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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
Nov 25 2015 12:00pm
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Time for some casual decks—

 

Deck 1 Sisay

Captain Sisay

Certainement you can use Sisay to tutor up your favorite legendary creatures, but I recently noticed something about her.  She works differently from Time of Need. She can get more than legendary creatures. She can also get legendary non-creatures. That is what we'll be doing today.

There are currently 14 legendary enchantments, 34 legendary artifacts, 40 legendary lands, and 5 legendary enchantment artifacts in print. So one could take this premise in many different directions. But I'll be taking it in one particular direction:

Honden of Infinite Rage  Honden of Cleansing Fire  Honden of Life's Web

Honden of Night's Reach  Honden of Seeing Winds

Yeah! Most Honden decks just run 3-4 of each and hope to draw into them, and then get stuck with multiple copies in their hand, which is why most Honden decks are bad. Sure, they could use Mirror Gallery to unload their extra copies, but that is just opening themselves up for massive card disadvantage if the Gallery gets destroyed. But what if I told you that you didn't have to waste a third of your deck slots on Hondens? What if I told you that you could run just one of each, and tutor them up at will?

Let's try it!

There is one card that does much the same as Mirror Gallery, but with much lower risk: Paradox Haze. And if we're running that, let's run some more cards to pair with it. Martial Law absolutely does. And there's also that proto-Honden cycle, the Sanctuaries! In particular, Ceta Sanctuary and Necra Sanctuary fit well with this deck's gameplan, and are easy to "turn on" since this is already a five-color deck. The filtering from Ceta in particular is important, since it not only helps us find our deck's centerpieces but also lets us discard some redundant chaff (we rarely need more than one Sisay, for instance).

    Angus Mackenzie

Borrowing a page from my old Sanctuary article, Trace of Abundance is my favorite way to enable a Sanctuary. Not to mention, we need the color fixing in a five-color deck. Fertile Ground is nice as well, even if it's not quite as strong. And with 4 each of those, we can afford to lower the land count a little more than normal!  One more cheap green enchantment should be enough to get our Ceta online by turn three: let's go with Lignify, to also slow down our opponent.  It's not as good as Journey to Nowhere or Go for the Throat, which we could cast—but those aren't green.

We might as well run a few legendary creatures to find with Sisay. Angus Mackenzie helps stall a bit while the Hondens do their thing, and Hanna, Ship's Navigator helps us recur any Hondens that a vindictive opponent destroys (the cad). Hey and speaking of recurring cards, I noticed that almost every card in here was a permanent, so I packed two Nature's Spiral.

As for legendary lands, there exist 40, as I mentioned, but few of them have any relevance to the deck. And although Hammerheim is technically an upgrade to a mountain, it seems like a waste to bother with all of that stuff.  I'd rather just run duals to fix the colors, since we have all five colors. The only legendary land I'm using is a single Eiganjo Castle, mostly just in case I have a Sisay out and am stuck at four land and want to tutor up a fifth.

And about the lands, really run whatever your budget allows. If that's alpha duals, go with it. If it's Crop Rotation into Crystal Quarry, cool. Maybe it's Vivid Lands with Reflecting Pool. Or maybe it's just Guildgates and Amulet of Vigor. However you want to get there! Just notice that the deck is almost entirely GWU, with very light black and red splashes.

Here's the list! Meant to be casual & customizable.

Legends Were Told of These Shrines
And of the Brave Captain who Found Them
Creatures
1 Angus Mackenzie
1 Hanna, Ship's Navigator
4 Captain Sisay
6 cards

Other Spells
4 Trace of Abundance
4 Fertile Ground
2 Naturalize
3 Lignify
2 Nature's Spiral
1 Lightning Greaves
4 Ceta Sanctuary
2 Necra Sanctuary
3 Paradox Haze
1 Honden of Infinite Rage
1 Honden of Cleansing Fire
1 Honden of Night's Reach
3 Martial Law
1 Honden of Life's Web
32 cards
Lands
3 Seaside Citadel
1 Eiganjo Castle
18 whatever
22 cards
 
Hanna, Ship's Navigator

 

Hey, Sisay and Hanna are reunited! What a flavorful deck!  Too bad I couldn't find room for Gerrard, Karn, or Squee.

One last note—you may notice that there are only four Hondens, blue's Honden of Seeing Winds being omitted. In practice, it proved superfluous. #1, I'm already drawing so many cards with the 4 Ceta Sanctuaries.  #2, if I have 3 to 4 Hondens and 1 to 2 Paradox Hazes out... the blue Honden could easily deck me. But trust me that it's not necessary to get the Honden count high enough to make the others effective. If I ONLY have the red, green, and white Hondens online, with ONLY one Paradox Haze, I'm dealing 6 damage, getting 6 tokens, and gaining 12 life every turn.

 

Deck 2 Goblin Warrens

Goblin Warrens

I used Goblin Warrens once, back in 1995. It was in a mono-red Goblin deck, and it used the Warrens for exactly one purpose, which was to crank out an extra goblin every turn. If you're thinking that sounds terrible, I agree with you, but to my credit, there wasn't really much else to do with it back in 1995. Only sixteen Goblins existed—I know it says 17, but Goblin Lord was not yet a Goblin, he was a "Summon Lord"—and there wasn't a single way to make a Goblin token other than the Warrens itself.

And another thing! There were only two cards that benefited from creatures entering or leaving the battlefield, and they were both garbage!  (Soul Net and Axelrod Gunnarson, if you're curious).  How was someone supposed to be a Johnny back in 1995? But my point in this rambling preface is that today we have way more than we had back then. Today, we have cards that make Goblin tokens...

  Mogg War Marshal  Warren Weirding

...cards that benefit from creatures entering the battlefield...

  Death Match  Mana Echoes

...cards that benefit from creatures leaving the battlefield...

Knucklebone Witch  Grave Pact  Dross Harvester

Fecundity  Yoke of the Damned  Goblin Sharpshooter

...and cards that you can sacrifice your tokens to besides the Warrens:

Goblin Bombardment  Carrion Feeder  Greater Harvester

So this is way more than enough for a deck!  Here are my choices, with a few comments afterward:

 

Warrens and Friends
 
Creatures
2 Orcish Librarian
4 Mogg War Marshal
4 Rockslide Elemental
2 Scavenger Drake
16 cards

Other Spells
4 Dragon Fodder
2 Impact Tremors
2 Hull Breach
4 Warren Weirding
2 Yoke of the Damned
4 Goblin Warrens
4 Fecundity
2 Death Match
20 cards
Lands
24 Savage Lands
24 cards
 
Scavenger Drake

 

So:

  • The deck goes into turbo mode when a Warrens is online, typically drawing several cards, dealing several damage, and getting several +1/+1 counters every turn. But it can still function without it.  Mogg War Marshal himself gets 3 death triggers, one of which is free and two of which can come from chump blocking.
  • Warren Weirding is usually for your opponent's creatures, but can work on your own in a Warren-less game to get some triggers going.
  • Don't always drop a Fecundity immediately.
  • Do always drop a Rockslide Elemental immediately.
  • This deck is quite mana hungry. The curve is very low, but it was still necessary to run 24 lands, because we want to drop one really every turn. (As for which 24, that's really up to you.)

 

Deck 3 Confusion in the Ranks

Confusion in the Ranks

This card looks pointless and, frankly, annoying—until you see it in play. If the deck is built right, it can be a one-sided thievery engine.

    Kher Keep

Guideline #1: Unstealable token producers. Krenko, Mob Boss seems like an ideal way to steal all of your opponent's creatures, until you realize... your opponent will just steal your Krenko. Much better are to run lands that make tokens, like Kher Keep, Springjack Pasture, or Kjeldoran Outpost, because your opponent can never take those from you. Also remember reusable spells, like Lab Rats or Pride of the Clouds!

Guideline #2: Symmetrical cards. Your opponent may steal your Howling Mine, Smoke, or The Abyss, but who cares?

Guideline #3: Auras. If your opponent steals your aura, it stays on the same card. Now, don't put auras on permanents that can themselves be stolen, but what about enchant lands, like Wild Growth and Spreading Seas? Or enchant players, like Paradox Haze or the curses!

Guideline #4: Multiple types at once. If you cast a Master's Call, you can steal two creatures OR two artifacts! (Or one of each, but my point is it's more versatile than Raise the Alarm.) I would love to run Nuisance Engine and keep cranking them out, but... our opponent could steal the Engine.

Guideline #5: String on the quarter. You can swap your Wall of Junk or Dashed Mardu Scout with something... and then take it right back! Ha ha ha.

Wall of Junk    

The line that most catches my eye out of all of those is the Curses. I have always wanted to make a Curse deck. This is my chance.

So our game plan:

  • Stall for a bit, ideally using cards that serve another purpose later on. Wall of Junk blocks early, and steals things for free later.  Dragon Fodder chumps and/or trades early, and can steal two guys later. Silent Arbiter slows the board, and being symmetrical, is not upsetting to trade if needed.
  • Pyroclasm and Slagstorm serve no double purpose, but are SO good at controlling the early-game board that they still make the cut.
  • Drop a Curse or two as you can. There are 12 total, so you will always get at least a few.
  • Drop a Confusion if you get it. Steal everything in sight. Win.
  • If you don't get the Confusion, continue to drop Curses and control the board. Win.

The tricky part is mana ramping. There are a lot of five-mana cards in this deck, so we really want to run some Darksteel Ingots or something. But that could get stolen, and in a red-black deck, there really aren't many ways to fix mana that can't. Green has Rampant Growth, but we're really just stuck with Scorched Ruins or Seething Song—neither of which I want in here. So instead, I repurposed the slots that would have gone to ramp, instead putting them towards more stall spells, and more lands.  We need to wait to turn five to cast a Confusion or a Curse of Thirst, but our stall will let us get there okay.

 

 

See you next week!