Seedborn Muse is crying out to be broken in multiplayer. In duels, untapping twice in the time your opponent can untap once is strong – but in multiplayer, when you can untap many times as the turn goes around the table, it can be amazing. Multiplayer Awakening decks have always been good. So how much better can they be when you are the only person to untap?
One classic Awakening deck used Tradewind Rider to bounce permanents every turn. This is not actually much better in multiplayer than in duels, unless you want to concentrate on driving one player out of the game. To stop everyone, you have to spread your bounce out. In duels, you get two untaps for every opponent’s turn. In multiplayer, you get only one more untap than all your opponents get chances to play permanents, meaning that it is much harder to clear the board. However, if you want to kill one player, simply bouncing all of one player’s blockers may mean the other players descend like jackals.
The new set brings a new form of Tradewind – Keeper of the Nine Gales. The fact that this creature dies to Shock and only works with Birds may make it unplayable, but assuming it lives, here’s the shell of a deck. I’ll try it in T2 first: Birds of Paradise for mana acceleration, Sage Owl and Sage Aven to dig for components, Aven Fogbringer to help bounce stuff, some counterspells, Llanowar Elves or Explosive Vegetation to boost mana. Since all your lands and artifacts untap each turn, Jayemdae Tome will draw a lot of cards. Admittedly, I wouldn’t like to play this against Psychatog or Astral Slide, but it at least shows the concept.
Unfortunately, Keeper is not Tradewind, so the concept probably stinks.
The second classic Awakening multiplayer deck used various flavors of Tims to ping people and creatures turn after turn. That’s also easily done with Seedborn Muse and the new Tims. Lets try this one in block:
4 Barkhide Maulers (cycling)
4 Seedborn Muse
4 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Embermage Goblin
2 Goblin Dynamo (if only this wasn’t so expensive)
4 Krosan Tuskers (it’s a combo deck, after all)
4 Ravenous Baloths (or Wall of Mulch for protection; either might work)
Again, that’s just a rough concept, but it gets the point across. Seedborn Muse untaps all your permanents – including the Sharpshooters. Creatures like Bane of the Living and Noxious Ghoul will hurt, but for the rest, you can probably get a few pingers out and shooting on every players turn should, given time, win the game. The fallback plan is beating with beasts. The only drawback is that you don’t have a J-Tome to spend mana on during opponents’ turns. One option there might be Riptide Replicator, possibly set to Beasts if you have a Baloth out.
It requires a lot of testing, and probably is nowhere near fast enough, but it could be a new archetype for block.
Okay, here’s the option for a multiplayer deck using Seedborn Muse. I like this one best. It’s just multiplayer – this one isn’t even Extended-legal. On the flip side, it has won every single multiplayer game I have had it in over the last few weeks.
2 Jayemdae Tome
2 Planar Portal
2 Naturalize / Disenchant
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Seedborn Muse
4 Skyshroud Elves
4 Wall of Blossoms
2 Utopia Trees (or Starlight Invoker)
4 Catapult Squad / Wellwisher / Acridian
1 Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
1 Catapult Master
4 Gaea’s Cradle
4 Windswept Heath
2 Elfhame Palace
forests and islands
The concept is pretty simple – use the Lands and Gaea’s Cradle to generate mana, use Skyshroud Elves to color wash the mana so you can use it for Mobilization. It gets insane fast.
Here’s a sample five-player game. Turns one through four, you get two Savannahs, a Cradle, a Bird, a Skyshroud Elf, a Wall of Blossoms, and a Seedborn Muse into play. Turn five you play J-Tome and Mobilization. Here’s what happens.
* Opponent 1’s turn: Your stuff untaps. Tap Savannahs and Elf, make a soldier. Tap Cradle for five mana, tap bird, make two soldiers.
* Opponent 2’s turn: Tap Savannah’s and Elf, make a soldier. Tap Cradle for eight mana, tap Bird, make three soldiers. (Seven soldiers so far)
* Opponent 3’s turn: Tap Savannahs and Elf, make a soldier. Tap Cradle for twelve mana, tap Bird, make three soldiers and draw a card off J-Tome. (Eleven soldiers)
* Opponent 4’s turn: Tap Savannahs and Elf, make a soldier. Tap Cradle for sixteen mana, tap Bird, make four soldiers and draw a card. (Sixteen soldiers so far.)
* Your turn: Draw a card, play land, tap everything but Cradle, make a Soldier (with two mana floating) tap Cradle for twenty-one mana, play Planar Portal, search with Planar Portal, play Catapult Master, make two soldiers. (Nineteen soldiers in play.) Tap soldiers and Catapult Master to remove 4 opponent creatures from play.
* Opponent 1’s turn: Make a soldier. Tap Cradle for twenty-five mana, use Planar Portal, make seven soldiers (Twenty-seven soldiers in play.) Remove five creatures.
* Opponent 2’s turn: Make a soldier. Tap Cradle for thirty-three mana, use Planar Portal, make nine soldiers. (Thirty-nine soldiers in play.) Remove eight of your opponent’s creatures.
* Opponent 3’s turn: Make a soldier. Tap Cradle for forty-four mana, use Planar Portal, make thirteen soldiers. (Fifty-three soldiers in play.) Remove any remaining opponent creatures.
* Opponent 4’s turn: Make a soldier. Tap Cradle for fifty-eight mana, tap Bird and land, make twenty soldiers (Seventy-four soldiers in play.)
* Your turn. Draw a card, play land, tap everything but Cradle, make a Soldier, tap Cradle for seventy-nine mana, play Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, activate his Overrun effect fourteen times, attack with seventy-four 43/43 soldiers, a 42/43 Bird of Paradise, and a 43/43 Skyshroud Elf, a 44/46 Seedborn Muse and a 45/45 Catapult Master – and they all trample.
In short, you can be attacking with almost 900 points of trampling damage aimed at each of the other four players, after removing all blockers from the game, and doing it on turn 7.
Alternatively, you could play Starlight Invoker and start activating it ten times each player’s turn – and get back to your own turn with an couple hundred more life.
Seedborn Muse, Gaea’s Cradle, token generators, and a bunch of players is pretty broken. I have played this in a half-dozen multiplayer games so far. It has won every single one going away. One five player game I drew nothing but land, mana creatures, then topdecked Planar Portal. I searched out the Muse, then started searching on every opponent’s turn. My next turn I played two Mobilizations and the Cradle. I had a spare Mobilization, Muse, Cradle and Regrowth in hand.
Seedborn Muse is good with any deck running anything that taps. It could even find a place in the sideboard of the multiplayer Rock deck I’m playing. Untapping Visara and Avatar of Woe every turn could be pretty good. It can also work with most artifacts, like Millstone, or enchant lands, like Caustic Tar and Squirrel Nest.
I want to finish this out with another weird little deck to think about:
Start with three Goblins in play (Dynamo, Prospector, 1 other.) Play a goblin, and Mana Echoes generates 2 mana. Play Warrens, sacrifice 2 Goblins to generate 3 goblins, and each new goblin triggers Mana Echoes for two mana – a total of six. Sacrifice one of the three new Goblins to get R, the other two to the Warrens, and you end up with three new Goblins and six more mana. Repeat as needed – you get a net benefit of four mana per iteration. Then fire off the Goblin Dynamo to kill the opponent.
In multiplayer, use Fireball, and simply split the damage among all players.
If you really want a cool method of destroying an opponent’s Avatar of Woe and Morphlings, play Mogg Infestation. They lose their good creatures, get a bunch of goblins and Mana Echoes still gives you mana.
I looked hard at making an Extended deck using Mana Echoes and Sliver Queen, but getting the mana right is a pain. However, it does allow for a five color build, giving you access to Vampiric Tutor, Academy Rector, and blue card drawing. The real trick is to stay alive until you get Echoes and Sliver Queen in play – then even one additional mana makes a sliver token – and Echoes replaces that mana. The next token costs one mana and produces two mana – then you go off. At the very least, you get limitless sliver tokens and beat for the win next turn. In a perfect world, you have an untapped Island and a Stroke of Genius (duels) or an untapped Mountain and Fireball (multiplayer) in hand.
The best part about Mana Echoes is that the mana effect is optional – so when you have enough mana in the pool, you can stop getting mana from the new slivers. Then just use whatever mana you don’t need to make more sliver tokens without worrying about mana burn.
That’s it. Comments are always welcome – either email me or head for the StarCity forums.