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By: Cashew, Brian Ross
Aug 26 2007 8:56am
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Superbad - Norin the Wary

Only a year ago, Norin the Wary was hanging out with all the other Time Spiral kids as new freshman in the school of Magic.  Like his peers, he secretly hoped to be accepted and become a popular card.  Sadly, on that all important first day of class he found himself seated next to Moonlace and Candles of Leng at lunch, left to stare jealously at Serra Avenger and Bogardan Hellkite as they sat down next to the Head Cheerleader Akroma, Angel of Wrath.  This could quite possibly be Norin's table for the rest of his Magic life - subject to constant torment and ridicule - nothing more than a crap rare and a glorifed digital coaster - a 5 for 1 tix pick.

However,  as Hollywood has shown time and time again loveable losers often can form a motley crew and win the hearts of millions.  Norin in my book is a winner card - he just needs help.  Akin, to the Invisible Boy in Mystery Men whom could turn invisible only if no one was watching - Norin has an awkward super power.  Mr. Wary constantly blinks into and out of existence - yet has no control over it.  Now if we put him in a world where coming into play is equal to being the King - we might have a winning combination and save Norin from the dreaded fate of Trained Orgg and Vizzerdrix.

Norin the Wary

Death Match
Top 10 - Comes into Play - Norin Combos
  1. Gain Life - Essence Warden / Soul Warden
  2. Do Damage - Pandemonium
  3. Make Toys - Genesis Chamber
  4. Break Toys - Aura Shards
  5. Killing Spree- Death Match
  6. Travel Abroad - Confusion in the Ranks
  7. Recruit a Sidekick - Saltskitter
  8. Rouse the Troops - Intruder Alarm
  9. Produce Mana - Mana Echoes
  10. Adopt a Pet - Soultether Golem

Creating the Perfect Combo

We know we need to involve Red to cast Norin which opens up the slower combos - Pandemonium, Confusion in the Ranks, Mana Echoes.  These also happen to be the absolute best multiplayer combos as with 4-6 players in the game, Norin could easily do 8-12 damage to a single player in a single round of play while stealing every creature on the board.  Unfortunately, it also makes you a heavy target for a gang-up and would buy slow-building steamroller decks the time to become unstoppable. 

On the other hand, the Wardens, Genesis Chamber , and Aura Shards bring in Green and White to the color table and actually begin the comboing fun on Turn 2.  Beyond that the play with those cards is so fast and furious that opponents may struggle to keep up and without a full-wipe from a card like Akroma's Vengeance are overrun in only a few turns.  My favorite part of the Warden - Chamber - Shards combo is that each piece alone is powerful with Norin - together it is purely downright abusive.

As you can see Norin plays different in different formats as such we'll discuss a deck that works for 1v1,2v2,2hg formats and a deck that works for Multiplayer.

Norin comes to Town (1v1,2v2,2hg,3hg)

In faster formats, such as one vs. one and two vs. two, Norin has some tough competition.  Decks like Affinity, Psychatog, and Goblin like to tear people apart fast while others decks such as Solar Flare like to keep things slow and controlled.  Which leaves Norin in a precarious case of Scylla and Charybdis.  Luckily, we have some fast playing combos that Norin can abuse and help to stem the tide of speed kill decks - and as the pieces naturally combine Norin can over run the opponent with his amassed forces and survive heavy wipes.  

Norin the Scary by Cashew
60 Cards - Extended Legal

Creatures (24)
4x Sakura-Tribe Elder
4x Myr Servitor
4x Etched Oracle
3x Saltskitter
3x Norin the Wary
3x Eternal Witness
3x Essence Warden

Lands (25)
8x Forest
4x Windswept Heath
4x Terramorphic Expanse
3x Mountain
3x Island
3x Plains

Other Spells (11)
3x Kodama's Reach
3x Aura Shards
3x Genesis Chamber
2x Blasting Station

Sideboard (15)
3x Wrath of God
3x Samurai of the Pale Curtain
3x All Suns' Dawn
3x Gifts Ungiven
1x Genesis Chamber
1x Aura Shards
1x Genesis

Blasting Station

While not necessarily powerful with Norin, Blasting Station offers some good ole fashioned direct damage by converting Myrs into pings.  This is helpful for finishing off a player before their next turn and definitely is helpful with taking out annoying cards such as Platinum Angel and Auriok Champion.


While Blue is almost not needed, but I chose to use Etched Oracle as a draw engine and often use Gifts Ungiven to create the tutor for combo pieces.  It also makes the deck a tad more portable into other places.  The biggest difficulty the deck faces will be how you control the stack at the end of the turn.  With all the combo pieces in place it's not unusual to have 30-50 things hit the stack at the end of each and every turn.  This can obviously lead to slowed game play if you're not a fast player.  Is how you use the stack important enough to not just use F7 to auto-stack?  Well sort of, but if you stack it appropriately you can trick a single Saltskitter into staying into play for use as an attacker or blocker beyond your Myr tokens. 

The deck wins by generating a sheer amount of Myr tokens and alpha striking with them.  You can easily generate 2 - 4 tokens a turn and coupled with Aura Shards and Essence Warden a vast power gap is created without even tapping a card.  Creatures such as Sakura-Tribe Elder and Myr Servitor offer early blockers against speed decks which are then quickly overrun by Aura Shards (haha affinity) or Genesis Chamber.  This deck is particurally potent in non-FFA multiplayer formats where you quickly steamroll the player across from you.  This deck is ripe for the overhaul - notice there is no Coat of Arms or Solemn Simulacrum.  So have at it,  I love to play it in 2hg and am somewhere around 20-6 with it - even picking up 3 games where my partner quit early on leaving my 2v1.

 Norin's Bad News Bears (Multiplayer)

Multiplayer is a much more fickle animal than the versus formats.  The problem with the previous Norin deck is that will quickly become heavily targetted and it can really only handle one opponent at a time.  The goal of Norin the Wary in Multiplayer is to remain under the radar long enough to play a game ending combo.  This often means hanging out long enough for the ever important Disenchant to hit other targets and winning as many friends to your side as possible (of course these friends will kill you and you will kill them, but hey friends is a funny word). 

Norin the Hairy by Cashew
60 Cards - Extended Legal

Creatures (9)
3x Epochrasite
3x Soultether Golem
3x Norin the Wary

Lands (23)
15x Mountain
4x Ghitu Encampment
4x Forgotten Cave

Other Spells (28)
4x Genesis Chamber
4x Star Compass
3x Starstorm
3x Ghitu Fire
3x Demonfire
3x Pandemonium
3x Mana Echoes
3x Confusion in the Ranks
2x Timesifter

Genesis Chamber

In multiplayer games, most players try to avoid making situations worse for themselves.  The Epochrasite is almost better than a wall as it can swing and is annoying enough to keep players from killing it.  It's a psychological advantage and a recurring creature for a mere two mana. In it's 1/1 form, it's simply not worth most players's concern.


 You can also win friends to your side with Genesis Chamber in a pinch as everyone loves the extra chump blocker.  Careful though, gather too many with Norin and you'll quickly become a threat.  It's pretty much like Howling Mine some players will love you, others may end up hating you. Try to judge players before throwing it on the field.

This deck is a blend of Multiplayer Chaos and Norin the Wary.  Using some powerful disrupters such as Timesifter and Confusion in the Ranks the field is warped enough to buy Norin time to do his magic.  The goal is to kill 2-3 players at once with an army of Myrs and burn spells.  For instance, if you have 20 Myr tokens and Mana Echoes in play you can kill one player with an alpha strike, cast a creature to set off a mana burst and Demonfire another out of the game.  At the end of the turn, Norin comes back into play and sets off another burst of colorless mana which can be used to play Ghitu Fire and eliminate another.  3 players in one turn - presumably your strongest opponents should be a game winning maneuver. 

The importance of the deck is to survive until this combo hits the field.  Non-threatening creatures such as Epochrasite, Soultether Golem, and Ghitu Encampment should keep most early attackers away.  WIth some minor mana acceleration it's highly possibly to put the pieces into play sometime during turns 3-6 for the death strike.  It's a fun and interesting blend of casual and serious play for the multiplayer free-for-all environment and hopefully is memorable enough to imbreed a fear of Norin the Wary with everyone present.

Hopefully, you see how powerful Norin can be.  I highly recommend you try building a Norin deck - I mean come on you can pick up four for less than 1 ticket.  Building a deck with him can be a fun and fruitful experience, and I can't recall any other deck that I've had more fun playing.  While he's definitely Johnny material, most players consider him so bad that a loss to a deck built around him is worth it alone for the humiliation factor. 


New Writer! by mtgotraders at Sun, 08/26/2007 - 08:58
mtgotraders's picture

It's great to have you writing Brian.  If you could update your avatar to one of your pics that would be great.  If you need help doing so just post your picture on our forums and i'll do it for you.  Great article!

Avatar by Cashew (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 08/26/2007 - 22:15
Cashew (Unregistered)'s picture

I'll get on it when I'm off work notice a few mistakes now that it's a day later, I'll have to take a little more care in the edit process next time.

by JXClaytor at Mon, 08/27/2007 - 12:07
JXClaytor's picture

I really liked this article, and hope that this can continue as a series, looking at underused rares and such.  Good stuff

Good Job! by Dreager_Ex at Mon, 08/27/2007 - 14:26
Dreager_Ex's picture

When you talked to me about this on MoDo I didn't realize you'd toss one out so fast =)

A lot of great content

norin !!! by mtgbaron at Mon, 08/27/2007 - 17:00
mtgbaron's picture

kinda funny I run Norin as my Red Drop for Rainbow Stairwell. FFA.  bad thing about him he makes you a big target


by Cashew at Tue, 08/28/2007 - 00:32
Cashew's picture

Yeah, I just came off running a three article series on Unplayable style rares for another site.  Norin was a part of the third article - I like him and his playstyle online so I adapted and doubled his section for here.  I tend to like casually fun cards like Norin - have written about cards ike Panglacial Wurm and Chimeras in the past.