RNA Draft #2 – BW Aggro (7-2)
**Check out the link above if you want to see me go over this deck and play the matches with it (I will try to embed these as videos here in the future)**
The link below will take you to the breakdown of the deck.
This deck was very unusual for Esper colors, as it played very aggressively. I decided to take Unbreakable Formation as a first pick and use it as a build around. What followed were a lot of good Orzhov cards, of which I prioritized strong creatures. The deck ended up with 15 creatures (16 if you count Warrant // Warden), 9 spells, and 17 lands. The deck won games by putting on early pressure with creatures that are difficult to block, then setting up defenses with deathtouch and removal and eventually winning with multiple copies of Grasping Thrull, Warden (Serra Angel), or Ill-gotten Inheritence. I was able to get a blowout with Unbreakable Formation in a couple games as well.
Besides Grasping Thrull and possibly Bell-Haunt, all of these cards are solid first picks. I opted to splash blue to include Deputy of Detention and Warrant // Warden, and it paid off. I drafted Warrant // Warden in pack 2 thinking that I could just cast it with WW and if the opportunity presented itself splash to get access to the 4/4 flyer. When I saw Deputy in pack 3 I figured that was opportunity enough, I only played 3 blue sources (2 Azorius Guildgate and 1 island). The island was awkward but 3 was the right number. What is nice about splashing for Deputy is he is meant to be casted late. So, even if he sits in your hand while you await a blue source it isn’t a big deal. You want to wait until your opponent uses up their removal and plays out their best cards before casting him. Moving on, Mortify is one of the best cards in the format and is a fantastic early pickup. I included 4x Grasping Thrull because it is simply the best Orzhov common. It is actually way too easy to get multiple copies of Thrull on Arena because the bots inexplicably do not prioritize it.
The Supporting Cast
This was a solid deck as evidenced by these great cards. All of them are on theme and help add value to each other and Unbreakable Formation. Pitiless Pontiff is a very powerful card when coupled with afterlife cards. In an aggressive deck he is essentially a 2/2 unblockable for 2, and in the mid to late stages he can destroy your opponent’s best creatures and stay alive for multiple turns. In a deck like this you want creatures that are difficult to block, deathtouch, and afterlife. These cards are all excellent choices and ones to look for if you find yourself drafting Orzhov creatures.
The best card here is actually Dead Revels in this deck. With all of the deathtouch/afterlife creatures that card provides insane value. I would have happily played another one over Summary Judgement, but I only saw one copy. Bladebrand is another card that works great in this theme. It allowed my creatures without deathtouch to trade with anything without losing card advantage. Grotesque, Consign, and sometimes Summary Judgement cleared the way to keep the pressure up. I was actually very happy with Consign in this deck. With 4 Grasping Thrulls and Ill-Gotten, there was a decent amount of burn damage here and it felt nice when Consign chipped in a shock while removing their best creature, despite costing 6 mana. Ill-Gotten is a great fall back plan, and I always include 1 in any black deck I draft in this set.
This deck was powerful and fun to play. I had several very exciting games with it. Definitely check out the stream VOD (linked at the top) if you are interested in seeing how the deck plays and fares against different archetypes. I am hoping to add more RNA decks when it rotates back again. The Mythic ladder is kind of messed up right now, as I lose 20-30 ranks with a loss and only gain 10-15 with a win. Since they are cutting the top 1000 I have been cautious this week so that I don’t lose my spot at the end. Oh well, RNA will be back in a few weeks and I am excited to draft it more when less is at stake.