Deck Building Challenge!

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So one of my friends challenged me to make a deck using one of the...er..."under-rated" cards to be found in Magic:  Ribbon Snake.  It's not for lack of trying - the poor thing WANTS to fly, but because it's wings are made of rhystic magic, anyone can clip them.  It brings a tear to my eye, really.  Not that it would be that comfortable for it to fly...I mean, look at it's wings - they're on the SIDE of the poor thing.  He'd be flying sideways and I bet that's really disorienting.  I don't think the mage that gave him the wings in the first place really thought it through...oh, right, tangents.

For the challenge, I've attempted to look at some basic elements reguarding this card:
1)  Creature type.  In Kamigawa there are several cards that give boosts to Snakes and could even take advantage of the fact that it's a flier.  Green/Blue would be an interesting choice and could beef up our soaring serpent enough that it doesn't even really need to fly to do massive damage to a player.

2)  It has flying, but it can loose it.  Being able to use this to your advantage is easy - if you're using green.  Squall is an evil card (Anyone who knows me knows I use Angels in any deck I can get away with), but if your opponent has an army of fliers and you want to throw this at them, ground your snake and summon up a storm.  Then next turn the skies are all his.  Again, this stratagem would lean towards a Green/Blue.

3)  The opponent is also able to make him loose flying.  So finding a reason for them to NOT WANT to do it or find the Snake less of a threat than my other spells and wasting their mana on those other creatures/spells/what-have-yous before they realize that the snake is going to sift through their ranks and take a little chunk out of their life total could be a kind of strategim - have a lot of powerful spells or abilities that the opponent could spend their mana on rather than worrying about a little snake could have it's benifits.  For this, Propaganda comes to mind.

That...is where my problem lies.  I can't seem to get further than this.  I've never been that good at building non-white decks.  Nor do I have the resources to create a snake deck at this time, and I'm always better if I could at least see and feel the cards right in front of me.

Have any of you tried to make a deck utilizing Ribbon Snake?  If so, how did you go about doing so?

Here the decks that you have helped me build so far:
:G::U: Snakes


:R::W::U: Damned if you do...
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The real problem is that he predates the creature inflation. He is so far under the curve that he is just buried. It is like trying to make a burn deck around shock instead of lightning bolt. You are missing a 3rd of your value right off to bat.

delver of secrets is a 3/2 flyer (instead of 2/3 and power is more important) for one mana. For THREE mana you can get a 2/2 flying with undying and no disadvantages.

That means no one is going to bother building around him as a general rule. He has just been outdated.
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As skeindubh already said Ribbon Snake is just too deep under the curve to be build around. So we have to know if your friends challenge is to build a deck with Ribbon Snake in it (quite doable) or a deck centered around Ribbon Snake (quite impossible).

In the first case I'd suggest a snake tribal with Ribbon Snake and Phyrexian Splicer (<- probably the card with best synergy with Ribbon Snake used either in response to the opponent letting lose Ribbon Snake flying or proactive to give another critter flying (<- see gatherer ruling -> works even if opponent reacts to the Phyrexian Splicer by using Ribbon Snakes ability)). Include some critters that like evasion (Ohran Viper) and some Hurricane-like effects (Phyrexian Splicer to give opponents critters flying if needed) and you could build a somewhat decent deck.

If the ladder is the case ..... if the Phyrexian Splicer-interaction doesn't count as building around, you should abandon the challenge and not waste your time.

~DocGrog

Edit: fixed some strange formattin issues
It was less centering around the card and making a deck that could utilize it.  I've never even heard of that Splicer - but I think it would definitely help out and would go along with the second point I was trying to make.  Either that, or as soon as they ground him I can let the splicer give him wings again!

That being said, if I want to be able to target him, perhaps I should avoid things that give it shroud.  I think I'm starting to get an idea of what the deck should consist of...but it feels like it's missing something...

Creatures (20)
2x Mystic Snake
2x Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro
4x Orochi Leafcaller
4x Ribbon Snake
2x Phyrexian Splicer
4x Matsu-Tribe Sniper
2x Lorescale Coatl

Other Spells (18)
3x Shielding Plax
3x Squall
3x Hurricane
3x Spidersilk Armor
3x Disperse
3x Invert the Skies

Land (22)
2x Flooded Grove
4x Hinterland Harbor
4x Island
12x Forest

Thoughts?
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Either that, or as soon as they ground him I can let the splicer give him wings again!



Not him, but another of your critters ("another target creature gains that ability...")

Creatures (20)
...
2x Phyrexian Splicer


He isn't a creature ;)

4x Matsu-Tribe Sniper


Nice one.

3x Disperse


Run Echoing Truth or Into the Roil

You might try to incorporate Sosuke's Summons, Coiling Oracle and/or Patagia Viper.

Well, you could build something that makes your opponent NOT want to pay the mana.

Like, oh, Manabarbs.

Load up on non-land mana producers, spells like Rhystic Study, Well of Knowledge or Rhystic Lightning, and watch your opponent squirm.

But yeah, these cards are near unplayable when compared with current creatures/spells.
I was going to suggest that you go down the concerted effort route myself.

With ribbon snake it makes them want to pay the mana cost because otherwise all your creatures fly putting them down two mana each turn, then run something like akroma to give your creatures everything and start swinging
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@ DocGrog:
1)  ...huh!  You're right.  XD;  Oops!
2)  Lol, I did something right!
3)  I think I'd prefer the Echoing Truth - can't believe I forgot about it!

Thanks for the critique.    I really do like the Coiling Oracle and those Sosuke's Summons.  I'll see what I can do to add those things into it.


@VRdragoon:
See, I was trying to think of things that would do exactly that!  So do you think I should add red into the deck or swap out the green for red?

@Cogminded:
That's actually what my Angel deck is geared around - I'm familiar with the playing style of that kind of deck.  Do you think a white/blue deck would work better than a green/blue in this case?
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I can build around any card. How good do you want it to be though?
I think it could be, in fairness I could see it being an interesting lockdown deck.

Thoughts: :U::R::W: using mana barbs as a threat against flooring your ribbon snake, concerted effort to lure them into it, moat for protection and then some counter magic and so on to slow your friend down. Spice with some burn to taste.
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@ChaosLight:
Pretty decent - it doesn't need to be competative good, but something that has a decent fighting chance.

@Cogminded:
Hmm, interesting!  My favorite color combination has always been White/Red, but adding blue would be neat.  Also:  I love how you made it sound like a recipie.  XD

Edit:  I'm going to start posting the decks we make in the first post of this forum.
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ok, this is straight outta left field, but its a good place to start:



I have no idea what your available land are, so I guess that is up to you.

Honorable mentions:
Propaganda
Excise
Acidic Soil
Abolish

First two are great vs. Aggro, last two vs. control.

This is such a troll deck. Mana Barbs + citadel of pain is rude. Landing personal sanctuary pretty much seals the deal. Barbs turns mana leak into a lightning bolt if they want to keep the spell. Ribbon Snake serves as your consistant source of damage, since getting hit or paying for it to lose flying result in the same net life loss.

ok, this is straight outta left field, but its a good place to start:



I have no idea what your available land are, so I guess that is up to you.

Honorable mentions:
Propaganda
Excise
Acidic Soil
Abolish

First two are great vs. Aggro, last two vs. control.

This is such a troll deck. Mana Barbs + citadel of pain is rude. Landing personal sanctuary pretty much seals the deal. Barbs turns mana leak into a lightning bolt if they want to keep the spell. Ribbon Snake serves as your consistant source of damage, since getting hit or paying for it to lose flying result in the same net life loss.




More or less what I was going to do, so I guess I better find another option..
@VRDragoon:
Ooh, I like!  It has the elements of a very speedy deck.  I also like you're 'honorable mentions' there - I might have to actually make this.  I'm going to post a little variation up on the first post.

@ChaosLight:
Great minds think alike?  ^ ^;  I appreciate that you're still working on another idea.  :P
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Kt'Lahn (Last Update: Oct 22, 2010)
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