Removed From Game – Twelve Decks of Christmas #4: Spread ‘Em

The StarCityGames.com Open Series returns to Dallas/Fort Worth!
Thursday, December 31st – Put on your party hat, pull a cracker, and join Rich on a festive tour of a dozen decks in Standard. A great place for newer players to learn about the main components of Magic’s most popular Constructed format, with a deck a day for the next two weeks.

It’s possible that there’s a more quirky, frustrating, and downright irritating deck to play against than this, but I can’t find it. Here’s the list, and you’re welcome to it:

Alright, so let’s see what this deck does. Most decks take an approach of ‘your deck might be good, but mine’s even better.’ This deck turns that idea on its head by basically saying ‘my deck’s rubbish, but I’m going to make sure yours is even worse.’ Like Jund, Cascade is a major part of the deck, but whereas Jund Cascades into all sorts of top-quality goodness like Blightning, Terminate, and Maelstrom Pulse off their Bloodbraid Elf, you’re going to (sometimes) put an Exalted enchantment into play (Ardent Plea) and always turn one of their lands into an Island.

Why would this be good? In what possible world? Well, in a Jund world, that’s where. Plenty of decks have quite stringent mana requirements, and when their tri-land suddenly produces Blue instead of Black or Red or Green, that starts to make problems for the opposition. Ajani Vengeant gets to carry on the nonsense, by ensuring that another potential source of mana is denied them, whilst simultaneously working towards the ultimate goal of putting all their land in the bin.

Unlike the deck yesterday, which used Counterspells and Card Draw and Removal, this deck has almost none of any of these. Removal comes down to Day Of Judgment, which is indeed a sweeping answer, but a pretty clubbing and unsubtle one that may have to be used on just one irritating creature. Card draw comes down to Sphinx Of Lost Truths, and even then you’re having to deal with card quality rather than quantity unless you can Kick it.

How does the deck actually win? Well, Sphinx Of Jwar Isle is the classic way, but with a couple of Ardent Pleas floating about the battlefield, Bloodbraid Elf becomes a proper beating, and the same applies to the Sphinx Of Lost Truths. And of course, playing against an opponent with no land is always fun…

Until tomorrow, where we turn our attention to the graveyard. As ever, thanks for reading…