Play Sorcery's Geomancer like an Australian/New Zealand Champion

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Chase du Pont

Over the weekend of April 6th, Plenty of Games in Melbourne, Australia hosted their very own community-organized regional tournament, drawing players from across Oceania together to test their mettle and compete in an “Australia and New Zealand Championship.”

Organized by Jesse from the Winning Agenda (now Sorcery's Store Advocate!), the event featured an impressive prize pool including an original art painting of Arid Desert by Aronja art. It also served as an introduction for travelers to the strong Sorcery community that has been carefully cultivated at Plenty of Games.

Over two days, 48 players faced off in competition, with Jarrod Scriven rising from the Rubble with a Geomancer deck to be crowned the “Australia and New Zealand Champion.”

Jarrod has graciously shared his decklist and the hard-earned lessons he learned along the way to crafting this deck.

Find out how you too can rock the Geomancer like the champ!

You can view Jarrod’s full deck list on Sorcery TCG’s official deck-building site here.

Deck Inspiration: What inspired you to create this deck? What theme or concept behind this deck makes it stand out?

Jarrod: I generally tend towards mid-range or control in most games I play, and I value consistency over more powerful, inconsistent options. During testing, I was a big fan of Pathfinder and all the variations I put together, but the inconsistency of the mana base was causing way too many game losses. So we started exploring other options to get to the mid-game consistently and start doing powerful things, and we settled on Geomancer being quite strong at that. The Roots combo made its way into the deck because it is reasonably free to add to a mono-element deck, and Geomancer recovers incredibly quickly after it through its ability. Having a Bedrock in play can be game-ending by letting you power out minions the turn you activate Roots.

Key Card Choices: Tell us about some of the key cards in your deck and why you included them.

Jarrod: The lands themselves play a large part in getting to the mid-game by buying turns via life gain or generating blockers at no actual card cost through the three free lands from the Geomancer ability. Being able to reach six lands by turn six every game without needing to skip drawing spells helps tremendously with consistent draws.

Once in the mid-game, the general plan is to do something powerful each turn by either dropping an under-costed fatty or playing a very powerful spell and generating card advantage through those cards, often achieving at least a 2-for-1 and quite often a 3-for-1. Then, there is the backup plan for faster matchups and the auto-win condition against slow decks of popping the Realm with Yggdrasil.

Against fast decks, Yggdrasil is rarely needed as the deck generates so much life and huge minions to out-trade. Against slow controlling decks, they will never kill you before you get Yggdrasil online, and none of them (outside of other Yggdrasil decks) can recover quickly enough, if at all, after a Roots.

One card that I hadn't seen anyone play and wasn't even on my radar until I drafted it in one of our practice drafts, but is incredibly strong for this deck in particular, is Stone-gaze Gorgons. It is weak to Lightning Bolt-type effects but can often be worked around in most matchups depending on what version of it they have. When it is strong, it can lock down massive regions of the realm, and when combined with Root Spiders, it can lock players out of the game.

Playstyle Tips: What’s the recommended playstyle for this deck? Are there any specific strategies or combos that players should be aware of when using it?

Jarrod: The most important part of playing this deck is knowing when you are the defender and when you are the aggressor. Most of the time, you are the defensive player, and you need to be willing to use your life as a resource to make good trades with soldier tokens in combination with your other minions, knowing that you will be able to recover quite a bit of life through your lands and Divine Healings.

However, there are some draws with this deck that turn you into the aggressor, playing out like a minion-based beatdown plan with Autumn Unicorn, Royal Bodyguards, and Atlas Wanderers. The aggressive curve, backed up with Crusade or timely Bury effects, can end games in a few turns if your opponent stumbles on their opening draw due to playing one of the more inconsistent pure power level decks.

A general rule for using Roots in this deck is to keep it in hand for as long as possible if you draw it, to stop people from using site movement effects or Atlantean Fate and moving it away from your sinkholes. Another play that seems counterintuitive to how the deck wants to play is going for a turn 4-6 Roots (mainly when you have your adjacent sites to your Avatar) as you recover so quickly with your avatar and get to draw spells every turn while your opponent has to draw sites, effectively turning it into a draw eight (or more if you destroy things they have played).

A big thing to know about the deck is that it is very strong even without Roots. In our testing, I won against our whole gauntlet of decks very consistently without using Roots and never lost a game in which I used Roots.

Matchup Insights: How does your deck perform against popular archetypes in the game? Are there any particular matchups where it excels or struggles?

[Note: This event had modified deckbuilding rules, in which Choas Twister was restricted.]

Jarrod: The deck performed incredibly well against everything we expected at the tournament, except for the Wolves deck we created, but even that matchup was winnable. Our main gauntlet for testing included Earth-Fire Sorcerer Aggro (many variations), Pathfinder (many variations), Avatar of Earth, Deathspeaker, Enchantress, and (our) Wolves deck, along with many more decks we tinkered with and fringe decks that popped up.

This deck was massively favored in every matchup except for Wolves, which it went even with, and Avatar of Earth, which was still slightly favored but very challenging. The matchup could be skewed even more in your favor by playing the full suite of four Scourge Zombies.

We did no testing against Chaos Twister and expected most decks to run Infiltrate as a less powerful similar effect (hence the Scent Hounds and Common Sense targets). From a theory-crafting perspective, Chaos Twister would be the most important card to play around with this deck, and you would need to try to avoid getting 2-for-1 on your expensive large minions. The Worm would need to come out in any other tournament for a Scourge Zombie, but if I played the tournament I won again, I would make that change in a heartbeat anyway, as the Zombie overperformed in the top 8 sideboard section of the event.

Congratulations, Jarrod!

A big thanks to Jarod for sharing his knowledge and a hearty congratulations for his success at this event! You can meet Jarrod and share your experience playing his deck at their regular meetups at Plenty of Games in Melbourne, Australia.

Have you got a deck you’ve been finding success with? We’d love to hear about it! Share your decks in the Sorcery: Contested Realm Facebook group and join the Sorcery Discord community.

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