MtG: In the Spotlight: Doubling Season

Here’s yet another Magic deck article for those who are still interested:

Today I want to look at decks from a slightly different perspective: By highlighting one particular card and suggesting some decks that could be built around it to make maximum use of its powers. So today in the “spotlight”: Doubling Season!

Oh man had I only gotten a hold of a playset of this combolicious enchantment from Ravnica (and, more recently, Modern Masters) when it was still cheap and considered more or less a crap rare. Since the new Planeswalker card type was introduced, things changed fundamentally for Doubling Season, which now goes for about $15 USD a copy (!!), since Planeswalkers will enter play with twice as many loyalty counters on them and if you use one of their abilities that add loyalty counters, twice as many are added through the all of a sudden awesome effect of Doubling Season. Well now it is too late for me to cheaply get a hold of a playset of the latter, but I can still make up some combotastic decks in my mind, designed to make maximum use of Doubling Season. And just that I am going to do in this article. And no, it will not be Planeswalker decks as I want to refrain from demonstrating the obvious: that Doubling Season + Planeswalkers = super awesome/powerful. Instead I will look at three different deck drafts in which Doubling Season plays a major role. I am also a bit proud that I have found, myself and without a hint from decks on the internet, a card which is not a Planeswalker but still totally rocks with Doubling Season and 1/1 Token generating cards. Have a look at this hidden gem uncommon from Alara Reborn:

Once again, this is a card that gave me, when I first saw it, this weird kind of deck building itch, which urges me to build a deck around this obscure and in my opinion underrated card. But oh man, think about what happens if you have Sigil Captain and Doubling Season in play and cast some 1/1 token creating spell, such as Raise the Alarm (making two 1/1 Soldiers at the cost of 1W) or Fists of Ironwood (spawining two 1/1 Saprolings at the cost of 1G). Doubling Season will do 2 things, each of  which would be kickass and devastating for your opponent in and off itself: First it will double the number of tokens you get and then it would double the number of +1/+1 counters placed on them by the Captain. So for instance if you cast Fists of Ironwood, you would get a total of 4 Saprolings that will be 5/5 Creatures, which could swing in for a total of 20 damage. And that at the cost of just 2 mana. What a deal. Seriously this is once again a match made in Magic-heaven!

The three deck list drafts (for Modern Format) I am going to showcase will all of course feature Doubling Season, with deck 1 and 2 being a Saproling and a Soldier deck that utilize the powerful Sigil Captain combo detailed above while and the third being an artifact deck quite similar to the Charge Up deck I discussed earlier, which would rock even without the Sigil Captain combo. So let’s have at it, shall we?

Double Saprolings Deck:

Creatures…18

4 x Llanowar Elves G

4 x Elvish Mystic G

4 x Sigil Captain 1WWG

3 x Thelonite Hermit 3G

3 x Mycoloth 3GG

Instants…8

4 x Harrow 2G

4 x Scatter the Seeds 3GG

Sorceries…4

4 x Rampant Growth 1G

Enchantments…8

4 x Fists of Ironwood 1G

4 x Doubling Season 4G

Lands…22

2 x Pendelhaven

12 x Forest

8 x Plains

About the Deck:

This deck features the Doubling Season + Sigil Captain Combo plus lots of ways to (cheaply) generate tons of Saproling tokens which will all be 5/5s when both Doubling Season and Captain are in play at the same time or even bigger with one or more Thelonite Hermits which will give all Saprolings +1/+1. So as explained above, a single, 2 mana Fists of Ironwood will create four 5/5 Saprolings with Captain and Doubling Season in place, plus it can give Trample to your ace creature: Mycoloth. Mycoloth is a 4/4 with “Devour: 2”. Let him devour two of your Saprolings and he will be a 8/8 that will create two Saprolings each turn. If you combine him with Captain and Season, he will be spawning four 5/5 creatures every single one of your turns. Pretty impressive I would say. Another great way to create lots of Saproling Tokens is the common “Scatter the Seeds” which costs 3GG and puts out three 1/1 Saprolings. However it has Convoke and can hence be played for a minimum of GG when you tap 3 Creatures to reduce its cost by 1 generic mana for each creature tapped. The only problem I see with this deck is that you have no ways to fetch either of your combo pieces when needed. However, as a redeeming factor I think each Doubling Season and even more so Sigil Captain are awesome in this deck to begin with. For instance if you only have  the Captain out, your Fists of Ironwood will still spawn two 3/3 Creatures for the cost of 1G. That is cheaper than a Ball Lightning. Well they don’t have Haste, but still…

The rest of the deck is mana ramp as Doubling Season is not exactly the cheapest enchantment and furthermore, Captain requires 2 white mana, so I figured adding Harrow and Rampant Growth to fetch some plains would be a good plan.

Also note that with Sigil Captain, even your lowly mana-elves will be awesome 3/3s for just 1 mana, which is pretty nice. I threw in some Pendelhavens as a minor backup solution if you don’t draw into a Captain early on.

Double Soldiers Deck:

Well the second most powerful targets I could think of for Doubling Season and Sigil Captain besides Saprolings would be soldiers. There are lots of ways to generate a ton of 1/1 soldier tokens, the first that came to my mind being Raise the Alarm from Mirrodin. At the mere cost of 1W, it would give you two 3/3 Soldiers in case Sigil Captain (also a soldier by the way) is out and four 5/5 Soldiers in case you have Doubling Season set up as well. And the best thing is that Raise the Alarm is an instant, so you could pull that off end of your opponent’s turn to give your massive soldier mob something akin of “pseudo haste”. Fantastic! Well let me show you the full deck list before I go into more detail:

Creatures…18

4 x Llanowar Elves G

3 x Elvish Mystic G

4 x Preeminent Captain 2W

4 x Sigil Captain 1WWG

3 x Captain of the Watch 4WW

Instants…8

4 x Raise the Alarm 1W

4 x Harrow 2G

Sorceries…8

4 x Rampant Growth 1G

4 x Captain’s Call 3W

Enchantments…4

4 x Doubling Season 4G

Lands…22

2 x Pendelhaven

10 x Forest

10 x Plains

Well this deck shares the same mana-ramp basis as the first one, with the mana-elves and the Rampant Growths and Harrows because, well, Doubling Season ain’t cheap. And neither is your trump creature, Captain of the Watch at 4WW. But just imagine that one with Doubling Season + Sigil Captain. With a 3/3 body and vigilance, this one seems lackluster for 6 mana, however, she puts three 1/1 soldiers into play AND gives all soldiers besides herself vigilance and +1/+1. Now let us look at this with Sigil Captain and Doubling Season all set up. You will get a 3/3 with vigilance and 6 (!!) soldiers which will each be 6/6s with Vigilance plus the 3/3 vigilance the Captain herself will be. That is simply mind-blowing. And game-winning… hopefully. So the turn after you cast Captain you will be attacking for at least 39 damage in total. And you don’t even have to tap your men-at-arms. Pretty sweet I’d say.

Double Charger Deck:

This deck is pretty similar to the artifact deck I discussed recently, with the major difference that it utilizes Doubling Season to double all the charge counters and +1/+1 counters that are placed on artifacts and artifact creatures in this deck. Let’s have a look:

Creatures…16

4 x Steel Overseer 2

4 x Suntouched Myr 3

4 x Etched Oracle 4

4 x Triskelion 6

Enchantments…4

4 x Doubling Season 4G

Artifacts…16

4 x Everflowing Chalice 0

4 x Voltaic Key 1

4 x Energy Chamber 2

4 x Pentad Prism 2

Lands…24

4 x City of Brass

4 x Glimmervoid

4 x Mirrodin’s Core

3 x Mountain

3 x Forest

3 x Island

3 x Swamp

About the deck:

Well this deck is somewhat different from my previous “Charge Up” deck, because it makes excessive use of Sunburst. With Doubling Season, the Sunburst Creatures will enter play with twice as many +1/+1 counters and your Sunburst artifact, Pentad Prism, will enter play with double the number of charge counters as usually. Furthermore, Energy Chamber will dish out two +1/+1 counters or 2 charge counters per turn and Steel Overseer will give every one of your artifact creatures not one but two +1/+1 counters. You can use Voltaic Key to untap Overseer cheaply so all your Creatures will get a lasting +4/+4 boost in just one turn. Sunburst paired with Doubling Season will make your Suntapped Myrs 6/6s for 3 at max and your Etched Oracles will be 8/8 in the best case scenario. I am pretty fond of the latter, Etched Oracle as it can be a 4/4 for 4 generic mana even without Doubling Season, plus you can remove 4 of its +1/+1 counters by paying just 1 to draw 3 cards. That is pretty amazing in and off itself. Combined with Doubling Season you can even draw 3 cards and still have a 4/4 beatstick if you were able to cast Oracle using 4 different colors of mana OR draw a fantastic 8 cards for 2 generic mana if you don’t need Etched Oracle as an attacker. Plus when you combine Doubling Season, Etched Oracle as well as Steel Overseer and/or Energy Chamber you can remove 4 counters from Oracle repeatedly to draw a ton of cards, making it a powerful draw engine in this deck. Doubling Season will even give Mirrodin’s Core twice as many charge counters as normal, which is a minor thing but nonetheless I wanted to mention it.

 

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