The Return of Borderland Ranger!

Because, you know, Enlisted Wurm-into-Borderland Ranger is plus-two cards.

Weapons of the Enemy

2 Ajani Vengeant
4 Bituminous Blast
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Captured Sunlight
4 Enlisted Wurm
4 Naya Charm

4 Borderland Ranger

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Resounding Thunder

4 Arid Mesa
4 Exotic Orchard
4 Forest
1 Jungle Shrine
4 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Raging Ravine
1 Swamp
2 Verdant Catacombs

2 Ajani Vengeant
2 Maelstrom Pulse
4 Goblin Assault
4 Baneslayer Angel
3 Day of Judgment

With this deck we return to the style of Cascade that I ran in some PTQs to near-Top 8 finishes in the era before falling in love with Blightning.

The deck satisfies a relatively strong power level (despite missing the absolute best card in the format, and generally so closely associated with Bloodbraid Elf)… an “ultimatum” in the form of not just Enlisted Wurm Ultimatum, but the eight mana option on Resounding Thunder.

I lost a bit after getting locked out by Jace, the Mind Sculptor; and a close one against a Goblin Guide / Hellspark Elemental beatdown deck (topdeck mode… I drew three straight lands to his one Hell’s Thunder). But the rest of the matches went pretty well tonight.

In particular, the deck seems pretty solid against Jund.

Borderland Ranger actually matches up pretty well against Bloodbraid Elf. Bloodbraid Elf will usually only net two cards on a Blightning, so Borderland Ranger can match it card-for-card; Borderland Ranger, being a turn quicker, acts in superb anticipation of the more heralded two toughness Green creature. In the late game, this deck has both Enlisted Wurm and Baneslayer Angel to match scales and wings (respectively) with Double Dragon.

I would actually like something a bit faster against the Red Deck. If you draw Lightning Bolt in your opening hand, it is very difficult to lose; but if you don’t, your first answer is circa turn three, and against a turn one Goblin Guide on the draw, you’re just going to discard a bunch; i.e. “poop”. There. I said it. If you can play your game, Captured Sunlight chaining into Baneslayer Angel has been pretty good. I am not 100% on the right sideboarding strategy. I won a close one with four Enlisted Wurms in my deck, but was chewing my nails down to bloody stumps waiting for my sixth land against a triple Goblin Ruinblaster draw; I swapped Bituminous Blast back in for the third (which should have been great against all the Red Deck hasters), but they never came up. The deck probably wants at least two Enlisted Wurms just to have a way to win; don’t forget that Enlisted Wurm can morph into Baneslayer Angel with some regularity*.

Obviously by the Standard PTQs and Nationals Qualifiers we are going to have fifteen-drops to worry about… I actually think siding a bunch of gigantic Eldrazi might be a strategy for this deck against those Blue bastards.


* Not actually that regular.

facebook comments:


#1 Diego on 04.12.10 at 9:34 pm

It’s no mystery for anyone your love for Civic Wayfinder. But vs Bloodbraid: ok you trade creature for creature, but the only difference is that they trade free creature on the battlefield or free removal spell vs a basic land tapped on your side. I think the therm “card for a card” needs to be analyzed with more detail, certainly is not the same drawing Baneslayer than drawing a Forest.

I like your raw archetype decks that you post. Some seem very exploitable.

#2 MTGBattlefield on 04.12.10 at 10:16 pm

The Return of Borderland Ranger!…

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

#3 Alfrebaut on 04.12.10 at 10:44 pm

I know it’s going to seem like I missed something, but… why no Blightning?

#4 Tobot Zeez on 04.13.10 at 5:10 pm

I liked seeing this. This shell can easily support all 5 colors with little mana issues. The Sunlights don’t seem as strong when they don’t = Gain 4 life and make the Opponent discard 2. Rampant Growth and Ardent Plea play very nice together, and could be considered as an option over Ranger and Sunlight. This would let you run more manlands over the Orchards. Creeping Tar-pits loves some Ardent Plea.

If you shift into running some blue, the War Monk is in play. Plea after sideboard equals (insert 1 or 2cc hoser card). I like Celestial Purge or Perimeter Captain myself.

#5 Brightbo on 04.13.10 at 5:42 pm

I have to agree with Alfrebaut. Blightning is one of the best cards in standard, and on a cascade you can gain disgusting amounts of card advantage.

Say you’re opponent has a Jace, the Mind Sculptor out at 5 loyalty with no creatures. You go Wurm into Elf into blightning. He loses Jace, two cards, and has 8 power starting him down. That’s like a 5 for 1! Borderland Ranger is good and probably necessary for color fixing, but blightning is just such a beating that I think swapping resounding thunder for it may be the way to go.

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