8/10/2010 SF: "For Great Justice!"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Serious Fun, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
As much as I appreciate the effort and was looking forward to the inevitable Big-Blue deck (there are way too many secret Timmy's here for that to not be the top pick), both of these decks are seriously flawed, with the first being nearly unplayable.

I understand the idea is fun, not perfection, but the ungodly amount of enchantments and sorceries that you tossed into the Leviathan deck make it nearly sure that your Quest will not go off until way too late in the game. On top of that, the addition of 3 colors to a deck that has no need for them and would be much more fun (and flavorful) if it were all about those big blue guys seems horribly conceived. Oh and nevermind the fact that a Stormtide Leviathan would nullify all but two of your other creatures...

For anyone that likes the idea of this deck, here it is much more focused, economical, and, dare I say it, fun: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

^Kudos to that group for really perfecting the Ula's deck

As for the second deck... well, here: www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

Once again, more focused and more fun.

Hope this helped.

Quest for Ula's Temple is the kind of card, like Pyromancer Ascension or Enduring Ideal, that's only any good if you build your deck completely around it.

The point in the Ponder, Preordain and Foresee is that they're not just card draw. All twelve of them set up the top card of your library to help trigger the Quest!

For my casual Quest for Ula's Temple deck, I decided to use four Information Dealer to fulfil the same role. Also, obviously, any Ula's Temple deck needs 30+ creatures and 7+ giant sea monsters. Also preferably a way to survive for the first few turns until a huge blue beastie drops. Since I wanted to load up on Wizards for the Information Dealer, I used Puppeteer, Fatestitcher, Venser, Shaper Savant, as well as Grixis Illusionist and Tideshaper Mystic to help the islandwalkers get through.

So yeah, I don't think the white-blue-green-black "Ula's Temple deck" will actually do anything with the Quest. It's more of a Defense of the Heart deck; most of the time that'd make more sense to grab with your tutors than Ula's Temple. A Defense of the Heart deck is a fine thing to have, but it's certainly not where you started. 
I really like the idea of Leyline of Sanctity and Jinxed Idol.  I think there could be some very strong WB decks that utilise this combo while stalling for time with Day of Judgment and Baneslayer Angel.
On the one hand, it will be harder to get quest counters on the Quest for Ula's Temple without all the library manipulation...  On the other hand, he only has 6 creatures in the deck that he can put into play with the Quest anyway!


Oh and nevermind the fact that a Stormtide Leviathan would nullify all but two of your other creatures...

You forgot the Mulldrifters and the Simic Sky Swallower.

I think the original Ula's decklist provided was better than the one that he ended up making.  I like the idea of just setting up a the Quest and then letting it go BOOM all over the table. 

A few counterspells maybe to protect the end-game, but that's all that I can think of.  You won't be spending mana on your turn to play anything, so you'll have plenty open for whatever.  Maybe a Mind Spring or two.

I agree; if you're using Quest for Ula's Temple, you have to build around it completely. I've been thinking about a Stormtide Leviathan deck just because I like the idea of a big unblockable creature that stops most of my opponents's creatures from attacking, but even for that I wouldn't use the quest. Instead, I'd use green mana acceleration. Probably elves and birds, maybe also spells like Cultivate. It's just as quick, it can be used for more than just Krakens/Leviathans/Octopi/Serpents (KLOS), and the elves and birds double as chump blockers or extra attackers.

But if the challenge is a deck including the Quest - a casual multiplayer deck, to be more specific - then here's how I'd do it. Note that I'm making this as competitive as possible, which makes it less fun to play but not making the best deck possible kind of defeats the purpose of fantasy deckbuilding. If I were going to actually make a Quest for Ula's Temple deck and play it, I wouldn't bother going out and buying playsets of most of these and I might not limit myself to 60 cards and I'd probably include a few of the old really, really huge blue fatties like Leviathan just for fun.

Forest
14  Island
Halimar Depths
Misty Rainforest
Swamp
Drowned Catacombs

Benthic Behemoth
Inkwell Leviathan
Lighthouse Chronologist
Simic Sky Swallower
Stormtide Leviathan
Wrexial, the Risen Deep

Counterspell
Brainstorm
Preordain
Quest for Ula's Temple

It's similar to Dennis Bates' deck, but with a few differences. First of all, I replaced the Harbor Serpents and Kraken Hatchlings with Benthic Behemoths and Simic Sky Swallowers. The Hatchlings can trigger the quest and then chump block, but the other things can trigger the quest and then smash face for 6 repeatedly. I know which of those I would prefer. And mana cost is no issue since these will almost always be put into play with the Quest. I also took out Lorthos; we'll very rarely have the mana to pay for his ability. I did put in the land needed to cast a Wrexial or Sky Swallower the hard way just in case, though. Also, I agree with JVL about Brainstorm, and I put in Counterspells, mainly to stop my opponent's removal. As long as we're in vintage/legacy/casual/whatever, why not? I took out the Foresee; the main point of scry is to set up the quest triggers, but I don't think a four-mana sorcery will help that much.

There are 22 creatures, 20 of which are KLOS, and 11 scry or scry-like effects in this deck. The odds of triggering the quest on turn four look pretty good, and then every turn going forward you can put a KLOS into play. They all have either islandwalk or flying and eight of them have shroud as well. If you play this deck, you will probably be the main target at your table, and with good reason.
On the one hand, it will be harder to get quest counters on the Quest for Ula's Temple without all the library manipulation...  On the other hand, he only has 6 creatures in the deck that he can put into play with the Quest anyway!


Oh and nevermind the fact that a Stormtide Leviathan would nullify all but two of your other creatures...

You forgot the Mulldrifters and the Simic Sky Swallower.


Read the quote again.

"All but two of your other creatures," meaning the mulldrifter and sky swallower.
Oh and nevermind the fact that a Stormtide Leviathan would nullify all but two of your other creatures...

You forgot the Mulldrifters and the Simic Sky Swallower.


Read the quote again.

"All but two of your other creatures," meaning the mulldrifter and sky swallower.

Oh, in that case, you forgot the Inkwell Leviathan and the Wrexial, the Risen Deep. 
"How to turn an idea for a deck into a random pile."

Can't decide whether to laugh or to cry. Serious fun indeed.
Agree, that Ula's temple deck is a mess. That's a deck my 10 year old son would build, getting distracted by other cool cards while he was building his first deck idea, and losing focus of why he was building the deck in the first place.

No consideration for Dizzy Spell, the 1cc card with transmute, if you're determined to go non-standard? That seems just fine for searching out the temple, and you don't have to go outside blue to use it.

Also, the fact that you made no attempt at sticking to standard makes me a bit sad. I've been thikning for a while that there isn't really enough support in standard to make a Ula's temple deck viable/realistic/consistent, and here we have a Wizard's rep pretty much admitting that, lol.
Also, the fact that you made no attempt at sticking to standard makes me a bit sad. I've been thikning for a while that there isn't really enough support in standard to make a Ula's temple deck viable/realistic/consistent, and here we have a Wizard's rep pretty much admitting that, lol.



Dennis Bates's deck is Standard legal - pretty much a model build of a Quest for Ula's Temple deck for the format.  Also, I was already building another Standard deck.

Neither decks is complete: they are just first drafts of things that are strongly seasoned with what I find fun (which isn't the same as saying it's what everyone else finds fun or what you should find fun).  Check back next week when both decks get updated to be more in line with what a lot of you are looking for - hybrid versions of what I find fun with things you all suggest and find fun.  A healthier mix if you will.

(tl;dr version: Decks aren't done; are getting updated.  It's a feedback-develop-feedback-redevelop process that ends next week.)
Adam Styborski Writer for Serious Fun Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/the_stybs