Monday, February 14, 2011

Touch My Deck...

...and I'll kill you.

No snazy pop cultural reference to lead this blog off. Just thinking about decks, decks and more decks.

So Extended is still around and all my deck building for that format was wasted because truthfully, nobody around here really plays it. Mostly because they weren't really playing when Lorwyn block was legal. So my next move is to unload some of the cards that have risen in price since Extended has become legal, i.e. Prismatic Omens, Scapeshifts, etc. They will rotate after the season so I might as well cash them in while they are still hot. I'm going to try and get some Standard staples (that can also translate to Legacy is possible) like finish my set of Stoneforge Mystics and Inkmoth Nexus (still not sold on this land).

So that leaves me with building Standard decks once again. With the new format here, Standard is shaken up a bit with Valakut still being the pink elephant in the room, UW Caw-Go Control putting UB Control on the back burner, Kuldotha Red getting that much needed reach, Vampires staying the same, Boros getting a new Sword to tutor (and possibly Mirran Crusader if you like that curve, albiet 4/2s are 3cc are pretty good), Elves getting Lead the Stampede, etc.

The new cards that have ruffled my feathers have been Slagstorm and Black Sun Zenith. As any of my playgroup back home can attest to, I love me some global removal. There wasn't a deck of mine that didn't have Wrath of God, Damnation, Wildfire, Planar Cleansing, etc. or some combination of global spells.

Slagstorm will find a home maindeck in my Koth Deck Wins, which I am from now on dubbing The Big Red One (in homage to the 1st Infantry Division's designator and Samuel Fullers awesome Lee Marvin WW2 movie). Slagstorm is so versatile because it gives the deck an answer to Jace that can also get around Leyline of Sanctity. If they tap out to play Jace and brainstorm then Slagstorm gets in there to deal 3 to everyone. It can also clear the path for the Big Red fatty himself, Inferno Titan. Slagstorm can also fit well into either the sideboard or maindeck of Valakut.

Mono-Black Control is the other deck I'm keen on building. Back in Time Spiral Standard I ran a Black/Red control deck chalk full of 2-for-1s like Shriekmaw, Damnation, Void, Liliana Vess, etc. I kind of want to try a new updated version of that deck but with Black Sun Zenith filling in for Damnation. Here is what I think I'd put together:

Mono-Black Control (Zendikar, M11, Scars Standard)
Grave Titan x2
Wurmcoil Engine x 1
Phyrexian Rager x 3
Skinrender x 2
Vampire Hexmage x1
Vampire Nighthawk x 3
Duress x 2
Inquisition of Kozilek x 4
Mind Sludge x 2
Go for the Throat x 3
Black Sun Zenith x 3
Consuming Vapors x 1
Corrupt x 1
Mimic Vat x 3
Everflowing Chailce x 3
Sphere of the Suns x 3
Swamp x 19
Tectonic Edge x 4

I haven't thought up a sideboard yet (mainly because I haven't played in a tourney in a while). The deck works mainly because I think Mimic Vat with all the 2-for-1 dudes is amazing. Rager is perpetual card advantage, Nighthawk on Vat can chumpblock, kill a Titan, and net some life, Grave Titan on a stick is ridiculous, etc. I think this build can work because of the crazy mana acceleration. I can hit  1 or 2 and starting dropping Titans on turn 4. It can get sick. Turn 1 Duress, T2 Sphere, T3 Chalice for 2, T4 Grave plus IoK. I think it can work Sign in Blood is the only card I think I need to work into the deck.A 3 of would be money. Not sure if Nighthawk is worth it in the 3 slot but I'm gonna test. I think Rager + Vat as my card drawing engine could be good enough.

The deck I want to build, or more appropriately, revisit, is going to be Mass Polymorph. Either going back to my initial decklist running Blue and Green or switching to a Bant shell may work. Having the control elements of DoJ, Journeys and Condemns may be good while being backed by counter magic. Just sticking to UG may work as long as I want to accelerate to combo mana with enough to back it up. Not sure because the deck is a dog to Kuldotha Red and would probably get owned. I have to build it to find out. But I think a Bant shell may be smart.

Bant Mass Polymorph:
Iona Shield of Emeria x 1
Emrakul the Ions Torn x 1
Blightsteel Colossus x 1
Day of Judgement x 2
Journey to Nowhere x 3
Mana Leak x 4
Spell Pierce x 1
Cancel x 1
Preordain x 4
See Beyond x 4
Explore x 4
Growth Spasm x 4
Mass Polymorph x 4
Awakening Zone x 4
Khalni Garden x 4
Inkmoth Nexus x 2
Forest x 3
Island x 5

Plains x 3
Stirring Wildwood x 3
Celestial Colonade x 3

The only real addition to his deck is the one Blightsteel Colossus. He is basically redundancy because he acts as your second Emrakul without having to actually be Emrakul. But Blightsteel is a one hit wonder and may work. The cool thing about the deck is if they for some reason do have a way to kill your tokens, the deck may be able to ramp enough to hard cast its threats. That's tough to do though.The other reason I may cut the Bant shell and stick with UG is because of lack of real dual lands. In past formats tri-lands were amazing. Here, no such thing so hitting my mana when I need it may be tough.

Decks that I have or am going to build in the near future:
The Big Red One
Keebler Elves
BR Vampires
Mono-Black Control
Mass Polymorph
GW Quest for the Holy Relic
Mono-Blue Metalcraft

I'll build and see. There is Standard at Armada on Wednesday. I'd probably run Valakut or Boros, depending on if I can actually make it and if I can throw a Sideboard together for either. Valakut takes tons of skill to play and I haven't tested enough with it to know all the math and Valakut triggers. But it is pretty straight forward otherwise. Plus, my build is more of a Summon Trap aggro build that maxes out on creatures so it can play that game if the actual Valakut can't get online. Boros is also a fun deck but skill intensive and I haven't tested enough to know how to pilot. There are things like, saving fetch activations to be preventative versus Pyroclasm or Slagstorm. Also, if you're slow rolling landfall dudes, to save your fetch activations for when you have critical mass on the table. Who knows. We'll wait and find out. I'd really just like to play.

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