Using 8-10 pills on your first go with Grudj or Karrion is NOT a strategy. That is to say, it is a strategy, but takes no strategic thought to pull off. Please stop rewarding idiot players a decent elo standing for playing like this, and get rid of Grudj and Karrion.
Seriously, there are cards out there that I groan on seeing, but can still have fun playing against. Then there are these two, that just sap any fun out of the match, because I know that I might pay really well and still lose to a moron.
The issue is that some cards have a dramatic impact on the game if they hit, and thus are difficult to play a "safe" number of pills against. Much of UR's strategy lies in evaluating the risk of a card hitting vs the risk of a card being a bluff and you overpilling against it, and taking some course of action that you feel gives you the best fighting chance.
Grudj is definitely one such card, as he allows you to use something like 9 pills, almost guaranteeing a hit, and have enough pills to where walling even with the worst of cards is possible. Knowing that, it's difficult not to justify trying hard to beat him, because going low against him still means you probably have something like 33% odds of victory (since guessing how your opponent will wall is required.) On the other hand, pilling hard against him is just as devastating if he's a bluff.
The only answer to cards like that is to have a deck that isn't destroyed by making that bad call. There really are many ways to do that, from using mitigating cards to shut your opponent down, to having high-gap cards that put you in a good position to counter.
Focus on exploring these two scenarios:
1)You have a significant life advantage after Round 1, but at a cost of a very significant pill disadvantage. Do you still have at least a 50/50 chance to win?
2) You have a significant pill advantage after Round 1, but at a cost of a very significant life disadvantage. Do you still have at least a 50/50 chance to win?
If the answer to both of these questions is "yes," congratulations! You've "cheap"-proofed your deck.
I've always been able to say "use a DR/SoA deck if Avola is overplayed that week". I guess my main problem is that I usually have an adaptable deck that can take the losses from Grudj and Karrion. Which then leads me to think that said cards aren't nearly as big of a problem as people claim :)