9/01/2010 BoaB: "Elemental Awareness"

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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 remember that the elemental deck used to play Bloom Tender back when it was in Standard. Amazing synergy with Horde of Notions.
perhaps it's because it's late and i'm mostly braindead, but i don't quite understand why, in the faeries matchup, Crib Swap "put an end" to the Mistbind Clique plan.  as far as i can tell, the Champion ability doesn't target (the championed faerie, that is), so how exactly did you ruin his plans?  if you targeted the bitterblossom token, he still gets a faerie (Crib Swap gives him a changeling).  if you target the Clique, doesn't the Champion ability still go on the stack to tap your lands?  please someone explain.  again, it's late and i'm tired, plus i was on MtG hiatus during Low/Sha block, so i guess i don't understand all the intricacies of the Champion ability.
I don't get it.  Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this almost a card-for-card copy of the 5 color Elemental list that was once played in standard?  Now you are taking a standard deck, one that was fairly mediocre mind you, and playing it in ext?  I really don't get it. 
if you target the Clique, doesn't the Champion ability still go on the stack to tap your lands?  please someone explain. 



As I understand it, the order of play goes:

-Opponent plays Mistbind Clique.  Champion trigger goes on the stack.
-With the ability on the stack, you target the Clique with Crib Swap.
-The clique is removed from play.  The "return to play" trigger goes on the stack, and returns nothing because nothing's been removed yet. 
-The Champion trigger resolves.  Your opponent can remove or not remove a faerie as he chooses fit.

Even if your opponent chooses to remove a faerie
-The faerie won't be coming back into play, because the "comes into play" trigger already resolved.
-Your lands won't be tapped, because the Mistbind Clique wasn't in play when the champion trigger resolved (the "when a faerie is championed" ability is tied to the Mistbind Clique, and not to the Champion trigger.  So if the clique isn't in play anymore, the land tap ability never triggers). 


I've already tinkered with Incandescent Soulstoke in casual multiplayer.
I may be missing Horde of Notions, but this decklist has turned out to be surprisingly successful in a multiplayer environment.
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if you target the Clique, doesn't the Champion ability still go on the stack to tap your lands?  please someone explain. 



As I understand it, the order of play goes:

-Opponent plays Mistbind Clique.  Champion trigger goes on the stack.
-With the ability on the stack, you target the Clique with Crib Swap.
-The clique is removed from play.  The "return to play" trigger goes on the stack, and returns nothing because nothing's been removed yet. 
-The Champion trigger resolves.  Your opponent can remove or not remove a faerie as he chooses fit.

Even if your opponent chooses to remove a faerie
-The faerie won't be coming back into play, because the "comes into play" trigger already resolved.
-Your lands won't be tapped, because the Mistbind Clique wasn't in play when the champion trigger resolved (the "when a faerie is championed" ability is tied to the Mistbind Clique, and not to the Champion trigger.  So if the clique isn't in play anymore, the land tap ability never triggers). 





the Champion trigger is an etb trigger.  to my knowledge, removing the Clique with the ability on the stack shouldn't matter.  in the above scenario, i fail to see how it is any different than, say, something like a Man-o'-war entering the battlefield.  the trigger goes on the stack, and even if you bolt it with the trigger on the stack, it still resolves to bounce a creature.  
Champion doesn't target the faerie/creature it is championing, (i.e. choosing a target creature to be championed is not part of announcing the ability) so you can't make it "fizzle" by Crib Swapping (in this case) the faerie token (because this still leaves them with a faerie to champion - the changeling) to make the target illegal...because it doesn't target on announcement, it's an exile effect on resolution of the champion ability.

EDIT:  ok now i think i got it.  the "when a faerie is championed" ability is a separate trigger, not directly part of the Champion ability's trigger.  so if  you respond to the initial Champion etb trigger by removing the Clique, it never gets a chance to trigger the second part.

wow, what a complicated p.o.s.  i hope i never have to explain this to the majority of my Magic-playing friends (luckily, most of us quit keeping up with mtg before lorwyn came out, hehe). 
toldja it was late, lol.  had to get my thinking cap on for this one. 
I really liked the elemental list most out of the Reveillark builds you published by now, but aside from the weak budget manabase one thing the list seriously lacks is a way to sac the lark once it is in game .. i first thought of Fling but as only a one time trick it didn't really impress me .. then i added Greater Gargadon and .. wow! ... that let the deck really go crazy

Here's my list (not yet totally finished but already quite good)


Especially the sideboard is not done yet .. and i was also thinking of losing some vivid lands for basics and running 1-3 Fertilids for mana fixing.
But honestly thanks for hinting me toward what i call Elementallark .. plays really nicely up to now.

(if this deck was a standard deck once ... well .. i just returned to mtg with WWK, so I didnt see this deck yet and .. well .. me likey)
Although the last decks you've done were supposed to be Reveillark decks, they both seem to feel much better without the 'Lark and besides, they are both of the rather uncreative tribal variety. Come on, anyone can make a tribal deck. Although this is not a budget deck, please consider the following for one of your future articles featuring some of the the non-budget 'Lark decks you've cooked up:
 The Scoop:
     I reccently stumbled upon a combo between Reveillark, Saffi Eriksdotter, Viscera Seer(or some other sacrifice outlet), and any "'Larkable" creature (namely Mulldrifter). Here's how it works: you get all four in play and then sacrifice the Mulldrifter to Viscera Seer and Scry 1, then you sacrifice Saffi using her ability targeting your Reveillark, ensuring its return, and finally you use Viscer Seer to sacrifice the Reveillark. Saffi makes Reveillark come back and Reveillark brings back Saffi and the Mulldrifter. You are now back where you began except you've now drawn two cards and have Scryed twice. This can be used with a variety of different creatures to different effects. This is quite similar to the combo played by Patrick Chapin when Reveillark was still Standard Legal. 

The List:
     The (very) raw deck I came up with looks something like this:

The Reasoning:

     Every card in this deck does in fact have a reason for being there. Ondu Giant?!? you say, well here's my explanation:

Reveillark- The glue of the deck, it allows you to combo and can provide broken amounts of card advantage.
Fauna Shaman- This keeps the deck going, she allows you to pitch your 'Larkable guys to find whatever you need to combo. She can also be used to pitch your sacrifice outlets to be 'Larked back into play if you haven't yet been able to find a source of black mana.
Mulldrifter- Draws you cards, a classic for Reveillark decks, when combined with the combo it allows you to draw your entire deck. (be sure to leave five to ten cards so that you actually have the time you need to kill them)
Qasali Pridemage- Answers Bitterblossom, is 'Larkable, and provides Exalted when needed. Enough said.
Venser, Shaper Savant- Another classic Reveillark deck staple, Venser allows you to bounce their threats, or delay their spells. When combined with the combo it allows you to bounce their entire board and counter anything they try to cast.
Saffi Eriksdotter- One of the combo pieces, she can also be abused with your evoke creatures.
Body Double- Often a Reveillarkable Reveillark, Body Double also serves as an extra copy of whatever you need.
Glen Elendra Archmage- Just hands down good. This Faerie can lock out the Five Color Control decks all by herself. She stops almost all of the threats posed to this deck, namely Extirpate type effects and excessive amounts of creature removal.
Ondu Giant- It finds land. This deck wants to do so many things at once and it is vital that it has the mana to do so. It can thin your deck to basically just spells when combined with the combo.
Ravenous Rats- This card has basically no use other than to be the nail in the coffin when comboing off. You bounce their board with Venser and then wipe their hand with the rats.
Viscera Seer- Vital to the deck; the primary way to sacrifice yout creatures and combo off.
Bloodthrone Vampire- A secondary way to sacrifice creatures, one that can actually kill your opponent.
Squee, Goblin Nabob- Allows perpetual Fauna Shaman tutoring. It is quite frustrating to have a Shaman and not be able to use it.
Primal Command- Mainly included for the creature tutoring, but overall a good utility card.
Wrath of God- Kills all their stuff and, assuming you have either a Saffi or a Reveilliark, does very little damage to you.
Seaside Citadel- Tri-Lands = Happiness, Period.
Ancient Ziggurat- Seeing as we're playing with twenty-nine creatures, it's basically a land that comes into play untapped and gives us access to any color we happen to need at the time.
Misty Rainforest- Both filters our deck and fixes our mana, sounds good.
Marsh Flats- Same deal, it also allows us to find our one Swamp.

The Up's: 
     This deck is a sturdy combo deck in which all the pieces of the combo and the cards used to find the pieces both serve the combo, but also work quite well on their own. The deck is remarkably synergistic and the more you play it, the greater number of little interactions you find. The deck does not play itself and provides the pilot with the challenge when playing it. The combo itself is very durable. If they attempt to disrupt it in any way, you can usually just combo in response. Neglecting the Fauna Shamans, I would consider this a budget list, particularly for Extended. This deck has no bad match-ups with any of the common decks in the current metagame, and unless it suddenly catches on very quickly, will take most players by surprise as they watch your plays with confusion.

The Down's:
     As before mentioned, this deck is considerably weak to an Extirpate type effect. Any graveyard hate, with a special shout-out going to Haunting Echoes, also hoses this deck pretty badly. This deck is quite mana hungry and needs cards to compensate which simply don't exist. Allowing your opponent to Exile too many of your important creatures with cards such as Path to Exile will also put you in a pretty bad spot.

The Questions:
     Is this concept a possible competitive powerhouse? What cards would you change? (The obligatory) does the mana need work? Questions? Comments? If there is any better way of sharing new tech other than posting it here, I'd like to know about it. I have to ask you all to do me the huge favor of sleeving this deck up and taking it to your next FNM test. I will gladly take any feedback you are willing to give. 
 
Thanks,
-RAR
It's got recursion, meaning cards you've invested in will be relevant more often.  It's got tutoring, meaning your expensive cards will actually show up when you want them.  And most of it comes from undervalued cards to begin with (except the 'Larks, which kinda fall into those 'medium price, good investment' groups.  I'm glad no one is arguing about the budget for a change, because it looks pretty good to me. 

I am a little concerned about the mana requirements, though.  The way Standard has gone recently and how Extended is likely to look, non-basic hate is going to be pretty dominant.  You'll want to stay on the good end of the Fulminator Mages, Tectonic Edges, Detritivores and Spreading Seas...my guess.  You could go for Fertilid and more basics to remedy that, but that'd probably require a whole overhaul of the mana.  Right now it's a red deck first, with blue and black vying for second place, and green and white as splash colours at best.  Going with Fertilid would make green a greater priority than black and blue, and that might mess up the toolbox aspect. 

Also...the Banneret.  I know, I know, you're already speeding things up through Smokebraider, possibly alongside Fertilid.  But one less mana can make a big difference if you're evoking, or holding out for an Inversion, doubly so with so many taplands.  The only thing with no colourless mana in its cost is the Horde.  Everything else suddenly costs one less mana.  I'd cut one Horde and one Lark in favour of the Banneret, if only to avoid the cluttering up the hand.  The Reinforce ability also gives your early elementals protection against Pyroclasm and Infest.  Assuming you have a Soulstoke in play, all other small Elementals would be 2/2 or 3/3, but even the 3/3's would fall under the range once the 'Stoke hits the bin.  A lot of players forget that the Stoke needs to stay alive to completely avoid a blowout.  A single +1/+1 counter in the right place does just that.

It's a shame you can only accelerate for Elementals, too.  Minion Reflector would be pretty silly in this deck, as long as you remember the horde is a Legend and should never be copied...

Also, a little techy suggestion: Leyline of Life (the new green one) along with Festercreep to mess up Faeries, or Subterranean Shambler.  Shinewend in the sideboard for recurrable enchantment destruction, maybe Slithermuse to one-up any discard decks using Dream salvage...with a deck like this, your sideboard is basically anything Gatherer gives you. 


...

The List:
     The (very) raw deck I came up with looks something like this:
Spells:


...

I apologize for the lack of hyperlinks for the card names but I don't actually know how, if anyone were to teach me, I would much appreciate it.
 
Thanks,
-RAR
 



simply put [ deck ] in front of your list and [ / deck ] at the end (without the spaces).
so
[ deck ]
4 Plains
2 Island
[ / deck ]
becomes
[deck]
4 Plains
2 Island
[/deck]
for single cards use [ c ] Plains [ / c ] -> Plains.
Your list looks nice, might try it. Should i do, i'll give you the wanted feedback.

Anybody else notice were it not for the Ancient Ziggurats (easily replaced by Reflecting Pools) the deck would Lor/Sha block legal?
it does see slightly more phoned in than usual.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
I love the deck. I built an EDH (horde of notions) deck that is very similar.

It is kind of funny to see that it would have been standard legal at one time but I think the point is that in the current extended environment the deck seems to have some good matchups. We all knew going in to this 4 year extended that standard legal decks of the past would become more viable and some even predicted a return of most/all the top standard decks. While that may not be the case there are going to be some exceptions. We've already seen some of the past standard decks come out stronger (if slightly modified). Cutting down to 4 years has slowed the format down enough that decks like this have more potential (even more potential than they did when they were standard legal in some cases).

This is basically a metagame selection. If there was a deck like jund with all of it's terminates and maelstrom pulses that was prominent in this metagame then this deck would get a whole lot worse. We saw that with the last matchup where BBE just stomped this version of elementals. Basically Jacob saw the potential in this deck because in the current metagame removal doesn't seem to cover horde of notions very well however, if you are expecting a different metagame this deck may not be a great selection.
Don't be too smart to have fun
Am I the only one who is interested in knowing more about the Blue-Red-Green Goodstuffs deck?
Hm a good deck I modified it a little to match my personal preferences. I looked as hard as I could, but most of the useful elementals in extended are in lorwyn/shadowmoor block so I stuck with most of the original deck list. Quite frankly though I think Crib Swap is infinitely better than Nameless Inversion. Though I do like the Inversion as removal so I kept two. I also added some heavier elementals that help out with general bashing as well as removal and reveilark triggering.

Supreme Exemplar can trigger reveillark
Dust Elemental can trigger reveillark and get rid of some evoke creatures that ended up on the field because of horde of notions or reveillarks ability.
Hateflayer is just awesome. Oh I'm going to attack and then take out the creature that you declared as a blocker to me or make it so small with wither that it no longer poses a threat?

I also decreased the amount of notions (pun not intended) due to the fact that it's a legendary creature and you don't want multiple copies clogging up your hand. That and it's not completely necessary for the deck to function (though I must admit it is made of awesomeness). Also shriekmaws 3 power makes me very very sad otherwise I'd run 3 and say goodbye to nameless inversion.

Lands: 23


Creatures: 32
[deck]1 x Cloudthresher
1 x Dust Elemental
4 x Flamekin Harbinger
2 x Fulminator Mage
1 x Hateflayer
2 x Horde of Notions
4 x Incandescent Soulstoke
4 x Mulldrifter
2 x Nevermaker
4 x Reveillark
1 x Shriekmaw
4 x Smokebraider
2 x Supreme Exemplar[/deck]

Spells: 5
[deck]3 x Crib Swap
2 x Nameless Inversion[/deck]

Edit: @Nicro: I must admit I am slightly curious....
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Yeah! The 5 color elemental deck was among my favorites from that Standard. Based on my experience with that deck, I have these points:

Although the Flamekin Harbinger toolbox is cool, it tends to come late sometimes and the worst is that the opponents gets the announcement and will play accordingly (you went for Cloudthresher? Oh, I see, remind me to not tap out for the next turns until you're dead). It's really miserable to keep a two land hand with a Harbinger and tutor the Smokebraider only to have it removed. Overall, I ended taking out all the harbingers, replaced them with Brighthearth Banneret to have more accelerants and keep a more consistent list with 4 ofs.

4 Reveillark is too much. Drawing two on the early stage of the game is bad and with the Horde recursion only one is necessary on the yard. Cutting to three is better.

Upping to 4 Cloudthresher maindeck sounds good. You never draw too many against Faeries and it is nearly impossible to take out with Punishing Fire.

Speaking of Punishing Fire, why not putting here both the Grove and the Fire? Pretty good to both handle Faeries and early Cobras and Bloodbraid Elves. This deck has the advantage in the late game against UGR Junk.

Love the Fulminator Mages here, though.

If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
When he wrote: "I drew Horde of Notions, played my Ancient Ziggurat, cast Flamekin Harbinger, searched for Smokebraider, and passed the turn. My opponent cast a Lotus Cobra and passed the turn. I drew Shriekmaw..."

Flamekin Harbinger puts the card searched for on top of the library, so how could he possibly have drawn Shriekmaw?  Wouldn't it have just been a Smokebraider?

Very odd.