Preparing for the Worst: Updating your decks post Avacyn Restored (part 2)

Welcome back for my next installment of updating your decks with Avacyn cards. Hopefully you got some good ideas from the previous post. I definitely think that Frites is going to be horrifying now that they have more giant threats than just Elesh Norn, the Titans, and Wurmcoil Engine. Sadly, this isn’t the only deck you have to worry about. There are a lot of decks in the metagame that haven’t been covered yet, and Avacyn is definitely adding to their arsenal.

Today’s article will focus largely on beatdown strategies that have been dominating the metagame for a while.

GR Beatdown:

GR beatdown is just plain nasty. It uses mana acceleration from Birds of Paradise or Llanowar Elves, curves quickly into threats like Strangleroot Geist, and later on brings out Huntmaster of the Fells or Vorapede. This deck will kill you quickly if you don’t take out those creatures or control the game. Keep your life high or it will be all over.

Hound probabillity: moderate to high

Huntmaster of the Fells is currently sitting in the 4 spot of most GR Beatdown decks, but I can definitely seeing 1 or 2 of the Huntmasters being swtiched out for this more aggressive 4 drop. Double strike, undying, and a Kessig Wolf run are not your friends.

Revenge’s probability: moderate

Beatdown’s strategy is to do the MOST amount of damage in the shortest amount of time possible. I don’t think the player will be running 4 of these in their deck, but you might see 1 or 2 of these pop up in a beatdown deck. It’s a game ender if they pull this, cast it, then pump it up further with a Kessig Wolf run.

Wolfir’s probability: High

Wolfir Silverheart’s ability just SCREAMS beatdown. I could see somebody taking out a 5 drop Vorapede for one of these guys just because of how he can win the game for you with a well played Green Sun Zenith on the 5th turn with some mana acceleration (4 turn Hound of Griselbrand, 5 turn Wolfir letting the Hound do 12 points of double strike damage).

How to beat Beatdown:

There are tons of threats in GR Beatdown, but it’s not impossible to win against them. I beat one just the other day. What will cause a beatdown deck to lose is if YOU control the early game. Keep their table clear of creatures. Counter, burn, do whatever you can to get rid of their mana acceleration and try to take as little damage as possible! Kessig Wolf run will be nasty, so make sure that not even ONE creature hits the table. By turn 6 or so you should be able to start counterattacking. Control can beat this deck!



There are a variety of human decks out there now. The most popular are UW Delver/UW Humans, but there are also the WG and WR variants of human decks that are gaining in popularity. The first two rely heavily on cheap creatures like Delver of Secrets and Invisible Stalker, and use equipment like Runechanters pike to quickly win the game. Geist of Saint Traft is also a staple of these decks. Before Avacyn, the WG and WR decks largely used the same types of creatures. Mirran Crusader and Champion of the Parish were both in those decks, and as of late Gather the Townsfolk was in there as well. For red, Stormblood Beserkers were thrown in, and for green they would have used Mayor of Avabruck or Avacyn’s Pilgrim. The WG deck focused on attacking quickly, and using cards like Gavony Township to amass tons of creatures with +1/+1 counters on them. Red would use Curse of Stalked Prey to get counters on their creatures. Both decks weren’t seen as much as the UW types, but I think that’s going to change.

Crusade’s possibility: Moderate

While I don’t think you’ll be seeing this card in UW Delver due to its cost, I think you will see it in WG, WG, and maybe even regular WU Humans if there are a lot of Gather the Townsfolk around. WR will be especially dangerous with Thatcher’s Revolt (put 3 1/1 Humans with haste into the battle field and sac them a the end of the turn). Better be able to deal with Enchantments in the metagame!

Champion of Lambholt’s probability: High

This could end the game on turn 4 in a WG human deck. 1st turn Champion of Parish, 2nd Townsfolk, 3rd turn Lambholt, 4th turn another Gather the Townsfolk and you have a 6/6 champion, 2 1/1 Humans, and a 3/3 Champion of Lambholt that can’t be blocked by anything with power less than 3. That’s 11 damage in one turn, and if you’ve attacked before already, they will be really close to dying already! This also works great in a deck with 4 Gavony Township cards!

Rider’s probability: High

I HATE this card. Anybody running a tribal deck (e.g. another Human deck, Goblins, Spirits, Zombies, etc) is screwed once this hits the table. During the pre-release I was running WR Humans and once this dropped I couldn’t attack nor could I block. This card will definitely be used in mirror matches between human decks, and it can also be used strategically on that 4th turn to let your Delver of Secrets do easy damage against a Spirit Deck.

Zealous Conscripts probability: High

In a white/red human deck, this card will DEFINITELY be in there. By the 5th turn you could take control of their strongest card, and then attack with everything you have (maybe some Crusaders, Beserkers, etc). And the fact that it says “target permanent” is amazing. This could be an Elesh Norn, or a Curse of Death’s Hold keeping your creatures down, even a Birthing Pod, letting you sac one of your creatures to get another one. There are lot of possibilities with this card.

Gallows probability: Moderate

Against control or a very aggressive deck, this could help save the day against a rampaging creature that is going to kill you. Bye bye Titan, Elesh Norn, etc, and all for the cost of 3 humans tapping. This will probably sneak into some sideboards, but I don’t think it will be main.


Well, This ended up being a little longer than I thought it was going to be. There are still a few cards that I’d like to talk about before Friday Night Magic, so it looks like I’ll be doing a part 3 tomorrow to deal with the straggler cards, as well as some less used decks in the metagame. I’ll also talk a little bit about what new decks I think will pop up in the metagame after this weekend. Thanks again for reading, and please leave any other combos or ideas you can think of!