Deck Tech: Mono G Infect with Charles Kraver
Mesa, Arizona’s Charles Kraver is quite possibly one of the nicest people in Magic, and he’s here today enjoying the chance to play in the Legacy Open with his son Logan who is also his token artist.
Kraver has been playing Magic since Gen Con in 1994, when he walked into a hall to find a bunch of people playing the game, and he simply couldn’t help but find out what it was about.
"I walked up to the table and asked to buy a deck,” Kraver said in remembrance of that fateful day. “And the woman working said that I could get a deck and a booster, but I said 'what kind of game is this that I can’t play with just one deck?'"
Now, it’s difficult for most people to be satisfied with just one starter deck, but when you open an Alpha Time Walk and Ancestral Recall as two of your three rares, the bitter pill becomes quite a bit easier to swallow. Granted, those cards weren’t worth nearly as much then as they are now, but they were still great centerpieces for his deck when he really started getting into the game.
And as an avid collector, Charles was sure to protect his cards as they appreciated in value over his 12 year hiatus from the game as real life took priority, including his two great children.
"I came back for the Mirrodin Besieged prerelease where I was able to build a mono-green deck, something you would never have been able to do in old prereleases. And I was able to spot all of these combos with infect just from that prerelease. Then I noticed that Berserk was unbanned and someone told me about Invigorate and I knew that’s what I was going to play."
Since its rebirth in Scars of Mirrodin, Legacy Poison has been talked about as more of pipe dream than a real threat, but it seems Kraver has made it a reality with his hard-hitting pseudo-combo deck that is capable of multiple turn two kills.
Charles Kraver champions the Legacy Poison deck.
"You really want to get two infect creatures down early so that you can have one after they do their shenanigans on their turn. Then Rancor, Invigorate, Invigorate is 11 poison. Invigorate, Berserk is 10."
There are a lot of ways to get lethal on turn two or three, but it’s not necessarily as all-in as you think, despite cards like City of Traitors and Elvish Spirit Guide. Charles explained that he’s not afraid to use Berserk or Vines of the Vastwood on his opponent’s creatures if that’s what it takes to win.
That utility, along with the speed of the deck gives Charles a great chance to win games he would otherwise be unable to, and his sideboard offers more ways to shore up his weaknesses. That infect doesn’t care about the opponent’s life total lets him play cards like Invigorate and Nature’s Claim without worrying about the drawback so long as it gets the job done. That’s what it seems like the deck is all about, anyway.
Charles is enjoying pretty good success today with his interesting and effective take on poison, so if you like poison, this one is worth checking out. And be sure to ask him about his Vintage Challenge, where he takes on all comers for fun and prizes!