Deck Masters Contest #2: "Beastmaster"

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I got the idea for this contest a few weeks back when somebody in Magic General proposed a creatures and lands only format in an attempt to heighten deck interactions during games.  The original idea he proposed had promise, but he over-regulated the concept to the point where there was no possibility for originality in the proposed format.  I'm of the opinion that the following won't succumb to that mistake.

"Beastmaster" Formatting Restrictions





The following are the general rules for the contest series:


Over-Arching Contest Rules
Deck Submissions



  • All deck submissions must meet the criteria of that contest's chosen format.



  • All participants may post any number of decks for the contest, but must choose only one as their official submission



  • Each contest will only accept submissions for one week following the beginning of that contest.



  • All normal deck-contruction rules apply when not otherwise specified


Submission Judging



  • All deck submissions are to be judged based on their presumed performance in a multiplayer game.



  • Each participant in the contest will have one week following the deck submission deadline to rank each other participant's deck submissions (they do exclude themselves from their ranking).



  • Each submission will be awarded points equal to its inverse position in the ranking (for example, if there are eleven submissions in a contest, each player will rank the ten other participants.  The deck ranked #1 will receive ten points; #2 will receive nine points; #3 will receive eight points; #4 will receive seven points; #5 will receive six points; #6 will receive five points; #7 will receive four points; #8 will receive three points; #9 will receive two points; #10 will receive one point).



  • The point total for each participant's ranking will be added together to make an over-all ranking of deck submissions.



  • The final ranking will be the sum total of the points awarded from the "over-all ranking" and the average score awarded to them by each participant, rounded to the nearest tenth (this is to prevent artificially inflating certain participant's scores who did not submit a ranking of the other decks)



  • Any infractions to the contest rules will be governed by the overall consent of the other contest participants (which may or may not result in disqualification from the contest).


Deck submissions will begin today, Monday, January 3rd.  They will end on Sunday, January 9th at 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time.

Deck Ranking submissions will begin on Monday, January 10th.  They will end on Sunday, January 16th at 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time.

Good luck!

Current Deck Submissions (9)





Helphelpe's Elf Lords
[deck]
4x Gilt-Leaf Palace
4x Wirewood Lodge
4x Savage Lands
4x Raging Ravine
3x Forest
1x Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
2x Volrath's Stronghold
2x Gaea's Cradle

4x Thornweald Archer
2x Viridian Zealot
4x Sylvan Messenger
4x Bloodbraid Elf
2x Rhys the Exiled
4x Elvish Archdruid
4x Imperious Perfect
4x Elvish Champion
4x Wilt-Leaf Liege
3x Lys Alana Scarblade
2x Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/deck]



"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Nice format. I have a deck that is almost legal. I only have to replace the Eyeblight's Ending with Lys Alana Scarblade and it is a legal deck.

GBR Elf Lords


This format will see boards get bogged down pretty easily but luckily this deck can generate a strong wall of creatures and eventually start overrunning people in a pinch.

I think some of the stronger critters will be able to handle other critters or get around them:
Deep-Sea Kraken
Mageta the lion
Ixidron
Shriekmaw
Nekrataal
Throat Slitter
Avatar of Woe
Haakon, Stromgald Scourge
Kulrath Knight
Carnifex Demon
Pestilence Demon
Reiver Demon
Dread

and 2 of my favourite lands:
Unholy Grotto
Volrath's Stronghold

I think evasion (fear, unblockable, protection) will be pretty important but flying will be too common (although you will need to be able to block flying units too).

Is 12-post+Urzatron allowed? Because then winning with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and friends is really easy.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)

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I think that in a format like this you have to rely on speed rather than waiting for people to start playing giant threats. In a perfect world, I would play:

The Revenge of Marit Lage
Creatures (36)
4x Weathered Wayfarer
4x Birds of Paradise
4x Utopia Tree
4x Vampire Hexmage
4x Fauna Shaman
4x Dimir Infiltrator (transmutes for Hexmage and Fauna Shaman)
4x Eternal Witness
4x Primeval Titan 
4x Ethereal Usher (transmutes for Titan/makes my 20/20 unblockable)

Lands (24)
4x Dark Depths 
4x Exotic Orchard 
4x City of Brass 
4x Forbidden Orchard
4x Grand Coliseum 
4x Ancient Ziggurat 

I'll be tweaking this deck as I go, but the concept is simple. The deck uses tutors, creature tutors, to get a Primeval Titan/Weathered Wayfarer in play to search for Dark Depths. It then uses Vampire Hexmage to remove the counters and swing with your 20/20 indestructible flyer. Ethereal Usher serves 2 roles. It can tutor for your titan, or make your Marit Lage unblockable. Either way the card is pure win in this deck. Eternal Witness is there to grab pieces that I lose along the way, it's such a solid card when paired with Fauna Shaman. The deck is fast, almost every creature is 1-3 mana excluding the Primeval Titans (early Ushers are transmuted), which is what I like most about it. 

This deck insta loses to Magus of the Moon sadly lol. I'll take that chance though. The only card I kinda want to add is Tolaria West, but I'm worried that it could screw up my mana base too much. DD means that I already have 4 lands that produce no mana at all, so having any more really scares me. I think Primeval Titan is good enough anyways. I wouldn't mind seeing Dark Confidant in here either, but only if I lost the Ushers. It would be such a sexy card. I'm really torn between it and Ethereal Usher now : /.

Lastly, screw you and your restrictions. I only made this deck thinking that I could fit Grim Discovery in here. Took me 20 minutes to realize that I had to settle with Eternal Witness + Fauna Shaman instead.

Last time this contest was held, the decks were tested to see how well they'd perform in a real life setting.  With this particular deck I would focus my attacks on people playing white and black decks, and take them out as soon as possible. I am perfectly fine with leaving myself open to attacks and to lose life early, I'm a very aggressive player. This deck has a hard time dealing with massive life gain and mass removal, 2 things black and white have in spades. If someone is going to try this deck, know that I would focus on those colors first, and try to eliminate them before they get going. Since it only takes me 1 hit to kill, I can leave the green players and their armies for the end since they really have nothing they can do once I swing for the kill.
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
Ok, here is my first shot at it...
Pestilence BW Lifegain Control

Edits
[deck]
-2 Thrashing Wumpus
+2 Commander Eesha
-5 Swamp
+1 Glacial Chasm
+1 Mistveil Plains
+1 Bojuka Bog
+2 Leechridden Swamp
-4 Stern Judge
+2 Pestilence Demon
+2 Urborg Syphon-Mage[/deck]
I think somehow between edits I dropped a card out (Stern Judge i think). Anyway after the initial post, Tich got me looking at my deck and I noticed I didn't have any flying blockers (not that it matters particularly vs. his deck). I initially had Commander Eesha in the deck (procreatures is strong for this format), but was worried about the double . Since I decided on so much dual lands, I don't think it is too much to worry about. Then I figured since I have the land tutor, I might as well include a toolbox of lands. Finally, Pestilence Demon can survive his own Pestilence damage and is much more of a threat than Trashing Wumpus and fits the deck better than Stern Judge (which still isn't bad), plus with 4xCabal Coffers and 4xNirkana he shouldn't be too hard to cast when i eventually draw him.
I finally dropped all the Stern Judges. I figure it is a win more card. It helps me win quicker, and that is it. I think in its place the life siphon mage is much better. I just went through a list of all lands to look for good utility land. I haven't decided ultimately what to add to the deck, but so far I like...Library of Alexandria, Bazaar of Baghdad, Diamond Valley, Crypt of Agadeem, Vesuva, Hall of the Bandit Lord, Halls of Mist, and perhaps only because I know what cards are in Tich's deck Karakas (I am not really going to add this).
I will continue to edit as things come up that I think about.
Edit 2

Edit 2:[deck]
-2 Godless Shrine
-1 Leechridden Swamp
+1 Library of Alexandria
+1 Crypt of Agadeem
+1 Diamond Valley
-2 Commander Eesha
-2 Nirkana Revenant
+4 Netherborn Phalanx
-4 Souls of the Faultless
+4 Plague Spitter
-1 Pestilence Demon
+1 Darien, King of Kjeldor[/deck]
Tich reminded me that the only Tutors available are lands that tutor, and creatures with Transmute. I figure Netherborn Phalanx can find my much needed lifelink Forecaster, or can find a toolbox of creatures. This only includes Nirkana Revenant (which I don't think I need so many copies of now), and Darien, King of Kjeldor (who works amazingly well with Crypt Rats the second time you activate him...yes I would like to have X*X life please). Since I can find my lifelink card easier, I figure I might as well swap out the rattlesnake for some more free pestilence Plague Spitter (deals well with 1/1s and 2/2s if people decide to block him or I sac him to Diamond Valley). I opted for no flying blockers, for more lifelink and board control. I also updated the toolbox of lands (this isn't budget by any means).

The deck intends to win through gaining life by Forecasting Paladin of Prahv on a Pestilence creature (I promise, I wasn't trying to copy your deck from the Pauper Contest CadaverousBl00m). The rattlesnake walls are there to make sure you make it to your 4th-5th land drops, and Weathered Wayfarer and the bounce lands are to ensure you have fewer lands and can find your Cabal Coffers/Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. The biggest threat to this deck is Magus of the Moon (I suppose I could lessen the dual lands if that became a problem, (its funny Tich and I thought the same thing. I was thinking I didn't have to worry too much since Price of Progress/Ruination are banned...but Magus could still be a threat).

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The only reason why I thought about it was because a Magus of the Moon + Peacekeeper makes you a God, and then you wait until you can cast Blazing Archon and instantly win basically. Just protect the archon and it's GG. It's probably the single strongest deck, I should just enter that as my submission lol. The other cards don't even matter :P. The MVP of the deck is obviously Obstinate Familiar so you don't deck yourself. Yeah, you heard me.
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
Deck #2. 

Edits

-4 Leechridden Swamp
+4 Swamp
-1 Crypt of Agadeem
+1 Volrath's Stronghold
-4 Fleshbag Marauder
+4 Stinkweed Imp


The deck concept here is to abuse the rules of the format. Since it is unlikely anyone will be playing with Artifact/Enchantment control, once you get to flip Kuon, Ogre Ascendant it will likely stay on the field. All the other creatures are either more Abyss effects, global sac/damage/life syphon effects, or some mana acceleration (I think the spellshaper is a nice addition since you can't use 2x legendary cards). The land base is based upon getting the most mana acceleration possible, besides the Coffers ...Crypt of Agadeem (note: I added Stinkweed Imp in place of Fleshbag Marauder to help speed up the mana from this land). is good for a deck that can't use anything other than creatures. Maybe my next deck will be a Erayo, Soratami Ascendant deck...

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Is 12-post+Urzatron allowed? Because then winning with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and friends is really easy.



I don't see any problem with them at present.  The boogeyman of the format seems like its going to be Magus of the Moon, which would neuter the strategy pretty easily.  Plus a few creatures that I see being particularly potent in general (Nekrataal, Shriekmaw, Calming Licid, Mageta the Lion, Avatar of Woe, Visara the Dreadful, etc...) are all able to kill or neuter Cthulhu and his ilk.  It seems like a strong strategy, to be sure, but one that doesn't seem degenerate in the format.

What about Glacial Chasm?
What about Prahv, Spires of Order (not needed since it is anti spell as well?)



I completely missed both of those.  I think that Prahv, Spires of Order, while a lot fairer in terms of cost, still falls into "completely neuters combat" category.  As such, I'm adding it to the banned list.

I'm on the fence about Glacial Chasm.  Yes, it neuters combat, but it does so for you as well, plus it has a very, very steep cumulative upkeep cost that makes it prohibitive unless played in a pinch (going from 2, to 4 [6 total], to 6 [12 total], to 8 [20 total]).  And while most means of abusing it aren't legal in the format, there's still Platinum Angel and Platinum Emperion.

I don't know.  What does everybody else think about Glacial Chasm?  I'm inclined to leave it in.

Helphelpe, I like the deck.  It looks like it can outpace a lot of other decks while generating a pretty large army of its own and even be able to answer most creatures (including those pesky platinum creatures).  I also like how lightly black and red were splashed, keeping your mana base pretty consistant.

Tich, I love the deck!  It looks like it's going to be the deck that people will need an answer to or will die to it.  I think that 1 or 2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth would be useful in the deck, considering that they'll allow your Dark Depths to tap for mana.  I think that including a small toolbox with Fauna Shaman would help to cover some of the deck's weaknesses (something like Grim Lavamancer or Arms Dealer to get rid of those pesky Magus of the Moons).

Capitan_Esteban, I like how your deck gives you a lot of defense until you can ultimately take over the board.  It's far too slow for my personal taste, but I can't see anything inherently wrong with that.

So the irony is that all three decks that've been submitted so far die horrible, horrible deaths to Magus of the Moon (even the mostly mono-colored elf deck).  That's... interesting...



My theory running into this format was that etb triggers (especially ones that get rid of creatures) would be the defining pieces of the format, filling the gap left by the absence of non-creature spells.  As such, I see great value in Vedalken Mastermind as a powerful tool in reusing creatures' triggers)



I had most of this deck thought-through as of last night.  Man-o'-War was included as a way of deal with indestructible creatures or creatures with protection from black (and one of the two ways to deal with Marit Lage in this deck).  Cadaver Imp is a way to recover if Vedalken Mastermind's killed off.  Venser, Shaper Savant is a great way to counter key spells, especially since I can continuously bounce him and reuse him (Draining Whelk was more expensive than I cared for).  Shadowmage Infiltrator provides card draw; Grave Titan provides instant board position; Deep-Sea Kraken (easily my favorite blue finisher) is an insanely fast clock that comes out insanely early.  Also, a great thing about this deck is that it loses very little to an active Magus of the Moon (who I imagine will be a favorite creature for red decks).
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

What about Glacial Chasm?
What about Prahv, Spires of Order (not needed since it is anti spell as well?)

I completely missed both of those.  I think that Prahv, Spires of Order, while a lot fairer in terms of cost, still falls into "completely neuters combat" category.  As such, I'm adding it to the banned list.

I figure I might as well ask? What about Maze of Shadows? Banned because of Dauthi Trapper, or not reason enough to worry about?

I'm on the fence about Glacial Chasm.  Yes, it neuters combat, but it does so for you as well, plus it has a very, very steep cumulative upkeep cost that makes it prohibitive unless played in a pinch (going from 2, to 4 [6 total], to 6 [12 total], to 8 [20 total]).  And while most means of abusing it aren't legal in the format, there's still Platinum Angel and Platinum Emperion.

I don't know.  What does everybody else think about Glacial Chasm?  I'm inclined to leave it in.

Ruin Ghost+Groundskeeper+Walking Atlas is another way around it. It is a little bit convoluted though, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Capitan_Esteban, I like how your deck gives you a lot of defense until you can ultimately take over the board.  It's far too slow for my personal taste, but I can't see anything inherently wrong with that.

So the irony is that all three decks that've been submitted so far die horrible, horrible deaths to Magus of the Moon (even the mostly mono-colored elf deck).  That's... interesting...

I don't think I would call it that slow. I have run a pestilence creature deck with Spirit Loop before, and once the deck gets online (5th-6th land drop) it is usually gaining enough life to stay a live while hitting the board for 2 damage on each players turn. I had to add the Obsidian Acolyte because I can't spread damage over other players turns to keep my Trashing Wumpus alive and still gain life from the Forecast lifelink, but I don't think it is all that slow. My biggest worries are Desolation Angel and Magus of the Moon. I will wait until someone submits a deck with those to start worrying what to do about it though.

I don't think my other deck (Abyss) has too much to worry about Magus though. With 1/3 of the deck being Basic Swamps, and the ability to cast 8 creatures before magus comes out(24 if I go before the Magus player)...I don't think the deck is too hosed by it. I am also working on a mono white and mono blue deck that shouldn't be effected by Magus of the Moon. Some of the real hosers have already been listed (Nullstone Gargoyle, Peacekeeper, etc.) (you will see the other hosers when I finish the other decks).

I am working on deck #3 right now. Most likely it will be banned because of what the deck does...we will see.

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I don't think there's a single land I could take out for Urborg that would make my deck more consistent. All my current lands tap for every color, which is super important to my deck. I use 4 colors and a lot of double symbols, so having access to black mana is pretty much worthless. I don't even need my Hexmage until turn 5-6 or so, right after I titan into my DDs. I can't risk having her die early, it sets me back too hard. I also don't want to play my DDs until it's too late for people to stop them. It's pretty much my ace in the hole and I have nothing else if it backfires, so I don't want to give away my strategy until I it's too late to stop.


As far as adding Grim Lavamancer et al. goes, I don't see it happening. I'm a **** for consistency, I can't see myself taking away from the deck to add some theoretical silver bullets that could theoretically save me from a single card out of thousands. Even though Magus of the Moon is the only autoloss, a card like Plague Spitter or Bloodfire Kavu could set me back pretty hard. Obviously not as badly, but no guaranteed turn 6 kills like the deck has now. If we're talking about games that go into 10+ turns without any one person establishing something game ending, it's crapshoot anyways, since there's really no way to control the game past that point. My deck is streamlined to the point where you're getting a titan on turn 5 and you're attacking with Marit Lage on turn 6. If that's not enough, then that's not enough, but at least I'm giving my all to my strategy.

My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
Even though Magus of the Moon is the only autoloss, a card like Plague Spitter or Bloodfire Kavu could set me back pretty hard.

I swear I added the Plague Spitter to my deck before I saw this post. It just makes more since now that I can tutor for my lifelink forecaster.

Budget EDH:EDH on $20 a Deck. Join the Group

Magus of the Moon + Peacekeeper makes you a God



The meta would have to seriously degenerate itself with nonbasics for that deck to work (although, the way things have started out, it seems like a very strong choice at the moment).

Magus of the Moon: The card that keeps this format honest.

:P

Peacekeeper and Blazing Archon are cards to watch, but I won't do anything about them yet, since I imagine that most decks will still be able to answer them.  What does everybody else think?

The deck concept here is to abuse the rules of the format. Since it is unlikely anyone will be playing with Artifact/Enchantment control, once you get to flip Kuon, Ogre Ascendant it will likely stay



I personally find this deck hilarious.  It's an incredibly clever way to play around the format restrictions (my deck could only bounce it with Venser and Helphelpe could only destroy it with Viridian Zealot).  It's highly resistant to removal and prays on the nature of the format.  In short, its evil and I love it.

Personally, I'd up the number of Volrath's Strongholds to 3 so that you hit it earlier (and you can always discard it to Bog Witch if you hit more), not to mention it seems like a popular choice for the format, meaning that you might have to fight it out with other players over who actually gets to keep their copy out.

Thanks for pointing out Maze of Shadows.  It's another combat hoser that should be dealt with in the format.  Shadow may or may not be prevalent enough to really make it a powerhouse, but it strongly neuters a powerful form of evasion to the point where its presence would make otherwise powerful shadow creatures useless.

Obviously there were things that I didn't think about pertaining to this format

I don't quite see how Nullstone Gargoyle is a majo force in this format, since it specifies "noncreature spell."
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

I don't quite see how Nullstone Gargoyle is a majo force in this format, since it specifies "noncreature spell."

Opps. There goes my reading comprehension.

Budget EDH:EDH on $20 a Deck. Join the Group

Here's a take on my Vedalken Mastermind deck.  It retains a lot of what the original version had, but is attacking on the current reliance on basic lands.



One fun little combo that just kind of came together is Vedalken Mastermind + Dominus of Fealty.  I can steal a creature, attack with it, then bounce it back to its owner's hand to disrupt their board position.  Jaya gives me a lot of board control options (especially against blue), including a Wrath effect if I need it.  Body Double gives this deck some much needed resiliancy, allowing me to essentially keep Magus of the Moon (as hate), Vedalken Mastermind (as synergy) or Deep-Sea Kraken / Dominus of Fealty (as finishers) in case they're dealt with by opposing players.
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Deck#3 (this will be my official deck submission until it gets banned)
You can't cast that (v1).
4xCity of Brass
4xForbidden Orchard
4xGrixis Panorama
6xSwamp
6xIsland
1xMountain

4xDimir Infiltrator
4xPainter's Servant
4xNightscape Familiar
4xDrift of Phantasms
4xImperial Recruiter
4xMagus of the Moon
4xDimir House Guard
4xLlawan, Cephalid Empress
1xUrborg Syphon-Mage
1xObstinate Familiar
1xViseling

This decks plan is simple. Find and cast Painter's Servant followed by Llawan, Cephalid Empress. At that point, all your opponents creature threats get bounced back to their hands and the only thing you need to worry about are man-lands. Once you find and cast your Magus of the Moon, that will no longer be a problem. Then you win with Urborg Syphon-Mage sucking life, or Viseling (since they will eventually draw 7 creatures they can't cast.
The deck runs 8 tutors for each of the pieces necessary for the soft lock (and 4 tutors for Magus), so it shouldn't be too difficult obtaining the lock by turn 5-6. I am going to do some goldfish testing, but I don't doubt that this deck is broken for the format (and should likely be banned), and will be difficult for any deck to do anything about it once the lock hits the field.
Goldfishing






































































Goldfishing Painter+Llawan
Game# Soft Lock Hard Lock Notes:
1Turn 4Turn 5
2Turn 7Turn 7Early flying 0/5 defense, early Magus(drew 2)
3Turn 5Turn 5T3 0/5 wall, Nightscape Familiar made hard+soft same turn
4Turn 6Turn 8T3,T4 0/5 flying wall, NF for cost reductions.
5Turn 4Turn 6
6Turn 6Turn 6T3,T4 0/5 wall, NF made casting stuff cheap
7Turn 8Turn 8Horrible draw. No defense, only chump blockers
8Turn 13Turn 13Even worse draws. Had good 0/5 blockers, but turn 13...doh
9Turn 5Turn 6T3 0/5 wall, 2xImperial Recuriters weren't even cast
10Turn 5Turn 6T3 Recruiter, T4 double Painter, T5 Llawan, T6 Recruiter for Magus


Turn 6.3 average soft lock, Turn 7.0 average hard lock. That isn't bad if you ask me.

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Deck #4
Life

This decks plan is to gain lots of life of the pigeon cards Soul Warden and friends. An early turn 2 double soul warden should earn the deck +14 life or more, or casting Martyr of Sands can also do that. The deck can either win by an alternate win condition, or by beating face with Serra Ascendant or angels.

Question.
Why is Arena banned? How is it a colorless hoser, or anti combat step? It is just a form of creature removal that requires a creature. That to me seems fitting for a format that only allows creatures and lands. (and if you continue to want to have it banned, you might want to add Contested Cliffs to the list). While were at it Master of the Wild Hunt/Magus of the Arena

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I can actually roll a Beastmaster version of Elemental, My Dear Watson for this with relative ease.
The paper version of my deck, minus the six non-creature spells, with added Lark and Vigor.

Elemental, My Dear Watson - The Beastmaster Version
~ Guides I Have Been Silly Enough To Write ~
Budget Duals and Fetches in Multiplayer
CadaverousBl00m's Guide To Multiplayer Artifice
Multiplayer Tribal Format

~ Latest Multiplayer Ramblings: Appearing on my blog when I feel like it ~
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Rise of the Eldrazi Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Worldwake Post-Rotation
Kitchen Table Pricewatch: Zendikar Post-Rotation
Previous Multiplayer Concoctions
Elemental, My Dear Watson (Rainbow Elementals)
Watch The Little Birdies! (Bird Tribal with Proliferate)
Kavu Kavu Kavu Banana (Kavu Predator aggro)
Faerie Bleeder (The "Death By A Thousand Cuts" Faerie deck)
Braaiiins! (Mono-black Zombie control)
Verhexterring (Jinxed Ring / Grave Pact)
Flourishing Blowflies ( -1/-1 Counters)
Deck#3 (this will be my official deck submission until it gets banned)
You can't cast that (v1).
4xCity of Brass
4xForbidden Orchard
4xGrixis Panorama
6xSwamp
6xIsland
1xMountain

4xDimir Infiltrator
4xPainter's Servant
4xNightscape Familiar
4xDrift of Phantasms
4xImperial Recruiter
4xMagus of the Moon
4xDimir House Guard
4xLlawan, Cephalid Empress
1xUrborg Syphon-Mage
1xObstinate Familiar
1xViseling



To quote a friend of mine, "a just and loving god wouldn't let this $hit go down."

;)

I do believe that you just won the award for completely breaking the format in two.


Turn 6.3 average soft lock, Turn 7.0 average hard lock. That isn't bad if you ask me.



If you take out the obvious outlier from your goldfishing (Game 8), it averages to a turn 5.6 average soft lock and turn 6.3 average hard lock.

The problem is that it comes down too quickly and too consistantly to adequitly combat in the format and completely locks everybody else out of the game.  It wouldn't even be as bad if it wasn't literally Iona + a one-sided Evacuation for :3mana: .

Before the hard lock comes down, the only thing that I can think that would get rid of Painter's Servant + Llawan, Cephalid Empress would be Mouth of Ronom (requiring 6 total lands) and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle (requiring 7 lands).  Survival of the Fittest was banned in Legacy for less.

Why is Arena banned? How is it a colorless hoser, or anti combat step? It is just a form of creature removal that requires a creature. That to me seems fitting for a format that only allows creatures and lands



You're right.  It was originally there for being colorless creature removal, but it was unnecessary in retrospect.  I will take it off.
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Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

The updated format restrictions are as follows:

"Beastmaster" Formatting Restrictions





I feel terrible about banning Llawan, especially after you made a deck around it, Capitan, but I can't see any way to adequitly combat it in a creatures and lands only format.  Even Iona, Shield of Emeria doesn't bounce opposing creatures, is more color intensive and costs five mana more.
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

I do believe that you just won the award for completely breaking the format in two.

I win, I win. Woo who.
Before the hard lock comes down, the only thing that I can think that would get rid of Painter's Servant + Llawan, Cephalid Empress would be Mouth of Ronom (requiring 6 total lands) and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle (requiring 7 lands).  Survival of the Fittest was banned in Legacy for less.

There are other answers, but I am sure there aren't a whole lot that are likely to be played. Usually when I was goldfishing, I would cast the Painter's Servant the turn before (or sometimes as early as turn 2), and then the turn after I would cast Llawan, Cephalid Empress. Finally on the next couple of turns, Magus of the Moon would ensure the lock. So to disrupt the combo, you have about 1 turn to drop an answer (usually a creature with an artifact destuction ability), before the soft lock comes in or you need to kill me (usually hard to do with a turn 3 and sometimes turn 4 0/5 flying wall. I was also considering dropping down some of the tutors for some bounce at each of the transmute levels Stingscourger, Man-o'-War, Clone perhaps?).
Jaya Ballard, Task Mage (currently a 2x of being played) or Spinal Villain can respond to the evacuation trigger by destroying Llawan (destroys the lock, but still sets everyone else back).
Farrel's Zealot - attacking an undefended player and redirected.
Arena/Contested Cliffs -  the newly unbanned.
Lightning Crafter - but I hope your playing Goblin Warchief
Barbarian Ring/Cabal Pit - 2x copies in any combination (but only if you can get threshold, I hope you are running lots of search lands).
Quicksand - 2x copies
Keldon Megaliths - 2x copies, + hellbent
Keldon Necropolis - Plus Goblin Arsonist.
Arms Dealer
Acidic Slime
And a host of cards that wouldn't be played in the format at all...
Tin Street Hooligan
Harmonic Sliver
Verduran Emissary/Uktabi Orangutan
Keldon Vandals/Manic Vandal
Hammer Mage - doesn't serve any other purpose in the format (anti Affinity tech?)
Mox Monkey, but 5 mana is cutting it close, and for the format unlikely to be played.

With the lack of viable answers to the combo, the only sane thing to do is to ban Llawan. Truthfully, a deck like this would be extremely unlikely without proxies. Who would go out and buy 4x copies of Imperial Recruiter ($200-300 each)? 

But, while we are on the subject you will notice I have one deck with some Vintage restricted cards in it. You never said whether we are playing with Vintage restrictions. I personally think an artifact affinity deck (who would be playing Hammer Mage?) would be pretty powerful with 4xTolarian Academy and artifact lands (I know you miss out on Cranial Plating and some other nice cards), and all decks would probably be better with 4xLibrary of Alexandria. What about Tempest Efreet/Timmerian Fiends?




I feel terrible about banning Llawan, especially after you made a deck around it, Capitan, but I can't see any way to adequitly combat it in a creatures and lands only format.  Even Iona, Shield of Emeria doesn't bounce opposing creatures, is more color intensive and costs five mana more.

Don't feel bad. You could tell from my previous post before I came up with the deck that I knew it was going to be banned. Us johnnies don't care if our decks get banned for being too good, we just like the fact that we thought of it first. I will change my official deck submission back to my original deck #1 (pestilence lifelink) (although I will be improving upon my Abyss deck soon).

Speaking of Iona (you might want to watch Linvala, Keeper of Silence too). She is recurable via Body Snatcher (or similar cards Hell's Caretaker, Doomed Necromancer). Those pieces are transmutable via Dimir House Guard, and Iona is transmuteable via Grozoth. This is a three card combo, but I could see an Esper deck (you really only need ) possibly being able to pull it off (deck shell below).

4xDrift of Phantasms
1xDoomed Necromancer
1xMan-o'-War
4xDimir House Guard
4xBody Snatcher
1xLinvala, Keeper of Silence
1xTradewind Rider
4xGrozoth
1xIona, Shield of Emeria
1xReya Dawnbringer
1xBlazing Archon
Other 9 CMC cards
1xBringer of the Red Dawn - and the other bringers
1xInkwell Leviathan
1xKuro, Pitlord

The deck might not be dangerous enough to ban Iona for (3 card combos are much harder than 2 card combos), but I can find the other dangerous cards Blazing Archon. It is hosed by Bojuka Bog, and people could play that a singleton and find it via Tolaria West/Weathered Wayfarer/Primeval Titan. I don't know. What does the group think about these cards, ban worthy?
1xIona, Shield of Emeria
1xBlazing Archon
1xLinvala, Keeper of Silence - (I personally don't think this is ban worthy. You are forced to use land to remove her though (or triggered creature abilities). Maybe she is ban worthy? Her plus Peacekeeper+Magus of the Moon might make you a god as others have said, until you can find Blazing Archon, or win via life syphon, or non combat related tricks).
Then you have cards like Godhead of Awe+Crovax, Ascendant Hero.

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Tich, Dimir Infiltrator should be Imperial Recruiter

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I can actually roll a Beastmaster version of Elemental, My Dear Watson for this with relative ease.
The paper version of my deck, minus the six non-creature spells, with added Lark and Vigor.

Elemental, My Dear Watson - The Beastmaster Version



Ha ha, Cadaverous, that cracks me up.  I've had an all elemental creature deck for a couple of years, now, and it's scarily similar to what you posted.  I doubt I'll win the competition, but what the heck.  It's a five color rainbow, aggro deck and is currently my only all-creature deck.  I love elementals for all of the combos present in the tribe.  I hope y'all like it.  Sorry, no catchy names.  Well, maybe Taste the Rainbow

Creatures
4 x Incandescent Soulstoke
4 x Blazing Effigy
4 x Horde of Notions
4 x Smokebraider
4 x Shriekmaw
4 x Flamekin Harbinger
2 x Vigor
1 x Purity
1 x Dread
2 x Wispmare
2 x Ashling the Pilgrim
4 x Mulldrifter
1 x Doomgape
2 x Ingot Chewer
2 x Reveillark

Lands
1 x Arid Mesa
1 x Island
1 x Plains
1 x Swamp
1 x Forest
2 x Mountain
4 x Primal Beyond
1 x Taiga
1 x Badlands
1 x Tropical Island
1 x Scrubland
1 x Bayou
2 x Volcanic Island
2 x Plateau

I almost always get a 2nd turn Smokebraider and 3rd turn Horde of Notions and then it's off to the races.  The Horde of course is a beater, but it also drives the strong recursion of the deck.  The Doomgape is fun, but also gives life and actually helps to accelerate the recursion for continued creature combos.  With a strong base of red creatures and the Smokebraiders, I can get something out to deal with the Magus of the Moon, but I'd probably have some problems with some of the decks out there.  Again, this isn't a deck I came up with for this competition, I just thought I'd throw this into the ring and I'll play it against any theoretical deck.  I'm sure I could revise it to deal better with current threats more if I wanted, but NAH! it's an existing deck and that's all there is to say.  Meh. 

And finally yes, I know there is a huge glut of duals, but that's because I recently busted up a dozen or more decks, and a lot of the duals migrated to here to replace other inferior multi-colored lands, so I have no apologies to make.  Amen!  


This is the first draft of a UG deck that can quickly develop it's board and then start killing everything and everyone in sight.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)

Affinity-Tax
 (this will be my official deck until further notice)
4xSeat of the Synod
4xVault of Whispers
4xMishra's Workshop
4xTolaria West
1xTolarian Academy (4x if allowed replacing Tolaria West)
1xEye of Ugin
1xDiamond Valley / High Market
1xAcademy Ruins

4xSilver Myr
4xEtherium Sculptor
4xMetalworker
4xTrinket Mage
4xArcbound Crusher
4xLodestone Golem
4xMyr Enforcer
4xSphinx Summoner
4xMyr Retriever
1xArcbound Ravager
1xMemnarch
1xPlatinum Emperion
1xKozilek, Butcher of Truth

This deck is fairly straight forward. It hopes to drop Metalworker early and dump it's entire hand on the 2nd turn. If that doesn't happen, it can still have very explosive turns. Arcbound Crusher is your beater, and Lodestone Golem is there to slow everyone else down. Sphinx Summoner can find almost any card in the deck, and Trinket Mage helps smooth out the mana (not that the deck needs it that much). The deck is partially hosed by Magus of the Moon, but it can cast almost everything as most of the deck is colorless (plus, you can always just beat face with your Arcbound Crusher/Myr Enforcer the guy who controls magus (remember Magus doesn't change the artifact lands Type, they are still artifacts and when the EtB they pump Arcbound Crusher).
I goldfished the deck a couple of times, and the first time I didn't get out Metalworker until turn 3, but then I dropped Turn4 Lodestone Golem, Arcbound Crusher and Platinum Emperion (followed by a turn5 Lodestone Golem. The second game I got the 1st turn Metalworker, and double Lodestone Golems second turn. It went downhill for my opponents after that (Memnarch+ Tolarian Academy + Academy Ruins by turn 5). Followed by a turn 7 Eldrazi.
Other cards that didn't make the cut

Mishra, Artificer Prodigy - I like how Mishra can get multiple copies of cards like Lodestone Golem into play (from the library, grave, or hand). But I don't like the fact that he can't be cast until turn 4. A little too slow for my tastes. Perhaps if I created a Myr Galvanizer+mana myr deck?
Ethersworn Canonist - I was considering this as a one of, but I don't like the colored mana requirements.
Sharuum the Hegemon - This guy can create an infinite mana combo with 2x copies of himself, Dross Scorpion, and a mana creature, Silver Myr. I didn't include the combo, because I wasn't sure what to do with infinite mana.
Junk Diver - Same thing as Myr Retriever
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn / Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre - Kozilek is a close second to Ulamog, since I will get to refill my hand. I prefer the indestrutibility (note: I changed my mind, I prefer the card draw) and the ability to destroy a target permanent.
Myr Landshaper+Karn, Silver Golem+Dross Scorpion - I didn't include this combo, because for one it was 3 cards, and two with only a couple ways of searching out cards in the deck (Sphinx Summoner and Eye of Ugin), I didn't think that was worth the ability of paying to destroy a land. I would much prefer just stealing it with Memnarch.
Frogmite - Affinity is nice, but a 2/2 doesn't have much of an impact in MP.
Vedalken Engineer - I almost like this guy in place of Trinket Mage. Trinket mage has the advantage of thinning the deck of lands and replacing itself though.

 

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Affinity-Tax
 (this will be my official deck until further notice)
4xSeat of the Synod
4xVault of Whispers
4xMishra's Workshop
4xTolaria West
1xTolarian Academy (4x if allowed replacing Tolaria West)
1xEye of Ugin
1xDiamond Valley / High Market
1xAcademy Ruins

4xSilver Myr
4xEtherium Sculptor
4xMetalworker
4xTrinket Mage
4xArcbound Crusher
4xLodestone Golem
4xMyr Enforcer
4xSphinx Summoner
4xMyr Retriever
1xArcbound Ravager
1xMemnarch
1xPlatinum Emperion
1xKozilek, Butcher of Truth

This deck is fairly straight forward. It hopes to drop Metalworker early and dump it's entire hand on the 2nd turn. If that doesn't happen, it can still have very explosive turns. Arcbound Crusher is your beater, and Lodestone Golem is there to slow everyone else down. Sphinx Summoner can find almost any card in the deck, and Trinket Mage helps smooth out the mana (not that the deck needs it that much). The deck is partially hosed by Magus of the Moon, but it can cast almost everything as most of the deck is colorless (plus, you can always just beat face with your Arcbound Crusher/Myr Enforcer the guy who controls magus (remember Magus doesn't change the artifact lands Type, they are still artifacts and when the EtB they pump Arcbound Crusher).
I goldfished the deck a couple of times, and the first time I didn't get out Metalworker until turn 3, but then I dropped Turn4 Lodestone Golem, Arcbound Crusher and Platinum Emperion (followed by a turn5 Lodestone Golem. The second game I got the 1st turn Metalworker, and double Lodestone Golems second turn. It went downhill for my opponents after that (Memnarch+ Tolarian Academy + Academy Ruins by turn 5). Followed by a turn 7 Eldrazi.
Other cards that didn't make the cut

Mishra, Artificer Prodigy - I like how Mishra can get multiple copies of cards like Lodestone Golem into play (from the library, grave, or hand). But I don't like the fact that he can't be cast until turn 4. A little too slow for my tastes. Perhaps if I created a Myr Galvanizer+mana myr deck?
Ethersworn Canonist - I was considering this as a one of, but I don't like the colored mana requirements.
Sharuum the Hegemon - This guy can create an infinite mana combo with 2x copies of himself, Dross Scorpion, and a mana creature, Silver Myr. I didn't include the combo, because I wasn't sure what to do with infinite mana.
Junk Diver - Same thing as Myr Retriever
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn / Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre - Kozilek is a close second to Ulamog, since I will get to refill my hand. I prefer the indestrutibility (note: I changed my mind, I prefer the card draw) and the ability to destroy a target permanent.
Myr Landshaper+Karn, Silver Golem+Dross Scorpion - I didn't include this combo, because for one it was 3 cards, and two with only a couple ways of searching out cards in the deck (Sphinx Summoner and Eye of Ugin), I didn't think that was worth the ability of paying to destroy a land. I would much prefer just stealing it with Memnarch.
Frogmite - Affinity is nice, but a 2/2 doesn't have much of an impact in MP.
Vedalken Engineer - I almost like this guy in place of Trinket Mage. Trinket mage has the advantage of thinning the deck of lands and replacing itself though.

 



The only format that permits Tolarian Academy is Vintage, and it's restricted to 1.  In Legacy, Mishra's Workshop is banned.  That means you're looking at a Vintage deck, unless the contest doesn't really care about DCI-sponsored formats.
Elder_Kraken, I realize that , but Cathaldus never specified Vintage (or any legal tournament format). I supose this might be what he meant when he said all decks must be legal, yada yada yada, but I personally don't think that is clear enough.
The comp rules don't mention tournament formats, except under rule 100.6, and there it just links you to another document.
All I want is clarification, the deck will most likely contain 1 restricted land and the 4xland tutors

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Capitan_Estaban, you're right that I never specified Vintage/Legacy restrictions (and, in some cases, that can be an issue).  So, for clarification, if it's not on the banned list, it's allowed.  Also, all ante cards are banned (an oversight to begin with) as is Library of Alexandra (with card draw outside of cantrips scarce enough as is, a colorless source that can draw obscene amounts of cards over the course of a game just doesn't belong in the format).

Just how bad would Tolarian Academy / Mishra's Workshop be in some kind of affinity (such as the one that you posted)?  I have no experience with the cards myself, but it looks like they would allow for some pretty busted things (I can see turn 3/4 Platinum Angels or Emperions, stealing 2-3 non-artifact creatures a turn with Memnarch, etc...).  It just seems like they would make it far too powerful for a healthy format (although I'd like more imput from everybody else on the matter).

For that matter, would gaea's Cradle be overpowered in this format (with only creatures and lands), or would its usage be balanced against so many other players using it + the fact that it's legendary?  I'm inclined to think the latter (it's poularity would actually make it a pretty risky liability).

I just have to say, putting a format together from scratch is far harder than I ever gave it credit.  Capitan_Estaban already broke the format once (and may have done so a second time).  In an atempt to balance the format, I banned some cards needlessly while leaving others free to run rampant.  I have a newfound respect for people who do this on a much grander scheme.

I'll update the banned list in the morning.

Helphelpe, I love the list (tackling the issue of card advantage head-on).  I think that you could almost drop the Sages of the Anima, up the land count to 26, and add a couple of Avenger of Zendikar (they're really, really good).  With a few fetch lands thrown in, you could amass quite the beefy army and just overrun everybody.

Elder_Kraken, I don't think that 4 Hoarde of Notions is necessary, especially when they're easily tutored for.  Wispmare is a clever, tutorable way to deal with Capitan_Estaban's Abyss-themed deck, but it seems like it would be a pretty dead card otherwise.  I think that you can shave that down to a one-of.  I especially love how you can sacrifice things to Doomgape in order to abuse certain elementals' etb effects.  It seems a bit fragile, but devastating if it's ever allowed to run rampant.

SirCurry, I like the synergy this deck has (and, in some cases, dissynergy.  I think that it would benefit from a single Vampire Hexmage to work in conjunction with your Dark Depths.

Also, both Ice Floe and Maze of Ith are banned in the format.  As soon as you replace those I'll add you to the list of entries.
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

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Just how bad would Tolarian Academy / Mishra's Workshop be in some kind of affinity (such as the one that you posted)?  I have no experience with the cards myself, but it looks like they would allow for some pretty busted things (I can see turn 3/4 Platinum Angels or Emperions, stealing 2-3 non-artifact creatures a turn with Memnarch, etc...).  It just seems like they would make it far too powerful for a healthy format (although I'd like more imput from everybody else on the matter).

Elder_Kraken, I don't think that 4 Hoarde of Notions is necessary, especially when they're easily tutored for.  Wispmare is a clever, tutorable way to deal with Capitan_Estaban's Abyss-themed deck, but it seems like it would be a pretty dead card otherwise.  I think that you can shave that down to a one-of.  I especially love how you can sacrifice things to Doomgape in order to abuse certain elementals' etb effects.  It seems a bit fragile, but devastating if it's ever allowed to run rampant.




I've always liked Mishra's Workshop, but could never afford even one.  Even back in the day, it rapidly screamed up in price and quickly got out of reach of what I was willing to pay.  That's going to be the trick if you ever want to make the deck "in the flesh". Yeah, Cathaldus, you can really abuse things with the Workshop and Metalworker.  He's got a strong, strong concept, no doubts about it.

Capitan, I hope you don't think that was criticism.  I like the deck idea, and I play Vintage all the time.  I had not heard any format restrictions, but just brought it up in case Cathaldus had something in mind.  Anyway, it's legal as is for Vintage, so I'd argue no changes are necessary.  

Cathaldus, I run four Hordes because there is a good chance any particular game that three or all four can be destroyed/exiled in a single game, and the deck revolves around it.  I try not to put in four legends, but for it to really sing in my meta group, I have to run with all guns loaded on this card.  They know I seriously abuse the card in the start (no one likes to have a 5/5 trampling over on just the 3rd turn), all the way to the finish.  It remains relevant the whole way, and some do everything they can to stop it even if I'm not threatening that particular person, because they know I'll eventually come for them.  At one point, I had four No Rest For the Wickeds in the deck to allow for further protection of them.  It's fun, but a control deck can shut it down if I don't have the right cards to combat right when the control deck sets up.  Also, if you kill the Smokebraider, it is much, much slower.  Why my friends just don't frag the Smokebraider, I have no idea, but they leave the foundational mana creature untouched.  I'm not going to encourage them to do so.  That's for them to realize.

Wispmare is there because this is a day-to-day functional deck in my collection, and that comes in handy against my friend's decks.  You're right, if I chose to shore up the decklist for the contest, I'd probably go down to one.  However, I'm not as versed on all of the card options for something like this contest, so I'm not really competing.
Capitan_Estaban, you're right that I never specified Vintage/Legacy restrictions (and, in some cases, that can be an issue).  So, for clarification, if it's not on the banned list, it's allowed.  Also, all ante cards are banned (an oversight to begin with) as is Library of Alexandra (with card draw outside of cantrips scarce enough as is, a colorless source that can draw obscene amounts of cards over the course of a game just doesn't belong in the format).

(Note:Bolding mine) You might need to clarify that further. The Vintage List has a (mostly Ante)banned/restricted(too powerful) list, and the Legacy List has a banned list.
So, which banned list are you talking about, or do you mean both?
And by allowed, do you mean 4x copies?
This only matters for a handful of cards...
Goblin Recruiter (Legacy Banned)
Hermit Druid (Legacy Banned)
Worldgorger Dragon - (Legacy Banned)
Bazaar of Baghdad - (Legacy Banned)
Mishra's Workshop - (Legacy Banned)
Strip Mine - (Legacy Banned/Vintage Restricted)
Tolarian Academy - (Legacy Banned/Vintage Restricted)

Librarary of Alexandria - Which you have already noted is banned for the contest.
Tempest Efreet/Timmerian Fiends - Ante cards, already noted as banned for the contest.
As for my thoughts on the above cards, some of them might not be so bad to allow in this contest, but others might still be a problem. Goblin Recruiter to my knowledge is on the list because the ability to kill your opponents after stacking your deck with him and using Greater Good/Fecundity to draw out your deck and swing with hasty goblins (or Goblin Charbelcher? Accelerated with Brightstone Ritual/Skirk Prospector). Most of those cards being artifacts/enchantments/sorcery aren't allowed in the contest anyway so don't apply. Also, it might be difficult to kill multiple opponents (40-80 damage on average for my MP games) using goblins.
Hermit Druid/Bazaar of Baghdad are both on the list to combat Dredge decks to my knowledge. The key cards in that is Nacromoeba and Bridge from Below (already banned for type). The deck used lots of spells like Breakthrough and Dredge creatures do dump its entire library into the graveyard and swing with 10 2/2 hasty zombies. I have seen a Dredge deck win in MP, but with many of the key cards illegal because of type, it might not be enough to worry about (although Hermit Druid+Narcomoeba+Phyrexian Plaguelord (or some other creature sac outlet) seems like a pretty good combo (no need to sac Phyrexian Plaguelord to give a creature -4/-4). You just need a Legendary Eldrazi to prevent decking, or will allow you to stack your deck).

Worldgorger Dragon is only on the list because of it's infinite mana combo potential with Necromancy/Animate Dead. Could be unbanned quite easily.

Strip Mine - is banned/restricted because it is unfun with Fastbond+Glacial Chasm, or with Crucible of Worlds. The card slows down tournaments. This card can probably stay banned, since this contest has answers already in Wasteland, Dust Bowl, etc.
I would hate to see this card combined with Seedborn Muse+Groundskeeper+Walking Atlas/Sakura-Tribe Scout. (Note: It wouldn't matter as Groundskeeper is only for basics).

Mishra's Workshop/Tolarian Academy - These cards work wonders with Artifact Lands, and Metalworker (as can be seen from my Tax-Affinity deck). I believe that Mishra's Workshop, Metalworker, WGD, and several other cards were unrestricted from Vintage to combat Time Vault decks. They still are very powerful cards, and in my opinion they should be banned/restricted for this contest. A turn 1 Mishra's Workshop+Metalworker means that turn 2 I am getting some Lodestone Golems into play and putting everyone else back a couple of turns, or I am casting an Eldrazi, or Platinum Emperion, etc. Once again, I don't mind if this invalidates a deck I submitted. Breaking formats is fun.

For that matter, would Gaea's Cradle be overpowered in this format (with only creatures and lands), or would its usage be balanced against so many other players using it + the fact that it's legendary?  I'm inclined to think the latter (it's poularity would actually make it a pretty risky liability).

Gaea's Cradle has been a bane to Casual tables everywhere. It never got the ban/restriction in tournaments because creatures are harder to get on the board (and keep on the board) than 0 mana artifacts. As for how risky it might be, that depends upon the number of other players to use it (or Vesuva) in their decks. I think I am probably with you. The card leans towards being a liability, but I personally could see someone running deck shells/skeletons...




I just have to say, putting a format together from scratch is far harder than I ever gave it credit.  Capitan_Estaban already broke the format once (and may have done so a second time).  In an atempt to balance the format, I banned some cards needlessly while leaving others free to run rampant.  I have a newfound respect for people who do this on a much grander scheme.

It is quite difficult to foresee complications. Just going off the B/R lists to decide what is broken doesn't work perfectly either, as many MP tables are aware (Limited Resources anyone?). Luckily, you caught most of the most annoying ones. The Tabernacle goes against the spirit of the format, as does Maze of Ith, etc. The things you really need to watch for are there enough creatures that can deal with problem lands that might break the format (Detritivore, Dwarven Blastminer/Dwarven Miner, Helldozer), and are their enough lands/creatures that deal with problem creatures (Indestructible creatures, Shroud, protection from everything, Iona). I think there are, Mistmeadow Witch, Faceless Butcher, Man-o'-War, Avenger en-Dal, ...

Then you need to decide if you care about things like Keldon Fire Bombers (seems fair), Novablast Wurm (it is anti combat like Maze of Ith, but it costs so much more...fair), Desolation Angel (nothing wrong with resets), Desolation Giant (sure, you need to prevent the board from getting gummed up).

I would be worried about creature tutors, Imperial Recruiter (esp), Transmute, etc. Many if not most of the decks are using some form of creature tutors. Land Tutors, because the format only allows lands/creatures. And finally fast mana (Mishra's Workshop, Tolarian Academy, Gaea's Cradle, I wouldn't worry about Serra's Scantum...(wait a minute, that gives me an idea for a deck)).

Perhaps for the next contest, come up with a rough sketch of the contest deck requirements about a week before accepting deck submissions. Within that week, let people come up with critiques about which cards should/should not be banned, etc.

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Deck#7? (this will be my new official submission, since I am predicting that Mishra's Workshop will be banned/restricted).

Edits

-4 Saprazzan Skerry
-2 Mountain
+6 Island
-4 Greater Gargadon
-1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
-4 It that Betrays
+4 Vesuvan Shapeshifter
+1 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
-1 Riftwing Cloudskate
+1 Tradewind Rider
-1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
-1 Wonder
+1Cemetery Puca
-1 Tradewind Rider
+1 Dominating Licid
-1 Detritivore
-1 Rift Elemental


Jhoira = Death (v2.0)
4xSandstone Needle
4xIzzet Boilerworks
4xSpinerock Knoll
12xIsland

4xJhoira's Timebug
4xImperial Recruiter
4xDrift of Phantasms
4xDeep-Sea Kraken
4xJhoira of the Ghitu

4xVesuvan Shapeshifter
4xArtisan of Kozilek
2xKozilek, Butcher of Truth

1xKira, Great Glass-Spinner
1xCemetery Puca
1xAeon Chronicler
1xDominating Licid
1xMagus of the Moon
1xVolrath's Shapeshifter


The deck has been edited down to 60. The concept is simple. Find Jhoria (12x copies with the 8x tutors), and then start suspending big fatties. I like how Spinerock Knoll works well with the fatties, (the bounce land lets you reuse it). The Unblockable fattie is great, and gets you close to hitting 7 damage for Spinerock Knoll, and the fact that you can suspend your 6/6 unblockable with 9 counters even if you don't have the combo is great. Aeon Chronicler gets you drawing 4 cards for 2 mana with Jhoria, which is nice.

For the Eldrazi, I couldn't decide whether it is better running 2x legendaries, or mostly graveyard recursion Eldrazi (doesn't work so well with your graveyard shuffled away), or I get your stuff Eldrazi It that Betrays. I added Clone type creatures to the deck to at least be on par with whomever cast the biggest creature at the moment (or to copy my own fatties if no one does have anything good).

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The library of cards stored in my head isn't nearly as big as some of you guys, so feel free to recommend any upgrades to this deck.

The key combo is Lighthouse Chronologist and Sphinx Sovereign, which can drain any number of opponents at a rate that actually increases with more opponents around.

Most of the other cards are picked to get those two on the battlefield and leveled up as soon as possible, so to that end we have tutors:

4 Kuldotha Forgemaster
2 Dimir Infiltrator
3 Sphinx Summoner

Mana ramp/forgemaster feed:
4 Silver Myr
4 Gold Myr
4 Leaden Myr

and cheating:
4 Master Transmuter

Workhorses:
4 Lighthouse Chronologist
3 Sphinx Sovereign
1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
1 Magister Sphinx

Revival:
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Sanctum Gargoyle


Ignoring the tragically non-artifact Lighthouse Chronologist, the Master Transmuter runs defense against targeted removal, pulls of combat tricks via block/bounce, and reactivates comes-into-play effects, tutoring, reviving, etc.

Land, I went with blue primary, black secondary, and white tertiary because of the slight bias towards black among the tutors.

4 Arcane Sanctum
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Darkslick Shores
8 Island

Not sure how to get pure blue mana acceleration without something like Tolarian Academy. Between these and the twelve Myr it should be able to hard-cast sphinxes quickly enough even if everything else falls through.

Notable weaknesses include complete lack of removal, a nauseating mana curve, and a very weak early game defensive line.

On the plus side, the sphinxes are immune to almost all removal that comes from creatures. They're all black, so all Terrors and Doom Blades on a stick are out. Master Transmuter can intercept or reverse a bounce attempt. Sphinx of the Steel Wind is practically unkillable anyway.

It looks like fun.


SirCurry, I like the synergy this deck has (and, in some cases, dissynergy.  I think that it would benefit from a single Vampire Hexmage to work in conjunction with your Dark Depths.

Also, both Ice Floe and Maze of Ith are banned in the format.  As soon as you replace those I'll add you to the list of entries.



4x Leonin Arbiter
4x Maralen of the Mornsong
4x Hokori, Dust Drinker
4x Soul Warden
3x Roiling Horror
4x Blood Seeker
3x Loxodon Gatekeeper
4x Giant Oyster
2x Aphetto Alchemist
2x Merieke Ri Berit
2x Marble Titan
1x Grand Arbiter Augustin IV

1x Sand Silos
1x Bottomless Vault
1x Icatian Store
4x Dromar's Cavern
1x Dark Depths
1x Karakas
4x Tundra
4x Underground Sea
4x Scrubland
2x Lotus Vale

My revised deck list, and it still looks pretty good even though Maze of Ith has saved my a** many times.  I had to lose the Nettling Imp due to removal of Ice Floe, and I settled for Grand Arbiter Augustin IV instead of Musician to replace the him.


Seriously considering near complete creature lockdown with Godhead of Awe and Crovax, Ascendant Hero.

Let's see...

4 Godhead of Awe
4 Crovax, Ascendant Hero

Need a way to protect them from removal:
4 Plaxcaster Frogling

And some creatures that can get big despite the godhead:
4 Ajani's Pridemate or Serra Ascendant

And some ways to make those guys big:
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendant
2 Aven Riftwatcher

And some bounce antics:
4 Glimmerpoint Stag
2 Stormfront Riders

Some card drawing:
4 Wall of Omens


4 Kabira Crossroads
4 Llanowar Reborn
4 Ancient Ziggurat
2 Simic Growth Chamber
10 Plains


Really not sure how to handle the land on this one. Splashing two colors for just one creature? :\
Stupid Enchantment Tricks GW (deck Skeleton)
4xGaea's Cradle
4xVitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree

4xUtopia Mycon
4xSelesnya Guildmage / Selesnya EvangelPsychotrope Thallid
4xElvish Farmer / Thallid Shell-Dweller
4xPallid MycodermSporesower Thallid
4xMycoloth / Verdant Force / Sporoloth Ancient
2xNemata, Grove Guardian

4xSoul Sculptor
4xNullmage Shepherd
4xSeedborn Muse
2xKamahl, Fist of Krosa
Other

4xFemeref Enchantress - Amusing form of card draw.

Not an official deck submission, but I just thought it was a funny way to abuse Soul Sculptor. The first half is just setup for lots of mana, saproling beatdown with tokens, the second part is the Soul Sculptor combo. You can use Soul Sculptor defensively in response to removal of your own creatures or to "remove an attacker". The combo goes nuts with Seedborn Muse, and Kamahl lets you destroy their land too. Femeref Enchantress would be an amusing way to draw cards.

Stupid Enchantment Tricks UW (deck Skeleton)

4xSoltari Visionary
4xSoul Sculptor - perhaps with Aura Thief+Phantatog
1xDevout Witness

4xSoulsworn Jury
4xDrift of Phantasms
4xWall of Denial

4xSawtooth Loon

4xStronghold Biologist - Murkfiend Liege+Enigma Eidolon in a different deck perhaps?
4xEnigma Eidolon
4xAurora Eidolon
Here is a UW version (I don't think it is as good). It uses Soul Sculptor to control creatures that you are worried (can't be blocked by Wall of Denial), and disenchants them with shadowy Soltari Visionary. If you really don't want the creature to hit the board, Stronghold Biologist seems good for this format (although the Eidolon+Sawtooth Lion doesn't seem that strong.

Actually, here is a better version of the Soul Sculptor deck, mono white (sort of).
4xPlateau
4xEmeria, the Sky Ruin
2xMistveil Plains
14xPlains

4xEternal Dragon
4xOracle en-Vec
4xSoltari Visionary
4xImperial Recruiter
4xPeacekeeper
4xSoul Sculptor
4xHokori, Dust Drinker
4xWindborn Muse
4xBlinding Angel

Everything in the deck is searchable via Imperial Recruiter. The deck locks down combat nearly completely for everyone else, then you turn your own Peacekeeper / Hokori, Dust Drinker into an enchantment with no abilities at the guy to your rights EOT (as long as no one has flash creatures you get to untap and attack).

Oracle en-Vec makes opponents have to guess whether you have peacekeeper in hand, or with Soul Sculptor active they might not be able to declare a creature as an attacker (unless they have flash creatures again). Windborn Muse+Hokori, Dust Drinker locks down attacks against you, and Blinding Angel locks them down from attacks period.

I probably should have made room for a toolbox of creatures Magus of the Disk, Magus of the Moat, Magus of the Scroll, Hand of Justice, Radiant's Dragoons, Commander Eesha, Loxodon Gatekeeper, Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile, etc.

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Sorry about my spotty presence over the last couple of days.  I moved back to college after winter break (yesterday) and only just now got my internet working, but have to leave in a few minutes (its my girlfriend's birthday and I'm going out with her and her parents).

I just wanted to quickly say that you're right, Capitan_Estaben.  I'll start the discussion for the next contest (on the overarching topic for these deckbuilding series) when the deck submissions for this contest ends so that the banned list for it can be discussed in detail prior to the contest actually beginning.  This contest has certainly shown that it takes more than one person to think through all the angles of the format.

So the current schedule for these contests is essentially going to be:

Week 1: Deck submissions / Final Rankings for previous contest posted.

Week 2: Deck Ranking Submissions / banned list discussion for next contest (in main contest thread)
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

I think I found another gamebreaker.

Outrider en-Kor
plus
Task Force
gets you a creature with effectively infinite toughness.
Add Doran, the Siege Tower for infinite damage, or
Diamond Valley for infinite life and essentially an auto-win via Felidar Sovereign that only Platinum Angel or the timely arrival of Magister Sphinx can stop.
I think I found another gamebreaker.

Outrider en-Kor
plus
Task Force
gets you a creature with effectively infinite toughness.
Add Doran, the Siege Tower for infinite damage, or
Diamond Valley for infinite life and essentially an auto-win via Felidar Sovereign that only Platinum Angel or the timely arrival of Magister Sphinx can stop.

This is actually quite a good combo. I like it better in clerics though because of...
Daru Spiritualist + Shaman en-Kor + Starlit Sanctum
if spells were allowed Transmutation. Even without spells, there is always Turtleshell Changeling (which is a Cleric Rebel not to mention your two above already are rebels. Rebel searchers anyone? Defiant Falcon et. al)

Merfolk Thaumaturgist is another switcher.

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I've updated the banned list.  Tolarian Academy, Mishra's Workshop and Library of Alexandria have officially gotten the axe.  If your official submission includes any of these, please change them.

I don't think that afinity + Metalworker by itself will break the format, so they're all safe. 

I will update the official deck submission list later today (I'm currently on a Mac, so copy/paste is a difficult and frustrating process for me at the moment).   I'll add Capitan_Estaban's new deck, Minus Prime's, SirCurry's revision and ArtVenn's decks.  I believe that that's all that needs to be changed as of now.

Also, I've noticed that some people like putting choice A and/or choice B for card slots in their submissions (ArtVenn's the biggest offender here).  Please don't do this any more.  Adding this variability to deck lists makes it harder to evaluate them along with other submissions (especially when you add this variability to several different slots).  Each deck submissions should be concrete in its exact contents.

"Beastmaster" Formatting Restrictions




 
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)