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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

Grave Mistake!

Welcome one and all!  This is Captain Red Zone coming to you once again with the final part of my new deck series for Tri-Colors for your viewing delight. This week, we’re going into Red/White/Black A.K.A Oros.


NO!!NO!! NO!! OROS!! NO “E”!!!

This color combination is very low on the Commander options. Yet again, we have another combination where we only have three to pick and choose from. I really wish we had more than three options in this and the other color combinations that fall in the shallow end of the Commander pool. Maybe I’ll try something with that idea at a later day but, for now, let’s get to picking one. First one that’s up and out is Oros, the Avenger. I haven’t done a deck based on any of the Elder Dragons or their Planeshifted Brethren in this series, and I don’t intend on starting now. That leaves us with....

The Demon, Dragon, and Angel loving Kaalia of the Vast...

and the crazy graveyard antics of Tariel, Reckoner of Souls.

These two ladies are from the same household but they each have their own room. Kaalia seems to have the most visitors, and since I don’t want to catch anything, I’m going to go to Tariel. Her randomness just seems to appeal to me. She’s a little confused and I think I’m just the kind of guy she needs around to help keep her focused. So let’s go!

Rise from Your Grave!

So first, I’m going to see what I can do about that whole “at random” thing in her text box. If the only creature card in an opponent’s grave is the one you want, then Tariel’s choice is actually really easy.

Selfless Exorcist, Cemetery Reaper, Stonecloaker, Steamclaw, Withered Wretch, Shadowfeed, Sewerdreg, Scrabbling Claws, Purify the Grave, Phyrexian Furnace, Offalsnout, Mortiphobia, Moratorium Stone, Mirror Golem, Heap Doll, Headstone, Funeral Pyre, Fade from Memory, Crypt Creeper, Cremate, Coffin Purge, and Beckon Apparition: Selfless Exorcist is good for removing the smaller creatures and any Walls. Cemetery Reaper costs a little mana, but removing a creature to make a 2/2 Zombie token that the Reaper turns into a 3/3 is worth it. Stonecloaker is interesting because you can flash it in, remove a creature, and then return Stonecloaker to your hand for more grave hate later. Withered Wretch, Phyrexian Furnace, Steamclaw and Scrabbling Claws are the best of the cheapest, continuous ways to remove creatures from graveyards with no real drawbacks. Mortiphobia could be counted as a good graveyard hate card as long as you have thing you want to discard. After that, it’s just kind of bad. Sewerdreg is good against anyone using Swamps and can be used to remove any card from the grave.

Just to point out that Crypt Creeper, Heap Doll, and Offalsnout are all one time usage but you can play them, use them to attack or block with, and if they would die anyway, sacrifice them and remove something. Mirror Golem is kind of a one shot trick, but if you use it to remove say a Wurmcoil Engine, it gains protection from artifacts and creatures which make it a great attacker. Moratorium Stone plays a good role of dealing with a single card or say removing a staple card form the whole game, like a Sol Ring or even a say a titan of some kind. Headstone and Cremate removes a card and draws you a card. Funeral Pyre and Beckon Apparition replaces themselves by removing a card and giving you a flying 1/1 token. Fade from Memory can be cycled for the same graveyard removal cost and Shadowfeed will remove something from the grave and gain you three life. Purify the Grave and Coffin Purge are functional copies each other. Two cards that can remove up to four cards at instant speed should do us just fine when others try is get cute with their Survival of the Fittest.

With all that graveyard hate we need to make sure we have something to hate on. Usually the game will play out and we’ll get free targets from cards others have played, but I think a more active approach should be taken here. A built in way to make sure our opponents have creatures in the yard for us to steal will make our graveyard removal cards work the most effectively. So I’m thinking we should add a package of cards that will make sure that there’s always something in the grave. We need a discard package.

Mind Twist, Extortion, Mind Warp, Noggin Whack, Last Rites, Discordant Dirge, Stupor, Unnerve, Liliana's Specter, Noxious Toad, and Cackling Fiend: Mind Twist, Mind Warp, and Discordant Dirge provides a nice way to cause a lot of discards for some poor player. Stupor, Extortion, and Noggin Whack are good for two for one plays so you can keep the other players from having too big of a hand. Last Rites may cause you to discard your hand but I feel there will come a time where it may be needed. Liliana's Specter, Unnerve Noxious Toad, and Cackling Fiend all give you discard attached to a creature which is a good two for one because they lose a card while you gain a creature.

Words of Waste, Liliana Vess, Liliana of the Veil, and Scythe Specter: Here we have a more permanent set of discard cards for us to use. Words of Waste will take away your draw for the turn but it will deal with one card from every other player’s hand. Scythe Specter only needs to connect with one player to make a huge impact on all of your opponents while Liliana plays double duty with both copies of herself.  

Liliana's Caress, Megrim, Sangromancer, and Geth's Grimoire: If we’re going to have people discarding so often, we might as well make them pay for it, right? Megrim and Liliana’s Caress both play the same role by making your opponents lose two life points for each card. Sangromancer works in the other direction by gaining us three life for each discard while also gaining us three life if an opponent’s creature dies. Geth’s Grimoire becomes a nice way to draw some cards due to discard and combos with Words of Waste. You negate your draw with words of Waste, activate Geth’s Grimoire, and then negate Geth’s Grimoire with the Words. Repeat until all of our opponent’s hands are empty. Just remember that you could draw extra cards with each discard with Grimoire. Say there’s three other players you would get to draw up to three cards because it’s a may trigger.

Unburial Rites, Animate Dead, , Coffin Queen, Gravespawn Sovereign, Rise from the Grave, Debtors' Knell, Nezumi Graverobber, Reanimate, and Chainer, Dementia Master: With all of that discard, chances are we’ll also end up with a few targets for some graveyard resurrection. We can’t depend on only our Commander to pull this whole graveyard theft together. So I figured we would need a few additional ways to bring things back from the grave. Animate Dead is so funny because of its simple effect needing so much text to explain that it has to be here. Debtors' Knell is free grave theft while Chainer, Dementia Master steals dead creatures and pumps them for you. Nezumi Graverobber is graveyard removal and if for some reason an opponent has nothing in their grave you get to steal other creatures. Coffin Queen also steals dead guys and you can exile them so you can steal again and the opponent doesn’t get to try a regrow on their creature. Gravespawn Sovereign works well with your other zombies and your Cemetery Reaper.  Rise from the Grave and Reanimate for some non-conditional theft and Unburial Rites to regain your own creatures.

Diabolic Tutor, Rune-Scarred Demon, Beseech the Queen, and Cruel Tutor: Sometimes we just need to find a card from our deck. These are here to help make our hands a little easier to deal with.

Avatar of Woe, Terminate, Deathbringer Liege, Mortify, and Visara the Dreadful: With all of the things in this deck, we may still need a way to deal with other creatures that made it pass our discard control. It never hurts to be ready to destroy a few creatures.

Oros, the Avenger: Oros pulls up in here as a nice way of dealing with token decks. Not too many board wipes here but at least this one is repeatable. Also, with this kind of hand control there shouldn’t be much on the field you didn’t put there.

And Kill Your Master!

With 13 Mountains, 13 Plains, and 13 Swamps we can start ripping graveyards apart. 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… probably doing nothing due to my sixth anniversary to my wife. I’ll probably be taking that one off. But I may or may not have a little something something for you too, but don’t hold me to it. 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 time with 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 Tariel, Reckoner of Souls
1 Oros, the Avenger
13 Mountain
13 Swamp
13 Plains
1 Selfless Exorcist
1 Cemetery Reaper
1 Stonecloaker
1 Steamclaw
1 Withered Wretch
1 Shadowfeed
1 Sewerdreg
1 Scrabbling Claws
1 Purify the Grave
1 Phyrexian Furnace
1 Offalsnout
1 Mortiphobia
1 Moratorium Stone
1 Mirror Golem
1 Heap Doll
1 Headstone
1 Funeral Pyre
1 Fade from Memory
1 Crypt Creeper
1 Cremate
1 Coffin Purge
1 Beckon Apparition
1 Mind Twist
1 Extortion
1 Mind Warp
1 Noggin Whack
1 Last Rites
1 Discordant Dirge
1 Stupor
1 Megrim
1 Scythe Specter
1 Unnerve
1 Geth's Grimoire
1 Liliana's Specter
1 Liliana's Caress
1 Sangromancer
1 Words of Waste
1 Noxious Toad
1 Cackling Fiend
1 Liliana Vess
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Unburial Rites
1 Animate Dead
1 Chainer, Dementia Master
1 Coffin Queen
1 Gravespawn Sovereign
1 Rise from the Grave
1 Debtors' Knell
1 Nezumi Graverobber
1 Reanimate
1 Diabolic Tutor
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Cruel Tutor
1 Avatar of Woe
1 Terminate
1 Deathbringer Liege
1 Mortify
1 Visara the Dreadful

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