The End ?

the end

Tired of playing the same Standard deck ? Or even against the same decks ? Trying to figure out a new plan of attack for today’s Standard environment and still coming up short?

Well.. you can always try the following:

The End ?

Standard Format


Creatures: 16

4 Gatecreeper Vine
4 Courser of Kruphix
4 Prophet of Kruphix
4 Saruli Gatekeepers

Enchantments: 5

Primeval Bounty
4 Detention Sphere

Sorceries: 10

2 Whelming Wave
4 Supreme Verdict
4 Urban Evolution

Planeswalkers: 4

4 Kiora, the Crashing Wave



Lands: 25

1 Plains
1 Forest
1 Island
4 Breeding Pool
2 Hallowed Fountain
Temple Garden
4 Maze’s End
1 Selesnya Guildgate
1 Gruul Guildgate
1 Simic Guildgate
1 Golgari Guildgate
1 Rakdos Guildgate
1 Orzhov Guildgate
1 Dimir Guildgate
1 Azorius Guildgate
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Boros Guildgate

Sideboard

4 Last Breath
1 Chromanticore
1 Pithing Needle
2 Wear/Tear
1 Jace, Memory Adept
3 Archangel of Thune
1 Blind Obedience
1 Aetherling
1 Blood Baron of Vizkopa

This is not the Maze’s End deck you’re all used to seeing is it? Where’s all the Fog effects, Jace Architect of Though and Sphinx’s Revelation? Well, this deck tries to be more proactive. It plays more creatures to hold down the fort and to give us more value for our lands. Plus there’s this new planeswalker that fills the role of Urban Evolution #5-8.

kiora the crashing waveOne of the rare planeswalkers that has somewhat lived up to their hype

Vincent Laberge, a local Montreal player provided me with the decklist. Although I have yet to play with it, I must admit that it looks particularly delicious. I can’t wait to start casting ramp-like spells without always being a full turn behind (the deck only runs one of each Guildgate versus the traditional 2-of’s). Whelming Wave seems like a very odd addition to the deck, but it is a very effective way to slow down aggro decks on top of being yet another main deck answer to a Pack Rat swarm.

The deck plays a full 16 creatures in the main deck, all of which are green. While this may pose a problem post sideboard versus monoblack decks, the pre-board matchup seems rather favorable. There’s quite a bit of lifegain too, which can stave off some Gray Merchant of Asphodel life loss. Everything happens at sorcery spee here, unless we drop a Prophet of Kruphix. That’s where the fun starts:

Untap on your opponent’s turn, activate Maze’s End and put a Guildgate into play. Play Maze’s End on our turn and repeat the same play on your opponent’s turn. We are basically negating the disadvantage of playing Maze’s End as our land of the turn, since we can use it every turn this way instead of every other turn (the way it was meant to be played).

maze's endHow many turns will it take you to reach the ‘End’?

The Prophet also allows us to simply do more of everything. It gets even better after sideboarding. Interesting interactions can happen with the lifegain of Courser of Kruphix and Archangel of Thune. This Kruphix is quite a cool god. Eventhough his card has not been released yet, I have the feeling he will rank amongst most Magic players’ favorite god.

The deck is somewhat soft to any mill effect or Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver/Nightveil Specter. By running only one of each guildgate we are somewhat vulnerable to something that might remove one of our gates from our deck. We discussed a few possible solutions to this and three potential solutions presented themselves:

elixir of immortalityReshuffle our lost guildgates back!

bow of nylea

Versatile, to say the least …

question mark

Nothing at all

Unsurprisingly, the answer is C) Nothing!

Have you seen the sideboard on this deck? It’s basically transforming into a better creature aggro deck. High quality dudes like Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Archangel of Thune and Aetherling mean we don’t only have to rely on the Maze’s End plan. Plan B is very viable and I 100% approve.

The End ?

The Immortals

the immortals

The Immortals

Standard Format


Creatures: 26

4 Lotleth Troll
4 Pack Rat
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Voice of Resurgence
2 Blood Scrivener
2 Imposing Sovereign
2 Cartel Aristocrat
1 Tymaret, the Murder King
2 Obzedat, Ghost Council
1 Varolz, the Scar-Striped

Instants: 2

2 Bile Blight

Enchantments: 4

2 Spear of Heliod
2 Whip of Erebos

Sorceries: 4

2 Immortal Servitude



Artifacts: 3

Springleaf Drum

Lands: 23

1 Blood Crypt
4 Godless Shrine
2 Mutavault
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Sacred Foundry
3 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Plenty
4 Temple of Silence

Sideboard

2 Unflinching Courage
1 Immortal Servitude
1 Erebos, God of the Dead
1 Sundering Growth
Thoughtseize
2 Scavenging Ooze
3 Skylasher
2 Doom Blade

The deck clearly gets its name from the ‘build around me card’ named Immortal Servitude. You basically play a bunch of synergistic 2-drop creatures, some of which can fill up your graveyard. Discarding to a Pack Rat has never felt so wrong knowing you will probably be getting your discard fodder back into play later in the game. It feels like an ordinary beatdown deck at times until you get hit by a board wipe (aka. Supreme Verdict). Then in the later turns, boom! *MIRACLE!* you drew your Immortal Servitude and recovered your team back into play.

immortal servitudeMiracle! (well, sort of…)

Here’s a brief run-down of card choices from dekc designer Charles Trottier:

Enablers

Springleaf Drum

Turns every creature into a hasted Birds of Paradise providing solid mana-fixing.  Enables a turn 4 double Pack Rat or a turn 3 double creature without a board.

Burning-Tree Emissary

As in other decks, provide a fast-paced start, that can even bring in to “free-wins”.  Although, mostly playing turn 3, since red is a splashed color and the deck meeting solid mana requirements, Springleaf Drums can be cast out of him on turn 2 to play any creature of the deck (except Cartel Aristocrat).

Discard Outlets

These are strong resilient creatures that offer the ability to fill your graveyard into an Immortal Servitude or empty your hands to connect with Blood Scrivener and negate discard spells.

Lotleth Troll

Being able to go turn 1 Springleaf, turn 2 Troll with the possibility to regenerate him, by producing a black mana with Springleaf Drum.  Also, being able to discard without paying any mana is relevant.

lotleth trollMmm….Heart!

Pack Rat

Mid to late game engine, I don’t need to say much about the ratz.

Sac Outlets

These are used to be able to take full advantage of a Voice of Resurgence token, as well as protect multiple creatures or token from a Bile Blight or Detention Sphere.

Cartel Aristocrat

His use in the deck is solely as a sacrifice outlet.  His protection ability is sometimes relevant to get in the last points of damage.

Tymaret, the Murder King

His strength is the fact that he presents himself as a Sac. outlet in the graveyard, which only Scavenging Ooze can deal with and can be flashed with Rats or Troll.   He also presents an alternate win condition with the possibility of sacking all your guys to burn your opponent down, supported by Immortal Servitude and presenting a nice interaction with Burning-Tree Emissary that way.

Varolz, the Scar-Striped

He presents himself as an alternate win condition.  Instead of using the Immortal Servitude plan, every mana becomes : Put a +1/+1 counter of target creature.

varolzEvery troll deck needs an actual troll right?

Generating Advantage

Voice of Resurgence

Virtually preventing your opponent from playing during your turn, Voice’s power is strengthened by the sac outlets enabling a fast-paced threat.

Blood Scrivener

Supporting a “suicide all-in” start, Blood Scrivener appears to be a key to certain match-up, bringing extra resources and boosting the odds of drawing a game winning Immortal Servitude.

blood scrThat’s right, he made the cut

Spear of Heliod

Supporting the fast pace game, Spear also prevents Drown in Sorrow and is a relevant removal against certain match-ups.

Whip of Erebos

Forms an alternate recursion to creatures, with sac outlets for Voice of Resurgence, 7-mana Pack Rats or enabling sac outlets for the turn. Ultimately, the lifegain is game-breaking against red decks and combos with Obzedat as the additional altenate win condition.

Immortal Servitude

The deck contains 23 2 drops, with a deck fully constructed on graveyard interaction.  Not much more to say.  It’s a one sided full graveyard reanimation spell for 5 mana.

Additional Win Conditions

Obzedat, Ghost Council

Alternate win condition, comboing with Whip of Erebos and gaining much welcome life.  Funny fact : can be cast on turn 3.

obzedatIt’s just an awesome card

I hope you give this deck a try and see all of the cool things it is capable of doing. If you’re tired of the run of the mill Standard deck, then go for it. It’s really like a breath of fresh air.

MegaMan coming to UFS

megaman tinsThese tins are set to come out March 1, 2014

Each of the Megaman UFS tins will containt:

1 Starter Deck

3 Boosters Packs

3 Promo Cards

1 Rule Book

& 1 Poster/Demo Mat

The card artwork looks pretty nice as well. Here are a few snapshots:

megaman preview

proto tin pics

megaman char pics

I’m pretty impressed at the art quality thus far and pretty pleased the the UFS card game is alive and well. I wasn’t too crazy about the Tekken license a while back, but once I saw the cards were hand drawn instead of crappy CG graphics – I changed my mind. Seeing all the megaman characters hand-drawn after all this time is really awesome. I remember playing the original on the NES (yes, it was a looooong time ago) and thinking : “why aren’t they making a comic of this?”

elec manThe fanboy in my is pretty psyched!

We’ll be carrying singles over at Carteblanchehobbies.com when they are officially released. If you are interested in ordering a Megaman or Protoman Tin, you can contact us at carteblanchehobbies@yahoo.com

Modern Dredgevine

dredgevine

Eversince Golgari Grave-Troll and Dread Return were banned from the Modern format (basically since its inception), there was no ‘Dredge’ deck. Players were rather unexcited to open up Bridge from Below in their Modern Masters boosters – until now? Yep, courtesy of Magic Online we get this rather sweet but questionable looking Modern Dredge deck.

Dredgevine

Modern Format


Creatures: 27

4 Bloodghast
4 Golgari Thug
4 Gravecrawler
4 Lotleth Troll
4 Stinkweed Imp
3 Tymaret, the Murder King
4 Vengevine

Instants: 5

4 Grisly Salvage
1 Lightning Axe

Enchantments: 4

4 Bridge from Below

Sorceries: 4

4 Faithless Looting

 



Lands: 20

3 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Blood Crypt
2 City of Brass
1 Forest
4 Marsh Flats
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Stomping Ground
1 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs


Sideboard

3 Ancient Grudge
3 Gnaw to the Bone
2 Ground Seal
3 Lightning Axe
4 Thoughtseize

It’s pretty cool how decent Bridge from Below is here. It allows us to lose some creatures, make Zombies and re-cast Gravecrawler for one black mana. What if you had another Gravecrawler in your graveyard? Well, cast it too and then you will get any and all Vengevines from your graveyard into play. This is regardless of if your Gravecrawlers get countered or not. You just need to mill yourself then fill up your graveyard by dredging Stinkweed Imp, Golgari Thug or recurring Tymaret.

tymaretYeah, the little guy finally made it into a deck

One of the more exciting features of this deck is that you get to run Tymaret, the Murder King. This little guy has been looking for a home ever since he was spoiled in Theros. The role he provides in this deck is similar to the role Goblin Bombardment had in the Legacy Zombie Bombardment deck. He is a slow sac outlet. More than that however, he can always guarantee a constant board presence. You sacrifice a creature to get him from your graveyard into your had, cast him, cast a Gravecrawler and then get Vengevine in play.

If things go wrong, sacrifice the Vengevine to bring back Tymaret to your hand, making a Zombie token via Bridge from Below and cast Gravecrawler and Tymaret to get Vengevine into play again. Of course, there are infinite more scenarios that allow you to mess with your graveyard. Cards like Lotleth Troll, Lightning Axe and Faithless Looting are enablers. They allow you to discard cards to your graveyard. Faithless Looting also adds the dredge factor as well. Once you have used it to discard cards to your grave, flash it back and dredge your Stinkweed Imp/Golgari Thug  (both of which recently got makeovers in the newer sets they are from) instead of drawing cards.

grisly salvageWhen was the last time you saw this in a deck?

Grisly Salvage can almost always get you a creature in hand while filling up your graveyard too. It can even get you a much needed land (you don’t need that many, but you do need red at times). The thing with this deck is that there are quite a few decisions to make at times, all of which can see ‘right’. In that respect, it’s probably a good idea to test it a lot before picking it up for any important event. Dredge might seem intuitive when you see an experienced player running it, but believe me: it’s anything but obvious. You also want to make sure that none of your opponent’s creatures ‘die’ when you have Bridge from Below out.

bridge from belowDoes nothing while in play

I can’t really recommend a cheap alternative for the fetchlands though – they work too well with Bloodghast to play anything else really. With the certainty of Modern Masters 2, we may potentially see fetches reprinted though.

Here Comes the Money !

One of the tougher superstars to build in the game is Shane O’ Mac. His ability seems broken at first, but the decks that end up being built around it seem rather one dimensional. Here’s an old list we dug up for those of you who aspire to bring back a superstar we haven’t seen on WWE TV for a while

 

Shane McMahon

shane o mac face

Pre-Match


Trash Talkin’ Interview (TB)
Product Endorsements (TB)
Givin’ Em High Fives
The First Family of Professional Wrestling
Vince McMahon Interferes
Vince McMahon, Guest Ring Announcer
Armageddon is Upon Us
Old School Wrestling Match
The Old Switcheroo
You Rang?

Mid-Match


Fortitude Surge
Here Comes The Money (TB)
Took That On The Chin
Cow On Ice
Shoot Counter
This Is Going Nowhere Fast
Ready To Fight
Four Years in The Making
Break It Out…
Victory Roll

Maneuvers


Counter Slash x2
Suicide Lariat
Flying Leg Scissors x2
McMahonicide x3
Van Terminator
Leap Of Faith
Superplex x2
Atomic Knee Drop
Shooting Star Press (TB)
Coast To Coast

Reversals


Revolution Of The Mind x3
Divine Intervention
Don’t Try This at Home x3
Elbow To The Face x3
Once Is Enough x2
Sidewalk Slam (TB) x3
Volley This! x3
You Didn’t Just Try That
Hold The Phone x3
Raw Deal Revolution
The Coach Says…
The Price We Pay
Here’s Where The Buck Stops
A Dynasty’s Destiny
No Chance In Hell (TB)
Armageddon
Sloppy…Very Sloppy x3

Actions


Hold On Hotshot
That’s Broken x2
You Feeling Lucky (TB) x2
Mean Streets Silver Spoon
Divas Divas Divas
Shoot Action x2
That’s Balanced x3
Puppies! Puppies! (TB) x2

JYD in the House

I dug up an old Junkyard Dog deck pre-Revolution and it’s a great base for deckbuilding if you’re looking for a competitive deck that’s low on Ultra Rares.

JYD
Junkyard Dog
Heel, Raw, Fan Favorite 

Backstage Area (1)

Raw Deal Fifth Anniversary

Pre-match (10)

Bitter Rivals
A No Show
World Heavyweight Title Belt
The Champ Is Here!
Through All of These Years
2x Givin’ ’em High Fives (TB)
Vince McMahon, Guest Ringside Announcer
Managed by “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart
Backstage Shenanigans

Mid-Match (10)

A Phoenix Rising
2x Ready to Fight
Living the Good Life
The King Interferes!
The Road to Victory
Unscrupulous S.O.B.
You’re as Graceful as a Cow on Ice
Took That on the Chin
Sustained Damage

Actions (3)

JYD’s Chain
2x …And the Crowd Roars

Maneuvers (19)

3x German Suplex (TB)
3x Precision Reverse Neck Breaker
3x Atomic Driver
3x Reverse Fall-away Slam
3x Sit Out Powerbomb (TB)
3x Atomic Power Slam
The Thump

Reversals (38)

3x Elbow to the Face
3x Escape Move
3x Step Aside
3x Volley This!
3x Manager Interferes
3x Power Slam (TB)
3x Spine Buster (TB)
2x Raw & Ready
2x Chained Heat
2x I Gotta Say, Out of Play
The Coach Says, “Today’s the Day!”
Hold The Phone
It’s Great To Be Back Here In…
Over Sell Maneuver
Don’t Try This at Home
Anything and Hate It
Too Many Rules and Too Many Refs
Overshot Your Mark
“Cowboy” Bob Orton Interferes!
In My Day, a Maneuver Was a Maneuver
The Raw Deal Revolution

Bant Aggro

bant aggro

Here’s a quick list on the weekend of Born of the Gods Standard. It’s basically like Selesnya Aggro minus the Advent of the Wurm, Elvish Mystics,etc. It has some planeswalker removal in Detention Sphere and some godly removal in Selesnya Charm. Voice of Resurgence, Loxodon Smiter and Fleecemane Lion provide you with great creatures that work toward devotion.

voice of resuregenceStill a fine card !

Unfortunately, Karametra is not in this deck to take full advantage of the GW symbols, but Ephara works really well in this deck. She provides some card-drawing, which is definitely something Selesnya decks are lacking. With just a Detention Sphere ,Spear of Heliod and any other white permanent, Ephara can provide the beatdown versus even the most controlling decks on her own.

Bant Aggro

Standard Format


Creatures: 21

3 Fleecemane Lion
2 Loxodon Smiter
4 Prescinct Captain
4 Voice of Resurgence
4 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
3 Ephara, God of the Polis
1 Heliod, God of the Sun

Instants: 8

4 Selesnya Charm
4 Brave the Elements

Enchantments: 7
Detention Sphere
3 Spear of Heliod



Lands: 24

5 Plains
4 Breeding Pool
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Enlightenment
4 Temle of Plenty


Sideboard

3 Unflicnhing Courage
1 Negate
3 Rapid Hybridization
2 Unravel the Aether
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
3 Supreme Verdict
1 Breeding Pool

I haven’t had time to test the deck yet personally, but it really looks like something I would love to play. Not just a single-minded beatdown strategy, but more midrange-y. I must admit that it’s pretty pricey and would probably try Eidolon of Countless Battles if you can’t grab a playset of Brimaz. Keep in mind that Brimaz, King of Oreskos works exremely well with Ephara – so you’re losing quite a bite of power in that respect.

brimazHe’s Grrrrrrrrrrrreat!

I can also see this deck having game against the monoblack decks out there. Just beware the Lifebane Zombies, because they can really two for one you pretty bad. Give the deck a shot, I’m sure you’ll like it.