There was a time – a time for consideration. A time when the best decks in a format were, as a whole, undefined. A time of uncertainty, a time of fully working hard drives, and a time of milk and cookies.
But that time has passed.
(Except for milk and cookies; there’s always time for milk and cookies.)
With the advent of such new-fangled technologies as GP Taipei and GP Sao Paulo, there is little reason to sit, naked, thinker-like, on a toilet, pondering the new and unspoilt standard metagame… Because it is now somewhat not as new and quite spoilt, obviously. So those of you expecting me to finish my intellectual exercise on whether or not black control can exist in the current environment can give up waiting, because I no longer have to sit here and try my darnedest to imagine what the competition looks like.
Which is a shame, because I had thunk up some cool stuff in my opinion, but that can wait for another day.
Right now I am a bitter holdout. Murphy’s law snuck up on me and bit me, ass-side of the equator. Not more than an hour after I installed a new CD-writer, with perhaps a passing fancy at the idea of backing up some of my ten gigs o’ goodness, my hard drive up and refused to talk to the rest of the silicon mishmash that it’s wired up to. So it was one mad, mad blisterguy-type person who was back off to the pooter shop with his shelling-out pants on, and now I have 40 gig-o-byters of nothing to back up.
Kinda like having a deck with no creatures in it.
Well, actually nothing like it, but I likes me segues messy and incoherent.
(It seems I might have an unhealthy fixation on creatureless control decks, but we’ll see where this goes before we go accusing me of anything.)
For some reason, my brain randomly spammed me with a deck idea that looks a little like the "when sorceries attack" deck that both Brian Davis and Geordie Tait have piloted to less than impressive finishes – but still insist on heralding as great, bless ’em. But the pile I’m forced to see every time I close my eyes, is an OBC monstrosity. Naturally, it thrives on the Edict engine, otherwise known as running all Edicts possible, along with other removal, and running no creatures to render any of the opponent’s non-burn based removal quite useless. Which, as many of you may realize, is basically how black control and when sorceries attack work as well. But unfortunately, in Odyssey block there isn’t the great burn or anything even remotely similar to a Millstone to win with.
(Okay, so Ambassador Laquatus looks a lot like a Millstone – but he has limbs, or fins or something, and is therefore, weak.)
And I’m not prepared to play a deck that doesn’t win, even if it can’t lose.
However – and this is the interesting bit my brain slapped me with – you can play an odd looking buy-back engine with Mirari and Burning Wish. Sure, it’s vulnerable to artifact removal, but nobody really plays that in OBC, so it should be relatively safe.
Whoa! What was that? Oh my God, it was a decklist!
4 Innocent Blood
4 Chainer’s Edict
4 Burning Wish
4 Diabolic Tutor
3 Mind Sludge
2 Skeletal Scrying
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Morbid Hunger
4 Tainted Peak
1 Shadowblood Ridge
2 Cabal Coffers
1 Mind Sludge
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Rancid Earth
1 Lightning Surge
2 Morbid Hunger
Ugh. I never thought I’d type the word "Tombfire" anywhere near a decklist – but it is nice to be able to Burning Wish on turn 3 to nullify a Quiet Speculation, no? The other point of notice in the sideboard is the seemingly redundant Rancid Earth, because Demolish also destroys a land while it’s not aiding you in the war on Mirari superiority. But I’ve a sneaky suspicion that being able to go on a squirrel eradication spree is also important, and going land destruction nuts with Mirari-Wish is just that much easier if the spell cost 1BB, not 3R. I’m also a touch concerned that five sources of red mana might not be enough – but it is only really necessary in the late game, so I’ll go with it for now and be able to reap the rewards of the Coffers el Caballe, due to the vast quantity of Swamps available.
For those of you who have yet to see the "combo" – and I use the term loosely because it comes nowhere near anything that resembles an unbounded amount of mana on any given turn – or, for that matter, asking your opponent to "please draw six million cards" – it goes a little something like this.
- Cast a spell that does something proactive – like for instance blowing up a land, or reducing your opponent’s life total by three. Ah hell, you have a Mirari in play; go ahead and fork it too.
- Recoup the spell, but go easy on the Mirari this time though, unless you really have heaps of mana, and do said proactive thing again. Unfortunately, this removes the spell from the game.
- Fortunately, this removes the spell from the game! Now Wish for the spell, and Mirari the Wish. The copy of the Wish should go off and find another version of itself that is either hiding in your sideboard from earlier use, or is loitering in the removed from the game zone.
- This should leave you with the original proactive spell and a Wish back in your hand.
- After a bit more of this kind of shenanigans, and flashing back a Recoup or two and Wishing it were back in your hand, you’ll find you’ll never run out of useful spells.
Of course, your opponent will be less than happy with you horsing around like this, but they will be powerless to stop you because you will have Mind Sludged and Haunting Echoesed them halfway to f**k, and they will probably scoop it up like half-price good-stuff.
(Gratuitous use of censored swearing there, to show just how tough I really am.)
Give it a whirl; it’ll be fun. But how? You ask. We can’t use Magic Online any more, ever since they started asking for actual cash. And Apprentice isn’t exactly "Wish-friendly.”
Well, you can either get out the maker pens, and the spare commons, or you can listen to my wonderful Apprentice-based solution.
(Apprentice-based solution it is then.)
I thought so. Instead of constructing you usual sixty-card deck with fifteen sideboard cards in apprentice, make it a seventy-five card deck instead. At the start of the game, look through you deck and pull out the cards you want to be part of the on-going party that is your sideboard. Making sure they are out of the way, maybe over to the right of the playing area a bit; if you hold shift, they will be placed facedown. When you Wish, you can peek at the cards until you find the one you want, it’s as simple as that.
Pshh – I know it’s not as good as what Magic online would do, but beggars can not really be choosers now, can they? And it’s definitely good enough for playtesting with your pals, I’d say.
About here somewhere, an author of an article such as this would go on to explain how much the deck they have offered beats everything ever created, up to and including it’s own children. But I’ll spare you that unpleasantness, and we’ll just pretend I did.
Until next time, where I could potentially talk about almost anything, don’t get your, um… "Magic wand" caught in your zipper.
(And if you’re female, don’t get anyone else’s "magic wand" caught in their zipper.)