SCG Daily – A Deck a Day: Friday Experiment

Welcome to today’s installment of this week’s Deck-a-Thon. Today I want to try something interesting and unusual. In the past, I have used a variety of methods to randomly determine how I will write my daily series. Maybe I’ll pick a creature type at random… and then laugh, as I have to build a Carriage deck. Maybe I’ll grab a random low-value rare from a box and then write a deck about it.

Welcome to today’s installment of this week’s Deck-a-Thon. Today I want to try something interesting and unusual. In the past, I have used a variety of methods to randomly determine how I will write my daily series. Maybe I’ll pick a creature type at random… and then laugh, as I have to build a Carriage deck. Maybe I’ll grab a random low-value rare from a box and then write a deck about it.

Recently, I’ve been picking a random card from Magic history and then building a deck around it. I believe this is the third week of dailies centered around that very theme.

What I wanted to do this time was the exact opposite. Today, I am going to build the deck first, and then randomly determine the last few cards to fit into the deck. Then we’ll see how it looks at the end. My hope is that the cards I randomly get will fit into whatever deck I build.

To start, my deck will need a lot of mana versatility. No matter what I select, I need to be able to play it. Then I’ll need some normal themes, a slate of removal, and so forth. Let’s take a look at the foundation of a deck.

The Skeleton – The Cards

4 Birds of Paradise
4 Krosan Tusker
4 Wall of Blossoms
4 Impulse
2 Orim’s Thunder
2 Terminate
2 Swords to Plowshares
2 Expunge
2 Flametongue Kavu
2 Thornscape Battlemage

Let’s take a look at the skeleton. Birds of Paradise are great are getting any color that you need. These are perfect in this situation. You never know when I could flip up something really color intensive, like Invoke Prejudice or Lich or something. In that case, the Birds may be the only way to cast it.

Krosan Tusker also helps the mana smoothing plus it draws you a card. In the last game you can just play it as a 6/5 beater. Either way, the Tusker is a great way to fix several holes in the deck. I love the Tusker and think it is one of the best creatures ever printed.

The Wall of Blossoms is great defense. I don’t know if I will roll any additional defense or even any creatures, so I need some way to block early creatures. Birds of Paradise and Krosan Tusker don’t fit the bill. Since this is obviously a Five-Color Green deck, tossing in cheap Green defense is ideal. The Wall of Blossoms joins the Tusker and the next card to really help the card drawing/sifting in this deck.

Next up is a full set of Impulse. Without knowing what sort of cards I’ll flip, I wanted some cheap card sifting. It can help find mana in the early game, removal in the middle game, and important cards later in the game. It’s just too good not to include as a four-of.

The next cards are included as two-ofs. They basically meet some minimum requirements to be in my deck for whatever function I may need. Orim’s Thunder is great at popping artifacts and enchantments while also doubling as creature kill. That’s a great combination.

Terminate is great creature kill for when you need to take down something quickly and efficiently. Many players love its elegance – it’s simply a great card.

Expunge costs one colored mana, and gets included partly for that reason, in case you have out one Birds of Paradise and some Green lands and whatnot. It’s also great because you can cycle it when you don’t need it and try to find something better. The cycling Expunge just adds one more option of card filtering or drawings to the deck, helping you out tremendously.

Swords to Plowshares is the obvious creature removal for when normal removal just won’t work. Cards like Akroma and Darksteel Colossus need an answer, and the classic STP still fits that bill. It’s an old card, tested and true.

Flametongue Kavu is not only a solid attacker but he also kills something when he comes into play. He’s a great threat, and this deck needed a few more creatures anyway.

Thornscape Battlemage rounds out my skeleton. A decent enough creature in its own right, the Battlemage can also come down with fire and rage to destroy a couple of opposing permanents. It’s simply a great adjunct to existing removal.

The skeleton so far seems like I just went with good stuff. Classic removal, classic threats, classic defense, and so forth. We’ll see how well the random cards will segue into this deck.

Now I need to decide if I want to put lands in the deck before I randomly roll the four cards to add to this deck. It would be nice to suit the lands to the deck, but it doesn’t feel fair. Therefore, before I select the random card, I need the deck fully build, including lands.

The Foundation – The Lands

4 City of Brass
8 Forest
3 Swamp
3 Plains
3 Mountain
3 Island

Here I decided to go with Cities of Brass to help with mana problems and then some basic lands in each color. Krosan Tusker needs basic lands, and I just upped the number of Forests for Tusker, Wall, and Birds to help in the early game. With that, the skeleton and foundation are both complete. Now let’s look at the random cards to be added.

With eight slots remaining in the deck, I am going to randomly select four cards and include two of each. I don’t wan to have one card of each card rolled randomly because then it feels like an afterthought. Roll poorly there and we can just skip past that card while playing, since it’s a one-of. Including two forces you to play it and around it.

Without further ado, let’s select the first card…

I rolled a 72 (set number 36)…

Ravnica: City of Guilds.

Okay, now I need to roll the card. I randomly select the second hundred (101-200) and then roll my d100 dice. Card 183. That is…

Siege Wurm

Well hey, at least we got some more creatures, and Convoke is not bad with Battlemagi and Wall of Blossoms. Other than that, it’s just a big creature of beef.

The next card needs to be determined. I rolled a 51 (set number 26)…


Now I need to make another happy roll. I roll the first hundred, card number 43. What awesome powerful card is that?

Keep Watch

That’s not too bad. It is card draw, and we could use a little more. We don’t have that many attacking creatures in this deck, but you can always attack with Birds and a Battlemage in addition to the Krosan Tusker in order to get you three cards. Also, in multiplayer, there’s always someone swinging with several creatures. You can usually find a way to draw multiple cards off the Keep Watch. It’s not bad. We could have done a lot worse.

Time for the next set. We have two more random cards to go, and so far, it still looks like we have a deck. Let’s hope the next card isn’t Forge[/author]“]Darksteel [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] or Tinker or something else completely useless.

Set number 6 is rolled. Ice Age. That’s really old school. What awesome Ice Age card is selected by the Dice of Happiness and Joy?

I roll card number 344. Wall of Shields.

Actually having another solid defensive creature, and one that does not rely on any color of mana, is not a bad roll. Obviously, I’d rather have Steel Wall, but the Wall of Shields is still decent and it has banding, which allows you to play banding blocker tricks. Flametongue Kavu becomes much better on defense, and Tusker and Siege Wurm and Battlemage are also better on defense.

We have one card left. What will it be? It will be from set number 16, no matter what.

Urza’s Legacy.

What stupendous Legacy card will be determined by the casting of lots? I mean, Urza’s Block is really powerful, right? So this could be something broken, like Memory Jar or somesuch. I roll the first hundred, and then my purple and orange dice tumble from my hand and reveal…

Card number 74. Avalanche Riders.


Well, that was interesting.

In fact, I think I rolled pretty well. I rolled card drawing, and we wanted more of that. I rolled defense, and I could use more of that. I rolled a big beater, and that was handy. And now I rolled another removal card for the one permanent type I couldn’t already remove.

That was a pretty handy selection.

Here is the deck is all its glory.

Hope you enjoyed today’s installment. Have a great weekend!

Until later,

Abe Sargent