Friday, August 10, 2012, 12:03 PM
So I recently posted about splitting golems. I have been playing with the idea ever since I have seen precursor golem. I have been looking for a way to exploit his abilities, yet, protect them at the same time. He is weak by himself, but with the right set up he is an absolute monster. With him as a win con, he will run you over quickly.
I have played a few golem type decks trying to get it just right. There was a W/G with removal like Oblivion Ring and Rebuke. It also found a few blade splicers. I exploited them with Cloudshift. The problem was that cloudshifting a golem would phase them all out. We all know that phasing out tokens, will destroy them as a state based action of the game. It is just how it goes.
Then there was addition of Solemn Simulacrum. He gave me a little more speed and some draw ability. It just turned out to be a little slower then I liked. With that being said, this is my favorite one. I abuse his abilities and I like it.
I found this decks savior in M13. In the form of Chonomaton. It seems so simple. Its problem was that the golems all have a larger casting cost. The 1 colorless drop 1/1 that is growing provides suitable defense. I always found myself ran over by weenies.
U/G Splitting Golems
4x Solumn Simulacrum
4x Cackling Counterpart
2x Essence Scatter
3x Revenge of the Hunted
4x Sheltering Word
4x Rampant Growth
4x Hinterland Harbor
So here is what I found. It is clever and works well together. The Chronomaton offers amazing protection for cheap. He is not as threatening early game as a Goblin Guide or Champion of the Parish. I don't suspect that he will draw as much agro either. The Rampant Growth and Solemn Simulacrum offer land, while Solem gives me the benefit of an extra draw when he dies. I love Cackling Counterpart. It does serious work in this deck. I will Cackle a Solumn any day of the week. People are always looking at me baffled as to why I do this. The answer is simple. He grabs me a land, I get to draw a card if and when he dies, but more so... the retrieval of land thins my deck so that I can get into the more important things.
There is obvious counter spells to protect the golems and serious threats. It isnt really control, it is more protection. I don't really care about much of the stuff that people do. I will counter Deathtouch abilities and obvious removal. The sheltering word is painful for those targeting Precursor, which lets face it is the win in this deck.
With that being said, Precursor is who I protect and abuse the most. Cackling Counterpart offers a total of 5 extra golems. That's with only him out there. When it targets him, it produces him and his two friends (+3), then it targets the other two tokens that he originally came out with (+2). Revenge of the hunted will simply knock teeth out of your opponet, esp with Precursor. With Solemn and Chronomaton there are more willing targets. The real fun thing to do is, after they declare attacks to produce more targets with Cackling Counterpart as it is an instant.
I will just say this, If you get bored play this.
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Saturday, July 7, 2012, 1:38 PM
Since I returned on the release of Avacyn Restored, I missed the pre-release. It in all honesty was never something that I was into. I didn't really understand the dynamics to it. Sealed was a little different back in the days. If I remember right, you got a starter box and then 3 boosters. That is what you ended up making your deck with. I think some things have changed in the format. Do not quote me on that though.
I ended up wanting to go to Grand Prix Columbus, which is a modern format. I started acquiring cards for this. Meanwhile, my better half was in the plans of making arrangements for our vacation. She happily attends my things when able, so I am ok with building my vacation around her needs. Turns out two things happened. First, I was unable to get the cards I needed in due time for Columbus. Secondly, I am scheduled to go on vacation with her the weekend before. While it is possible to take of two weekends in a row, I myself would go absolutely nuts. Aside from that, I would be eating at soup kitchens throughout the Indianapolis area, trying to recover from the funds that I missed those days. Bottom line, "Happy wife, happy life."
In response to me not really able to attend to GP Columbus, I opted to waste my allocated funds on Indianapolis M13 Pre-release at Gamerz at midnight. I wasn't really sure what to expect. The day of the event, I spent my down time at work, going over some suggestions, stratagies, and reviewing the spoiler for M13. I read about how people do the B.R.E.A.D. rule. I kind of had a similar theory, with the exception that I don't use the word Bombs (B.) and I have no idea what Dregs (D.) are. I still don't know. For the sake of not looking like a complete noob, I opted out of even asking people at the pre-release. So my worse case scenario is really a simple thought. I spend money, get six packs of boosters and a promo foil Gorgon. That was my worth my money to me. Even if I pulled three dollar rares.
We all sat down about Midnight and the owner explained that the judge was a little late, and would be there shortly. At that time he gave away door prizes, which I netted a pretty nice looking Signed and Certified play mat. Keep in mind, I have never won anything in my life. It was a great score and only made me feel better about forking over the dollars to play. Shortly after, the head judge came in and packs were distributed. I looked at a random guy that I have never seen or met before and pleaded that his cards were better and I wanted to trade him booster packs. He looked at me and said, "I have nothing but bad luck, so sure." So we traded. Honestly, I was really just poking fun at him and completely joking. His response pretty much put me in over my head and I went with it.
When it was time to bust open the packs, I only hoped for something playable. My plan was to look at the rares, since more than likely they are generally the stronger cards of the set. From there, separate them into piles by color and artifact. We will get to that later. So my first pack I pulled a Thundermaw Hellkite. Looks like I will be playing red. Following packs granted me a Glacial Fortress, Clone, Void Stalker, Krenko, and a Faith's Reward.
Shortly after that, I piled them into colors and went through them. Obviously I went through red first. I mean face it, the Hellkite is a stout card in probably every format. He was the monster that I would have to rely on. I got lucky with my red. I pulled six removal cards, a mindclaw, and a couple smelts. I also pulled a questionable fire elemental and crimson hellkite.
Then I went to blue, I also was lucky here. I grabbed two essence scatters and a rewind. Not to mention the void seeker who I really wanted to abuse. Aside from that, the clone was potentially a kick in the teeth. I also received an index and the 5/5 islandwalker. I was leaning blue/red as it was my speed of deck anyhow.
I looked through all the other colors and ended up with another potentially beneficial set of black. Since I was new to the format I asked my buddy Frank, who I came with, what he thought of my black and he brought up some valid points. I ended up scratching blue control for the black agro that I got. I pulled a murder which is win in all aspects. I also grabbed two Dark Favors and three Souls. Along with a lifetapping bat and the black Ring.
So I went red black. The hellkite won me so many games. Suprising though, the souls turned out to be a force to be reckoned with. First turn soul, second turn dark favor usually ended in an early match. After offering no answer to the souls/favor combo I realized that I needed to thank Frank for the advice. I ended up going undefeated in the event with a record of 4-0-0. Since there was no top prize, they ended up giving us packs per record. I received 10 for my record, and a free booster draft certificate for placing top 8. When it was all done and said with everyone's record, I finished the tournament in 1st. I was unable to attend any of the booster drafts and was offered three packs for it. So my total cost $25, and I left with 20 booster packs, and a signed play mat. I would say that it worked out.
p.s. Thank you Frank for the sound advice.
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Saturday, June 16, 2012, 7:07 PM
After playing with the shrieker deck, I came up with the golems. The golems are pretty impressive, yet lacked something. I couldn't figure it out, so I scratched both of them. I needed something a little more aggressive. It turns out, I am an aggressive player. I play with my cards upside down (which to the best of my knowledge) I am the only one who does. I mean, really? I know what the card does, here you read it.
With some thought and research I came up with my version of a human stampede. First off I decided to go red/white for it. Simply because of two things. First, Bonfire of the Damned. Hands down, one of the most brutal cards printed in magic ever. If you doubt me, look up the price of them. The girl will throw a fit, if I told her I bought three to complete this deck. So please, don't tell her. Secondly, Slayer's Stronghold. Sometimes the wheenies need a little more kick to them. Its a perfect way to have an opponent question why you have them. I will go ahead and activate my land, give my Silversteel Paladin +2 and vigilance. Yeah, eat 8. I have mostly played solo to see how draws have came out on this one. So far, its looking pretty good. Here is where I am sitting with the deck and why I placed each card in them.
4x Bonfire of the Damned
2x Reforge the Soul
4x Champion of the Parish
3x Grand Abolisher
3x Mentor of the Meek
4x Silverblade Paladin
3x Thraben Doomsayer
3x Elite Inquisitor
3x Gideon's Avenger
3x Elder Cathar
2x Mikaeus the Lunarch
4x Mirran Crusader
3x Oblivian Ring
4x Clifftop Retreat
2x Slayer's Stronghold
2x Cavern of Souls
3x Haunted Fengraf
Bonfire of the Damned: I really dont need to talk about this card, do I?
Reforge the Soul: Just a miracle card that has the potential reload my creatures. I suspect that this will be brutal metagame. When I have been bonfired, or cleared. We will see how play testing goes with this. So far, I do like it here.
Champion of the Parish: This card is brutal first turn. I expect gut shot on this all day. One for one removal, thats good for me any day that ends in Y! If this sits on the table, he will set the pace of the game. Really for W, I can have a first turn drop who gets bigger per creature I play? You know I will.
Grand Abolisher: This is just a really neat card. Its a WW for 2/2 that states that my opponent cant play abilities or cast spells on my turn. You really had me sold at WW for 2/2.
Mentor of the Meek: This card is in here for its draw engine. Combined with a few cards in here, this thing will replenish my hand easily.
Silverblade Paladin: Its a cheap creature that soulbonds double strike. Its a painful experience.
Thraben Doomsayer: Has the ability to pump out weenies or come through in a clutch (fateful hour = all other creatures I control recieve +2/2) Draw engine combination with Mentor of the Meek or last stand. Pretty decent if you ask me.
Elite Inquisitor: To hell with you Wolf-Run. I have nothing but hate for you. This guy is WW for a 2/2 first strike and vigilant, who has protection from wolves, zombies, and vampires. He will sit maindeck with a possible sideboard slot. Problem is for WW its still an all around broken creature.
Gideon's Avenger: Lets face it, this card is broken when used with Silversteel. Oh, you sure you want to tap that creature? Because this dude gets angry real fast. It is pretty decent card to have opponets on their heels. Lets face it, the best defense is a great offense.
3x Eldar Cathar: Just for some extra punch. Its a 2/2 for 2W and it adds counters to things. It just a filler card that can be a fun experience.
2x Mikaeus the Lunarch: Late game this card is pretty mean. Not to mention he can be pretty upsetting in the early game. I have in one came casted him with a single 1/1 counter. It just makes things interesting.
4x Mirran Crusader: Another weenie that is broken in this format. Protection from black and green, plus double strike? You are kidding right? Nope, its here and it is going to see some play time in this deck. Broke-Sauce supreme here.
Oblivion Ring: Just an all around great card. I am not sure if I am going to use this in this deck; however, early play tests show pretty good use for it. I may actually go with something like cloudshift or something that will remove enchantment/artifacts permanently. Opposed to something that will actually only bounce them for a period of time. We will see, and time will tell.
Clifftop Retreat: I will consider this a Plain, with the added ability to produce red mana. Its a simple idea. Solid in any R/W deck.
Cavern of Souls: Lets face this, I am casting so many humans, its rediculous to not use this. I honestly wish I could play 4. I only have two, and they will do. I may proxy two in and see how it works. We will see, so far two is pretty solid.
Slayer's Stronghold: Little extra punch. With the low casting cost of this deck, the colorless is a bonus, but really don't generally use it.
Haunted Fengraf: Just one of those potential cards. Again, the colorless isn't a big deal. I really like the idea of being able to retrieve dead creatures from the grave though. Esp in theme decks. Silverblade, Mirran, and Elite Inquisitor will more than likely be targets here.
Rounding it out, I was bored at work and had the time to do some research. I wasn't making any money, so I was spending money."Boys be shopping", is all I can here her say in my mind. With the upcomming magic season around the corner. I plan on attending a few. I believe that Grand Prix Trials are next weekend. Most of this deck is based on a WW, 1WW, or a 2W casting cost. It handles a lot of things. Large removal is one of the things that will set me back. We will see how it develops over a period of the next week.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 9:58 AM
Strangely enough after my last beating at the PTQ Seattle, I am drawn to the miracle mechanism. I have a strange affinity for chatoic nature and the potential explosive effect that is present. I am still working on this deck, with zero play testing at the moment. I have drawn some pretty impressive openers with it though.
For this deck I am going to use the infamous Precursor Golem. I know people are thinking,"WTF?" Lets think about the outcome of a Revenge of the Hunted targeted on a golem? All of a sudden we are dealing with 27 damage, trample, and lure. If it doesn't kill them, it will for sure eliminate any available creatures and damper out their plans a little. I have a deck list for it atm, but I need to seperate it and play test, tweek it a little.
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Saturday, May 19, 2012, 1:05 PM
While I had visions of it being glorious, it was evident that I lacked the experience with current cards. I crammed everything I could to prepare myself for todays PTQ. I thought I had the answers for everyones archtype decks that they "borrowed" off the internet. It turns out I did, but I failed where many players do. I was destroyed by sideboarding. It was painfully obvious that my last minute sideboard was a terrible idea.
My day went something like this:
Game 1: Opponent decides to play first. Guess what? It was a wolf run. I am like nice, this will be a beautiful thing. So I start stacking mana while mana-leaking what ever I can. Eventually he gets a few minis out. These minis where nothing, elves and birds you know... mana for an eventual titan or green sun zenith. I forunately top deck a mountain. I bet at this point you are wondering whats up with that? How is that good. Well, it turns out it was my second mountain to play slagstorm effectively removing his creatures (mana) if you will from game. It put a small damper in his plans. Next turn I offer an answer. Mindshrieker. He shrugged it off. I secretly giggled inside and just thought to myself this is gonna be funny. I pass turn, he casts the GG haster with undying. I offered no block and ate my two damage. Next turn, untapped and drew. I pondered and he looked at me like he knew what I was doing. So I am weary at what his plans were. It turns out I showed a land, temperal mastery, and thunderous wrath. I stack them in that order. Draw my land from ponder and declare combat phase. I declared shrieker an attacker and he offered no resistance. I tapped two and revealed a temporal mastery. Now my 8/8 shrieker is a viable threat. I expected a gutshot or something rediculous in response. Instead he passed priority and revieved another +6 from the milled thunderous wrath. Here you are, take 14 from my shrieker. Good game.
Game 2: He plays first and casts birds. I go, play a montain and pass turn. I was hoping to turn two top deck a thunderous to just hit him for 5. I mean at this point I saw what he was doing and I am going strait B-line agro instead of worrying about what i am going to counter. Luckily I did top deck it and I sent it to him. I played an island and pondered. I was really just trying to paw a slag/mountain arrangement. I ended up getting the second mountain but no slag. So I drew my land and passed turn. Some time later he plays a Gavony Township and plays the 2/2 haster with undying. I am kind of baffled myself. Keep in mind, I am not to familiar with non-tournament winning variations of the same deck. Not a big deal I am thinking until his birds offered more of a threat by counters from the Gavony. I was eventually overrun by counter creatures. I admit I wasnt ready for that. Now we are 1-1.
Game 3. Prepared for the Gavony (keep in mind I am learning as I go) I stumbled upon the Ravager. While he wasn't a big issue he became an issue as i soon ran out of top deck devastation tides and vanishments. Keep in mind, gaining my opponent life in exchange for not losing mine. I offered a final stand and was met with an Autum's Veil. Now its not that serious really... but really it was. It was a game changer and it was not something that I really had an answer for. I ended up falling 1-2.
My remaining matches were similar. Win the first with shrieker and gain their attention. He soon met pillar of flames and random arc trails. Keeping him at bay for the duration. While I had nothing but troubles with titans. I never got to act of aggression one, nor any of the fun trickery my deck offered. Eventually my bounce left me cardless as I was trying to desolate lighthouse something miraculous. I really had issues with Autum's Veil. It broke me off in ways that I could not even of imagined.
Anyhow, much as anticipated I played decks that everyone was playing. Meaning you copied the deck from a previous winner. There was no suprise there. That peoples individuallity was sold out for the hopes of winning. I myself was proud that I was not in that catagory and took my beatings and walked away knowing that I would rather lose with my own creation then win with someone elses.
I tell you one revelation that I kind of put together while digging around for sideboard cards out of my friends collection, was possible solutions with Precursor Golem. I mean, while it seems like a terrible card it has some serious threating force behind it. Its right up my alley... trickery. Stay tuned for that.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 9:44 PM
I was a magic player back in the days. I would call them the good old days. You know where creativity and individuality was rampant. Before the internet ruined the game of magic. See when I first started playing in PTQs, there was no internet or at least it wasn't a common place as it is today. Back then no one was really reproducing John Smith (random name) PTQ New Orleans winner. I mean the idea of using ideas have been around for a long time. The idea of you being a winner with someone elses deck was not.
Now a days, when you go to a tournament and you sit down you know what they are gonna be playing after the first two turns. Mountain and a forrest, cool I have never seen a Wolf Run deck before. Oh mage blade, neat... you make that yourself? It seems that the internet destroyed the creativity and imagination that once ran rampant when magic first hit the scene.
When I left, it was Astral Slide that was destroying the standard format. Turns out everyone wanted to be a winner. While that is understandable, the idea that you would have the same draw, the same understanding and foresight, the technical rules down as much as the winner... well that eludes me. What you have is someone's creativity and understanding watered down because it makes you think you are competitive. When really the only thing you are, is a sheep. A mindless drone who wants to be someone better, but lacks the effort to do your own thought process.
With that, I challenge you to be something better. Create your own rogue deck that you will be proud of, even if losing. Dare to break the norm of this stagnant game by being different. As of right now, lets just say there are 1,000 cards legal in standard format. Using permutation (if the order matters) or combination (order doesn't matter), figure out how many different things can happen here. Way more then the 3-5 decks that are running around now.
For me, I rejoined the community when I saw a friend on facebook talking about magic. I have a job where there is a bit of downtime. I usually ended up playing Everquest while at work, to pass the time. In my last semester of college I found myself getting my ass handed to me, from lack of study. So I ended up surrendering my accounts and focusing on school. As the semester ended, Avacyn Restored was released. The day it came out I bought a box, and went to work. I had a lot of catching up to do. Within a day of searching the internet I figured out what I was going to do. And this is how I am going to do it.
Mind Shrieker: Most people consider him a mild threat, while there are a few who completely ignore him. I can tell you that I would counter him, burn him, bounce him, exile him, what ever I had to do. Like yesterday.
Miracle: This mechanic is not really something to shrug at. It has limited functions in a normal deck. If you can utilize it for more then its face value, you will understand the beauty of it here.
That's the main idea of the deck. I will go further in detail in the reasoning I have for each card in a moment. Understand this. Mindshrieker becomes a fire-breathing monster for 2 colorless mana, understanding that you have to mill the top card of any library for +x/x , where x is the converted casting cost of the card milled down. Miracle cards can be top decked for extremely cheap cost; however, the converted casting cost to hard cast it (out of your hand, paying full cost) is unreasonable at best. Load your deck with this nature, cast them miracle when needed and activate shrieker when able. Chances are you will run into one of these rediculously large costing cards and instead of 1, now they are dealing with a 6+ flyer as soon as turn three.
Here is what I ended up going with, which has been tweeked some with limited play time.
4x Devastation Tide
4x Mana Leak
4x Thunderous Wrath
2x Reforge the Soul
2x Act of Aggression
1x Bonfire of the Damned
3x Noxious Revival
4x Sulfur Falls
2x Desolate Lighthouse
Ok, so the reason behind the cards I chose.
Mindshrieker: I saw him and instantly thought mill deck with reforge the soul. There are other cards in this format that would support it. When I play tested it, I didn't really like the feel. Obviously, he is the winner here.
Ponder: This card is monsterous. It's downfall is that it is a sorcery. It has so much early game potential. Stacking your mill and knowing what you are going to grind off your deck really helps. I feel this card really is a no brainer. I prefer it late game myself, but I have used it to manipulate my early game mana.
Devastation Tide: This card has a large hard cast. It also has a miracle cast of 1U, and resets the whole board. Since the only permanent I have is Mindshrieker, then I have no quarrels with doing this every draw phase or any draw phase if needed.
Vanishment: This card also has a large hard cast. Is an instant so has some limited utility, but its miracle cost/effect is ridiculous. More so, in this deck. Bounce target permanent to owners library? really, then mill it off with a mindshrieker or stall them out. It is really a solid card here. Every draw phase please.
Dissipate: Solid counter, remove from game (exile). It needs no explanation... let someone cast lingering souls on me.
Mana Leak: This card is crazy good in early game. It loses its shine later on in the game. I have seen it force players to tap out. Which is always good. I will usually sideboard these out to something like a Flashfreeze.
Thunderous Wrath: Absolutely broken here. Win/win for me. Its large instant hard cast is rough at time, but it does the trick. Where it works magic is at it's miracle draw. R and 5 dam to target? You know I will any time I draw it.
Reforge the Soul: I really use this late game the most. When you have at the cards in your hand. The best really is when you lighthouse a devastation tide on the end of thier turn, then reforge the next draw. It's disgusting to watch them struggle to retain thier important cards, only to watch them get heart broken when they have to release them anyway. Its large cost is perfect for the Shrieker.
Act of Aggression: This card is just red control. It offers Phyrexian 2 with three colorless to cast. Thats five total, and milling it is not a problem. The problem is when you hijack their pesky blockers, or their plainswalkers turned creatures and then fling it at them. Know that this does happen, and it's nothing short of humerous to see thier expression when it does.
Bonfire of the Damned: I have honestly never used it. I have one rotating in the deck, I usually lighthouse fodder it. There will be that one time and then I will tell you how it works. I think its an amazing card, but well... Its actual real playable value has yet to be seen.
Fling: In combination with Act of Aggression, it is creature removal. In combination with Shrieker it's player removal. For two mana, you can basically double your creatures damage to a valid target. So lets its turn 5, I cast ponder, stack the deck for Shrieker, attack and activate it from a thunderous wrath (+6/6), then fling it at you. That's a total of 14, lets hope you have not taken any wraths, or slagstorms before this point.
Slagstorm: Untargetable weenies? Not long... if anything just creature control for the time being. We will see how that works out. More then likely, I will track down more Bonfires and replace them.
Noxious Revival: You know this card is a must. I will go ahead and pay two life (who cares if you have no green mana) and stack my library with either a mill card or a thunderous wrath, to draw, maybe even a tides if I need it. The point is, this deck loves this card. Honestly, I love this card and it works magic with its utility here. It makes any card in the graveyard a miracle draw, or a beastly mill card. I may figure out a way to add more. I am not sure yet, still early in the play testing.
Desolate Lighthouse: This card is monsterous in this deck. The ability to miracle on their turn is so gross, it should be illegal. Just think, a cheap sorcery on their turn. Holy crap. This card is a must.
Pretty much that is why they are here. Silly things happen and I have found my way out of tight situations with weird ways. It takes some thought, some understanding and some faith in miracles for this deck to work. Its really only downfall from my playtests are early beat downs. I understand that with some decks they take some damage. This deck is one of those decks. Sometimes you really just have to take your licks, sit down and relax and try to keep cool. The more I play it, the more I understand or figure out ways to sneak by with silly plays that people are just baffled by. Personally, that's how I like it. It is memorable. Remember that time so and so won the pro tour? Nope, but I do remember the last time I had a mindshrieker on steroids flung at me!
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