Bad Brews: Rocky Bobby

In a quest to build a midrange deck in a hostile format where the best deck preys upon midrange strategies, I've been tuning a Green and Black list and I think I've got something special. As another (more famous) Sean once said, "Gentleman, welcome to The Rock."

For a midrange deck, Rocky Bobby can be quite explosive. It runs out threat after threat and uses its kill spells to keep opponents on their heels. It's biggest weakness is it's inability to come from behind. It's a deck built to establish and keep a board presence, but it struggles to mount a comeback Here's how it plays against the types of decks currently in the format:

  • vs Aggro (Mono Blue Devotion, Mono Red, White Weenie, Mono Black Aggro, GW Beats)
    • Against aggro you want to lean on the fact that's you creatures are generally bigger and seek to make advantageous combat trades and squeeze value out of Scavenge. Use removal sparingly, only killing the otherwise unkillable; don't worry about pushing damage through. You win with Flying Demons.
    • Bring in your Bows and optimize your creatures by siding out Dreg Manglers and Mystics and bringing in Lifebanes or Hydras. Drown in Sorrow is excellent against the non-Green aggro decks where it can wipe their board and not yours.
  • vs Midrange (GR Monsters, Jund Monsters, BW Midrandge)
    • These decks fall under the blanket of midrange based on the meta they exist in, even if they don't feel like midrange decks to me. Here, you want to leverage the Hexproof on Witchstalker and suit him up for battle with Heralds and Manglers. Lifebane Zombie is great against Monsters decks as it's almost completely unblockable.
    • Bring in
  • vs Control (UW/Esper Control, Mono Black Devotion, Maze's End)
    • Channel your inner Ricky Bobby and GO FAST! Throw everything you have at them and keep mana open to regenerate your dudes with Golgari Charm. Save removal in the MBD matchup for Pack Rat and Desecration Demon even if it costs you the ability to push through a couple of points of non-lethal damage. 
    • Bring in Whips for some much-needed late gas as well as Charms to protect your board. Hasted Mistcutters come in for Heralds against Blue decks.

A few pieces of advice about the deck:

  • Never side out Thoughtseize. Ever. It's the best card in Standard and it always takes their best card.
  • Know what you can and can't answer. Going next level, know what your answers can answer and what they can't. Don't use a Downfall on a Pack Rat when you could use Abrupt Decay as you'll be soft to Desecration Demon later.
  • Try to stay ahead on board, but don't use removal you don't have to. If your creature is bigger than theirs, let your dude do the work for you and save the spell for later.