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By: Rob Rogers, Rob Rogers
Dec 08 2007 6:58am
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In my Endless Whispers followup article, I asked for suggestions on what to write about next. Adam Adamant suggested following up on a Desolation Giant deck I'd mentioned, as well as one built around Homarid Spawning Bed. In my last article, I took a look at Desolation Giant. I'll revisit that card soon in a rebuild of that deck. This time around, though, I'll give the Homarid Spawning Bed deck a spin.

Homarid Spawning Bed

Classic: Camarid Swarm

I played with Homarid Spawning Bed way back in the day of Fallen Empires. My deck had a couple of copies of Deep Spawn, some Spiny Starfish, and a bunch of Sunken City. Some of those cards haven't made it to MTGO yet, and I have a bunch of new cards to choose from, so the online version is quite a bit different than my beloved old deck. Truth is, it's probably a bit stronger. And one nice thing about playing online is that it's a lot easier to deal with all the tokens!

This deck is built around Homarid Spawning Bed and using it to get lots of Camirid tokens with which to swarm your opponent. It's got a few other tricks to keep you alive until you get your tokens going and takes advantage of some casting cost workarounds and some spells that beef up your tokens.

 

Scornful EgotistTricking out your casting costs
You can sacrifice a Merfolk of the Pearl Trident to Homarid Spawning Bed if you like, but there's not much value in it. To get the best bang for your sacrifice, you need to sacrifice a creature with a high casting cost. But the downside there is that if you  go to all the trouble of casting a big blue creature, like maybe a Tidespout Tyrant, you're not going to want to sacrifice it even to get nine Camarid tokens.

The trick here is to use blue creatures with high casting costs that you don't necessarily have to pay for outright. For the most part, I do that in this build with cards with Suspend. Viscerid Deepwalker only costs one mana to Suspend, supports the minor Homarid subtheme of the deck, and generally gets in one good hit. More often than not, I have plenty of blue mana available on the turn it comes into play and I can attack with it. Either my opponent blocks and loses a creature, or I get in some damage. Once the damage is on the stack, I spend three mana to sacrifice it and create five Camarid tokens. Other Suspend critters that accent this deck are Riftwing Cloudskate (which gives you the advantage of it's "come into play" ability before being sacrificed, Errant Ephemeron, Infiltrator il-Kor, and Deep-Sea Kraken.

But the real MVP of the deck, besides Homarid Spawning Bed itself, is the eminently sacrificeable Scornful Egotist. This dude has a casting cost of seven and a blue, but has Morph and can be flipped for blue. That turns him from a facedown vanilla 2/2 to a face-up vanilla 1/1. He's kind of laughable, really. His flavor text reads, "Once I was human. Now I am far more." Yeah, right. But his entire shtick really is that, as worthless as he is in general, he has a very high casting cost and is relatively easy to get into play. In this deck, that means that you can sacrifice him for eight Camarid tokens. He's also handy in combination with some of the other cards in this deck. By the way, I didn't think of using Scornful Egotist on my own. That was inspired by a suggestion in an article by Abe over at Star City Games. I just want to share credit where it's definitely due.

Timing it
Make sure to get the best bang for your buck from these creatures. It's tempting to sacrifice them right away to build up your mass of token critters, but there are times you'll want to keep them around a while. Of course, an Errant Ephemeron is always nice to have on your side. But even the Scornful Egotist can be handy. Read on. The best times to sacrifice creatures to the Homarid Spawning Bed are generally during combat, while damage is on the stack (so, for example, you might want to sacrifice your Errant Ephemeron after it trades with your opponent's Serra Angel or whatever) or else in your opponent's end phase.

JuxtaposeTake advantage of those high casting cost creatures
Once you get those expensive blue creatures out there, you've got some options. In addition to the Homarid Spawning Bed, this deck includes several other cards that take advantage of having high casting cost creatures on the table. For 1U, Dispersal Shield will counter any spell with a lower casting cost than your highest casting cost permanent. With Scornful Egotist out, that's pretty much anything. Rush of Knowledge can help you draw a ridiculous number of cards. And with Juxtapose, you can trade a Scornful Egotist for some truly mighty creature of your opponent's. As a bonus, the same spell can often help you trade a Gauntlet of Power for a nice artifact of your opponent's. Since the Gauntlet has a static power, its effects will remain unchanged. I only have one copy of Juxtapose, so that's what's in the deck, but I'd certainly consider dropping another copy or two in here. It can be handy. And MTGOTraders is selling it cheap.

Sunken CityPumping up your tokens
All right. So you've got a swarm of Camarid tokens. What's next? Well, with this deck, it's pretty easy to get enough tokens out there that it's game over, regardless. But the deck also makes it easy to pump those tokens up. My version runs four copies each of Gauntlet of Power, which will help tremendously with your mana, too, as well as four copies of Sunken City. The latter card has a powerful effect on your tokens, but the upkeep can sometimes be a pain. I've found that more often than not, I'll hold a couple of copies in my hand, not casting them until the turn I'm ready to make my attack. In that respect, you might want to think of the spell less as an Enchantment and more like a Sorcery. Pretty often I've been able to attack with a horde of 5/5 Camarid tokens.

Other cards
In addition to the cards I've mentioned, I run a single copy of Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII, more as a nod to the Camarid theme than for any real usefulness (note that for some reason, this one card didn't export properly to the deck list below). I run two copies of Brainstorm because I have them and they're awesome in the Classic format. And I run a couple of random counterspells to give the deck a little more control. Most of the lands in the deck are Islands, but I run four Terramorphic Expanse for deck thinning, plus two copies of Lonely Sandbar for more or less the same reason. The Academy Ruins helps me bring back a Gauntlet if I need it. And the two storage lands are helpful to build up mana and as mana dumps in case I need a way to avoid mana burn with the Gauntlets out (in case you didn't realize it, you can burn off any amount of mana in a Dreadship Reef or the other Time Spiral storage lands--even when it's tapped, you can pay one mana to remove zero counters from the storage land, and can repeat this any number of times). And I dropped in a Commandeer because I have one and the deck often has enough mana to cast it.

My build
Here's the deck: 

 

Camarid Swarm (Classic), Submitted by Rob Rogers
View/Buy/Download the whole deck here.

Instant

View  Buy  (1 x) CSP Commandeer

Artifact

View  Buy  (4 x) TSP Gauntlet of Power

Basic Land

View  Buy  (1 x) 8ED Island *Foil*
View  Buy  (4 x) TSP Island
View  Buy  (3 x) ICE Island
View  Buy  (1 x) 9ED Island *Foil*
View  Buy  (4 x) CHK Island

Creature

View  Buy  (3 x) TSP Viscerid Deepwalker
View  Buy  (3 x) TSP Errant Ephemeron
View  Buy  (3 x) TSP Riftwing Cloudskate
View  Buy  (1 x) FUT Infiltrator il-Kor
View  Buy  (1 x) TSP Deep-Sea Kraken
View  Buy  (4 x) SCG Scornful Egotist

Enchantment

View  Buy  (4 x) MED Homarid Spawning Bed
View  Buy  (4 x) MED Sunken City

Instant

View  Buy  (1 x) TSP Cancel
View  Buy  (2 x) SCG Dispersal Shield
View  Buy  (1 x) MED Arcane Denial
View  Buy  (2 x) ICE Brainstorm

Land

View  Buy  (1 x) TSP Calciform Pools
View  Buy  (4 x) TSP Terramorphic Expanse
View  Buy  (1 x) TSP Dreadship Reef
View  Buy  (2 x) ONS Lonely Sandbar

Legendary Land

View  Buy  (1 x) TSP Academy Ruins

Sorcery

View  Buy  (1 x) MED Juxtapose
View  Buy  (2 x) SCG Rush of Knowledge

Tweaking the deck
Right now, even with the two copies of Brainstorm, this is a very inexpensive deck, clocking in at less than $12.50 on the MTGO Traders site. If you're looking to beef it up a bit, I'd probably drop in some straight copies of Counterspell and maybe a Coat of Arms or two. The blue Evoke creatures from Lorwyn would fit nicely, Mulldrifter in particular. Keep in mind that you could pay the Evoke cost, then pay to sacrifice it to the Homarid Spawning Bed before having to sacrifice it because of using Evoke. Five Camarid tokens plus two cards for six mana ain't bad. I have a tendency to drop in cards in ones and twos rather than sets of four. This makes my decks a little less predictable. I see that as a positive a lot of times (I have more fun with the variety of cards), but your tastes might vary. I wouldn't run this deck with fewer than four copies each of Homarid Spawning Bed or Scornful Egotist, though.

As far as removing cards goes, the Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII is a definite candidate. It rarely amounts to much. A Coat of Arms would be better. With it in play, you could sacrifice a single Scornful Egotist to the Homarid Spawning Bed and end up with eight 8/8 Camarid tokens, even with no copies of Gauntlet of Power or Sunken City in play. The Deep-Sea Kraken is also marginal. He's a nice threat, but he kind of falls into the category of creatures you're less likely to want to sacrifice, plus you don't want him on the table if you cast Juxtapose. Thinking about it, if I were trying to make the deck a more consistent winner, I'd probably drop the Sarpadian Empires, the Kraken, Infiltrator il-Kor, and Commandeer and replace them with Coat of Arms, then go for more consistency by ditching Cancel and Arcane Denial for either more Dispersal Shield or more Juxtapose, depending on your preference. To be fair, although I like it, Sunken City often sits in my hand until that final strike, when it's often just gilding the lily. Those could go for more Dispersal Shield and Juxtapose, too, plus maybe a Rush of Knowledge or two.

Cheaper build
Like I said above, the deck is pretty darn cheap. But you can make it even cheaper by ditching
Brainstorm and Commandeer and replacing them with Rush of Knowledge.

Like it? Hate it? Let me know. This isn't one I'm likely to revisit in an article, but I'd still like to know what you think. I've found it to be fun to play and it's always nice to see it go off with a bunch of little crab tokens.

4 Comments

by Rob Rogers at Tue, 12/11/2007 - 10:59
Rob Rogers's picture

Yeah, Spire Golem is pretty cool, but the effort that it would take to make him blue so that I could sacrifice him to the Spawning Bed probably wouldn't pay off. I'm pretty happy with the build as is. It's not a tournament winner, just a fun deck. That said, I am playing it now with a Coat of Arms and a second Juxtaposition, dropping Sarpadian Empires and a Sunken City (I'd probably play more copies of Coat of Arms if I owned them).

by MechtaK (Unregistered) 70.248.23.154 (not verified) at Sat, 12/08/2007 - 15:28
MechtaK (Unregistered) 70.248.23.154's picture

Isn't there a blue creature that makes other creatures blue?  Metathran Transport, or better yet, Neurok Transmuter.

by hamtastic at Sat, 12/08/2007 - 11:53
hamtastic's picture

"he can be cast fairly easy, and cas for 6 tokens.  not too bad."

Actually, since Spire Golem's not blue you can't sacrifice him to the CSB. Spire was what I first thought about when I saw CSB in MED, only to be disappointed when I read the cards again.  :(

 

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 74.244.226.49 (not verified) at Sat, 12/08/2007 - 09:13
Anonymous (Unregistered) 74.244.226.49's picture

i would suggest taking out deep sea kraken and replacing with spire golem.  he can be cast fairly easy, and cas for 6 tokens.  not too bad.