The Eternal March of the Dusk Legion (Deck Tech)

When the Ixalan block was new and the tribes were revealed I knew I wanted to build a deck around the Vampire Conquistadors. That deck was a lot of fun to play and I had plenty of success with it in my local meta and online with MTG Arena during the Beta testing. However, as is the course with any standard meta, rotation hit, a few cards rotated out and needed to be replaced. Over the past few sets the deck has gone largely unchanged from its Ixalan base. That said, I did feel it was time to go into an update and one more chance to get a little more out of the wonderful Ixalan Vampires before they are gone

To start with the deck list can be found here.

Again, one thing that has not changed is that the deck still relies on smaller early game aggressive creatures. Skymarcher Aspirant and Adanto Vanguard are still creatures that put the hurt on early. Those initial hits can be crucial, especially against a meta that has cards like Settle the Wreckage. The Vanguard’s ability can become relevant very quickly and as we all know, it can often be worth 4 life to remove a creature from the other side of the board. We will also be using Dusk Legion Zealot to facilitate a bit of early game card draw as we dump our hand.

Image result for adanto vanguardImage result for skymarcher aspirantImage result for dusk legion zealot

Nevertheless, paying life and chipping away at life totals won’t win most games. In order to add some more depth to this deck, we must go wide. Calling in our Lifelinking Vampire army helps stem the tide of having to pay life for Adanto Vanguard as well as getting our Skymarcher to Ascend. The best tool we have for this is Legion’s Landing. In addition to this we will also have Queen’s Commission and Call to the Feast. This package gives us a free-flowing set of bodies onto the battle field. These can attack, block and muddle up the board as we start to build for the final finishing strike.

Image result for legion landingImage result for queen's commissionImage result for call to the feast

So, there are two the bodies and ascension. Having the bodies allows us to use Pitiless Pontiff to slow down their larger threats. Cards like Radiant Destiney and Twilight Prophet help us exploit our army of vampires. Radiant Destiney gives us the ability to start trading up and gaining some real nice life amounts from attacks with our tokens. To supplement Destiney, we are also going to have Legion Lieutenant to further the payoff for keeping bodies around.

Image result for pitiless pontiffImage result for radiant destinyImage result for legion lieutenant

Twilight Prophet, when ascended, can be enough to finish off a game when the opponents board gets too big for us or if there is just too much there to make profitable attacks. Our other finisher is Sanctum Seeker. Seeker allows us to swing in for lethal without landing hits. Since the Seeker’s ability triggers on attack, we will know if we are going to get the trigger or not before we decide to throw our fighters into the meat grinder. In this case we can set up attacks that can finish off an opponent even if they have a Settle in hand.

Image result for twilight prophetImage result for sanctum seeker

At the end here we will round it off with a bit of removal to get the overly annoying creatures off the other side of the board and we are all set! I chose mortify here and I believe it is the right choice because there are enough enchantments out there were it seems to be worth it.

Image result for mortify mtg

Add in the nice two-Color land package we have in the current standard and we are done!

Image result for godless shrine mtg gathererImage result for isolated chapel gathererImage result for unclaimed territory

Let me know your thoughts!

Legacy Mono Green Infect (Budget-ish)

So it is almost rotation time and I have been away from deck building for a while with the summer. Thus, I decided to try something different than another standard deck, especially because I am still enjoying a updated version of my The Vampire Conquistadors deck (Updated List Here). I have been working on a few standard decks, so if they still appear viable after rotation, maybe I can write about them.

Anyway, back to the reason you are here. I wanted to brew something I had not worked on before, and for me that meant another adventure into a new format. I had never played legacy before, but had always wanted to give it a try. At first I wanted to find a budget way to introduce myself to the format. Having always held a want for an infect deck I decided to have a go at it. I looked at some of the other decks in the format and their extremely high price tags, and that made me decide to stick with a mono colored deck. Out of the five choices, I decided to go with green, due to its great pump options, especially a few free options. This did mean for going the counter magic of blue, but, it was also good for the pocket book.

To start, I slapped together a super budget list. This Infect Deck sits at just about $50 on TCG Player. There are a few other options out there for alternate versions of a similar deck by other brewers as well if you are looking for ways to tweak this and stay within a modest budget.

Going from there I began to look at ways to make the deck more competitive. I knew I would be facing down a suite of counters and removal that would likely see my first few creatures sent to the bin. So to up my creature count, I of course added the allstar, Inkmoth Nexus. This would be added to the Glistener Elf, Ichorclaw Myr and Necropede.

Ink

Because Infect is looking to alpha strike and not have to wait to long to get the kill, we need the ability to pump up one of our creatures quickly. The ideal way to do this is for free. So the main two options we use are Mutagenic Growth and Invigorate. Both can be paid for via alternate costs, allowing for us to hit for lethal even when an opponent may have thought they were safe. In addition to these two options I added a few copies of the green force of will. Bounty of the Harvest. This can also be cast for an alternate cost, but is a little less ideal than the others since that cost exiles a card from our hand.

Free pumps on our creatures are ideal, but there is another way to do this without cards in hand. We use two lands to be able to give our infect creatures a little more bang. Pendalhaven and Cathedral of War were included in the mana base as a way to increase the potency of our otherwise small threats. One thing to note with Pendelhaven, you will need to use its pump ability first, since it can only pump 1/1 creatures.

This deck is truly a deck that needs to go all in, when something connects we need it to be a big hit if not a one hit knock out, this means bringing in the true all or nothing pump spell, Berserk.

Beserk

We will also need a way to protect our guys once they are on the ground, to do this we are going to use Vines of Vastwood. This is a nice spell for us because it not only protects, but if kicked can also pump an attacker. In addition to Vines, we are also running one none green card in Apostle’s Blessing. This card allows us not only to protect, but potentially by pass blockers as well.

Finally, we need a second way to ensure our damage makes it through blockers if we cannot get past them all. This means a second way to give our guys trample. Rancor is the best and really only option that could round out this list. Not only does it give a solid power boost, but it also gives trample and is reusable.

Ranc

So what do you guys think? Also this deck, even with upgrades, is still a similar or even lower price to some of the modern and even standard decks out there.

I have included a full deck list here.

I am always happy to receive feedback and can be found on Twitter or Instagram @Osogladiator

Vona’s Crusade into Brawl (Deck Tech)

When the Dusk Legion came to seek the Immortal Sun, A warrior of great renown was at their front.

This is a Deck Tech for the new format Brawl, that will be legal with the launch of Dominaria.

I know there are plenty of ideas out there about the format, but a new format means a new chance to have some fun brewing.

Vona has a nice ability, but with its high cost you’re only going to want to use it when absolutely necissary. However, being a 4/4 for 5 with Vigilance and Lifelink means she has some survivability and can mix it up with a lot of things in combat. She also gives you more bandwidth to use her ability if she is attacking and blocking. When she cannot save herself, we can hit her with sheltering light to try and keep her around.

Supporting her will be a host of her Vampire Conquestadors.

Having creatures that can trigger hitting all opponents can help close out the game or put more people on defense. Which is where you want them. Vicious Conquestador, Sanctum Seeker and Twilight Profit are very good for this. Twilight Profit can even give us a little card advantage. In addition to creatures, we can also use spells to set the table back. Arterial Flow and Vona’s Hunger, are not only on flavor, but allow you to hit everyone at once.

With the Legion being assembled, we need to get them pumped up and ready to battle with larger beasts. Using Legion Lieutenant, Radiant Destiny and Vanquisher’s Banner give them little bumps. Also Radiant Destiny can give Vigilance and Vanquisher’s Banner can supply some card draw.

With this deck we want to establish a board presence early, grab the cities blessing as early as we can, and start trying to manipulate the attacks of others by presenting an unfavorable target in us. Vona and many of the other vampires have Lifelink which can help us stay in the game.

If you would like to see the whole deck list, it can be viewed here.

Vona’s Crusade into Brawl

Feel free to find me on Instagram or Twitter (@OsoGladiator). I am always open to feedback, questions and suggestions.

If you are looking for vampires in standard, check out my other deck tech here.

Jund Midnight Madness (Deck Tech)

So I put a twitter poll up a few days ago and the chosen format was Pauper. If you dont follow me you can find me as @OsoGladiator on both Instagram and Twitter.

So pauper, for those who don’t know, pauper is a mtg format that uses cards that are commons only. (Must have been printed at common at some point).

For this deck I decided to go with one of my favorite archetypes and on of my favorite mechanics; Madness and Burn.

To start off we need a burn package and no burn package is complete without Lightning Bolt.

In addition to Lightning Bolt we use 3 other one mana spells to deal 3 to our opponent’s head. Bump in the night is a easy way to hit for 3 and if its in the bin late on, it can be flashed back for another 3.

The other two are actually 3 mana cards, but can both be cast for one if you can trigger madness. Alms of the Vein and Fiery Temper can give us another set of Bump in the night and Lightning Bolt respectively.

So next comes triggering madness. Madness triggers if you discard the card, so we are going to use a few cards to do that.

We have a couple of card draw/selection engines in Cathartic Reunion and Faithless Looting. Since both of these require us to discard cards, we want to use them when we have mana open to take advantage of madness, or if we don’t have madness cards we can ditch extra lands to make room for spells.

In addition to using our burn as removal we can also use Lightning Axe since we don’t mind the discard. Lightning Axe conveniently kills Gurmag Anglar, which is one of the big bads we are likely to see. We will also use Insolent Neonate as another way to card select and/or trigger madness. Use him as a chump blocker and then sac to loot. Many times you end up taking no damage and give yourself the ability to hit them for 3. With Menace, he can also sneak in for a few points of damage early game.

Two of our creatures have madness. The first is Bloodmad Vampire. If she is not killed right away she can deal some serious damage and also trades up very well.

So maybe you are asking where the green is. Well, the second is Basking Rootwalla. This little guy can get bigger when you need him to if you can get your forest out, but does not need to. Since he can madness for 0, most of the time its just a free little piece of board presence in place of a discard.

We are also running one copy of Rummaging Goblin. He just fits all the things we need. A consistant discard outlet and a body when we need him.

To support this package we are also running 21 lands.

4x Swamp
2x Bloodfell Caves
9x Mountain
1x Forest
4x Evolving Wilds
1x Bojuka Bog.

As for the sideboard options, we are going with mostly removal to make sure we can keep the opponents threats in check while we burn them out. Being able to sideboard in the answers we need. We are also running two Gurmag anglars since we will often have a full graveyard and many times people won’t sideboard in yard hate just for our two flashback cards. So it can be a good way to muck up the board or beat face.

2x Electrickery
2x Gurmag Angler
3x Magma Spray
4x Smash to Smithereens
4x Tragic Slip

As always, please share your feedback here or via twitter @OsoGladiator.

Full Decklist

here

Happy Gaming!

The Vampire Conquistadors (Deck Teck: Rivals of Ixalan)

Updated: This deck has been updated with the release of Ravnica, the updated list can be found here.

So are you ready to command the Dusk Legion to victory?

This deck goes straight beat down. Every single card here is meant to put vampires on the battlefield and use them to slaughter your opponent.

Starting out quick with Skymarcher Aspirant who has the potential to gain flying quickly if you can get tokens going.

Image result for skymarcher aspirant

Backing up the Aspirant is the Martyr of Dusk. This guy can sneak in for a lot of damage and even if he gets blown up in combat, you still get a lifelinking body to replace it.

The bulk of the list is vampires. Getting bodies on the ground to do some throat tearing and blood draining. Guys like Gifted Aetherborn can also help you stave off aggro or any big hitting threats your opponent may drop while you are going wide and Adanto Vangaurd can help your board survive sweepers and big blockers.

Using Dusk Martyr and Legion’s Landing to make tokens means you’ll want to grow those tokens into the soldiers they were meant to be, that means good leadership is necessary.

New Arrival Legion Lieutenant fills this spot perfectly. A 2/2 beater for 2 that also makes everyone else bigger, yes please. This will help you wear down your opponents, if not finish them outright.

In addition, you can also drop a radiant destiny, and when you get up to 10 permanents, it can really give the token deck the ability to survive late game.

Finally, once you have driven your opponents back, you use Sanctum Seeker to finish the job. He can easily drain someone in one turn.

In addition to Sanctum Seeker, I added two copies of Twilight Prophet to be a late game finisher.

This works especially well if you can get the cities blessing early with a Skymarcher Aspirant.

As for removal, we are running 4 Fatal Push. Plain and simple.

For side board, here is what I am currently running:

2x Authority of the Consuls
4x Duress
3x Ixalan’s Binding
2x Lost Legacy
2x Dusk / Dawn
2x Kambal, Consul of Allocation

There you have it. I hope you enjoy! Feel free to send me some feedback on Twitter @OsoGladiator

Full Decklist and Sideboard

Mono-Red Invades Ixalan (Deck Tech)

Update 1/15/2018
Ramunap Ruins and Rampaging Ferocidon are now banned in standard. They had a good run…

Check out my “The Vampire Conquistadors” deck for a new take on aggro. The Vampire Conquistadors

If you are still up for some casual play games, the list is below.

So its time for a new release with Ixalan. My prefered play style in Standard is to be as agressive as possible. So let’s jump in.

Ramunap Red was a break out deck towards the end of the last rotation. However, despite using some of those pieces this deck is a bit different, although… it is still Red, so the differences are subtle. There was also a budget in mond with this deck, trying to keep it around $100.

So to begin, here is the list.

Creature (25)
4x Ahn-Crop Crasher
4x Bomat Courier
4x Earthshaker Khenra
2x Hazoret the Fervent
3x Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
4x Rampaging Ferocidon
4x Soul-Scar Mage

Instant (14)
2x Abrade
4x Lightning Strike
4x Shock
4x Sure Strike

Land (21)
13x Mountain
4x Ramunap Ruins
4x Sunscorched Desert

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/red-burn-ixalan/

So as mentioned a lot of the same pieces from Ramunap Red are back. It is hard to be a Red deck without them. So what are some of the othet pieces. Rampaging Ferocidon is a creature I am really excited to try. I really like the no gaining life clause being an aggro deck with a burn package, and them getting pinged for their creatures is great. This is a card that will certainlynot be a 4 of in game 2 against control, but can be a good on curve beater with evaision and a good ability against all others.

Another good meta game player is Soul-Scar Mage. So lacking Haste it is no Monastery Swiftspear, but prowess does let it grow as you burn our opponents, which will be very useful. Also his ability to shrink Dinos will certainly be useful, it turns all that burn into combat tricks.

With bigger creatures than ours running around, I really like Sure Strike in this deck. Since you want to be agressive anyway, having a good combat trick will be nice, especially one that allows your Ahn-Crop Crashers and Rampaging Ferocidons to kill a Carnage Tyrant.

This deck really wants to smash in early, but with big creatures and conrol being an issue, a good burn package is necissary to finish people off. Because of this, I have included 4 ofs of Shock and Lightning Strike. Its nice to know you have 20 damage worth of burn available to you.

The damage doesn’t end with spells and creatures. In the land package we have 8 that deal damage too. Ramunap Ruins and Sunscorched Desert represent a way to hit and or finish off opponents as well.

I am excited for this Standard environment, and I am very excited to keep bolting people with Red!

The Blacksmith Soldier (EDH Deck Tech)

So the Commander of this deck is Dakkon Blackblade. 

He is a character from way back in Magic, his story is very interesting, and I suggest you look him up. However, the part that matters for this Deck Tech is his ability, and for Dakkon there is only one; “Dakkon Blackblade’s power and toughness are equal to the number of lands you control.” So that seems simple enough right, we want to get lands on the battlefield and let him bang away at opponents. So let’s break that strategy down into a few smaller points.

First, Dakkon is an Esper commander, so even though that gives us access to a lot of fun tools, we do not benefit from Green’s ramp abilities. So we will need to be creative on how we get lands on the battlefield. The way that I have chosen to do that is in two ways, the simplest way to do this is with artifacts. Since Dakkon’s ability relies heavily on having lands on the battlefield, lands matter. So when we look at artifacts we cannot just look at mana rocks. Though those will help ramp us into casting our 6 mana commander, they are not what are going to make Dakkon into a one or two shot killer. Instead, we are going to use cards like Armillary Sphere, Journeyer’s Kite, and good old Solemn Simulacrum to get the lands out there (The full complement of land finders listed in the decklist). 

These cards will do one of two things, either ramp us into more lands, or ensure we are hitting all of our land drops, both of which are extremely important to making sure Dakkon is a powerhouse the moment he comes down. The second way to do this is through a land card like Thawing Glaciers. 

Even though this is a slower process, it does allow us to accumulate lands onto the battle field at a faster rate in the long run. The final part of the lands matter equation is making sure you can get lands back from the Graveyard if they are destroyed because this not only sets you back like it does other players, but it cripples your commander. For that reason I run Crucible of Worlds in the deck. 

This is a high priced card I understand so I will point out is I not necessary if you are looking to keep the budget down.

So now we know how we are going to ramp and make sure Dakkon is the beat stick we want him to be; now we need to protect him. So for protection, we will be running a few counter spells in case they are needed, but the main source will be trying to us a Whispersilk Cloak, Lighting Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots to do so. 

These are nice because they will not only avoid him getting Pathed or otherwise removed, but Whispersilk will give him Unblockable and the others will give him haste, either way that’s a win and a problem for your opponents.

Since we are using artifacts to ramp and to protect our commander it is pretty obvious we are going to have a lot of them in the deck, 41 to be exact. So that means that not only do lands mattet, but artifacts too. This lead me to start looking for artifact synergy as well. First I looked to cards like Efficient Construction and Contraband Kingpin to get some added value off of the artifacts being cast or entering the battlefield. 

I also added Metalwork Colossus to be an extra beater if Dakkon gets stonewalled.

Finally I was looking for a way to get back my lost artifacts if they were sacrificed or destroyed. There were a lot of ootions here, Argivian Archaeologist and Hanna, Ships Navagator fill this role nicely,

as well as lands like Achedamy Ruins and Buried ruin. This artifacts matter suite can really help grind out value in a late game when it is needed most, or even as a way to ramp at an accelerated rate.

Fianlly, With all of these value engines producing card draw and small creatures, I added Elspeth, Sun’s Champion to potentially take advantage of a go wide strategy should it present itself.

To all of this I added a basic removal pacakge, a few combos to make mana or more 1/1s and the usual card draw to make the deck more competitive. The deck does its best when it is grinding out value and then either going for the allstar finish with Dakkon or by chipping away with all the value 1/1s.

Below is the full decklist, please fell free to take a look and comment!

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/the-blacksmith-soldier/

Artifact (31)

Land (35)

Instant (11)

Commander

Creature (15)

Enchantment (5)

Planeswalker (2)