Friday, May 27, 2011

Deck Doctor: Teneb, the Harvester

Today I'm going to try something new. Well, new to this blog, anyway. The concept of a "deck doctor" is not new at all, in Magic. It's one of the most popular aspects of many online Magic communities. The Decklists forum of the EDH boards, is like a Triage center for your EDH list, with anyone and everyone putting in their two cents. Often, this produces amazing results, because you have a lot of people, with different levels of experiance and different perspectives all clamoring to give you the best advice they can muster.

While I certainly have been on both sides of that fence numerous times, the "Deck Doctor" approach also has appeal, because, as the old saying goes, "too many cooks can spoil the soup". Sometimes getting 15 different opinion will result in your deck being pulled in 15 different ways, which can be a disaster.

The downside in going to only one person for all your advise is, that while that person might be consistent, they won't always have the best possible background or experience to give you solid advice. However, right now I feel I'm the most qualified to step up for this challenge.

Why? Well, let me tell you. I'm doing an overhaul on a deck that I'm familiar with... because I built it! A few months back, I put together a rather janky Teneb build for a buddy of mine with a small-ish card pool and some pretty tough restrictions on what he had access to. Fortunately Teneb is a resilient and powerful General, and it's pretty damn tough to make any Teneb build utterly unplayable. Futhermore, I am familiar with his cardpool, and so I have a pretty good idea of what cards are going to be out of his reach - Vindicate, for example, sitting at $30 is not something he would shell out for.

I was proud of how the deck turned out, given what I had to work with, and I was able to find some hidden gems and major EDH staples in his collection. The deck performs adequately, from what I've seen of it, but it definitely is not an optimal build. Not by a long shot.

So, first let me present the decklist as he's currently playing it - he has made some changes to the build I initially provided. Some were definite improvements, others might be debatable...

Teneb, the Harvester

Spearbreaker Behemoth
Bane of the Living
Thrun, the Last Troll
Qasali Pridemage
Creakwood Liege
Yosei, the Morning Star
Exalted Angel
Wood Elves
Nezumi Graverobber
Vulturous Zombie
Necrotic Ooze
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Woodfall Primus
Grave Titan
Acidic Slime
Phantom Nishoba
Puppeteer Clique
Sabertooth Nishoba
Krosan Tusker
Angel of Despair
Carnifex Demon
Yavimaya Elder
Dimir House Guard

Elspeth, Knight Errant

Primal Command
Austere Command
Profane Command
Kodama's Reach
Diabolic Intent
Terashi's Grasp
Explosive Vegetation
Wrath of God
Day of Judgment
Beacon of Unrest
Temporal Extortion

Tel-Jilad Justice
Doom Blade
Eladamri's Call
Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares

Orzhov Signet
Selesnya Signet
Golgari Signet
Citanul Flute
Lightning Greaves
Sword of Body and Mind
Behemoth Sledge

Wild Pair
Doubling Season
Debtor's Knell
Mana Reflection
Shield of the Oversoul
Marshal's Anthem

Tranquil Thicket
Godless Shrine
Overgrown Tomb
Stirring Wildwood
Kor Haven
Caves of Koilos
Golgari Rot Farm
Vivid Marsh
Elfhame Palace
Temple Garden
Murmuring Bosk
Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
Selesnya Sanctuary
Llanowar Wastes
Terramorphic Expanse
Bojuka Bog
Phyrexian Tower
Orzhov Basilica
Volrath's Stroghold
Forest x5
Swamp x5
Plains x5

Okay, so what is going on with this list? First, we have a surprisingly good amount of desirable EDH-worthy spells, such as Yosei and Debtor's Knell. The creature base is a bit light for my taste, though he has enough ways to recur his threats (or even his opponents') that it's not a deal breaker. It's also running a very risky mana base, at only 35 lands I'm surprise he's not getting mana screw issues more often but he says "no".

Regardless, I am going to try to bumb the land count up to 36 and add one or two more mana fixers a la Cultivate. Just to be safe! Aslo I will defnitely be bumping up the creature count a bit.

There are some noticable absentees, though, that we will do our best to cover. Tooth and Nail, Eternal Witness, Pernicious Deed, Vindicate - these are all things that are very critical, and if we can't get those exact cards, we need to make sure the deck has something similar to fill those holes.

Some of the cards I really like in this deck are Wild Pair, Necrotic Ooze, and Creakwood Liege. Wild Pair really gets my blood pumping, and I want to maximize its potential for sure. Doubling Season is a really neat card, but it doesn't actually do a whole lot here. Blowing Elspeth's ultimate as soon as you cast her, and a few other cute tricks is all it provides. Alas, I hate telling him to cut a $20 card he traded like heck for, so I'd rather find a way to maximize Doubling Season's use as well.

Here is a list of everything I would like to add, in an ideal world:

Eternal Witness
Fauna Shaman
Fleshbag Marauder
Indrik Stomphowler
Geth, Lord of the Vault
Massacre Wurm
Avenger of Zendikar
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobyte
Sheoldred, the Whispering One

Garruk Wildspeaker
Living Death
Life's Finale
Tooth and Nail
Worldly Tutor
Congregation at Dawn
Sudden Spoiling
Momentous Fall
Birthing Pod
Mimic Vat
Grave Pact
Greater Good
Lurking Predators

There are two cards I would LOVE to add, in order to make Doubling Season pull its weight: Garruk Wildspeaker Avenger of Zendikar. I'm not sure, though, if these two cards are within reach for my friend. I'll have to come back and revist these cards once I know for sure.

Optimizing around Wild Pair should prove much easier and budget-friendly. All we need is to make sure every creature in the deck has at least one valid Wild Pair target. There are a couple that do not, like Exalted Angel... no other creature in the deck has a combined P/T total of nine, so if we can't find a mate for her, she'll go!

Here is one of the most exciting Wild Pair interactions, for me, is Massacre Wurm + Elesh Norn. It doesn't even matter which order they hit, casting one of those two automatically gets you the other creature, giving one opponent -4/-4 to all his creatures, and he will lose 2 life for every creature you kill this way.

Quick aside: Another phenomenal card that has excellent synergy with Massacre Wurm and Elesh Norn is Sudden Spoiling, so that card is a MUST for the deck.

Wild Pair is a neat way to gain card advantage and cheat creatures into play for free. Another Green Enchantment that does a good Sneak Attack impression is Lurking Predators. LP can be a bit of a liability in a deck with so few creatures, so we'll work on upping the creature count to help, but more importantly, we can play a few extra cards to help. I'm thinking Worldly Tutor and Congregation at Dawn will help greatly in this regard. Congregation is especially exciting to me: Imagine passing the turn, and in response to the first spell your next opponent cast, you Congregation 3 fatties to the top of your deck. This guarantees that you'll hit the next three times anyone but you tried to play a spell. After the first opponent, though, the other two players may very well pass their turns without casting anything, knowing you'll hit paydirt if they do!

Either way, it's win/win, because if no one casts any spells to "cheat" you out of your free guys, well, you just Time Walked the table, more or less, for WGG. Seems good.

Birthing Pod - I firmly belive this is the best EDH card since Mimic Vat (oh, and it has great synergy with that card, too!). It's like a bad Survival of the Fittest, but even a bad Survival is still pretty fucking good.  Still, it makes sense that if we can make the Sacrifice of a creature work for us a little, it maket the Pod that much better.

I just mentioned Mimic Vat, and that is certainly a great way to continue making use of a Creature sac'ed to the Pod. If you can get the Pod and the Vat working together, you will quickly generate some sick card advantage.

Grave Pact is another card I always look at when something has "Sacrifice a Creature" as part of its rules text. I love Grave Pact to an irrational extent, but here I think it actually make a lot of sense. If we are going to run Pact, the next thing I want is Fleshbag Marauder. This is a terrific early-game defensive creature, and keeps a fast-start from wrecking you too quickly. Grave Pact + Fleshbag Marauder is basically a three-mana Barter in Blood that doesn't hit you. I like it! And in playing against this deck a few times, one of the weaknesses of the deck seemed to be not having enough to do early game. Most games, the only spells this deck would cast before hitting 6 mana were ramp spells. He needs a bit more early removal for fast decks like Rafiq.

Furthermore, since this deck is playing around a reanimation strategy, he really needs to have as many of his utility cards be creature-based so that he can recur them more effectively. For example, in this deck, I would rather have Indrik Stomphowler over Tel-jilad Justice. Scry 2 is a sweet bonus, but Stomphowler is far more versatile AND is easier to recur multiple times.

For this reason I'd also add Shriekmaw. It shores up early defense nicely but can come back for an encore performance later on, if needed.

Teneb is notoriously tricky to play. His ability is powerful enough that everyone at the table is going to know exactly what you're up to and what the stakes are if they let him deal combat damage. And that is his primary weakness - if you can block him, kill him or otherwise prevent him from dealing combat damage to a player, you shut him down completely. He's just a big dumb 6/6 Flyer at this point.

The problem is that a deck like this needs to be able to rely on the graveyard as a resource in order to win, so some less "iffy" graveyard manipulation is in order. He's already got Clique and Beacon, two fantastic cards that certainly belong here. I would like to add a bit more redundancy though. Geth, Lord of the Vault has been a juggernaut for me lately and I cannot overstate his awesomeness. Sheoldred is the new kid on the block, but she does a pretty darn good Reya Dawnbringer impression. She'll die on the spot 99% of the time, probably, but when she sticks, she will win games like a champ.

Fauna Shaman's role should be pretty obvious. I know for sure Survival of the Fittest is way over-budget and out of reach for this deck, so we'll go with the cheaper, worse version that is still really fucking good.

A nice compliment to Wild Pair in the "free creature" department is Lurking Predators. I played around with this card a bit when it first came out, and I just didn't have much luck with it. I had one game where I was just ripping dude after dude after dude, but every other game after that, either the Enchantment would be destroyed on the spot or I would just miss, miss and miss... and then it would get blown up.

However, there are ways to improve your "luck" with the card. Blue has the best and most ways to do this, but that doesn't mean we can't do it with our colors. Liliana Vess and Vampiric Tutor are great, but I'm pretty sure they aren't available to us, so we'll look elsewhere. Worldly Tutor and Congregation at Dawn seem like appealing options that are definitely within our grasp. Even if he doesn't have them, I am postive I have a spare copy of each I can part with.

Congregation at Dawn is extremely exciting to me, because it can basically perform a Time Walk on the table. If you end your turn by casting it and stacking the top of your deck with three big, fat threats you might just scare all of your opponents into wasting their turns saying "land, go." On the other hand, if they aren't willing to let you get away with a Time Walk for WGG, then you just get up to three free creatures Just hope the last guy before your turn doesn't have a Wrath!

Oh, and Congregation at Dawn is an Instant so you can just wait and respond to the first spell your opponent casts and effectively guarantee that you will hit that first creature for sure.

I'm really surprised not to see Living Death in his list. I'm pretty sure he has one. If so we will try to squeeze it in. I'm actually starting to hate that card, but I think it fits this deck well and should be played here if possible.

Momentous Fall is just a really good draw spell, as is Greater Good. We will try to fit one or both of these in, if they are available to us. I know I cannot part with any of my own copies of these, but I'd bet we can find at least a Momentous Fall at the local store.

I think that pretty much covers everything we want to add. As for what to cut, that's a bit tricky. Here's some of the stuff that's definitely on the chopping block:

Yavimay Elder (A fine card in it's own right, but we gotta make room for Witness).

Band of the Living (this has never done anything impressive, and somehow never lives to un-Morph).

Canifex Demon (Cute trick, but doesn't really have the impact you'd expect).

Krosan Tusker (always seems good on paper, but is almost always lackluster in practice)

Explosive Vegitation (If this were Skyshroud Claim, it'd stay. As it stands, I think Cultivate is the better choice)

Temporal Extortion (This just adds nothing to the purpose of this deck, and is a pretty bad card)

Primal Command (A good card, but there just isn't room for it)

Tel-Jilad Justice (As stated, I'd rather have Stomphowler)

Doom Blade (Replace with Shriekmaw and/or Fleshbag Marauder)

Citanul Flute (in favor of Birthing Pod)

Bonehoard (Creatures equipped with this somehow NEVER get through for damage)

Marshal's Anthem (I haven't seen this perform for him, and it hasn't performed for me either)

So, obviously we are adding more than we are cutting at this point. But I know that we're not going to be able to add everything I want to add. I will simply have to wait and see what we can get our hands on, and then we'll go from there. Sometimes not getting one card will help me make other cuts - for instance, if we can't get a Lurking Predators for the deck, Worldly Tutor and Congregation at Dawn don't really need to go in either.

So, I have a battle plan in mind, and with that I will work with my friend to see what his collection will support, and what his budget and trade-fodder can afford to acquire. I already know I can easily trade some of this stuff to him, and other cards can be found for a buck or two at our local store. Some, like Tooth and Nail or Avenger of Zendikar might be a pipe-dream at this point.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wrexial: Deck Hijacker

So with New Phyrexia up and running, I've had the chance to acquire a few cards from the wishlist I posted a while back. Oros, so far, has gotten the most love overall, and boy what a sweet little package of cards that deck got! But here is the Wrexial deck I've been keeping under wraps for a while... partly because I hadn't actually played the damn thing yet, and partly because I just felt like it couldn't truly be complete until I had a Praetor's Grasp for it.

Well, folks, this weekend brought the remedy to both of those little issues. My buddy Chad came through with the Grasp, and selflessly volunteered to be Wrexial's punching bag for a few hours. Wrexial may be Black and Blue but, after a few games, so was Chad. Okay, lame joke. Sorry.

Anyway, the deck was obviously designed with Multiplayer in mind, but it performed remarkably well in 1v1. I wasn't really expecting that, but in hindsight it makes sense. Lemme break it down:

The major theme of the deck is using opponent's cards against them. I can steal creatures in play, from libraries or from graveyards. I can steal almost anything from libraries via Praetor's Grasp. I can cast Instants and Sorceries out of libraries or graveyards. Basically almost any sort of spell in any zone is potentially available to me as a resource. Wrexial just hijacks your deck, and he plays it better than you can!

This aspect of the deck really likes a multiplayer environement, because the more players involved the more options I'll have to steal and use things. For example, when playing 1v1 with Chad, he had alarmingly few Instants or Sorceries in his deck, and rarely had anything of interest in his graveyard, making Wrexial's ability virtually useless 99% of the time. In a 4-player game there's a much higher chance that someone will have something useful in their 'yard at any given time.

However, this aspect of the deck is grafted into a pretty basic U/B Control deck archetype. I don't run countermagic, but between all the removal and theft effects, it is still pretty consistent in keeping the board manageable, and negating any serious or overwhelming threats.

The thing is, controling one opponent is much, much easier than controlling three. I run quite a few "Wrath" cards, as well as a fair dose of spot removal. But the U/B Control aspect of the deck actually thrives on having only a single opponent to keep in check. I cannot stress how often I was able to answer/negate/hijack nearly every significant play my opponent made... all while easily keeping my hand full at 6 to 7 cards at all times.

I expected Wrexial to be one of the weaker deck's I've built but so far it seems to be an all-time great. I must add the disclaimer that: My opponent was playing his own brand-new mono-white build and it certainly was still in the "being tuned" stage of development. He realized after about 9 or 10 games that he'd somehow left out Swords to Plowshares.

So against a better-tuned deck I would not expect such stellar results, but even allowing for that, the deck has already surpassed what I expected of it. Ironically, though, I still feel like it needs some work. It's tuned enough that there really isn't any single card that feels out of place, yet I also feel like the build is vaguely sub-optimal.

Obviously, the main ingredient missing is counter-magic. But I refuse to open that door. My group largely shies away from Counterspells in EDH (not so much in 60-card, just in EDH). So I have left those out entirely (though the argument COULD be made that Gather Specimens is a mass Desertion). Also, counterspells don't really play well with Spellweaver Volute - since you have to cast a Sorcery to get the Instant, you're still playing the Instant as Sorcery-speed.

Either way, the deck did remarkably well in 1v1, so hopefully next weekend I will get to test it in a proper Multiplayer arena!

The List

Wrexial, the Risen Deep

Phyrexian Metamorph
Body Double
River Kelpie
Sphinx Ambassador
Fleshbag Marauder
Big Game Hunter
Dimir House Guard
Bane of the Living
Puppeteer Clique
Kagemaro, First to Suffer
Geth, Lord of the Vault
Myojin of Night's Reach
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Mindleech Mass
Solemn Simulacrum
Steel Hellkite

Deep Analysis
Mystical Teachings
Rite of Replication
Spellweaver Volute
Volition Reins
Gather Specimens
Knowledge Exploitation
Mind Spring
Vampiric Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Words of Waste
Reckless Spite
Bottomless Pit
Praetor's Grasp
Syphon Mind
Barter in Blood
Beacon of Unrest
Painful Quandary
Life's Finale
Decree of Pain
Suffer the Past
Black Sun's Zenith
Profane Command
Memory Plunder

Jace Beleren
Liliana Vess

Expedition Map
Sol Ring
Dimir Signet
Coalition Relic
Darksteel Ingot
Lightning Greaves
Whispersilk Cloak
Geth's Grimoire
Caged Sun

Swamp x 9
Island x10
Lonely Sandbar
Halimar Depths
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Barren Moor
Cabal Coffers
Bojuka Bog
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Creeping Tar Pit
Dimir Aqueduct
Underground River
Dreadship Reef
Drowned Catacomb
Tainted Isle
Temple of the False God
Reliquary Tower
Duskmantle, House of Shadow
Evolving Wilds
Terramorphic Expanse

I want to give credit to Andy over at CommanderCast, as his $30 Wrexial deck was the basis for this list. I essentially built his list card-for-card, then threw out the budget restriction, adding things like Planeswalkers and Bribery and such... While my finished list has evolved quite a bit from the budget version, the core of the deck and the overall theme remained wholly intact. Several of his key cards have survived to the present incarnation, so he certainly deserves a good deal of credit.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Phyrexia Pre-Release Report

Alright, the time for theory and speculation is now over - I have played with New Phyrexia cards. I attended two pre-release events - one Sealed and one Draft. Folks, lemme tell you it was a blast! New Phyrexia definitely makes the Scars block Limited format a lot more fun.

So first up, here are the deck lists I played.

Sealed Deck - Green/Black Infect - 3 Wins, 1 Loss

1 Necropede
1 Porcelain Legionnaire
1 Alloy Myr
1 Trespassing  Souleater
2 Cystbearer
1 Contagious Nim
1 Blind Zealot
1 Whispering Specter
1 Corpse Cur
1 Mortis Dogs
1 Skinrender
1 Entomber Exarch
1 Pestilent Souleater
1 Phyrexian Swarmlord

1 Gremlin Mine
1 Glissa's Scorn
1 Leeching Bite
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Bladed Pinions
1 Beast Within
1 Grafted Exoskeleton
1 Instill Infection
1 Slice In Twain
1 Caress of Phyrexia

9 Swamp
8 Forest

The Swarmlord was the closest thing I got to a "bomb" rare, and it was not exactly terrible but neither did it ever really swing a game. Mostly it just helped me win by forcing my opponents to scramble to answer it ASAP. Which did tangibly help me to win a game or two, but I never got much more out of it than that.

Still, the deck did perform really well, and I had tons of fun playing it. In retrospect I probably didn't need the Grafted Exoskeleton (I dreamed of Equipping it to a Mortis Dogs, but alas that never came up in a game). I at least should have sided it out in the games against the one opponent that beat me.

I also found Beast Within to suck balls most of the time, and unless I new my opponent was playing that 5/4 "Phyrbrid" Green guy or a bomb mythic like a Praetor, Karn or Molten-tail Masticore, I would side it out. But the times I killed a bomb mythic or just a 5/4 that my opponent just paid 4 life to cast, I was very happy with it.

Caress of Phyrexia was the true bomb of the deck, and it outright won me at least 4 games.

Draft Deck - White/Black Lifeloss and Infect - 2 Wins, 1 Loss

1 Plague Myr
1 Gold Myr
1 Leonin Relic-Warder
1 Phyrexian Rager
1 Blistergrub
2 Necrogen Scudder
1 Ichor Rats
1 Core Prowler
2 Mortis Dogs
1 Shriekraptor
1 Scourge Servant
1 Toxic Nim
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite (First pick!)

1 Virulent Wound
1 Phyresis
2 Revoke Existence
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Morbid Plunder
1 Trigon of Corruption
1 Caress of Phyrexia (Again!)
1 Ichor Explosion

10 Swamp
8 Plains

This was a VERY strong deck, with a few true bombs. Elesh Norn, Ichor Explosion and Caress of Phyrexia were all slam dunks, and the Morbid Plunder was deceptively good.

My one loss was to a deck I very easily could have beaten if I hadn't drawn 13 land and only 6 spells that game. The guy's deck wasn't bad and he wasn't a scrub. But on paper, my deck was just clearly better overall. I got mana screwed hard game 1 and mana flooded badly game 3. Game 2, where I drew an even mix of lands and spells I had little trouble winning.

So, the luck of the draw cost me two packs, oh well. Even though he opened two Praetors in his packs, I got better stuff (to me at least) in my 4 prize packs. Caged Sun, Birthing Pod and Life's Finale were all happier pulls than the Jin-Gitaxias my opponent opened. So I can't begrudge him one bit, though he did also get an Urabrask which I wasn't able to trade off him.

At any rate, even despite my shit draws in the third match up, it was a fun deck to play and I am firmly cemented as a fan of the set now. I was pretty hyped up before, but I was also very nervous about Phyrexian Mana leading to un-fun surprises (I never like surprises). But the only surprise was how fun it actually was to splash for colors without messing with my mana base! Playing that one copy of Porcelain Legionnaire in my G/B sealed deck was absolutely a good call, and dropping him on turn two or three saved my ass a number of times.

Other highlight include: Trading for a Primeval Titan, getting 5 or 6 new cards for my Oros deck (among them: Sword of Feast and Famine, and Sword of War and Peace) and winning the Archenemy deck "Doomsday Machine" as a random door prize! It included the EDH staples Duplicant and Lightning Greaves as well as Sundering Titan, Memnarch and Magister Sphinx. Woot! Not a bad prize at all. Thanks Sean!

So now, I'm off to tinker with my decks. Lots of new toys to play with!

Monday, May 2, 2011

NPH Wishlist

Not so much a comprehensive list, but just the specific cards I'm looking to pick up for certain decks. There are plenty of other cards not on this list that I want for various reasons but might not make it into existing decks. For now here are my current EDH decks and the most likely inclusions from New Phyrexia:

Also, this isn't really meant to be an entertaining read, it's really more for my reference so I can remember what I need to buy when the set comes out. But do feel free to chime in with your own wishlists, or if you think I'm overlooking some hidden gems!

Wrexial (Brand new deck, still under construction)

Praetor’s Grasp – A must for any deck, but especially relevant and on-theme in this deck

Phyrexian Metamorph – Another auto-include in many decks, this one is actually less desirable. Still, there will almost always be something relevant to copy on someone’s side of the table.

Chancellor of the Spires – An ETBF version of Wrexial/Memory Plunder seems cool. And this is the one deck where the Chancellor’s reveal ability might actually matter.

Mindcrank – Every time someone takes damage, they get milled. Why wouldn’t I want this?

Caged Sun – Mirari’s Wake in a UB deck? It’s more likely than you think.


Blighted Agent – Unblockable and Infect on the same creature? For 2 mana? This literally couldn’t be a more perfect fit for Rafiq.

Phyrexian Metamorph – Definitely good here, this can copy an important piece of Equipment or the best beast-stick on the board.

Beast Within – Duh.

Birthing Pod – This might actually be the one deck that doesn’t need this card. I’ll probably run it anyway.

Triumph of the Hordes – I’m really not sure I want this. I’m sure it will be good – I’m just not sure my playgroup would forgive me.

Sword of War and Peace – I’m not going to shell out $25 for this, but if I open one, or the price drops I’ll be more than happy to play it, and this deck has first dibs.


Puresteel Paladin – Obviously, this is good in an Equipment-focused deck.

Remember the Fallen – Another card that seems almost tailor made for this deck – 2-for-1 card advantage that gets back a fallen creature AND it’s weapon.

Praetor’s Grasp – Again, probably every deck will run this, but here it can easily be another Equipment tutor… for my opponent’s best Equipment!

Bludgeon Brawl – I’d have to increase the overall number of non-Equipment artifacts for this to be worth a slot, but it’s wacky enough that might be worth doing.

Urabrask the Hidden – Being an Aggro deck, this guy should fit right in. Haste is good in EDH.

Caged Sun – Slightly clunky in a three-color deck, but it still seems powerful enough to me. Set this to "Black" and drop Urborg. Fun.


Elesh Norn – The deck already runs Massacre Wurm and Venser… this is just icing on the cake.

Phyrexian Unlife – I haven’t decided if I want to add Necropotence, but this might be worth running either way.

Praetor’s Grasp – LOL, I told you!

Caged Sun – I’ll be shoehorning this into every deck imaginable for a while… will likely not perform as well as I hope outside of 1 and 2 color decks, still I just love it too much!

Big Highlander

Phyrexian Metamorph – Every deck status!

Sheoldred, Whispering One­ – More likely to be bomb-y and swing-y (i.e. stay on the table more than two seconds) in this format.

Praetor’s Grasp – Every deck status!

Urabrask the Hidden – Madrush Cyclops is good, but Urabrask is a HUGE upgrade.

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger­­­ – Good Tooth & Nail target, probably.

Beast Within – Every deck status!

Birthing Pod – Yay for repeatable creature tutoring! I can’t wait to sac Protean Hulk to Birthing Pod!

Etched Monstrosity­ – Janky, but fun. If I get a foil of this I will absolutely run it, otherwise it’s 50/50.