Folks, welcome to another beautiful morning here at The Kitchen Table. I hope your day is bright and happy.
Today, I want to continue one of my favorite series. The concept is simple. I have a long box of low value rares that you can get for uber-cheap. These bad rares just sit here, waiting for the next Bad Rare article. The goal of the article is simple. I will pull out, randomly, one of these crap rares, and then build a deck around it. I never know what is coming out, so it’s a chance to have fun, build some decks, and use some older and unusual cards.
I have written ten of these previously, plus additional entries from my Deck a Day series. I grab my box, reach in my hand and pull out….
I’ve actually occasionally played Hecatomb in the right deck. It’s rare, but it can be used successfully. Let’s see if I can’t find a way to use and abuse Hecatomb.
There are a few cards that Hecatomb classically works with. Why not build with them?
- 26 Swamp
Okay, let’s look at our deck. The deck tries to abuse Infernal Genesis and Hecatomb for the win. Infernal Genesis makes a bunch of tokens for both yourself and your foes. Play it. Then you can sacrifice four of these tokens to make a Hecatomb. You can tap your Swamps to kill all of their 1/1s and other creatures over time, then swing with your creatures and 1/1s for game.
In order to help you find the Infernal Genesis and Hecatomb, I included Diabolic Tutor, but you can certainly play more or other tutors to suit your card stock or preference. In order to get Hecatomb early, just play Sengir Autocrat, then drop Hecatomb and kill the four creatures you now have, and begin the tapping of Swamps.
Since I knew we wanted to maximize Swamps in the land base anyway, I knew cards like Mind Sludge, Consume Spirit and Fendeep Summoner made sense here. These are cards you are not embarrassed to play. You also rock a quartet of Steel Walls to drop in the early game to help get you to the longer game. Finally, I included a quartet of Doom Blade to kill off opposing creatures.
The deck also sports a pair of Skeletal Vampires. When they enter the battlefield, they bring two more creatures for sacrificing. If you have the mana and the desire, you can keep sacrificing bats for more bats, and then use them to fuel a Hecatomb.
This deck includes both old and new. You have older cards like Hecatomb and Sengir Autocrat beside cards like Fendeep Summoner and Doom Blade along with middle era cards like Diabolic Tutor and Mind Sludge.
I know that Infernal Genesis is also a crap rare, so I thought it would be interesting to pair one crap rare with another crap rare. Even Fendeep Summoner is a cheap rare. You could build this whole deck quite cheaply.
Some other cards I was looking at include Korlash, Solemn Simulacrum, and Twisted Abomination, in order to get more Swamps. The Simulacrum would also have made a good sacrifice choice for the Hecatomb.
What rare is next?
Actually, the first idea I had was to play a bunch of Yavimaya Ants style cards with a high power, low toughness, and haste, and then swing with them, once blocks were declared, put damage on the stack, and then switch their p/t and make them survive the combat for next turn. Unfortunately, this deck does not work under the new rules. Sigh.
What others creatures will this work with? I suppose the next obvious way is to run it with low power, high toughness creatures like Indomitable Ancients. But again, you can’t put the damage on the stack, and then switch it back, so any 2/3 blocker can kill your 10/2 beater and you can’t switch back to kill it yet survive.
Note that Mannichi does his thing to all creatures, including your opponent’s. That means you can flat out kill your opponent’s 0 power creatures. Can we use that to our advantage? Yes, with something like Meishin, the Mind Cage. Use Mannichi under it, and everything will likely die. That’s combining a 3 mana creature with a 7 mana enchantment to do the work of a 4 mana sorcery. Great. And that’s if it even works. Perhaps a 4/5 creature with a Meishin out with 6 cards in hand becomes an 0/4 instead of an 0/5, I’d have to look it up. I don’t case, because even if it does work, sucky.
So I can’t use it as kill, or to combine with Yavimaya Ants or as a way to make my Ancients-style creatures ready to deal some damage. There are not going to be any super-clever things I can do with Mannichi.
So, what can I do?
I guess I can just sort of synergize two of these elements and hope that is enough.
- 4 Mannichi, the Fevered Dream
- 2 Commander Eesha
- 2 Silvos, Rogue Elemental
- 4 Keldon Vandals
- 4 Carven Caryatid
- 4 Glass Golem
- 4 Indomitable Ancients
Do you remember how solid Aquamoeba was when it was in play? Even after the rules changes, it is a threat, although not as much of one. I wanted to have a deck that could go both ways. There are creatures with high power and low toughness that want to become great creatures on defense. Then there are creatures with high toughness and low power that want to become threats on offense.
A few creatures had to be included. Commander Eesha is even better with a 4/2 body than with a 2/4, and she can hit for 4 unblockable damage every turn, which is awesome. The Ancients I mentioned earlier, because you can attack, wait for blockers, and then pump if okay. It’s not as good as it could have been, but it is still a nifty synergy.
Glass Golem is a powerful but fragile beater that you can protect from the 2/2 chump blocker by switching it around. You can also make for a powerful defense. Carven Caryatid is a great blocker and draws you a card when it enters the battlefield, but you can also kill bigger attackers by making it a 5/2. Even Silvos and the Vandals can be the benefactor of a p/t switch in the right circumstances.
Silvos and the Vandals sounds like a band name.
Lightning Bolt is some nice, cheap and early removal. Humble is a both a great way of killing creatures that are attacking and blocking, as well as a nice synergy with Mannichi, which can flat out kill them.
Finally, I have Kodama’s Reach to help smooth this awkward manabase. It is needed.
The result is a solid deck that has a few tricks up its sleeve. I hope you enjoy!
Other cards to use with Mannichi include Sorceress Queen or Serendib Sorcerer, and Sudden Spoiling.
Two down. What is the next card?
As I look at this card, the one thing that clearly strikes me is that the counters go on the creatures, not the enchantment. If you Disenchant the Wiitigo Shape, the creature keeps the counters. Therefore, it seems to me to be a good idea to play this on creatures that cannot be easily killed. From there, a deck is child’s play.
- 3 Autumn Willow
- 4 Troll Ascetic
- 3 Plated Slagwurm
- 2 Multani, Maro-Sorcerer
- 2 Citanul Centaurs
- 4 Silhana Ledgewalker
Every single creature in the deck cannot be targeted by your opponent, so any targeted creature kill they have is either dead (in a duel) or has to be played against your opponents (in a multiplayer game).
Most of your creatures can be targeted by Shape of the Wiitigo and your equipment. Troll Ascetic, Silhana Ledgewalker, and Plated Slagwurm can be targeted by you always. Feel free to equip them or enchant them. Autumn Willow needs you to spend a G to be able to target her, but you can. I wanted a few extra beaters and I was out of the opponent shroud, so I tossed in four cards with just generic shroud. One was a pair of Multani, which are excellent in multiplayer, and the other was Citanul Centaurs.
The Ledgewalker is a great choice for a Shape or a Sword of Kaldra because it can only be blocked by flyers, giving it some evasion. Turning it into a beater can only help to make your deck better.
Having creatures with a combined power of 10 or more should be easy, so I felt Mosswort Bridge was a great addition to the deck. You can drop your more expensive cards like Slagwurm, Sword, or Shape, and then pull them out when needed.
Since you should have some bigger creatures, Surestrike Trident is a great way to deal damage without having to attack. You can keep a Slagwurm back on defense, and then at the end of an opponent’s turn, tap it, unequip the Trident, and dole out 8 damage, and more if you have a Shape or Sword on it.
Since the deck wants some mana in play, Hunting Wilds will get you two forests and drop them in play. If you play a land on each of the first five turns, and drop Hunting Wilds on turn 4, you can accelerate into a seven drop Slagwurm on turn 5, just in case you were wondering.
Creeping Mold is an emergency removal for artifacts and enchantments, but can also be used in a pinch against a card like Volrath’s Stronghold that is hurting you too much.
Yavimaya Hollow is a great way to save a creature you can target. You want to keep your creatures in play, so use it when you can.
Harmonize was the normal card drawing spell. I didn’t want to push the theme too much and rely on Soul’s Majesty, but you might want to try it out. Note that the Majesty targets the creature, so it would cost G more to use Autumn Willow and be unable to target Multani and the Centaurs.
Heh. Multani and the Centaurs also sounds like a band name, similar to Silvos and the Vandals.
Alright, let’s do another of these.
Here’s an artifact that virtually no one would play except in one specific case. It’s easy to use though. One way is the traditional Blue way with Capsize and such, but let’s take another tack.
- 2 Cabal Coffers
- 22 Swamp
This deck uses the Memory Crystal to do the heavy lifting without many hoops to jump through. Since it is mono-Black, we can focus the mana base and have a few additional tricks.
One trick is to play and buyback Corpse Dance. With two Crystals, you can repeat this for one Black mana. You can do Corpse Dance tricks with any of the creatures here. For example, in your upkeep, pull out an Augur of Skulls, make your opponent discard, and pull it out again forcing another discard. Morgue Thrull can be used to deck people or to get the cards you need for Dancing in your yard.
The best trick, though, is getting and replaying Blood Vassal to make an infinity of mana. Just keep playing Corpse Dance for B, and then make BB mana. If your graveyard has a lot of creatures in the way, play the Dance several times before sacrificing the one you want. You can also get a quick kill with Cabal Archon. Pull it out, and then drain someone of two life, and repeat with you extra mana. You can also play 1 million Lab Rats with your mana.
You have tutors, card drawing, and creature removal in a nice little suite, so there some nice supporting cards here.
You’ll note that I steered clear of the Dancing Gnomes combo in order to make the deck a little more interesting.
I hoped you enjoyed this final deck, plus all of the other entrants on today’s Bad Rares list. Enjoy yourselves, and we hope to see you next week!