[Rated pg-13 due to language]
Sit back, relax, and settle in, because now its time for another unreasonably long post about magic decks that will probably never be competitive but also they might be! Sweet. Let me set the mood for you if you’re so inclined! The other day Matt got me thinking about this Friday, and how his favorite standard event is the one that happens right after a new set, because everything is spicy and new. Compound that with an extremely odd meta, it would seem, I’ve been inspired to re-spice my brews.
“So what the hell are you gonna do, Bryce?” you’re probably asking aloud, garnering odd looks from those around you as they wonder either who you’re talking to or if you are in fact hallucinating my large, bearded form. Pro Tip: Make eye contact and say “you didn’t hear anything” followed by an overtly fake smile.
So despite the set being filled with cool stuff, I haven’t found the ‘Parnharmonicon’ of the set yet – that is, the card that I’ll try to wedge into the decks somehow with Reckless Abandon most likely at the expense of my own standings. However, I have found that this set provides a lot of fodder to previous ‘panharmonicon’ cards that I haven’t fully experimented with. Namely, thousand year storm and Electrodominance. The deck I’ve been playing with is a variant of Thousand Year Storm that Tristan and I brewed up, though this one utilizes gates. It actually functions pretty well within our meta, with a few exceptions. The addition of Guild Summit means that there are a lot more enchantments for the opponent to remove, which means that its more resilient to control. Further, the card advantage that Guild Summit provides means that we often draw most of our deck.
So then “Jace, Weilder of Mysteries” gets printed, and I get to thinking, how can we turn the negative of drawing out our deck into a positive thing? So i said to myself “Right. Lab maniac, duh. Took you long enough you fucking moron, I don’t know how you manage to breathe” which I responded with “hey fuck you dude I learned how to do that in 2nd grade and it’s not been an issue since.” Hard eye roll.
So we figured that we’d add the new Jace into the deck and swap out the cards so we’re not burning our opponent to death, rather, we’re just drawing ourselves out. If we go up against a mill deck, well hey, good news, they’re helping us! Here’s what the deck looks like:
“Thousand Gate Maniac”
Draw / Ramp
4x Guild Summit – A turn 3 Guild Summit often means card advantage the next turn, which spirals out of control quickly.
3x Opt – Early game fixing, late game combo
4x Growth Spiral – Combined with Guild Summit these can be draw 2, 3, 4, 5 cards.
3x Anticipate – Early game fixing, late game combo
2x Circuitous Route – Not used as often, but can mean a turn 5 thousand year storm, OR late game draw 2/4/6/8
Utility / Interaction
4x Root Snare – Slow down there charlie
2x Gates Ablaze – I’ve killed Ghaltas on turn 8/9 with these.
1x Archway Angel – Turn 6/7 gain 12/14/16/18 life helps out a lot.
2x Blink of an Eye – Critical
2x Mission Breifing – Doubles up the other interaction spells later on in the game, like blink, Gates Ablaze, and Root Snare. Also mills you 2.
1x Narset’s Reversal – Functions like a Mission Briefing in a way – if you target your own fog, you get 2 fogs out of it!
4x Wilderness Reclamation – Control engine. Combined with gates means that by turn 4/5 you’re untapping with a lot of interaction possibility.
2x Ral – This is both a head-fake and also a wincon. People panic when they see ral, and and left unchecked lets you double up on spells early, and add a ton of pressure. Duping Circuitous Route on turn 5 with a Guild Summit in play feels really, really good.
2x Jace – This is the primary wincon, as its painfully easy to draw through your deck.
1x Electrodominance – This is how you cheat Jace into play on your untap step when you’re about to draw nothing, and you’re opponent is smug about ‘milling you out’
2x Thousand-Year Storm – Typically by the time this is out, you’ve also got 2-3 other enchantments out, and its hard not to win.
1x Reliquary Tower – Having a 20 card hand feels good
Conclusions/notes: I’ve played a bunch of games with this deck online, and it seems really resilient. Has trouble with control, obviously, and aggro can get the jump on it, but post-sideboard there are a number of options which make both of those matchups a lot more challenging. Is it competitive? I win about 60% of the matches I play online, but I’m not sure that’s a good representation, as our meta has a lot of decks that could be challenging.
So where do we go from there?
I want more spice! The above is just a small change to a previous formula, and while good, is most decidedly slooooow.
Can we combo quickly? I think we can. I’ve come up with 2 decks.
Set ourselves up…
3x Light Up the Stage
3x Risk Factor
Make sure we don’t get screwed along the way…
2x Blink of an Eye
2x Narset’s Reversal
2x Solar Blaze
Invite our Freinds to Join us…
2x Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
3x Ral, Storm Conduit
Make it a fuckin’ party!
4x Expansion // Explosion
4x Heroic Reinforcements
2x Thousand-Year Storm
How does this pile of horse-shit work?
Basically, early game you’re sculpting your hand and sorting through either Saheeli or Ral, as both will enable you to do some fun things. Saheeli lets you start putting up a meat sheild, particularly to protect Ral. Along the way, we wipe out big threats with Solar Blaze, Absorb, and dodge planeswalker removal with Narset’s Reversal, if we must.
Then, things get interesting. Here’s one line of play:
-2 Ral. Whatever we cast next is doubled. So we play Heroic Reinforcements. Then, before the stack resolves, we cast ‘Expansion’ on Heroic Reinforcements. This leaves us with 6 creatures with haste, 2x 4/4s, 2x 3/3s and 2x 2/2s. Swing out for 18 damage, after dealing 4 damage via Ral!
-2 Ral, Whatever we cast next is doubled. Cast Heroic Reinforcements, Cast Narset’s Reversal to copy it, get back Heroic Reinforcements to our hand, and swing for 10, after dealing 3 with ral. Next turn, -2 ral again, Cast Heroic Reinforcements, swing for 36 if they didn’t kill your creatures earlier. If they did, swing 10 again, with another 3 damage. Cooool.
Meanwhile, if we have Saheeli out, then we’ve likely got a bunch of servos out that also get buffed for a swing!
BUT WAIT, THERES EVEN MORE!!
” Double Double Double “
So i accidentally made this when trying to build the above at home. I forgot to add Heroic Reinforcements so I made this by chance??
Put together the puzzle: Start by making sure we hit our land-drops, and hopefully on turn 4 play a Ral, or have the mana for a sweeper.
3x Opt “The classic”
4x Augur of Bolas – Having a 1/3 blocker is just too important early game.
2x Light Up the Stage – Draw 2 for 1 red just feels great. Even draw 2 on turn 3 with red mana only feels good. There’s a reason this card is a 2$ uncommon
2x Shock “The other classic”
Make it a painful puzzle: Interaction here lets us shift the tempo to something more Syncopated
3x Ionize – I imagine this is sort of like sticking your tounge out and going ‘thbbth’
3x Risk Factor – Copy these and bask in the salty brine bath of glares your opponents will throw at you.
Enter the fucking infinite
4x Ral, Caller of Storms
3x Narset’s Reversal
4x Expansion / Explosion
2x Mirari Conjecture
What the fuck??
The whole point is to go off on copied spells in various permutations:
1.) Ral + two Expansion/Explosions
2.) Mirari Conjecture pops. Electrodominance for 3, twice. Because of Conjecture effect, every spell we cast with Electrodominance is also doubled. First Electrodominance resolves, deals 3 damage. Cast Risk Factor, twice. Opponent must either take 8 damage, or 4 damage and give you 3 cards, or give you 6 cards. Lets say they take option 2. They let you draw 3 cards, one of which is Narset’s Reversal, which you cast targeting the original Electrodominance, and the Original Narset’s Reversal (because remember all spells are being cast twice!) Narset’s Reversal Copies Original Electrodominance and Returns it to your hand, which adds another to castings of X=3 Electrodominance. You deal your opponent 3 more damage, cast anything x=3 for free, so you cast Narset’s Reversal targeting the Electrodominance copy, and Narset’s Reversal. Rinse, wash, repeat!
3. Ral + Opt, then Expansion targeting opt, then Narset’s Reversal, then Expansion/Explosion targeting Expansion/Explosion on the stack
4. Mirari Pops. Cast Doublecast. Then cast Electrodominance X=2. This happens 4 times dealing 8 damage total. Expansion/Explosion for free, targeting Electrodominance (this is copied twice, so add 4 more damage for 12 total) then cast shimmer to find more Expansion/Explosions, which if you can find at least one more you’ll have done 16 damage. There’s a good chance that early in the game they’ve taken 4 damage either from Risk Factor or painlands. GG . If Ral’s on the battlefield, well then its GG already.
There are a lot more combinations …
I dunno what I’m going to play.