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):
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
4 x Snap 1U
2 x Time Stretch 8UU
4 x Fertile Ground 1G
4 x Dawn’s Reflection 3G
3 x Eldrazi Conscription 8
3 x Voltaic Key 1
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…
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:
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
4 x Dark Ritual B
3 x Fiery Temper 1RR
3 x Violent Erruption 1RRR
4 x Faithless Looting R
4 x Buried Alive 2B
4 x Life/Death G/1B
2 x Zombie Infestation
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:
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:
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
4 x Mizzium Skin U
4 x Simic Charm UG
4 x Secret Plans…UG
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.
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:
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!