With all the new cards spoiled from Shadows over Innistrad I have been excited to go back and dig up a bunch of my cards from the original Innistrad block and I found a couple of old decks that were still largely intact. There are a number of cards that I forgotten about and digging them up inspired me to build a deck using many of these cards.
The two biggest incentives are to play Mayor of Avabruck, a werewolf from our first visit to Innistrad who is just a beating. Part Human lord. Part Werewolf lord. All value. I dug out my playset of the Mayor and was super excited to dust them off. The second one is a card that I would argue starts to push the bounds of a budget deck. Legion Loyalist has seen his price climb higher and higher in recent weeks to the point where he is north of $10. For a 1/1 with Haste for 1 mana that seems steep, but I guess he’s slightly more budget than Tarmogoyf. Either way, finding these cards had me assemble a Naya Blitz deck very similar to one played in Standard back a couple of years ago. Despite the fact that recycling an old deck is not always a great idea this might be a list that could port to Modern and be fairly explosive.
Here’s my list:
On the whole, the deck is fairly inexpensive with the exception of Legion Loyalist thanks to the recent spike. The spells are also cheap to play and readily available without much difficulty. The only real difficulty is the mana base which, as we all know, is always expensive. The Wooded Foothills are currently *$25/card and the Shocklands all currently run about *$10/ card making for over *$200 in mana alone. That doesn’t even include a 4 of Windswept Heath, not because I don’t want to run them but because I don’t actually own a copy. So, let’s be generous and say that this deck costs less than *$300 ( more like $250) but could scale significantly if you wanted to run it. In a format where there are decks that can cost far more without even breaking a sweat this could be a budget entry point into Modern that is easier for some players to digest.
Some fancy upgrades you could make to the deck including putting in Tarmogoyf as the best 2 drop creature Green has to offer. Scavenging Ooze could be another choice, but it gets a little mana intensive and would be better as a sideboard card to try and gain back some life against particular matchups. Atarka’s Command would be an ideal upgrade and another very flexible card in these colours. Wild Nacatl would be a powerful addition as well. I could go on for days listing other powerful Modern staples, but I think you see the point…if you wanted to up the price tag there are lots of options to do so.
The game plan is simple. Hit the board early and often with fast creatures that pack a mean punch. Loyalist and the Swiftspear come in with Haste and Flinthoof Boar might join them meaning you could after your opponent’s life total early and often. The real question is if you can chain Burning-Tree Emissaries together into a Mayor of Avabruck or more Boars to really spread your board out wide and put the pressure on before your opponent is set. Burning-Tree Shaman is the only creature at the 3 spot, but might be a good choice in this list because it is a 3/4 for 3 mana meaning it survives a Lightning Bolt. I might opt to increase the number of the Shaman and shave something off as I go. Gore-Clan Rampager does double duty as a 4/4 beater but also as a pump spell should you need to extend your reach and smash your opponent harder. Lastly the Regent might just be good insurance if you need to get a little further into the game.
The spells are pretty easy. Boros Charm is just very versatile with every mode having some sort of application in this deck. Do you need to burn out your opponent? You got it. Save your creature by giving it Indestructible? Okey-Dokey. Double down on the damage with Double-Strike? Yes Please! Lightning Bolt is also another no brainer if you’re playing Red. Giant Growth could be a very powerful option to help push through additional damage. Mutagenic Growth might be a better option, but since I don’t have any of those Giant Growth will need to do for the present. Mad Cap Skills is the only card I am unsure of and is very much a holdover from when I played this in Standard. It is a pretty powerful way to push through damage by granting your creature a form of pseudo evasion. The problem is that you can find your creature burned out or Pathed easily enough that you set yourself up for a 2 for 1. It might be the first card I side out every game but as it stands right now I have it in the deck. The sideboard is very much a work in progress, but the cards I have listed here are a starting point and can be built on depending on your local metagame.
The obvious weakness of the list is that Anger of the Gods and Pyroclasm absolutely wreck it. Nothing like having your whole deck go up in flames. You have a few things that can live through the Red board wipes, but the truth is that those just wreck your deck. I’m not sure if it is fast enough for Burn or for Affinity, but it might have a chance against some of the more Mid-rangey decks. Regardless, the deck is a bit of a glass cannon and you need to get out to fast start and get them dead fast because once you run out of gas you are in big trouble.
It isn’t a pretty deck and lacks some of the subtly that other decks in the format afford, but as far as a Budget entry point into Modern this looks like it might fit the bill. The cards aren’t overly expensive and should be accessible as they have seen fairly recent printings meaning most players can assemble the deck. With some practice and refining of the sideboard this could become a fairly reasonable deck to sit down and sling spells with. Who said you can’t go back home again?
Thanks for taking the time to stop in and have a read. Please be sure to stop in next time for another Casual Encounter.
@bgray8791 on Twitter
Welcome everyone to this edition of “My top cards from Standard” pt.1 for Dragon’s Maze.
We see a diverse meta starting to form with the exciting new release of Dragon’s Maze and decks have evolved a lot since my last Top cards from Gatecrash. It’s a small set, but it has a lot of powerful multicolored cards adding tools to decks like Jund, Bant, Junk, and Grixis. Although we see a few two colored decks, three colored decks are preferred as we can see with the results put up so far. We’ll take a closer look at some of the top cards I’ve found for Standard and I’ve pulled up some of this weekends top decks to see them in action. There are more cards then just these that will get played in standard, but this is already quite a lot to look at. I’ll be continuing in part 2.
Sire of insanity: This guy makes coming out the gates strong really pay off, and especially if you’re ahead you can really lock the win once your opponent discard their hand. An especially good tool versus control decks. We see him in almost all Jund builds right now.
Putrefy: Great removal and easier to cast then Murder that can’t be regenerated with the added option of removing artifacts instead like Staff of Nin or Rakdos Keyrune for instance. Another great tool for Jund that’s also in some Junk sideboards.
2nd Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Gaze of Granite: Finally a decent sweeper for Jund and BUG, kind of like a new Pernicious deed that you need to pay for all up front. It’s starting to see some play in some Jund sideboards like this one:
6th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Deadbridge Chant: I’ve heard a few people wanting to brew with this card. For now we’ve seen copies in Jund sideboards like this next list. They want to abuse it by exiling their graveyard to make sure that they always recur the same spell, like a Rakdos’s Return for instance, each turn. This is a sick card and I’d love to see more decks abusing it.
4th Place at StarCityGames.com Classic on 5/12/2013
Voice of resurgence: This badboy 2-drop should see a lot of play in this standard meta coming up and those to follow. Will it become on par or even better than others like Tarmogoyf, Dark confidant, Stoneforge mystic and Snapcaster Mage? Only time will tell.
First off two versions of Junk Reanimator, one from Ali Aintrazi with an Angel of Serenity plan using 4 Voice of Resurgence in it’s sideboard in the list right below. The other reanimator uses Immortal Servitude as tech using all 2 drops including Voice of Resurgence.
Next we have two Bant versions: Bant Auras and Bant Flash. Replacing an old favorite one-drop Delver of Secrets with Voice of Resurgence in Bant Auras in the third list. Combining Geist of Saint Traft and Invisible Stalker with Voice of Resurgence in the auras deck makes opponents options awkward when trying to answer your auras. Bant Flash however is also keeping it in its sideboard with the fourth list. You will see further below that Bant Auras and Bant Flash are also using other Dragon’s Maze cards that had high expectations.
9th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
2nd Place at StarCityGames.com Classic on 5/12/2013
Unflinching Courage: This new Loxodon Warhammer style aura is quite powerful. When played at the right time you can take over a game even in limited. We find it here in Bant Auras as an easier to cast replacement to Gift of Orzhova. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see another version of Naya blitz using it in it’s side.
4th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Advent of the Wurm: This Awesome 5/5 4-drop is one of my favorite new cards from Dragon’s Maze, except you’re summoning this badboy at instant speed. It allows you to abuse cards like Augur of Bolas and Snapcaster mage like in this Bant Flash list. Who said Sphinx’s revelation was dead yet? I also added a sweet G/W Token list with Advent of the Wurm and Voice of Resurgence.
7th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Renounce the Guilds: Interesting new removal tool we see in Bant control’s sideboard, the only permanent you might lose is your Wurm token. This is good against Planeswalkers like Ral Zarek or used like Devour Flesh against Geist of Saint-Traft .
17th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Viashino Firstblade: It’s an aggressive 3-drop as a 4/4 when it comes out with haste. This can get hard to manage when you’re facing a deck like this Naya Blitz version.
5th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Ruric Thar, the Unbowed: I imagine this guy must be a beast against decks like Bant Auras and Bant Flash, making it awkward to remove anything once he’s on the board especially if you’re behind at all. This next Naya list went on to win 1st place.
1st Place at StarCityGames.com Classic on 5/12/2013
We see another version of the Naya Blitz list here with 4 Frontline Medic in the main instead of Viashino Firstblade. He also opted for 3 Unflinching Courage in the side, the new Loxodon Warhammer-style aura from Dragon’s Maze.
8th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Sin Collector: This is a weaker Duress on a stick. We see him in some of the new Junk Reanimator lists. Also used in The Aristocrats deck where he makes a good sacrifice to Falkenrath Aristocrat since he’s human.
12th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Profit // Loss: Can be used as a combat trick for all of your creatures or a sweeper against opponents opposing Falkenrath Aristocrat, their Invisible Stalker or if you prefer take out all there dorks like Arbor Elf and Avacyn’s Pilgrim. You can always fuse it for best results with that all out swing. We see The Aristocrats with one in the sideboard.
Wear // Tear: This versatile fuse card is an answer for artifacts like Staff of Nin or if you prefer to remove an enchantment like Unflinching Courage you can too. This is the second fuse card we’ve found in an Aristocrats deck like this one:
13th Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013
Ral Zarek: The newest Planeswalker in the roster which has neat abilities. His first one can be used to tap an opponents blocker or a land to screw up his answers, then it gets interesting where you can untap a land to ramp up or a permanent to get his effect a second time, like Izzet Staticaster in this next Grixis Control list. Ral Zarek’s second ability is probably one of the most played cards in Magic a Lightning Bolt with two bolts before he croaks. His ultimate ability with an average of 2.5 Time Walk each time will get you so far ahead it will be hard for opponents to recoup, but not impossible.
Far // Away: Another great split card. In this current meta I believe you want to use Far against Bant Auras to bounce an enchanted creature and then Away against his Geist of Saint Traft. Here’s the Grixis Control deck using it in sideboard probably for exactly that.
83rd Place at StarCityGames.com Standard Open on 5/12/2013