Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Deck Tech - Splinter Twin

Nothing says Lorwyn block quite like a
creature combo that wins as early as T3.
Quillspike, anyone?
For those of you who don't know, this has been a combo in Extended for a long time now between Pestermite and Splinter Twin, a combo that also works with Pestermite and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker.  Basically, a Pestermite enchanted with Splinter Twin taps to create a 2/1 with flying and haste.  When the token enters the battlefield, his trigger untapsthe enchanted Pestermite (or Kiki-Jiki).  In this way, you can create an infinite number of creatures and swing for lethal damage on T4, T3 with acceleration.

In standard, another Pensermite is about to be printed and the combo shall live again.  There's been a lot of talk of just what shell the deck will fit into, so I'm here today to share my views on how to get to that magical Christmas land.  And boy, is my sack full of presents for you!

Because one Flensermite is...
actually, one is fine.
Because one Kiki-Jiki isn't
always enough.

Now, the magical Christmas land for this deck is to win on T4.  There's no debating that.  However, just how one would go about that is a heated debate.  Many say to fit it into the Pyromancer's Ascension shell we have now, even though the combo doesn't really interact with ascension at all.  Others say that Grixis is the way to go, using black's discard and permission to hold the opponent off until you draw both pieces.

However, there's one angle that I don't think has been explored yet that I want to talk about.  RUG.

In Green, we have Birds of Paradise which unlocks a potential T3 kill.  We also gain a powerful fog loop- Haze Frog and Mimic Vat interact to let us keep drawing cards until the opponent tries to burn us out or jacewin.  Acidic Slime makes a great addition as well, with the ability to be recycled off the Vat and blow up all of that annoying equipment.
idea!  Let's totally go lick some frogs,
man.  I bet they taste like smoothie.
Don't copy that floppy!

So our optimal play looks like this:

T1 Land, Birds of Paradise
T2 Land, flash in Exarch
T3 Land, Splinter Twin

That right there is a combo deck with one of the fastest wins possible in standard.  Without the T1 birds, we still have a T4 win along these lines:

T1 Halimar Depths or land, Preordain
T2 Land, Mana Leak, Lightning Bolt, other disruption
T3 Land, flash in Exarch
T4 Land, Splinter Twin

And out late game plan looks like a Haze Frog.

So here's how the deck's shaping up thus far:

  • 4 Birds of Paradise
  • 4 Preordain
  • 4 Lightning Bolt
  • 4 Mental Misstep
  • 4 Mana Leak
  • 4 Into the Roil
  • 4 Deceiver Exarch
  • 4 Mimic Vat
  • 4 Splinter Twin
  • 4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
  • 4 Haze Frog
  • 2 Acidic Slime
As you can see, that's way too many cards (46 in total), so some cuts are going to have to be made.  A snip here and there, and I give you the full list for RUG Splinter Twin, Rugrats.

Creatures (11)
This is no ordinary storm!
  • 4 Birds of Paradise
  • 4 Deceiver Exarch
  • 3 Haze Frog
Disruption (11)
  • 4 Lightning Bolt
  • 2 Mental Misstep
  • 3 Mana Leak
  • 2 Into the Roil
Other (14)
  • 4 Preordain
  • 3 Mimic Vat
  • 4 Splinter Twin
  • 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Land (24)
  • 4 Scalding Tarn
  • 4 Misty Rainforest
  • 1 Arid Mesa
  • 1 Verdant Catacombs
  • 2 Halimar Depths
  • 4 Island
  • 4 Forest
  • 4 Mountain
Now, a quick explanation for some of the choices-
I love how it's stopping a myr that costs two mana.
Mental Misstep serves as a manaless counterspell, since for me to go off on T3&4, I can't provide mana for anything else.  Mostly, this is to get around a Lightning Bolt or Disfigure on my Exarch, or a Spell Pierce on my Splinter Twin.  It's dead against decks w/o disruption, and does nothing to help me get the combo in the first place, so it got trimmed down a little bit.

Haha, now I'm down here!
I never thought Squadron Hawk could be a
more inefficient creature.
Into the Roil serves as the only maindeck artifact hate.  The only card it's really needed for is Torpor Orb, a card that quite literally says this deck can't win.  I put only two Roils in the deck, since even if I do run into this card, I can always board in Crush, and it will stop me from my early combo off anyways so there's no harm in waiting a little to draw it.

The last card I hadn't yet talked about was Jace, but I only need one sentence to explain why the mindsculptor made the cut- I have Islands.

Now, I don't really play outside of Standard, a little Extended but not much for other constructed formats.  What I want to see now is a legacy build with Twin, Kiki-Jiki, Pestermite and the Exarch.  It will be built by Conley Woods and it will show up in a feature at a SCG open.  He'll probably be shouting 'Purple Recluse' or some such nonsense at random intervals during the match.

Anyways, that's enough of my shameless attempt at increasing google search results, an today's article is coming to a close.  For those of you who can't get enough of Yo Mama, check out the archive below, and don't forget to check us out on Facebook and the Twitter.

Until next time, I just realized that I end all my articles like I'm Maro.


  1. The thing is.....you need 1x Splinter Twin, 1x BoP, 1x Deceiver Exarch, 2x land, and whatever spells in your opening hand, and hope you draw the other two land before turn 3, 4, or 5.... With no search or draw, or filter cards in the deck......Like I've said to others, stick with pyro-twin, it works the best......

  2. Perhaps that's true if you go for the T3 win, but that's not the goal of the deck. You don't lose if you don't have the godhand. You still run the Preordains and Halimar Depths with fetchlands to smooth out your draws and get consistent T4-5 wins, same as PyroTwin. In fact, PyroTwin typically has only three Splinter Twins and an even lower JtMS count, so it's even harder to combo off than playing Rugrats.

    I have the Extended Pyro deck, I played around with the combo when it was in Standard, but as far as I'm concerned, Ascension is simply too weak without Time Warp and Call to Mind, not to mention the missing Ponder. Sure, the new Peek will help, but it's simply not enough to validate relying on Pyromancer's Ascension for anything.