I-55 S. To St. Louis

Hey guys!  Back again; this week to talk about how my silver lining went this past week.  As well as, what I will be taking to St. Louis' Star City Open; which will hopefully break this format wide open.

To start out, I know there were a lot of skeptics last article, about whether or not my Silverblade/Delver list would work out or not.  Well I am here to tell you it performed admirably.  Of course it was only at an FNM (Friday Night Magic), but I had a reflecting record of X-1, which is pretty good.   I ended up getting second place with the deck.  I will admit my only loss was to the mirror match in which this dude was drawing pretty insane, while I was hitting my dead draws.   At one point I pondered four times and bricked on every one of them to try and get to a Divine Offering or a Phantasmal Image to stop the onslaught. Unfortunately, I did not come out of that victorious.  Silver blade is very good, as I expected it to be.  The card kills so fast when you play it and pair it with anything else in the deck.  Although I will not be taking this list to St. Louis, I still feel this is a strong list, and I suggest anyone else trying the deck out before they bash it.

Last week I stated that there were two cards that I stumbled upon while hanging out with my buddy, Jeff Hoogland.  One of them was Silverblade Paladin and the other is Torpor Orb.  I believe Torpor Orb is really well positioned right now in the current metta; it essentially stops every major deck in this metta.  When I realized I turned to my buddy and stated, “Tell me what deck it doesn’t impair in this metta,” he looked back at me and realized that it stopped everything.   As a result, I suggested he put it in his 75, because it would not impair his deck at all.  If you stop and take a look at the current metta, everything that everyone is casting will give them instant value as soon as it comes into play.  For example, Titans (in general), Blade Splicer, Restoration Angel, Snapcaster Mage, Huntmaster of the Fells, just to name a few (pretty much the whole metta).  When you take a look at what Torpor Orb can stop it seems like you would just want to run four in your deck just to shut everything down, but what deck do you incorporate it into and do you play it main, side board, or both?  That is the question I am here to help everyone out with today.  Also to give you a couple of lists that you can incorporate Torpor Orb into without harming the synergy of your deck, go deeper into what Torpor Orb comes in against and what it is good against.

Torpor Orb is in a very good spot right now; if used correctly it’s a very powerful card with little to no draw back to you.  The current metta is composed of decks that use creatures that come into play and trigger some kind of an ability attached to a creature.  One of the most popular decks that this would impair is Solar Flare.  Solar Flare uses Sun Titan to recur Phantasmal Images. This deck also has plainswalkers and Elesh Norn, not to mention Grand Cenobite to win with as well, but Torpor Orbs do shut down a huge part of that deck.  Another top tier deck that Torpor Orb stops in its’ tracks is the Delver of Secrets dot deck.  In this deck the Torpor Orbs stop Restoration Angel and Snapcaster Mage (both give you a huge advantage to stop and are dead cards in your opponent’s hand.   Thirdly, Torpor Orbs stop Birthing Pod archetypes because it shuts off the entire deck.  Huntmasters are useless, Blade Splicers, Esper Midrange, and any kind of souldbound creature they wish to use.  I know what you guys may be thinking, “Well what does that leave me to play.”  Naturally, I am here to answer that in a few different ways; whether you like control, aggro, or whatever. There are two decks that I will be listing and going over.  One of which will be a control deck and the other an aggro deck.  Both of these decks, in which I have played and tested, have a lot of potential.  The aggro deck is mono green that focuses on speed and trample, thanks to the awesome reprint that is RANCOR. The control deck is pure control.  It’s a Blue /White control deck that plays a lot of counter spells and board sweepers, with planeswalkers.  The win condition is to finish them off with White Sun's Zenith.   Here’s the list for the mono green aggro deck that has Torpor Orb in the sideboard.

Main Deck

1x Ulvenwald Tracker

4x Birds of Paradise

4x Llanowar Elves

4x Strangleroot Geist

4x Dungrove Elder

2x Dissmember

1x Viridian Corrupter

4x Phyrexian Metamorph

1x Thragtusk

1x Wolfir Silverheart

1x Belowing Tanglewurm

2x Garruk, Primal Hunter

4x Green Sun zenith

4x Rancor


23x Forest


2-3x Torpor Orb (haven’t officially decided on the number there)

2x Ratchet Bomb

2x Sword of Feast and Famine

2x Crushing Vines

1x Glissa, the Traitor

2x Thrun, the Last Troll

1x Stingerfling Spider

1x Acidic Slime

2x Thragtusk

That’s the list I am working with as of right now and I’m even thinking about taking it with me to St. Louis this Saturday and Sunday because mono green aggro is in a really good spot at the moment with the new metta.  Now you guys may be wondering, “Why is he running creatures that have come into the battlefield with trigger effects?”  The answer is simple; it’s because those cards are powerful cards and even a deck that is running a Torpor Orb may need to run SOME of those creatures.  Now you guys also may be saying, “Well isn’t that counterproductive?”  My answer to you is, “No most definitely not.”   As you can all see, I am running a total of three creatures that have enter the battlefield triggers; which are all easily side boarded out for Torpor Orbs.  When Torpor Orb hits the battlefield its’ presence is known.  The decks that Torpor Orb will be coming in against is going to slow their plan, shut it down, while quickly finishing them off with a beat down, like the deck above, before they draw an answer to Torpor Orb.  In the testing I have done, with this deck using Torpor Orb from the board, I have saw it shut down Birthing Pod archetypes, both Naya (white/red/green) and RUG (red/blue/green), which I thought was going to be a big problem for me and out race me.  Wolf run decks were never a problem, Torpor Orb or not.  Esper Mid-Range gets hurt tremendously because everything comes into play and does nothing.  It felt really good to not get “out-creatured,” per say.  When I boarded for most of these matches here is what I took out and will be taking out, in the near future, to replace with Torpor Orb.

Sideboard Tech:

Against Naya Pod:

2x Torpor Orb, 2x Sword of Feast and Famine,  2x Crushing Vines

-1 Thragtusk, -1 Ulvenwald Tracker, -1 Wolfir Silverheart, -1 Viridian Corrupter, -2 Garruk, Primal Hunter

The same is for RUG except you would not need crushing vines.

Esper Mid-Range:

2x Torpor Orb, 2x Crushing Vines, 2x Thrun, the Last Troll

-1 Thragtusk, -1 Ulvenwald Tracker, -1 Wolfir Silverheart, -1 Viridian Corrupter, -2 Garruk, Primal Hunter

Delver Archetype:

2x Torpor Orb, 2x Crushing Vines, x2 Thrun, The Last Troll

-1 Thragtusk, -1 Ulvenwald Tracker, -1 Wolfir Silverheart, -1 Viridian Corrupter, -2 Garruk, Primal Hunter

As you can see, the sideboard method is pretty much the same for these decks; other than a Thrun here or there for the counter heavy decks.  Having more hex proof is just as good.  The Glissa-Ratchet Bomb package usually comes in against decks that use tokens or Mirran Crusaders.  I am thinking of taking the Glissa package out, simply because I think Sword of War and Peace does the same thing.  I could bring Sword of War and Peace in against the mid-range deck and the Delver archetype.  With that being said, I think I am going to continually work on the mono green deck until I get it to where I want it to be and then hopefully top 8 at the Star City Open in St. Louis with it.

Now I did state that there were two lists that I was working on.  Whether or not I decided on the mono green list over the blue/white list does not mean the blue/white list is a bad list.  The blue/white list is actually an incredible list that I decided on taking with me to St. Louis way before the mono green, however I decided that I would have more fun getting to the top 8 playing a hasty green deck, rather than the blue/white list.  The blue/white control list, as stated above, is meant to outlive your opponent’s threats, and then start building a threat base yourself, all while still controlling their actions.  Here’s the list I was thinking about taking.

Main Deck:

1x Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

4x Ponder

4x Think twice

4x Day of Judgment

2x Terminus

4x Gideon Jura

2x Karn Liberated

3x Mana Leak

3x Dissapate

3x Pristine Talisman

2x White Sun’s Zenith

2x Oblivion Ring


4x Seachrome Coast

4x Glacial Fortress

9x Island

9x Plains


2x Torpor Orb

2x Negate

2x Celestial Purge

3x Phantasmal Image

3x Timely Reinforcements

1x Oblivion Ring

2x Sun Titan

The list is pretty solid; I really like it a lot.  The fact is that it has a ton of potential this Saturday at the Star City Open, but I really prefer to rush in and kill this weekend instead of drawing it out.  Though, for some of you that would like to do that this weekend, this list is perfect for you.  I have four Gideon Jura in the main, because he is just a house. Sometimes, sure he becomes a five mana fog, but that gets you to your next turn to drop Terminus on any aggro deck.  Plus he doubles as a creature and win condition for the deck.  I play two Karn on the simple fact while testing pairing him with Gideon was just obnoxious.  They were literally, while paired, impossible to get rid of.  The deck is very grindy, in the sense that you will take a lot of damage at first, but will then stabilize and eventually win because your opponent has ran out of gas.  Well at least that’s the plan, and so far so good.  In testing it actually beat my mono green deck, just because I ran out of gas, which made me realize I need to put some sort of draw mechanism in the deck, in case of these situations.  I also tested the deck against another control deck (which was the longest game ever) and eventually won off the back of a White Sun’s Zenith.  The reason I run White Sun’s Zenith over Entreat the Angels is because I do not want my opponents to be able to deal with them on their next turn.  I like the fact that it feels like they have haste and I think in this format the more things that have haste the better off you are, because of all of the deck manipulation and miracle cards (which by the way is just in my opinion, a stupid concept).  I did not play with this deck too much in testing, but when I did, I felt the power it had behind it.

Sideboarding for this deck is just as easy as it was in the green deck.  Against most decks that depend on trigger effects of creatures entering the battlefield, whether it is mid-range or aggro, I would board in the Torpor orbs and Timely Reinforcements; while taking out some counter spells and Oblivion Rings.  Against control mirrors I would use the Sun Titan Package and More counter Spells; while taking out some, if not all, of the board wipers and a couple of Gideons.  All in all, if anyone took this deck to St. Louis, I would not be surprised if I saw it in the top 8, just because of its ability to persist.

For the rest of the week I will be testing and concentrating on making the mono green list as perfect as I can get it.  I really enjoyed both decks while playing them because of their flexibility and sheer power, along with Torpor Orb, by their side, making them almost unbeatable in this current metta.  Did I mention Torpor Orb also stops Thundermaw Hellkite?  Yeah think about it.  I am pretty anxious about this weekend.   I am hoping to wrap up another top 8, and quite possibly a win while flying under ARG’s colors.  This weekend will be the first time I will be wearing the ARG colors and I am proud to say I am.  Guys at ARG thank you again for this opportunity and I hope I can bring home the trophy for us.

Until next week readers, have a great FNM, and for some of you, maybe even a great Star City Open weekend.  Which if that is the case I hope to see you there.  Thanks again for reading.  Hope this article helps you guys dominate the metta!!! Have Fun and see you next week!!!


Jeff Rasmussen

Jeff Rasmussen
Name's Jeff been playing magic for at least a good 10 years now and was competative at one point and then when future sight came around i took a break. Came back in when scars of mirrodin dropped and have been playing competatively ever since. Lately i have been making a splash on the scene and got 3 top 8s back to back to back at star city opens. I look to play better and win more. I am a Constructed Standard, Modern and Legacy competitive grinder.
Jeff Rasmussen

Latest posts by Jeff Rasmussen (see all)