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By: Hollow0n3, Jan Zemlin
Feb 26 2008 2:58pm
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Cats on the Walls

Hello, and welcome to yet another really late and all new installment of my budget-minded article series. For those that are new to my articles, my objective is to show you decks without rares that run on exactly 12 uncommons. The rest of the decks obviously consist of commons, no purples in them. At least not until you come up with your own variant.

Those decks usally end up well under ten dollars, once I even had a deck that was only a little over three bucks.

What does that mean for you? Not much, most of the time it simply means that I won't use the high-end uncommons like Lightning Helix or Delay.

Let's try to get started, last time, too long ago actually, I hinted at a kitty deck or classic tribal deck for this article. I decided to give you both. First the kitty deck, it is a STD legal one.

Order of the Kitty

24 Lands:
10 Forest
10 Plains
4 Terramorphic Expanse

20 Creatures:
4 Essence Warden
4 Soul Warden
4 Ronom Unicorn
4 Juniper Order Ranger
4 Nacatl War-Pride
16 other spells:
4 Search for Tomorrow
4 Sprout Swarm
4 Kjeldoran War Cry
4 Oblivion Ring
Nacatl War-Pride

It purrs when its abused.

This deck is mainly focused on the combo power of Juniper Order Ranger and Nacatl War-Pride. Once the kittys attack the Order will boost them and itself. Everything else in this deck works toward the goal to actually make it happen, mostly by the means of staying alive long enough for it to work out. The eight wardens combo well with the cats, and Sprout Swarm combos very well with the Order and the wardens. Kjeldoran War Cry is simply an amazing card for decks that intend to win with an attack, especially with token based ones. Cast one or two with both the Order and the kitty on the attack and it will most likely end the game in your favour. Oblivion Ring is simply in there because it can be useful removal.

Some word of advice, the stack will most likely take some time to set up once you get going, so keep in mind that there are players out there that dislike the Wardens.  There will also be a huge stack if you attack with a War Pride and one or more Orders.   It sometimes takes a while to get through the multiple triggered effects!

For those that don't know it yet, click on the deck name to go to the deck section of MTGO Traders, you can see what the deck would cost you there if you'd buy it as it is now. Most likely you already own at least the basic lands, simply kick the cards you already got out of the cart.You could get the deck for $ 6.84 at the time I submitted this article, that might have changed so you are better of checking for yourself.

If you want to evolve this deck you have got some hard decisions to make, simply because this is a pretty tight deck. It is the ever-present problem: 'What do I kick out to add this?'. I think I will just list a few rares now and let you figure out how to turn this deck into your own version.

Scion of the Wild, Loxodon Warhammer, Cloud Key, Veilstone Amulet, Garruk Wildspeaker,Mirror Entity, Ajani Goldmane and Dolmen Gate should give you some Inspiration.

Hm, maybe I'd better also mention some additional uncommons, in case you don't want to use the rare stuff. Overrun and Primal Rage might be what you need. Hedge Troll and Mantle of Leadership might also get you going.  Commons... well.. there is Herd Gnarr, but we already did that. Strength in Numbers would work and Partician's Scorn is something that helps when the other folks tend to bring their own Oblivion Ring. Neck Snap could also end up being used.

Phew... I think you might want to see some gamelogs now, right? I will give you three and then I will move on to the other deck.

Game 1 vs bredforslaughter (Mono-red hostile burn)

Uhm, oops. I fear I have to give less detailed gamelogs then usual. Since replays are turned off at the moment I have to use the chatlog to somewhat reconstruct the game.

That means I can't really recall the contents of my opening hand. Anyway, he wins the die roll and suspends a Rift Bolt.

I am sure I had an Essence Warden in my hand and drew a Forest, but only slapped down the land because of the suspended bolt.

He bolts me, and I bring the warden and a Plain down.

Incinerate from him, aimed at my dome. I just attack and play my Terramorphic Expanse.
He shows more burn and Sudden Shock hits my warden. Later he uses Browbeat, I take the damage, I do have lifegain in here after all.

On turn six he brings Hostility, which brings me some problems since the only creature I have is Ronom Unicorn which is soon dead since I use it to block. I want to live a little after all.

I get two wardens, one essence and one Soul Warden into play and stay barely alive with Sprout Swarm and Kjeldoran War Cry. Using that one defensive is a clear sign of deep trouble.

I am able to topdeck an Oblivion Ring and get rid of the Hostility; but in the end I don't draw creatures and one of my wardens dies.  This results in less lifegain with the swarm.

He casts Blaze for the win, with X equal to eight. The card on top of my deck was the Juniper Order Ranger.

What does one learn here? Beside that the shuffler sometimes likes to play jokes.. well..I said it above already, when you find yourself using the Kjeldoran War Cry as a way to defend yourself.. it's a sign of deep trouble. Oh, and
Search for Tomorrow is really something that should be in the opening hand.

Game 2 vs grift (UB something control-ish)

He wins the die roll and brings Secluded Glen. Me? Plains, Soul Warden.

He plays some more lands and carddraw, I have three wardens in play on my second turn and use them to attack him, he counters one of my war crys, kills two wardens and lets me play two more.My Juniper Order Ranger resolved to my surprise, and the wardens I played made it lethal enough for me to win with it. He had a lot of card draw, some reanimation and nice lands.The only thing I didn't see was a win condition. Sometimes even an resolved Ancestral Vision doesn't help.

The order plus one or two creatures can be enough to win versus creature screwed opponents and creatureless decks.

Game 3 vs Diegus (UB Control)

He wins the roll, I mull to five, lands tried to avoid me but a hand with a Forest and two Search for Tomorrow was better then nothing.

He got an advantage from the start, simply because he doesn't seem to have problems with his lands. He plays a third turn Shadowmage Infiltrator, which is pretty neat against me.

I manage to play a Juniper Order Ranger on my sixth turn. He doesn't like it and hits it with Sudden Death.

He had better creatures in play then I have, but he doesnt hold back to block.That makes it possible for me to get him down to five, but from there on he is truelly in control of the game. He trys to Enslave one of my wardens but my Ronom Unicorn gets sacrificed to get it back, of course after the attack.

A Nekrataal takes out my last warden and he gets to Cancel my topdecked Nacatl War-Pride.

He brings down another Shadowmage Infiltrator, Arcanis the Omnipotent and Vivid Marsh.

I topdeck another order but he got enchanted, Persuasion and Linessa, Zephyr Mage came down to lock up the game

Yes, he won that one easily. He shows me a hand with more targeted removal and several Damnation afterwards.  I have four lands on top of my library.

Well, I can't win them all. It would have been nice to pull of the combo, but I guess people really don't like to see my combopieces on the board.

Let me show you the classic deck now, it is actually a classic tribal deck... but I am pretty sure that you will have more fun playing it just as a casual classic deck.

Why? Mostly because its power level is low and it will be tricky to win with it.

Why? ... Well, you might remember how everyone was kind of unhappy that Animate Wall was in MED? Made jokes about how bad it is? The same happend once the full list was spoiled and Illusionary Wall was spotted on it.

If you are a Timmy/Johnny like me you can guess what happend next.  I built a deck that uses those two as a win-condition.

Here is the deck.

Animate Wall

His pals call him 'Brick'.
Walls Animated
24 Lands:
10 Plains
10 Island
4 Terramorphic Expanse
20 Creatures:
4 Shield Sphere
4 Wall of Resistance
4 Wall of Spears
4 Mirror Wall
4 Illusionary Wall
16 other spells:
4 Animate Wall
4 Shelter
4 Impulse
4 Power Conduit

How does one actually win with this? Power Conduit and Animate Wall. The enchantment allows one of the walls to attack... and the artifact turns all the counters this deck can produce into neat +1/+1 counters, especially the time counters used for Illusionary Walls cumulative upkeep.

12 out of 20 creatures produce counters that you can use to power the creatures up, at least when you get a conduit in play. Since Illusionary Wall is the biggest creature in the deck it would seem that you should try to win with it. Therefore keep the Animate Wall in your hand as long as possible, for a surprise attack.

Impulse should help getting the missing pieces together and Shelter provides a way to protect your guys and maybe make a certain blue wall nearly unblockable for the win.

Mirror Wall is the one that will get killed almost instantly, it basically works as a distraction, feel free to use it to deal a few points of damage whenever it's possible.

So, does this deck win? Sometimes it does, honestly. Most of the time you will at least have some fun with the deck.

Pimping this deck is a little harder then you might think, what would you add? Beside Rolling Stones there is not so much that can be added.  Swords to Plowshares and Brainstorm would be the classic staples,  but they are also cards that cost way too much. I really hope someone will put the Ice Age & Alliances cards from the Coldsnap PreCons into MED II.

Back to possible ways to evolve this deck, Sunweb or Ageless Sentinels maybe? Walking Wall and Testament of Faith are also options. I'd like to hear from people that actually tried to play and evolve this deck. Comments, postings in our forum,whatever works for you.

I guess gamelogs are what you folks want to see now, well I will give you some. Maybe I should try to actually play Classic Tribal with this deck. I'll try, but remember that you can easily play it in casual classic games too.

Game 1 vs Lawnmower Elf (BGR Warrior Combo)

He wins the die roll and starts with a Swamp, I have a starthand of three Shield Sphere and Animate Wall, Illusionary Wall and two Plains. I play the spheres and a Plains, joking that I honestly didn't stack my deck. More details then before? It's two days later and replays are turned on at the moment, be happy.

We are both colorscrewed, I make my first additonal play beside a landrop on turn three. It's a Power Conduit, until now I only got lands and a Mirror Wall from the top.

His first non-land is a turn five Tainted AEther. This might become a problem.

The next play is from him on his turn seven, Night of Souls' Betrayal.

On my turn eight I draw and play my second Power Conduit, we are both surprised about our colorscrew and joke a little about it.

Turn 10, he discards an Elvish Warrior, yes, his hand is full. Same on his next turn.

Turn 11 and I finally topdeck an Island, and play my Illusionary Wall, sacrificing a plains. I suspect that he might have a Terror for it, he has got black mana, which is enough for nearly any removal.

He gets a Forest and casts Civic Wayfinder. he sacrifices a Swamp.

I pay my cumulative upkeep of a single blue, remove the time counter to put a +1/+1 counter on the wall, and enchant it with Animate Wall and swing!

He plays a Hunted Troll, forcing me to make some sacrifices.  I decide to sacrifice one land and my three Shield Spheres to be precise.

I get another Island and use my trick on the wall again, another swing and he is down to five.That only took two attacks, not bad, huh?

He attacks me down to eleven, and casts Teferis' Puzzle Box.

The trick again, and I have won, he tells me that he also runs Forbidden Orchard and shows me that he uses Varchild's War-Riders as part of his combo, too.

Surprisingly, I have won. A single Terror would have killed my win codition, but he was very colorscrewed, where as I only needed one or two Islands to get back into the game. Lesson learned from this? I guess it's that one should try to play it out instead of giving up.

Game 2 vs (name withheld) (RB Goblins with money)

I greet him, like I always do. Nothing. Oh, and since it seems that I now can't replay games that I didn't win. I have to gobble it together from the log of the gamechat. Oh, joy.

My first plays are on turn two, Shield Sphere and Wall of Resistance.

His plays on turn three go something like this: Goblin Burrows, Goblin Matron, reveal Squee, Goblin Nabob.

I don't draw any of my other comboparts until way later, sometimes I manage to deal a bit of damage with a Mirror Wall.

He mostly does what one expects from a goblin deck,  he brings Auntie's Hovel, more goblins and doesn't feel the need to answer my question if he would mind when I mention the game. Guess he doesn't want to be associated with the deck that he plays.

He plays some tricks with Wort, Boggart Auntie, his Squee and Mogg Fanatic, Festering Goblin and Knucklebone Witch. He knows how to play well, he times his Tarfire in a way that prevents my Wall of Resistance from getting stronger.

I don't really have a chance, since I never draw Impulse or Shelter, the turn before he kills me with a lot of goblins and Dirge of Dread I played a top decked Illusionary Wall.

Oh, and then, after he won, he proves that he is at least able to use the macros: 6:39 (name sniped): Give up yet? 6:39 (name sniped): {s}

And here we learn, again, that some people don't bother even with the slightest manners. Oh, and that Mirror Wall can't win versus a lot of goblins.

Game 3 vs virusfromhell (GU Elfs with hammers)

He wins the die roll, and starts with ye olde Llanowar Elves.

I bring a Shield Sphere and a Plains.

He plays Coiling Oracle, reveals Moment's Peace and cycles Tranquil Thicket with elf mana.

I do nothing beside setting up an Island, he plays Wren's Run Vanquisher, shows me another mana elf with it and brings down the Wellwisher. At this point I decide that I am not happy, but my Impulse gave my another Impulse.

I play a turn three Wall of Spears, a little protection never hurts.

He brings Imperious Perfect, taps the wisher for five life points and attacks with the vanquisher, I don't block it.

Shield Sphere and another Plains. Holding onto Impulse and Shelter.

He got Simic Growth Chamber, Gaea's Skyfolk and his second manaelf. With Impulse and Shelter I am able to block the vanquisher without problems. However, I would like to have a second Island.

I topdeck an Island and play Illusionary Wall.  Beside the lifegain going on, I feel safe now.

He forget that the wall has first strike and attacks into it, with the Vanquisher that holds a newly played Loxodon Warhammer.

I play an Impulse on my turn and grab a Shelter, after paying the upkeep cost.

He gains more life, equips his skyfolk and I use another Impulse to grab Power Conduit. I topdeck an Animate Wall, play the conduit and use it to pump the wall and to get the upkeep cost down. I animate it, too. Unfortunally his draft starts at this point, and he gives me the game. Well, I hope he won a few packs in there. I count this as a draw for myself.

Lessons here? Don't be afraid of the lifegain, or the damage prevention... or just be polite to your opponent and sometimes the opponent will be polite to you too.

Well, thats it again for this time. I hope you folks had some fun reading this, maybe somewill even use the decks and build their own variants. Maybe someone will actually make a comment and not ignore the sentence in the article that actually answers them.  That has already happened. Oh, and I really hope the spambots stay away from my comments, they already jumped an earlier article and I don't want to see that happen again.

Next time I might even bring a classic deck that is actually able to impress you with its cheap and unsuspected power.

Until next time,
- yours


Deck suggestions by Klutz (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 02/27/2008 - 16:11
Klutz (Unregistered)'s picture

 Mirrodin's Core is a cheap land for the Wall deck that is not only multicolor but also another source of counters to utilize Power Conduit with.

The cat deck might be better by reducing the White to a splash, cutting Soul Warden, Ronom Unicorn, and Kjeldoran War-Cry, and replacing them with Llanowar Elves, another Green utility early creature (maybe Civic Wayfinder), and Strength in Numbers (which you already mentioned).  You can then play a manabase of say 16 Forest 4 Terramorphic Expanse 4 Plains, and still easily support Juniper Order Ranger and Oblivion Ring.

One more suggestion by Felorin (Unregistered) (not verified) at Wed, 02/27/2008 - 16:32
Felorin (Unregistered)'s picture

In a green/white deck that's trying to accelerate up to 5-6 mana for Ranger and War-Pride, Krosan Verge can be a nice land to add.  It gives you a land, mana accel, and deck thinning all in one handy package.  Since you don't have a lot of 3 and 4 drops, the coming into play tapped drawback can be easily worked around.


Nice decks, I might have to build & play one or both of them.  They look like fun!

Thanks. =) by Hollow0n3 at Wed, 02/27/2008 - 06:30
Hollow0n3's picture

Thanks for the praise, I hope other people think the same and try to play arround with the decks.

Nice decks by hamtastic at Tue, 02/26/2008 - 16:10
hamtastic's picture

Having played agaisnt both of the decks I found them quite fun and entertaining.  Obviously you could have some fun adding money to the decks and seeing what happens. 

Good article Jan!

There is a need to impress by lenyrose2013 at Thu, 09/29/2016 - 07:46
lenyrose2013's picture

There is a need to impress your enemy. Most especially during the game. - Mark Zokle