fbpx

TWoo Cents – Adventures in Extendedland

“My only resolution is to kick as much ass in 2011 as I did in 2010.”

Dear everyone,

For you, it is 2011, but for me, it IS December 31st, so I will take a moment to reflect on 2010. I made mistakes, took chances, and learned and grew. I left the country for the first time. And the second time. I launched a writing career. I met a million people. I improved my life in countless ways. Life really took off for me, and a lot of that had to do with Magic. “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about CREATING yourself.” This was my 2010. No regrets, no “so close”s. Just a perspective of success. I hope you have the same feeling towards yourself, but if not, welcome to 2011!

I came into 2010 with a deck all ready for the Extended season, so I didn’t have to spend any time brewing. I ended every day with an hour of games against myself on Magic Workstation, running the same deck against an expanding gauntlet. Because of this, I am writing to you now. Going into 2011, I have no such deck, but that is okay. 2011 is a new and different year, and it will be amazing for its own reasons.

I have no beans to try not to spill this year- only drafts upon drafts of “failed” decks. This Extended season has proven to be a tough nut to crack. It might as well be a closed off pistachio, but even the smallest of pistachio has a thermal exhaust port. I haven’t blown up the Death Star yet, so today I will give you the wisdom of a month of brewing.

Each of these beauties has been discarded for some reason or other, but many have the potential to be something good given enough refinement. Some of them are first drafts (with terrible manabases), some are tenth drafts (with terrible manabases). It’s not that the decks are bad, it’s that Tempered Steel and Wargate are too fast, too resilient, too disruptive. It would be easy for me to go through each and tear them apart, but instead I’ll highlight each deck with something positive, and where you can build on.

Beastmaster

This deck is consistent and aggressive. It doesn’t always do something good but it always does something.

Cascade Land Destruction

I tried to port this from an old Standard deck but it didn’t work. I learned that the format is too fast for this type of thing.

Naya Command

It’s hard to say positive things when the first couple decks are so clunky and generic. This deck is good at blowing up lands.

G/B Aggro Land Destruction

Finally something decent! This deck is disruptive, can provide a constant stream of threats and land destruction spells, and is reasonably fast.

12 Command

This deck gets to cast Primal Command, Incendiary Command, and Cryptic Command. The awesomeness speaks for itself.

Death’s Shadow

This deck has a lot of interactions and some powerful Ranger of Eos. Whoever knew that losing life would feel so good?

5c Ziggurat

This is another deck that tries to build off of Fulminator Mage/ Sun Titan. This deck has some of the best creatures from each color, although like many of the other builds, is too slow.

Garruk’s Pack

This deck is faster than the last G/B deck we saw, but it has far less disruption.

R/b Burn

This deck can apply a lot of pressure to slower decks and has the sweepers to deal with Tempered Steel’s threats. This one might be a hidden gem.

Goblins

[deck]2 Swamp
6 Mountain
4 Graven Cairns
4 Blackcleave
4 Aunties Hovel
4 Mutavault
4 Siege-Gang Commander
4 Goblin Chieftain
4 Mad Auntie
4 Frogtosser Banneret
4 Goblin Guide
4 Ember Hauler
4 Warren Instigator
4 Thoughtseize
4 Lightning Bolt[/deck]

Warren Instigator is as scary as ever. This deck is fast and can have some easy turn 4 kills off of our Lackey.

Green Faeries

[deck]3 Misty Rainforest
1 Island
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Mutavault
1 Swamp
1 Murmuring Bosk
1 Forest
4 Creeping Tar Pit
2 Vivid Creek
1 Twilight Mire
4 Putrid Leech
3 Mistbind Clique
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Lotus Cobra
1 Vendilion Clique
4 Preordain
4 Bitterblossom
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Garruk Wildspeaker
4 Mana Leak [/deck]

It’s disappointing that the mana for this deck is impossible because the spells work sooo well together! Putrid Leech ensures that Faeries has an awesome early board presence even if it doesn’t draw Bitterblossom. Garruk is also awesome as a planeswalker you don’t have to tap out for that can provide a lethal overrun the next turn.

Enchantress

[deck]4 Plains
1 Forest
1 Murmuring Bosk
1 Island
1 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Stirring Wildwood
4 Razorverge Thicket
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Mesa Enchantress
4 Kor Spiritdancer
4 Runed Halo
4 Ardent Plea
4 Spreading Seas
4 Trace of Abundance
4 Fertile Ground
4 Sigil of the Empty Throne
1 Leyline of Sanctity
3 Hoofprints of the Stag[/deck]

This deck can do a lot of cool things, and has various ways to protect itself while it builds up. If Wizards prints a Moat effect, this might be a deck to keep an eye on.

Landz

[deck]4 Sunken Ruins
2 Forest
3 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Khalni Garden
4 Halimar Depths
4 Flooded Grove
4 Twilight Mire
4 Tectonic Edge
4 Mutavault
4 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Oracle of Mul Daya
4 Lotus Cobra
3 Worm Harvest
4 Ravens Crime
4 Treasure Hunt[/deck]

A hand of Raven’s Crime and Treasure Hunt could actually beat a lot of decks.

Landwarp

[deck]4 Halimar Depths
4 Forest
4 Island
2 Tectonic Edge
1 Murmuring Bosk
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Flooded Grove
4 Lotus Cobra
3 Avenger of Zendikar
4 Oracle of Mul Daya
4 Time Warp
4 Preordain
3 Garruk Wildspeaker
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Explore
4 Rampant Growth[/deck]

This deck is unbelievably fun to play.

Psyche

[deck]13 Mountain
4 Spinerock Knoll
4 Font of Mythos
4 Mox Opal
4 Everflowing Chalice
1 Spiteful Visions
4 Pyretic Ritual
4 Runeflare Trap
4 Molten Psyche
4 Reverberate
4 Temple Bell
4 Howling Mine
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Firewild Borderpost
1 Veinfire Borderpost[/deck]

The DAY after I brewed this one Matt Nass spoiled a similar build on CFB. If the deck was a tournament contender I would have been annoyed. The deck is actually okay though. Decks that can’t dump their hand are in for trouble.

Merfolk

[deck]11 Island
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Wanderwine Hub
4 Mutavault
3 Sygg, River Cutthroat
4 Silvergil Adept
4 Merfolk Sovereign
4 Coralhelm Commander
4 Merrow Reejerey
4 Cursecatcher
4 Spell Pierce
2 Cryptic Command
4 Sages Dousing
4 Mana Leak [/deck]

This one is actually a real deck, but I was excited to try out [card]Spell Pierce[/card] and [card]Sygg, River Cutthroat[/card]. I’m not sure those are the best cards for the job, but the deck is competitive either way.

The Rack

[deck]20 Swamp
4 Mutavault
4 Hypnotic Specter
4 Lilianas Specter
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
4 Duress
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Thoughtseize
4 Sword of Body and Mind
4 Ravens Crime
4 Bitterblossom [/deck]

This deck will 1 for 1 the opponent until they have only 5 lands and you have 3 Swamps, a Mutavault, and a Sword of Body and Mind. The deck is actually very fun to play and has 45-50 game against every deck.

Black Ascension

[deck]4 Reflecting Pool
4 Cascade Bluffs
4 Graven Cairns
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Preordain
3 Volcanic Fallout
4 Pyromancer Ascension
4 Manamorphose
1 Banefire
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Beseech the Queen
4 Sign in Blood
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Ravens Crime [/deck]

Raven’s Crime is awesome in a deck that doesn’t need more than 3 lands to win the game. Crime also helps trigger and re-trigger Pyromancer Ascensions. Chain Beseech the queens and polish them off with a Manamorphosed Banefire!

Ghastlord

[deck]7 Island
7 Swamp
4 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Sunken Ruins
3 Ghastlord of Fugue
4 Renegade Doppelganger
4 Augury Adept
4 Fulminator Mage
4 Hypnotic Specter
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Thoughtseize
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Sword of Body and Mind [/deck]

There are all kinds of weird disruption in this one. If you’re able to hold them down for long enough your card advantage machines will take over.

Bootleg Steel Artifact

[deck]3 Plains
3 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Marsh Flats
4 Arid Mesa
4 Steppe Lynx
4 Glint Hawk
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Goblin Guide
4 Memnite
3 Lightning Bolt
4 Chimeric Mass
4 Springleaf Drum
3 Devastating Summons
4 Kuldotha Rebirth
4 Mox Opal[/deck]

This deck is kind of like playing All-In-Red, but less gratifying. The deck can have some absurd starts though.

Genesis Gate

[deck]1 Island
3 Plains
1 Mystic Gate
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Stirring Wildwood
2 Forest
3 Seachrome Coast
4 Razorverge Thicket
1 Murmuring Bosk
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Steppe Lynx
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Lotus Cobra
3 Scapeshift
4 Wargate
4 Genesis Wave
4 Prismatic Omen
4 Khalni Heart Expedition
4 Explore [/deck]

Genesis Wave is an awesome way to trigger landfall creatures while digging for Valakuts and Prismatic Omens. This Wave isn’t as nice as the standard version, but it’s really useful in a deck like this.

Naya Omen

[deck]2 Forest
1 Marsh Flats
1 Murmuring Bosk
1 Misty Rainforest
3 Plains
2 Stirring Wildwood
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Arid Mesa
4 Razorverge Thicket
4 Steppe Lynx
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Lotus Cobra
4 Wild Nacatl
2 Qasali Pridemage
4 Ranger of Eos
4 Prismatic Omen
4 Scapeshift
4 Adventuring Gear [/deck]

This Jon Loucks throwback was actually inspired by a Tom Ross Facebook status. Here we have a pretty aggressive creature deck that can win with a single landfall creature with Scapeshift. We also have Omen and Valakuts as a back up plan.

Grixis Splinter/Mite

[deck]2 Sunken Ruins
2 Graven Cairns
4 Cascade Bluffs
4 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Reflecting Pool
4 Crumbling Necropolis
4 Vivid Creek
4 Pestermite
3 Ponder
2 Cruel Ultimatum
3 Volcanic Fallout
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Cryptic Command
4 Mana Leak
4 Preordain
4 Thoughtseize
4 Splinter Twin [/deck]

This deck is perfect for impatient control players which, like Santa (SPOILER ALERT), don’t exist.

Steel Amethyst

[deck]1 Swamp
3 Plains
4 Marsh Flats
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Tectonic Edge
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Tidehollow Sculler
4 Memnite
4 Master of Etherium
4 Steel Overseer
4 Court Homunculus
4 Ranger of Eos
4 Lodestone Golem
4 Mox Opal
4 Thorn of Amethyst
4 Springleaf Drum [/deck]

At the expense of [card]Tempered Steel[/card], we get to play some backbreaking mana disruption.

Fauna Shaman

[deck]4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Island
2 Murmuring Bosk
4 Arid Mesa
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
1 Forest Basic
2 Copperline Gorge
1 Razorverge Thicket
2 Plains
4 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Vengevine
4 Sun Titan
4 Fauna Shaman
1 Fulminator Mage
4 Lotus Cobra
1 Sovereigns of Lost Alara
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Baneslayer Angel
1 Eldrazi Conscription
3 Ajani Vengeant[/deck]

If you like tutoring for situational creatures then this is your deck. I’m a little embarrassed by how generic this one is.

UBG Mana Disruption

[deck]4 Twilight Mire
1 Murmuring Bosk
3 Forest
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Swamp
1 Island
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Ancient Ziggurat
2 Lotus Cobra
4 Vengevine
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Acidic Slime
4 Fauna Shaman
4 Lodestone Golem
4 Renegade Doppelganger
4 Fulminator Mage
4 Thorn of Amethyst [/deck]

If you are on the play, a Renegade Doppelganger into Fulminator Mage is going to be hard for any deck to beat.

Impromptu Raid

[deck]4 Spinerock Knoll
2 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Mutavault
4 Cascade Bluffs
4 Halimar Depths
4 Khalni Garden
4 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Polymorph
4 Spawning Breath
3 Everflowing Chalice
4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Preordain
4 Ponder
4 Impromptu Raid[/deck]

The ONLY nice thing I can say about this deck is that it’s hilarious.

B/w Vampires

[deck]4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Fetid Heath
4 Marsh Flats
1 Plains
3 Mutavault
9 Swamp
4 Kalastria Highborn
4 Vampire Lacerator
4 Pulse Tracker
4 Ranger of Eos
4 Hypnotic Specter
4 Tidehollow Sculler
4 Bloodghast
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Thoughtseize[/deck]

Here’s an aggro deck with disruption, a fast clock, and resilience. This might be one of the better brews in this article.

San Juan Wargate

[deck]1 Plains
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Mystic Gate
1 Murmuring Bosk
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Flooded Grove
2 Seachrome Coast
4 Island
5 Forest
4 Lotus Cobra
3 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Avenger of Zendikar
2 Cultivate
4 Preordain
4 Prismatic Omen
4 Wargate
4 Rampant Growth
4 Explore
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 See Beyond[/deck]

This deck is a lot more fun that your average Wargate deck. Realistically, the San Juan package might be better suited for the bench in anticipation of the opponent boarding out spot removal.

At this point you’ve seen a lot of garbage. There are some cool ideas in all of these, but I’ve learned a bit about this format from all the durdling I’ve been doing. You need to be using your mana efficiently. The best decks in the format are not just fast, but use each mana of each turn really well. For one mana they are going to take your best card or kill one of your guys. If you spend your mana casting [card]Fulminator Mage[/card]s and [card]Primal Command[/card]s while your opponent is playing [card]Tidehollow Sculler[/card]s and [card]Mana Leak[/card]s, you are going to lose. This is the only lesson I can give. Be mana efficient- try to play decks with lands that come into play untapped, and if you are going to interact, play cards that are not just cheap, but cost at worst 1 more mana than the mana they take from your opponent. Wargate and Tempered Steel are good places to start, but Faeries and Lotus Cobra are also nice.

BONUSES

Challenge #1 (Inspired by BDM)
Win a draft with no creature spells.

Challenge #2 (Inspired by Matt Sperling)
Win a DRAFT game with a triple kill (simultaneous poison, decking, and damage).

Challenge #3 (Inspired by me)
Do both at the same time.

http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/1999/somcreatures.png
http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/5092/somtriplekill.png

Challenge #4 (Inspired by Conley Woods)
The idea of [card]Spawnsire of Ulamog[/card] is hilarious to me. I always imagine getting a frantic call from a friend who desperately needs all of my Eldrazi because he is using Ulamog’s ultimate in a high stakes game.

Imagine:

Boom cha boom cha boom cha bow wowwww!

Setting: A nice Italian restaurant

“To be honest I don’t really follow politics.”

“What? How can you let yourself be uninformed on the issues that matter?”

“Well, I figure I have the time to follow the national defense or Superman, but not both.“ (Cue laugh track).

*Ring ring! Ring ring!*

*Turning away from table, caller ID reads George Costanza, make face, say “George!” a little disparagingly with an imperceptible fist sweep, click talk*

“TRAVIS!!! (static/muffled background, [card]Ulamog’s Crusher[/card]??) TRAVIS!!!!”

*Holding phone away from ear, slight smirk visible* “Who iiiisssss this?”

“TRAVIS! I NEED ALL THE ELDRAZI YOU HAVE! BRING ALL OF YOUR ULAMOGS OVER HERE RIGHT NOW! IT’S A MULTIPLAYER GAME! THEY’RE OUT TO GET ME!”

*Looking around the table, pointing at phone mouthing “It’s my mother”*

“Sorry MOM, now’s not a good time to talk.”

“TRAVIS! WAIT! TRAVIS! ULAMOOOOOOOO-” click.

“Now where were we?”

I had the pleasure of ultimateing my first [card]Spawnsire of Ulamog[/card] last week, and it was every bit as satisfying as it sounds. I had to make sacrifices in order to do it effectively. I preemptively took 3 [card]Hand of Emrakul[/card]s. Yes, it was worth it.

Not all victories are the same. Some are worth more – those are the ones you remember years later. Hitting your opponent with 7 burn spells while they’re stuck on two lands is one thing, and winning simultaneously with [card]Battle of Wits[/card], [card]Mortal Combat[/card], and [card]Near-Death Experience[/card] is another thing. This is how I calculate expected value. The expected value of playing a game with a faeries deck might be 1 (the enjoyment of a victory) times .6 (the percentage chance of me winning) equals .6. The expected value of winning a game with a Spawnsire of Ulamog deck might be 2 times .4 equals .8. Expected value is a careful calculation, so I’m always searching for decks that are both hilariously awesome and effective.

I have good news. There happens to be a deck in Extended that can REALISTICALLY ultimate the Spawnsire. Yeah, that’s right, Conley’s Ooze deck. Simply cut the [card]Molten-Tail Masticore[/card] for a [card]Spawnsire of Ulamog[/card] and bring a sideboard of 15 Eldrazi. After all, who needs to sideboard when you have 15 Eldrazi in play?

To the griefers, world-trolls, and monguises in the room already salivating: naw dog, you aren’t up to this challenge.

Travis

Share this

Discussion

Scroll to Top