Today I am very excited to present you with a fantastic deck and movie pitch: Dark Dwelling Jeskai!
The premise of my film is a scrappy group of heroes who band together to fight the evil enemy forces of Eldrazi Ramp and Siege Rhino.
Dark Dwelling Jeskai
As you can probably tell, this movie is going to be an action & adventure flick because this deck is jam packed full of action! There are lots of aggressive and compelling creatures teamed up with lots of removal and burn to back it up. There’s a little something for everybody here.
The Cast of Characters
Actor of choice: Chandler Riggs (The young man who plays Carl from The Walking Dead).
I see him in a similar role here: a young man just trying to stay alive long enough to make a difference in a world gone mad with evil monsters.
I think we’ve seen enough Jace in Standard that no discussion is required to explain why he’s good in a midrange burn deck.
Actor of Choice: Bill Paxton revives his role as Bill Harding from Twister, transported to Zendikar. Keep chasing those storms Billyboy!
I wasn’t sure this angle would work in my movie but it turns out that the hype about this card is all true. Many of the characters I considered were simply not believable as being able to survive Kozilek’s Return. Stormchaser Mage has proven that he can stand up to tornados aplenty, however, and the 3 toughness is a must in this mix.
Actor of Choice: Uma Thurman revives her role as “The Bride” from the Kill Bill films, only this time, Ulamog tries to murder her at her wedding and she’s out for revenge against all the Eldrazi.
With all of the cheap spells in this deck, it is easy to always be triggering prowess, bringing the beats, and gaining life. The key here is this deck wants to get ahead early and pressure the opponent into submission through a fast clock and lots of good options.
Actor of Choice: Jay Baruchel. Here is where things get interesting. I want to go full-on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and have an animated Hiccup Horrendous (the kid from How to Train Your Dragon) flying a giant animated praying mantis around. I mean, if he can train a dragon, surely he can handle a mantis. Cool little plot twist bonus: Hiccup comes to Standard because he hears it’s full of dragons, but it turns out that these dragons are all the lords of Tarkir and not really interested in being “trained and ridden” so he befriends a mantis instead. Oscar gold.
It turns out that Mantis Rider is going to be one of the most important players for this version of Dark Jeskai. Once again, it can stand up to Kozilek’s Return and brings a ton of pressure. Also, a cool plot point—we can have a sequence where Astrid shows up out of nowhere to bring the dual Mantis beats as in the case of the nigh unbeatable, dreaded double-Mantis-Rider draw!
Actor of Choice: Charlie Cox from Daredevil.
I don’t know if you realize this from looking at the card, but Dark-Dwellers are a little weird. They have no eyes, like those fish that live in caves that have evolved to have no eyes because they live in perpetual darkness.
Daredevil is the ultimate blind character to reflect the awesomeness that is Dark-Dwellers! Not the lame Ben Affleck Daredevil, but the new badness one from Netflix show. I’m talking straight-up Frank Miller Daredevil: Born Again, kick-your-butt badness.
I have been extremely impressed with Dwellers in the deck. Why it has menace on top of already being insane is beyond me. But then, why did Siege Rhino need trample?
The key is that our deck is full of absolutely insane 3cc spells to rebuy like:
The only downside of these cards is that they are so much better than all the other spells in Standard that it makes drawing almost anything else disappointing—not the case with Dark-Dwellers. He is large and in charge AND brings back whichever spell is situationally most devastating.
It took casting the card exactly one time before I knew that it was one of the things I was most interested in doing in the current Standard metagame. Just cast it and see.
So, our movie has all of these fantastic pieces and players—a non-stop action romp with our heroic band bringing the fight to endless swarms of Eldrazi rampers and rhinoceros Abzaners.
The conclusion of the narrative will be our young Jace narrowly surviving and, in true epic story structure fashion, transforming from a weak young man into a fully empowered planeswalker to cast the game-ending Crackling Doom to clear the way for our lovable heroes to launch one last ditch attack to defeat their foes.
Then, an unexpected twist…
After the battle ends, we mix things up with the “it was all just a dream” trope, except it was two people playing a match of Magic in the finals of an Open or Grand Prix. The Eldrazi player extends the hand and the Jeskai player hoists the trophy to the cheering applause of all their friends.
One last unexpected twist ending—and prepare to have your mind completely blown…
It turns out that the victorious, trophy hoisting tournament player is you.
Open Casting Call
I think this film is basically a slam dunk, but there are still a few key points left to address. The sideboard in particular is tricky because it is hard to predict exactly what you’ll be playing against week 1. I’ve got cards to shore up the matches that I’d expect to play against, particularly Atarka Red and Rally the Ancestors.
The other thing that I still need help with before I submit this puppy to 20th Century Mox is who I should cast as the Eldrazi and Abzan villains. Be sure to drop your suggestions in the comments section or Tweet them @Briandemars1 on Twitter. Let’s make movie Magic in Standard.