Dear readers, fellow M:tG enthusiasts!
Saturday is approaching and with that the next “Beginner’s Tournament” at the magic shop in Linz (and also my birthday, which happens to be on that day too!) which should just be called “Casual Tournament” as mostly pros take part in it as mentioned in previous posts.
In this article I want to share with you three different Magic decks, one I built for my sister who had voiced her wish for a Green/White/Red deck (and her wish was my command of course), the second I built for a buddy for an upcoming Legacy Tournament we both want to participate with and the third and last I built for myself, as I was toying around with that deck idea for quite some time already. So without much further ado, let us start with the deck I came up with for my sister! As always I will provide you with the full decklist and then discuss the deck and the strategy behind it for a bit. Let’s get started then, shall we?
Nora’s RWG Beatdown (Modern/Casual Format):
4 x Birds of Paradise G
4 x Avacyn’s Pilgrim G
4 x Cerodon Yearling RW
4 x Woolly Thoctar RGW
4 x Loxodon Smiter 1GW
2 x Marisi’s Twinclaws 2 G/W R
4 x Lightning Bolt R
3 x Path to Exile W
3 x Giant Growth G
4 x Lightning Helix RW
4 x Rancor G
4 x Rootbound Crag
4 x Sunpetal Grove
1o x Forest
1 x Plains
1 x Mountain
About the Deck:
This deck is raw cardboard power! Wisely and well I invested in a playset of Birds of Paradise, which I got for half the price of what a ONE Bird was worth back then in the “good old times”, for my sister and in this deck, BoP rules. The basic plan is to have at least one forest in your starting hand and one Bird or Avacyn’s Pilgrim, who is kinda the “Backup-Bird”. You’d play both and on your second turn you play a land, preferably Rootbound Crag or Sunpetal Grove, which make red/green and white/green mana respecitvely, and come into play untapped provided you control a Forest (or a Mountain/Plains), which is why I included 10 Forests as it is vitally important to have one in your starting hand, and then you’d basically let the action begin by dropping either Woolly Thoctar, which is an insane 5/4 for just RGW or an awesome 4/4 Loxodon Smiter for 1GW which cannot be countered (which is always nice!) and has a very situational secondary ability.
The real beatdown however begins as soon as turn 3 when your big guy is able to attack. Your big, badass yet cheap creatures are backed up by an array of low cost (mostly converted casting cost 1) non-creature spells such as Lightning Bolt or Path to Exile to get any early blockers out of the way, or spells that boost your critters, making them even more dangerous such as the temporary Giant Growth or the permanent booster Rancor. Rancor is really great in this deck as, besides giving a +2 Power boost it grants trample, which can be very vital (plus it returns to your hand if the creature it enchants leaves play). Thanks to Rancor, a 3rd turn attack with a 7/4 trampling Wolly Thoctar or a 6/4 Loxodon Smiter is not only a possibility, it happens every other game or so, and this was my plan right from the start. Lastly, Rancor or multiples of it are a nice fit for Birds of Paradise as well, as my sister discovered herself. As Birds have evasion in the form of flying, enchanting them with Rancor(s) can push through these last few bits of damage needed for the win – and so can Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix.
Two honorable mentions: Cerodon Yearling doesn’t really fit the mana curve but it can be awesome too both as a blocker and an attacker as it has both Vigilance and Haste on a 2/2 body for just WR. Marisi’s Twinclaws on the other hand can be pure evil with Rancor or even Rancors (in the plural) and/or Giant Growth, as they are a 2/4 Double Striker for 4 mana.
All in all this deck is a force to be reckoned with and my sister is very satisfied with how I built it, with its overall performance and I must say she wields it very well already. Brace yourselves attendees at the “Beginner’s Tournament” as this deck rocks!!
One last note: The deck actually features a sideboard with, among other cards, 4 Troll Ascetics which a are 3/2s for 1GG, have hexproof and regenerate at the cost of 1G. The reason for such a card is simple. There is a ton of targeted white exile this and exile that stuff (Path to Exile, Journey to Nowhere, Oblivion Ring etc etc) in our local metagame so I figured Ascetic would be a great sideboard card. Furthermore I included nasty cards for my sister such as Flashfires, which kills all Plains and Boil which does the same for Islands, both at the cost of 3R. Nora will not be harmed at all and her arch-nemesis, the monowhite Exalted/Exile deck a new friend of us keeps playing quite successfully time and time again, will be devastated by a card like Flashfires!
OK on to the next deck. This time it is a deck intended for the Legacy Format, which I built for a buddy so we can both participate in an upcoming Legacy Tournament at our local cards shop. I will be playing WUR Landstill, my old favorite, and came up with the following deck for my gamer friend Robin, with the cards I found in my extensive M:tG collection:
Robins White/Red Landfall Weenie (Legacy Format):
4 x Steppe Lynx W
3 x Isamaru, Hound of Konda W
2 x Grim Lavamancer R
4 x Soltari Priest WW
4 x Plated Geopede 1R
2 x Jötun Grunt 1W
4 x Lightning Bolt W
2 x Path to Exile W
4 x Lightning Helix RW
4 x Honor of the Pure 1W
4 x Adventuring Gear 1
3 x Explorer’s Scope 1
4 x Arid Mesa
4 x Marsh Flats
4 x Plateau
8 x Plains
About the Deck:
Ok this is really very experimental here but it COULD work out pretty well. First of all I have to say that I think red is the perfect color to splash into White Weenie if you want to go that road, and I myself played white/red weenie quite successfully for a long time. The thing is, your early creature ambush will be brought to a hold after a few turns in many cases, at least from my experience and red gives you not only great and cheap solutions for getting rid of pesky blockers – Lightning Bolt is a prime example here – but also serves as the “kill mechanism” if you inflicted a ton of early damage, which is very realisitc in such a build, and just need to push through that last bit of damage for the win. Lighting Bolt and Helix are your best friends here.
So the experimental and in-need-to-be-tested thing is that this particular Weenie build I centered around Landfall. For those not familiar with the Zendikar Block mechanic: Landfall just triggers some abilities, like for instance Steppe Lynx getting a temporary +2/+2 boost, whenever a land enters play under your control. How convenient that they released “enemy color” fetchlands in Zendikar and how exceedingly convenient that I happen to own a playset of each the White/Red and the White/Black fetchland from that set. I included both of course, even though there is no black in that deck and hence no Swamp to fetch with Marsh Flats. But that does not matter since not only will Arid Mesa or Marsh Flats search for your old-school original White/Red dual land Plateau, it will trigger your Landfall cards twice per turn: First off when you play the “fetchie” and then again when you sack it to put another land into play from your deck.
Speaking of Landfall, I am running 12 cards that have Landfall and each of them, two being creatures and one being a cheap equipment, have the same effect. Steppe Lynx is a 0/1 with “Landfall: +2/+2 until end of turn” for just one White mana. That means if you drop him on turn 1 and then on turn 2 you pull off the Fetchland thing, the Lynx will attack as a 4/5 beast on you second turn. Same thing with Plated Geopede. It is a 1/1 First Striker with the same Landfall Ability, so you’d have a 5/5 firststriking monster to attack with if you happen to be able to fetch the turn it attacks. The third and last card with Landfall is Adventuring Gear, which costs 1 to play and 1 to equip, giving its bearer +2/+2 until end of turn whenever you put a land into play. Unless you are terribly unlucky and draw no lands or even better fetchlands to play, this will double to power boost of your Landfall Critters, possibly making your humble 1 mana Lynx a 8/9 behemoth of a cat if it has Adventurer’s Gear attached and you played and used a Fetchland this turn. Besided the Fetchlands, I included another 1 casting and 1 equip cost equipment, as a Landfall enabler. Whenever the bearer attacks, you may look at the top card of your deck and put it into play in case it is a land. That is pretty awesome when combined with the 3 x 4 Landfall cards mentioned above!
I also included some classic cards such as the 2/2 for 1 white mana Isamaru, Hound of Konda, as well as one of my all-time favorite White Weenies: Soltari Priest. He is a 2/1 with Protection from Red and Shadow, making him practically unblockable for the mere cost of WW. He is your prime target for one or even more Adventurer’s Gear(s) because he can dish out major damage through his evasive capabilities.
Along the cheap and efficient creatures I added a ton of pinpoint creature removal such as Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, Lightning Helix (which helps to make up for lost life due to excessive use of Fetchlands) as well as two copies of the classic Grim Lavamancer. He is really great to do away with pesky small blockers or general nuisances like Birds of Paradise as he is kinda a “Shock” on a 1/1 creature. You can pay 1 red mana, tap him and remove two cards from your graveyard to have him deal 2 damage to target creature or player. That is pretty awesome as you’ll have a ton of Fetchlands and used Instants in your graveyard anyways. Back then this guy was super-popular, but nowadays I rarely see him in any decks. I think Lavamancer is a great addition to this deck in particular.
Lastly, what would White Weenie be without a Crusade? Well I added the newer and better version, Honor of the Pure, 4 times. It gives all your White creatures +1/+1 which is never a bad thing – what a shame that Plated Geopede will be left out and not benefit from it.
Well we will see how the deck performs in a real Legacy tournament environment, of which I have absolutley no clue how it will be, but so far I am satisfied with what I have come up with for my gaming nerd buddy Robin.
OK on to the last deck, the deck I built or rather am building for me!
Wrath of the 1/1s (Modern Format):
Disclaimer: I am building this deck on a BUDGET hence no Doubling Season since those are f’ing expensive and I run Avacyn’s Pilgrim and Elves of Deep Shadow over Birds because the former two are 1/1s!
4 x Avacyn’s Pilgrim G
4 x Elves of Deep Shadow G
4 x Doomed Traveller W
4 x Sakura-Tribe Elder 1G
4 x Sigil Captain 1WWG
4 x Corpsejack Menace 2GB
2 x Triskelion 6
4 x Putrefy 1GB
2 x Mortify 1GW
4 x Lingering Souls 2W
4 x Spectral Procession 2/W 2/W 2/W
2 x Pendelhaven
4 x Brushland
4 x Llanowar Wastes
6 x Forest
3 x Swamp
3 x Plains
About the Deck:
Well this is a just-for-fun deck which happens to fall into the Modern Format category. It lives and dies with you drawing into one of these:
This Rhino Soldier Guy will turn all you 1/1s into 3/3s as soon as they enter the battlefield, which is quite amazing as we will see when we take a look at the rest of the deck. First off though, feast your eyes on this beast and go figure what evil devilry he’d do if paired with Sigil Captain:
Yes that is right, if we take a simple 1 mana 1/1 Avacyn’s Pilgrim or Elves of Deep Shadow, those two together would make him a whooping 5/5 beast of a Pilgrim/Elf. But the madness does not stop there. I have 18 very useful Creatures that are 1/1s. Elves, Pilgrims and Sakura-Tribe Elders are useful in the beginning for ramping mana, but if you manage to get Sigil Captain out, or even both the Captain and “The Menace” later in the game, they will grow huge. Doomed Traveller is awesome as he creates a flying 1/1 token when he dies, meaning you got a big bad flyer thanks to Captain (and even worse, Menace).
Also this deck has lots of ways to generate 1/1 flying creature tokens such as Lingering Souls which spawns four 1/1 Flyers when you Flashback it or Spectral Procession which can give you three 1/1 Flyers potentially at the low cost of WWW. Let us take Spectral Procession for instance and see what the Captain and the Menace will do to them:
If you play Procession with Captain out, you will get three Flyers that will each be 3/3, so you just generated an attack force with total Power of 9 for as little as 3 mana. If Corpsejack Menace happens to be out as well, you will get three 5/5 Flyers instead, which would be a total of 15 evasive Power, again for just 3 mana.
Well, the problem with this deck is, and I mentioned it before, that all depends on whether or not you manage to draw into a Sigil Captain early enough and can manage to keep him in play long enough to actually make use of his great, great ability. Maybe I should drop the creature/artifact removal (Putrify) entirely and swap in some Honor of the Pures instead to at least turn my three 1/1 Flyers from Spectral Procession into three 2/2 Flyers etc… The deck can win without Captain and Menace I think, though it would be a rocky road to victory – or defeat…
One awesome stunt you can pull off with Captain and Menace I almost forgot to mention however: Imagine you play Triskelion…
…which is a 1/1 as you can see above. It comes into play with 3 +1/+1 Counters, which you can remove to “ping” a player or creature for each counter removed. Well with Captain out, you will have a 5/5 Triskelion that can dish out 4 damage. With Menace alone you got yourself a 7/7 Trike that may divide 6 damage as you wish. Not bad, but what if….what if both Menace and Captain were out whilst you drop your Triskelion? Well you will have run the numbers already. What you would be getting would be an 11/11 Triskelion that can shoot for 10! I doubt that this will occur on a regular basis but nonetheless this is a great combo once you manage to pull it off!!
That leads me to another idea… How about an artifact deck with above Triskelion, aforementioned Corpsejack Menace and this neat guy I happen to own a playset of?
This begs for furhter consideration and I see another crazy deck article coming up soon!
Well I hope you enjoyed this one and thank you for reading. As always to you all