This Friday’s CotW is a bonus feature covering ALL the sweeper removal in Magic! Well, most of it, anyway. It’s a pretty broad category, and some cards can only be considered a sweeper if you stretch the definition somewhat. The definition I intend to use for this article is that a sweeper is a card that removes (destroys, exiles, bounces, etc.) all permanents of a certain type, even if there is a condition attached, and that does so by not targetting them or dealing damage. The condition is often based on converted mana cost (e.g. Pernicious Deed). As such, Mutilate is a sweeper, but Violent Ultimatum is not. The definition is pretty fuzzy, as Overwhelming Forces can either be a sweeper or not by these criteria, but you get the idea. It’s mostly a “feel” thing.
I’m going to go in categories based on what card type the sweeper removes. The goal is to give everybody an idea of all the options they have in certain colors to get rid of all kinds of permanents at the same time, which is obviously a great thing to do. Using one card to get rid of a whole bunch is just Good Magic. I’m also going to leave out Planeswalker ultimates, because, well, they never happen.
Monday’s column will be a strategy article on just how many of these type of cards to include, to tie in with this one. With that said, here we go!
This week’s Deck Salad Surgery expands on a little idea I had while reviewing the Magic 2013 set: make a deck designed to exploit Worldfire. The idea consisted of lots of low-cost, hasted dudes so your deck would play better than everyone else’s after a Worldfire. All you need is a Raging Goblin and you’ll probably win. And hey, if you don’t, you still blew up the entire world and there was a crazy finish, right?
Welcome to the third installment of Deck Salad Surgery. Today I’m going to be building a deck from the ground up. I mentioned the first concept back in this post, where I noted I was inspired by a legacy Show and Tell Griselbrand deck. Of course, Grizzy’s been banned, but if I let a little thing like banning the centerpiece of the deck stop me, where would I be in life?
(Answer: probably still writing a Magic blog.)
Happy Friday everybody! Today’s CotW brings you some end of the week cheeriness with an unmistakeable grin: Braids, Cabal Minion. She continues a streak of favorite cards of mine, an affair dating back to my first foray into competitive Magic during Odyssey block. There she fell naturally into a powerful mono-black control archetype along with Cabal Coffers, Cabal Therapy, Faceless Butcher, and Chainer’s Edict (most of which find homes in many decks sporting black still).
Welcome to the second edition of Deck Salad Surgery! I had the idea for this particular column while driving over to a friend’s place to sling some cardboard. The basic premise is this: what kind of deck would you make if there weren’t any banned cards (except the ante cards, of course)?
There’s obviously a few ways to go with it, but I chose to go top-down. What cards would I most like to play if they weren’t banned? Then, how do I abuse those cards? (Of course, many of the cards on this list don’t require much work to abuse.) Two sprang to mind immediately, but I won’t give away which ones just yet. Instead, let’s look at the banned list and break it down by colour.
This article discusses the Dralnu, Lich Lord deck first talked about here.
After sitting on the 100-or-so cards we came up with in the last post for a few days, it’s time to start paring the list down a little. Once it’s down to around 70 cards, you can start collecting. In my opinion it’s not worth making a totally air-tight list before you start to play it, as it’s impossible (or at least very difficult) to know what cards are or aren’t working until they’re bricking in your hand, doing nothing on the board, or unexpectedly kicking ass. Further, getting the proportions right on all your various card types is impossible without proper testing. It’s possible to have too much redundancy in one area, as you can see in the Savra list I posted in the Decklists area. It’s also possible to have not nearly enough.
So, as regards Dralnu, let’s refresh our win condition. We’re going to try to accelerate into a board state where we’re taking lots of extra turns with Time Warp-style effects and flashing them back via Dralnu, until we assemble an infinite mana combination and either Exsanguinate or Blue Sun's Zenith for the win (possibly decking ourselves with Laboratory Maniac). Or we can steal everything with Memnarch or bounce everything with Capsize. We’re going to use weenie wizards to help with acceleration, card-drawing, and delaying our opponents. These are our strangleholds. We should evaluate all cards with how they facilitate this plan or delay our opponents from reaching theirs.
I’ve decided, just today, to begin a new deck. The process of retiring Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Savra, Queen of the Golgari and amalgamating them into one other has been quite successful. The deck is currently 5-0! (3-0 play testing against other decks of mine and 2-0 in actual competition.)
So it’s time to start something new. I was briefly tempted to make a rather disgusting Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur deck inspired by d0su on MTGSalvation, but I’ve already got a rather disgusting mono-blue combo deck. Who needs two of those? So instead, I’ve decided to go U/B Dralnu, Lich Lord. The idea is going to be to take lots of extra turns, flash powerful spells back (like extra turn spells), and get there with a bunch of little Wizards. I’ll probably win by Stroke of Genius or Exsanguinate for 1000. Seems fun.
So I figured I’d go through my deck building process for the care and benefit of others. This will be a multi-part article; the first section is brainstorming, adding cards that contribute to the various themes and strategies I identify. I’ll end up with many more cards than I can play. The next article will be a blow-by-blow cutting-down process.