The Kitchen Table #272 – Conflux Decks

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Tuesday, February 10th – I love Conflux. I think it is a very casual-tastic set. It is quite multiplayer friendly. You have a ton of good beaters, some clever cards, some fun cards, and more. It seems like a set custom made for Abe’s Deck of Happiness and Joy. I don’t know if I have ever seen a set put a higher percentage of its cards in my deck. Perhaps Ravnica, but it was so big, I doubt it.

My friends! Welcome! Welcome back to the column that is dedicated to the world of the casual. Today I follow in the footsteps of previous articles to write up several decks using the new cards from the latest set.

I love Conflux. I think it is a very casual-tastic set. It is quite multiplayer friendly. You have a ton of good beaters, some clever cards, some fun cards, and more. It seems like a set custom made for Abe’s Deck of Happiness and Joy. I don’t know if I have ever seen a set put a higher percentage of its cards in my deck. Perhaps Ravnica, but it was so big, I doubt it.

Therefore, finding some decks to build around these cool cards should be as simple as reading a spoiler. I have the spoiler pulled up on my computer, and this Word document pulled up as well. Let’s find some decks!

Okay, let’s take a look at this deck. Initially, I wanted a way to abuse Shard Convergence, so I had created a deck built around Scroll Rack and such, but I mentioned that in my previous article, so I wanted something different. I decided to lean towards Domain as my weapon of choice. Once I had figured that, I began to find the right pieces. Shard Convergence can lead to you having all five lands for Domain. That means you can win off a Coalition Victory with the right creature out. Therefore, I tossed in two Shyfts (they can become all five colors) and two Cromats (which is already five colors).

Cast one Shard Convergence, and you are guaranteed to have 8 lands by the eighth turn with all five colors of mana. That means you can play Conflux. Conflux can set up your win. My favorite Conflux stack is:

Green = Exploding Borders
Red = Tribal Flames
White = Ordered Migration
Blue = Shyft
Black = Coalition Victory

Now you have three threats. You can deal ten to the head of someone with the first two cards, which may be enough to knock someone out right there. Then you can make five 1/1 flyers, which can be a serious threat. Finally, you have Shyft plus Coalition Victory set up. You can also change these around. You could make Blue Allied Strategies if you need more cards. Then get Cromat and Coalition in White and Black. You could take Wall of Blossoms for defense. Or, if you need protection for the Coalition Victory, grab Arcane Denial.

You could also do this:

White = Ordered Migration
Blue = Ordered Migration
Green = Spore Burst
Red = Tribal Flames
Black = Conflux (or Cromat or Coalition Victory).

That would be nasty too. Frankly, there are some powerful choices, and Conflux is never a dead card in your hand, as long as you have played a Shard Convergence.

There is a large amount of card drawing here. The Confluxes are two-for-ones on their own, Shard Convergences are four-for-ones too. Ideally, the Allied Strategies are five for ones, and Wall of Blossoms replaces itself. You should blow through mana and cards, allowing you to find the pieces you need to win.

There are several winning conditions in this deck. Between birds and saprolings, you can make enough 1/1s in order to get a nice, janky win. One nice surprise card to toss in would be Kangee, Aerie Keeper. Put in one copy. You should have a ton of land for its kicker. When you have ten 1/1 birds in play, drop Kangee and make them all +6/+6 or something, and then swing for game. That’d be a fun way of winning and a nice surprise.

The deck also runs fat with Draco. For 6 mana, you can get a 9/9 but it’s largely vanilla, and perhaps you’d prefer some not-domain-friendly-but-more-powerful creature . Some possibilities might include Mystic Enforcer, Loxodon Hierarch, Keiga the Tide Star, Verdeloth the Ancient, and so forth. Also Draco cannot be tutored for with Conflux, so you just have to draw it, making it less reliable. For example, you could easily toss in Verdeloth I just mentioned. Then you can make more 1/1 creatures and pump them with your Verdeloth, plus it could be your Green tutor off Conflux.

Arcane Denials are in this deck to just protect the Coalition Victory and other similar winning conditions. Since they are obtainable off Conflux, I think they make a lot of sense in the deck. You might feel differently, and prefer something more aggressive in the slot and perhaps this is where you find room for Kangee, or Verdeloth, or any other card that strikes your fancy. You can run pretty much anything ever made, from Last Stand to Tek.

Another option might be to pull Cromat for Horde of Notions, and then add elementals into the other creature spots, currently taken by cards like Wall of Blossoms, Shyft, and Draco. With a few Shiekmaws. Mulldrifters, and such, you could run a pseudo-elemental deck.

Let’s move to another deck.

In this deck, I wanted to combine the large creature mechanic of Naya with the beast cards of Onslaught block to create a synergetic deck, all built around the engine of Paleoloth.

Here are your core beasts — Protean Hulk, Paleoloth, Spearbreaker Behemoth, Krosan Tusker. These four make a nasty force. Paleoloth allows you to recur dead beasts of size by playing more. You can get another into play when a Hulk dies, and then recur Hulks. Spearbreaker keeps your beasts alive and chugging, and Krosan Tusker can both draw you cards and set up your mana in the early game, and then be a decent card drawing engine with a Paleoloth later in the game. Play a big creature, recur Tusker, cycle, etc.

Once we get past these four core beasts, there are a lot of ways we can go. We could toss in the trampling enabling Mosstodons, but they are not beasts, so they do not benefit from any beats mechanics. They can give our critters trample, and be helped by the indestructibility of the Behemoth, however, so perhaps you’ll want them.

Another direction is to get those beasts into play sooner. Shards of Alara can loan you Drumhunter or Sacellum Godspeaker. Of the two, the Drumhunter is probably a better choice for this deck. We could use the card drawing it provides. We could also run Krosan Drover to reduce the costs of our big guys by two colorless, but it would not work on the five mana or less guys. Another option is the highly valuable Krosan Warchief. It reduces the costs of your beasts by one and can also regenerate them. However, since the Spearbreaker can give them all indestructible for less mana anyway, the regenerate may be a bit redundant. As such, let’s go with the Drumhunters.

We could toss in Wirewood Savages in order to draw even more cards, but I want to stay away from too many un-Beasts. Instead, let’s go with Canopy Crawlers. They can be 5/5s, help the team, and count as beasts.

Two other beast enablers are Snarling Undorak and Ravenous Baloth. Both are beasts and would up our beast count while also helping others. However, neither triggers the 5 power helpers.

Another beast enabler, however, is the expensive Krosan Groundshaker. It costs more than Mosstodon, but provides the same benefit in this deck while working with both the beast and the 5+ power cards. Let’s toss in a pair.

Another good option is a pair of Beacon Behemoths. They are solid and give this deck some added power, especially in multiplayer.

There are other large beast options. The Venomspout Brackus can be played early as a morph, and then can take out flyers. That is a strong combination of abilities for this deck. Although we are not playing White or Red, the Cliffrunner Behemoth is still a 5/3 for four mana. Other options include things from Gang of Elk through Titanic Bulvox. I like the Brackus so I toss in a pair.

I also want a full set of Harmonize to round out the deck.

I know that I am not really playing Red in the deck, but playing Contested Cliffs allows me to abuse my Beasts, while also allowed me to use the Karoo lands to help me get the larger amounts of mana that I need. Since I’m playing four Gruul Truf anyway, why not toss in a few more Red/Green lands and Contested Cliffs? You won’t miss the loss of tempo in the early turns because you won’t be doing much then anyway. Contested Cliffs plus Spearbreaker Behemoth is almost unfair to creature decks. Add Canopy Crawler’s pump, and you can kill pretty much anything on the table with Cliffs – including both Akromas.

Well, there is another deck down. How about more?

This deck wants to put a Child of Alara into play when someone attacks you. Then you can block and surprise them, or block, have your Child die, and basically Akroma’s Vengeance. This is why Green needed a Timeshifted Fling in Planar Chaos. It would have fit the deck perfectly. Dramatic Entrance the Child, then Green Fling it into someone’s face.

However, the deck changed as I thought of others cards to add. We still can Dramatic Entrance a Child, and then even sac it to an Altar of Dementia, but that is using up a lot of cards. Dramatic Entrance plus Child plus Altar are all going. You’d have to get some serious card advantage form the board sweep in order to come out on top. However, having instant Akroma’s Vengeace-ing from a Mono-Green deck should provide a serious surprise factor.

I added Natural Order to the mix. You can also search up a Child of Alara, then swing or sac as needed. I have more Children than Altars, because the Altars get in the way by being destroyed. A Child can do a lot of work by threatening its own death by blocking or attacking. Also, I believe that if you sac a Child of Alara to a Natural Order, the cost is paid, and then the trigger goes on the stack and will resolve before the spell does, so you can sac a Child to the Natural Order, sweep the board, and then windmill slam Verdant Force, Silvos or Progenitus on an empty board.

Since I had Natural Order and Dramatic Entrance in the deck anyway, I wanted to give the deck some other options besides the Child. I included a pair of Silvos in order to give you a large beater you could play. Deranged Hermit can make a bunch of tokens to fuel a Natural Order or sac to an Altar or to serve as an ad hoc army. You could easily punish someone who taps out by using Dramatic Entrance at the end of the turn to get nine power worth of squirrels and elves, pay the echo, and swing for nine. That can kill the unprepared while leaving you an army for the future.

Another natural creature to get with an Order or play with Entrance is an Indrik Stomphowler. You add some artifact/enchantment removal along with the largest creature that can do either. Ideally, you can use it as both removal and a bigger creature that can swing or block and kill, giving you card advantage. Blocking and killing someone’s attacking Ophidian while also taking out their Honden of Seeing Winds can be tasty.

Among creatures to cheat into play are a Verdant Force, the powerful Progenitus, and a pair of Eternal Witnesses. I round out the deck with a full set of Wall of Blossoms and Harmonize. These will get you cards, while the Wall also provides fodder for Natural Orders after drawing you a card once it is played.

I hope you enjoyed this little Green deck. Let’s do one more deck for today’s article.

For this deck, I took one of my tried and true ways of building a Red/While deck, and gave it a spin. I have built decks before with Earthquake and pro Red creatures, or Light of Sanction and Pyrohemia. This is not unusual.

When I decided to build around Mark of Asylum, I decided to use a more creature oriented way of dealing damage to creatures. I began with Bloodfire Kavu, which I have always been rather fond of, but rarely found an agreeable home for. It gives you a nice body and a Seal of Pyroclasm on the board to break in case of emergencies.

After that, some of the pieces fell into place. This was a great deck to showcase Living Inferno, which has a great tap ability but dies after the first use almost every time. Now it dies no more. Ashen Firebeast gives the deck the ability to sweep creatures for mana. Crater Hellion is essentially a double Pyroclasm with a 6/6 body, and it too, can add to our sweeping removal.

Aside from these creatures, I tossed in a pair of Brightflame. One of the consequences of Brightflame has always been its ability to kill your own troops under the right circumstances, but no longer. Now you can batter the opposing side of the board while gaining bunches of life and preventing the Brightflame from killing your own creatures.

After that, I tossed in some artifact and enchantment removal in Orim’s Thunder. I also wanted some card drawing so Browbeat seemed like a fine play, backed up with Sensei’s Divining Top. Finally, I tossed in a full set of Decree of Justice, in order to make a nice army (and draw a card off the cycle).

The result is a powerful Red/White concoction that, while built around one of my previous premises, uses a different angle to do it. I hope you like it!

And that brings us to the end of yet another entry in the column that investigates the casual. I hope that you enjoyed today’s treat, and I will see you all next time!

Until later…

Abe Sargent