Saturday, April 30, 2011

October Deck Day: Mono-white Equipment

Insert WoW reference here.
A local player was looking for some advice last FNM on a mono-white equipment-focused deck post-rotation.  He showed me his list, which had questionable cards like Sunspear Shikari and Brass Squire with little to no disruption to back him up.  I told him that not only would I work on a lost for him, I'd type up a full article on it.  Now, this will probably be full of inaccuracies, since M12 and Innustrad will both be legal sets after the rotation period, meaning that I'm basically building a block deck with some obvious core set reprints thrown in.  Oh well.
Now, the obvious choice in an equipment strategy is Puresteel Paladin, the guy that turns all your equip spells into cantrips.  This guy provides early pressure on the opponent, helping to stop them from sticking planeswalkers protected, and accelerates you through the deck, an ability white is usually lacking.  In a format without Squadron Hawk or Stoneforge Mystic, this is clearly the best 2-drop you can get in the deck.

Mmm, furry boobies.  I wonder if the
carpet matches the carpet.
Another creature I want to throw in is Kemba, Kha Regent.  She generates board advantage in the same way that Puresteel generates hand advantage.  Unlike Puresteel, she isn't meant to be cast as soon as you get the mana for her.  Instead, let your other creatures and living weapons put on pressure, then cast her when your opponent is forced to play a sweeper or die.  After all, the best way to gain value from her is by casting her with a surplus of mana on the table for equip costs.  If you happen to have metalcraft with a puresteel, she gets even more ridiculous, but for now, she is what she is.

Mirran Crusader: Because real men
hit that and then come back for more.

My third creature choice for the deck is the powerhouse known as Mirran Crusader.  Double strike in a deck chock full of swords and such is truly devastating, and the built-in protections make me favor this card over say Kor Duelist or Student of Warfare.  If this guy has a Sword of War and Peace, he's a literally unstoppable 2-turn clock against anyone with 3-4 cards in their hand, and a one-shot for anyone with six or more cards.  In the current standard, he's a turn 4 kill with Stoneforge Mystic, and in the new one he's a T4 with Puresteel Paladin and metalcraft.
I'm pretty sure that art has him
recurring infinite Squadron Hawks

To round out my card selection comes Sun Titan, a future M12 reprint for sure.  This guy allows the player to recur not only the swords and other vital equipment, but ANY of the other creatures I mentioned above.  The titan also provides a vigilance body for my equipment, something that shouldn't be overlooked.  He also interacts well with Puresteel, bringing back a lost equipment gives an extra card in my hand as well.  Nothing to complain about there.

Using the above four dudes means that all my bases are effectively covered.  Puresteel, Kemba, and Sun Titan all provide some form of card advantage, where the Mirran Crusader provides psuedo-evasion alongside a powerful turn clock.  Sun Titan allows me to out-clock any opponent in a control match, whereas Mirran Crusader lets me put a turn clock on aggro decks.  Kemba provides a wall of blockers to stabilize, and my equipment will allow me to gain more life than is being dealt to me, especially when slapped on a Crusader.

13 creatures

  • 4 Puresteel Paladin
  • 4 Mirran Crusader
  • 3 Kemba, Kha Regent
  • 2 Sun Titan
More importantly, let's get to the equipment themselves.  The living weapons will help me accommodate for my small creature pool.

I write a lot of captions nowadays.
It's really starting to get tiring.
First and foremost in the list is actually not a sword, but the Batterskull.  Batterskull on a Mirran Crusader means that my opponent can no longer win with ground creatures, and provides an endless supply of germ tokens to equip.  It would be too expensive for white weenie or metalcraft aggro builds, but luckily, that's not what I'm playing.  I'm building a control deck here, if you haven't noticed, although with a potential fast win with Puresteel, Crusader, and SoWaP.
To quote the Eh Team,

Yet another non-sword, Mortarpod is an essential card to have in the deck.  It serves as a piece of removal, a potential finisher, and another body to slap those swords on.  Mortarpod provides me with the answer to whatever play the new format will have that equates the current T2 Lotus Cobra.  It also provides me with one of the relatively cheaper equipments in the format without sacrificing value.  The ability to have out Kemba and Puresteel with like 6 cats and just ping the opponent for 8 is nice too.  It's a nice way to get around fog loops or whatever other evil things will enter with Innustrad.

Looks pretty hot.
I've mentioned this already, but the Sword of War and Peace is definitely going into the deck, for a few reasons.  First of all, there's the protections, and second of all, there's the insta-kill off Mirran Crusader.  There is a third reason, though, and I don't think this has really been talked about yet so I'll take the chance to do so now.

Looks pretty not.
SoWaP damages the opponent, not causes them to lose life.  You control the source of the damage.  Thus, you can redirect that damage to a planeswalker that player controls.  Which is great, because you can keep putting pressure on the player (and gain the life) while still hurting their 'walkers.  Which sounds great by itself, but it gets even better.  Like, say, if the same creature has one of these.

Let's say your opponent has six cards in their hand, and a Jace at 7.  You have a Puresteel Paladin with both of the above swords.  and six cards as well.  You attack the opponent.  They go to 14.  You go to 26.  Jace goes to 1.  They discard a card.  You untap all your lands.  With, say, Sword of Body and Mind over War and Peace.  You would have to choose between weakening Jace or putting them at 14, generating a wolf, etc etc etc.  War and Peace lets you do both.

Flayer... that reminds me, your mom
probably needs a hospital visit.
Now, this being said, I am not going to run the Sword of Body and Mind, at least not without a closer look at the format in October.  SoBaM is good for two things, beating Valakut and shielding from Jace bouncing.  Assuming that WotC doesn't do something really stupid like reprint JtMS in M12, it's safe to say that every part of that sword is irrelevant for the meta.  If I need tokens, I have Kemba.  If I need Pro: green, I have Mirran Crusader and Sword of Feast and Famine.  If I need Mill... oh who am I kidding?  I won't.  In other words, no SoBaM.

Flayer Husk seems like a bad choice, but where I already have Batterskull and the new sword, I like it over Sylvok Lifestaff.  The extra body for my other equipment, the metalcraft enabler with Puresteel, and just as an all around defender on T1.

I hardly find that intimidating.
Just sayin'.
Lastly, there's yet another source evasion and card advantage in Nim Deathmantle.  After all, I hear putting Fear on a pro-black creature is pretty good, and being able to effectively regenerate that creature is pretty good too.  It might be a little too cute, but post-rotation, I'm just going to assume that black is the color to beat, and thus this feels like the right choice.

15 equipments
  • 3 Batterskull
  • 3 Mortarpod
  • 2 Sword of War and Peace
  • 2 Sword of Feast and Famine
  • 4 Flayer Husk
  • 1 Nim Deathmantle
That brings us to a grand total of 28 cards, split into the following curve:

  • CMC 1 - 4 cards
  • CMC 2 - 8 cards
  • CMC 3 - 11 cards
  • CMC 4 - 0 cards
  • CMC 5 - 3 cards
  • CMC 6 - 2 cards
It looks pretty good already, and luckily I already have the card for that empty four mana slot in mind...

We're playing control.  When is it
not a Day of Judgment?

Or whatever reprint of DoJ happens to be in Standard.  I'm sure there'll be one.  Day is what truly makes this a control deck, forcing the opponent to overextend to deal with the one huge, life-gaining creature in play only to drop a Day and immediately have another threat on the table.
Stupid hippies.

Lastly, to bring it to 36 spells and 24 lands, Pacifism.  Why Pacifism, you may ask?  First of all, it's much more likely to be a reprint in M12 than Journey to Nowhere or Condemn or whatever else happens to be there, and secondly, it's best at dealing with the titans.  A Journey or Condemn will give your opponent a second trigger, the former on the enchantment's destruction and the latter because they get to attack before the titan becomes a legal target.  Pacifism is less relevant against a utility creature like Fauna Shaman, but Condemn does nothing against them as well anyways.  Pacifism also disables a blocker for a lethal swing, something that Condemn can't do.

The final choice for the deck is to switch a set of Plains for Inkmoth Nexus.  Where I'm not using anything like Strata Scythe or Student of Warfare, there's really no reason not to.  The main job of this card is providing metalcraft enablers 4-8 to give me that T4 kill if I have it.  Inky also serves as the alternate win condition, of course, and the one true source of flying in the deck.  I can also win an attrition war with Mortarpod, Inkmoth Nexus and Sun Titan, if need be.  There's so many interactions and ways of generating card advantage in this deck, it's just amazing.  If M12 or Innustrad brings any good stuff to the table for this deck come October then I might be playing it myself.  It depends on the rest of the meta, of course, but it'll be nice to be playing -not burn- for a while.

Without further ado, here's my list for what could more or less see some play in October:

  • 4 Puresteel Paladin
  • 4 Mirran Crusader
  • 3 Kemba, Kha Regent
  • 2 Sun Titan
  • 3 Batterskull
  • 3 Mortarpod
  • 2 Sword of War and Peace
  • 2 Sword of Feast and Famine
  • 4 Flayer Husk
  • 1 Nim Deathmantle
  • 4 Day of Judgment
  • 4 Pacifism
  • 4 Inkmoth Nexus
  • 20 Plains

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Well folks, that's it for tonight.  It's after 3 AM right now, which means I've been building this list/article for the last 2-3 hours now, and I'm tired as hell.  At least I'm still not as exhausted as I made your mom.

1 comment:

  1. hahaha "as i made your mom" ...Deush!!! but funny. and sweet deck. good job