6/29/2011 BoaB: "Spiritdancing"

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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.

it seems like forced worship is destined to pair with kor spiritdancer. repeatable draw and a spell to buy time in the meantime?
This deck overall feels fine - unfortunately the Spiritdancer itself seems out of place.  In most cases, a Wall of Omens would give you more value in the same slot.
No aura gnarlid? I messed around with a deck a few months ago that was fun in a casual setting. I wonder if it'd be somewhat competitive now:

I'm not usually one to negatively criticize this column, but I looked over the list twice and I didn't see a single aura that would be beneficial to attach to the player's own creature.  It seems like the deck focuses only on the card draw and not on making Kor Spiritdancer larger by attaching auras to her.  Now I agree that all the auras listed in the deck have their uses, but I personally think that running a Spiritdancer deck without trying to take advantage of her +2/+2 is just a waste of a powerful ability.  Kor Spiritdancer combined with the Umbras from Rise of the Eldrazi was a force to be reckoned with, especially with cheap ones like Hyena Umbra and the surprisingly underplayed Eel Umbra.  Furthermore, with Mesa Enchantress gone, I think that splashing green for Aura Gnarlid is a must.  Green would also give access to Canopy Cover, a former Spiritdancer staple.

@JvL:  Any ETA on more Evolving Event Decks?

Rules Advisor

The green route - as proposed by the two posts above - would be a completely different strategy. You guys will be happy to know that Elephant Guide is reprinted in M12.
no arrest?
turn 2 spiritdancer into turn 3 arrest, seems betetr than spirit dance into pacifism with a spare mana.

Or are there no activated abilities that matter? At the very least it can shut down big mana sources like treespeaker and elvish archdruid. unfortunately due to flash it can't help against splinter twin

Like the suggestion above about forced worship.

to the suggestion of buffing the spir

Using auras to boost our own spirit dancer seems bad, people will be playing spot removal and even if the aura is an umbra they can always kill in response.


Although... as drawing a card is a response to casting auras not auras entering play it doesn’t end up as card disadvantage, the tempo loss is still there.


However, I would suggest eel umbra belongs in this deck. If they attempt to kill your spiritdancer, eel umbra in response keeps it alive (except against dismember) and against burn the umbra will stick around, AND you get to draw a card too.

First of all, thanks for doing a Spiritdancer deck!! I have a similar budget Gnarlid thread here that I've been playing, and it's a lot of fun, if not in the top tiers. (Yup, shameless plug).

I guess I'd need to play this first, but I'm not really sure what the clock in this deck is. The sphinx is awesome, but the deck looks like it relies on stealing good creatures in order to win. He's right, aggressive decks are a terrible matchup since their 2cc threats make Mind Control look really bad. But if they have a reasonable density of 4-5cc finishers, then you're not in a bad control spot.

Against Twin this deck is terrible, no? I guess you have 5 spells MD to stop it, plus Spreading Seas to mess with mana.
Against Valakut you have more enchantments than they have removal for them, but they still get to trigger their CIP (sorry, ETB) abilities, and you just outright lose to Avenger + Land, but I guess so do a lot of decks.
Against control you need them to tap out (never happening after game 1), because Volition Reins is so expensive for stealing a planeswalker. But I guess you can just grind them out with Auramancer, that just takes more time than you probably have if they have a threat that you wanted to steal.
Against the Pyromancer's Ascension deck he just showed us a week or two ago? You have 8 sb cards to replace >8 mostly worthless enchantments.

I think 2 of those Volition Reins should be Arrests. Just my opinion, since things like Fauna Shaman or Viscera Seer can present problems.

I guess I'd just like something along the lines of that new mythic recurring M12 enchantment (hey, if he used Auramancer. Plust, it's an aura, how costly can it get). Even just a single copy to randomly make one of your 12 small dudes an actual "hastey" problem. Speaking of which, against what does Eldraze Conscription actually come in?


RE: Forced Worship. Unfortunately they can still block whatever creatures you steal, so it'd probably be better in the sideboard replacing 2 Condemns. The interaction with Spiritdancer is awesome, but mana intensive, and once you do it a few times you'll want to cast spells instead of continuously running that.
That said, nothing like Pacificsm on a Titan, then topdecking Mind Control. Worship's good for those moments (replacing pacifism).

RE: Eel Umbra, it's only good when you have a Spiritdancer to target, it doesn't stop the most common removal spell - Dismember - and in every other instance Negate is just better. 
Meh it seems too similar to a recent deck he posted that used Mind Control and Volition Reins.  Not exactly rocket science.   A "bant" version would have been nice, as people posted previously.  Seems like he just shoved in a few auras and Kor Spiritdancer into a deck and called it good.  Would have been more fun if the deck was more based around the rare that it supposedly was based around.
Seems like he just shoved in a few auras and Kor Spiritdancer into a deck and called it good.  Would have been more fun if the deck was more based around the rare that it supposedly was based around.


In his defense:
A) Removal's still good.
B) By the sound of it he just succumbed to the influx of letters and didn't even want to play it (hence no game), 'cause he thought it was that bad. Or he had a particularly busy week and didn't mind throwing this deck under the bus, haha. But that's just speculation.
The only thing I can add is that I was thinking about Mirran Crusader as a possible inclusion for this deck to accompany the Firewalker.  It can't be hit by Dismember, and if you do go the route of a few creature-pumping auras, the double-strike can make him hit for a lot. 
You guys will be happy to know that Elephant Guide is reprinted in M12.

I just learned that will not necessarily be true. Elephant Guide is in Duels 2012, but as Dragon_Nut discovered here, they might not all show up in M12.


RE: Eel Umbra, it's only good when you have a Spiritdancer to target, it doesn't stop the most common removal spell - Dismember - and in every other instance Negate is just better. 




Negate doesn’t cantrip


You can’t get negate back with auramancer


Negate doesn’t save firewalker from shrine of burning rage or perilous myr triggers. I believe these are standard RDW sideboard cards for dealing with the firewalker.


Negate doesn’t save spiritdancer from bolt and then stick around afterwards making spiritdancer a 3/5 which is immune to the next destruction effect.


Of course there are many benefits of negate over eel umbra too, such as countering non removal spells (like planeswalkers), countering exile effect spells and dismember or saving all creatures from sweepers.



I don't know how competitive this deck is (been forever and a day since I was last at a FNM), but it seems like it could be fun.
I've been playing (with some gaps) since the late 90's. Land Destruction can be fun! I really don't get the Command Tower backlash.
"I'm also going to include a few Mana Leaks in the board so we can go up to four in the appropriate match-ups."

That's such crap.  That just means "I don't really know what else to put in the SB.  And rather than just say it, I'm going to say "appropriate matchups" with no additional detail"
There is no tighter shirt!
The only thing I can add is that I was thinking about Mirran Crusader as a possible inclusion for this deck to accompany the Firewalker.  It can't be hit by Dismember, and if you do go the route of a few creature-pumping auras, the double-strike can make him hit for a lot. 


^this. This is a wonderful idea.
Seems like he just shoved in a few auras and Kor Spiritdancer into a deck and called it good.  Would have been more fun if the deck was more based around the rare that it supposedly was based around.


In his defense:
A) Removal's still good.
B) By the sound of it he just succumbed to the influx of letters and didn't even want to play it (hence no game), 'cause he thought it was that bad. Or he had a particularly busy week and didn't mind throwing this deck under the bus, haha. But that's just speculation.


C) He usually tests decks against one or two of the top decks in Standard... and no one knows what they are. It seems to me like the bannings will actually have a really big impact. At last week's FNM, I lost won one round of three. Both decks I lost to had Stoneforge Mystic and one also had Jace, and the one I beat had neither. (I know, I know, an anecdote isn't data, but still.) What creatures without ETB abilities are now playable? Is Valakut really as good as people fear? How good is Exarch Twin without Jace or Caw-Blade without the Mystic? He might test this deck against one of those only to find that no one is playing them in two days.
D) The deck isn't Standard-legal. Auramancer. Not sure how big of a practical problem this would be, it depends on how he tests them, but it might be a problem.


RE: Eel Umbra, it's only good when you have a Spiritdancer to target, it doesn't stop the most common removal spell - Dismember - and in every other instance Negate is just better. 




Negate doesn’t cantrip


Negate doesn’t save spiritdancer from bolt and then stick around afterwards making spiritdancer a 3/5 which is immune to the next destruction effect.




Like I said, it's only good when you have Spiritdancer, haha.


You can’t get negate back with auramancer

Negate doesn’t save firewalker from shrine of burning rage or perilous myr triggers. I believe these are standard RDW sideboard cards for dealing with the firewalker.




This is true, and I hadn't thought of it being a good cheap enchantment that's likely to die for an early Auramancer, but I think the strengths you outlined for negate outweigh Eel Umbra's strengths.


I have most of these cards, so I'm just going to test out the deck and find out if I wrongly bashed it. I don't own Kor Firewalkers unfortuantely, so to test it out I'll just use Squadron Hawk instead.
Cybishop, auramancer will be legal when M12 rotates in which is what this deck is made for. 

As for those of you who critize him not focusing on spiritdancer's +2/+2 ability, this is supposed to be a budget deck which is competetive.  Obviously it probably isn't as competetive as if you didn't have a budget (or if you didn't play this deck although who knows about the power level) but trying to be cute and make your spiritdancer big is stupid.  Your game plan becomes desperately trying to keep spiritdancer alive because if you have no spiritdancer in play, you lose.  The nice thing about this approach is that even with spiritdancer the deck isn't terrible and can probably have a decent win percentage against certain matchups.  The inclusion of spiritdancer gives the deck more options because in addition to having to deal with aura's that put them at a disadvantage, your opponents also have to worry about the fact that if you cast an aura with spirit dancer in play, you automatically get card advantage.  I like that Jacob presents the spike approach to having a budget.  He is restricted with his cardpool but is still trying to build a good deck.
No preview card? Why? Also, articles today seem to have been written by stand-ins, as (chocolate chip cookie) Doug(h by) Beyer('s) article seemed to imply the release date for M12 was THIS WEEKEND, psyching me out until I looked at the date. I'm confused and scared.
I think he is waiting to play these decks until after the banning takes affect. These decks are, after all, intended for a post Jace/Mystic Standard.

There was two real ways to go with this deck. The first, how he went, is White/Blue. The second, which several posters have suggested, is White/Green. Blue gives you the option of trying to control the field, so that your Kor Spiritdancer can keep pulling its tricks. However, he didn't go that route.

White/Green gives you access to great enchantments (including the best Umbras) as well as the two colors that like enchantments the most.  

MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green).

He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one."

I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred:

Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature.

Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself?

Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill.

Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it.

Him: You can't do that.

Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

Not UG? That's what I'm playing right now, haha. That way you get big Aura Gnarlids while sticking with his "avoid 2 for 1-ing yourself" strategy.


Anyway, played a few single games in the Tourny practice room with the following list:


Initial Conclusions:

Negate or Spell Pierce >> Mana Leak
You're not afraid of creatures. Like, at all. What you're afraid of are Swords and Removal and Nature's Claim and Kuldotha Rebirth and that Mass Polymorph I encountered one game.

Relies on their creatures too much, which basically means you're good vs. midrange, possibly Valakut (haven't found out yet), and nothing else.
Vs. Aggro your Mind Controls end up on something like Immolating Souleater (less than optimal) to stop yourself from dying, and VS. control they just don't play anything since you're not threatening and they just sit back on counterspells until they can play a Baneslayer or something with mana leak up (an instance where Spell Pierce is handy).

Volition Reins is not as good as it looks. The best I ever did was steal a Sword of Feast and Famine, equip, swing, and untap to play Sphinx. You can steal planeswalkers, but they all cost less than Reins, so they'll get at least one or two uses out of them before you take it. But if you don't have Reins? A huge problem because you have no other threats!

It was very cool to draw so many cards off of Kor Spiritdancer but I think I'm correct that we need at least one Eel Umbra or something like that in the deck (splash green?), just to get a cheap threat down to actually start doing damage.

Would Corrupted Conscience be better than Mind Control? Like I've been saying, there are very few threats in the deck, so diversifying infect and non-infect would not be the worst thing in the world (not great, but...). Against a fast start you need to block with your stolen creature anyway, so at least this would leave a mark.
Not saying we should; it's just a thought.

K, I'm done talking for now. Thoughts? 

Volition Reins is not as good as it looks. The .......You can steal planeswalkers, but they all cost less than Reins, so they'll get at least one or two uses out of them before you take it. ... 



It's incredibly powerful to let your opponent take his pw loyalty above the cost for the ultimate, then steal it and use the ultimate, so them having some uses before you can reins is not necessarily a bad thing.

If you are an old time MTG player like myself, this is a re-invention of an old favorite of mine.
A Blue-Green deck with...
verduran enchantress,
rabid wombat,
crown of the ages,
skull of orm, and
control magic
plus other benificial encahntment of the time...
web,
venom,
regeneration,
unstable mutation, and
counterspell


Lots of fun!
I love the deck composure and the mechanics, but isn't this under the heading of building on a budget?  to put this deck together that would be about $80 bucks that to me is not building on a budget.  What would be some good cards to use that wouldn't cost an arm and a let to get?
I love the deck composure and the mechanics, but isn't this under the heading of building on a budget?  to put this deck together that would be about $80 bucks that to me is not building on a budget.  What would be some good cards to use that wouldn't cost an arm and a let to get?



wtf? 

I make it under $40 on SCG (excluding sideboard, but there's nothing expensive in there anyway.) Even less than that if you have a few staple uncommons already. Price would be even lower on MTGO

Can't see much that you could cut from this deck to reduce costs apart from [insert white removal spell here) in place of dismember

The source I have (essential magic) shows the deck at $80. Even $40 is a high price for young kids to spend on making decks.  Articles on making good decks $20 or less would be more fitting for this section.  The other section could be renamed how to make decks if you have more money than sense. 
The source I have (essential magic) shows the deck at $80. Even $40 is a high price for young kids to spend on making decks.  Articles on making good decks $20 or less would be more fitting for this section.  The other section could be renamed how to make decks if you have more money than sense. 


This has been discussed many, many times before. Check the column's archives if you're curious. But to put it briefly:

Whether you like it or not $40 or even $80 just plain IS budget compared to top decks in Standard these days. Anyone can throw together a deck with whatever they feel like, but to make a deck that can win in competitive formats, well, it costs money. Sorry, but blame the Hasbro personnel who decide how many cards to print, or the economic forces on the secondary market in general.

The idea of pricing a deck as if one were building that exact deck from scratch is dumb because no one does or should do that. Your collection probably already has some cards in it, right? Trade some you don't want for some you do. Open a couple packs and if you don't get the rare you need for your deck, you might be able to trade what you do get for it. And some cards are more "budget-friendly" than their actual pricetag suggests, because they can go in lots of different decks. For example, a set of dual lands is good in any deck of those colors, and can be traded for any other set of dual lands. Or just don't include every single card you want. In the case of this deck, the only rare that's truly essential for it is the Kor Spiritdancer and those can be bought for $0.44, according to TCGPlayer (an aggregator I'd recommend in general, by the way), so that's really definitely budget for a rare card. If you have those, you could replace the other rares in this deck with pretty much anything.

Finally, JVL is interested in slightly more competitive decks built on a slightly less strict budget than previous columnists were and that's probably not going to change after all this time.
A W/G version of this that's a sort of combination of Trollhammer/Enchantress could be really cool, I think.  You get Aura Gnarlid, Thrun, the Last Troll, and Sacred Wolf to throw your auras on, and you can use more of the buff-style auras to go aggro while drawing you cards.  True, you don't get the amazing multi-draws off of stsuff like Spreading Seas, but the ability to cast auras without fear of having the creature removed from under them seems pretty nice.

Plus, with M12, we're getting Mesa Enchantress and some really cool auras, like Angelic Destiny (Which is only $7 at the moment and which will probably go down) and Oblivion Ring.  I think there's some real potential in this deck.
I tried this deck with a few changes to it:

For creatures, I added 4 of Mirran Crusader. They are cheap attackers that will be your win condition most games. I only ran 3 Auramancers and ran a single Hero of Bladehold in the fourth's stead.

As for noncreature spells, I beefed up the enchantments by adding 3 of Angelic Destiny. This combos very well with Mirran Crusader giving you a total of 12 hit points in a single blow. That can happen very easily on turn four.

To compensate for the added in cards, I dropped two Spreading Seas, two Volition Reins, and dropped two lands. I only play with one Tectonic Edge, since that was only what was available when I purchased the list, but I filled it's spot with basic Islands and Plains.

As for the Terramorphic Expanses, I decided to drop them and replace them instead with 4 of Glacial Fortress.

The decklist looks like this:

9 Plains
6 Island
4 Sejiri Refuge
4 Glacial Fortress
1 Tectonic Edge
(24 Lands)

4 Kor Spiritdancer
4 Mirran Crusader
4 Kor Firewalker
3 Auramancer
1 Hero of Bladehold
1 Sphinx of Jwar Isle
(17 Creatures)

4 Mind Control
4 Pacifism
3 Angelic Destiny
2 Volition Reins
2 Spreading Seas
2 Mana Leak
2 Dismember
(19 Other Spells)

As for the sideboard, I opted for this:

3 Norn's Annex
3 Arrest
4 Flashfreeze
3 Condemn
2 Mana Leak

Norn's Annex will help with smaller creatures and Splinter Twin/Deceiver Exarch combo decks. Arrest will help creatures such as Spellskite.

If the deck sees problems with Valakut, going 4 of with Spreading Seas would be a good option. The cantrip is exception off of this one when having one or more copies of Kor Spiritdancer on the field can instantly give you major card advantage.

Hmmm... I built a W/G version as well... but it needs a few more tweaks.

W/G Wizards and Druids v1.0

9 x Plains
6 x Forest
1 x Sunpetal Grove
4 x Graypelt Refuge
2 x Terramorphic Expanse
---
22 Lands

4 x Kor Spiritdancer
4 x Mesa Enchantress
2 x Umbra Mystic
2 x Auramancer
---
12 Creatures

4 x Hyena Umbra
2 x Bear Umbra
3 x Lifelink
3 x Canopy Cover
2 x Spirit Mantle
3 x Arachnus Web
4 x Forced Worship
4 x Oblivion Ring
---
25 Other Spells

1 x Druidic Satchel
---
1 Artifact

I dunno if I'll put copies of Aura Gnarlids on main board or will it be just for sideboard.

About the lands:

Maybe 2-3 more Sunpetal Groves and 2-3 Razorverge Thickets.

About the auras:

Forced Worship works fine especially when you're set up for a Canopy Covered creature.
Oblivion Ring as the main removal.
Arachnus Web... I dunno?
Spirit Mantle can be useful against flyers.
Hyena Umbra for First Strike
Bear Umbra for it's land-untapping ability.
Lifelink, uh... the name explains itself.

About the creatures:

Kor Spiritdancer and Mesa Enchantress are the main creatures.
Umbra Mystic for Totem Armor blessing.
and Auramancer for getting back spent auras from the graveyard.

Druidic Satchel for, uh... it looks fun.

Maybe adding 2 copies of Angelic Destiny can help, and the sideboard, maybe I'll think about it some other time.
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