What I’m Playing With

Updates here have been slow, sorry. Of course, there’s always the podcast that I guess I could be putting links up for each week. We actually don’t have a fresh one this week because we have a guest lecturer coming in.

In the meantime, I thought I’d showcase the deck that I’m playing with. We’re limited to whatever is in the card pool, and although this is technically a constructed format, I find that the shortage of good, valuable cards means that matches play more like limited games. I’ve been watching LSV’s videos of his drafts and taking that as inspiration for decks. At the beginning of the quarter,  I was playing an all M10 blue skies deck that was half-decent. Recently, with Zendikar coming in, I put together a new deck looking like this:

Lands (24)
14 Plains
10 Island

Creatures (24)
4 Kor Skyfisher
2 Welkin Tern

4 Ondu Cleric
4 Makindi Shieldmate
4 Stonework Puma
4 Umara Raptor

2 Kor Sanctifiers

Other Spells (12)
4 Journey to Nowhere
2 Narrow Escape
4 Into the Roil
2 Adventuring Gear

It’s not bad. It’s not great, but on the plus side, it’s all Zendikar commons, so if you’re playing block pauper?…

If you’re familiar with Zendikar, there are no surprises. There’s a allies thing going on to 1) stall the game and 2) pump up umara raptor. The raptor is pretty much the only win condition that the deck has. The welkin tern and kor skyfisher can do it as well, but most people don’t really feel the pressure from that. The shieldmate and cleric are great stall. A 3/6 is hard to swing through, and you can get a good 15 life off of a single cleric. Life gain isn’t insane, but it’s pretty good when you’re trying to race a deck with fatter ground beats and you only have a 2/3 flier to beat down.

I just read an article about how allies is a pretty linear mechanic, and that’s true. The thing that I like about this deck is that even though the theme would seem to be simple in just playing out lots of allies, the bounce actually provides some really interesting options, mainly being bouncing allies in a crunch and replaying them for the bonus. There are 10 bounce spells in the deck, and they even have cool interaction with journey to nowhere (bouncing it while the enters play ability is on the stack to permanently remove something from the game).

I considered trying to make it better by throwing in some cheap-ish changeling creatures like avian changeling or mothdust changeling. The former is pretty much better than the stonework puma, and the latter has built in reinforce for my raptors and shieldmates. I think there’s something charming about zendikar block pauper, though, so I’ll probably stay with this build.

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