New Cards, New Decks

I am a sad Abe. I am sad because all of these awesome cards have been printed recently and I haven’t had a chance to play them yet! I haven’t had a chance to use them in a decklist for y’all! Isn’t that sad? I know!

So let’s do something about that. Let’s get to deckcrafting!

Let’s start with a little Human Pirate Action — Crafty Cutpurse

Crafty Cutpurse
Varchild's War-Riders

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a Top Ten on Reserved List cards that hadn’t spiked yet. One of those is one of the classiest Johnny cards ever printed — Varchild’s War-Riders. I have loved the idea of getting Crafty Cutpurse a little action at my gaming table; pulling the War-Riders out of mothballs seems like a great opportunity to dovetail two cool cards!

So let’s put our hands together!

Stealing the Given — Casual | Abe Sargent

Rampaging Ferocidon

The goal of this deck is to use the War-Riders tokens as well as tokens sent over by Hunted creatures and others to instead come into play under my own control. But that idea is just for that turn. Rampaging Ferocidon also hits them for damage turn after turn as your War-Riders builds up counters. I also am running some bounce effects to bounce your opponent’s stuff which will remove any tokens you have given permanently.

There are certainly a few other cards out there that play into this space as well. I’m sure you can see why cards like Rolling Thunder are making an appearance here too, right? Right!

Actually, while I’m on a Varchild’s War-Riders kick . . . 

I also haven’t had a chance to play Trespasser’s Curse outside of Limited yet.

Trespasser's Curse

The goal of this deck is to rack up enough triggers from the Curse to win, alongside of the other various cards in here that can smash. I have also chosen to dip into Suture Priest to help this plan out.

Oh, and check out Mogg Infestation!

Mogg Infestation
Alliance of Arms

Isn’t that a perfect card here? Your Cursed foe will have already taken damage from dorks arriving to their battlefield once. Destroying their team and giving them a double shot of Goblin tokens will increase the Trespasser’s Curse triggers massively. It’s also great for taking out annoying dorks they might be playing as well, and giving them a pair of Goblins for compensation. It disrupts and smashes with equal accord!

Did you see Alliance of Arms here? In a duel, you could spend four mana when you cast this and give both you and your foe four 1/1 Soldier tokens. And then your foe racks up Curse and Suture Priest triggers all night long, just like mommy dreamed. You are going to slay a few giants with these cards!

And the synergy of these decks and many more is one of the reasons that Varchild’s War-Riders is so good!


Thrashing Brontodon
Qasali Pridemage

I love this Dinosaur! It’s very much in the vein of Qasali Pridemage, a card that has a strong cachet in casual play. It’s one more mana for +1/+2 and dropping a color for exalted. That’s a sexy swap. You can play the Brontodon in decks without White, as well as decks that add in other colors, so you open things up.

Where would I want to find a home for the Thrashing Brontodon?

How about Golgari Reanimation as a creature to bring back post-death?

In this deck, the Brontodon acts as a brake against artifacts and enchantments that you can recur. This deck uses a number of sacrifice engines, reanimation, triggers, and more to deploy a powerful long game on the battlefield. You can see here are few triggers such as Golgari Germination and Liliana, Heretical Healer or even Essence Warden that build up a good number of triggers of various types. And the results of those triggers can pile up! Liliana, Defiant Necromancer is very good in a Golgari shell with her mass discard (you can fuel up your ‘yard while hurting others) and reanimation.

We also have some self-sacrificing dorks in addition to my Brontodon like Sakura-Tribe Elder or Doomed Necromancer. I’m sure you can witness the majesty of Dread Return, both on the front end as a Zombify, and on the back end as a sacrificing effect into a Zombify.

Thrashing Brontodon is just too good to keep down!

What’s next . . . ?

Awakened Amalgam

Awakened Amalgam! Such a good card! Who wants a five color artifact deck?

This guy!

And there you are! I think that Awakened Amalgam is awesome in any general Highlander shell, like a Commander deck with a lot of colors. I figured I’d show it off here as well! This deck uses a handful of powerful five-color friendly artifacts in order to have a powerful artifact-synergy deck that look totally different from your normal deck. We aren’t rocking a nasty affinity deck nor one that plays keep away with Darksteel Forge and Leonin Abunas. This deck feels fairer.

And yet it’s strong.

The Etched trinity is nice, especially Etched Champion as my ideal 3-drop. Etched Oracle has a well-earned reputation as one of the better options out there for having a board presence and drawing cards. And yes, Academy Ruins is here to enable more Etched Oracles. Similarly, Etched Monstrosity will take us home with another powerful board presence and card-drawing beater.

Bringer of the White Dawn
Bringer of the Blue Dawn

This deck is a very multiplayer savvy deck, and one of the reasons is the concern it gives for card advantage, which you can witness here in the Bringer Cycle. These two are great. Both have board presences that can win the game all day long. One will Refurbish an artifact for free each of your upkeeps and the other draws you a pair of cards. With the mana options here, they should be easy to play at five mana, and a five mana 5/5 trample with those abilities is pretty god, and multiplayer friendly!

And they ain’t the only cards there as well. I have cards for the long-game, like Staff of Domination and Storm the Vault, and even Golden Guardian. We can have some great fun today!
What’s next?

I think it’s because I have been associated with the preview article that I haven’t actually used Split Screen since I previewed it for Unstable. Don’t forget that this is a very strong card. Split Screen fun times!

Split Screen

All right folks! There is my quick Split Screen deck. As you can see, I am trying to abuse the fact that I have four libraries and know the top card of each one in a number of ways. Take the obvious Sensei’s Divining Top. I can spend one or three mana and rearrange the top three cards of multiple decks, and draw a card from the best library I have. Similarly, your Oracle of Mul Daya will let you play lands, or your Sindbad can tap to draw a land and so forth. There is a subtle power in Explore as a way to drop a land and draw a card. No land in your hand? Draw the land from the deck that has one sitting there! I have scry effects like Peregrination and Temple of Mystery in here.

I have two cards in here that I really want to unpack for you, because they are hot:

Mul Daya Channelers
Rashmi, Eternities Crafter

Let’s begin with Mul Daya Channelers, a card that doesn’t get a lot of play at the kitchen table, but is awesome here. With Split Screen out, you can easily have the first ability see a library with a critter on top, giving you a 5/5 for three mana! You can also have a land on top of another library, and then tap the Mul Daya Channelers for mana if you need! Both hare strong effects here, especially given the cheap cost of them.

But Rashmi? Wow does Rashmi break this deck! Anytime you cast your first spell, you can choose the library to reveal and thus make Rashmi much more reliable. Rashmi is already a machine, and she will almost always either draw you a card or cast it, although she misses on lands. But in a Split Screen world, she won’t miss. You can also sculpt the card you cast to the cards available. For example, if Library #3 has an Explore on top, you know you’ll get a free spell to be cast when you drop that Channelers. And then the Explore draws a card and so forth. Crazy! Rashmi is just awesome in this shell.

Note that a lot of the cards above also keep the top card of your deck revealed, so if the Split Screen is countered, you can still reliably use Fa’adiyah Seer and such.

Did you notice how strong the Big Bad of Magic is in this deck too! Yes, Jace, the Mind Sculptor loves to sit behind a Split Screen scanning the crowd for enemies!

There are so many cards that work with Split Screen that it’s crazy!

And there we go! Plenty of decks build around new cards that I hadn’t had a chance to use yet. I hope you enjoyed our little trek through all things fun and frolicking! Any cards out there you haven’t gotten a chance to shuffle up yet that you are itching to?

Masters 25 is now available for Preorder!