Lately Atog Decks have become en vogue, so I’d like to grant the Old School community an Atog architecture that has some special twist: the LockAtog.
Personally I think it is the Italians who made Atog decks great again, and while we continue to see lots of Atog brews where the strategy built around our lil‘ red brownie muncher focuses on the so called „smash“ theme with Juggernauts, Su-Chi, Triskelion and a decent burn suite, we witnessed a slightly different approach from Valerio at Noobcon X where he landed Top 8 with his SerendibAtog build, tuning a traditionally mono red artifact architecture with Psi Blast, Effreets and blue power spells.
When I started thinking about an Atog theme a couple of weeks ago I was especially inspired by a good friends prison deck and his mighty and notoriously hated Winter Orb / Relic Barrier combo – a combo that could easily be played in the low mana curve Atog deck I was about to design.
The good thing about Atog decks are the diversified damage sources: artifacts, creatures and burn spells. An opponent will have difficulties handling all of them, so you attack from different angles in early game and install a late game lock to stop your opponent and buy enough time to draw the finisher, i.e. Atog or cheap burn.
Artifacts first: with the help of Moxes, Lotus and 2 Mana Vault one or two early round Black Vise can be quite common here; together with an early Ankh of Mishra those cards alone will easily eat half of your opponents life. Then it’s time for a Su-Chi before getting your Winter Orb / Relic Barrier lock in place.
Meanwhile an Atog might show up and say a frightening „hulloh!“ – of course your opponent will send him to exile or burn him, but in late game we might have one of his siblings, and when he comes… he comes big thanks to the 4 or 5 Artifacts on your side
LockAtog proved to be quite versatile against control as well as aggro decks. A decent sideboard might include REBs, Shatters, Blood Moons, Earthquakes, a Fireball and – depending on your adversary – even Howling Mines that work well with Relic Barrier too.
Attempting a green Deck in Old School will often yield a smile from more seasoned players. In the Top Tiered league of UWR Skies, Juzam Dreams, The Deck and the like Green is rarely featured. Actually a pity because Green can do a lot for you. It has this perfect mix of mana ramp, big beaters and spells to protect or tune your weapons. Nevertheless you will learn that splashing red for Burn and Sideboard Options as well as the 2 black power spells is indispensable to make Green fit for tournament.
The Deck we present today has been named „Green Machine Head“ in reference to the classy Old School Machine Head combo Juzam Djinn + Berserk. Other names this deck attracted was „Green Party Crasher“ or simply „The Green Machine“.
The core are 8 mighty fast beaters, i.e. Doc Erhnam Djinn and his artifact cousin Juggernaut, two 4 mana creatures you will most likely drop in turn 2 or 3 at latest thanks to the power of ramp: 4 Llanowar Elves, 2 Birds of Paradise, 1 Elves of Deep Shadow as well as Moxes, Lotus and/or Mana Vault.
With the help of 4 Giant Growth and 2-3 Berserk your Green Machine gets awfully big and will destroy everything that comes in the way, or just reduce your opponents life total to 0 in minutes. 1-2 Avoid Fate might prove useful to defend your Juggernaut who notoriously attracts Disenchant and Lightning Bolt.
The 2 Spitting Slugs proved to be essential: as 3 drops they perfectly fit the mana curve, they are Lightning Bolt prove and they will easily block Mishra’s Factory, White/Black Knights and Kird Apes.
Finally a small collection of basic red burn spells as well as Demonic Tutor and Mind Twist are included to harmonize the Deck.
At the latest tournament the „Green Machine Head“ landed Top 4.
Well, here’s a mono red favorite of ours for a kick start into the deck talk section of this blog.
Yeah you got it right, it’s a super fast mono red, aggro Goblin festival, where 12 goblin one drops build the base, to be tuned in turn 2 and 3 with Goblin Grenade, Blood Lust and Goblin King to inflict fast big damage. There’s artillery support from Ball Lightning and 10 burn spells, and… that’s kind of about it. In recent testing the 2 main decked Blood Moon proved to be essential to break a control deck and enable Goblins of the Flarg to sneak through Mountain walk – but let’s be frank here: you should be done with your opponent in 4 or 5 turns. Once an adversary will steady himself with some control features or blow a disk in turn 4 or 5 you can be pretty sure to be dead meat in the long term, unless you draw your Wheel of Fortune.
To sum it up: This deck is fun and it is fast, but surely it is very linear and has next to zero turnaround capacity. With all that fast damage and burn to finish you will have quite good odds though. And hey: this is a budget deck that is perfect for a primer into the world of old school magic.