Deck Tech: Ruse of an Ooze
Ruse of an Ooze (v1) 60 cards
- 2 x Simic Ascendancy
I mentioned earlier in the week that I would be looking to create a deck around the powerhouse that is Biogenic Ooze. When I started I was just expecting to use a load of Oozes and then counter-spells in order to keep them alive long enough to overrun the board. That is a fair strategy but it turns out that all those +1/+1 counters have a far better use…
Bomb #1: The Ooze
Bomb #2: The Ruse
Playing a Simic deck will evidentally lead to a large number of +1/+1 counters being added to your creatures. You can take advantage of that with Simic Ascendancy, a card that gives you a “growth counter” for every +1/+1 token you create; if you get 20 of those tokens, you win the game. I’m always a fan of these alternate win conditions and this one is very easy to trigger in combination with the oozes above. First of all, you’ll want to get a few oozes out with +1/+1 counters on them plus a Simic Ascendancy. Next, bring in a Galloping Lizrog and transfer all the +1/+1 counters to it; you’ll get double the amount which will massively pump up the Simic Ascendancy. Next use either Quasiduplicate or Repudiate // Replicate to duplicate the lizrog and transfer all the counters again leading to another doubling. In many scenarios1 that’ll win you the game but if it doesn’t you’ll have a massive lizard frog to attack with and win that way.
Both paths to victory can happen relatively quickly if you get the right cards at the right time; however, that rarely happens and so usually you’ll need to either suck up a bit of damage or make sure you time your big plays correctly.
To help with getting the right cards at the right time, I’ve included a few copies of Incubation // Incongruity but the best option in most cases are the two copies of Prime Speaker Vannifar; she will let you sacrifice a creature in order to trade up by 1 CMC for something from your library (which then goes onto the battlefield). As that is a free action (albeit at sorcery speed), she is the perfect method of finding either your 1st of 2nd Galloping Lizrog as she can sacrifice herself to bring that in immediately; she can also sacrifice herself to trade up for a Biogenic Ooze if you need it. Note that she is an ooze so she will gain +1/+1 counters for you if you’d prefer to use her in that capacity.
In terms of control, there are a number of counter spells ready to protect the most precious aspects of the deck. Essence Capture is great for countering and giving you an extra +1/+1 counter, Repudiate // Replicate can combat activated abilities as well as spells, and Frilled Mystic is a straight up counter spell that comes with a 3/2 creature.
The only other card to discuss is Incubation Druid, a useful mana ramp tool especially when combined with either it’s adapt ability2 or with the free +1/+1 counter you can get from using Essence Capture. Having that extra mana available is particularly useful when you want insurance with which to cast counterspells whilst pulling off the ruse!
- The deck has very little in the way of dealing with fliers3; adding a couple of cards with reach (such as Grappling Sundew or Tower Defense) could work but the best play is probably Aeromunculus due to it’s synergy with the +1/+1 alternate win condition.
- Breeding Pool and Hinterland Harbor are expensive cards and make up around half of the cost of this deck. You can swap them out for Simic Gates if you need to reduce costs although that’ll obviously be a less efficient mana base; if you did do that, I’d only include a few copies and bulk out the rest with basic lands.
- I included two copies of Growth Spiral as they can be useful for both card draw and playing extra lands. These could be removed and replaced with more powerful card draw such as Opt or Chemister’s Insight.
- Biogenic Upgrade is a great way at getting more +1/+1 counters on the board especially when distributed to oozes that already have counters.
For example, lets say you’ve got Simic Ascendancy on the battlefield along with a Corrosive Ooze. You play Biogenic Ooze and on that end step you now have three +1/+1 counters and thus three growth counters. Next turn you play Galloping Lizrog and take all three +1/+1 counters which then double up to six +1/+1 on the lizrog for a total of nine growth counters; on your end step, the oozes get +1/+1 counters so that’s another three growth counters (for a total of twelve) and a total of nine +1/+1 counters on the board. On your next turn you spawn another Galloping Lizrog (either by casting one or using the duplicate or replicate methods) and give it all nine +1/+1 counters; they double to eighteen +1/+1 counters comfortably winning you the game with thirty growth counters. Even if your Simic Ascendancy gets destroyed at some point, you can probably play one on your last turn before the duplication and give it eighteen growth counters; that plus the final ones on your end step will win you the game. ↩︎
Giving you more +1/+1 counters for your lizrogs! ↩︎
Beyond straight up counter-spells at least. ↩︎