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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
Oct 08 2015 12:00pm
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Today's enchanted giveaway: This is my last ever giveaway contest, because frankly I got tired of scheduling times to trade with people—even if it was fun to play Santa Claus for a while. But we're going out with a bang!  We not only have four foil Bloodbond Marches to give away, but also four foil Signal the Clans! (Thank you to Cauchy for generously donating the prize he won last week.)

For a chance to win these 8 foil cards, post a casual deck in the below comment section that puts Bloodbond March to good use. I will pick a favorite on Saturday.

Ana Sanctuary  Dega Sanctuary  Ceta Sanctuary

Necra Sanctuary  Raka Sanctuary

It took me fourteen years, but I finally found some uses for these cards! Let's run through them one at a time.

1. Dega Sanctuary

The way to go with this deck seems to be a defensive one, in which you let the life gain build up over time. We can do something else with it we couldn't do in 2001 though, which is supplement that plan with life gain triggers. Look at all these new toys we have:

Angelic Accord  Sanguine Bond  Searing Meditation

So, that is basically our plan! All we need to do now is figure out how to get some red and black permanents to stick on the table. Enchantments are generally less vulnerable than creatures are, so let's go with that route. Red has some nice defensive enchantments. Smoke will slow down the opponent and make it harder for them to keep up with our 4 life gain a turn. Circle of Flame and Honden of Infinite Rage take out small creatures in the early game. Custody Battle will certainly stall our opponent, even if we never do anything with the creature beyond giving him right back.

Black has even stronger ones. No Mercy pairs well with the lifegain. Death Pits of Rath is brutal next to the Circle of Flame and Honden of Infinite Rage I just mentioned. Engineered Plague helps against some decks more than others. It's a good backup for swarm decks when we don't get a Smoke, and it pairs well with Circle of Flame for when we don't have a Death Pits of Rath.

Circle of Flame  Death Pits of Rath  Honden of Infinite Rage

White has the best defensive enchantments of all, but we actually want to keep them to a minimum for the Sanctuary's sake: we want as many black and red permanents as we have room for. Some substitutions are easy, like instead of Pacifism we'll use Pillory of the Sleepless. In general, we'll only want to run white cards that are irreplaceable. Faith's Fetters pairs so well with Angelic Accord (which pairs so well with the Sanctuary) that they can both go in. Honden of Cleansing Fire is another nice synergy. And since we are running so many enchantments, I did put in one single Opalescence. It's not the primary game plan, especially since most of our enchantments cost only 3 to 4 mana. But there are some games where it does make for a nice surprise alpha strike.

The deck does have four creatures in it: 2x each of Roiling Horror and Mirri the Cursed. The Horror's synergy should be obvious. As for Mirri, she has good stats for her cc, she can sneak in some evasive damage, and her first strike pairs well with Death Pits of Rath. Also, if she first strikes into the opponent on the same turn a Horror is attacking, she will pump up the Horror by 3 before he deals his own combat damage. Sneaky!

Since there are so few 1–2 mana spells, we need some acceleration. The temptation was to run Veinfire Borderpost, which is both a black and red permanent, fulfilling all of the Sanctuary's requirements singlehandedly, but realistically, in a three-color deck, you probably don't have all that many basic lands to be bouncing. And hardcasting it doesn't help the problem of the first two turns. I just went with Rakdos Signet instead. (Colorless, of course, but we should have enough red and black permanents where we can get there anyway.)

Here is the list! As a reminder, every deck I make is to be considered both casual and customizable.

A Deck That Gains Life Etc.
2 Mirri the Cursed
2 Roiling Horror
4 cards

Other Spells
1 Genju of the Spires
3 Circle of Flame
1 Custody Battle
1 Smoke
4 Rakdos Signet
4 Dega Sanctuary
2 Idyllic Tutor
1 Engineered Plague
2 Honden of Infinite Rage
2 Pillory of the Sleepless
2 Angelic Accord
1 Opalescence
2 Faith's Fetters
1 Honden of Cleansing Fire
2 No Mercy
2 Death Pits of Rath
1 Sanguine Bond
32 cards
24 duals and whatnot, according to your budget
24 cards
Roiling Horror



2. Ana Sanctuary

Ana Sanctuary

Unlike the last deck, we clearly want creatures in play. Which led me to the thought, if the creature was blue and black, we would only need one single card out to activate the Sanctuary in full. And after a short amount of scrolling, I realized that there are several blue and black multicolored creatures that would greatly appreciate a +5/+5 boost. Specifically, ones with evasion:

Inkfathom Infiltrator  Baleful Strix  Dimir Infiltrator

So... we have our primary plan! Get cheap evasive creatures out and pump them. We'll need some other ways to pump them besides the Sanctuary. Consider:

Ring of Xathrid    Ordeal of Erebos

And since they're also dealing combat damage to the opponent, we should run some Curiosity effects. Sleeper's Robe is redundant, but Snake Umbra provides a nice boost, and Bident of Thassa or Coastal Piracy hit our whole army at once.

Other synergies:

In the end, we have a lean yet resilient aggro deck! Although all Sanctuaries look similar on the surface, this deck and the previous one could not play more differently.

How Do They Not Notice the 7/6 Coming Through
4 Inkfathom Infiltrator
4 Baleful Strix
2 Shadowmage Infiltrator
2 Glen Elendra Liege
2 Deep-Sea Kraken
14 cards

Other Spells
2 Turn Aside
2 Legacy's Allure
2 Agony Warp
3 Ring of Xathrid
2 Paradox Haze
4 Ana Sanctuary
2 Snake Umbra
2 Putrefy
1 Bident of Thassa
1 Coastal Piracy
1 Phthisis
22 cards
24 lands blah blah
24 cards
Paradox Haze



3. Necra Sanctuary

Necra Sanctuary

Of the five, this sanctuary is possibly the most open-ended. You could make another grindy defensive deck, in which this slow bleed is your only win-con, but to be frank that sounds kind of dull. Those decks can probably muster better wincons than 3 life a turn. You are probably better off just running this to support whatever other gameplan your green-white-black deck already has. And a green-white-black deck can have any number of plans.

My own plan started when I noticed how many white-green cards have anti-black effects (which makes sense, after all). If I could pair several of these with Painter's Servant naming black, I could do some cool (but not broken) things! Um, one time I played against somebody who dropped a first-turn Grindstone and a second-turn Painter's Servant. In the fun room. It... wasn't a very fun game.

Nah, what we'll be pairing the Painter's Servant with are things like:

Valeron Outlander  Radiant Essence  Righteous War

Filigree Fracture  Spectral Force  Nightwind Glider


The more I tinkered with this deck, the more multicolored creatures I started putting in. And since even the mono-colored creatures become multicolored when you drop a Painter's Servant, I had an eureka moment for the deck: Knight of New Alara!

This is most of the deck already. The rest is general utility spells and such. The main one I want to point out is Living Wish. Since we really want that Painter's Servant, I put one in the sideboard, along with a few other duplicates and some toolboxy cards. Many of them come from the suggestions in my Wish article last month.

In the end, there are only two Necra Sanctuaries in here. It generally serves better as a backup than the main show, especially in a deck like this.



4. Raka Sanctuary

Raka Sanctuary

It happened again! Red got the worst one! It happened in my Oaths article and it's happening now.

Raka Sanctuary doesn't look bad at first, but don't fail to notice:

  • It can't hit players
  • It isn't optional
  • ...which means it can end up hitting your own guys


You could build around that drawback of course. The four that come to my mind:

  1. Run creatureless
  2. Run only creatures with toughness greater than 3
  3. Run only creatures with shroud, protection from red, or something similar
  4. Run a two-colored deck, and just deal one damage a turn

But the problems with each of those are, going in order,

  1. This is a big sacrifice all to enable a card that may not do very much against your opponent's creatures (for example, when he drops a 6/6, your Sanctuary will look a bit piddling)
  2. Do you really want to be dealing 3 damage to your 4/4?
  3. This sounds like just a worse version of my Task Mage Assembly decks from last week.
  4. This sounds like a worse version of Honden of Infinite Rage, which costs the same 2R and can hit players (and pairs well with the white Sanctuary, as seen above). Yeah, you can get two Sanctuaries out at once, but the whole reason we're considering this strategy is that dealing too much mandatory damage every turn is a liability.

So, in conclusion: booooooo!

Next Sanctuary, please.


5. Ceta Sanctuary

Ceta Sanctuary

This Sanctuary is very cool and there are many ways to build around it buuuuut I've already posted my scheduled three decks for this week, so look back for it another time!


With Raka Sanctuary, you by AJ_Impy at Thu, 10/08/2015 - 16:49
AJ_Impy's picture

With Raka Sanctuary, you missed the nastiest trick of all: Swans of Bryn Argoll. That and things like Stuffy Doll, Spitemare and Boros Reckoner. The deck needs creatures that want to be damaged, and you're in exactly the right colours for that.

True. That could be fun. I by CottonRhetoric at Thu, 10/08/2015 - 21:31
CottonRhetoric's picture

True. That could be fun.

I didn't want to just repeat my Sorrow's Path deck from last year though

Paul wins Yaaaayyyyy OK find by CottonRhetoric at Sat, 10/10/2015 - 05:59
CottonRhetoric's picture

Paul wins


OK find me online you already have my sn

I can't see why no one else by Paul Leicht at Sat, 10/10/2015 - 07:54
Paul Leicht's picture

I can't see why no one else entered for this. Seems like a fruit ripe for the pickin'.