MTG: Even More Decks: “The Survivor” Updated + Monored Dragonramp!

Hello, hello and thrice hello!

Now that I have time, are under the “Magic Spell” once again and am in the mood for writing, here two more decks I came up with. The first is actually an update on an older, only semi-successful deck (even in the casual environment among my MtG buddies…) which I tweaked majorly – predominately by throwing some money at it! 😛 Anyways, have a look at…

The Survivor 2.0 (Modern Format):

Creatures…14

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Fleecemane Lion GW

4 x Troll Ascetic 1GG

2 x Thrun, the Last Troll 2GG

Instants…12

4 x Emerge Unscathed W

4 x Mana Leak 1U

4 x Otherworldly Journey 1W

Sorceries…8

4 x Day of Judgment 2WW

4 x Supreme Verdict 1WWU

Planeswalkers…4

2 x Elspeth, Knight Errant 2WW

2 x Ajani, Mentor of Heroes 3GW

Lands…22

2 x Treetop Village

4 x Seaside Citadel

8 x Forest

4 x Plains

4 x Island

About the Deck:

First off: Yeah, yeah I admit it, I AM myself now buying into the Planeswalkers craze, to some extent. The good thing (good for my ever so empty wallet) was that I owned a copy of both the Planeswalkers I am running in this updated version of my “Survivor” deck, Ajani, Mentor of Heroes and Elspeth, Knight Errant namely.

So same as in the previous incarnation of the deck, the plan is to play some Creatures that are extremely hard to get rid off due to hexproof and regenerative powers etc, then unleash a mass Creature remover such as the regular Day of Judgment or the uncounterable Supreme Verdict. By doing so you will clear the field and only your “Survivors” will be the last Creatures standing, your opponent most likely being defenseless and open for your direct attacks.

Let me show you the “Survivors” themselves so you see why they qualify so well for a deck with a plan as laid down above:

In the old deck I did run 4 Troll Ascetics. They are a hell of a deal for 1GG (3 Mana), being 3/2s with hexproof and regeneration at the mere cost of 1G. So normally you’d just wait until you got 6 Mana, then unleash either Day of Judgment or Supreme Verdict and spend the rest of the Mana on regenerating Troll. And hey presto, your opponent should be in serious trouble!

What I did add to this revised version of my previous Survivor Deck are two high quality creatures that can also be very hard for your opponent to get rid of, and even harder than getting rid of Troll Ascetic in one case. But first a card that really struck me and caught my interest when I first saw it. Have a look at Fleecemane Lion:

I mean, look at it… A 3/3 for just 2 Mana is a hell of a deal already and at a basic level equivalent to then very popular Watchwolf from the first Ravnica Block. But Fleecemane Lion tops that one and makes it clearly obsolete, for the Lion boasts an awesome additiona ability. Whenever you got 5 Mana (3GW) to spare, he will become monstrous, meaning he’ll get a (neglectable) +1/+1 Counter, making him a 4/4 AND, and this is truly awesome, he will be hexproof AND indestructible henceforward. Granted, paying 5 extra mana is a harsh tax, but in a control style deck it is surely realistic that you’ll get the Lion Monstrous eventually, which will make him not only survive your mass creature removal but also leave him unharmed from anything that would target him (from your opponent’s side). I can’t believe they are selling such an awesome card for just 2.50 bucks (USD). Well good for me, since I just purchased a playset to pimp my Survivor deck!! 😀

The other new Creature forced me to dig deeply into my anyways quite empty pockets. Just look at him and be stricken with awe:

This trollish geezer is kinda like a Troll Ascetic on Steroids. At a cost of 4 mana (just one more generic mana than what Ascetic would cost you) you will get a 4/4 Creature that does 3 awesome things which makes it (nearly) impossible for your opponent to get rid of him. Firstly, Thrun cannot be countered. Secondly, Thrun has Hexproof. Thirdly, Thrun regenerates at the mere cost of 1G. I mean, come on. Seriously? No wonder I had to pay 10 bucks for a copy, in played c0ndition… The only way to really get rid of him would be mass destruction that prevents regeneration or effects that force you to sacrifice a Creature. But I am not worried, since both these things have become pretty rare in Modern Format – at least to my knowledge.

And even if your opponent has indeed something to kill off nearly invicible Thrun, I have an allround solution/weapon to even foil an opponents attack to have me sacrifice him or whatever. Behold:

I really, really dig this card as it is THE life-saver par excellence. Something nasty would be done to one of your Creatures? Never fear, just shift them out into exile and let them re-enter the battlefield at end of turn, unharmed and well. And if that wouldn’t be useful and powerful in and off itself, you even get to place a +1/+1 Counter on the Creature you temporarily exiled when it enters play again. This would make Thrun an even more menacing 5/5 and is a really nice bonus to the life-saving effect of Otherworldly Journey. Besides Otherworldly Journey, you also have a playset of Mana Leaks to prevent anything bad from happening to your otherwise well-protected Trolls and Lions. Emerge Unscathed gives one of your Creatures protection from any color for one turn and then rebounds to be used a second time on the following turn, which can be great for getting past opponent defenses if they have any after you cast some Day of Judgment and/or Supreme Verdict.

And now here’s where the Planeswalkers come in:

Imagine you got out one of your oh-so hard to kill surviors as well as an Elspeth, Knight Errant for instance…

While I don’t really need her other two abilities, look at the second from the top. Add one counter to give any one of your Creatures +3/+3 and flying. Just use it on your Trolls or Lions and you’ll have one huge threat to your opponent quite instantly. She will make a humble Troll Ascetic for instance into a 6/3 hexproof, regenerating flyer. And of course, Planeswalkers are not Creatures so they WILL survive your Judgments and Verdicts. It is a similar story with Ajani, Mentor of Heroes:

He will give your “Survivor” a PERMANENT +3/+3 boost in the form of +1/+1 Counters each and every turn. That should apply quite some pressure to any opponent, especially when you constantly whipe out their defenses by means of mass creature removal.

One last interesting interaction in this deck: I added two Treeptop Villages to the mix, that turn into 3/3 Tramplers for a turn if 1G is paid. First off, they will also survive your board sweepers and secondly, and i do like that a lot, you can use Elspeth’s (and also Ajani’s) ability on them to turn them into 6/6 tramplers that fly (in the case of Elspeth)!! A pretty neat backup plan if you ask me.

Pumped to try this new revision of my old Survivor Deck with my friends and maybe at the local game store casual tournament!!

Well, the other deck I want to present in this two part deck article is less creative and probably less powerful. It goes by the name of…

Monored Dragonramp:

Creatures…14

4 x Dragonspeaker Shaman 1RR

3 x Mordant Dragon 3RRR

3 x Spawn of Thraxes 5RR

1 x Kilnmouth Dragon 5RR

3 x Bogardan Hellkite 6RR

Instants…12

4 x Lightning Bolt R

4 x Pyretic Ritual 1R

4 x Seething Song 2R

Sorceries…7

4 x Pyroclasm 1R

3 x Geosurge RRRR

Enchantments…3

3 x Claws of Valakut 1RR

Lands…24

4 x Forgotten Cave

2 x Valakut, the Molten Pinacle

18 x Mountain

About the Deck:

Well, actually there is not much to say to this deck, as it is pretty straightforward. It is Monored, it has Dragons and it uses tons of red Mana Ramp such as…

…hence the title “Monored Dragon Ramp”. Easy as that! 😀

So the basic plan is to use said Mana Ramp to drop a mighty Monored Dragon of choice ASAP and start beating down with a powerful (usually 5/5) flyer that usually has the ability to deal some extra damage to Creatures and/or Players. A fine example for this is Spawn of Thraxes:

Actually, when you have a perfect draw, you can spawn off a Spawn (of Thraxes) as early as turn 2. Simply cast Pyretic Ritual, then Seething Song followed by Geosurge and finally the Spawn of Thraxes himself… However in the very likely case of not drawing that perfectly, you got some tools to stop an opponent Creature rush short until you reach the threshold of available mana to let the draconian rage begin, namely classic Lightning Bolt and Pyroclasm, the latter being able to whipe out whole armies of small Creatures. Also, Dragonspeaker Shaman is an excellent way to lower the “critical mass” of mana needed to start summoning dragons, as he decreases the cost of all of your Dragon Spells by 2.

I am fully aware of the fact that this deck has some serious issues such as lack of card draw and consistency. But if you manage to power out some mighty flying, firebreathing dragons early on and stomp your opponent thoroughly it does feel rewarding and is indeed a ton of fun!!

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