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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
Jun 13 2018 12:00pm
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There are twelve Sagas so far, and I've got three casual decks based around several of them. But first, let's examine the overall strategies a casual player is looking for with this fun new card type.

  1. Reuse with bounce / animation / flickering. A well timed Aether Tradewinds or Sentinel of the Pearl Trident will let you reuse all three steps, as will a Rofellos's Gift or Skull of Orm. Sorcery-speed and upkeep-only options like Drake Familiar, Flickerwisp, and Riptide Chimera will let you reuse the first two chapters.
  2. Go infinite with Power Conduit. Avoid this for Sagas whose payoff is all in Chapter 3 (like Song of Freyalise or Rite of Belzenlok), but this is bonkers with any Sagas whose payoff is in the middle. Power Conduit lets you draw two cards every turn with The Flame of Keld, one-sidedly The Abyss your opponent with The Eldest Reborn, or repeatedly Wrath the board with Phyrexian Scriptures. While also granting +1/+1 counters! (Or if you'd rather have a 4/4 flier than +1/+1 counters, see Chisei, Heart of Oceans. So far, these are the only non-Un cards to repeatedly remove counters of any type.)
  3. "Since it was dying anyway...." As the third chapter goes on the stack, sacrifice the Saga to Shattergang Brothers or Auratog. And/or, after you do sacrifice it, trigger you Furnace Celebration and Bloodbriar. Value!
  4. Combine with Saga-likes. Most of the above strategies pair equally well with the proto-Saga that is Demonic Pact. The difference is you now HAVE to get rid of it, but as I've written before, there are many ways to do that. Also see fellow moribund enchantments Reality Acid, Parallax Wave, Afiya Grove, and Call to the Grave.
  5. Strionic Resonator. Every ability on every Saga is triggered, and that means... double up!
  6. Individual synergies. In your artifact-heavy The Antiquities War deck, make one of those artifacts Scourglass. Get extra usage from Phyrexian Scriptures' +1/+1 counter by putting it on a Walking Ballista.

Today's first deck is centered on one card that fulfills THREE of the above categories:

Deck 1 Starfield of Nyx / Sagas

Starfield of Nyx

Its upkeep trigger lets you reuse Sagas. Both of its abilities combine well with other enchantments. AND it has a triggered ability to double with Strionic Resonator!

        Decree of Silence

Where to go from here? Let's start by finding other enchantments with triggers worth copying. Oblivion Ring is a nice place to start. Cast Out is even better, since if the Starfield is in play, we can cycle Cast Out to get it in our graveyard, then animate it in addition to drawing a card. An even sweeter version of that is with Decree of Silence. Counter a spell, draw a card, animate Decree, counter the next three spells, and get it back again! Ai yi yi!

Porphyry Nodes works twice as fast with Strionic. Citadel Siege and Honden of Cleansing Fire stall twice as hard. And (other than Porphyry Nodes) every enchantment mentioned so far looks pretty impressive when animated by Starfield.

Which Sagas to run? This build won't have enough artifact slots for The Antiquities War or instant/sorcery slots for The Mirari Conjecture. It won't be aggro enough for Triumph of Gerrard or History of Benalia. And it won't have red, green, or blue for any of those colors' Sagas (although those builds could be sweet too). Chainer's Torment is in my opinion bad, unless paired with some wacky Pariah / Stuffy Doll combo, leaving us with Phyrexian Scriptures, The Eldest Reborn, and Rite of Belzenok (and maybe a singleton Fall of the Thran, although I don't fancy copying any of those chapters).

With so many 4+ drops, we'll want some Orzhov Signets, and we might want some creatures that are natively creatures for the sake of Phyrexian Scriptures' first chapter and The Eldest Reborn's  third, for which I recommend the synergistic Blood-Cursed Knight and Mesa Enchantress. This gives us:

 

 

Fun!

 

Deck 2 Red Devotion / Sagas

Fiery Bombardment

Like most of my creations, this is one big bundle of synergies.

Devotion/Chroma

Payoffs: Fiery Bombardment, Fanatic of Mogis, Purphoros, God of the Forge, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

Enablers: All of the heavy-red-symbol cards in the below categories.

    Power Conduit     Bogardan Phoenix

Counter removal

Payoffs: Sagas, Murderous Redcap, Bogardan Phoenix, Karplusan Minotaur, Thunderblust

Enablers: Power Conduit, Chisei, Heart of Oceans

Recursion

Payoffs: Flamewake Phoenix, Bogardan Phoenix, Murderous Redcap, Thunderblust

Enablers: Fiery Bombardment, The Flame of Keld

Sacrificing

    Furnace Celebration    

Payoffs: Furnace Celebration

Enablers: Sagas, Wily Goblin, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Feldon of the Third Path, Fiery Bombardment, Torch Fiend, Dwarven Ruins

Copying

Payoffs: Fanatic of Mogis, Cyclops Gladiator, Murderous Redcap, Torch Fiend

Enablers: Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Feldon of the Third Path

 

Wily Goblin is surprisingly helpful in here. He not only ramps into 4 (in a deck where many of the cards ended up costing 4), his double red helps our Chroma and Devotion cards, and he even provides a free sacrifice for Furnace Celebration! We will often have better targets to copy with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Feldon of the Third Path than this guy, but it's nice to have the quick treasure token as an option.

Here is my list:

 

And if that wasn't enough Sagas for you,

Deck 3 Artifacts / Sagas

  

Both of those Sagas go well with Power Conduit, wanting to repeat their middle chapters. And both go well with each other, wanting other artifacts. We have the 12-card centerpiece of our deck!

From here we can go in several different directions. The main two:

  • Creatureless deck. Wrath repeatedly for defense. Use Power Conduit for charge counters. Win with Antiquities' third chapter when ready.
  • Creature deck. Wrath repeatedly for offense, hitting only the nonartifact creatures on the opposing side. Use Power Conduit for +1/+1 counters. Win by attacking over and over.

I choose... somewhere in the middle, but closer to option A!

What artifacts want to have charge counters added? Ones that jump out are Everflowing Chalice, Orochi Hatchery, Magistrate's Scepter, Conversion Chamber, Titan Forge, Lux Cannon, and Clearwater Goblet. If you have enough of these, it must justify further enabling with Energy Chamber.

Magistrate's Scepter  Lux Cannon  Clearwater Goblet

Next, what other cards can we get counters from? (We will often draw a Power Conduit without a Saga around.) Cheap ways are Tendo Ice Bridge, Vivid Creek, Roc Hatchling, Ancestral Knowledge, Thing in the Ice, and Woolly Razorback.

Roc Hatchling  Ancestral Knowledge  Woolly Razorback

Editorial Sidebar

If the FAT CATS in Seattle would stop STONEWALLING Hall of Mists, we could use that online too!

Send Big Magic a message and vote NO this November. Keep the government out of our Halls!

Now let's just fill the deck out with more artifacts, since our ultimate goal is to win by animating them all into 5/5s. Sun Droplet, Baleful Strix, and Tumble Magnet all help us stall. Tumble Magnet and Sunset Pyramid are nice in that they stay around even after they run out, so they can still become 5/5s later.

Skull of Orm lets us recur our Sagas when we can't remove their counters. The artifact lands are for the sake of animation... and that's the deck!

 

As a closing bonus, I will now relay the full story alluded to on one of my favorite Sagas, History of Benalia.

Once upon a time,

a couple of knights came together,

and then they got stronger.

 

Ah yes, it just gets richer each time I hear it. My favorite part is when the knights come together, or on second thought, it might be when they get stronger. Truly a tale as old as time. Okay, bye everyone. Perhaps next time I will tell you the equally rich tale of when a bunch of land was destroyed but then some of it came back.

1 Comments

You know, the gender of the by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:24
Kumagoro42's picture
5

You know, the gender of the knights from History of Benalia is not specified, so that could even be a very progressist tale!