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Magic: The Gathering!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

The Beast Within!

Welcome one and all!  This is Captain Red Zone coming to you once again with the next part of my new deck series for Tri-Colors for your viewing delight. This week, we’re going big with Green/White/Red or Naya for those of you in the know. The commander pool in these colors is fairly deep, but I already picked the one we’ll be dealing with today. Not saying that the other options are bad, far from it. I just saw this card and wanted to give it a day in court. So this week we’re dealing with…

When it comes to this elf, size does matter. Another part about this color combination, during the Alara block Naya had a 5 power or greater theme in it. It was pretty cut and dry, you get an effect for having a huge creature or an effect that only target huge creature gets. Mayael is one of my favorite types of Commanders. Over the years, this game has had a ton of mechanics, themes, and abilities that for the most part go ignored. Let’s play a quick game: pick a set you have played a lot. Now name every mechanic, theme, and ability that’s used one at least five or more cards. Now go look it up online and see if you hit them all. Don’t worry. I’ll wait.
Done? No. Ok.
For those of you that named them all good for you. But I’m sure that for every homerun hitter that got them all, there are at least three or more people who missed some theme. Mayael falls into a group of Commanders that have an ability that is closely linked to a group of cards. I hate that fact that there are no legendary creatures with persist or wither. Or that there are only nine creatures with Ninjutsu. Yes, two of them are legendary, but both are only in a single color so to build a deck with them comes down to Mono blue with three Ninjutsu creatures or mono black with four Ninjutsu creatures. Yes, this may create more creativity in deck building but these are abilities that may never be reprinting. I understand that these are from sets before Commander was a thing, but there are so few on theme legends with cards that back them up for me to skip Mayael.

Sorry for that little rant.

So... um… Let look a deck for this elf!

Hungry for Life! Thirsty for Naya!

Just out of my own personal curiosity, this deck is all Permanents. No Instants. No Sorceries. Also, just for fun, no Planeswalkers. Let’s see where this is going. We’ll start with the smaller cards that want to see the size of your… top deck.

Sensei's Divining Top, Mirri's Guile, Crystal Ball, Gilt-Leaf Seer, and Cream of the Crop: We want Mayael to have the best possible target when we use her ability. These are here to make sure that top five has something worth our time. Sensei's Divining Top, Mirri's Guile, and Crystal Ball gives us a early game that can fix any bad top decks. Gilt-Leaf Seer falls into the same area but has two benefits. One it can attack and block if needed. And two, it’s an elf which may matter a little later. Cream of the Crop is going to be really interesting here. Just dropping a creature with five power gets you a free look at the top five. With this card you never have to worry about your opponents tucking Mayael because you will see almost every card in your deck.

With all this top deck manipulation, let’s start looking at what we’re manipulating for…

Johan, Terastodon, Greater Gargadon, Avatar of Slaughter, Godsire, Hydra Omnivore, Celestial Force, Engulfing Slagwurm, Magmatic Force, Pelakka Wurm, Verdant Force, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, Rampaging Baloths, Vigor, Meglonoth, Windbrisk Raptor, Steel Hellkite, Oversoul of Dusk, Spearbreaker Behemoth, Rhox, Baneslayer Angel, Avenger of Zendikar, Spellbreaker Behemoth, Hearthcage Giant, Bull Cerodon, Elvish Soultiller, Roughshod Mentor, Woolly Thoctar, Vagrant Plowbeasts, Paleoloth, Rakeclaw Gargantuan, Bellowing Tanglewurm, and Mosstodon: Johan brings a vigilance-ish effect for your big beaters. Terastodon brings noncreature removal while Avatar of Slaughter brings a serious beating to the table. Greater Gargadon is just a huge 9/7 I could pay one for. Godsire is great for attacking but better for tokens making seeing as how the tokens it makes are 8/8s. Let me say that again: 8/8 tokens. Hydra Omnivore and Engulfing Slagwurm make attack phases interesting. Magmatic Force, Verdant Force, and Celestial Force are all great targets for Mayael because they generate free, every turn effects that you can use to come back with. Pelakka Wurm’s ability to draw a card when it dies makes it easy for you to attack freely. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger is one of the best targets for Mayael because of the mana you get out of it can go to a second use of Mayael if you can get her untapped.

Wooo… this is taking a lot longer than I figured it would. Time for a breif intermission...

 Alright. Now we're back...

Avenger of Zendikar, Hearthcage Giant, and Rampaging Baloths are just token generators but are also great as a beatsticks. Vigor is also a good 6/6 trampler but this the ability to convert damage into +1/+1 counters is the real cream for this pie. Spellbreaker Behemoth, Spearbreaker Behemoth, Paleoloth, Vagrant Plowbeasts, Rakeclaw Gargantuan, and Mosstodon care about your huge creatures and are here to give them some backup support in various forms. Elvish Soultiller serves as a way to recur your creatures from the grave. With 35 out of the 44 creatures in this deck being green, Roughshod Mentor and Bellowing Tanglewurm just seem like auto includes. Meglonoth is great for dealing with creatures and, when blocking, can trade up with anything with 12 defense. Windbrisk Raptor provides a way to gain some life points back and when most of our creatures are 5 power or bigger that can be a lot of life. Steel Hellkite is here for some board clearing and Rhox is here for fun. Baneslayer Angel, Woolly Thoctar, Oversoul of Dusk, and Bull Cerodon are just really well costed beaters.

Ok. now that we're out of that, let's look at the rest of this deck...

Magewright's Stone, Thousand-Year Elixir, and Puppet Strings: These will allow us to use Mayael the Anima a few extra times a turn. They also pair up nicely with our other creatures to give them a kind of vigilance when we really need a blocker.

Mayael's Aria and Mighty Emergence: Mayael’s Aria can make our creatures even bigger, gains us life, and can even be a win condition if left unchecked. Mighty Emergence can help our Aria by getting our big guys a little added bump.

Nemesis Mask: the mask can be pretty scary when it’s on an Engulfing Slagwurm and it’s pretty good on most of our massive creatures.

Thran Turbine, Coalition Relic, Mirari's Wake, Thran Dynamo, Knotvine Mystic, Skyshroud Elf, Bloom Tender, Druid of the Anima, Elvish Harbinger, Viridian Joiner, Umbral Mantle, and Sacellum Godspeaker: we need a lot of mana for this to work out right. So here are some of the best mana guys and artifacts in these colors. I’m not going to go over all of these but I do want to say that we can use Skyshroud Elf to filter all of these into the colors we need.

Wirewood Herald: A lot of our smaller creatures are elves and our commander is one too. Wirewood Herald is good for finding Mayael if she gets tucked or just looking for a mana fixer.

Mosswort Bridge, Windbrisk Heights, Spinerock Knoll, Contested Cliffs, Terrain Generator, and Wirewood Lodge: Mosswort Bridge, Windbrisk Heights, and Spinerock Knoll have conditions that are easy to meet with this deck and they will give us some additional ways to drop creatures. Contested Cliffs will help our bigger creatures kill off smaller, annoying creatures that don’t attack as often. Terrain Generator is good for getting extra lands out so we can pay for our creatures if it comes to that. Wirewood Lodge is here as another way to untap Mayael for fun and profit.

Fauna Shaman, Survival of the Fittest, and Wheel of Sun and Moon: I think the Wheel doesn’t get the kind of respect it needs. With it we can freely use our creatures to attack with and, if they die,we can use Fauna Shaman and Survival to get them back.

Unleash the Beast!

With 11 Mountains, 11 Forests, and 11 Plains we’re now stomping with the big dogs! 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/White/Blue 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 Mayael the Anima
1 Johan
11 Forest
11 Mountain
11 Plains
1 Terastodon
1 Greater Gargadon
1 Avatar of Slaughter
1 Godsire
1 Hydra Omnivore
1 Celestial Force
1 Engulfing Slagwurm
1 Magmatic Force
1 Pelakka Wurm
1 Verdant Force
1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
1 Rampaging Baloths
1 Vigor
1 Meglonoth
1 Windbrisk Raptor
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Oversoul of Dusk
1 Spearbreaker Behemoth
1 Rhox
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Spellbreaker Behemoth
1 Hearthcage Giant
1 Bull Cerodon
1 Elvish Soultiller
1 Roughshod Mentor
1 Woolly Thoctar
1 Vagrant Plowbeasts
1 Paleoloth
1 Rakeclaw Gargantuan
1 Mosstodon
1 Mayael's Aria
1 Mighty Emergence
1 Bellowing Tanglewurm
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Mirri's Guile
1 Crystal Ball
1 Gilt-Leaf Seer
1 Cream of the Crop
1 Mosswort Bridge
1 Windbrisk Heights
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Nemesis Mask
1 Contested Cliffs
1 Terrain Generator
1 Thran Turbine
1 Skyshroud Elf
1 Bloom Tender
1 Druid of the Anima
1 Elvish Harbinger
1 Viridian Joiner
1 Sacellum Godspeaker
1 Coalition Relic
1 Mirari's Wake
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Knotvine Mystic
1 Magewright's Stone
1 Thousand-Year Elixir
1 Puppet Strings
1 Umbral Mantle
1 Wirewood Lodge
1 Wirewood Herald
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon

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