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By: Flippers_Giraffe, Simon Smith
Jun 11 2013 3:42am
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There are whispers of a warrior glad in darkness that was laid to rest and forgotten in the mists of time. Said warrior was stripped of all his powers to serve another cause but thy hope is dwindling and desperate measures require the summoning of the tribal warrior whose name can only be heard whispered in the darkest corners and on the wind during stormy nights.

The screams of the dead shall now call out his name for my dark desires, his time has come again to serve me taking the battle to all the corners of the Multiverse. But first the name of said warrior of which I desire is none other than Flippers_Giraffe, once a mighty force in the winds of magic now nothing more than a whisper on the edge of my tongue.

I now return him to you to prove his worth and to serve alongside me once again.

Life is an interesting beast I've been gone for a few years now pursuing other hobbies mainly in the Wargaming arena and then one day (well today as I'm writing this!) I just thought hmm I wonder what's happening over in the world of MTGO. Last time I was here I took on too many projects and burnt myself out writing articles, running a league and the Tribal Apocalypse tournaments, which I'm happy to see are still running. I ended up selling out straight away to gain maximum monetary value to the excellent people at MTGOTraders just before Extended rotated, which would have been around the release of Mirrodin Besieged so I have a bit of catching up to do. I never did say a farewell to all my loyal supporters so for that I apologise, if a tad late. 

I did find that I had some credit about a month after I first stopped and purchased a few cards but never played. So I'm starting again from scratch with those cards which I will show you below. I'm going back into the world in a completely random fashion which if you've read any of my past articles will be of no surprise. I have even stunned myself by remembering my password which is quite an amazing feet believe me.  

Set wise I've missed ME4 but I think this may have been what nailed the lid in the coffin as there was no power nine, Mirrodin Besieged, New Phyrexia, the Innistrad set, the Return to Ravnica set and M 2013. The thing which has stunned me most on my return is you're still on the same client!

Anyway enough about me that's not what you want to read about, let's talk Magic.

My starting pool on my return mostly consists of white cards so I'll cover the ones I'm not going to use first

From we have Child of Night x4

From we have Llanowar Elves x4

From we have Incinerate x4

From there is a lack of any cards

Of course I have enough basic lands to tide me over, the other cards including my $0.05 of credit I found on a bot which I used to buy a Cathedral of War which I have included in my very first deck. From checking the format stats in the deck editor its Modern legal, so over to Modern we go.

Right then let's have a look at this deck so you can see what's going on. 

My first thoughts when building this deck were that I wanted something along the lines of a white weenie rush with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. The cards may have been good a few years ago but will they stand up to the cards from the current meta as well?

For the initial first turn creature we have Elite Vanguard leading the way into battle followed next turn by an unlikely creature the Stormfront Pegasus, yeah I bet you don't see many of those around either but never look a gift horse in the mouth. If you get enough of these fast hitters out quick enough you can easily overrun your opponent. Next up is Gideon's Avenger at three mana, these guys if left unattended can quickly grow out of proportion.

Now we need to include a few creatures to interact with them. The first is Gideon's Lawkeeper which enables you to tap your opponents creatures to let yours through to deal damage or you can use it the other way round to tap theirs before they attack, make sure you have your stops in the right place to enable you to tap just before they go into to the declare attackers phase. The next card is to foil those red and blue decks from dealing out nasty surprises in your turn that could catch you with your pants down. The card in question is Grand Abolisher and yes you need to say it correctly when you're casting him, it's the GRAAAND Abolisher. He really can make it hard work for your opponent.

It's ok having a bunch of weenies but you need to get them pumping iron if you really want to start taking chunks out of your opponent. So we need a cunning plan and that plan lies in the area of global creature manipulation, well for our creatures we wouldn't want to help our opponent now would we? The first card which sprang to mind is Honor of the Pure well we are playing a mono white deck so it's really going to work well no questions asked. The next card has a very similar effect but it's based on creature type Adaptive Automaton, our creature type of choice will be Human which means our Stormfront Pegasus won't get the bonus but that's the price I'm willing to take.

Now that's the base for our creatures now we need to find a way to keep them out of harm's way so let's look at the removal options that are included in the deck. The first Is the ever powerful Oblivion Ring which needs no introductions. This is shortly followed by its small time cousin Pacifism. Then we have the grand daddy board clearer Day of Judgment as a table reset card in the late game. You need to remember not to cast all your creatures in the late game for this exact reason. This deck can be running again in a few turns after a Day of Judgment while other decks will take a while to stabilise, a lot of players make the mistake of playing their entire hand leaving them nothing in reserve. 

It's time for the power cards now that will give you that edge, the first is a Planeswalker who goes by the name of Gideon Jura. His first ability basically gives you a free full out attack in your next turn when you consider he could arrive on turn five it could be a game winner. Next he has the ability to destroy a tapped creature which is where he interacts with Gideon's Lawkeeper's tapping ability. Finally he can attack himself which is quite useful after you've played Day of Judgment. The second creature doesn't quite live up to Gideon's level but she's an angel so it's all good in my books. I now present to you Aegis Angel, she's our reserve heavy hitter I usually make Gideon indestructible just in case.

Here's what the deck looks like when it's all pulled together with a few extras.      

Gideon Jura
Cathedral of War

Now for a few screen shots of the deck in action!

Gideon Jura going in to deal the final blow himself, it's always good when a Planeswalker is willing to get his own hands dirty.

In this game I cast an early Timely Reinforcements for the soldier tokens who keep the pressure on all game for the win.

Finally that gift horse I mentioned earlier just about to be exalted while going in for the win after a Day of Judgment, see they can be worth considering. Stormfront Pegasus for the win.


Moving on to my next deck of the week which will be in the Standard format this time. I'm going to jump in and use a good selection of cards I've never seen before, well I say a good selection how about all of them apart from the lands! I decided to concentrate more on the Return to Ravnica set so the cards I bought wouldn't rotate so quickly.

The deck is good fun to play but its defiantly not as strong as the first deck of the article. So let's have a look at our starting base. I decided to go / so we have a different set of colours to what was used in the first deck. On the green side I had to branch into the Innistrad Block for the mana accelerators Scorned Villager and Somberwald Sage, I also tried a few artifacts as well Simic Keyrune and Chromatic Lantern. I'm really impressed with the Scorned Villager it's a great little card when it transforms into Moonscarred Werewolf.


Now to form the backbone of the deck, I found the Evolve ability quite interesting so decided to build my deck around it, the main Evolve creatures I used are Battering Krasis which is the baby of the bunch. This will be boosted by the Renegade Krasis which counts as a double boost as it also adds a +1/+1 counter to any other creatures with a +1/+1 counter when it evolves. The third creature in the family I'm using is the Adaptive Snapjaw it's a bit viable to burn but so are the rest of our creatures so far. A fine bunch of beasts if ever I saw one.

It wouldn't be a blue deck without any kind of counter affect now would it, I must admit I don't think I have enough but I'm not generally a big player of Counterspells. I included a nice little one drop who also has the ability to annoy players in the early game Judge's Familiar and then a true counter with a punch Mystic Genesis which leaves behind a nice big Ooze token. If you are more fond of your counters I'd probably recommend adding in some Dissipates as well.

Now the moment you've been waiting for the power cards of the deck. First off we have a large creature that will boost all your Evolve guys Nimbus Swimmer with all the mana you will have floating round in the late game this guy can really hit hard. Moving along we have my favourite card of the deck (excluding the excellent artwork on Somberwald Sage, another great piece from Steve Argyle.) which is Master Biomancer he fits in perfectly boosting your evolve creatures to new levels of greatness. Lastly we have a one card pony Prime Speaker Zegana, shes won me nearly every game she's decided to show her face in. The card draw ability tied in with the size of our creatures in the late game is just pure greatness, she leaves a smile on my face when she hits the table every time.

Which leaves the deck looking like this 

  Creatures   Spells
3 Adaptive Snapjaw 2 Alpha Authority
4 Battering Krasis Bioshift
2 Judge's Familiar Bred for the Hunt
3 Master Biomancer 2 Mystic Genesis
2 Nimbus Swimmer    
1 Prime Speaker Zegana   Lands
3 Renegade Krasis  4 Breeding Pool
Scorned Villager 8 Forest
2 Somberwald Sage 7 Island 
    Rogue's Passage 
  Artifacts Simic Guildgate 
2 Chromatic Lantern    
2 Simic Keyrune    

 A few in game shots for you so you can witness the deck in action.

This shows the might of Prime Speaker Zegana in her prime ready to lay down a world of hurt.

I did lose this one in the turn above but it's a good example of how quickly the deck can build up for a critical attack, having two Master Biomancer's in play really ups the ante, the game would have been mine next turn but it was not too be..

Now for something completely different which was something I wanted to share when I picked up the Breeding Pools for the second deck was the price, as Return to Ravnica is in full draft swing at the moment there is an opportunity to pick up some of the damage lands for a bargain price before they go up when the next set comes out. Let's have a quick look and see what's going down compared to their original versions.

  Return to Ravnica Ravnica
Blood Crypt 2.94 8.06
Hallowed Fountain 3.24 5.82
Overgrown Tomb 3.48 4.13
Steam Vents 3.05 5.16
Temple Garden 3.80 6.57
Breeding Pool 2.98 7.91
Godless Shrine 3.03 5.18
Sacred Foundry 3.32 5.12
Stomping Ground 4.00 7.37
Watery Grave 2.70 4.62

As you can see the bargain buys at the moment are Blood Crypt and Breeding Pool, with a few dollars between the rest. How much more will the prices drop is unknown but I like to try and catch cards when they get this low as they may not again. Prices taken from MTGO Traders as of the 10th of June 2013.

That's all from me for this week I hope you enjoyed the article and I hope some of you remembered me and if not I hope I have gained some new readers. I won't be writing on a weekly basis this time round unless I get really addicted..... see you online.


Welcome back. You were one of by romellos at Tue, 06/11/2013 - 04:26
romellos's picture

Welcome back. You were one of the very first writers that I have started to read the articles here on PureMTGO about 3-4 years ago. It's good to see you here again.

Welcome back :) You've been by Paul Leicht at Tue, 06/11/2013 - 07:36
Paul Leicht's picture

Welcome back :) You've been missed both in game and on here.

Thanks guys it feels good to by Flippers_Giraffe at Tue, 06/11/2013 - 11:50
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

Thanks guys it feels good to be back :)

I've already got that deck building itch, so you will be seeing a lot more of me in the future.

glad to have you back! by JustSin at Tue, 06/11/2013 - 18:49
JustSin's picture

glad to have you back!

Welcome back, Flips! by AJ_Impy at Tue, 06/11/2013 - 19:58
AJ_Impy's picture

Welcome back, Flips!

I'm a new writer here, but by kelvinmai at Tue, 06/11/2013 - 20:25
kelvinmai's picture

I'm a new writer here, but It's always nice to see someone beloved come back. So welcome back :)

So youre back? by bingobongo at Wed, 06/12/2013 - 09:04
bingobongo's picture

Just when you thought you had forgotten back bounces Flip
funny as we both quit about the same time sold up and moved on
So how strange that i find myself on a slow day at work and reading Pure to find you back and writing again
Best of luck Flip
And look me up online always seemed i was the new deck guinea pick for you :) but not as bingo, new account TurtleBeach (yeah ok i know but everything else i tried failed and i got to hate the name bingobongo)

Thanks again everyone, it by Flippers_Giraffe at Wed, 06/12/2013 - 14:23
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

Thanks again everyone, it means a lot :)