Bogle Bogle!


A few people have asked me for thoughts on the Bogle deck and I am more than happy to oblige, especially after my top 4 finish with the deck at a recent PTQ in Montreal. I played Bogle at that particular PTQ because it was my belief that the real-life metagame was not prepared for it at all. People simply didn’t expect the deck and I can’t really blame them. There were over 150 players at this lovely PTQ hosted by Face to Face Games and from what I know, only 3 people played the Bogle deck. On top of all that, while talking to all of my friends playing in the tournament, I think only one of them had a sideboard card against Bogle – a singleton copy of Back to Nature.

It really showed me more than ever before how different the real-life metagame is from the one online. On MTGO, players are not only packing Back to Natures but you see sideboards with Tempest of Light and Engineered Explosives for the Bogle matchup. There was also a lot more Storm being played online, which is definitely a deck that is faster than Bogle Game 1.

Moving forward, post-bannings and post-Gatecrash, I am unsure of how well-positioned this deck is for a PTQ over the upcoming weekend, but it’s the deck I would play, because it’s just very powerful and will punish anyone who plans to durdle around with some of the new Gatecrash cards. Unfortunately, I don’t get to play this weekend, because I have to celebrate Chinese New Year. I was told by my dad that if I didn’t show up to the all-important family dinner, he would burn all my Magic cards and sabotage Easy decision!

Enough talk, let’s get down to the list that allowed me to place 4th at the PTQ:

The list was just a slightly tweaked version by the winner of a Premier Event, Mr.Trundle. You can check out his original list here:

The deck is fairly straightforward to play, so I don’t really have too much to comment on that front. Tom Ross has some useful information in his article on the deck here:

During the month that Bogle made its splash online, Mr.Trundle was someone I saw appearing frequently in MTGO tournament results with Bogle. I had a chance to chat with the guy and he said felt he had the main deck all but figured out, but constantly struggled with tuning the sideboard.

Due to Mr.Trundle’s confidence in the main deck, I only tweaked the Umbra numbers which was suggested by Tom Ross on CFB. The logic being this change was the fact that most of your Auras already give your creatures first strike, so that having Reach might be more useful and while you are rarely ever going to be blocking with this deck, the situation does come up. It has come up for me against UWR where I needed a creature to block both Vendilion Cliques and Restoration Angels. It has come up against Affinity where I desperately needed someone to block an Ornithopter or an Inkmoth Nexus equipped with a Cranial Plating.

Moving forward, are there changes I want to make to the main deck? Because of my success with the list, it’s hard to see me wanting to touch it that much. Noble Hiearch has been a challenge for me to evaluate. It enables me to god-draw certain decks when partnered with Kor Spiritdancer, while also being pretty much useless against removal heavy decks like Jund and UWR. I think I could safely cut 1 for the 4th Kor Spiritdancer, which is a card that just keeps impressing me.

The Sideboard

I am going to breakdown the one I used. Gaddock Teeg is useful against Eggs, Scapeshift, Chord of Calling/Birthing Pod decks, and decks that pack Supreme Verdict/Cryptic Command.

I wasn’t impressed by the one copy of Nature’s Claim that I had. It’s basically there because I am scared to be blown out by some random artifact or enchantment, but I can’t even name a specific card that does that. Spellskite wrecks me but I have other answers. My friend Francisco Leon plays Worship in his Pod deck, so there’s always that, I guess…

The extra Dryad Arbor has not been as awesome as I had been hoping it could be. Once you get a lot of games in, you realize that the only time you want more than one Arbor is against Jund to help fight against Liliana of the Veil for one turn, but I have found that it’s not even that effective as they are more than likely going to torch the land and -2 your only guy. It happens too often for me to want to devote a whole sideboard slot to the 2nd Dryad Arbor.

The 4th Path to Exile is definitely needed because it’s one of your absolute best cards against any deck that relies on the Splinter Twin strategy, because normally, the deck doesn’t actually care about creatures. If Splinter Twin wasn’t a top strategy, I wouldn’t even play Path to Exile.

Rest in Piece is for Eggs and Living End. With the Storm banning, this might be one of my weaker sideboard cards. It’s definitely fine vs. Jund where you blank their Tarmogoyfs and Deathrite Shamans, but again I don’t really care about their creatures. Liliana and discard spells are a bigger concern.

Rule of Law is basically a card for the same matchups as the previous card, so maybe we are probably hating on these decks too much, giving the fact that they do not form a huge part of the metagame. When Storm was around, it made sense to me to have different hate cards, because by doing so, you don’t set yourself up to just losing to an Echoing Truth.

Stony Silence is yet again a card that is good against Eggs, but it’s one of my most important sideboard cards because it’s also good against Affinity and Spellskite.

Suppression Field is additional hate against the Splinter Twin strategy and happens to be more than fine against Birthing Pod decks because they play many cards that require activation. If they have to tap out to use their Qasali Pridemage, I am cool with that. Some of them also happen to play the Kiki-Jiki combo, so you can’t go wrong siding in Suppresion Fields against those guys.

Sideboard Changes

Analyzing my old sideboard makes me really want to fit Pithing Needle as an answer to Liliana. I know there’s always Leyline of Sanctity, but that’s a high variance strategy that I am not sure I want or necessarily need. Leyline is also only good vs. Jund whereas Pithing Needle has applications elsewhere, stopping Spellskite from doing what it does best, which is annoying the heck out of me when I am trying to Bogle.

I do get the question from people on how I deal with cards like Back to Nature or Tempest of Light. The honest darn truth is that I don’t. I don’t expect many copies of them in real-life sideboards and it’s not like there are ideal answers to those cards anyways. Hayne and I have pondered over Second Sunrise, but it just seems like we might be diluting the deck too much. Am I really going to be able to hold a Second Sunrise against Jund? What does Second Sunrise do against a Spellskite? I rather just beat them down and MAKE them have it.

On the topic of Second Sunrise, you will see Retether in sideboards of Bogle decks, but I just can’t see how you are getting to 4 mana consistently enough with this deck. I’m cracking every Horizon Canopy I get, so I’m not hanging around to get to 4 mana for this spell.

I wish I could have provided you guys with a specific sideboard guide, but even I don’t have it completely down yet and I invite all of you to discuss sideboarding plans with me in the comments section. For easy reference, here’s what I would play tomorrow:

To finish off, here are some quick hits on why you might or might not want to play this deck this weekend…

Reasons to play this deck:
– Easy to play and has a very strong Game 1 win percentage.
– Reasonably easy to assemble as long as you have access to Daybreak Coronets.
– You believe that the metagame is still ill-prepared for this deck.
– The deck is reminiscent of RUG Delver in Legacy in the sense that all you need is 2 lands to play ALL your cards!

Reasons to avoid this deck:
– You enjoy playing interactive Magic.
– Post-sideboard games are hard because some sideboard cards are so strong against you and it’s hard to play around different kinds of hate that require different answers from you.
– You want a favorable matchup against Jund (I believe it’s really close, I went 2-0 against it during the PTQ but felt my opponents could have played more optimally).

Good luck everyone!