First things first: the metagame is pretty stagnant. I’ll get to the tournament results from the past two weekends below (sorry, I got busy last week and didn’t get them published). But by now you pretty much know the routine: Lots of Shapers; Grimgaunt Predator; Everflame Phoenix; Zimus, the Undying; and Unheroic Robots. The one exception is that Decurion has had great success lately (winning last week’s Forgewatch Standard Constructed event, and finishing 8th in the Reddit event) with a mono-Alloyin deck built around Steelforged Avatar, Card Drawing, and Creature Buffs. Good job, Decurion, in finding a creative way to defeat the standard Shaper-Spell deck we’ve come to know and dislike.
So instead of focusing on what the largely depressing state of the current metagame, I’m going to use today’s rant to discuss a card that I feel is highly under-appreciated, especially in any Limited Rarity format (e.g. Unheroic, Draft, etc.): Cadaverous Thicket.
Thicket appeared in zero decks in the last Unheroic tournament (on 9/13), and appeared in only two of the 256 decks in last Tuesday’s Reddit event. Raidrinn, one of my fellow Forgewatch columnists, gave the card a zero–that is “Unplayable”–in his recent Uterra Core Set Review. Clearly the community does not look highly upon Thicket.
But frankly, I think the community is wrong on this one. (Sorry, Raidrinn.) In particular, Thicket has two qualities that I value in any card:
- It’s a creature that my opponent doesn’t want to block.
- It’s a creature that is very difficult to kill.
Why do I value those two properties? Because giving bonus attack to a creature is exceedingly easy in this game: Enrage, Ferocious Roar, Lifeshaper Savant, Battle Techtician, Alloyin General, Primordial Surge… you get the idea. Give me an unblocked body on the board, and I can make it dangerous.
Which in turn forces my opponent to block it, or otherwise deal with it. Thicket is vulnerable to Cull the Weak, but most people aren’t going to use a Cull on a Thicket when you first play it; and hopefully by the time they realize their mistake, you’ve buffed it to the point that it can no longer be culled. Otherwise, Thicket is hard to remove. It’s high Health makes it difficult to kill with direct damage or Dreadbolt. And it’s poison allows it to trade with significantly more powerful cards.
For instance, let’s say that my opponent plays a Grimgaunt Predator across from my Cavernous Thicket. Their first combat phase, Thicket takes 5, Predator takes 1 and gets Poison 1. Their second combat, Predator takes 1 poison damage, gets hit for 1 again, and Thicket dies, growing the Predator 2/2, and the Predator gets a second stack of Poison. By the time the Predator’s next turn comes around, it is 7/2 that is afflicted with Poison 2–effectively giving it a death sentence hanging over it’s head.
And that’s assuming that my opponent blocks initially. More likely, my opponent ignored the Thicket when it first entered play, until I buffed it. If the thicket is 3/9 (Roar) or 4/10 (Enrage), it is exceptionally annoying for my opponent to deal with–but in the proper deck, it can be dangerous to ignore.
I am not trying to argue that Thicket is an especially strong card; certainly it is no Flameshaper Savant, Grimgaunt Predator, or Zimus. But in the right Uterra deck, especially in a limited rarity format, Cadaverous Thicket can put your opponent in awkward situations; situations that a good player can take advantage of to gain Card Advantage or to push through significant damage.
In any case, here are the Top 8 decks from the major events of the last two weeks:
Unheroic Tournament (9/13)
2) Klaven: Tempys/Nekrium; Creature Removal and Corpse Crawler
T3) ParkerMD: Tempys/Nekrium; Creature Removal and Direct Damage
T3) Zrandles: Alloyin/Tempys; Buffed Robots
T5) 8Duke8: Alloyin/Tempys; Alloyin General, Move Creatures, Nexus Pilot
T5) Crono373: Alloyin/Uterra; Buffed Robots
T5) IkoRn: Alloyin/Tempys; Buffed Robots
T5) VittorVinicus; Tempys/Nekrium: Creature Removal, Ashurian Mystic
Standard Constructed (9/14)
1) MingistheKing: T/N; Stalling for Zimus and Phoenix
2) Ximane: U/N; Protection and Feeding for Grimgaunt Devourer and Predator
T3) BannedTim: T/U; Spells
T3) Criostasi: T/N Spells with Predator
T5) Grautur; T/N Spells
T5) PEshO21; T/U; Spells with Phoenix and Echowisp
T5) Shabbit; T/N; Stalling for Zimus and Phoenix, with Predator
T5) Silvertail; T/N; Spells with Predator
Bot Battle (9/20)
1) Wolfgang: N/T
2) tab110: N/U
3) Aferes: N/T
4) fkeagle: N/U
T5) CrimsonMirage: N/U
T5) Iciciles: N/T
T5) SanitysEclipse: N/T
T5) Yiannisph: A/U
Standard Constructed (9/21)
1) Decurion: Mono-Alloyin; Avatar, Buffs, Card Draw
2) Tonda: N/T; Shapers, Spells, and Predator
T3) Silvertail: N/T; Shapers, Spells, and Predator
T3) TinyGrimes: N/T; Shapers, Spells, and Predator
T5) Azilith: T/U; Shapers, Spells, and Predator
T5) Bludex: N/T; Shapers, Spells, and Predator
T5) Stautmeister: N/T; Stalling for Scorchmane Dragon, Phoenix and Zimus
T5) Thematik: A/T; Buffing, Creature Removal, and Scorchmane
(Bracket; Decklists Unavailable)
Reddit Standard Constructed (9/24)
1) BTenant: N/T; Shapers, Spells, Predator
2) Zrandles: A/N; Card Draw, Creature Removal, Zimus
3) Whytefyre: N/U; Shapers, Predator, Creature Removal
4) Rotbeard: N/T; Shapers, Spells, Predator
T5) Aje8: N/T; Shapers, Spells, Predator, Zimus
T5) Ryan983: N/T; Shapers, Spells, Predator
T7) Decurion: Mono-Alloyin; Avatar, Buffs, Card Draw
T7) PTKTempo: N/T; Shapers, Spells, Predator, Zimus
Upcoming events include another Constructed Tournament on Sunday and a Common-Only Tournament on Friday. Also, I should note that we have announced the first set of details about the Standard Constructed Invitational Tournament, which will begin on the weekend of Nov. 9. If you want to reserve a spot, I strongly urge you to start playing in the weekly Constructed events. (A Limited Rarity Tournament will be held in December, for those who have done well in the Unheroic, Bot Battle, and other alternate format tournaments.)