MtG: Powernauts GrowGrowGrow – Uninentionally Creating a Kickass Common Deck + Bonus Deck!

Dear readers!

Every day I am treating you to (or tormenting you with, however you may see it) a new Magic: the Gathering deck and strategy artilce. I actually have other things to do that are of more importance but I am just COMPELLED to share with you a deck I built yesterday – reassembled with some tweaks actually – that turned out to be an all-Common cards deck, and UNINTENTIONALLY so and best of all – it rocked when I played it today several times against my best gaming buddy Robin. Thursday is always games day, or rahter M:tG day these days so yeah I am pretty pumped to share this with you. As I said I didn’t intend to create a Common Deck but I eventually ended up with one – one that wins fast and furious – and if it doesn’t win fast it has already lost! So without much futher ado, here my decklist followed by my thoughts as per usual:

Powernauts GrowGrowGrow:

Creatures…12

4 x Kiln Fiend 1R

4 x Nivix Cyclops 1UR

4 x Wee Dragonauts 1UR

Instants…22

4 x Brainstorm U

4 x Mutagenic Growth G/2 Life

4 x Reckless Charge R

4 x Rouse the Mob R

3 x Brute Force R

3 x Fling 1R

Sorceries…4

4 x Ponder U

Lands…22

4 x Terramorphic Expanse

4 x Izzet Guildgate

8 x Mountain

6 x Island

About the Deck:

This Deck is Brute Force (and also includes the card of the same name) and after having built it and having played it twice or so I realized that this is an ALL COMMONS DECK, which came as a surprise to me. The deck can win in 2 or even just 1 turns by massivley pumping your Creatures which all have in common that they get +2/+0 or even +3/+0 until end of turn for each Instant or Sorcery you cast. Well the deck has just 12 of these Creatures but 23 Instants or Sorceries that cost just 1 Mana, with the excpetion of Fling (costing 1R), which does an amazing job as a killer card that lets you inflict a lethal amount of 20+ damage on one turn. Many of these instants themselves give power boosts to your Creatures, your best “friend” being the “Wee” namesake of the deck:

This guy is just plain awesome in the context of this deck. I would suggest waiting for turn 4 to be able to drop him AND play this awesome Sorcery so your chances of pushing through serious damage would increase:

This is simply awesome with Dragonauts in particular, as you will pay 4 Mana, 3 for the ‘Nauts and 1 for Reckless Charge and will be dealing 6 damage right away, unless your opponent can do something against the “Wee Ones”. And on top of that you can Flashback Reckless Charge for an affordable 2R. If your Dragonauts survive until turn 5, you can easily swing in for the win by playing, among other things, Brute Forces or Mutagenic Growths, which is off-color (green) and especially awesome as it gives your Creature +2/+2 at the alternative casting cost of 2 Life (thank you, Phyrexian Mana) among other things to GrowGrowGrow your Dragonauts to be super huge! And if you have 2 more mana to spare, you can cast a lethal Fling, which I found to be a perfect fit for this particular deck:

Seriously if you have 5 mana on turn 5 and a Dragonaut out, you could cast at least 2 Brute Forces/Reckless Charges to make the ‘Naut grow to 11 Power, attack for 11 and would still have 3 mana left, which could easily be used on a Fling if you got it handy, which would mean 22 points worth of damage in your opponent’s face. And even if they can block the Dragonauts, you could still Fling for 11 damage, which appears to be a good thing to do to me!

Your other two Creatures, Kiln Fiend (1R) and Nivix Cyclops (1UR) get +3/+0 even until end of turn whenever you cast an instant or sorcery, but their problem is, as you can see when you click on the links, that they don’t have any kind of evasion like the flying “Wee Ones” (which just ARE your trump Creatures -end of story), but there are two ways to remedy that fact. First off, you can make them at least highly powered-up tramplers with…

…which, if you don’t do any more nasty deeds, makes Kiln Fiend or Nivix Cyclops a 6/2 or 6/4 trampler so you’ll get through some damage at least. And even if they get blocked and killed in the process of being blocked, you can still pump their power to the max and then just hurl them into your opponent’s face in a massive Fling!

Lastly I have to mention that I am running both Ponder and Brainstorm which both cost just 1 blue Mana to cycle through my deck cheaply, always hoping to find some Dragonauts, and also to boost my creatures whilst doing so!

Overall I really enjoyed playing this deck today and it had a great win-lose ratio. However if it doesn’t win fast and furious, as mentioned intitally, it will inevitable lose due to little to no long lasting standing power… Still I am enthralled about how well this ALL COMMONS deck, which I didnt intend to be a Common Deck, performed… Deckbuilding job well done! 😀

But on to our Bonus Deck as promised in the title of this blog post. Incidentally, it is Red-Blue as well, but without any green splashing shennanigans! Have a look at…

Izzet Cheapo Copycat:

Creatures…12

4 x Goblin Electromancer  RU

4 x Izzet Guildmage R/U R/U

4 x Spellheart Chimera 1RU

Instants…24

4 x Lightning Bolt R

4 x Mamga Jet 1R

4 x Telling Time 1U

4 x Mana Leak 1U

4 x Disperse 1U

4 x Incinerate 1R

Sorceries…4

4 x Ponder U

Lands…20

4 x Izzet Guildgate

8 x Island

8 x Mountain

About the Deck:

I will not go much into detail about this deck in particular, as it is pretty self-explanatory. Like the first deck discussed in this article, this deck runs only 12 Creatures which are supported by a mass of cheap Instants, most of which cost 1R or 1U as well as 4 Sorceries,  namely the aforementioned Ponder for 1 blue Mana. The three different Creatures all do very different things but are all more or less crucial to the success of the deck, so I will show you all three briefly and discuss their relevance for this deck’s strategy. Let’s start with Goblin Electromancer:

As you can see, with this guy, all your 1R or 1U Instants will cost just R or U respectively, which will give you Mana Leaks and Incinerates for half of their actual cost, which is pretty f’ing awesome if you ask me. Next we have Izzet Guildmage:

As you can see, this little fellow can copy all your instants and sorceries (well you have only Ponder for the latter but still) by paying 2U or 2R. So if you have some mana to spare, why not make a Lightning Bolt from 3 damage for 1 mana into a double Lightning Bolt for 6 damage for 2RU? Sounds pretty neat to me! And if you got REALLY REALLY much mana to spare, you can copy away several times even. Lastly, Spellheart Chimera is the real killer in this deck…

…as it will grow bigger and bigger as you keep casting your cheap istants and sorceries (and you got no less than 28, so almost half of your deck, of those) which is awesome for a Trampling Flyer for just 3 Mana!

All in all I think this deck might work out pretty well if you take into account all the awesome synergies and interactions created by the 3 key creatures (or rahter the 3 sole creatures) of the deck. I for one am curious to try it like this, even if I’d just proxy up the deck for testing purposes. On the other hand, I own most of the cards anyways and all are just Commons and Uncommons so chances are quite good I will have the deck for real as well at some point… provided the proxy version performs well!!

OK folks, that’s it for today’s MtG decks and strategy article! As always I wish you

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

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MtG: Mighty Morphing Monsters & 2 Sliver Decks for the Price of 1!

Dear readers and fellow Magic afficionados!!

Here I am with yet another three decks strategy article – the deck ideas just keep coming as per usual and writing them down is actually what I do in order to relax… So don’t wonder about the constant influx of new deck articles and don’t you worry about me. I am having a great time doing these. So let’s get to the first deck in this three part post.

Before I get to the actual decklist, let me share with you a bit of how the following deck idea came about:

Quite recently, I presented on here what was supposed to be a “working” Morph Deck, which I saw as some sort of a challenge, my “Mighty Morphing Magicians” deck, which used cheap and distruptive morphing Wizard Creatuers such as Voidmage Prodigy and Willbender amongst others, with the supreme Morph deck draw engine Secret Plans, which just came out with the new Khans of Tarkir set.

The deck itself worked out pretty well – it drew you a lot of cards through Secret Plans as intended and had quite some disruptive potential – again as intended – but I realized two things:

Firstly, the deck had no real win-condition or “killer cards” with your most powerful Creature, besides the big boss of Morphs, 3/4 Ixidor, Reality Sculptor, being weaker than any Morph Creature (Voidmage Prodigy that was with a measly 2/1…) and secondly, as all the Morph costs on my Morph Creatures were 3 or less, my “main guy’s” quite awesome activated ability was utterly pointless in the deck I had in my hands.

The next thing that happened is that I realized my good gaming buddy Robin was running quite some high-cost Morph Creatures in his Work-in-Progress Deck, which is just his expanded Sealed Deck from the Khans of Tarkir Prelease Event we both attended while ago. I was able to convice him to take my 3 Ixidors and add them to his yet quite unfocussed deck, so he could Morph-up Woolly Loxodon for 2U instead of the regular 6G. Seeing some potential in this approach and knowing there were some better targets for Ixidors morphtastic ability around, I set out to have a second go on a “working” Morph Deck. This time I call it…

Mighty Morphing Monsters

Creatures…22

4 x Birds of Paradise G

2 x Llanowar  Elves G

3 x Hystrodon 4G

4 x Ixidor, Reality Sculptor 3UU

3 x Sagu Mauler 4UG

3 x Root Elemental 4GG

2 x Rockshard Elemental 5RR

Instants…12

4 x  Mizzium Skin U

4 x Mana Leak 1U

4 x Simic Charm UG

Enchantments…4

4 x Secret Plans UG

Lands…22

4 x Yavimaya Coast

4 x Terramorphic Expanse

8 x Forest

6 x Island

About the Deck:

Now that is what I call “powering up” a deck, quite literally. Whilst the average Morphs in the previous Morph deck mentioned above were 1 Power Creatures with the exception of the 2/1 Voidmage Prodigy, now I have mighty 6/6s and Double-Strikers and whatnot at my disposal. While I used mainly  varoious “Monsters” from the Onslaught Block, where Morph made its first appearance, I would like to highlight one bigass Morph Creature that was just released as part of the Khans of Tarkir Set. Just have a look at him:

I mean just look at this one!! What more could you ask for 6 Mana than a 6/6 TRAMPLER with HEXPROOF to boot!! And this is just barely not a crap rare, averaging in at one and a half dollars a copy right now. Sagu Mauler would be a great deal even if you cast him regularly, but just imagine getting him for 2U through the centerpiece of the deck…

…whose secondary ability finally has a purpose in this deck as compared to the weakling Morph filled previous Morphing Magicians Deck! Also, Ixidor makes sure your Morphs won’t be killed off by Shocks and in conjunction with Secret Plans, which has the secondary ability of giving your face-down Creatures +0/+1, not even a Lightning Bolt will kill any of your Morphs off!

Besides Sagu Mauler, my more or less big-bad Morphing Monsters of choice are Hystrodon, which costs 4G, is a 3/4 Trampler that draws you a card whenever it deals damage to an opponent, which makes it a great secondary draw engine besides the obvious Secret Plans, which will draw you 1 card whenever you flip a card face-up.

Then I am running 2 Rockshard Elementals that are 4/3 Double Strikers and would cost 4RR to flip. But thanks to Ixidor you can do it for just 2U and what a nasty surprise your opponent will be presented with if they just let through your morphed Rockshard Elemental, thus receiving 8 damage straight into their terror-stricken face. What would be the icing on this cake would be if you cast Simic Charm on top of that giving Rockshard +3/+3 and thus letting it deal 14 damage for just 2 additional Mana.

Probably my favorite big beater Morph is Root Elemental. Itself it is a 6/6, which is nothing out of the ordinary, but when you morph it up for 2U through Ixidor (the regular Morph cost would cost 3 times as much!) you will get to put any Creature card from your hand into play at no additional cost. Sagu Mauler anyone?

As for support I am running the obvious playset of Secret Plans as well as 4 Mana Leak as my early-game all-in-one solution for pretty much anything. Besides I included 4 Mizzium Skins and 4 Simic Charms for the same purpose why I ran them in the Wizards Morph Deck… in order to protect your important Creatures, first and foremost Ixidor, and for versatility as well when it comes to Simic Charm!

4 Birds of Paradise and 2 Llanowar Elves are just in to do a reliable 2 turn Morph Creature and also to speed up getting out your all-important Ixidor!

By the way: I just proxied up the deck as listed above and can’t wait to put it to the test tomorrow, as tomorrow is M:tG/games day as every Thursday – thanks to my good friend Robin! 😀

OK on to the first of two very different Sliver Decks: The first I will call “New Sliver Swarm” as it will be based on swarming the field with the slithery hive dwellers which made a fabulous reappearance in the Magic 2014 Core Set and the second deck will be totally different and centered around  Sliver Overlord beatdown. The latter deck is the Casual Format version of my all-time favorite EDH/Commander Deck: Sliver Overlord EDH. Just show me another commander with 7/7 at 5 Mana with an inbuilt search engine and a way to overtake any opponent Creature all in one hefty package! But Sliver EDH is a whole different story. Let’s get to the regular Sliver decks and start with…

New Sliver Swarm:

Creatures…26

4 x Galerider Sliver U

4 x Predatory Sliver 1G

4 x Manaweft Sliver 1G

3 x Diffusion Sliver 1U

3 x Blur Sliver 2R

3 x Syphon Sliver 2B

3 x Groundshaker Sliver 5G

2 x Constricting Sliver 5W

Instants…8

4 x Mana Leak 1U

4 x Harrow 2G

Sorceries…4

4 x Hive Stirrings 2W

Lands…24

4 x Sliver Hive

4 x Ancient Ziggurat

4 x Terramorphic Expanse

4 x Forest

4 x Island

2 x Plains

2 x Swamp

About the Deck:

Well, the deck is pretty straightforward and includes some of the new Magic 2014 and Magic 2015 Sliverss only. You can look every card up on http://magiccards.info/ if you wish. I have Slivers that give all Slivers Flying, Slivers that give all Slivers +1/+1, ones that give Lifelink or grant Trample or even the ability to exile any target Creature when a Sliver enters play and for as long as it stays in play. The more Slivers the merrier, the more powerful will your individual Slivers be – and that is the very essence of any straightforward Sliver Deck I guess. One Sliver that is especially dear to me and crucial for getting out your diverse-in-color Slivers is this one:

Also, Hive Stirrings is awesome as it does not only give you 2 lowly 1/1 Slivers, no, those will be +X/+X, flying, trampling, lifelinked etc in many a case! Sadly however, as even the uncommons in this deck are quite costly, I will probably never actually assemble this “New Sliver” deck, so let’s move on to the second Sliver Deck which is UTTERLY different in what it tries to do as compared to the above deck and I take quite some pride in having come up with the concept myself. I posted this deck on here a while ago but as I made some changes to it, I will show you the updated version of it now:

Sliver Overlord Beatdown:

Creatures…19

4 x Birds of Paradise G

1 x Galerider Sliver U

4 x Gemhide Sliver 1G / Manaweft Sliver 1G

3 x Amoeboid Changeling 1U

1 x Harmonic Sliver 1WG

1 x Necrotic Sliver 1WB

1 x Bonescythe Sliver 3W

4 x Sliver Overlord WUBRG

Instants…4

4 x Harrow 2G

Sorceries…4

4 x Channel the Suns 3G

Enchantments…7

3 x Training Grounds U

4 x Steel of the Godhead 2 U/W

Artifacts…4

4 x Lightning Greaves 2

Lands…22

3 x Crystal Quarry

4 x Evolving Wilds

5 x Forest

4 x Island

2 x Plains

2 x Swamp

2 x Mountain

About the Deck:

This deck has one goal and only one: Tear your opponent’s LP asunder with one massive Sliver Overlord! Bow your heads:

How this is achieved? I shall tell you:

Well you best get out a turn 1 BoP to play Harrow on turn 2, diversifying and accelerating your mana base and then, with your two untapped lands left over from the Harrow, you best summon Gemhide Sliver (If I had a tad more money I’d get a hold of some Manaweft Slivers instead) or if you don’t have that one just make some Lightning Greaves, which you will need soon or if worse comes to worst, just an Amoeboid Changeling. Just make sure you use all your available Mana. On turn 3 you’d cast Channel the Suns for 3G which will give you one mana of every color, so 5 Mana – WUBRG. That is just what you need to get your Overlord onto the field. If you were lucky enough to cast Lightning Greaves on turn 2, you’d attach them to Overlord and swing in for 7 (Plus he will be protected from any targeted harm)! And that on turn 3!! Pretty amazing – IF… it works out that way. As soon as you have your Sliver Overlord out, the mayhem begins! Switch Greaves over to another Creature temporarily to enchant the Overlord with this Aura I am quite fond of and find myself using in many a deck…

…and you’ll have a 9/9 Lifelinked Overlored WHICH CANNOT BE BLOCKED!! Seriously, how awesome is that?

Also with the Overlord out, you have a toolbox of Slivers at your disposal as well as a way to overtake any opponent Creature (that can be targeted) you wish! Your Sliver Toolbox consists of 1 casting cost Galerider Sliver, which gives Overlord Flying for cheap, Harmonic Sliver, which can be used to get rid off pesky artifacts or enchantments, Necrotic Sliver which destroys ANY 1 permanent and lastly Bonescythe Sliver, which gives the Overlord (and all other Slivers) Double-Strike (and now I have to mention it: Why the hell do all the new Slivers look like Predators? As in Alien vs Predator? Seriously? What’s the deal with that??). A Double Striking 9/9 Lifelinked AND unblockable Sliver Overlord would surely cause your opponent some serious trouble I would say!

When it comes to activating either of Sliver Overlord’s awesome activated ability, I found Training Grounds to be your perfect card to go along with those:

Yes, this means fetching a Sliver will cost you just 1, and you can activate it any number of times. Also, and this takes me to the last point of awesomeness, you will be able to overtake any opponent Sliver, again for the cost of 1 generic Mana. Now how to turn an opponent Creature into a Sliver. The answer is this Creature, which can be fetched via Overlord as it counts as a Sliver also. Just have a look:

——————————————————————–

And this concludes today’s three part deck & strategy article! I hope you enjoyed your read and wish you all

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

Introducing: Dreams of Dystopia – A Deckbuilding Game with a TWIST!

Introducing DoD PNG

Dear readers and friends of “Dominion-Style” Deckbuilding Games!

We at AP Games (that is actually just my humble self) are both proud and excited to announce our upcoming game

“Dreams of Dystopia”

which will be a postapocalyptic and dystopic

“Deckbuilding Game with a TWIST!”

Before I will plunge into explaining you how the game works  and what will make it special and unique (VERY unique indeed) compared to others of its ilk (and there are plenty of similar Deckbuilders that followed in the footsteps of the revolutionary Dominion), let me share with you the story how this game was conceived real briefly:

Some time, not too long ago, a highly talented artist going by the name of Robert “Misfit” Modelski and hailing from the United States, who had done a few great illustrations for one of my other game projects, approached me with a question which was to turn into a bold proposal and indeed an unique and exciting opportunity for me: Rob asked me for advice basically saying “I have these 30+ artworks all finished and all with consitant style and theme.” and asking me if game designers like myself would be willing to buy this package of high class artworks. After some discussion, Rob and I agreed to do something completely different in the end: As I like me a good challenge, I proposed that I could design a kickass game around these about 30 pre-existing artworks and so Rob and I became partners and that was how and when Dreams of Dystopia was born!

DoD Box Shot Preview

Rob provided the awesome artwork and I came up with a (hopefully) equally awesome game concept and we are bound to get this funded together eventually – after the game has been tweaked, tried and tested to the max for quite a while obviously.

So the challenge I faced was to make a game with about 30 – 40 pre-existing artworks. However brilliant the artworks may be, and they surely can be called that, with so few pieces of art only one type of card game came to my mind that would be feasible with around 30 artworks:

A Dominion-Style Deckbuilding Game.

These require comparatively few artworks whilst providing tons of choices and different strategies and a lot of variety in gameplay anyways, so I was determined to do the best Deckbuilding Game I could come up with built around and based on the artworks Rob kindly provided. So far I have designed only one Deckbuilder, together with my co-designer Nate More (that would be Biomechanical Dino Battles), so this was and is a first for me – designing a Deckbuilding Game all on my own. The experience from BDB surely was a great benefit in my design process so far.

I shall now get to how the actual game works and to showing you some eye-candy in the form of some awesomley illustrated (thanks to Rob!) card previews. But first of all, let me tell you about the “TWIST” in this particular Deckbuilding Game, which I deem to be a most unique feature not seen in any other Deckbuilder or in fact in any card game in general so far:

In Dreams of Dystopia, each card has two sides: The “Divine” version of the particular card will be printed on one side and the “Demonic” version will be printed on the other.

Right at the beginning of the game, you will be forced to choose to play your Character card, your Master, either in their Divine or their Demonic “incarnation”. This will have quite some bearing on your deckbuilding and gameplay options throughout the game. But even though you have to choose your side right from the start of the game, there are plenty of ways to reverse your cards mid-game actually so you will be able to “transform” your deck and thus your strategy from Divine to Demonic and vice versa during the ongoing game. So reversing your deck’s cards or even your Master themselves during a game of Dreams of Dystopia will be possible and play a major role in strategic gameplay. Futhermore, I intend to make it possible and even a viable strategy to choose the “path of twilight”, using both Divine and Demonic cards side by side that is.

That all being said, please note that the game has to be played with opaque card sleeves in which you’d insert you the cards you add to your deck during the game, with the side of your choice visible and the back being concealed by the sleeve so your opponent’s will not know which cards you have in hand. Rob and I will try to raise funds for having proper, custom design Dreams of Dystopia card sleeves manufactured!

OK so on to how the game is actually played:

In DoD (short for Dreams of Dytopia), which is intended for 2 – 4 players, the first thing you do is you choose a Master to be your Avatar in the game. You have to choose whether you want to use the Master’s Divine side or their Divine side. Each Master has a number of LP (Life Points) and the goal of the game is to reduce these Life Points (maximum LP is 20) to zero by means of attacking the opponent Master(s) with your Minions or, to a lesser extent, through certain abilities that cause a Master to lose LP. Here are 3 different Masters out of the 6 coming in the base game – with their Divine side on the left and their Demonic side on the right:

Some Masters PNG

 

As in every Deckbuilding Game, each player will start out with a standard starting deck consisting of the exact same cards, with the only differnce being that if you chose a Divine Master you will get the Divine Starting Minions and if you chose Demonic you’ll get their Demonic alter-egos. Here is what a Divine starting deck will look like:

Starting Deck PNG

As you can see, the starting deck consists of 10 cards total, of which 4 are Starting Minions, 4 are so called “Curse Cards” and 2 are “Heroic Deeds”. Over the course of the game, as per normal in a Dominion-Style Deckbuilder, you will be acquiring (buying) new cards from a central Supply. In the card Supply are there are no less than 16 different Minions of various power and cost levels with all kinds of abilities, 8 different Weapons that will support your Minions in battle as well as 20 Curse Cards and 20 Heroic Deeds. By acquiring new cards you will be expanding and enhancing your deck over the course of the game itself, which is the very essence of any Deckbuilding Game since Dominion.

The Minions in your starting Deck will be used to attack your opponent’s Master and to block, to defend against that is, opponent attacks.

Curse - Heroic Deed

The Curses are just dead cards in your hand – actually you are “Cursed from the very beginning” with 4 Curses in your starting deck, which I think is very thematic and flavorful in the dystopian, postapocalyptic world of DoD – and you should get rid of them as soon as you can. There are plenty of ways to do so, but beware, cause there are also ways to inflict additional Curses, cards, that is, that add Curses to a player’s deck.

The Heroic Deed cards can be used to increase your Master’s FAME. LP are kept track of by means of a red D20 (20-sided dice) and the FAME, which will be increasing over the course of the game will be kept track of a blue D20. So the maximum LP and FAME you can have will be 20 for each. You are allowed to perform 1 Heroic Deed per turn. You do so by discarding a Heroic Deed card from your hand, which will increase your FAME by 1. There will be ways to add more Heroic Deed cards to your deck as well as cards that let you play additional Heroic Deeds in one turn, so your FAME will grow faster.

FAME is needed to recruit Minions. The more powerful overall a Minion card is the higher their LOYALTY. In order to “recruit” (buy) a Minion from the Supply, your FAME must be equal or higher than the LOYALTY of the Minion you intend to add to your deck. This FAME – LOYALTY concept is quite a neat way to circumvent the need of a resource system and thus the game has no resource cards at all, as opposed to Dominion and many other similar Deckbuilders, which I see as a quality in DoD. Let me show you a few Minion Card samples:

Some Minions PNG

Besides the LOYALTY, displayed in the orb in the top left corner of the card (a white orb indicates a Divine and a black orb a  Demonic character), each Minion has 3 stats to be seen in the orbs to the lower left hand side of the cards. From top to bottom they are Attack (ATK) in red, Defense (DEF) in green and laslty Skill (SKL) in yellow. ATK determines the power of the Minion when it is used as an attacker, DEF indicates how much damage the Minion can absorb when being used as a blocker to oppose an opponent attacker and SKL determines which Weapons the Minion can use. The higher the SKL, the more powerful Weapons the Minion will be able to use. Also, each Minion has 1 – 3 types of Effects (Look at the topmost one for instance, as that one has all three different card effects). You may use one out of the 1 – 3 effects during your turn. The three are:

  • ABILITY: You can discard the Minion to activate his ABILITY, which will give you various benefits as I will explain more later on
  • SUPPORT: When one of your Minion is attacking or blocking, this Minion can SUPPORT the other one by discarding them for some additional bonuses to be applied to your fighting Minion.
  • COMBAT: These are additional bonuses you will get when this Minion attacks or blocks. Many times it will say “Upon Attack”, which means you get the abilities as specified upon declaring an Attack, or “Upon Hit” which indicates an ability you only get when you hit your opponent (caused him to lose LP as result of your attack), or “Upon Block” which in turn means an additional effect if the Minion is used as a blocker.

Weapons can be discarded during combat to strengthen your fighting Minion or give them certain additional abilities. They can be acquired from the Supply without having to meet any requirements. However just grabbing “the biggest gun” would not make much sense, since each Weapon has a SKL-Requirement. And a Minion can only use a certain Weapon in battle if their SKL-value (the yellow one) is at least equal or higher than the SKL-Requirment printed in the white (Divine) or black (Demonic) orb on the Weapon card. Here some visual samples:

Some Weapons PNG

As you can see, each Weapon has, besides the aforementioned SKL-Requirment in the top left corner orbs, a red orb and a green orb. The red orb corresponds with the Minion’s ATK value and modifies it as indicated on the Weapon card. Likewise, the green orb contains the Defense-Modifier if you use the Weapon on a defending Minion of yours. Furthermore, all Weapons have some special effects in text form as well.

About the Flow of the Game:

As in every Deckbuilding Game, in DoD, everyone starts with their 10 cards starting deck as described above. Furhtermore, the number of actions a player can take during each turn is limited, but all these limits can be broken by acquiring and using new cards you added to your ever-growing and constantly improving deck, as you will be pursuing one of countless different winning strategies (at least this is what the game SHOULD be like when it is done – please keep in mind all you see and read here is from and about the very first Prototype, despite the quite final looks of the game!).

At the beginning of the game, after all is set up (the Supply etc) each player will put their Master and 10 card starting deck into sleeves, according to their initial choice between Divine and Demonic, and then shuffle their deck and draw a starting hand of 5 cards from it. Then, starting with the youngest player and clockwise around the table, players take turns in which they can do any of the following things ONCE, in any order, save for Acquisition, which always concludes Main Phase and takes your right to End Phase:

  • Combat: Attack with one of your Minions
  • Ability: Discard one of your Minions for their Ability
  • Heroic Deed: Discard a Heroic Deed from hand ot gain 1 Fame

After these things are done, you may Acquire 1 card from your supply. If it is a Minion you must have enough FAME. As for Weapons there are no requirements as discussed above.

As in any Deckbuidling Game, there will be plenty of card effects that grant you additional Actions such as +X Combat, +X Ability, +X Acquisition or +X Heroic Deed as well as other beneficial effects such as Gain X LP, Take X LP (which will allow you to decrease an opponent’s LP directly) or abilities that say “Draw X”, which will allow you to draw X cards from your deck immediately. Whenever your Deck runs out of cards, you just shuffle your Discard to form a new Deck to draw from. And this is how newly acquired cards, which all land in the Discard first, will be added to your Deck – whenever it is reshuffled and formed anew.

During End-Phase which follows your Main Phase, all you do is discard all leftover cards from your hand and draw 5 new from your deck!

What makes DoD really special though is the double-sided cards – a central game mechanic I try to “capitalize” on in a game design and gameplay sense a lot. As announced initially, choosing sides – Divine or Demonic – will be crucial and give you a borad choice of many different strategies depending on which path you took initially, whilst it is my goal that such “twilight decks” using both Demonic and Divine cards in a clever manner and combination will be viable as well. The reversing of cards mid-game, taking them out of the sleeve and putting them back in the other way around, changing a Minion or Weapon from Divine to Demonic and vice versa will also play a part and will be a choice that matters in the end – if I did my job well. Heck, there will be even at least one way to make your Master switch sides in the base game of DoD!

All in all and as it looks now at the very beginning of the project, Dreams of Dystopia deserves the title of “A Deckbuilding Game with a Twist” and I will do my very best to live up to that slogan! Expect more news on the game as we go along the path ultimately leading to getting the game funded – one way or another. Lastly, a HUGE thank you to Rob “Misfit” Modelski for entrusting me with his valuable vault of DoD artworks. Glad to have you as a partner Rob!

Alright that is Dreams of Dystopia for you, dear readers! I will keep you updated on the porgress of the game!!

Happy Gaming,

Sincerely yours,

Andi

 

P.S.: I am looking for crafty and, most important, reliable playtesters. IF you are interested, please mail me at andreas.propst31@gmail.com! THX!!

P.P.S.: Here are the full game rules for those who want MORE: Dreams of Dystopia Rules Manual V. 0.1 (Very first VERY rough draft mind you!)

 

 

MtG: The Menace Strikes Again – Dredge Menace & Old-School Menace + Devoted ot Green!

Dear readers and friends of the undying Magic: the Gathering!

It is time once again! Time for some more Corpsejack Menace action! Regular readers of this here my blog and my M:tG-related posts will know all too well by now which one is my all-time favorite “crap rare” and I could probably come up with two dozen different and working decks around the beastly fungus – so here are two more Corpsejack Menace Decks I have come up with recently. But let us bask in its dreadful glory for a moment and let us recall what the Menace is best at: Doubling +1/+1 Counters:

So the first Menace deck will be Modern Format legal and all be about the “Dredge” ability, which lets you skip a draw to return a card with Dredge: X from your graveyard to hand whilst sending X cards from deck to graveyard directly. The second Menace deck on the other hand is the result of my research into non-modern layout cards that do nasty things with +1/+1 counters, so I call the deck “Old School Menace”! And as a little bonus you’ll get an extra deck “devoted to green” (those familiar with the Theros block will already know where this deck will be going!).

So let’s get started with…

Dredge Menace:

Creatures…24

4 x Elves of Deep Shadow G

4 x Lotleth Troll GB

4 x Stinkweed Imp 2B

4 x Dreg Mangler 1BG

4 x Corpsejack Menace 2GB

4 x Golgari Grave Troll 4G

Instants…11

4 x Hunger of the Howlpack G

4 x Bioshift G/U

3 x Solidarity of Heroes 1G

Sorceries…3

3 x Vigor Mortis 2BB

Lands…22

2 x Dakmor Salvage

4 x Llanowar Wastes

10 x Forest

6 x Swamp

About the Deck:

This deck isn’t exaclty fast but it is designed so as to grow and grow in power as the game goes along. Crucial for this deck’s strategy is a terrific Crearture which I can hardly believe that it actually qualifies as a “crap rare” at 0.99 USD on average for a copy: Lotleth Troll:

I mean look at him: A 2/1 Trampler regenerating for 1 black Mana for GB that has the potential to grow larger and larger the more Creature cards you discard to it (It gets a +1/+1 counter for each Creature discarded, or 2 of those – hello Menace!!). Seriously, back in the “good old days” when Spiritmonger was a top contender and saw a lot of play in the popular “The Rock” deck, hence being quite unaffordable for the Magic player on a budget, this guy – Lotleth Troll – would have been a top pick for such a deck. Anyways if you manage to get one out on turn 2, discard a Stinkweed Imp or even better a Golgari Grave-Troll, which is a centerpiece in this deck besides the actual Menace…

…and Dredge them up soon after, Imp sending 5 and Troll 6 cards from deck to graveyard. This way you will be sure to get some Creatures into your graveyard, which will power-up Grave-Troll. If you don’t happen to draw an early Lotleth Troll, your plan B would be to use Elves of Deep Shadow to power out a turn 2 Stinkweed Imp, chump block and kill any opponent Creature with it and THEN Dredge for 5, hopefully dropping some Creatures in your graveyard.

Now, if you play Corpsejack Menace on one turn, and follow up with Golgari Grave-Troll, the Troll will enter play with twice as many +1/+1 Counters as you have Creatures in  your Graveyard. Just having 3 Creatures in graveyard for instance will give you a respectable 6/6 Grave-Troll thanks to Menace! And here’s a neat trick: Bioshift, which is terribly useful in any Corpsejack Menace Deck, can move all +1/+1 Counters from Grave-Troll to another Creature, maybe a trampling Lotleth Troll, doubling the number of counters whilst Menace is out and they are relocated and your Grave-Troll will be 0/0 and hence die. And hey presto you will be able to dredge him up for 6 again and re-casting him with even more counters!

Another great Creature to have in your graveyard is Dreg Mangler. At 3/2 Haste for 1GB, the Mangler is an awesome deal as is, but once in your Graveyard you may pay 3GB for his Scavenge ability, exiling Mangler from your Graveyard to put three +1/+1 Counters on target Creature. Make that 6 counters with Menace around! Simply awesome!

Besides the aforementioned Bioshift I am running some very neat supportive instants and sorceries. As for the instants I have Hunger of the Howlpack which puts a +1/+1 Counter on any Creature. Not exactly fantastic… BUT through its Morbid ability, you can place 3 counters instead if a Creature died this turn. Make that six +1/+1 counters under the Menace’s tainted influence – for 1 green Mana mind you! Solidarity of Heroes doubles the number of +1/+1 Counters on one or even more Creatures for a minimal cost of 1G. Menace will tripple the counters. And lastly, if you don’t feel like Dredging up Grave-Troll you can just reanimate him via Vigor Mortis for just 2BB. And guess what: You’ll get to place a +1/+1 counter on the reanimated Creature if at least 1 green Mana was spent to cast Vigor Mortis. Go figure… 🙂

On to the second Menace Deck:

Old-School Menace:

Creatures…25

4 x Birds of Paradise G

2 x Elvish Mystic G

3 x Phantom Nantuko 2G

3 x Titania’s Chosen 2G

3 x Karstoderm 2GG

3 x Forgotten Ancient 3G

3 x Phantom Centaur 2GG

4 x Corpsejack Menace 2B

Instants…6

4 x Bioshift G/U

2 x Solidarity of Heroes

Sorceries…3

3 x Increasing Savagery 2GG

Enchantments…4

4 x Gaea’s Embrace 2GG

Lands…22

4 x Llanowar Wastes

4 x Terramorphic Expanse

2 x Oran-Rief the Vastwood

4 x Swamp

8 x Forest

About the Deck:

Well as announced I delved deeply in the vault of pre-modern Magic cards (are those to be called “Traditional” then I wonder?) and found quite a bunch of pretty awesome gems hidden deep in the more distant history of the game which would work wonders with Corpsejack Menace at their side! Let us start with probably THE most awesome Creature to combine with the Menace. Behold:

Well just recall one more time what the Menace actually does and then look at what Forgotten Ancient does. Yes, for every single Spell cast, either by you or any opponent(s), Ancient will get two +1/+1 Counters under the sinister influence of the infamous Fungus. And YES, Ancient lets you move any of these counters onto any other Creature which will double the number of counters ONE MORE TIME!! Just conveniently place them on your flying Birds of Paradise and you got yourself one flying behemoth of a Bird in like no time. Or just place on any Creature enchanted with Gaea’s Embrace, which, among other highly beneficial things, grants the Creature it enchants Trample.

Next up we have Titania’s Chosen, a quite weak 1/1 for 2G. The thing with the Chosen is that whenever a green Spell is cast, he’ll get a +1/+1 Counter. Make that two with Menace!

Also I am playing a very odd Creature of which I do believe nobody actually played it at any time in the history of Magic: Karstoderm. The beast costs 2GG and comes into play with five +1/+1 counters – and you know what that means when you team it up with Corpsejack Menace! The only drawback this potential 10/10 beatstick for 4 mana has is that a counter is removed whenever an artifact Spell is cast. Against most decks this won’t be an issue but IF you happen to be playing against Affinity or other artifact heavy decks, just conveniently move all the 10 counters to another Creature via Bioshift – Menace will turn those 10 into 20 (!!) counters for you.

Also I am running two different “Phantom” Creatures which were quite popular back in the Odyssey days. Have a look at Phantom Centaur for instance to see what these all have in common:

So yeah, Centaur would enter play as an impressive 8/6 under Menace and there is this neat combo with Gaea’s Embrace, which makes him basically immortal – at least he can’t be killed through inflicting damage. Phantom Nantuko works in a similar way.

The non-creature support cards in the deck are not really out of the ordinary – just your regular Corpsejack Menace support. One card I would like to highlight however:

Putting ten +1/+1 Counters on any Creature for just 4 mana (with a little help from the Menace) is surely a great deal, but the prospect of placing 20 instead if you have enough mana to flash it back is just… well… kickass!

OK enough of my obvious Corpsejack Menace obsession (maybe I should consider seeing a specialist about this issue…) and on to something completely different: Our bonus deck – as promised!

Green Devotion:

Creatures…26

4 x Elvish Mystic G

2 x Llanowar Elves G

3 x Kalonian Tusker GG

3 x Garruk’s Companion GG

4 x Leatherback Baloth GGG

4 x Karametra’s Acolyte 3G

2 x Nylea, God of the Hunt 3G

4 x Garruk’s Packleadere 4G

1 x Kodama of the North Tree 2GGG

Instants…4

4 x Aspect of Hydra G

Sorceries…7

4 x Prey Upon G

3 x Time of Need 1G

Lands…22

2 x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

20 x Forest

About the Deck:

I won’t tell you a long story about this bonus deck which concludes my article. All I can say is that it is a variation on my Beast Powerdraw deck which I had presented on here before and which combines high power / low cost Creatures with Garruk’s Packleader for massive card draw and an almost endless supply of new beaters / beasts. Now in this variation of the old deck I enjoyed quite a bit, I took in “Devotion to Green” and created this semi-budget deck. NO I am NOT paying 12+ bucks for a Primalcrux, so this has to do for the most expensive card (I happen to own one actually…but I need at least a second one…):

With GG costing Garruk’s Companions and Kalonian Tuskers as well as Leatherback Baloths which are 4/5s for GGG, you should be able to have an indestructible 6/6 for 3G by turn 4 or so. Also, Karametra’s Acolyte and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx will generate a ton of Mana, which you can invest into cards drawn by the aforementioned Garruk’s Packleader! And this humble instant for just 1 green Mana has the potential to be a killer in this particular deck:

OK, that’s all for now folks! Hope you didn’t mind me bringing up “The Menace” one more time and enjoyed this article overall! As always…

Happy Gaming!

Yours,

Andi

MTG: Revisiting and Revising My Odyssey Era RG Beatdown + Bonus Deck!

Dear readers and friends of Magic: the Gathering!

Waaay back in the olden days, when Magic cards still used to look like this…

…instead of like so…

…I used to play, between the Odyssey and (first) Mirrodin eras, I used to play a version of Red-Green Beatdown quite usual for these times, with cheap and efficient Creatures supported by red burn Spells and including quite some cards with the awesome Madness ability, such as the above seen Basking Rootwalla, as well as staples in such a deck such as Arrogant Wurm and Violent Eruption, all of the latter enabled through the “star of the show”: Wild Mongrel.

I don’t have the definite list, if there ever was one, of the old deck I used to play back then handy, but I do know that at some point, I decided to splash some Black in an effort to get an alternative discard outlet to good old Mongrel, in the form of Zombie Infestation:

Now, as I massively enjoyed that deck back then, I thought why not have a “blast from the past” and revisit this old deck favorite of mine and have a look how I would play this one nowadays, taking into account all the additional cards (that I am aware of) released since when I stopped playing this towards the end of the first Mirrodin Block! And here, right away, is what I came up with regarding the decklist:

“Jund” Oldschool Beatdown (Legacy Format):

Creatures…22

4 x Basking Rootwalla G

4 x Putrid Imp B

4 x Wild Mongrel 1G

4 x Blood Scrivener 1B

2 x Anger 3R

2 x Arrogant Wurm 3GG

2 x Reckless Wurm 3RR

Instants…8

4 x Fiery Temper 1RR

4 x Violent Erruption 1RRR

Sorceries…8

4 x Faithless Looting R

2 x Browbeat 2R

2 x Roar of the Wurm 6G

Enchantments…2

2 x Zombie Infestation

Lands…20

2 x Keldon Megaliths

4 x Llanowar Wastes

4 x Karplusan Forest

4 x Mountain

3 x Forest

3 x Swamp

About the Deck:

Well the deck as portrayed above doesn’t feature a whole lot of new cards (3 “modern” ones to which I will get shortly) and features mostly old classics and staples in the Odyssey era Red/Green Beatdown build, such as the Madness cards Basking Rootwalla, Fiery Temper and Violent Erruption as well, as central piece of the deck, the all-enabling (when it comes to Madness) Wild Mongrel which have been shown above. Back then, I tried to add a splash of black but for some reason I never played what would be Black’s answer to Mongrel, maybe cause I just wasn’t aware of his existance, Putrid Imp. Have a look:

He is so great and I WOULD have included him back then when this decks still was “hot” (all I was aware of as it seems was Zombie Infestation as an additional discard outlet – however you need at least 2 cards in hand to use its ability – not so with Imp) for sure if I had been aware of his existence. I mean he’s the perfect turn 1 play/one-drop, lets you discard any number of cards any time at the benefit of gaining Flying for a turn AND his discarding ability also makes him grow a bit larger eventually, as he’ll get +1/+1 when Threshold (7 or more cards in your graveyard) has been reached. I see it right before me.

Notably, this deck lacks any form of mana acceleration and not even the “classic” Birds of Paradise found its way onto the list, although this is a three-color deck. Well my plan is to have a well-working mana curve that does not need the mana acceleration from Birds of various Elves etc. The ideal first three turns would be turn 1 Imp, optionally powering out some Rootwallas for free (Look at their Madness cost!), second turn Mongrel and Madness-enabled turn 3 Wurm (Arrogant or Reckless – it doesn’t matter!). In this deck I tried to make the most of my “natural” mana-curve so there would be no need for Birds or similar mana acceleration, yes it would even be a waste of card slots to add them.

A few words on the three “modern” additions to the deck, which I think all really shine in the old deck and even make it a lot more powerful than before and I think I WOULD have ran these three back in the days if they had been available! Let me start with the most awesome one:

Blood Scrivener is just so grand in a deck like this, which gives you tons of ways to empty your hand for useful effects (Mongrel + Madness anyone??) as he more or less doubles your every draw at the cost of 1 measly, expendable Life. I cannot believe how this one could average in at around 25 US Cents whilst his well-known and highly famed brother Dark Confidant goes for an outrageous 80+ USD on average. I mean stats and cost wise they are identical but in the context of this deck in particular, Blood Scrivener is strictly superior than Confidant in more than one way. For once, all you will ever be taxed when it comes to Life will be 1, and just 1, whereas with Confidant you could end up paying a hefty 5 Life if it was a Wurm you revealed or even more in case of Roar of the Wurm. Also, in theory you could use Scrivener’s ability more than once per turn, which obviously is neat and better than Confidant as well.

Then I added Faithless Looting, which is just a red Careful Study with the added bonus of having Flashback at the very much affordable cost of just 2R. What is better than Careful Study in a Madness-heavy deck? Right, two Careful Studies packed in one card! Awesomeness. How would I have loved to have this card available back in the old days!!

The last card is a land with a “Hellbent” ability, going by the name of Keldon Monoliths. Hellbent is an ability that could be used much more in a deck like this, as it usually gives some extra abilities to cards as long as your hand is empty, as long as you have no cards in hand. This I am going to discuss in a minute, but for the deck as it stands now, I simply did not see any Hellbent cards to really include in the deck besides Keldon Megaliths. So the card itself is a land that comes into play tapped and produces red mana. Now the really cool part is the Hellbent bit: As long as you have no cards in hand (Imp, Mongrel, Zombie Infestation anyone!?!) you cant tap it and pay 1R to inflict 1 damaget to target Creature or Player, which I deem could be highly useful to get rid of pesky 1 Thoughness Creatures or even to push through these last few bits of damage needed for the win!

As I read through the list of cards with Hellbent, there was only one other card that raised my curious eyebrow, but I do not know if the card is really needed in the deck and if the 5 Mana is really worth the investment and the card worth the two card slots I would free for it by either removing the classic Roar of the Wurm or Browbeat. Anywas have a look for yourself:

Of course this would kick some serious ass if you were able to double the damage inflicted by your Creatures or for instance distribute 8 instead of 4 damage through a Madness-enabled Violent Erruption for just 3 Mana basically. I mean the Hellbent condition of having no cards in hand could be easily met, but I am just not sure if the 5 casting cost Rakdos Anthem is really needed in this specific kind of deck. But as I assume the Anthem is cheap as hell, I am very willing to try out if anything is gaind by running two of these! We will see how the card performs once I have the deck together – currently waiting for my playset of Putrid Imp and Blood Scrivener!

And here’s for our first (and last!!) encore:

Bonus Deck: WUG Threshold! (for Casual or Legacy Play)

Back in the times of the Odyssey Era, I have always looked at this kickass deck with the desire to have the financial means to assemble and play it myself, but always just envied those who had the cards in their possession as those weren’t exactly cheap back then. But now, or some time soon at the very least, I think my time has come to indulge in some Magic nostalgia and GET this deck built at last!! I may be 10 years late or so but what the F! I also happen to own playsets of the Blue-White and White-Green Onslaught Fetchlands by now so the road is paved for some WUG Threshold Deck action and, which seals the deal for me, this big badass Threshold guy costs a fraction of the price it cost in the Odyssey/Onslaught Era, and I am hoping to get my playest at no more than about 2 bucks (US-Dollars) or so:

But anyways, on to a possible Decklist that isn’t actual a deck built on a budget by any means (featuring insanley expensive cards such as Noble Hierarch and aforementioned Onslaught Fetchlands), but thank the Grand Genghis Khan in heaven that I own all the costly stuff anyways! So no big deal!! Here comes…

WUG Threshold Revamped!! (Casual/Legacy)

Creatures…26

4 x Noble Hierarch G

4 x Nimble Mongoose G

4 x Werebear 1G

4 x Wild Mongrel 1G

3 x Mystic Crusader 1WW

2 x Knight of the Reliquary 1GW

2 x Crosan Beast 3G

3 x Mystic Enforcer 2GW

Sorceries…12

4 x Breakthrough XU

4 x Quiet Speculation 1U

2 x Deep Analysis 3U

2 x Roar of the Wurm 6G

Lands…22

4 x Flooded Strand

4 x Windswept Heath

3 x Wasteland

3 x Nantuko Monastery

4 x Forest

2 x Plains

2 x Tropical Island

About the Deck:

Nope, no in depth discussion of how this deck is supposed to work! I humbly refer you to http://magiccards.info/ to go ahead and educate yourself this time!! Nasty, evil, lazy me!!

Happy Gaming!

Yours,

Andi

MTG: Some More Random Yet Out of the Ordinary Deck Ramblings:

Dear readers!

Whilst being super busy whilst being sick with the flu, my Magic: the Gathering deckbuilding mind is ever so active and creative, so, lying in bed trying to get better soon, I got some more random deck ramblings for you in the form of a decks&strategy article, presenting you some quite odd and out-of-the-ordinary decks I have come up with recently!

The three decks I am going to cover here are purely intended for casual play, though some may have the potential to be more than just that, and all three decks are Legacy format legal – not intended for competitive use in a proper Legacy format tournament as I would like to emphasize once more. So let us get started with what is probably the most odd out of the following decks. In fact it is so odd that I am having a hard time putting a good name on the deck, so for demonstrative purposes, let us just call it…

The Ramper (Casual/Legacy):

Creatures…18

4 x Cloud of Faeries 1U

4 x Kiora’s Follower UG

2 x Voyaging Satyr 1G

2 x Trygon Predator 1GU

3 x Arcanis the Omnipotent 3UUU

3 x Pyrexian Colossus 7

Instants..4

4 x Snap 1U

Sorceries…2

2 x Time Stretch 8UU

Enchantments…11

4 x Fertile Ground 1G

4 x Dawn’s Reflection 3G

3 x Eldrazi Conscription 8

Artifacts…3

3 x Voltaic Key 1

Lands…22

4 x Darksteel Citadel

4 x Seat of the Synode

4 x Tree of Tales

4 x Yavimaya Coast

3 x Island

3 x Forest

About the Deck:

So: “The Ramper”… Well the deck is basically about massive Mana Ramp, that is accumulating tons of mana in a relatively short period of time, and in this deck’s case the ramp is achieved by most unusual ways. Here is how creating tons of mana basically works in this deck:

Enchant a land with cards like Dawn’s Reflection…

…or the with Feritle Ground which is kinda half of Dawn’s Reflection, costing 1G and making the land it enchants produce 1 extra mana of any color.

Then use countless of ways to untap the enchanted land multiple times during one turn, such as…

…and generate a shitload of mana in order to cast stuff like this…

…or this:

At 10 mana, Time Stretch pretty much wins you the game, giving you no less than 2 extra turns, and Eldrazi Conscription turns any of your Creatures into a killer for 8 Mana. From my experience, the cards in the deck work very well with each other, and accumulating enough mana to unleash your killer cards is achieved easily! And here are all the ways you have for untapping your (multi-) enchanted land:

  •  Voyaging Satyr is a 1/2 at a cost of 1G who taps to untap any 1 land, hence doubling the mana provided by some of your enchanted lands.
  • Kiora’s Follower is a 2/2 for GU that doesn’t just tap to untap any 1 land, but in fact any 1 permanent. This is pretty cool as you can not only use him to double the mana created by a land you control but you can use him to just untap your Arcanis the Omnipotent, who will not tap once to draw you 3 cards (which rocks all in and off itself) but twice to draw you a fresh hand of 6 cards, which is vital and ensures you to draw the cards you need in order to win the game! Oh how I wished I had room for some Lightning Greaves which would not only protect Arcanis but also give him Haste so he’d start drawing you cards right away once he enters the battlefield. Gotta…make…room!!
  • Voltaic Key is the SINLGE reason why I am running artifact lands in this deck. Well Darksteel Citadel is generally useful as a “safe haven” for your land enchantments being indestructible itself. I would recommend putting your land enchantments on an Artifact land, unless you know your opponent plays artifact hate – in this case Citadel would still be a great choice – so you can untap them by paying 1 and tapping Voltaic Key as another untap mechanism. Also, Voltaic Key makes my “fatty of choice” – Phyrexian Colossus – highly playable!
  • Snap and Cloud of Fairies do totally differnet things but all share the same, totally awesome, ability: Whilst Sanp is an Instant that usefully lets you return a Creature to its owner’s hand, Cloud of Fairies is a 1/1 Flying Creature which cycles for 2, but both cost 1U and both let you conveniently untap two lands when they are played. You have seen Dawn’s Reflection above, go figure for yourself what will happen if you times these cards with heavily-enchanted, multi-mana-producing lands. I would like to note that the measly 1/1 Flying Fairies turn into unstoppable forces of Nature if you invest the mana created in an Eldrazi Conscription (seen above) to be put on said Fairies!

So if you add up all the cards in the deck that let you untap a land with multiple Fertile Grounds and/or Dawn’s Reflections attached, thus generating such enormous amounts of Mana that I am tempted to add this badass overlord of rampage and destruction to the deck, you’ll end up at 17, which is almost one third of the whole deck. The third part of the deck, besides the mana-generating land enchantments and the untappers, are just cards that actually do the job of winning you the game, such as Time Stretch and Eldrazi Conscription as displayed above and, to a smaller extent, Phyrexian Colossus. Adding Lightning Greaves and maybe one Emrakul is very tempting. The greaves would really speed up the deck whilst protecting key creatures while Emrakul would be just in it for the fun of it! The deck CAN however create the 15 mana in one turn, but the question is: Will it be able to do so RELIABLY? It has to be found out!

Madness of the Demigod’s Revenge:

Creatures…16

4 x Putrid Imp B

3 x Blood Scrivener 1B

1 x Anger 3R

4 x Reckless Wurm 3RR

4 x Demigod of Revenge R/B R/B R/B R/B R/B

Instants…10

4 x Dark Ritual B

3 x Fiery Temper 1RR

3 x Violent Erruption 1RRR

Sorceries…12

4 x Faithless Looting R

4 x Buried Alive 2B

4 x Life/Death G/1B

Enchantments…2

2 x Zombie Infestation

Lands…20

2 x Keldon Megaliths

4 x Sulfurous Springs

4 x Dragonskull Summit

6 x Mountain

4 x Swamp

About the Deck:

Well, this deck, which has the highest “potential” out of the three decks discussed herein, is actually the combination of two deck ideas which I had seperately, and I think the mix I ended up with could just be something working out farily decently – or not at all. That has to be seen! So the first deck idea I had came when I had this badass dude in my Modern Masters Booster Display which I got for Christmas 2013:

Well wouldn’t it be just awesome to drop 3 of those into your Graveyard via well-known Buried Alive and in the best case play the fourth Demigod from hand, swinging in for 20 hard-to-block-due-to-flying damage in one fell swoop?? Totally I’d say!

The second deck idea was sparked off when I saw this Careful Study in red with Flashback (!!):

Wouldn’t it rock to have a Mono-Red Madness deck I thought initally. Well I soon found out that there just wasn’t enough to do an all-red madness deck so I ended up with a provisional list of a Red-Black Madness Deck. I wasn’t very happy with that one either, until I realized I could integrate the Demigod of Revenge part into the Red-Black Madness Deck Draft and change a few things so I’d end up with a better deck overall than two seperate decks would have been on their own. See the result above!

There are various great synergies in the above decklist, which I will not list comprehensively here as the MTG-experienced reader will be able to figure them out on their own. Just a few bits:

Use your “discard outlets” Putrid Imp, the above Faithless Looting or Zombie Infestation to discard Anger to give all your Creatures Haste, or any of your Madness cards like…

…and Fiery Temper as well as Violent Eruption to play them very cost efficiently, whilst gaining some nice additional effects like giving Imp Flying for a turn or spawning some Zombie Tokens.

Also you can go the Demigod-road by discarding spare Demigods from hand via the aforementioned “discard outlets” or just filling your Graveyard with up to 3 Demigods (or 2 plus an Anger) via Buried Alive as mentioned above, just to reanimate them all once by playing one Demigod from hand, possibly fuelled by overall speed-boosting Dark Ritual, or by reanimating one by using the Death-side of the split card Life / Death.

A nice card that truely qualifies as a crap rare at about 1 dollar the playset, to go greatly along with the rest of the deck is Blood Scrivener:

I mean look at him in the context of the rest of the deck! A 2/1 for 2 mana that draws you an extra card whenever you draw and have no cards in hand. This will happen a lot in this kind of deck, with multiple ways to discard cards for various beneficial effects, so I think this deck is truely a good home that makes such an underestimated card work out very well. Same goes for this “Hellbent” land:

Mighty Morphing Magicians:

Creatures…26

4 x Elvish Mystic G

3 x Llanowar Elves G

4 x Voidmage Prodigy UU

3 x Disruptive Pitmage 2U

3 x Willbender 1U

3 x Fathom Seer  1U

3 x Unblinking Bleb 3U

3 x Ixidor, Reality Sculptor 3UU

Instants…8

4 x Mizzium Skin U

4 x Simic Charm UG

Enchantments…4

4 x Secret Plans…UG

Lands…22

4 x Yavimaya Coast

8 x Forest

10 x Island

About the Deck:

So yeah, Morph is officially back… big time! …or is it? Anyways Khans of Tarkir re-introduced the Morph-mechanic and when I saw the single direct Morph-supporting card…

…I simply had to try my hand on a dedicated Morph deck once again. I had to dig deep in my mighty Onslaught Block card vault but found great cards for such a deck elsewhere too!

Back in Onslaught Block I always thought of the Wizards to be the best Morph Creatures – even the “big boss” of Morphs was a Wizard:

So yeah for me, this deck had to be a Wizards deck (for the most part). Before we get to the actual Wizards and Morph Creautres, let me mention that I am running 7 one mana one mana makers in the form of 4 Elvish Mystics and 3 Llanowar Elves. Why? For the simple reason that I want a turn 2 Morph on the field reliably – that is pretty much the sole reason for the inclusion of those. Morph Decks ARE slow, I do realize this and hence I wanted to speed this one up at least a bit through the slightly off-topic/them Elves.

Secret Plans both acts as a mediocre stats booster for your Morphs, making them 2/3s (with Ixidor they can be respectable 3/4s even), but much more importantly as the vital draw engine for this particular deck, as you will be drawing one card whenever you flip a card face-up!

One non-wizard Morph support Creature that is a Morpher itstself is Unblinking Bleb, and it is GREAT to go along with Secret Plans, as whenever you turn a card face-up, you’ll get to Scry: 2. You got some serious deck manipulation going on if you got both the Bleb and Secret Plans out as I would say you get to choose which goes onto the stack and resolves first. So you would basically turn a Creature face-up, then Scry: 2 (that is look at the top 2 cards of your deck and decide for each wheter it is put on top or on bottom of the deck) and THEN draw 1 card, which is a neato deck manipulation trick. Nothing game-winning but influencing what you will draw next to some degree is never a bad thing!

Another great non-Wizard Morpher is Fathom Seer: He’s a 1/3 for 1U that draws you two cards when flipped face up, whereby he’s got a somewhat out-of-the-ordinary Morph cost – you can turn him face-up without paying any mana, by “just” returning 2 Islands from play to your hand. Again the card draw upon flipping face-up interacts greatly with Unblinking Bleb’s Scrying!

On to the actual Wizard Morph Creatures: All three of them are of disruptive nature so to say, like for example Voidmage Prodigy:

You can pull of nifty tricks with him and as long as you got some face-down Morphs on the field and some Mana to spare, your opponent will never have a “safe feeling” with cards like the above around, as you can Morph him up by paying U and then pay another UU and sack him (or another of your Wizards to (hard-) counter any opponent Spell at instant speed.

The other two Wizards I have not covered yet are Disruptive Pitmage and Willbender:

With those two you can pull off some nice tricks as well, as Pitmage taps for a Force Spike so to say and is morphed face-up by a minimal investment of 1 blue mana (just like Force Spike would cost you) whereas Willbender is flipped face up for 1U and lets you redirect any Spell or Ability to another single target when you do so, which can be tremendously useful in certain situations!

So whilst the deck has a lot of non-wizard Morphs and other Creatures, the Wizards are the main guys in this and as they are all, except for the big boss Ixidor, of disruptive nature as described above, your opponent will never know what lies in waiting for him and will never have  a safe feeling when casting a Spell, as somewhere, a Voidmage Prodigy or Disruptive Pitmage may be hidden and lie in waiting ready to disrupt. Same story with targeted Spells or Effects. Willbender could be out there ready to ruin an unwary opponent’s day!

As this particular deck is not only Creature-heavy but in fact dependent on Creatures, specifically in keeping the Morphs alive until they can be flipped face-up and be put to good use, I included 8 Instants that mainly do the all-important job of keeping your Creatures alive and saving them from all kind of harm. I wish I had had more room, but sadly, Mana Leak didn’t make the cut. Instead I opted for the more creative solutions of Mizzium Skin and Simic Charm:

Mizzium Skin gives any 1 Creature Hexproof and +0/+1 for one turn or does so to all of your Creatures if you pay the additional (and optional) Overload cost of just 1U. This is pretty decent Creature protection for my taste! Simic Charm does something similar whilst giving you some additional, situationally useful options all neatly packaged in one cheap card. Have a look for yourselves:

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Well dear M:tG friends among my readers, I hope you had a good read and found my somewhat unusual deck ramblings of some interest at least. Whilst writing these lines, even more deck ideas are coming in and my head is swarming with these so expect another Magic Deck&Strategy article on here soon!

Until then, happy gaming!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

MTG: Random Modern Deck Musings – Featuring “Stolen” Deck Idea & The Return of “The Menace”!

Dear readers,

in order to relax and distract myself a wee bit from my just yesterday launched Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign for Panzer Clash, I am back with some more or less random deck musings, wanting to showcase three decks in this article. One is actually an old deck of mine which I reassembled just recently and the second one is something totally crazy which won’t probably ever work very well whilst the last deck idea is a stolen one as dear friend and doctor med. in spe Lukas Laner would insist. But more about me nicking others’ deck ideas later on.

Lets start with the old deck built anew – as always I will first provide a full deck list followed up by my comments on the respective deck!

Disclaimer: All of the following decks are built “Modern legal”!

Artifact Weenie Revamped/Revisited:

Creatures…23

3 x Ornithopter 0

4 x Vault Skirge 1B (or 2 Life…Phyrexian Mana you know….)

4 x Etherium Sculptor 1U

4 x Ethersworn Canonist 1W

4 x Steel Overseer 2

4 x Porcelaine Legionnaire 2W (or 2 Life – again Phyrexian Mana)

Instants…6

4 x Dispatch W

2 x Shrapnel Blast 1R

Sorceries…4

4 x Thoughtcast 4U

Enchantments…4

4 x Tempered Steel 1WW

Artifacts…4

4 x Cranial Plating 2

Lands…20

4 x Glimmervoid

4 x Mirrodin’s Core

4 x Seat of the  Synod

4 x Vault of Whispers

4 x Ancient Den

About the Deck:

´This deck is raw power and I loved to play it back then as I love to play it now, although in this latest iteration or re-incarnation I decided, regretfully to drop one very fun part of how I used to play it. Last time I had this assembled the deck featured my self-conceived Clock of OmensHowling Mine – Steel Overseer (see image below) Trinity. With Clock you would tap Mine to make its card drawing powers one sided (so only you’d get to draw the extra card and your oppoenent woudln’t) whilst untapping Steel Overseer who would dish out an additiaonal round of +1/+1 Counters for all your creatures.

However cool the combo may be once assembled, I dropped Clock and Mine, keeping the awesome-on-his-own Overseer as A) Clock costs 4 and takes up card slots that could be better put to use and adding Clock and Mine only slows down the deck as on their own they are pretty useless. Only if you have at least a Clock and a Mine, Overseer is the optional part here, however awesome, the whole thing makes sense, but it was too much of a risk for me to keep them and just hope I would be getting them out together and start doing their trick every other game… Hence I ditched them for more generally juseful and more-to-the-topic cards.

‘This deck is not an Affinity deck of sorts like many or most artifact beatdown type of decks happen to be mind you. The topic is weenie, since the deck features all cheap/cost-efficient Creatures with awesome effects, and artifact weenie because all my weenies happen to be artifact creatures. That is great if you are running a playset of the above seen Steel Overseer. My mana curve for Creatures starts at zero cost but 0/2 Flying Ornithopter and ends at the sole 3 mana cost playset of Porclaine Legionaire, which is a 3/1 First Striker for basically just 2 generic mana and a nominal one-time “fee” of 2 life OR if you have the mana for 2W.

One of my favorite Weenies in here is without a doubt Vault Skirge:

I mean, come on, a cost 1 Lifelinked Flying 1/1 at an additional cost of 2 Life. Who can say no to that? Just attack twice and you’ll have your “investment” back already or just slam “must-have” artifact beatdown equipment of choice…

…on the lowly Skirge and you shall be repaid thousandfold… well figuratively speaking!

Another honorable mention deserves a certain Creature that would not by any means qualify as a “Weenie” but is so tremendously useful in speeding up the whole deck: Etherium Sculptor reduces the costs of ALL artifacts you play by 1, himself being a 1/2 for 1U. I mean you get Skirge for free basically… Same story with Porcelaine Legionnaire mentioned previously. With Sculptor he will be a 3/1 First Striker for 1 measly mana. And how about two Steel Overseers for the price of one? YES PLEASE!!

Besides decent card draw in the form of single card with Affinity in this deck, Thoughtcast, as well as awesome pinpoint removal in the form of Dispatch and a decent way to push through those last few points of damage needed for the win, namely two Shrapnel Blasts, the deck features a “Double Crusade”, boosting all my artificial Weenies greatly. Liked Steel Overeer? Well check this out:

And this almost qualifies as a “crap rare” by my standards (this is at approx. 1,50 USD now whilst I define a crap rare as anything under a dollar).

Lastly, I would like to put the spotlight on an “artifact weenie” that can severely slow down the opponent by hampering their non-artifact spellcasting efforts. Ethersworn Canonist is a 2/2 at the cost of 1W and has the following, potentially crippling for most opponents, ability:

Basically, if a player has cast a non-artifact spell this turn, they cannot cast futher non-artifact spells. That will in most cases not bother you at all with this kind of deck, but might be a serious problem for any non-artifact-based deck playing opponent!

Spiteful Nightmares (or: trying an Underworld Dreams Deck Once Again!)

Creatures…2

2 x Seizan, Perverter of Truth 3BB

Sorceries…19

4 x Thoughtseize B

4 x Burning Inquiry  R

3 x Sign in Blood BB

4 x Beseech the Queen B/2 B/2 B/2

4 x Damnation 2BB

Enchantments…8

2 x Liliana’s Caress 1B

3 x Underworld Dreams BBB

3 x Spiteful Visions 2 B/R B/R

Artifacts…9

4 x Talisman of Indulgence 2

3 x Howling Mine 2

2 x Font of Mythos

Lands…21

1 x Mikoro, Center of the Sea

4 x Evolving Wilds

3 x Mountain

13 x Swamp

About the Deck:

I must admit that I have a certain obsession with this particular kind of deck. Since I first laid eyes on…

… but a deck around it was out of my reach in a monetary sense as back then those went for like over 15 dollars a piece at minimum, I was obsessed with buidling a working “Underworld Dreams” deck, which has the basic premise of letting your opponent draw lots of cards (which is actually very bad for you!) by various means so they would  draw themselves to death through the above seen, diabolic contraption of an Enchantment. Now I am back to my old obsession, and all was started all over again as I realized the existence of this card:

Holy Shit, I thought by myself… an Underworld Dreams combined with a Howling Mine all in one package… and that at an unbeatable average price of less than 50 (US) cents a copy!! Well you will take damage as well from Spiteful Visions but I built the deck in a way it will hurt the opponent(s) more than myself.

So you see, this rekindled my love for this kind of utterly crazy deck and hence I present you with my latest attempt at building an at least somewhat decently working Underworld Dreams Deck. Somewhat decently working I said – no chance you’d be seeing me going to ANY form of tournament with this!! But it is surely well-suited for some casual and fun opponent annoyance in a non-competitive environment!

About the individual cards there is not  much to say I guess. Cards like Howling Mine and the “Double Mine” Font of Mythos draw you and your opponents additional cards whilst your Underworld Dreams and Spiteful Vision punish for drawing cards by means of damage inflicted on your opponents (or on yourself as well in the case of the latter). Furthermore, I embedded a lot of Mono-Black-Control-stlye card such as the now quite costly Thoughtseize as well as black’s answer to Wrath of God: Damnation! (I just realized that one full art promo Damnation goes for over 50 bucks these days – I think I got my playset of the latter for under 20 while ago! Lucky me!!)

Two cards I would like to highlight are on the one hand Sign in Blood and on the other Burning Inquiry. With UWD (Underwordl Dreams) out you can target the opponent with Sign and let them loose 4 life for just BB. Burning Inquiry on the other hand rocks as well as at the mere cost of 1 red mana, all players draw 3 cards, losing 3 life to Dreams and  THEN….IF you happen to have this out as well…

…they will lose 6 more life as Burning Inquiry forces them to discard 3 cards at random as well!! That is a net loss of 9 Life at minimum for the one time investment of 1 red mana on you part! Awesomeness!!

 The Return of the Menace:

(aka Jund Menace Mash-Up aka “The Deck Idea I Stole From My Neighbour)

Creatures…26

4 x Birds of Paradise G

2 x Elves of Deep Shadow G

4 x Bloodhall Ooze R

4  x Sprouting Thrinax BRG

4 x Scarland Thrinax BRG

4 x Dreg Mangler 1GB

4 x “The Menace” 2GB (Corpsejack Menace of course!!)

Instants…14

2 x Bioshift U/G

4 x Terminate BR

4 x Altar’s Reap 1B

4 x Putrify 1BG

Lands…20

4 x Savage Lands

4 x Llanowar Wastes

2 x Oran-Rief, the Vastwood

4 x Forest

3 x Mountain

3 x Swamp

About the Deck:

A deck idea bluntly nicked from you you say, valued friend and neighbour? Pfffh! In fact all you did is tell me about…

…mentioning there would be +1/+1 Counters dished out if black and/or green permanents are on your side of the field. Now whom do all readers of this here blog know well that is both black and green and LOVES to do nasty things, more specifially double, +1/+1 counters everytime they are placed… You guessed it. None other than…

…himself! So much about notions and rumors about Andi going around nicking other people’s deck ideas! Good old myself would never even consider doing such an ugly thing as my mind is no less than an endless nexus of deck ideas, no matter which game – as long as it is customizable! Thank you for pointing me to Bloodhall Ooze though, Luki – that I have to say!

So this deck is basically Jund just built around or with a somewhat strong focus on cards involving +1/+1 Counters, which you’d double through Menace.

Besides Bloodhall Ooze, this one…

…and especially this hasty guy are good examples for cards massively profiting from Menace’s menacing powers:

The deck consists only of Creatures, Instants and Lands notably and features lots of efficient pinpoint Creature Destruction like playsets of Terminate and Putrefy. Blightning would have been nice but not worth the four card slots for me in this particular build, so I ditched it in favor of 4 x Altar’s Reap, which is decent card draw at the price of sacking a Creature.

About Bioshift I am sitting on the fence. I could replace it with Rancor, giving +2/+0 and Trample for 1 green mana, which could be great on a massive Ooze. On the other hand, Bioshift doubles counters one more time under the sinister influence of “The Menace” and you can do nasty things like attacking with all your Creatures and shifting all the counters from one blocked, counter-heavy Creature to one of or your sole unblocked Creatures. Flying Birds (of Paradise) come to mind here…

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OK I think that’s all for now regarding my new Modern deck musings! I hope you had a good read and thank you for being a reader!

Game on!!

Yours,

Andi