Matryesâ (3-0 at Zürich Startup CO)

lostgeek 3624

How it feels to play 6x Matryoshka

The sabotage toolkit of Esâ is interesting power level wise. As it's confined to this set, its power level is somewhat constant between Startup and Standard. And given its recent impact on the Standard format, I wondered what a good Startup version might look like.

While the Standard version can fall back on the bin breakers to deal with whatever ice Botulus is not on, in Startup some other solution was needed. After a while, I landed on Matryoshka, which feels like the perfect fit for this deck. If you're running on a 3-iced server, you typically use Tsakhia "Bankhar" Gantulga for one of them, Botulus on the next and Matryoshka on the last. This combination typically gets you in everywhere you need to be in the early and mid game. And you don't plan on ever reaching the late game anyways.

The pressure of your typical 3-5 ID triggers through Marrow, Ghosttongue, Finality, and Running Hot in conjunction with some mass sabotage through 3x Chastushka allows for ending games before they even really start. Ghosttongue gives you enough of an economic edge to never stop applying pressure.

With Dr. Nuka Vrolyck and Steelskin Scarring to draw you deeper into your deck, Raindrops Cut Stone to replace the cards lost to Bankhar, you rarely run out of steam and plough your way to 7 points.

Some caution is needed against PE / Snare! decks and Thule Subsea: Safety Below / Ontological Dependence in particular, as you often run with very few cards in hand and can quickly give Thule some 0/2 agendas to score if not careful. But any reg deck barely stands a chance against the onslaught that Esâ can bring.

The deck went 3-0 in the 8 person Zürich Startup CO this weekend winning against Reg PD, Spicy Retribution PD, and Spicy Snare Retribution NEH. Many thanks to @Lukenukem for hosting a great tournament and everyone who attended for a great time!

4 comments
29 May 2023 Council

Beautiful gif use

29 May 2023 Council

Do you think Swordsman is worth playing these days if Matryoshka is so dominant?

30 May 2023 x3r0h0ur

Hortum is better in SU. 2 hortum 2 wraparounds solves matryoshka decks in startup imo

30 May 2023 lostgeek

@x3r0h0ur: You still have Botulus and Tsakhia "Bankhar" Gantulga to deal with those. Actually Anvil was more of a problem as this deck is pretty light on trashables.

@Jinsei: I don't think the overall Startup meta game is settled enough for very specific tech cards like Swordsman to be good. But I agree that it'd be pretty annoying to run into one of those.