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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
Dec 25 2013 12:51pm
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I'll admit it.  I was aghast when I first heard there would be a Planeswalker Week.  I write about casual Magic—the very antithesis of planeswalkers!  There is no fun to be had with these powerhouses.  Would I next be asked to write an article titled "Fun With Power Nine"?  It cannot be done.

And yet...

I found a loophole....

 

Deck 1 Mishra was a planeswalker

Mishra, Artificer Prodigy

He might not have a planeswalker card, but it's the same guy.  This card just depicts him when he was younger.  It counts!  And unlike the real planeswalkers, he's an actually fun card.

How to build a deck?  We will need artifacts, but not just any artifacts.  Ones that work better in multiples.  And ones worth recurring.  He searches the library, hand, and graveyard.

    Bottled Cloister

Let's start with ones that help us find a Mishra.  Darksteel Pendant and Crystal Ball are good sifters, and Bottled Cloister is a great way to draw cards when you don't have instants to cast.  This being an artifact deck, we don't have more than a couple.

Next we'll need ways to control the board.  It would be easy to turn this into a full-on prison deck, but I don't want to overdo it.  Let's just get some minor stall going, and let our giant creatures win the game for us (more on them later).  We can enlist Pyrite Spellbomb (so much better than Aeolipile!) and Perilous Myr.  As for bigger threats, Terminate isn't an artifact, but it is very good... and we don't need to have every card be duplicable with Mishra.  Just a lot of them.

Mishra is a three-color card, so run whatever duals you have, but since this is a casual article, I'll try to make it a budget one as well and just run cheap lands like Crumbling Necropolis.  I'll also let some artifacts help us out, such as Chromatic Star and Sphere of the Suns.

Now for the fun part of the deck.  The timmy part of the deck.  The giant creatures we get to copy for free!

Arcbound Crusher is an obvious choice to complement our insane number of artifacts.  He gets huge fast, whether you get to copy him or not.

Then there's Precursor Golem!  Hoo boy is he awesome when you get six golems instead of just three.  And at five mana, he curves perfectly after a Mishra.  Of course they can all be killed with a single Doom Blade... but so could a regular 9/9 for 5 mana.  (Or an 18/18 for 5 mana.)  Either way it's worth the risk.

And of course don't forget that Mishra himself is a 4/4 and not bad at swinging.

Here is the list!  The casual, casual list.  Please feel free to tinker with its contents to your liking.

Mishra's Precrusher Pochrabomb
 
Creatures
3 Epochrasite
2 Perilous Myr
4 Arcbound Crusher
4 Mishra, Artificer Prodigy
4 Precursor Golem
17 cards

Other Spells
2 Chromatic Star
3 Pyrite Spellbomb
4 Sphere of the Suns
3 Terminate
3 Crystal Ball
2 Smash
3 Bottled Cloister
20 cards
Lands
4 Crumbling Necropolis
6 Island
6 Swamp
7 Mountain
23 cards
 
Precursor Golem

 

 

 

Deck 2 Karn was a planeswalker too

Karn, Silver Golem 

And yet before he became the tier-one, tournament-winning end-game scourge that is Karn Liberated, he was just a regular(ish) guy.  Kind of a March of the Machines that could also swing.  And block a 7/7.

And... be cast without colored mana.

I think we have our premise!

Karn plays differently than Mishra in that he's not good at rushing.  He wants to build up a defense, and then send a bunch of guys over at once.  So although I opted out of a prison build the last time, that's exactly what I'm opting for this time.

Forcefield and Thunderstaff are each decent defensive cards, and of course work great in tandem.  Golem's Heart can be expected to gain at least six life if it's cast before turn five, and it won't be met with the groans that Sun Droplet often is.  Some games, it will gain more like 15 life.

    Spine of Ish Sah

Moonglove Extract does all that an Aeolipile does, and yet (1) at a higher cmc it's better to animate with Karn and (2) you can use it without tapping, which is relevant for some nice mid-combat tricks if it's declared as an attacker.

At high cmcs, we have Staff of Nin, Contagion Engine, and Spine of Ish Sah.  I love these with Karn because they stick around to attack after they do what they do.  And this particular deck doesn't take advantage of Spine sacrifice combos, but it wouldn't be hard to add a few Phyrexia's Cores if you want to.  But again, I'm trying to avoid the opposing groans.

At lower cmcs, I'm taking a "best-of" approach to all the random artifact hosers I always liked but don't often get to use.  So we're talking Portcullis, Null Brooch, Purging Scythe, Meekstone, Torpor Orb, Tawnos's Coffin....

Ahhhhhhhhhhh.  (Lets the warm, golden sunlight wash over me.)

If you live life the Cotton Rhetoric way (i.e. play with Tawnos's Coffin all the time) you'll learn some tricks with it.  For instance, when you untap it on your turn to free the guy inside it, the guy returns to play tapped.  This means you can tap it again on your turn—usually to remove a second blocker, or in this case to animate and then swing with the coffin.  While the guy who was locked down remains tapped!

One final note is about the lands.  If you don't share my irrational yet blistering hatred for Cloudposts, you could probably improve the deck a lot by adding them.  And if you can afford Mishra's Workshop and Tolarian Academy (and if you aren't riddled with guilt by playing them in the fun room), of course they would be good too.  I'm opting for the much more moderate Urzatron, though, as well as some Buried Ruins (which I'd recommend no matter what your build).  I'll also put in some Deserts.

At least...

I'll leave them in until Desert Nomads comes online....


 

Deck 3 Jaya was one too

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

 

Like Mishra, she was a planeswalker in the game's lore despite never getting a planeswalker card.  But she has one distinct advantage over Mishra for this article's sake.  That is:

...her card has three abilities!  So it basically is a planeswalker in my book.  (Of course in my book, Emerald Charm is also a planeswalker.)

    Spinal Villain

So how do we put this pseudo-planeswalker to use, other than to pray our opponent is running blue?  By MAKING them run blue.  Come here, Painter's Servant, u ha ha ha.  And come here Spinal Villain too, in case a Jaya doesn't show up.

Of course the Incinerate ability is the one we'll be using most often, so let's focus on that.  And specifically, let's focus on the discard half of it.  With madness cards!  Red has got the best ones outside of blue, like Fiery Temper, Violent Eruption, and Reckless Wurm.  This is putting our deck squarely into the midrange category.  Plays kind of Rock-y, with its gradual tempo and card advantage.  Not quite as well, one could argue....

Another tool to utilize next to discarding is flashback, which red isn't half bad at.  Reckless Charge, Volcanic Spray, Seize the Day....  Hey let's keep synergizing.  How about adding a hellbent theme?  Flashback is great for that, since it gives you stuff to cast when you don't have a hand.  Rakdos Pit Dragon is a strong hellbent card.  And a card that perfectly unites multiple of this deck's themes at once is Gathan Raiders.

We'll need some additional ways to discard cards on top of Jaya and the Raiders, like Razormane Masticore and Anvil of Bogardan.  The optimist in me also tried using Null Brooch again (♥♥♥♥♥) but it was just too slow and didn't do enough for this kind of deck.  Well, one deck a week is enough for I suppose.

Still....

(Pine....)

Here's the list!

 

See you next time, and have fun with "planeswalkers"!

1 Comments

Clever. But I think there's a by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 12/26/2013 - 01:21
Kumagoro42's picture
5

Clever. But I think there's a couple of casual planeswalker cards out there. They're mostly called "Chandra". (I agree that they're not particularly "fun", though). And walkers like Venser and Sarkhan (both his versions) essentially scream for casual applications, having had very few, if any, non-casual applications at all.