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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

Stops Copying Me! Stops Copying Me!

Welcome one and all!  This is Captain Red Zone coming to you once again with the next part of my new deck series of Tri-Colors for your viewing delight. This week, we’re going into Red/Blue/Green or Intet for those of you that want to put a name to these kind things. In these colors there’s really only three picks. You have Intet, of course, but this card has been around for a while so we’re not going to use it as a commander this time around. The next one is Animar, which has really come into its own since the release of the Commander product it was in. I could do a deck about him but, I feel like that may not be to interesting at the moment due to the large following it has built. Maybe later, just not right now. So that leaves us with…

That is a brick of text but the quick end is cast an instant/ sorcery/creature then you may pay two mana, of the correct colors, to make a copy of it. When I look at this I think of a show I watch called Metalocalypse. Why? Because there is a character named Skwisgaar Skwigelf. He’s the lead guitarist and writes the music for the whole band. But the funny part is that there is also another character named Toki Wartooth who also plays guitar for the band. Toki is not as good as Skwisgaar but he wants to be seen as just as important. So Toki has a tendency to copy Skwisgaar whenever he can. For just a taste here’s a link...

So today we’re going to be both Skwisgaar and Toki while we copy ourselves. Sounds fun? Well let’s get to it!

Whys You Got to Always Copys Me Alls The Time!

Riku has a very unique ability of copying stuff as you cast it. So unique in fact that I could only find one card that does something kind of similar. So…

Minion Reflector: Sure we lose the token at the end of the turn but hey at least if we have this, Riku, and enough mana, we could make two copies of the creature we cast.

So let’s move on to what things we want to copy. We want to have as much mana as we can for copying so we need creatures we can cast while still having mana up. If only there was some kind of effect we could use…hmm…

Greater Gargadon, Keldon Halberdier, Riftwing Cloudskate, Shivan Sand-Mage, Veiling Oddity, Viscerid Deepwalker, Infiltrator il-Kor, Giant Dustwasp, Errant Ephemeron, Durkwood Baloth, Deep-Sea Kraken, Aeon Chronicler, and Epochrasite: That’s right! Suspend can work! We pay a little early, wait a turn or two and BLAM creatures! Hey, even when the things we suspend effect happens it act as if we casted the cards from our hand. This will allow us to copy these with our Riku! Durkwood Baloth and Greater Gargadon are vanilla creatures with suspend but paying only one mana but with Riku out you basically pay three mana for two 5/5 or 9/7 creatures. Giant Dustwasp and Errant Ephemeron are your flyers and when copied gives you two 3/3 or 4/4 for four mana repeat fully. What about copying Keldon Halberdier for 2 4/1 firststrikers for three mana or Riftwing Cloudskate for two 2/2 flyers that bounces two permanents for four mana? Veiling Oddity may not be worth copying for effect but copying it is like paying it original casting cost and getting two copies of the same creature. Three mana gets you two 2/3 creatures with a built in pump effect with Viscerid Deepwalker or four mana for two 3/1 unblockable creatures with Infiltrator il-Kor. Hey, if you’re down with unblockable creatures, copying Deep-Sea Kraken gives you two 6/6 unblockable for five mana! Don’t spend your mana trying to copy Aeon Chronicler or Epochrasite because Aeon won’t work to well and Epochrasite would be four mana a 1/1 token and a 4/4 creature. Copying Shivan Sand-Mage gets you two 3/2 creatures but it also gives you a chance to remove or add up to four time counters from you suspended creatures. This gives you the chance to bring out your other bigger creatures, if you have the extra mana to copy them or you just want more board presents. You could also add time counters if you want to wait for another couple turns, where your mana might not be tied up.

This leads to our next step here where we will add a few cards to try to play around with the suspend mechanic. So without further ado…

Jhoira of the Ghitu, Jhoira's Timebug, Rift Elemental, Timebender, Fury Charm, and Clockspinning: Jhoira of the Ghitu can be used to turn anything we add later without suspend into a suspend card. Also with her not being the commander for this deck, she should get a lot less heat because the table feels like they can just kill her once and be done. Jhoira's Timebug, Rift Elemental, and Timebender provide us with a way to twist and turn the time counters on our suspended creatures so we can cast them when we need them. Fury Charm brings diversity with instant artifact hate, a +1/+1 pump, or some time counter removal.  I would like to say that you should hold onto Clockspinning until you can add the buyback mana. That way you can keep a way to remove time counters in case of an emergency.

But creatures with suspend aren’t the only creatures with time counters so let’s look at some of these other creatures really quick.

Soultether Golem, Chronozoa, and Deadwood Treefolk: So first we have Soultether Golem is a 3/3 that basically dies at the beginning of your next turn dies, but if a creature you control enters the battlefield it gets a time counter. Remember the copies you make counts as entering the battlefield so the Golem gets two time counters. Chronozoa is a creature you actually want to remove the time counters from so you can get the copies it makes. But the best part is the tokens are exact copies, so if you can remove the counters from the tokens they will die and make more tokens! Deadwood Treefolk is pretty costly for a 3/6 but you can use it, and any copies you make of him, to get a second chance to cast any creature of yours that died.

Intet, the Dreamer: We won’t be making copies of Intet or anything like that, but at least we get to use it as a way to find a few cards off the top.

Arc Blade, Plunder, Reality Strobe, Search for Tomorrow, Shivan Meteor, and Wheel of Fate: Arc Blade was a personal favorite from awhile back. It and Reality Strobe were a part of a cycle of spells that you could suspend for three turns. On turn three they would be casted and then, instead of going to the graveyard, suspend themselves for three turns again. I liked to cast them one turn after another because you would get one turn of Arc Blade, followed by a turn of a Reality Strobe, followed by a turn of whichever one I casted again. Sure here we don’t have a three one because I don’t want the green version here. You could end up pumping an opponent’s creature if you don’t have one. Plunder brings a chance for some artifact/land removal for four mana while Search for Tomorrow is here for some mana fixing. Shivan Meteor and Wheel of Fate are great targets for copying with Riku but better targets for…

Radiate: You use this with Shivan Meteor for mass creature destruction, with Plunder for mass land and artifact destruction, or with Reality Strobe to bounce every permanent on the board… that last one was kind of harsh. Ignore that.

Cultivate, Explosive Vegetation, Harrow, Journey of Discovery, Kodama's Reach, and Rampant Growth: Mana! We’re going to need a package like this to keep as much mana open for copying. Even copying these may seem a little much but it will gain us that much more mana in the long run.

Tezzeret's Gambit, Frantic Search, Harmonize, and Concentrate: These are great copy targets because we get card draw at a discounted price. Harmonize and Concentrate alone, with the copying of course, equals pay six mana, draw six cards. Really? I would pay that price all day in a group game.

Hull Breach, Decimate, Crash, Deconstruct, and Beast Within:  Here are some various spells that can be used to destroy different things. There’s not much in the form of creature removal in this color combination, so we’ll just have to work with what we got.

Ancient Grudge, Deep Analysis, Deep Reconaissance, Gnaw to the Bone, Cackling Counterpart, Think Twice, and Memory's Journey: Suspend is not the only way to get a chance for some spells. Flashback counts a casting the card when activated from the grave.

Swiftfoot Boots, Champion's Helm, and Lightning Greaves: These are here to protect Riku from removal spells and tucks. Not much to see here… moving on.

Chandra, the Firebrand and Jace, the Mind Sculptor: Chandra can copy spells for us while Jace is just busy bee Jace. What more can you ask from him?

Library of Leng, Spellbook, Reliquary Tower, and Venser's Journal: Just in case copying all those draw spells leads to us having too many cards in hand. Cause you never know right?

I Don’ts Aways Copys You Alls the Time!

With 13 Mountains, 13 Forests, and 13 Islands we can copy ourselves until we can’t take it anymore! 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 Red/Green/White with our next Tri-Color Deck. Feel free to leave any comments you have and you can always hit me up at CaptainRedZone@gmail.com. You can also find me on OffColorCast.com where I podcast with Cassidy Silver and Christian Renoe. Just a heads up, OffColorCast.com may not be work safe. 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 Riku of Two Reflections
1 Intet, the Dreamer
12 Island
13 Forest
12 Mountain
1 Greater Gargadon
1 Keldon Halberdier
1 Riftwing Cloudskate
1 Shivan Sand-Mage
1 Veiling Oddity
1 Viscerid Deepwalker
1 Infiltrator il-Kor
1 Giant Dustwasp
1 Errant Ephemeron
1 Durkwood Baloth
1 Deep-Sea Kraken
1 Aeon Chronicler
1 Epochrasite
1 Jhoira of the Ghitu
1 Jhoira's Timebug
1 Rift Elemental
1 Timebender
1 Minion Reflector
1 Fury Charm
1 Clockspinning
1 Soultether Golem
1 Chronozoa
1 Deadwood Treefolk
1 Arc Blade
1 Plunder
1 Reality Strobe
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Shivan Meteor
1 Wheel of Fate
1 Radiate
1 Cultivate
1 Deep Reconnaissance
1 Explosive Vegetation
1 Harrow
1 Journey of Discovery
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Rampant Growth
1 Tezzeret's Gambit
1 Frantic Search
1 Harmonize
1 Concentrate
1 Hull Breach
1 Decimate
1 Crash
1 Deconstruct
1 Beast Within
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Deep Analysis
1 Gnaw to the Bone
1 Cackling Counterpart
1 Think Twice
1 Memory's Journey
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Champion's Helm
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Chandra, the Firebrand
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Library of Leng
1 Spellbook
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Venser's Journal

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