Treacherous Pit-Dweller Deck Wins a PTQ (Blue/Black Aggro)
June 17, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Treacherous Pit-Dweller is one of those cards that looks awesome at first glance, but then you realize it has a pretty big drawback. Two black mana for a 4/3 creature is very good, but when it dies, your opponent gains control of it and it gets a +1/+1 counter.
Andre Müller found a way to deal with the drawback. He took the following Blue/Black (UB) Aggro deck with 4 Treacherous Pit-Dweller to a first place finish in a Pro Tour Qualifier (PTQ) in Hamburg, Germany.
|UB Pit-Dweller Aggro|
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How to Overcome Treacherous Pit-Dweller’s Drawback
First, copy or Clone creatures work well with Pit-Dweller. Andre played six of these creatures (4 Phantasmal Image and 2 Phyrexian Metamorph). When you copy Pit-Dweller with Image, you get a 4/3 undying creature. When it dies, Image returns to the battlefield ready to copy another creature.
As long as you don’t copy Pit-Dweller, you won’t lose control of Image. If the only creature on the battlefield is Pit-Dweller, you can even choose not to copy a creature. With this play, you would get a 1/1 Image. Its power and toughness is 0/0 but it gets a +1/+1 counter from undying.
If your opponent gains control of Pit-Dweller, you can copy it with Phyrexian Metamorph and trade with it. When Metamorph dies, it comes back from the graveyard because of undying so you can copy another creature. Again, just make sure not to copy Pit-Dweller or else your opponent will gain control of it.
I talked to judges about these plays so they are all legal.
Second, you can cast bounce spells to keep Pit-Dweller’s drawback in check. Bounce spells say “return target creature to its owner’s hand” so Pit-Dweller goes back to your hand since you’re the owner even though your opponent controls it. With Vapor Snag, you also cause your opponent to lose one life. Andre played seven bounce spells, 4 Vapor Snag and 3 Unsummon, and 2 Snapcaster Mage to rebuy them.
Bounce spells work well if your opponent tries to block with multiple creatures. For example, he blocks Pit-Dweller with a 1/1 and a 2/2. All three creatures die and he gains control of Pit-Dweller. You Vapor Snag it and replay it. With this play, your Vapor Snag basically killed two of his creatures. You do have to spend mana again to recast Pit-Dweller but that’s not too bad because it only costs two mana.
Third, sometimes you just have to kill a wayward Pit-Dweller. This is obviously not optimal but you gave your opponent a free 5/4 creature. You have to deal with it. Andre had 2 Tragic Slip and 2 Go for the Throat for his kill spells and 2 Snapcaster Mage to replay them. Tragic Slip is solid because morbid is active whenever your opponent gains control of Pit-Dweller.
Oops, the play below doesn’t work because undying returns the creature back to its owner’s graveyard. Sorry about that.
Fume Spitter has an interesting interaction with Pit-Dweller. When your opponent gains control of Pit-Dweller, it gets a +1/+1 counter. You can remove that counter by targeting it with Fume Spitter because +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters cancel each other out. Then, destroy Pit-Dweller with a removal spell or blockers. Its undying ability will trigger and you will regain control of it. Plus, it will have a +1/+1 counter.