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By: Flippers_Giraffe, Simon Smith
Jul 20 2015 11:00am
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Welcome back readers to another look at the decks that I've been playing in the Just for fun room. It appears though that my first deck isn't actually fun to play against in fact I've been getting a lot of abuse playing it online from other players. It's kind of why this article is a bit delayed I got so fed up with other players attitudes that I stopped playing and had a break for a bit. Most games would end in either a disconnection mid game or a hurl of abuse in the comments and then they would concede. Well the other night I was back online again as I really wanted to bring this article to you and again first game with my new modern deck and it finishes in a hurl of abuse in the comments section, I had enough at this point and ended up reporting the player so they get their wrist slapped. There's really no reason to be abusive just because it's an online game, if you can't be nice then don't say anything. If it was paper and they were playing me face to face they wouldn't dare come out with some of the comments I've seen recently.

My new view is report abusive players when you come across them, all you need to do is take a screen shot and report the player. If you go to help on the top of MTGO and then select the Report Player Conduct link it gives you all the details that are required. There's no reason to take it, just report them and carry on playing.

Now for something more positive to help push us off in the right direction. MTG Origins has been released in the paper world so let's have a look to see what's hot. For this I'm going to be using the prices from www.mtgotraders.com sister site www.capefeargames.com to bring you the top 10 money cards as of the 18th of July 2015.

This is actually all the cards over the $10 mark so it gives you a good idea of what to rare draft for when the set comes online. Of course these are paper prices so you won't get as much bang for your buck but it's a good indicator. I thought the top ten would be all mythics but I was pleasantly surprised to see Goblin Piledriver and Languish up there as well.

 

Now let's have a look at that troublesome deck that I've been playing in Modern. The deck is built around gaining life, as much life as possible so we can win via an alternative win condition card Felidar Sovereign. When he's in play and we have 40 or more life we win the game in our upkeep phase. He's also a rather nasty creature with Vigilance, lifelink and a 4/6 body.

As lifegain is the most important aspect of the deck we start off with our small creatures that try to gain us an advantage in the early game. Knight of Meadowgrain and Ajani's Sunstriker both requiring two white mana to cast, although the Knight is better with first strike. Then we have our helpful ram to stop other weenie decks taking our valuable life away from us Nyx-Fleece Ram, who gives us a life each turn. Then we hit our first card that likes to be insulted as it costs too much money to be classified as a casual card apparently Archangel of Thune, this lovely young lady of the skies is amazing in this deck. Due to all our life gain creatures and the Nyx-Fleece Ram things do get out of control very quickly. Every time we gain life all our creatures gain a +1/+1 counter.

To help out even further with giving our creatures +1/+1 counters and the ability to give us 100 life, yep that should fulfil Felidar's needs is Ajani, Mentor of Heroes. He also has a very useful ability where can look at the top four cards of your library and put any aura, creature or planeswalkers into your hand.  He's also been moaned at for being too expensive for the casual room, realllly!!! Our other creature also our only other green card in the deck is Courser of Kruphix who lets us play lands from the top of our deck, we also gain a life each time we play one which makes the Archangel of Thune smile.

We are running quite light with the removal in this deck, I'm not running Oblivion Ring or Banishing Light because I always run those in my white decks so this time I went with Banisher Priest who has the same ability but can benefit from all the +1/+1 counters flying around. Next up is our wrath effect, please note that you are not allowed to play this card against sliver decks because it's unfair, so I've been told! The card I went with is End Hostilities which I thought would be useful against auras and equipment. 

Now we look at all the other odd cards in the deck. First is our hinder to blue players Spirit of the Labyrinth which stops players drawing more than one card a turn. Then we have Archetype of Courage to give all our creatures first strike and take it away from our opponents creatures, it makes Spirit of the Labyrinth a 3/1 first striker which is really nice. Aegis of the Gods is a great card against burn decks as he gives you Hexproof. Lastly we have Seraph of the Sword, who I've found to be a very useful card especially against creatures with Deathtouch, she reduces all combat damage against her to zero.

I'm also running a few swords that come up now and then to make the game a bit more fun/different which are Godsend, which removes creatures that are blocked by/or block the creature with the sword, you can exile the creature and your opponent can't cast another of that card again for the rest of the game. It also gives your creature +3/+3 which is nice. Our second weapon of choice is Sword of War and Peace, when equipped to one of our creatures it gains +2/+2 and protection from red and white. It also deals an extra amount of damage to your opponent in combat for each card they have in hand and you gain that much life.

And here we have the finished version of the deck I've been using. Is it the most evil deck in existence? I think not if it was that good you would see it being played in tournaments but you don't. Should there be a value limit on cards that can be played in the casual room? I think not. My view on MTGO is bring what you like, it's not like you can cheat online by playing cards that aren't legal in the format or having five of a card in a deck. You are always going to get bad match ups especially in the casual room because it's not a competitive environment which is what the tournament practice room is for.  

I think the deck is very fun to play it could benefit from Path to Exile but I'm not willing to drop cash on that card at its current price. The life gain interactions with Archangel of Thune really make the deck shine and Ajani's contribution is well worth the effort of splashing green for. 

    Creatures     Artifacts 
Aegis of the Gods  1 Godsend
2 Ajani's Sunstriker Sword of War and Peace
3 Archangel of Thune    
Archetype of Courage   Planeswalkers
Banisher Priest 3 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
Courser of Kruphix     
Felidar Sovereign    Lands
Knight of Meadowgrain 3 Forest
Nyx-Fleece Ram 10  Plains 
Seraph of the Sword Sunpetal Grove
2 Spirit of the Labyrinth 4 Windswept Heath
    2 Wooded Bastion
  Spells    
End Hostilities     

 

Now we venture into Modern for our next deck which has actually had quite a few compliments. It's essentially a Pauper deck but I couldn't get any games so moved it over to Legacy and added some Scrublands to help the mana base out. Other than that's it's all commons. I wanted a deck that was very fast but something of a challenge as well. There were a few cards I wanted to include from the offset and build up from there. The cards are Guul Draz Vampire and Ruthless Cullblade, both creatures that get better when your opponent has 10 or less life. Of course I approve due to them being scantily clad young (would you say otherwise to them) ladies of vampiric descent.

Of course they have a few friends to help them get the damage in as soon as possible. Both of which are vampires Shadow Alley Denizen to help push our creatures through by giving them intimidate. The other is Tithe Drinker which is a valuable asset to the deck, I've won so many games off the back of her extort ability as the deck plays very fast extort becomes so much more useful than it would be in a normal deck.

Speaking of how fast the deck plays this is due to a number of really useful cards. Sign in Blood is the most obvious card you pay two life for two cards which isn't really an issue with Tithe Drinker. The other draw cards come in the form of lands Barren Moor and Polluted Mire of which both cards have the cycling mechanic that enables you to pay the relevant mana to discard the card and draw another. It really does speed the deck up. I'm also playing Dark Ritual as well to help boost things along.

Now onto removal cards, the first is one of my favourites Grasp of Darkness, I like it as it gets around a lot of creatures that are immune to damage like Stuffy Doll. The next card is for those creatures that are too big to kill with Grasp of Darkness which is Sip of Hemlock it also deals two damage to our opponent helping to lower their life total. In the same vein as Sip of Hemlock we have the version for smaller critters or final encounters Last Kiss. Lastly we round out with a truly great card that takes advantage of all our vampires in play Harsh Sustenance.

Lastly but not forgotten is our trump card for that moment when you need to squeeze that vampire through to connect with you opponents throat or for that time when you wish your blocker was a big bigger. So I went for a protection spell to help our vampires out Apostle's Blessing. The thing I love most about it is you don't even need any white mana to cast it, you just substitute one white mana for two life,  

Here's the final deck as I say it's a really fun deck with so many card interactions that you really need to be aware of what every card has the potential to do at all times. I've won games by casting a Dark Ritual just to cast a spell for the damage from Tithe Drinkers extort ability, fun times. 

    Creatures     Lands
Guul Draz Vampire  3 Barren Moor
3 Ruthless Cullblade Bojuka Bog
4 Shadow Alley Denizen 3 Polluted Mire
Tithe Drinker 4 Scoured Barrens
    4 Scrubland
  Spells 9 Swamp
Apostle's Blessing    
Dark Ritual    
Grasp of Darkness    
3 Harsh Sustenance    
2 Last Kiss    
4 Sign in Blood    
Sip of Hemlock    
       

Lastly we move into Vintage for the really odd deck of the article. Our card we will be building round this time is one that I've never seen anyone play online Quicksilver Fountain. This is the text from the card, it's easier to copy and paste "At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player puts a flood counter on target non-Island land he or she controls. That land is an Island as long as it has a flood counter on it. At end of turn, if all lands in play are Islands, remove all flood counters from them." So basicly it turns all lands into islands, it's a mana denial deck that's as long as you're not playing a mono blue deck.

So the question is how are we going to abuse this card to make it worth playing. We need to have a non-island in play at all times so we can force a lock. The answer is an enchantment that stops our lands being targeted Trace of Abundance, yes it only protects one land but that's all you need to get your lock on. I'm also running Noble Hierarch and a few Moxs to help out as well on the mana front.

Now we have our lock we need a way to actually win the game. For this I went with islandwalkers, there's not going to be any creatures able to block them so why not. The first is Cold-Eyed Selkie which is usually our game winner with her card draw ability, yes she's only a 1/1 but don't forget those Noble Hierarch's with their exalt ability. She's also really evil when equipped with Sword of War and Peace as your opponents hand will be quite big as they can't cast their spells. Next we have a classic creature which goes all the way back to the Visions set River Boa, I choose this card not just for Islandwalk but also for its regeneration ability just in case we get into trouble and need a blocker.

There is another creature with Islandwalk that's part of a combo to really wreck face early on. Inkwell Leviathan is his name and the card that goes with it is Tinker. Tinker lets us sacrifice an artifact in play and replace it with another artifact card from your library. As we are running quite a few artifacts there's no problem making room for the combo, it can even be cast on turn one if you have a Sol Ring, Mox and a land in hand. Inkwell Leviathan has shroud so you don't need to fear Swords to Plowshares removing him from play. Tinker is also useful for finding Sword of War and Peace as well.

That's the core of the deck so let's look at the other cards that help keep it going. First we have graveyard removal in the form of Angel of Finality, I still think she's an excellent card but don't see anyone else using her much. Then we have Sterling Grove which protects our Trace of Abundance and also acts as a tutor to find it, it's a bit cheaper than running Enlightened Tutor and I like the protection ability. Brainstorm is there for a bit of top deck manipulation and Dig Through Time for card draw.

We are also running the main tutors from black Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor, these are the only two black spells but with all the fetch and dual lands we are running it's never really an issue. We also have Time Walk, a chance for an extra turn isn't something you are going to turn away. Removal is in the form of Swords to Plowshares and Rune Snag from the counter side. We aren't really running enough blue for Force of Will, I did think about Counterspell but we don't always have two blue mana available early on.

And here we have the final deck its really interesting to play, it can be a bit fragile at times vs red decks but if you manage a Quicksilver Fountain early on you are usually ok. It's nice to use cards like River Boa and Cold-Eyed Selkie they don't see play very often these days.

    Creatures     Artifacts 
Angel of Finality  1 Mox Emerald
3 Cold-Eyed Selkie Mox Pearl
1 Inkwell Leviathan 4 Quicksilver Fountain
Noble Hierarch 1 Sol Ring
River Boa 1 Sword of War and Peace
       
  Spells    Lands
Brainstorm 2 Bayou
Demonic Tutor Forest 
Dig Through Time Island
3 Rune Snag 1 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
3 Sterling Grove 2 Plains
3 Swords to Plowshares Savannah
Time Walk Tropical Island
Tinker Windswept Heath
Trace of Abundance Wooded Foothills
Vampiric Tutor     

And that ties up another article, I hope you enjoyed it and I inspired you to build some new decks.

Origins is out soon and there's quite a few nice cards in there to build around so I will be visiting Standard soon, not in the next article though as plans are already a foot.

Catch you online Flip