Like many people, I'm a little lazy sometimes. This comes most strongly into focus with my Magic collection. I love building and updating decks. I don't love re-filing the cards. I try to stay ahead of the curve, but there are so many other things I'd much rather be doing (like watching Justified and Agent Carter) that sometimes the stuff I don't love gets left on the wayside. I believe in good organization; I'm just not the best at implementing it.
This is how I found that the configuration control which I have the best intention of maintaining on my decks has gone completely (okay, not completely, just mostly) to hell. I had picked up some clues when I'd post decks that weren't quite right, especially during new set updates. Someone would point out that a card I removed had already been removed or that a card I removed was never actually in the deck. When I picked up the original Mimeoplasm deck to do this version of the Do-Over, it didn't look much like the configuration control document said it would. It led me to do a little poking around, and I realized that I hadn't recorded a bunch of stuff (to include most of my Commander 2014 updates). This week, I went through the painstaking process of verifying each and every deck that I have fully built. I'll note that this excludes Yasova Dragonclaw; Erebos, God of the Dead; Purphoros, God of the Forge; Nylea, God of the Hunt; Child of Alara; and Karn, Silver Golem because they're only partially built, and finally Rakdos, which I remembered I had been taking foil versions of cards out of to update other decks. Again, messy. Verifying every card in each deck took me the better part of pieces of two days. Fortunately, I was way ahead on homework (having just turned in one of the most fun papers I've ever done, in my Science and Medicine from Antiquity to 1700 course-creating a regimen of treatment for a fictional medieval patient's illness), so I had time.
Doing all that left me with a giant pile of cards ready to be put back where they belong. But why file them again when I can just put some of them into decks? I decided to pull from that pile all the cards in the Sultai wedge to see if it suggested something for the Mimeoplasm Do-Over. A large portion of these came from disassembling the Modular Project decks (here's Part One and Part Two). I still have a great belief in the idea, but I found that I simply wasn't turning to this suite because it was just easier (see? lazy!) to grab something fully-ready off the shelf. If I return to traveling for Magic, the modular approach will be a good idea. Until then (probably no earlier than the beginning of 2017), it doesn't make sense having cards laying around not working. These are all foil versions (where they exist in foil). I'll list them by color, then we'll see if the picture of them leads you to the same place it led me, or somewhere different. Others came from deck updates, or simply acquiring copies of cards which I hoped to put into decks at some point.
Blue: Academy Elite; Amphin Pathmage; Archetype of Imagination; Artisan of Forms; Bribery; Chromeshell Crab; (textless) Cryptic Command; Curse of the Swine; Deadeye Navigator; Djinn of Wishes; Dreadwaters; Echo Mage; Glen Elendra Archmage; Lorthos, the Tidemaker; Muzzio, Visionary Architect; Ninja of the Deep Hours; Overwhelming Intellect; River Kelpie; Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir; Thassa's Emissary; Twincast; Uyo, Silent Prophet; Willbender.
Black: Abhorrent Overlord; Avatar of Woe; Bane of the Living; Beacon of Unrest; Butcher of Malakir; Chainer, Dementia Master; Cruel Revival; Dark Betrayal; Dark Prophecy; Doomwake Giant; Extinguish All Hope; Filth; Greater Harvester; Infernal Genesis; Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni; Kheru Dreadmaw; Kokusho, the Evening Star; Liliana's Specter; Living Death; Makeshift Mannequin; Nekrataal; Nezumi Graverobber; Oversold Cemetery; Patriarch's Bidding; Phyrexian Arena; Phyrexian Plaguelord; Phthisis; Promise of Power; Puppeteer Clique; Reanimate; Reign of the Pit; Rescue from the Underworld; Rise from the Grave; Twisted Abomination; Sheoldred, Whispering One; Shriekmaw; Visara the Dreadful; Waste Not.
Green: Azusa, Lost But Seeking; Champion of Lambholt; Civic Wayfinder; Garruk Wildspeaker; Garruk, Caller of Beasts; Genesis; Gift of the Gargantuan; Glissa Sunseeker; Heart Warden; Hunting Wilds; Indrik Stomphowler; Invasive Species; Magus of the Library; Master of the Wild Hunt; Nantuko Vigilante ; Natural Order; Nullmage Advocate; Nylea, God of the Hunt; Ohran Viper; Pattern of Rebirth; Primal Surge; Rampant Growth; Rancor; Riftsweeper; Root Elemental; Silklash Spider; Spearbreaker Behemoth; Sylvan Ranger; Tornado Elemental; Viridian Zealot; Wall of Roots; Wave of Vitriol; Wickerbough Elder; Wild Beastmaster; Wolfir Silverheart; Woodripper; Worldspine Wurm.
Multicolored: Abomination of Gudul; Damia, Sage of Stone; Dimir Cutpurse; Experiment Kraj; Havengul Lich; Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord; Momir Vig, Simic Visionary; Oona, Queen of the Fae; Pernicious Deed; Prophet of Kruphix; Reaper of the Wilds; Shadowmage Infiltrator; Sultai Charm; Vela the Night-Clad; Vhati il-Dal; Voidslime.
Lands: Barren Moor; Breeding Pool; City of Brass; Exotic Orchard; Forbidden Orchard; Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx; Rupture Spire; Simic Growth Chamber; Tainted Wood; Tranquil Thicket; Terramorphic Expanse; Watery Grave.
The first thing to do was eliminate all the cards that are already in the original Mimeoplasm deck. It wasn't actually that many, most of them lands: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni; Oversold Cemetery; Puppeteer Clique; Riftsweeper, Pernicious Deed; Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord; Solemn Simulacrum; Breeding Pool; Exotic Orchard; Watery Grave. That leaves us with a huge list to choose from. In addition to the restriction of nothing in the original 99 (okay, 79 since there are basic lands), I'm going to limit it to what I have already available. I'll be acquiring no cards for this effort. I'm also going to avoid cards which were featured in this Mimeoplasm deck but might not be in the latest version (Cryptic Command and Voidslime are the major two). Putting them in seems a little cheaty.
Originally springing to mind is a version of the Damia, Sage of Stone deck from that Modular Project ("Demons and Wizards"). Since we've already done that though, it's off the table. I'll obviously be using some of the cards from that deck, but I'd like to go a different direction thematically.
There are a few cards which get my attention individually. Chief among them are Vela the Night-Clad, Wave of Vitriol, Oona, Queen of the Fae, Silklash Spider, Waste Not, Master of the Wild Hunt, and Living Death. I think Waste Not is a quick elimination because I don't want to go with any kind of discard strategy. I have trouble resisting a graveyard strategy because of my love of the style, and that Living Death is just staring me in the face. I haven't gone all in on that theme in a while, but what I'd like to do here is use it-and the deck's commander-as Plan B. Creatures are going to the graveyard in this format anyway, so we'll look to build around some of the other cards we have and just nudge the idea along a little. Okay, so maybe that's more like Plan A2.
The thing which stares me in the face here is the combination of manifest and morph. It was the Root Elemental, Chromeshell Crab, and Willbender that got me headed in this direction. If we can do some kind of looting (like with Abomination of Gudul), then we can both craft the hand we want while putting things in the graveyard should we need a reset button. Manifest is new and exciting, so we'll run with it (plus, I have a FRF set on the way!). I'll grab some of those cards, a number off of the list above simply because they're cool and I want to play them, then fill in the blanks.
- 1 Abomination of Gudul
- 1 Avatar of Woe
- 1 Bane of the Living
- 1 Chromeshell Crab
- 1 Civic Wayfinder
- 1 Glen Elendra Archmage
- 1 Grim Haruspex
- 1 Havengul Lich
- 1 Hooded Hydra
- 1 Icefeather Aven
- 1 Ixidron
- 1 Jeskai Infiltrator
- 1 Kheru Spellsnatcher
- 1 Master of the Veil
- 1 Mindleech Mass
- 1 Nantuko Vigilante
- 1 Ninja of the Deep Hours
- 1 Qarsi High Priest
- 1 Riptide Survivor
- 1 Root Elemental
- 1 Shadowmage Infiltrator
- 1 Silklash Spider
- 1 Sylvan Ranger
- 1 Temur War Shaman
- 1 Thelonite Hermit
- 1 Torrent Elemental
- 1 Vesuvan Shapeshifter
- 1 Viridian Zealot
- 1 Voidmage Apprentice
- 1 Whisperwood Elemental
- 1 Willbender
- 1 Woodripper
- 1 Archetype of Imagination
- 1 Thassa's Emissary
- 1 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
- 1 Chainer, Dementia Master
- 1 Damia, Sage of Stone
- 1 Ixidor, Reality Sculptor
- 1 Kokusho, the Evening Star
- 1 Sisters of Stone Death
- 1 Vela the Night-Clad
- 1 Verdeloth the Ancient
- 1 Vhati il-Dal
- 1 Nylea, God of the Hunt
- 1 Ohran Viper
You can see that as I was building, the graveyard recursion went mostly out the window in favor of more morphs, more manifest, and a ninja subtheme. This is the kind of thing that happens when you have a more restricted pool to build from. Here are the quick hits:
Abomination of Gudul: Simply because it sat on top of the pile alphabetically, this got me headed down the road.
Archetype of Imagination: With the ninja subtheme, I wanted to make sure .
Avatar of Woe: It was in the pile, and I wanted the homage to the format's formative days, when this was everywhere.
Bane of the Living: We'll see how this works out, but given that I have some level of control of the when, it should be an excellent card. Then the ninjas will help me do it again.
Chromeshell Crab: With all these morphs, you have to have something better than I do, like…
Grim Haruspex: I'm not even sure I'll need to cast this face down. This seems excellent for the mana cost.
Hooded Hydra: I have to be careful getting excited about this card and not put it in every green deck.
Icefeather Aven: As both a way to save something of my own or get something else out of the way, I love Icefeather Aven. The techy play of course is to put a face-down card that's not natively a creature back into my hand.
Ixidron: You certainly saw this (and Ixidor) coming. If there were only a way to give all my opponents' creatures -2/-2 without doing it to my own. Bite of the Black Rose might be interesting. Or Death Frenzy.
Jeskai Infiltrator: I was on the fence about this card and eventually decided to run with it. Most of the time, there will always be someone open to the attack.
Kheru Spellsnatcher: Spelljack-let's get Jeff Dunham to say it-on a stick!
Master Of The Veil: So much tomfoolery I can't stand it.
Mindleech Mass: I was looking for a little fat, another throwback to the ancient days, and I came upon this gem in the box.
Nantuko Vigilante: I'm reasonably sure I've never cast this for its mana cost, and it's been a favorite since day one.
Ninja of the Deep Hours: The thing I like about having ninjas is the ability to recast morphs. This one drawing cards doesn't hurt. Once other players know that I'm playing ninjas, it might also lead them into unfavorable blocks.
Qarsi High Priest: It's one of the few sacrifice outlets in the deck, but since there are some token-creators, it seemed worth it.
Ohran Viper: Another card that comes from the early days, most folks will just let it through.
Riptide Survivor: Very happy that I had a foil one in the box (and when I said earlier that I wouldn't be acquiring any cards for this deck, I meant that all the cards would be foiled if available).
Root Elemental: There might actually not be enough big creatures in the deck to make this worthwhile, but even casting smaller ones for free is fine. Then it provides some much-needed beef.
Sakashima's Student: Really hoping this gets foiled at some point. Commander's Arsenal II???
Shadowmage Infiltrator: When you're in really desperate straits in Magic, just call on Jon Finkel to help you.
Temur War Shaman: Happy that it's a may; we'll see how it ends up.
Thassa's Emissary: There's clearly the card-draw subtheme going on in the deck. This was in the pile and seemed worth giving another run at.
Thelonite Hermit: I didn't know I had a foil one of these until I went looking in the box for other stuff. I had already crossed it off of my list.
Vesuvan Shapeshifter: Ditto. The biggest mise during building.
Whisperwood Elemental: This card is going to be even better in the format than I thought it was. I'm waiting for one of you to actually break it.
Woodripper: Potentially weak with manifest, since it doesn't get the counters.
Azusa, Lost But Seeking: Because of the card draw and the land searchers, Azusa seemed like a fine idea.
Damia, Sage of Stone: Speaking of card draw, if the other cards aren't doing it for me, Damia will.
Chainer, Dementia Master: Part of the graveyard recursion suite. I'm going to give it a whirl, but suspect that I might want more sacrifice outlets to make best use of Chainer. Best part of Chainer: exiling everyone else's Chameleon Colossus.
Ixidor, Reality Sculptor: 2U seems cheaper than many other costs to turn stuff face-up.
Kokusho, the Evening Star: It was in the pile, and I could use a little lifegain here.
Nylea, God of the Hunt: Trample is the big part of having Nylea, making it easier to get a Commander damage kill.
Sisters of Stone Death: Another classic from days of yore, it's a little mana hungry, but completely awesome.
Vela the Night-Clad: With all the ninja stuff going on, it'll trigger a few times, and it'll hurt when you wipe my board.
Verdeloth the Ancient: Almost made me start looking for more Treefolk, but then I realized that there simply wasn't room.
Vhati il-Dal: Obvious tech play: make something's toughness 1 in order to kill it with a chump blocker. Saucy tech play: set the toughness of something equipped with Skullclamp to 1.
Grimoire of the Dead: Rise of the Dark Realms was already in the original. The card draw elsewhere in the deck should help me have additional cards in hand. Too bad you have to sacrifice it to use it.
Skullclamp: Another "in the pile" card clearly worth playing.
Tsabo's Web: It replaces itself, and it shuts down some of the best lands in the format. Win-win.
Cloudform: I also passed this one by as well, then got more on board with the idea of something cool coming off the top.
Phyrexian Arena: I wanted a little card draw that isn't creature-based, and there it was, just waiting for me.
Secret Plans: Makes me wish there were more tools to turn things face-up and face-down.
Trail of Mystery: Certainly an all-star in Limited, we'll see how good it is in the 100-card format.
Ethereal Ambush: No comment necessary.
Beacon of Unrest: Since I'm playing very few artifacts, it might be cool to focus on getting them instead of creatures-but there are so many cool creatures in the format, that plan is probably doomed to failure before it starts.
Bribery: It was there, and you have really awesome stuff in your deck.
Hunting Wilds: You have to take your ramp options where you can get them. I don't think I've ever kicked this in Commander, and I don't really have any intention to.
Rampant Growth: Was considering saving this and using it for another deck down the road in favor of Nature's Lore (awesome Terese Nielsen art on the Vintage Masters and Duel Decks version, by the way), but then I realized I'd be getting only basic Forests with it. In a three-color deck, seems suboptimal.
Wave of Vitriol: I have very few enchantments, artifacts, or non-basic lands. All upside here. And if you're playing only 3-4 basic lands, that's what you get for being greedy.
Garruk, Caller of Beasts: There's a reasonably good chance that the first ability of this Garruk hits 3-4 cards nearly every time. I'm not sure that the emblem does all that much for me-maybe I should reconsider Cloudstone Curio.
Garruk Wildspeaker: Overrun with a bunch face-down creatures will be the play.
For the most part, I'll be counting on other players to do the creature killing that eventually feeds The Mimeoplasm. The great part of a card like that is it can become a single-card strategy, letting the rest of the deck do its own thing. Since I always want the Do-Over deck to do something radically different, the heavy creature-based version of this makes the most sense. It was a challenge to use only what was laying around (save for the Fate Reforged cards that were already on the way) and loads of fun to just build by flipping through the box of old stuff.
This week's Deck Without Comment is the original for this episode's Do-Over.
- 1 Solemn Simulacrum
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 1 Big Game Hunter
- 1 Consuming Aberration
- 1 Duskmantle Guildmage
- 1 Eater of the Dead
- 1 Eternal Witness
- 1 Extractor Demon
- 1 Jace's Mindseeker
- 1 Mindshrieker
- 1 Necrotic Ooze
- 1 Notion Thief
- 1 Puppeteer Clique
- 1 Riftsweeper
- 1 Sepulchral Primordial
- 1 Vulturous Zombie
- 1 Willbender
- 1 Woodfall Primus
- 1 Yavimaya Elder
- 1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
- 1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
- 1 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
- 1 Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
- 1 Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker
- 1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
- 1 Phenax, God of Deception
- 8 Forest
- 5 Island
- 6 Swamp
- 1 Breeding Pool
- 1 Command Tower
- 1 Drowned Catacomb
- 1 Exotic Orchard
- 1 Gilt-Leaf Palace
- 1 Grim Backwoods
- 1 Hinterland Harbor
- 1 Opulent Palace
- 1 Overgrown Tomb
- 1 Reflecting Pool
- 1 Spire of Industry
- 1 Strip Mine
- 1 Tropical Island
- 1 Twilight Mire
- 1 Underground Sea
- 1 Watery Grave
- 1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
- 1 Altar of Dementia
- 1 Altar of the Brood
- 1 Cloudstone Curio
- 1 Crystal Shard
- 1 Darksteel Ingot
- 1 Mesmeric Orb
- 1 Mindcrank
- 1 Scrabbling Claws
- 1 Sensei's Divining Top
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Chains of Mephistopheles
- 1 Greater Good
- 1 Oversold Cemetery
- 1 Pernicious Deed
- 1 Arachnogenesis
- 1 Evacuation
- 1 Fact or Fiction
- 1 Psychic Spiral
- 1 Sudden Spoiling
- 1 Aether Snap
- 1 Damnation
- 1 Essence Harvest
- 1 Far Wanderings
- 1 In Garruk's Wake
- 1 Kodama's Reach
- 1 Life's Finale
- 1 Mind Grind
- 1 Regrowth
- 1 Rise of the Dark Realms
- 1 Rite of Consumption
- 1 Skyshroud Claim
- 1 Spider Spawning
- 1 Talent of the Telepath
- 1 Traumatize
- 1 Villainous Wealth
Check out our cool deck list database for the latest versions of all my decks:
ADUN'S TOOLBOX ; ANIMAR'S SWARM;AURELIA GOES TO WAR;CHILDREN of a LESSER GOD;DEMONS OF KAALIA;EREBOS and the HALLS OF THE DEAD;GLISSA, GLISSA;HELIOD, GOD OF ENCHANTMENTS;DREAMING OF INTET;FORGE OF PURPHOROS;KARN, BEATDOWN GOLEM;HALLOWEEN WITH KARADOR;KARRTHUS, WHO RAINS FIRE FROM THE SKY;KRESH INTO THE RED ZONE;LAVINIA BLINKS;LAZAV, SHAPESHIFTING MASTERMIND;ZOMBIES OF TRESSERHORN;MELEK'S MOLTEN MIND GRIND;MERIEKE'S ESPER CONTROL;THE MILL-MEOPLASM;NATH of the VALUE LEAF;NYLEA OF THE WOODLAND REALM,OBZEDAT, GHOST KILLER;PURPLE HIPPOS and MARO SORCERERS;ZEGANA and a DICE BAG;RAKDOS: LIFE IS SHORT;RITH'S TOKENS;YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF;RURIC THAR AND HIS BEASTLY FIGHT CLUB;THASSA, GOD OF MERFOLK;THE ALTAR of THRAXIMUNDAR; TROSTANI and HER ANGELS
If you'd like to follow the adventures of my Monday Night RPG group (in a campaign that's been alive since 1987 and is just now getting started with a new saga called "The Lost Cities of Nevinor"), ask for an invitation to the Facebook group " Sheldon Menery's Monday Night Gamers."