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By: Kha, Mark Gardner
Aug 16 2009 10:09am
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Welcome to Fake Formats where I'll be providing intermittent thoughts and coverage of the MTGO only formats (Classic, 100 Card Singleton, Vanguard and Pauper).


100 card singleton


It's likely as a visitor to PureMTGO that you are already aware of what 100 card singleton format actually is either by reading Tarmatog's fine articles or through exposure to the format in game. With this assumption in mind I will be focussing the aspects of the format that matter rather than the nuts and bolts basics that are covered elsewhere.


Right that's the niceties out of the way; let's get cracking with the real content.




Download the DeckFile here and load it up in the MTGO client for easy reference.


BryTheFryGuy top 8'd a number of times first with his mono green elves and then later with his GB elves lists, however I thought white would make a better match for the pointy eared folk so set out to see what I could come up with myself.


Most decks in the format rely heavily on fetchlands, duals and cipt lands to provide their mana. This means that there's a portion of the field that you can beat (if you are fast enough) before they have finished messing about getting their mana right to play their spells and for the rest we have...

White immediately opens up the possibility to aggressively attack the bad guy's (our opponent) ability to play their spells. Many times this will give you essentially free wins as early as turn 3. We want to be punishing any stumble from our opponents as their spells are theoretically more powerful than outs. This is key to the decks strategy as currently most manabases are extremely greedy thanks to the banning of Crucible of Worlds and Life from the Loam (preventing Wasteland recursion).



These are your basic "manadudes" they help mitigate the effects of all three of the mana denial cards we are playing whilst also providing increased speed and consistency to our own mana base. In a pinch all of them can beat face or in birds case fly over blockers with an equipment.



Mana engines. Again they all help mitigate the effects of the mana disruption we're packing whilst also having other uses such as colour fixing, ramping, making dudes or allowing multiple uses of the creature based tap effects per turn.



Tutors. No other deck in the format currently abuses Ranger of Eos anywhere near as well as us, and often it will just put you so far ahead that there's little chance of losing. I Included Harbinger here as though she does ramp/fix when in play she's a little slow to rely on and only makes the deck based on her tutoring ability. Enlightened Tutor gives you another chance to "draw" Winter Orb, Earthcraft or whatever else you needed.




All of these are essentially here for their combat abilities. They nearly all have other abilities/bonuses/Synergies but their main role is that of beatdown.




 Elves are a fragile folk so I've included these to give them a little protection and resilience. Note that both Safekeeper and Symbiote are fetchable off Ranger allowing you to protect whatever other guy you got.



Token makers. Acting as single card armies against control, disposable blockers against fast aggro or overwhelming numbers on a stalled board. Nest has the benefit of comboing nicely with Earthcraft.



Forests are very popular with singleton players, both the lords allow you to abuse this fact to keep hitting past whatever the bad guy has dropped. Bathe works similarly allowing you to alpha strike past whatever whilst also having some flexibility as a protective trick.



Removal, a relatively light package but I rarely find myself wanting much more. Zealot is really really clunky but he's flexible and easy on the manabase so hasn't been replaced yet.



Card advantage. Masked Admirer's is good when you need to grind out wins against heavy creature removal control. Library made it in over top because it both takes no mana to use (essential if we're Geddoning) and can be used to trade life for cards against control.



This is the random left over's. Garruks another way to get so far ahead that the game is essentially over on turn 3. Essence warden and Wellwisher make it really difficult for red and other aggro to race you. Seedcradle absolutely dominates combat, especially once you get your mana engines up and running. Caller is for that post sweeper surprise and Glare allows your smallest dude to tie up their biggest whilst also magnifying the effect of your token makers. Briarhorn and Triad are both pump & a dude(s) when needed.

The mana base is the usual bunch of fetchlands, duals, manlands, wasteland and a single borderpost, the key being that none of the actual lands have to come into play tapped (borderpost excepted) as I was finding they were slowing the deck down an unacceptable amount. This means that Murmuring Bosk, Krosan Verge, Selesnya Sanctuary and Sapseep Forest all got cut.






Relic and Ground Seal are both for the reanimator matchup, but can also be used to stop recursive shenanigans from the various midrange decks. Both of them "cantrip" so whilst they slow you down a little your not losing too much.


Ankh and Root Maze are both solely for the control matchup. Maze has bad synergy with Winter Orb but is outstanding against fetchlands, with all the non land mana sources we're running I feel that one small non-bo is worth having more disruption in the deck.


Blessing is purely anti painter & grindstone combo, now that a number of control decks seem to be gravitating towards it as their finisher. Rootmaze also helps here slowing them down for a turn and giving you a chance to take out a part of their combo.


This leaves a final decklist looking like this. (a picture shows so much more than a decklist in this format)


Notice how bottom heavy that curve is, this is essential for achieving those fast starts.

On a Budget?

The Deck and Sideboard together currently come in at a total of $201.02 and is actually one of the cheaper options of currently competitive lists in the format.


That said, in the interests of all those with tighter belts than my own here are some suggestions on how to reduce the cost of this deck.  i would cut the following cards without really losing too much.



That reduces the cost by 48.5 tixs at current prices.


If your really stretched then you could also cut the following though I feel they are pretty integral to the decks power.



Saving you a further 32.5 tixs.


I don't fully believe in swapping like for like so I would suggest the following cards as replacements.




Costing a grand total of 0.94 tix a massive overall saving of 80.06 tixs bringing the total cost down to $120.96 which is cheaper than alot of standard decks.


I don't actually believe you want to replace the savannah with another land ,my suggested changes lower the curve and your not going to miss that one land in practise.


Empath is nearly always going to be better than Sylvan Messenger. Wargear makes any of your random dorks into a threat and Kaysa and Timberwatch both provide some more pump which whilst not stellar can get the job done.

i avoided Coat of Arms as opposing mana dudes in green based aggro decks make the card pretty awkward early in the game. 

If you've got this far thanks for reading, Sadly i've actually cut a lot of stuff out to make sure this isn't too draining to read through.This is my first attempt at writing anything for the community (or anything really) so any feedback (good or bad) is welcomed.


I liked the article. I don't by Tyhr at Sun, 08/16/2009 - 14:49
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I liked the article. I don't know much about 100 card singleton so it was informative. Next time please include some matches so we can see how the deck performs! :)

I'd say that's a pretty solid by FierceTable (not verified) at Sun, 08/16/2009 - 16:52
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I'd say that's a pretty solid piece you've put together. I particularly enjoyed how you presented the decklist. Presenting cards by cost means nothing when it's the purpose of each card that dictates why it is in the deck. This is particularly useful when trying to make a budget form (which you've already done for us). It is easy to see the actual curve from your deck editor screen shot. Hope to see more from you in the future.

Elves aren't playable in 100s by BryTheFryGuy (not verified) at Sun, 08/16/2009 - 17:09
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Elves aren't playable in 100s :rage:

No but really by BryTheFryGuy (not verified) at Sun, 08/16/2009 - 17:34
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Good article. Why no choke though? ;_;

Thank you fierce, thats by Kha at Sun, 08/16/2009 - 17:30
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Thank you fierce, thats exactly what i was trying to do. Personally i find it really difficult when looking at a list of cards to actually see whats going on, and find images/deck files help my understanding massively. I also thought it would break up the reams of writing (my first draft was 4,300 words long.. ive cut lots) and work as a sort of short cut (we process images slightly easier than text) for the reader.

I dunno why all the links point to crucible, also a bunch of things that aren't actual links are links (if that makes sense). The spacing is alot bigger than it seemed in the submission i did, i'll contact JXC to find out what their base formatting options are so i can adjust future articles to look better on the page.

Thyr, what would be more usful/entertaining? , videos of games or a summary of matchups with whats important, sideboarding plans etc etc?

Hmmm, the most entertaining by Tyhr at Mon, 08/17/2009 - 09:12
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Hmmm, the most entertaining is videos, but even writeups of the matches with some sideboard tech thrown in. Always nice to see how the cards are used at their best and what cards are marginal/stars in certain matchups. Or how elves behave against control compared to how you play against Zoo :)

I had choke in earlier by Kha at Sun, 08/16/2009 - 18:08
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I had choke in earlier builds, but didn't really find that it did enough. It's decent, but most times its no where near as devastating as it promises to be. It might just be that i've been unlucky and my opponents have drawn their only non island blue sources each times ive played the card, and i does increase in value with the extra "real" duals we're getting in MED3 so its entirely possible that im wrong with its exclusion.

Actually I agree with not by platipus10 at Sun, 08/16/2009 - 23:00
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Actually I agree with not including it. It is too unreliable. A UWx or UBx deck typically runs quite a few non island blue sources and like you every time I play it my opponent seems to get their non island sources.

Completely correct by Theobill (not verified) at Tue, 08/18/2009 - 08:17
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Yesterday I was playing against a land destruction deck and he hit me with boil and choke (in the main deck) when I was playing UBr, I still had 4 non-island blue sources in play.

I loved this article, a by Theobill (not verified) at Mon, 08/17/2009 - 03:56
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I loved this article, a picture is so much more useful than a list in a format like 100c singleton, where you can guarantee that you haven't heard of at least 10 of the cards in any list, plus 100c singleton decklists are huge and don't really tell you that much at a glance.

Im working on an even more by Kha at Mon, 08/17/2009 - 06:54
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Im working on an even more heavilly budget version as i figure 120tixs is still quite alot for anyone wanting to try out the format.
I will be entering the next convienient premier event with this budget version to see if how little money can be spent on this format and yet still make a profit from the weekly event.
If anyones interested i will keep the latest versions updated in the deck section of this website (im currently down to just under 59 tixs for a functioning list, but will try and get this below the $50 mark before the event)

That sounds like alot of fun by Tyhr at Mon, 08/17/2009 - 15:39
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That sounds like alot of fun for us. Please make a nice report when you play the event :)

Nice article by Zimbardo (not verified) at Wed, 08/19/2009 - 18:45
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I'm glad to see that you wrote your elves article after all. Nice job - I also agree that it's nice to see the cards grouped roughly by function. I also agree that it would be helpful to hear how the deck sideboards and plays differently against different decks. And also which matchups are good/bad.

It's great that you included some budget considerations for this deck, because it seems like a really good entry point into the format. I won't be surprised at all if we see a few new players trying out this deck in tournaments in the near future. I hope that happens. It would be cool if other people wrote articles about the less expensive Singleton decks, especially mono-red and non-elves GW aggro.

Great job!

Sideboarding in general is by Kha at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 15:31
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Sideboarding in general is very different in this format to many others. Im going to cover sideboarding plans in my follow up as i feel its something that too many people don't consider properly when playing the format.

re Matchups: i actually think elves is favored in pretty much every matchup because it puts so much pressure on so fast that even the slightest stumble is lethal.
I mean sure you can lose games due to opposing god hands, and the reanimator matchup wasn't the greatest (before i added any sideboard options it was about a 50/50 matchup.Im also finding a spot for Elvish Skysweeper which just kills nearly every single big threat they can throw at you, whilst also wrecking baneslayers, exalteds and sowers alike. Which in turn should make it much better.)

Against most of the aggro decks they have to kill you before you can establish a board pressence because there are so many individual cards that most aggro decks just cannot beat (wellwisher and packmaster being the biggest two, but theres also a bunch of combinations that just stop their gameplan dead)and what with nearly every single one running green its only a matter of living long enough to forestwalk them into the ground.

RDW is about the same speed as elves, but without life gain or strong synergies. Even just forcing a burn spell on a wellwisher or essence warden (before you can gain life off either) puts you so far ahead that you pretty much cannot lose with any reasonable hand.

Control has problems with the speed, mana production (nigh impossible to counter everything relevent), oops wins (garruk, geddon, ravages) and volume of threats (one sweeper is rarely enough).

Greedy 5c is a dream matchup as their mana is horrible despite all those duals/fetches increasing the number of slower starts (or at least messing about fixing their mana) whilst also giving you a free route through with forests and having similar issues to the aggro decks (cant beat established board positions).

Im seriously a pretty terrible player, the only games i've lost with this deck have been the ones i've gifted away via mistakes and misclicks (pacting into the lose vs savagebeatdown being the most notable one see here

Obviously once MED3 hits things will change massively because tabernacle is the stone cold nuts against the wee green folk.