Monday, 17 April 2017

UG Flying Weenies

Today, we look to the past for some inspiration on deck building. This is actually one of the earlier decks that I know about, as it became a ‘legitimate’ contender with the game’s first expansion, Arabian Nights. While not quite as famous as its brother in another colour, that doesn’t mean it’s not as dangerous. So let’s dive right in and see what we can learn about UG Flying Weenies.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Personally, I’d probably choose teleportation; and yet I actually think the most popular answer would likely be flying. Why do I mention this? Well, that means that the average person would be pretty envious of every creature in today’s deck. The reason for this is quite simple: today we are employing cheap threats that can fly their way to victory. So which ones do we choose to include? That’s where things get interesting. Note: I do want to mention that Scryb Sprites and Flying Men should be in every deck, as they are simple, elegant and exactly what we want.

The other 1-drop flying dudes aren’t as streamlined, which is where it comes down to your play-style, meta, et cetera. I decided on Xantid Swarm because they can clear the way to a safe Berserk-style win. This is pretty handy, despite the obvious scratch against them being that they do not deal damage on their own (Birds of Paradise being another great example). Of course, you can also go for other 1/1 flyers such as Cloud Pirate, which is U instead of G – colour balance being another factor to consider in your deck construction decision(s). Whew, who would’ve thought tiny flying dudes could complicate things to such an extent, am I right?

Alright, enough about creatures! What else can we do with our strategy? Giant Growth is a surprisingly good Swiss army knife-type of card. What I mean by this is that it has a deceptive number of uses, both in attack and defense. The obvious uses are that it can make you hit the opponent harder and defend a bigger creature without yours dying. Simple, right? Sure, but let’s look at some other uses/factors. It can save a creature from direct damage (creature protection), ambush an attacking/blocking opponent (creature removal) or make your opponent not block because of a potential Growth (unblockable). And those were just off the top of my head – the point is the card has some versatility to it. In short: great card.

In a deck that wants to hit your opponent with fast damage, it might surprise people not to include Red. There are certainly pros to playing the colour, and yet there are also pros to not doing so. With its emphasis on growing small creatures for damage, you gain some long-game options that aren’t available via direct damage. The addition of Red also weakens the mana base when it’s not even necessary. Why? Because an awesome thing about UG Weenies is that you CAN include direct damage. I put in 4x Psionic Blast because they are a great addition as creature removal and/or to win the game.

Should I Brainstorm? Admittedly, Brainstorm wasn’t originally included in Weenies. The reason was because I wanted to concentrate on quick and efficient opening hands, and Brainstorm can slow down your tempo. Eventually, I decided to add it however, as I felt that old lightning head can help you find the last couple points of damage and smooth out your draws if you hit some land. I didn’t really test out which version was correct; I think that choice depends on your play-style. Happy Brewing!

UG Flying Weenies


1 Island
1 Pendelhaven
4 Tropical Island
4 Wasteland
7 Fetch lands

Total: 17


4 Scryb Sprites
4 Flying Men
4 Xantid Swarm
1 Serendib Efreet

Total: 13


4 Berserk
4 Rancor
3 Giant Growth
4 Unstable Mutation
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Psionic Blast
3 Concordant Crossroads

Total: 30


4 Naturalize
4 Tormod’s Crypt
4 Counterspell
1 Giant Growth
1 Regrowth

1 Ground Seal

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