Taking out the Trash- Moeru Gomi

I don’t know if many of my readers have lived in Japan for long (or even at all), but if you have then you know how overly complicated garbage removal is. Every day of the week is trash day. There is one day for glass, one day for plastic and pet bottles, one day for “Moeru Gomi” or burnable garbage, cardboard gets picked up every other Tuesday, etc. It’s impossible to remember which day is which, so I end up putting it all out at the same time and let them pick it up when it’s that time.

Hey, at least I seperate it.

The current Magic the Gathering metagame is the same. One day beatdown could be on top, the next day control, then midrange . . . it’s hard to keep track of everything. How do you prepare for something like this? The truth is you can’t. As soon as you build something good, somebody comes along with something better. Reading the metagame has become increasinly difficult. Recently Esper (BWU) control decks have made a comeback in Nagoya and have  been doing very well against most of the metagame. The combination of board wipes (Supreme Verdict, Terminus), tempo (Blind Obedience, Azorius Charm), and card draw (Sphinx’s Revelation) have made it the bane of many decks. Naya (GWR) decks are also still running rampant, and you can’t forget about Boros Reckoner either. Are there any decks out there that can deal with these troublesome decks and cards?

Moeru Gomi (BG Beatdown)
75 cards, 15 sideboard
Overgrown Tomb
Woodland Cemetery
10 Forest

20 lands

Wolfir Avenger
Deadbridge Goliath
Arbor Elf
Dreg Mangler
Gyre Sage
Strangleroot Geist
Disciple of Bolas
Wolfir Silverheart
Experiment One

30 creatures

Tragic Slip
Abrupt Decay

10 other spells

Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Golgari Charm
Tormod’s Crypt
Tragic Slip
Sever the Bloodline
Garruk Relentless
Witchbane Orb
Triumph of Ferocity

15 sideboard cards

The recyclables

I really have to thank and give credit to Valeriy Shunkov of Star City Games for his article Experimenting with Gyre Sage . I was looking for a new deck, and luckily I had most of the cards for his GB aggro deck. The Golgari guild is all about reusing and recycling cards so that nothing is wasted, and this deck seemed to be the zenith of Golgari efficiency. Strangleroot Geist, Deadbridge Goliath, and Dreg Mangler let you ‘reuse’ them a second time (be it undying or Scavenge), whereas Rancor is the ultimate recycling card.

This deck puts incredible amounts of pressure on an opponent and doesn’t let up. It can also take out Boros Reckoner without a second thought thanks to Abrupt Decay (which is incredibly important in this metagame). Another strength of this deck is the use of Tragic Slips in the main deck. Cards like Falkenrath Aristocrat, Predator Ooze, and other difficult creatures that can’t be destroyed fold to the  -1/-1 instant (or -13/-13 with morbid).

I changed around a few things such as adding Disiciple of Bolas, putting in a 4th Wolfir Avenger, and totally changing the sideboard. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about using this deck. With only 20 land, it seemed incredibly fragile like Yuuya Watanabe’s 19 mana Delver build from last season or Saito’s current Gruul deck. Indeed, during play testing I found myself having to mulligan due to zero land hands (and this deck does NOT mulligan that well), but because of the low number of lands, you get extremely good value from almost EVERY card you draw.

Sorting your Garbage

Considering there are VERY few cards that cost over $5 in this deck (current prices put it at $167 US total), you might think it’s garbage. There are no $15 Thragtusks, $25 Boros Reckoners, or $20 Falkenrath Aristocrats. In fact, the average price of cards in this deck is close to $1 a piece. Have you heard the saying “one man’s trash is another one’s treasure”? These cards work together incredibly well and make for a very efficient beatdown deck thanks to the “trash” in the graveyard.

One Drops – Tragic Slip, Arbor Elf, Experiment One, Rancor

As I said before, having only 20 lands is dangerous. Your initial hand is going to determine the course of the game. There is a chance that you might draw mana after the first two turns, but don’t count on it. However, you still want to be able to keep pressure on your opponent on turn 2 and 3. Arbor Elf helps you to accelerate into a 3 drop on turn 2 or to speed up getting out your 4 or 5 drop a turn earlier. He’s key to a fast start, but not having him is okay too. Experiment One, on the other hand, is a good card if you want to be more aggressive. Every creature aside from the elves will Evolve him, and his regenerate ability is very important in a metagame currently being oppressed by Supreme Verdict. Just like any other fast green aggro deck, you don’t want any damage wasted, so Rancor is a must. It even makes your Arbor Elf a threat. Tragic Slip is a great way to get around those creatures you can’t or don’t want to destroy through damage. In the current metagame, this is Kryptonite to the Aristocrats deck and also does a decent job of getting rid of Boros Reckoner if you don’t mind sacrificing your Elf into their ranks to activate the morbid. 

Two Drops – Gyre Sage, Abrupt Decay, Strangleroot Geist

While you don’t need the mana from Gyre Sage’s ability that much, evolve will keep your opponent defending for those first few turns as you drop bigger and bigger creatures. On average it will be a 3/4 creature that taps for 2 mana and only costs 2 to play. Not bad value if I do say myself. In the current metagame, Abrupt Decay has a plethora of targets: Boros Reckoner, Blind Obedience, Detention Sphere, Loxodon Smiter, Vampire Nighthawk, Ravager of the Fells (flipped Huntmaster), and quite a few more. During the tournaments I’ve played with this deck, my opponents seemed to squeal with glee when they dropped their Boros Reckoner on turn three to stop the bleeding my Strangleroot Geists were causing, but their hearts sank when Abrupt Decay melted it into oblivion the following turn. Speaking of Strangleroot Geist, it’s a perfect fit in this deck. He’s one of the key cards in the deck and in most situations he’ll be able to sneak in damage or at worst, trade with your opponent’s blocker. Thank goodness you get another use out of him and a 3/2 body after the first time. 

Fast zombies are the scariest

Fast zombies are the scariest

Three Drops – Wolfir Avenger, Dreg Mangler

Dreg Mangler is Strangleroot Geist’s uglier, much meaner, older brother. He comes in a 3/3 body with haste and thanks to Arbor Elf can see play on turn 2, but it’s kind of sad that he doesn’t have undying. However, his scavenge ability is quite useful. Sure this deck can beat down on those low powered but extremely quick aggro decks, but when you start coming up against larger creatures in midrange decks like Restoration Angels, Angel of Serenity, and other 4+ toughness creatures, you could be in trouble. Scavenge lets you get one more use out of him, and later on in the game when you’re sitting on 10 mana, a few Rancors in your hand, and just one creature on the table, you’ll be more than happy to use his hand-me-down flesh for a boost in power.

Wolfir Avenger is extremely necessary in the current metagame in order to play against control decks. His regeneration ability will assure he is the last creature on the table after a board wipe (as long as it’s not Mutilate or Terminus), and his flash ability adds another level of strategy to your attack. Since you’re playing with 2 Evolve creatures, you can wait until your opponent blocks, thinking their creature will kill yours, flash him in to evolve Experiment One and Gyre Sage, and suddenly you are two creatures up against your opponent and they are 2 down.

The others – Deadbridge Goliath, Wolfir Silverheart, Disciple of Bolas

We have all these small creatures, but we need something to seal the deal with. First off there is Deadbridge Goliath. A 5/5 creature on turn 3 or 4 is dangerous in itself, but he also acts as a much needed evolve trigger to push those creatures to 4 power. His big body makes him a great blocker as well, and with Rancor attached he’ll be sure to push some damage through. His scavenge ability is relevant later on too. Wolfir Silverheart is insane in this deck, pushing your creature’s powers to untold heights (especially if you have Rancors in play). The original build had 3 of him in the deck, and as control starts fading away I’ll be sure to put a 3rd back in. When soulbounded, he should definitely evolve some creatures as well. 

Wolfir Silverheart

Wolfir Silverheart

Disciple of Bolas took over two spots from Lotleth Troll, and let me explain why I made that choice. Yes Lotleth Troll has built in trample and with 28 other creatures in the deck his power could become impressive, but you also have to take into account the amount of control in the current metagame and lack of black sources in this deck. Yes you can attack your opponent and get them down to NEAR zero in a few turns, but if you’re throwing away your creatures to boost him up you’re not going to be able to stay in the game when the other deck stabilizes. I don’t know how many times I lost a game because I ran out of gas and couldn’t draw any cards to keep up. This deck needs to keep the pressure on and keep slamming your opponent until there is nothing left. You won’t win a game of attrition and the longer a game goes the worse your chances are. Just slap some Rancors on a creature, attack, then sacrifice him to the Disciple to draw tons of cards and gain life so you can continue the march next turn. 


  • Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord – good against control decks that can lock you down with Tamiyo since you can drain their life away by sacrificing a creature. Only way you’re going to be Turbo Fog decks.
  • Golgari Charm – extra ammo against Aristocrats, good against Esper control to take out Blind Obedience and regenerate before a Supreme Verdict.
  • Tormod’s Crypt – I’m sure reanimator is out there somewhere ready to make a comeback. 
  • Tragic Slip – good against those decks where creatures can’t be destroyed
  • Sever the Bloodline – damn spirit tokens. Take them all out! 
  • Garruk Relentless – gotta have something else against control to keep the creatures coming out.
  • Witchbane Orb – you should probably watch out for mill decks with Nephalia Drownyard and Jace, Memory Adept.
  • Triumph of Ferocity – against control, this is probably better than Disciple of Bolas. 

Trash Day

I still don’t have any idea which trash day it is today . . . plastics maybe? Anyways, now that you have your cards together and are ready to test this deck out, a few tips on how to play it. As I said before, this deck isn’t that good with mulligans. You do NOT want to keep a heavy hand with a few 4 drops unless you have some mana acceleration, and it’s also important to have at least a black and green mana source in that opening hand. Getting stuck with only green can hurt sometimes. 

I’ve been play testing this deck at casual events around the city for the last few weeks, and the results have been promising. I came in 5th place the other day out of 15 people, beating a very good Aristocrats player as well as UWR control, and I’ve also had success against RUG flash, Boros Red, and Turbo Fog. Esper control still gives me problems, but I think it’s because I haven’t fully mastered this deck yet and sideboarded incorrectly. So what’s a good hand to keep and how do you play this deck?

Well, like I said before, be mindful of how heavy your hand is. You most likely won’t be able to get that Wolfir Silverheart and Deadbridge Goliath out right away, so if you have 3 in your hand, send it back and get a new one. A great opening hand would have: Forest, Woodland Cemetery, Arbor Elf, Dreg Mangler, Strangleroot Geist, Rancor, Abrupt Decay. 

This opening hand gives you a very aggressive start. Turn 1 Arbor Elf, followed by a T2 Dreg Mangler for 3 damage, and on turn 3 Strangleroot Geist with a Rancor attached for 7 damage. Against slow decks, that’s an easy 10 damage against your opponent. Now by turn 3 they might have a creature out, but in all likeliness it’s casting cost won’t be more than 3 total. On turn 4, attack again, kill the creature with Abrupt Decay, and you’re done. Will you get a hand like this all the time? No way, but there a number of good combinations that will give you the upper hand. This deck puts your opponent on defense right away and forces them to put all their cards on the table so to speak. Because of the low land count and various card combinations, I recommend playing this deck 10-15 times with friends before taking it to a FNM or other Magic event. Once you know how to react to various situations and which hands to keep, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with. 

Just remember to recycle.