One Man’s Junk Is Another Man’s Tech…

I had put together a synthesis of Rock and Oath I called”Black Oath” back in early December – and I think, in time, it would have become Kibler’s build. That’s sad. With that in mind, here are three decks that I’ve only done some light playtesting on, but I think they have potential.

Hi, all! Sorry it’s been a while; with two small children, the holidays, and gigs with Scrye and MagicTheGathering.com, the time I had for fun StarCity writing has been non-existent. In fact, the time I’ve had for playing in Qualifiers has been non-existent – which is a shame really since Extended has proven to be such a fun and wide-open format. From JJ Stors (a columnist for the Enemy) Q’ing with his Enchantress deck to the plethora of cool decks that did well this past weekend in New Orleans (Turbo Land, Elves!, Kibler Oath, Flagpole) shows that for environment is ripe for deck innovators.

And you know I love innovating decks. Back in my single, non-parent days, I’d love doing nothing better than spending hours putting together wild and wacky builds. When Onslaught was released, I had a few decent ideas that I wish I’d had the time to test and tweak some… But with the end of the season rapidly approaching and me probably not even making it to one single qualifier, it looks like my ideas will have to be shelved until next year.

What’s sad, too, is that I had put together a synthesis of Rock and Oath I called”Black Oath” back in early December that may very well have evolved similarly to Kibler’s build, if only I’d had the time. So instead of a new archetype called”Kibler Oath” maybe it would have been”Smith Oath.” Or not.

For those of you who are interested, or are looking for something different to try out, I present to you my contenders for the best of my wacky ideas. As a warning, these builds are rough and untested, so if you want to give them a try feel free to modify them as you see fit. I’ve included some thoughts on each deck and the concept behind them.

Deck #1 Black Oath

by Bennie Smith

4x Duress

2x Cabal Therapy

3x Vampiric Tutor

4x Smother

1x Terror

4x Oath of Druids

4x Living Wish

1x Naturalize

1x Infest

3x Pernicious Deed

1x Persecute

4x Spike Feeder

1x Battlefield Scrounger

2x Phantom Nishoba

4x Treetop Village

2x Windswept Heath

1x Plains

1x Forest

4x Llanowar Wastes

13x Swamp


4x Mesmeric Fiend

1x Spiritmonger

1x Gigapede

1x Bone Shredder

1x Dust Bowl

1x Volrath’s Stronghold

1x Stronghold Taskmaster

3x Naturalize

1x Coffin Queen

1x Pernicious Deed

The original inspiration for the Black Oath came from Gary Oath, with the idea that modern black has all the tools for being a control deck, maybe even better than blue so why not make a base-black Oath control deck instead? My first pass at the deck had Phyrexian Arenas in it, but after some feedback from GP Baglione I decided that was probably not necessary. While Kibler’s build is undoubtedly tighter and better-tested, something like Black Oath could probably do well with the right tweaks. For starters, Ravenous Baloths might be just as good as Phantom Nishoba without janking up the mana.

Deck #2: Sap Attack!

By Bennie Smith

4x Enlightened Tutor

4x Birds of Paradise

2x Llanowar Elves

4x Wall of Blossoms

4x Saproling Cluster

3x Living Wish

4x Aura Mutation

4x Fecundity

2x Slate of Ancestry

1x Masticore

1x Worship

4x Saproling Burst

2x Gaea’s Cradle

2x Deserted Temple

4x Brushland

5x Plains

10x Forest

Sideboard to include:

1x Nemata, Grove Guardian

1x Squallmonger

1x Masticore

1x Cloudchaser Eagle

1x Uktabi Orangutan

1x Gaea’s Cradle

1x Deserted Temple

Two extended seasons ago I threw together the first version of this deck with the intent to generate obscene amounts of mana with Gaea’s Cradle. Initial testing showed it did just that, along with producing vast quantities of Saprolings and such. The problem with the build is that it didn’t have enough card drawing and it had to run multiple copies of Nemata in the maindeck.

Step forward to 2003 with Slate of Ancestry and Living Wish in the mix. As Diego Ostrovich showed with his top 8 Elves! Deck, the Slate can draw a ton of cards for decks that can produce a lot of creatures and generate a bunch of mana. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a synthesis of our deck ideas could produce something truly grotesque and broken. But sticking with Sap Attack, there are lots of little synergies built in that make it tons of fun. With a Fecundity on the board, your Saproling Burst can net you seven cards, along with boosting your Cradle’s mana production by six green if you tap it before removing that last fade counter. Or if you’ve Wished for and played Nemata, the Burst can equate to a Might of Oaks for all your Saprolings. And don’t forget to Aura Mutate the Burst when you’re done with it, assuming you’ve nothing better to break. And Slate of Ancestry with Saproling Cluster just seems so wrong it’s right.

The board hasn’t been completely fleshed out yet, but the Squallmonger is in there in case you’ve got a Worship out to protect you, might as well channel all that mana into damage for your opponent, right?

Mythic Patterns

By Bennie Smith

1x Weathered Wayfarer

4x Mother of Runes

4x Beloved Chaplain

4x Shaman en-Kor

1x Soltari Priest

1x Monk Idealist

1x Rotlung Reanimator

4x Nomad Mythmaker

4x Academy Rector

1x Doubtless One

1x Seal of Cleansing

1x Tattoo Ward

1x Armadillo Cloak

2x Pariah

1x Diabolic Servitude

1x Worship

4x Pattern of Rebirth

4x Starlit Sanctum

4x Llanowar Wastes

4x Brushland

2x Grand Coliseum

10x Plains

Sideboard possibilities:

True Believer

Crimson Acolyte

Obsidian Acolyte

Nova Cleric

Cabal Archon

False Prophet

Mythic Patterns came together when I started thinking about Nomad Mythmaker and Pattern of Rebirth. I used to play a Pattern deck back in the Urza Block Constructed qualifiers; it was a lot of fun and felt a lot like Survival utility-style decks. I’ve also been fond of Go Go Rector-Gadget and Ghoul Burst decks, since they can both go combo or utility depending on the situation. I’ve tinkered around with a Type 2 Mythmaker deck, so it was natural to see what the extended card pool brings.

The first thing I noticed is that Mythmaker is a cleric and there are lots of good Extended clerics, so why not tap into Onslaught tribal power as a sub-theme for the deck? One enchantment I used in the Type 2 version is Pariah – for its first casting, pop it on an opposing creature as removal, then reuse it on one of your own for a Simulacrum effect. Or if you’ve got a Shaman en-Kor, you can slap Pariah on him and redirect damage dealt to you to the appropriate creature (the Chaplain for creature damage, the Priest for burn, etc). Mother of Runes acts as nice backup to that plan. Tattoo Ward may look weird, but with a Mythmaker it’s a mini-Giant Growth and reusable enchantment kill.

The deck’s got a lot of potential for customization, so feel free to go crazy with the cheez whiz.

Anyhow, there’s some deck ideas I never had the chance to work on. Feeling adventuresome? Give one of ’em a whirl. They all look like lots of fun to me, and I’m sorry I missed out on the opportunity to play ’em. There’s always next season.

For those of you who’ve made it this far, here’s a tidbit of information you may enjoy – through my job with Scrye, I have the spoiler for Legions. And while my NDA prohibits me from revealing any information from the spoiler now, it does allow me to get some articles ready for you all when the spoiler is released to the public (typically the day before the pre-release; that would be January 24th). So make sure to check back here that Friday morning for my initial thoughts on Legions (hopefully, the Ferrett will post me that morning), and then the following week when I go over some initial Legions-enabled ideas for Regionals.