Carnival of Blood Re-Thought

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I really enjoyed playing the Carnival of Blood deck during FNM so I thought I would tweek it a little to help it along:

(Note: Bloodline Keeper's are in the mail and should arive shortly) 

  Carnival of Blood Modified 60 cards


12 [C]Mountain[/C]
12 [C]Swamp[/C]

24 lands

2 [C]Victim of Night[/C]
2 [C]Tribute to Hunger[/C]
2 [C]Maw of the Mire[/C]
2 [C]Curse of Death's Hold[/C]
1 [C]Traitorous Blood[/C]
2 [C]Vampiric Fury[/C]
2 [C]Curse of Stalked Prey[/C]
1 [C]Furor of the Bitten[/C]

14 other Spells

1 [C]Olivia Voldaren[/C]
2 [C]Blood Seeker[/C]
4 [C]Falkenrath Noble[/C]
1 [C]Stromkirk Patrol[/C]
2 [C]Manor Skeleton[/C]
2 [C]Stromkirk Noble[/C]
2 [C]Rakish Heir[/C]
1 [C]Bloodcrazed Neonate[/C]
1 [C]Balefire Dragon[/C]
2 [C]Instigator Gang[/C]
1 [C]Dragon's Claw[/C]
3 [C]Trepanation Blade[/C]

21 creatures

Sideboard

1 [C]Army of the Damned[/C]
1 [C]Fireball[/C]
1 [C]Heartless Summoning[/C]
2 [C]Into the Maw of Hell[/C]
1 [C]Night Terrors[/C]
2 [C]Stromkirk Patrol[/C]
1 [C]Tectonic Rift[/C]
2 [C]Tribute to Hunger[/C]
2 [C]Victim of the Night[/C]
2 [C]Witchbane Orb[/C]

15 Card Sideboard
This deck has some good cards in it but its not focused towards any real plan. For example: Stromkirk noble is a really good play on turn one. If you can drop a curse of stalked prey on turn two, even better. The chanses of pulling it off are very slim with only two copies of each so we need to cut the fat to make room for better stuff...

These are the core cards i would start with. Both noble and Neonate have the +1+1 counter thing going for them. Creatrue removal so these guys can get through for damage would be good, and why not pump them at the same time...
Lets add some Volt Charge.
You allready mentioned Bloodline Keeper which is solid...
With Illusions and one toughness creatures running around lets add Gut shot.

The list i would start with would look more like this:

[deck]
8 Mountain
8 Swamp
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Blackcleave Cliffs

4 Doom Blade
4 Tribute to Hunger
4 Curse of Stalked Prey
4 Volt Charge
3 Gut shot
2 Black sun's zenith

2 Sorin Markov

2 Olivia Voldaren
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Bloodcrazed Neonate
3 Bloodline keeper
[/deck]
This deck has some good cards in it but its not focused towards any real plan. For example: Stromkirk noble is a really good play on turn one. If you can drop a curse of stalked prey on turn two, even better. The chanses of pulling it off are very slim with only two copies of each so we need to cut the fat to make room for better stuff...

These are the core cards i would start with. Both noble and Neonate have the +1+1 counter thing going for them. Creatrue removal so these guys can get through for damage would be good, and why not pump them at the same time...
Lets add some Volt Charge.
You allready mentioned Bloodline Keeper which is solid...
With Illusions and one toughness creatures running around lets add Gut shot.

The list i would start with would look more like this:

[deck]
8 Mountain
8 Swamp
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Blackcleave Cliffs

4 Doom Blade
4 Tribute to Hunger
4 Curse of Stalked Prey
4 Volt Charge
3 Gut shot
2 Black sun's zenith

2 Sorin Markov

2 Olivia Voldaren
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Bloodcrazed Neonate
3 Bloodline keeper
[/deck]




except I would turn those Gut Shot's into Geistflames. The way that list is looking so far Chandra, the Firebrand may be a little better that sorin markov. 2 reasons why: Your opponents life should already be at 10 by the time you can pay for sorin markov and 2 once the game's progressed to the point that you have 6 mana and 3 black sources, doing 2 damage shouldn't be that significant anymore.
The first thing I should mention is that a lot of your spells and creatures are underwhelming, and the ones that are good really should go up to 4 copies (usually).  Also, your sideboard makes very little sense, and looks more like a collection of cards that didn't make it into your maindeck opposed to specific answers for troublesome decks in your meta.  Here's a revised list, and I must warn you, I am going to do some aggressive chopping, and am not going to be keeping a specific budget in mind.  

Creatures: 24
4 Stromkirk Noble - Arguably the best 1 drop creature in standard.  You want 4
4 Bloodline Keeper - A compete house, even if he doesn't flip.
4 Adaptive Automaton - Gives all your dudes +1/+1.  I like him over Rakish Heir since he doesn't require your guys to get a hit in before the bonus takes effect.  
4 Vampire Interloper - Probably the default 2 drop creature for black/red.  2 power and flying work in the deck.
2 Olivia Voldaren - This card is insane.  Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.  If she stays on the table she wins games.  
3 Rakish Heir - Good, but not great, since you have to actually connect with your creatures before they get a bonus.  I was hovering between a 4:2 split of this and Bloodcrazed Neonate, and just decided to go 3:3
3 Bloodcrazed Neonate - A decent 2 drop.  Not exciting, but decent.  

Spells: 12
4 Brimestone Volley - A great burn spell.  The fact that it can potentially do 5 to somebody from nowhere is amazing.  
4 Doom Blade - Probably the best spot removal for your deck, since there is very little black running around these days
4 Geistflame or Gut Shot - There's enough 1 toughness that both are relevant.  Geistflame provides card advantage, but gutshot can cost 0.  I personally prefer Geistflame, but it's your call.  

Lands:  24
4 Dragonskull Summit - A strict improvement over a basic if you can afford it.
4 Blackcleave Cliffs - See above
3 Stensia Bloodhall - It gives you reach in the late game, helping push through those last few points of damage.  
7 Mountains - You have a slight bias towards red in the deck, as reflected in the additional mountain.  
6 Swamps

Sideboard:  15
3 Arc Trail
4 Tribute to Hunger
3 Sever the Bloodline
3 Curse of Death's Hold
2 Witchbane Orb

Now to explain what I did.  

The first thing I did was go through your list and cut the cards I don't like (mainly because they aren't that good, but also because of other factors, such as not working in the direction of your deck)
Vicitim of Night:  I cut this because of the double-mana cost.  The increased difficulty in casting this in your deck doesn't offset the increase in power, so I replaced it with Doom Blade (which is a better choice over Go for the Throat because there are so few black decks in the current meta).  
Tribute to Hunger:  In a slower deck I'd play them in the main, in yours they're better in the side against decks with a lot of hexproof creatures or only a few large threats.  
Maw of the Mire:  Generally speaking, targeted land destruction is bad, and this is no exception.  By the time you cast this they usually won't care about a land, so really all you are doing is paying 5 to gain 1 life, which is not  good.
Curse of Death's Hold:  Sideboard material against aggro deck and MAYBE against Inkmoth decks, not maindeckable.
Traitorous Blood:  Usually you'd rather just have another creature or removal spell, so I cut it.
Vampiric Fury:  The effect just isn't worth a card in standard.
Curse of Stalked Prey:  Some people like this.  I don't, mainly because it is so easy for this to just sit on the table doing nothing.  Having another creature or spell is probably better.  
Blood Seeker:  Maybe sideboardable against tokens, but in the main deck this doesn't do much against most decks.  
Falkenrath Noble:  Same as Blood Seeker
Stromkirk Patrol:  Too expensive for what you get.  
Manor Skeleton:  Too small, and not a very good creature.  There are better choices.  
Balefire Dragon:  Far to expensive for this deck.  Olivia Voldaren already tops out your curve.
Instigator Gang:  I've found that they don't flip enough to be relevant.  Although it is an interesting card, I personally think replacing it with something smaller and faster would be better.  
Dragons Claw:  As a general rule, life gain is bad unless it comes attached to something that's good.  A do-nothing artifact is not good.
Trepanation Blade:  This is just a bad card.  The variance is too high and for every time you flip 10 cards you are going to have 40 times where you flip a land.  

Hope this helps  

I appreciate the feed back and critisism. I probably should have prefaced this whole thing with a little background on myself.

I played MTG up until '99 and then took a break for real life. I'm just now getting back into the game. Carnival of Blood was a great way to pick up a deck and start playing and the cards I've put into it are what I've gotten from Boosters or Trade. 

One thing I am trying to do is avoid adding too many cards from the previous Block. Like most people I'm on a budget and I'd rather not invest in cards I cannot use in two years, though indiviual cards may still be worth while.

Please keep the feedback comming. I'll look and see what I have (or can afford) and tweek the deck a bit further.    
Cut Blood Seeker and Dragon's Claw, and make it a full Innistrad deck.
If you are concerned about what to invest in, here are a few rough pointers.  

1) Pick up the lands, particularly Dragonskull Summit.  Wizards has effectively acknowledged that the M10 land cycle is their perfectly balanced rare-dual land, so it will probably continue to see print for years.  Along those lines, Doom Blade is also worth picking up, especially since it's a common.   Stensia Bloodhall is cheap enough that picking up 3 shouldn't be an issue.  If you avoid any land, the Blackcleave Cliffs are only good for another year and are probably at their high point in price right now, so avoid them.  

2)Cut the Adaptive Automaton from my suggestions for more cheap creatures or removal.  They will likely rotate at the end of the season.  

3) Get the Stromkirk Nobles before the Dark Ascension Spoiler season starts, preferably now.  There is bound to be something good in the spoilers which will get players talking about RDW or BR vampires (vampires itself is, realistically speaking, a 2 drop and a card advantage spell away from being at least T2) so those will likely go up in value if you wait to long.  This is a bit of a gamble, but a reasonable one.  

4)  Watch the price of Olivia Voldaren.  Right now it's at about 12-14 dollars.  If it drops to between 8 and 10, pick up a playset.  She's also a reasonable long-term investment, as she is an INCREDIBLE BR creature at a good CMC, so she'll likely be playable throughout her entire standard career, and she's got enough casual appeal she won't completely tank in value.  

5) Consider drafting instead.  I've done some math, and realistically speaking drafting isn't as expensive as people think it is.  Considering that you need to invest at least 100 dollars in a standard deck that has a realistic shot of doing well at FNM, and your average draft costs no more than 15 dollars, assuming a constant win rate across both draft and constructed, as well as opening zero value in your draft decks, after no fewer than 10 nights of magic does drafting become more expensive than constructed.  When you also factor in the fact that drafting will help you build your card pool, you will open at least some value each week (a dual land, a 5 dollar rare, etc), and that you'll never get board with or have to update your deck when your draft deck, drafting all of a sudden makes more sense economically.  

One thing I am trying to do is avoid adding too many cards from the previous Block. Like most people I'm on a budget and I'd rather not invest in cards I cannot use in two years, though indiviual cards may still be worth while.



Just so you know, your Innistrad cards will rotate out in a couple years. Scars block will rotate next fall. If I were you I would pick up the cards Regal Fanton mentions. You really cant compete in a standard environment running a block deck (especially when there is only one set realeased for said block) but you can certainly build a standard deck on a budget.

*BUMPS*

Wasn't sure if I should make a new thread with this one not TOO old.

I am trying to tune Carnival of Blood up. Despite being aggressive, it still seems a bit slow.

I have the deck as posted on the intro pack page.

I also have these uncommon, rare, and mythic vamps...

1 Olivia Voldaren 
2 Stromkirk Noble
1 Stromkirk Captain
1 Markov Blademaster

and, of course, all the common vamps that came in DKA. However, I don't think chosen of markov, falkenrath torturer, or the rare Fiend of the Shadows fit too well in a B/R vamps deck, being more suited to a B/W "vampire thrall village" deck.

I'm thinking 2 if not all of the bloodcrazed neonates can go to make room for these. Also not a big fan of the blood seekers or the child of night which will probably go to make room as well. I also think I might be able to put something better at the high end than the Stromkirk Patrol. A chancellor of the dross, maybe?

For support spells, I don't think the Diabolic Tutor is needed.

For removal, fireball is nice, but I'm thinking that Fires of undeath fit the colors pretty well and might be a little more flexible. Also thinking about making room for Doom Blade and Volt Charge. Losing the child of night, I also lose my lifelink and might have trouble racing against a red burn/aggro sort of deck. Consume spirit might work well here, but the fact this deck is not mono black might limit its usefulness (but this might be alleviated if I can come up with some blackcleave cliffs or dragonskull summits.

Thoughts? I don't have a whole lot of scars block cards, or before, really. But given a few scars cards and a few more innistrad, what would help this deck work?
Basically, run sligh splashing black.  Check out my list in the RDW thread.  This is terrible, just terrible.  It's not your fault, intro packs are horrifyingly bad.  If we get some okay vamps in AVR, we could have a decent deck on our hands, but right now, there's really not enough decent vamps for a deck.
Basically, run sligh splashing black.  Check out my list in the RDW thread.  This is terrible, just terrible.  It's not your fault, intro packs are horrifyingly bad.  If we get some okay vamps in AVR, we could have a decent deck on our hands, but right now, there's really not enough decent vamps for a deck.



This...
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
?

That's a thought, and not that unusual. Locally in my meta, most RDW variants are running Stromkirk Nobles.

I could come up with the shrines easy enough, but I'm not likely to buy or stumble across any SoWaP anytime soon. I do have a SoFaF and 2 SoBaM, though.

Of course playing with shrines will make want to make all my vamps red or R/B ones. Honestly, the only mono-black vamp in standard I am loath to part with because he has helped me get there in games is the Falkenrath Noble.
Falkenrath Noble's not very good, you'll be fine without him.  Doesn't even have haste.
Falkenrath Noble's not very good, you'll be fine without him.  Doesn't even have haste.



Haste/attacking the other player directly isn't what he's there for. If the ground is clean, I'm assuming all the growy vamps will do the work. But once wall of tokens comes up and it's time to clean the board with a Slagstorm, the extra life buys me time to get my guys on the board and cranking away again.

Similarly, he punishes other players for playing wrath effects, etc.
Falkenrath Noble costs 4, so you won't be playing him UNTIL there's a massive wall of token up, in which case you'll have already used it to chump his 7/7 Champion of the Parish to avoid dying.
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