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

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