The Pan-Galactic Gargos Blaster

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DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
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Post by DirkGently » 2 years ago

I got the "pleasure" of playing against Gargos several times over prerelease weekend, and let me just say - screw this guy. Not only is he ridiculously above curve as an 8/7 vigilance for 6, but he's also damn near impossible to deal with, without getting 2-for-1ed in the worst way. And if you don't kill him, things only get worse as every combat trick and aura recieves a tacked-on murder for absolutely free. And to make it somehow even worse, all your opponents other creatures recieve the same infuriating protection. Playing against him makes you long for death, and then usually receive it in short order.

None of this, of course, involves his hydra discount. Which is pretty impressive. 4 less is huge. But...let's be honest. Most hydras are pretty terrible in commander. And while a 4-mana discount is a lot, it's also only available after sticking a 6-mana creature. If the goal is to ramp, there are certainly more efficient ways to do it, and more useful things to ramp into than hydras.

So this version of gargos is meant to use him in a different way - as a conduit for a mono-green deck to play control. Green is basically a non-starter as a control deck because of its inability to deal with creatures, but gargos shores up that weakness in a big way. He's also a very efficient win condition that can become a 2-turn clock quite easily, and even plays defense at the same time.

The deck builds a lot like feather - many cheap combat tricks and protection spells that would be a waste of a card in a normal deck become very reasonable here as a way to both protect your primary win condition and control piece, and as a way to utilize that control piece. Unlike feather, though, we can make excellent use of auras, which makes a more voltron-focused approach more reasonable.

We do, however, require some not insignificant amounts of ramp to get Gargos out ASAP, and ideally with protection up - so we're aiming for the 6-7 mana range. This is a little nebulous so we aren't committed to specific mana costs in our ramp, except that we do want most of our ramp to cost 3-4 or less, so that it helps in our primary goal of getting gargos out and letting him do his thing.
Decklist
Approximate Total Cost:

Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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ElderDrunknH1landr
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Post by ElderDrunknH1landr » 2 years ago

This is a hilarious deck idea, well done. I would suggest adding in Nightshade Peddler for more deathtouch.

Also Whispersilk and shroud is a nonbo in your deck i would suggest removing it. Shroud means you can't target Gargos.

Lastly, your control build works great against creature builds but what about combo builds? Stuff like Ground Seal or Collector Ouphe can really shut a combo deck down.
Decklists
Ayula Bearstorm
Feign Veil Teferi
Feldon Roulette Combo
Scarab God Pit Stop
Chain Veil Gideon
RB Enchantress
No List (yet)
Niv Mizzet Stax, Sidisi Buried Alive, Wizard Tribal, Crovax Legends, Marith the Awakener.

Big fan of tuned jank.

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DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
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Joined: 2 years ago
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Post by DirkGently » 2 years ago

Thanks!

Not being able to target Gargos isn't necessarily a major issue because I can just target another creature to trigger him. The deck is fairly light on creatures, but there are quite a few mana dorks at least (and if druids call ever gets going...). We'll see how it ends up feeling. Obviously getting stranded with lightning greaves on gargos could be pretty bad, but whispersilk sticking around means someone is going to die in 3 turns at most, so it seems like a reasonable risk to me.

I'm hoping deathtouch won't be super critical - he does have 8 power, after all, and if he can regen/indestruct then he can fight repeatedly if he needs to kill, idk, emrakul or something. Basilisk collar is mostly there for the lifelink, which is obviously pretty nuts with gargly-boy, with deathtouch as a bonus.

I did think about running more stax pieces - definitely some grave hate could be useful here, among other things (I think the ouphe shuts down too many of my own cards). I just ran out of room after I ran all the awesome must-run targeted spells and I think 20 ramp is going to be ideal for getting him out ASAP. We'll see how well the deck runs, and then cut down one of those categories to make more room for more control stuff - I'd also like more artifact/enchantment removal if possible.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 2289
Joined: 2 years ago
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Post by DirkGently » 2 years ago

Played a (somewhat modified) version of this deck a couple times this week.

It did quite well.

Game 1 was a bit awkward - one guy got an insane start (playing saheeli) and I had to exhaust some resources to knock him down. I was in a solid position, with gargos very large...then someone stole him and killed me with him. Boo.

Game 2 looked like it could dicey, as one guy was playing savra, so I was worried I'd get locked out of my commander. Luckily I dropped him turn 3, following up with an aura to kill savra. Same guy then played grave pact...at that point, he had to go, so I used my berserk to 1-shot him, sacrificing Gargos. The two remaining players tried to contain me, and did wipe my mana elves, but the replayed gargos survived and become a 12 power shroud unblockable, against a mono-green and a mono-red deck. They died in short order.

Game 3 was a 3-player game. Got gargos out t3 again. Actually I barely remember what happened, except that I won. I guess it was pretty fast.

I usually know I need to give a deck a rest when afterwards people are saying things like "I don't know how I'm supposed to beat that". Which...I mean, gargos has plenty of weaknesses, it's nowhere near cEDH. But it's aggressive enough and consistent enough that I can see it frustrating some players to play against. It's pretty satisfying to crunch in with a massive trampling hydra, though.

2 cards I really should have included in the original list - vigor and foe-razer regent. They make gargos get out of control in a HURRY. I used them in the list I played last night and they were both excellent top-end.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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