SCG Daily - A Deck a Day: Spawning Egotists
Ah, good old cards, how I love thee. I was perusing my deck stock binder, trying to find an idea for today's article, when I espied Homarid Spawning Bed. This gem from the past allows you to sacrifice Blue creatures for 1/1 tokens equal to the casting cost.
I immediately thought about good ol' Scornful Egotist, the eight-mana 1/1. I've never actually built a deck with Scornful Egotist, but this feels like as good a time as any. I start with these two cards, and work from there:
4 Scornful Egotist
2 Vesuvan Doppelganger
4 Shoreline Ranger
4 Illusionary Wall
4 Homarid Spawning Bed
2 Tidal Influence
2 Fact or Fiction
2 Treasure Trove
4 Vedalken Shackles
The ideal play for this deck is to drop a Spawning Bed on turn 2, a morphed Egotist on turn 3, and then flip and sacrifice on turn 4. That's an ideal play, but there are other good plays as well, and other strong openings.
Vedalken Shackles allow you to take control of others' creatures. If you can grab a Blue creature, sacrifice it to the Spawning Bed and grab another. You can easily grab any creature for defense, and then let it go back and take something better when it comes along. Not only can it feed the Spawning Bed, but it also provides both offense and defense.
Vesuvan Doppelganger is great in this deck, since it copies every aspect of the chosen creatures except for color. That means a Doppelganger will copy that Draco's casting cost, and when somebody goes to kill it, you can sacrifice the Doppelganger for sixteen little 1/1 Camarid tokens. Such cute little baby Homarids.
Shoreline Ranger should give your mana curve a little help if necessary. With the four islandcyclers and 24 islands, you should have plenty of mana for some of your effects. If you have enough, then the Ranger can be played a six-drop that'll give you a bunch of tokens if necessary.
Illusionary Wall is a great defensive card. 7/4 flying, first striking walls are not exactly seen on a regular basis. It does have cumulative upkeep, so when you are ready to axe the Wall, simply sacrifice it for a quintet of Camarids.
I've included four major card drawing effects to help you find whatever piece of the deck you lack. Treasure Trove can provide major card advantage over time, and I regularly play it in Blue decks with a lot of mana. There's a pair of Fact or Fictions for the emergency dig, as well.
I've also tossed in eight copies of countermagic spells. The ubiquitous Counterspell is in the deck, alongside an old favorite in Dissipate. Play Forbid if you want, but I wanted an older, fancier counterspell for this deck, as well as the ability to hose the occasional graveyard using card like Genesis and Glory - cards that you really don't want in your opponent's arsenal.
The secret tech of this deck is Tidal Influence. I suspect that most of you had t check the link to see what it even did. Here's the rundown on Tidal Influence:
It's really legendary or an enchant world, even though it doesn't say that. You can only have one in play at a time. When it comes into play, you put a counter on it, so all Blue creatures get -2/-0. You may want to play a Tidal Influnece after combat if you plan on attacking.
On the third turn, all Blue creatures get +2/+0, so you can get in a serious swing. Make sure you sacrifice as many creatures to the Spawning Bed as possible so that they can attack on this turn. Massive Camarid beats should ensue.
Normally, a Tidal Influence balances itself out. Imagine a 3/3 unblockable creature, for example. Normally, over the course of four turns, you will deal twelve damage. With an Influence out, you will deal 1/3, 3/3, 5/3, and 3/3 damage, so you'll still deal twelve damage (unless you wait and play Tidal Influence after combat like I suggested, in which case you'd deal 14 damage.)
Now, 1/1's are different. They will be 0/1, 1/1, 3/1, and 1/1, for five damage, not four, over the course of four turns (and they'll deal six damage if you play the Influence post-combat). This is a bonus. We are playing with a bunch of 1/1 Camarid tokens, so we should really be able to use Tidal Influence. For Blue, this is about the best we can do, plus it enables you to plan for the critical turn.
I was considering Soul Foundry for this deck to pump out tokens with a casting cost in order to get more Camarids. However, I realized that imprinting a Scornful Egotist was really bad. Who wants to tap eight mana and an artifact just to spit out a 1/1 creature? If your deck has more creatures, you may want to consider the Foundry.
I was considering Avatar of Will. It can be played easily in multiplayer and can be sacrificed for a lot of Camarids. I ran out of room, but you could try them out and see how they run. I wouldn't be surprised if Avatar of Will ended up being an MVP, but in my fist version of the deck, it's obviously not in.
Another big Blue flyer that might fit is Keiga, the Tide Star. Sacrificing Keiga to a Homarid Spawning Bed will also give you control of the best creature at the table. That's a pretty powerful swing in board position.
You could try and splash another color. One possibility I was considering was to add green mana to my deck and run Dual Nature. Dual nature is another way of creating an extra creature token with a casting cost assigned to it, so it could be sacrificed to the Spawning Bed for 1/1's.
I'm sure that there are a lot more ideas out there, so have fun changing and adapting your Spawning Bed deck as needed!