The development of OBC post-Judgement is moving along expected paths: monoblack remains relatively unchanged, Blue/green is morphing into Quiet Roar, monogreen gets a radical overhaul with Judgement goodies – and of course, everyone’s trying to put together a Green/white deck. My assignment with Team Diaspora is to playtest the heck out of monogreen, and it’s been fun and fruitful. At the same time though, Judgement is filled with interesting cards that lure me into thinking about other paths. For those feeling a bit more adventuresome, here’s some raw deck ideas for you to run with.
A direct descendent from the pre-Regionals Millikin Burn deck that made a brief blip on the metagame radar, and adopting a few ideas from my own Overmaster Sligh, I’ve come up with this monstrosity. We take the starting spine of Millikin feeding both Lavamancer and Barbarian Ring, mix in flashback spells and Recoup, and add the two best Punisher cards from Judgement. For the final icing on the cake, we have Burning Wish, which in this deck is so much more powerful than just being able to dip into the sideboard. We will more likely be using it to recover cards removed from the game via flashback. Cast Firebolt, flash it back, then get it back with Burning Wish to cast it and flash it back again. The damage adds up quick. And imagine this dream scenario – cast Browbeat, then Recoup Browbeat, then cast Burning Wish to get back Browbeat and cast it again, then flashback Recoup to flashback Browbeat again. This deck can dish out a lot of damage, and has the benefit of monocolor consistency along with Millikin mana acceleration. I think this could be a nice rogue deck.
4x Mesmeric Fiend
4x Overeager Apprentice
4x Balthor the Defiled
4x Faceless Butcher
3x Laquatus’ Champion
1x Chainer, Dementia Master
1x Vampiric Dragon
4x Buried Alive
4x Bloodfire Ridge
Faceless Butcher really shines in the new environment as a great assassin for 6/6 Wurms. Petradon can gain you some nice tempo advantage by setting your opponent back a few land drops, and if you’re lucky you might snag a Squirrel Nest for your troubles. Vampiric Dragon is the”fattie” of the deck, and he simultaneously chews up weenies and gets large, hopefully ending the game shortly after arriving on the scene. Chainer is a double-edged sword in a deck with fourteen Nightmares – he can pump up your army enough to end the game, but his untimely removal can seriously harm your board position.
On the New Extended:
“The new rotation policy was announced – one that will keep the format changing every few years. For now however, few competitive players were pleased.” – Alex Shvartsman
“Extended was invented so we could play with our Dual Lands… Now we’re back to playing a different game. A game where you either play one color or you play two and might [as well] start with 14 life instead and just hope to have the right colors at the right time.” – Mike Long
Oh, how the pros are gnashing their teeth at the prospects of the major changes in store for Extended! I guess they figured they’d be able to play their favorite three-color decks until the end of time (or at least until they stopped playing Magic and could sell their dual lands for a premium). I notice Mr. Shvartsman yet again comes across with a casual arrogance, speaking for”competitive players” everywhere… But I daresay many of us down here in the Wilds of PTQville are going to love the change. No longer will what we play be dictated by the number of dual lands we can beg, borrow, or steal – or already own – four Forces of Will.
Long and many other Pros complain that Extended is supposed to be the Dual Land Format – but the fact of the matter is, there are just not enough Dual Lands to go around! As more and more players enter the game, it becomes ever more difficult to get your hands on the dual lands you absolutely need to be competitive in the format. Extended was becoming an”elite” format – a junior Type I – and like it or not, Extended has to be a showcase format for the masses to watch, follow, and participate in. Who’s going to care about trying to qualify for, much less pay any attention to, a Pro Tour in a format they can’t compete in?
On another note, I think the prospect of cracking into a completely new format is exciting! Three to six blocks of cards is a huge pool, but not unmanageable for those willing to put in the time. Besides, who wouldn’t like to dust off their old Urza-era decks and update them with new cards? Personally, I’m curious how a modern version of the Control Green deck I won States with in ’99 would fare. It wouldn’t have a chance in hell in modern Extended, but it’s going to be a different world this fall. Thank you, Wizards and the DCI, for making that bold move.
On Token Creatures in Onslaught:
The other day on mtg.com, Mark Rosewater let slip that there will be cards that generate 1/1 green token creatures in Onslaught, and that they will not be Saprolings nor Squirrels. Intrigued, I decided to try and figure out what the token might be.
Searching through mtgnews’ spoiler generator for green token creatures that have been introduced before, here’s the 1/1 green ones that weren’t Saprolings and Squirrels (which were the most popular by far):
- Butterfly (flying; Giant Caterpillar)
- Wolves of the Hunt (has bands with other Wolves of the Hunt; Master of the Hunt)
- Hound (Mongrel Pack)
- Hippo (Phelddagrif, Questing Phelddagrif)
- Insect (Saber Ants)
- Snake (Snake Pit)
- Spike (Spike Breeder)
- Splinter (flying, cumulative upkeep; Splintering Wind)
- Cat (Waiting in the Weeds)
Now, first assuming R&D is gonna pick something that’s been done before, and assuming that these are gonna be vanilla creatures (as per Mark Rosewater generalization), that narrows the list down to:
I’m now going to assume that generic Spikes won’t be created because the Spike mechanic was set-specific (though if Spikes came back in Onslaught, I’d be a happy camper). Hound and Hippo both sound a little”big” for 1/1 token critters, so I think the choice is between Cat, Insect, and Snake. Since Saber Ants was used at least a little more than Waiting in the Weeds and Snake Pit (there weren’t many Saber Ants fans, but I wasn’t the only one), I’m going to go on a limb here (and set myself up for disappointment) that the new 1/1 green token critters will indeed be insects! With the mantis-like Nantuko from Odyssey, I don’t think it’s a far stretch that Wizards will continue its insect theme into Onslaught. Here’s hoping!