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By: djdark01, Daniel Jay
Mar 31 2008 12:06am
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Hello readers and fellow PureMTGOers!

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite standard decks I recently created, Giants.  This deck is not based entirely on Giants though.  I also use Kithkin to balance things a bit.  So far,in casual it has performed very well.  I've wandered into the Tourney Practice room a few times too.  Fae and Merfolk are fun to play against of course.  This deck shines nicely versus Mono Red Aggro and Big Mana. 

Honestly, it really felt like WotC built this deck for me.  Everything fit together close to perfectly.

Let’s take a look at what Creatures I decided to use:

4 Countryside Crusher

Crusher is a great card in many different decks.  I really like how he interacts with Jotun Grunt here.  Clearing lands away after turn three is a big bonus for any aggro deck.  I'd have to say when he's played he's the MVP.  Shard Volley, Gemstone Mine and Flagstones of Trokair compliment Crusher well too.

3 Jotun Grunt

At first I had four in the deck but after speaking to a few other people on the subject I decided to lower the count down to three.  The good thing here is that I’ve always had cards to recycle for a couple of turns – either in my opponent’s graveyard or mine to keep him active.  If you’re able to lay out a Crusher with having a Grunt in play and he dumps some land into the yard, its clear sailing from there!  Grunt is a nice subtle way to help disrupt any graveyard or recursion tactic you might see out on the playing field really, including Goyf.

Countryside Crusher

4 Kithkin Greatheart

I liked this fella quite a bit in limited if all of my other cards came together.  Other than that, he didn’t really have many other uses out there.  Things change as time goes on as we’ve seen with Morningtide and this card is no exception.  With the addition of Countryside Crusher and Mutavault he has a new found purpose, at least in this deck that is.  I had no idea at first how good this card would work here.  I have to admit, I'm pretty happy with his performance.  I feel it is very close to being on par with Knight of Meadowgrain.

4 Knight of Meadowgrain

At first I had it in, then took it out, then put it back in again.  I was having some trouble with the double white mana cost, after a bit of thinking I came up with a solution: Gemstone Mine.

Kithkin Greatheart

2 Brion Stoutarm

Originally, I had Ivory Giant here instead of Brion.  Ivory really wasn't my cup of tea so I took him out for this instead.  I'm only running two since he's Legendary, plus I want to keep the casting costs as low as I can go.

By the way, based from the wonderful Orb of Insight there are sixteen new giants in Shadowmoor to look forward to!


Wizened Cenn

4 Wizened Cenn

Crusade on wheels!  This is one of my favorite cards from Lorywn.  If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a bit of fan of white cards, more specifically White Weenie.  That isn’t what this deck is but it’s where this card's heritage is from.  He pumps all of the other Kithkin in this deck plus Mutavault.

4 Goldmeadow Stalwart

This is an above average first turn beater.  I'm not sure if he's up there with Kird Ape or Isamaru, Hound of Konda though.  If I didn't like Kithkin so much, perhaps Mogg Fanatic would be here instead.

Kithkin are still fighting the good fight to hopefully see the light of day soon.  One can only hope, right?  There are twenty-one instances of the word Kithkin in Shadowmoor, so we'll see.

That’s it for creatures.  Let’s take a look at utility now:

Shard Volley
Lash Out

4 Shard Volley

This can be a tricky card if not played correctly.  Thankfully, it works well here since I’ve also included Flagstones of Trokair into the giant mix.  Depending on how well the deck plays, rather than “Sacrifice a land” the additional cost will say: “place a land in play in your graveyard for Jotun Grunt and search your library for another plains card to replace that land”.  You can also use Volley as a quick way to pump your Crusher up a bit in a pinch if needed too.

4 Lash Out

Lash Out seems to be hitting it’s stride now.  With Red Aggro making waves we’ve been seeing cards that didn’t really have a place anywhere in this magical world before.

3 Incinerate

Great burn spell.  Incinerate has been around for a long time.  Just recently, WotC brought it back in Tenth for Standard.  At one time (and maybe it still is) this was considered to be a fixed Lightning Bolt.

Last, but certainly not least, lands:

4 Mutavault

Akin to Mishra's Factory, Mutavault has it's own plus side.  I think a good portion of people feel that Factory is better, but not strictly. The changeling ability is a huge bonus in the current standard environment.  Mutavault is great with the above mentioned cards for the reasons already noted.  Plus, as we all know or will eventually find out, running at least twenty-four lands on MTGO is the safest way to go.  This card helps keep decks focused, versatile in terms of creatures matter and mana to play your spells.

4 Battlefield Forge

Typical run of the mill painland.  If it was in Standard, I'd be running Sacred Foundry in a heartbeat.  If you feel like going the extended route, it would work great with Flagstones for sure.

2 Flagstones of Trokair

I wouldn't be playing this card if it wasn’t for Countryside Crusher and Shard Volley.  This works really well with Greater Gargadon too!

4 Ancient Amphitheater

I'm glad I was able to play with my play set of these.  Drafting and having them for so long was my driving force in regards to this deck.  Most of the other Tribal lands, with perhaps the exception of Wanderwine Hub, have made their marks.  The Merfolk land is just now starting to get into its groove.  Amphitheather's due.

4 Gemstone Mine

This card was one of my last additions to the deck.  It solved some problems and added more interesting interactions that make playing this even more fun.  I would take out maybe two of these or the two Mountians below for Reflecting Pools (coming in Shadowmoor. hopefully).

4 Plains and 2 Mountain

You can always go snowy if your feeling adventureous :)

Without further ado:

Click here to download this deck!

How would I make this deck more competitive?

Well, we could take out the Goldmeadow Stalwarts for Mogg Fanatics for starters.  After that, we may as well remove the Wizened Cenns and replace them with Keldon Marauders too.  I still like Kithkin Greatheart here so I'd keep it myself, Mogg War Marshal would be a good replacement for Greatheart though.  You could also cut Brion's down a notch or two and add Greater Gargadons.  I think I would also think about taking out the Shard Volleys and replace them with Rift Bolts.  I'd also remove the Flagstones of Trokair.  I'm not to sure yet, I'm going to keep playing a little more and see If I like how things are going.  Those kind of changes would really give you Mono Red Aggro though.   I really enjoy the Kithkin sub-theme and I think it works good so I don't think I'll make any drastic changes myself.  If your able to come up with something better, feel free to share with the rest of us though.

I hope you guys enjoyed my rambilings!



by djdark01 at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 21:15
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What's your build look like?  I've changed mine a little bit..  I added back in the 4th Grunt and another Incinerate, I then took out Brion.  Also, I dropped the two Mountains for Keldon Megaliths.

Cenn is a plus with Mutavaut too.  Plus, I really like it when my Greatheart becomes a 4/3 or 5/4. 

by djdark01 at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 19:59
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Info on Reflecting Pool.  I hope its in!

Nifty! by MirrorMage at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 16:35
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Good article! For those of us on a budget, what would you suggest to play instead of the Crushers and Vaults?

by djdark01 at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 19:50
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Cloudgoat is a decent card, but if your playing Crusher your not going to really be able to play him that much.  To be honest, I think Brion is tricky too.

by djdark01 at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 19:56
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I'd take the Crushers out and put in Cloudgoats :).  If I manage to get on tonight, perhaps I'll give that a whirl.  If I wasn't playing Mutavault, I'd prolly try adding some Quicksands to the mix to see how those play.

BTW, after the gym today I went to one of my local markets and picked up some dates, yeah thats right...  I wish I had said picked up a date ha. I thought I might as well give them a decent try for the first time based mostly from your comments about them in /join puremtgo.  They tasted like crayons!!  not that I know what those taste like or anything...

Giants by Pat Rick at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 16:09
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Blind spot and Mutavault. That is a cool combo 


by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 15:26
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Mutavault and Blindspot is a cool combo

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 12:58
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4 Wizened Cenn yet no Cloudgoat Ranger?  


reflecting pool in shadowmoor? by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 13:31
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The ORB doesnt say a damn thing about reflecting pool, so where did u get that idea from?

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 10:05
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Giants?  More than half of your creatures are Kithkin, and only the 4x Greathearts work well with the Giant Theme.  I've been playing around with a Giant Warrior deck in RW.  It seems to do well.  How about revamping to be more of a Giant build than a hybrid build....just a thought.

Grunt + Crusher = nice by eotinb at Mon, 03/31/2008 - 10:05
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I really like the interaction of Grunt and Crusher -- nice catch!

IIRC, AaFo stated at one point that a fixed Lightning Bolt would be Incinerate without the no-regen clause.

And allow me to paraphrase: "To make this deck competitve, turn it into the goblin deck." :)