Heartless Bastard

Magic can be pretty cutthroat sometimes. Some people can be downright assholes to get the win. I know you’ve all thought about it at one time or another. I’ve actually gone out of my way to be one.

Heartless Bastard
75 cards, 15 sideboard
Overgrown Tomb
Woodland Cemetery
Drowned Catacomb
Watery Grave
Breeding Pool
Hinterland Harbor

24 lands

Progenitor Mimic
Evil Twin
Sylvan Primordial
Acidic Slime
Deadeye Navigator
Prime Speaker Zegana

2 Tree of Redemption

22 creatures

Gaze of Granite
Heartless Summoning

14 other spells

Deadbridge Chant
Appetite for Brains
Golgari Charm
Crypt Incursion
Gaze of Granite
Abrupt Decay

15 sideboard cards

Have you ever played a Heartless Summoning deck before? It’s downright mean. Sure your creatures are two less mana to play, but they come into play with a -1/-1! How can you be so unkind as to sap their power!! Well, their true “power” doesn’t come from their power and toughness,it comes from the abilities they put on the board. The key card in this deck is of course, Heartless Summoning. This card lets you play creatures otherwise deemed too difficult to be played.

Heartless Summoning

Heartless Summoning

In your opening hand, you want either this or Farseek (preferably this). Why do you want this handicap? Because the average casting cost in this deck is about 5 mana. Without it, you’re going to die to super fast aggro decks or other quick strategies. By playing this card on turn 2, you can then start to take the game over. One of the cruelest cards you can play on turn 3 is an Acidic Slime. Playing it early can stop some strategies dead in their tracks, especially if they don’t draw any lands the following turn. Stopping Aristocrats from playing a 4th land for a Falkenrath Aristocrat, or taking out reanimator’s white source so they can’t play unburial rites on turn 4 is just mean.

Another card you can play on turn 3 is Thragtusk for 3 mana. In this aggro heavy meta, you need that life gain or you’ll succumb to decks like GR or Naya Blitz. A 4/2 beast that gains you 5 life and puts 2/2 beast token into play when it dies is totally worth 3 mana. I’d also recommend playing a 0/12 Tree of Redemption on turn 3, for the same reason you need the Thragtusk. It will stop any and ALL attacks those first first few turns which is all the time you need.

Okay, so turn 3 is done, what happens on turn 4 with this deck? Well, with 4 mana this deck really gets out of hand. You can play a Prime Speaker Zegana and draw 4 cards if the 4/2 Thragtusk is still in play (making her a 4/4), you can play TWO Clones/Evil Twins and copy either your Thragtusk, Acidic Slime, or one of their creatures, or you can let things get really out of hand with a Progenitor Mimic. I’ve targeted my Acidic Slime before and easily destroyed every land they had within 3 turns (putting in a new Thragtusk every turn is also very nice).

By turn 5 your opponent is probably in a very bad place. You’ve been a bastard this whole time, they have no lands, you have 30 life or so . . . just stop all the bullying already!!! Nope. Play a 5/7 Sylvan Primordial and destroy their land or planeswalker for a land of your own, or play a 5 mana Gaze of Granite and destroy all their mana creatures and other 2 mana creatures while taking out your Heartless Summoning (thus making your creatures huge).

Turn 6 is when I would play Deadeye Navigator, but you can actually play him on turn 4 if you want. The danger of playing him early is that you can lose the chance to “blink” him or the creature he is soulbound with, and trust me, you WANT to blink the creature he enchants. A Deadeye Navigator that hits the board safely is pretty much a game ender. That’s why I think 6 mana is when you want to play him. Teamed up with an Acidic Slime, he destroys 3 lands per turn. Teamed up with a Thragtusk he gains you 15 life and puts 3 new 3/3 beasts into play. Its just sick. And the great thing about him is that you can reset him any time with a new partner, reset clones, reset Prime Speaker Zegana to get more cards . . . it’s a crazy card.

The Sideboard

The sideboard is a pretty interesting mix of cards. Playing green, black, and blue can make some match ups difficult to play again. Playing a 4 mana Aetherling can put you in a very good position early in the game, but there is the draw back of holding back damage so he doesn’t die to your own Heartless Summoning. It’s good for control match ups though. I’d use the Golgari Charm as well for control match ups to stop Supreme Verdicts, but it’d also be useful against aristocrats to give all their creatures that -1 toughness to kill them. You can also destroy Heartless Summoning to boost your attack/defense at the last second.

Crypt Incursion is an clever way to deal with reanimator decks, but drawing them and playing them at the right moment can be tricky. Appetite for Brains is another control hoser, and just for the heck of it I threw in Deadbridge Chant. As long as they aren’t playing Jace, Memory Adept (or Esper control decks in general), it should be fine. You’ll have a constant stream of life gain, land destruction, and powerful creatures coming back to the battlefield almost every turn.

As for the Gaze of Granites and Abrupt Decays, it’s necessary to have enough removal against all types of decks. Mutilate hasn’t been cutting it for black recently, but Gaze of Granite has been stellar. It destroys everything and it can do it pretty effectively with 5-6 mana.

How it Handles

I’ve played a few games with it, and it’s not bad, but I can’t stress enough how important getting an early Farseek or Heartless Summoning is. Without them you can get into big trouble rather quickly. It handled Bant control and GR midrange easily, but it took a little more strategy against Junk midrange. I also took on and won against a Naya midrange deck, but lost to Junk Aristocrats due to some play mistakes. With the new legend rule in effect, this deck becomes pretty useful. There are 8 clone effects which means you should never feel bad about making your own copy of Geist of Saint Traft, Aurelia the Warleader, or Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice. While that’s all fun and good, you really want to be copying those Thragtusks of yours against aggro decks, and using Acidic Slime copies to shut down control, midrange, and other 3 color decks.

The deck gives you a lot of options against a wide variety of decks (ie life gain, land destruction, etc), but you do have to learn what hands to keep against certain match ups. Tree of Redemption and Thragtusk are musts against fast blitz decks. Sylvan Primordials and Prime Speaker Zegana are great against control decks because they take out things like Detention Spheres, planeswalkers, and give you a lot of card advantage. Practice with this deck and see which cards help the most in each match up. I gotta say it’s a lot of fun to play, but it’s a pretty one sided affair. Destroying everything your opponent holds dear (their creatures, enchantments, and land) can be pretty cruel. As long as you don’t mind being a heartless bastard, this deck is for you. With only 2 months left until Heartless Summoning rotates, now’s a good time to get that unpleasantness out of your system!