13 Oct 2014

No Bite, why I chaged Clans - Magic

I'm a Blue player but there is a dangerous trap that I need to avoid.

Doing nothing.

Seriously I can have so much fun building decks that simply fuck with my opponents that I lose focus and I am unable to build a deck that wins. When I first built my mono Blue Commander deck it was ok but it started to slow down as I found more things to put in it. The deck started to shape up as something that did nothing - it did nothing at all but it was fun to play.

When the pre-release for Khans of Tarkir I picked the Jeskai Way as my go to clan. They were a Blue clan with some White and Red. It seems that each colour in Khans is around being Agile, Fast, Strong, Deadly, and Tough. Jeskai is agile, Ffast, and strangly resilient. Yet they have no edge. I found it very hard to play with them as most of the time I felt like I was playing around for the sole sake of playing around. Adding a level of bit to the clan was hard when I was constructing my decks and after a week or so of playing with the set I realised - Jeskai Way is not my clan.

I am of the Sultai Brood - I am a 'ruthless' Magic player.

Sultai Brood is the Black faction with some Green to up the kick and some Blue for some options. I've for years tettered on the edge between the two ally colours Blue and Black - hell my best work is playing Blue-Black decks. I'm dodgy and I sting. Why didn't I get this when I picked my pre-release pack? How did I forget my need of the edge?

Since this revelation came to mind I've decided to look at what I can do with the Sultai Brood and ponder some design stratagies. Altar of the Brood is already on a short list of cards I want - but this is not how the Sultai Brood does things. Their shtick is to Delve.

Delve - each card exiled from the graveyard while casting this spell pays for 1.

That sounds pretty nifty but costly. Getting cards into the graveyard and then ditching them could mill a player out very quickly, something I am always tend to be aware of as I play since I love to Mill. Yet when you play something like Become Immense, getting +6/+6 for the turn at a cost of five cards getting exiled - playing that can really change the score quickly in a match. Why did I not see this? I play a White First Strike/Double Strike deck that has green for the buffs. Paying 5G for a +6/+6 instant is a fair price, paying less because I exiled a few cards is brilliant.

Dead Drop is a might bastard. Getting a player to sacrafice two creatures - which means those pesky Industructable Gods from Theros are fair game as long as the Devotion is keeps them a creature. if not wipping away two creatures who can't regenerate, who get thrown out - sacrafice is a brilliant force to push on another player. Dead Drop costs 9B or less if you're willing to start exiling cards from the graveyard. Dig Through Time is another card that makes great use of the Delve mechanic. With a cost of 6UU, you can search through the top 7 cards and keep 2 before putting the rest on the bottom on deck. There have been plenty of times I've been willing to exile half my grave yard for just a few more cards - so a few cards and two Blue mana is a price I'd be willing to pay.

Empty the Pits is a end game play, for every two cards you exile or mana you pay plus four Black mana - you get that many 2/2 zombies. Late game play you exile 20 cards and pay 8 mana and you're looking at 14 zombies. After clearing some board and setting things up, dropping that many creatures for an opponent is rude and also more importantly hard to deal with... more so on their turn because it's an instant. Once your turn comes up all of those Zombies suddenly show up. Hell after a all out attack with no defences, seeing a slew of Zombies come up on your turn and then coming over the hill is fucking life changing in the worlds of Magic.

Death Frenzy is a great spell that gets rid of many token decks. With a cost of 3BG, all creatures suffer a -2/-2 and you get 1 life for each creature this kills. This includes your own but wow that can be a game changer against small creature tribal decks, Kithkin, Zombie, Fairy, Spirit and Goblin are some of a few decks that this can really hurt.

I'm just looking through the list of Saltai cards on gatherer and learning about all of these cards I'm thinking to myself two things: 1. I am willing to pay the prince most of the time, and 2. This is more my style - my selection was wrong.

Grim Haruspex is brilliant 3/2 card that lets you draw a card when ever you lose a creature. Villans Wealth is a brilliant Mill card. This list goes on...

There is something here I didn't see and now I feel like I'm looking with more open eyes.

Khans of Tarkir has something for me outside of learning how to build tri-colour decks. It has an edge I didn't see before.

- Cheers