7/28/2010 BoaB: "Caress"

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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 guess I must seriously over value cards like Extirpate and Thought Hemo because I don't really see how decks like Ascension could possibly place so well when I can just wait for you to tap out and Thought Hemo Lightning Bolt.  Also, yes, you would have to tap out at some point because clearly I'd be running something like Blightning in such a deck.

Well, you can't post good decks all the time, lol. 

This deck is really bad.  And Dark Tutelage is also very bad and should never be played. 

My question is why aren't you running Liliana's Spectre over Mind Rot.  Although Mind Rot gets nasty when you have multiple megrim effects out, I usually consider it less than a 2 for 1 if you don't have any such effects.   While the spectre only discards one, it also give you a body which you can do something with.  

I'm not sure I like Dark Tutelage either. Also, I think Inquisition of Kozilek deserves a spot here. It gets rid of their early plays as well as problem cards like Oblivion Ring and Celestial Purge. It can also tell you if your opponent is holding a Baloth in his hand. What about Duress in the SB for the control matchup?
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So in the pyromancer deck is the only win-con the 4 lightning bolts?
I think you hit the nail on the head when yo mentioned that players are getting their hands emptied before you can make them discard. Part of the issue is that you're putting removal in the deck. I'd replace it with bounce and card draw. Put cards in your opponents hands, or fill your own if they have some. Call to Heel is a great card for this deck. Put a creature back in their hand, plus make them draw, hit them with a blightning on your turn. Two cards discarded, plus Grim/Caress damage. Aether Adept of course as well. Into the Roil, Unsummon, etc.  And instead of Dark Tutelege, I'd think about Temple Bell. You can draw the extra card at the end of your opponents turn, plus give them an extra card for you to make them discard during your turn, as most discard spells are sorceries anyways. Plus no life loss. Reckless Scholar might also work, helping you filter through your library, and later, making your opponent draw/discard for additional damage.

I'd remove the Doomblade, Terminates, Dark Tuteleges, and Sign in Bloods, and look at Call to Heel, Aether Adept, Reckless Scholar/Temple Bell, and maybe Into the Roil. Also think the Scholar and Adept give you bodies if it gets down to it.

Aether Tradewinds is also interesting, in that you can bounce and Adept, plus an opponents permantent, and drop the Adept down again on your turn to bounce something else.If it's late game you can even hit a blightning for some damage.

What you had was great for emtpying their hands, but when they're playing stuff as fast or faster, sometimes you need to refill them a bit to give you something to empty.

Anyone else have any ideas?
Does anyone else here have any ideas for a monoblack version of Megrim/Caress discard? The only ones I've seen are black/red. The black/red versions also seem to suck on multiple levels despite the quality of the cards. This is a decklist I've been playing around with for the past week or so, and it works fairly well. Even though people usually empty their hands fairly quickly, running enough fast disruption generally plays merry hell with a decks speed, as well as laying down the pain with Megrims.

24 Swamp

4 Megrim

4 Liliana’s Caress

4 Mind Sludge

4 Diabolic Tutor

4 Infernal Tutor

4 Inquisition of Kozilek

4 Mind Rot

4 Bloodhusk Ritualist

4 Hypnotic Specter

Take out Megrim. As a 3-drop it competes with all of your discard spells for the turn 3 play. It's a dead card when their hand is empty, it doesn't affect the board, and it's just an all-around weak card. Liliana's Specter would be better, for example.

Also, Dark Tutelage has gotten exactly the attention it deserves, aka very little. It's not a good card. It takes two turns to do what Sign in Blood does instantly, it costs more life, and also, it kills you.
That's what the knock was about Dark Confident originally, but people made it work. Low curve, fast deck, it does work. Just not sure about this deck. And maybe cutting down the Grims is the Key. You want to get as many Grims/Caress's in play as you can. Grim isn't a dead card if you are still making your opponent discard.

And what about Hypnotic Specter? Lili's can only hit for one discard total, and then swing. Hyppie can hit for more discards if it can get thru. Or maybe as a mix of 3 and 3?
I would recommend replacing 2 or 3 Dark Tutelage by 2 (maybe 3) copies of Suffer the Past. In this deck it would serve as an extra life-taking/losing card, with instant speed. (Remember, you are not trying to deck your opponent with this deck, but to kill him, so an extra card to do just that, may be handy.)

Moreover, the X in its cost can be fueled as low (fast) or as high (late) as you want, so you can use it early on in the game, if needed, or wait to increase its impact.

The added advantage is that your opponent already lost life when discarding cards earlier on thanks to Liliana's Caress and/or Megrim, and now you can make them 'Suffer' again for those cards - Double fun! :o)

And in the process you're even gaining some life yourself, which might be helpful to stay alive long enough to kill your opponent first before he kill you with the cards he does manage to play.

You also benefit from having an instant answer to any nasty graveyard tricks or recursion decks.

I also don't think if 4 copies would be a good idea, as you don't want to have Suffer the Past too soon in your hand.

Anyway, give it a thought, I would say... Wink
The list from Friday's Daily Decks is efficient and non-interactive, a risky idea but solid. Lots of decks are going light (in this case just burn) or no removal. I hear Jund is going the opposite with Blightning sided. This means plenty of dead cards... Always a plus.

That being said, I like this list, but it seems one easy change is in order: Temple Bell for Dark Tutelage. Same 2 cards a turn, have everyone draw on their end step, or perhaps not if they are untapped and might draw into a counterspell. Then you don't run out of steam (cards in their hand to force discard). The added control and less life loss seems better.

Beyond that, maybe running a board combination of Inquisition of Kozilek, Duress, and Mind Rot depending on the match up might work. Then perhaps removal in Earthquake, Dragon's Claw so monored isn't an auto lose, and I personally love Anathmancer in the board against Esper/Grixis/Naya. Perhaps Pyroclasm for Mythic?

One last thought: should the list have main deck Bojuka Bog?
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I would recommend replacing 2 or 3 Dark Tutelage by 2 (maybe 3) copies of Suffer the Past. In this deck it would serve as an extra life-taking/losing card, with instant speed. (Remember, you are not trying to deck your opponent with this deck, but to kill him, so an extra card to do just that, may be handy.)

You're brilliant! Seems perfect. Answers my Bojuka Bog idea.
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
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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.
If you want to make Liliana's Caress work I think your best bet is to try a certain Timetwister-like card.
It might still be budget, don't know about that.
Besides it might be more like a from-the-lab-type deck.
Time Reversal shuffles the hand in, not discarding it.  I made that mistake in the Pre-Re
Ya, there are no current Wheel of Fortune type affects going on in standard really. Really we're looking at 3 possible variations:
Black/Red as proposed in the column
mono Black with Specters
And I'm still partial to a Black/Red/Blue build with bounce/Draw to keep the hands filled. Although harder to manage colour wise, does give you access to spreading seas, unsummon, and a variety of draw/discard effects. The best scinario would be spend the black/red on your turn for discard, blue on opponents for end of turn bounce/draw effects.
I made an Unsummon -> Blightning deck a while back.  The main strategy was to use Soul Manipulation to return your Esper Sojourners enough times to tap their creatures that they would never want to play you again.
Clearly not as good as last week's deck but I definately feel it is a good casual (ignoring that some people don't like playing against discard) deck that is very, very cheap to put together.  I can't see it every winning a tournament (unlike last week's deck).
Deck needs either mana  ramp, or some Wheel of Fortune type effect to kill opponent. If we throw the budget out the window, Big Jace would be great, filtering, plus bounce. But as is, I think it needs a major overhaul and rethink compared to what was in the article.
First of all, this deck wasn't designed by Jacob, so it's not really a "building on a budget" but a "copying on a budget".

@ the deck:
The deck depends on the Megrim & Caress too much.
4x Lightning Bolts = max. 12 damage
4x Blightning = max. 12 damage

So if your Megrim strategy doesn't work, you'll have a hard time. Therefore the Burst Lightning is an automatic 4 to increase the count from 24 damage to 40 damage. Instead, decrease the amount of Dark Tutelage to 2 and Mind Rot to 3 and skip the Doom Blade.

As someone said in this thread, anything that allows you to discard specific things are great - especially in the sideboard. Since you didn't have a well tuned sideboard, you don't really care about your job. To support a new deck type, you should try the best things to get a 3-0 result.

@ your play:
It seems you have no real experience in standard tournaments.

1. Game:
If you have the chance to deal damage to a planeswalker like Elspeth - DO IT!!! It's your only chance to deal with them. You are playing against a control deck - remember? It might run as many counterspells as you have discard spells. If not, it runs Oblivion Ring or lifegain effects (in form of a Baneslayer Angel) to completely put you out of "range"

2. Game:
At the end of game 2, a somehow strange game/deck your opponent uses/played, your opponent was a 7 life (20-8-5) and you had 2 Liliana's Caress in play. And what did you do? - You played a Sign in Blood to draw cards!?!?!? What the f...!
You can cast a Sign in Blood at your opponent. That's why it is in your deck... not because it is a good draw spell. If aimed well, it would have caused a loss of 10 life for your opponent (2x4 from the caress and 2 from the spell). And it works even if your opponent has no cards in his hand.

So if you copy decks, try to understand them before you edit and play them.

3. Game:
You conceded without a single damage being dealt to you? He could have drawn all lands. He didn't even had a second Ascension. And by the way: You keep a hand with 5 lands after losing the roll? What if you wouldn't have drawn a Caress? Keeping the game with 2 Blightnings would be like a "go and kill me". And the game should have shown you how important it is to have some sort of choosable discard effect.

If your opponent wins the roll, has 5 lands in 5 turns (=12 cards), surviving 2 blightnings, played an Ascension and has a Time Warp in his hand and enough counters on the ascension, he deserves to win. Winning with the last card in his hand is a very lucky play.
For game 2, I would say it would depend on how many cards are in the opponents hand. If none, sign in blood would be two damage, and giving them advantage, unless you had a discard spell in hand that you could use right away. If they had a full hand though, then yes, targeting them would be the correct play.

And at the idea of adding burst lighting, I find it draws away from the focus of the deck  (aside from the focus of winning Tongue out) The main point is to use the Grim's and Caress's to make the Blightnings that much deadlier, and to give the discard strategy a double edge. I think that's where the original went wrong, it used good cards for removal, but the wrong kind. With a discard strategy, we don't want to be removing threats from the board, we want to take them from the hand. Spending slots on getting rid of stuff on the board is a waste. Either get them back in the hand where the discard can remove them, and hurt your opponent, or change the focus of the deck.

2. Game:
At the end of game 2, a somehow strange game/deck your opponent uses/played, your opponent was a 7 life (20-8-5) and you had 2 Liliana's Caress in play. And what did you do? - You played a Sign in Blood to draw cards!?!?!? What the f...!
You can cast a Sign in Blood at your opponent. That's why it is in your deck... not because it is a good draw spell. If aimed well, it would have caused a loss of 10 life for your opponent (2x4 from the caress and 2 from the spell). And it works even if your opponent has no cards in his hand.

So if you copy decks, try to understand them before you edit and play them.

Sign in Blood doesn't force a player to discard and therefore doesn't trigger Megrim or Liliana's Caress.  The net effect would be your opponent doesn't lose and now has two more control cards to use against you.  If you're going to be derisive in your tone, you should follow your own advise and understand the cards before you play them.

However, despite your uncivil tone, you were making a good point.  This deck was posted as the daily deck a few days ago and probably shouldn't have been used for this column unless it focused on demonstrating quite a few match-ups and tactical use of cards in the deck.  The end of the column flippantly addresses the fact that the deck lost two matches soundly and then moves on to discussing last week's successful deck.

I've appreciated your work on this column for the most part, JVL, but this edition seems very hastily produced and half-hearted.  The feedback on this forum tends to not be very constructive, but it is obvious that the quality of these articles varies wildly and seems to be on a general decline in terms of effort. 

For my part, I would like to see matches posted and more analysis of plays made during the games.  More effort put forth in deck design would be nice as well.  Extended is a great format to discuss right now because there isn't much of a meta developed anywhere and there's a lot of possibilities for rogue budget builds.

That's all for now.  Thank you; take care!
Re: attempt at constructive feedback

While JVL didn't get his usual successful tests with this week's deck, he did ask specifically for help to find 'the missing link'. I'll keep my comments in B/R as that's where he started.

I've been trying to find a successful way to make Bloodchief Asc. a consistent winner, and this discard shell seems like it may be a good fit (Blightning with a fully charged Bloodchief and one Liliana's Caress/Megrim = 3+4+4 damage and 4 lifegain, pretty significant swing). The Bloodchief Asc. would also help to fuel Dark Tutelage draws (and avoid that sneaky little demon eating up all of your life! That artwork captures the flavour of the card perfectly). My preference is 2x Searing Blaze main and 2x in the sideboard, splitting with 2x Burst in the main and sideboard (still can't decide if Staggershock would be better than those). Earthquake in the main would be a must (and could replace most of the spot removal). The previous comment to add 2x Suffer the Past sounds like great sideboard tech vs. Vengevine decks.

Adding U to the deck opens up a whole set of options to fuel draw (and gives you access to Sedraxis Specter, one of JVL's fav. cards) and counterspells, but that would also dilute the focus to your opponents' deck instead of their hand. It would give you more answers to oppenents playing green/enchantment removal. 3-colour makes the mana base much more fragile though.

I've made two mistakes. I apologize.

First of course, I've mistaken the combo pieces. A Sign in blood was better than a Night's Whisper in an Underworld Dreams deck.

The second mistake was in game 3.

If Jason's opponent started the game, he had 7 cards in his hand. To play a Time Warp he needs 5 cards (5 lands). This can be achieved by turn 5. Since his opponent doesn't draw a card at the first turn, he draws 4 additional cards, creating a total of 11 cards by turn 5, not 12 cards.
I've always found that the biggest problem and the strategy I use when I see megrim, is that people just dump their hand out as soon as they get it. The only time this doesn't work is for counterspells and removal. I'll just not hold any lands in my hand, play a creature as soon as I get it, and respond to any discard with instants. The best way to get around this is by ramping up the amount of cards in hand. Use sign in bloo on the opponent, then blightening him, for 5 damage 2 cards to the graveyard, and and megrim/caress damage. That's why burning inquiry is good here, you can't play around it. I would suggest putting in a couple howling mines or font of mythos, and some mass removal like earthquake.
So in the pyromancer deck is the only win-con the 4 lightning bolts?

I think so. The Ascension copies the Lightning Bolt, so one bolt is 6 damage. It copies a Call To Mind, so if you have a Call To Mind when you have both a bolt and another Call To Mind in your graveyard you get both back, setting up infinite recursion. And (not sure about this, but I think) it copies a Time Warp, so even if you don't have a Lightning Bolt or enough Call To Minds yet (and why don't you, with all the scry and card-drawing?), it gives you two more turns to find them.

Well, you can't post good decks all the time, lol. 

This deck is really bad.  And Dark Tutelage is also very bad and should never be played. 

This is a very good deck we've seen it reach the top 8's recently. It's just a matter of tuning to get it right. Dark Tutelage is a pretty decent card. Consider it the current version of dark confidant. Yes it costs 3 mana and is harder to destroy but it's also harder for the opponent to destroy. Anyway the card is good enough that it should get consideration in just about any decklist that tries to win the game before turn 5-7 (especially combo decks like this one). However, temple bell should also be considered here because not only will it provide you with +1 cards per turn it will also ensure that your opponent has cards to discard.

About this deck being posted as the daily deck this week, I must defend Jacob in this matter because it's not like he knew what deck was getting posted there when he wrote the article. Sometimes it just happens like that. Besides when there is a budget decklist scoring this well in tournaments it should at least be brought up "hey guys there is this budget decklist that does very well in tournaments" even if the deck is already popular outside of the article.

Also (not that you need to hear it from me) I give you much props for putting a BoaB list in your hand at a PTQ. Even more because you placed 2nd with it. That is totally awesome! I also looked at Mantigon's list. I guess it will depend on the metagame you expect to face but he had spreading seas in the board and burst lightning main deck which gives you two cards to win with (if an opponent happens to name lightning bolt with their meddling mage).

Don't be too smart to have fun
I don't think adding U would change the focus at all. As Dindolak1 pointed out, the best strategy against discard is to just play things as fast as you can. U stops that from happening with both draw/discard effects and bounce. Focus is completely on the hand. Keeping it filled just enough for you to make use of the discard in your deck. 

I think the real question is how does the deck want to get around to the kill? Through pure discard/Grim/Caress? Or finish them off with burn? The blaze, bolts, and Bursts are all great, but they really do dilute the focus of the discard theme. Although it just might work better. Hard to say without more testing. 

Myself, I tend to be more of a control player, so I'd focus more on the discard and board control, than burning them out. Get control of the board early though, so they can't get out of reach with life gain, or hit you  too fast. 

a little greedy playing the second Dark Tutelage I think.
Something a little more constructive guys. I'm just throwing this out there as a base, see what we can make of it

Bounce/Board control
4 x aether adept
3 x Aether Tradewinds
2 x Call to Heel

2 x reckless scholar
3 x Temple Bell

3 x megrim
4 x liliana's Caress
4 x Blightning
4 x Burning Inquiry 
4 x Liliana's Specter
3 x Sedraxis Specter

36 cards

Aether Adept fills opponents hand, removes a creature at the same time, and gives you a body to block with. As I mentioned earlier, Aether Tradewinds can bounce the Adept, which you can replay on your turn, then pending on mana, maybe still hit a Blightning or Inquiry. Call to Heel is also a two for one, bounce a creature, plus they draw a card. Means more for them to discard. 

Reckless Scholar can fill their hand, or just make them discard for additional damage if you have a Grim or Caress on the field. 

Temple Bell to replace Tutelage. 

And thinking of a more creature balanced discard focus. Gives you bodies to block and attack with incase the opponent empties their hands consistently. 

Only thing I would also like to find room for, that don't play into the discard are the Lightning Bolts. 

Or maybe Duress, but thinking that is more for the board. 

Anyone have any thoughts?

1) I like the deck. It is budget and mimics Hannu Vallin's Top 8 deck. There is more burn in that deck (Staggershock, Burst Lighting). This would be fun for casual.

2) It really is difficult to get a discard based deck going, particularly versus aggro. I would have liked to see some games against RDW or Boros. They are quite fast. Perhaps the sideboard can help.

3) I like Temple Bell in place of Dark Tutelage, in a way. I like the idea of adding blue for Sedraxis Specter. Maybe even Cunning Lethemancer or Nyxathid. As someone pointed out earlier, Liliana's Specter is good to soak up some damage. It does go against the whole "I'm running no creatures" strategy, making their removal useless (and discardable!).

4) This deck needs an Edict effect (Fleshbag Marauder, Gatekeeper of Malakir) or a sweeper (Consume the Meek). Smallpox in this deck would be delicious. Maybe looking at decks containing The Rack from a few years ago would help?

5) I know JVL is probably practicing for PTQs and whatnot, but I would like to see more games played with the decks. Three games then "bye" is tiresome. Maybe using the Top 8 "4Megrim" deck Overall though, I liked the article.

"I've always liked discard strategies, but something seems to be lacking here. I'm not sure I love having a discard deck that wants to play other spells before its discard. The opponent has an opportunity to play their hand while you're casting spells like Liliana's Caress and Megrim. By the time you start casting your Blightnings andMind Rots they have already played a good portion of their hand. With more testing and a more finely-tuned list this deck could be a force in the Standard metagame. I'd love to hear your improvements in the forums."

Don't be silly.  You are just playing discard with the wrong mindset.  Your most effective strategy is to play everything that makes them discard first.  Once their hand is empty, and you have them in top deck mode, take time to get out your enchantments.  Then, just wait for the burning Inquiry as a finisher.  But don't underestimate the ability to Sign in Blood the opponent, and follow it up immediately with a Blightning.  With 2 caress/megrim out you are doing to do a possible 13 points, 3blight+2sign+8 caress.  Play more controlling, keeping the board clear and use your Tutelage as card drawing advantage to maintain superiority.
I intend to run Hannu Vallin's version of this deck at FNM until rotation. It's a lot of fun to play, and does better than it gets credit for. I think some of the card choices for this version were poor though. Dark Tutelage really is bad; I keep trying to run it with Crystal Ball in Limited, and there's nothing like bottoming both cards with the Crystal Ball and revealing your bomb with Dark Tutelage on the turn you would have won.
I hope people continue to work on this deck. I'll be interested to see what it evolves into.
First, grats to the author for his nice PTQ finish, putting his money where his mouth is.

Next, if you add blue, there's no reason not to include Jace Beleren, his +2 is just like Temple.

Sticking with Black/Red..

As others have noted, once the opponent sees "Megrim" they alter their play to lessen the impact of your discard. So one solution is to add a secondary strategy to the deck that blends nicely with the discard strat (at least for Game 1), namely forcing more drawing and encourage the holding back of spells.

It's the rock and hard place idea, if they rush to empty their hand there will be bad things, if they hold back their cards there will be bad things.

I propose:

1) Howling Mine, Temple Bell

The nice thing about Howling Mine effects is that the opponent never quite knows if it's better for them or you, and if they make the wrong decision or they make a decision at the wrong time, the symmetry is ignored.

The other thing is that since Howling Mine comes down at 2 (like Caress) and Temple on 3 (like Megrim), it offers you more permanents that say "Oblivion Ring me" or "Mana Leak me." That's important because it offers more lines of play where you can lead with one before the other to your benefit, or even bait with one while the other is overall stronger with the remaining cards in your hand at the moment.

Usually Howling Mine is paired with Font of Mythos but I think overall Temple Bell is a better update.

2) Kederekt Parasite, Slavering Nulls, Veinfire Borderpost

Parasite offers a nice consistent form of damage that compliments the Howling Mine effects. It's limitation requires a red permanent, so Borderpost fits in and Slavering Nulls is a cheaper "specter" that doesn't have evasion but threatens just the same while keeping Parasite active.

What's really nice is that you can get Parasite going and then drop a Megrim and all of a sudden Burning Inq. and Sign in Blood pull double duty.

I don't know if 4 Nulls and 4 Borderposts is a high enough of a red count to make the Parasite consistent. If I had to add more, I'd probably consider Cunning Sparkmage (again, more consistent damage and eats up mana critters which then in turn makes it harder to cast spells and empty the hand).

3) Bloodchief Ascension

With the addition of "damage from drawing cards", I see no reason not to push in Bloodchief Ascension. It's a cheap 1 drop that if it ramps to 3, could be very explosive. Again, it's something that might eat that opposing Oblivion Ring so that your Caress effect reigns free later. It can also just win by itself when active because it'll punish them from playing their spells to bypass your discard.

4) Manabarbs

Sort of the culmination of this additional strategy, the best way to encourage the holding back of spells is of course making them pay for it when they pay for it. Also a red permanent for Parasite, and another consistent form of damage to pump Bloodchief Ascension.

As for what would go out to make room for this.. I haven't got that far, just brainstorming some ideas. Off the top of my head though, I'd get rid of Dark Tutelage, some Megrims, and any removal that isn't burn (remember we'd be adding Bloodchief Ascension so damage is important).
IMAGE(http://i738.photobucket.com/albums/xx30/hannaleak/hlsig1.jpg) the glory of
Dark Tutelage feels like it needs Crystal Ball to do anything other than burn you for something you don't want.

I've been running a similar (though, Legacy/Casual) version of this deck for some time. One thing I've found is that Bloodchief Ascension can turn out better for you than Megrim, particularly if you can run Hideous End in some of your removal slots.

How about something along these lines...

Land - 23

Dragonskull Summit x4
Mountain x5
Reliquary Tower x3
Swamp x8
Terramorphic Expanse x3

Creatures - 0

Other Spells - 37

Blightning x4
Bloodchief Ascension x3
Burning Inquiry x4
Howling Mine x3
Lightning Bolt x4
Liliana's Caress x4
Manabarbs x2
Megrim x2
Mind Rot x3
Mind Shatter x2
Sign in Blood x3
Temple Bell x3

Sideboard - 15 (Pretty much similar to Hannu Vallin's Megrim Deck SB)

Anathemancer x2
Black Knight x3
Duress x3 (or Inquisition of Kozilek)
Earthquake x2 (or Consume the Meek)
Goblin Outlander x3
Leyline of the Void x2

I have always liked the idea of Howling Mine/Font of Mythos pairing up with Spellbook. Ever since Conflux came out and gave us Spellbook on a land (Reliquary Tower) I've wanted to use it in a deck because it gets rid of the space that would have been taken up with Spellbook itself. I have included multiples so it's harder for your opponent to take out the land and make you discard everything.

I also added in x2 Mind Shatter so once they have a hand full of cards due to the Howling Mines/Temple Bells you can make them dump a whole bunch of cards.

I liked Hannu Vallin's SB with the exception of a few things: I added x2 Black Knights, changed Blood Tithe x3 to Duress/Inquisition of Kozilek (not sure yet which one I like better), took out Dragon's Claw x4 and split it between the extra Black Knights and the x2 Leyline of the Void (which are there for G.Y. recursion decks) and I haven't decided if I like Consume the Meek better than Earthquake or not.

I don't know if this would make this deck any more viable but I just had a few ideas to expand on the cards you mentioned.

I strongly dislike this deck design AND I like discard decks.

12 cards dedicated to discard adn 8 dedicated to only work when discarding just SUCK OUT LOUD! 

Talk about nothing to do once your opponent does top deck mode. 

Card advantage is fairly important.  As is your ability to run out a good curve through turn 5. 
My ideal would be turn 1 Duress or lightning bolt to an enemy birds of paradise.  Turn 2 Caress.  turn 3 Liannas spector (discard one).  Turn 4.  Blightning/Rot. 

I like the idea of bringing in creatures that cause discard.  I like the idea of toolboxing the cards you only need one of.  I dislike Card draws that kill you. 

My gut says, GO BLUE.  Add in the charms, add in the super-specters.  Add in Lianna's Specters.  Take out the megrims.  Take out 3 of the dark tutelage.  Add in 2 Tutors.  Add in 1 Lianna. 

Manabarbs sounds like a really good replacement for Dark Tutelage.  It makes your opponent hurt regardless of whether or not they play their spells, and only hurts you for the spells you choose to cast.  Manlands look terrible with it out, too, if your opponent was counting on using them once they ran out of cards to cast.  I also like the idea of running a few Bloodchief Ascension, perhaps in place of copies of Megrim (Arminius - don't go below four Liliana's Caress while you still have copies of Megrim in your deck).
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
I remember when (Dark Ritual) Hymn and Duress was all the discard you needed to kill an opponent.

I'd definately add in U. Bounce is invaluable.

Switch out the Megrims for Sedraxis Specters definately, much better (albeit harder) turn 3 play.
Besides, if you randomly discard it to Burning Inquiry, at least it still has uses.
(Arminius - don't go below four Liliana's Caress while you still have copies of Megrim in your deck).

Right, you are... I didn't even realize I did that when I was typing out the list... heh heh

Going to fix that right now...
I've been working on a B/R discard deck featuring caress for a bit now. Early versions got tooled pretty badly by the current decks in standard, but I'll keep tweaking. The reasoning behind the deck list included a love of Liliana's Caress, a desire to play a planeswalker (since I didn't own a single one), the synergy between Chandra Ablaze and Liliana's Caress, and the synergy between Liliana Vess and Temple Bell.

So I basically started with:

4 x Caress
3 x Liliana Vess
2 x Chandra Ablaze
2 x Temple Bell

After that, I'm pretty flexible. Current deck looks something like...

4 x Blightning
4 x Bolt
4 x Terminate
4 x Cunning Sparkmage
1 x Basilisk Collar
2 x Inquisition
2 x Duress
4 x Sign in Blood

Lands obviously are mountains and swamps with Dragonskull Summits and Lavaclaw Reaches if you can afford them. I haven't played any games with this version yet. I like the more controlling aspects (planeswalkers + creature control) because I just don't think the balls to the wall 4 x Caress/4 x Megrim deck has much longevity. If it does too well, people will start splashing white if they can and boarding in Leyline of Sanctity. My deck list wouldn't fare much better vs. a Leyline, but my sideboard goes a bit off budget as I run 4 main-deck Arid Mesa's for access to my own white and some War Priests of Thune.

Attempting to exert a bit more board control makes burning inquiry too scary for me, but maybe I should be running it?? I'd like to find room for mind rot, as 2 for 1's seem good, but I'm not sure where to put it. Not sure if I'm willing to go creatureless.

Leyline of the Void should find a home in your sideboard. Of this I'm sure.

Anyway, Temple Bell + Liliana is sweet. Nothing like tutoring up a card and drawing it because of the Bell, or Belling at the end of their turn, only to make them discard it on yours with her +1 ability.
And Chandra acts a bit like a late-game burning inquiry herself if you have a caress or two out. You can stock their hand with Bell action + Sign in Bloods, only to drop her and have them take 12 or so damage while at the same time you grab a few cards. Good times. . . just getting there is the hard part. LOL.  

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