Home Forums Highlander Decklists Top Tier Archetypes RUG Tempo – “RUG Life”

This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Sarven McLinton Sarven McLinton 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #1018
    Sarven McLinton
    Sarven McLinton
    Keymaster

    RUG Life is the deck developed by Sarven McLinton in mid 2018 to prey on the SA meta at the time (largely control vs. aggro). RUG Life went undefeated in the Swiss of the Adelaide Eternal Highlander Challenge (see event results for meta), with Sarv piloting it to 1st place. It has since seen Top 8 finishes in the hands of Sarv, Evers, and Juzza to name a few, and won 5 of the 6 or so moderate-to-major events from late 2018 through early 2019. Akin to the nomenclature used in Wan Chin Burn (UR Aggro), Neeman Burn (BR Aggro), JP Storm (5c Combo), and Brando Control (UB Tempo/Control), the staple archetype typically inherits the name of the leading exponent. Hence “Sarv Tempo” is now trending for RUG Life too.

    The video deck tech is below, and the list would suit anyone who enjoys tempo strategies, burn strategies, 2-drop green creatures like Goyf (and an honorary member of the club, Hooting Mandrills), and soft permission. The engine of the deck revolves around Spellseeker fetching both Time Walk and Ancestral Recall, and Regrowth or JVP allowing you to cast your 7 points both consistently and also multiple times per game. That being said, most of your games can be ended quite swiftly off Price of Progress, and you will often find yourself Seeking out PoP, or flashing it back for 6-12 damage per go.

    This deck tech is the video primer, and a list is included below:

    DECKLIST: Temur Tempo
    “RUG Life” AKA Sarv Tempo

    //Threats (12)
    Goblin Guide
    Delver of Secrets
    Deathrite Shaman
    Grim Lavamancer
    Tarmogoyf
    Scavenging Ooze
    Young Pyromancer
    Hooting Mandrills
    Direfleet Daredevil
    Vendilion Clique
    Garruk Relentless
    Chandra, Torch of Defiance

    //Removal or Reach (7)
    Lightning Bolt
    Chain Lightning
    Burst Lightning
    Incendiary Flow
    Fire//Ice
    Price of Progress
    Atarka’s Command

    //Protection and Interaction (10)
    Misdirection
    Daze
    Mental Misstep
    Spell Pierce
    Spell Snare
    Remand
    Censor
    Izzet Charm
    Mana Leak
    Counterspell

    //Draw and Filtering (6)
    Brainstorm
    Gush
    Dack Fayden
    Gitaxian Probe
    Ponder
    Preordain

    //The Engine (5)
    Time Walk ***
    Ancestral Recall ****
    Regrowth
    Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
    Spellseeker

    //Mana (20)
    Scalding Tarn
    Polluted Delta
    Flooded Strand
    Misty Rainforest
    Arid Mesa
    Bloodstained Mire
    Wooded Foothills
    Windswept Heath
    Verdant Catacombs
    Volcanic Island
    Steam Vents
    Tropical Island
    Breeding Pool
    Taiga
    Underground Sea
    Rishadan Port
    2 Island
    Mountain
    Forest

    SIDEBOARD (15)
    Seedtime
    Sylvan Library
    Pyroblast
    Red Elemental Blast
    Flusterstorm
    Anger of the Gods
    Arc Trail
    Submerge
    Hydroblast
    Blue Elemental Blast
    Trygon Predator
    Destructive Revelry
    Tormod’s Crypt
    Relic of Progenitus
    Blood Moon

    I manage Adelaide Eternal, a group running monthly tournaments in SA for Vintage, Highlander, and Legacy. We also commentate feature matches which are uploaded to our YouTube channel every month. Visit: www.youtube.com/adelaideeternal

    #1140
    Sarven McLinton
    Sarven McLinton
    Keymaster

    AE Highlander Challenge finals (third quarter of 2018) match demonstrates RUG Life in action:

    I manage Adelaide Eternal, a group running monthly tournaments in SA for Vintage, Highlander, and Legacy. We also commentate feature matches which are uploaded to our YouTube channel every month. Visit: www.youtube.com/adelaideeternal

    #1189
    Sarven McLinton
    Sarven McLinton
    Keymaster

    Since the creation of the deck and subsequent Adelaide Eternal win in late 2018, Sarv Tempo has gone on to win a string of major events in the hands of multiple pilots. A few variations have popped up including un-powered lists, with a discussion below. The latest win was in the hands of Sarven McLinton who won the Good Games Highlander in Feb 2019 with this current list:

    52898558-2268243359895116-422810058225614848-o

    From a Facebook discussion, here is a summary of the alternate builds available for Sarv Tempo:

    #1: Walk + A-call. (the primary build from the OP and the version the creator extols as the ideal in an unknown meta)
    You need to leverage Goblin guide and all soft permission. one extra burn spell. Only two 4 drops in Chandra and Garruk, but one is cut-able. Key is to win the early and mid games. Weakest matchup is Yidris but you’re good everywhere else, operating on busting the early game, and post board Moons are crucial. Always remember for tempo: the longer the game goes against Midrange and Control, the lower your win % becomes. Lean on a low curve and early explosive power and protection (hence Ancestral Recall is the optimum use of your 4 points).

    #2: Walk + Snap, TNN, Force, Strip. Hybrid option
    Better in midrange metas. Play Pteramander, drop Guide, focus on ‘catching’ them with force or strip, and grind when necessary. You have to play Chart a Course in place of A-call, or you can opt to cut Force/strip for Cruise but honestly as soon as you start trying to ‘replace’ A-call, the deck gets worse. Focus on doing something A-call doesn’t do: Force, Strip, and TNN are role players, especially since without mise A-call turn 1 you become worse against control, so Strip is a legit plan.

    #3: Strip, Waste, Force, Snap, TNN, Jace, Loam SB Budget Option
    Note on Loam SB (your last point is a flex slot that is meta dependent, you can go with Drain Drain or Top but they’re meh so old-faithful is cut flex & Force, or flex and Jace for Cruise).
    Drop guide and a burn spell. Focus on your tempo game operating in the mid-game. Cut Censor for Evasive Action. Happily play your threats a turn later to protect them better. Use Strip/Waste/Force to snipe when you’re the beatdown. Have an alternate opportunity to grind via JtMS (personally I still prefer Chandra and Garruk even in this build, as the grind is way better when they can’t REB your wincon). Bring in Sylvan Library and Life from the Loam from the board, and leverage green ‘draw threes’ as your grind, and looping your Waste-Strip. Your bad matchup (midrange) gets a lot better post board, and then against control focus on your engines being un-REB-able, i.e. Sylvan, Loam, Garruk, Chandra, rather than Jace, Cruise, etc. This overall build is a heavily ‘meta’ deck, so in the wrong meta you will get roflstomped, but in the right one you can play just as hard as #1 A-call Walk build. Budget RUG is still deece when built to the meta (i.e. I wouldn’t just go Melbourne blue stew points because RUG control is just worse than Grixis). This budget option attacks the meta on a different angle

    I manage Adelaide Eternal, a group running monthly tournaments in SA for Vintage, Highlander, and Legacy. We also commentate feature matches which are uploaded to our YouTube channel every month. Visit: www.youtube.com/adelaideeternal

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