A New Sligh and Playing with Dolls
One of the more interesting aspects of the Time Spiral expansion are the purple Timeshifted cards. These cards add an additional 121 cards to the pre-existing 301 card set. That means we will have 422 new cards shifting into Standard. That allows for a lot of new decks to make(an some old favorites to come back). To put into perspective how HUGE this change will be consider this... Every Pro Tour US and Dutch deck that made Top 8 at Nationals, and I do mean every, will lose critical components when Kamigawa shifts out. This gives us all a great opportunity to make an impression on the new scene by forging the future decks to beat.
The first few weeks after a new expansion are always hectic and full of chaos. My gut instinct tells me that decks like our previously discussed post-Kamigawa Firemane Control will do quite well at least until the dust settles and the new powerhouses start to emerge. Firemane aside, I wanted to have some fun theorizing about a deck that might actually do quite well in the new meta-game, and more importantly would be fun to play. I find it slightly ironic that the deck I came up with uses cards from 9th Edition, Ravnica Block, and the Time Spiral Timeshifted cards... without taking advantage of the Time Spiral main set. Two Timeshifted cards in particular really inspired this deck, and one of the two isn't even in the deck(even more irony). You can tell a card is powerful when people specifically remember it from decks you ran over 10 years ago. While chatting with a good friend of mine about the Timeshifted cards, he exclaimed, Unstable Mutation! I remember that deck you used to run with that. The deck was a quick Blue/Green/Black aggro deck that employed Giant Growth, Unholy Strength, and Unstable Mutation. The idea of course was large amounts of damage very early in the game. At an overall +6/+6 for one blue mana(+3 to +2 to +1), Unstable Mutation is a gem that many players disregarded back in the day. I wonder how it will fare this time around...The other card that inspired me to make this new deck was Psionic Blast. I never really played it much back when it was around, but as my fellow deck builder and CerealKillaz clan mate Runeliger pointed out to me, I play 4x of it in almost every deck I currently run. Every deck I currently run...? Oh excuse me, I must have been talking about Psionic Blast's twin sister Char. Hmm... that means I can technically build a deck with 8 of them now.While Unstable Mutation did not make the cut for this deck it did remind me of how nasty blue can be. Psionic Blast gives blue some good burn and Izzet recently paired blue with red to do the same. Add to the mix another old favorite via Timeshifted cards and we come up with a new deck!
Flames from the Aether (Version 1.0)
2x Seal of Fire
4x Psionic Blast
2x Compulsive Research
4x Volcanic Hammer
4x Steam Vents
Playing the main deck should be pretty straightforward and self explanatory. All focus should be on burning your opponent to a pile of cinders as quickly as possible. Demonfire makes for an excellent finisher, while Remand and Exhaustion should buy some time if problems are encountered. Browbeat is an excellent card for the deck and if it cast successfully will spell large amounts of trouble however it is resolved. Burn, Card advantage, and Control are the main focus of the deck. The mana curve is very tight and nothing costs more than 3 mana except a pumped up Demonfire. I would say that these elements make the deck eligible for it to be considered a creatureless Sligh deck. For those of you who are not sure what a Sligh deck is, Google defines it a such:
Sligh is a classic decktype for the card game Magic: the Gathering. It is typically a mono-red deck, with several strong emphasis: 1) a strict mana curve2) all cards are individually useful3) has a strong control element, especially with burn spells4) usually wins by red creatures after any potential blocking creatures have been eliminated.(Found Here)
2x Blood Moon
4x Wee Dragonaughts
The sideboard is where we can have some fun(as always). I like the feel of this sideboard. The main deck obviously has no creatures, artifacts, or enchantments that can be targeted in it. It is hard to imagine a deck that does not run any sort of removal. Cards like Mortify, Putrefy, and Naturalize will more than likely be sided out of an opponents deck once they realize the cards are dead draws. This allows us to be tricky and change the whole deck design by sliding in our friends Gelectrode and Wee Dragonaughts. Both of these critters just love it when Instants or Sorcery's are cast.... and that is what this deck is made of! Once an opponent knows the flexibility of the deck they will go crazy trying to figure out the proper sideboard to use against it. The critters don't HAVE to be sided in... maybe you will maybe you wont. Forcing an opponent to make uncertain or hasty choices puts them on the all important Tilt.
Blood Moon will be great to side in vs. those tri+ colored decks which will be floating around. It can cripple an opponent while having minimal affect on the deck since we are only running 4x non basic lands.
Threaten is for decks with large nasty critters, and can be used as a finisher also.
Cryoclasm is for decks using Islands and/or Plains. I have seen this card being played main deck in the Tournament Practice room online because so many decks today run Blue or White. It fits perfectly into the sideboard as a way to do damage AND control the board.
Playing with Dolls
The next deck I want to share with you started out as a joke. It all started when a few of us were talking about the new card Stuffy Doll.
As Stuffy Doll comes into play, choose a player. Stuffy Doll is indestructible.
Whenever damage is dealt to Stuffy Doll, it deals that much damage to the chosen player. Tap: Stuffy Doll deals 1 damage to itself.
It seems like a lot of fun to play with. Aside from being an indestructable 0/1 blocker, this guy is begging to have his ability abused! My fellow CerealKillaz clan mate June Allan and I were conspiring about how to fully exploit it. As a sort of joke I said, I know! How about Stuffy-Tron? After a good laugh we started to think about how it might actually work, at least in the casual rooms. I decided that nothing could be more fun than crushing someone out of nowhere with a Stuffy Doll deck. The fact that it is Stuffy-Tron makes it even more funny... and to top it all of since it is Green/Red-Tron that makes it yet even more hilariously evil. Just imagine telling your opponent... Yeah, I play with Dolls... and you just got pwned by one. The deck was made with extended casual in mind, but with some fine tuning might someday see some sort of tournament play(I was able to win on round 4 once while testing it).
4x Gruul Signet
4x Teferi's Puzzle Box
2x Sensei's Divining Top
4x Stuffy Doll
4x Breath of Darigaaz
4x Reap and Sow
4x Sylvan Scrying
4x Karplusan Forest
2x Gruul Turf
4x Stomping Ground
4x Urza's Mine
4x Urza's Power Plant
4x Urza's Tower
The object of the Stuffy-Tron is to get tron out as quickly as possible. With the land fetch cards this can be done very fast(usually round 3 or 4). Having a Stuffy Doll to slam down ASAP is good too. The Teferi's Puzzle Box is in there as a sort of tutoring device along with the Sensei's Divining Top. These are my way around not playing blue in the deck, and they actually work out quite well. Once the Stuffy Doll is out it is time to start abusing him with the wide array of global burn spells in the deck. The beauty of the global burns spells in the deck is that for each doll in play your opponent will take DOUBLE the damage. You will find that winning will almost always occur within a round of the doll hitting the board if you have your Tron out. But if the game gets drawn out dont foget to tap the Doll at the end of every turn to ping your opponent for 1; and dont forget that the Doll also functions as a 0/1 indestructable blocker! Because of it being a casual deck I decided not to make a sideboard. Maybe if it wins a large enough percentage of games I will take it a bit more seriously and decide to make one. I was also thinking about making a Multiplayer version of this deck that included Stream of Life. Here is a Riddle: If nothing could be more fun than beating someone with Dolls, how much fun could beating five people at once with Dolls be?
I am looking forward to testing the decks more and seeing how they perform in the long run. With all the new cards circulating about I have no idea what I will be facing off against. Not knowing for sure is part of the mystique and fun of Magic the Gathering. There is always a surprise around the corner waiting, and a deck to go with it! I hope you enjoyed my deck suggestions for Time Spiral play, and let me know how they run if you are brave enough to try one out. As always you can catch me here on the MTGO forums, or in my clans chat channel at /join ck on Magic Online. Until then...
May Your Mana Never Run Dry,
- KimiKiri -