Sunday, April 7, 2013, 8:22 PM
The casual format known as Type 4 (or Limited Infinity) seems to have fallen by the wayside lately. For those who don't know, here's a link.
Note: My only house rule is that if you cast a spell without paying mana somehow, it doesn't count against your 1 spell per turn limit. Additionally, my stack is designed to play well both when drafted and when played as a shared deck.
There is also a lack of set reviews for this format, so I'll start covering the most recent sets and work backwards from there.
Gatecrash Type 4 Review
(I'll only cover the cards that are of interest to this format. If it's not here, it either sucks or it's something dumb like a Fireball effect.)
Luminate Primordial : These things aren't just good for Commander. All the Primordials are perfect for Type 4.
Aetherize : This looks like it could be pretty funny in some situations. I'm not sure if it can compete with stuff like Resounding Silence or Second Thoughts though. I might test this out.
Diluvian Primordial : Another Primordial, another hit. Resolving this thing looks awfully fun.
Enter the Infinite : If you like to play with a shared deck, this is kind of silly (in a bad way). If you draft, this is a narrow combo card. I'm not giving this one a second look.
Gridlock : Hmm, I don't think this stacks up to the competition. Plus, it stinks that you don't yet know who the active player will be attacking when you have to cast this.
Rapid Hybridization : If you like slightly political cards, this might make the cut. Beast Within is strictly better though.
Scatter Arc : A solid counterspell. Not the best, not the worst.
Stolen Identity : This might be the best sorcery-speed Clone effect available so far (unless I'm forgetting something obvious). The best-case scenario looks very amusing. This is in my stack now, but I have yet to see it in action.
Devour Flesh : Not strictly worse than Diabolic Edict , because you can target yourself to gain life. That can be very relevant in Type 4. This is certainly much easier to obtain than Diabolic Edict, anyway.
Grisly Spectacle : This has a lot of words on it, but the end result is not that exciting in Type 4. Milling someone is more likely to help them than hurt them. There are plenty of better removal options.
Killing Glare : If you need a Murder , here it is.
Lord of the Void : Now we're talking. This thing is big, evasive, and has a great effect. He's definitely going in my stack.
Sepulchral Primordial : Yep, he's good too.
Undercity Plague : I'm really not sure how good this is. It looks pretty good, and there's certainly no other card quite like it, so I'm trying it out in my stack. The potential one-two punch looks brutal.
Hellkite Tyrant : The alternate win condition is never going to happen, but the artifact-stealing looks pretty relevant. Whether that's enough to make this better than other dragons is questionable.
Molten Primordial : Yeah, this is pretty great. Almost Insurrection on a huge hasty body. I'll take it.
Wrecking Ogre : This is a really good way to kill someone out of nowhere while holding up a counterspell. He's definitely going in my stack.
Giant Adephage : This looks good on the surface, but how often are you going to connect with it? I don't think this is good enough without some sort of removal resistance.
Predator's Rapport : This can gain a pretty good amount of life at instant speed. There aren't that many cards that can compete with this on that front. Still, it's probably only good enough for budget stacks.
Skarrg Goliath : A bit less instakill power than Wrecking Ogre, but it actually has a respectable body on its own. It's also really easy to get the foil promo version. I'm putting this in.
Sylvan Primordial : This is great, even without Forests.
Aurelia, the Warleader : Well, it's better than Rorix Bladewing , and that card is good. When I get one, I'll slot it in and see how it does.
Consuming Aberration : This doesn't make sense with a shared stack, and if you draft, it is likely to mill most people out in one go. Yeah, might be a bit too strong.
Deathpact Angel : Eh. Survivability is not enough to make up for lack of impact.
Dinrova Horror : Not too bad. Great for budget stacks. The body feels kind of small though.
Duskmantle Seer : If you untap with this, hilarity will surely ensue. However, that might be because you just killed yourself. Probably not going to include this.
Gruul Ragebeast : Fight everything! Seems solid. It's going in my stack for now.
Lazav, Dimir Mastermind : Now this is interesting. I need to get one and try it out, but getting hexproof copies of your opponents' stuff can't possibly be bad, right?
Merciless Eviction : A good Wrath variant. We can always use more Final Judgment .
Mystic Genesis : A very powerful counterspell. Definitely deserves a slot in even very high-powered stacks.
Obzedat, Ghost Council : Maybe if this said "each opponent" it would be good enough.
Prime Speaker Zegana : It's pretty tough to resolve this with another creature on the field. That said, the payoff is pretty great. Will require testing.
Psychic Strike : It's another Counterspell . The effect is negligible.
Treasury Thrull : I have to attack with it? And the card only goes back to my hand? Reya Dawnbringer , Genesis and Sheoldred, Whispering One are just better. Bringing back artifacts/enchantments might be nice once in a while, and extort is pretty decent, but I'm not sure this guy is worth it overall.
Immortal Servitude : I don't think this can compete with other reanimation spells like Unburial Rites , even if you have a chance of getting multiple things back at once.
Well, that's it. If there's anything you think I missed, or you disagree with my assessments, please leave a comment. Next time I'll do either Return to Ravnica or Dragon's Maze, depending on how long I decide to wait.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 9:11 PM
Do you have piles and piles of Time Spiral commons under your bed? Do you like winning by the skin of your teeth? This is the deck for you. Red Riddle flies in the face of many deckbuilding conventions, and its power never fails to surprise me.
I concocted this deck when I was feeling unsatisfied with my old U/R Riddle of Lightning combo deck. That deck planned to scry Greater Gargadon to the top, cast Riddle of Lightning, and Twincast or Reverberate it. I found this deck to be too slow and boring to play, so I decided to try a more straightforward approach.
This deck has two main themes: Taking advantage of high CMC spells, and abusing Greater Gargadon . I packed the deck full of cards with high converted mana cost, but almost none of them actually require that much mana to cast or use.
In the early turns, suspend some guys and play Mogg War Marshal s/ Gathan Raiders . See if you can sneak in some damage early, because it will help you immensely later on. Don't forget to sacrifice dying creatures to Greater Gargadon . This deck is capable of ramping straight to 5-6 mana, thanks to the high land count and Fiery Fall . Once you get there, you can start dropping 5-10 point bombs on your opponent's face, or clear the way for your Gargadon to start smashing.
RULES NOTE: Rough // Tumble has a converted mana cost of "2 and 6." What does this mean? Riddle of Lightning is a card that simply asks you what the CMC of the revealed card is. When you flip it with Riddle of Lightning , it deals "2 and 6" damage to your target: 8 damage. However, Knollspine Invocation works differently. With an X spell, you must first choose the value of X, then pay the cost to match it. If you choose X to be 8, you can't discard Rough // Tumble , because it's actually 2 and 6, not 8. Instead, you must either choose X=2 or X=6.
In my opinion, this is a good thing. Obviously you want as much damage as possible off your Riddles, but you will rarely get 8 mana to pay for an X=8 Invocation activation.
Tips and Tricks:
If you use Riddle at the end of your opponent's turn, revealing a Gargadon or something, you can use a second Riddle from your hand during your upkeep and reveal the same card. Boom, 20 points!
Knollspine Invocation is amazing if you can stick it against a control deck. If they don't have a way to kill enchantments, you can just ignore all their fancy removal and counters and burn them to death.
Altering the Deck:
You also might notice the singletons throughout the deck. These slots are all very flexible; right now that's just what I had on hand. The singleton Undying Flames is really great, though. Keep that one.
This deck really strikes the right balance between powerful interactions and fun gameplay. I urge you to try it out. The deck's multiple angles of attack can throw off your opponents, and winning with double Riddle for 20 points to the face is a feeling you need to experience. This may be my most fun creation to date.
Friday, January 7, 2011, 10:14 AM
Martyr of Sands is definitely in my top five for the greatest life gain cards of all time. It can easily gain upwards of 12 life for two mana, plus it's easy to recur. Martyr has traditionally been paired with Proclamation of Rebirth , but I decided to go for a slightly different approach, using Grim Harvest . While Grim Harvest isn't a white card, it provides other advantages; it can return any creature, not just those costing 1 or less, and it lets me be more flexible with when I decide to spend my mana.
Grim Harvest is a tricky card. Try not to let it get exiled by its Recover ability. This may mean waiting to play your creatures until you can keep three mana open, or simply holding the Grim Harvest in your hand until you feel safe. Grim Harvest with a self-sacrificing creature is a loop, limited by how much mana you have. Unfortunately, it takes quite a bit.
You have an effective 5 Grim Harvests thanks to Shred Memory's transmute. Once you get one, you will generally use it to recur either Martyr, Kami of False Hope, or Magus of the Disk. Recurring Martyr every turn will require 7 mana. Early in the game though, you can settle for every other turn.
This deck is very mana-hungry, but fortunately you have the perfect tools to stall long enough. Your life gain and walls can quickly nullify any assault. This is a control deck at heart, with some combo elements.
If you're making your own version of the deck, don't neglect the white card density. Martyr can't shine unless the vast majority of the deck is white. Racist? Maybe.
This decklist is full of flexible card choices. If you have your own ideas for them, remember what this deck is good at. For one thing, it really likes to keep its hand full, and it's quite good at it too. That's why cards like Kiyomaro or Ivory Tower are great.
It may be tempting to add artifact mana acceleration, but speed is not what Martyr Harvest needs, especially if it comes at the cost of white card density. Instead, use white cards that help you stall longer.
The singleton finishers above are pretty much just what I had lying around. Use whatever you like. Avoid creatures that don't go to the graveyard though, like Purity or legendary Eldrazi. If your finishers are particularly difficult to get rid of (like Crovax or Eternal Dragon), that's perfect.
If you like lifegain and causing frustration, Martyr Harvest could be worth building. All the core cards are super cheap; it's almost all commons, and Magus is a 50 cent rare. Coldsnap may have been a disappointment overall, but this deck shows the power of innocuous Coldsnap commons.
Thursday, January 6, 2011, 9:59 AM
Scars of Mirrodin is full of interesting rares for casual deckbuilders like me. However, this deck is from the mind of my friend Tony, who just started playing Magic less than a year ago. He loves artifact decks, and ever since I tried out his deck, I think I do too. This list is my own version, but the essence is the same.
Older players might be familiar with the term "mono-brown deck." That's basically what this is, even if the card frames aren't so brown anymore. All of the lands only produce colorless mana, because that's all this deck needs.
This deck generally aims to produce massive colorless mana and win with a Myr Battlesphere or two. There are several paths to victory here, and lots of ways to have some fun along the way.
The most devastating draw you can get is the turn 3 Battlesphere. This is surprisingly easy, thanks to Expedition Map. Turn 1 Urza land, Map, Turn 2 Other Urza land, sacrifice the Map to find the third, Turn 3 Battlesphere. You can also do it with Turn 1 Cloudpost, Turn 2 Cloudpost (or Vesuva), Turn 3 Glimmerpost.
Of course, if you can't do that, an early Forgemaster is the next best thing. If he isn't immediately dealt with, he'll fetch a Battlesphere for you, and another one each turn after that until you're out of Battlespheres. The great thing about Battlesphere is that it makes artifact creature tokens, perfect for sacrificing. (Heck, if you have the mana and a couple extra artifacts, you don't even need to wait to have all your Battlespheres out. Just fetch up a Voltaic Construct and start untapping Forgemaster.)
There are also a few other backbreaking artifacts to fetch with the Forgemaster. Mindslaver can absolutely devastate some opponents. In multiplayer, use it to make one guy attack someone else for you. The possibilities are endless. Contagion Engine is necessary to handle swarms of creatures. Platinum Emperion spells GG against some decks.
The deck includes plenty of ways to get more mana more quickly. Walking Atlas is surprisingly potent with lands like these. Palladium Myr is a powerful accelerant, although vulnerable to removal. Mind Stone can sacrifice to draw a card, which is vital in this deck. If your threats are destroyed, you may be scrambling to draw into more.
Speaking of drawing, Serum Tank shines here. You'll never run out of counters, and it gives you something to do with extra mana.
Lightning Greaves can send this deck over the top. Those two copies honestly might be two too few. Hasty Forgemasters, hasty Battlespheres, hasty Palladium Myrs, it's all pretty ridiculous. The best part is the equip cost of zero; you can search up a Battlesphere with your hasty Forgemaster, then immediately give that Battlesphere haste.
Sometimes your big guys need a little help getting through, or sometimes you just have heaps of mana. Golem Artisan is good for times like those. It's also another way to do silly things with haste.
Possible Card Choices:
Krark-Clan Ironworks / Ashnod's Altar
I have to say, playing turn 3 Battlespheres over and over never gets old. This deck has both raw power and amazing versatility. Try it out for yourself.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 4:37 PM
When I saw Proliferate, my mind raced with possibilities. I fell in love. These days, though, proliferate is too often relegated to support for its ugly twin sister, Infect. I'm not a fan of poison counters at all, they just don't do it for me. I thought to myself, how can I get the juicy goodness of Proliferate without making another boring Infect deck? This is what I came up with:
Basically, you want to play your creatures for the first few turns, then start spreading some -1/-1 counters on your opponent's stuff. This deck works great in either 1v1 or multiplayer, and it's a blast to play. It's really designed for creature-centric playgroups though. If your friends like to use creatureless combo or control decks, this deck becomes a pile of inefficient creatures.
There are several sick synergies in here. The silliest play this deck is capable of: drop a Contagion Engine or Carnifex Demon (with extra mana available) with a Blowfly and Necroskitter out. Most of the time, that will result in nothing less than you taking control of every creature on the board.
Double Carnifex is another combo you may be familiar with. With two on the board, they can refill each other's -1/-1 counters, resulting in unlimited activations.
As for combos with proliferate, Serrated Arrows is just awesome. You can proliferate the arrowhead counters and the -1/-1 counters simultaneously, gradually shrinking everything your opponents have.
Blowfly Infestation is a crazy card, and it's important that you know how it works. If you have a Tatterkite out, you can target it with any unwanted Blowfly triggers, even though it won't be able to get the counters. Otherwise, Carnifex Demon makes a good recipient of extra -1/-1 counters.
Since this deck clears the board so easily, Phyrexian Totem makes a good attacker. Just make sure not to use it against any red players with mana untapped.
Throne of Geth may look weaker than Contagion Clasp, but the ability to proliferate without mana can be very important. If you want to make your own version of the deck, this card gives you a very good reason to have lots of artifacts.
It's important that this deck can hit six mana in a timely manner, so I would like to fit some card draw in the above list to ensure I hit my land drops. Sign in Blood will probably go in if I can figure out what to cut. Scarscale Ritual is also kind of tempting.
Possible Card Choices
Trigon of Corruption
So there you have it. If you like spreading Phyrexian corruption, but aren't a fan of poison counters, this is the deck for you. Be careful of the complex stack interactions, and have a big bag of dice on hand.