Bonjour mes amis! I am back this week with several Future Sight-themed decks. I want to help you get your collective deckbuilding juices a-flowing. Maybe I’ll spark an idea or two for my own deck collection as well!
This type article has become a pretty common occurrence for me. A week (sometimes two) after my Five Color review, I write an article using some of the newest cards to create several decks for thee and thine. The process here will be simple. I’ll build a deck, I’ll tell you why I made the choices I did, and then I typically mention other ways you could go.
I typically get a lot of decks into one of these articles, because I feel the meat of an article like this is in the decklists and seeing the new cards in action, not in the exposition for the decks. I guess we’ll see how many decks I fit into this one.
Without further prologue, let’s go!
- 10 Plains
- 10 Swamp
- 4 Caves of Koilos
What I wanted to do was build a deck that tried to find an easy way to abuse Bridge from Below. I realized that it could be used in a sort of Pebbles deck. When I remembered that Enduring Renewal has been Timeshifted, I figured that I could build a version of Pebbles using Bridge from Below and recently printed cards.
Note that if you really want to build a Pebbles deck, then you would do so by getting the older cards, or by using Blasting Station. However, I wanted a deck specifically designed to abuse Bridge from Below. The Blasting Station version of Pebbles, although better, would be Bridge-less. (There’s also a Spawning Pit Pebbles deck in here as well, I think).
Here is how the combo works. You have a Bridge in your yard, a Renewal in play, a Fallen Angel in play, and an Ornithopter either in play or in your hand. Play the Orny, then sac to the Fallen Angel to make it bigger. It creates a 2/2 creature off the Bridge. Then play it again, sac to the Angel, make a 2/2, and so forth.
Once you have an arbitrarily large Angel, swing to kill an opponent. If they off your Angel, you have a horde of 2/2 creatures in play to attack the following turn.
This is a deck that is combo heavy. With that in mind, I felt it needed tutors. However, it needed more than “one card tutors,” so I included a pair of Insidious Dreams that can grab multiple combo parts. It also is a discard outlet to your Bridge from Below. I still included a pair of the more traditional tutors because I didn’t want to foster too much card disadvantage.
Steel Wall was included only because it is a cheap blocker. Note that since it only costs one colorless, you might be able to sac, pump, play it enough to put an Angel at lethal level without even having an Ornithopter, so it almost serves as a backup in that regard.
I felt that this deck needed some serious removal. Mortify is included in four (and it could be Vindicate if you wanted to ignore expense – but those suckers run for a lot online). There are a lot of problem enchantments and creatures, and this will handle either.
I also wanted another Bridge outlet, so I included a pair of Vengeful Dreams to off an entire attacking squad. In addition to that, there is a pair of the new Judge Unworthy included, which should help you dig for combo pieces while also taking out an opposing creature.
The Fallen Angel is, in my opinion, the weakest link in the deck. There may be better sacrifice outlets out there, although I couldn’t think of any that were recently printed, available, and would work with the Bridge and not against it. (Like the Blasting Station and Spawning Pit mentioned above).
I suggest looking at cards like Mind Slash to rip all of the cards from opposing hands equal to the amount of Black mana you can produce. For infinite mana, you could run Phyrexian Altar. A later card like Altar of Dementia would be pretty good too. These cards could really help you run the table.
I starting building this deck and realized that it was in Block as I was building it, so I kept to theme. This is a Time Spiral Block Constructed deck. Why worry about formats like this? After all, I’m writing a casual Magic column. Many different casual groups have different rules. Some prefer Standard or Block Constructed decks, while others allow much older card pools. Some groups will have different decks of different formats, and then declare that the next game is Standard, then Vintage, and so forth, moving through decks. Plus, it’d be a fun deck for Magic Online or FNM. I’m not pretending to be revealing super secret tech for your next major tournament, but it looks like it’d be fun to play!
This deck wants to play Pandemonium, and then toss down high power cards like Groundbreaker and Force of Savagery. Force of Savagery might, at first, appear to be a janky rare for kids to try to keep in play with Gaea’s Anthem. However, when combined with the in-block Pandemonium, it’s a three-mana sorcery that deals eight to someone. That’s pretty nasty.
Groundbreaker deals six from coming into play and six trampling damage should it connect. If you have a Pandemonium in play, toss downy a Groundbreaker, attack unblocked, and play a Force… and you have dealt twenty damage.
Timbermare will hit for five damage relatively guaranteed, by tapping down blockers. Pandemonium adds another five to that damage, and in one card, you can reduce a person’s life total by half of their starting life.
Supplementing this strategy is a variety of cards that should prove helpful. Rift Bolt can deal that last three damage to an opponent or clear out a blocker. (Even an attacker if needed). Assault / Battery can also clear out a blocker or make you a creature as needed. Call of the Herd can make you a pair of solid sized creatures to help you out. The elephants from Call and Battery may not be as powerful as Groundbreaker, Force and Timbermare, but they work, and they still Bolt someone for three when they come into play.
Harmonize will help you reload. Early it can assist in finding a Pandemonium. Later it can give you more gas. Gemhide Sliver will make either color of mana while speeding up your turns by one. Dropping Pandemonium on the third turn, instead of the fourth, and then following with a Groundbreaker on the fourth instead of the fifth can be the difference between victory and death.
After that, I am running the new dual type land for Red/Green. Its disadvantage of giving your opponent life looks minor when compared to the massive damage your deck can sling. You can also see the Terramorphic Expanse. Your deck ideally can drop RGGG on the third turn, so running the Groves, the Slivers, and the Expanses appear to be helpful.
I believe this deck has the ammunition to win even if you are blanked on the Pandemonium Front. If you draw none the entire game, you still have enough dudes to run the table. In fact, I think the deck may be good enough to pull the combo element out, and then run more burn and critters and just take that angle.
I am the least confident about the Assault / Battery and the Calls. Other possibilities might include Avalanche Riders, Browbeat, Dead / Gone, Lavacore Elemental, Shivan Wumpus, Stingscourger, Spectral Force, and Sulfur Elemental. I’d try this various cards out in different iterations of the deck and see which work out the best.
This deck seems like it’d be pretty fun to play and tweak. If you decide to try it out, let me know how it goes on the forums!
- 12 Mountain
- 12 Island
- 4 Shivan Reef
This deck uses Jhoira and the Firebirds to have some power available after an Obliterate.
Using Jhoira, the deck wants to suspend every card that it can, including another Jhoira if you have one, and then play Obliterate. Then those suspended spells will resolve post-Obliterate. That’s the goal of Jhoira. Note that she’s a 2/2, and as such, will serve decently herself post-Obliterate.
The Molten Firebird works its role just as well in this deck as its predecessor, Ivory Gargoyle, did in the old Ivory Gargoyle–Jokulhaups decks of yore. It can die from an Obliterate and come back, mana free, to serve the beats.
Another option is to run the indestructible Darksteel Gargoyle. It’s a bit expensive, but it still fits the curve coming in under Obliterate. Besides, you can suspend it with Jhoira. It will stay in play post-Obliterate, and add its might to your team.
Sensei’s Divining Top fits in well here because you can use it early to protect the quality of your draw and then hide it in your library when you cast Obliterate. As such, you will have a Top post Obliterate to help you find useful, things like more mana.
The deck includes a modicum of control. Incinerate is a great removal spell, while Counterspell and Mana Leak can keep away annoying cards both before and after an Obliterate. Playability post-Obliterate was important, so I am running the cheapest versatile counters that I could find, while also maximizing their usefulness as counters under normal situations.
Tidings should help to keep your hand full of options, and before you Obliterate, it will hopefully allow you to get a lot of cards suspended with Jhoira. If you are lucky, you can suspend another Tidings under Jhoira.
Mana is a vital element to this deck. As such, I felt that ensuring we had enough was important. 28 lands are included here. You don’t want to miss mana drops in the early game at all, and if you can Obliterate on turn 8, that would be ideal.
Other good choices for this type of deck might include self-phasers like Rainbow Efreet and Frenetic Efreet.
4 Linessa, Zephyr Mage
4 Pack Hunt
4 Mana Leak
4 Urborg Elf
4 Seton’s Scout
2 Scroll Rack
2 Wall of Blossoms
4 Terramorphic Expanse
This is the first deck of the article that is not Magic: The Electronic legal. That’s largely because I use Pack Hunt as a way to abuse the grandeur keyword. This deck’s ideal play is to drop Linessa on turn 4, and then Pack Hunt on turn 5 to get three more Linessas, discarding them all to her ability, and essentially casting Upheaval on just your opponent.
After dropping your triple grandeur Linessa, the next thing to do is see if you can find Scout. Beat down with Linessa and your probably thresholded Scout. I wanted a beater that was cheap, and wouldn’t interfere with your countermagic. After thinking about and dismissing several creatures, I realized that you would likely have threshold very early in this deck. Once I hit upon that, I grabbed the Scouts. I chose them over Werebears because they can serve for two early, or if you get really close to Threshold but can’t cross over.
One cute trick in this deck is the ______________. Because you can change its name anywhere for one colorless mana, you can make it a Linessa in name, then discard it to the grandeur effect. This deck will really go to town if you draw two Pack Hunts and a __________ in addition to your Linessa. Then you can Pack Hunt Linessa for three more, and drop ___________, Pack Hunting for three more. That’s six Linessa grandeur activations. I think you might win that game.
The beauty of Linessa is that although her normal ability is a bit mana heavy, once you’ve set them back three turns, you’ll still be able to bounce the opponent’s stuff because you’ll have that extra mana. You can also use Linessa as your beat stick and rely on your countermagic.
This is one of the few times I’ve used Remand in a casual deck, but it fits marvelously here. Play it just before Pack Hunt Linessa, and what they played might not be playable again for three or more turns as their mana development goes away. Play it after you’ve triple grandeured, and you get a critical extra turn. You also have Mana Leak, which I am sure you can see the quality of in this deck.
I wanted a way to find cards. This deck runs Scroll Rack and Impulse. Remember that Impulse will take the top four cards off the top of your library, so it works well with Scroll Rack. I also wanted a smidgen of defense, and Wall of Blossoms is both defense and the drawing of a card.
For mana acceleration, I chose Urborg Elf. The good of it is that you can add its attack to the Scouts and Linessa once you are good in the mana department, unlike a Sakura-Tribe Elder. It might be more vulnerable, but in this case, I thought the extra creatures were worth it.
Actually, in retrospect, maybe I should have gone with a defensive creature that can attack instead of the Wall. Bottle Gnomes maybe. If you decide to build this deck, that’d be one of the first places I’d try out some new cards.
Pack Hunt will work well with all of the grandeur cards. However, I think this is the most abusive. Getting two Swamps is nice, but not uber-powerful. Making a 5/5 or 6/6 token creature is okay, but Wrathable. Orim’s Chanting for a turn is better, but feels more like a Spike Weaver that you really have to work to get. That leaves our Red dragon of love, Tarox Bladewing. Getting three of him in hand would bring him to lethal levels (32 power should kill most players). However, I already built a Red/Green deck, and it had large creatures in it, too. So I decided to go elsewhere.
Note that you could smash the second and fourth decks together. It’d probably look something like this:
That would be an interesting deck to try out. Alright, one final deck.
- 24 Plains
This deck tries to win using two new cards: Chronomantic Escape to cover your ass, while the “new” Barren Glory is your winning condition. The deck seeks to play Barren Glory, and then suspend or discard the hand while sacking all non-Glory permanents.
This may be the best deck ever for Restore Balance. With a long suspend, you can play it much earlier than the Barren Glory. If your opponent allows you to sac everything before popping the Barren Glory, then the Restore Balance going off soon thereafter will ruin him. You can also suspend some life gain off the happy Congregation, with the intent that you will allow it to resolve post-Barren Glory in case of failure.
This deck has a lot of “please don’t touch me” cards. Play or suspend a Chronomantic Escape and you only have to worry about protecting yourself two outta every three turns. Play another, and it’s just one in three. With your life gain and Holy Days and Vengeful Dreams, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The beauty of Holy Day is that it is both solid defense and a card you can just play to get out of your hand. That way you can play it if you need to go off but don’t have a Peace of Mind in play.
As mentioned above, this deck has a pair of Vengeful Dreams. This is good for killing creatures and taking out cards from your hand in preparation for a Barren Glory. It’s a solid choice in the deck, and the things that keep it from going in groups of four are the Chronomantic Escape keeping people from attacking, and the lower ability to play it just to get it out of your hand, since there needs to be attacking creatures for you to dump it.
I decided to go with three Sensei’s Divining Tops and just one Scroll Rack. Ideally, you would sacrifice your artifact loving to a Claws, but the ideal doesn’t always happen. Therefore I have included more Tops than Racks. The Top can hide itself on top of your library, thus getting it out of play. Then just suspend the card you drew, sac your lands to, say a Reaping the Rewards, play the Reaping, and go to town.
Remembering that you may not always get the Claws, I chose to go with Reaping the Rewards, not Zuran Orb. Remember that if you play a Zuran Orb, you need to sac it as well. Without a Claws in play, that doesn’t work. Therefore, Reaping the Rewards is the only legitimate option. This will allow you to win without a Claws (but you’ll need your field to be devoid of Racks and Peace of Mind).
If you want your deck to be fully Claws free, play a fourth Top and pull the Peace of Mind for Hypochondria. Now all of your non-land, non-Barren Glory permanents can leave play on their own merits, and you only have to worry about the discard.
There are other ways to build a Barren Glory deck, but I think that it works well with many of the above cards, so I doubt it will look too terribly different if you stick to mono-White. Add other colors, and your deck could look massively different.
With that, we bring to close another fun excursion into the realm of the newest set to see what decks we can make with the new cards. I hope that you have enjoyed this trek through Future Sight. Enjoy the set and the cards.