12/16/2010 FtL: "Darksteely Dan"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's From the Lab, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Manabarbs seems perfect for the lich deck. Your opponent would kill himself slowly while struggling in vain, while you would be effectively unaffected and free to do as you please, which also seems really flavorful for a lich.
I cant help but think that good ol' Pillage would be a better overall choice than Rain of Rust, even with the silly Spellbinder gimmick.
I cant help but think that good ol' Pillage would be a better overall choice than Rain of Rust, even with the silly Spellbinder gimmick.



It's more important for him to be on-theme than efficient; Pillage is a sorcery and can't go on Spellbinder, therefore to any true Johnny (we're not talking about some sick unnatural Johnny-Spike hybrid that actually wants his combo to win more than 10% of his games, that kind of heresy can't be tolerated), Pillage has no place in "a Spellbinder deck".

However, this same principle can go awry, as happened in the last deck.  Lich's Tomb is completely unnecessary here; with Darien, Soul Warden (or Optional Soul Warden, or Emerald City Soul Warden, meaning that getting one of them out isn't precisely hard if you can manage to play Darien) on the table, X points of damage means X life lost means X soldier tokens means X life gained.  There's virtually no reason to play a Lich's Tomb and lose all your soldiers each time the combo loops, unless the combo would kill you outright.  This is why a repeatable effect such as Pyrohemia (with Mark of Asylum or Absolute Law to keep your Soldiers and Wardens alive) is a far better way to go than the one-blast Acidic Soil.

If you want to build a deck around Lich's Tomb, you should go for something that actually needs Lich's Tomb, and only Lich's Tomb, to work.  Other Lich effects are heavily Black, so any deck purely in that color doesn't need the Tomb, otherwise I'd suggest the hilarious Hoarder's Greed.  Instead, we need a nonblack effect that rewards us for making lots of guys die, so that the sacrifice of our Darien tokens is the real point of what Lich's Tomb is supposed to accomplish, and being immortal is simply a pleasant side effect.  I'm thinking slap Indestructibility or Red Ward on Darien, then combo off with Pyrohemia and some bottomless well of red mana (there's probably a way to parlay infinite creature deaths into infinite red mana but I can't think of it offhand).  You can then imagine that your mage's strategy for the battle is to seal himself into the Tomb with invincible Darien sitting on the lid, coughing up fiery doom to roast the entire world for several thousand damage points as the entire population of the plane rushes to defend their King only to become new hosts for his fiery disease.  Take that, Archenemy!
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Storm Herd is the perfect finisher for your Well of Lost Dreams deck. My mate Pete and I had a lot of fun on MTGO during Ravnica/Time Spiral with a Beacon of Immortality deck that used the Herd and/or Test of Endurance to win. We regularly got 40+ flying horseys to aid our cause.
Apparently I'm the only person who read the headline for this column and thought, "Indestructible ****."
If you want to build a deck around Lich's Tomb, you should go for something that actually needs Lich's Tomb, and only Lich's Tomb, to work.  Other Lich effects are heavily Black, so any deck purely in that color doesn't need the Tomb, otherwise I'd suggest the hilarious Hoarder's Greed.  Instead, we need a nonblack effect that rewards us for making lots of guys die, so that the sacrifice of our Darien tokens is the real point of what Lich's Tomb is supposed to accomplish, and being immortal is simply a pleasant side effect.  I'm thinking slap Indestructibility or Red Ward on Darien, then combo off with Pyrohemia and some bottomless well of red mana (there's probably a way to parlay infinite creature deaths into infinite red mana but I can't think of it offhand).  You can then imagine that your mage's strategy for the battle is to seal himself into the Tomb with invincible Darien sitting on the lid, coughing up fiery doom to roast the entire world for several thousand damage points as the entire population of the plane rushes to defend their King only to become new hosts for his fiery disease.  Take that, Archenemy!

I haven't thought about this very carefully, but what about Lich's Tomb, Darien, King of Kjeldor, Mark of Asylum, Carnival of Souls, and Pestilence? Just stay one step ahead of the sacrifice triggers from the Carnival of Souls lifeloss, and you should be good as Pestilence burns everyone else to death!
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...