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Much Abrew: Hollow One Aggro (Standard)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, during our Instant Deck Techs, it was one of our Standard options—Hollow One Aggro—that came out on top. As such, this week, we are heading into the wide-open world of Hour of Devastation Standard to see if some cycling and discard synergies can bring a GR Monsters–style build to the forefront of the format! The basic idea of the deck is simple: we play big things at every point on the curve from Turns 2 through 5, back this up with some discard synergies that let us cheat on the costs of threats like Hollow One and Honored Hydra, and then back it all up with a bit of burn. Is it possible that playing big creatures, turn after turn after turn, is the solution to Standard? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll have some thoughts about the deck. Oh yeah—by this time you reading this, I'll be away on vacation for the next week, which means we'll miss our Much Abrew episode next Sunday. Don't worry—Instant Deck Techs will continue throughout the week, and Much Abrew will return next week!

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Hollow One Aggro (Instant Deck Tech)

Hollow One Aggro vs. Sultai Reanimator (Match 1)

Hollow One Aggro vs. UR Control (Match 2)

Hollow One Aggro vs. Esper Control (Match 3)

Hollow One Aggro vs. Red Deck Wins (Match 4)

Hollow One Aggro vs. Tron (Match 5)

Hollow One Aggro (Wrap-Up)

Discussion

  • First off, we finished our matches with a 4-1 record, only losing to Esper Control (Fumigate is really good against us), so there really isn't a whole lot to complain about with Hollow One Aggro.
  • This being said, we were aided by running into some favorable matchups. The Fog Mill deck, while certainly spicy, seemed to have some problems, and the build of Red Deck Wins we played against seemed a bit less effective than the more typical Ramunap Red (even though it has the Desert land package). 
  • As for the deck itself, it seemed solid for the most part. Our creatures are really big, and the Gods are hard to deal with, which made it pretty easy to run over opponents playing smaller creatures. 
  • Hollow One itself was hit or miss. It's horrible when we cast it for five mana and fairly good when we cast it for three mana, although the ability to cycle it away makes up for a lot of the downside. The biggest benefit of Hollow One is that it gives us a surprise nut draw with Noose Constrictor. All we need is a couple of Hollow Ones and a Noose Constrictor, and we can end up with 10 power on the battlefield on Turn 2. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen very often. Out of all the games we played, I think we had the nut draw one time.
  • Bloodrage Brawler was likely the most disappointing card in our deck. It matches up really poorly with removal, since Abrade and Fatal Push are so popular; plus, we don't have that many good things to discard. While discarding a Honored Hydra is great and discarding Fiery Temper is reasonable (although we sometimes want to hold it in hand to kill a creature), we were stuck discarding a "real" card a lot of the time, meaning we ended up two-for-oneing ourselves when Bloodrage Brawler died. 
  • While I don't want to be too harsh on the deck after going 4-1, the biggest question I have for Hollow One Aggro is whether we really need the discard package. The upside is clearly the nut draw we talked about before, but the downside is that many of our discard-centric creatures are really bad if we don't draw a discard outlet. Would a similar GR Monsters build featuring the Gods along with Servant of the Conduit, Verdurous Gearhulk, Tireless Tracker, and more Glorybringers be better? It's hard to say without testing the hypothetical GR Monsters deck. On paper, it seems like the non-discard build would be more consistent but lose some small number of free wins from the nut draw. 
  • The other problem I had with the deck was the complete lack of cards that can kill bigger (i.e., anything with more than three toughness) creatures. Considering we are already looking to discard cards for value, it might be correct to fit some number of Lightning Axes into the 75 to kill Glorybringer, The Scarab God, and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
  • So, should you play Hollow One Aggro? I think the answer is yes, although as I mentioned before, I wonder if the power of the deck is the discard package or if the deck won in spite of the discard package thanks to Hazoret the Fervent, Rhonas the Indomitable, and Glorybringer. Regardless, the deck felt powerful and good enough to pick up quite a few wins in our current Standard format!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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