So after musing on my thoughts for a brute-force type of Grimm which eschews Tell a Fairy Tale along with Light’s other utilities, I took the list to our Wednesday FoW sessions to see how it fares against other brews:
Round 1 vs Liberator Elves by Justin
I had a tough trying to beat Justin’s brew because he accelerates so much on play that it’s absolutely necessary to shoot down a Turn 1 Elvish Priest so that the game won’t go out of hand the next turn when he ramps into a Gretel and into something else. Stories Told in 1001 Nights took care of Kai (which in turn, lessened Greta’s impact on the game), and other than an early 700 damage I was unable to mount an effective offense between his Fiethsing, and healthy dose of countermagic.
This shows one of the glaring weaknesses of a deck that relies on curving in with quality threats – it tends to play only one Resonator per turn, which is an easy target for Exceed and Xeex. So turn by turn passed and his Elves grew up to the point of him playing double Feena, and I had to use all of my Resonators to stay alive. At exactly my 10th Turn, Gilles came in to save the day along with Thunder, dealing exactly the 33 damage I needed to win.
So it’s a stroke of luck more than anything, but it shows the quality of possible top decks that the deck can do. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to complete a second game, and I’m just happy to narrowly escape that loss.
Result: Matches 1-0 / Games 1-0
Round 2 vs Liberator Control by Ericka
Ericka is using the deck which Jo-lo lovingly made for her during the Medyo Major Tournament – an upgraded version of Liberator control. She’s yet to pilot the deck optimally though, as she’s new to it and to the game itself, so she had a hard time matching Fire Grimm threat-for-threat, which shows the raw power, and threat density of the deck.
Result: Matches 2-0 / Games 3-0
Round 3 vs Mono-Fire Cain by Aaron
It’s great to see Aaron doing so well with Cain, and that he’s putting the Thunders I lent him to great use. Here is another matchup I was confident about because of the Robe of Fire Rat in my sideboard. I wasn’t too keen about my chances in game 1, especially with him going first and expecting a blazing-fast start, but I managed to mulligan into a hand with 2 Thunders.
But the thing was that he didn’t have a turn 1 play and elected not to J-Activate on turn 2. This made the rest of the cognates in play a lot less effective, and I was able to steal tempo with some key removal, Kai, and Gherta.
Game 2 saw the power of Robe of Fire Rat as I drew one and it kept a Bullet of Envy-powered Resonator at bay, while I dealt with his smaller ones with removal. The damage prevention kept my life from going into burn range, even as he used two Purifying Fires. Blazer and Giles then took over the game and won the damage race.
Result: Matches 3-0 / Games 5-0
In hindsight, while I saw and felt the raw power and aggression that the deck is capable of, I also felt how vulnerable and inflexible it was with the loss of its Light elements. I could imagine it running headfirst into decks like Alhazred control or Alucard midrange and losing badly simply because it lacks any form of protection. Gilles, and Split hopefully equalize this.
On the other hand, I can see it winning against other, faster, more aggressive decks. I favor it over Bahamut burn, Crimson Girl Aggro, Cain Aggro, and well… just about any aggro deck in general. Multicolor decks are good matchups post sideboard – they can only counter so much of your threats before they fall to Split / Thunder range. It’s not a guaranteed win, but it really helps a lot.
Which version of Grimm is better? I still like my Grimm decks versatile, so I’m sticking with the Fire/Light version, but Fire Grimm definitely has its perks, and might come in as a surprise hit to an unsuspecting metagame that’s seeing a popularity in both aggro and multicolored strategies. But as always, further testing is still needed to see if that’s the case.