MTG: Hornet’s Nest, Beastly Powerdraw & “The Menace” Strikes Back!

Dear readers and friends of the fine Magic: the Gathering CCG!!

Well, after a long Spell of Yu-Gi-Oh! deckbuilding and playing, I have finally returned to my all-time favorite Trading Card Game  Magic: the Gathering! And along I bring a ton of new deck ideas, three of which I will, without much further ado, present you here! So let’s get started with the first of the three, but let me warn you first that all three are very, very unconventional decks, all built on a budget, containing many of my oh so beloved “crap rares”, with questionable competitiveness – but the latter doesn’t really matter for me as long as I am playing a deck that does rather crazy and unique stuff probably nobody has ever thought of before (well, as millions are playing this game, the odds are good someone else will in fact have thought of it). But here we go, starting with…

Hornet’s Nest (Modern Format)

Creatures…17

4 x Avacyn’s Pilgrim G

4 x Hornet Nest 2G

2 x Eternal Witness 1GG

4 x Sigiled Captain 1WWG

3 x Hornet Queen 4GGG

Enchantments….8

4 x Fists of Ironwood 1G

4 x Intangible Virtue 1W

Instants…13

3 x Otherworldly Journey 1W

4 x Harrow 2G

2 x Chord of Calling XGGG

4 x Scatter the Seeds 3GG

Lands…22

2 x Pendelhaven

12 x Forest

8 x Plains

About the Deck:

Well, this deck is  VERY similar to the White Green Token Convoke Deck I think I previously posted on here as it shares many cards with the old deck, though this new build COULD be a MAJOR improvement if all works out as expected. It is for sure innovative and original, as I did not see anything similar anywhere and as it uses some crap rares as its major elements. So in the old Tokens deck, the best I had were 1/1 Spirit Tokens with Flying – en masse. The new deck is an improvement as it is mostly built around Insect Tokens spawned by Hornet cards, which were just recently introduced, represented by just two different cards in M15 (the new, 2014 Core Set). Now these Insect Tokens are 1/1s that also fly, BUT, on top of that they have Deathtouch! The Hornets are represented by just two cards as I said before, but those are quite hefty I think. Lets have a look at the rather cheap Hornet Nest…

…. and the quite expensive Hornet Queen:

Well, first of all, these two cards can well be considered “crap rares” as they both go for around an Euro a copy. The first card, Hornet Nest is a hell of a defensive card. At three mana, it is just a humble 0/2 and it has Defender on top of that, meaning it cannot declare an attack. However your opponent will shy away from attacking as long as you have it out since it will spawn one 1/1 Deathtouching Flying Hornet for each damage it is deal. So if you opponent attacks with a big guy, you will get a ton of deadly little Insect Tokens which in turn act as a hoard of supreme defenders. But rest assure, with this deck, you will be going on the offense with these evasive little nuisances.

Hornet Queen on the other hand is really quite expensive when you only look at its stats at 4GGG, being just a 2/2 Flyer with Deathtouch as a nice bonus. However it enters play with no less than four 1/1 deathtouching and flying insects.

Now to how this deck attempts to max out on the hornet mayhem:

Firstly, I am running the awesome Token boosting Intangible Virtue, which is an enchantment for just 1W that not only boosts the stats of all your Creature Tokens by +1/+1 but gives them Vigilance, meaning you don’t need to tap them in order to attack, on top of the deal. Now imagine your hoard of hornets! They will all of a sudden be equally useful on the offense as well as on the defense, since they will be 2/2s that fly and are thus hard to block, with deathtouch, so your opponent will shy away from blocking them in most cases even if they happen to have flyers AND you don’t need to tap them to attack thanks to Vigilance so you will be able to defend with your little deathtouchers even if they attacked previously. Just an example: If you play Hornet Queen and have just one Intangible Virtue out, you will get an a little army of  a combined Power of no less than 10 along with your Queen which is a 2/2 Flying Deathtouch Creature as well.

Now if Intangible Virtue isn’t nasty enough, imagine having out multiples of those, or even better one of my favorite underestimated Uncommons: Sigiled Captain. Have a look and go figure:

Yes that is right. With this rhino guy out, all your Hornets will enter play as 3/3s and would be even 4/4s when you have Intangible Virtue out in addition! Again if we imagine you playing a Hornet Queen, whilst Captain is on the field, you will have a Flying Deathtouching Token army with combined Power of no less than 12. Make that 16 with a Virtue in play!! That is pretty amazing if you ask me!

To round off the Token madness, I added 4 Fists of Ironwood and 4 Scatter the Seeds, which both produce relatively harmless 1/1 Saproling Tokens. Fists of Ironwood is an Aura for 1G that gives the enchanted Creature Trample and generates two  green 1/1 Saprolings, whereas Scatter the Seeds costs 3GG and spawns 3 such 1/1 Saprolings, and the cool thing is that it has Convoke, so you can technically play it for free if you tap enough (green) Creatures whilst casting it. Of course, Sigil Captain’s and Intangible Virtue’s effects affect the humble Saprolings as well.

A great support card, a super Creature searcher is Chord of Calling, which I am running twice:

As you see it has Convoke as well, so you can considerably drop its cost if you have an army of Tokens already to be tapped for Convoke. I would recommend fetching either Captain, as his ability really kicks major ass in the context of this deck, or Hornet Nest. Both are rather cheap and would cost you 7 and 6 mana to fetch and put into play directly via Chord, respectively. However if you have a bunch of Tokes from a previously played Horent Nest for instance you can considerably decrease the cost of Chord of Calling.

Now that all sounds pretty awesome to me already, but the deck has a trick or two more up it’s sleeve. For once, I am running two Eternal Witnesses, mainly to retrieve a killed Hornet Nest, so you can use it to generate a ton of Hornets again and secondly, my favorite “combo” card for Hornet Queen: Otherworldly Journey:

Now if you scroll up a bit again and look at Hornet Queen, just imagine what this card can do for you! First off, you can use it to save your Hornet Queen from any harm, but that is not the point. As Hornet Queen generates 4 1/1 Flying Deathtouch Insect Tokens WHENEVER it enters play, it will do so AGAIN after it was exiled and returned to play with Otherworldly Journey. And as a nice bonus, she will re-enter play with a +1/+1 counter on it, which is a nice thing to have in general!

Oh, and I threw in Avacyn’s Pilgrim (G) and Harrow (2G) in order to ramp up mana, mostly for the costly Hornet Queen. Well… this could be fun to play. It has to be seen!!

Beastly Powerdraw:

Creatures…26

4 x Elvish Mystic G

3 x Garruk’s Companion GG

3 x Kalonian Tusker GG

4 x Wirewood Savage 2G

4 x Leatherback Baloth GGG

4 x Garruk’s Packleader 4G

4 x Rampaging Baloths 4GG

Sorceries…8

4 x Prey Upon G

2 x Hunt the Weak 3G

2 x Soul’s Majesty 4G

Instants…4

4 x Harrow 2G

Lands…22

22 x Forest

About the Deck (Legacy/Casual Format):

I got the idea for this deck when I saw this card for the first time:

A 4/4 Beast for 5 Mana… Lackluster at best. But oh man was I excited when I read its beastly ability. Draw a card whenever you play a Creature with Power 3 or more?? Count me in! The thing I cherish most in any TCG is card draw. Well that is not hard to guess since extra cards means EVERYTHING! More cards = More “Threats” and “Solutions” as I like to call it in advanced M:tG theory! 😉

Green has gotten it’s fair share of indeed very powerful card draw over the years, and these two cards I will be running in this deck as well, so it deserves the title “Powerdraw”!

Exhibit A: Wirewood Savage:

Exhibit B: Soul’s Majesty:

While Wirewood Savage draws you one card each time you play a Beast, thus setting the theme of this deck to Beasts necessarily, Soul’s Majesty, which I can’t believe but goes for like 50 Euro Cents a piece, is really the embodiment of what I would call “Powerdraw”. Just see to it that you have a relatively high-Power Creature out and you will be drawing pretty much a full new hand of cards for just 4 Mana. That can in fact compare to blue card draw, blue being THE card draw color traditionally.

The second element of this deck which I am quite fond of are a relatively new card type of the color green, which act as pseudo-direct damage, at least for creatures, and are a great way of clearing the way for a mighty attack and/or for getting rid of some pesky creatures of your opponent. Take a look at this prime example for what I am talking about:

As you have lots of high-power creatures, you can just spend 1 Mana and let your Creature fight a potential blocker or pesky creature of your opponent’s that you need to get rid off and let them fight! This is basically the potentially better GREEN Lightning Bolt – just for Creatures though.

The actual cast of Beasts is pretty much standard: The 3/2 Trampling Garruk’s Companion, the 3/3 Kalonian Tusker, which both cost just GG, as well as the immensely powerful compared to its cost Leatherback Balot (GGG – 4/5) and Garruk’s Packleader, your main draw engine on a respectable 4/4 body and lastly the Mythic Rare but still rather cheap Rampaging Baloths. The latter costs just 6 Mana, is a 6/6 Trampler that has the amazing Landfall Ability to put a 4/4 Beast into play whenever you play a land. Imagine this with Packleader: You will draw a card when Baloths are played, then you will draw a card whenever you play a land and thus get a 4/4 Beast Token. Considering all this, I think it is not over the top to call this deck “Beastly Powerdraw”! 😀

“The Menace Strikes Back” (Modern Format):

Creatures…24

4 x Birds of Paradise G

3 x Voyaging Satyr 1G

4 x Kiora’s Follower UG

4 x Lorescale Coatl 1UG

2 x Trygon Predator 1UG

4 x Corpsejack Menace 2GB

3 x Arcanis the Omnipotent 3UUU

Enchantments…10

2 x Rancor G

4 x Fertile Ground 1G

4 x Dawn’s Reflection 3G

Instants…4

4 x Bioshift U/G

Lands…22

4 x Yavimaya Coast

4 x Llanowar Wastes

4 x Llanowar Reborn

5 x Forest

5 x Island

About the Deck:

For regular readers of this blog I should by now already be notorious for my MANY MANY Corpsejack Menace Decks, a card that is by far my all-time favorite “crap rare” and I currently own 4 totally different decks built around its awesomely abusable ability, the above deck being the fifth in the series. And I DO ensure you, I could probably think of 5 more!! For those who have NOT being paying attention, here is is in all its counter-doubling glory:

This deck is, if I dare say so, probably the most crazy mix of crazily and exceedingly well working together cards probably nobody ever played before, at least not in this, and I say it again, utterly crazy combination. So here is the basic plan (I will show you by visuals!):

Take this omnipotent fellow:

Times him with that awesome dweller of the deep:

And thirdly, add this underestimated and obscure snake:

And times all that with the above shown “Menace”.

I hope you figured it out by yourself, but just to make sure, I will explain in words:

Arcanis taps to draw 3 cards, which will let you put three +1/+1 Counters on Coatl – untap Arcanis via Kiora’s Follower to draw another 3 cards (note, you will have drawn 6 cards for free!!) and put another 3 Counters on Lorescale Coatl. This has just turned your Coatl into an 8/8, and drawn you a fresh hand of 6 cards for absolutely no Mana spent. Now if we throw Corpsejack into the mix, the Coatl would be 14/14 instead! Of course, additional Kiora’s Followers will let you do this a third time, needless to say…

And I already have a good plan what to do with the tons of cards you will be drawing this way each turn: I am running both Fertile Ground and Dawn’s Reflection. Both are Auras enchanting lands that net you additional mana whenever the enchanted land is tapped for Mana. At the cost of 1G, Fertile Ground will net you 1 additional Mana of any color and Dawn’s Reflection will add even 2 Mana in ANY combination of colors. Now you can enchant a land of your choice with a bunch of these and untap either with Kiora’s Follower OR with Voyaging Satyr, who taps to untap any land:

Now the deck has a few additional tricks up its sleeve as well. First off, I added 2 odd copies of Rancor. Not for the negligable +2 Power boost, but rather for the reason that it grants Trample. This can be devastating if you put it on a Lorescale Coatl with dozens (and I kid you not, he WILL get THAT huge!) of +1/+1 Counters, since your opponent won’t be able to just “chump block”. Even more nifty of a card is Bioshift. It lets you transfer all +1/+1 Counters from one Creature onto another – and that at instant speed. This means if you have a Coatl with a ton of counters but without evasion or trample, just attack with your 0/1 Bird of Paradise or attack with all you got and just instantly move all +1/+1 Counters from Coatl to (one of) your unblocked Creature(s). And it is going to be even uglier, a lot more uglier with Corpsejack in play. If you remove X counters with Bioshift and place them again on a Creature of choice, preferably an unblocked one, the number of counters will DOUBLE!!

Well, dear friends, I played a very well running deck built around Lorescale Coatl and only Odin knows how many decks prominently featuring Corpsejack Menace, but this one just blows my mind. I am sorry, but after having tested the build a bit, I just cannot contain and conceal my excitement! In my first test game I was able to swing in for 100 damage with a pumped-to-the-max Coatl, dealing some 100+ points worth of combat damage to my poor opponent… Neither would I say this is the best deck ever nor would I think that it would win me any tournament but it sure is hella fun to play!!

 

 

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