The Kitchen Table #275 - Fun With Changelings
Hello all and welcome back to the article that whets your appetite for the casual. I am your chef and today I want to build some decks.
Just last week I was talking about lands and how I intend to change my manabase in future articles. They will still be budget friendly but gone are the simple land selections and entering my articles will be a new philosophy I spoke about last week.
Twice during this past week I brainstormed ideas that involved changelings so I thought why not write an article where every deck is built around changelings? Writing should be that simple. I decided to start writing this article but then I bogged a bit when trying to come up with new ideas for the rest of the article. Finally I came up with a few ideas and you can see the results below.
- 2 Shifting Wall
- 4 Bloodshot Cyclops
- 2 Chameleon Colossus
- 2 Changeling Berserker
- 4 Mirror Entity
- 2 Taurean Mauler
- 4 Wall of Blossoms
- 4 Wall of Mulch
The idea behind this deck is to use changelings as walls for various effects in the deck. The main goal is to make a really large creature and then sac it to the Bloodshot Cyclops for some serious damage. (See also: Soul’s Majesty for some good card drawing).
Every creature in the deck other than the Cyclops it a wall. Therefore Fortified Area though it sucks is a nice adjunct to the deck. No one will kill it and banding is a lot better today than it was years ago. Players today may not know all of the tricks the old mechanic had so they may not know how to defend themselves or they may walk into a nice little ambush you have prepared.
Wall of Mulch is nice. It allows you to sac any creature (other than Cyclops) to draw a card as needed. Block with a Wall of Blossoms and then draw a card. Add the draws you get from the Wall of Blossoms and you might not even need Soul’s Majesty to draw yourself some serious cards.
You’ll note an emphasis on changelings of size. I wanted them to be naturally inclined towards being Flung using a Cyclops. The only major one of size that I did not use was Changeling Titan. Taurean Mauler can get bigger very quickly with people playing you know… things. The Colossus is great in this deck but if the price tag is too much swap it out for a pair of Titans. I also have Changeling Berserker. Use the champion changelings to hit a Wall of Blossoms ideally. Then you can draw another card if/when they are killed.
Mirror Entity can make all of your creatures big for one giant attack (except the natural walls) and can inflate your creatures for Flinging by the Cyclops.
I tossed in Crib Swaps and Orim’s Thunder for removal so the deck can actually kill some things. Crib Swap was on theme and counts as a Giant for the Ancient Amphitheater so there is that going for it as well. I play Orim’s Thunder in virtually any deck that has Red and White. It’s just too good not to consider.
You can see a more modern manabase in the deck. As I mentioned before I love the Amphitheater’s cost and color combination. Plus in this deck there are 14 cards with changeling so you have a good chance at playing it untapped. After that I tossed in the powerful Jungle Shrine from Shards plus a nice pair of Shivan Oasis to round out the manabase.
And there you have the first deck of the day. I hope that you enjoyed the ideas in here.
Playing the Shards tri-tap lands may seem like it’s unusual but it’s pretend. In this case pretend that it does not tap for Red mana and just taps for G/B. It’s just an Elfhame Palace or Salt Marsh for enemy colors. Yes it’s actually better in many decks but in this deck you can use it just as that. The G/B Gilt-Leaf Palace still has a solid price tag attached so I did not include it but it would be a good addition to the deck.
Thus deck wants to combine zombies and changelings. I wanted to use Strength of Night but all of the G/B zombies were weak except for the Vulturous one. So instead of playing weaker creatures I just tossed in changelings to round out the deck. Now you have a deck chock full of delicious zombies with some zombie enablers.
Strength of Night is a great card because your opponent’s don’t see it coming. They expect Overrun effects from Green but typically not as an instant during combat. Just drop a lot of zombies and swing Strength-ing as you need to keep your guys alive or killing an opponent.
Call to the Grave has always been a great tribal card since its introduction during Onslaught block. It is a classic tribal card that wants you to build around and we have today. Every creature in this deck is a zombie so the Call will not hurt you while it will hurt others. It can really control and dominate the table.
We also have a smattering of various zombie enablers in the deck. Every one of the lords is also a zombie so they all help each other out. The Master gives Zombies swampwalk and regeneration which can help keep your guys alive. The Trailblazer can force people to have swamps and can also help with the swampwalk. Lord of the Undead does his classic job at pumping and recurring zombies while the Death Baron both pumps and gives them deathtouch.
Vulturous Zombie can run a table on its own. After just one round it can easily be a 5/5 6/6 9/9 or more. Then it can swing for mighty damage and if it has swampwalk and regeneration it can really be a pain.
I stayed away from other zombie enablers like Zombie Warchief Cruel Revival Corpse Harvester and more. At the end of the day the deck has to have creatures in it but you can easily change the parts to suit your tastes and your collection.
Harmonize was added to give the deck some card drawing. Naturalize was added to give you a smattering of emergency removal if you had a several need. You don’t want a Moat or such to permanently shut you down.
With that we have finished another deck. Like the first I hope you enjoyed this one as well.
Now it is time to brainstorm another changeling deck.
In this deck even though it is three colors the tri-taps allow you to more easily drop a Reaper King and have solid value as a result. I love Rupture Spire and here it can help play a King or tap for one of your colors of mana.
I am absolutely convinced that numerous people before me combined Reaper King with changelings. They are such an obvious combination. Most of the artifact scarecrows don’t have the raw power needed to deal out wins at least not in multiplayer.
I mean sure I could try and add Scuttlemutt to the deck or some such but I’d rather stick with some changelings that can add power to the deck. The only actual scarecrow I decided to run was Scarecrone because it can do two things I like. First it can recur a dead Reaper King which is very handy. Plus it can sac for a card while also providing that scarecrow body to Vindicate when a King is out. Two Scarecrones make a nice long haul card drawing machine.
For changelings I decided to roll with six changelings with champion so that when they die you get another trigger off the Reaper King.
I knew I wanted White for the Avian Changelings. They can deal out 3 damage with a Reaper King in play and the way can often be cleared by the Vindicates that will remove things like blockers when scarecrows come into play.
Red gave me some of the raw powerful changelings I desired and I went with Blue over Green in order to add Fact or Fictions to my deck as well. Turtleshell Changeling does a nice job of providing a nice defensive creature to help you establish your mana and board position. No one will get scared of it like they might with some other creatures you might toss out there.
Once people see your Reaper King-Changeling engine they may start gunning for the King or barring that they may start gunning for you. Having a nice defensive creature that is not going to make waves and can if needed kill that x/4 attacker is a good start.
Some of the changelings here are classics. Note that Crib Swap is not only included because it is thematic but because you can use it as an instant Vindicate if needed. Reaper King triggers when a scarecrow comes into play under your control. Just Crib Swap one of your creatures and when the 1/1 changeling comes into play you’re your control you can Vindicate a permanent. It may not be something you want to do regularly but it should work when called for.
I decided against Dismantling Blow what with all of the Vindicating your deck can do. Reaper King is your removal. Fact or Fiction and Crib Swap and two Fireballs are the only non-scarecrow cards in the set.
And that is another changeling deck. Let’s build a fourth!
This is your Illusion deck adding a few changelings to the deck to pump Krovikan Mist and add to the mayhem. The deck features 12 counters already with Draining Whelk Counterspell and Faerie Trickery as your counters of choice.
I like the Shapesharer in this deck because it can make itself or the Turtleshell copy a Krovikan Mist jump into the air and swing for some damage. It can play havoc with opponent’s creatures as well. You can stack the Turtleshell with the Shapesharer so that one resolves changing a Turtleshell to a different creature then switching its power and toughness if needed.
For example suppose someone has out Indomitable Ancients. You could swing with your Turtleshell Changeling at a third player and then put the power/toughness swap on the stack make it an Indomitable Ancients with the Shapesharer and then when the switch resolves you have a 10/2 bearing down on someone. Rar indeed.
The deck has countermagic bounce illusions card drawing and a handful of tricks to share. That’s about the extent of it so let’s move to the next deck shall we?
- 3 Silent Arbiter
- 4 Cairn Wanderer
- 1 Iridescent Angel
- 1 Phantom Nishoba
- 1 Rockshard Elemental
- 4 Will-o'-the-Wisp
- 1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
- 1 Spirit of the Night
This is a very different changeling deck built around Cairn Wanderer. The idea is to drop a Buried Alive and make a Wanderer pro from all colors double strike and either vigilant plus haste or you might prefer lifelink whichever you need at the time. Then you can swing for 8 with the Wanderer and either keep it back as a flying pro all colors double strike blocker or gain 8 life from lifelink.
Because the deck is putting creatures like Akroma and Iridescent Angel in the graveyard anyway it seemed like a good idea to add some reanimation in order to bring out some threats or to recur a dead Cairn Wanderer.
If you have a stocked yard Cairn Wanderer is the best reanimation target. With haste double strike vigilance flying pro all colors and lifelink you can swing through almost anything and hit for 8 damage gain eight life and have it around for blocking.
After that the pieces fell into place. Spirit of the Night for additional recursion in case you get a second Buried Alive. Scroll Rack to put Buried Alive creatures you draw back in your deck. Necrologia to draw cards with a lessened impact of life lost. Rend Flesh to kill a creature if needed. Entomb to act as a backup Buried Alive or as an instant surprise answer to removal or something of a Cairn Wanderer. Demonic Tutor to find key cards.
Since I needed some things to keep attackers off your back I tossed in four Will-o-the-Wisp as a fine defensive creature. Silent Arbiter keeps you from attacking except with one creature but that will likely be the Wanderer. You also only have to block one creature and a vigilant flying pro colors Cairn Wanderer can block what they throw at you usually.
I even added a Maze of Ith to give you another way to stop attackers.
The result is an interesting concoction one that might be interesting to try out. If you do so good luck and let me know how it turns out.
And with that I bring to the close another article.
We have five changeling decks all built around different mechanics that the changeling brings with them. I hope that you enjoyed today’s article and I will see you next week with yet another casual-tastic piece!