I was considering ideas for the next entry in the daily deck-a-thon, when I decided to use a Betrayers card as the theme to the next deck. Of course, I didn’t know which card to use, so I took a look at a list of Betrayers cards until something jumped out at me. It always will, if you stare long enough.
Hmmm… no, too limited. Too spirity, and I wrote an article on that last week. Not good enough. Too boring. I like Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker, but that deck would look too similar to yesterday’s. Wait, how about a Black/Red deck? A fun, Kamigawa-influenced deck should really be nice.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of my deck being all Kamigawa. The following deck will be just Champions and Betrayers, because that sounds like an interesting challenge. Let’s see…
Burn’em and Send’em
1 Heartless Hidetsugu
1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
2 Kokusho, the Broken Star
3 Kumano, Master Yamabushi
2 Nezumi Graverobber
4 Ogre Marauder
4 Pain Kami
2 Toshiro Umezawa
1 Blood Rites
4 Glacial Ray
4 Rend Flesh
4 Torrent of Stone
4 Yamibushi’s Flame
4 Lantern-Lit Graveyard
This deck used the best removal Kamigawa has to offer combined with several great creatures. The obvious master of this deck is Kumano, Master Yamabushi. Getting out Kumano is golden, and allows you to control much of the board.
Your deck has a copious amount of removal, but all except the Rend Flesh can go to the head as well. Many of your creatures remove critters as well. By knocking out as many creatures as possible, you make it impossible for your opponent to block Ogre Marauder. With just one creature out, you cannot block the Marauder, so keeping your opponent down is great fun with the Marauder.
With a lot of removal running around, you’ll definitely have unblocked creatures. I wanted to take advantage of that by tossing in a copy of Ink-Eyes. I didn’t want to put in more, as you’ll often have removed creatures with either the Nezumi Graverobber or Yamabushi damage (from either Kumano or his flame). Still, Ink-Eyes is a great trick, plus an efficient beater. No sense letting those great creatures that you killed go to waste in your opponent’s graveyard.
I like running a few tricks, just in case you can use them. Heartless Hidetsugu is an excellent example. During a multiplayer game a few weeks ago, I had out both Quicksilver Elemental and Heartless Hidetsugu. At the end of a guy’s turn, I tapped the Ogre, mimicked his ability with the Elemental, and tapped the Elemental. I then untapped, did the same, and when everybody was at one life, I played Kokusho, the Broken Star and sacrificed him to my Phyrexian Plaguelord. Sometimes, you just get crazy Hidetsugu kill, and other times he is a 4/3.
Toshiro Umezawa is around to help your burn out significantly. Creatures will be going to your opponent’s graveyard, and reusing burn to kill your opponent faster seems very Toshiro-like.
Yes, I decided to run the Kokusho. I needed a strong flyer, one that wouldn’t sweep away my entire army if it died. Do you have any other suggestions? I shy away from using Kokusho in every deck, but it is good enough to use regularly.
Nezumi Graverobber is included in order to help stop recursion. A soulshift deck, for example, could prove problematic. You want to make sure that your opponent can’t turn their killed creatures into an advantage. In addition, once you clean out the graveyard and the Graverobber flips, your opponent will be loathe to play any creatures at all. You might very well Rend Flesh it, recur it with the Graverobber, and your opponent is in even worse straits.
I love Goblin Bombardment, and Blood Rites is the best thing since Tempest to mimic the Bombardment’s abilities. In this deck, Blood Rites is amazing. Not only does Blood Rites punish people for killing your creatures, not only does Blood Rites act as emergency removal, not only does Blood Rites give you an outlet for those dying creatures, not only does Blood Rites give you a way to sacrifice Kokusho, but Blood Rites also can end the game much more quickly. Blood Rites gives you way of winning before an opposing deck regains control.
Pain Kami is simply backup removal. Having additional creatures in the deck offsets the removal. If you find that you never fire Pain Kami’s ability, then I suspect that this would be the area you could cut for changes. Maybe you want Hearth Kami instead, for those lousy artifacts.
Other cards that fit this deck include In the Web of War, Umezawa’s Jitte, and Wicked Akuba. You could also try Cranial Extraction or Kyoki, Sanity’s Eclipse. There are five ogres maindeck, so you could even play a minor Ogre/Demon theme by tossing is a demon or two, plus another couple of ogres.
One word of play advice – don’t over commit with this deck. It doesn’t matter whether you win with a 2/2 or a 5/4. Against many decks, you are the control deck, and once you’ve established control, you are going to win. There’s no sense in tossing out extra creatures. You give your opponent’s mass removal more targets that way. Once you’ve gained the momentum, you’ll want to ride it to victory.
I hope that you enjoy today’s Black/Red control-ish type deck thing. See you tomorrow!