Tag: boon-satyr

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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - July 29, 2014

GW Aggro by Scott Lipp (1st at SCG Kansas City Standard Open on July 2...

Champion’s Deck

Experiment One - GW Aggro

 

GW Aggro by Scott Lipp

1st at SCG Kansas City Standard Open on July 26th 2014

As a fan of Aggro decks but also someone who likes to see diversity in the format I was happy to see that it wasn’t Mono-Black Devotion that took the cake this past weekend. While not exactly a new concept this is quite a powerful and spicy little number. With its very aggressive curve it is poised to burst out of the gates and lay the smack down immediately to dispatch any opponent swiftly.

 

We begin the curve with a trio of one drops which are all set to attack for two power on turn two. Soldier of the Pantheon is a natural two power creature and also has the added benefit of working against multi-colored spells or creatures very well. The other two are Experiment One which should very easily begin evolving right off the bat and Sunblade Elf who is pumped by any of the 12 Plains in the deck and also acts as an anthem later in the game. Next in the two drop slot we have multi-colored creatures with a bane of Control decks Voice of Resurgence who leaves behind a token whenever he dies or if your opponent cast any spell on your turn, and Fleecemane Lion which if allowed to go monstrous becomes quite a tank and a force to be reckoned with. At the three spot there is Loxodon Smiter with four power to bring a swift demise to your opponent and is another bane against control as they will not be able to counter it. There is also the versatile Boon Satyr which is able to either come down as a creature and start delivering four damage cleaves or even Bestow another creature to pump it in for massive beats. The last creature is actually the instant Advent of the Wurm that is basically a flash 4/4 that you’ll be able to pop into play as a surprise defender if necessary or you’ll be able to keep mana up for a Charm and then call the Wurm at the end of turn if able. As an Aggro deck the three drop planeswalker Ajani, Caller of the Pride fits into the deck perfectly and is able to speed the beatdown plan up so you’re ending rounds quickly in proper Aggro fashion. The deck is removal light but does play a pseudo-Oblivion Ring catchall answer with Banishing Light to easily brush aside whatever is most threatening. And the final cog in the wheel is found with the versatile Selesnya Charm with three useful modes to either pump and grant Trample to either swing for the kill or save a blocked attacker in a trade situation, rid the board of a large creature threat, or even sneak in an extra creature either for more offense or a surprise blocker.

 

So as always with the dog days of summer upon us it’s hard to justify building this deck from scratch unless you plan to FNM every week or need something for your WMCQ. If you are an Aggro styled player then this is an awesome deck to play though and if you have the bigger pieces then take it for a spin. I am sure that you’ll not only beatdown like a baws but also have some good fun doing it. As for its longevity, with quite a few of the moving parts rotating out in a couple months there’s no certainty enough will remain to keep it a viable metagame call.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
Email: ejseltzer@hotmail.com
 
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Avatar Bruce Gray - July 20, 2014

Brewing on a Budget MTG Standard

Laboratory Maniac - Brewing on a Budget MTG

Brewing on a Budget MTG

by Bruce Gray – Casual Encounters

 

Since I started writing for Three Kings Loot back in February I’ve highlighted a fair number of decks.  The one thing that most of these decks have in common is that I would describe them all as being “budget” decks. This means that I am interested in trying to find a relatively inexpensive way to build a deck that is still powerful and presents a number of problems for my opponents.  These decks aren’t usually Tier 1 competitive decks, but they can surprise someone who underestimates what the deck can do.  Today, I’m going to showcase some budget substitutions that will allow you to build your own budget deck and help you to keep your cost down.  We’ll look at land, creatures, and lastly other spells in an effort to briefly touch on all the key elements of your very own budget deck.

 

Lands

If you routinely stop by here on The Bag of Loot you know that I have a thing for land.  Basically Magic is entirely dependent on the land you draw.  I don’t care how many awesome spells you have in your library, if you don’t have the land to cast them you are likely sunk (unless you’re playing Legacy/Vintage in which it seems possible to play with no land).  Without access to the correct land it doesn’t matter what spells you have, you’re likely to lose.  As a result, this is one of the few areas where you really can’t skimp too much.  You can use things like Guildgates and Life Gain lands from Zendikar if you aren’t fussy on format, but most people want to play Standard.  If you want to play Standard you need the lands.  It becomes even MORE apparent in the realm of Modern where Fetches and such are super expensive. Bottom line, unless you play Casually and you and your friends don’t mind you mixing in different things, you’re probably on the hook for having the “right” land for your deck.  Temples. Shocks. Mana Confluence. Nykthos. Guildgates. Pain Lands.  There is a large variety of lands available, some more expensive than others, but if you want to play you need to get the right ones for you and your deck and cheaping out and just running basics just won’t cut it usually.

 

Creatures

While you can’t cut corners on your land, you most certainly can make up ground with the suite of creatures you opt to run.  Basically, at almost each and every converted mana cost along the curve you can run a variety of choices. Now, the creatures that are very expensive in a given format are expensive because they are the optimal creature for that converted mana cost in that colour.  That doesn’t mean that alternatives don’t exist.  These alternatives are typically much cheaper and can help keep your cost down.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s look at a few examples.

 

Let’s start with Stormbreath Dragon.  4/4 flying for 5 mana and has haste, protection from white, and a Monstrosity ability.  There’s no doubt this is a premium creature and well worth the $15 a card you’ll pay as a single.  However, there are other options available to you if you really wanted to run a creature at the 5 spot that was more inexpensive.  Hypersonic Dragon is the same 4/4 with haste and 5 mana (although a blue and red are part of its casting) meaning it could fit the bill.  Scourge of Valkas from M14 fits those stats pretty well too and is still a dragon.  Both of these options are red, can fill the same hole in your deck and cost you significantly less in terms of money to pick up.

 

Blood Baron of Vizkopa is another 5 mana creature, this one is 4/4 with protection from white and black, lifelink,  and can trigger some ridiculous bonus if you have enough life, or your opponent is running low on  life.  Some other options at 5 cmc are Serra Angel (which is unexciting, but still perfectly viable), Keepsake Gorgon, and Celestial Archon.  These are all very playable at five and are even in Black and White so they can hold a spot in your deck.  Don’t let me fool you…Blood Baron is the optimal choice, but if you’re budget is tight, these guys are viable options.

 

Polukranos a 4 mana for 5/5 hydra with a ridiculous Monstrosity ability.  This one is tough to replace because 5/5 for 4 mana AND has an ability is pretty ridiculous.  However, there are a few options available like Deadbridge Goliath. This is probably the closest from a statistical standpoint, and isn’t a bad card and makes a suitable alternative.  If you can splash another colour, Reaper of the Wilds is another solid option and much cheaper as well.  A 4/5 for 4 mana is pretty close and the abilities on it make it a tricky critter to deal with…and costs a fraction of what Polukranos costs.

 

Soldier of the Pantheon– The aggro decks out there are not immune from having some pricey cards too.  Soldier of the Pantheon is a $2 card that is a 2/1 for 1 mana.  There is no doubt that they are an optimal 1 drop to kick start your beatdown with an aggro deck, but $8 for four 1 mana creatures leaves me scratching my head and my wallet empty.  You could opt instead to run Favoured Hoplite or Satyr Hoplite, both 1 drops that can lead the beat down band wagon for you in place of the Soldier.  They need a little more work than the Soldier, but with their Heroic triggers might give you a bigger beat stick with which to bring the pain.  If you really wanted the 2/1 for 1 you can instead turn to RTR block and grab the Dryad Militant as an inexpensive option.

 

Boon Satyr – This super awesome 4/2 for 3 mana is a staple in Green decks, but can also Bestow for a very reasonable 5 mana…oh…and has flash.  There is really nothing else that approaches this level of versatility, explosive damage, and just being down right nasty to play against.  No wonder it’s $1.50 a card.  However, you could run Feral Invocation if you were looking for the Flash aura effect.  If you wanted the Flash effect on a creature, Briarpack Alpha probably comes closest as a 3/3 for 4 mana and a fun Enter the Battlefield trigger.

 

Brimaz, King of Oreskos– King Kitty is a huge threat at 3 mana and the abilities packed on him are just full on value…no wonder he’s $20 a card.  However, if you wanted a card with just about as much devastating punch, Fabled Hero runs you about a $1 and packs double strike and heroic.  Things can get out of control very quickly with our Hero…and the extra money you saved will bring a smile to your face as well.

 

Now, these are just some suggestions for substitutes in your deck to help keep the cost down.  All the substitutions have significant drawbacks compared to the optimal creatures in the deck.  I fully admit that a Serra Angel doesn’t stack up with Blood Baron very well, and that Fabled Hero is a poor substitute for King Kitty.  However, if you’re wallet can’t handle the $80 to pick up a playset of Brimaz, Fabled Hero can do in a pinch.

 

Spells

Spells are a little tougher to replace.  The super expensive spells and staples of a format are that way because they don’t have a substitute…or at least not exactly.  The thing is spells don’t leave behind a body that can be utilized after they have been cast, so you need the impact of the spell itself to be pretty terrific.  However, there are a few options for some of the spells.

 

Thoughtseize– This Legacy playable piece of hand disruption just crushes decks by stripping away all the most important pieces of your opponent’s hand.  It really is crippling…and it is going to be in rotation for another 14 months! Yikes.  However, at $20 a card is a little steep.  Duress is probably the closest option and is regularly reprinted.  It is a little more limited in terms of what it hits, but let’s be honest, you are almost always going to take an instant or sorcery spell from your opponent because you can find other answers in your deck to deal with creatures and planeswalkers.  So, Duress is a reasonable substitute.  Brain Maggot is another possible route, and it even gives you a body.  Sin Collector is the last option, but for 3 mana is significantly slower and not as optimal.

 

Supreme Verdict- Premium 4 mana wrath effects are always key to a control player’s strategy.  Supreme Verdict really has no equal because it also can’t be countered…meaning that you hit it and your opponent cries every time as they watch their board disappear.  However, at $8 a card this can burn a hole pretty quickly in your wallet.  The only REAL option is Planar Cleansing…but it’s a 6 mana sorcery…which feels kind of yucky.  Fated Retribution is another option…but it’s 7 mana (although thankfully at instant speed).  These can do in a pinch if you really want to play the control game, but you may have to alter you game strategy because you’ll need to get to at least 6 mana to have either of those spells come online.

 

Sphinx’s Revelation- Ok, there is no equal to this card.  Mass card draw AND life gain is a Control player’s dream come true.  However, the most important piece is always the card draw because it gives you access to more resources.  Divination is the cleanest way to get access to some of the card drawing power of Sphinx’s Revelation, but Jace’s Ingenuity from M15 will be another option that draws 3 cards for 5 mana at least at instant speed meaning you can jam it on your opponent’s turn. After that, you can play poorer spells like Inspiration, or the more expensive Opportunity, but you’re still longing to get a Sphinx’s Revelation and run it.

 

Hero’s Downfall- Instant speed spot removal of creatures AND Planeswalkers is huge.  However, Black has lots of good removal right now ranging from Ultimate Price to Bile Blight to Doom blade.  This means that Black decks should have no issue dealing with creatures…pick your removal spell of choice and go to work. Planeswalkers are tougher, but you can always resort to fighting them directly which always gives you at least one option.

 

Planeswalkers- I have no substitute for a Planeswalker.  Honestly, they represent 3 (or 4) potential different spells and abilities that you just can’t replace in your deck.  You can try but prioritizing which of the abilities are most pertinent to you and your deck and substituting for cards that recreate that effect, but you still need to pay for it while the Planeswalker can replicate that effect for free turn after turn.  No, there’s no real option to playing these guys if you want to emulate a Tier 1 deck, but lots of decks can also run just fine without a Planeswalker (just look at Mono-Black Devotion decks that typically run no Planeswalkers).

 

Well, there we have some options to help limit the damage done to your bank account while still allowing you to play and have fun with some solid decks.  Of course the options available go up significantly when you start shifting formats from Standard to Modern, but so do the price tags on the optimal cards.  I hope this was helpful to you guys and that it gives you a few options to go out and brew some of your own decks using some of these alternative pieces.

 

Thanks for reading and until next time Keep it fun, keep it safe…keep it casual.

 

Bruce Gray
@bgray8791
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - February 24, 2014

Champion’s Deck – GR Monsters by Jonathon Habel (1st at SC...

Xenagos The Reveler

G/R Monsters

Jonathon Habel

1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 2/22/2014

No groundbreaking shake-up to be found here just a solid and consistent Midrange deck which aims to throw huge beaters at you whirled up with powerful planeswalkers to gain advantage.
Start it up with a ramp package consisting of Elvish Mystic and Sylvan Caryatid which is an integral cog in the machine to power your monster out ahead of the curve. The deck runs Scavenging Ooze as its two drop which can come down early but is best once there is already food in the graveyard for him to grow fatter upon. The main threats in the deck come in the form of the ‘Monstrous’  Polukranos, World Eater and Stormbreath Dragon ready to rip chunks of life from your opponent. Then you have the buffs in Ghor-Clan Rampager and Boon Satyr both of which can either make your monsters into ridiculously large game-enders or can turn your little guys into formidable threats in a pinch. The creatures are backed up primarily by the powerful dynamic duo of planeswalkers in Domri Rade and Xenagos, the Reveler with a little additional assistance from Garruk, Caller of Beasts. We have very few spells in this extremely creaturecentric deck finding a trio of the powerful onesided sweeper Mizzium Mortars and also a copy of Flesh // Blood which is used almost solely for the Blood half as removal or burn but the other half could be used with black mana from a Caryatid if necessary.

This deck is nothing new as this big monster strategy has been very successful for the past few months but what strikes me as odd was that the new players from Born of the Gods Xenagos, God of Revels and Courser of Kruphix are inexplicably absent from this list. Seeing as he did win the event I’m not so much questioning the decision but more wondering the reasoning, was it some sort of meta choice or more of a card selection issue.

Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - February 13, 2014

Deck of the Day – Golgari Midrange by Ben Dugan (21st at SCG Nas...

Golgari Charm
B/G Midrange
Ben Dugan
21st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 2/8/2014
Lands (23)

Creatures (22)

Spells (15)

Sideboard

Going several months back we find the original shell of this deck that was dubbed Kibler Golgari after the idea was pioneered by Brian Kibler. The basic premise was good valued beefy creatures powered out by some ramp, backed up by potent removal and some discard. Much of that previous shell still makes up the basis of this list just a little more streamlined and with a couple new toys from Born of the Gods.
It all starts out with the decks ramp in the form of Elvish Mystic, and while not a necessity for the deck is certainly welcome to speed it up. While it is the decks two drop you can hold back from playing your Scavenging Ooze until you have some free mana open and targets in the grave to boost him especially against burn spells from red. The deck is capable of pushing a powerful assault right out of the gate with the hasty Dreg Mangler especially if you’re lucky with Mystic first turn. The other three drops in the deck really double as fives with the Bestow creatures Boon Satyr and BNG newcomer Herald of Torment either fortifying your other creatures on the board but also easily dropping unbestowed to pound the assault.  We find the true powerhouse in four drop Reaper of the Wilds which at 4/5 is already a force to be reckoned as is but tack on incidental Deathtouch to kill high toughness creatures or Hexproof to protect itself from spot removal as a bonus. But the real value from Reaper is the Scry 1 which trigger whenever ANY creature dies. So it effectively throws a Scry onto each of your removal spell or even any chump blocks.
Speaking of removal spells is chock full of them with Hero’s Downfall, Abrupt Decay and another BNG newcomer Bile Blight able to take down a variety of different problems. There is also Golgari charm with the versatility to either sweep away token armies, rid the board of pesky enchantments like Underworld Connections or Bident of Thassa and perhaps most importantly save your troops from sweepers like Supreme Verdict. We wrap up the package with a full set of Thoughtseize which not only provide invaluable information about the opponents game plan but also as a way to deal with otherwise difficult to deal with threats like an Indestructible god.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter
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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - November 26, 2013

Deck of the Day – Golgari Aggro (Top 8 SCG Providence Standard Open)

Dreg Mangler
Golgari Aggro
Dustin Brewer
7th Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 11/24/2013
Land (24)

Creatures (26)

Spells (10)

Sideboard

Here we have an interesting list that many have dubbed as Kibler Golgari.  There were a few pros piloting this style deck at the GP last weekend but apparently it was ill positioned against the field on Sunday.  With a high concentration of creatures this deck is heavily invested in turning cards sideways.  The gold boardered creatures which are almost unique to this deck in Lotleth Troll, Dreg Mangler, Varolz and Reaper provide some hefty beef and synergy to the deck.  The ability to turn every creature in the graveyard into a scavenge from Varolz works well with Lotleth allowing discard and works to get you some big beaters into play.  Speaking of big creatures Polukranos, Boon Satyr and Reaper provide the deck with a fast clock to any decks that aren’t prepared for the onslaught.  Utility from Scavenging Ooze and some acceleration from Mystic round out the package.  The creatures are backed up by a strong removal foursome of Hero’s Downfall, Abrupt Decay, Putrefy and Golgari Charm to clear the board of most any threats.  Thoughtseize also plays in as some light disruption and certainly one of the better black one drops in standard.

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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - November 25, 2013

Deck of the Day: Naya Aggro ( Grand Prix Albuquerque Standard Top 8 )

Fleecemane Lion
Naya Aggro
Andrew Hanson
Grand Prix Albuquerque – Top 8 Standard
Lands (24)
Other spells (16)
Planeswalkers (3)

Sideboard

Now here’s a pretty wild looking deck.  With a very strong curve of Soldier into Voice into Reckoner into Advent it has some serious beef out of the gate.  Backed up with Satyr and Fleecemane with an Ooze for utility it has a very aggressive creature package.  Using Chandra as a source of card advantage it also helps to slip by any nuisance blockers.  Finally it is rounded out with a removal package of Chained to the Rocks & Lightning Strike, which doubles as reach to hit the dome, and Mizzium as a sweeper.  The Charm is there for some real utility that can either push through some lethal damage with trample or surprise an alpha strike with a knight…but most important may be the exile mode as a way to deal with pesky Gods.

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Avatar Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - October 23, 2013

Deck of the Day: Jon Stern Red-Green Beats (Grand Prix Louisville – ...

Stormbreath Dragon

Red-Green Beats

Jon Stern

Grand Prix Louisville – Top 8 Standard

24 lands

27 creatures

3 other spells

6 planeswalkers

Sideboard

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