The Cat is Back! – FoW Saturdays 05/09/15 – 1st Place

No, not Cheshire. I’m talking about this cool cat:

Gatto!

Despite Red running rampant throughout the day, I managed to get through the fire and flames with this list:

Ruler: Puss in Boots / D’Artagnan, the Bayoneteer

4 Elvish Priest
4 Heartless Tin Man
4 Gretel
4 Athos, the Three Musketeers
2 Mind-Reading Fox

4 Absolute Cake Zone
4 Musketeer’s Bayonet
3 Flying Carpet
3 Silver Shoes
3 Silver Stake
3 Crucifix
2 Longinus, the Holy Lance

4 Magic Stone of Gusting Skies
6 Magic Stone of Wind

Sideboard:
4 Evolution of Limits
4 Law of Silence
4 Genesis Creation
2 Exceed, the Ancient Magic
1 Crucifix

My newest list has gone far from the previous builds that uses the other Musketeers + Pumpkin Witch to finish the game. Rather, this build goes all-in on Additions to either Tin Man, Athos, or the Fox. It plays rather simple: get any of the three Resonators on the field as soon as possible, then pump them full of Additions. From there, the opponent is a swing or two away.

If you’ve played Standard in Magic these past few months, this build can be likened to the Blue/White Heroic deck, right down to its strengths and weaknesses. But before we go further into the deck, here are the results of the four rounds:

2-0 vs Bahamut Burn
2-1 vs Bahamut Burn
2-0 vs Alhazred Card Soldier / Necronomicon
Split vs Alhazred Control*

*The store manager had to do a lot of stuff, so he let me have the win, but I think this matchup is unfavorable for Puss.

The loss from the second Bahamut deck came from a pretty mediocre draw plus additional damage from Split the Earth, which placed me within burn range. See, even at two colors and four Cake Zones, Split still shines!

Speaking of mediocre draws, a huge chunk of the decision-making process comes from the Mulligan phase. Just like U/W Heroic, this deck misfires at times because it relies on certain cards working together, and even though I’ve tried to remedy this by putting in alternative win conditions (Tin Man and Fox), there are times that it draws really badly and you have to accept it. Such is the nature of card games.

In exchange, when it works, it works wonderfully – usually killing the opponent by the 5th turn, or any turn after that; sometimes even earlier. From the outside, it looks like a one-sided massacre, but the truth is that there are a lot of things to look out for before picking Puss.

First is the state of the metagame. For now, Bahamut is king, and every deck has to play around Split the Earth. If Wind had more great additions and another Resonator similar to the Fox, I would have played Wind all the way. From experience though, going all-green puts all of your hopes into drawing Athos that there are games wherein the deck doesn’t fight one bit. I think that is way riskier than splashing a second color and try to minimize and/or play around Split the Earth.

The deck wins over Bahamut by going over it – meaning that it plays bigger/more resilient Resonators that Fire can’t handle. We will take initial damage, but in exchange, we can shut off Bahamut’s mid-game and they have to slow down and rely on burn. That’s when we develop our field more, and maybe give the opponent a giant poke or two. Once we get enough damage on field, swing for lethal.

Second is knowing which decks are in and which ones are seeing a decline. Split the Earth means that three-color decks such as Grimm gets pushed off the radar, which means no Emperor in New Clothes – the #1 counter to the deck. Elvish Bowman is rare too, given that most of the decks just splash Light and rely on Dream of Juliet for their Addition problems.

A wrong call that I’ve made is that Alhazred decks will also be swept away by the Split, but apparently, he’s still the go-to guy for Darkness-based decks. This posed a bit of a problem because he can shut down Additions effectively, with the solution being to brute-force it and overload one of my resonators with more Additions.

Finally, when you have those first two conditions fulfilled, there’s the matter of playing the deck optimally. We’ve mentioned the Mulligan having a big impact on the outcome of each game, and here are some general rules to follow when doing so:

1) Keep Athos. He’s our main guy. It’s possible to keep two, but only if you have ways to produce additional will early on. And speaking of those…

2) Keep Elvish Priest if you have Athos in hand. A turn 2 Athos is very hard to deal with, especially when you have Crucifix added to him.

3) Keep Gretel if you have no Elvish Priest in hand, but have Athos. You still get to cast him on turn 3 and add another Addition to him with the extra Magic Stone available.

That said, I think Gretel doesn’t add much to the deck. Given how the deck sorely needs removal, Familiar of Wind and/or Wind Dagger might be better alternatives.

4) Throw back all other Addition cards except:
– Crucifix if you have a Tin Man in hand and willing to risk playing him turn 1 and hoping he doesn’t die.
– Musketeer’s Bayonet if you have Athos in your hand.

The rest, you’ll learn through studying different hands. Some hands are very easy to mulligan while others can be tough and/or risky. Just remember to keep any key cards and you’ll often do fine.

The other problem you’ll be facing will be which addition to use on Athos. The safest pick will always be Crucifix because it makes him almost invulnerable. In Darkness matchups, it’s sometimes better to go for Longinus directly for the additional stats. From there, you’ll want to have a Musketeer’s Bayonet on him next so he’ll win nearly all of his battles. Finally, Flying Carpet is very useful for getting past the opponent’s defenses and dealing huge damage.

For the Fox, Longinus is the primary choice, but any stat-increasing addition will work fine too. Next thing to add is Flying Carpet. Finally, Crucifix prevents your Fox from being attacked.

Tin Man needs Crucifix ASAP. Oftentimes, that’s all he needs since he grows naturally as you put additions to your other Resonators. However, it wouldn’t hurt to add a Magic Carpet on him.

For any other Resonator (assuming you drew really badly), the order would be: Crucifix, Longinus, Silver Shoes/Slippers, Bayonet, and Magic Carpet. You’ll generally lose these games, but it’s still worth a shot.

Based from the experience last Saturday, here are the changes that I’d do to the deck moving forward:

Ruler: Puss in Boots / D’Artagnan, the Bayoneteer

4 Elvish Priest
4 Heartless Tin Man
4 Familiar of Wind
4 Athos, the Three Musketeers
2 Mind-Reading Fox

2 Absolute Cake Zone
4 Musketeer’s Bayonet
4 Flying Carpet
2 Wind Dagger
2 Silver Shoes
2 Silver Stake
4 Crucifix
2 Longinus, the Holy Lance

4 Magic Stone of Gusting Skies
6 Magic Stone of Wind

Sideboard:
4 Evolution of Limits
4 Law of Silence
3 Return to Stories
2 Genesis Creation
2 Absolute Cake Zone

More defense against smaller Resonators, card draw, protection, and some removal in the side board. Will test this out during the week and see how it fares. In theory, it should be better.

So that’s it for Puss! If you think your meta has evolved in a way that’s ripe for the picking, and are feeling lucky, give Puss in Boots a try!

Until then!

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2 thoughts on “The Cat is Back! – FoW Saturdays 05/09/15 – 1st Place”

  1. Is Silver Stake only at 2 because it requires Light mana? Because it just seems like a functionally better Silver Shoes to me. And would the green true stone be worth running in the updated version? And what does Genesis Stone go in against? Is Dragonslayer worth considering?
    Thanks in advance, really like the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi dark, I’ve tweaked the list a bit since then, and here are the changes I’ve made:
      – Silver Stake is at a healthy 3 copies as in the previous list.
      – -2 Absolute Cake Zone in main deck, +1 Flying Carpet, and +1 Crucifix. This is to better handle a Tin Man opening, wherein we can gamble on turn 1 Tin Man into turn 2 Crucifix and possibly snowball from there.
      I also found Flying Carpet to be good enough to warrant 4 copies in the deck.
      – I’ve read Genesis creation wrong in that it brings back an Addition: Field rather than an Addition: Resonator. Since we’re bringing Cruficix main, we’ve got some free space for the following:
      3 Return to Stories
      2 Absolute Cake Zone
      – I found that Law of Silence doesn’t work as much in our local metagame, so I’m cutting if off for the meantime. In it’s place, I’m putting 3 Dream of Juliet because some locals are siding in Milky Way to counter Puss.
      – I found Exceed a bit too slow. With our general fear being The Emperor in New Clothes, I think Xeex will fit better.
      – Finally, the remaining slot from Law of Silence can either be filled up with another copy of Xeex, Exceed, or Dragonslayer.
      – Speaking of Dragonslayer, it’s a good card to pack, but only against Bahamut. Blazer and Gilles are too resilient to Destroy effects. If you find that these two are more threatening than Bahamut himself, Xeex might be a better option.

      I hope this helps, and thanks for your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

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