What is it about this deck, that keeps bringing some of us back to it, or never letting us leave?. Is it the sick speed at which it sometimes seemingly dismembers other unprepared decks, or how it can go toe to toe with other 1000$ decks in t1 and still rock it?
Well, its probally a bit of both of them. I have been playing Sligh off and on now, but pretty consistently for 5 years, when the format allowed it(last season wasnt that great of a season for sligh in ext, too much combo, ahha last year wasnt a very good season for ANY creature decks minus Survival).
In T1 however, Sligh never loses anything, it just gets stronger. For those that arent too familiar with the competitve t1 scene, it pretty much goes like this:
Keeper(p9 fueled control)
Combo(p9 fueled usually as well)
Creature beatdown-very little if any p9 found
Newly Arisen Legends Blue probally falls somewhere in the middle of the creature/keeper section, leaning alot more into keeper. As boths Pox to a extent.
The "basic" rule of the T1 Hierarchy is basically this
Creature beats Keeper- Why? All the competiteve creature decks in t1 have to be fast to be sucessful, probally the only exception being Survival, to have any chance. Keeper usually isnt a very good when its in race mode, making it go search for its balance very quickly, unless it has a god hand, or die. If it, however, gets off a early balance, it has so many 2,3, and 4 for 1 spells that it will be almost impossible for the creature deck to recover in time to put together another serious assualt. However Keeper more often that not isnt able to win this race, and it often comes down either to a balance, then race to recover, or a slaughter. When Keeper usually wins over creature, it makes it look easy. Total devasation and Total control are 2 polar opposites Keeper seems to have.. But the devastation side of the coin is the one Keeper usually sees aganist a Tier 1 creature deck.
Keeper beats Combo- Why? Well, here again, its another race, does poor Keeper ever get a break? However, this race is one that Keeper excels at, with a range of distruption spells, usually containing 10+ counters, some such as mana drain that can make for a game winning Mind Twist for your hand next turn as well, Keeper is well tuned to deal with Combo, as least compared to Beatdown.
And unlike Beatdown, once the dust settles, combo cant usually comeback as quick as a Sligh or Stompy deck can, so if Keeper makes it through the opening gun fight, it usually has a win on its hands as long as no big mistakes are made.
Ofcourse, that just leaves Creature with no seemingly nightmare matchups. But, it has it, completing the little circle, and its Beatdown's nememsis.
Combo beats Beatdown- Why? Well, simply put, Beatdown drops a few threats, and Keeper has to worry about them and deal with them, so thats where its resources has to go. But Combo, nah, Combo just doesn't really care, it has its own agenda, so if you ever wanted to see the truest race in T1, you'll find it in Combo vs. Beatdown. And with all the mana excelleration Combo has from p9 and friends, it usually just has the push over Beatdown in that race, since all Beatdown can usually do for disruption is Wasteland, which is great for killing lands, but then u have mox's, lotus, vaults, blah blah blah.
Now, out of all the stuff I just went through, id say in Beatdown Term, Sligh is the fastest and rudest deck in T1 now, just slightly ahead of 10 Land Stompy. It has a big plus over Stompy and other creature decks in that it can put pressure on another deck creature wise AND burn wise, while Stompy can only comprise a threat from creatures, meaning "The Abyss" means you Suck Stompy. Now sure, Stompy can deal with Abyss when Sligh cant, but usually that lyrist or charm wont do it, and even if you did, you may have lost a turn, precious turn you needed, to kill it, if it resolves.
Sligh's biggest enemey, you might think is The Abyss, or Cop: Red. But both are wrong.
The Abyss, is actually usually too slow sometimes against Sligh. Now dont get me wrong, you drop a 2nd turn Abyss on Sligh, and watch the Sligh player cringe. But any later then that, and the Sligh player wont find it too hard to find a creature to sac to the Abyss while continually beating you down with its board. Cop: Red, also, looks good in theory, and it would show up in Keeper and Combo for sure. 75% of the time I see a Cop: Red on me on turn 3 or past, I still win. Why? well, usually for every mana your deck can produce, im going to have a creature to tie that up, and my decks probally going to outrace you land drop/for creature drop. Now if you balance, and have the Cop: Red out, eh, then it looks bad for Sligh, but otherwise, your mana is always tied up unless you want to do some risky eot stuff, and you can expet a barrage of burn to go off while you do. Combo, that dumps Cop: Red, is almost useless. It NEEDS its mana every turn to set up and go off, so keeping it tied up every turn, whether doing damage or not, is almost always in the Sligh players favour. The Combo player will then have to store up on Counters and have to drop land continually and then just go all out on 1 turn, winning or losing on that turn, since a hand full of burn will be coming his way, and if he stalls for some reason, an army of Goblins and friends will be coming over the turn after to pick up some lunch.
In all actuality, what Sligh should fear the most in t1 is Chill. That, even with its 1drops and 2drops, will usually give Combo/Keeper enough time to Twist away your hand or drop down a Abyss or Moat, or setup its Combo and go off.
Next to worry about is Moat. If Moat hits the table, your screwed. You better have pecked him down low enough to burn him out, cuz otherwise your down, for good. In this case, I would rather be Stompy, but Stompy probally isnt far behind a quick death then Sligh at this pt.
The Absolutley best beck that Can utilize a Cop: Red, is well, White Weenie. Why? Well, it can apply constant pressure well coping out whatever it doesnt want to. The other 2 decks probally wont do anything to you while the Cops out, cuz they will be busy on there turn doing little to nothing, cuz they cant, but ww can start hiting you with its creatures while its Coping your attack and spells. Sadly, ww will usually get utterly crushed against Keeper and Combo, even with its Enchantment kill, so Sligh has little to worry bout with WW in t1.
However, in ext, Sligh's little vaction from ww in ext, well, it just ended. Remember a few years ago when WW and CounterPost ruled the old t2/ext scene? Well, what happened? Basically, mana excelleration and Wasteland to be percise. But now with Combo gone and a few new editions, its making a return. So in one aspect, Sligh can start wrecking havoc now that Combo is gone, but its also brought back some other decks that will make Sligh almost sad Combo did leave, and WW is one of them.
That said, I still think Sligh is one of the top 3 decks in ext now, Sharing the spot with Oath and the other slot is really open for alot of contestment, some will say WW, and with its enchantment kill for Oath, and red hosers for Sligh, why not?
Here is my t1 Sligh decklist.. It can get quite nasty:
4 ball lightning
4 lightning bolt
4 chain lightning
3 cursed scroll
2 goblin grenade
1 reckless adanbon
1 strip mine
4 price of progress
4 goblin cadet
2 urza's rage
The rages and Pop's could be subject to being maindecked, but I found them more often then not, less usefull 1st game, but there are punishers aganist certain decks 2nd and 3rd. Only about 10% of the time will I find I have nothing to sb against a opponent. I have nothing aganist Pox, just a wasteland for his mishra, and very little for the mirror.
The ext decks main and sb looks very different, due to the metagame, you have to contend with Oath, so suddenly Sandstalkers are a good idea. And it loses half of its good dd so(dd= direct damage), but its still fast enough to give most decks fits.
But amagine this played out scenario of a T1 Slighs's first couple turns
Sligh goes first, lest assume he won the dice roll
1st Turn: Mountain, lackey go
opp: Drops a dual, best they will do is duress or drop a sol ring, 90% though nothing with the mana, maybe a mox however.
2nd Turn: Attack with lackey, opp at 19, drop your free Flunkie, then cast a patrol, wasteland opp's land, say go.
opp: Drops another land, chances of them doing something with the 1 mana increase somewhat
3rd Turn: pay echo, attack for 6(13), drops a fanatic, casts a pup, say go.
opp: drops another land, casts a spell, say searches for a balance, or something to lead up to a answer..says go
4th turn: attack for 9(4), you probally will have at the vest least, a bolt and fireblast, so if he counters the fireblast, you bolt and fanatic him, but you'll cast the bolt first and then kill him with the fireblast, plus you will have 3 other cards in hand that can do something.
This isnt a strech of the imagination, nor is it very hard for this deck to do it, ive done it to peeps several times, not always but, its consistent, thats what Sligh is. It also is the best deck I think in Magic to take advantage of a bad hand...
Granted, a few times the opp will be able to do something faster, and if they balance, big deal, you just knocked there hand down to a crappy number, did close to half your damage, and are embarking on a better race then you started on when you first started, this is probally the case for Keeper.
With all this said, its clear T1 Sligh is a rude, fast and competitive deck, as is ext Sligh. But all the other competitive decks in the format are capable of beating Sligh and can, with the right draw, but going with the %'s, Sligh is looking good for awhile again in both formats.
And Remember, it gets REALLY HOT DOWN IN HELL BABY, burn BABY burn
ahah, take care
Pygmy's build character
Come get what Undermines, bops, duals, cores, drains, vindicates, forces, HUGE BLOWOUT SALE!!
[Edited 4 times, lastly by irsih31 on September 17, 2001]