Deck Spotlight: Gold Digger

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I know there’s been a lot of posts on this deck lately, but since it’s the one I’m working on right now, it’s then one you get. It’s not like I get paid, so it’s not like you can demand shit.

Gold Digger, a stupid name for a sweet deck, is a Blue-White control deck with a red splash for mostly sideboarded cards. You can read my reports on the deck here and here. I thought I’d take some time to go by the card choices in the deck, however, since some of them might not be obvious at first.

The manabase:island334.hq
1 Academy Ruins
1 Karakas
1 Arid Mesa
4 Flooded Strand
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island
3 Island
1 Plains
1 Mountain

I know it’s silly to link the basic lands, but it looked funny to have three lines of un-linked cards, and I wanted to show off my sweet 7th edition lands too. I prefer playing with white-bordered basic lands since all my duals are white-bordered too, and that makes the lands much easier to fetch. The mana-base is very straight-forward, with a good number of basics and two utility lands that are surprisingly easy to find with all the cantrips.

The card-filtering and card-draw:digthroughtime.full
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
2 Preordain
4 Dig Through Time
1 Treasure Cruise

The graveyard-dependant draw spells are the heart of the deck, but even without them, the deck has ten cantrips to create consistency. Dig Through Time feels busted in the shell, since it speeds up the game by like five turns when you resolve it. Treasure Cruise has taken the back seat as “Delve spell number five” in the list, contrary to Delver of Secret shells, which might not even play Dig Through Time (the fools!). Preordain is the worst cantrip by a mile, but it does come with some nice synergies with Brainstorm, in case the latter is cast and there aren’t any available shuffle effects, while Preordain is still pretty damn good on its own.

The counter-suite and removals:forceofwill.hq
4 Force of Will
3 Counterspell
2 Misdirection
2 Pyroblast

4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Engineered Explosives

The work horse of the deck, the control cards, are what sells the deck to me, along with Dig Through Time. How often does one get to play three whole copies of Counterspell? It’s very slow, especially on the draw, but it’s live all game, contrary to Spell Pierce or similar soft counters. Misdirection is an old classic that’s pretty nice in the deck, especially since it makes some of the removal 2-for-2, meaning Misdirection is almost never a bad trade.

Engineered Explosives is slow but very useful in many match-ups, and it’s almost never a dead draw. It is one of the deck’s best answers to Liliana of the Veil, aside Counterspell, and Engineered Explosives can also create card-advantage. Since it is slow, however, playing more than two seems rough.

The win-conditions:
2 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Batterskull
1 Baneslayer Angel
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

I guess the only self-explanatory part of this section is Baneslayer Angel. She’s been doing really well so far and has won me many games against various decks, not just the ones I added her for (UR Delver specifically). She’s huge, often the biggest creature on the board, she dodges every piece of relevant removal aside Swords to Plowshares, and she’s almost impossible to race. Maybe a second Batterskull would be better, but against some decks, the flying bit is much more relevant than Vigilance, and many decks will board into artifact/enchantment hate almost certainly, meaning Batterskull leads a dangerous life in games two and three.

Cards considered for inclusion:
Talrand, Sky Summoner, Young Pyromancer, Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Moat.

The first three are other win-cons than the ones found in the deck already, but I’m not convinced either are better than the ones I’m running. Elspeth is cheaper than Baneslayer Angel, but less impactful on defense, especially against UR Delver and friends. Moat is probably a worth inclusion, but considering there are about a hundred other things I’d rather spend the two hundred euros on, it’s not likely to happen unless I have some secret Santa somewhere who’s psychic.

Things to work out:
The deck runs quite smoothly thanks to all the cantrips and card-selection, and that also makes it a lot of fun to play, and also gives it a powerful late-game. However, the deck is quite slow to win, and I need to pick up the pace, or add more win-cons, if I’m to win several 2-1 matches over the course of a tournament. That, and I need to learn how to scoop sooner to save time. This is made even more difficult because of the deck’s inherent strength of card selection, since it allows me to find silver bullets to get out of most of the situations.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with adding more win-cons, aside the fact that it will dilute the deck’s other two main components. Running some man-lands like Mishra’s Factory might be feasible, but that would take re-working other parts of the deck as well, in order to add things like Crucible of Worlds, Wasteland, etc., which puts a dent in the deck’s now well-functioning mana base, and it eats lots of mana during a game.

With this simple issue figured out, I think the deck could be a proper contender in the Legacy format today. It has game against almost anything, and it’s a blast to play.

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  1. Proxy

     /  January 22, 2015

    Dude, how is baneslayer angel doging anything except Demons and Dragons removal (not very popular removal if U ask me)?


    • It dodges both Lightning Bolt and Abrupt Decay (but not Plow, obv), it kills Delver, Clique and any other Flying creature in the air without trading, and it’s nearly impossible to race. What doesn’t it do? 🙂



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