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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
Nov 11 2015 12:00pm
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There are over a million words in the English language, and I have selected some of them for you.


Deck 1 Hidden Herd

Hidden Herd

It's an exaggeration to say that everyone in the Just For Fun room uses nonbasics... but not much of one. Any card of yours that mentions an opponent's nonbasics is nearly guaranteed to operate at full facilities. And when it comes to hosing nonbasics, green and red are the kings. Some of the best options:

Skyshroud Elite  Dryad Sophisticate  Skyshroud War Beast

Wilderness Elemental Price of Progress  Primal Order

There are also a lot of cards that straight up destroy nonbasics (or turn them into Mountains), but we don't want to use those. They would weaken our Skyshroud War Beast!

Some decks kind of build themselves and this is one of them. The above six cards have a clear pattern going on, which is that they all point towards wanting to be in an aggro deck. All we need to do then is flesh the deck out a little!

  • Goblin Guide and Nettle Sentinel would be the spikey approaches to the creature base, but this ain't no tournament deck. Pass on both of those! I'm running Ghazbán Ogre and Wild Dogs. Their chaos-y nature makes them more fun, and also less powerful, but that's kind of the point.
  • Weight of Spires is an on-theme way to deal damage, but let's not go overboard with the theme. They will almost never be better than a Flame Slash, and even less frequently better than Skred. I'd rather just use good old-fashioned Lightning Bolt, and I don't think anybody would begrudge us those.
  • Viridescent Wisps is a nice way to keep things flowing while still accomplishing something.
  • The curve ended up topping off at 2, so there aren't many lands.
  • I wanted to fix the colors a little, but I didn't want to expose myself to my own Price of Progress—especially when we've got those Ghazbán Ogres—, so I went with fetch lands instead of dual lands.
  • Can the deck function against that odd opponent without any nonbasics? Sort of... Dryad Sophisticate and Skyshroud Elite are simply downgraded to underpowered... but the fact is, twelve entire cards in this deck become completely blank, so I wouldn't expect to win very many matches that way. Still! Like I said, this almost never comes up.

It's reckless, but it's a metagame choice!

Take That, Nonbasics
Hidden Herd 
4 Ghazban Ogre
4 Skyshroud Elite
4 Wild Dogs
4 Dryad Sophisticate
4 Skyshroud War Beast
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Viridescent Wisps
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Price of Progress
3 Phytoburst
15 cards
4 Wooded Foothills
5 Mountain
12 Forest
21 cards
Viridescent Wisps



Deck 2 Thran Lens

Thran Lens

This card was likely designed to be used reactively. If an opponent is running Circle of Protection: Red and Silver Knight, sideboard it in to negate their plans. But there are other ways to use it. It's possible to make this a proactive threat.

How? Start by searching for cards with words like "nonwhite" and "nongreen." Sunlance, Exile, and Saltblast can now target anything they want! Fear and Intimidate get nice upgrades, making the creature unblockable by everything except artifacts. Just beware that the Lens is not a Painter's Servant, meaning it doesn't affect cards not on the battlefield. No Frazzle or Eye of Ugin tricks for you!

    Doom Blade

Black is, BY FAR, the champion of these sorts of effects, beating the other colors in quantity nearly ten times over. It all started with Terror and Fear in Alpha, and it's grown ever since then. Basically every set has had at least one "target nonblack creature" effect. And even when Fear was phased out and replaced with Intimidate, it was still housed mainly in black's slice of the color pie.

So here is our plan.

  1. Control the board with "nonblack" destruction spells. Doom Blade is the best, Seize the Soul is my favorite, Dead Ringers is the funniest. There are many, many more to pick from. It's important that you pick ones that don't also mention "non-artifact" though, as artifact creatures interfere with the next item on our list, so we need some way to kill them.
  2. Drop some creatures that are hard to block. Prickly Boggart and Nezumi Cutthroat are the cheapest viable options. Lifebane Zombie and Dross Golem are where the power starts to become significant. Halo Hunter and Dread are threats that the opponent actually needs to deal with. And I would love to run Commander Greven il-Vec, but he is simply outclassed by today's power curve.
  3. Since we're already sneaking creatures through, let's put some combat triggers on them! Mask of Memory and Specter's Shroud are beloved classics. Quietus Spike does some serious work. You could use Elbrus, the Binding Blade to release your inner Timmy. Or you could ignore half of my decklist below and run a ninjutsu theme.
  4. Since we'll have lots of colorless creatures out, Ghostfire Blade and Tomb of the Spirit Dragon can capitalize on that.

I've said almost every card in the deck already, except for some assorted utility spells, so here is the list.

Cards Look Funny When Their Frame Changes
2 Lifebane Zombie
3 Halo Hunter
4 Dross Golem
3 Dread
12 cards

Other Spells
2 Ghostfire Blade
2 Doom Blade
3 Night's Whisper
2 Mask of Memory
2 Specter's Shroud
3 Mind Stone
4 Thran Lens
1 Quietus Spike
2 Seize the Soul
2 Dead Ringers
2 Beseech the Queen
25 cards
21 Swamp
2 Tomb of the Spirit Dragon
23 cards
Quietus Spike


If you make a white deck with Thran Lens, don't forget about Heroic Defiance. And I'd recommend Invasion's Djinn cycle, but even with their bonus guaranteed, they're still quite weak by today's standards.


Deck 3 Oblation


Like Thran Lens above, Oblation's "best" use is reactively. Like, anti-Control Magic tech. But I'll ask the same question of it: what if we used it proactively? What if we used cards that gave themselves to the opponent, and then we got rid of them, drawing two cards in the process? What if we paired it with...

Humble Defector  Starke of Rath  Treacherous Pit-Dweller

Yes, I think that would work very well!

We'll need some other cards to pair with those creatures besides Oblation, of course. Chaos Warp is a fair comparison. Flickerwisp and Galepowder Mage can not only remove the card but return it to us. Magewright's Stone can get an extra use of the tap effects before the card leaves our side.

If we're running Magewright's Stone, we have to run Mangara of Corondor. And if we're running Flickerwisp, we have to run Akroma, Angel of Fury! (It also gives us something big to hope for when Chaos Warping our own card. It's not our primary plan of attack or anything... but it is a nice bonus every now and then.)

Another funny card to pair with these self-removal effects is Custody Battle. Um, I had better put the card image here because I don't think anyone has heard of Custody Battle.

Custody Battle

So the way this works is, steal your opponent's creature, and then after it's on your side, just get rid of the enchantment. The creature will then stay on your side indefinitely!

Telim'Tor's Edict would work but it got cut in favor of Chaos Warp. When casting it on your own spells, the Edict is often better, but Chaos Warp does have the potential to save you from an opposing Eldrazi or something. I also had Despotic Scepter and Tel-Jilad Stylus in an earlier build, but their repeatability wasn't worth their loss of bonuses.

Here is the list! Very fun, very wacky, and very, very synergistic.


Like Tying a String to a Quarter
4 Flickerwisp
3 Mangara of Corondor
2 Starke of Rath
2 Galepowder Mage
2 Charmbreaker Devils
3 Akroma, Angel of Fury
16 cards

Other Spells
4 Magewright's Stone
4 Humble Defector
4 Custody Battle
4 Oblation
4 Chaos Warp
20 cards
3 Temple of Triumph
4 Plateau
9 Mountain
8 Plains
24 cards
Magewright's Stone


See you next week!


"we don't want to use those. by AJ_Impy at Wed, 11/11/2015 - 12:15
AJ_Impy's picture

"we don't want to use those. They would weaken our Skyshroud War Beast!"

Not true: Blood Moon, Magus of the Moon and friends turn things into mountains, but not _basic_ mountains.: You can have your cake and eat it: Turn off their land and still hit them for full value off a Price.

Oh, hmm! Good to know, by CottonRhetoric at Wed, 11/11/2015 - 12:48
CottonRhetoric's picture

Oh, hmm! Good to know, thanks.

Re:Custody Battle. Same fun by Rerepete at Wed, 11/11/2015 - 12:22
Rerepete's picture

Re:Custody Battle. Same fun with Cloudshift and Ghostly Flicker - steal their stuff and "flicker it" and it returns to your side permanently.

Karakas should likely also be by Reaper9889 at Wed, 11/11/2015 - 18:52
Reaper9889's picture

Karakas should likely also be in the last deck...