Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Master Plan

I've done an exhaustive sketch of the basic idea for this deck, Superman III style. Much like Richard Pryor's computer genius character, the results will be much more impressive in the flesh.


I've taken one sacrifice outlet and replaced it for another. The big benefit: Ashnod's Altar, of course, requires no mana to use the ability. Very few times have I actually been able to use the Phyrexian Vault, largely because I'm always trying to use my mana on other stuff when the big sweeper comes down. Ashnod's Altar not only works with no mana, it GIVES me mana. What a deal.

This change probably hurt me the most. Looter il-Kor is quite possibly the World's Best Looter, improving the quality of cards in my hand while simultaneously zapping a random opponent for 1. In EDH, the 1 point isn't quite so significant, but it's still nice. Unfortunately, Mr. Kor is NOT A WIZARD. Not enough boom. Sage of Fables on the other hand, lets me draw cards hopefully on a fairly regular basis as well. Testing in the heat of battle will show just how good he is (otherwise he's out on the curb!).

Explorer's Scope sounds good, providing some mana acceleration if your cards are stacked right. But I've come to realize that my retinue of loyal wizards doesn't just leap into the red zone at the drop of a hat. We have to work up to it. Explorer's Scope doesn't get used enough, and replacing it makes room for one of my favorite removal spells in the game. Cue Monty Python voice: NO ONE expects Red Elemental Blast! And in EDH, there are always blue spells and permanents to get rid of. This is never a dead card.

Fellwar Stone holds a lot of sentimental value to me. Back in the day, it was one of the best mana fixers, besides the almost-always restricted Sol Ring. All my copies are from The Dark, and they look like they took a ride under the back leg of a high-school cafeteria bench. Because they did. But out they go, and I can hardly see the Beacon of Destruction I'm sliding in through the wet, salty tears. Beacon of Destruction looks pretty cool, I expect to draw this multiple times in a game, thanks to all my little putzy card draw in the rest of the deck. Ka-POW!

Goodbye piddly card draw, hello punch to the face! Soul's Fire should smash 'em good provided I have a big creature out…and I freely admit there are a couple of big creatures.

Ophidian is pretty good card draw wrapped in a 1/3 body. It's true, in any multiplayer game you are bound to find someone you can attack with Ophidian. Of course, in the late game its essentially a dead card. Sigil Tracer is a wizard, and a real good one at that. 2 mana to copy any instant or sorcery! Notice, there are no color requirements, and 2 colorless mana just happens to be what my Ashnod's Altar produces. Hopefully someday I will have both of these exciting permanents in play along with, say, a Beacon of Destruction!

EDIT: Turns out I was totally off on Sigil Tracer. 1U to copy, plus tapping 2 wizards. I still think it's good, so there! Will play a couple games and see how it goes.

You might be thinking "hey, didn't you get rid of your Looter because you never attack?" I didn't say I never attack, I said my wizards needed to work up to it. PLUS, it's important to note deathtouch doesn't need to be combat damage, it's actually any damage. I'm seeing an exciting interaction here with my General Niv-Mizzet. Can you taste the sizzle?

Okay, what am I doing getting rid of a sweet wizard like Disruptive Pitmage. Well, to be honest, the only time he's ever been any use is when I've sacrificed him to my Voidmage Prodigy. Out you go, dirtbag. In it's place is some solid just-in-case-of-anything permanent removal.

More cruddy card draw, replaced by a huge sweeper. Wildfire is no Inferno, but I predict it will still make an impact when it comes down. My opponents are going to have to make a lot of hard choices with their land, which I am eager to see as well. Are you going to get rid of your good basics or all that good colorless utility land? Quite the conundrum.

I found Sage's Dowsing while I was digging through my cards. Seems like a good fit, and I've always been a little worried about getting caught with Assert Authority in my hand and a low artifact count on the ground. I'm only about 50/50 on Sage's Dousing, because it is a soft counter.

It's pratically criminal to replace a mana-generating land with a non-mana-generating land. Annie, are you okay? Are you okay, Annie? You've been struck by…a SMOOTH CRIMINAL!
Safe Haven is just what it says…an escape tunnel for Niv-Mizzet, Riptide Director, or whomever's the highest rank wizard on the board when the bombs start dropping. See you later, Batman…it's time for this penguin to fly.

More to come, into infinity.

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