April 13, 2016

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Budget Brews: The Gitrekt Monster

Hello and welcome to this weeks Budget Brew! I know it's been a few weeks since we've really tackled the Standard format, and now that I've had the time to sit down and process the spoilers, watch a major Standard event the wheels have turned on something...

It's not that often that I find one card that I really want to grab and brew a whole deck around it (ignore those articles I've done Jeskai Ascendancy). But when I first saw The Gitrog Monster I knew it could be a fun card to work around. Modern implications aside (Life from the Loam anyone?), I think with all of the ramp available in Standard, he could make a half way decent beater for a Green-Black Midrange-Control strategy, and after testing even the budget version of the deck played well and I could only imagine what the build would look like if you were to sink some serious money into it (though, thank goodness fetches finally rotated Standard is more affordable).

All told the deck comes to about $150 CAN if you purchase it through WizardTower.com, and if you're looking for something to play online it's about $50CAN in MTGO Tix.

Upgrades to the deck?

An obvious upgrade to the deck has to be Nissa, Vastwood Seer she brings a long a Forest, which can't hurt us and when she flips into Nissa, Sage Animist she can ramp us, give us a beater and a defender, and more card advantage.

Tireless Tracker seems like it would be able to find a home in the deck as well, maybe as an alternate win-con to Ulvenwald Hydra, I'm not really sure but the fact that it can draw us cards with all of our land drops and is a mana sink in the late game that gets bigger might warrant a slot or three somewhere.

Hissing Quagmire is also an auto-include as it can give us an early game blocker, or put the pressure on if our opponent has nothing going on while we wait to draw one of our main win-cons. Though, it is a little bit of a nonbo with Groundskeeper, I could see reducing the number of those if you're going to be putting Tireless Trackers or Nissas into the deck.

Other than these additions, there are Jund Gitrog brews out there which opens up even more builds of Gitrekt, but I think this Green-Black Midrange version might be the most streamlined and reliable of the bunch.

With all of that out of the way, let's take a look at some of the synergies Gitrog can offer us:


Drownyard Temple is a land that you can play from the graveyard, and doesn't count as a land drop for your turn. So sac-ing it to The Gitrog, and making both land drops available to you can net you three mana on one turn. Which, even if that all doesn't work out, you still have something to permanently sac to the ever hungry Gitrog.

If you're unable to get that chain going there's Groundskeeper. While you're sac-ing lands to Gitrog you're able to put a basic land from your yard into your hand for only three mana, and you can do it more than once per turn to make sure you're able to hit all of the land drops you're allowed.

Ulvenwald Hydra feels like a little bit of a nonbo on the surface, when you read the text of the card. If for some reason you find yourself having both Gitrog and the Hydra on the field you're going to be sac-ing lands which will make the Hydra less powerful. That doesn't seem good, but the Hydra helps ramp you and if you're hitting your land drops or able to get the chain going with Drownyard Temple, Ulvenwald gets huge.

Now's the time where we take our special little brew out into the wild and test it over Xmage, we hope for the best, take notes and hope to not get rektd.

Gitrekt, performed pretty well for being budget friendly and in our testing. Even versus aggro decks our removal suite was enough to stem the flow of blood until we could slap down one of our threats and watch the opponent cower to attack into them. With cards like Westvale Abbey and Archangel Avacyn everywhere our sac effects are needed and utility lands like Blighted Fen only help with these sorts of problems.

U/R Vision Control - 1-2

Nothing like the U/R Control deck we saw last weekend during the SCG Open, instead it played the slow durdly game and won through playing Fevered Visions. I'd imagine it folds to a faster aggro deck like one of the Humans decks, but with a slow Midrange deck like ours if we aren't able to slap Gitrog on the field on time, and if not early, they have too much card advantage for us to ever play anything.

B/R Vampires - 2-0

This was the sort of match up I had in mind when making the deck. With our removal suite every time they were able to add to the board, I was able to kill the things, or wipe the board. Ramping up into Gitrog was a winning strategy that gave us card advantage and a 6/6 Deathtouch.

G/W Brew - 2-1

This was a serious brew, between Enchantments that made Scion tokens, and Westvale Abbey, I didn't stand much of a chance game 1. Game 2 we brought in sac effects and were able to play along our regular game plan: Get Gitrog out, and smash face. The other two games went about like we drew it up, but the match was tricky and Avacyn is annoying.

Well, that's all I have this week! Next week we'll return the usual grind while we try to Untap the Multiverse and try to make it more affordable!

I have started to stream! I get on mostly on night, but plan on doing some random day streams when I'm able. I have a full schedule posted on Twitch and I look forward to getting some viewers! Right now I play strictly over Xmage, but am going to try to join the CardHoarder Network so I can borrow cards and play competitive Magic over MTGO.

Have an idea for something you'd like me to brew up? Give me a shout in the comments! You can also follow me on Twitter, @maibuddha, Reddit /u/maibuddha, or you can join my Facebook group!