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By: Tarmotog, Naoto Watabe
Feb 12 2008 1:44pm
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Introduction

When I asked my friend which deck is cheap to make in Legacy, he told me to play Dragon Stompy. The reason: it uses basic mountains and the cards used are cheap. Looking at this, I was thinking: why not make a similar deck on Singleton?

Dragon Stompy?

I searched on Yahoo and found a forum discussing it. (It's great to have decks with unique names)

Here's a sample deck:

Creatures (22):

4x Magus of the Moon
3x Arc-Slogger
4x Simian Spirit Guide
4x Gathan Raiders
4x Rakdos Pit Dragon
2x Sulfur Elemental
1x Akroma, Angel of Fury

Lands(18):
4x Ancient Tomb
4x City of Traitors
10x Mountains

Others (19):
3x Umezawa's Jitte
4x Chrome Mox
4x Seething Song
4x Chalice of the Void
3x Blood Moon
1x Sword of Fire and Ice
1x Sword of Light and Shadow

 

How does this deck work?

Using the "2 mana" lands, the deck can accelerate into its big stuff and can wreck some decks using Chalice of the Void or explode into cards like Arc-Slogger or cast and equip an equipment. Some decks run Trinisphere which can slow some decks alot.

However, we don't have :
1) 2 mana lands
2) That many ritual type cards
3) The metagame that would be hurt by Trinisphere.

Looking at the cards, we can tell that the deck is rather cheap to build. The most expensive card is Chrome Mox. The second in line should be Sword of Fire and Ice.

So how shall we build this?

We want to have a winning strategy. 

We have Magus of the Moon and Blood Moon. That would help us win many matches but we have two while have eight. That's not a good start. The cheapest strategy, in both sense of the word, is ponza or land destruction. Singleton decks nowadays try to make decks that hinge on a tight mana base. Attacking the land base is therefore a strong strategy.

Land destruction cards:
Stone Rain: The most basic land d. card. Too bad it can't get you out of a tight spot.
Molten Rain: My favorite land d. card. Steals a turn and shocks as a bonus.
Pillage: Needs heavy red for a great effect. We can supply heavy red.
Avalanche Riders: The best card from the 4 mana land destruction list. How to use it would be determined later.
Boom/Bust: You could do cute things like aim boom at your fetchland or play Flagstones of Trokair (but I'll prefer not to).
Pillage

At this point in time, I am not convinced that I have enough land destruction cards but the rest all cost four or more mana or are in other colors. We will look back at the land destruction cards if we have space.

Looking away for awhile and borrowing the basic creatures and spells from the deck, we get:

Arc-Slogger: A powerful five drop that can come on turn three with Seething Song but will be a little more difficult in Singleton.

Simian Spirit Guide: Gives you an additional mana so maybe you could cast either swords and equip on turn four?

Rakdos Pit Dragon: Hopefully we can get Hellbent up or it'll look silly as a Hill Giant that jumps.

Gathan Raiders: Neat morph. Who could guess what it could be?

Sulfur Elemental: Uncounterable 3/2 that kills white x/1s. Not really game winning but it could clear the way for you.

Akroma, Angel of Fury: Hopefully you get to morph this up and do serious damage. I like it but I'm not sold at this point in time.

Chrome Mox: We don't have to worry much cards getting eaten since we only have one of this.

Seething Song: Too bad we only have one. It could be cool to spam big cards early.

Sword of Fire and Ice: We don't play very powerful creatures and this makes our creatures powerful.

Sword of Light and Shadow: If people want to test this in legacy, why don't we try this too?

We have seventeen cards here. This is the crucial part of deck building. If I mess up the rest of the deck, I'm going to end up having a lousy deck.

Let's review the strengths of the actual Dragon Stompy deck.

1) Has explosive plays into powerful creatures/ spells that allow you to disrupt the opponent while killing him.

2) Can disrupt many cards using Chalice of the Void.
3) Can play around Trinisphere effectively.

The weakness:

1) The creatures are not great

2) Draws can become rather inconsistent (With multiples of mana acceleration and lesser goods).

I suppose we can't randomly make Chalice of the Void work effectively without actual data on the field so for now, we won't play it. Another reason not to, would be because we don't get the lands that give us two mana, making it less effective than in the actual deck.

The metagame on the Singleton tournaments consist basically of red based aggro decks, blue based control decks or black based aggro control decks.

The big plan: Buy time and win by being ahead of them by a turn or two.

We technically lose once they can keep up with our threats.

 Now we have to play cards that are good against aggro or control. 
The first card that comes to mind: Greater Gargadon, which happens to be good against both. With Greater Gargadon suspended, every creature becomes slightly more powerful and we will be less affected by targetted removals. Plus, a topdeck into Greater Gargadon and suspending it immediately is going to mess up that removal your opponent was going to play. It works well with both sides of Boom/Bust as well.

Maybe we could play a bunch of small red creatures that will allow us to pick up the two equipments. (This might be a bad idea but I'll try it for now)

Mogg Fanatic: The best red one drop? Difficult to fully appreciate why but I guess it's because nobody wants to kill it, it can kill bigger stuff and it could singlehandedly deal at least 4 on a normal day.

Grim Lavamancer: Wizard that makes shocks. 

Magus of the Scroll: Wizard that plays with the Cursed Scroll. Why it isn't that wonderful anymore is because Cursed Scroll didn't die to creature removals and it dealt colorless damage which got past Circle of Protection: Red and Chills.

Gorilla Shaman: Messes up Sensei's Divining Top (when your opponent shuffles, you "attempt" to chew the top, it gets traded for a random card and the top can stay away for some time) and eats artifact lands. Not a bad deal against control decks. (If you spend more mana, you could eat bigger stuff. Just remember "non-creature".)

If the deck had some signet-like cards, it could accelerate into four mana cards or five mana cards which the deck has. Here are the candidates:

Mind Stone: We will have plenty of red lands so colorless mana is ok. It cycles away if you don't need it.

Guardian Idol: I don't know about this. I'm not convinced that this is good but I suppose I'll try it.

Prismatic Lens: Filter to cast other colored stuff? SB change?

Fire Diamond: Produces R in case you decide to blast every land away.

Now we look at the bigger cards we can play:

Flametongue Kavu: My favorite red card. I remember every deck used to play this even by simply splashing red for it. Good against aggro decks. That's good news.

Fledgling Dragon: This card is in red threshold decks in Legacy. I hope it belongs here. It is at least a four mana 2/2 flyer. Not too great but once you get threshold, it will be tough to beat.

Chandra Nalaar: I scanned through the forums and saw this person having it in his deck for a metagame with many creatures he wants to deal with using the planeswalker. Chandra is not bad for what she does. At the very least, she's a six point removal spell? In some cases she could become "super fire (from Fire/Ice)". Good against creatures, more threatening against non-creatures. If she resolves against UW, nobody is going to be smiling.

Twenty Nine cards now. It's a pity we cannot follow the actual deck and play eighteen lands. I suppose this deck should run about twenty two to twenty three because we want to get mana to play cards.

Skred: This card is dubbed the red Swords to Plowshares. If we play this, we will need snow lands. That's not helpful to the budget but let us assume we can support this.

Lightning Bolt: This is an aggro deck. We play the best burn spells.

Incinerate: I don't repeat.

Fire/Ice: It is one of the best burn spells, potentially a card for two.

Countryside Crusher: Not out yet but I suppose this article should be up close to its release online. We do have mana producers so hopefully this card will not be a big problem. A big threat that needs to be answered to. Aggresive cards like this are good.

Rite of Flame: This adds one mana. I'm not sure how significant that would be. You could just run out of cards when you play such cards. Hopefully this will give the deck some unfair plays that make it easier to win.

Desperate Ritual: Similar to Rite of Flame, this card is in as a test. I am uncomfortable with the idea of losing the card for a mere mana on a turn that I am not building storm count.

Ingot Chewer: This guy is a filler. Hopefully you manage to munch a good artifact out of the way. A maindeck Shatter? Hopefully you don't get forced into casting this and eating one of your own artifacts.

Sensei's Divining Top: Not sure if this card is worth it in this deck. It can let you do some Countryside Crusher manipulation or just fix your draws. I really don't like it here.

With these thirty eight cards done, we can take a look at the lands we are going to play:

Bloodstained Mire/Wooded Foothills: Fetchlands are good. They have obvious strategies with Sensei's Divining Top and they work with boom from Boom/Bust.

Barbarian Ring: Deals two damage after dealing you a couple of points. A Colorless shock that doubles up as a mana producer.

Snow-Covered Mountain: Would be normal mountains besides the fact that I'm wanting to play Skred. (Sllly me)

Crystal Vein: An artificial City of Traitors

Mishra's Factory: Fits in the deck.

Mutavault: Ditto

 Here is the main deck:

The Singleton Dragon Stompy Mimic .dec (prices of cards are taken from Mtgotrader)

Lands (23):
Bloodstained Mire ($10.35)
Wooded Foothills ($8.84)
Barbarian Ring ($2.70)
Mishra's Factory ($1.21)
Mutavault
Crystal Vein ($0.38)
16x Snow-Covered Mountain ($0.86)

Sorceries (5):
Boom/Bust (0.76)
Stone Rain (0.02)
Molten Rain ($0.03)
Pillage ($0.38)
Rite of flame ($0.97)

Planeswalker (1):
Chandra Nalaar ($1.46)

 

Instants (6):
Incinerate ($0.38)
Lightning Bolt ($0.76)
Skred ($0.03)
Fire/Ice ($4.42)
Seething Song ($0.02)
Desperate Ritual ($0.02?)

Artifacts (8):
Chrome Mox ($17.33)
Sword of Fire and Ice ($12.87)
Sword of Light and Shadow ($7.60)
Prismatic Lens ($0.08)
Mind Stone ($0.48)
Fire Diamond ($0.04)
Guardian Idol ($0.04)
Sensei's Divining Top ($1.70)

Enchantment (1):
Blood Moon ($0.57)

Creatures (17):
Mogg Fanatic ($2.18)
Grim Lavamancer ($12.23)
Magus of the Scroll ($0.38)
Gorilla Shaman($2.94)
Arc-Slogger ($0.86)
Avalanche Riders ($2.94)
Rakdos Pit Dragon ($1.46)
Fledgling Dragon ($0.72)
Simian Spirit Guide ($0.08)
Gathan Raiders ($0.03)
Sulfur Elemental ($0.71)
Akroma, Angel of Fury ($1.94)
Greater Gargadon ($2.67)
Flametongue Kavu ($4.42)
Ingot Chewer ($0.08)
Magus of the Moon ($2.94)
Countryside Crusher

At this point in time, the total cost of the deck, excluding the two Morningtide cards amount to :$124.16 if I calculated correctly (before adding up the sideboard). So how do we make this more budget friendly?

So as a revision, 
Mountain Valley ($0.48) over Wooded Foothills, Rocky Tar Pit ($0.48) over Bloodstained Mire

Now the main bulk of the cost comes from Chrome Mox, Sword of Fire and Ice and Sword of Light and Shadow. Sadly, I wouldn't want to cut on these. Maybe a basic land in place of the mox, and maybe Loxodon Warhammer($2.43) over the Sword of Light and Shadow ?(Dropping the cost by $28.50) Replace Skred and Snow-Covered Mountains for basic mountains (I'll assume they are free) and Firebolt($0.21) and the cost drops by ($13.58) which is quite big (like a draft set worth).

I would say that these changes really take a toll on the power level of the deck as I'm not changing the cards correctly. I'll suggest playing some four mana land destruction spells to stem the power loss instead. Loxodon Warhammer over Sword of Light and Shadow is a bad replacement because protection from white and black is very relevant.

As a whole, the deck is rather cheap to build because the most of the cards are not too expensive, except for the mox and the two swords. I guess you could wait till this extended season is over before picking up these expensive cards. Most should drop by then. The rest of the cards max out at $3 (except the IPA uncommons or the Morningtide pair). The giant should not be too hot after some time because it is limited by the casting cost which prevents it from being Tarmogoyf number two.

Did I miss the Sideboard?

Fine. Let's get to it.
Cryoclasm: Destroys plains/island + 3 damage to boot. 

Demonfire: It belongs in the SB even if I did say put it over something.

Giant Solifuge: Great card against control decks that run lesser creatures.

Pyroblast: Counter target counterspell or destroy some blue thing you don't like.

Shattering Spree: For decks that run a little more artifacts than usual.

Genju of the Spires: Really messes things up for most control decks.

Zo-Zu the Punisher: I was thinking about Tormod's Crypt vs combo but it's only a 1 off and people can play around it. This guy can help deal damage against heartbeat and would make the worldgorger combo stop to think because their lands come into play again and again and again. (Hmm...) Against storm, the land destruction package should suffice.

Pyroclasm: Against goblins. (I doubt it would help. I think it worked last time. I have my doubts now. Yet it's better to have something rather than nothing.)

Sudden Shock: Against decks that have tricks or you want an uncounterable spell.

Phyrexian Ironfoot: Against aggresive decks.

Epochrasite: I can't believe I'm using "blue" cards to fight aggro.

Firebolt: Good card to stem bleeding.

Dodecapod: Helps against relentless discarding.

Dwarven Miner: Can win some games if it survives. We want to get as many free wins as possible.

Tephraderm: Blocks the biggest thing the aggro decks can chalk up. (but should die anyway.. saw this somewhere so I would suggest trying this)

Every card in the main deck and sideboard is free for you to change. I would start testing games with the main deck. The biggest problem you would encounter during testing would be that you cannot effectively tell which cards are good or not needed especially when you get free wins by disrupting mana. I'm not used to translating cards for mana so I'll have trouble liking the deck. 

The final outcome looks very different from the actual deck in both what they accomplish and their functions. This version needs alot of disruption to get  there. Hopefully you pick up free wins by destroying a land after a pact is played.

1 Comments

Nice by hamtastic at Tue, 02/12/2008 - 17:21
hamtastic's picture

Nice article about converting and budgetizing a deck into a different format!  Really neat way to get to the end result.