
2 Dissolve
1 Ultimate Price
1 Disdainful Stroke
(1) Other
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

3 Drown in Sorrow
2 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
2 Dragonlord's Prerogative
2 Ultimate Price
2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
1 Bile Blight
1 Thoughtseize
1 Dragonlord Silumgar
1 Disdainful Stroke

Just remove Foul-Tongue Invocation and replace with Crux of Fate and any Esper Dragons deck is ready and consistent enough to pick a fight against Avacyn's. Maybe the one-of Ultimate Price should be a Disdainful Stroke, since you want as many ways as possible to interact with Angelic Overseer, but in any case, the type of deck that this is offers smooth control and library manipulation. Speed is a weakness, but we're just waiting for Languish to come and fix that, aren't we?

I'll keep updating with more decks as I get more time
Last edited by addict insane on 16 Jul 2015, 19:26, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Decklists that wreck Avacyn's Glory in Revenge

Postby sweetLu » 15 Jul 2015, 21:20

Why not use Dismember is GR Tron? I think they play that too.
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Re: Decklists that wreck Avacyn's Glory in Revenge

Postby addict insane » 15 Jul 2015, 21:27

sweetLu wrote:Why not use Dismember is GR Tron? I think they play that too.
The life loss from both Overgrown Tomb and Toxic Deluge is already very high. It's an option, but against fast draws you're usually recovering from very precarious life points.

If I could, I wouldn't put a single card that lost you life in that deck, except for Spellskite :(...

I'm going to keep updating with more decks through out the days, so keep checking :)

EDIT: Oh, now I get it. You're asking why not just add Dismember to G/R Tron.

It's Because then you would need two specific cards to get rid of an offensive. You would need to draw both the sweeper and the Dismember. Also, you need all humans to die in case there's an Angelic Overseer in play. Toxic Deluge goes straight to getting rid of the Overseer by the -X/-X effect. It's the better sweeper by far.
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