Magic 2014 "Sword of the Samurai" Decklist & Strategies

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I think that Godo is too good to cut, even at 6 CMC.
Personally, I'm not feeling Indebted Samurai - I used to run the Unruly Mob in AG, but ended up cutting it out.

As far as lands go, I'm 12 plains, 10 mountains, and 1 expanse...I dont believe I've had any issues getting the mana I want in this deck, with only 1 expanse.

That's all I got...

 

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I'm going to hate myself for doing this without deck tags. Note: 2HG build. Probably works fine albeit slightly topheavy for duels.

14 Plains
7 Mountain
2 Terramorphic Expanse
Isamaru, Hound of Konda - Value, he haz it.
4 Devoted Retainer - Turn three Jitte, GO!
Path to Exile - I have a pulse.
2 Steelshaper's Gift - Almost went with just one to run more creatures, but nah.
4 Konda's Hatamoto - Only three cards trigger the bonus, but meh.
Hand of Honor - Deck's almost mono-White anyhow. Works for me.
Umezawa's Jitte - ...
No-Dachi - This + Fumiko = lol. Each combat phase, your opponents sacrifice a non-flying creature.
4 Lightning Helix - Duh.
Gift of Estates - Aggro decks used to run 18-20 land and four of these. Deck thinning, guarantee hitting five mana, what's not to like?
Masako the Humorless - I dunno, I think she's kind of lulzy.
4 Kitsune Blademaster - One of the best three drops for defence.
Sword of Fire and Ice - I hear double pro and card advantage is good.
Sword of War and Peace - I hear double pro and enormous life swings are good. Put both these on Hand and he's pro-everything-but-Green.
Nagao, Bound by Honor - Eh, why not?
Fumiko, the Lowblood - Mean gal. Toss some gear onto her and watch stuff suicide against her. Too bad Tenza doesn't make the cut or she could do sweet attacks.
3 Glory of Warfare - Four's too many. You end up with more GoW than critters out sometimes.
2 Stonehewer Giant - Uh, yes?
Takeno, Samurai General - I wish he didn't say "other." A guy who, by himself, is a vanilla 5/5 for 6 at Legendary would be fine. Mostly around because Hatamoto and 2HG.
Yosei, the Morning Star - I don't get how people can skip this. 5/5 flier for six, who does a near-Time Walk on death. Expensive but worth it.
Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang - Awesome to Godo/Stonehewer out. I don't run Godo, most folk do. BTW if you're not aware, Tatsumasa can only be blown up either in Sword form, or the dragon has to be bounced or exiled. Killing the dragon token just gets you the sword back. The equip cost is very reasonable, it's just the initial price that's a sting.

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

Good call Neo, saw them both in my first game and it wasn't good; cut them both for No-Dachi and Nagao. I think Godo is a bit expensive, but I can see the value. We'll see.

Honestly I'd kind of like room for Oathkeeper and Godo, but Godo is six mana in a 23 land deck, isn't a Samurai, and Stonehewer will get me an equip the same turn as well as pay the equip cost for me once, if Stonehewer lives a turn. On the other hand, any way to get Tatsumasa out for free is not to be scoffed at. Oathkeeper is just generally good, but it doesn't fill a niche like the others. No First Strike, Jitte counters, or Protections like the others, or huge size/versatility like Tatsu. Just +3/+1 and "you need to kill this guy twice before I can equip him again." Fumiko's the only one who really wants that kind of protection, although a +3/+1 Kitsune is a beast.

Sigh.

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

What do you guys think of the earlier flyer's in this deck? worth it or not worth it

 

In early testing ppl just chump blocked the swords. With the Araba mothriders you can get in some early sword work without getting chumped. I found it helpful with the sword of fire and ice and sword of war and peace

I'm running the Mothriders for that reason, but haven't played enough games yet; it feels like it should work, though.
Activating Stonehewer fetching Sword of Fire and Ice in response to Starstorm feels very, very good. That being said, with the amount of D&B I'm seeing in the ranked lobbies, this deck is a tough one to choose. Very difficult matchup.

So I've gotten in a substantial amount of testing with this deck tonight, and I must say that it has exceeded my expectations. It doesn't have quite the power level of HoC, but the mana is better and the deck is more consistent. Overall I was pretty pleased with the build I hashed out earlier, but there are some cards that I felt underperformed. They were:

Indebted Samurai - I chose to include this card because whenever I played against this deck, Samurai were dying left, right, and centre. I thought this guy would be good for that reason, but he is pretty weak for a 4-drop. I cut them both for No-Dachi and Nagao, Bound by Honor, which brings me to my next cuts:

No-Dachi - First-strike and a power-boost is great, but five mana is terribly expensive.

Masako the Humorless - It's hard to keep multiple creatures on board, and if you're swinging them sideways, you're probably winning. It is fun to have a flash creature with a cool ability, but she wasn't all that impactful and I never wanted to draw her.

Balefire Liege - I know, I must be crazy, but he really is underwhelming in this build. I have exactly zero multicolored creatures and the only multicolored spells I have are the four Helices and the three Glory of Warfares. Add to that the fact that almost every spell in this deck is white, and he doesn't help me finish the game at all. Don't get me wrong, lifegain is fine, but a five-mana 2/4 isn't all that great and that's all he really is here.

Isamaru, Hound of Konda - I feel he's only better than Devoted Retainer if you jam him on T1, and as a singleton that's pretty rare. I'm going to swap it for the Retainer to get some more synergy with creatures like Nagao and the soon-to-be-tested Iizuka and Takeno.

So, I have to find some replacements for the No-Dachi, Masako, and Liege. I am going to add these three cards:

Iizuka the Ruthless - This guy isn't terribly impressive, but he turns on Konda's Hatamoto and can sac a dude to push damage through. We'll see how it goes.

Takeno, Samurai General - This is my new Liege effect; sure it doesn't trigger when I cast anything, but I think he has the potential to be pretty good.

Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang - This replaces No-Dachi; if I'm going to have something expensive, it may as well be flashy! This also give me the ability to stall a lot longer when involved in a topdeck war, or finish the game. Stonehewer Giant absolutely loves this guy, as well.

Here's the new build:

They should have added Champion's helm or General's Kabuto instead of Konda's banner. It would have the same flavor and a better playablity.

True_Believer_02 wrote:

They should have added Champion's Helm or General's Kabuto instead of Konda's Banner. It would have the same flavor and a better playablity.

Just quoting your post to fix the autocards to see which cards your talking about.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

Iizuka; he strikes me as something you want if you're really invested in Stupid Jitte Tricks. Mainly; First Strike damage, get two counters, give +4/+4 for regular damage, and still walk off with two counters. A nice late-game use for stuff like Retainers who at best might function as a chump block otherwise. Not fond of the double Red, although I could probably fix that by going back to 13/8. I don't have anything currently underpeforming that I'd want to replace with him, though. Maybe Takeno, we'll see.

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

Am I the only one who isn't liking Glory of Warfare in this deck?

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I am Blue/White

megamaster125 wrote:

Am I the only one who isn't liking Glory of Warfare in this deck?

Mind if I ask why? Its a decent buff effect and a solid 4-CMC drop in a deck lacking other options.

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Mastergear_Owen wrote:

 

megamaster125 wrote:

Am I the only one who isn't liking Glory of Warfare in this deck?

 

Mind if I ask why? Its a decent buff effect and a solid 4-CMC drop in a deck lacking other options.

The buff is only really good if you have a lot of creatures out, and I find that I don't really want that in this deck. It's equipment focused, I'd rather have 1-2 dudes out with equipment that says "you need to kill every creature I equip this to" instead of having a small attack or defense boost, which ultimately doesn't help the survivability of them. I'd rather put my mana into playing equipment for my non-creature buff cards, instead of an enchantment that begs for you to overextend in a meta that suddenly has lots of mass removal.

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I am Blue/White

megamaster125 wrote:

The buff is only really good if you have a lot of creatures out, and I find that I don't really want that in this deck. It's equipment focused, I'd rather have 1-2 dudes out with equipment that says "you need to kill every creature I equip this to" instead of having a small attack or defense boost, which ultimately doesn't help the survivability of them. I'd rather put my mana into playing equipment for my non-creature buff cards, instead of an enchantment that begs for you to overextend in a meta that suddenly has lots of mass removal.

While what you say about having a smaller number of well equip creatures out is true I fail to see how having said few creatures further buffed is detrimental. Yes four mana is something of an investment but for a buff equal to that provided by the vast majority of your equipment isn't it worth it? Afterall its not like playing this denies you the opportunity to play a creature or pass some equipment around; its something you do to strengthen your board position, not something you do in lieu of it. Plus the deck generally has such a low CMC that it can easily afford to spend 4 mana as time progresses with plenty to spare. Also not to sound glib but isn't the answer to an enchantment begging overextension simply not to overextend? Don'y play spells just because you can is not deck specific advice thats just good advice in general.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

Hakeem I think you are three cards off of my current build, I am presently running the two call to glory and masako, and do not run Iizuka or Takeno. 

Masako has been underwhelming for me too, if she were a samurai I would keep her, but I will put her on the chopping block.

GoA, I think excluding oathkeeper is a mistake.  Same total cost to equip and play as the no daichi, but it gives an additional +1/+1 and makes your guys immune to sorcery speed removal.  A kitsune blademaster equipped with oathkeeper can kill a titan and live.  It certainly is not the jitte, but it is on par with the swords. 

As far as the D&B matchup, I was playing D&B versus a good samurai player.  Despite his skill in not overcommitting, I had the game well under control at 8 life with a fistful of cards.  He makes some play, maybe a sword of fire and ice, and I counter it.  I figure I can burn whatever else he casts.  But he resolves the white dragon, Yosei.  I am quite sure he has at least one lightning helix in his hand.  So I pongify it immediately. 

Big mistake.  I had no plays next turn, and the ape token plus two helixes finish me off before I can untap my land. 

Man, I really like giving First Strike to the things that don't have it, though. Fumiko especially. She's a beast with it. I mean I'd like to be running Oathkeeper, some Mothriders, and Godo, but there just is no room. I don't want to drop Hatamotos because they safely block Nissa's Chosen and Phantasmal Bear. Takeno comes online late, but he often just turns games around on his own too. Ugh. My big regret is there's no good way to pass around Trample and put all that Bushido to use.

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

So having actually played this deck against actual people now I have decided to alter a number of cards from the preliminary build I posted a while back and having nothing better to do thought I would discuss my reasoning (sue me its 07:00 and I can't sleep). For a reminder of the previous deck please follow the helpful 'reply to' link (assuming it works...).

Okay First What Did I Cut?
x3 Battle-Mad Ronin: I originally started to like these guys a lot during the unlocking phase of this deck but having played against people now I can say that reliability is much more important to me than... whatever reason I had for running them before. AI blocks more often or something I don't know.

x2 Call to Glory: It pained me to end up cutting these it really did. I love combat tricks and as far as they go this is a fun one. Unfortunately I was once again miss-sold there usefulness by the AI being far easier to bluff than an actual person. While not a terrible card by any stretch they have to make way for better things.

x1 Iizuka the Ruthless: Underperformed by almost every measure. I'm not running enough creatures to have easy sacrifices just lying around and even in the best of cases his ability was proving at best situational. Maybe if it just cost a life and not mana as well I would be better dispositioned towards him but I doubt it. Also for a 5-CMC drop he's kinda weedy.

x1 Takeno, Samurai General: 6 mana for a 3/3 body whose effect, while nice of paper, is more often than not a +1/+1. If only he were 3/4 he would at least not die to everything! For what its worth though he was basically the last cut and isn't terrible. If the current round of test cards doesn't work out he may find his way back into my deck eventually.

Okay So What Did You Add?
x1 Path to Exile: I still bemoan the logic of putting a single cards worth of dedicated removal in a deck (and single target no less) but as far as single-target removal goes its one of the best. I can no longer provide enough reasons to not include it.

x1 Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho: After admitting some unfamiliarity with what exactly the 2nd effect of this thing actual meant I could no longer see a reason not to include it. It's a powerful decently priced piece of gear and my 5/2 recursive Kitsune Blademasters are grateful for the gift.

x1 Balefire Liege: Yeah I know he underperforms in this deck (what with it being basically mono-white) and his lifegain effect is inferior to the direct damage one but he's still a +1/+1 in a deck of what amounts to 2/2's and its not like I will say no to incidental lifegain.

x2 Stonehewer Giant: ...I have no excuse for not running these before. I done goofed. These guys are awesome.

x1 Yosei, the Morning Star: Currently in as a test card. If nothing else his 5/5 Flying body is on curve and his death effect can by me some time as it tap things out. If he doesn't work out I will be trying the Dragon's Fang before Takeno makes his return to the deck.

So there ya have it. My new revised decklist! Thank you for your time and your patience.

x10 Mountain
x12 Plains
x2 Terramorphic Expanse

x1 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
x1 Path to Exile
x2 Steelshaper's Gift
x3 Araba Mothrider
x1 Hand of Honor
x4 Konda's Hatamoto
x4 Lightning Helix
x2 No-Dachi
x1 Umezawa's Jitte
x4 Kitsune Blademaster
x1 Masako the Humorless
x1 Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho
x1 Sword of Fire and Ice
x1 Sword of War and Peace
x1 Fumiko the Lowblood
x1 Nagao, Bound by Honor
x3 Glory of Warfare
x1 Balefire Liege
x2 Stonehewer Giant
x1 Yosei, the Morning Star

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

djAMPnz wrote:

 

True_Believer_02 wrote:

They should have added Champion's Helm or General's Kabuto instead of Konda's Banner. It would have the same flavor and a better playablity.

 

Just quoting your post to fix the autocards to see which cards your talking about.

Thanks. I think both would be good. Specially Champion's Helm, it has a legendary theme also, but it can be equipped to any creature.

3 Terramorphics in a 2 color deck is really not necessary in my experience.  I used to run 2 color decks in MTGO without ANY mana fixing and never had trouble.

This deck likes double strike. It sets of all the good equipment twice. Too bad it's hard to pull with the protection from red from the swords, Izuka being to slow and the Avatar of Slaughter to risky...

Mastergear_Owen wrote:

While what you say about having a smaller number of well equip creatures out is true I fail to see how having said few creatures further buffed is detrimental.

I never said it was detrimental (because it's certainly not). It's just not what I want to be doing.

Yes four mana is something of an investment but for a buff equal to that provided by the vast majority of your equipment isn't it worth it? Afterall its not like playing this denies you the opportunity to play a creature or pass some equipment around; its something you do to strengthen your board position, not something you do in lieu of it.

Actually, it does. If I have Glory of Warfare in my hand, that card could have been a creature that I need at the moment to hold all that juicy equipment. It's a terrible topdeck when you're looking for a creature. Then again, all of this could be said of the equipment too. But the thing is, you only want so many non-creature buff cards in a deck like this. It's not that Glory of Warfare is a bad card by any means, or that it can't be used in this deck. The issue is I'm not finding room in the deck where I'd want to have them over any of the other cards.

[quote[Plus the deck generally has such a low CMC that it can easily afford to spend 4 mana as time progresses with plenty to spare. Also not to sound glib but isn't the answer to an enchantment begging overextension simply not to overextend? Don'y play spells just because you can is not deck specific advice thats just good advice in general.

[/quote]

Yeah, you can not overextend. However, what's better? 1-2 guys getting buffed by GoW, or 3-4 guys? Idk, I seem to like playing this deck by having 1-2 weenies out and equiping them, forcing my opponent to use good removal on things like Devoted Retainer, and their mass removal not doing much, because I'll just replace the guys I lost with ones sitting in my hand. The defense boost doesn't really protect them from red removal, and the swords do that better anyways.

Duels of the Planeswalkers deck builds and analysis: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/dotp

 

Another one of my websites: http://megamaster125.angelfire.com/rationalchristianity/

 

I am Blue/White

Glory of Warfare, in my limited testing during the unlocking process, is a better and cheaper way of making your little creatures' attack actually matter for you opponent.

It's cheaper in that it supplies the same +2 attack buff as most of your equipment in a single 4 mana investment, whereas equipment cost at least that much to give the same buff to a single creature, and costs more every time you have to change it around. Without it, your creatures' attack can be ignored by your opponent.

It's better because it does not fold to instant removal like equipment when trying to equip them.

Is it wrong to make karate move sounds when you attack? :-p

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Mastergear_Owen's take on Magic 2014 Campaign.

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You know what I've got more issues. Whats up with the story in this game? The adverts said I was going to team up with Chandra and we were going to kick butt and chew bubblegum across the planes on a revenge campaign against some... guy she knew I guess? Who's Ramaz anyway? What do I get instead? I beat Chandra like 2 minutes in with a mono-green stompy thing Garruk gave me (why does he keep giving all these new planeswalkers his deck) and then I spent like 5 hours jumping from plane to plane picking up random nicknacks for her mantlepiece while she sits back back doing her nails or something. I was thrown in jail! I got hit by a Roil Storm twice! Do you know how many rats are on Ravnica, Chandra? All of them! All of the rats! All of the rats eating me!

Then we go kick her Ex's bearded-screaming-butt and what does she do to help? Nothing! She throws of the occasional fire ball and spends her time trying not to freeze to death. You should have worn pants Chandra. While we're on the subject what happened to your shoes? You had like Steelies on. Steelies are cool. Now your running around with stupid boots with like 5-inch heels? Thats not appropriate footware for Planeswalking! That's not appropriate footware for normal walking! At least Liliana is doing it for the whole 'evil is sexy' thing and can summon undead to carry her when she breaks her ankle. What are you going to do ride a Phoenix? Its made of fire! You'll fall right through! Man I should have gone Planeswalking with Liliana - yeah she'd crack my head open with a rock 5 minutes in and raise my corpse to serve her but at least we could have gone dancing!

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I understand what you're saying megamaster, but I feel that the equipment and Glory of Warfare are complementary cards. Your equipment wants you to turn someone sideways, so you can't defend with it unless you are constantly shifting it around; that's a huge mana investment and, in the case of the Swords, a risky move when you consider the protection aspect of it.

For me, Glory of Warfare is a primarily a defensive card in this deck; the back-end boost really helps the bushido creatures guard the fort while your equipment stays on an offensive creature. And in the rare case that you do manage to get three or more creatures to stick, Glory gives you a threatening presence.

The key is keeping a respectable creature count; I have 23 (counting Tatsumasa) and that seems like a good enough number to me.

I started on this deck last night, and getting those first few unlocks was a struggle. Out of box, it wasn't doing so great, but I can see a lot of value in the unlocks. Kitsune Blademaster has been MVP every match, he's so dangerous with, well, anything in his hands. He loves Glory of Warfare too.

I had flashbacks of 2013's Act of War when I saw a field with a bunch of weak weenies that we're trying to pump to make threatening, but so far I think it's more effective here. The Samurai aren't quite so sad, and Bushido makes a decent effort at defence. The equipment also helps, they're dangerous things that need to be dealt with. I don't think AoW had anything that causes quite the same scramble that Umezawa's Jitte hitting the board does.

You have enough removal - just barely - to make unlocking versus Teeth of Akoum pretty easy. Or go up against MotD. 4x Last Gasp isn't really going to hold you back much. Once you get this unlocked, it's pretty beastly. I've been running this in 2HG recently to counteract all the SM/D&B I've been seeing - pretty much every matchup has one of the two being used. The former goes into the foetal position at the sight of Jitte, and for the latter you have a card that says "Protection from Your Deck." It partners well with anything that can provide spot removal; FW, DW, LoD, et cetera, to wipe up the stuff SoFaI and Jitte can't kill.

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

I had Fumika with an attached Jitte against SM recently and tore his army to shreds; her Bushido is insane, and Jitte's lifegain got me through the early swings, then switched into removal mode picking off the remnants. It was ridiculous fun (for me) to survive that match on 2 life through a triple Joraga Warcaller draw (only two had counters, but still).

Fumiko does so much to sell this deck. If you've got 3-4 guys down with a GoW or two, you can just laugh and laugh as enemies repeatedly suicide like lemmings into your guys. It's great. Part of the reason to include Yosei too, keep the skies guarded.

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

In all fairness, though, my opponent wasn't the swiftest because he lost several creatures to her that he shouldn't have, like Timberwatch Elf, Wellwisher, and Fauna Shaman (though he may have had no creatures to pitch, can't remember). It was still awesome, though!
You know GoA, I'm fairly confident in my cuts, but I haven't tested Iizuka, Takeno, or Tatsumaso. Even still, I can't help bit think Takeno is just going to be an easier-to-kill Liege that provides no more of a buff if he sticks. Perhaps Yosei would be a better six-drop because this deck doesn't really have anything that's very scary on its own. Actually, I think I will test Yosei first and then ask myself would I rather have Takeno whenever I draw him; my gut is telling me the answer is going to be "no" an awful lot more often.

It's a shame that without Trample, Takeno + Fumiko is kind of a waste.

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

GodOfAtheism wrote:

It's a shame that without Trample, Takeno + Fumiko is kind of a waste.

Tenza, Godo's Maul can give Fumiko trample.

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I am Blue/White

Man, i think we have the almost the same build.

 

I've added

Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang

Godo, Bandit Warlord

 

And i removed a land and Isamaru, Hound of Konda

BTW.

Anybody have thougts on tatsumasa, dragon fang?

 

So far i won a game vs zombies with tatsumasa's blue dragon and a sword. He kept on killing my little creatures but could not get rid of the dragon. Token goes to the graveyard and next turn i get a new dragon

I got it resolved vs DB with the same outcome. I over loaded his counters by dropping a early jitte and then he counter/burned all my creatures. Then the sword fell.

 

 

megamaster125 wrote:

 

GodOfAtheism wrote:

It's a shame that without Trample, Takeno + Fumiko is kind of a waste.

 

Tenza, Godo's Maul can give Fumiko trample.

Yeah, but is otherwise pretty much useless. Only Iizuka, Godo, and Fumiko can put it to full use. It gives some extra oomph to Nagao, Takeno, and Masako, and makes Yosei nuts, but that's it. Overpriced Leonin Scimitar on everything else. Even at best, Nagao, Takeno, and usually Iizuka would be better off with Oathkeeper, which I'm not running (although ironically, I may take Takeno out for it.)

Wizards: If it isn't game design, we can't do it right. Frankly, we're kind of shaky on the game design sometimes too.

Has anyone considered the addition of the damage assignment order to the combat damage step in 2014 would make show of valour better than had it been included in the previous game versions. For instance, you can block a 5/5 with 2 1/1s (with bushido 1) and use show of valour on the first 1/1 in the damage assignment order to save both AND kill the 5/5.

Robvalue: Copy target bug or glitch. You may choose a new card for the copy...

Will never buy games made by Arena Net again.

Will not buy Duel 2015 until 2HG reinstated.

 

Grei wrote:

Orc_Welfin wrote:
 I've removed content from this thread. 


Nice to know removing content is a company wide policy.

I feel like this deck demands very careful planning, which is cool.  It's usually a bad idea to just lay creatures "because I have the mana"; with a full set of Lightning Helix, an Intimidation Bolt, Mana Tithe, etc. you have ways of holding the game back until you can get out Equipment, and hopefully you won't have to play too many creatures without being able to immediately equip them to help them survive.

 

Did anyone find out what card has animations on this deck?I didn't see yet.

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