Fanatic of Mogis

So by now everybody has gotten their hooks or teeth into the Born of the Gods expansion and have probably started to brew up a hundred new decks or just stuck to minor modifications to current decks in the format.  Well, I’m not exception.  But I’m not going to look at Standard today, I want to look at Theros Block Constructed.

For those who don’t know what Block Constructed is, it is where you create a deck based off of cards from only a block.  Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?  If you haven’t gotten it yet I will give you an example.  The previous block involved Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash, and Dragon’s Maze, and if you constructed a deck out of only those cards then you would have a Block Constructed deck.  So that means, if we move to the present block, that we are going to only use Theros and Born of the Gods for this exercise.

If you are asking why we would do something like this, and potentially ‘gimp’ ourselves in design space, you need to read my previous article about Pauper and how restricting your card selection forces you to look at things differently, challenges you more, and makes you see cards that you wouldn’t have normally looked at.  Not to mention an exercise like this can prepare you for when the eventual standard format rotates.

I am going to use a focus card for this article, and one that caused a little bit of a stir when it wa previewed, Ragemonger.

I don’t know how many creatures or cards in the past have been able to reduce coloured cost of creature spells being cast, but there aren’t that many.  Colourless cards have been printed throughout the ages starting from the days of Urza’s Incubator all the way through the Scourge with the Warchiefs, and beyond.  But coloured cost is something special.  It makes playing creatures much easier, most of them turning into colourless casing only, leaving you free to keep up whatever mana you need for your combat tricks and removal in your hand.

So, how can we abuse this?  Let’s take a look at some of the more prominent Minotaurs that showed their heads in the last two sets.

Fanatic of Mogis, a devotion based Flametongue Kavu that hits your opponent’s life total instead of a creature.  While sometimes that creature removal is preferred, it can’t be denied how much damage he can cause, especially if you remove the coloured mana costs.  Can you imagine being able to spend three generic mana to get what he can do?

Felhide Spiritbinder, a creature with the new mechanic Inspired.  When he becomes untapped, presumably during your untap step after having attacked with him the turn before, you can pay two mana to make a token copy of a creature you control and give it haste until the end of your turn.  When you combine this with other minotaurs that have Enter the Battlefield abilities, such as the above mentioned Fanatic of Mogis, it can quickly get out of hand.

Kragma Warcaller is one of the biggest creatures that can be affected by Ragemonger, reducing his casting cost from five converted mana cost down to three.  Would you like to play a turn four Warcaller for only three mana? Can you imagine how much damage that would punch your opponent for?  Imagine if you copied it with Spellbinder?! Such potential.

Oracle of Bones, a new creature from Born of the Gods using the Tribute mechanic.which will either pump him up to a decent 5/3 or keep him at 3/1 and grant you a “free” instant or sorcery from your hand. (Side note: Going standard this can make split cards from Dragon’s Maze with fuse free, see Toil // Trouble)

And lastly the new Minotaur Lord, Rageblood Shaman.  The last key piece to making a deck like this work is certainly a guy who will pump up your little cow army up and even give them the ability to trample over your opponent.

Now if we include a playset of each of these we have twenty-four of our sixty cards already spoken for.  So what Black and/or Red (leaning more towards the Red) can we arm ourselves with?

Well, if we go expensive we can grab Hero’s Downfall for spot removal, Fall of the Hammer and Lightning Strike are cheaper ways to remove more roadblocks, Magma Jet to deal some damage and to dig for the key pieces.  A playset of each of these and we have forty cards with which to bullrush our opponent.  Trim that deck down a bit and we might be able to find something like this:

What do you think?  It’s not Slivers, and it’s not Humans, it’s a tribal all of it’s own, and it ain’t no bull!

~ Gerald Knight

Extra Booty: Some things to consider if you want to take this into Standard, Boros Reckoner works amazingly well with Fanatic of Mogis and becomes cheaper with the Ragemonger.  Any Black and/or Red Fuse cards from Dragon’s Maze become viable with the Oracle of BonesDoom Blade is a cheap alternative to Hero’s Downfall and is also less mana restrictive.  If you want to go really big you can include Mogis, God of Slaughter himself to keep the pressure on your opponent.