First of all, let me preface this post by stating for the record that I do still prefer Damia, Sage of Stone for this color scheme. Unfortunately, so does everyone else in my group. I was a little sad to see the Mimeoplasm getting no love from my playgroup, not to mention it was becoming difficult to play my own Damia deck due to her increased popularity amongst the other members of my group. But, just because I like Damia more, that doesn’t mean I don’t think The Mimeoplasm is straight up gangsta. It’s really just that Damia says “draw lots of cards” in her text box, which always gets me. I’m a sucker for card-drawing engines.
Anyway, disclaimer aside, I figured it was time for me to unleash the Legendary Ooze on my group so they could see what the other GUB Legend is capable of.
As the players in my group have already seen me playing GUB with Damia, and even Vorosh before her, I really wanted to find a way to make this deck different from its predecessors. There was simply no getting around running some of the staples from those past builds, like the Genesis + Evoke Creatures engine, Rite of Replication (duh!) and a handful of other typical GUB Good-Stuff spells.
One of the first things I hit upon when trying to establish the decks identity was the “Graveyard Matters” aspect of The Mimeoplasm. Obviously my chosen General likes to have things in various graveyards to eat. This leads to some pretty easy logical choices – Buried Alive and Life’s Finale, for example. Graveyards tend to fill up with creatures over a long EDH game, but helping the cause along where possible is not a bad idea.
Another card that likes graveyards to be full is Necrotic Ooze. Once I started thinking about cards like Life’s Finale in conjunction with Necrotic Ooze, I knew exactly where I wanted the deck to go. While graveyard abuse is nothing new or groundbreaking, I’ve never really made use of Necrotic Ooze before, so now was my perfect chance.
Initially, I also wanted to go “all creatures” with the deck, to further distinguish it from my past GUB decks, but that didn’t really pan out. For one thing, not being able to play Rite of Replication was a huge deal breaker, but I also realized there were some cards that this deck just needed to play. I settled on running a maximum of 20 non-creature spells, allowing room for up to 42 Creatures in the deck – the most I’ve ever played in an EDH deck! My hope is that such a creature-saturated deck will still feel different enough that it will have its own identity.
It also helps that this deck does make quite a few card-choices that I wouldn’t have made with any other GUB build – for example, I chose to run Arcanis, the Omnipotent over Consecrated Sphinx. HUH?! That’s right. Simply put, Arcanis plays well with Necrotic Ooze, and Expiriment Kraj, while the Sphinx does not.
There are, of course, plenty of creatures in the deck that do not have an activated ability for the Oozes to copy, but I believe there are around 20 that do. Where possible, I favored activated abilities over static or triggered ones (such as with the Sphinx vs Arcanis conundrum). But I didn’t want the deck to rely entirely on having Necrotic Ooze in play with a full graveyard, so I built the deck to function along different axes depending on how my opponents react to my various strategies.
The deck will clearly have a weakness to graveyard hate, so I did my best to shore up that weakness as best I could. I think it will still have game even with up to 40 to 50 percent of the deck exiled, but it all depends on WHAT get’s nuked, of course… but enough preamble, let’s see the deck!
Arcanis the Omnipotent
Disciple of Griselbrand
Dimir House Guard
Kagemaro, First to Suffer
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
Geth, Lord of the Vault
Avatar of Woe
Spirit of the Night
Wrexial, the Risen Deep
Sisters of Stone Death
Rite of Replication
Grimoire of the Dead
Sword of Vengeance
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Light and Shadow
Simic Growth Chamber
Golgari Rot Farm
Hall of the Bandit Lord
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Temple of the False God
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
- High Market
+ Sword of Feast and Famine
+ Sword of Light and Shadow
+ Hall of the Bandit Lord
Explanation: The cuts were due to lack of cards, and I had to prioritize. For instance, I had three decks calling for Damnation, but only two copies of the card. Someone had to give up their Damnation for something else. Same story with Genesis; that was an easy swap, I just put in Sword of Light and Shadow as it fulfills much the same role. Plus after I got all my decks built I realized I had 75% of my Swords of Stuff and Junk sitting there not in decks, and I couldn't have that!
Hall of the Bandit Lord makes a good fit for the deck, I feel, because it can enable a Haste-y Mimeoplasm one-shot kill. It was also really good with Wrexial, and he's in this deck as well.
The non-Creature selection was tough. I had about 30 cards that I really, REALLY wanted to include, but I was firmly committed to keeping the non-creature count as low as possible, and it turned out 20 was the bottom limit. I’d have been happier with 15, but that meant leaving out some pretty crucial cards. Of course, this led to some pretty fierce competition for slots in the non-creature category, and made for some agonizingly tough decisions on my part as to what to leave out. I’m still iffy on a couple items, but for the most part I think the strength of my choices will speak for themselves. Nonetheless, I will discuss them briefly.
First, the graveyard fuel: Intuition, Buried Alive, Life’s Finale and Greater Good were all primarily chosen for their ability to fill graveyards quickly. Other cards that have different primary functions, but have a secondary effect of adding to the graveyards include: Grimoire of the Dead, Birthing Pod, Diabolic Intent, and of course Damnation. You can see where I chose cards that had a “drawback” or additional “cost” of discarding or sacrificing something, but the deck’s core strategy can easily turn those costs and drawbacks into a benefit, rather than a hindrance.
Living Death is simply a card that thrives in a deck like this, while Rite of Replication, Bribery and Asceticism are more generic “good-stuff” inclusions. Asceticism is one of the few cards I’m not 100% sure deserves it’s slot, but I think it deserves the chance to prove itself. There’s a list of extremely powerful stuff waiting in the wings if it doesn’t perform. It’s such a strong card against targeted removal and some mass removal that I think it’s going to work out in the end.
Sword of Vengeance is an odd pick over the various “protection” Swords, but Haste and Trample are two of the best keywords to enable one-hit kills with the Mimeoplasm, so along with the Power boost, Sword of Vengeance actually seems like a better choice. I definitely would love to have a couple of the pro-Swords in there as well, but for now this one gets the nod.
Creeping Renaissance was a card I was rather cool on when I did my Innistrad set review, and I wouldn’t say my opinion has changed since then. It’s just that with such a high creature count, Creeping Renaissance naming “creature” is too awesome-sounding to pass up. If anything it might prove to be “win-more” and I’ll find myself not needing to cast it, but for now I’d rather have it and not need it, than the other way around.
Mimic Vat should be a no-brainer. It’s already one of the best EDH cards in the Scars block, and should basically be in every deck ever. Here it actually manages to be right in line with the deck’s strategies.
Finally, we have two of the best possible mana-rocks in the game: Sol Ring and Coalition Relic. I’d be happy to include a Darksteel Ingot as well, but I can’t find room right now. Maybe later.
Two cards I really want to find room for are Twilight’s Call and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I have a feeling Creeping Renaissance might lose its slot to Twilight’s Call, while I have no idea what could come out for Jace.
As for the creature base, well… roughly half were chosen for having a cool activated ability that Necrotic Ooze or Kraj might want to copy, the other half are either finishers or utility, chosen for being awesome targets for The Mimeoplasm – after all I needed to make him relevant too!
The best cards are those that fulfill two or more roles. For instance, Fauna Shaman plays three critical roles: She helps fill my graveyard with creatures for my oozes to copy, she finds Necrotic Ooze itself, and she has an ability that the Ooze can copy, once she’s dead! She’s a perfect card to tie all my various themes and strategies together. I came very close to including Green Sun’s Zenith as one more way of finding Fauna Shaman, but I think the deck will prove reliable enough without it.
Wrexial made the cut because I’m so light on Instants and Sorceries, and Wrexial is a way for me to cheat on my answer count by using my opponents’ spent spells. I considered Memory Plunder as well, but it’s not a creature, so that was out.
In the end, I wound up cutting quite a few cards that seemed cool on their own, but I realized that they enabled various infinite combos. Bloom Tender, for example, led to an infinite mana combo via Necrotic Ooze. If I had the Ooze in play, with Morphling and Bloom Tender in the graveyard, and any other permantent that was Green and/or Blue, I had infinite mana. I don’t know what I’d do with all that mana, but I was uncomfortable with having any sort of infinite combo in the deck, so Bloom Tender got cut.
I don’t think there’s much else that would require explanation, so that’s a wrap for this one. One more deck to post and my deckbuilding project will be complete.