Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire

(Props if you get the reference in the Title, BTW)

Correct me if I've lost count, but I believe this is the 5th and final deck in my Planeswalker series, utilizing the new M11 "signature spells" and today is all about the hot, hot, hottie Chandra Nalaar.

Let's get the list up front and center:

3 Cinder Pyromancer
4 Gelectrode
4 Chandra's Spitfire
4 Wee Dragonauts

4 Ponder
4 Preordain
3 Flame Jab
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Flame Rift
2 Chandra's Outrage
2 Chandra Nalaar

4 Steam Vents
4 Cascade Bluffs
3 Shivan Reef

4 Halimar Depths
2 Island
6 Mountain

Okay, so I won't bullshit you - This deck is a bit of a failure in my eyes. It's a good deck, don't get me wrong, but I had to make sacrifices in the optimization department to follow the rules of this series. Essentially, this deck only plays 2 Chandra's Outrage because the point of the exercise was to use ALL the signature spells. But while Outrage is a fine card and occasionally it's useful here, it's just WAY to expensive for what this deck wants to do. And honestly Chandra herself doesn't really belong either. Jace, the Mind Sculptor would be a better fit, in fact. So for YOU, who are not constrained by the rules set for me by this exercise, running Chandra and her Outrage are not required, and in fact, not recommended. I'd replace them with 4x Rift Bolt, or some such thing.

That out of the way, lets look at what the deck does RIGHT. Turns 1 and 2 you usually play a Halimar Depths and/or a Ponder to set things up, then on turn 3, start laying down 3-drop dudes. Usually you want to just play creatures until you have one Flyer and one or two Pingers. Hold your Instants and Sorceries back as much as possible until you've got a few dudes out. Then, if  they let you untap with all that shit intact, empty your hand of as much Burn and Draw as you possibly can, using your mana as efficiently as you can. Don't forget to untap your Gelectrodes and Pyromancers!!!

By the time you're tapped out or empty-handed your opponent should already be getting worried, as by now your Spitfires and/or Dragonauts should be upwards of 10+ power each. Swing for the win. Simple as that.

Oh, yeah they might have removal, so for those following at home, you might try to squeeze in some cheap countermagic (nothing over 2 mana!) to protect your beaters. Wrath isn't that big a deal, just try to hold at least one guy in hand - you should never need more than three on the table to win, so drawing more lets you keep some in reserve.

And, one other thing, Flame Rift was just there to give me at least a shot at playing this in a Multiplayer game, but this is definitely more of a duel deck. Flame Jabs also help in this regard, though they're pretty excellent in a duel too.

Some cards I'd consider for this deck:
Curiosity (funny as hell on a Pyromancer, but prolly not worth the slot)
Rift Bolt (a must really, but I appear to be missing all of mine)
Ancestral Memories (Ponder and Preordain are great, but sometimes you want more cards)
Remand (yeah, they keep the countered spell in hand, but you really only want to cast this against removal anyway, so if they don't have the mana up to re-cast it right then, they're dead)
Grapeshot (4 Ponder, 4 Preordain already looks suspiciously like a Storm deck, so why not?)

Finally, I tried this deck back in the day with just 4 Dragonauts and 4 Gelectrodes. It was fun and okay, but didn't draw enough dudes. I waited until they printed good, suitable analogues for each so that I could rebuild the deck with basically 8x of each. Now, I seem to draw TOO many creatures some games. However, removal is much more prevalent than it was back then, so that might still be for the best. You can try it at 12 or 14 guys, and see how it does. I might just run 3x of all the guys, but I dunno yet.

Well, that's it for the Planeswalker deck series, and I'm really happy with all of them. This one less so just because I couldn't seem to design a deck that Chandra's Outrage belonged in, but I really thing it's the weakest out of all 8 of the signature spells, so I can't blame myself too much.


1 comment:

  1. Planar deck right on cue!

    Academy at Tolaria West
    Celestine Reef
    Izzet Steam Maze
    Stronghold Furnace
    Eloren Wilds
    Pools of Becoming

    (The first 8 are completely no-brainers and you'll be happy flipping any of them at any time. The last two are a bit iffy, but could be useful.)