08/24/2011 BoaB: "Refining Illusions"

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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.
Phantasmal images and phyrexian metamorphs and lord of the unreals make it a bit budget unfriendly, don't you think? I suppose it's not that bad, but standard has recently gotten cheaper to play, so i was hoping for something that didn't include 4 of the format's hottest illusions.
Please play this deck every time against me.  Mono red eats this alive.  Staggerschock = double vindicate?  Yes please!
Also, grim lavamancer makes this deck cry.
Phantasmal images and phyrexian metamorphs and lord of the unreals make it a bit budget unfriendly, don't you think? I suppose it's not that bad, but standard has recently gotten cheaper to play, so i was hoping for something that didn't include 4 of the format's hottest illusions.


Not to mention the Wurmcoil Engines and Dismembers in the sideboard... Using CardShark.com, the Wurmcoils go for $8 each, Dismembers are $3.74 each, Phantasmal Image is $4.50 each, Phyrexian Metamorph is $3.27 each, Lord of the Unreal is $2 each... Those added up are $63 for 16 cards.

Four Tectonic Edges are another $6. Same with four Grand Architects. The rest is negligible, but that's still $75+. Not quite what I would define as budget.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Eh, just consider this the 'adding money' section to the previous illusions article. People have been asking for a detailed section on it for a while, and for more budget decks, so if you consider it like that it's win/win really ;)
Either he makes a bad deck that's cheap; and you guys hate it—

Or he makes a good deck for a good price; and you guys hate it.


Newsflash: he can't break the format every week. Also, $100 is barely enough to do anything in T2 Dailies short of auto-lose. 
Start with Griffin's deck.
-1 Halimar Depths
-1 Island
-4 Renegade Doppleganger
-1 Phantasmal Dragon
-1 Ponder
-1 Mana Leak

+4 Grand Architect
+3 Phyrexian Metamorphs
+4 Spell Pierce

You can't tell me that Jacob's deck is cheaper than Griffin's.  If the tourney decks are cheaper than the BoaB decks, there's a problem...
Who exactly was it playing against him in the second match? Because Inferno Titan should've just killed the Dragon and Bear with one damage each and then gotten in for 6 rather than three damage. Also the Arc Trail in the second match could've dealt with a Bear in addition to the Lord of the Unreal. Really a poor example of the deck's matchup against Kibler's brew, and red decks in general (though Wormcoil Engines are sic sideboarded threats against those decks).
Either he makes a bad deck that's cheap; and you guys hate it—

Or he makes a good deck for a good price; and you guys hate it.


Newsflash: he can't break the format every week. Also, $100 is barely enough to do anything in T2 Dailies short of auto-lose. 

"He can't break the format every week."
Thank you for having a level head.
Who exactly was it playing against him in the second match? Because Inferno Titan should've just killed the Dragon and Bear with one damage each and then gotten in for 6 rather than three damage. Also the Arc Trail in the second match could've dealt with a Bear in addition to the Lord of the Unreal. Really a poor example of the deck's matchup against Kibler's brew, and red decks in general (though Wormcoil Engines are sic sideboarded threats against those decks).


The Phantasmal Image copied Lord of the Unreal. This gives all Illusions hexproof, including itself, even after the original lord leaves the battlefield. I had to double read it to though, it seems like the sort of situation the red player would go 'wait, why can't I target it?' for ten seconds before figuring it out
Who exactly was it playing against him in the second match? Because Inferno Titan should've just killed the Dragon and Bear with one damage each and then gotten in for 6 rather than three damage.

Nope, he couldn't. There was still a Phantasmal Image acting as Lord of the Unreal around.

Edit: Beaten by Anubis Cool
Either he makes a bad deck that's cheap; and you guys hate it—

Or he makes a good deck for a good price; and you guys hate it.


Newsflash: he can't break the format every week. Also, $100 is barely enough to do anything in T2 Dailies short of auto-lose. 



First, I think the only real time people have complained about the decks, is when they arn't original (like the near copy of a deck played at a tournament or sent to him).
Second, the article is called Building on a Budget, not Breaking Standard.
Third, although everyone has their own opinions on what is a worthy budget, $75 misses much of his audience. (Though, how much is it online? I believe most of the checking they do for price is done there.)
Lastly, none of these decks (save the unbudget ones) ever have a chance at winning a tournament. Most will never see a game past a Friday Night Magic tournament. This is not where people come to find out ways to win in Standard. We don't care if you take one of his decks to a tournament and you never even do a single point of damage.

We just want reasonably priced decks that can win in a casual environment or low level tournaments (with some tweaking)



Who exactly was it playing against him in the second match? Because Inferno Titan should've just killed the Dragon and Bear with one damage each and then gotten in for 6 rather than three damage. Also the Arc Trail in the second match could've dealt with a Bear in addition to the Lord of the Unreal. Really a poor example of the deck's matchup against Kibler's brew, and red decks in general (though Wormcoil Engines are sic sideboarded threats against those decks).



The Inferno Titan couldn't target his creatures because of the Phantasmal Image that had copied Lord of the Unreal.
In the second match, the targeting for Arc Trail must be done before the spell resolves. At that time, the Lord of the Unreal was still alive and protecting the Phantasmal Bear 


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.

Please play this deck every time against me.  Mono red eats this alive.  Staggerschock = double vindicate?  Yes please!



Staggershock = 3-mana doom blade or shock + doom blade against this deck. If you cast Staggershock on an Illusion, the illusion is sacrificed before the staggershock resolves, so you never get the rebound because the shock is countered for lack of legal targets.
I have already accepted the fact that the author is using a Spike's version of budget.

Nevertheless, the deck looks pretty interesting.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
What about his first opponent?  Waiting on the combo may be possible sometimes but you can't wait until you are in a word dead.  Perhaps he should have tried to go off earlier.

Ia actually really like the unbudget version.  I believe the budget version, with fewer shapeshifters would have conceded to a lone Inferno Titan.  I'm pretty sure the optimal version maximizes on lords and shapeshifters (4x Lord of the Unreal, 4x Grand Architect, 4x Phantasmal Image, 4x Phyrexian Metamorph).  In this way, it reminds me a ton of Legacy fish decks that run a very similar concoction of lords.  With a small compliment of draw and counters, it truly is a solid fish style deck that Standard hasn't seen in a while.  I also like the Wurmcoil Engine, a singleton main would be nice imo.  Copying them completely breaks certain decks.  Of course, the focus of the deck then becomes lords and copying them, possibly using Grand Architect to accelerate into it.  Of course, then I doubt that this is truly an Illusion deck, or maintains the feel of the orginal budget deck.  Basically, it is a Lord/Clone deck that merely uses Illusions rather than focusing on them.  
I like having an optional gradient of budget-ness and Illusions was my favorite colum JvL has done. So I'm not opposed to this column.
I have already accepted the fact that the author is using a Spike's version of budget.

Nevertheless, the deck looks pretty interesting.


No offense, but if you're not playing to win, why do you need a weekly colum to help you build your decks? I'm definitely not this column's biggest fan or anything, but I'd much rather JVL show off powerful decks for <$100 than a bunch of From The Lab brews that, while interesting, will never win a tournament. Hell, I wouldn't even mind if he built decks that ran things like Zendikar fetches that, realistically, every semi-serious deckbuilder should have invested in months ago. Cards like that are never difficult to sell off when you're done with them, so the actual monetary cost of them for someone willing to invest a little time and effort is never too high.

Now, for the real reason I'm posting:

If we got many, many more articles in this style, I would be a very happy camper. One of my big complaints about this column is that the decks tend to feel half-baked. You've presented a list here that I would not be ashamed to take to a PTQ, which is exactly what I want to see in these articles. +1 from me on "refining deck X" becoming a regular feature here.

I've been working on a Grand Architect deck myself, and this article inspired me to give Lord of the Unreal a try in Azure Mage's slot (since I'm already running the 8-pack of cheap illusions). I can't say for sure which is better yet, but since my lategame backup plan was more about Inkmoth Nexus/Contagion Engine than drawing a bunch of cards with the mage, I have a feeling I'm going to be pleasantly surprised. UU for a 2/2 is almost playable on it's own, and the interaction with Image is definitely powerful. The current, working list is spoilered, if anyone on the forums is interested:

Show

4x Inkmoth Nexus
17x Island

4x Signal Pest
4x Phantasmal Bear
4x Phantasmal Image
4x Lord of the Unreal
4x Spined Thopter
4x Grand Architect
4x Treasure Mage
4x Phyrexian Metamorph
2x Wurmcoil Engine

1x Contagion Engine
2x Gixtian Probe
2x Into the Roil

Sideboard
1x Mindslaver
4x Negate
2x Into the Roil
4x Spellskite
4x EMPTY SLOT

(fwiw, I'm building this to survive the rotation, hence 4x into the roil's being the only Zen/M11 cards. I'm banking on Innistrad having a suitable replacement, since Disperse is kinda terrible)


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i have seen him got slaughtered when he posted budget decks. you gotta understand that budget decks are mostly bad decks. and 75 dollars is not expensive in magic world. only deck cheaper than this is probably pauper.
I think all of the problems of this column would be solved if they would just change the title to "providing cheap netdecks you can copy to beat up on people in the casual room," since that is really all that this column does successfully.  It does not teach creative deckbuilding, and it does not teach how to build decks you can take to a real tournament.
When stating that this deck is not budget...are you starting with nothing?? Or are you startign with cards that you already assumably have if you're really purchasing new BOAB decks every week.

I ask, because I think that if you're starting with the old Illusions deck from a few weeks ago, and are simply buying some peices to upgrade it, then this deck is considered "budget friendly".     You don't have to re-buy cards that you already have, you know???  

I like seeing how a deck evolves as the format changes.  I hope that this trend continues.    
Please play this deck every time against me.  Mono red eats this alive.  Staggerschock = double vindicate?  Yes please!



Staggershock = 3-mana doom blade or shock + doom blade against this deck. If you cast Staggershock on an Illusion, the illusion is sacrificed before the staggershock resolves, so you never get the rebound because the shock is countered for lack of legal targets.

Kill Lord.  Kill bear?
When a Wurmcoil Engine gets copied it will normally result in both players gaining a bunch of life. 

This I don't get.

Please play this deck every time against me.  Mono red eats this alive.  Staggerschock = double vindicate?  Yes please!



Staggershock = 3-mana doom blade or shock + doom blade against this deck. If you cast Staggershock on an Illusion, the illusion is sacrificed before the staggershock resolves, so you never get the rebound because the shock is countered for lack of legal targets.

Kill Lord.  Kill bear?

That's the mystical dream scenario. Lord of the Unreal is pretty much the only creature that will die to a Staggershock and let it resolve at the same time, and what kind of sane player throws a Lord naked into a board of Mountains? It makes way more sense to wait until 4 mana to play Lord+Image, or play it the turn after a Grand Architect. 
I have already accepted the fact that the author is using a Spike's version of budget.

Nevertheless, the deck looks pretty interesting.


No offense, but if you're not playing to win, why do you need a weekly colum to help you build your decks? I'm definitely not this column's biggest fan or anything, but I'd much rather JVL show off powerful decks for <$100 than a bunch of From The Lab brews that, while interesting, will never win a tournament. Hell, I wouldn't even mind if he built decks that ran things like Zendikar fetches that, realistically, every semi-serious deckbuilder should have invested in months ago. Cards like that are never difficult to sell off when you're done with them, so the actual monetary cost of them for someone willing to invest a little time and effort is never too high.





Because this column used to make some reasonable, somewhat non Johnny, casual decks that can win against other casual players for a very small amount of money.  This article wasn't focused on making decks for winning FNMs or any other serious tournament under previous authors.  Then JVL comes in and tries to make this column into a Spike column.

I could care less, but the people who complain about the fact that the decks only follow a Spike's version of a budget do care.  Not everyone plays solely to win, others play for fun and look for fun deck ideas even though they might not win too many games (and certainly won't win many real tournaments).
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
When a Wurmcoil Engine gets copied it will normally result in both players gaining a bunch of life. 

This I don't get.


Specifically, when your Wurmcoil Engine gets copied by your opponent.

I have already accepted the fact that the author is using a Spike's version of budget.

Nevertheless, the deck looks pretty interesting.


No offense, but if you're not playing to win, why do you need a weekly colum to help you build your decks? I'm definitely not this column's biggest fan or anything, but I'd much rather JVL show off powerful decks for <$100 than a bunch of From The Lab brews that, while interesting, will never win a tournament. Hell, I wouldn't even mind if he built decks that ran things like Zendikar fetches that, realistically, every semi-serious deckbuilder should have invested in months ago. Cards like that are never difficult to sell off when you're done with them, so the actual monetary cost of them for someone willing to invest a little time and effort is never too high.





Because this column used to make some reasonable, somewhat non Johnny, casual decks that can win against other casual players for a very small amount of money.  This article wasn't focused on making decks for winning FNMs or any other serious tournament under previous authors.  Then JVL comes in and tries to make this column into a Spike column.

I could care less, but the people who complain about the fact that the decks only follow a Spike's version of a budget do care.  Not everyone plays solely to win, others play for fun and look for fun deck ideas even though they might not win too many games (and certainly won't win many real tournaments).



Where in my post did I say that everyone plays to win? What I asked was, if you're not playing to win, why do you need help building budget lists? Half an hour on gatherer with the commons filter on, a trip to your FLGS, and you've got a deck for under $10. Magic only gets expensive when you're playing in a tournament scene, so it makes sense that the budget column would be "spikey". If you want "cool/fun" deck ideas, read from the lab. NdC does 2-3 decks a week there.

While I can't speak to the guy(s) between JVL and JMS (I took a pretty long break from reading DailyMtg), I can tell you that when I started reading Nate Heiss' column back in 2004, it was very much aware of the tournament scene. The decks tended to be targeted more at FNM's than GP's, but they were always designed to give the player at least a chance of winning something. There were definitely some misses (not unlike the current BoaB) that were better suited for the casual room, but the goal was a tournament-playable 75 every week with suggestions on how to improve the deck with a larger budget. JMS shifted the column's identity to a much more casual one, but even he strongly recommended "spike budget" things like buying dual lands early in a format and using them throughout. tl;dr: This hasn't always been a casual column. It has always changed depending on the author.
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Personally I'm not understanding why people aren't adding White. Sun Titan + Phantasmal Image is a very strong play.

It also gives you access to O-Rings.

I'm not convinced Mono-blue is the right way to go with this, but I will admit that my Grand Architects looked kind of dumb sometimes when I couldn't affect my Illusions that had turned into Sun Titans.
Personally I'm not understanding why people aren't adding White. Sun Titan + Phantasmal Image is a very strong play.

It also gives you access to O-Rings.

I'm not convinced Mono-blue is the right way to go with this, but I will admit that my Grand Architects looked kind of dumb sometimes when I couldn't affect my Illusions that had turned into Sun Titans.



I like to keep my deck mono blue to keep the mana curve down to promote the deck's agressiveness.  Wurmcoil Engine / Steel Hellkite can be cheated out cheap with Grand Architect, so their mana cost of 6 is not as harsh as the Sun Titan's CMC of 6.

Admittedly though, Sun Titan + Phantasmal Image is a very powerful combo.
Personally I'm not understanding why people aren't adding White. Sun Titan + Phantasmal Image is a very strong play.

It also gives you access to O-Rings.

I'm not convinced Mono-blue is the right way to go with this, but I will admit that my Grand Architects looked kind of dumb sometimes when I couldn't affect my Illusions that had turned into Sun Titans.



Because by the time you're playing a U/W aggro-control deck with 6 drops that are not being cheated out, why are you not just playing cawblade?
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You should look at Darwin Kastle's RDW deck from Nats, since that looks pretty high powered compared to budget, as the only really expensive cards are Chandra's Phoenix, goblin guide and kargan dragonlord, with dismembers in the side. That's only like 50 bucks, and it's very likely people will be able to mooch some off people.
There have been quite a few good points made since I posted my original "not a budget" post, and I've come up with a few counterpoints of my own, so I formally apologize to JVL. It's true that, as a refining article, it should be assumed that you already have all of the cards from the previous deck, so this is actually pretty budget on that assumption. I'm still not a fan of the two Wurmcoil Engines, but without those I could accept this deck as budget.

In truth, it's likely impossible to build truly budget decks every week. It's not impossible to build one or two: A Burn + Aggro red deck could easily be competitive for really cheap, and I myself have built a mono-black vampire deck (way back during Zendikar; it hasn't been updated since Worldwake) for less than $20 that did fairly well for me in FNMs (defeating Caw Go and Valakut; I only lost to a far less budget mirror match). However, considering the author has to come up with a fresh, interesting deck each week, restricting himself to $20 or even $50 is probably impossible.

One thing I definitely would like to see, though, is the playtesting being used for something. As it stands, he builds a deck, tests it, and then calls it quits. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the point of playtesting to see what works and what doesn't, and then adjust the deck accordingly? What's the point of giving us the playtest match narration if it's not used for anything?

And also, as has been suggested, more of the "improving for less of a budget" would be nice; it would allow the author to please the cheaper-budget advocates and the more-competitive advocates at the same time.
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I had an entire splinter twin deck shipped to me for 100 bucks.  Ub control is basically in that range as well now.  What is the point of this column?  His decks are barely cheaper than tier 1 options, why not just play a tier 1 deck instead?  I don't even see anymore what this column is trying to do.  It doesn't matter if the deck wins, if it's not budget it shouldn't be here.  He could post a budget caw blade list(all you need is the swords guys... you can just use basic lands!) and maybe it'd win but it'd just be forced and everyone would know it was a strictly worse version.  This column is entirely useless... it serves no purpose to anyone now.
(preceding statements cut for length) ...but that's still $75+. Not quite what I would define as budget.



...what? Back when Lorwyn was Standard legal, Fae cost $300 if not more. Jund was around the same. And then Mythic happened and Standard decks started costing $700 to $1000 or so. (And have fluctuated around there ever since.)

Maybe my definition of budget is different from yours, but if I can get a viable Standard deck (even a viable tier-2 deck) for $75, I'd be pretty frickin' over-joyed.

EDIT: I haven't followed Standard since the Jace and Mystic bannings. Some of you claim that tier-1 decks are dirt cheap costing less than $100 now. If that's true, then maybe my beliefs have been warped by X years of tier-1 decks costing $300+. Too bad I have no interest in playing a format so close to rotation.
Deck is $100 with a few budget friendly drops (Disperse over Into the Roil for example) but I'm still gonna build it and tweak it, I think there's room to play with the illusions concept, with and without GA and huge artifacts.

I know I'm putting Mindslaver in my sideboard :D

Also, the reason why this deck belongs in a budget column despite the $100 price tag is that it functions perfectly without the damn uberexpensive lands like fetches, tarpits, etc.  Any deck that can do that with an easy manabase (mono blue) has my vote. 
Please play this deck every time against me.  Mono red eats this alive.  Staggerschock = double vindicate?  Yes please!



Staggershock = 3-mana doom blade or shock + doom blade against this deck. If you cast Staggershock on an Illusion, the illusion is sacrificed before the staggershock resolves, so you never get the rebound because the shock is countered for lack of legal targets.

Kill Lord.  Kill bear?

That's the mystical dream scenario. Lord of the Unreal is pretty much the only creature that will die to a Staggershock and let it resolve at the same time, and what kind of sane player throws a Lord naked into a board of Mountains? It makes way more sense to wait until 4 mana to play Lord+Image, or play it the turn after a Grand Architect. 

Sure.  Turn 1 you do nothing?  I play goblin guide.  Turn 2 you do nothing because you dont want your lord to die?  I play ember hauler.  Turn 3 you play grand architect?  I play teetering peaks, searing blaze, gg?
Is it just me, or does anyone else think this might be a good deck to build for use post rotation?


It's only going to be losing a couple of cards, and they aren't among the most important ones.


Also, it doesn't seem like there would be a particularly high chance of excessively powerful counters to it coming out in the next block, as it should be capable of countering most any creature card that is used against it, but possibly not spells or lands to some extent.
Greetings, fellow Magic The Gathering players,

I have a story for you (NOTE: DECK RELATED).

As a young lad, I saw kids at boy scout camp and in middle school playing the game known as Magic The Gathering, but at that time in my life, my thirst for fantasy-based gaming was being slaked by other means. The gauntlet of intrigue that magic had thrown at my feet did not exceed the critical mass necessary to inspire my pursuit.  The time was not right.

 A couple months ago, I happened to be hanging out with a new friend and upon some minor querying learned that she was actually a big videogame dork, just like me.  "What is your favorite game?" I asked.  "Oh, Magic The Gathering," she answered nonchalantly. "Magic The Gathering?"  I naively questioned.  "Is there much to that game?" What a fool I was.  My life was about to be changed.  My path had crossed with divine providence, and it was shortly after that moment that I received my formal introduction to Magic The Gathering.

From my first game on her lame XBox MTG game (no offense, WOTC, love what you do), I was hooked.  I came home and immediately downloaded the almost equally-as-lame (save the challenges) DoTP 2012 on Steam, for my ability to conceive of online fantasy-based card game greatness had not yet expanded to the degree to which Magic The Gathering Online would bestow knowledge of its existence upon my consciousness.  After slaving away like a Goblin Piker on the mountain of rudimentary Magic The Gathering gameplay knowledge for the better part of a month, I was granted sight of the tiniest hint of a precious, sacred, luster hidden between the red mountain rocks of internet forums.  I had learned of the existence of Magic The Gathering Online.

I started by making a planeswalker deck.  "This is great," I thought--"I can finally build my own deck." My eyes quickly grew weary, though, from the constant reflection of computer desk lamp light off of the non-tradable golden card borders. I started drafting and came to a somewhat startling realization:

I ****ing suck at Magic The Gathering.  

Humbly, like a poorly drawn white deck granted a second chance at life by Timely Reinforcements after being brought within inches of death, I started reading about combinations and limited strategies and watching videos, all the while doing as much drafting as my meager foreign English teacher allowance would allow. I learned a little here, I learned a little there, and like a flimsy yet hopeful Cloud Sprite given a shot at a starting hand, I began to slowly chip away at the 20 life-count of noobish, gameplay ignorance.

Finally, as though I personally had drawn two consecutive, real life Diabolical Tutors (with the appropriate amount of swamps and concrete-jungle colorless lands near my apartment to play them) and had the chance to search not just mine own library but from that of the entire M12 core set, I was bestowed with two planeswalkers in two consecutive drafts.  The ignorance was leaving, the tomes of knowledge had been cracked.  I made it to the final round of a draft.  This, clearly, was a sign.  It was time to build an at least semi-nonsucky, Constructed Standard deck.

I began reading like mad.  What's this? A "Building on a Budget" column?  Perfect for me, I thought.  Unfortunately, for the quest to become great at Magic the Gathering to continue, my bodily requirement for basic nutrients and sustenance must be met, and thus I was unable to afford the purchase of eighty-seven Birthing Pods, Sun Titans, and Wurmcoil Engines in addition to the remuneration that the sale of the drafted planeswalkers produced.   

Smitten by the "Refining Illusions" deck, I began gallivanting through the marketplace with eyes peeled for men adorned in gleaming jewelry making plans for buildings and lords of things that did not appear to be real.  I patiently navigated the robot vendors, waiting at times for up to a full eight seconds just for mere acknowledgement from the robots, all for the chance to grab at mythical and ursine holographic images. Eventually, the unthinkable happened: I finished making the deck.

The casual play room had its ceiling torn off by a hurricane of magic-playing excitement.  Win over a white deck.  Loss to insane artifact deck. Win over a blue black control deck.  Win over a green creature deck.  Win over a mono-red deck, thanks to the help of the use of the Turn Aside common and the buried ruins land, placed in the deck instead of other cards in anticipation of the coming set release and changes to Standard.  

Holy ****.

I was winning most of my games.  One thing that I have been struck by is the courtesy and the well-wishing extended by magic players to one another.  As a man with a soft core myself, I've enjoyed basking in the warm glow of casual online friendship afforded to me by the players of MTGO.  Certainly, I wouldn't want any worm-ridden apples to get into my newly found basket of fellow kind-hearted magic the gathering players.  Thankfully, the glory of my new Illusion deck revealed to me a worm-ridden BDD (black-deck douche), one of the worst kinds of player-apple of them all, who began the match by talking a bit of ****, but who, in the end, in spite of having a top tier vampire deck, was slain by a hexproof, illusory dragon and thoughtful countering.  He would not be outted were he not such a poor sport, but alas, i give you the winning counter:


 
he then proceeded to sit and run his timer out in an attempt to get me to concede so I could play again, which I gladly waited for.  Victory was had!  Glory to the illusion deck!


Safe Journeys, friends,

Jong
This is my most recent take on an illusion deck :
18 islands
4 tectonic edge
4 lords of the unreal
4 phantasmal images
3 phantasmal dragon
3 phantasmal bears
3 phantasmal warrior
3 imaginary pet
2 meloku the clouded mirror
3 lightening greaves
2 deprive
4 into the roll
4 condesend
3 dismember

Let me know what you think about it