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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
Jun 14 2016 11:00am
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Time for three casual decks; y'all know the routine.

 

Deck 1 Triskaidekaphobia

Last week's deck about Hidetsugu's Second Rite got me thinking—it is fun to use a single spell to take an opponent's entire life. And although Trisk' is slower than the Rite, it also is 30% stronger, in addition to being able to finesse a few points before dealing the final blow.

Is it a GREAT card, no, but on the other hand it does deal 13 damage for only 4 mana, so perhaps it's worth exploring a bit.

The Rite deck put the opponent exactly at 10 by using the flexibility of XR damage spells. For the Trisk' deck, we're going to put them exactly at 13 with the flexibility of "bleeder" cards. Basilica Screecher is a nice way to sneak through a few points while (slightly) sustaining us. His most important feature is his flexibility—if we were relying on Dauthi Horror attacks, for instance, we don't have the option of dealing only a single point to the opponent at 14. But Basilica can turn on or off as you wish. Circle of Affliction too can get a few points through.

Basilica Screecher  Dauthi Horror  Circle of Affliction

If those sound ineffectual, remember that we only have to deal 7 damage (or even less if they have painlands or shocklands). It's therefore worth carrying the 1- and 2-damage bonuses to our other spells as well. For our Terror of choice, let's pick Geth's Verdict. It's sometimes even the right play to cast it when no creatures are out—rarely, but it's nice to have the option. And for card draw, we can run Sign in Blood. Its advantage over Night's Whisper is the option to turn it on the opponent, which is true for every deck, but that's usually only theoretical. Here it's actually happens. Even our lands can join in, thanks to Leechridden Swamp!

Geth's Verdict  Sign in Blood  Leechridden Swamp

    Beseech the Queen

We can borrow an idea from the Rite deck and run some X-damage spells for the last bit of finagling. Black's best are Drain Life and its clone Consume Spirit (here way better than Corrupt for their flexibility, of course).

Since we really do want to draw at least one Trisk' every game, let's run some tutoring, and my favorite choice is Beseech the Queen. With my below build, it can get any card in the deck with only four lands in play, so it is never a dead draw. I would go as far as to say that it is the second-most important card in the deck, after the Trisk' itself.

Here is my list, and I encourage you to tinker with it. If anything, I would say it has too many ways to bleed the opponent's life, so if you wanted to make it more competitive, which I don't, a good starting place would be to remove some of those and replace them with more traditional MBC choices. Wrath effects, discard, etc. The main thing to think about is, if for whatever reason you can't stick a Trisk', how easy do you want it to be to remove the additional 13 life? With my current build, it's not out of the question. You may prefer an all-in approach OR a more versatile approach.

13 ways... to DIE
I thought of that deck name myself
Creatures
4 Basilica Screecher
4 Herald of Torment
8 cards

Other Spells
1 Circle of Affliction
2 Imp's Mischief
4 Geth's Verdict
3 Grasp of Darkness
4 Sign in Blood
4 Triskaidekaphobia
3 Beseech the Queen
4 Drain Life
3 Consume Spirit
28 cards
Lands
2 Leechridden Swamp
22 Swamp
24 cards
 
Imp's Mischief

 

The life loss from the Imp's Mischief and Herald of Torment is largely ignorable. Partially because we have so much life gain in the deck, but mostly because we effectively start with 13 more life than our opponent. (We only have to deal 7 to them; they have to deal 20 to us!)

 

Deck 2 Tempting Wurm

Tempting Wurm

I have wanted to play this guy FOREVER. The obstacle is that he's bad, but that's never stopped me before.

Not even I would recommend slamming him on turn two and hoping for the best. Nor would I recommend a Stifle combo, because there are way better Stifle targets than this vanilla 5/5. But what about running him in a discard deck? In the best-case scenario, our opponent's hand is so depleted that the trigger won't accomplish much. And in the second-best case, it will help empty the opponent's hand and so enable our Shrieking Afflictions.

So! How do we deplete our opponent's hand? Option A is running a bunch of single-use spells (not my style). Option B is having a single Necrogen Mists out—in almost every game, it's really all you'll need. The ideal number to run seems to be about 6 or 7, but since that's not allowed, we'll supplement the 4x with something similar. Bottomless Pit is probably the best. I don't like its randomness, but it being only three mana makes it still preferable to Creeping Dread.

Necrogen Mists  Bottomless Pit  

Since we're sharing the discard, we might as well enjoy it. We can run madness spells, which thanks to the new Innistrad set there are plenty of. We can also use some old flashback spells. And my favorite bit of tech, Crystal Ball. The gamestate often puts both players in a topdeck war; let's make our topdecks good!

  Roar of the Wurm  Crystal Ball

Another good Necrogen Mists strategy is to cast spells before you need them. If you draw a Naturalize when there are no targets out, you'll lose the card before getting to use it. But if it was a Seal of Primordium, you can cast it now and (at least potentially) use it later. In goes Seal of Doom too. Just remember that it's sometimes the correct play not to cast one. For instance, if you have multiple cards in your hand but not enough mana to cast them all, and you'd rather discard the seal than anything else.

Around this time I noticed that nearly all of this deck's key cards were either creatures or enchantments, so I put in some Commune with the Godses. (As an added bonus, they sometimes enable flashback, but I would run them anyway.)

Here is the list. My main advice is to go for the hand first and the damage second. And keep in mind that your own hand will be dropping quickly, so cast the spells you want while you're still able!

 

Deck 3 Big Deck

Thought Lash

This is my 154th article for this website, about 90-95% of which have taken the "here's three casual decks" format, meaning I've crafted well over 400 decks, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has been 60 cards. Except the few Commander ones I made, obviously, but my point is, this is a big moment for me! This is my first ever oversized deck! (And no it doesn't use Battle of Wits.)

The original concept was to make it 120 cards (to help me intuit the ratios, since it was now just a matter of doubling what I was used to) and include as many cards as possible that benefited from the increased size. Thought Lash, Browse, Phyrexian Portal—anything that exiled cards from my library, because who would care with a deck this big?

The result was a little too inconsistent even for me, so I cut it down to 90, which included cutting all three of the above cards. But I did end up keeping these exilers:

Gloom Surgeon  Orcish Librarian  Diminishing Returns  Arc-Slogger

And since I'm in UBR, I decided to center the rest of my deck around Nekusar, the Mindrazer. He already pairs with the Diminishing Returns, and there are plenty of other draw-sevens in blue in red I could use. See below for my choices. Being UBR already, this is one of the rare times we actually get to use Drastic Revelation!

Chasm Skulker and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind are natural fits if we're drawing so much. And our large deck size will prevent us from accidentally milling ourselves to death with all the Wheel of Fortune-types.

What's left is mostly just some stall while we set up (which in an oversized deck can be even slower than normal). Pyroclasm, Wall of Souls, things like that can come to our aid. Merfolk Looter provides the WELL-needed sifting, as does the above Orcish Librarian.

Two late additions to the deck: Misthollow Griffin pairs with our rampant self-exiling, and Arcane Laboratory prevents the opponent from taking too much of advantage of all the free cards we're giving them (without really affecting our own play style too much).

The list! 

 

Have fun, and see you next time!