SCG Daily – Why Does No One Play This Card? #1

Joshua decided to take this week out to look at some of the most underplayed cards in the Standard format, and maybe give someone some inspiration to make a killer deck. Who knows… maybe the next tier 1 deck is lurking within…

I’ve been stressing hard over my daily series the past couple of weeks. I’m tapped for ideas, on top of a tough schedule with school. There is no doubt in my mind that I am going to fail my algebra class (and if anyone can please tell me why an accounting major needs to take algebra, outside of the fact that the college tells me I have to, I’ll be thrilled) and I have an essay to write about any one American author’s work.

Six years ago, this would have been easier, but I was also a music major. Teenage girls want nothing to do with a tuba player. No one really cares if you transcribed Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain, because, well… you play the tuba. You’re not going anywhere with the females.

I digress. I guess I think of some of my past life choices and get muddled up in them.

I decided to take this week out to look at some of the most underplayed cards in the Standard format, and maybe give someone some inspiration to make a killer deck. Someone smart had to come up with the Tidespout Tyrant deck, someone brave had to come up with Red/White Urzatron, and someone much better than me had to make the Blue/White Tron deck.

Notice how every deck I just listed has the powerful Urzatron in it.

This is a quick overview of the cards I am going to try to break in the upcoming week.

Day 1: Drowned Rusalka
Day 2: Dimir Mechanic (You know, Mill and Transmute)
Day 3: Form of the Dragon
Day 4: Meloku the Clouded Mirror (Just Kidding, Polymorph)
Day 5: Warp World

I’ll go ahead and get us into the first card of the week. Please, when you go howling to the forums, I’m pretty much presenting these decks as raw untuned ideas. Think of these deck lists as a piece of art. Before the art becomes Venus De Milo, it has to start off as a blank slab of something.

Here’s your blank slab of something

When I see Drowned Rusalka, I think of one thing: man, this homeboy of a spirit looks like a great way to put men in the graveyard. There must be other ways to put guys in the yard. Gifts Ungiven will do it; Ideas Unbound will do it eventually; and Wit’s End will do it at a hefty seven mana, but then you discard your reanimation spells as well. Wit’s End will not cut it. Thought Courier also seems a really good idea.

Here is a sample deck list. It is something that I tested before Regionals, before I decided to go 1-4 with Magnivore (I may have had a better record with Reanimator…).

When I was testing this for Regionals, it was mainly a deck I played for fun. Something to break the monotony of the testing sessions that sometimes stretched into the wee hours of the morning. If I remember correctly, the deck was pretty good against Control, but it had a poor matchup with Zoo, Gruul, Hand in Hand, and pretty much any other deck that looked to beat down with some men.

Turns out, if I added Blazing Archon and was able to keep that man in play, critter decks had a harder time beating me. (Of course, I say that expecting the man to stay in play. Putrefy, burn, Mortify and others really meant that Archon staying in play was a pipe-dream.)

Heartbeat was another really bad matchup. I thought at the time the field in Indianapolis would be heavy Aggro and heavy Heartbeat, so I simply stopped worrying about the deck altogether.

It’s a shame really, because Drowned Rusalka actually gets a chance to shine here. It’s one of the strongest discard outlets one can have, and it gets to serve double duty of blocking your opponent’s men as an added bonus.

Here is how I broke it down when building.


Ideas Unbound
Drowned Rusalka
Compulsive Research

Fatty Boom Boom Monsters

Yosei, the Morning Star
Keiga, the Tide Star
Kokusho, the Evening Star

Reanimation spells

Footsteps of the Goryo
Goryo’s Vengeance

Those three categories account for all the spells in the deck. At the time, this seemed like a really good recipe for building a deck. As it turns out… not so much. The deck as it stands is enjoyable to play, and I still bring it out when the testing sessions overextend their welcome.

Tune in tomorrow, when I take the entire Dimir Mechanic out for a ride.