Kazandu Blademaster Ain’t No Joke


Kazandu Blademaster ∙ Ill-conceived April Fool’s Day Jokes ∙ [not so] Secret Allies Decks
Everywhere a Bloodbraid Elf ∙ Grand Prix Brussels ∙ … and Kazandu Blademaster

So I was going to run a post that was like “this is THE END of FiveWithFlores.com… But based on my recent non-posting status, despite the fact that this is April 1, ye ole joke might not come across the hilarious way I would have intended. So instead, we’ll talk about something that is not joke, no joke whatsoever: Jeroen Aga’s Allies Deck.

Naya Allies – Jeroen Aga

4 Bloodbraid Elf

3 Harabaz Druid
4 Oran-Rief Survivalist

4 Akoum Battlesinger
1 Goblin Bushwhacker

4 Hada Freeblade
4 Kabira Evangel
Kazandu Blademaster4 Kazandu Blademaster
2 Path to Exile
2 Ranger of Eos
4 Talus Paladin

4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Arid Mesa
2 Forest
4 Jungle Shrine
1 Mountain
5 Plains
4 Sunpetal Grove

3 Cunning Sparkmage
3 Lightning Bolt
3 Tuktuk Scrapper
4 Kor Firewalker
2 Path to Exile

So… 34 creatures, 27 of them Allies. Ho ho Allies linear!

This might not have been the rumored G/W Allies deck that the Japanese were brewing for the most recent Pro Tour, but Jeroen Aga was able to start out 9-0 at Grand Prix Brussels, and ultimately finish in the money, if not the Top 8.

So, Top Decks this week is devoted [rightfully] to the level up mechanic, so we are going to use this space — and resurrect the interest in this blog while we’re at it — to talk about one of the things we would normally have done over at the mother ship: an interesting and quite different new deck.

Another Bloodbraid Elf deck?


Bloodbraid Elf is just that damn good.

But this time — at least when you are not flipping over a Path to Exile (please Please PLEASE)… You will generally be doing something Ally-tastic.

There is certainly going to be some Bloodbraid Elf draw-dependency. For example when you are poised for an Alpha Strike, flipping over Harabaz Druid is going to put you on tilt like, you know, a pinball machine that has been knocked to the side.

And sometimes you are going to flip over Kabira Evangel and you will look like an absolute action hero. Holy Reverent Mantra Batman!

The Allies deck is a good example of a deck that is not Jund. Its cards are significantly worse than, say, Blightning and Putrid Leech. Heck, the Lightning Bolts are in the sideboard… and there are only three of them!

Like Kazandu Blademaster is a good man and everything — probably a hair better than Hada Freeblade — but he’s not as good as a two mana conditional 4/4… not by himself. Not until he is 4/4, anyway.

But Kazandu Blademaster, Hada Freeblade, and Oran-Rief Survivalist get the linear bonus. As you play more and more Allies, they get better and better, and have to be evaluated as such.

For example, the average Kazandu Blademaster (in this deck) probably says something like:

Creature – Human Soldier Ally
First Strike
2w: {this} gains +1/+1 and creatures you control are unblockable until end of turn; use this ability only once per game
3w: {this} gains +1/+1 and creatures you control gain lifelink until end of turn

Something more elegantly stated than the above, but you get the idea. Every Ally card in this deck is functionally speaking a good deal better than its printed value in this deck.

So when you start doing evaluations between the most recent incarnation of the 2/2 first striker for WW [versus a Putrid Leech, which is the default two-drop in Standard], you can’t stop with it being a 2/2… It is so much more when surrounded by all these other puzzle pieces. That’s how you look at the cards in a linear deck.

I once said that all the linears are about as good as each other, at least because they are held in check by hoser cards.

That was pretty not-correct.

Some cards say: (b/u)(b/u) – Kill the opponent on the second turn. Other ones are just very good 4/4 creatures for four mana (also very good… but not as good as the b/u jobby, above); Allies are probably somewhere in the middle… Less powerful than a Sword of Fire and Ice-weilding Indrik Stomphowler, but much faster in exchange; probably more apt to set up completely unexpected blowout draws.

The Allies have some cute stuff going on. For example a Ranger of Eos can grab a pair of Hada Freeblades to quickly make your Kazandu Blademaster (or whoever) into a one-Ally assault force. Or, like in the Boros deck, you can get a solo Goblin Bushwhacker to just go kill the opponent. When the Bushwhacker is on the tail end of a stack of Allies all holding hands, making each other bigger, faster, longer, and harder, even a single attack can be very impressive.

As such, I would probably have played more copies of Ranger of Eos (personally I have that card very near Bloodbraid Elf and Baneslayer Angel in power level), but I have neither Aga’s experience with these Allies, nor his 9-0 Grand Prix opening.

Yes, yes: Consider us back.


Currently Reading: The Night Watch (Watch, Book 1)

facebook comments:


#1 juzamjedi on 04.01.10 at 2:42 pm

Hooray now we just need the keep vs. mull article for the RWU deck

#2 MTGBattlefield on 04.01.10 at 9:25 pm

Kazandu Blademaster Ain’t No Joke…

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

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