Makings of a Standard (A Guide to MYOS) - Part Three
Written by Eldariel on July 27, 2008
Makings of a Standard Part Three - DecksWith metagame and basics out of the way, it's time to explore some of the decks the format has already inspired! This will be a quick tour to MYOS works of different Magic-Leaguers. So for those of you who seek a deck to play, welcome to a candy store!
Set choices: Lorwyn has all of the best Elves especially since core set provides me with Llanowar Elves. The second set is a bit harder, but since 7th (needed for Opposition) doesn’t have opposing color pains, Invasion and Sylvan Messenger are awesome. Thornscape Battlemage and Elvish Lyrist are just bonus. Other options include Urza with Priest of Titania, but not much else (has Oppo though), and Onslaught for Wirewood Herald, Hivemaster, Tribal Forcemage et company, but ultimately I feel Lorwyn/Invasion/7th is better than Lorwyn/Urza/10th or Lorwyn/Onslaught/7th. There’s a solid Elf Beatdown deck out there, but it doesn’t play Opposition.
A later project of mine, this is a veritable Elf Beatdown-deck opting for the Elvish Harbinger/Sylvan Messenger engine to flood the board. Thanks to the manabase, the deck can support Opposition which quickly locks the board down with Wolf-Skull Shaman, Imperious Perfect, Packmaster and Messenger.
It could be built with much more Rockish approach what with Thoughtseize, Duress, Deed et co. all being in the available card pool, but this is a very strong blend of aggressive beatdown and resilience with a comboish lock. The numbers are off, but the core plan functions quite well, especially with the tutorable ways to solve problems.
Set choices: Obviously it needs Torment for Cabal Coffers and Time Spiral for Urborg. As a bonus, both of them lend themselves great to black control anyways. The core set is a bit harder, but Phyrexian Arena pretty much limits it to 8th and 9th. Viridian Shaman tips the scales ever so slightly towards 9th.
This is mTk-Away’s Bg Control-deck. As should be apparent, the deck works off the Urborg/Cabal Coffers engine and pretty much kills everything in sight while building up inevitability. It really showcases the efficiency of Urborg/Coffers engine and given some time to fool around will do completely sick stuff with all the mana and tutors.
Thanks to Diabolic Tutor, the deck is quite able to switch to discard mode when need be and it has a solid creature removal suite for the early game. Green is there for answer(s) to artifacts and enchantments.
Set choices: Odyssey has Burning Wish to put the deck together along with solid discard, Onslaught has a number of quality reanimatables (I feel the set may have been used better in Tempest for Reanimate or Urza for Exhume though) and 5th has Animate Dead. The core set does surprisingly much, and Odyssey has lots of discard outlets. Onslaught feels like the expendable partition.
I recall this is Phyrexian’s construction – anyways, a reanimator deck built around the Wish-engine and good ol’ Animate Dead. Has a nice Anger-finish and a decent amount of internal synergies along with some light control-elements (including the Disks) to give it a semblance of a long game. I haven’t personally tested it, but it does look intriguing. I would rework the creature selection a bit for less Buried Alive-dependency though.
Set choices: Tempest has Phoenix itself along with Incinerate, Wasteland and Shock, and it opens up the core set to get the older goodies like Nevinyrral’s Disk, Earthquake, Hydroblast and Pyroblast. Ravnica fixes up the mana including Boilerworks for actual advantage, and gives Electrolyze, Remand, Compulsive Research, Remand, etc. You could certainly build this with almost any other second block, but Electrolyze and few counters are really good from Ravnica, so it’s a sound choice.
Zerotlr’s older deck, this is a solid reconstruction of the ancient archetype for the needs of the format. It’s got a decent long game and solid control overall; the only issue is having to tap out for Compulsive Researchs and Nevinyrral’s Disks, but all in all it’s quite able to burn through swarms of creatures, especially once it gets to 8 mana for Phoenix Recursion. Earthquakes, Electrolyzes and Phoenixes generate all sorts of card advantage too. It’s got quite a solid engine, even though it lacks a bit in speed and power of the effects.
Set choices: Aggro Loam needs Loam which forces Ravnica. Then it needs tools to abuse Loam, which come from 10th providing the deck with all the utility cards (Naturalize, Pyroclasm, pains), Seismic Assault and Terramorphic Expanse. The last choice was made easy by the fact that Odyssey is ripe with Loam-loving creatures. Sure, Lorwyn has Countryside Crusher and TSP has Tarmogoyf, but Odyssey has Wild Mongrel, Werebear AND Terravore. And that’s before even delving into Burning Wish, Devastating Dreams, Last Rites, Genesis, Barbarian Ring and so on. Only other equally powerful Loam-set would be Onslaught and that would make for a control-build; probably Loam Slide/Rift.
This is a personal attempt to make an efficient Loam-deck in MYOS and the particular build works out very well. It has all the brutally efficient effects of Loam along with a solid array of beaters and discard. Thanks to Confidant and Mongrel being solid on their own rights and Terravore working off opponent’s grave too, the deck actually functions fine off just opponent’s graveyard although naturally it’s better to be able to abuse Loam with all the effects available. One notable issue compared to the Extended Aggro Loam is the lack of Onslaught – cycling lands and fetches are both great with the engine, but since half the engine (Burning Wish) and all the playable creatures come from Odyssey, picking Onslaught isn’t really an option.
As a consequence, the deck plays Terramorphic Expanse as a substitute fetchland, and often uses Loam just to fuel Wild Mongrel, Seismic Assault or Devastating Dreams. Some decks just fold to Ghost Quarter-recursion though, so the engine exists especially when Ghost Quarter can be used to fetch your own basics in a pinch. But yea, a solid Aggro Loam-engine, it wants to resolve one creature/Assault and keep it there long enough to wipe the opponent. Therapies, Dreams and Loam all support this. Oh yeah, and Last Rites + Loam is absolutely brutal; one of the better ways to rip slower decks apart lacking the cycling lands. Treetop Village is a consideration that was left out strictly due to room issues (to make the mana consistent)
Set choices: Tempest is obvious for Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors. Then it comes down to finding ways to use that mana, and Mirrodin provides one with Chrome Mox, Seething Song, equipment, Arc-Slogger, Razormane Masticore AND Synod Centurion, not to mention lock pieces like Chalice of the Void, Trinisphere and Scrabbling Claws. Time Spiral is the other option with Gathan Raiders, Magus of the Moon and Simian Spirit Guide, but ultimately, Slogger and equipment are bigger than more Moons. Core set is a simple matter; you want Blood Moon so it’s 8th or 9th and out of those, 8th has more potentially playable creatures. The overall quality is pretty low (Goblin Chariot...), but the speed and equipment makes up for that.
Another project of mine, it’s the only Chalice Aggro-deck I could really get to pan out with MYOS cards. Tempest is necessary due to the acceleration, and unfortunately there isn’t much in the ways of options in Mirrodin either as Chalice and all the good beaters are from there, not to mention the equipment. That left the core set and Blood Moon being a must, it was between 8th and 9th, with Lava Hounds being the decisive advantage 8th has (along with the fact that this deck doesn’t need playable duals).
Basically, it’s a toned down version of its Legacy ancestor; it still kicks the crap out of decks that are vulnerable to either Chalice or Blood Moon (hint: that’s most of the format) and it’s brutal when it gets an aggressive draw. It still doesn’t overly like removal though and so hopes to get a critter with a Sword out there in case of a control match-up that can deal with Blood Moon. Goblin Chariot is played because there literally is nothing better for the 3-drop slot; playing Time Spiral over Mirrodin would open up Magus of the Moon, Gathan Raiders and Simian Spirit Guide, but losing Arc-Slogger, Swords, Chrome Mox, Chalice, Trinisphere, Synod Centurion and Razormane Masticore just isn’t worth it.
As it stands, the deck is still potent and really hates on most of the format. It’s also incredibly fun to play like most Chalice Aggro-decks tend to be; you get to play a ton of spells before opponent even gets a turn, and you have many ways of fucking people up in Chalices, Moons, sweeper creatures and turn 3 goldfishes.
Set choices: The deck seeks to abuse all 5 colors and the best multicolor cards, so multicolor sets are the charm. That leaves us with Invasion, Mirrodin (or well, Fifth Dawn) and Ravnica. Out of those, Ravnica provides the manabase, so it’s in. Between Invasion and Mirrodin, Invasion provides more card advantage and the all-important Deed, so in it goes. Core set is easy; 7th is the only one with solid utility for the deck (Duress), and provides the Birds of Paradise as well.
Zerotlr’s team built it; basically puts together the greediest manabase ever and tries to use the best of the multicolour effects these sets offer to form a versatile, potent midrange grinding engine. It’s quite powerful as far as the cards go, but of course suffers versus fast beatdown decks and especially non-basic hate. Dumb Elephants, Deeds, Facts et al. give it a fine midgame though. A very powerful deck to be sure, just needs to get the mana right.
Set choices: MUC has a few options; you can go big with Kamigawa/Urza and play bombs like Morphling, Meloku and company to end it fast, or you can play the draw-go game with tons of counters and draw. I went with the latter idea, mixed with artifact control like Nevinyrral’s Disk and Vedalken Shackles. The latter pretty much forced Mirrodin, and Time Spiral ultimately won my heart with Tolaria West, Academy Ruins, Urza’s Factory, Whispers of the Muse, Ancestral Visions and few added counters to mix with Counterspell, Memory Lapse and Force Spike from 5th. You could really build this deck in any number of ways and I’m in no way convinced this is the best way (I’m friggin’ forced to run Gemstone Caverns to combat Goblins...)
This is one of my projects; basically it’s an attempt to build a Draw-Goish control-deck for MYOS. Turns out the deck needs some permanent engines, so Mirrodin and 5th were chosen to gain Vedalken Shackles and Nevinyrral’s Disk respectively offer some permanent advantage along with Academy Ruins recursion. Unfortunately the quality of Counterspells available is rather low and thus Cancel and Dismal Failure, despite their slowness make it to the build.
Whispers and Vision offer a nice midgame and Urza’s Factory/Memnarch are both decent finishers (a better one wouldn’t hurt though – that would require Kamigawa or Urza-block). It’s a solid midgame deck with some early issues. Force Spike and Gemstone Caverns somewhat alleviate those, but the deck still doesn’t like losing die rolls.
Set choices: You obviously need Lorwyn for Faeries. Unfortunately other blocks don’t really provide many playable Faeries for the archetype, so it’s a matter of support spells instead. Ultimately it comes down to Mirrodin for Vedalken Shackles (not enough Islands to properly support it without Fetch+Shock manabase though), Time Spiral for Ancestral Visions, Urza for Counters and Cloud of Faeries, or Ice Age for Force of Will. It shouldn’t take a genius to guess that a deck like Faeries that’s built to take over in the midgame and that wants to tap out on turn 2 really loves Force of Will. As a bonus, Ice Age also has Counterspell and a very important sideboard card in Hydroblast. The core set is another question; 10th has Faerie Conclave, but 7th helps against the principal issue the deck has – Goblins. More precisely, 7th provides us with Engineered Plague.
The scourge of Standard and Block is quite solid in MYOS as well, especially with the addition of Force of Will, Counterspell and anti-Goblins sideboard. The deck has a very powerful midgame and with the addition of Force of Will and Counterspell, the early game becomes more powerful as well. The choice of Ponder over Brainstorm is a difficult one, but ultimately, while Brainstorm is an instant, Ponder allows you to shuffle crap away while you’re stuck drawing what you saw over the next turns with Brainstorm. Even if we play the Brainstorms correctly, they’ll occasionally screw us, so Ponder feels a bit better. Portent is the third option for that slot, but I feel the ability to chain Ponders and cast the Bitterblossom immediately is more important than the ability to Portent opponent.
The rest of the deck is quite obvious; discard is solid against decks that have anti-counter measures, and the core is the same as ever. MYOS Faeries are different from T2 and Block in that MYOS has more powerful aggressive decks like Goblins and WW, which give Faeries serious fits, and there’s the problem of Umezawa’s Jitte to deal with too. That’s also why the sideboard is heavily geared against Goblins and creatures in general. Smennen Fish is also a scary prospect with the Counterbalance being able to lock Faeries out and the deck packing its own Force of Wills to force the Balance through. Unfortunately Faeries can’t pack Counterbalance of their own simply because Brainstorm would be the only way to know the top cards and that just isn’t enough; you need Sensei’s Divining Top to play Counterbalance and that’s something the deck cannot afford.
Like always, Faeries feasts on control, gives combo a run for its money and struggles with aggro. Engineered Plague helps a lot vs. Ichorid and Narcobridges surprisingly isn’t that hard. The sideboard may want Faerie Macabre if one feels need for additional help vs. the graveyard decks though.
Set choices: This wasn’t easy. Red aggro really likes Tempest and Odyssey, while RG and green comes from Ravnica and Time Spiral. Ultimately I sided with the omnipotent Goyf for green and Odyssey’s flashback/graveyard goodies for red. After that, it came down to 10th vs. 9th and Mogg Fanatic + Quirion Dryad vs. Kird Ape. Since the deck cannot guarantee a Forest, Kird Ape’s value decreases considerably and as the deck really seeks to burn people out anyways, Mogg Fanatic is a no-brainer. Also, thanks to all the Flashback goodies, Quirion Dryad can get really big really fast so in it goes. As a bonus, 10th has Incinerate and Time Spiral has Rift Bolt and Sudden Shock. Sweet options all around.
Your normal red deck, this may be a bit slower than average due to the inclusion of Terramorphic Expanse, but the card is fairly important for Tarmogoyf, Grim Lavamancer and Barbarian Ring. The 2-drops become huge while the 1-drops provide fire support making for a very potent mix overall. I didn’t want to run Grove of Burnwillows, as the lifegain would be really difficult to deal with here (when I tested it, I actually lost games with opponent at 1 due to the Grove), so the manafixing effect of Expanse is also welcome.
Basically, the deck plays out a few huge beaters, does a lot to the dome while clearing out blockers with burn and then flurries whatever it has left to the face to finish off. The deck has quite excellent midgame thanks to Goyfs, Flashback, Barbarian Ring and the 8 1-drop pingers. Goyf and Dryad tend to win all aggro mirrors growing out of burn range really fast while the burn spells force 1-1 trades with almost anything. Not much to say, your average red deck. It plays out like any red deck; as long as a creature sticks, the opponent is in serious trouble.
That’s it – we’ve finished with our surface scratch on decks you could play in MYOS. Sufficient to say, some of those decks are better than others (the WW-deck I listed in the last article is a beast, for example), but all of them should get you started without having to play a deck from the present T2. Of course, the best way to guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself is to try and build one yourself. Let those serve as examples, ideas or whatever.
This concludes the initial inspection of MYOS. I promised a complete B&R list for MYOS, so that’s coming up in the next article along with deck ideas, a list of notable cards in each block and core set and company. Beyond that, I hope to see you all in the MYOS minis that I (and hopefully other judges too) will strive to make time to host in the near future. Whether you want to build decks or play whatever archetype you’d like, MYOS gives the grounds to do that!
For the fun, for the game!
by Eldariel on 2008-07-27 12:54 CET
This was originally the end of Part Two (hence why Part Two lacks a proper closing); just read them as one article and it'll work out fine.
by Zerotlr on 2008-07-27 15:57 CET
Deck Mishmash ya!, and is only 2nd part, good.
by Krejcik on 2008-07-27 16:29 CET
B/U Pox damnit!
by Streakz on 2008-07-27 17:04 CET
slith firewalker isnt better than chariot?
by onecleanceli on 2008-07-27 17:27 CET
loved all 3 articles, thank you
by on 2008-07-27 19:27 CET
After reading this article (all 3 parts) I was inspired to build a better version of Reanimator I tried going with Tempest or with Saga but I found the creature choices to be really lacking when compared to Akroma. So What I went with was a build that utilized Akroma but didn't go with the mediocrity of Onslaught. Instead my version looks like this:
by Phyrexian- on 2008-07-27 19:49 CET
btw Entomb is banned in myos because is banned in legacy
by on 2008-07-27 19:51 CET
well poop...still I like the Putrid Imp Dakmor Salvage better than Barren Moor and Sickening Dreams
by Zerotlr on 2008-07-27 23:49 CET
The Elves opposition deck can be upgraded with the SHM/EVE lands and some good sideboard like wheel of sun and moon. Also note in the rav-including lists that sundering vitae is better than naturalize against blood moon and chalice of the void.
by center on 2008-07-28 01:14 CET
needs more remand
by ykpon on 2008-07-28 10:40 CET
nice article but i didnt find here:
by Zerotlr on 2008-07-28 21:13 CET
I think Eldariel covers most of the early decks, obv there's lots more, and as ykpon mentions, some really good ones were left out, and also some new decks like grinstone servant and old ones like sligh. The format supports tons of good decks, so there's no way to cover them all, that's why MYOS is so awesome.
by curly on 2008-07-31 20:55 CET
ZOO wheres the ZOO!
by Eldariel on 2008-08-02 01:44 CET
It just didn't fit the article. Also, frankly my experience is that the archetype is quite weak; Gruul and WW both get to play better cards with less pain and less colourscrew.
by gmoney on 2008-08-03 23:59 CET
Remand, Remand REMAND!!!!
by Lynolf on 2008-08-13 11:20 CET
Now looking at the Opposition deck, why no Flooded Grove? Its WAY better than Yavimaya Coast...
by Eldariel on 2008-08-14 19:10 CET
Because the deck was made before Shadowmoor was printed, let alone Eventide. It could use an update.
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