The Kitchen Table #325 – Worldwake Decks

SCG Open Richmond!

Wednesday, February 17th – Today, I want to do my typical follow up to the Worldwake review article, where I take some of the cards from the new set and build some decks based around what inspires me.

Good day to you and your kin. I hope you have had a lovely time since last week. Today, I want to do my typical follow up to the Worldwake review article, where I take some of the cards from the new set and build some decks based around what inspires me.

Whenever a new set hits, I see cards and immediately park on ways to build around that card. What I want to do today is take a few of those cards, and flesh them into a built deck, all ready to go.

Oh, quick aside: I really miss Pyramids. This would have been the perfect time to reprint Pyramids. Don’t know what it does? Look it up and see how both sides would have made sense here in Worldwake.

Anyway, since today’s article is pretty simple, let’s skip the long preamble and just move to the meat. After all, you didn’t click on this link to see me ramble for paragraphs, but to see decks. So, without further presentation or preamble, let’s bring out the decks!

If you were a smart casual player, then you acquired cards like Natural Order long before they exploded in price and now you can reap the benefits with a rather Natural Order like deck such as the one above. The above Mono-Green deck simply tries to cheat out Avenger of Zendikar in order to win the game. Now you can pop out an adequate sized fatty along with a bunch of 0/1 friends, that will quickly grow in size. This is a creature that plays like an Ultimatum. It’s a 5/5, it’s fifty thousand 0/1 tokens and that feels like an Ultimatum spell to me.

I went with three ways to bring this guy out. One is to sacrifice an in-play Green creature for an Avenger with Natural Order. This deck has many cheap creatures in it to sacrifice, including the new Khalni Garden’s 0/1 plant token, a Wall of Blossoms, a Heart Warden, and a Fierce Empath that has already gotten you a card anyway. Even a Weatherseed Treefolk will come back, so sac it. You can also use the token of one Avenger to bring out another.

I also wanted a surprise Avenger of Zendikar, and that led me to…dum dah…Dramatic Entrance. Play this to flash out your Avenger at the end of turn and then you can untap and play lands to grow your army immediately. I think that game may be won soon.

How do you get it into your hand for a Dramatic Entrance? Well, look no further than Fierce Empath. I wanted a few more creatures for it to retrieve than our 5/5 elemental friend, so I decided to add Krosan Tusker, which can get you a Forest and a card. You can also get Tornado Elemental for Dramatic Entrancing.

The other way to cheat out an Avenger is to Reincarnate it. You can cast Reincarnation on any creature of yours about to die, then when it does on that turn, you can return any creature from your yard to play. This is great to pull out an already dead Avenger, but it works with a lot of the deck. For example, it can bring back a cycled Krosan Tusker, it can be used before a Natural Order sacrifices a creature, or you can play it on a Heart Warden and then sac it to draw a card and recur a creature to play. There are several of these little synergies built into the deck.

Despite the lack of hard card drawing like the usual Harmonize, this deck will draw you many cards from Wall of Blossoms, Krosan Tusker, Fierce Empath, and the Avenger + creatures itself. Cycling from Tranquil Thicket and the sacrifice of a Heart Warden will allow you to filter through your deck quickly and the Tornado Elemental can add large amounts of card advantage by sweeping many flyers, including Akroma-sized headaches.

Another creature you might want to consider is Terastodon, which can Creeping Mold your opponents, but then whores out 3/3s to them, but you can go with destroying three of your cards to give you 18 power of creatures with a Dramatic Entrance or something, and then smash face for 18 right after you untap.

Doing my review, I knew that I wanted to abuse the crap out of Ruin Ghost with Glacial Chasm, but I was hoping that no one spoiled it. See, one of the things I hate is seeing a card, seeing a clever way to use that card, and then reading an article that mentions it being published first. Grrrr. But this one I didn’t see, and I was bursting each time I read a review of ruin Ghost (Please do not mention it works well with Cumulative Upkeep lands, please oh please)

Here’s how the combo works. You have out a land with a Cumulative Upkeep, like, say, Glacial Chasm. Then, during your upkeep, you place the Upkeep on the stack. Before it resolves, you activate Ruin ghost and flicker out the Glacial Chasm. When it returns, it is not needed to be paid, because you already passed by the trigger, and it’s a brand new permanent. The first trigger is countered because the permanent that triggered it is gone, and the effect stays out.

Now, there are only two cumulative upkeep lands out there, Halls of Mist and Glacial Chasm. Both are great with this trick, but of the two, Glacial Chasm is a lot better. There is one problem, however. Glacial Chasm forces you to sacrifice a land every time it comes into play, and this is a lot of coming into play. How do you deal with that? Well, Crucible of Worlds is the obvious answer, but that still means that you never can get extra land out for the game. If you set up at 6 lands, then you will never have more than 6 lands out, because every turn you are Flickering your Glacial Chasm and then sacking and replaying it. Despite this, I thought it was worth it. Glacial Chasm, permanently, is worth the stretch to my mind.

You cannot attack
All damage that would be dealt to you is reduced to 0

That’s a pretty powerful card. Now, to be fair, you can argue that it’s no worse than Worship since it requires a creature to be out, specifically a 1/1 that is quite fragile. True. On the other hand, Worship hurts you badly because it takes you down to one, this leaves you at 13 or 15 or whatever. All I have to do is build a deck where attacking is not the plan, and perhaps a few other ways to abuse Crucible and Ruin Ghost, since they are in the deck anyway.

One way of getting past the Chasm disadvantage is to add Walking Atlas, who can tap and drop your extra lands. This gives me a chance to add another Worldwake card to the deck, so that’s cool.

I could run another color if it is needed. My only cards so far are a White creatures, two artifacts and a land.

Some of the cards that work well with Ruin Ghost, like the hideaway lands, really don’t fit the deck. I could run something like Gemstone Mine and reload it with counters when it starts to run dry. (Or Tendo Ice Bridge). Flickering a land also untaps it so you could Flicker a Gaea’s Cradle or a Tolarian Academy as a way to untap it. Still, I don’t think these fit my deck easily.

Anyway, back on track. Other cool ways to use Crucible of Worlds when you don’t have out a Chasm are Terramorphic Expanse and to recur important lands like Kor Haven in case they get zapped by others. You don’t really want to recur the Chasm by Crucible. Then it takes your land drop, and sacs a land as well — not a good combo.

Oh, this totally seems like a good deck for things like Land Tax, Gift of Estates and Tithe.

My deck really doesn’t have a winning condition yet. What can we do about that?

It’s can’t be death through attacking. Well, actually it could. You could run, say, Mobilization, and then slowly build up a huge army, and then drop the Chasm, and attack for a bunch. However, what if it is stopped with a Fog or your life total is low and you expose yourself to burn? These are not good things.

However, if you are playing at a multiplayer table, you don’t have the time for something like Telim’Tor’s Darts. And you may not have the mana for something like Aladdin’s Ring. Magma Mine only blows up one player. What else do we have? If you had enough cards in your deck, Whirling Catapult would be ideal.

Well, it looks like it’s time to pull out another color. I am adding Green for Heartwood Giant and Hurricane. This gives you the ability to dole out some damage. It also allows me to add Graypelt Refuge which can be used with Ruin Ghost to gain some life. Hurricane won’t hit you due to Glacial Chasm. The Giant is perfect in this deck. Tap to sac a Forest and dole out 2 damage to a player, then Crucible the Forest right back as your land drop.

I then round out the deck with cards like Solemn Simulacrum, Perimeter Captain, Privileged Position, and Enlightened Tutor. The result is a deck that looks odd, and perhaps plays even more oddly, but which I think would be a lot of fun to try out. Please note that this deck would be stronger with duals so you could get Forests off your Gift of Estates and have more sac options for a Heartwood Giant. This deck might also prefer some minor card drawing and sifting like cycling lands or Wall of Blossoms.

When I saw Chain Reaction for the first time, I thought immediately of Light of Sanction. Another obvious option is Pro Red creatures exclusively in with Chain Reaction, or guys like Cho-Manno. This is also yet another deck to play your Pro-Red Red guys like Subterranean Spirit and Beasts of Bogardan that I love talking about so much in my articles. I swear, I build more decks with those guys…

I also loved Archon of Redemption and some flyers, and luckily, these guys worked together very well. You use Chain Reaction and Light of Sanction to keep your critters alive through the Wrath of God. The deck has some solid creatures to choose from, and I went with a nice smattering of Red/White flyers that worked with the Archon.

Since you may be gaining a lot of life anyway, I made sure that Felidar Sovereign was among the creatures included, so that if your life jumps to 40+, you can take advantage. Note that it is the only creature in the deck that does not have flying, so it will not trigger the Archon, but I wanted this creature, even as a ground creature, over other options that were non-creatures. I also thought that Earthquake had a nice synergy with the deck. Even without the Light of Sanction in play, it keeps your non-Sovereign guys from dying since they are all flyers, and you can save the Sovereign by either having the Light in play, or keeping it at 5 or less damage.

After that, the only non-creature in the deck was Orim’s Thunder. It can off an artifact or enchantment and a creature too, and I have spoken at length about its mega value in Red/White decks for eons.

This deck gives me an opportunity to pull out some cards I have rarely or never used in decks like Felidar Sovereign and Firemane Angel, in addition to Chain Reaction and the Archon of Redemption. They join regulars like Commander Eesha, Orim’s Thunder, Kor Haven, and Eternal Dragon. I like to use those guys a lot.

I started with the trio of power (Juggernaut, Su-Chi, and Lodestone Golem) and then added some artifact lovin’ around it. I was sensitive that Blue non-artifact stuff would have an extra mana, but I think Tinker, Fabricate, Transmute Artifact, Thirst for Knowledge and Argivian Restoration are still worth it at that price point.

I added Cathodion to the trio, and Master of Etherium on top of that, so I have a core of 20 powerful early beat style creatures. You can easily start rolling and keep rolling.

To that I added tutoring, card drawing, and recovery. The tutoring gets you all of your key stuff, especially creatures. My guess is that you are almost always going to want to tutor for Lodestone Golem, Master of Etherium or Mindslaver based on what is happening. The Eye of Ugin just gets you the first two, not the Mindslaver, but its reusability is awesome.

Oh, and feel free to toss in a Tolarian Academy if you own one to help with the Eye’s cost.

Serum Tank will constantly get getting counters you can turn into cards with extra mana. Most of the stuff is cheap, and as long as you do not have an active Eye of Ugin or Academy Ruins to worry about, the Serum Tank should be fine.

As you know, the Academy Ruins works very well in any artifact deck, and very well with Mindslaver and Thirst for Knowledge. The Mindslaver is for later game, and you can really mess with people sometimes. You can get a Mindslaver lock against one person with Academy Ruins and a ton of mana, allowing you to win in a duel situation.

This deck is not playing expensive artifact creatures. There is not a single Darksteel Colossus for the Argivian Restoration or Tinker, for example (perhaps there should be?) The deck is really about getting quick beaters on the kitchen table and then killing people with them, with recovery options in case of removal, card drawing, and tutoring for more problems.

This deck is built around Brink of Disaster. Ideally, you want to play Brink on one of their lands/creatures, and then tap it, and while the triggered ability is on the stack, you then want to move it to another one so the enchantment is saved and still in play.

Thus there are several cards in here that play around with auras. Crown of Ages will move a Brink of Disaster from any creature to any other creature. Therefore, it cannot be used when the Brink is on a land, or you want it to be. Simic Guildmage can move it from any permanent to any permanent, as long as they have the same controller. In duels, this is fine. In multiplayer, it means that you cannot move the hosing to another player.

That means if I want to move it from a creature to a land, or vice versa, under the control of two players, I need both Crown and the Guildmage out and they have to move it through a creature under the control of the same player with the land in question.

Now, this is pretty ornery as a deck idea, I included a few other cards to persuade opponent’s to focus their removal elsewhere. Royal Assassin is a fine card at slowing down attackers. Abyssal Hunter is a great way to tap a creature and deal it one damage. Tap a creature, and kill it, giving all of the power of a Visara in two creature with 1/1 bodies. I know, not exactly amazing or anything, but the point is that I want to entice players to come after these guys.

The Hunter can tap down a creature for the Brink of Disaster, but the Icy Manipulator is the money card, tapping a creature or land to kill it. You can play stuff like the Icy Manipulator, Hunter and Assassin, plus other things like the Shadowmage Infiltrator, and no one will know what your deck is actually trying to do until you drop a Simic Guildmage, followed the next turn by a Brink of Disaster.

Hakim can return the Brink from the graveyard, and then you can send it at others with the Crown of Ages. Otherwise, he is just there to be a body and help out with attacking, defending, and doing what creatures do.

I added some Counterspells and Impulses to give your deck a foundation, and Shadowmage Infiltrator is a nice creature to distract your opponent or draw you cards.

I rarely play Wishes in my decks because they are very playgroup dependant. How your playgroup allows Wishes will be very different than others. Yet, this deck really needs the added diversity of the two Wishes. With so many cards being given to the combo, there are just four counters, little card draw, and nothing like graveyard removal or other things. With a Cunning Wish, you can get any instant, and then grab whatever your deck needs. Because of this, I included Arcane Sanctum, so you have White mana available for things like Disenchant and Swords.

And that brings us to the conclusion of another deck article. I hope that you enjoyed today’s trek through all things Worldwake and casual. See you next time!

Until later…

Abe Sargent