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By: flashstorm, Darcy A
May 05 2007 11:28am
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Foolish Forays of Inexperience #1 - Intro and MBA

Hello, and welcome to my first ever Magic column! As I am new to this, I don't know exactly how to start. Well, I guess I should start with a bit of background. My (user)name, obviously, is Flashstorm. Usually people are interested in the story behind that name, it is short, but I'll save it for another column. I am 16 years old, and Canadian. One of my passions is Magic, I seem to play it every waking moment. Well, it's either that or DDR. Or Wii. But usually Magic. My other interests include reading (I'm currently starting Eldest of the Inheritance series), working with numbers, and other nerdy things. Nerds will rule the world, by the way!

So, that brings me to the purpose of this column. I feel that it's time I start exploring MTGO more, try different things out, see what's fun and what's not. And since this will be an interesting learning process, I thought that other players might want to "tag along" for the ride. (Plus, I'm cheap, and credits are awesome, but hey, I never said that :P.) Unfortunately, my free time is very limited, thanks to work, school, homework, friends, etc... So, odds are this column will be biweekly, sometimes more, sometimes less. It all depends on how much time I can dedicate to making the article.

So, with that behind us, let's get into this weeks Foray. It seems like everywhere I go, I hear people preaching about how good Mono Black Aggro could be in Standard, with cards like Mirri, Plague Sliver, Dauthi Slayer, Withered Wretch, Bad Moon, etc... So, I thought I'd try out a build I made myself in the casual room, just to see how it fared. After taking a quick peek at the black and artifact card pool currently available in Standard, I came up with this deck list, followed by reasons I choose the cards:

Whatever Boros Does, Black'll Do Better
A Flashstorm Deck

28 Creatures
Dark Confidant
4 Dauthi Slayer
4 Festering Goblin
4 Plagued Rusalka
4 Phyrexian Ironfoot
3 Withered Wretch
3 Mirri the Cursed
2 Plague Sliver

22 Lands
Snow-Covered Swamp

4 Enchantments
Bad Moon

6 Other Spells
Tendrils of Corruption
2 Consume Spirit

Bad Moon











Dark Confidant: An obvious choice, not only does it beat for 2 but it also helps in keeping my hand nice and full. Both are incredibly valueable in an aggro build. Theoretically, the game should be long over before his life loss becomes a problem. Even so, Tendrils and Consume help keep me alive, and the Rusalka gets rid of it if needed.

Plagued Rusalka + Festering Goblin: The current black 1 drops in Standard aren't exactly the greatest possible. So, I choose Plagued Rusalka and Festering Goblin simply because they have the possibility of being removal. Sure, I can imagine situations where Festering backfires on me, but hey, something has to do some beating turn 2. Plus, they work well with Bad Moon. Finally, Rusalka gives me a good way to rid myself of a troublesome Confidant.

Dauthi Slayer: A bear with evasion. And good evasion at that. I'll take it.

Phyrexian Ironfoot: The reason to run snow swamp. 3/4 for 3 mana is above the curve, especially when it can untap at will. The drawback seems annoying, but manageable. I'm sure most Turn 4s I can untap Phyrexian and play a 2 drop. Only problem is that it's unaffected by Bad Moon .

Withered Wretch: Sure, it's just a bear. But, it conveniently hoses many good decks. In Casual, it seems a bit lacking, but if this deck happens to be tournament worthy, Withered will do more than earn it's keep. Dredge FTL!

Mirri the Cursed: An awesome, awesome card. Haste and Flying means it usually beats for 3 from Turn 4 on! First strike is great in combat, most fliers that could block it wont be able to live through the combat. And every time the opponent chump blocks, Mirri just grows and grows! Like Evan Erwin said, Mirri is just a sweet card.

Mirri the Cursed

Go on, I dare you to cross paths with this black cat!

Plague Sliver: Juzam Djinn.... Uhhh, duh? Only problem with them is that now my 4 drops are clumped a bit. I may trade a Mirri for a Wretch later on.

Bad Moon: Almost necessary in any standard MBA deck. Auto 4-of.

Tendrils of Corruption: Kills most blockers by the time it's castable and fuels Confidant. I thought I'd try it out. The cost might be an inhibitor.

Consume Spirit: I thought the deck could use a finisher. Relying on just creatures to do all damage isn't always the best idea. Unless you're MGA. Plus, it can burn away a blocker and feed Confidant.

The strategy to the deck is blatantly obvious. Play creatures. Swing with Creatures. Repeat until a player is dead, hopefully it's the opponent.  Either that or beat to an incredibly low life, than Consume their Spirit for the win. (P.S.: I eat your soul.) The only strategy decision I've come up with is to not play Bad Moon turn 2 if you have a 1 drop on field and a 2 drop in hand. I'd play the 2 drop first than the Bad Moon, to maximise the damage dealt. But, of course, no new deck is complete without some testing, so, off to the Casual room we go!

Game 1: Talleyman

My first game, I get myself a decent opening hand. Confidant, bad moon, dauthi, couple of swamps: a keeper. My opponent takes his second turn to Think Twice, which lets me throw down a Dauthi. He responds with a Circle of Affliction (guess what he named). Thinking that might cause a bit of trouble, I swing. He takes the 2, but activates his circle. I drop swamp and confdant. Talley takes his next turn to Wistful Thinking himself, discarding a couple Stronghold Overseer, Melancholy, and a second Wistful. I reveal AND draw a swamp, and drop my Bad Moon before combat to hit for 6. I pass, so my opponent suspends himself a Living End. I reveal a second swamp, swing for 6 again, and make a Foolish MistakeTM by passing my turn without a drop. I than find my Slayer Melancholy-ed, cutting my damage even further. I reveal a Goblin, swing for my 3, and drop Sliver and Rusalka. Talley tries to muck up the ground with a Basal Sliver, but I Tendrils of Corruption it away and swing for the win.
Currently: 1-0
Game 2: Mynoris
My opponent, playing a 3-colour token deck (I learn afterwards), gets herself into a bit of a mana-screw, dropping only a late Transluminant. I manage to get out a Rusalka, Confidant, Withered, Mirri, and Dauthi, so this game ended up in the bag.
Currently: 2-0

Game 3: Mynoris (Take 2)
Mynoris and I have another bout, this time with another deck of hers. Opponent hits a turn 1 Brass Gnat, I follow up with rusalka. She than follows up with Sprite Noble, than a morphed to unmorphed Fathom Seer. I developed my board with a Dauthi, Phyrexian, and Confidant, swinging along the way whenever I can. I make my second Foolish MistakeTM by forgetting to untap my Phyrexian at the end of my opponent's turn. Mynoris attempts to give his flying Noble with (Ophidian Eye), but I deny with Tendrils of Corruption, swing, than Eat her Soul for the win.
Currently: 3-0  

Game 4: Slaverbot (Bot? In the Casual room? It cannot be! )
I win the die roll and get a running start with Goblin and Rusalka. My opponent plays a  Torpid Moloch, which trades with my Goblin. My first reveal is a Consume Spirit. I play another Goblin, which gains first strike thanks to the Bot's Galvanic Arc. That is short-lived,
Consume Spirit

*munch munch munch*

however, when Goblin is than burned away, taking Confidant (as the only targetfor its trigger) with it. I than drop Phyrexian, which is responded with a Swarmyard and Junktroller. My next play is Bad Moon, which conveinantly does not affect Phyrexian. I swing, its blocked, and pass. I'm than forced to discard a swamp to the Bot's newly played (and beefed up - stupid Bad Moon) Hellhole Rats. Playing nothing but a swamp, I swing, to which Hellhole Rats blocks, and regenerates thanks to the swarmyard. Incoming another Foolish MistakeTM! Slaver drops a Seal of Fire, but I still swing. It gets blocked by the Rats, again, and regenerates again. Except, this time, my only creature is lost to a Seal. After s/he drops a Stinkweed Imp, I know I'm toast, and concede.
Currently: 3-1
Ok, time for some changes. Consume Spirit is underwhelming; it want's alot of mana, one that an Aggro deck of this nature simply cannot provide. Looking over the standard list, there really isn't many cards that can replace it as a "finisher". So, I'm going to try a deck that is pure creature rush. I mean, it works for WW in Block, no? Another issue with the deck is a distinct lack of early creature kill. Since this deck probably wants a few more turn 3 plays, I'm thinking a playset of Sudden Death is needed. To fill out the last two slots, I decided to take out two swamps. With Consume Spirit gone, I want to see if this deck can still run on such little mana.
Out: 2x Consume Spirit, 2x Snow Swamp. In: 4x Sudden Death.
Game 5: Mr. Elbows
Hourrah for turn 5 wins!  The deck played exactly as I expected it would. Bunch of small black weenies pumped up by Bad Moon swung in for the win. MrElbows only relevant play was a suspended (Corpulent Corpse turn 2 and turn 4 Diabolic Tutor, nothing to stop the BBoys from taking it home.

Game 6: Chicagoguy
This game was a perfect example as to why MBA needs reliable card draw, badly. I did get Confidant, but a turn 1 Plagued Rusalka shut it out for the most of the game. Ravenous Rats and Smallpox tore apart my hand and eventually left me with an empty hand and field. I had no way to deal with The Rack he dropped next turn, so I died a slow and painful death, complete with arm-flailing and the sounds of dreams being crushed. Either that, or my mom telling me to stop being such a Drama King.
Now, I had actually planned on playing more games with this deck. Honest-to-God, I was. Until I realised that, well, I was having no fun! I mean, it's a cool deck and all, but the Johnny inside of me is just screaming in agony! The point of this whole column is to help me find something that I'd find fun, so if I'm not, what's the point of continuing? So, note to self: MBA is no fun.
That'll be my column for this week, and hopefully just the first in a very long series. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, either post here, on the forums, or I can be found in-game and on the Wizards MTGO boards as Flashstorm. My topic for the next segment isn't exactly set in stone yet, so if you think you have a good idea, I'd love to hear it. Right now I'm thinking something... PDC-ish.
Until next time, remember: Be willing to sacrifice something if it's impeding you from reaching your goal!


Deck Changes Suggestion by Bradly (Unregistered) (not verified) at Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:10
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Nice article, however it would help if you you listed the cards you aded and removed from the deck in bullets rather than a paragraphical manner. That way skimmers can pull out what they need without having to read the whole article. This is pretty important when writing for the web. Great job though!


Not bad... by dragonmage65 at Sun, 05/06/2007 - 11:04
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The font is straining my eyes, though, better make it bigger.

by Lord Erman at Sun, 05/06/2007 - 17:51
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I cannot comment on the deck as aggro decks/strategies are beyond my knowledge. I just wanted to say that nevertheless I really do liked the article. A VERY good start to be honest. By the way, listen to what DM65 says.

Thanks Guys! by flashstorm at Sun, 05/06/2007 - 18:12
flashstorm's picture

Thanks everyone for the great feedback. Is that font better? I'm not to interested for suggestions on the deck itself, but feel free to anyway incase I decide to revisit it. Any suggestions on the article format? Possible other topics? Anything else? I've open ears.

Banner posibilites by flashstorm at Sun, 05/06/2007 - 18:13
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I'm also looking into the posibilities of a graphic banner for my articles. Where might I get one?

by Lord Erman at Sun, 05/06/2007 - 18:20
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It's not the font, it's the size of it. Please make it bigger.

Myself by Anonymous (Mynoris) (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 05/07/2007 - 08:21
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Yay! I'm in print. But...and I don't know if you can edit this, I'd rather be listed as 'she' if that's alright. :)

Let Flashstorm know what you think by mtgotraders at Sat, 05/05/2007 - 20:44
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This is flashstorm's first article so leave him so feedback, if you liked/disliked and how to make it better.

Interesting by Ant d Man (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 05/05/2007 - 22:04
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First off, I liked your article, interesting stuff. Just wanted to point out some tips, first off, in this kind of deck I would highly suggest a liege of the pit or two, an easy way to wrap up a game by turn 4 or 5. Take out the phyrexians for them. Also consider using stromgald crusader in place of the withered though both are good ideas. Other than that, this is a standard beatem up fast deck. Works well. Good first article, can't wait to start up this summer myself.

by MysticLancer at Sat, 05/05/2007 - 22:56
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Overall good article Flashstorm. A few tips, at the beginning of each opponent, put what type of deck they are playing. It might also help to play matches instead of games, so you can see how these work out over a longer run and make sure you or your opponent didn't just get lucky. I found this helpful myself... when writing the recaps of games, replay the game for which the part of the article represents. It really helps to make a more complete analysis of a game. But like I said good article, just some tips to help you out. I look forward to seeing more.

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