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Wurm Creativity

Updated: Jun 23, 2023




I went to my first Regional Championship this weekend, and testing for it was a rollercoaster. I was in a few different discords amongst my large group of friends, and the vibe everywhere was “play what you want.”


This is difficult for me to accept. It’s rarely happened over my career that something didn’t stand out as the best deck or the one I liked to play the most.


Early in testing, I wanted to try Hulk Creativity again. We tried it before Pro Tour Philly and came to the conclusion that the Xenagos Wurm version was better. For some reason unbeknownst to me, the Gearhulk version took its place in the meta almost entirely.


I can only assume the reason is that sideboards and players were prepared for the Big Score into Creativity package and the Hulk deck had a better fair game plan. Unfortunately in my testing, I could not beat a good player playing Rakdos. I tested a bunch against Zach Kiihne, and he completely rinsed me. He kept me low on resources, meaning it was impossible to hit land drops. Cards like Magma Opus were a liability to draw early, and I’d always end up with four or five lands in play and one or two clunky spells in hand while he was activating Liliana or putting me in an unwinnable spot with a Sheoldred in play. One innovation that Jacob Nagro gave me, which I tested and liked for Hulk Creativity, was adding a single copy of Collective Outburst as a sort of fifth Opus that could function as an answer to Sheoldred. It’s worth a copy if you’re considering that deck.


I tested a lot and considered Hulk Creativity, Lotus, Rakdos Midrange, and Rakdos Sacrifice. With a few days left of testing, my friend Rob Pisano said a friend of his, Chris Higashi, won an RCQ with a twist on the Xenagos Wurm version of the deck. I looked it over, played a league with it, and went 4-1. It felt reasonable, but the big test was how it would perform against Rakdos Midrange.


I played five matches against my friend Chase Kovac, whom you may not know, but he was the highest-performing Rakdos Midrange finisher at the RC this past weekend, and he knows his stuff. The results were promising.



I played against Rakdos three or four more times in leagues and only dropped a single game over that stretch. I still don’t know if it's a good match-up. In the past, I’ve had similar results against Rakdos, and it can be difficult to tell in a small sample under 10 matches. Despite not yet losing to it, I’d say it's close to 50-50. The sample size is just too small to tell.


One reason it's better than other versions is you can put a Wurm into play and Creativity for one, and Rakdos Mid can’t easily answer. In other match-ups, you bleed the points you gain against Rakdos with this list. However, I still find your good match-up to be good. Decks like Rakdos Sacrifice, one of my losses in the tournament, can bring in Furnace Reigns and steal your Wurm and one-shot you.


Here’s the list I played and ended up going 7-4 before I dropped to hang out with friends. All my losses were likely favorable match-ups except maybe Rakdos Sacrifice, which is now potentially a worse match-up than Rakdos Midrange.





Deck

4 Fiery Impulse

2 Spikefield Hazard

1 Volcanic Spite

4 Make Disappear

4 Bitter Reunion

1 Roast

1 Secrets of the Key

4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

4 Stern Lesson

4 Indomitable Creativity

2 Worldspine Wurm

1 Dig Through Time

2 Shark Typhoon

4 Steam Vents

3 Stormcarved Coast

3 Spirebluff Canal

1 Hall of Storm Giants

1 Otawara, Soaring City

2 Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance

4 Riverglide Pathway

2 Shivan Reef

2 Mountain

2 Mutavault

1 Prismari Command

1 Abrade


Sideboard

2 Brotherhood's End

2 Shark Typhoon

2 Hullbreaker Horror

2 Rending Volley

2 Mystical Dispute

2 Disdainful Stroke

1 Negate

2 Leyline of Sanctity


I’m not sure what I’d change at this point, maybe some minor tweaks. I’d cut a Bitter Reunion if possible. I was hoping to trim a Bitter Reunion for a land like a Den of the Bugbear. Bitter Reunion is important in specific match-ups, but three is likely enough and you rarely want to play it early.


The ideal start against some decks that can’t punish you is Bitter Reunion into Stern Lesson into Creativity for one attack for 15.


This almost never happens, but Stern Lesson does a lot of work in this deck helping you pay for Reflection of Kiki-Jiki, Mutavault and Channel Lands, but it occasionally pays for stuff like Make Disappear and Spell Pierce. Most importantly, with this version of the deck you don’t get Wurm caught in your hand because of all the ways you have to discard.



Sideboard Notes


Rakdos Midrange


-2 Fiery Impulse

+2 Leyline of Sanctity


This is a good Leyline deck because of all the ways to loot and it's very resource intensive. It even feels bad discarding the sixth and seventh lands, so the downside of Leyline doesn’t punish you nearly as much as it does in other decks where it’s a dead draw. It helps you set up wins if your opponent can’t rip Creativity out of your hand. I played against Rakdos zero times in 11 rounds, so I don’t have much more to go on other than my testing in leagues in a closed decklist.


Additionally, you can cut a Bitter Reunion for a Shark Typhoon if you want more threats out of your sideboard.


Vs Mono Green Devotion


- 1 Fiery Impulse

-1 Bitter Reunion

-1 Stern Lesson

-2 Fable of the Mirror Breaker (On the Draw Only)

-1 Stern Lesson (On the play)

-1 Fiery Impulse (On the Play)

-1 Stern


+2 Disdainful Stroke

+2 Mystical Dispute

+1 Negate


I sideboarded differently on the play and on the draw. Fable is tough to cast on the draw until later turns, so you don’t want to flood out with them. They’re also much worse when you do cast them because they’re more likely to be set up well against your Goblin token.


This is a close match-up, but I’ve won much more than I’ve lost. Green is one of those decks that is good against almost anything when drawn well.


Vs UW Control


The TLDR is cut the red cards and add the blue cards, but more specifically:


-4 Fiery Impulse

-1 Abrade

-1 Roast

-2 Worldspine Wurm

-1 Prismari Command


+2 Hullbreaker Horror

+2 Mystical Dispute

+2 Disdainful Stroke

+2 Shark Typhoon

+1 Negate


If you see Chrome Hose Seedshark you’ll want your 2 Rending Volleys instead of Volcanic Spite and a Bitter Reunion.


Vs Greasefang


-1 Roast

-1 Bitter Reunion


+2 Rending Volley


I'm not entirely sold on how to sideboard here. I’ve been going on vibes. I like to bring in a Brotherhood’s End sometimes or the Negate if they have 3 or 4 Liliana. Negate on the play is much better to counter a Grisly Salvage.


I bring in Leyline of Sanctity when they have 6 or 7 Duress/Thoughtseize. I’d trim down the Bitter Reunions to make room for anything additional you bring in.


Vs Lotus


-4 Fiery Impulse

-1 Abrade

-1 Roast

-2 Worldspine Wurm

-1 Volcanic Spite


+2 Hullbreaker Horror

+2 Mystical Dispute

+2 Disdainful Stroke

+2 Shark Typhoon

+1 Negate


This is nearly identical to how you sideboard against UW. The difference is you can leave in either creature package, on the play, on the draw I prefer the horrors because the games end up much grindier, and they’re more likely to disrupt your Wurm.


If you think they’ll bring in Voyaging Satyr against you, you can leave in a spot removal or two max, likely Volcanic Spite.


Vs Mono W Humans


-3 Bitter Reunion

-2 Stern Lesson


+2 Brotherhood’s End

+2 Rending Volley

+1 Shark Typhoon


This match-up is more about keeping their board empty rather than getting yourself on the board. You can win even if you never cast Creativity. You might want the fourth Shark over the last Bitter Reunion.


Vs Spirits


+2 Shark Typhoon

+2 Hullbreaker Horror

+2 Rending Volley

+2 Mystical Dispute

+1 Brotherhood’s End


- 1 Roast

-2 Worldspine Wurm

-4 Bitter Reunion

-1 Stern Lesson

-1 Indomitable Creativity


Again the goal is to keep the battlefield clean and let your win cons overpower them.


Vs 5c Decks


There are too many versions to do specifics, but it's almost identical to how you’d board against UW except you want to keep the Wurm package in. Try to set up spots where you can Make Disappear the Wurm away, but you can win here with Fables and Shark Tokens if you can keep them low on resources.


Vs Hulk Creativity


-3 Fiery Impulse

-1 Roast

-2 Worldspine Wurm

-3 Bitter Reunion


+2 Mystical Dispute

+2 Disdainful Stroke

+1 Negate

+2 Hullbreaker Horror

+2 Shark Typhoon



The following are a few tricks you may miss.


First, you may want to use Bitter Reunion to attack with a Shaman rather than hold it for a combo.


Sometimes you’re able to put a Wurm into play against aggro decks, but they can go too wide on you for you to attack. This is a bad spot you can get out of occasionally by attacking and casting your own spell and casting Make Disappear with casualty to sacrifice it to make three blockers, sometimes at instant speed.


Sacrifice redundant Bitter Reunions to fuel Dig Through Time.


Use Otawara and Hullbreaker Horror to bounce your own Bitter Reunion.




Overall, I liked the deck, but I’m not sure I’d run it back. My other choice was Rakdos Sacrifice, and I like that deck a lot with how the format is shaping up.


The only thing I’d consider changing at this point is potentially cutting a Bitter Reunion for another land. I’d probably add a Den of the Bugbear.


I’m not sure how good this deck is, but other players are reporting success with it, so maybe it's better than I give it credit for.


This is the hardest version of the deck to play because it requires some finesse at times. That said, if you’re a Creativity fanatic like myself, this deck is definitely worth a try.













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