Ravnica spoilers were coming out last year, and one of the mechanics that caught my eye seemed to be the overpowered
cycle of cards that had the Transmute ability latched on to them. In my thinking there was really no way that Wizards would
allow a series of tutors to be printed, considering how broken some of these cards are.
Transmute cards have seen some small amount of tournament play. The most successful of these are Drift of Phantasms and
you get the most important parts of the combo kill and add a certain element of consistency to the deck.
Dimir Infiltrator was in the sideboards of some Heartbeat decks as another way to get the important two drops, and Shred
Memory saw a lot of play in a Black/Green aggro deck here in Kentucky.
What surprises me is the lack of success that the Dimir Guild has seen in tournament play.
Sure, milling has not been a competent strategy since dinosaurs walked the earth, but there are plenty of tools in the
current environment to make the deck work.
I’m going to present another raw decklist here, and this time we are going to take a look at removing your
opponent’s best resource for winning. I love Millstone, and all the related cards, but sometimes they just do not get
enough respect. Seeing that we are looking at adding a transmute theme, we might as well run with the Dimir guild and see
where we can go.
What does this deck do?
graveyard. Traumatize hits them for half their library, and eventually they lose because they can no longer draw cards.
It’s a tried and true archetype in Magic, but sadly I miss Millstone.
I also wanted to put Izzet Guildmage in here, but I saw no real need to add Red mana, and copying counterspells to me is
not that impressive.
Let’s go over some card choices…
I feel this is a must in the deck, but in that same vein, I do not want to randomly color-screw myself. I know there are a
lot of duals in the deck; I do not feel that having any more than two copies of the card would be helpful. You have to sink
your mana in to it (which hinders counter wars sometimes), it’s slower the other win conditions, and you cannot tutor
for it. That is why I have stuck with two.
tutors functions as having twelve copies of each card that wins the game. Both of them also tutor for some of the
countermagic that is in the deck, and this will be helpful in the later stages of the game, when all you need to do is
protect the win conditions.
With only two Traumatize in the deck, I did feel the need to add this tutor just to be able to find the brutal sorcery.
It also helps that this card is usually never a dead draw in the Standard format, since it pretty much kills everything
(unless it has a Blanchwood Armor on it, or its name starts with Paladin and ends with En-Vec.)
Okay, I’m not funny. I’m fine with that.
I want to take control of the game, and still stand a chance against beatdown decks. Countering their creatures seemed
to be the best way to do it.
Keiga and Meloku
I assure you, these are just other win conditions. I’m sure that no one main-decks Cranial Extraction anymore,
but having a diversity of ways to win the game is actually good for you.
I think what I have shown here today is a nice skeleton of something that could be a fun deck to play in Friday Night
Magic tournaments. It does look like it would have great game against the Control decks of the environment (as long as you
hit your land drops, and can sandbag counters for when you are casting Glimpse and Twincast.) You have enough countermagic
to outlast Heartbeat. The only shifty matches that you could have would be the aggressive decks, and the sideboard could
shore those up, trading the milling cards for more creatures and removal.