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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
Dec 08 2015 1:00pm
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 Necrotic Ooze

What a card!!  So versatile!!  Why didn't I write about this sooner!!

Let's start by talking strategies, and then we can get to some decklists. To be clear, these are for CASUAL builds. Also, and this is just a personal preference of mine, but I find infinite combos to be boring and annoying and so I won't be featuring any of those. (Besides, the internet has already got those covered.)

In case you are skimming, there will be NO INFINITE COMBOS.


1. Power Matters

Whatever creature it copies, the ooze stays a respectable 4/3, and there are ways to put that to use besides attacking. If the ooze mimes your Old Man of the Sea or Unliving Psychopath, it can reach bigger creatures more easily. If it's a Spikeshot Goblin or Abyssal Hunter, it will get in bonus points of damage. Bloodshot Trainee is powered-on by default!

Old Man of the Sea  Unliving Psychopath  Spikeshot Goblin  Bloodshot Trainee


2. Self-protection

If your strategy revolves around one card, keep that card safe! The ooze has many ways to do this itself, gaining anything from regeneration to shroud to indestructability to flickering.

Rimebound Dead  Frost Raptor  Deathless Angel  Mistmeadow Witch


3. Pump

You can, after all, attack with your ooze, especially since many of the activated abilities it'll have can be used without tapping. Look for both temporary and permanent effects:

Darkling Stalker  Ashling the Pilgrim  Nemesis of Mortals  Anthroplasm

Yeah, that's right—Anthroplasm!!!


4. Fill the Grave

Can't mimic someone's abilities if they aren't in the grave in the first place. You can use non-creature discard outlets like Tormenting Voice (and one of my decks does), but also keep in mind that there are plenty of outlets that are themselves creatures. (You won't usually need to keep sifting after an ooze is already in play and active... but it's nice to have the option.)

Merfolk Looter  Millikin  Mindshrieker


5. Removal

Why cast a Smash to Smithereens once when you can activate Viashino Heretic every turn? Necrotic Ooze can do this for you. (So can Viashino Heretic without an ooze, I know, but the idea is that the ooze is simultaneously pulling a bunch of other tricks.)

Viashino Heretic  Visara the Dreadful  Jiwari, the Earth Aflame  Merieke Ri Berit

Don't forget that the ooze copies ONLY the activated abilities part of the rules text. In other words, it doesn't copy Merieke Ri Berit's clause about untapping.

...In other words, it will automatically untap and kill every creature it steals.


6. Saving Mana

These cards have such powerful activated effects that they need to be offset by their high casting costs. But with Necrotic Ooze, you can circumvent all of that!

Arcanis the Omnipotent  Sphinx of Magosi  Vengeful Archon

Gigantomancer  Sisters of Stone Death  Kuro, Pitlord


7. Avoid Drawbacks

THESE cards' powerful abilities are offset by huge drawbacks. But the ooze doesn't copy those!

Dralnu, Lich Lord  Masticore  Minion of Leshrac  Shauku, Endbringer

Yes, this is an odd case where Shauku, Endbringer is actually better than (Visara, the Dreadful).


8. Combos

If Blind Seer + Spinal Villain are both in the graveyard, you can kill any creature.

Imagecrafter (or Mistform Mutant) + Sliver Overlord (or Thrull Champion) can steal any creature.

Simic Ragworm + basically any creatures who taps is obviously strong. (I like combining it with Reveka, Wizard Savant to skip her drawback. In red, Lightning Crafter is a bit better.)

And there's my favorite Necrotic Ooze combo, check this out:

Magus of the Disk  Spectral Lynx


Every single turn!!!!!!!!!!!

In fact, that segues nicely into my first deck. Let's get right to it.


Deck 1 Kaboom!!!

The goal here is pretty simple. Repeatedly blow up the world, and once our opponent's resources are exhausted, swing our pumped-up ooze over an empty board.

Step 1 is to give him regeneration. I already mentioned Spectral Lynx. Dutiful Thrull is cheaper, if slightly less useful. (Which would you rather cast on a pre-Ooze board?) Darkling Stalker plays double duty, also setting up the pump later on. And Deathless Angel is a nice backup win condition (who herself pairs nicely with the disk even if we never draw an ooze).

Dutiful Thrull  Darklit Gargoyle

Aside from the Shade, a nice way to pump up the ooze is Darklit Gargoyle. For only 2 mana, he's up to an 8/1! (And if you combine him WITH the Shade, another 2 mana will bring him to an 11/1. Who can gain indestructible. Yikes.)

Here's the list:


Boom, Shake the Room (Every Turn)
2 Dutiful Thrull
4 Darklit Gargoyle
4 Spectral Lynx
4 Magus of the Disk
2 Darkling Stalker
4 Necrotic Ooze
3 Deathless Angel
23 cards

Other Spells
2 Go for the Throat
2 Last Gasp
3 Read the Bones
3 Darksteel Ingot
2 Nevinyrral's Disk
12 cards
3 Temple of Silence
10 Plains
12 Swamp
25 cards
Magus of the Disk


Ideally, I would run six Magus of the Disk and zero Nevinyrral's, since the Nevinyrral's are single-use only... but four and two will have to do. Whatever; even as single-use, they're still quite powerful! Remember that nearly all of our creatures regenerate on their own and can survive the explosion. That's a decent turn whether you have an ooze or not.


Deck 2 Red-black Damager

This one started with the power-matters cards listed above, which I noticed were mostly red. (Old Man of the Sea would be the exception, but he finds a home in Deck 3.) So I packed the deck full of Spikeshot Goblin, Bloodshot Trainee, and Unliving Psychopath. The ooze makes them stronger, but for times when I don't have an ooze, we'll need another way to boost their power. I can't take credit for this innovation, but I also can't improve on it—I present to you the time-honored Bonesplitter:


It's been comboed with Spikeshot Goblin long before I even started writing about Magic. But why mess with perfection?

This deck has a few similar tricks to the previous deck, such as putting pump and regenerating creatures in the graveyard, but the selection of each is a bit different, as the deck plays fairly differently, lacking the ability to activate a Nevinyrral's Disk every turn.

    Augur of Skulls
  • Instead of the 4-mana Darkling Stalker, we're using the 1-mana Slithering Shade, the reason being we want to drop him early and use him to stall our opponent a bit. (Don't worry about the hellbent; we're using him defensively until he dies and bolsters the ooze.)
  • Instead of the 2-powered, 1-to-regenerate Spectral Lynx, we're using the weaker, more-expensive Augur of Skulls. We don't need a cheap attacker to survive an explosion, and the discard utility is more important than the mana savings. Especially since we won't need to regenerate nearly as often. And it is also nice to have the ability to put itself in the graveyard.
  • Instead of Darksteel Ingot, we're using Millikin. You can figure this one out without my explanation, right? Yes, my readers are very intelligent.

My favorite tech in this deck is Grenzo, Dungeon Warden. Not by design, but it so ended up that every creature in this deck has a power of 4 or less. And almost half the deck is creatures. So a mere X=2 will give you pretty nice returns. Or, just drop him for X=0 and put a Bonesplitter on him! Or use him to chump block, get him in the graveyard, and copy his ability with your 4-powered ooze. Can't lose! With the ooze. That you choose.

Here's the list:


Why all the singletons? To increase the versatility of the ooze, of course.


Deck 3 Blue-black snow
I've linked to this video before, but it bears repeating.

My lists at the top of the article had a lot of power-matters cards. They also had a lot of snow cards! I didn't plan it that way. Life just brought me there. Don't question the path life leads you on. Just run with it. Buy those snow-covered lands.

    Chilling Shade

So we're in blue for Frost Raptor. Blue has another sweet snow card in Heidar, Rimewind Master, who pairs nicely with the ooze might I add. And if your mana is snow mana, Chilling Shade might be the best (non-Nantuko) shade there is. Not only is he evasive, but even your islands can pump him up! To get an evasive shade, you usually have to pay 4 mana and limit yourself to black.

Using blue gives us a direct upgrade from Millikin to Deranged Assistant, no use in fighting that one. And we can upgrade Rummaging Goblin to Merfolk Looter as well. No-brainer.

Having snow lets us run Rime Transfusion as well, which looks great on a Shade, ooze, or Sphinx of Magosi. And it even pumps up the power of an Old Man of the Sea! It's not necessarily an improvement to Bonesplitter in all situations... but its added evasion function makes it worth a try.

Here is the list, which I want to stress has Anthroplasm in it. Prior to this article, no PureMTGO decklists have run Anthroplasm. Not that I blame them. But it's pretty good with the ooze!!!


See you next week.


Ooze is a perennial favorite by Paul Leicht at Tue, 12/08/2015 - 16:46
Paul Leicht's picture

Ooze is a perennial favorite of mine.