Feature Article from Frank Lepore

Video Deck Tech - GW Collected Company

Frank Lepore

4/23/2015 11:01:00 AM

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With all the Dragonlord Ojutais and Dragonlord Silumgars floating around, I was thrilled to find this deck, piloted by Bram Snapvangers to a Top 64 finish at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir. While Top 64 might not sound terribly impressive to you, keep in mind that the following deck did manage to help him go an awesome 8-2 in the Constructed portion of the event. Winning eight rounds and losing two against some of the greatest in the world is definitely something of a ringing endorsement for the deck.

GW Aggro by Bram Snapvangers
Finished 33rd - 64th Place at Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir
Main Deck
Sideboard
4 Avatar of the Resolute
4 Boon Satyr
3 Den Protector
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Reverent Hunter
4 Surrak, the Hunt Caller
Creatures [27]
2 Aspect of Hydra
4 Collected Company
3 Dromoka's Command
2 Valorous Stance
Spells [11]
6 Forest (262)
2 Mana Confluence
2 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
2 Plains (250)
4 Temple of Plenty
4 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills
Lands [22]
Deck Total [60]


2 Archetype of Courage
1 Aspect of Hydra
1 Become Immense
1 Dromoka's Command
1 Gods Willing
4 Nylea's Disciple
2 Plummet
1 Reclamation Sage
2 Valorous Stance
Sideboard [15]





Click for full deck stats & notes!

After Snapvanger's finish, Fate Reforged Pro Tour Champion Antonio Del Moral Leon took the deck, made a few tweaks, and managed a Top 16 finish with it at Grand Prix Krakow. To say this is an impressive deck that's still flying under the radar is definitely an understatement.

But don't take my word for it. Let's see it in action.

GW Collected Company vs. Abzan Aggro

GW Collected Company vs. UB Control

GW Collected Company vs. GW Collected Company

GW Collected Company vs. RW Midrange

My biggest issue with making changes to a deck is that it makes me feel like I'm claiming to know more than a well-renowned pro that has put a ton of time and effort into the list. One thing I do want to do is look at some of the changes (and some of the things that remained the same) between the two top-placing versions of the deck. The difference between Snapvangers' list and Leon's list is as follows:

Maindeck
+2 Seeker of the Way
+1 Dromoka's Command
+2 Forest

-1 Reverent Hunter
-2 Surrak, the Hunt Caller
-2 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard
+3 Mastery of the Unseen
+1 Reclamation Sage
+2 Feed the Clan

-1 Aspect of Hydra
-1 Dromoka's Command
-2 Plummet
-2 Valorous Stance

Personally, I was never a big fan of Aspect of Hydra when I was playing the deck. With all the removal floating around it actually felt somewhat difficult to get enough devotion to make the card relevant and I never wanted to risk getting blown out by a two-for-one for an additional two or three damage. While Leon didn't Remove them from the maindeck, he did add the fourth Dromoka's Command (which I felt was a better “trick”) and removed the additional Aspects that Snapvangers had from the sideboard.

I'm also not sure about removing the Plummets. While we can deal with Thunderbreak Regent, we don't have too many ways to do so; furthermore, the fliers I'm really concerned with are Stormbreath Dragon (which Dromoka's Command can't touch) and Dragonlord Silumgar (whose five power and deathtouch makes him pretty resilient to fighting). While we still have Valorous Stance for the latter, I'm still not sure I would want to be at the mercy of having to spend two cards when our opponent is playing things like Dragonlord Silumgar. This also says nothing of Icefall Regent, which can't even be hit by Valorous Stance, makes our Dromoka's Command cost four, and will usually just trade in a fight.

The addition of Mastery of the Unseen seems like a great one that I'm all for. The card is a powerhouse and gives any deck it's included in a huge boost of longevity. It also lets us play more of a controlling role than we do, seeing as we're basically an aggressive deck.

Another change that was made was removing two Surrak, the Hunt Caller for, presumably, two Seeker of the Way. While I love a Seeker of the Way, I'm not sure I completely support this change for a couple reasons. One is that Seeker doesn't add to our devotion to green at all (despite the life gain being potentially relevant). The other reason is that there were so many games where we would play a hasty Surrak and either win, or have the opponent kill him allowing us to play a second hasty Surrak. The point is that Surrak is an incredibly strong threat and I felt that he was consistently a force to be reckoned with, even when drawn in multiples. Maybe cutting one is correct, but I don't know how big of a fan I am of going down to two.

Mid
Low
 Collected Company
$18.56
$10.00
Store QTY Price  
MTGLamb 1 $10.00
GenX Games 5 $13.00
Inks Game Store 1 $13.01
Tier Zero Gaming 1 $13.99
KaboomVB 5 $14.00
timewarp cards 2 $14.00
Good Games USA 4 $14.14
Challenges Games 1 $14.20
Adventure Games Osh 5 $14.21
Defiant Fox Games 1 $14.25
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Collected Company Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

The funny thing is that I didn't even get to cast Collected Company, aside from the game I was losing. Unfortunate, but I think that goes to show The General power level of the deck. Collected Company is huge in the deck with its 23 viable “targets” but even without it, the deck is still an incredibly resilient aggro deck. I think that's a strong testament to the power of the creatures in this format. Cards like Valorous Stance and Dromoka's Command are no slouches either. With all the Esper and Red/Green decks running around, after playing this list it quickly became one of my favorites in the format. Over a year later and Fleecemane Lion is still just as hard to deal with. While the black-based decks have gotten a little reprieve with Foul-Tongue Invocation, the odds of us not having an additional creature to sacrifice are pretty low.

Alas, that's all we have for today. On Monday we'll be back with some more Modern, but if that isn't enough, make sure to follow me and tune into my stream over on TwitchTV. Thanks for reading and I'll catch ya then!

Frank Lepore
@FrankLepore on Twitter
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