Moving on in our discussion about how Innistrad effects the standard environment we come to RUG. I know I said we would go somewhere else first. but we made a wrong turn. What is RUG anyway? For those of you that don’t know it is an acronym for Red/Blue?Green. Most of the RUG decks are control driven, but they are not your traditional type of control. At least I don’t believe so.
RUG doesn’t have the named history like some of the other archetypes do. Take Fish for example it was an archetype before it was named. That doesn’t mean the roots of Rug do not run deep. I remember building Blue/Green decks when Prodigal Sorcerer still thrived, and Gaea’s Liege deprived your opponent of everything except Islands. It wasn’t long before you saw Channel, Fireball, and Mana Drain enter the deck. Yeah, that was a while ago. Somewhere around the time of Conflux (I believe) RUG got its official name. Why, I don’t know. But the name has lasted ever since.
Here is a current version of the deck that I think shows promise.
I think it needs a little something to put it over the top and make it a type 8 deck. Before we can figure that out lets take a look at this deck. Every single card in this version of RUG brings us an above average amount of Card Quality. We also see some recursion because of Snapcaster Mage. We see card advantage from Think Twice and Desperate Ravings. Finally, we see control with counter spells and Slagstom. All of those elements combine to be a rather versatile deck. But it seems the right decks can just overwhelm it.
I have a buddy who plays this deck at FNM. He does a pretty good job of playing it for a player who is just returning to Magic. His deck is different from above, but it is close enough that I think it can shed some light on its situation. He has a real tough time with White Weenie, Goblins, and RDW. I will admit when he drops Angelic Destiny on Thrun it is pretty scary.
What can we do to speed this deck up against decks that control the tempo of the game. Michaels deck already has a lot of answers to RDW; like Surgical extraction and Geist Flame. But are they enough to deal with Lavamancer and Phoenix? I think it can be enough, especially with the addition of dissipate. It is usually a neck and neck battle from what I have seen.
In the case of weenie decks what can be done to slow them down or stall them out. We already have Slagstorm in the deck. But that isn’t enough. It wasn’t enough when clasm and Slagstorm were running together. The little munchkin creatures are a real problem. Is there an answer? I have been looking for a card to help this deck out for a bit now. I considered Arc Trail, which is still legal, but it is really only good against weenie decks. I even considered Chandra’s Outrage, but it is double red and too slow. I have decided on two possible cards Norn’s Annex and Circle of Flame. Like Norn’s Annex because it has Phyrexian mana in its cost. I am a little leary of spending the life in this match up. It was that concern that made me look deeper until I find Circle of Flame (CoF). CoF should give this deck a much better chance of winning against weenie decks.
Maybe tomorrow we will talk about Blue. It is a busy week for me though. I have to get ready for Con on the Cob in Hudson.