Monday, June 4, 2012

Maelstrom Wanderer

Planechase II is out now, and of course the very first thing I did once I bought the decks was to sleeve up a Maelstrom Wanderer deck. Well, actually, I put the deck together last week, and just used placeholders for the new cards I wanted to add, like MW himself and Etherium-Horn Sorcerer.

I've already played the list quite a bit this weekend, and I have made a few changes based off those games. There are still a few more I'd like to make, but for now, this is the list I'm running.

Maelstrom Wanderer

Phyrexian Metamorph
Djinn of Wishes
Consecrated Sphinx
Deadeye Navigator
Frost Titan

Flametongue Kavu
Kik-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Charmbreaker Devils
Inferno Titan
Tyrant of Discord

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Wood Elves
Eternal Witness
Acidic Slime
Primeval Titan
Avenger of Zendikar

Coiling Oracle
Winged Coatl
Bloodbraid Elf
Izzet Chronarch
Riku of Two Reflections
Intet the Dreamer
Etherium-Horn Sorcerer

Solem Simulacrum

Mystical Tutor
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Rite of Replication
Devastation Tide
Time Spiral
Temporal Mastery

Chandra, the Firebrand
Mass Mutiny
Reforge the Soul
Warstorm Surge
Blasphemous Act
Bonfire of the Damned

Worldly Tutor
Beast Within
Kodama's Reach
Skyshroud Claim
Garruk Wildspeaker
Greater Good
Lurking Predators
Tooth and Nail

Hull Breach
Prophetic Bolt
Vengeful Rebirth

Sol Ring
Coalition Relic
Sensei's Divining Top
Scroll Rack
Crystal Ball
Crystal Shard
Proteus Staff
Temporal Aperture

Command Tower
Reflecting Pool
Evolving Wilds
Scalding Tarn
Misty Rainforest
Stomping Ground
Steam Vents
Breeding Pool
Fire-Lit Thicket
Cascade Bluffs
Flooded Grove
Rootbound Crest
Sulfer Falls
Hinterland Harbor
Gruul Turf
Izzet Boilerworks
Simic Growth Chamber
Halimar Depths
High Market
Desolate Lighthouse
Alchemist's Refuge
Temple of the False God
Forest x5
Island x4
Mountain x4

The deck is remarkably fun, powerful and easy to play. Basically, your default strategy is going to be:
1. Ramp to eight
2. Cast Maelstrom Wanderer

In a nutshell, that's all you need to do most of the time. Fortunately the deck can easily play a more intricate game, if need be. I have loaded up on ways to manipulate the top few cards of the library, to set up our Cascade to our liking. Since I was going down that road, I figured I'd also double up on ways to take advantage of that top-deck manipulation. Stuff like Lurking Predators, Djinn of Wishes and the Miracle spells are all additional ways to cheat stuff into play or cast spells for less mana.

The rest of the deck is mostly made up of Ramp (very important!), a little Draw power, some big splashy spells, and a dash of utility stuff. A deck like this usually wins by making bigger, splashier plays than it's opponents, but sometimes an opponent will be able to trump us, so it's important to keep some cheap removal and other essential utility effects in the deck.

I haven't quite found the ideal balance yet - I feel like a need more cheap, early-game cards for when I don't draw lots of ramp, but I also don't want to include too many of these cheap spells because paying 8 mana for MW and hitting a coulple of do-nothing, two-mana spells is a bummer.

Based on how often I have to mulligan with this deck, I know I need to up the land count a bit. Ideally I think the deck really needs 2 more lands and probably a Darksteel Ingot or something, to be more reliable and stable, but at this point I don't know what to cut.

There are a number of things I'd really love to add, as well, such as:

Snapcaster Mage
Sphinx of Uthuun
Seedborn Muse
Keiga, the Tide Star
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Knowledge Exploitation

I've debated and gone back and forth on whether to put Momir Vig, Simic Visionary in the deck. At this point, I think it might make the deck a little too repetative and less fun. I enjoy using Scroll Rack to set up epic Cascade chains, but I also like just casting MW blind and seeing what random goodies my deck gives me!

Anyway, Maelstrom Wander is a powerhouse, and if you like really big, swingy, game-breaking plays then you'll likely enjoy this deck. I'm already very happy with this deck - it's one of the best decks I've assembled in a while, and I can't wait to play it some more.



  1. Interesting list, I would actually be happy to play with it as is and see how it goes.

    Crystal Shard and MW should be absolutely bonkers and you could even add a Loaming Shaman for graveyard hate or as a way to reuse your spells for another bout of cascading.

    1. Loaming Shaman isn't a bad idea, actually. Hmm, Loaming Shaman sounds like an interesting idea. I'll consider it!

    2. Just realized, the 'any number' clause means it might not be so great for graveyard hate, my bad.

      Still good for recycling cascade spells though! =D

    3. It says "any number of target cards", Jammin. So, when it enters the battlefield you can target any number of cards in your opponent's graveyard. This is per the Oracle rules - "5/1/2006: Loaming Shaman's controller chooses all the targets when the ability is put on the stack."