Zhur-Taa Ancient(RUG)

  • #1
    So I've been testing a RUG control deck that makes use of Zhur-taa Ancient, and I thought I might try to get some opinions on the build I've been working on.

    I'm well aware that he is bad against opposing x-cost spells, I've even given careful consideration to the matchups where he is a liability, and even planned ahead by preparing "traps" for those kinds of decks, Although he will always be boarded out against Jund Midrange and any variant of that deck.

    I'm welcome to constructive criticism, obviously, but I don't need to hear about how bad Zhur-Taa is against sphinx's revelation, rakdo's return, kessig wolf run, etc. Besides having heard it a million times, it is a risk of playing the card in maindeck, and I'm prepared to deal with the consequences of a bad G1.

    Recuran Liege's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Creatures:
    2 Arbor Elf
    3 Zhur-Taa Ancient

    Planeswalkers:
    2 Chandra, the Firebrand

    Spells:
    3 Bonfire of the Damned
    3 Devil's Play
    4 Farseek
    2 Izzet Charm
    2 Mizzium Mortars
    2 Opportunity
    2 Pillar of Flame
    2 Plasm Capture
    3 Ranger's Path
    3 Turn // Burn
    2 Urban Evolution

    Lands:
    2 Alchemist's Refuge
    4 Breeding Pool
    2 Forest
    3 Hinterland Harbor
    3 Rootbound Crag
    4 Steam Vents
    4 Stomping Ground
    3 Sulfur Falls

  • #2
    Have you considered Frenzied Tilling? It helps you ramp and helps keep your opponents mana in check. Something to consider if your commited to a Zhur Taa Ancient deck. Also, no Clan's Defiance?
  • #3
    Quote from GuildCaster
    Have you considered Frenzied Tilling? It helps you ramp and helps keep your opponents mana in check. Something to consider if your commited to a Zhur Taa Ancient deck. Also, no Clan's Defiance?


    Clan Defiance is one of those cards which is excellent, but is 4x better off the sideboard, particularly against Midrange decks. Playing it off the sideboard always gives me the advantage of knowing if they're using flying creatures (i.e. Restoration angel, Angel of Thune, etc), maximizing it's effectiveness. And it's not particularly effective against aggro because of the cost. That 1 mana can make all the difference.

    However, once the format has rotated, I -will- be playing Clan Defiance mainboard.

    Frenzied Tilling is actually a great idea, but I feel like I'd want to play it in lieu of either Ranger's Path or Urban Evolution. I might sideboard it, as it's probably very effective against greedy curves. (and copying it with Chandra seems kind of broken) It will also be a serious consideration for mainboard post rotation.
  • #4
    Have you considered Yeva or Savage Summoning to flash him in and get your x spells first.
    I'e been considering a RUG Primespeaker build with him for a while and just haven't been motivated to really build one up. You get a lot of the best stuff in the format to go with him. Chandra is kinda a waste in the build. I would make sure I have ways to flash, Acidic Slime and plenty of X spells and bombs (craterhoof is great after a flashed ZTA)
    Standard
    NOTHING

    Modern
    UWB Affinity UWB
    GWR Small Naya BWR
    GBW Small Pox GBW
    U Fish U

    Legacy
    BRW Stone-Blade BRW
    GWU Slivers GWU
    URB Reanimator URB
  • #5
    I have been waiting to see a take on this guy. Interesting for sure. I had gone with cards like curse of exhaustion, blind obediance and imposing sovereign. Dont care what you play and how many cards you can draw. Also played around with crypt ghast, but wents enough swamps unless i only splased for RG.
    ~
    Nothing but the rain...
  • #6
    Quote from veritoanimus
    Have you considered Yeva or Savage Summoning to flash him in and get your x spells first.
    I'e been considering a RUG Primespeaker build with him for a while and just haven't been motivated to really build one up. You get a lot of the best stuff in the format to go with him. Chandra is kinda a waste in the build. I would make sure I have ways to flash, Acidic Slime and plenty of X spells and bombs (craterhoof is great after a flashed ZTA)


    Yes, I have considered Yeva, Savage Summoning, and Primespeaker Zegana. I'm still deciding whether or not I want to use Primespeaker - she is very good, but she needs more creatures on which to trigger. I'm using alchemist's refuge as of now to flash in Zhur-taa Ancient- I often find myself being able to do so by turn 5-6 because of Farseek, Arbor Elf, Ranger's Path, and Urban Evolution.

    The issue is that those cards are more Midrange and rely on more creature heavy decks. I would definitely use them if I were doing the creature version. That being said, if I were playing the creature version, i would not play Chandra.

    Acidic Slime was in my sideboard for this deck initially, even with it being a spell deck - but I decided to cut him in lieu of bramblecrush. I can use Chandra to copy it, it's lower on the curve, and is best against control since they often use many non-creature permanents.
  • #7
    Quote from Recuran Liege
    Clan Defiance is one of those cards which is excellent, but is 4x better off the sideboard, particularly against Midrange decks. Playing it off the sideboard always gives me the advantage of knowing if they're using flying creatures (i.e. Restoration angel, Angel of Thune, etc), maximizing it's effectiveness. And it's not particularly effective against aggro because of the cost. That 1 mana can make all the difference.

    However, once the format has rotated, I -will- be playing Clan Defiance mainboard.

    Frenzied Tilling is actually a great idea, but I feel like I'd want to play it in lieu of either Ranger's Path or Urban Evolution. I might sideboard it, as it's probably very effective against greedy curves. (and copying it with Chandra seems kind of broken) It will also be a serious consideration for mainboard post rotation.


    That's fair I suppose one mana can certainly make a difference but with a Zhur Taa Anciant themed deck any X mana can't hurt. Sidedeck is a solid choice though. And yeah one of my kitchen table buddies made a standard land destruction deck and Chandra copying Frenzied Tilling was a common move, it was a pain in the ass but effective.
  • #8
    The biggest problem I see with your build (and a problem I've had balancing ZTA) is that the deck is all variance. most game's you're going to have crap. Only once in a blue moon are you actually going to curve out right. That said, ZTA's effect is so huge and 2-sided that you have to embrace some variance. But your deck should be working to balance that variance rather than make it worse. You're not even running kessig, which is basically a requirement for the deck.
    Standard
    NOTHING

    Modern
    UWB Affinity UWB
    GWR Small Naya BWR
    GBW Small Pox GBW
    U Fish U

    Legacy
    BRW Stone-Blade BRW
    GWU Slivers GWU
    URB Reanimator URB
  • #9
    sooooooooooooooooo fun but you may need so garruks for token making
  • #10
    You could play white instead of blue, and play 4 Silence. That way, you could make sure YOU get the first use of the ancient ;p
  • #11
    Quote from Wesu
    You could play white instead of blue, and play 4 Silence. That way, you could make sure YOU get the first use of the ancient ;p


    The main problem I have with Silence effects is that your opponent can respond to them rather easily. and you can't silence as a response to a spell, as it doesn't stop resolution, only casting. If you silence them/aurelia's fury, they'll just sphinx's revelation in response. Silence is kind of a terrible spell in a lot of ways - it'd only be useful against Jund perhaps, as MOST of their power-house spells are sorcery speed. But then they'd probably just remove the zhur-taa ancient.

    That being said, I did make a naya version of this deck originally(with Aurelia's Fury) and it just wasn't very effective.

    I have however considered Fog-type affects, and also counterspells. Counterspells such as Counterflux and Plasm Capture seem to be the most useful so far, as they are both very GOOD against the decks that can utilize all of the mana Zhur-Taa Ancient provides. But it requires you to cast him with enough mana open for a counter, which can be tricky.
  • #12
    Please don't flame me too hard but was discussed in the hydra thread to play heartless summoning. T2 summoning, t3 zta, t4 whatever you want.
    Since you aren't playing a lot of mana dorks you don't have to worry about heartless killing them. Also allows you to add black for your own returns and removal.
  • #13
    Quote from posterchild
    Please don't flame me too hard but was discussed in the hydra thread to play heartless summoning. T2 summoning, t3 zta, t4 whatever you want.
    Since you aren't playing a lot of mana dorks you don't have to worry about heartless killing them. Also allows you to add black for your own returns and removal.


    You know, that's actually a pretty good idea. I've always been a fan of heartless summoning, hadn't considered it for Zhur-taa Ancient. The tempo strategy would require me to draw at least 1 dork/1 farseek or 2 dorks, whereas heartless summoning is a 1 card investment.

    If all works out well, we'd have access to 8 mana on turn 4 and be able to cast a 10 drop - turn 5 worldspine wurm anyone?

    However, RUG Zhur-Taa Ancient is a different beast altogether.
  • #14
    I had been fiddling with a RGB deck that used discard spells to clear any scary cards out of my opponent's hand before I dropped the Zhuur-Taa Ancient. I then planned to follow the Ancient with Sire of Insanity. The deck was brutal against control but couldn't handle today's aggro decks very well.

    I'll be interested in hearing whether you can make the Ancient work.
    New Webcomic -- Genocide Man
    Life is funny. Death is funnier. Mass slaughter can be hilarious.
  • #15
    this may sound silly, because it is unplayable in 99% of decks, but with your double mana..? Counterlash?
    ~
    Nothing but the rain...
  • #16
    Jund Ancients could be A LOT of fun

    You would have three X burn spells

    Bonfire
    Devils Play
    Rakdos Return

    And access to new card (i.e removal like Putrify Doomblade and Abrubt Decay)

    I like this version because it has the removal and control hate to deal with both aggro and control

    However you WILL lose card draw and might possibly turn into to much of a top decker??? You can also play thragtusk! Find out what spells u like most so have like 8 large 6-9 large X dealing spells ramp, removal AND Heartless Summoning

    PLUS U COULD PLAY GRIZZLE BRAND?!

    Have Access to Crypt ghast now (maybe reduntant)

    Im sorry this probably doesnt make things easier for you but it give you access to a whole new card selection other than just draw and counter spells =D
  • #17
    So maybe somthing like this

    25 Lands

    Creatures 10

    1 Crypt Ghast
    4 Ancients
    3-4 Thrag Tusks
    1-2 Grizzle Brands

    Non-Creature Spells 25

    4 Farseek
    4 Hearless Summoning
    3 Bonfire
    2 Mizzium Mortars
    3 Rakdos Returns
    1-2 Devils Plays
    2 Doomblade
    2 Abrupt Decay
    2 Putrify
    2 Garruk Primal Hunter
  • #18
    Also clan defiance jackman
    ~
    Nothing but the rain...
  • #19
    Slaughter games is perfect in Jund too
  • #20
    Quote from Recuran Liege
    I'm well aware that he is bad against opposing x-cost spells, I've even given careful consideration to the matchups where he is a liability, and even planned ahead by preparing "traps" for those kinds of decks, Although he will always be boarded out against Jund Midrange and any variant of that deck.

    I'm welcome to constructive criticism, obviously, but I don't need to hear about how bad Zhur-Taa is against sphinx's revelation, rakdo's return, kessig wolf run, etc. Besides having heard it a million times, it is a risk of playing the card in maindeck, and I'm prepared to deal with the consequences of a bad G1.


    Seems like getting Chandra and your Zhur-Taa online together is a win-more strategy that lacks efficiency. Basically, trying to abuse both cards is doing too much with the deck. Since your main focus is Zhur-Taa, try just building around him and leave Chandra for another deck... And instead of focusing on how bad your opponents x-spells will be, use more variety yourself so as to truly take advantage of your plan... Worried about Sphinx's Revelation? Use them yourself... Obviously this card is ridiculous with a flare. Too many colors, you say? It is a multi-color block, you're already running Farseek and your core colors have duals that share colors with all the x-spells in the format. So why not pick and choose the best of the best for your build? You should use Rakdos Revenge, Sphinx's Revelation, Bonfire of the Damned, and one other burn spell (either Clan or Devils Play), then streamline your ramping to Farseek, Ranger's Path, and Arbor Elf. If you run your x-package with a total of about 7 spells, and a full complement of the suggested ramp and of course 4 Zhur-Taa's, you've got a 23 card starting point. This gives you 12 or so spots for stuff that will stop your opponents plan... Putrefy, Abrupt Decay, Dreadbore, or some other tricks like Silence, Duress or counters. I would continue using your flash plan with Alchemists Refuge, as well as including a copy of Wolf Run for added backup... I would even advocate 3-4 Bonfires as this is potentially a one-sided sweeper and life saver if need be.
    Quote from Garland Greene aka the Marietta Mangler »
    "Now you're talking semantics. What if I told you insane was working 50 hours a week in some office for 50 years, at the end of which they tell you to piss off... Ending up in some retirement village, hoping to die before suffering the indignity of trying to make it to the toilet on time. Wouldn't you consider that to be insane?"

    "Define Irony: Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash"
  • #21
    This deck needs garruk, caller of beasts.

    Not only does it help you find ZTA, it also drops it into play for free, which allows you to unload a big X spell with all your mana on the same turn, no flash shenanigans in their end step required.
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.
Posts Quoted:
Reply
Clear All Quotes