Rupture Spire in Cascade

So I finally caved and added Rupture Spire to my Cascade deck.

I don’t actually know what I was apprehensive about before… Rupture Spire has been great. The deck went from struggling (somewhat) to advertising some very valuable expectation.

Here’s the quickie-quick on how to play Rupture Spire in a deck like this…

  1. Typically you want to play a comes-into-play-tapped land on the first turn; you know, Seaside Citadel… something like that.
  2. You run out your Rupture Spire and pay.
  3. You hammer the opponent with whatever kind of three you drew, after playing a regular land.


It’s that easy!

The down side on Rupture Spire is that it can potentially force more mulligans; for example you have a two-lander and they are both Rupture Spires; any other two-land opener combination and you can at least think about keeping (like if you have Arcane Sanctum and Savage Lands and two Esper Charms you will probably keep)… But with double Rupture Spire, that is a zero option (Remember Finkel’s Second Law).

The other annoying thing about Rupture Spire is when it is your fourth or fifth land and you are already rolling on spells. Like a lot of the time you will go comes-into-play-tapped land, comes-into-play-tapped land, comes-into-play-tapped land, Forest: Bloodbraid Elf… then you can go another Bloodbraid Elf or Captured Sunlight plus another comes-into-play-tapped land; however if your fifth land is Rupture
Spire [especially off the top] then you stall on four. This might not be the end of the world (you are already hammering them with awesome Cascade spells), but you might actually consider pointing Esper Charm at yourself in this spot–this is another somewhat common spot where Rupture Spire can slow you down.

So anyway, here is the updated deck list:

Black Baneslayer version Three Point Whatever:

4 Bituminous Blast
4 Blightning
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Captured Sunlight
4 Deny Reality
4 Enlisted Wurm
4 Esper Charm

4 Baneslayer Angel

2 Arcane Sanctum
1 Arid Mesa
4 Crumbling Necropolis
4 Exotic Orchard
1 Forest
1 Island
1 Jungle Shrine
1 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Rupture Spire
4 Savage Lands
2 Seaside Citadel
1 Swamp

3 Ajani Vengeant
4 Maelstrom Pulse
4 Rhox War Monk
4 Lightning Bolt

Two things about this deck list…

  1. I just pulled four lands out for four Rupture Spires while half-asleep… Not a lot of huge science here, but the Spires have been contributing (I made @RidiculousHat‘s eyes bleed).
  2. The sideboard is transformative. You are no longer a “mono Cascade” deck sideboarded. You transform into a “regular” (but aggression-hostile alternate deck. The attitude sideboarded is more like a “classic” Standard deck (or like the Borderland Ranger deck of old)… Cascade for value rather than full-on ultimatum.
  3. These changes were largely thanks to my Tweeps @RidiculousHat and @amistod… Thanks Tweeps!

Here is a rundown of the last, you know, “five with” matches I ran with ye olde Black Baneslayer:

Four-color Control

His deck was mostly esper with Red for like Double Negative (obviously a solid against YT).

I opened up on Esper Charm, which hit; then he sent Double Negative at Bloodbraid Elf.

My next play was Esper Charm, which I used to draw up and hit lands (it hit).

The next move was (another) Bloodbraid Elf, which stuck and drew out two cards with Esper Charm. He saved a Lightning Bolt for the Bloodbraid Elf itself… But he was out.

Baneslayer Angel obviously hit. And hit. And hit. And that was it.

Next one I opened up on Esper Charm, which drew out a Counterspell.

Sick as hell, dawg! Untap, Ajani Vengeant.

I worked him with Ajani for a few turns while emptying his hand. He hit all his land drops and played the Sphinx.

I was “winning” but stuck on four for a while so I couldn’t deploy Baneslayer Angel or Deny Reality, so Ajani died. That said, he was empty, if in command of a 5/5 shroud when I played Baneslayer Angel…
Baneslayer Number One, that is.

More to come (more Baneslayers, that is)… Concession.

On Twitter @amistod has been trying to get me to play Sphinx over Baneslayer Angel; his argument is that if you untap with Sphinx you generally win.

I don’t agree with him in that if you untap with Baneslayer you win about as often, plus you get to play out of stuff like Anathemancer, too.

Jund Aggro

Interesting game… He started on Putrid Leech but stalled.

He pumped for two every turn, but I was all comes-into-play-tapped and wasn’t doing anything past the the Blightnings and Esper Charms… Nothing to fight his Putrid Leech head-on.

Then I got there with Deny Reality and he packed.

Second game he conceded quickly to my discard plan.

I don’t typically sideboard much, if at all for Jund. All my cards are good… It’s a matter of their being super quick more than anything else; I will sometimes bring in 2-4 Lightning Bolts in Game Three if I am on the draw, but not typically on the play.

Four Color Control

Game One was very competitive as he raw drew three Blightnings. That made the game “very interesting” as they say. I got rid of his hand back, and he topdecked Sphinx. I topdecked Baneslayer. Baneslayer won of course.

I thought I was going to bowl him over in the second, but he had Swerve! He turned one of my Blightnings against myself! That certainly un-landslided it. I got back in there but we were both coming off the top. He drew and played Courier Capsule. With great discipline he waited until the end of my turn to fire it (what if I drew Blightning?) … Unfortunately I drew Esper Charm and re-emptied him. That was the beginning of the end.

Esper Control

I had played v. him a couple of times before… But his deck is heavily anti-Jund, so I take a little splash damage on that one (think Sphinx of the Steel Wind).

I don’t know why I am telling you this but you should know…

I won the first game on a common error on his part.

As usual v. control I opened up working him with discard spells. He made Jace Beleren to get out of it, targeting only himself, putting Jace to below three loyalty. That allowed me to kill Jace with Blightning while erasing his hand!

If he had played Jace so both players would draw card instead, the game might have gone differently.

Games two and three he got me with Identity Crisis.


I had marginal lead on the board, but no hand after turn six or so.

In Game Three he was down to two cards when he played the Identity Crisis, so I had an open to rip almost anything and wreck his hand… But I drew a land. He drew four Counsters off the top to protect His Shroud Phinx.

White Weenie

You know… Mono-White Steppe Lynx.

I got Game One with the dramatic personae if you know what I mean.

He bum rushed me in the second… I was all swimming in hobos.

In the third I got a bunch of Rhox War Monks going but screwed up. He had multiple Honor the Pure in play and I got lazy on Lightning Bolt. I could have just killed his Lynx on my turn but instead I gave him the empty-handed open to draw Arid Mesa to demolish me (can’t respond to both triggers). Instead, I was forced to chump with two beautiful Rhox War Monks.

I worked my way back up to the point where it was no longer interesting. I didn’t die, so I got the space to Ultimatum him a bunch… But that one turn was what mattered; I just got mad lucky to Cascade out of it (or maybe it wasn’t lucky, now that I think about it).

Four wins, one loss in this five-match set. I really like this deck (which you probably know).


Currently Reading: Let the Right One In: A Novel

facebook comments:


#1 GRat on 10.27.09 at 8:23 am

I thought about Rupture Spire too after I saw the comments posted on an earlier post. I figured that after turn 2 it was really terrible and didn’t really help that much. I thought a manabase with a few tri-lands, some basics, and the rest fetches would work out better 🙂

#2 MTGBattlefield on 10.28.09 at 12:06 pm

Rupture Spire in Cascade…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#3 bk on 10.28.09 at 10:11 pm

just wanted you to know i was also instantly fascinated with that Shouta deck. seems awesome. don’t know about that rude awakening though.

#4 Power vs Consistency « Affinity For Islands on 11.16.09 at 5:17 am

[…] get me wrong, there are some four- and five-color decks out there (see Mike Flores’ Black Baneslayer—which recently saw two berths in the top 8 of the StarCityGames Nashville $5K—and YO! MtG […]

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