SCG Daily – A Deck a Day: Make Rune! Make Rune!

Yesterday, I wrote a deck on one of my favorite Saviors cards. There are so few cards in Saviors that are worth our time that we might as well focus on the good ones. With that principle in mind, I built a deck around another gem from Saviors, Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant.

It’s Wednesday, which means by the time you read this, I will have likely finished writing my daily articles. I will not be able to make any adjustments in future dailies because of comments you make after reading this one. That’s unfortunate, because I like to shape my daily articles as I go.

Yesterday, I wrote a deck on one of my favorite Saviors cards. There are so few cards in Saviors that are worth our time that we might as well focus on the good ones. With that principle in mind, I built a deck around another gem from Saviors.

Make Rune! Make Rune! (with apologies to Harry Harrison)*

4 Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant

4 Congregate

4 Mother of Runes

4 Voice of All

2 Cho-Manno, Revolutionary

2 Eight-and-a-Half-Tails

2 Commander Eesha

4 Subterranean Spirit

2 Bloodfire Colossus

4 Starstorm

2 Earthquake

2 Genju of the Spires

4 Ghitu Encampment

4 Forge[/author]“]Battlefield [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]

4 Mountains

12 Plains

This deck is built around the powerful Rune-Tail. Rune-Tail’s flip ability is a built in Bubble Matrix for just your creatures. This is easy to take advantage of.

You can use Congregate to flip Rune-Tail. Most of your creatures have some sort of built-in protection, so having enough creatures in play should rarely be a problem. Once flipped, the other side, Rune-Tail’s Essence, will drive your deck.

You can Earthquake, Starstrom and pop Bloodfire Colossi (Colossuses? Colossum? Colossii?) with impunity. [Colostomy. -Knut, feeling dirty] Your creatures will not suffer. Of course, you’ll have to keep an eye on your life total before using Earthquake and the Colossus regularly, but you’ve gained extra life from that Congregate, remember? Your opponent should be dead long before you are endangered.

Now, what if everything doesn’t go as planned? Like most of my decks, there is a backup plan. Your sweeping cards will still dodge many creatures – like Subterranean Spirit and Cho-Manno.

Mother of Runes and 8.5 Tails can help to keep other creatures alive through the burn. Voice of All and Commander Eesha fly above Earthquakes. If you feel the need to Starstorm for five, you should be able to save several creatures in play from the fire.

Another creature that will dodge the flame is the Genju of the Spires. Imagine casting Starstorm at the end of your opponent’s turn. You sweep away all but three of your creatures. You then calmly untap, activate the Genju, and swing with the three creatures that survived plus a six-power Genju.

The Genju allows you to win the game quickly after a board sweeper goes off. Even if all of your creatures die from an Earthquake, you can still attack with a 6/1 the following turn. You also have Ghitu Encampment for much the same purpose. However, a 2/1 first strike creature can play solid defense as well.

In fact, the entire deck is quite defensive. From creatures that protect themselves to creatures that protect others, this is a very defensive deck. That fact will help out your Congregates and allow you to bide your time until you are ready to sweep your opponent’s board and start sending in troops.

There are other options for Rune-Tail. I thought about building a Test of Endurance (TOE) deck that used Rune-Tail once it got started elevating its life total to protect itself until it went off. However, I find Test of Endurance to be a bit cheap and lackluster. In addition most good TOE decks run cards that jump their life total up significantly, instead of slowly building it up. Jumping the life total up won’t give Rune-Tail time to do anything.

Another possibility would be to run Black instead of Red. You could run Pestilence effects or creatures like Thrashing Wumpus and Plague Spitter (Bad Potato). Your White side would look very similar to the current White slate of cards. We might add Death Grasp or some other method to gain life.

The Bad Potato deck would be quite interesting as well, but I chose the Red Route because it had two things going for it – board clearer that would always work, no matter what, and Subterranean Spirit. I don’t know if any color outside of White has such a good hoser for itself. Sure, lots of colors have great landwalkers – but those are easy to kill, bounce, gain control of, or out-beef. Subterranean Spirit cannot be killed by Red.

A Pro White creature can be easily killed by White – just play Wrath of God. Black can Mutilate away a Pro Black creature. Red’s kill, however, cannot easily get past protection. Is there the occasional Red card that might work? Of course there is, but typically, Pro Red will get you around anything a Red deck might be packing.

Subterranean Spirit combines that on a solid body with an occasionally useful ability. In other words, the Spirit is much better as a Red hoser than, say, Cemetery Gate performs as a Black hoser.

You could combine Rune-Tail with Blue or Green. However, in doing so, you’d have to shift the focus of the deck significantly. Maybe Green could operate around Hurricane, but only killing opposing flying creatures might be a significant limitation. Blue could run Volcanic Eruption, but that’s pretty janky. It also takes to many cards to set up for this sort of deck to exploit.

Ultimately, then, I am left with Red and Black, and I chose Red. Besides, I hadn’t built a deck with Bloodfire Colossus in longer than I can remember. I liked being able to slide in a pair of those as well. I think the Red deck looks a bit more oiled than any Black deck of which I could conceive.

Well, I hope that you have enjoyed our third foray into the world of decks. I can’t for you to join us tomorrow.

Until Later,

Abe Sargent

* – The title of the book that the movie Soylent Green was based off is “Make Room! Make Room!” written by Harry Harrison, who also wrote “The Stainless Steel Rat.”