Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slivers

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Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slivers

Postby Phosphatide » 29 Sep 2013, 15:49

So I'm really loving Theros, a lot more than I expected. Ever since the first announcement about the Face the Hydra event, I knew I had to participate in it. After prerelease and release day, I beefed up my Orzhov deck into one that does nothing but sit around draining my opponent forever.

Here's my issue with this deck: I don't think the Hydra has an actual "opponent" behind the deck for me to drain life from. Based on the limited amount of information about this event I could find online, here's what I know:
- The win condition is to kill all the heads, so draining life is pointless
- The deck is automated, so there's probably no "player" and draining life is even more useless

As such, this Orzhov deck won't work. I had to come up with a new strategy to take down this event. After looking through cards from the current Standard block (because they're the only cards I had some copies of ready at hand since I only started playing last December), I've figured out a deck that might let me solo this beast.

I present to you, Deathtouch Slivers starring Thorncaster (Deathcaster?):

Click to Expand
- 24 creatures -
x4 Manaweft Sliver
x4 Predatory Sliver
x4 Blur Sliver
x4 Striking Sliver
x4 Thorncaster Sliver
x2 Sedge Scorpion
x4 Wasteland Viper

- 12 Other -
x4 Bow of Nylea
x4 Pit Fight
x2 Seek the Horizon

x14 Forest
x10 Mountain


If you haven't somehow already realized the plan for this deck, it's to swarm the battlefield with Slivers, drop a Thorncaster and Bow of Nylea, and just turn my Slivers sideways to ping all the heads away for glorious victory. Sedge Scorpion and Wasteland Viper are around just in case the Bow of Nylea is taking its time coming out of my deck, with Pit Fight also helping me make sure that some heads will definitely die if Thorncaster isn't out. They're also cheap deck fillers so sure, why not. Seek the Horizon is essentially my deck thinner.

I considered putting in Signal the Clans to try and get the Thorncaster in my hand as fast as possible, but I wasn't sure if it had a valid place in the deck over something else. I had two copies of Verdant Haven in the deck too just in case I wanted to ramp and gain a tad bit of life but then I realized that might be a silly idea and replaced them with more Vipers.

Is this a workable plan? Should I change some numbers in the deck or what cards to be using? Do I even need Hero cards (I only have the Protector, Philosopher, and Harvester anyway)? Is my Orzhov deck actually fine to use and I don't need to drop $20 on getting the cards I don't already have for this Sliver deck? What should I call this deck if I do end up using it? These are the important questions that I seek answers too and I hope you guys can assist me.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Kapol » 29 Sep 2013, 15:55

I don't think there's any official announcement on how the 'face the hydra' thing is going to work. So I wouldn't invest too heavily in anything until after that's official.

I don't think you NEED the hero cards, but they do help. It's too bad you didn't get the one that gives Deathtouch for three mana. But the Harvester will help you dig through your deck for the cards you need. Either of the other two should be fine.

Keep in mind that the Hydra will have some form of removal. I can't remember the details of the spell, but it's an important aspect to keep in mind.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Cmeej » 29 Sep 2013, 16:15

Interesting Theros build regardless. My biggest beef with this expansion is the ungodly power creep. Anyway, I'm loving me some minotaurs for gameday.

Good hint here for planning out our gameday strategies: http://bit.ly/167lfnR
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Phosphatide » 29 Sep 2013, 21:07

Upon rereading the description for Bow of Nylea, I have discovered I've been doing everything wrong because it grants deathtouch only to attacking creatures.

I still feel like I can make this work somehow. Probably. Should I just remake this deck into a green "Slivers" deck with more cards like Hunt the Weak and Time to Feed? Add in white to put in Sentinel Sliver so my slivers don't tap when attacking and thus allow me to just tap them all out into the hydra with the deathtouch?

I also realize it is a bit early to be thinking about it, but I like to have a base deck to start with that I can adjust as more information gets released.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby phlip » 29 Sep 2013, 21:19

Phosphatide wrote:Upon rereading the description for Bow of Nylea, I have discovered I've been doing everything wrong because it grants deathtouch only to attacking creatures.

Sure, but the creatures are attacking when Thorncaster-granted ability triggers... your combo still works.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Phosphatide » 30 Sep 2013, 09:03

phlip wrote:
Phosphatide wrote:Upon rereading the description for Bow of Nylea, I have discovered I've been doing everything wrong because it grants deathtouch only to attacking creatures.

Sure, but the creatures are attacking when Thorncaster-granted ability triggers... your combo still works.

Oh, wait.

Excuse me as I roll around on the ground in self-shame for once again forgetting how a card works; I had assumed the ability was "Tap: [card name] deals one damage to blah blah blah". Funny how the description I pulled out in the original post worked for what I thought in my head and how it still actually happens.

Perhaps the plan still works I guess.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby lazylantern » 18 Oct 2013, 20:18

I know I'm facing the hydra with a very low budget Mono Black Deathtouch + removal deck

Seems to work in theory, I'll only know tomorrow.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Dix » 18 Oct 2013, 21:15

I'm thinking cheap ass RW heroic deck with a smattering of M14 lifegain stuff (archangel of Thune for counter ramp and lifelink)
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby tamaness » 20 Oct 2013, 10:54

There's a lot of variance between normal mode and hard mode on the hydra, but deathtouch is certainly a thing.

Also, apparently Mind Grind for 1 will kill the Hydra deck, as there are no lands. You can't make the hydra draw or discard, but I don't see anything about revealing cards.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Kapol » 20 Oct 2013, 11:35

madAlric wrote:There's a lot of variance between normal mode and hard mode on the hydra, but deathtouch is certainly a thing.

Also, apparently Mind Grind for 1 will kill the Hydra deck, as there are no lands. You can't make the hydra draw or discard, but I don't see anything about revealing cards.


Not true. If the hydra is milled out, the battle continues until all of the heads are dead. It does mean (if I'm not mistaken) that the Hydra can no longer cast spells or grow new heads though.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby tamaness » 20 Oct 2013, 12:21

ah, good point.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Dix » 20 Oct 2013, 16:36

Bow of Nylea is straight OP against the Hydra.I saw a turn 4 win on nightmare (5 head) mode.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Lancer » 21 Oct 2013, 23:24

Bought a hydra deck myself to mess around with. Maybe it's just aggro decks (killing a head turn 1 with a rakdos cackler, hunter, and warrior... yup) but in order to really give a challenge I've had to resort to general silliness. A friend of mine tried a rampant growth mode with me, where it starts with 1 or 2 heads but flips over 5 cards whenever a head is killed instead of 2. Still managed to take it out without too much trouble.
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Re: Possible deck for Face the Hydra? Feat. Deathtouch Slive

Postby Kapol » 22 Oct 2013, 00:18

Flipping over 5 every death isn't actually a huge deal. It does give it a chance to grow more heads. But the heads themselves aren't the main issue. Try having 2+ spells go off a turn instead and see what happens.

EDIT: Alternative: Start with all elite heads. Or put in a rule that all normal heads are now elite heads just for the double damage effect.

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