SCG Daily – Ah! Opposable Digits!

Josh continues his entertaining Daily series with a fun Standard deck built around one of the unsung cards of Ninth Edition – Polymorph.


Okay, now that you are back from clicking the hyperlink, I do not need to explain what the card does. Then again, maybe I do.

Some people look at Polymorph as a Blue removal. I know of some people that think of Polymorph as a one-shot Oath of Druids. Others look at the Ninth Edition rare as a pseudo Natural Order.

Man, Natural Order was great! Getting the Best Fatty Ever Printed was so much fun back in the day. I kinda want to do it now, and I do not want to pay that hefty casting cost. However, reanimating Verdant Force has been done to death.

The biggest problem when building a deck around Polymorph is that you can never really ensure what exactly it is you are going to get. It’s like gambling; sometimes the card resolves and you hit a hard twenty-one, while other times the card busts you out and sends you back to the ATM so the house can take more of your hard-earned cash. Keeping with this, what is the best way to maximize your odds?

Simple: minimize the amount of duds.

You need acceleration to bust the spell out quickly, but you do not want to overload the deck with small creatures that have no effect on the game. Trading in your Bird of Paradise for a Llanowar Elf will happen, and you will feel ripped off when it does. Sensei’s Divining Top can help you here, at least ensuring that the top three cards of the deck are not going to hit a one-drop.

Look there, we already have fifteen cards in the deck.

Let’s examine them.

4 Polymorph
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Llanowar Elves
3 Sensei’s Divining Top

We must figure out which men we want in the deck. We do not want to overload it with huge men that could clog up the hand, sitting there waiting for infinite turns while you are getting beaten down. However, we also do not want to have more accelerants than fatty boom boom monsters, because that increases the chances of a paltry one-drop coming into play. We’re going to add in the best Blue creature printed since Psychatog (Meloku, for those of you not in the know.) Throw in some huge, targeted removal-proof monsters (Simic Sky Swallower), and then some all-star monsters that are just fantastic to have in the deck (Keiga and Verdant Force)

Let’s add the following to the list.

3 Meloku the Clouded Mirror (Yes, you can cast this guy.)
3 Simic Sky Swallower
2 Keiga, the Tide Star
2 Verdant Force

Yes, I do realize that you can cast all of these men, and that sometimes Polymorph is not needed.

How are we going to find the aforementioned sorcery? I’m going to suggest using the best Blue spells to do that, so we’ll toss in Compulsive Research and Tidings.

4 Compulsive Research
2 Tidings

We also need to protect the spell when we cast it, so some counter magic is going to be needed.

4 Remand
4 Rune Snag

Toss in twenty-two lands, and the deck’s complete!

So we have a finished deck and we need to move on to the sideboard…

We can go multiple ways here, but I think the way I want to go is transformational. I think we can win against the aggro decks in theory, if Polymorph resolves or Meloku hits play, but the matchup with control just does not sit well with me. Vinelasher Kudzu gives us a small monster that can slip underneath the counter magic (Spell Snare notwithstanding.) Trygon Predator gives us an answer to Jitte and other troubling enchantments or artifacts. Ohran Viper gives us card advantage and removal. Let’s round it out with some broken legendary artifacts, and we have a sideboard that morphs into a Critical Mass deck.

4 Vinelasher Kudzu
4 Trygon Predator
4 Ohran Viper
3 Umezawa’s Jitte

For the control matchup, Polymorph could stay in and give you an answer to their huge threat (Keiga is probably not something you want to hit with this spell. Of course, if your board is clear, then it is obviously safe.)

Join me on Friday, as I promise I’m going to give you an epic finish to this fun series of articles! I want to thank everyone for reading and wish me luck for my coming Math test, which I am sure to fail!