Tag Archives: Wizards of the Coast

Mirrodin Besieged: Laziness or Bad Design?

Mirrodin Besieged

 

 

Mirrodin Besieged:  Laziness or Bad Design?

Venser, the Sojourner and Mirrodin Besieged Spoilers – Magic: the Gathering

Venser, the Sojourner and Mirrodin Besieged Spoilers

A viable Standard deck in the making?

Soul Sister Transcended – Standard Magic: the Gathering deck

So, the “Soul Sisters” deck was a surprise this past weekend at the StarCity Games Open in Denver.  6th place for a life-gain deck is impressive (though it can be argued that its success was totally based on the surprise factor).  Looking at the deck list, however, you can see that the life expectancy of this deck is short (both because of people being more aware of it now, and that several cards will rotate out of Standard October 1).

A few of the deck’s key cards rotate when M10 and Alara Block leave Standard on October 1.  Most notably, these cards include Ranger of Eos, but also Soul Warden (which leaves the deck as Soul Sister singular).  The loss of Ranger of Eos almost cripples the deck as it is currently configured. So, I thought about what is currently available in the future Standard (since we haven’t seen much of the goodies from upcoming Scars of Mirrodin) and put together this list.  I opted for a wider variety of creatures and spells (most of which cause life gain) in order to compensate for the lack of Ranger of Eos creature tutoring ability. Unlike Soul Sisters as it currently stands, this deck is far more expensive to put together.
Silence

Oh, and by the way, I love Silence.  Why it doesn’t get much credit is beyond me.

Also, I’m assuming there will be something Scars of Mirrodin that replaces Path to Exile.  For the record, this deck would definitely run that.

Soul Sister Transcended
Serra Ascendant

Creatures (20)

  • 4x Serra Ascendant
  • 4x Soul’s Attendant
  • 2x Student of Warfare
  • 4x Ajani’s Pridemate
  • 3x Transcendent Master
  • 1x Linvala, Keeper of Silence
  • 1x Sun Titan
  • 1x Iona, Shield of Emeria

Planeswalkers (4)Ajani Goldmane

  • 3x Ajani Goldmane
  • 1x Gideon Jura

Spells (11)

  • 4x Brave the Elements
  • 2x Silence
  • 4x Survival Cache
  • 1x Day of Judgment

Artifacts (2)

  • 2x Basilisk Collar

Lands (23)

  • 1x Emeria the Sky Ruin
  • 4x Kabira Crossroads
  • 4x Tectonic Edge
  • 14 Plains

Sideboard

  • 2x Celestial Purge
  • 1x Silence
  • 2x Kor Firewalker
  • 3x Luminarch Ascension
  • 2x War Priest of Thune
  • 1x Day of Judgment
  • 4x Leyline of Sanctity

I almost ran 4x Squadron Hawk.  I don’t think it’s a bad idea, since the hawks allow you to consistently hit a creature drop for Soul’s Attendant life gain (which you aren’t guaranteed any longer due to the lack of Ranger of Eos).  I simply wanted to run some other cards in addition, specifically main-decking a Linvala, and the Transcendent Masters and Student of Warfares.  I’m surprised the Students weren’t in the original Soul Sisters deck since they are great to tutor up with Rangers of Eos if you’ve already pulled your Serra Ascendants.  Perhaps they were simply too much money?

Obvious additions would be Baneslayer Angels, but you have to own them to play them.  I think I’d run 2x of them, dropping out the 2x Student of Warfare.  I also kind of wanted to run 2x Elixir of Immortality.  If we’re going to run life-gain, this is pretty cool, since it is a renewable source.  Another possibility in this vein was Ajani’s Mantra.  Cheap, but I felt the slots could be better served with a third Ajani Goldmane, a Gideon Jura (because, I mean really, why not?),  and an Iona, Shield of Emeria.  Plus a few additional lands to help pay for those higher cost creatures and additional level ups.

For an optional budget build, I had an idea of running a Defender version of this with Wall of Omens, Perimeter Captains, and Roc Eggs in place of the pricier creatures.  Perhaps even some Wall of Reverence, at least until Alara block rotates out.

But I think a really fun idea would be Allies, making use of Ondu Cleric and Talus Paladin for life gain.  Throw in some Narrow Escapes and you can rinse and repeat, plus gain life for the Narrow Escape itself.   Or you could skip the Narrow Escapes, and with Ondu Cleric in play gain life and some buddies with Join the Ranks (this is the option I went with and actually lead me to remove the Survival Caches).  With this build you wouldn’t need Soul Attendants at all.  It’s a much more budget build than the one above, but I think the Sun Titans are well worth it here because so many of the cards are pullable (and thus reactiviting the Ally abilities!) with the Titans’ ability.  Also, I really wish Mystifying Maze worked on any attacking creature, not just your opponent’s.  It would have lead to some fun Ally interactions.

Allies Ascendant

Creatures (23)Ondu Cleric

  • 2x Hada Freeblade
  • 4x Serra Ascendant
  • 4x Ajani’s Pridemate
  • 2x Kazandu Blademaster
  • 4x Ondu Cleric
  • 2x Kabira Evangel
  • 2x Talus Paladin
  • 3x Sun Titan

Planeswalkers (3)

  • 2x Ajani Goldmane
  • 1x Gideon Jura

Spells (11)Join the Ranks” />

  • 4x Brave the Elements
  • 3x Silence
  • 3x Join the Ranks
  • 1x Day of Judgment

Artifacts (3)

  • 3x Eldrazi Monument

Lands (20)

  • 1x Emeria the Sky Ruin
  • 4x Kabira Crossroads
  • 4x Tectonic Edge
  • 11 Plains

Sideboard (15)

  • 3x Celestial Purge
  • 3x Luminarch Ascension
  • 2x War Priest of Thune
  • 1x Ajani Goldmane
  • 1x Day of Judgment
  • 4x Leyline of Sanctity
  • 1x Gideon Jura

Thoughts, comments?  Post comments or tweet at me @CarlsonJJ.

“Sac it to me” – B/G Standard Magic: the Gathering Deck

I know this won’t be Standard legal much longer, but I had a fun thought of running a deck with Putrid Leech and Momentous Fall.  Drain my life, pump the Leech, attack, at end of turn sacrifice the Leech to draw cards and gain my life back.  I then threw in some other plays well with “sacrifice” things, and voila!Putrid Leech

Sac it to me

Creatures (18)

  • 4x Putrid Leech
  • 4x Mortician Beetle
  • 4x Nest Invader
  • 2x Kozilek’s Predator
  • 1x Artisan of Kozilek
  • 2x It That Betrays


Spells (15)

  • 2x Consuming Vapors
  • 2x Doom Blade
  • 3x Momentous Fall
  • 2x Cultivate
  • 2x Growth Spasm
  • 2x Awakening Zone
  • 2x Maelstrom Pulse

Planeswalkers (2)

  • 2x Garruk Wildspeaker

Artifacts (3)

  • 3x Eldrazi Monument

Lands (23)

  • 4x Verdant Catacombs
  • 3x Reliquary Tower
  • 2x Tectonic Edge
  • 8x Forest
  • 6x Swamp

Sideboard (15)

  • 2x Gatekeeper of Malakir
  • 2x Vampire Hexmage
  • 3x Great Sable Stag
  • 1x Growth Spasm
  • 1x Cultivate
  • 2x Maelstrom Pulse
  • 2x Doom Blade
  • 2x Consuming Vapors

What do you think?

J1C2 – U/R Standard Deck – Magic: the Gathering

First thing you Magic players looking at this are going to think is, “WTF, why’s old Jace the only Jace here?”

J1C2 – U/R Standard Deck

Spells (27)

  • 4x Lightning Bolt
  • 4x Stagger Shock (or Burst Lightning)
  • 4x Runeflare Trap
  • 2x Reverberate
  • 4x Mana Leak
  • 4x Negate
  • 3x Jace’s Erasure
  • 2x Redirect

Planeswalkers (6)

  • 3x Jace Beleren
  • 3x Chandra Ablaze

Artifacts

  • 4x Temple Bell

Lands (23)

  • 3x Island
  • 4x Halimar Depths
  • 8x Mountain
  • 4x Scalding Tarn
  • 3x Dread Statuary
  • 1x Tectonic Edge

Sideboard

  • 4x Goblin Ruinblaster
  • 3x Devastating Summons
  • 2x Spell Pierce (or Flash Freeze)
  • 4x Spreading Seas
  • 2x Treasure Hunt

Well, the main idea is, I’ve wanted to use Runeflare Trap for a long time.   In the Super Villains Deck, I was running a pair of Runeflare Trap main deck with all the Howling Mines that the deck was running.  Along comes M11, and replaces Howling Mine with Temple Bell.  And guess what?  For Runeflare Trap, this is actually better! Now, rather than letting your opponent get tons of cards all the time, you can decide to let them draw multiple cards only when you want them to!  In other words, when you have a Runeflare Trap in hand!  Same deal with the poor man’s Jace.  Good ol’ Jace Beleren, who’s been scoffed at since he was given a $6 million upgrade, does the same thing as Temple Bell, so he makes Runeflare Trap work, too!  Throw in a few Jace’s Erasures and you’re punishing your opponent twice for the joy of card drawing.

Chandra Ablaze is the other counterpart to this deck.  Some cheap red burn spells get the punishment started, but hopefully you’ll get to make better use of them after Chandra gets in play.  That Lightning Bolt does 4 damage instead of 3 with her first ability, and her ultimate lets you play them all again.  Her second ability, however, plays really well with (wait for it) ….Runeflare Trap!

Not as cool as it could be.

I really wish Destructive Force did damage to players, in addition to, or even instead of, creatures (Earthquake it is not, though Earthquake wouldn’t work with Chandra’s ultimate).  Destructive Force would be a hell of a finishing card if it hit players, especially if you were able to use Chandra to play it: +1 Discard Destructive Force to deal 4 damage, -7 Blow everything and everyone up!  Unfortunately, it doesn’t do all of that.  What the deck is missing is a huge Mortal Kombat “FINISH HIM!” type fatality.  I’m not sure it needs it.  Hell, you might mill your opponent before you even finish them off with Runeflare Trap or other burn.

What I see as negatives for this deck.  No creatures.  An opponent playing a weenie build would probably hit really fast and really hard.  My hope is that the cheap burn and counter magic would hold off the opposition long enough, but I’m not sure.  Thoughts?

Frost Titan Deck Idea – Magic: the Gathering

@the_stybs sent out a challenge via Twitter the other day for Frost Titan deck ideas.

Here’s what I came up with:

Creatures (11)
4x Frost Titan
1x Lorthos the Tidemaker
2x Stormtide Leviathan
2x Lullmage Mentor
2x Clone

Spells  (22)
3x Redirect
2x Mass Polymorph
1x Rite of Replication
4x Mana Leak
2x Negate
2x Deprive
4x Spreading Seas
2x Wind Zendikon

Artifacts (3)
1x Sword of Vengeance
2x Temple Bell

Lands (24)
4x Halimar Depths
20 Island

Sideboard (15)
4x Paralyzing Grasp
2x Negate
1x Redirect
4x Flashfreeze
2x Augury Owl
2x See Beyond

Key things about the deck:

  • This is all post M10/Alara rotation Standard.
  • I wanted to play off Frost Titan’s tapping things ability more, but didn’t quite work it into the main deck.  Paralyzing Grasps are in the sideboard as a defensive card, and to keep things tapped, simply because I like the idea of it.
  • I like the idea of using Redirect to target Frost Titan with opponent’s spells.
  • The Lullmage Mentors make Merfolk dudes when spells and the Titan counters stuff, and the Clones become copies of the Mentors or the heavy hitters once they are out, and the Mentors and Clones become Mass Polymorph fodder, along with the Wind Zendikons.  Mass Polymorph is just crazy and seems like it will be fun, but it’s not the main route for things.  Since we’re not splitting colors, I think hardcasting the big guns won’t be too hard.
  • I added a Lorthos because he likes to tap things too.
    And he’s a bad ass.
  • Spreading Seas is a star of a card.  Let’s you draw a card, slows down your opponents if they aren’t playing blue, and lets your Stormtide Leviathans run rampant.
  • I have a singleton Sword of Vengeance here because frankly how awesome is it?  And a Frost Titan needs to be swinging a giant friggin’ sword.  Plus, the Titan has now “kapow” abilities when attacking besides tapping stuff, so making him 8/6 First Strike, Vigilance, Trample, Haste is pretty sick.
  • Honestly, there should be Jace TMS in here, but I hate how $expensive$ he is.  Take out what you will to add your playset of the guy, but I only own one.  When I build this, I think I will take out one Spreading Seas to put my solo Jace 2.0 in.

Ezekiel 25:17 – Magic: the Gathering Vintage Deck

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides with the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.  Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.  And I will strike down upon those with great vengeance and with furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.  And you will know that my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

-Samuel L. Jackson, as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction

Death's Shadow

Update:  On the Magic Online Trading League site, I received some praise for this deck:  “the fun (or cool) factor of this deck is off the charts” and that it is “the very essence of what a black deck is meant to be.”  Awesome!

When Death’s Shadow was first spoiled, I almost soiled my pants.  I like cards that have a cool factor to them, and frankly the double 13s and the single mana casting cost definitely were cool to me.  Sure, it has a draw back that you have to be low in life for those 13s, or anything high number, to actually be in effect, but it’s Black.  Isn’t that what Black is about?

This deck was simply super fun to play at my last get together of casual players.  It definitely came out of left field and made a statement.  It does not work so well in multiplayer, but one on one it can hold its own.  I doubt it’s competitiveness in Vintage tournament play, but, I thought I’d throw it out there for you.

Any suggestions for some really cool, but especially really FUN, things to add to this, let me know in the comments.  For instance, I’d like to add Hall of the Bandit Lord, just for kicks, but I need a way to filter the colorless mana into Black mana, perhaps some Initiates (Bog or Ebon Hand), .  Or perhaps a Tomb of Urami, without running any ogres.

Ezekiel 25:17

Spells (27)

Creatures (8)

Artifacts (1)

Lands (24)

“Even  though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”  – Psalm 23

Plunge Into Darkness

You can’t be afraid when playing this deck. Go for it, take the “plunge.”  It’s a bit of a rush to first turn drop a Swamp, two Dark Rituals, a Lurking Horror, sacrifice it so you’re down to 10, then drop two Death’s Shadows on the table.  Sure, they’re only 3/3 at that point, but when your next turn is Swamp and Plunge into Darkness?  “I pay 9 life, get a card, swing for 28.  Yeah, there’s a Horror flying at you too, you know, just because.”   Bammo.

Some of the cards are truly unneccesary.  You don’t really need Platinum Angel or Lich’s Tomb, but if for some strange reason you haven’t won or lost by your third turn, they can be crazy fun to have in play so that your Death’s Shadows become HUGE.  Death Wish is another just silly fun card, though I have no idea what I would ever search for with it.  Sometimes when you’re running a suicide mission, there just aren’t many options out there to save you.

I keep considering adding Pestilence to this deck, because it hurts your opponent (and importantly you) and clears other creatures off the board while your Death’s Shadows get bigger.  We’ll see.

One of the cool thing about several of the cards in the deck are their ability to drop your life total into  13/13 Death’s Shadow range and also let you search for the beast.   Infernal Contract and Plunge Into Darkness, for example.  If I owned any Vampiric Tutors, Cruel Tutors, or Cruel Bargains, they would all definitely be in there, and this is what they would do:

“I want you to go in that bag and find my wallet.”
“Which one is it?”
“It’s the one that says Bad Motherfucker.”

Bad MF Death's Shadow