The Kitchen Table #263 - Bad Rare Decks VIII: The Return of the Bad Rare Article
Hello all and welcome back to the column dedicated to the casual. I am your host and weekly I bring you new things from casual land. Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time in big deck country whether Five Color or Prismatic so I want to get away from that for a few weeks.
When I moved to London for eleven days I divested myself of many of my boxes of cards. Among those was my bad rare stack (er… um… I mean "low value rares").
I wrote seven articles in which I selected at random one of these bad rares and then forced myself to build a deck around these cards. Some of my favorite decks of all time are from these articles (I especially enjoy my Thran Weaponry deck).
These decks force me to think way outside the box. From Amulet of Quoz to Okk I’ve had to come up with some radically different ways to build decks down through the years . My most recent Bad Rare article was #192.
Since I had given away my bad rare box I was unable to write any more articles in this vein. However last weekend while at a friend’s house I accidentally took his bad rare box. I was looking through it and then slipped it into my bag by mistake. Now it’s not as bad as it seems because it is my old bad rare box. Perhaps my friend slipped a few of his cards inside but it’s basically my old box. Sure I’ll ask him if he even wants it back (Aaron do you even want it back?) but for now it gives me an opportunity to write another Bad Rare Deck article!
Hey this is the only opportunity these cards have to shine. When was the last time you saw a deck with Vermiculos or Onulet? Yep that’s right it’s been awhile. This is a chance to dust off that bad rare and give it a little shine. Why not build your own bad rare deck this week if these don’t meet your fancy?
So without further ado let’s start the bad rares.
Polter my Geist Please
I reach into the box and pull out sight unseen Xenic Poltergeist. Now the fun thing about this bad rare is that its tap ability lasts until your next upkeep. In multiplayer that means a lot of turns may pass before the artifact is de-animated. Let’s build a deck around this awkward creature.
Okay let’s look at this deck. It can get a little confusing. What I am using the Poltergeist for is to make an artifact a creature so that it does not die when it is destroyed. How does that work?
Lifeline says that any creature that dies (including opposing ones) comes back into play at the end of the turn as long as there is another creature in play. Xenic Poltergeist can turn an artifact into a creature in response to removal and the artifact will come back. It’s like a cheap Guardian Beast.
But that’s not all. Suppose you’ve used all of the counters on Serrated Arrows. Make it a 4/4 creature and start swinging or make it a creature sacrifice it to Blasting Station and it comes back into play with a new set of counters.
Serum Tank is your main card drawing card although Staff of Domination can act as a backup. With all of the artifacts coming into and leaving play Serum Tank will get a nice selection of counters on it for your card drawing purposes.
Sculpting Steel is a perfect card at doing what it is supposed to do. It acts as a backup copy of any artifact in your deck as well as being useful as an artifact clone in case an opponent has a copy in play.
A pair of Consume Spirits are in the deck for when you get Coffers and a lot of mana. You can kill a player with one. I also tossed in a pair each of Phage and Guiltfeeder. If you can swing through an opposing defense with Guiltfeeder then great. If not you can use your mana production and Staff of Domination to tap down a player’s blockers and swing with Guiltfeeder or Phage.
Cackling Fiend can be played to force everyone to discard and then you can sac it to the Blasting Station and bring it back into play at the end of turn untapping the Station then repeating each turn quickly stripping all opponents of cards.
You don’t want creature removal in a Lifeline deck. For example Bone Shredder does nothing because the creature it kills comes back at the end of turn. Thus I stick with damage to your opponent discarding and such. Sengir Autocrat can cause your Blasting Station to untap four times allowing you to machine gun some creatures/players or it provides creatures to ensure that you have enough blockers. Note that the serfs will not come back from a Lifeline but you can keep one around to ensure you always have a creature to trigger your Lifeline. You can also use them as fodder for the Station.
Frankly this would not be a deck that a Guardian Beast would find out of place and you might want to toss one or two in if you have them. Remember to attack and block with your creatures you make from the Poltergeist. A 5/5 Lifeline is a beater. You can also turn someone’s artifact into a creature in order to kill it if Lifeline is not out (or if no creatures will be out such as through a Wrath of God effect).
Enjoy the deck!
As an interlude here are all of the cards that I have used in previous bad rare articles in order from oldest to most recent (not including today):
Hisoka Minamo Sensei
Circle of Solace
Fire and Brimstone
This is a lot of cards. 34 to be exact. Plus however many I do this article. Well let’s get cracking on another one.
It’s obvious what colors I’ll be playing with this card. Now what else can I do with it? Ah I know.
I didn’t want to play with any non-basics since Wand of the Elements wants you to sac Islands and Mountains. I guess you could run Steam Vents or Volcanic Islands if you had them. I then included some but not all of the Lorwyn Block elemental tricks.
Incandescent Soulstoke has obvious uses. It pumps your elemental tokens from the Wand as well as the other elementals in the deck. It can also pop some into play if that is your wish. Mulldrifter and Aethersnipe have value played instantly and Supreme Exemplar might be played with haste on your turn to get one hit in with a 10/10 flyer.
However I did not want to make this a cookie cutter elemental deck so I just want to run the four Soulstokes and two Harbingers and that’s it. Why run Consuming Bonfire when you can run Incinerate? Tidings is also pretty strong in any deck with these colors.
You can enroll me in the Abe Sargent Crackleburr Fan Club. This card is really keen in these two colors you can tap it and some creatures to Lightning Bolt and then untap it and some creatures to bounce. Unfortunately there were not many Blue/Red creatures that fit the deck so I could not truly abuse it by just running gold and hybrid cards but if you did this creature would be amazing. As is it’s still really strong.
Cinder Elementals give you the ability to Blaze kill a creature or player. You can spite someone who kills it by hitting them for 6 or 8 damage. Cinder Pyromancer works well with the Red cards in the deck (of which there are 20). It can supplement your other bun spells kill smaller creatures or ping players many times.
The result is a deck that may very well suit the tastes of many readers out there.
I’ve Got Your Autumn Right Here
I reach into my box of happiness again and pull out… Shizuko Caller of Autumn.
Well I like making mana. Who doesn’t? Let’s see what we can do with Shizuko.
Let’s take a look at Shizuko for a moment. If you play her on the third turn then you will have six mana guaranteed on the fourth. You will have seven mana if you play a land on the fourth turn or you played a Birds of Paradise earlier. What I tried to do was find the deadliest seven mana creatures around to accelerate into off a Shizuko. I think you’ll agree that I found two nasty creatures.
Simic Sky Swallower will end games quickly. With shroud and flying and trample it was the single best seven-drop I could find. Cast this on turn 4 and you may not need to cast anything else for the rest of the game. Phantom Nishoba is almost as good. Trample plus lifelink really helps and you can’t kill it in combat by dealing a lot of damage to it. It’s not as good as SSS but it will still end games quickly. These two creatures are powerful creatures and you have a full set of each to rely upon giving you the ability to drop one and then keep dropping them turn after turn until you win or your opponents concede.
Feral Hydra helps here. You can play it with all of your mana as a good sized creature and then you can add counters to it in the future as you have extra mana so it gives you a sink for Shizuko’s mana. Sure you won’t take mana burn from her mana but you might as well have something to do with it right? When combined with SSS and the Phantom Nishoba you can bring serious hurt.
Desert Twister normally costs a lot of mana but in this deck you have it on the fourth turn easy and it adds some strong removal that few Green decks can match.
Harmonize draws you cards and allows you to keep rolling. Joining that is Multani’s Acolyte. Before I added them the deck lacked a two drop and this can get played early draw you a card and then block and trade with an attacker. You can upkeep it with Shizuko’s mana because it comes into play under your control during the upkeep.
Weatherseed Treefolk are a cheap and recursive adjunct to the normal Green beat strategy. You can play them early or late and they can add to your already impressive forces and also give you options post-Wrath.
Worldly Tutor ideally will help you find a Shizuko since your deck relies on her. Get her early so you can drop her third turn. You can also use it for beater especially an SSS.
Remember that everybody gets Shizuko’s extra mana but not everybody has a deck that is built to abuse it like you do. Be careful that you don’t speed up some combo deck and use Desert Twister to knock off combo pieces if you need to.
Good luck with the deck!
I got it.
In order to help with our acceleration I have 8 one-drop elves that tap for a Green mana. Use these a lot after you drop a WOrb or have a Mungha Wurm in play. Playing one of these on the first turn can give you some strong second turn options and I included Troll Ascetic and Call of the Herd for strong second turns. If the Ascetic is too expensive for your tastes rock with Boggart Ram-Gang instead.
Play a Forest tap play Elf go.
Untap play Forest. Tap Elf and Forest. Winter Orb. Go.
Untapped tapped Forest play Forest play Mungha Wurm.
Untap Forest and Elf tap Elf play Rancor swing for 8 trampling on fourth turn.
That’s not bad at all.
You can drop a Seal of Primordium before playing your WOrb just to get it out of your hand. Then you can take out artifacts and enchantments as you need. Watch out for artifact mana that gets your opponent through the WOrb.
The Boas are great to drop when you have the spare mana. They love Rancors.
It’s a pretty simple deck but it looks efficient. I think you can do well with it.
Let’s do one more.
For Thy Heart! For Thy Heart! Who Hast Wronged Me
I know that Heart of Ramos is not a card that you or I would associate with real decks. What to do with this sterling card?
Ah why not let’s give you one more deck.
Jokulmorder I Choose You!
I reach into my box and pull out Jokulmorder which you could tell by the title of this section. Now this is a creature I can get behind. It only costs seven mana for a 12/12 trampler that comes-into-play destroys five of your lands. Then you can untap it by playing an Island. Play an Island swing for 12 then play an Island swing for 12 and you have won.
This deck realty wants to start swinging with Jokulmorder as soon as possible. On the fourth turn play Explosive Vegetation. On the fifth if you have played a land every turn you can drop Jokulmorder. If you played Kodama’s reach or Journey of Discovery previously then you could easily have two Islands in your grip. Keep two Blue for your Counterspell. Drop Islands and win.
In order to find the right cards we have Tidings Brainstorm and Impulse which should help you dig. I like Brainstorm in this deck more than normal with the 10 shuffle library effects that we are rocking.
Wall of Blossoms can act as both card drawing and a speed bump until you are fully Jokulmordered.
You do have eight counters to help protect your crucial spells. Hey if nothing is happening on the 5th turn and you suspect counters wait a few more turns until you can cast Jokulmorder with counter backup. You have so much land search and it all gets you two lands that you can afford to outwait a control deck until you are fully ready. Just make sure you have two Islands in hand in order to untap your Leviathan twice.
And there you have a super rare sixth deck for your enjoyment. I hope that you liked today’s article.