Is it my turn to fall in love with a really bad card, yet think it is the best thing since sliced bread? I remember seeing Michael Flores fall head over heels for Druidic Satchel last year. He put that card in every other decklist, and even though it was terrible he still loved it to its dying day. Kibler has Daybreak Ranger. Luis Scott-Vargas has Loxodon Hierarch. Conley has whatever he is playing in any given week. I guess my turn has come to fall in love with a Magic card. Everyone, meet my new lover.
I know she is a bit rough around the edges and needs some TLC to get off the ground, but boy is this a Magic card! Many people I've talked to have compared this card to Druidic Satchel since its impact on the game is similar. Both cards have the ability to generate card advantage over the course of a game but need some time to set up. The biggest difference is that you will always know what effect you are getting out of Trading Post.
Before I get into what this card can do, I want to talk about what it cannot do. Trading Post cannot win a game of Magic on its own. That's right, the card I've fallen in love with cannot even win a game of Magic. That shouldn't be taken too lightly in this day and age of the game. It's summer again, when Standard is at its biggest and the decks are at their best. Not to mention that all of the cards are unbelievably overpowered right now, which means a card has to be very good to be played if it doesn't have the ability to close a game out. I wish you could choose who/what you fall in love with, but that's what makes us human.
What this card does best is give you options. Lots and lots of options. The decision trees that branch out from this card are endless. Most of the time the texture of the game will dictate which ability you are forced to use, but the sky is the limit when you are not under any pressure. That is when this card does most of its work creating card advantage, card selection, board presence, and inevitability.
Finding a home for Trading Post is the biggest hurdle and obviously step one. Instead of just sticking this card in a deck, I think it is best to find what cards best interact with it first.
Trading Post and Friends
This metal titan is one of the most powerful cards in Standard right now. Almost every deck has a tough time dealing with this guy, with the exception being public enemy number one. Delver and its Vapor Snag / Snapcaster Mage package keep this card from ever having an impact on the game. Zealous Conscripts can also ruin one's fun by stealing and killing the Wurmcoil Engine's creator.
None of this is possible with Trading Post in play as long as you have a single untapped mana.
Not only does this create two more threats, but it draws a card as well. Next turn you can then sacrifice one of the tokens to put it back into play. This is by far the most exciting thing Trading Post can do!
Ichor and Mycosynth Wellspring
Both of these cards play into the do-nothing side of Trading Post, but could be potentially worth it. These cards tend to lean more towards a Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas style deck because of how important it is to have an artifact waiting for the arrival of the metallic planeswalker. Not only do these cards help smooth out early draws, but they are a decent source of artifacts for metalcraft as well as card advantage in the later stages of the game. Phyrexia's Core used to be the go-to for sac outlets before Trading Post. Trading Post does cost mana, but freeing up extra land slots means the mana base will get better for the Tezzeret deck.
I sound like Ali Aintrazi right now, don't I? I understand that Mindslaver is very expensive and that its effect might not always be game ending, but it is extremely powerful when it can be used for multiple turns in a row. Trading Post might not be Academy Ruins when it comes to Mindslaver, but it is damn close.
I played this deck in Minneapolis a couple months ago, and it is a perfect shell for this combo.
- 4 Phyrexian Metamorph
- 1 Spellskite
- 4 Wurmcoil Engine
- 4 Grand Architect
- 3 Merfolk Looter
- 4 Phantasmal Image
- 4 Snapcaster Mage
This deck was based around doing one of three things depending on the opponent. You either wanted to make as many Wurmcoil Engines as you could, as many Grand Architects as you could, or in the rare case when the opponent was doing more powerful things, make as many of whatever they had as you could. This deck was able to generate a ton of mana by using Grand Architect, and the same could be done with Trading Post and Mindslaver if a few Treasure Mages found their way into the deck.
I don't think this one will see much play, but this interaction is interesting at least. Precursor Golem has always been a bit of risky spell to play because of his negative ability. Trading Post "solves" this by allowing you to sacrifice the Golem with his come into play ability on the stack. Not only do you get to draw a card, but you also don't have to worry about getting three-for-oned. The only problem is that Wurmcoil Engine is just better for one more mana.
Everyone can dream, right?
I don't think this combo will see much action, but it could be interesting if the time's ever right for it.
Finding a Home
The first place to look is fairly obvious. Tezzeret style decks have not gotten much love, but every once and a while someone has a decent finish with the deck on Magic Online. This is the version of the deck I am working on right now.
Whipflare seems like an all-star right now. Talrand, Sky Summoner is on everyone's radar for the Delver mirror, which makes me feel that very few Delver lists will have a single creature that survives this card. The midrange versions of Delver will still exist, and even though Whipflare does nothing against them, they tend to be on the slower side, which allows Tezzeret to do some work.
The mana base is untested, so it will need some work. The most important thing to keep in mind is the amount of Scars of Mirrodin lands that are in the deck. You do not want this number to be too high because most of the lands will come into play untapped in the early turns and it shouldn't be too hard to get red anyway. They won't solve too many issues, but they will cause many problems in the later turns of the game when they constantly come into play tapped.
I don't want to get too greedy on the number of Trading Posts in the deck. Two seems like a fair number because even though it does do some very powerful things, it still isn't as good as Tezzeret himself. I want to have one around when I eventually want to cast a Wurmcoil Engine, but I really don't want to get flooded with multiple copies either.
The Gut Shots in the sideboard are specifically for Infect. Not only is this deck going to be very strong, but people will latch onto it very quickly. I expect Mono-Green Infect to be extremely popular at the next couple of SCG Open Series, so being prepared for the matchup is crucial.
Michael Flores wrote about a MBC deck a couple weeks ago based around artifacts to gain card advantage. The funny thing is that the most impressive cards for the deck were right around the corner in M13.
For years now, Mono-Black Control fans have been screaming for Wizards to reprint Phyrexian Arena. Trading Post might not be as efficient as Phyrexian Arena, but it doesn't mean it can't be just as powerful. This is the tool that Mono-Black has needed for a while now. Card advantage is tough to come by these days, and everything you could ever need is wrapped up in Trading Post. This card gains life, creates chump blockers, and draws cards. I've been playing Magic for a while now, and I feel that these are all things control decks like.
All this deck is trying to do is survive long enough to attrition out an opponent. It's that simple. Trading Post is super powerful in this deck because it helps turn parity into advantage by creating whatever resource that will pull you ahead. If the battle is based around card advantage, Trading Post can sacrifice one Solemn Simulacrum to bring back another from the graveyard. Not only do you draw a card, but you also get to find another land out of your deck. This trick alone will usually be powerful enough to close out a game.
Trading Post also protects Wurmcoil Engine in the same ways I talked about earlier. This is a great way to actually have a good threat against Delver opponents and will take Wurmcoil Engine from an unplayable in the matchup to the strongest way to win the game.
It has been a very long time since I played Friday Night Magic, but I will be doing so this weekend. I don't know what it is, but Trading Post is bringing back something I haven't felt in a very long time when it comes to Magic. So you guys let me know in the comments which deck you want me to play, and I will let you guys know how it did on Twitter (@fffreakmtg).
My buddy Chris Lachmann told me about this deck earlier this week. It is completely rough around the edges, and I don't think it has any chance of seeing serious competitive play. It is a glass cannon, and its weakness is any creature removal. It might be weak to a sweeper, but it is super fun to play and definitely something to consider for Friday Night Magic if you like playing goofy decks.