Hello, folks! Today, I want to display the next entry in the Bad Rares articles. For those who are new, in these articles, I pull a card at random from
a box of crap….er…low-value rares that sits next to my computer. Then I have to build a deck around it! It’s a lot of fun!
I started this a long time ago when SCG was publishing daily articles. I agreed to do a lot of dailies. (I published 59 daily articles that are not
included in the 356 number.) My first Bad Rare deck was from this daily on Feb 4, 2005.
Since then, we’ve done a lot of Bad Rare articles here and there, and they’ve become one of my more popular series. I love writing them,
and people love reading them! It’s a different way to write an article that’s all about crazy decks!
I wanted to mention that you can expect some more Type Four articles in this column, but I’ve decided to go with some other stuff for a bit. Type
Four is a casual format that’s great and just doesn’t get the press it should. I am adding it to the queue.
I have a bit of a queue when it comes to Magic articles. I typically write about formats I’m playing. Whether I’m writing about
Pauper-Prismatic-Singleton from online, Commander from last week, or Type Four this past month, you can expect me to relate the experiences from my
personal Magic life. What else would I write?
In honor of today’s reboot of the Bad Rares series, I have added some recent bad rares to my box. (While I was looking through my stacks of
cards, I forgot that I had cracked a foil Splinter Twin when I got my couple of boxes of Rise when it first came out. I remember being upset that I had
such a crappy rare. I guess I need to revise that feeling! )
Will I pull any of the newly added cards? Who knows? Alons-y!
When I flipped Shapeshifter’s Marrow, I knew that I had to put a full set of Spin into Myth into the deck. Beyond that, I had no obvious ideas.
Hinder was the next obvious addition, but I was still drawing a blank beyond that core. I could go in lots of directions from there.
I decided to go with a classic card that has an ultimate ability. Nothing does it better. The old school Elemental Augury. This is a great deck for the
Augury! It can put the best creature on top in order to trigger your Shapeshifter’s Marrow. Despite the triple color, it slides seamlessly into
From there, the deck quickly merged. Grindstone works perfectly because you can set your opponent with two cards in a row of the same color to get four
cards milled instead of two. Both Scrib Nibblers and Sindbad work well as cheap creatures that tap for an effect to help you out. One draws you a card,
and the other exiles/mills a land from your foe and gains you life. You can work them while you sit back without using mana.
Another cheap creature is Soldier of Fortune. It does require a mana to use, but it can reload someone’s deck to get a fresh set of three cards
to put under an Elemental Augury. With the Marrow as your finisher, I knew that I wanted to play these utility creatures. I also decided to add a pair
of Sphinxes of Jwar Isle to give you some later power, as well as helping your game by looking at your top card for free.
I wanted one each of Future Sight and Baneful Omen in your deck. While they are certainly nice cards for the late game, I don’t want them in
early hands, and they aren’t necessary for the lock or the win. They are included as a great way to surprise a foe who is not expecting them.
After adding cards on theme, I knew this deck needed a few other cards to round it out. A pair of emergency removal spells is included with the
recently printed Go for the Throat. I also wanted a little more countermagic, so I included Undermine. Finally, I wanted a bit of land search, and
Mycosynth Wellspring came to mind. These cards will help to keep the deck humming. And there you have it!
I don’t often do this, but I actually have a second idea for the Marrow. Interested? Let’s build another deck around the same core three
This deck wants to play Boldwyr Heavyweights, then Spin into Myth the creature on top of your opponent’s library for a Shapeshifter’s
Marrow to trigger and copy it while you mill it to their graveyard. This will get you a four-mana 8/8 trampler while also securing the strongest
creature in your opponent’s deck for your side!
I like haste. I bet you do too. I really love it when all of my creatures have haste, and I just adore a game state where I have haste and my
foe’s creatures enter the battlefield tapped. Urabrask the Hidden will do that for my deck. Boldwyr Heavyweights will swing for eight on the turn
it comes into play, since the opposing creature will be tapped.
To this little engine, we add a few cards to flesh the deck out. I want removal, so in go both Urza’s Rage and Rolling Thunder as twofers. They
will help to keep the creatures down or go to someone’s head for lethal damage when needed. I wanted some more counters and some more removal and
some more creatures. In went Draining Whelk and Suffocating Blast to fix my needs. These fill my needs in just four cards.
I thought the Boldwyr Heavyweights combo would not happen enough, so I pulled it out. Often you’ll find one crap rare is made better by another
crap rare. That’s certainly the case here!
Let’s reach into my box and pull out…
I had added about 50 crap rares to my box, and I just pulled one of them out. I have this habit of making bad rares good by combining them with Sneak
Attack. I do it all of the time, and it would work here! I wanted something different, so I went with the Elemental theme, but I am still thinking
“SneakPotence” in my head right now.
Electropotence is often worse than Pandemonium, but it is better at one major thing—your opponents can’t use it. That’s very
important when the deck isn’t designed to win in one turn. I needed a strong design that Electropotence supplemented better than Pandemonium, and
this is it.
I think an obvious way to build this deck is also the cheap sacrifice creatures like Ball Lightning, but I wanted to go a different route there as
well. I wanted more permanent creatures. They may be fragile with a glass jaw, but they won’t automatically die at the end of each turn (barring
a Soulstoke activation, of course).
The deck wants to play a ton of very aggressive Elementals in order to power out a nasty Electropotence activation to clear out opposing creature or
players. In particular, Nova Chaser is a game changer with its ten power on a four-mana body. It can halve an opponent’s starting life with a hit
or an Electropotence trigger. Other creatures with super high power include Spitebellows, Rage Nimbus, and the single copy of Living Inferno.
Smokebraider is very important in this deck because every time you play a big Elemental, you want to activate an Electropotence. It will help immensely
if you can reduce the cost of that Elemental by two. Incandescent Soulstoke is super-hot here. Not only does it give you the obligatory lord boost to
its tribe (which is nice in an all-Elemental deck), but it also can be used to put an Elemental in play, with haste, and dying at the end of the turn,
all for a tap and two mana. Tap it, and play Nova Chaser, and Electropotence someone for eleven damage all for just five mana. Then you can swing with
Nova Chaser as well. Rar!
In fact, I think haste and power pumping are so good in this deck that I included a couple of copies of In the Web of War for the late game. Anything
that comes into play gets +2/+0 so an Electropotence will hurt for an additional two damage. Then add in haste for an extra hit, and you are going to
severely cripple someone’s life total.
Living Inferno is included as a high creature that can clear out a horde of creatures. Cinder Elemental is also a one-of to go at someone’s head
or just to play nice with the other Elementals. I even included Ingot Chewer to take out artifacts in an Elemental-friendly way.
This is an interestingly little Elemental deck using a card as recent as Zendikar from my crap box. What else will we pull out?
Junkyo Bell clearly works best in a deck with a ton of creatures. If you play it in a token deck, then those tokens won’t do much when
mega-pumped by the Bell because it just gets chump blocked. What I need is a token with trample, or better yet, unblockable.
# of Artifacts in the deck: 30
Etched Champion can be targeted by Junkyo Bell but not colors (assuming metalcraft). It can swing through most defenses and is protected from most
removal. It makes a great target for the Bell, but the best target is probably little ol’ Blighted Agent, with its unblockable and infect
combination. You only need to pump it nine to kill someone.
This deck rocks a lot of ways to make various token creatures. You can make Myr, Gnomes, Snakes, and Pests. Once you have enough tokens, you use the
Bell to make an unblockable creature huge and then swing to kill.
The best token maker is Myr Incubator. You can sacrifice it for 20ish tokens in one go. Then you just win with a bunch of tokens and a 22/22 Champion.
The Champion can take out one player while the Myr take out another.
With its horde of small creatures, you might think about changing the game a bit and morphing to white for Tempered Steel (you’d want to pull the
Snake Basket for something else). Once you start getting crazy with that, I’m not sure this remains a Junkyo Bell deck, and that is the point,
With another deck and another random card down, it’s time to open the box and pull out…
- 2 Angry Mob
- 2 Kjeldoran Royal Guard
- 2 Maddening Imp
- 1 Corrupt Official
- 2 Alabaster Wall
- 2 Sadistic Hypnotist
- 2 Cabal Torturer
- 4 Unliving Psychopath
- 2 Palace Guard
This is a theme deck built around Unliving Psychopath. I knew that I wanted to play Castle with it, and then the theme hit me. What if this is an
incarceration due to the psychopath nature of our hero? This is the Unliving Psychopath locked up and behind bars! That seemed like a good starting
point for a theme deck.
To represent its madness, I tossed in Maddening Imp. I also put in a quartet of Shackles as creature removal and the thing that locks up our hero.
These two cards work very well together. Just force your opponent’s creatures to attack, and whatever is locked down by a Shackles will die at
the end of the turn, so return the Shackles before the creature dies.
Clearly, an Angry Mob put the Unliving Psychopath behind bars. Perhaps the Castle is there to help keep the Psychopath alive? Perhaps, in its madness,
the Psychopath did some vile act that the Mob wants Justice for? Take a look at Justice in this deck.
Every place has guards, so we have Palace Guards and Kjeldoran Royal Guards. Both will keep the place guarded and protect our asylum-bound Psychopath.
They will help to keep you alive (and the Royal Guard is really useful since you have no fliers).
Every building and Castle has officials, and we have a Corrupt Official. Perhaps he is the reason that our Psychopath is behind bars? Maybe he was
bribed by members of the Psychopath’s family in order to keep our hero from the Angry Mob?
How do we cure an Unliving Psychopath? I don’t think the normal methods will work, so how about hypnotism and torture? We have a pair of Sadistic
Hypnotists and Cabal Torturers. We even have a Torture Chamber in which to work quietly away from the other inmates…er…I mean patients.
Behind these Alabaster Walls lurk many dark secrets. Someday the inmates will rise up and gain their retribution. It will be a Retribution of the Meek!
And, if you search long enough, you might even find the Orim’s Cure…
That concludes our article for the week, with five decks made from four randomly selected rares pulled from the bulk bin. I hope you enjoyed it and
found some ideas for decks! We’ll see you in two weeks.