Five Decks You Can’t Miss This Week
Welcome back! This week we've got five more off-the-wall decks that are doing interesting, powerful, or crazy things in their respective format. Grand Prix Denver is starting in a few hours, and in honor of that, let's start with a couple of Legacy decks:
4 Color Deathrite Shaman- Legacy| Jasper Grimmer
A discussion of this Four-Color Deathrite Shaman list started on mtgthesource.com after Jasper Grimmer won a 72-player event with the deck in Germany. Deathrite Shaman gives fair decks a way to incidentally fight a number of the most degenerate decks in the format, like Dredge. A consequence of this is that the format starts to slow down and become more midrangey. One thing that thrives in this kind of format is Geist of Saint Traft. The combination of cheap discard and countermagic give you a strong game against combo decks, while Geist of Saint Traft just kills the fair decks.
Realistically, this deck is a combination of the best threats, disruption, and answers in the format; all tied together by Deathrite Shaman's ability to fix colors and Brainstorm and Ponder to dig for appropriate lands and spells. A further benefit of stretching the mana is that you get access to all of the best sideboard cards available to you. How long will it be before we see this kind of deck with Lightning Bolt and Pyroblast?
My next pick is another Legacy deck, this time a combo deck with plenty of room for variation. Ever since Goblin Recruiter, Food Chain has been a card that has done incredibly degenerate things. It was enough to get Gobin Recruiter banned, and the card saw little play until Mulldrifter and other evoke creatures were printed. These guys gave you a way to cheat up the Food Chain curve into things like Myojin of Seeing Winds or Myojin of Night's Reach. With Rise of the Eldrazi, the Myojin were replaced with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. The archetype came to the forefront again when Misthollow Griffin was printed, since it generates infinite mana with Food Chain and pitches to Force of Will.
Food Chain Combo- Legacy| Christopher Piedra
You can find some interesting discussion with a number of different takes on Food Chain Combo over on mtgthesource.com. This particular build was featured in a deck tech at a Star City Games Open, and is one of the more interesting takes on the archetype. Fauna Shaman plus Vengevine gives you a way to cheat up to approximately a billion mana with Food Chain, while also giving you a backup plan should you be short some fatty creatures. The Glimpse of Nature/Wirewood Symbiote engine makes sure you don't run out of gas, lets you activate Fauna Shaman multiple times per turn to set up your Vengevines into Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.
Next we've got an awesome Modern deck that's taken off recently. Up until now, Affinity and Poison were the premiere aggro/combo decks of the format. The key difference is that this deck takes advantage of Affinity and Poison being such important players in the metagame:
GW Auras- Modern|MrBlackSuit, 30th 12/24/12 PTQ
Because your ll of your creatures all have hexproof and your primary threats are enchantments rather than artifacts, you attack the metagame from an angle it's not as prepared for. While Jund is overloading on Lightning Bolt and Ancient Grudge to beat up on the other aggressive decks in the format, you're beating them down with a 10/10 Slippery Bogle. If Liliana of the Veil, Lingering Souls and Wrath of God become more popular again, then this deck starts to get worse. But as long as the format is centered on spot removal and tempo, you're pretty well off.
The deck is surprisingly fast, and was powerful and consistent enough to take MrBlackSuit to 30th place in the Magic Online PTQ last weekend. With Daybreak Coronet and Lifelink to race other creature decks and Spider Umbra to block creatures out of the Poison deck, your biggest fear are the infinite combo decks and control decks of the format. With those on the decline though, this deck might get a chance to shine.
Puresteel Paladin Storm- Modern|sithholocron
I hope you're prepared to mulligan aggressively; because this deck doesn't work without a Puresteel Paladin. Fortunately, you can afford to mulligan very low to find out, since your deck doesn't need many cards to combo off. Just be patient; wait until you can resolve a Paladin without getting it countered or killed, preferably with Gitaxian Probe assurance. Then the fun starts!
Start casting zero casting cost Equipment and drawing cards. Eventually, you'll find a Mox Opal use the mana for a Retract, and recast all of your free equipment. Repeat as necessary, then use your Mox Opal and Simian Spirit Guide to cast a Grapeshot.
This deck is a glass cannon, no question about it. If they Thoughtseize your Puresteel Paladin, you're going to have to rip another one to win. If they mulligan to Lightning Bolt, you're going to have some real trouble. But if they don't respect your ability to combo on turn two, you can just kill them when they play their Dark Confidant a shocking percentage of the time.
Last, but not least, we have a Commander deck this week. Competitive formats are exciting, and the competition breeds all kinds of creativity, but Commander lets you break all of the rules! This week we've got a deck from Gaka of mtgsalvation featuring Edric, Spymaster of Trest. Most Edric builds feature a very high number of Llanowar Elf effects, and try to tempo people out of the game with cards like Forbid and Aether Adept. Gaka is going in a totally different direction. He's using Edric as an engine for the dredge mechanic.
So, you dump your deck into your graveyard while using Counterspells, giant creatures, and graveyard mechanics like flashback and retrace to interact with your opponents. Cards like Spitting Image and Grizzly Fate will buy you plenty of time to stabilize and power through your deck so that you can kill the with a giant Kessig Cagebreakers, or go for infinite style points with Laboratory Maniac.
And that's it for this week! Be sure to let us know what you think of the decks we're pulling and the formats being featured. Are we missing a format you love? Focusing on one that you don't care for? Let us know! If you want to provide input or if you think you have an awesome deck, be sure to let us know in the comments or on Twitter.