Hello, konnichiwa, bonjour, hola, que pasa, hallo, aloha and welcome!
This is Random Access Magic ; a place to go for ideas, exploration and experimentation.
I’ll be covering a vast array of topics on a semi-consistent basis throughout the wonderful constructed formats of Magic: the Gathering, with an emphasis on personal experimentation and brainchild projects. Approximately 2-3 times a month.
I don’t want to try to be identified as an authority on deck building, but what I am looking to do is work outside the box and cultivate discussions that continue to see personal growth as a deck builder. The aim is to be creative and identify interactions and cards that may hold play-value at the time, or in the future. I wish to spread the bits of knowledge I have, but to ultimately add my knowledge to others’ to see what we can build cumulatively.
Points of Interest…
There are quite a few random pieces of paper on my work-desk that have either a gimmicky deck title for an idea I had, or cards that I want to build around specifically. I’m going to post a few of them today and some very elementary ideas I may have had for their use. Most of the combinations of cards I will evaluate will be with the Modern format in mind, unless otherwise stated.
*Please don’t be afraid to comment about your cool ideas too! What cards/combinations have I maybe missed that compliment my idea?
Exhibit A – Heartless Myr Storm
This is a deck I’ve been looking at for quite a while now. Although not an original idea, I strongly believe that there could be something here. I’ve seen many forms of the deck casually and think it seems worth experimenting with. Some of the combos that are possible:
Heartless Summoning + Fecundity. If both are in play, every creature that costs 2 colourless mana and has toughness 1 or less will equal a free cantrip. If you manage to get both of these enchantments online, you’re probably also playing Myr Retriever. When you play a Myr Retriever it will die immediately triggering its’ ability and drawing you a card (from Fecundity). If you have another Myr Retriever already in the graveyard, you can use them in a loop to draw your whole deck. You can choose your flavor of endgame, as I’ve seen some decks close out by making use of Grapeshot (infinite storm count from looping Myr Retrievers), as well as an infinite mill plan, using 2 Myr Retrivers and an Altar of the Brood. Myr Moonvessel is also typically in these lists.
Some versions look to get em’ with the old Gravestorm and Bitter Ordeal, whilst usually making use of cards like Whir of Invention and Gifts Ungiven (alongside the typical Grapeshot). Loop Myr Retrivers for infinite GraveStorm-count, and then search your opponents deck for every card and remove it. What a time to be alive.
Is it just me or does it feel like cards with fabricate would be good with Fecundity and Heartless Summoning? Although it costs 1 black mana with Heartless Summoning and Fecundity out, Weaponcraft Enthusiast has the potential to fabricate and draw us 3 cards on the spot. Other cards that usually see these types of builds are Endless One, Hangarback Walker (for multiple draws), and Shred Memory which can transmute to grab Heartless Summoning OR Myr Retriever.
Exhibit B – C-C-C-Combo Breaker!
I’m not exactly sure what possessed me to find this interaction but I’m actually a huge fan of it. Chancellor of the Spires + Surgical Extraction is a potent combination of cards in the opening hand but does not come without a cost. I think the true value of the combo is being able to break up a deck before they are allowed to make a game action, even if they’re on the play. How it works is: you reveal a Chancellor of the Spires (or multiple) from your opening hand to mill the opponent 7 cards (per Chancellor). At the end of their draw step on turn 1 ( so you also get to see that card) you can cast Surgical Extraction, pay 2 life, and target any card that you’ve milled from the Chancellor’s ability. This can be an extremely potent play against many decks; extracting a Tron land, Living End, Vizier of Remedies are all amazingly effective, just to name a few.
The downside however, is that you’re probably playing a mill deck which makes the most sense with Chancellor of the Spires. Or maybe some sort of Through the Breach deck? The reason I mention Through the Breach is that the major downside to the Chancellor is that it is dead in hand after doing it’s duty. Also, if you don’t get any in your opening hand, but still have a reasonable keep, you now have 4 completely dead draws in your deck. Through the Breach could maybe change this problem whilst making use of the other part of text on Chancellor of the Spires that most people don’t know. I’ve seen a few lists that play things like Faithless Looting and See Beyond to minimise this downside, but I’m not sure if its right to just go mill instead.
Exhibit C – Splendid Reclamation
In 2016 Travis Woo wrote about and was testing a deck he called Graveshift. This deck abused the Dredge mechanic to get its 30+ mainboard lands into the ‘yard as fast as possible. The idea here is to Dredge a bunch of mountains and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacles, and then whip them back by casting Splendid Reclamation. Depending how many mountains and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacles are returned, some incredibly large amounts of damage can be produced. You can check out the full list in his video series, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq6xdxxYito .
There’s a card that came out not too long ago that slightly resembles Splendid Reclamation. Let’s have a look:
I’ll be the first to admit, this card looks incredibly underwhelming and fragile in a Modern constructed landscape. However, it’s probably fine if its role is just to be a good impersonation of Splendid Reclamation. It’s incredibly early in my experimentation with this card but it seems like Graveshift is where it wants to be. In addition to its potential application in Graveshift, World Shaper really gets me thinking Maze’s End.
I’m probably going pretty far off the rails on this one, but I’ve always wanted to create a Maze’s End modern deck. This type of card as well as Splendid Reclamation, could be good in Maze’s End if also making use of the Dredge mechanic. It is somewhat difficult to make a Maze’s End deck in modern as all of the guildgates come in tapped, it’s very slow and the mana is wildly unpredictable. You also have to decide if playing one of each guildgate is enough; how do you win if one so much as gets Fulminator Mage‘d? There are 10 different guildgates required to win + Maze’s End. Almost half of our mana base is decided, 5-color, and slow coming into play and that feels like a lot to build around. I have no idea where or how I’m going to go with this one, but I intend to try to take it somewhere!
Thanks a lot for checking out Random Access Magic for the first time!
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It would be my pleasure to hear your thoughts, constructive criticism, stories and or original ideas!
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I also have a plan to hopefully begin adding video and/or live content in early April, which will see me piloting some of the decks in question against a close friend and judge confidant of mine.
If you have twitter, I’m still a newbie there and would appreciate you keeping up with me! You can find me at twitter.com/GoblinCredible or by searching @GoblinCredible.
Up next on RAM #2, I’ll be looking a bit further into the card combinations above, as well as discussing levels of rules enforcement. Have you ever seen people get a little too competitive at Friday Night Magic? Why is it that the rules are loose when playing against some people, and strict against others in the same event? All this and more on Random Access Magic #2!
Remember, we’re here to push limits and get better together.