11/4/2009 BoaB: "Calling All Allies"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Building on a Budget, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

i thought he did the best job possible but this article seemed like pretty good evidence that building an ally deck is a bad idea.


I didn't do very well with the deck but really enjoyed playing with it once the cogs were in place. Remember, this is a casual deck. It is not designed to win, it is designed specifically for having fun (which, incidentally, is not synonomous with winning.)


i can easily agree that winning is not synonymous with fun. but losing constantly is rarely fun even to the least competitive player, and is usually only worth it if you have a bizarre or explosive combo, which isn't the case with an ally deck. they're getting by (or are they?) on synergy alone and oddly they don't seem to have much synergy. either you get lucky and it works pretty good or you don't and it's awful. it's like they don't WANT to work together.


i know i'm coming across like i have a grudge or something, but it's hard not to respond when every article is about allies this week. Smile

A couple of friends of mine discovered that Cascade really helps with Ally decks. You get the Cascade card effect, a free Ally, plus all the Ally triggers. One deck is RBW and I've seen Bituminous Blast hit one creature, the Pyromancer hit another, and then lifegain as an added bonus.



Warp World Allies.




Warp World Allies.




Warp World Allies.


 


We just need some better Allies in Worldwake to make it viable. Perhaps a ramp-ally, Cobra style.


 


Lotus Ally 4G


Whenever Lotus Ally or another ally enters the battlefield under your control, add 1 to your mana pool for each ally you control.


2/3






I think more important would be more allies under 5 mana, and using the pretty good ramp we have already.

In a weird way, I've had the most success with allies by not focusing on the allies themselves. I built a casual R/B allies deck, for instance, that is really just R/B control with allies as its finisher. Lightning Bolts, Terminates, and Blightning clear out their board and threats, giving me more time for the pricier allies to come online. Kazul Warlord is a must, but Bala Ged Thief is no slouch, either, since it usually strips away whatever cards they have left after a Blightning.


Another option might be going U/G, getting access to the cheaper ally beaters Umara Raptor and Oran-Reef Survivalist, fill in the middle of the curve with other mid-range aggro creatures, and then using Sea Gate Loremaster to keep your hand full into the late game, when creature decks tend to run out of steam.


I think that may be the best way to use allies, is to pick the ones that fit your deck best, and then fill in the rest of the curve with useful creatures. Since "total optimization" of this tribe usually means playing lots of colors and making your curve all wonky, you might meet with more success if you use them as a subtheme and let them be cards that end up being more powerful on average than they otherwise be. Still not great, or tourney playable, but likely good for the casual crowd.

You could also fill out your lower end of the curve with changelings

I'm not sure what I'd take out, probably the necrpolii, but I'd replace 4 of the lands with 4 Ancient Ziggurats.  With so many creatures in your deck, the dowside almost doesn't matter.

If you're building the deck for casual, then Ondu Cleric becomes very much worth consideration. I know, lifegain bad, right? But actually not so. There are certain lifegain engine commons that are terrifyingly strong in casual: try dropping a Soul Warden, Essence Warden, or Judge of Currents on t1-2 in a casual game and see how people react.


When one card just gains you life as a one-shot, that's bad. But when it's gaining you 2+ life per round, that's functioning like a wall against one Bear-sized attacker; and you can easily gain 20-30 life off an Ondu Cleric or two if nobody spends the kill spells on it. And when you're not in some freakish game decided by poison counters, 20-30 life is a big enough buffer to let you get up to your more expensive Allies.


In a game last week against a friend's Ally deck (with Ancient Ziggurat as every Ally deck should), we killed one of his Ondu Clerics, but he had two more, and after that we wanted to spend the kill spells on his more fearsome attackers. I was dealing him 20 flying damage every turn with an Adventuring Geared Windrider Eel, and he was gaining more than 20 life each turn off two Ondu Clerics. Terrifying engine common, the Ondu Cleric.


My casual Allies deck uses the Cleric, Blademaster, and Evangel, alongside Pyromancer and Diabolist; I also have Changeling Hero to get 2x the Ally-ETB triggers, and Momentary Blink and Turn to Mist to dodge removal and get your ETB triggers at instant speed. (Okay, TtM only gets you the ETB trigger at EOT, but that's still nice.)


 

 


Sea Gate Loremaster is not as good (or as fun) as Jacob says it is (unless you give it haste)!



I think Jacobs deck needs a green mana ramp since it has 16 creatures with >4cmc.



Though I didn't think Jacob went about allies with the right attitude, This article has encouraged me to create the following R/G ally deck which I will forward to him.

20 creatures
4x Highland Beserker
4x Kazuul Warlord
4x Oran-Rief Survivalist
4x Murasa Pyromancer
4x Bloodbraid Elf

17 Spells
4x Summoning Trap
4x Harrow
2x Rampant Growth
4x Lighning Bolt
3x Burst Lightning


23 land
4x Kazandu Refuge
2x Teetering Peaks
9x Forest
8x Mountain


Summoning Trap might seem odd but its a Shiekmaw with flash and first strike.


Oppening hands tend to look horrbile but the deck plays out well. Try it yourself.

ON THE DECK
As you stated, built to have fun, not to win, so I guess the deck succeeded? As quitequieter mentioned above, winning isn't everything, but losing all the time is not good.


ON CARD CHOICES
You can't swing a cat in the casual MTGO room without hititng an Ally deck. The one I have seen win most (YMMV) is a GWU deck. Cards used were: Oran-Rief Survivalist, Umara Raptor, Kabira Evangel, Kazandu Blademaster, Turntimber Ranger, Into the Roil, Rite of Replication, and Harrow. Didn't see Bant Charm, Path to Exile, or Negate, but all could be used in this aggro-control build. Kind of like a standard version of Adam Styborski's deck over in the Serious Fun column.


B19 in another site's forums said, "Rite of Replication is the most fun on Allies. Hagra Diabolist? 37 damage to the dome. Turntimber Ranger? 37 Wolves a 39/39 and 5 38/38s." Also, "Seriously, Kiki-Jiki in an ally deck. Someoen do it." That is something to explore in another article: Extended Ally deck using the now-gone-from-Standard Changelings.


ON THE COLUMN
I have enjoyed quite a few of Jacob Van Lunen's BoaB articles (particularly those dealing with Sedraxis Specter), but I miss the way Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar and Ben Bleiweiss approached the process. Granted, they had access to Theme Decks (sadly, something WotC took away*), but seeing the evolution from week to week drew me back to the site and the colum for more. There were sometimes directions in which a deck was taken that were good (Empire Maker, 10 Decks in 10 Weeks series) and some that were bad (Deck Doctor: Sasaya My Dreams! and Spirit Flames [block? really?]). Whatever the case, they took the reader on a journey. I always looked forward to "tuning in" for the next part.


Maybe it is because Jacob is too much into the "pro scene"? Just seems like he's not giving it his all. In his defense, I did like how he revisited the Restore Balance deck, but I don't feel the love when I look forward to the article only to have it end with "eh, it's just for fun and won't win much". Really?


----


*Precon/Theme Deck Rant: I loved buying two precons and smashing them together as soon as they were released online (like Chris Romeo!). They were not Pro Tour worthy decks, but they were fun and you got some great cards (Rituals of Rebirth, the Planar Chaos theme deck, had 3 Dread Return, 2 Harmonize, a Spike Feeder, Wall of Roots, and Twisted Abomination) . Now, with the singleton nature of the Intro Packs, I might have to spend twice as much (4 Into Packs) to get good results.


Ondu Cleric is a pretty good card in Limited decks that need to make the game go long. Unfortunately, this is another card that I don't has a place in the world of Constructed. A lot of the emails I recieve include a lot of life gain in the decks. Life gain is a trap in many ways.






I can has cheezburger?


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Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!

I myself built a 5 color ally deck when Zendikar first came out (buying a box tends to get you all the allies you want), and it taught me a lesson: Its not fun if you can't play stuff, and its not fun if you NEVER win, which was how my ally deck was.


Green really is a must for allies, if not only because you get Rampant Growth, and I like the Jorga Bard if only because of the fact it lets me go all out and still be able to block.

Really, you want to have GRB (Jund colors, go figure), because the only blue flyer that is competitive is the Umara Raptor (sorry, but I don't like the Loremaster) and the Ondu Cleric, while nice to pad your life while you work out your mana, isn't needed in a concise three color deck. Here's a little rough draft of an ally deck I'd play- something that is fun but still might win.


24 Land


4 Ancient Ziggurat 4 Terramorphic Expanse 6 Forest 4 Mountain 4 Swamp 2 Savage Lands 22 Cretures


4 Oran-Rief Survivalist 4 Highland Berserker 3 Turntimber Ranger 2 Changeling Titan 1 Jorga Bard 2 Changeling Berserker 2 Kazuul Warlord 2 Bala Geld Thief 2 Harga Diabolist 12 Other Spells


4 Rampant Growth 4 Blightning 4 Bituminous Blast

 


And yes, I have champion changelings in here. Not only do they trigger ally abilites themselves by coming into play, but they also reactivate the abilites of those whom they champion once they leave!


 


Edits: I fail at formatting. Go me!

(at)MrEnglish22

Skipping green looks like a bad idea to me. Turntimber Ranger is to me what would be the best 5 drop, just because it doesn't rely on other allies to be good. It's 5 power by itself. If I were to make an ally deck in standard, I would go about something like this:


4xPath to Exile
4xLightning Bolt
4xWild Nacatl
----
4xHighland Berserker
4xOran-Reef Survivalist
----
4xKabira Evangel
4xWoolly Thoctar
----
4xBloodbraid Elf
4xTurntimber Ranger
----
24xlands (Jungle Shrine, Ziggurat, Fetch, Basics, etc.)

Technically not Ally Tribal though, as it's only 16, and it needs 20 to be considered tribal.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.

IMAGE(http://img.pokemondb.net/sprites/black-white/anim/normal/plusle.gif)


You could also fill out your lower end of the curve with changelings




I think you have the right idea. Until more allies come out, Ally + Changeling is a more viable choice.



You could also fill out your lower end of the curve with changelings




I think you have the right idea. Until more allies come out, Ally + Changeling is a more viable choice.




Except that Changelings are no longer legal in Standard.

OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
--->
For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!

Re: people poisoning you out of the game

Now you know how your opponents at PT: San Diego felt!

Re: an ally deck

It just seems too slow to work.  You have creatures like Woolly Thoctar, Bloodbraid Elf, and Broodmate Dragon competing with a 2/2 flier, 3/3 groundpounder, and 3/2 187er.  You really want to empty your hand, and coming back from a Wrath effect is just too hard.  I like using them in Limited play, but they're not good enough now.

It's too bad there aren't any Blink effects in Standard.

Unfortunately, this is another card that I don't has a place in the world of Constructed. A lot of the emails I recieve include a lot of life gain in the decks.


Because this deck is probably going to be a casual creation, I don't the sideboard is a high priority.


KELLY !!!  I thought you stopped writing Serious Fun partly in order to have more time to do a better editing job... Come on dude ! Yell

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A




You could also fill out your lower end of the curve with changelings




I think you have the right idea. Until more allies come out, Ally + Changeling is a more viable choice.




Except that Changelings are no longer legal in Standard.




Yep. I haven't seen/devised any truly competitive ally decks, so for now I wouldn't use one in Standard.

I like Esper colors, so I agree Momentary Blink and Otherworldly Journey work well. Also, Ondu Cleric used as a chump blocker can be Disentombed to good effect. Call to Heel for card draw works well until you can play Sea Gate Loremaster.


Against Red with board sweepers like Volcanic Fallout or Pyroclasm, consider Mark of Asylum.


Hagra Diabolist and Clone/Rite of Replication round out the craziness, with Umara Raptor to cloud the skies.


Also, I like 3x Fabricate with 2x Stone Pumas and a Minion Reflector for late game doubling.


But then again, I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'm determined to make this work!

You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what I create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

I consider one-shot life gain to be pretty useless (unless attached to something like tendrils of corruption), but repeated life gain to be very powerful (obviously only in the right deck, like a control deck that needs time to set up, but let's be honest, allies ARE control). Soul Warden in a creature heavy deck will give you a fair amount of life, and my opponents usually swear when I drop it turn1. But Ondu Cleric is nuts.


I faced an ally deck using a green aggro deck. I started with a Llanowar Elves, followed with Boggart Ram-Gang, and thought I had it in the bag when my opponent declined to chump block with his second and third-turn allies. He was down to 8 after a pump from Primal Bellow and another ram-gang, but I couldn't get him any lower. I was smashing for six+ every turn and it wasn't making a difference. His second turn Ondu Cleric had easily gained him 10 life by turn five, which stalled me long enough for him to get to his 5+ CMC creatures. Turn3, an umara raptor (2 life), Turn4 a bala ged thief (3 life), T5 a hagra diabolist (4 life AND -4 life), T6 a murasa pyromancer (5 life and -5 life), etc.


Ondu Cleric is essential to an ally deck because it stalls your opponent for a long time. An aggresive start is a common threat to the ally strategy because of how slow that strategy is, and ondu cleric practically eliminates that issue. So long as you're only running good allies, every one gives you a beater or card advantage. What more do you need?


Ancient Ziggurat is also essential to said five-color creature-heavy deck.

pyromancer doesn't hit players.

But the diabolist would fire a second time.


I also think the cleric is nuts.  I'm on the fence about the defender.  With the right wizard-type allies, he DOES just sit there and increase life gained/cards drawn/damage dealt.  Then again, I haven't seen a wrath effect in a long time, and allies tend to live through volcanic fallout.


Oh, and obligatory "this article has no mention of budget whatsoever" comment.  What's the rationale this time? It's cheaper than casual slivers?

That was pathetic and I'm extremely disappointed.  You easily could have gone with a mono to triple color ally deck featuring Cleric/Diabolist w/Sanguine Bond and probably won more games.  Assuming you were even focusing on "just Standard" that is.  As previously mentioned, the second you step into extended the Changelings offer a whole other *ahem* "world" of options.

I'm on freakin' dial-up and this wasn't worth my time.

I drafted a better ally deck last Sunday, jeez.

At first, I was playing Red/White allies. It did well if it got going (multi-player), or got a great start (turn two Beserker that sticks) otherwise it kind of fizzled. I ran the Blademaster, Cleric, Evangel, Stonework Puma, Warlord, Pyromancer, and removal... Here is the blue/white Allies I switched to:


LANDS 22
4 Glacial Fortress*
4 Sejiri Refuge
2 Seaside Citadel
12 Plains

SPELLS 19
4 Honor Of the Pure*
4 Negate
4 Path To Exile
2 Brave the Elements
3 Sleep
2 Conqueror's Pledge*

CREATURES 21
4 Soul Warden
4 Ondu Cleric
4 Kazandu Blademaster
4 Kor Skyfisher
3 Umara Raptor
2 Baneslayer Angel**

The deck features 10 rares (including four rare lands) and two mythics (chase rare Baneslayer). Generally, it gains a TON of life, so it has the luxury of being able to sit around and absorb attacks until dropping a couple of quick haymaker blows (Honor Of the Pure, Sleep and attack... next turn attack again while your creatures are still tapped for lethal) or Umara Raptor/Baneslayer beatings.

old quotes from the Worldwake talk: Mike Turian: While Mark Rosewater made Tarmogoyf, I made Tarmogoyf what he is today Mark Rosewater: Would we ever reprint Tarmogoyf? Maybe.

I am Blue/Green


whatcolor_isblue.jpg

174 How many of your friendships have lasted more than ten years? Which of your current friendships do you still feel will be important to you ten years from now?

I know this was a casual deck, but you spent half an article talking about the use of Ancient Ziggurat (the ultimate casual land) in a competitive 4 color T2 deck (Specters) and then you don't even THINK about putting it in this one?  I'm surprised.

Personally, I prefer actually using the one ally skipped in the artical: Stonework Puma.


It fits all the multicolor ally builds, and triggers all the abilities of your two drops on turn three regardless of the mana you have on the board. I'm not so sure about including it in the red green build with bloodbraid elf, because it seems rather tame to pull that than say a lightning bolt, but it has great synergies with any ally deck.


I also was tinkering around with the concept of using Clone. Does clone get to use the first ally ability as it comes in play? If so this could definitely support the blue/x build.


Although green has the ranger and the bear, and black has the thief, I really like a WUR build for allies.


Also. Safe Passage. This card is way better than most people acknowledge. It is not a HOLY DAY!!! It is a "my creatures survive and kick you in the face" card. Probably run 2 of.


Outside of budget though, I'd probably run a few planeswalkers. Ajani Goldmane is uber awesome in any creature themed deck, so why not make Kazandu Blademaster and Umara Raptor get even more +1/+1 counters? Jace Beleren lets you grab more allies quicker, and Ajani Vengeant is a good finisher. Elspeth, arguably the best for the deck, is nuts. Especially her second and third abilities. If she builds up to final, it is always gg.


 


24 Creatures


4x Kazandu Blademaster


3x Umara Raptor


4x Kazuul Warlord


4x Stonework Puma


2x Seagate Loremaster


2x Kabira Evangel


1x Murasa Pyromancer


4x Clone


 


12 Other


4x Lightning Bolt


4x Harms Way


2x Ponder


2x Safe Passage


 


24 Lands (rough compilation)


4 Scalding Tarn


2 Arid Mesa


2 Terramorphic Expanse


2 Sejiri Refuge


1 Teetering Peeks


1 Soaring Cliff


4 Glacial Fortress


2 Plains


3 Island


3 Mountain


 

Things that should have been mentioned:


Crystal Shard/Erratic Portal


Turntimber Ranger + Artificial Evolution


I also made a fun casual ally deck with a +1/+1 counter theme. For example, Bramblewood Paragon gives Oran-Rief survivalist and Kazuul Warlord another counter, but more importantly also says "allies you control have trample." Cenn's Tactician was cool with Kazandu Blademaster in a similar way, and both those morningtide "lords" were good with Avian Changeling.


I also think they should print an ally that attacks artifacts and/or enchantments.

This is kind of off topic but how in the world did he end up dealing 4 poison counters on that second turn?  I'm not as experienced with poisonous but it didn't seem to make sense to me.  To mine eyes it would seem that only 2 poison counters would have been dealt making the total 3...?
Decks
Standard: U/B ControlShadow SlighUndecided--red goblins or sligh
Vintage: Miracle GrowGreen-White Slivers Casual/Lights: Time Sieve
Ghostway loves allies almost as much as allies love Ghostway.  But you really need Hagra Diabolists to make it work.  White also gives you access to three low-cost allies in Clerics, Blademasters and Shieldmates.  BRW or just flat BW works well, but I run GBW for some mana fixing/acceleration and Rangers.
Or just ignore me...
Decks
Standard: U/B ControlShadow SlighUndecided--red goblins or sligh
Vintage: Miracle GrowGreen-White Slivers Casual/Lights: Time Sieve
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