Unhinged Madness: Decks and Stories

I hope that you guys are enjoying Unhinged as much as our play group is. It’s the holidays, so hopefully your Magic days are filled with joy. In recognition of the great casual set during a casual time of year, allow me to relate a few decks I’ve come up with and a few Unhinged stories.

I hope that you guys are enjoying Unhinged as much as our play group is. It’s the holidays, so hopefully your Magic days are filled with joy. In recognition of the great casual set during a casual time of year, allow me to relate a few decks I’ve come up with and a few Unhinged stories.

The Pointy Finger

What is the most embarrassing thing that a guy can do when he tries and uses the Pointy Finger of Doom? We’ve already had table discussions about the use of the card.

We have a Chaos Orb rule that states that once a Chaos Orb is seen through any method of the game, players cannot move their in play cards around except in a normal manner. So if I Enlightened Tutor for an Orb, you can’t move your cards around in order to avoid being targeted by it from that point until I have used its ability. To make things fair, Chaos Orbs must be used immediately, so players can start moving their cards around again.

We’ve applied this rule to Chaos Confetti, actually. We have recently had to apply it to the Pointy Finger as well. Otherwise, everybody does the same thing with their cards. They will use the shield strategy, placing a minor card in front of more valuable cards so that the Pointy Finger will never be closest to the powerful cards.

Anyway, so my friends and I, on a rather testosterone-laden night, were arguing over who was stronger while we played Magic. One of my friends assured us that he could take any one of us down, then announced the Pointy Finger’s ability. When he went to flick it, the Finger barely moved at all. It was a very big laugh out loud moment at the Magic table, I assure you. Much taunting ensued.


The power of Name Dropping does not stop with broken instants, abusable sorceries or creatures. It also allows you to return lands. Why would you want the ability to return multiple lands from your graveyard to your hand? How about…..

4 Name Dropping

4 Birds of Paradise

3 Armageddon

1 Obliterate

2 Lodestone Bauble

2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

4 Fellwar Stone

4 Terravore

2 Torrent of Lava

4 Wall of Blossoms

4 Swords to Plowshares

4 Disenchant

4 City of Brass

4 City of Ass

2 Shivan Oasis

2 Elfhame Palace

2 Rith’s Grove

3 Forest

3 Plains

2 Mountain

2 School of the Unseen

I call the deck Narmadreddon (a combination of Name Dropping and Armageddon). This deck runs around Name Dropping as the recursive spell to end all recursive spells. You’ll note that most of the cards have very common words in them like “The, of, at, and to.” You can Armageddon away a bunch of lands, then recover by returning Cities or Schools to your hand easily. You also have great tricks like The Tabernacle and Torrent of Lava. I chose to use Disenchant over Orim’s Thunder or Hull Breach because I thought the likelihood of being able to Gotcha! Disenchant would be higher than the other options.

Your kill condition is a souped up Terravore, swinging for game. Wall of Blossoms is not only a stall card but card drawing mechanism, especially when used with Name Dropping.

You don’t have enough creatures to add something like Oversold Cemetery to the deck, but that might be an interesting way to take the deck. You could always add some creature with interesting abilities, but the more you head towards Oversold Cemetery, Nekrataal, Uktabi Orangutan, the more you head towards territory that has already been mined.

The beauty of the Name Dropping in this deck is that you do not return any hugely broken cards with it. You return lands, walls, 0/1 flying birds, and so forth. Don’t overuse the Swords to Plowshares, or else your opponents may think that you are abusing Name Dropping too much.

Use of a Collector Protector

In a casual group, the Collector Protector is an ideal card for accomplishing a subversive mission – giving bad players good cards. Do you have a player in your group who is prideful and won’t accept handouts of great commons? Someone who is good, but could really benefit from a better cardstock?

What you need to do is build a quick white deck with Collector Protector and go to town. Here is my old school good stuff white deck with said Protector:

1 Hazduhr the Abbot

1 Atalya, Samite Master

1 Orim, Samite Healer

1 Commander Eesha

1 Cho-Manno, Revolutionary

1 Jareth, Leonine Titan

1 Lieutenant Kirtar

1 Radiant, Archangel

4 Favored Destiny

4 Auspicious Ancestor

4 Collector Protector

2 Veteran Bodyguard

2 Soul Sculptor

2 Ivory Mask

4 Pariah

4 Swords to Plowshares

2 Planar Guide

22 Plains

1 Kor Haven

1 Maze of Ith

This good stuff deck is designed to send people elsewhere at a multiplayer table. It is not obnoxious with Soul Wardens and Congregates – playing those can make you a target. Instead, it subtly sends people elsewhere. Collector Protector can be highly useful in this. Ideally, you want to have the Bodyguard take damage, then prevent it with Orim, Atalya, or Hazduhr.

This deck plays a lot of the good stuff. A Pariah on Cho-Manno means that your opponent will have to work hard in order to get damage through again. There are many other combos in this deck, ready to pop out and join the party.

When you use Collector Protector, have a stack of good commons sitting by. Giving away cards from Basking Rootwalla and Dark Banishing to Naturalize and Counterspell can really help out some players. Don’t give away Guardian Angels and other crap, this is supposed to be the holidays of sharing. Share good stuff.

Incidentally, if you want to be mischievous, the next time someone activates Collector Protector targeting you, refuse the cards.

“I activate the Protector three times, giving you a Guardian Angel, Circle of Protection: Black, and a Giant Growth.”

“I refuse to accept them.”

“So what, the damage is still prevented.”

“No, it’s not, you never gave me those cards, you simply offered them to me. They aren’t given until I accept them, and I refuse.”

“You rules lawyering coal-eating pig.”

Fun stuff!

The Infinite Mana Combo

With Mox Lotus running around, making infinite mana is not as hard as it used to be. Getting the Mox Lotus into play requires some work, but its nothing a Tinker or Goblin Welder can’t fix. However, maybe you still want to get your infinite mana the old fashioned way. If so, here’s a neat little combo.

Play “Look at Me, I’m R&D.” Now turn all ones into zeros. Seems simple enough, right? Now, when you use Mana Screw, you can make infinite mana. Having played Mana Screw earlier in the game (like turns 1 and 2), make your infinite mana and go off using whatever method you feel in the cleverest. It feels much cleaner than that silly Mox Lotus.

I can deal 487 damage!

There is an old card from Mirage entitled Banding Agony. The card is a simple enchant creature. Whenever damage is dealt to enchanted creature, deal it to that creature’s controller as well. How can I abuse that? How about Pygmy Giant?

4 Pygmy Giant

4 Binding Agony

4 Fire Covenant

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Agonizing Demise

4 Incinerate

4 Will-o-the-wisp

4 Suq-Ata Assassin

4 Crypt Cobra

You’ll note that there are a few poison counter creatures running around with the feared Assassin and the Cobra. A poison counter creature has the number 10 in its poisonous reminder text, so you can pitch these for ten damage via the Pygmy Giant.

In addition to the Pygmy Giant/Binding Agony trick, you can also use Fire Covenant. If your opponent has less life than you, Fire Covenant will kill them outright by targeting one of their Binding Agony’ed creatures. To help with this, you have eight burn spells plus an Agonizing Demise.

This also gives you an alternate kill method in case your opponent is smart enough to always clear off your Pygmy Giants once you’ve put an Agony on one of his creatures.

Cheaters Always Win

Now, I know that the powers that be over at Wizards have recently tried to dial back the power of cards in Unhinged. Rulings on Frazzled Editor and Cheatyface have reduced the power of the cards.

However, not everybody plays by their rules. Cheatyface never states that it can only be played from your hand. However, it must in a game zone – that makes sense. Cards that are not in the game somehow have no rules. So, feel free to bring Cheatyface in from wherever. If you are not caught, it doesn’t matter – because it’s Cheatyface!

Our rule at the table is that Cheatyface cannot be played prior to everyone entering the game. If three of the six players at a multiplayer table haven’t even come over to draw their opening hand yet, then you can’t try to sneak out Cheatyface after the one player who rolled a 20 on the die tells you to go.

An additional Cheatyface rule is that you can only play Cheatyface once per turn. No Pandemonium/Cheatyface tricks here. Even with these constraints, Cheatyface is pretty annoying, but not that powerful.

I can really annoy my table by dropping Cheatyface regularly without notice, but it’s not like Cheatyface is good or anything, because he ain’t. A 2/2 flyer at a multiplayer table is laughable. I had played Cheatyface three turns in a row (literally, one guy Wrathed, and I returned Cheatyface without getting caught, the next player attacked me with a hasted creature, Cheatyface jumped in front, and then I played it at the end of her turn, then I swung with Cheatyface on my turn, it was summarily killed, and brought back.)

It got so that everybody was looking to catch me play Cheatyface, yet before the entire table had taken another turn, I had already sneaked out Cheatyface (or snuck, I’m not sure which applies).

Cheatyface goes well in decks with Apocalypse, Obliterate, and Decree of Annihilation ideas. Cheatyface will always come back.

My favorite Cheatyface trick is to drop the Efreet of Trickery into play while tutoring my giant deck. Nobody ever notices, and I’ve seen people ask about Cheatyface only after 5 or 10 minutes have passed.

Super Hero to the Rescue

Fraction Jackson seems like an alright bloke. He can return countermagic, burn, and creatures from the graveyard – and that’s alright with me. How about a 5cG deck built around Jackson?

4 Birds of Paradise

4 Utopia Tree

4 Fraction Jackson

4 Saute

4 Flaccify

4 Avatar of Me

4 Cheap Ass

4 Stone-Cold Basilisk

2 Supersize

2 Bad Ass

2 Bosom Buddy

4 City of Ass

6 Forest

4 Plains

4 Island

2 Mountain

2 Swamp

Quick question – can Fraction Jackson return cards that mention “one-half” instead of using the symbol? Can I return City of Ass?

Mr. Jackson is capable of returning virtually every card in the deck. Saute returns for more burning action. Flaccify comes back for more countering.

Bring back beaters like Avatar of Me or defenders like Stone-Cold Basilisk. You can try and break the game open with a later Supersize. Attack with a Blue 6/11 Avatar of Me, Supersize it, recur the Supersize, then use it again for a 13/18 Avatar of Vicious Smiting.

You can use Bosom Buddy and Cheap Ass to help set up a nice defense and keep things cranking. This deck could really benefit from Wave of Reckoning, so you might want to find room for that game swinging card.

Hot Tub Love

If you are like virtually every person on the planet, then you like the hot tub. Urza was no different. Just because he was a planeswalker with a gajillion different powers doesn’t mean that he didn’t like a little relaxation in the hot tub. Let’s use his hot tub as the basis for a legendary deck. Note that the following deck is very highlander friendly.

The Abyss

Arcanis the Omnipotent

Bane of the Living

Caller of the Claw

Call of the Herd

Call to the Grave

Chalice of the Void

Crosis, the Purger

Dance of the Dead

Darigaaz, the Igniter

Defense of the Heart

Grab the Reins

Honor the Fallen

In the Eye of Chaos


Lay of the Land

Look at Me, I’m the DCI

Mageta the Lion

No Rest for the Wicked

Old Man of the Sea

Presence of the Master

The Rack

Raise the Alarm

Read the Runes

Reaping the Graves

Retribution of the Meek

Rith, the Awakener

Ritual of the Machine

Roar of the Wurm

Sol’Kanar the Swamp King

Survival of the Fittest

Sword of the Chosen

Visara the Dreadful

Whispers of the Muse


Captain Sisay

Demonic Tutor

Living Death

Urza’s Hot Tub

Mox Diamond

Chrome Mox

School of the Unseen

Seat of the Synod

City of Brass

City of Ass

Undiscovered Paradise

Gemstone Mine

Grand Coliseum

Mirrodin’s Core

3 Forest

3 Mountain

3 Swamp

3 Plains

3 Island

The above highlander deck works around using the word “the” in order to be able to tutor for virtually any card in the deck. If you wanted to de-highlander the deck, then the wisest path would be to play four Urza’s Hot Tubs.

There are a variety of tricks in the deck. Stop all enchantments with Presence of the Master, since you only have three other enchantments in the deck. Use the power of The Abyss and Call to the Grave to control the creatures at the table. Use Honor the Fallen to eliminate problems with reanimator decks, incarnations and other nuisances across the table.

You can stock your graveyard via Survival of the Fittest and Urza’s Hot Tub with nice, juicy creatures, then Living Death them all back. You can shut down instants with In the Eye of Chaos. You can also put a hurt on a certain casting cost with a Chalice of the Void available.

This deck has a lot of tools available to it. From anti-Wrath of God effects (Caller of the Claw) to your own Wrath effects (Bane of the Living, Mageta the Lion, Living Death), you have a lot of options. Good luck with this deck, because I think that it’s the most fun of the decks presented in this article.

And that wraps up this article. Stories and decks combine for interesting holiday Unhinged fare. I hope you can find an idea in here to spark decks of your own.

Until Later,

Abe Sargent