MtG: Theros Block Follow-Up – Centaurs Tribal & Heroic Menace

Dear readers!

Following up my previous Magic: the Gathering article about two Theros Block inspired Modern Format decks, here two more decks which are more or less losely based on Theros Block cards and mechanics.

The first will be another “installment” of my “Obscure Creature Type” decks series, this time dealing with the much overlooked Centaur “Tribe” or Creature Type and in the second part of this two-part article, my old friend and by far favorite “crap rare” Corpsejack Menace will make a dreadful return, this time harnessing the powers of the Theros Block Heroic mechanic with which we alread dealt in the previous article! Be prepared for a Centaur Tribal 101 and some serious counter doubling action brought to you by none other than “The Menace” himself! So let’s get started with the Centaurs. As always I will show you a sample deck list and follow-up with some thoughts on how the game is supposed to play!

Tribal Centaurs (Modern Format):

Creatures…22

4 x Birds of Paradise G

2 x Elvish Mystic G

4 x Burning-Tree Shaman 1RW

4 x Fanatic of Xenagos 1RW

4 x Pheres Band Warchief 3G

4 x Centaur Battlemaster 3GG

Enchantments…4

4 x Rancor G

Instants…10

4 x Mutagenic Growth G

2  Giant Growth G

4 x Lightning Bolt R

Sorceries…2

2 x Soul’s Majesty 4G

Lands…22

4 x Karplusan Forest

4 x Rootbound Crag

8 x Forest

6 x Mountain

About the Deck:

This could be called a classic Red-Green Beatdown deck, but what makes it special is the fact that it is strongly focused on the Centaur Creature Type. All Creatures save for the Birds (of Paradise) and Elvish Mystics, which were added for much needed mana acceleration, are Centaurs. Centaurs seem to have amazingly powerful stats compared to their costs, but very little “Tribal Support”. In fact the only directly Centaur-Creature type relevant card is Pheres Band Warchief. But what a great card this is to have in an almost all-Centaurs deck. Just have a look at what it does:

The +1/+1 boost is good but the Warchief will make your Centaur army unstoppable through giving all of them Trample as well as a defensive force as well by giving them all Vigilance. What a great, great card in a deck like this indeed!!

As I said before, most of the Centaurs have great stats for what the cost, even without Warchief to boost them. Burning-Tree Shaman is a 3/4 for 1RG that deals 1 damage to a player for each time they use an activated ability (except mana abilities – so you’ll get no damage from him in this particular deck). Fanatic of Xenagos costs the same (1RG) and pretty much lets your opponent choose whether he’ll be a 4/4 permanently or a 3/3 which gets +1/+1 and Haste for the turn it enters play. Pretty tough choice there! And lastly, Centaur Battlemaster we have seen in the previous article already. He is a 3/3 for a steep 3GG that gets no less than three +1/+1 counters each time you target him with a Spell.

This is why I am running cards like Rancor, Mutagenic Growth and Giant Growth, which are great on ANY of your Creatures but just insane when used on your “Heroic” Centaur Battlemaster. Heck, you could even shoot your own Centaur Battlemaster with a 1-cost Lightning Bolt to give it a permanent +3/+3 boost!

Heroic Menace:

Creatures…24

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Sakura-Tribe Elder 1G

4 x Mistcutter Hydra XG

4 x Setessan Oathsworn 1GG

4 x Corpsejack Menace 2BG

4 x Centaur Battlemaster 3GG

Instants…14

4 x Bioshift U/G

2 x Mutagenic Growth G

4 x Solidarity of Heroes 1G

4 x Harrow 2G

Lands…22

4 x Yavimaya Coast

4 x Llanowar Wastes

7 x Forest

7 x Island

About the Deck:

Without kidding, I think I currently own 3 different decks abusing the crapraretastic +1/+1 counter doubling powers of Corpsejack Menace…

…and I am VERY tempted to build yet another one, this time combining the Theros Block Heroic Ability with “The Menace”!

Well if you are not familiar with the Heroic ability (you should be after reading the previously posted article on here), it usually involves putting +1/+1 counters on a creature when it is targeted by one of your Spells. Centaur Battlemaster for instance will get no less than 3 such counters whenever targeted by one of your Spells. Now, you should have guessed after looking at the above card, Corpsejack Menace doubles the number of all counters placed. So if you pay 1 green mana or 2 life in the case of Mutagenic Growth, your Centaur Battlemaster will gain 6 (!!) +1/+1 counters for just 1 mana or 2 life if Corpsejack is in play! That is f’ing amazing if you ask me. Setassan Oathsworn is pretty nice as well as he will gain no less than 4 +1/+1 counters through Menace whenever targeted by one of your Spells.

There are so many interactions going on in the deck, which I really, really like:

First of all, Solidarity of Heroes and Bioflux really shine with Corpsejack around. Solidarity will double the counters on a Creature twice. If you target a Centaur Battlemaster with no counters, he will get 6 (3 from his Heroic ability times two through Menace) and then these will be doubled by Solidarity and by Corpsejack, resulting in 12 x 2 = 24 +1/+1 counters in total!! That just blows my mind. And then comes Bioflux into the game. It lets you move all +1/+1 counters from one Creature to another. Just move them from a blocked Creature, maybe your 24-counters-bearing Centaur, to your hard-to-block Birds of Paradise or any unblocked Creature and Menace will double the counters once again while being moved. That will result in 48 points worth of damage straight into your opponent’s face.

Mistcutter Hydra is kinda your backup solution/finisher. It has haste, cannot be countered and protection from blue on top of all that, costs XG and comes into pla with X +1/+1 counters. So yeah, you guessed it, Corpsejack Menace will double these counters as well, giving you a Hydra double the size than you paid for. If you play the X = 5 + G, so 6 mana in total, you will get a hasty, non-counterable behemoth of 10/10. Now if you play Solidarity of Heroes on it with Corpsejack out, you will get a 30/30 Hydra  for an additionla investment of 2 mana (!!) aaand if you Bioflux her counters to your Birds or an unblocked attacker you’ll get through a massive 60/60 damage – enough to kill your opponent thrice! Gotta love that Corpsejack! 😀

Q.E.D.

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