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Magic: The Gathering!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

Reality Is Merely An Illusion!

Welcome one and all! This is your boy Captain Red Zone coming at you again with another deck for your viewing pleasure. This week I’m going to bring to you a themed Commander deck that I’m kind of a shamed I made.  If you know anything about me, you know that I hate Blue. Let me explain. When I first started playing Magic my favorite colors were, in order: Red, Black, White, Green, and Blue... after artifacts. The reason? Counterspells. I hated counters because I was a bad player who always countered the wrong spell. I left mana up to counter a spell that never came. Even when I wasn’t playing blue I always seemed to have my win condition countered, even after doing everything to get my opponent down to one card in hand.
The other thing is counters are the do-it-right-or-pay spells of Magic. Your opponent plays a card you’ve never seen before and you have a chance to counter it, you read the card but can’t figure out why they are playing it. “Is this some combo I’ve never seen?”, “Is he just some guy playing a bad card”, “Is this a trick and he’s trying to lure out my counter?”, ”Is this the best card he has or the worst?”…all of that and more would run around in my head before I could choose to counter or not. Then if I let it go through and it turns out to be a problem? Too late, its here doing it's thing and I can’t stop it. Let go through it with the other colors. A problem card shows up and you have a card to stop it, it hits the field and you decide during the rest of that turn should it stay. If you still don’t like it by the end of the turn you can Doom Blade, Path to Exile, Crush, or Naturalize it. Blue? You usually have to bounce it back to their hand and wait until they play it again to counter it. Congratulations, you just 2 for 1’d yourself cause you didn’t know your opponent’s plan. Not knowing in the other colors still usually lead to a 1 for 1.

Then the good people over at Wizards printed M12. If you read one of my other articles or have seen the cards in that product, you should already see where this one is going. But for those that don’t know for one reason or another, Blue has been given a few cards in this set that made me want to give this color another day in court. Those cards being the new Illusion creatures.

Here’s a little Magic trivia for you. There are two legendary creatures in the game of Magic that are naturally Illusions. One is the five colored Cromat, that I always thought was an elemental, and the other is Mistform Ultimus.

After last week’s article, Cromat will not be here as our Commander for this one. Plus if I’m going to do this it should be a mono colored deck. So grab your 50 cent rare and let’s get this deck started before I come to my senses and realize what I’m doing!

It Was All A Dream!

We’ll start with our “lords” because there are only 3 of them and they gave me the idea to start with this deck anyway.

Lord of the Unreal, Adaptive Automaton, Mistform Warchief, and Brass Herald:  Three of these guys give a +1/+1 bonus to the other illusions that will be in this deck. Lord of the Unreal brings Hexproof, or trollshroud if you’re nasty, to our very fragile group of creatures. Brass Herald brings a little bit of digging. Adaptive Automaton is just one of my favorite new cards in the M12 set and the main reason I may be cracking some packs. Mistform Warchief helps us cast our already low cost illusions for even less, thereby making this deck even more aggro then it looks.

These lords are not the A-Team of Magic lords but for a tribe that has very little help in this department you could do worse (and by worse, I mean a tribe that only has the Herald and the Automaton as Lord-like figures).

But Lords aside, let’s start to see where this tribe is going. Your guys are going to die. Don’t worry, we will get around to saving them soon. For now think of what the illusions bring to the table for you. If a player points a spell at one of your guy, what is the chance it’s going to be a good thing? It’s a Path to Exile, Doom Blade, Oblivion Ring, etc. Your guy was usually dead anyway. With the exception of a few guys like the “lords”, most of these guys will end up in a graveyard. So look at the bonus these guys have.  Your opponent can’t Mind Control them cause they will blow up first. Most of your guys will never be put in a place where they will be attacking you. So let’s use this “flaw” to our advantage.

Gossamer Phantasm, Illusionary Servant, Errant Ephemeron, Krovikan Mist, Phantasmal Dragon, Phantasmal Forces, Phantasmal Monster, Riftwing Cloudskate, Somnophore, Wandering Eye, Palichron, and Zephid:  Here is the goal: Play out as many under cost guys with some kind of evasion as possible and hit hard as early as possible. Gossamer Phantasm, Illusionary Servant, and Phantasmal Dragon are all at good price and worth a spot removal trade. Krovikan Mist could easily finish someone off in this deck. Somnophore and Riftwing Cloudskate can keep pesky things like a Blinding Mage under control if played right. Palichron pays for itself and could easily avoid trouble by flying back into the hand. Wandering Eye, Phantom Monster, Zephid, and Phantasmal Forces are extra flyers that can help bring the hurt.

AEther Figment and Phantom Warrior: These guys can hit players without fear of the bigger guys on the other side of the field. Plus with a lord or two out they can easily slow bleed a single player out of the game.  Two unblockable dudes coming in as a 3/3(or 5/5 if kicked) and a 4/4 can put a clock up quick.
AEtherplasm, Mistfolk, Phantasmal Abomination, Phantasmal Bear, Phantasmal Image, Phantom Beast, Phantom Whelp, and Vertigo Spawn: These are our ground forces so to speak. Phantasmal Abomination and Phantasmal Bear are, again, under cost for their size. AEtherplasm, Vertigo Spawn, and Phantom Whelp provide nice battle tricks. Phantasmal Image is a bomb. It is a copy of the best dude on the field (that can be targeted) for two mana no less.
Frost Titan, Kozilek, the Bucher of Truth, and Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre:  Frost Titan is here to lockdown a few dudes while doing his thing. The Eldrazi, on the other hand, are here for a different reason that I’ll get to later.

A Pleasant Illusion Is Better Than A Harsh Reality

Here is the part where we put a little reality in to this deck. A few things that don’t go up in smoke just because you looked at them funny.  So on to...

Jace Beleren, Jace, Memory Adept, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor: Yeah I know, I just put this deck out of the price range for some people. But hey if you don’t have these that’s cool, their just here for card draw and the occasional win. Chances are they will be dead before you get to use them more than once so feel free to replace them with Howling Mine type cards.

Brainstorm, Ponder, Preordain, Crystal Ball, Sensei’s Divining Top, Private Research, Blue Sun’s Zenith, Mind Spring, and Advice from the Fae: Hey, if I’m playing blue, I’m going to draw me some cards! It’s one of Blue’s more redeeming characteristics. A little deck manipulation with Ponder, Preordain, Top, Brainstorm, Advice, and Crystal Ball to get what we need. Side note, I want to get my Top and Crystal Ball altered to look like a Beer Keg and a bottle of Cristal champagne .

Don’t judge me, you know you’re feeling that.

Sleep, Misstep, Reality Spasm, and Cryptic Command:  These are our big assault spells for when we’re ready to swing in for the kill or some serious damage.  Tap that field down and keep it tapped.
Time Stretch, Amnesia, Mana Short, Back to Basics, Phantasmal Terrain, Shapeshifter’s Marrow, Copy Enchantment, Rite of Replication, and Relic of Progenitus: A few hate cards and cards to be hated for. Hey if you’re That Guy playing, chances are you got a target on you anyway so why not play a few things to earn that bullseye? Amnesia is really good against the guy who thinks he’s smart cause he has a had full of cards and a Reliquary Tower out. Mana Short can put an end to a few infinite mana combos but it’s not a catch all. Marrow, Rite, and Copy Enchantment gives you extra backup. Phantasmal Terrain is here just because it has Phantasmal in its name and acts like a Spreading Sea. I hope I don’t have to tell you how to use Back to Basics and Time Stretch.
Future Sight, Into the Roil, Cast Through Time, Day of Dragons, Disappear, and Propaganda: A few of the other Blue cards that I like. Future Sight is amazing and you should play it! Period! I have dreams of playing Amnesia or Mana Short with a Cast Through Time out. Propaganda and Ghostly Prison have become two of my personal staples. Disappear is a somewhat on theme removal spell. Then we have Day of Dragons that turns all of our guys into 5/5 flying Dragons... in a Mono Blue deck!

Hinder and Spell Crumple:  I hate counterspells but these two make it for Commander hate. Sorry.

Elixir of Immortality, Three Wishes, and Intuition:  Remember the Eldrazi from earlier? Well this is why they’re here.  Three Wishes and Intuition lets us puts them in the grave so we can have extra chances to replay our fallen illusions. If we ever get the chance to cast them, gravy. But we need them to bring our guys back to us. Like I said, they will die a lot, but with this back up plan it doesn’t matter as much.

Is the Dream Over?

I think this deck works best with 33 Islands, but as always you should feel free to play around with the mana base.  But there it is. A Blue Deck I’m ashamed that I made. But hey, it was fun and maybe I’ll even get around to playing it someday.

Hope you had fun and please leave any comments or suggestions.  Until next time...

This is your Captain speaking… we’re heading into the Red Zone!!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my God the Cristal Ball is straight up invincible.