Surprisingly, the Answer is Armillary Sphere

Three new Standard deck lists… not that it matters.

So besides working on my PPC Marketing book (which if you are a good man — especially one in need of marketing advice — you will order at a deep discount from, I have just not had anything inspiring to write about Magic-wise the past couple of weeks.

The Blightning deck was of course very good (funny follow-up blog post was supposed to come about a week ago but I got sidetracked hanging out with old time friends and real-life Magic celebrities Worth Wollpert and Randy Buehler that day)… But as for the rest… Nothing that I was going crazy over to post.

That said, I’ve actually continued to play a fair amount of Standard, and these are what I have been spending time on the past couple of weeks:

The White Deck:

2 Fieldmist Borderpost
2 Wildfield Borderpost

2 Heartmender
4 Kitchen Finks
4 Safehold Elite
4 Wilt-Leaf Liege

4 Ajani Goldmane
4 Baneslayer Angel
4 Knight of the White Orchid
4 Path to Exile
4 Spectral Procession

18 Plains
4 Windbrisk Heights

2 Heartmender
3 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
4 Ethersworn Canonist
4 Harm’s Way
2 Rhox Meditant

Previous, Crappier, Versions Included… Steward of Valeron, Qasali Pridemage, Green mana, etc.

The concept was to hybridize the best parts of Kithkin with more staying power and more powerful cards.

This deck accomplishes that somewhat (but note the absence of arguably Kithkin’s second-strongest threat, Cloudgoat Ranger), though it does give up Kithkin’s best-in-class offensive speed.

As a trade off this deck is clearly more powerful and more interesting by far.

The Heartmender and Ajani Goldmane features of course make Kitchen Finks — already probably the best three mana spell in the format — even better than usual, and the deck tops up on one of the best threats in the format overall.

This deck has considerably more Cruel Ultimatum defense than a Kithkin deck. For instance you can discard Wilt-Leaf Liege, sacrifice one of the bazillion Persist creatures, and so on.

The deck has a powerful long-game offense similar to the B/W decks of [not really that] old. It can go Ajani Goldmane building a tremendous and continually bolstering Persist creatures for blowouts in creature-on-creature.

Would I have been able to give this deck a PTQ seal of approval?

I liked playing it, but it has a gigantic hole in the G/W Combo Elves department, and while many matchups across the board are winnable or better, it lacks the defining features of the three Standard decks I’ve actually played in the last few months, being relentless deck advantage (Jund Mana Ramp), ability to win the lottery (Rhox Mediatant Deck), or clear mathematical correctness of choice (Blightning Beatdown).

But for someone who is already amenable to playing Kithkin, I think this kind of a deck is something that person might have considered playing.

It’s well known that I like Green mana symbols too much, and that I am a big fan of trying to win the Cascade lottery. This deck was an attempt to update the Rhox Meditant Deck with Baneslayer Angel and other “better” cards.

The Naya-ish Cascade Deck:

4 Bituminous Blast
4 Blightning
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Captured Sunlight
4 Enlisted Wurm
4 Kitchen Finks

2 Primal Command

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Baneslayer Angel

4 Exotic Orchard
2 Forest
1 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Reflecting Pool
1 Swamp
4 Vivid Crag
4 Vivid Grove
4 Vivid Meadow

1 Pithing Needle
4 Anathemancer
4 Maelstrom Pulse
2 Primal Command
4 Hallowed Burial

Previous, Crappier, Versions Included… Actually, the deck didn’t last very long.

Ironically the older version with Borderland Ranger instead of Blightning, no Baneslayer Angel, etc. was much more consistent. That deck was a solid tournament performer; this one couldn’t break 50% in the Tournament Practice room.

The culprit, that is bully, was basic Swamp of all things. Which inspired the third of this post’s decks:

The Black Deck:

4 Armillary Sphere
2 Pithing Needle

4 Beseech the Queen
4 Corrupt
4 Duress
1 Liliana Vess
1 Midnight Banshee
2 Mind Shatter
4 Sign in Blood
4 Tendrils of Corruption

2 Oona, Queen of the Fae

4 Gargoyle Castle
24 Swamp

4 Scepter of Fugue
4 Doom Blade
1 Puppeteer Clique
4 Shriekmaw
4 Stillmoon Cavalier

Previous, Crappier, Versions Included… Vampire Nocturnus, Consume Spirit, stuff like that.

I really like this deck.

It doesn’t really have any good solutions to Spectral Procession, but people aren’t really playing that right now.

The deck has a lot of play against a lot of strategies. Tendrils of Corruption gives you a solid out against even cards like Doran, the Siege Tower. One of the things I like about this deck is the presence of Armillary Sphere. Originally I thought that Standard MBC would be automatically unplayable due to a lack of card advantage. However the presence of both Sign in Blood and Armillary Sphere allows the deck to double up on cheap card drawing spells. There is a nice mix of cheap copies of Duress and expensive super-bombs.

If anyone has a way to beat Chameleon Colossus wearing Behemoth Sledge, you know where to leave the comment 🙂


Currently Reading: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

facebook comments:


#1 ReeceP on 09.05.09 at 9:12 pm

1-2 Trip Noose. You can Beseech for them, gum up the ground with it, and then use Fireballs to burn them out. I played a mono-black deck in Lorwyn Block that was quite similiar to this, and that was what we had against Chameleion Colossus.

I also think you need to add Profane Command to have more Fireballs though 😀

#2 moggfnatic on 09.06.09 at 4:22 pm

Infest from the board for spectral procession and other such nonsense?

#3 zsievers on 09.07.09 at 1:25 pm

Isn’t the mbc sb 17 cards?

#4 scoutinthenight on 09.08.09 at 1:24 pm

If anyone has a way to beat Chameleon Colossus wearing Behemoth Sledge

Have you thought about Dread? I used it along with Razormane Masticore in my MBC deck during Timespiral/Lorwyn to slow down Collosus and Oversoul of Dusk. You’ve got a decent amount of lifegain off of your removal, and it could replace the Midnight Banshee. Of course, they can just wait until they have the green to go lethal on one swing, but it might buy you some time.

#5 MTGBattlefield on 09.17.09 at 8:45 am

Surprisingly, the Answer is Armillary Sphere…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#6 Five With Flores » Goblin Assault and the Spanish Inquisition Update on 11.12.09 at 5:03 am

[…] Armillary Sphere 1 Expedition Map 1 Obelisk of […]

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