M:tG: Double Saprolings on a Budget (No Doubling Season!):

Well just recently I posted a number of decks all utilizing the amazing token and counter doubling powers of back then crap rare Doubling Season, which had its price skyrocket to about $15 USD a copy since the advent of the notorious Planeswalker card type.

In two of these decks I used Doubling Season together with the totally overlooked and underestimated Sigil Captain, a Rhino Soldier which puts two +1/+1 countes on each 1/1 Creature you play.

While researching for a cheapo/buget soldier deck running the obscure rhinoceros guy, which would run Captain of the Watch, who puts three 1/1 Soldier Tokens into play, which would all be 4/4s with Vigilance thanks to the two Captains (Sigil and of the Watch), I came across what is still considered a crap rare, but would partly do what Doubling Season does best. Have a look at Corpsejack Menace:

Corpsejack Menace has good stats to begin with, at 4/4 for 4 mana, but what raised my curiosity and gave me hope to be able to build a Sigil-Captain deck without having to spend a fortune on a playset of Doubling Season (for a casual/fun deck like this I would not spend $40+ on a playset of one card) is the Menace’s ability. It doubles the number of all +1/+1 counters you place on your creatures. Awesome! While Doubling Season would also double the number of tokens or counters other than +1/+1, Corpsejack Menace is cheaper than a buck (USD) atm so I was really, really curious about a deck using the unlikely duo Sigil Captain and Corpsejack Menace.

Here is the quite unusual deck I have come up with making what I think could be called good use of both cards:

Corpsecaptain Menace Deck (V.1.0  – Modern Format)

Creatures…22

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Sakura-Tribe Elder 1G

2 x Dreg Mangler 1BG

3 x Sigil Captain 1WWG

3 x Corpsejack Menace 2GB

3 x Mycoloth 3GG

3 x Triskelion 6

Instants…4

4 x Harrow 2G

Sorceries…6

2 x Vigor Mortis 2BB

4 x Scatter the Seeds 3GG

Enchantments…6

4 x Fists of Ironwood 1G

2 x Golgari Germination 1GB

Lands…22

2 x Pendelhaven

2 x Oran-Rief the Vastwood

4 x Llanowar Wastes

4 x Marsh Flats

2 x Verdant Catacombs

2 x Forest

4 x Plains

2 x Swamp

About the Deck:

Well this deck might seem like an odd agglomeration of random cards at first glance, but I think the combination of what is some commons, uncommons and stuff you can safely call “crap rares” (best example, Corpsejack Menace of which you’d get a playset of 4 for like a dollar) would work unexpectedly well together. Don’t you love it when you combine said crap rares and other rather obscure cards in a way to make for an awesome and unique strategy/deck? And with this one I have the feeling everything would fall into place neatly!

So the basic premise is to put out lots of 1/1 Saprolings through Fists of Ironwood, Scatter the Seeds and other cards which will receive two +1/+1 counters from Sigil Captain, making them respectable 3/3s. However if you have both Sigil Captain and Corpsejack Menace, my cheap replacement for Doubling Season which doubles, on the plus side, as a decent 4/4 beater, things are going to get ugly for your opponent. Corpsejack Menace is a 4/4 for four mana that doubles all the +1/+1 counters you place on creatures while he is on the field. While he doesn’t double the number of tokens or other counters you’d generate, he works quite awesomely with Sigil Captain and your 1/1 token creators. What would happen when both are out and you play Fists of Ironwood for instance is this: Sigil Captain will place two +1/+1 counters on your 1/1 tokens and Corpsejack Menace would double those counters so that with an investment of 2 mana for Fists of Ironwood, you’d have two 5/5 giant Saprolings all of a sudden.

All this works fantastic with Mycoloth for example. Let him devour two of your early Saprolings and he’ll be a 6/6 that spawns 2 Saprolings each turn. With Captain they will be 3/3s, with both Captain and Menace they will even be 5/5s! What a deal!

Another card I think nobody has thought of combining with either Sigil Captain or Corpsejack Menace is Triskelion. Man I love it when one of those notorious crap rares going for a dollar for a playset turn out really powerful when combined with other more or less obscure cards. Triskelion is a 6 mana 1/1 (so a possible target for Captain’s effect) that comes into play with three +1/+1, which can be removed one at a time to deal 1 damage to a creature or player for each counter removed. With Sigil Captain, Triskelion will get 2 additional counters making it a 6/6 that can shoot for 5 damage. With Corpsejack Menace in play, Triskelion will come into play with 6 counters making it a 7/7 that can shoot for 6. Now if you happen to have both Menace and Captain out when you summon Trikelion things get really insane, as it will be a 11/11 behemoth able to distrubute 10 damage as you wish to. That is pretty amazing, although having both Captain and Menace in play and then also being able to summon a Triskelion won’t happen easily in most of your games. But the sheer possibility alone to get such a terrifying Triskelion into play in like the craziest way you could think of intrigues me.

I have some other cards  that supports the general strategy of the deck, such as Vigor Mortis which can reanimate one of your key creatures and would put a +1/+1 counter on them if at least one green mana was spent to cast it (a boost that would double with Corpsejack Menace) and lands like Pendelhaven, which can boost one of your 1/1 tokens to 2/3 if you dont have anything better at the moment, or Oran-Rief, the Vastwood, which gives all your green creatures you played on the turn you activate it a +1/+1 counter. Needless to say, that number of counters would double with the Menace in play.

Overall I must say that I am pretty intrigued with this deck, as, and I said it before, it seems like a random and totally unheard of assortment of cards but in theory it seems to me that the unit these cards form together could work out unexpectedly well in the end! The only minor problem I am having with the deck is that maintaining the three colors might be a bit problematic, especially because Sigil Captain requires 2 white mana. The Birds of Paradise, Harrows and Fetchlands should take care of this issue though.

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