Why did it have to be snakes? (U/G Endless Swarm)

22 posts / 0 new
Last post
So I recently opened a Saviors booster and pulled my first Epic spell, Endless Swarm, and immediately decided I had to build a deck around it.

I'm still very much in the brainstorming phase, so rather than just a decklist, I thought I'd post a 'rule of 9' list and explain the thought process behind my choices.

Note that my playgroup is very casual and multiplayer-oriented, with most people having been playing for less than a year, so I'm not looking to make the deck hyper competitive. Though I guess that goes without saying, since I'm posting it in the Casual Decks forum...

At any rate, the list:


1. Endless Swarm

The whole point of the deck is to build a deck around Endless Swarm. It would be very silly to not include Endless Swarm in the deck.


2. Twincast

What's better than casting an Epic spell? Lots of things. But in this case, I was thinking casting multiple Epic spells. Twincast seems to be the most cost-efficient way to accomplish this.


3. Parallel Lives

Since the endgame for this deck is 'lots of tokens', and I don't have a hundred bucks to casually throw at a Doubling Season playset, Parallel Lives seems like the most straightforward way to ramp up my mass production of snakes.


4. Paradox Haze

Since the Epic ability triggers on each of my upkeeps, the next most straightforward way to get the most out of Endless Swarm is to have more upkeeps.


5. Howling Mine

The effectiveness of Endless Swarm is also based on the number of cards in my hand, so having a way to get more cards in my hand seems like a good idea. It also helps ensure that I actually draw Endless Swarm in the first place.


6. Wheel of Sun and Moon

The combination of Paradox Haze and Howling Mine is a fantastic way to deck myself, but that's not the goal of this deck. I need a way to keep the card draw flowing without running out of cards to draw, and Wheel of Sun and Moon accomplishes this while also softening the blow of removal spells.


7. Ivory Tower

I'm already two thirds of the way to nine, and so far I don't have anything to make sure I live long enough to actually do anything. Ivory Tower turns my accelerated card draw and extra upkeeps into lifegain and relieves some of the pressure from aggressive players.


8. Coiling Oracle
9. Sakura-Tribe Scout

Lifegain is nice, but most times I'd rather have bodies to block with. The Scout and the Oracle provide these, as well as draw/mana acceleration. Plus they're 1/1 snakes, which fits with the theme of the deck.


That's the core of the hypothetical deck.

Assumming a full hand, a single resolved Swarm, and one each for the Mine, Haze, and Lives, I would be getting 34 snake tokens per turn. 68 if I manage to Twincast it, and it just gets more ridiculous from there. I could throw in a Coat of Arms, but I honestly think that would be overkill.

That said, I don't think there's much need to run more than two Swarms, and there's certainly room to trim a few more cards here and there. My main concern is getting the combo set up quickly, and living that long in the first place. Having some Moonfolk might not be a bad idea, since I won't really need my lands after the Swarm resolves.

Any thoughts on what to add or cut would be appreciated.
you need to be able to survive long enough to cast your 8 mana spell, and just a few 1/1's and some lifegain isnt gonna make it happen.
Yup. Manaramp.
you need to be able to survive long enough to cast your 8 mana spell, and just a few 1/1's and some lifegain isnt gonna make it happen.




In 1v1, it absolutely isn't going to make it happen.

A 6-8+ player game where I'm not doing anything obviously threatening, and even helping everyone else by giving them free cards with Howling Mine is a completely different story.

I agree that what I've got listed isn't enough on it's own. That's why I'm asking for suggestions, as opposed to blanket statements of the obvious.

Yup. Manaramp.



Any specific suggestions?
Since I'm running Epic, and thinking of adding Moonfolk, I think Walking Atlas is worth considering.
Apparently, you're collecting different cards that mainly help you once you have played Endless Swarm, but you should rather make a deck which also works perfectly fine when you ~don't~ manage to cast Endless Swarm.. For example, there are many cards with cycling that have abilities when you cycle them like Complicate + Death Pulse + Solar Blast, and there are many cards that activate when you're cycling cards like Lightning Rift + Withering Hex + Astral Slide.. So, you could make a cycling deck where you focus on producing creature tokens, and where Endless Swarm is a little bonus card which doesn't hinder you from cycling cards and from activating abilities.. And if you would like to sacrifice your creature tokens, don't forget about Reassembling Skeleton that can be "played" and then sacrificed again and again!
Wheel of the Sun and Moon does not combine well with having no maximum hand size once you're restricted to only casting your Epic spell. How do you intend to get cards back into your library if you're not discarding them?
Epic has no effect on your maximum hand size. I intend to get cards back into my library by discarding them normally.
Epic has no effect on your maximum hand size. I intend to get cards back into my library by discarding them normally.

Ah. My mistake, I was under the impression that Ivory Tower was a strickly better spellbook.
Okay, you still run into a problem however. You're running howling mine. If you do not have a number of cards in your library divisible by the number of cards you draw each turn when you cast the epic spell, you will die. I suggest making your card draw more controlable, and building your deck around the theme of the spell rather than the spell itself, so that if you can't cast it, you don't automatically lose.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Let's see....if I were building an Endless Swarm deck.....



An effective build for sure, but not the direction I'm looking to take this. Besides, I don't have room for shocklands in my budget, especially the ones that haven't dropped in price yet.

Garruk Wildspeaker is a solid addition I was already considering, though. If I can get him out with two Simic Growth Chambers, that's 8 mana for Endless Swarm right there.
howling mine won't help you get more snakes, if that's what you were going for, since the turn goes untap upkeep then draw step so you'ld be draw and discarding at the end of your turn, granted it would be good leading up to playing epic storm and getting up to 7 cards, but not past that. maybe consider saproling cluster if you don't use a a 'no hand size' card, so you can chuck excess cards for extra creatures
howling mine won't help you get more snakes



Son of a..

Why do I keep thinking Howling Mine triggers during upkeep?
Massive RTFC error on my part.


That certainly changes things.
Hmm..

Keep the Howling Mines, but maybe only run three. Lose Wheel of Sun and Moon, and add Parallel Thoughts as anti-self-mill/tutor, ditch Ivory Tower in favor of Venser's Journal, add a lot more ramp, and throw in Tamiyo for good measure.

Not overly practical, but practicality was never my primary concern.
you know what does trigger during your upkeep?  Bottled Cloister, which also helps protect you against discard, most of which is sorcery speed.

Reliquary Tower, if you don't already have it, is a must for a deck like this.
I do know Bottled Cloister, but there's already a deck in my playgroup that runs it with Howling Mine and Parallel Thoughts. If it looks like I'm playing something similar, it'll put a bigger target on my back than I'd prefer.

Never seen a discard deck in my group, though, so that's not a huge concern.


I agree that Reliquary Tower is a no-brainer now that I've ditched the Wheels, though.
why limit yourself by what someone else plays?  Cloisters are perfect for this deck, not running them because someone else does is like saying "my friend's green deck runs Birds of Paradise so I can't run it in mine"

I don't know your playgroup, but in mine Bottled Cloister would put a target on my head because it leaves me helpless during their turn, not because someone else plays it.  I run Ensnaring Bridge to compensate for that though 
Oh come on, don't encourage him or her to make a deck that's mainly consisting of (otherwise useless!) cards that are only supposed to increase the power of Endless Swarm.. 90% of the cards in the deck should allow you to survive until you're able to cast eight-mana cards, and that's pretty difficult! It's much easier with Enduring Ideal, because you'll be running enchantments like Ghostly Prison that can help you survive long enough.. Did you consider building around Worm Harvest, that's much stronger and causes you less problems?
I already suggested Bottled Cloister + Ensnaring Bridge, which should help against attacks and any disruption you might encounter.  I guess all you need after that is stuff to keep you alive until you can get those two cards out (or whatever you use to protect yourself).

there should be plenty in blue.  Propaganda is one of my favorites for slowing down creatures.  I've also recently become a fan of Foresee because it can really power through your deck when you need it to, which is nice when you're really digging for a specific card. 
Oh come on, don't encourage him or her to make a deck that's mainly consisting of (otherwise useless!) cards that are only supposed to increase the power of Endless Swarm



In case it wasn't clear, that's the entire point of the deck.

As I said, practicality isn't a huge concern.
Oh come on, don't encourage him or her to make a deck that's mainly consisting of (otherwise useless!) cards that are only supposed to increase the power of Endless Swarm



In case it wasn't clear, that's the entire point of the deck.

As I said, practicality isn't a huge concern.



If that's the case then the deck is bound to fail fairly continually, unless you can find a reliable way of getting Endless Swarm into play within the first few turns. Even in multi-player games, once your group figures out what the deck does, they're not going to hang about and let it happen just because it takes ages to build up. They're going to knock you out first while you're the guy in the weakest position, before you suddenly become the guy in the strongest position. Either that or they'll just save up a counterspell or two, ready for when you try to play your Swarm. There's just no way this is going to work against any group of halfway decent players with halfway decent decks.
worship, especially with a land that you can turn into a creature if need be, such as inkmoth nexus
epic struggle
touch of the eternal

solitary confinement + genesis in the graveyard is a soft lock that doesn't require casting spells. (lots of other cards to use instead of genesis, such as maleovent awakening, myr reservoir, trading post )
Sign In to post comments