Brewing with JHump – Face the Hydras

Hello again!  Last time I stomped face with Rakdos, the Lord of Riots himself.  It was fun, but you want to know what has been more fun?  Destroying your foes with an onslaught of Hydras, in a deck I call: “Face the Hydras”.  I’m all about synergy, and in this deck if the creature type isn’t hydra then it doesn’t count as a creature.  Let’s start by looking at the deck list shall we?

*Note this is pre JOU release.  I’ll discuss some changes I’d make to the deck with the new cards at the end*

Face the Hydras

Creatures (25)
Elvish Mystic
Sylvian Carytid
Savageborn Hydra
Mistcutter Hydra
Polukranos, World Eater
Kalonian Hydra
Xenagos, God of Revels

Spells (11)
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Domri Rade
Clan Defiance
Armed//Dangerous
Chandra Pyromaster

Land (24)
Stomping Ground
Temple of Abandonment
Nykthos, Shring to Nyx
10 Forest
Mountain
Sideboard (15)
Ranger's Guile
Savage Summoning
Time to Feed
Destructive Revelry
Gruul Charm
Unravel the Aether
Gruul War Chant

So as you can see we are only running 16 creatures, but fortunately Domri Rade still works on some of our noncreatures spells as well, such as Ghor-Clan and the mana dorks.  The deck is really fun to play, especially when the opponent is so confused as to why you are playing main deck Mistcutter Hydras.  I had many points in the last article about “Living the dream”, in this deck the dream is to kill them with hydras, pretty simple.  We have plenty of ways of accomplishing that goal.

The most obvious way – play Kalonian hydra… no removal?  They are dead, pretty quick too!

Next most obvious way – play Xenagos, then play hydra – No instant speed removal? – Really dead, (swinging for 12 with 1 creature!).

 

Some of the more fun ways to kill someone is to drop a Savageborn Hydra for 2-3. Next turn buff it to 3-4 and swing.  The opponent will most likely chump with some 1/1 creature and thats when you Ghor-Clan to deal tons of damage.

 

Let’s go over some of the best/worst cards during testing.

 

Domri – This is obvious and goes into every creature deck playing G/R.  The removal is pretty important in this deck as you have some very monstrous creatures you don’t want chump blocked.

Savageborn, Kalonian – These are your game winning hydras, they can deal a lot of damage very quickly.

Polukranos – Big creature, kills small dudes, we all know what he does.

Xenagos – This god probably fits in this deck more than any other G/R version.  If only it also gave trample!  Hasting a Kalonian or Savageborn hydra is amazing.  Making Polukranos a 10/10 is just as good.  I’ve killed off many a Desecration Demon or Sylvan Primordial with him and a Domri fight.  This was a huge key to my victories and many times could swing a clear loss into an overwhelming defeat, though not along obviously.

Armed//Dangerous – Just looking at this card I think you understand the point.  Similar to trample you just make it so their creatures can’t block your important creatures and you get in.  Though interesting enough I did use this as a board whip once with kalonian hydra.  That was pretty sweet, 4 for 1.

Clan Defiance – Seriously, this card is amazing.  I haven’t figured out why normal Monster decks don’t run this.  It’s almost always a 1 for 1 with sugar on top and can sometimes be a 2 for 1 which is just a blowout.  Not to mention when you really need that fireball to finish the opponent.

Ghor-Clan – obviously good trample is insane.  Sometimes I did get desperate enough to cast him with his alternate cost of playing him as a creature.

Nykthos – The mana base in this deck is pretty easy.  I decided to play a couple of Nykthos for the few times in a game where you have more than 3 green devotion. That 1 extra mana makes a huge difference in our X spells.  That’s 1 extra counter on Savageborn hydra.  That’s an extra damage with clan defiance.  Sometimes that is even an extra ping with Polukranos.  All of these things are huge deals that we can take advantage of as having the colorless land doesn’t hurt us at all really.

Ranger Guile – This was very good as anti-removal.  I didn’t feel the blowout affect I thought I would playing this on a Kalonian or Polukranos to save it for a turn but it still did a lot of work.  But not something I would expect to see in a lot of monster decks.

Savage Summoning – Ok this is going to be a little bit of a rant, but one of the main reasons I wanted to play this deck was for this card against control.  Do you know how many control decks I faced in various testing?  Zero, Nadda, Zilch.  Very saddening.  The idea was to get a good board with Polukranos and mana dorks, force them to board wipe savage summoning in a big Savageborn or Kalonian hydra.  Next turn play a Mistcutter and swing for a ton in 1 turn.  It would have been a blowout.  They are tapped out with very little to do.  If there were one thing I’d call living the dream in this deck it would be something along those lines.  (Though swinging with Kalonian with you have a 3/3 Savageborn getting doubled is pretty sweet).

All in all the deck was really fun to play but is obviously just a worst version of G/R monsters.  I did go 3-1 at FNM but got 9th with bad tiebreakers, and 2-2 during some mid-week testing, though that was against some post-JOU decks.  It did seem to fair well against agro decks, and it had a lot of 1 hit kill potential that kept opponents on their toes and very careful.  If you wanted to actually play something similar to this, the easy cuts would be to take out the Mistcutters and move them to the sideboard.  Bring in some Courser of Kruphix and Stormbreath dragon.

This would be a good Hydras deck Post JOU:  (*again competitively you would need Dragons and Courser over some of these cards*)

Face the Hydras Post JOU

Creatures (27)
Elvish Mystic
Sylvian Carytid
Savageborn Hydra
Polukranos, World Eater
Kalonian Hydra
Heroes' Bane
Hydra Broodmaster
Xenagos, God of Revels

Spells (9)
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Domri Rade
Clan Defiance

Mana (24)
Stomping Ground
Temple of Abandonment
Nykthos, Shring to Nyx
10 Forest
Mountain
Sideboard (15)
Mistcutter Hydra
Ranger's Guile
Savage Summoning
Destructive Revelry
Gruul Charm
Unravel the Aether

Heroes’ Bane seems pretty cool with the interaction with Xenagos. It doesn’t just double the counters it triples them, in most cases.  Broodmaster, let’s be honest, is a pretty obvious choice… she makes hydras.  Mistcutter Hydras were just way too bad to stay in the main board. I also cut a few cards that I felt were overall weak when I played them and didn’t feel like they deserved a spot.

 

My next article I get to writing will hopefully be a brew of a bunch of decks I want to try/have tried.

 

Couple of spoiler cards for the decks:

Dictate of the Twin Gods – (obviously right?)

Keranos, God of Storms – (free lands or lightning bolts?  Yes please)