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Magic: The Gathering!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

Sacrifices Must Be Made!

Welcome one and all!  This is Captain Red Zone coming to you with the first part of my new deck series for Tri-Colors for your viewing delight. This week we got to see what happens on the darker side of Magic with Grixis. This is another three color combination that was well defined thanks to  Alara block. This is the color combination that has a ton of undead legends. I got so tied up in them that I was going to make a zombie themed deck … but then I got tired of using the graveyard as a crutch. I may still have some graveyard antics but this time I’m going to try to keep it at a minimum. So let’s go!

A Sacrifice For the Good of Others... But Mostly Me!

Let’s start with our theme. I’m looking at this combination and I’m thinking of Death.  But not in the conventional way, these colors are not afraid to strap one of their own down and use him/her/it for food. That’s right! Sacrifices run wild here because, let’s be honest, everything has a price and who better to pay that price than someone else. So, using that, I’m going to use creature sacrifices as one of the key themes.  And who better to lead the lambs to slaughter than…

This seems like a great start. Even without the graveyard theme, I couldn’t resist using a zombie. But without a graveyard theme, who’s getting their ass up on the Altar? It sure as hell ain’t going to be me! So we need to figure out who we can get to willingly allow us to kill them… while we think about this let’s move on to our in house butchers!

A Sacrifice Is Best Refuted By Accepting It!

So in order to get a lot of counters on Thaximundar, we need to sacrifice a lot. So let’s start this with.. 

Viscera Seer, Phyrexian Ghoul, Vampire Aristocrat, Flesh-Eater Imp, Mortarpod, and Grimgrin, Corpse-Born: Here we have a creature package that gives us some control over when a sacrifice happens. Viscera seer gives us a look into the future while Mortarpod gives us a way to deal a little damage. Ghoul, Vampire Aristocrat, and Flesh-Eater Imp can all be game ender in their own right if given one clear shot at a player while you have enough creatures to sacrifice.

Sheoldred, Whispering One, Fleshbag Marauder, Gatekeeper of Malakir, Abyssal Gatekeeper, and Butcher of Malakir: Where the previous group of cards were about us controlling when something got sacrificed, this one is about creatures that give us more ways to have others suffer with us or for us. Gatekeeper of Malakir can’t target a creature but it can take aim at one player instead of the whole table like Fleshbag Marauder and Abyssal Gatekeeper. Butcher of Malakir and Sheoldred, Whispering One are not afraid to make the whole table suffer while feeding Thaximunder.
So with all of the creature sacrificing going around I think I figured out what to use for fuel…

Stitcher's ApprenticeDrowned Rusalka, Brine Shaman, Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, Rakka Mar, Lich Lord of Unx, Cemetery Reaper, Bloodline Keeper, Mogg War Marshal, Weirding Shaman, Puppet Conjurer, Pentavus, and Genesis Chamber: The two best types of creatures to sacrifice are your opponents and tokens. Since you can’t always depend on your opponents, this list is for the latter part. Pentavus, Stitcher's Apprentice, and Puppet Conjurer’s abilities can work well here since they can make a creature and sacrifice it repeatable times. Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder and Genesis Chamber are great token generators while Rakka Mar, Bloodline Keeper, and Lich Lord of Unx pump out tokens one at a time. Cemetery Reaper provides a way to make tokens and remove creatures from the graveyard. Mogg War Marshal provides goblins for Weirding Shaman to sacrifice to make more goblins. Drowned Rusalka adds some looting while Brine Shaman gives a little control magic for creatures.

Emrakul's Hatcher, Rapacious One, Siege-Gang Commander, Grave Titan, Myr Battlesphere, and Grixis Slavedriver: With all of these sacrifices, sometimes you just don’t have the time to wait for the next few turns to pass. Sometimes you need to sacrifice a group of creatures now to try and gain control of the game, draw an answer, or just to get that last few counters on Thraximundar or Grimgrin to finish off your last opponent. For those moments I bring you… Army-In-A-Can! Yes Army-In-A-Can comes in several different flavors and sizes for your every day usage. Just open, add water, sit back, and watch the field fill with your favorite token creatures. Army-In-A-Can! Act now while supplies last!

Twisted Justice, Altar's Reap, Skulltap, Carnage Altar, and Vivisection: These card bring to question, are cards worth the life of a creature? On Grixis the answer is always Yes.

Mortician Beetle and Grave Pact: Usually when I pair two cards up it’s because they work the same, make a combo, or something amazing like that. But saying this early turn beetle makes a great beat stick when you have a Grave Pact out is just too obvious. Some I’m just going to point it out here and move on…

Cruel Ultimatum and Curse of the Cabal: Big spells are big. If you haven’t seen a Cruel Ultimatum resolve than you really need to stay in more. That card, with its high mana cost, was actually played seriously in Standard! So you know it’s got a home here. Curse of the Cabal on the other hand not so much but you can’t deny its ability to just wreck a player is resolved.

Mind Stone, Ashnod's Altar, and Burnt Offering: A few mana rocks never hurt anyone… unless they were a turn one Sol Ring. But the card I like here is Burnt Offering because it reminds me of the movie The Wicker Man. Every time I see Burnt Offering I think of Nickolas Cage being burned alive. Too bad it was just a movie and not a documentary because if it was real he wouldn’t have gone from a seat in the head piece of this…

To this…

Brimstone Volley, Reaper from the Abyss, and Skirsdag High Priest: The new Morbid mechanic is one that I personally can’t wait to see develop over the next two sets of Innistrad. In this deck Brimstone Volley is a Lava Axe for three that can target a creature or a player. Reaper from the Abyss will only get to use his effect once a turn but with all the sacrifices you can do, it could easily be once every turn. As for Skirsdag High Priest, with a deck like this it becomes almost unfair to have the ability to make a 5/5 flying demon whenever you sacrifice a creature to some other effect. With a few tokens this becomes an every turn thing that just builds and builds until you’re the target of ever hate card your table can find. And really, is that what everyone wants?

Diamond Valley, Keldon Necropolis, Phyrexian Tower, and Miren, the Moaning Well: I’m going to start adding effect lands to all the decks I type up and this seems like just as good of a place as any to start. What I like about these is that they provide a way to sacrifice creatures on land cards. Lands are usually harder for most groups to deal with due to a lot of groups not packing the land hate enough. So why not give these a try if you’re in one of these groups.

Crack the Earth, Demonmail Hauberk, Malevolent Awakening, Shivan Harvest, Helm of Possession, and Grab the Reins:  Here are a few fun cards to toss in to round out the rest of this deck. Not much to see here…

Evil Twin, Followed Footsteps, and Mimic Vat:  Evil Twin is great for dealing with Generals but can pull double duty by copying your token generating creatures. Followed Footsteps fall under similar lines as the Twin but if left unanswered will make more and more tokens. Just think of it on something like a Grave Titan and no one stops it. You’ll be making a 6/6 token that makes two 2/2 tokens at the beginning of every one of your upkeeps. Mimic Vat is great for taking other peoples creatures but since it exiles at the end of the turn, why not use that token for a sacrifice?

Viscerid Drone, Gate to Phyrexia, and Attrition: A removal package is always needed. Even if it is small. I’m sure that most times creatures will die do to some kind of sacrifice related event, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra ways out right?

Sedris, the Traitor King, Lord of Tresserhorn, and Garza Zol, Plague Queen: Here we slap in the other Legends. Sedris’s unearth ability will help bring back creatures to sac in case of an emergency. Lord of Tresserhorn makes you sacrifice two creature when he comes out to play but you can’t knock a 10/4 regenerator. Garza maybe better used in a different deck but she’s still one of the best Commanders so she gets a spot.

Born of Great Sacrifice!

With 11 Islands, 12 Mountains, and 12 Swamps I’m pretty sure we now have a sacrifice any deity would wish their followers took the time to plan. As always, my mana base here is just a starting point. At the bottom, you can check out the deck list. Next week we’re going Green/Blue/Black with our next Tri-Color Deck using a less popular Commander. Feel free to leave any comments you have and you can always hit me up at CaptainRedZone@gmail.com. As always thanks for the read and I will see you next week for another article!

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 Sedris, the Traitor King
1 Thraximundar
1 Lord of Tresserhorn
1 Garza Zol, Plague Queen
11 Island
12 Mountain
12 Swamp
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 Fleshbag Marauder
1 Gatekeeper of Malakir
1 Butcher of Malakir
1 Mortician Beetle
1 Abyssal Gatekeeper
1 Viscera Seer
1 Phyrexian Ghoul
1 Vampire Aristocrat
1 Drowned Rusalka
1 Flesh-Eater Imp
1 Brine Shaman
1 Stitcher's Apprentice
1 Viscerid Drone
1 Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
1 Rakka Mar
1 Lich Lord of Unx
1 Grixis Slavedriver
1 Cemetery Reaper
1 Bloodline Keeper
1 Skirsdag High Priest
1 Mogg War Marshal
1 Weirding Shaman
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Grave Titan
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Puppet Conjurer
1 Pentavus
1 Crack the Earth
1 Curse of the Cabal
1 Mind Stone
1 Helm of Possession
1 Carnage Altar
1 Ashnod's Altar
1 Demonmail Hauberk
1 Malevolent Awakening
1 Shivan Harvest
1 Gate to Phyrexia
1 Attrition
1 Burnt Offering
1 Grab the Reins
1 Altar's Reap
1 Skulltap
1 Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
1 Brimstone Volley
1 Reaper from the Abyss
1 Genesis Chamber
1 Mimic Vat
1 Mortarpod
1 Emrakul's Hatcher
1 Rapacious One
1 Diamond Valley
1 Keldon Necropolis
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Grave Pact
1 Twisted Justice
1 Cruel Ultimatum
1 Vivisection
1 Evil Twin
1 Followed Footsteps

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