Put Them Plains DOWN

If you were given a format full of slow decks that don't do much of anything until turn 4, you'd try and break that format with a fast deck right? You'd want to play one mana 2/2s, and one mana fliers. Two mana fliers, or guys with game breaking abilities. For a finisher, you'd play a three mana flier, and to make all of your cheap fliers that much more effective, you'd use spells to pump them, and some seriously powerful equipment.

It's a great idea on paper right? This thought process was the one that went through my mind, when I announced WW to be my pick for sleeper deck of the format shortly after Ravager got banned. Well, it's been a few weeks now, and it's safe to say that I was very wrong about WW.

Strike 1. Tooth and Nail
You can draw your own conclusions about where TAN stands in the metagame, I'm just here to tell you it beats white weenie. BADLY. The catch-22 is thus: A WW deck cannot possibly win following a resolved Tooth and Nail. What your opponent chooses to get will depend on his life total. With lots of life, he'll opt for Darksteel Colossus and Kiki-Jiki and simply kill you in two quick turns. If he is low on life, he will either opt for Trike-Vamp, or Angel-Abunas. Either way, the only way out from this situation is an Umezawa's Jitte with lots of counters on it. BUT… by the time you've built up that many counters, you will probably have had an opportunity to remove them all to deal your opponent lethal damage.

So, the only way for WW to win this matchup is to prevent the Tooth and Nail player from going off. The most effective card for that is Hokori, Dust Drinker. Unfortunately, WW is a deck that misses a lot of land drops, and four mana creatures can take a long time to cast. Even worse, TAN lands tap for more than one mana. Just to add insult to injury, Hokori is a four mana two power creature. Hardly an ideal "finisher" card for any beatdown deck.

The second in a long line of things not good, is Oblivion Stone. Wrath of God, is bad news for any weenie based aggro strategy. Oblivion Stone is even nastier. It blows up at instant speed, and along with taking all of your important creatures, it will take out the equipment you were using to make them legitimate threats. The typical "finisher" Skyhunter Skirmisher is only a 10 turn clock when not equipped. It's not until you stick a Bonesplitter on him that people start to worry. Oblivion Stone forces you to have more creatures, AND more equipments in hand, before you can re-mount a credible offense.

Strike 2. Green Black
This is probably the worst possible matchup for WW. The combination of Echoing Decay and Terror (note, in areas with lots of black aggro subsitute Rend Flesh for the latter) provides your opponent 8 different spells that for two mana, kill any of your creatures at instant speed (IE in response to being equipped). Follow that up with some hand disruption and a Kokusho and you've just lost the game. Just about the only effective tactic for WW is to hold an Otherworldy Journey in hand, and use it in response to Death Cloud. The problem with this strategy (aside from any hand disruption your opponent is using), is that Journey is complete trash when compared with the far better Test of Faith which acts as both a combat trick and a localized creature pump.

Things go from bad to worse after sideboarding. Unless BG represents a significant portion of the metagame, you don't have any copies of Karma, and so your best threat off the board is probably Sacred Ground for his Death Clouds. THAT strategy sucks. Replacing spells that kill your opponent, with ones that don't, is rarely a good idea against control decks. In this case, that decision literally hurts your ablity to win game 2 rather than helps it. Your opponent brings in Naturalize (get used to seeing those), which wrecks hell on your equipments and doesn't do Glorious Anthem any favors.

Strike 3. Green Blue
Yup. This is another one of them losing matchups. There's so many different ways to build UG, its not even funny. Unfortunately, they all tend to have a few core cards. Vedalken Shackles and Meloku are both UG staples, that present HUGE problems for WW. Exactly how UG stays alive that long varies from deck to deck, but it's usually a combination of mana acceleration and: Mana Leak, Condescend, Hinder, Echoing Truth, and Jushi Apprentice. The great thing about this analysis is that we haven't even mentioned the green portion of the UG deck yet!

Sideboarding sounds a bit like a broken record, with Naturalize coming around to ruin your day, and the best you've got being… well not particularly effective.

Strike 4. Mono Blue.
Remember all those nasty blue cards from green blue control? Yup, the guys playing mono blue, are probably using ALL of them, instead of just some of them. Yup, this means WW loses to the islands as well. Actually, the mono blue matchup is easier than green blue, because they are more limited in sideboarding options, and cannot use Eternal Witness on things like a destroyed Vedalken Shackles. It's quite a pity that slightly better than really really freaking bad is still really freaking bad!

Strike 5. Red Anything
Just kidding. Just about the only reasonable excuse to play WW, is if red is very popular. You have more dudes than a red player can reasonably expect to burn away, and stuff like Test of Faith and Glorious Anthem just gives you an even bigger edge. If your WW isn't beating red consistantly, not only are you playing a bad deck, but you're playing a bad version of a bad deck! Yikes!

Strike 6. "Mono" green
Perhaps I'm baised in this matchup. I've only got two versions of mono green built. One of them has sideboarded Engineered Explosives, and one of them has maindecked Sword of Light and Shadow. White Weenie players tend to claim an easy mono green matchup, but I've personally yet to see that happen in practice. What I have found though, is that an Explosives, for one, can really decimate a WW position. Sword of Light and Shadow is so good it's insane. Pro white makes the attacks unblockable, and of course, defense with a pro-white BOP is easy as pie. The extra graveyard recursion can be very useful, espescially when it's directed at Sakura-Tribe Elder, or better still, Viridian Zealot. As with any other green deck, the presence of Naturalize on the sideboard helps to further take the steam out of the weenie rush.

White Weenie is one of those odd decks that seem to prove the human imperfection of R&D. Every block it looks like they are pushing WW, and Magic players wonder if this year WW has what it takes, such as 2/2s for :symw:, to finally push it over the edge. And every block - R&D's invisible little fingers or not - White Weenie falls flat on its face. So this is your post-Ravager wake up call...

Put Them Plains DOWN!


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