FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – LET’S BUILD PART 19

Greetings, readers! This week marks the first entry in my once-a-year take on my Let’s Build series where I take submissions from you, the readers, to help get a second opinion on the deckbuilding process. For those still unaware of the Let’s Build series, it’s my article series highlighting the deckbuilding process for a specific general or strategy, going over card choices, the pros and cons of the strategy, and a general idea of how the process works.

I kick off Let’s Build month with a request from Eric Birkner, who’s building his own list and would like a second opinion. The list is that of everyone’s favorite five-color artifact legend, Reaper King.

Reaper King is an interesting, yet polarizing general. He has a wild best-case/worst-case scenario, in that he provides an incredibly powerful effect, yet he relies on your draws, and those draws have to be creatures of an arguably inferior tribe. It can sometimes have a pretty absurd draw where it just drowns the board in Vindicates, but you can sometimes find you’re just holding a bunch of dead cards that do nothing because Reaper King isn’t on the board.

This submission actually took some thought, but a rather interesting idea buzzed around my head that I’m going to try. If it works, it works; in theory, it has a better worst-case than most lists that just jam every Scarecrow ever printed into the deck. However, before I spoil the surprise, let’s go over the pros and cons of Reaper King, as with most of the recent Let’s Build articles:

+Repeatable removal will always be very powerful. Unrestricted repeatable removal is impossible to ignore.
+Incredibly easy to tutor if put in your library; you’re running all five colors and 2/3 of the game’s tutors can find this thing
+Has 6 power for 5 mana in addition to being a lord, something that goes over most people’s heads; in addition to being a powerful engine of removal, he can pressure most board states quite nicely
+A rather flexible general despite needing a fair amount of build-around; can go with a Maze’s End package, a Doubling Season package or a God package
+Incredibly powerful when ahead; things like blink engines and Prophet of Kruphix go a long way in being able to gain an oppressive grip on the table

-Extremely dependent on the general to function; counterspells and tuck spells are not your friends
-Extremely easy to shut down with Wrath of God, Nevermore and Torpor Orb
-Scarecrows are arguably an absolutely awful tribe, as very few of them actually do anything worthwhile on their own
-Avacyn, Angel of Hope is not very nice

Of course, being in five-colors, all of the problems Reaper King innately has are rather easy to solve, but the biggest problem I’ve found Reaper King to have is that the quality of Scarecrows in Magic are arguably pitiful, but one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s not terribly difficult to just find the one you need and then make 5 copies of it. Thus, the route I’ve decided to take with Reaper King is a Clone shell.

CHOOSING YOUR GENERAL

Reaper King, Magic, Shadowmoor

Reaper King is a wonderful king of a less-than-wonderful tribe, making the most out of rather subpar creatures by making them all Vindicate when they enter the battlefield. It’s an attractive feature when you think of it objectively just on Reaper King itself, but then you realize the Scarecrows of the game are:

-Painter’s Servant (b& lol)
-Scarecrone
-Grim Poppet
-Scuttlemutt
-Heap Doll
-Pili-Pala
-Lurebound Scarecrow
-Tatterkite
-Scrapbasket
-One-Eyed Scarecrow
-Scarecrow
-Lockjaw Snapper
-Fang Skulkin
-Wicker Warcrawler
-Straw Soldiers
-Watchwing Scarecrow
-Wingrattle Scarecrow
-Shell Skulkin
-Rattleblaze Scarecrow
-Antler Skulkin
-Thornwatch Scarecrow
-Blazethorn Scarecrow
-Jawbone Skulkin
-Chainbreaker
-Hoof Skulkin

While there’s an okay number of them, the problem remains that you can’t just blindly shove them all in the deck and call it a day; your card quality suffers as a result, and they do absolutely nothing without Reaper King on the board. Any good EDH deck will be able to use its general as a catalyst, not a crutch, so we’ll take the useful Scarecrows, as well as the various useful Changeling creatures, and run them as our Scarecrows. Aside from that, we’ll double up on our decent Scarecrows by running Clones that copy them, rather than run the subpar Scarecrows, to maximize card value. At worst, the bad Scarecrow creatures are pitiful combat bodies. At worst, Clones are the best creature on the board. I already know which I’d rather have.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE DECK?

The gist of a Reaper King strategy is to spam the board with creatures that blow things up. Your early game plan is generally to try and setup a position where you can cast Reaper King safely, using Mother of Runes and Lightning Greaves to protect it while using Grand Abolisher, Vexing Shusher and Cavern of Souls to ensure it resolves through countermagic.

After you’ve gotten Reaper King safely ushered to the battlefield, your goal is to start using the quality generated by it to slowly build an incremental advantage. You can cast a piddly Crow or two and start blowing up problem permanents, while tutoring something like Sakashima the Impostor, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas or Garruk, Caller of Beasts to ensure you have continuous gas to maintain momentum.

Your endgame plan involves you basically blowing up the entire board by locking opponents out of the game with Ghostway and Eternal Witness. In situations where you just want to be an absolutely awful person, you can use Ghostway to blink your army, and have all your Clone effects copy Reaper King. When they come in, sure, they’ll all die to the legend rule (if you control an even amount of Reaper Kings, anyway), but they’ll also all see each other, and blow up an astronomical amount of permanents. Just to be sure, though, keep this plan safe by having Darksteel Ingot or a God on standby so you don’t wind up blowing up your own things; Reaper King’s trigger isn’t a may ability, so you don’t have a choice but to blow things up.

CARD CHOICES

The first suite of spells we introduce are the most important; the Scarecrows! While there aren’t very many good ones, there are enough passable effects you’ll want that warrant inclusion.

In-
Scarecrone
Scuttlemutt
Heap Doll
Wingrattle Scarecrow
Antler Skulkin
Jawbone Skulkin
Chameleon Colossus
Mirror Entity
Taurean Mauler
Shapesharer
Adaptive Automaton

Next, the Clones!

In-
Body Double
Dack’s Duplicate
Evil Twin
Phantasmal Image
Phyrexian Metamorph
Progenitor Mimic
Sakashima the Impostor
Sakashima’s Student
Rite of Replication
Spitting Image
Stolen Identity
Twinflame

The next suite of spells we go over are those aimed at protecting the plan or ensuring it sticks. As the deck relies on its general to function, getting it out and protecting it is something we have to always be mindful of.

In-
Mother of Runes
Grand Abolisher
Vexing Shusher
Leonin Abunas
Ghostway
Ghostly Flicker
Faith’s Reward
Lightning Greaves
Crystal Shard

Next, our card advantage – ramp, card draw, and engines the deck can use to great efficiency.

In-
Eternal Witness
Archaeomancer
Erebos, God of the Dead
Keranos, God of Storms
Demonic Tutor
Diabolic Tutor
Tooth and Nail
Worldly Tutor
Darksteel Ingot
Sol Ring
Chromatic Lantern
Fellwar Stone
Trading Post
Maelstrom Nexus
Mirari’s Wake
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Tezzeret the Seeker
Xenagos, the Reveler
Garruk, Caller of Beasts

Lastly for spells, the rest of the goodstuff!

In-
Deadeye Navigator
Brago, King Eternal
Prophet of Kruphix
Athreos, God of Passage
Goblin Welder
Living Death
Austere Command
All is Dust
Cyclonic Rift
Swords to Plowshares
Venser, the Sojourner

As far as lands go, it’s a much simpler 5-color manabase than I’m used to, though it’s very familiar if you’ve read my other 5-color articles. As usual when it comes to manabases, we begin with the color enablers.

In-
Maze’s End
Command Tower
Reflecting Pool
Exotic Orchard
Crystal Quarry
Azorius Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Rakdos Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Selesnya Guildgate
Orzhov Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Boros Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Seaside Citadel
Arcane Sanctum
Crumbling Necropolis
Savage Lands
Jungle Shrine
Terramorphic Expanse
Evolving Wilds

Next, we introduce the utility nonbasics.

In-
Cavern of Souls
Homeward Path
Academy Ruins

And last, but not least, the basics!

In-
2 Plains
2 Islands
2 Swamps
2 Mountains
2 Forests

And with that, we’ve arrived at the final product!

Scareclone EDH

General (1)
Creatures (33)
Sorceries (11)
Instants (7)
Artifacts (8)
Enchantments (3)
Planeswalkers (6)
Basic Lands (10)
Nonbasic Lands (18)

CLOSING THOUGHTS

And there you have it, my take on Reaper King! I wanted to try an angle that hasn’t really been explored yet, so this was my attempt. Hope you enjoy, Eric! Though I have a few submissions saved up, I’m still up to hearing ideas, so please submit your thoughts. Thanks, and see you next week!
~L

Check out my previous articles here:

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508
Born of the Gods - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2800
Journey into Nyx - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3101
M15 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3174

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525
Part 11 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2617
Part 12 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2691
Part 13 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2822
Part 14 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2933
Part 15 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3086
Part 16 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3134
Part 17 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3153
Part 18 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3181

Let’s Talk Conspiracy:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3138

Let’s Talk Journey into Nyx:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3015
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3030

Let’s Talk M14:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk M15:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3159
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3167

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Oh My God:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3118

Painting a Target:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2631

Perspective:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3188

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

The Top Soldiers Of:
Azorius - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2640
Bant - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2907
Boros – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2854
Dimir - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2653
Esper - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2957
Five-Color - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3156
Golgari - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2760
Grixis – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2984
Gruul - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2669
Izzet- http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2710
Jund - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3124
Naya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3146
Orzhov - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2681
Rakdos - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2663
Selesnya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2677
Simic - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2900

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089

FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – LET’S BUILD PART 18

Greetings, readers! To usher in my month-long string of content based on my Let’s Build series, I’m putting the series’ routine end-of-the-month entry. For those unaware, the Let’s Build series focuses on breaking down the deckbuilding process, highlighting specific generals or strategies and the card choices involved with each.

This week wraps up my month-long dedication to articles on Magic’s newest expansion, the 2015 Core Set, by talking about a general from the set I’m sure has been on a lot of people’s radars, Sliver Hivelord.

A lot of people might question why I chose the Hivelord as my focus for a Sliver deck. Arguably, Sliver Overlord is the superior general for its flexibility and raw power as a tutor. However, while the Overlord is a 7/7 for 5 that tutors, he’s not Avacyn, Angel of Hope for 5. Whereas the Overlord has more power the longer the game goes, the pressure and staying power Hivelord gives is just impossible to outright overlook, and while tutoring is powerful, ensuring the safety of your board is an option to at least consider, and it’s one powerful enough to build a deck around, in my opinion.

Like always, we’ll first consider the advantages and disadvantages of Sliver Hivelord:

+He gives an effect that’s absolutely busted at 8 mana, at 5 mana.
+General damage is extremely easy to punch through with multiple enablers for evasion and insane damage
+You have both pressure and board control through various effects that both boost your damage and remove opposing resources
+With all five colors at your disposal, you have access to cards such as Prophet of Kruphix, Maelstrom Nexus and Maze’s End
+Cavern of Souls is not just a one-trick pony in your deck

-Being as dependent on sticking your general as you are, Hinder and Chaos Warp are not your friends
-Not being able to reliably cast Hivelord until turn 5 can be a pain as your blue matchup is subpar without Root Sliver
-You have a pretty wild best-case/worst-case, as some Slivers, while silver-bullet in nature, can fall flat in certain matchups
-Often times, you can find yourself running out of spells to cast without some sort of draw outlet

Obviously, the good outweighs the bad, but the list I’ve created is aggressive through and through, so the typical outs to your aggro matchups can seriously screw with you. That being said, this deck can do a ton of damage incredibly fast, so decks that spend their first few turns screwing around not doing much can get blown out by how quickly you can deplete life totals.

CHOOSING YOUR GENERAL

Sliver Hivelord, Magic, Magic 2015 (M15)

Hivelord, unlike its legendary kin, fits an aggressive playstyle much more fluidly. While Sliver Legion has superior pressure, what it lacks is staying power, making it fall flat to a Wrath of God. Staying power goes a long way in maintaining pressure and momentum throughout a game, and I can’t reiterate enough how insane getting Avacyn, Angel of Hope for 5 mana is.

With all of the collateral effects every other Sliver you play pumping the Hivelord, it’s also paltry to make him a must-answer threat for your opponents. When ahead, you’re almost impossible to stop, as a fast Sliver Hivelord cast into Crystalline Sliver as a followup makes the options your opponents have few and far between when it comes to stopping you.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE DECK?

The goal of this deck, like many other aggro decks, is to cast a consistent stream of threats while maintaining the pressure required to kill the table. Usually, consistent draws will bury the table in a ton of damage extremely quickly, whereas at the very least, inconsistent draws will still have you casting your general and attacking and blocking with an indestructible army of Slivers.

Overall, spamming the board with Slivers and having each give the rest an absurd ability on offense or defense is the typical game plan, and there are certain Slivers that accentuate both the offensive and defensive abilities, letting you play both game plans pretty seamlessly. As the game goes on, interaction with you can get harder and harder, though there are still things like Terminus or Cyclonic Rift that can screw your board up pretty hard.

CARD CHOICES

As an aggressive Sliver shell, the first thing we’ll establish is the Slivers which allow for a more offensive line of play through attacking, evading opponent’s blockers, or just allowing fast starts.

In-
Bonescythe Sliver
Bonesplitter Sliver
Brood Sliver
Essence Sliver
Frenzy Sliver
Galerider Sliver
Gemhide Sliver
Heart Sliver
Leeching Sliver
Manaweft Sliver
Megantic Sliver
Might Sliver
Mirror Entity
Muscle Sliver
Predatory Sliver
Sedge Sliver
Shadow Sliver
Shifting Sliver
Sidewinder Sliver
Sinew Sliver
Synapse Sliver
Syphon Sliver
Thorncaster Sliver
Two-Headed Sliver

Next, we establish the more defensive, utility, and removal Slivers, used to disrupt and defend against the opposition.

In-
Constricting Sliver
Crystalline Sliver
Darkheart Sliver
Diffusion Sliver
Harmonic Sliver
Homing Sliver
Hunter Sliver
Necrotic Sliver
Quick Sliver
Quilled Sliver
Root Sliver
Sliver Overlord

Of course, as good as Slivers themselves are, the deck runs a few specific non-Sliver creatures to accentuate both the offensive and defensive lines of play the deck can make.

In-
Athreos, God of Passage
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Erebos, God of the Dead
Iroas, God of Victory
Mother of Runes
Novablast Wurm
Prophet of Kruphix
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Trygon Predator

Of course, the deck is backed by a few choice noncreature spells as well, either to accelerate the mana or help remove problem permanents from the board.

In-
Austere Command
Genesis Wave
Patriarch’s Bidding
Wargate
Cyclonic Rift
Swords to Plowshares
Worldly Tutor
Chromatic Lantern
Darksteel Ingot
Fellwar Stone
Sol Ring
Maelstrom Nexus
Mirari’s Wake
Garruk, Caller of Beasts

Now that we’ve established the spells, we move onto the lands. As always, the color enablers come first.

In-
Ancient Ziggurat
Arcane Sanctum
Azorius Guildgate
Boros Guildgate
Cavern of Souls
City of Brass
Command Tower
Crumbling Necropolis
Crystal Quarry
Dimir Guildgate
Evolving Wilds
Exotic Orchard
Golgari Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Jungle Shrine
Maze’s End
Orzhov Guildgate
Rakdos Guildgate
Reflecting Pool
Savage Lands
Seaside Citadel
Selesnya Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Sliver Hive
Terramorphic Expanse

Past that, there are the utility lands as well.

In-
Alchemist’s Refuge
Bojuka Bog
Homeward Path
Tolaria West
Vault of the Archangel
Windbrisk Heights

Lastly, we establish the basics!

In-
Plains
Island
Swamp
Mountain
Forest

And with that, we’ve arrived at the final product!

Sliver Aggro EDH

General (1)
Creatures (48)
Sorceries (4)
Instants (3)
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (2)
Planeswalkers (1)
Basic Lands (5)
Nonbasic Lands (32)

(This list as posted in this article will not be final. If you want to see what changes might have occurred to the list since the posting of this article, check out the decklist posting on TappedOut here.)

CLOSING THOUGHTS

And there you have it, my take on a Sliver Hivelord EDH deck! Next week will be my first entry into Let’s Build Month, so I’ll be taking consensus from you, the readers, to decide which four generals or cards to build around! Until then!
~L

Check out my previous articles here:

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508
Born of the Gods - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2800
Journey into Nyx - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3101
M15 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3174

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525
Part 11 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2617
Part 12 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2691
Part 13 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2822
Part 14 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2933
Part 15 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3086
Part 16 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3134
Part 17 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3153

Let’s Talk Conspiracy:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3138

Let’s Talk Journey into Nyx:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3015
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3030

Let’s Talk M14:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk M15:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3159
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3167

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Oh My God:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3118

Painting a Target:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2631

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

The Top Soldiers Of:
Azorius - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2640
Bant - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2907
Boros – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2854
Dimir - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2653
Esper - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2957
Five-Color - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3156
Golgari - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2760
Grixis – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2984
Gruul - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2669
Izzet- http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2710
Jund - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3124
Naya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3146
Orzhov - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2681
Rakdos - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2663
Selesnya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2677
Simic - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2900

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089

FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – LET’S BUILD PART 17

Greetings, readers! This week, I’ve decided to clock in my monthly entry to my Let’s Build series, wherein I take you guys through the deckbuilding process for certain generals or strategies. Through this series, I hope to give you guys some ideas to add to existing similar builds, or perhaps inspire you to pick up new generals and try them out instead.

In light of my upcoming project to dedicate another month entirely to Let’s Build, I’ve decided to put my entry for this month a week ahead of schedule (normally, I write them for the last week of every month), and this article will focus on one of Conspiracy’s newest additions to EDH, Brago, King Eternal.

Brago is arguably the blink archetype’s premier strategy; while Roon of the Hidden Realm allows you that crucial third color, it’s arguably far too slow and clunky for what the strategy demands. Brago fixes this issue by offering something the strategy needs to really compete; mass flickering. End of turn blinking was arguably too slow, so instantly flickering your permanents makes Brago more useful in comparison, especially when you consider the ability to run additional blink / flicker effects and get multiple ETB’s from a single permanent in a turn.

The first things we’ll go over with Brago, as with the more recent Let’s Build incarnations, are his strengths and weaknesses:

+Can chain flicker with Restoration Angel and Venser, the Sojourner among others to get multiple ETB triggers in a single turn
+Parallax Tide allows you to cheat and flicker your lands as well
+Double strike is both effective for flickering and non-threatening in the long run due to the fact that you’re likely only going to deal 4 general damage, which is paltry for double strike’s standards; opponents will generally allow you to do this without fearing Brago all that much
+Brago allows for multiple Planeswalker abilities in a turn; most notably, Venser, the Sojourner can give him the evasion he needs to be able to flicker him as well as your other Planeswalkers, such as Tezzeret the Seeker
+Spot removal is both plentiful and reusable in this, with three Oblivion Rings and cards like Reality Acid and Exclusion Ritual

-Torpor Orb is seriously rude, and makes all the spot removal absolutely necessary
-Maze of Ith and flying blockers suck
-The deck relies heavily on Brago; if he gets tucked, some of your draws can be absolutely dead
-The combat step doesn’t favor a deck whose creatures need to stay alive and are generally really terrible in combat
-Without going infinite through Palinchron or Strionic Resonator, the deck’s threat density is incredibly low; actually winning the game without being the collateral damage of someone’s sweeper can prove difficult sometimes

CHOOSING YOUR GENERAL

Brago, King Eternal, Magic, Conspiracy

The blink archetype has a very noncommittal spell base for its generals; you’re mostly going to be playing the archetype’s (albeit different entirely) definition of goodstuff. Few spells need to be dedicated to Brago himself to be effective. Strionic Resonator and Inquisitor Exarch are always an option if going infinite is your bag, but it’s not mine, and thus I’ve opted to forego that option for this build.

I’m strongly considering making him part of my actual rotation for a while, seeing as I’m actually stuck on what to do with my Athreos, God of Passage list. I might just horse around with TappedOut’s playtest option and see how it performs, and if it’s dynamic enough that it suits my playstyle, I’ll try him out.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE DECK?

The blink strategy has cemented its reputation as a tempo-based strategy at its core, getting its kicks off the incrementals it generates through having its permanents enter the battlefield to do what they do multiple times. This incarnation is no different; rather, it uses a number of oddball permanents to take advantage of the fact that Brago flickers your noncreature permanents as well.

The strategy’s biggest claim to fame is its resilience; while extremely reliant on its ability to setup a board state, its ability to grind out the lategame stages is what makes the strategy have worth. Being able to consistently recur your graveyard and exile multiple permanents or tempo your opponents out is what gives the strategy such powerful lategame potential.

CARD CHOICES

Our first suite of spells is the hearth of removal, tempo and countermagic the deck has.

In-
Glen Elendra Archmage
Sunblast Angel
War Priest of Thune
Angel of Serenity
Azorius Guildmage
Supreme Verdict
Akroma’s Vengeance
Austere Command
Hinder
Spell Crumple
Render Silent
Dissipate
Cyclonic Rift
Capsize
Swords to Plowshares
Return to Dust
Eye of Doom
Spine of Ish Sah
Oblivion Ring
Detention Sphere
Banishing Light
Act of Authority
Reality Acid
Exclusion Ritual

The next thing we establish is our suite of card advantage; drawing cards, ramping and other such effects.

In-
Solemn Simulacrum
Kor Cartographer
Mulldrifter
Plea for Power
Fact or Fiction
Sol Ring
Azorius Signet
Skullclamp
Rhystic Study
Mystic Remora
Jace, Architect of Thought

Though the deck innately relies on Brago, there are other blink engines to use alongside of him that help chain your blink effects.

In-
Deadeye Navigator
Restoration Angel
Ghostly Flicker
Ghostway
Parallax Tide
Parallax Wave
Skybind
Venser, the Sojouner

Lastly for spells, we establish our goodstuff, most of which is in the form of good ETB’s.

In-
Karmic Guide
Reveillark
Knight-Captain of Eos
Silverblade Paladin
Trinket Mage
Archaeomancer
Mnemonic Wall
Phyrexian Metamorph
Body Double
Sun Titan
Auramancer
Mulldrifter
Lightning Greaves
Sensei’s Divining Top
Relic of Progenitus
Swiftfoot Boots
Nevermore
Steel of the Godhead
Tezzeret the Seeker

We move onto lands from here, and begin with the color-enabling lands:

In-
Hallowed Fountain
Mystic Gate
Seachrome Coast
Adarkar Wastes
Nimbus Maze
Glacial Fortress
Skycloud Expanse
Temple of Enlightenment
Azorius Chancery
Sejiri Refuge
Command Tower

Next, we establish utility lands.

In-
Academy Ruins
Ancient Den
Seat of the Synod
Tolaria West
Cavern of Souls
Kor Haven
Thespian’s Stage
Halimar Depths
Reliquary Tower
Mistveil Plains
Windbrisk Heights

And last, but certainly not least, the basics!

In-
8 Islands
8 Plains

And with that, we’ve arrived at the final product!

Brago EDH

General (1)
Creatures (21)
Sorceries (4)
Instants (11)
Artifacts (9)
Enchantments (13)
Planeswalkers (3)
Basic Lands (16)
Nonbasic Lands (22)

(This list as posted in this article will not be final. If you want to see what changes might have occurred to the list since the posting of this article, check out the decklist posting on TappedOut here.)

CLOSING THOUGHTS

And there you have it, my take on Brago! Next week will likely be my conclusion of the Top Soldiers Of series to usher in my month-long string of Let’s Build articles. Until then!
~L

Check out my previous articles here:

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508
Born of the Gods - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2800
Journey into Nyx - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3101

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525
Part 11 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2617
Part 12 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2691
Part 13 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2822
Part 14 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2933
Part 15 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3086
Part 16 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3134

Let’s Talk Conspiracy:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3138

Let’s Talk Journey into Nyx:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3015
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3030

Let’s Talk M14:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Oh My God:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3118

Painting a Target:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2631

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

The Top Soldiers Of:
Azorius - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2640
Bant - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2907
Boros – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2854
Dimir - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2653
Esper - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2957
Golgari - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2760
Grixis – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2984
Gruul - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2669
Izzet- http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2710
Jund - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3124
Naya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3146
Orzhov - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2681
Rakdos - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2663
Selesnya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2677
Simic - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2900

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089

FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – LET’S BUILD PART 16

Greetings, readers! Since it’s the last few days of May, that means it’s time for my monthly Let’s Build entry. For those unaware, I take one week every month to go through the deckbuilding process for a specific strategy, general or color combination, highlighting card choices and combinations that I think work well. Hopefully, I’ll give the readers a couple of ideas while making these lists.

This month’s entry is a bit of a return to the Journey into Nyx content, because once again, I explore the idea of the God cards, but I take a different approach entirely as I explore the idea of all God cards in a crazy 5-color God card cocktail.

Ideally, a shell built around the Gods will rely around leaving other creatures in the dust as you constantly destroy them, only to have the Gods survive, and grind your opponents out through combat and consistent removal of their blockers.

The strategy has innate strengths and weaknesses, however, such as:

+You can run a fairly sizable creature shell and jam 6+ sweepers, not worrying about it
+Having indestructible blockers means that a Doubling Season Planeswalker shell is by far not out of the question
+You can win with general damage, running opponents over in combat with Gods, or most hilariously, Maze’s End
+You get to play Maelstrom Nexus, which is just an insanely fun card to use

-Exiling effects seriously suck
-Flying creatures are not very nice
-You’re limited in deck space with both lands and spells due to a Maze’s End package, a Doubling Season package and a God package
-While devotion to other colors usually isn’t an issue, red has the short end of the stick when it comes to decent enchantments and planeswalkers, making the red Gods difficult to make creatures

CHOOSING YOUR GENERAL

Child of Alara

I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that Child of Alara takes the helm. Destroying everything–except your Gods, of course–just makes sense flavor-wise, and adding a devotion or two to each of your Gods does wonders as well.

Arguably, there’s a case for Progenitus, as he adds double the devotion and doesn’t kill your Planeswalkers, but having a sweeper at your disposal at all times is always going to be helpful in a pinch. If the devotion means more to you than the utility that Child of Alara provides, feel free to change.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE DECK?

The gist of the deck is to stick Gods and use their cumulative effects to grind tables out. Usually, you’ll sit on the effects they provide for a while, being able to make tokens or mill people, scry or draw cards, but once the Gods become creatures, all hell breaks loose.

You’ll go from middling around with your Planeswalkers to establishing a giant wall of blockers for them, making it impossible for your opponents to punch through them due to all the sweepers you’re casting to take care of the problem creatures you run into.

Even if your opponent manages to deal with your God cards, you fall back on your Planeswalker emblems and ultimates, as well as Maze’s End, to secure your lategame dominance. While the deck has a lot of different functions, it all cohesively fits as goodstuff to win you the game.

CARD CHOICES

The first suite of spells is rather obvious.

In-
Heliod, God of the Sun
Thassa, God of the Sea
Erebos, God of the Dead
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Nylea, God of the Hunt
Ephara, God of the Polis
Phenax, God of Deception
Mogis, God of Slaughter
Xenagos, God of Revels
Karametra, God of Harvests
Athreos, God of Passage
Keranos, God of Storms
Pharika, God of Affliction
Iroas, God of Victory
Kruphix, God of Horizons

Next, we establish the second package of the deck – the Planeswalker bundle.

In-
Doubling Season
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
Jace, Architect of Thought
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
Liliana Vess
Sorin Markov
Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
Vraska the Unseen
Kiora, the Crashing Wave
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

The next thing we establish are our suite of removal spells. Specific matchups are tough to beat, and we can sweep with impunity when we have indestructible win conditions.

In-
Novablast Wurm
Decimate
Supreme Verdict
Akroma’s Vengeance
Austere Command
Rout
Decree of Pain
Swords to Plowshares
Cyclonic Rift
Bant Charm
Beast Within
Wing Shards
Chaos Warp
Pernicious Deed
Aura of Silence
Porphyry Nodes

The next thing we have to establish are our tutors. While few and far between, we need that devotion to make our Gods creatures.

In-
Academy Rector
Idyllic Tutor
Tempt with Discovery
Conflux
Bribery
Demonic Tutor
Enlightened Tutor
Sterling Grove
Defense of the Heart

The next thing we establish is our card advantage through draw and ramp.

In-
Chromatic Lantern
Sol Ring
Rhystic Study
Phyrexian Arena
Exploration
Mirari’s Wake

Last but not least, for spells, we show off the goodstuff!

In-
Prophet of Kruphix
Replenish
All Suns’ Dawn
Wild Ricochet
Maelstrom Nexus

Now, for lands. We begin with the obvious:

In-
Maze’s End
Azorius Guildgate
Dimir Guildgate
Rakdos Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Selesnya Guildgate
Orzhov Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Boros Guildgate
Simic Guildgate

Next, we cover the color-enabling lands:

In-
Seaside Citadel
Arcane Sanctum
Crumbling Necropolis
Savage Lands
Jungle Shrine
Command Tower
Reflecting Pool
Exotic Orchard
Rupture Spire
Transguild Promenade
Cavern of Souls
Vivid Meadow
Vivid Creek
Vivid Marsh
Vivid Crag
Vivid Grove

Next, we move onto utility lands:

In-
Alchemist’s Refuge
Bojuka Bog
Thespian’s Stage
Tolaria West
Temple of the False God
Serra’s Sanctum

And, of course, we conclude the lands with our basics!

In-
Plains
Island
Swamp
Mountain
Forest

And with that, we’ve arrived at our finished product!

Gods EDH

General (1)
Creatures (18)
Sorceries (13)
Instants (8)
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (11)
Planeswalkers (9)
Basic Lands (5)
Nonbasic Lands (33)

CLOSING THOUGHTS

And there you have it; my take on a five-color God deck! Next week’s article will likely continue the Top Soldiers Of series, unless more Conspiracy spoilers happen. Until then!
~L

Check out my previous articles here:

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508
Born of the Gods - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2800
Journey into Nyx - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3101

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525
Part 11 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2617
Part 12 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2691
Part 13 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2822
Part 14 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2933

Let’s Talk Journey into Nyx:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3015
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3030

Let’s Talk M14:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Oh My God:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3118

Painting a Target:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2631

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

The Top Soldiers Of:
Azorius - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2640
Bant - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2907
Boros – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2854
Dimir - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2653
Esper - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2957
Golgari - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2760
Grixis – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2984
Gruul - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2669
Izzet- http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2710
Jund - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3124
Orzhov - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2681
Rakdos - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2663
Selesnya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2677
Simic - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2900

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089

FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – LET’S BUILD PART 15

Greetings, readers! This week, I continue my Journey Into Nyx-related string of content by bringing you this month’s entry into the Let’s Build series, in which I take the readers through the deckbuilding process and card selection for building generals, strategies, and combinations that I like to think work well. Hopefully, through this series, I’d like to help give you guys an idea or two when going through the deckbuilding process.

I think once the Top Soldiers Of series is topped off (which will be soon, as I’m not covering any wedge combinations), I’m going to do a second monthly string of Let’s Build articles. I enjoyed doing articles based on the feedback I received from the viewers, so if you have any suggestions, I’ll take them, even though this probably won’t be for at least another month or two.

Regardless, this month’s entry into the series will once again be one of my own personal builds, as it’s still very much in prototype stage. As this article is posted, I’ll likely have already given it its first test run, but since the moment it was spoiled, I’ve been downright giddy over the prospect of what has to be the general in its colors with the most variance printed thus far – Athreos, God of Passage.

I was a little too content to sit on a control shell of annoying creatures and kill spell variants in which I lost the creatures in the process when I first saw Athreos, but it didn’t take me long to hear the whispers of the Standard players for me to change my tune. Soon, I started forcing Hero of Bladehold and Precinct Captain into the deck, and I never looked back from there.

The strategy I’m choosing to go with is an extremely aggressive creatures-matter list. I think this is the correct way to pilot Athreos, to keep his devotion high and your opponents’ life totals low so that paying the toll becomes a difficult prospect. Before I continue, I’d like to highlight some of the strengths and weaknesses of this strategy:

+Unlike most strategies of this nature, with Athreos on board, your opponent can’t just slam Wrath of God and call it a day
+When your creatures do inevitably die, you can put more pressure on the board by forcing your opponents to pay life in order for your creatures to stay dead
+Can have Athreos become a creature as early as turn 4 with the right draw, and almost always on turn 5
+Fast, aggressive and provides crazy pressure to any board state, keeping your opponents on their toes as opposed to letting them relax and build their durdly combos
+You use Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to great effect in this deck
+You don’t even have to have the player who killed the creature that died pay the toll to keep it dead; you can simply ask an opponent who the creature doesn’t affect if they want to inconvenience themselves to make sure the creature stays dead, which has great political makings written all over it

-The deck is heavily reliant on Athreos to function; without Grand Abolisher as backup, getting Hindered can seriously spell your doom
-Because of how much the deck relies on casting permanents that increase devotion, the manabase is sketchy at worst and incredibly frustrating at best; you need turn 3 Athreos every game
-Smart opponents can pack disruption for Athreos such as Unravel the Aether or just bounce him to your hand and then Wrath
-You have to know who to kill right off the bat going in, and if you pick the wrong target, it can seriously screw you
-Not curving out and drawing the wrong combination of spells can make for a slow hand, which is not what the deck’s built to be

However, no deck is without its weaknesses, and the deck is constructed with at least one out to every weakness it has. I’ll say it here that I was considering adding a sacrifice outlet to dodge Chaos Warp and the like, but it allowed me to perform a 4-card infinite combo. While I understand 4-card is approaching the realm of “You deserve to combo with that many cards”, I’m still adamant in my distaste for infinite combos, so unless those tuck spells become a huge problem for me, I’ll continue to keep Cartel Arisocrat and Bloodthrone Vampire out of the deck.

CHOOSING YOUR GENERAL

Athreos, God of Passage

Athreos is cheap, efficient, and incredibly powerful. He makes the proposition of killing your creatures a daunting prospect for your opponents, and while they sit there wondering if they should, they deal with an ever-growing army, making the prospect of killing your creatures that much more miserable as you slowly grind the table into dust.

Usually, these types of super-aggressive creature-heavy strategies have been oft-forgotten in EDH, being very under-the-radar, but in the wake of Athreos, I think there will be at least some heed paid to these strategies. I’ve always personally been a huge fan of them, but it’s a strategy that’s hard to make work when a single spell can rob you of all the gas you have, and it’s a spell each opponent should have at least one copy of in each of their decks. Athreos changes all that by not only surviving those spells himself, but providing pressure on the way out by forcing your opponents to dwindle their life totals to not just have you rebuild your army.

As a 3-mana, 5-power indestructible creature, he’s also invaluable in this strategy, as he can just be your win condition if you slap enough Auras onto him and use Shizo, Death’s Storehouse to give him the evasion he needs to punch through damage. Overall, there are quite a few angles of attack you can take, but if you like turning dudes sideways and depleting life totals quickly and efficiently (or, if you’re just Craig Wescoe), then this deck is definitely for you.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE DECK?

Attack. Literally, it’s that simple. While there are strategies such as Momir Vig, Simic Visionary that can be complex and reward smart use of the stack, this deck is incredibly simple, making it attractive for newer players as well as old-school fans of the white weenie archetype; you cast the creatures you draw, overextend like an idiot, and smashy smash until you’re blue in the face.

Mind you, there are static, activated and triggered effects in the deck you have to be aware of while piloting it. Whether you’re getting tokens with Precinct Captain, making your army terrifying with Mirror Entity or just attacking for +4/+0 on each creature because of Crescendo of War, being aware of who, with what, and for how much you’re attacking can make all the difference.

Overall, though, quick starts can make for quick games if your opponents aren’t careful, as if you get a game where your opponents attempt to muster a defense (read: they didn’t draw the Wrath of God or Swords to Plowshares right off the bat), you can steal the game just by creating pressure in the early turns, pressure that transitions easily throughout the mid- and lategame with mass pump, evasion and first strike.

CARD CHOICES

The first suite of spells we cover for the deck construction section are our meat and potatoes–the attackers. These are the creatures whose sole purpose is to get in the red zone and cause havoc; whether they create tokens, gain you life or bolster the strength of your board, these are the marquis soldiers that create pressure, which is the goal of the deck.

In-
Champion of the Parish
Serra Ascendant
Accorder Paladin
Cavalry Pegasus
Imposing Sovereign
Nearheath Pilgrim
Phalanx Leader
Precinct Captain
Skirsdag High Priest
Underworld Coinsmith
Vizkopa Guildmage
Archetype of Courage
Fabled Hero
Frontline Medic
Mirror Entity
Silverblade Paladin
Xathrid Necromancer
Heliod, God of the Sun
Hero of Bladehold
Divinity of Pride
Luminarch Ascension

The next suite of spells we introduce are the disruption spells. This is where you’ll likely see the most obvious spells, as the auto-includes are all disruption spells. Athreos makes quite good use of Evoke, Echo, and a few other mechanics.

In-
Brain Maggot
Kataki, War’s Wage
Leonin Arbiter
Leonin Relic-Warder
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
War Priest of Thune
Agent of the Fates
Banisher Priest
Fiend Hunter
Fleshbag Marauder
Shriekmaw
Swords to Plowshares
Mortify
Aura of Silence
Dictate of Erebos

The next thing I wanted to do with this deck was give it an enchantment theme; Athreos is difficult to get rid of already, so I wanted a backup plan where if Athreos’ creatures were kept bogged down, you could keep him a creature by enchanting him with a bunch of Auras.

In-
Gnarled Scarhide
Hopeful Eidolon
Hero of Iroas
Sightless Brawler
Eidolon of Countless Battles
Ghostblade Eidolon
Nighthowler
Ethereal Armor

No white weenie deck would be truly complete without a suite of spells dedicated to bolstering the strength of your army. Whether you’re on offense or defense, having a stronger army is always going to be a worthwhile effect in a deck with 53 creatures.

In-
Mikaeus, the Lunarch
Meadowboon
Spear of Heliod
Crescendo of War
Eldrazi Monument
Ajani Goldmane

Last, but not least, we solidify our spells with our utility and card advantage engines. Attrition and pressure are two things the deck is very good at, so keeping pace with your opponents’ draw effects to apply pressure is an oft-welcomed thing.

In-
Mother of Runes
Aegis of the Gods
Blood Artist
Blood Scrivener
Grand Abolisher
Knight of the White Orchid
Pain Seer
Mentor of the Meek
Ophiomancer
Tethmos High Priest
Karmic Guide
Reveillark
Angel of Glory’s Rise
Skullclamp
Phyrexian Arena

Now we move onto lands! We begin our list of lands with our color-enablers:

In-
Caves of Koilos
City of Brass
Command Tower
Exotic Orchard
Fetid Heath
Godless Shrine
Isolated Chapel
Marsh Flats
Orzhov Basilica
Orzhov Guildgate
Scrubland
Tainted Field
Temple of Silence
Vivid Marsh
Vivid Meadow

Then, the rest of the nonbasics; the utility lands.

In-
Emeria, the Sky Ruin
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Serra’s Sanctum
Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
Vault of the Archangel
Windbrisk Heights

Lastly, the basics!

In-
11 Plains
2 Swamps

And with that, we’ve arrived at the finished product!

(This list as posted in this article will not be final. If you want to see what changes might have occurred to the list since the posting of this article, check out the decklist posting on MTG Salvation here.)
CLOSING THOUGHTS
So there you have it, everyone; my take on Athreos! The deck has been extremely fun to goldfish, and I hope live testing will prove just as entertaining.
Next week, I’ll be going over the Hits & Misses of Journey into Nyx. Until then!
~L

Check out my previous articles here:

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508
Born of the Gods - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2800

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525
Part 11 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2617
Part 12 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2691
Part 13 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2822
Part 14 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2933

Let’s Talk Journey into Nyx:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3015
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3030

Let’s Talk M14:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Painting a Target:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2631

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

The Top Soldiers Of:
Azorius - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2640
Bant - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2907
Boros – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2854
Dimir - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2653
Esper - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2957
Golgari - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2760
Grixis – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2984
Gruul - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2669
Izzet- http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2710 
Orzhov - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2681
Rakdos - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2663
Selesnya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2677
Simic - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2900

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089