Battle Royale Round 12 – Bring The Noise

StarCityGames.com - Battle Royale!

Our second challenger for the Battle Royale crown is our man in Japan, Eli Kaplan. As a teacher, it is safe to say that Eli is probably ready to impart some “old school” wisdom into the Battle framework… What will he do with his twenty-five bucks?

Believe it or not, teaching can get in your blood. You get to give fresh, ignorant minds a taste of insight. Like a virus, your ideas get stuck in their head, finding a home where they feel at home. The ideas spread out a tarp, build a house, and eventually buy tasteful Swedish furniture. These ideas may later be kicked out by new, possibly better ideas. No turf stays in one man’s hands forever. I get pleasure not necessarily from winning every fight, though I relish my victories. No, the continuous flow of success and challenges, of endless struggle to spread understanding and the few chances to get bad jokes in. That’s what education’s all about.

Battle Royale is an excellent school for newcomers. Learn how to brain your opponent, and watch a demonstration. Keep reading, and let my mimetic viruses spread. Bwahahaha!

Sorry. Evil laughter is the province of the mentally unsound. I should just be thankful that I managed to restrain myself to only one exclamation mark.

What’s a classic lesson for any Magic player? Throwing together their first White Weenie deck. White’s piece of the color pie has staked its claim over cheap, super-efficient creatures. We have a classic, very cheap archetype that has existed throughout the ages. During Tempest block, it was a real force to be reckoned with, and it even won the World Championship. Since then it’s shifted into variants, the most notable being the rebel decks from the Mercadian Masques era. Building a deck of ridiculously powerful White beaters for two is a rite of passage for Magic players. I look to document such an archetype in battle in this round of Battle Royale. Sort of like the Discovery Channel.

And so for my first Battle Royale deck, I’ve decided to go with a very simple, very pure, very engaging deck for newcomers.

Hakujin Revolution

3 Amrou Scout (free)
3 Azorius Guildmage (3 for 1)
2 Celestial Crusader (3 for 1)
4 Knight of the Holy Nimbus (3 for 1)
4 Leonin Skyhunter (10 for 1)
2 Mistral Charger (10 for 1)
3 Ronom Unicorn (free)
2 Veteran Armorer (free)
3 White Shield Crusader (4 for 1)
3 Fortify (free)
2 Griffin Guide (2 for 1)
2 Bathe in Light (20 for 1)
4 Pacifism (free)
23 Plains

Total cost: 5.32 tickets.

Good old White Weenie. Let’s throw together a simple sideboard. None of this fancy transformation sequences. Pure spite and overwhelming power.

3 Circle of Protection: Red (25 for 1)
3 Soul Warden (4 for 1)
2 Circle of Protection: Black (25 for 1)
3 Disenchant (2 for 1)
1 Ronom Unicorn (free)
2 Worship (0.6 each)
2 Veteran Armorer (free)

Sideboard cost: 3.65 tickets.

Total cost: 9 tickets

What’s that, you say? I’ve got extra tickets? Awesome! In that case, I’ll go on a spending spree and splurge on some of the best angry little men White can offer. A little more beating goes a long way. Take the previous decklist as a “very budget” build, and now let’s move along to what a little investment can do for us.

Hakujin Revolution 1.1

3 Glorious Anthem (1.66 each)
3 Weathered Wayfarer (1 each)
2 Serra Avenger (3.5 each)
1 Desert (1)

Back to the deck as a whole:

Final cost: 20.58 + 3.63 = 24.21 tickets

Whew! Under 25 tickets with a little room to spare.

How to play this deck: Attack for two. Make a guy. Attack for four. Do something else. Rinse. Repeat. Play Anthem or Fortify for the kill.

It’s all about attacking for two, or more, and finishing up with a mass pump spell. It’s as old as the hills. If you never draw a fourth land, chances are you’ll win the game. If you never draw a fifth land, you’ll almost certainly win the game unless your opponent has mass removal.

What’s the most effective counter to this deck? Mass removal. If you’re a new player, playing this deck in a regular Standard format will teach you like nothing else how many guys to play out against Wraths and mass removal. It’s an important lesson to learn. How many creatures are you willing to commit to the table? That’s where Knight of the Holy Nimbus comes in. Lots of casual players like red removal, and Knight of the Holy Nimbus laughs mass burn off. If your opponent holds back to make sure the Knight dies… well, odds are he loses that bet. Knight of the Holy Nimbus provides some degree of resistance to mass removal.

Splurging for the Weathered Wayfarers is well worth it. They smooth out mana draws and are precious one-drops. Yes, I know an Azorius Chantry would be handy, particularly when used in conjunction with the Wayfarer. But coming into play tapped is the kiss of death in White Weenie decks.

How much do I like the Serra Avengers? Too much for mere words. You can play them on turn 4 along with another beater, or Bathe in Light, or slap a Pacifism on your opponent’s blockers and keep barreling through their lines. They’re not cheap, but they’re well worth buying a pair.

With the light Rebel chain in the deck, it’s pretty sensible to have ways to thin out your land draws. In addition, having a random Island in there for Blue mana is decent. How strong is Azorius Guildmage’s Blue activated ability in Constructed? I haven’t the foggiest. But now it’s time to find out. Similarly, Desert can hose any number of decks.

I love Temporal Isolation. After throwing in four Pacifisms clean and simple on the first pass, I did a quick Time Spiral draft. Drafting helps keep your mind sharp, and the ability to play Pacifism as an instant more than makes up for its potential drawback. (Putting damage on the stack, then sacrificing the creature before the damage resolves, the guy still gets his licks in. I guess that’s what happens when you finally shuffle off this mortal coil.) Pacifism also doesn’t stop Prodigal Sorcerers and their ilk. Temporal Isolation does. It’s White’s answer to Last Gasp, and it’s going to show up in a ton of Battle Royale decks in the next year or two.

What cards don’t I want to see in my opponent’s decks? Spell Snare. Repeal. Void. Void comes up to White Weenie and slips them the Kiss of Death.

I’m eager to see what my mystery opponent’s going to throw together. I’m hoping those of you who enjoy turning creatures sideways cheer me on.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

Eli Kaplan
japaneli at hotmail

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The Battle takes place on Saturday 18th November at 8pm EST, in the Anything Goes Casual Room on Magic Online. Be there!]