A Guest Appearance by Pelakka Wurm


Kuldotha Rebirth :: Goblin Guide :: Galvanic Blast
Goblin Chieftain :: Lightning Bolt :: … and did I mention Pelakka Wurm?

Special Guest Star: Pelakka Wurm!

I got a chance to game with my good friend Brian David-Marshall tonight. We elected to do a 10-game set: me playing Daniel Jordan’s U/R/G control/TurboLand deck (you know the same seventy-five I tested here) versus Brian playing a stock Kuldotha Rebirth Red Deck.

#FloresRewards savant Thea Steele asked for more Constructed reporting so I thought I would recount this particular playtest set.

BDM and I played all Game Ones (no sideboards). I have played U/R/G against Kuldotha Red more than once and won each time; I was therefore surprised at how our games played out.


I kept:

Oracle of Mul Daya
Lightning Bolt
Scalding Tarn

This seemed like a very strong hand but Brian had first turn Kuldotha Rebirth on the play, as well as a Memnite; he also followed up with gas. I lost a close one to I believe the first of a long line of “my last card is the second or third Lightning Bolt”… I think I would have won if he had a different play on turn one (even a Goblin Guide), or if he were playing another deck. I had to push decent spells more than once with Preordain to try to get a hold of the battlefield.



I kept:

Oracle of Mul Daya
Goblin Ruinblaster
Raging Ravine
Raging Ravine

Brian was meant to go first the first five games, so this was a “going second” hand; Explore lets me break serve, of course, and the deck has two different lines it can take even just from the opening hand. The Ruinblaster is usually a 2/1 non-Stone Rain in this matchup, but Brian’s deck does have a couple of targets… He drew one this game 🙂

Brian was stuck most of the game and I had a third turn kicked Goblin Ruinblaster. My turns went like this:

Explore > Goblin Ruinblaster (on Smoldering Spires) > Oracle of Mul Daya > Lotus Cobra > Frost Titan

His Forked Bolt took out my Lotus Cobra and Oracle right before the Titan, but Brian was a mile behind for most of the game.



Brian complained about a bad mulligan, to which I replied “that’s because your cards all stink.”

And yes, most of his cards do, in fact stink.

But he has lots of them. I get Overrun by a bunch of 1/1s. I just have poop like Oracle of Mul Daya that he can easily manage with Lightning Bolt or Panic Spellbomb.



I went first this game, by accident.

I took full advantage, though, and played second turn Explore into Preordain; then Lotus Cobra + Oracle of Mul Daya… Into Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

It took a minute but I won from there.



Brian played the first of several games where he opened on Goblin Guide + Memnite.

I drew a lot of Lightning Bolts, but didn’t have time to play them all. I got a Red source, but only one, despite some freebies from Goblin Guide. Also all of his cards pretty much suck, and you don’t want to be trading 1-for-1 with them if you can help it, or you will fall behind.

I tried to spend my time on Jace and Frost Titan but it didn’t quite work out that way.



I was supposed to go first this game, but I accidentally stole serve in Game Four.

Brian again opened up with Goblin Guide + Memnite on the play… Then more gas on turn two.

I almost won with multiple Explores into Oracle of Mul Daya… But he had Goblin Chieftain + Lightning Bolt to “exact-sies” me.



Brian got another super aggressive draw and Bolted me out.



Brian got another super aggressive draw, but this time killed me with a Galvanic Blast for four rather than the usual Lightning Bolt.



This time I shipped to five cards. Brian claimed he would “un-mulligan” me, but the Goblin Guide was of minimal benefit (relative to, you know, taking a bundle of damage.

I actually managed to stabilize, but he had five cards in hand and three of them were Devastating Summons and Goblin Bushwhacker.



Game Ten really highlighted the central argument of this matchup, especially Game One.

Brian just overplayed his hand — all in on multiple copies of Kuldotha Rebirth, and laid out all his Memnites like they were nothing.

Meanwhile, in Game Ten — as I always did — I was playing Oracle of Mul Daya. Now Oracle of Mul Daya plays like Jace, the Mind Sculptor against other Blue decks, but against a legitimate Red Deck, it is basically a four mana Grey Ogre. That is awful!

So the turn I played my 2/2 for four, Brian already had eight or so attackers. It didn’t matter if I would eat one, I was going to lose a huge chunk of life total.

As you know from reading my DailyMTG report with this deck, I often sided out the Oracles for Pyroclasm. Brian claimed he wouldn’t play the same way in a sideboarded game… But he really wouldn’t be able to.

I didn’t realize before how reliant on Pyroclasm the U/R/G deck must be to beat Goblins. I had beaten it multiple times, but now that I reflect on the wins, I think I played a sideboarded Pyroclasm once if not twice most of the matches.

That said, it might also be possible that my opponents held back in Game One.

I don’t know about you, but one of my main guiding principles of play (regardless of deck type) I try to play as deceptively as possible. So if I am not going to play a Green card until turn four or five I will often pretend to be a U/R deck for as long as I can. Against a Goblins deck in Game One, maybe they will hold back for fear of U/R’s main deck Pyroclasms.

Brian, of course, knew better.


Now when Brian approached me for some testo, I was in the middle of testing my U/G TurboLand deck (up 2-1 on the night and 4-2 overall with the current build). I asked Brian to let me play him a real match with the U/G deck; we ran.

This is the current build of U/G:

Frosty TurboLand

4 Frost Titan
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

4 Genesis Wave
4 Joraga Treespeaker
4 Lotus Cobra
4 Oracle of Mul Daya
4 Overgrown Battlement
4 Primeval Titan

7 Forest
4 Halimar Depths
4 Khalni Garden
5 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Tectonic Edge

1 Eldrazi Monument
4 Ratchet Bomb
4 Into the Roil
3 Negate
2 Obstinate Baloth
1 Pelakka Wurm

Notable differences in the main are -2 Rampaging Baloths / +2 Frost Titan; -1 Forest / +1 Island.

I ground out the first game with a bunch of Overgrown Battlements and Khalni Gardens; one Frost Titan helped me slow down BDM; he conceded to my Genesis Wave for nine.

The second game I made theses switches…

+4 Ratchet Bomb
+4 Into the Roil
+2 Obstinate Baloth
+1 Pelakka Wurm

-1 Joraga Treespeaker
-2 Lotus Cobra
-4 Oracle of Mul Daya
-4 Genesis Wave

I know, I knowGenesis Wave is what the deck is all about!

But against Red Decks I have to similarly focus on what I could cast under pressure; anyway Genesis Wave is a non-bo with cards like Into the Roil.

I kept a hand with Overgrown Battlement and Pelakka Wurm only for Game Two. Luckily my lands were all Khalni Gardens and I had ample time to play our special guest star.

Brian stopped attacking so much which gave me a an open for Into the Roil and engough time to take it!

The Wurm hit, then Primeval Titan, then it was a victory lap! (not really)

Thanks BDM 🙂


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#1 MTGBattlefield on 11.12.10 at 2:22 pm

A Guest Appearance by Pelakka Wurm…

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

#2 thecapn on 11.17.10 at 8:08 pm

Hi Mike,
Wanted to let you know I really like your update on turboland. I have been in a huge slump lately (the worst string of consecutive scrubouts in over a decade) and was able to finally end it it going 4-0 at the local weekly with your updated list. On top of that, I had a lot more fun with the deck than I’ve had in a while.

I was curious if you had a reasoning behind running only the 4 on-color fetches?

I often found myself using fetches early for color fixing and wanted more for lotus cobra and oracle/jace brokenness (greed?). I think I’m going to try 6 on Friday, since my best guess is that you wanted to minimize life loss vs fast aggro (thus making 8 a poor choice).

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