Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kaalia of the Vast - Final List

Well, I finally get to a list where I actually used the primary General of the deck. With Animar and Damia, I opted for the alternate Legends. I chose Damia over Mimeoplasm because Damia draws cards, obviously. And I retooled my Riku deck into Animar mainly because one of my regular playgroup members kinda staked his claim to Riku right away and I never actually got to play my Riku deck.

Anyway, Kaalia of the Vast was just far more compelling than Tariel and I already had an Oros deck wherein the Dragon was a big fat do-nothing who prefered to lead from the rear, only stepping onto the battlefield when he could wield his Basilisk Collar to wipe the field.

I had fun playing the deck, but it was remarkably inconsistent and either won fast or lost slowly... oh so very slowly. Anyone who knows me knows how much I detest being in top-deck mode, and this deck was very much a top-deck kind of deck. I crammed in all the questionable card draw I could fit and still frequently ran out of steam before anyone else did.

When the deck didn't choke, though, it was a huge blast to play as their really is something to be said for cheating into play big, expensive Demons, Dragons and of course Angels. So, for all you Timmies out there, here is the Kaalia list I finally settled on.


Kaalia of the Vast

Mother of Runes
Wall of Reverence
Academy Rector
Karmic Guide
Baneslayer Angel
Aegis Angel
Deathless Angel
Yosei, the Morning Star
Archangel of Strife
Akroma, Angel of Wrath

Blood Speaker
Seizan, Perverter of Truth
Rune-Scarred Demon
Reiver Demon
Kuro, Pitlord

Oni of Wild Places
Mana-Charged Dragon
Dragon Mage
Bogardan Hellkite
Dragon Tyrant

Duergar Hedge-Mage
Brion Stoutarm
Basandra, Battle Seraph
Bladewing the Risen
Angel of Despair
Razia, Boros Archangel

Solemn Simulacrum

Spells and Stuff

Land Tax
Path to Exile
Orim's Thunder
Angelic Benediction
Return to Dust
Akroma's Vengeance
True Conviction

Phyrexian Reclamation
Syphon Mind
Diabolic Tutor
Promise of Power
Decree of Pain

Wheel of Fortune

Sneak Attack
In the Web of War
Warstorm Surge

Wrecking Ball

Sol Ring
Boros Signet
Orzhov Signet
Rakdos Signet
Darksteel Ingot
Lightning Greaves
Well of Lost Dreams
General's Kabuto
Mind's Eye


38 Lands, including these key utility lands:

Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Hall of the Bandit Lord
Kher Keep
Winding Canyons

Well, that's the deck in a nutshell. The first glaring omission is Scroll Rack. The deck badly needs card draw, and the Scroll Rack is just NUTS with Land Tax. If I rebuild this deck, Scroll Rack will be the first thing I add for sure. And since we've mentioned Land Tax, I'll go ahead and say this deck also badly needs a Weathered Wayfarer. WW is pimp in decks that can't run green ramp/fixers.

Hall of the Bandit Lord is just an obvious Haste enabler for Kaalia, or anything else you might want to cast. Getting in with Kaalia on turn 4 instead of turn 5 can make a HUGE difference in how your game plays out, and Hall sticks around to ensure that she gets Haste-ed every time you have to re-cast her.

Sunhome is fun with all the giant threats in the deck.

Winding Canyons... well, Malfegor in response to a massive attack on you is pretty damn awesome. I know from experience. It's a bit costly with so much fat in the deck, but when Kaalia gets too expensive to cast, sneaking out threats at the End of Turn of the player right before you is a good Plan B.

Everything else is just gravy. Congregate is the only card that stands out to me as needing to be replaced. I don't know why I never cut it, except for the popularity of Ghave decks around this time. Still, it's not very relevant to the deck's game plan and I'd rather have a Demonic Tutor or something similar in the slot.

Other odd-looking choices might warrant brief explanation. Starting with the few creatures that don't bear the appropriate creature types.

Mother of Runes is just plain good, but she's particularly useful when you have a very fragile General that needs to be attacking. That's her primary function - keep Kaalia alive.

Wall of Reverence is harder to explain, but it's just good, trust me. It's great at early defense and once you get Kaalia online dropping fat, it can quickly gain massive amounts of life.

Academy Rector is there to help assemple the Sneak Attack/Phyrexian Reclamation combo (not a combo in the infinite sense, but with both enchanments out, you can re-play Bogardan Hellkite or Yosei or whatever every single turn). She also gets True Conviction, and folks, True Conviction is the BOMB when it actually sticks.

Blood Speaker should need no explanation, but in case you didn't know he can repeatedly tutor for Demons. Try adding Conspiracy for extra shenanigans!

Basandra is terrible, but stuck around due to her hot art, and where else was I going to play her?

Oni of Wild Places actually was pretty good, all things considered. 6/5 Haste is actually pretty good and the bounce-a-red-creature-every-turn thing actually worked out great with stuff like Bogardan Hellkite or Duergar Hedge-Mage.

Speaking of... the little dwarf shaman was actually very reliable at blowing up what needed blowing up.

Finally, Solemn Simulacrum was just a necessary bit of utility and is greatly needed here.

Warstorm Surge was a great addition courtesy of M12, along with Rune-Scarred Demon and Aegis Angel.

Sneak Attack and Phyrexian Reclamation, as previously discussed, allow you to recycle and reuse threats over and over, and let you come back from Wrath effects much easier.

Earthquake actually was very good, as the vast majority of our creatures have Flying. It was not hard to turn a 6-point Earthquake into a one-sided Wrath of God with some damage tacked on.

That's about all I can say for the deck. It's fun, it's got huge bombs and sometimes can just blow out a whole table with the right draw. I would definitely try to beef up the draw and tutor package a bit more, and a few more removal spells might not be a bad idea. Debtor's Knell also seems highly playable if you have Academy Rector as a way to fetch it and cheat it into play.


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