Sorry it's been a while, folks. Not only did I have the holidays hit, but also my little girl turned one year old on December 30th, so I had a birthday to plan and execute along with the typical Christmas madness. Anna Marie seemed to really dig the whole thing, especially all the bright paper, ribbons and bows. The most amazing thing for me about being a parent is watching my child experience things for the first time - and adding the holidays to that expanding list was a joy I highly recommend. If you haven't already, take some time away from Magic to find your soul mate and start making babies!
Speaking of kids, I had to laugh the other day when I was looking at Anna Marie's walker. It's a brightly colored, gaudy too-big contraption that she's gotten quite maneuverable with. I was washing the cloth sling that holds her in and I noticed it had its WARNING message in three languages. In one of the languages, WARNING translates to MISE EN GARD!
Having recently seen the dynamite movie event of the year, The Fellowship of the Ring (and if you haven't seen it yet, get off your computer immediately and go see the next showing... You won't regret it), my mind then leapt to Saruman's tower, Isengard. Beware! Movie spoiler information in the next few sentences!
Misengard. Mise well use the Palantir in Isengard and get corrupted by Sauron, am I right?
Misengard. Mise well escape from the top of Isengard aboard a handy giant eagle, am I right?
Seriously, Gandalf got the ultimate Mise to escape from Saruman. Of course, whispering a few words to a passing moth might have helped some, like casting Brainstorm to dig a little deeper into your deck.
My last article I talked about the broken goodness of the Upheaval deck in Type 2. I got a ton of response to it, and I plan on a follow-up article not too long down the road. First, though, I really want to build the deck and play it a few times myself to try and get a better perspective on how the deck wins and how to potentially beat it. My thanks to all those who wrote in; I'll be using your suggestions soon.
In the meantime, a few people wrote in asking about the Twilight's Call deck I mentioned there. Some of you might remember that I've generally loved creature recursion strategies over the years, and recently have been working to try and harness the power of Reya, Dawnbringer as a recursion engine. Odyssey has given the deck some much needed cards, and I recently went 3-1 with this deck at a small local tournament, and it has been doing well in pick up games since then. Here's the deck in its most current incarnation:
4x Sleight of Hand
3x Twilight's Call
4x Vodalian Merchant
4x Merfolk Looter
4x Meddling Mage
1x Crypt Creeper
3x Overeager Apprentice
2x Phyrexian Rager
1x Aven Cloudchaser
1x Staunch Defenders
1x Coalition Honor Guard
1x Sadistic Hypnotist
1x Reya, Dawnbringer
1x Devouring Strossus
1x Dromar's Cavern
2x Adarkar Wastes
2x Caves of Koilos
4x Salt Marsh
1x Darkwater Catacombs
1x Skycloud Expanse
I know some of my selections may seem a bit dubious, but believe me when I tell you they generally work. I'll explain them below.
Overeager Apprentice: All right, let me go ahead and get this out of the way - because most of you are probably scratching your head and wondering why in the world I'd ever play this card... But let me say that this card is a lynchpin for the deck. The mana bump it gives you makes playing Twilight's Call as an instant extremely feasible, and if you pitch a creature card to activate the Apprentice, you're not losing any card advantage at all.
Sleight of Hand/Merchant/Looter: The search. These spells are cheap and fantastic at sorting through your deck to find a Twilight's Call. You certainly don't want a Twilight's Call in your opening hand, but you definitely want to draw into one as soon as possible.
Entomb: I've been torn between Entomb and Buried Alive, but currently Entomb has gotten the nod due to being a very cheap instant. You've typically got a ton of things to do when you get to three mana, so Buried Alive got the bump.
Coalition Honor Guard: Reya's best friend against pesky Terminates, Recoils or Repulses. If you smell any of those three cards in your opponent's hand, make sure to get the Honor Guard in play ASAP to leave poor Reya nice and unmolested. The Honor Guard also protects you from getting burned out by unscrupulous red mages who don't want to play nice.
The sideboard is chock-full of utility creatures to adjust your maindeck depending on the matchups. Additional Cloudchasers help with problematic enchantments, the Standard Bearers wreck Opposition builds, Braids can be problematic for permanent-lite control decks, and the Iridescent Angels are unkillable by many decks. The key is to look at the main deck and see which creatures are less than optimal in the matchup, board them out and pick creatures that are much better in the matchup.
The deck is fun and effective, so if you're looking for something a little different to play at your next FNM, give it a whirl and let me know what you think!