Archive Trap (again) and Kitchen Finks (again… repetitive, isn’t it?)
Most of you have probably read this week’s Top Decks, where I detailed my U/W Traps! deck, centered around Archive Trap, searching up Archive Trap, generally destorying Scapeshift combo decks, &c.
For a while I thought I had THE SECRET TECH (and the Traps! deck is actually pretty good) but I realized I was winning more than half of my games with Baneslayer Angel. Of which I had only two… In a deck that had so many resources centered around the Archive Trap win.
I kept the shell — lots of cantrips including the full four main deck copies of Relic of Progenitus, all the Remands (seldom played in Extended), and Repeal — but changed out the kill cards to the much more straightforward Kitchen Finks and Baneslayer Angel (that is, all four).
I have been very happy with the deck.
It isn’t the fanciest U/W deck you can play (Luis asked me if I couldn’t spare two slots for the Thopter Foundry combo), but it is highly consistent.
Old-ish School U/W
4 Relic of Progenitus
4 Cryptic Command
1 Echoing Truth
2 Spell Snare
4 Think Twice
2 Day of Judgment
4 Baneslayer Angel
4 Path to Exile
2 Wrath of God
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Mystic Gate
2 Ravenous Trap
1 Echoing Truth
2 Jace Beleren
4 Shadow of Doubt
2 Spell Snare
1 Wrath of God
For the most part I am trying to keep pace with the best cards / mana consumption theories that I am currently developing. I know I have touched on the best cards theory (up to and including the last post on Cruel Ultimatum), but if you want to check out what we have been calling the “Grand Unified Theory of Magic” … The pages have started to unfold over at Top 8 Magic.
Speaking of which, there are some unusual choices here, so I figure a card rundown maybe in order.
Relic of Progenitus
My deck only has about 24 lands, so playing a large number of cantrips is helpful to keep my mana flowing. Relic of Progenitus “just” as a cantrip is about perfectly costed. The tappity tap ability costs 1 on a Scrabbling Claws; the Tormod’s Crypt ability is worth bagel, but the cantrip bit is worth about a U. Sometimes awkward with Think Twice, but otherwise a near-perfect main deck tool that sometimes randomly costs the opponent 24 virtual mana.
Supplemental to Relic of Progenitus. This might be a bit of an over-shoot, though.
Probably the best hard counter you can play in Extended. Its mana efficiency, and the nuances therof, would probably be worth an article, blog post, string of Tweets, whatever, some day in the future.
I have to play one as insurance against Empty the Warrens (where Repeal is much weaker) and Dark Depths when the opponent has a one mana Chalice of the Void on the battlefield. Probably the least exciting card in the deck, yet it proves tremendously useful on a regular basis.
I just wanted a good catch-all threat in my sideboard for fights where my opponent has a reasonable chance of killing all my men… All my poor, life-gaining, men.
This card is super good! It doesn’t get played in Extended enough, but it is very effective against Ancestral Vision, Hypergenesis combo decks, and in rare cases, non-suspend spells… Like your own Cryptic Command when the opponent points a Muddle the Mixture at it… Just more cantrip action for mana development while managing the board.
Super great against Dark Depths, any Zoo variant, randomly picking up a Runed Halo or sometimes a Planeswalker… I could probably be convinced to play all four; the presence of the plus-three gave me room to cut a supplemental Day of Judgment from the sideboard, making room for the third and fourth copies of…
This card is just perfect. There are so many near-perfect cards available in this strategy. How great is a card that can stop Tarmogoyf, Bitterblossom, Cranial Plating, Thopter Foundry, Umezawa’s Jitte, Vampire Hexmage… and about a zillion other awesome cards, even on the draw.
This is probably the card most likely to elicit a raised eyebrow from my beloved readers. Running both sides is generally an over-pay of 1-2 mana. Kelly Reid of Quiet Speculation suggested Whispers of the Muse, but I think that card is too slow for a tap-out Blue control deck like this one. Think Twice is just a much better topdeck than Ancestral Vision, which is why it got the nod in this deck list. The gap of one card drawn is counterbalanced by Think Twice’s instant speed, flexibility, superior mid-game utility, and essentially guaranteed attrition capability against other Blue decks. Think Twice is sometimes awkward with Relic of Progenitus, but discipline goes a long way here.
This creature is just exactly what the deck needed as a Baneslayer Angel supplement. It’s fast against RDW, it’s tough against removal, you can cover it with a Remand… Lots of good things going for this one.
Shadow of Doubt
If you can’t Archive Trap someone…
It also poops on Boseiju, Who Shelters all 🙂
Day of Judgment
I wanted to play a mix of this card and Wrath of God for Meddling Mage purposes.
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Path to Exile
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Wrath of God
I think people are just not used to playing against this card. They keep playing into it. Hopefully tomorrow that trend will continue.
Currently Reading: Warbreaker (Sci Fi Essential Books)