Look. I’m a Gruul. By heart. Always have been. I need to be first on board. I need to attack. I need to strike fear in my opponents eyes. Waiting isn’t my thing. I was anti blue. Impatient „Ghor-Clan Rampager“ kinda guy. I like trampling all over silly chump blockers. I was a Naya warrior for a long time. Had some tournament success. I kept inventing. I love to create new angles. And I wanted to win. I combined aggressiveness with the „Pattern of Rebirth“ – „Academy Rector“ combo. Did well. Years passed. Times changed. Highlander Naya-Aggro is dead if you want to win. Sorry to have to tell you. RIP.
Welcome to Highlander. Where each deck has 100 cards and one thing is for certain: Nothing is for certain. But if you were a Naya player around the beginning of 2015 there was too much uncertainty. Or maybe there wasn’t. Because it was quite certain you would lose with Naya. #facts
In a format dominated by combo decks like Storm, Artifacts and midrange value monsters like 4C-Blood Naya to this day feels silly. You have no way of really interacting with the combo decks. They are good enough to put the nail in the coffin turn 3 if you let them. And 4C Blood just plays sorcery-speed value spells off the top that leave no room for quick kills by creature attacks. Ever heard of „Siege Rhino„? It’s real and it demolishes Naya type shenanigans.
So the choices I was left with were: 1)Go flat out Rambo and play RDW to keep scaring opponents, 2) Play 4C-Blood like everyone and their grandmother, 3) Try to play math-combo and end up in a mental hospital due to lack of the right kind of intelligence, 4) Play something with Blue.
I didn’t like my options. But the only one that seemed reasonable at the time was playing Blue. Here is why: In Berlin there are a lot of good Highlander players. Most play Blue. I had never played Blue. And I knew very well, that it was against my nature. But then there is also ambition. This thing that does not let you accept the “ cannot“. I wanted to be one of the good players. So I chose to play Blue. Probably MISTAKE NUMBER ONE.
Then, after trying to stick Blue into aggressive Naya-Blue strategies and having not too much success for a while I decided to be greedy. I don’t know what made me do this, but I decided to add the fifth color. Might as well. Probably MISTAKE NUMBER TWO.
The thing with Highlander is this: Hardly anything is ever for certain. I was likely not having success, because I didn’t know jitte about playing Blue. I was tapping out like an idiot all the time and I still am to this day. Gruul syndrom. Then in addition to playing Blue for the first time, fetching and mana decisions didn’t exactly become easier either with all these colors. And then of course … if you play a Highlander deck for two weeks you know nothing really. It’s 100 cards! Changing everything around after one loss is idiotic. Likely MISTAKE NUMBER THREE. A lot of times.
And to sprinkle a little bit of stupidity on top of all this my job and personal millenial-what-a-time-to-be-alive-life left me less and less time to actually play magic. It was exactly then when I decided to build the best 5C color Highlander deck on planet earth and play Blue. MISTAKE NUMBER FOUR.
But I tend to be a stubborn knuckleblade, uhm knucklehead, so I stuck with the task. Challenge accepted. Full on Gruul attack mode. Mastering playing Blue and building the impossible 5C at the same time. This is fine. Everything is fine.
I type stuff into my iPhone and yes, this does include 100 card singleton decklists that I then analyze using the great deckstats.net. So on April 3rd 2015 I changed “5C Bananas A“ for the last time. Spoiler alert: As of today one year later I haven’t finished my quest yet, I still can’t play Blue right and I have run out of letters of the alphabet I have made so many versions of 5C. Going strong. Hope you had fun with Part 1 of 5C. Because I still do. To be continued …
This was Version A: