So Benjamin Goodman had me on a high with Valaku, the Molten Pinnacle when I started to peruse decks from Zendikar Game Day. You may have read in Top Decks about my early affinity for the R/W Spanish Inquisition-type decks. I liked what I saw and decided to make my own.
The first Spanish Inquisition deck was a metagame neutron bomb coming out of the US Opens and catapulting Mark Hendrickson into the Top 8. His R/W deck posted absolutely absurd numbers over multiple tournaments, stunning opponents with an offensive array including Call the Skybreaker, Ajani Vengeant, Elspeth, Knight-Errant, and of course, Goblin Assault.
Mark’s deck ran Ajani Vengeant as a four-of, and–though it is rare for me–I decided to play all four main as well; in addition, I upgraded Mark’s Elspeth count to three (from two) and replaced all his Hallowed Burials with the Maximum Number of Day of Judgment. These White cards might seem obvious until you look at the mana base of my deck…
Remember up top when I talked about being hooked on Valakut thanks to @RidiculousHat? I meant it! There are only two total Plains in the deck, so in order to play Elspeth or Day of Judgment, you’ve got to have them both.
Because of that I am thinking about replacing all four copies of Elspeth with Goblin Assault… Not sure about it yet. Elspeth is objectively the stronger card when already in play, but she costs functionally twice the mana of a Goblin Assault… and only rarely uses either of her non-Goblin Assault analogous abilities.
I decided to play more streamlined than some of the lists online… I cut all the Lavaball Traps, leaving my land destruction in the sideboard only. That said, for big spells I have all four copies of Chandra Nalaar in the main, as well as a single copy of Obelisk of Alara (Mark originally played zero and two of that expensive pair).
Spanish Inquisition Update
4 Armillary Sphere
1 Expedition Map
1 Obelisk of Alara
4 Ajani Vengeant
4 Burst Lightning
4 Chandra Nalaar
1 Goblin Assault
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Day of Judgment
3 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
4 Path to Exile
4 Arid Mesa
4 Naya Panorama
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
4 Celestial Purge
3 Goblin Assault
4 Goblin Ruinblaster
So far, this deck has been playing super well.
I have beaten a wide variety of decks (msostly creatures, but also Jund or whatever) and these are my conclusions…
I lost to a PT Junk colors deck, where he drew three Duress very early (maybe even his opener) and I dropped the third to double Duress (obviously got the first one in dramatic fashion); that might not seem so insurmountable but this deck is not very threat dense and the only card drawing gets you lands. I didn’t get blown out, but both were games where I needed a Pyroclasm that he took, for instance, and lost, not to a bunch of little guys, but more to the fact that they hit me once. I am fine with that kind of matchup, though; long run anyway. The only other deck I’ve lost to is the Hedron Crab “Dredge” deck. Without devoting signficant slots to Relic of Progenitus and Ravenoous Trap, I don’t see how you can beat that deck easily. Maybe it’s not a real deck? Very poor matchup.
First of all, every single card in the main and side has been producing. If anything my least favorite cards are Path to Exile and Elspeth, Knight-Errant… but you know the caliber of those cards. That said, my favorite cards to play so far have been Goblin Assault and Obelisk of Alara. No one has conceded to a Goblin Assault, but many players have sent Duress or Celestial Purge before the first Goblin came online. Also no one has conceded to Obelisk of Alara, but many have commented that they can’t beat it… three or four turns before actually losing.
I won a mirror last night (yay). We had very divergent strategies. I sided in Celestial Purge and he sided out all of his Ajanis and Chandras and so on 🙂 I won in three.
The second game I lost from a fair amount of life when I tapped down 6/7 mana for Obelisk of Alara and got hit by a kicked Elementa Appeal (WHAT?). The problems with his strategy were: 1) Ajani and Chandra were still really good for me, as was Goblin Assault, so the fact that he had Celestial Purge didn’t change the fact that he used 1.5-2 cards per Red permanent to stay even, and 2) he still had Red permanents for my Purges to hit.
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