eotinb's picture
By: eotinb, Brad Bonnette
Feb 09 2008 1:27am
4
Login or register to post comments
3702 views


Hi.

Well, now that we're done with the introductions, let's get to it. As I hope you read in the preview, in this series, I'll be building some combo decks and trying them out in the Casual/Casual room. I can't promise that every deck I build will be janky, but I'll do my best. I'll generally try to stay away from strategies that are controversial in Cas/Cas, but no promises on that score either. Oh, and the name for the series comes from math.

The Idea

So for this first deck, I wanted to build around Null Profusion. I played around with a Profusion deck back in 9ED/Rav/TSP Standard and it had its moments. That deck ran on Early Harvest and Summer Bloom and died when those cards didn't make it into 10th. I think Wizards of the Coast was worried about the dominance my Profusion deck was about to unleash on the metagame and proactively nerfed it. 

Before I get into card choices, let me explain a bit about how a Profusion deck works. We'll start with the namesake card:

Null Profusion
So the general idea is:

1. Ramp up mana and drop Null Profusion then draw a lot of cards.

2. ...

3. Win!

Now I know what you're thinking -- "eotinb, your plan smells of underpants." That may be true, but the real reason I left Step 2 blank is that how you get from one to two is up to you. Back in 9/R/T, I'd play a bunch of low-cost or cost-reduced spells and then go for the storm win with Ignite Memories or Grapeshot. You could also go for the Heartbeat-ish win and lay a boatload of lands with Summer Bloom, untap multiple times with Early Harvest, redraw those cards with Recollect or even Gaea's Blessing and then Blaze to the head or something. I've got something a little different in mind this time around.

A few other things to keep in mind when playing with Null Profusion. It's a very good idea to have some way to draw cards outside of your draw step. The max hand size can be a pain sometimes, but not drawing is much worse. Also, Profusion's draw triggers every time you play a card, not every time you play a spell. This means that lands trigger it and storm copies don't (the drawing every time you played a land is part of what made Summer Bloom so nice).

The Deck

So let's start with the obvious:

4x Null Profusion

OK, now we'd like some acceleration. I like Search for Tomorrow because you can suspend it on the first turn, when you won't be doing much else in this deck, and the land comes into play untapped, which is nice if you cast it later. So:

4x Search for Tomorrow

As I said before, Wizards tried to stop this deck by not putting Summer Bloom into 10th, but there is Rites of Flourishing which also allows an extra land drop in addition to the Howling Mine effect. Drawing extra cards will help you find your combo, but sadly the draw happens at the beginning of the draw step, which you will be skipping once you have Profusion down. Admit it, for a second there you thought we'd found the perfect workaround for Profusions drawback. Yes, Rites is symmetrical, but I already told you this deck was janky, so:

4x Rites of Flourishing

Next up, find a replacement for Early Harvest. Well, there are two cards in standard that allow you to untap multiple lands. See if you can name them both before scrolling down.

Garruk Wildspeaker
Magus of the Candelabra
How many people got the second one? Great, call your mom, I'm sure she'll be very proud. (Editor:  Nope she was not.)

Anyway, Garruk is very good. He's also very expensive. But I bought my playset a while back and I never said this would be a budget deck.

4x Garruk Wildspeaker

4x Magus of the Candelabra

Those untapping guys help us decide on the rest of our acceleration suite:

4x Overgrowth

4x Fertile Ground

Did I say that was the rest of our acceleration suite? I lied. I also want Mind Stone since it can cycle later on once Profusion is down.

4x Mind Stone

We're running out of space and we still need a win condition. I thought about the options from the previous Standard version, but I want to try something different here.

2x Empty the Warrens

2x Emblem of the Warmind

That last one is just for kicks. I used to play Hatching Plans/Perilous Research combo in the old Standard and I was a fan of Surge of Zeal to make hasty goblin tokens. Surge is gone, but I'll play around with Emblem and see what happens. Emblem also allows your Candlemagus to do his thing the turn you drop him, which can be nice when you are going off.

The last card I want to include is Chromatic Star, to help get the red we need to cast the last two cards listed, and as another way to draw when Profusion is in play.

4x Chromatic Star

Here's the complete deck:

Null Profusion

Combo:

4 Null Profusion
2 Empty the Warrens
2 Emblem of the Warmind

 

Untap:

4 Garruk Wildspeaker
4 Magus of the Candelabra

 

Land:

4 Llanowar Wastes
10 Forest
2 Mountain

Acceleration:

 

4 Search for Tomorrow
4 Rites of Flourishing
4 Overgrowth
4 Fertile Ground

Emergency Draw:

4 Mind Stone
4 Chromatic Star

Empty the Warrens

Before we get to the games, there's another little combo in there -- do you see it? Sometimes you can drop some land-enchanting acceleration, then Garruk, untap some lands, maybe play a card or two and then Empty the Warrens. If your goblin tokens live until the next turn, they'll all be +3/+3 and tramply, which tends to kill people.

The Games

Game 1 vs. mono-red aggro

I get color-screwed (only one green source). But that's OK because I never saw a Profusion. I think this deck might really suck. Keldon Marauders and Dragon Whelp ftw! After the game, he reveals a grip of Ignite Memories, so maybe I didn't get what he was doing. But I certainly got killed by a Dragon Whelp, so that was great for my self-esteem.

Game 2 vs. suspend.dec

We both start by suspending Search for Tomorrow. He suspends Shade of Trokair, and that's all he ever does. I get Overgrowth and Garruk going to power out Fertile Ground, Mind Stone, Rite of Flourishing, and then drop Empty the Warrens. With 4 counters on Garruk and eight goblin tokens out, it's GG unless he finds an answer, which he doesn't. Mini-combo win!

Game 3 vs. two lands

I don't know what this guy was playing, because all I ever saw was a Mountain and an Island.

T1. Me: Swamp, Chromatic Star. Him: Terramorphic Expanse, sacs for a Mountain.
T2. Me: Mountain, sac Star for G, play Fertile Ground on Swamp. Him: Island.
T3. Me: Forest, Garruk, untap Swamp and Forest and play Overgrowth on the Forest -- he concedes.

Game 4 vs. UB I-refuse-to-try-to-name-this.dec

This was a long game. I get out an early Garruk, but nothing to go with it, so I go into Plan B mode and try to win with Beast beats. He drops several Spawning Pools and eventually two Shapesharers and two Skeletal Changelings. He doesn't have a ton of mana, so he can't hold of both beasts with regenerating dudes, so I get some hits in here and there. After I turn Garruk's last loyalty counter into a beast, he Extirpates Garruk. I get out a ton of lands and acceleration, but no Profusion and no Warrens. Then I get Profusion and finally a Warrens in hand, but can't chain any spells together because I keep drawing lands. Boring. Then he suspends Deep-Sea Kraken, which makes me a little reticent to chain a bunch of spells together. Then he suspends Nihilith. I eventually get down a second Profusion. If you've never done this, it's like hitching a ride with Evil Knievel -- it sounds like fun but actually it's just boring and dangerous (boring because Knievel was not a very charismatic guy, not because he's dead). By this point, I've gotten him down to eleven and I've only taken a few points from my Llanowar Wastes, so I realize I can ignore the Kraken. I actually almost screw up and draw my library, but figure out what I'm doing and drop Empty the Warrens with four cards left, of which I draw two. He can't deal with eleventy-billion goblin tokens and concedes. I laugh in the face of danger. And in the face of crappy suspend creatures.

Deep-Sea Kraken
Nihilith
No, I don't get it either.

That's all for this episode. Let me know what you'd like to see next. I might tinker with this monstrosity a bit before moving on to my next masterpiece -- Coalition Victory! And if you have a combo idea you'd like to see me screw up, drop me a line. I'll be starting with Standard, but other formats are not off limits.

7 Comments

Better Version by Azyre (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147 (not verified) at Sat, 03/01/2008 - 23:42
Azyre (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147's picture

 

 I've tested this pretty heavily tonight, and this version of the dek runs much smoother.  You can use the rift elementals to either pump out the wheels faster, or just use lotus to power out more mana for a bigger pump.  I think it might be worth dropping 1 land to be replaced with either a Tormods or 3rd spell book, but the shuffler hates me so I tend to overcommit on mana.  again any ideas or thoughts would be awesome.

 

 

Qty Card Name

Lands (21)
1 Barren Moor
2 Forgotten Cave
3 Graven Cairns
4 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Snow-Covered Swamp
2 Spinerock Knoll
3 Sulfurous Springs
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Mana Accel
4 Lotus Bloom
4 Rite of Flame
4 Mind Stone
4 Cabal Ritual

Cards that replace themselves:
4 Mishra's Bauble
2 Spellbook
2 Wheel of Fate

Card that is very important vs discard due to flashback:
2 Coffin Purge

This card wins the game with Null Out.  Set the deck mid draw?  It's almost unfair.
2 Insidious Dreams

Win Conditions:
2 Grapeshot
2 Tendrils of Agony
4 Null Profusion
3 Rift Elemental

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147 (not verified) at Sat, 03/01/2008 - 23:44
Anonymous (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147's picture

sorry for the dup posts. :/  The site of giving me erros when I tried to send, guess it posted anyways.

I've been playing around with profusion myself the last few days by Azyre (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147 (not verified) at Sat, 03/01/2008 - 22:07
Azyre (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147's picture

This is the deck that I've come up with it all comes down to being able to get profusion into play asap addn then decking yourself with 0 cost cards or cards that pay back thier own mana to push a massive tendrils or grapeshot.

Qty Card Name

Lands

1 Barren Moor
2 Forgotten Cave
3 Graven Cairns
4 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Snow-Covered Swamp
2 Spinerock Knoll
3 Sulfurous Springs
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Mana Accel

4 Lotus Bloom
4 Rite of Flame
4 Mind Stone
4 Cabal Ritual

Cards that replace themselves:

4 Mishra's Bauble
3 Spellbook
2 Tormod's Crypt
1 Thrumming Stone

Card that is very important vs discard due to flashback:

2       Coffin Purge

This card wins the game with Null Out.  Set the deck mid draw?  It's almost unfair.

2 Insidious Dreams

Win Conditions:

2 Grapeshot
3 Tendrils of Agony
4 Null Profusion

 

I would REALLY like to find a way to get null out on turn 3.  The only thing I can think of that's left would be a septer.... 

Better Version by Azyre (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147 (not verified) at Sat, 03/01/2008 - 23:42
Azyre (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147's picture

 

 I've tested this pretty heavily tonight, and this version of the dek runs much smoother.  You can use the rift elementals to either pump out the wheels faster, or just use lotus to power out more mana for a bigger pump.  I think it might be worth dropping 1 land to be replaced with either a Tormods or 3rd spell book, but the shuffler hates me so I tend to overcommit on mana.  again any ideas or thoughts would be awesome.

 

 

Qty Card Name

Lands (21)
1 Barren Moor
2 Forgotten Cave
3 Graven Cairns
4 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Snow-Covered Swamp
2 Spinerock Knoll
3 Sulfurous Springs
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Mana Accel
4 Lotus Bloom
4 Rite of Flame
4 Mind Stone
4 Cabal Ritual

Cards that replace themselves:
4 Mishra's Bauble
2 Spellbook
2 Wheel of Fate

Card that is very important vs discard due to flashback:
2 Coffin Purge

This card wins the game with Null Out.  Set the deck mid draw?  It's almost unfair.
2 Insidious Dreams

Win Conditions:
2 Grapeshot
2 Tendrils of Agony
4 Null Profusion
3 Rift Elemental

Better Version by Azyre (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147 (not verified) at Sat, 03/01/2008 - 23:43
Azyre (Unregistered) 71.127.36.147's picture

 

 I've tested this pretty heavily tonight, and this version of the dek runs much smoother.  You can use the rift elementals to either pump out the wheels faster, or just use lotus to power out more mana for a bigger pump.  I think it might be worth dropping 1 land to be replaced with either a Tormods or 3rd spell book, but the shuffler hates me so I tend to overcommit on mana.  again any ideas or thoughts would be awesome.

 

 

Qty Card Name

Lands (21)
1 Barren Moor
2 Forgotten Cave
3 Graven Cairns
4 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Snow-Covered Swamp
2 Spinerock Knoll
3 Sulfurous Springs
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Mana Accel
4 Lotus Bloom
4 Rite of Flame
4 Mind Stone
4 Cabal Ritual

Cards that replace themselves:
4 Mishra's Bauble
2 Spellbook
2 Wheel of Fate

Card that is very important vs discard due to flashback:
2 Coffin Purge

This card wins the game with Null Out.  Set the deck mid draw?  It's almost unfair.
2 Insidious Dreams

Win Conditions:
2 Grapeshot
2 Tendrils of Agony
4 Null Profusion
3 Rift Elemental

by eotinb at Mon, 02/11/2008 - 12:07
eotinb's picture

Thanks for the thoughtful response. I'll address some of your points one at a time -- and ignore the rest. :)

Playtesting: I agree more playtesting is in order -- check back soon for version two!

Honing the deck: All your points are good. The decks in this series aren't supposed to be supercompetitive, but winning is usually more fun than losing, so I want to make the deck better as much as the next guy.

Deck list: The missing cards are Swamps. Not sure how those got left out. Feel free to blame the editor. :)

Card choices: Utopia Sprawl is not Stadard legal. Fertile Ground and Overgrowth are the only land-enchanting acceleration in Standard. As for fixing, I never found myself needing to tap Llanowar Wastes for colored mana, so someone could do without them pretty easily. Rather than provide an exhaustive discussion in the comments, I'll provide some more depth in #2.

Anyway, thanks again for caring enough to respond. Honestly, I wasn't sure there'd be much interest in some janky combo decks and I was hoping my delightfully charming writing style would paper over any problems with the actual content. But in retrospect I should have followed the advice Sister Virginia Lee tried so hard to instill back in elementary school -- anything worth doing is worth doing well. Of course it was hard to take her too seriously since every day she asked a schoolfull of children to pray that an old lady would die so we could get her land and expand the playground (tactfully stated as "Please remember to pray for the property.")

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 12.47.110.206 (not verified) at Mon, 02/11/2008 - 11:32
Anonymous (Unregistered) 12.47.110.206's picture

Hey,

 

Thanks for the article, but....

 

The Deck only has 56 cards listed.  I would guess that the rest was land(as only 16 are listed).  Also with only 4 games played and two of those fell to mana screw there is not much analysis.  A third game was played with only 2 suspends.

I really don't think that that is a decent analysis for the deck.  Most anything loeses to mana screw, and can beat a horribly mana screwed oponnent.  Also if a deck only plaly 2 spells(and one an accelerant) I would hope you can win. 

I am sure you are recieving some sort of compensation for this article, even if it is just a platform for future submissions.  In that event I expect a little more.  I like articles that attempt to make bad/underused rares good, but with poor editing, playtesting and analysis I expect and have seen much better here.

 

Playtesting:

 Give me at least 5 RELAVANT games.  Still a small sampling, but at least you can see how the deck runs unhindered.  If you lose to mana screw, how about letting us know the hands you kept, and how you expedcted those hands to play out. 

Also how about some card evaluation post playtesting.  I know you cannot go into much with the sample size here.  most people realize Garruk=good.  Turn 3 Garruk due to acceleration = more gooder.  How did Magus work out? Was he worth the slot?  How about the benefits of Search over something like Utopia Sprawl?  Or Sprawl vs. Overgrowth to help smooth the fixing for those who do not have the relavent pain lands?  What is the turn you can expect the deck to go off(this is a combo deck right?) 

 When you lose relavant games what cards were an issue? what could you do to make the deck work around Tef. Moat? or such.  Do you just hope to combo out before the problems arrive?

 

In short I appreciate the time it takes to design/test and write up these type of articles, and I hope that this does not discourage you from doing more in the future, but please make them worth the time you put into them.

 

regards,

 

___helper_monkey on MTGO