Welcome back to the Wednesday Edition of All Things Deck here on SCG. This week I’m randomly selecting cards to build decks around. When I select a happy card with my trusty dice, I am then forced to build a deck around it, no matter how boring the card may be.
I roll the seventh set. Ice Age. How appropriate with the release of Coldsnap just a few weeks ago. Now I need to roll the card. I rolled Amulet of Quoz off Ice Age when I did this experiment before, and I had to build a Quoz deck. Ick.
What will it be this time?
I rolled the second hundred and then 78th card, so 179 in alphabetical order. Let me count, hold on….
One way I could build a Justice deck is to build around the “Just” theme and play judges, lawyers, and other cards in a similar theme. However, on Monday, I already did a name theme. So I want to steer clear of doing it again.
Alternatively, I could run just one Justice and several other silver bullets and play a Silver Bullet deck. That’s too easy.
I could just toss Justice into a normal deck and hope we go against a Red deck. If I don’t have to do that, however, I’d rather not.
Justice has changed over time. Here is how it originally read, with the pertinent part italicized:
During your upkeep, pay WW or destroy Justice.
Whenever a Red creature or spell deals damage, Justice deals an equal amount of damage to the controller of that creature or spell.
If another spell or effect reduces the amount of damage a Red creature or spell deals, it does not reduce the amount of damage dealt by Justice.
Now, what’s missing?
Since there used to be a damage prevention phase, you could be dealt five damage from a Shivan Dragon and then prevent it, and Justice still dealt five back to the Dragon’s controller. Sixth Edition rules made Justice significantly worse because of this.
Therefore I can’t run a deck with Circles of Protection and whatnot, so I need another path.
At first, I was going to use Balduvian Shaman or Sleight of Mind to just change the color of Justice to whatever color was needed. However, as I was building the deck, I realized something. It might not work if you Sleight the Justice to White. If any White source you control (including Justice) deals damage to anything, it might be the case that you die from a Justice chain. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t want to build a deck when there is a possible rules issue.
Then I read Justice again. It won’t trigger on itself because it only works on creatures and spells. I read a ruling online that cited this as a reason a Sleighted Justice to White wouldn’t work. So, all I need to do is make Justice a creature…
Here is how is would work. When your own White Knight deals damage by blocking, attacking, or whatever, a Sleighted Justice triggers and you take two. Then Justice’s damage triggers Justice, as long as Justice is a White creature, and you take two more. Then Justice’s damage triggers Justice again, and you take two more ad nauseam.
I have an excellent idea for a Justice Deck
This deck runs on the Justice principle. Here is an ideal setup:
Turn 1 — Play Balduvian Shaman
Turn 2 — play Tithe, Impulse, Scroll Rack or something else.
Turn 3 — Play Samite Archer.
Turn 4 — Play Opalescence.
Turn 5 — Play Justice
Turn 6 – Upkeep Justice, tap Shaman to make Justice anti-White, Donate (Legerdemain) Justice, tap Samite Archer to deal one damage to opponent.
The deck has a few backups. Can’t find a Shaman? Then use Mind Bend. Can’t keep an Archer on the board? Use Eye for an Eye. Need to find something? Use Tithe/Impulse/Scroll Rack/Enlightened Tutor/Drift to dig or tutor and see what comes up.
As you can see, the deck is chock full of stuff. Feel free to Legerdemain an extra Shaman for an opposing creature in order to slow down the attack. Play Drift of Phantasms or transmute into an Archer or a Donate.
I hope this combo deck makes some of your juices run. However, if it doesn’t, let’s toss another entrÃ©e out there.
This deck doesn’t use Sleight of Mind effects to make Justice work on whatever color the opponent is playing. Instead, it changes the color of the opponent’s creatures to Red in order to activate Justice.
This deck has a variety of cards that scream defensive to your opponent. They force your opponent to attack into your defense all out. Then, when that happens, play Dwarven Song and show them what Justice can do.
The Dragoons can give you enough of a life bump to survive the Justice hit you take if you leave the opponent unblocked. Remember to use your Swords and Order/Chaos well, because you want to demonstrate that you are playing a defensive deck. Play Justice when you can afford to pay its upkeep.
Many opponents will forget it is out there because it won’t affect them. When they make the mistake of charging you, drop the Song. In fact, many players will be surprised that Dwarven Song even exists. Use this to your advantage.
Dwarven Song also works with Brightflame. Make all of your opponent’s creatures the same color (which is a different color than your creatures, incidentally), and then burn them all down with Brightflame. If you do this when Justice is out, you won’t gain any life from Brightflame (if Brightflame deals, say, 52 damage, you’ll gain 52 life as Brightflame resolves, then Justice triggers and you take 52, leaving you at the same life total).
Other than that, you have the typical suite of Red/White removal and creatures, so there’s nothing here that screams janky deck to your opponent outside of the Justice, Brightflame, and the Song. Use this to your advantage.
You got two decks today! Hopefully, you’ll find at least one you like. Of course, I prefer the first because it’s an awkward combo. Yay for awkward combos!