[Editor's Note: Frequently we will get submissions that try to tell us how good a"bad deck" is. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are completely off-base. With that in mind, I'm starting a new article tag called"Food For Thought." These articles will still be published as strategy, but when you read them you should recognize that they are testing wild, rogue ideas that work according to the author, or the decks that are discussed provide interesting builds that may not be rigorously tested, but perhaps exhibit a decent foundation for future decks.
Doing this allows us to continue publishing crazy decks like the one below while acknowledging that they may not be ready for primetime. After all, you never know when the next Trix deck will be discovered, or when Dream's Grip and Twiddle will become the catalysts for the latest rendition of Mind's Desire decks.]
Well, I have spent three solid days playing Darksteel Apprentice, and the verdict is in: It's all aggro. If you haven't been playing around with Darksteel, you won't believe the consistency that Standard can offer. And instead of writing about another Extended deck this week, I felt as though this would be a good change of pace. Well, before we get into all of the beautiful decks you have been thinking about, I am going to do a little card analysis, but not much, because I'm sure it will get overdone as it is.
The life-artifacts: Angel's Feathers, Demon's Horn, Dragon's Claw, Kraken's Eye, and Wurm's Tooth - They suck. Even if you and your opponent are both playing mono-Green, they still suck, with one exception with Wurm's Tooth.
Modular Guys: Well, unfortunately, they aren't very good. (But then again, I thought Madness was dumb when it came out.) The exception is Arcbound Ravager, of course.
Indestructible: I personally think this was just a way to give Affinity the upper hand against W/U, but really, it comes in handy in certain situations, but the cost of the permanents is usually huge, most notably Darksteel Forge.
The Land: Affinity creatures: Oxida Golem, Razor Golem, Tangle Golem, and Dross Golem are broken as anything else in this format, especially Tangle Golem and Razor Golem. Go build mono-colored decks just to use these.
Charge Counters: It just isn't going to happen. Sorry.
Just incredible - play decks built around him.
Super beat down and good for chump blocking. Every deck aside from Affinity should run four.
R&D really wants R/G beats to come back.
Possibly the best card in the set. It really is too fast for Type 2.
Well, those are my favorites from this set. Now, onto what decks you will run into.
Okay. I played twenty-seven or so matches of Darksteel Type 2, and these are what decks I ran into:
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
This deck is incredibly fast. Of course, there will be some variation from deck to deck, but I personally believe that this is the best build, or at least very good. It overruns you with creatures, and if you are running control, it burns you with Sulfuric Vortexes coming in from the board. It is a very consistent deck. Mask of Memory is my personal favorite for the Equipment slot, but Loxodon Warhammer would do better against control decks.
4 Loxodon Warhammer
This deck is basically exactly the same as red beats, but with the life gain, can become much more annoying much quicker. It is a force to be reckoned with. Affinity will crumble to this deck, with even more artifact/enchantment hate in the board, like four Naturalize and four Hum of the Radix.
This is the one exception of the badness of Wurm's Tooth. Basically, this deck can pump an Ageless Entity to a 12/12 or higher by turn 6 or 7, and usually have some other beats to go along with it. Remember when Force of Nature was popular? Well, this is Force of Nature's little cousin. This deck is a lot faster than it looks on paper, and like all of the other decks, consistent. All of this variety is what makes Darksteel such a good set.
The only changes in our three big hitters is in Affinity, with the inclusion of Retract. This makes Akroma's Vengeance a big risk to cast. Affinity players tend to be sneaky, so you never really know. And now, I guess I've just been giving you decklists which I know the editor doesn't like, so here is a little more in depth look at my own deck that by the way, did extremely well. But that might have had something to do with the fact that I anticipated the environment.
Definitely not what you were expecting, or maybe it was, but how should I know. Anyway, the point is that this deck really rocks. Here is a card choice analysis for the cards that have you raising your eyebrows:
Wall of Hope
Because so many decks rely on one really heavy hitter, this card, for W, gives me just the life burst I need for the next couple of turns, and it gains tempo magnificently.
Yes, four. They are part of my heavy hitting team. They also give huge amounts of life gain, which can really help, and Green and Red don't really have a good answer to it. (God it feels funny worrying about Green and Red)
The best creature in the deck, especially for only three mana. A turn 3 3/4, attacking doesn't cause this to tap, is a good card in my book.
The Pristine Angels are really fun, and they have awesome artwork. Also, they might as well be invincible.
Read Wall of Hope.
Sword of Fire and Ice
Helps dramatically against control decks, plus it has really cool artwork.
Kills control decks, hands down.
That's the briefest of looks at some new deck ideas that Darksteel brings to the table. I hope you enjoyed it and let me know what you think in the forums.