Magic 2014 "Lords of Darkness" Decklist & Strategy

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That's a silly question.

Halo Hunter can kill black creatures.

Yes, but it is not very good against black.  Against every non-black deck, I would rather have a doom blade or a hideous end (excepting izzet).  Thus, I think it is a valid concern.

2 + 2 = fish

I do have to conceed that a T5 Lord of the Void is a nice prospect, but I think that swapping 4 cards out just so I can pull that trick sometimes isn't worth it.  His ability is better, if he hits the opponent, so there's that.  But his evasion isn't as good and Halo Hunter does the same 6 damage. 

I don't have a final build because I haven't fully unlocked the deck.  I'm just throwing random ideas out there to see what sticks and this will help me decide on a final build.

Doom Blade is only 1 mana less.  I'm paying life for several things in this deck, so I like to keep my opponent atleast close.  I play a lot of the imps right now and they can take a while to kill someone so the 2 damage gets me there quicker.  I see it as a doom blade with a colorless shock attached to it. 

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

I get that, Hakeem. I just think that T4 Reaper or T5 Rune-Scarred are better than T5 Halo Hunter even with -1/-1 on both of them.

Still want to know what monk runs atm, because my build is almost a copy of what he used a while ago.

mjack33 wrote:
Yes, but it is not very good against black.  Against every non-black deck, I would rather have a doom blade or a hideous end (excepting izzet).  Thus, I think it is a valid concern.

Against every non-black deck it doesn't matter what your removal is.  And against said non-black deck, Halo Hunter is getting in for 6 unblocked unless removed.  I don't understand why one card would be concerned with what the other card is doing and why the comparison was drawn.

Against Black it's still a 6/3.  It'll kill pretty much everything it gets into combat with and can handle a lot of the 2/2 and weaker creatures in those decks.  You can't have everything.

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

@sixty, also, no matter whether or not you are running the ramp, I think the single copy of reaper from the abyss is worth running.  His effect makes it very painful if you use him as a blocker, and he combos with tons of your other things.  He also is a 6/6 flier for 6, even if you don't care about the effect.

On a side note, how is this dude not legendary?  What kind of place has more than one of these, and how can I avoid it if at all possible?

2 + 2 = fish

This forum still needs fixing.

2 + 2 = fish

But we get to the point mjack has already mentioned - Halo Hunter is only useful in non-black matches whereas early summoned due to HS demons are useful in every match up :)

How many lands do you run? 26 seems like to be the key to no-HS build.

I get your point, but still think that 2 mana instant is better then 3 mana one. Only life-costing cards in my build are Promise of Power and Bloodgifts's ability. With first almost always fetching me Tendrills or Cirrupt to regain these 5 life.

Honestly, I say there is nothing wrong with running HS as long as it is an option and not your means to your end.

2 + 2 = fish

I do like that guy, and I also like the 5/5 deathtouch card drawer too.  Like I said, I haven't fleshed out my build completely, hell I still have the 2/2 flier for 2 life in my deck.  I'll probably end up only running 2 Halo Hunters, but I want all 3 of the 5/4 card draw engines and the R-S Demon which already puts me at 6 big ass demons.  8 might be the limit for a non-HS build so a Reaper and Deathtoucher might make into the build.  But I also really like Lord of the Void, I just don't think you need him to win with this deck.  If I can't pull out wins with the other cards available I don't know what's wrong with me. 

I think that's what is turning be off of the "Heartless Summoning/big ass demon" build.  I don't think I should have to work that hard for a win, or rely so heavily on actually getting a HS in my opening hand.  HS also screws nearly all of my Imps!  Why would I want a 2/1 that sweeps 3 damage to all players?  A 3/2 kills a lot more creatures than a 2/1 does.  And I certainly don't want my Soot Imps to be 0/1s. 

And what do you do when you top deck a 2nd HS?  Once one is in play, the other two a dead cards.  And if you get to 6 or 7 land before you draw your first, then all 3 are dead. If this deck has some enchantment removal of it's own, I might run this card as I could drop 3 big demons and then remove my on HS, but no, we can't have cool things to play with.

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

Yeah, I agree with that. If HS is not in my hand till T3 I still got tons of removal and 4 cheap creatures to help me survive till arrival of first Bloodgift/Halo Hunter/Shadowborn.

I like Halo Hunter, BTW, I run 2.Its just he has a different purposes if I got HS on the table - to catch a removal and save next demon from it or deal as much damage as he can before dying to mass sweeper with the rest of opponent's creatures. He rarely gets to survive longer than 1-2 turns after I cast him

No, I don't think that you _need_ Lord of the Void to win, you just need him in your deck :)

I don't think anyone here even runs Bloodcages or Foul Imps :) Soot is just fine with HS, IMO. He still bites opponent regardless of his stats. Festering is actually better with HS - you instantly kill any x/1 guys and get free death for Reaper or Harvester.

HS doesn't belong in this deck; the removal gets you there. Or there's,a faster build.....

I'm gonna end up running the RibCage Enforcers (that guys Quarterback rip protector is is just too cartoonish) and will probably run the Foul Imps.  A turn 2 2/2 flier is nothing to sneeze at and he will likely put more damage on my opponent than he does me, certain matchups he won't but that's the price you pay.  I am able to run these creatures to increase the early pressure because I'm not running the HSs which leaves 3 slots open in my deck.  I also keep the mana cost on the demon's low purposefully so I only have to run 23 or 24 lands which leaves another 2 to 3 slots open in my deck as opposed to people who run 26 lands because their mana curve is more like a mountain peak and less like a curve. And festering Goblin is a possible 2 for 1.  Why would you want to screw that up?  Or he can atleast take out a 2/2 by himself, which he can't do if he immediately dies to HS.

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

Hakeem928 wrote:
"Uncle Sixty" returns. Dude, that type of post is why I come to these forums every day; I want to get better at Magic. Get into these strategy threads and shake things up..... you've got the know-how.

That made me smile.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

Mastergear_Owen's take on Magic 2014 Campaign.

Show
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!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

Honestly I have a huge number of theoretical problems with a suicide black deck running from this creature base, but I am willing to give it a shot. 

No, no. It must be my bad grammar :) Festering and Soot are there to help me survive without HS. Yet they are still useful even with it, that's why I run them

I get your philosophy, but still prefer different build.

That's cool man.  I see where you guys want to go, and I can respect that.  There is a certain alure to being able to throw out really big really splashy cards that have amazing effects.  I just think that you don't have to jump through all the hoops in order to win with this deck.  And having 5 to 7 extra slots in your deck because you're not allows for a more smooth and consistant experience.

 

Also, sorry Lex but I probably won't be able to post my full decklist here.  I would love to, but I only have access to this forum on my phone at home, and not only is autocarding a pain in the ass on the phone, but this forum is horrible.  Not just in general horrible (because it is) but especially horrible on the mobil side so posting becomes a chore and an excercise in patience.  Heaven forbid you need to go back and edit something on the mobil version, that's a nightmare.  Like Flavor Text from nightmare horrible.  This forum truely does beat my dreams into despair.

You're a lose cannon.

 

 

"I played 70 card decks before it was cool to play 70 card decks." -Random M:tG hipster

Yeah, I know, mate. 90% of my posts I type on the phone and it really is pain in the ass... Older design was much better. Make a decklist in Word and then copy/paste it here

Whether I run HS or not, I'm not convinced yet either way, my build is going to top out at no more than 6CMC.  I really think the current META is too fast for anything else.  I know we have the tools to go higher, but if I'm going to be keeping the board clean for my creatures anyway, what really is the difference between the 6CMC creatures and the 7-8 ones? That means no tutoring, but I'm not so sure tutoring is necessary anyway.  I'm probably going to settle on 25 lands, and build from there.  I'm just trying to finish my HoC build, and then I'm doing this one.

sixty4half wrote:
Doom Blade is only 1 mana less.  I'm paying life for several things in this deck, so I like to keep my opponent atleast close.  I play a lot of the imps right now and they can take a while to kill someone so the 2 damage gets me there quicker.  I see it as a doom blade with a colorless shock attached to it. 

I have to take some exception to this statement.  Three mana is too much to pay for restricted removal IMO.  I'd prefer to run Doom Blade every day of the week.  The way I see it, the two life doesn't make up for the restriction.  I could see someone running all of the above, but still I think better builds will prioritize doom blade in the long run.  You have other/better ways to make up for your lost life.

I agree with that DJ; given the same restriction, I'll take the cheaper removal any day of the week.

I'm going to start seriously testing this deck now that I have D&B, HoC, and SotS tuned and tested. I'll start by saying that I really don't like Heartless Summoning in this deck, so I'm going to start my testing without it. I really don't want to build around a three-of that is bad in multiples and a terrible topdeck after you hit five land. My first thought after that is that the creature base is going to be the core of the deck, so I'll start my analysis there:

2 Mortician Beetle - This card is very underwhelming.

2 Festering Goblin - A playable card here.

4 Onyx Mage - Two-power two-drop that can trade with anything bigger than X/2 on the ground for a small fee; I really like this guy.

4 Foul Imp - I despise this card, but he gets in for chip damage if we are trying to race; I'm not sure if that's what I want to do yet, though.

2 Soot Imp - Not the best three-drop of all time, but he's okay here.

4 Soulcage Fiend - Three-power three-drop that helps the racing plan; maybe it's viable?

1 Shadowborn Demon - Probably the best removal spell in the deck.

3 Bloodgift Demon - Love this guy all to pieces, I do.

3 Halo Hunter - I really, really, really hate this card; three toughness is terrible in this meta (especially on a five-drop), but he punches people straight to the face for six if he lives. That's not insignificant.

3 Renegade Demon - Halo Hunter is strictly better.

1 Hellcarver Demon - I don't like rolling the dice with his triggered ability, but a 6/6 flier for six mana plays good defense and I wouldn't mind winning the game with his trigger on the stack.

1 Reaper from the Abyss - Seriously awesome Demon. Seriously.

1 Harvester of Souls - You mean I don't have to pay precious life for those cards? Sign me up!

2 Lord of the Pit - This was chosen for the deck because of the creature type; no other thought went into it.

1 Lord of the Void - This guy is fantastic, I love him.

1 Rune-Scarred Demon - Grab that Corrupt and win the game, son!

2 Pestilence Demon - Decent body for the cost, situationally relevant ability; but this is an eight-drop, so it has to be super-awesome to make the deck. Do you feel super-awesome about this guy? I don't.

2 Reiver Demon - One-sided board wipe mode is decent enough to consider a singleton.

1 Demon of Death's Gate - I can't see the alternate cost being available too often (i.e. ever) in this deck, so he's a nine-drop with no value if he gets removed. Not feeling it.

After typing that up and given sixty's argument that a suicide-type deck may be viable, I'm going to start my testing with a creature-heavy deck that isn't afraid of its own life total. I'm going to choose defensive creatures that have decent stats so they can get in there early if I need them to. Preliminary creature base is 2 Festering Goblin, 4 Onyx Mage, 2 Soot Imp, 4 Soulcage Fiend, Shadowborn Demon, 3 Bloodgift Demon, 3 Halo Hunter, Hellcarver Demon, Reaper from the Abyss, Harvester of Souls, Lord of the Void, and Rune-Scarred Demon. That's 24 creatures with a curve of 2-4-6-0-7-5. Some of these cards may get the axe depending on how many non-creature cards I want to run, but I feel like it's a good starting point.

In a creature-heavy shell, I really think Grave Pact has a ton of value; I wasn't convinced it was worth building around, but I'm going to try it out here since we have two copies available. With that in mind, here's the rundown of the non-creature options:

1 Innocent Blood - Solid card.

3 Heartless Summoning - Not feeling it for the reasons stated way above.

4 Diabolic Edict - Don't listen to mjack, this is great removal.

2 Doom Blade - Dies to Doom Blade; 'nuff said.

1 Infernal Tutor - If you're running this card, you want to be hellbent; this deck rarely is.

1 Exhume - Fits the suicide black theme, but there's not much else going for it.

4 Triumph of Cruelty - I actually think a few copies of this could have value in this style of deck; call me crazy.

3 Screams from Within - Yuck.

2 Hideous End - The card is fine, but given that I'm leaning toward Grave Pact I may omit it.

2 Grave Pact - There are 24 creatures crying out for this card to be included.

1 No Mercy - I'm not sure how I like this in the creature-heavy shell, but it will be hard to omit. Not sure it's where I want to be, though.

1 Diabolic Servitude - The gift that keeps on giving.

2 Tendrils of Corruption - Instant-speed lifegain is auto-include here; this is targetted removal in emergencies only.

1 Mutilate - Sweepers are awesome, but I may scale back to two in the creature build; I like Damnation more in this meta.

2 Damnation - It would be hard not to include these.

2 Promise of Power - Lots of cards, but a large life payment; good value as a lategame topdeck. Probably better than Harrowing Journey in a deck with 24 creatures, though.

2 Harrowing Journey - I like this card better than Promise of Power in the control deck because of the smaller life payment, but here Promise may be better.

1 Corrupt - Why only a single copy, Wizards? Why?

So the cards that I want to include are Innocent Blood, 4 Diabolic Edict, 2 Doom Blade, 2 Grave Pact, Diabolic Servitude, 2 Tendrils of Corruption, 2 Damnation, 2 Promise of Power, and Corrupt. I also want to run 25 land, so I am now at 66 cards. ****.

So now that we have to trim to 60, here's a picture of the curve: 3-10-6-7-9-6.  If I'm going to run double Grave Pact, I want a minimum of 22 creatures, so most of the cuts are going to come from the non-creature pile. The third Halo Hunter and the fourth Soulcage Fiend feel like good creature cuts, so I'll start there. I also have a lot of forced sacrifice, so I can cut Innocent Blood without too much trouble (instant > sorcery and I don't lose a creature, so Edict is better). I'm having serious trouble now at 63, though. Most of the cuts I want to make are creatures, though, so Grave Pact's value is starting to diminish. I want to try it first, though, so I'l cut an Edict, an Onyx Mage, and Lord of the Void. 20 creatures in a double-Pact build seems low, but this is just a test after all. Here's the decklist to be tested:

 

It feels like it doesn't have an identity and that I'm blending two different styles of play, so I'll just play with it and see how it works. I think this list needs some work, but it's a good jumping off point for testing the different avenues of play available.

Hmmm, teel us later how this build worked for ya, Hakeem. It's completely opposite to mine, but I think it still is viable. It's more tradinional. I wonder how good Soulcages are, cause I've never actually run them. Does their ability really stop opponent from blocking/killing them? 

Oh, and a Hellcarver?! My biggest fear with it is losing Corrupt/Tendrills by casting it with 4-5 lands istead of saving it for 9-10 lands.

Damnation can't kill indestructable things, right? That's why Mutilate is better IMO. So, I suppose, I'd run 1 of each if I couldn't take all three. But I run all of them.

Hellcarver is for the big body only; I wouldn't swing with it unless I was going to win that turn.

About Mutilate vs. Damnation, there aren't enough reasons to choose Mutilate over it in this meta; there are important creatures like Champion of the Parish that can grow faster than Mutilate does, and then there are things like Demon of Death's Gate in DW (yes, I see that card on Xbox) that Mutilate can't handle.

With all that said, I've played and won three games now against some terrible competition, and I already can tell that the deck is schizophrenic; I think the Grave Pact build could be viable, but I also think the control/stall version has merit. The list I posted is trying to do both and isn't excelling at either. One card I'm really warming up to already is Promise of Power, though; five cards is a lot.

After a bit more testing, I'll see where I want to go with it.

I'm officially off the creature-heavy Grave Pact plan; if you want it to succeed, you really have to cut all the finishers from the top of the curve and hope you get there with chip damage and Halo Hunter to finish. It may be viable (barely), but it's not my style at all; I'll let sixty test and tune that deck.

So let's try to build the control pile instead!

 

Most of my card evaluations from above are still valid, so I won't rehash all of that; instead, I'll just list a few cards that have either increased or decreased in value in a control shell:

Harrowing Journey - The control pile needs gas and wants to hit a draw spell consistently; I'm going to run all four and discard any extras.

Shadowborn Demon - Someone needs to step up and admit that this card is garbage here; let me be that person.

Soot Imp - This is a decent two-drop; at three, it just gotta go, though.

Halo Hunter - Running less creatures means more removal is available when this guy hits the field; a fine creature in a creature-heavy build, but not enough value in the control shell.

Hideous End - "Run all the removal" is my new motto for this deck; I'm going to basically concede the DW, mirror, and creatureless D&B matchups and play fair vs. MotD and EtD in order to improve the other matchups. I don't feel good about it, but removal is what control needs.

Swamp - Back to 26 land and never missing a drop.

 

Control is my thing and I can't escape it; sorry sixty, I just can't test that deck. Once you do, though, post it so I can give it a shot.

There is so much removal in this pile; even the early creatures exist to remove opposing creatures. Life isn't a problem because we just kill everything, and then gas up with a five-mana draw spell. Sure it hurts, but the amount of cards drawn makes this deck viable. On the other hand, certain draws let us watch them overextend before we sweep their dudes away for massive CA. Then the Demons close the game, with Diabolic Servitude giving the deck some resiliency to opposing removal.

I like it this way.

Lexxx20 wrote:

Hmmm, teel us later how this build worked for ya, Hakeem. It's completely opposite to mine, but I think it still is viable. It's more tradinional. I wonder how good Soulcages are, cause I've never actually run them. Does their ability really stop opponent from blocking/killing them? 

Oh, and a Hellcarver?! My biggest fear with it is losing Corrupt/Tendrills by casting it with 4-5 lands istead of saving it for 9-10 lands.

Damnation can't kill indestructable things, right? That's why Mutilate is better IMO. So, I suppose, I'd run 1 of each if I couldn't take all three. But I run all of them.

Lexx, (hah, almost typed Lezz)

Give me a second here and I'll post the cut I promised you.

Had a game last night where I managed all three Bloodgift Demon. Last turn of the game I gave all my card draw to my opponent, putting him in strike range, and flew in for the kill. I got very drunk and stayed up late last night and only lost one game out of about 15.

How the hell that happens I don't know but I played nothing but alternating expansion decks to get that comfy, buttery feel of playing them down.

I did make some changes to this deck last night. I'm only running one Pestilance now and the lean on Halo Hunter of all things is really getting the job done with Intimidate.

After deck packs (and I'm sure more black) this will have to be reconsidered, but for now...

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

Speaking of Bloodgift! I just found out one exotic use for his ability – I was at low life in the end of a very long match with Hunter’s Strength and decided to let my opponent draw a card (he had 0 cards in hand and two untapped lands, so I decided it was okay to let him draw card before the final swing with all my demons) so I wouldn’t hurt myself even more. So, Bloodgift’s ability resolves, he loses 1 life, draws a card and… suddenly I win the match :D Asked my opponent what the heck was that and he said IDK. Only after quitting the game I understood what happened – he had 1 last card in his library (he used Nature’s Lore to fetch lands and then retrieved Nature’s Lore with Eternal Witness for quite a few times) and when I accidently made him draw the last one, he lost the game He was at 10 life so that was pretty funny.

Here it is and I know there will be two questions thrown at me.

1. Soulcage was put in last night to see how it fit as I wanted an earlier body on board. I found that the damage goes through most of the time because of the opponent not wanting to take 3 life loss (silly, isn't it?). Plus he combos with the Mage quite nicely to give them the 3 loss anyway along with losing their creature.

2. Hideous over Doom. Cost more but same instant effect with loss of life... me likey.

3. Having my doubts about the Tutor. I wasn't happy with the reveal and am not sure how worth it he is as most of what I would want out are singletons or kill/sweeps I don't want them to know about. It will take a pinch more testing although I did tutor a Diabolic Edict that really stalled an opponent last night... so there is that.

 

25 Swamp

   Innocent Blood
3x Onyx Mage
4x Diabolic Edict
   Infernal Tutor
2x Soot Imp
   Soulcage Fiend
2x Triumph of Cruelty
2x Hideous End
   No Mercy
   Diabolic Servitude
2x Tendrils of Corruption
   Mutilate
2x Damnation
3x Bloodgift Demon
3x Halo Hunter
   Reaper from the Abyss
   Corrupt
   Lord of the Void
   Rune-Scarred Demon
   Pestilence Demon
   Reiver Demon

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

Hmmm, interesting choices, Devil. Thanks for sharing your build! Reminds on first one Hakeem posted

You're too in no-HS camp, huh? Guess I'm becoming a minority using it in my build :D

Don't you think that Doom Blade is faster than Hideous? -2 life is good but saving 3 mana for it is pain in the ass, IMO.

Also, I thought Soulcage is "all or nothing" kind of cards. I mean, for 3 mana you want to have him more often if you decided to use him at all.

I'm going to definitely try no-HS build this week!

Well, for one thing I saw an opponent with a HS build throw out two weenies quickly the other night and watched them both go to the graveyard.

I could let that happen to me if I was drunk.

I know Doom Blade is faster and I've used it through the years with great success. That being said, I'm gauging the performance of Hideous and if it under performs it's out for the blades again. I just wanted a little different flavor.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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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https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

Doom Blade vs. Hideous End

You're not comparing two vs. three mana. You're comparing the difference. for "controller of target creature loses two life" at Instant speed is worth it. It means you can spend your third turn killing something while still working towards victory. It means late game, you can attack and opponents won't think to make sure they have three life left just in case of Hideous End after blocks. Blade would be better maybe if this deck was a strict tempo race, you had a lot of early critters who swing unblocked for 3+ damage, it were in a multi-colour deck, et cetera. As is, if you're going to put up with the non-Black restriction, you may as well get two life loss out of the card slot. 

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.

My thoughts exactly and articulated masterfully

Thank you

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

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!

Now with more original content and open bar!

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedevilwuster

So after losing six in a row to D&B, I've decided to forget about this deck for a while. It's just terrible against the meta right now. If it doesn't change, I suppose I'll have to try the low-CMC creature route, as much as I don't want to.

GodOfAtheism wrote:

Doom Blade vs. Hideous End

You're not comparing two vs. three mana. You're comparing the difference. for "controller of target creature loses two life" at Instant speed is worth it. It means you can spend your third turn killing something while still working towards victory. It means late game, you can attack and opponents won't think to make sure they have three life left just in case of Hideous End after blocks. Blade would be better maybe if this deck was a strict tempo race, you had a lot of early critters who swing unblocked for 3+ damage, it were in a multi-colour deck, et cetera. As is, if you're going to put up with the non-Black restriction, you may as well get two life loss out of the card slot. 

Very well argued, but I feel the need to respond: while all of your points are well stated, and generally correct, two mana is less to manage, even late game, and there are more than a few decks that can close games out immediately with the right creature.  Certainly exalted, and dragons, but there are others.  Now, if you said that against those decks you would keep 3 lands untapped just in case, I'd say fine, but then you are playing into their game by giving them additional time to set up their combos, or get what they need. The two life is important, but so is the extra mana... It will matter on occasion, it may even lose you the game.

So the question is: will the two extra damage cause you to win more games than the extra cost causes you to lose?  I'm betting on the latter, you might disagree.

DJ0045 wrote:

Very well argued, but I feel the need to respond: while all of your points are well stated, and generally correct, two mana is less to manage, even late game, and there are more than a few decks that can close games out immediately with the right creature.  Certainly exalted, and dragons, but there are others.  Now, if you said that against those decks you would keep 3 lands untapped just in case, I'd say fine, but then you are playing into their game by giving them additional time to set up their combos, or get what they need. The two life is important, but so is the extra mana... It will matter on occasion, it may even lose you the game.

So the question is: will the two extra damage cause you to win more games than the extra cost causes you to lose?  I'm betting on the latter, you might disagree.

This deck isn't likely to curve out anyhow, unless you're running a "hope for turn two HS, turn three Halo/Bloodgift" build, and that's not what's currently being discussed. Your other likely options at three mana are Soot Imp - which I run for 2HG, but DW is still popular so that's probably a bad choice for 1 vs. 1 - or Screams from Within, which are generally met with a resounding "meh." Possibly Soulcage Fiend if you're looking at a more midrange build. So if we're talking mana efficiency here, Hideous fits into an otherwise likely empty slot for a pure control build. The only other thing you might do turn three is activate Onyx Mage. Later game, the one mana difference becomes less important. Yeah, you can do Doom Blade and Promise of Power in the same turn at seven mana, but then you also have options like Tendrils of Corruption + Hideous End. Yeah, the difference will lose you the game sometimes.

But you can also make that two life loss work for you. Between End and Harrowing Journey, you can attack someone, leave them at five life, and do EoT End, untap, HJ, and burn them out. That's a thing I don't see discussed here often for control builds; using HJ as a mini-Corrupt to burn to the dome. I've won at least four games that way. Heck, I'd run HJ in an aggro build for that five-for-three burn. This deck is very good at dropping life totals early, especially if you're running the suicide suite of Foul Imp and Soulcage Fiend. HJ works well with a setup like that.

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.

Hakeem928 wrote:
So after losing six in a row to D&B, I've decided to forget about this deck for a while. It's just terrible against the meta right now. If it doesn't change, I suppose I'll have to try the low-CMC creature route, as much as I don't want to.

I don't think it's just D&B.  I think this deck is generally bad, with not many good matchups.  I played a bunch of random deck games this morning and encountered this deck overwhelmingly, and it just wasn't ever close.  It seems to be more of a 2HG deck to me.  It's good at removing creatures though, I'll say that, but in general the strategy of only playing / attacking with one creature at a time is pretty effective against it.  This deck wants to be Obedient Dead except that every single aspect of it is worse.

It's fun to play though, I guess.  Who doesn't like paying some life for a promise of infernal power?

Well tbf, I think I'll run them all anyway.  That said, I don't really buy the empty 3 slot arguement.  I'm probably not going to use removal that early unless I absolutely have to.  In other words it's not going to be my turn 2 or turn 3 play in either case.  But, once I hit 4-8 mana, I'd rather have the cheaper option.

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