Friday, July 13, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: M13 Deck Updates

Just a quick list of planned upgrades to my current decks, once M13 cards are up for grabs. Which is, apparently today!

Jenara, Asura of War

Faith’s Reward (maybe)

This deck doesn’t get much love. Rancor would be a big deal, but I already HAVE Rancor in the deck. Faith’s Reward appeals to me as a pseudo-second-copy of Replinish, and can be a combat trick/finisher when combined with Phantatog. I imagine a turn where I sac/discard a bunch of enchantments, then bring them all back with this card, Replinish or Bruna. Dunno how likely that is to work out, and I’m already going to have a hard time squeezing in anything that isn’t an Enchantment. We’ll see.

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight

Another deck that doesn’t get a lot of new toys, but there are a few I have my eye on:

Ajani, Caller of the Pride
Faith’s Reward
Trading Post
Cathedral of War

First off, I’m much less impressed with Ajani than most folks seem to be. That said he has two features that warrant his inclusion here. One, he is recurrable with Sun Titan, which is important, and two, he gives things Double Strike which is definitely a major theme of the deck.

Faith’s Reward is a straight upgrade over Second Sunrise, as part of my Sunforger package. This deck tends to roll over to an Austere Command now and then, so having a Sunforger-able instant-speed answer to mass destruction effects is CRITICAL. Second Sunrise has been good enough so far, but making it one-sided for me only for one measly mana more is a huge, HUGE improvement.

A janky fun inclusion, Trading post actually fills a few holes in the deck. It makes tokens to wear Equipment (I’m already running Kher Keep, and have been looking for more cheap token-generators for a while), then it can sac those tokens later to get back blown-up Swords and whatnot. The other modes are less useful – I’m not likely to use the Gain 4 Life ability more than once in a hundred games, and sac-ing an Artifact to draw a card is not a cost I’m usually going to want to pay, even if the deck does badly need more Draw power. But yeah, making dudes to Sword up, and getting back Swords are both highly relevant abilities, so I’m happy trying this out.

Finally, Cathedral of War is just on-theme both flavorfully and mechanically. Incremental pumps like this are usually worth more with all the Double Strike running around.

Maelstrom Wanderer

Archaeomancer (maybe)
Mindclaw Shaman
Boundless Realms
Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
Ranger’s Path

Archaeomancer might not make it. I already had Snapcaster Mage in at one point, and cut it. But the ‘mancer actually has a little more appeal to me, as it doesn’t force you to use the targeted spell right away. I often was short a mana or two being able to Flashback the Snapcaster’ed spell immediately, which made it a waste. Just getting a spell back for later use is more flexible, but I’m still not sure I have need of this.

Spelltwine is a must. I’m short on Wrath effects and/or spot removal, given my colors. Most of the time, simply copying an opponent’s Swords to Plowshares and any random ramp or draw spell in my own graveyard will be worth 6 mana to me. Occasionally I’ll hit an opponent’s Rite of Replication and… my own Rite of Replication. Or something absurd.

Mindclaw Shaman is another include for the same reasons as Spelltwine. Usually I’ll be happy just hitting some little utility spell that has an effect outside my colors’ ability to produce. Like mass or spot removal, or something. Other times, I’ll hit some huge bomb like Storm Herd or a similar effect.

Boundless Realms – I rarely mind too much if one of my Maelstrom Wanderer Cascades hits a ramp spell. This is just the mother of all ramp spells, and it’s conveniently situated at 7 mana – perfect for Cascading into with MW.

Ranger’s Path – Another solid ramp spell, which the deck can always make good use of. MW is the epitome of a mana-hungry deck.

Mwonvuli Beast Tracker – I’m already happy running Worldly Tutor. This is a bit more narrow, of course, but I’ll be happy getting Prime Time or Acidic Slime more often than not. I’ll work on adding a couple more viable targets for this, though.

Savra, Queen of the Golgari

Diabolic Revelation (maybe)
Disciple of Bolas
Veilborn Ghoul
Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
Yeva, Nature’s Herald (maybe)

Diabolic Revelation is a maybe because I’m not at all sure the deck NEEDS another tutor, but I do have the Coffers/Urborg/Prime Time trio for generating unholy amounts of mana, so if I’m going to give this card a try, this has to be the deck to do it in.

I don’t really have that many fatties to sac but given the deck’s theme and purpose, Disciple of Bolas is just too perfect not to try. Compared to other draw spells in these colors, it will largely be worth casting Disciple to draw 3 or 4 cards. That’s enough to make it one of the best options available. On the chance I get 6 or 7 cards out of it, that’s just gravy. I need something to replace Griselbrand once my playgroup finally gets on board with the ban.

Veilborn Ghoul usually doesn’t thrill me, as I’d rather have like a Bloodghast or Reassembling Skeleton. The 5 CMC + the return to your hand (not directly to the battlefield) is a deal breaker for me. But, that’s usually because I’m looking to pair it with Skullclamp or something. In this case, though, the CMC doesn’t matter because I don’t plan to cast it, and I actually WANT it to return to my hand instead of directly to play. This is simply because I need a “Squee, Goblin Nabob” to go with my Survival of the Fittest (or Fauna Shaman). I’ll never be unhappy pitching this guy to Survival, ‘cause he just keeps coming back for more.

Mwonvuli Beast Tracker – Gets a handful of important cards. Nighthawk for defense, Acidic Slime for utility, or Prime Time for ramp, or even one of the Soul of the Harvest/Harvester of Souls pair. Seems tailor made for this deck.

Thragtusk – Just an incredible value creature, plus I’ve started to learn that I could use a bit more lifegain in this deck. It’s prone to taking some early hits.

Yeva, Nature’s Herald – Flash is a great ability in Multiplayer, especially for creatures. Helps a lot dodging Wrath effects. Kinda sucks that she only grants Flash to green creatures, though. I’d love to be able to Flash in a Fleshbag Marauder or something. This is the reason she’s a “maybe” – if it was for any creature, she’d be a definite include. I’ll have to really look at the deck to evaluate how much she’ll actually benefit, given the color restriction.


  1. regarding Faith's Reward:

    if i read that correctly, if you sunforge it while a wrath is on the stack, this will exactly do nothing. after the wrath has resolved the sunforger won't be equipped anymore and you can't unattach it. right?

    1. Yes, you're absolutely right. I had a noob moment there. Faith's Reward IS a much better version of Second Sunrise, but it's only good against MASS removal when cast from the hand, not so much as a Sunforger target. My bad.

    2. well, if you've got the sunforger on something indestructible, this is a different story though ;)