Ghost Engineer

Casual Artifact Combo Mono-Blue

dorminjake Score: 15


Description

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"The dream does not end until I say so." -- Lord of the Unreal


NOTE: Because Leafs_suck's Grand Illusion exists, and this deck contains the same Grand Architect + aggressive blue creatures engine, alllll credit for the combo is due to him. I mean, it's the highest rated deck on this site, and I'm not exactly reinventing the wheel here (though I am tinkering a little). However, because this is my Scars of Mirrodin/M12 last hurrah, and I have some blue M13 cards I'm itching to use, here's a deck list!


So! Basic strategy: play cheap, aggressive blue illusions like Phantasmal Bear and Jace's Phantasm , beef them up with Lord of the Unreal and Grand Architect , and swing for dozens of damage!

Or: play lots of blue creatures, get some early aggro in, then drop a Grand Architect and start tapping the tiniest of your creatures to power out Wurmcoil Engine s or Staff of Nin !

Also: Phyrexian Metamorph and Phantasmal Image copy wurmcoils, blue lords, enemy Sun Titan s and things, whatever you want, and kill opposing legends. The image even gets added synergy with Lord of the Unreal !

Personal touches: Solemn Simulacrum , which helps with the mana ramp when your Architect is not available (while also working well with him), and Staff of Nin , which is stupidly awesome when you can cheat it out on turn 3, and can actually kill many of the problem creatures of the format.

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Updates

#3 in tournament @ The Foundry — Aug. 31, 2012

3-1, grabbing third place after tiebreakers.

This week's results were much less ridiculous and overpowered than last week's (see below), playing closer to what I would normally expect from this deck. Rather than bore with the details, here's a brief summary of my results:

Round 1 - R/B Vampires (2-1) - Falkenrath Marauders +Stromkirk Captain +Lord of Lineage  Flip ow

Round 2 - Nichol Bolas, Planeswalker (2-0)

Round 3 - Rancor Infect (1-2) - opponent went on to win the tournament

Round 4 - R/G Aggro (2-1) - grueling three games. Casting and protecting a Witchbane Orb was pretty key in defeating his Bonfire of the Damned


#1 in tournament @ The Deep Comics and Games — Aug. 24, 2012

4-0, with zero game losses for first place!

Disclaimer: have you ever had one of those lucky days where everything involving probability just happens to go your way? I won every die roll to see who played first, mulligan'd into perfect 6-card hands, drew everything I needed at the right moments, and survived multiple kill-or-be-killed situations, while never suffering anything worse than a mild mana flood, and never losing a game. So, important: don't take this as an average performance for this deck. THIS is an average performance of a deck on felix felicis.

Round 1 - Boros Midrange (2-0)

This deck used a ton of early burn to clear the way for its turn 4 threats, including Hero of Bladehold and Koth of the Hammer , the latter of which he actually managed to to go ultimate with. That ended up not mattering too much, though, as I managed to consistently play 1-2 Wurmcoil Engine s by turn 4-5 in both games, which he simply could not outrace.

Round 2 - Mulch Reanimator (2-0)

My opponent was just getting back into Magic, and was running a deck with very little removal, so I was able to do some pretty degenerate things. Big, dumb, smashy play of the match: attacking with a Lord of the Unreal , an illusory Lord of the Unreal, an illusory artifact Lord of the Unreal, and a 7/7 hexproof phantasmal Geist-Honored Monk and its spirit tokens. Over-extending never felt so good.

Round 3 - Griselbrand Frites (2-0)

Big, dumb, lucky play(s) of the game: Opponent casts Unburial Rites on Griselbrand. I cast Phyrexian Metamorph , copy-killing the demon, and swing with Wurmcoil Engine. Opponent again reanimates Griselbrand. I Phantasmal Image him, cast a second wurm, and swing for six. Opponent reanimates Griselbrand yet again. I sacrifice Buried Ruin , retrieve my dead metamorph, and recast it, killing Griselbrand and swinging for the win. Final life total: 52.

Round 4 - U/W Delver (2-0)

Game 1 was actually pretty fun and skill-intensive, developing in such a way that we both presented lethal damage on the battlefield, and it was all an issue of who would get to attack first, and whether their opponent held any Vapor Snag s. I got to attack first. My opponent did not have Vapor Snag. Game 2 was much less fun. My opponent started out sorely in need for land, and could never quite catch up to the tremendous Grand Architect artifact clone army I was busy constructing.

Conclusion: play this deck on a day when you are feeling particularly fortunate, and the Fates may grant you a boon. This is super useful information.

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#6 in tournament @ The Deep Comics and Games — July 13, 2012

Win record: 3-1 matches, 7-3 games

Round 1: G/W Humans (2-0) - pure blue aggro game 1, wurmcoil combo game 2, never lost speed

Round 2: R/G Aggro (1-2) - destroyed me game 1, got him back game 2, and then I never drew a land again (womp womp)

Round 3: B/R Zombies (2-0) - Grafdigger's Cage . Graaaaafdigger's Caaaaaaaage!

Round 4: RED DECK (2-1) - bad matchup for me, considering the strength of Gut Shot , Arc Trail , and Slagstorm against this deck, but if you can get hexproof and a couple of lords/architects established, you're good.

The list I ran last night used Phantasmal Dragon s instead of the Jace's Phantasm s I've just added to the deck, and it definitely shows in some of the mana issues I experienced. Having a 4-drop flying 5/5 that can be killed by Rancor (three green mana = kill three illusions. Even on the receiving end of a beating like that, that was a pretty cool moment), is just a little too slow for what the deck wants/needs. Replacing the dragon with a flying 1-drop should give me more to do on turns 1 and 2, and give me the same potential for a large flying threat, whether through +1/+1 bonuses from fall the lords, or from the more unlikely scenario of a fully stocked graveyard on the opponent's side of the table. It also works much better with Grand Architect in powering out Wurmcoil Engine s, etc., so there's that.

Aaaaanyway, 3-1 wooo.

dorminjake says... #1

What are everyone's thoughts on card:Jace's Phantasm for a deck like this? Is it good enough as a 1/1 flyer that can get +1/+1 and hexproof boosts? My inclusion of Jace, Memory Adept might be a baaaad idea here, if his only real use is going to be pumping up my phantasms. Hm, hmm, etc.

July 14, 2012 1:38 a.m.

autigers001 says... #2

i think the phantasm is good enough for this deck with all the +1/+1 support...plus its another cheap creature to tap into grand architect for mana. I think jace is unnecessary though, and the extra ability of the phantasm should just be there as an added bonus instead of a goal. LIke the deck alot though

July 14, 2012 4:04 a.m.

dorminjake says... #3

@autigers001 Thanks! I playtested it a bit with a couple of Jace, Memory Adept in there in addition to the two Tamiyo, the Moon Sage , but that definitely felt like a bad idea. Even with 24 lands, it's taking me a while to get to five mana in some games, and Jace is feeling a bit superfluous anyway. I think we are in agreement!

July 14, 2012 12:10 p.m.

Deco_y says... #4

One thing I love doing is tapping all my creature for mana to put out a Wurmcoil Engine or a Steel Hellkite , and then using Tamiyo's -2 on myself to draw anywhere between 3-6 cards. Then if you draw any more artifacts or creatures you can use your land base to then cast those cards. That a lone has won me a few games.

I love to see people using this deck. Makes me happy inside =D

+1

July 14, 2012 2:03 p.m.

Deco_y says... #5

And card:Jace's Phantasm is wonderful in this deck. A 2/2 hexproof flyer is pretty good. Maybe think about Thought Scour ing yourself to put cards in your yard. Who knows? If you put a Wurmcoil Engine into the yard, bring it back with a Buried Ruin .

July 14, 2012 2:05 p.m.

dorminjake says... #6

@Leafs_suck Thanks! I appreciate the +1, especially from the archetype's innovator!

Thought Scour would probably be better suited to milling your opponent, if the intent is to make card:Jace's Phantasm bigger. I had to read the card a few times to make sure, but it does say that it only gets "+4/+4 as long as an opponent has ten or more cards in his or her graveyard." So, not as great with self-mill. I will consider it's inclusion though, as a cantrip is a cantrip is a cantrip.

July 14, 2012 2:34 p.m.

dorminjake says... #7

Added a singleton Staff of Nin for giggles and card advantage. Seems kind of fun, anyway.

July 14, 2012 8:23 p.m.

Deco_y says... #8

I always forget it says opponent >_>

Staff of Nin was considered in mine too. You can always use more targets for Treasure Mage.

July 14, 2012 8:35 p.m.

I read the flavor texts in the description and than gave you a thumbs up, props for one awesome deck!

July 14, 2012 11:50 p.m.

Lustrigia says... #10

Nicely done, let's compare:

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/harbingers-of-the-moon-sage/

July 15, 2012 12:08 a.m.

dorminjake says... #11

Sideboarding guide posted in the Updates. I'll try to keep this up to date with any changes I make in the list.

Sands of Delirium is a bit of an experiment right now. It's cheaper than Jace, Memory Adept , works well with Grand Architect , and easily enables card:Jace's Phantasms with 5+ power/toughness. It'll be hiding in the sideboard until I get some data on its usefulness here; there are just too many decks in standard right now that want cards in the graveyard to warrant it's inclusion in the main deck.

July 15, 2012 2:57 a.m.

zandl says... #12

card:Jace's Phantasm forrr what, exactly? I know it's a 1-drop Blue dude, but your mill = 0, and Sands of Delirium is janky at best. I would think that any of the other 1-drop Blue Creatures in Standard would all be better than the Phantasm, which does nothing offensively or defensively until at least turn 6 or 7.

Try Delver of Secrets  Flip , Vedalken Certarch , Nephalia Smuggler , Kraken Hatchling , or Wingcrafter .

July 15, 2012 3:10 a.m.

dorminjake says... #13

@zandl In this particular deck, card:Jace's Phantasm is more aggressive than those other options, because it benefits from Lord of the Unreal , Phantasmal Image s copying Lord of the Unreal , Phyrexian Metamorph s copying Lord of the Unreal images etc., in addition to the +1/+1 boosts they all enjoy from Grand Architect . It is not at all uncommon for these plucky little Flying Men to get up to 3/3 or 4/4, with hexproof, deceptively quickly and quite often. If nothing else, they block and sometimes trade with Insectile Aberration  Flip  Flips, and are otherwise evasive attackers. I don't even need the mill. That ability is just magical christmasland gravy. I know the +4/+4 is hardly ever going to trigger. I just use other means to make them strong.

Plus they fit thematically! <-- Not a serious point.

I basically play them like Spined Thopter s, only faster and usually less fragile.

There aren't enough instants and sorceries for Delver of Secrets  Flip , Nephalia Smuggler doesn't really do anything with this deck (it doesn't tend to keep a lot of mana open for ability use), and Kraken Hatchling , while useful agaisnt red, is not really going to do much otherwise. Wingcrafter seems okay, especially attached to a wurmcoil, but I'd rather he were a little more useful on his own. Vedalken Certarch seems pretty cool though, if highly situational. I like Vedalken Certarch . He's a nice fella.

Thank you for the suggestions! I prefer card:Jace's Phantasm to Wingcrafter , Vedalken Certarch , or Spined Thopter , but I certainly see the arguments for using them instead. The phantasm just fits in with the deck's bells and whistles a bit better.

July 15, 2012 3:48 a.m.

dorminjake says... #14

@zandl Also: sorry for such a long reply! I basically think through things as I type, so most of the above is basically internal monologue and mulling over things out loud (er, in text). I appreciate the list of one-drop blue creatures!

July 15, 2012 3:58 a.m.

zandl says... #15

It's totally fine. I'd rather have someone spill their brains out in a post than just say "eff you this one's better" and post it.

July 15, 2012 12:31 p.m.

dorminjake says... #16

@zandl Haha, thanks. Also: eff you I'm running 5x Merfolk of the Pearl Trident , the way Richard Garfield intended!

WHAT NOW? (swaggers ridiculously)

July 15, 2012 12:56 p.m.

i love this deck on a side note howd you get the card art in your description? it looks sick

July 15, 2012 2:49 p.m.

dorminjake says... #18

I used a code for embedding images that can be found here: http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/basics

Scroll down to the section labeled "IMAGES" and copy the last line that has

img src="/path/to/img.jpg" alt="alt text" title="Title"

in angle brackets. Replace /path/to/img.jpg with a path or url to the specific image you want to use, and voila presto abracadabra, you have an image. I use an image hosting site like tinypic.com to upload things, and get my direct link for layouts from there. http://i47.tinypic.com/343lm4j.jpg , for example, results in:

alt textHope that helps!

July 15, 2012 3:03 p.m.

dorminjake says... #19

Tangent: Lord of the Unreal and Loki from The Avengers movie are THE SAME PERSON. Note all the Phantasmal Image copies!

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July 15, 2012 3:19 p.m.

lol. For lookalikes I prefer Montel Williams.

Alt text
July 17, 2012 8:55 p.m.

Or Robin Williams lol

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July 17, 2012 8:59 p.m.

dorminjake says... #22

Echo Mage is handsomer than Montel Williams (I just tried to autocard his name, whaaat), and Academy Rector definitely has a half-costumed Mrs. Doubtfire thing going on.

END TANGENT (thunders)

Any thoughts on Staff of Nin ? I'm correct that this card is awesome in this deck, right? Am I completely missing some egregious error in including it?

I think it looks spiffy, personally.

July 17, 2012 9:28 p.m.

Lustrigia says... #23

Since everyone's thinking the same thing... Odric looks just like Sean Connery.

July 17, 2012 9:35 p.m.

Normally, I'd say Staff of Nin is a poor include, but I think it actually fits in this deck. The card draw is just good, and pinging stuff is never a bad thing.

The only bad thing about it is its mana cost, and this deck can get around that pretty well.

July 17, 2012 10:15 p.m.

dorminjake says... #25

My old Mirrodin copy of Mindslaver makes its triumphant return to the sideboard!

(wild cheering, a bit of confetti)

Because reasons!

July 18, 2012 1:41 p.m.

Is there a matchup you'd be siding Mindslaver in against, or is it just for the lulz?

July 18, 2012 2:23 p.m.

dorminjake says... #27

@landgrafb Mostly lulz, but I have used it to explode Shrine of Burning Rage in its owner's face before. It would also be nice to bring in against planeswalkers, though I think a more serious/better sideboard choice would be Volition Reins . It's even more fun against Birthing Pod ; think of all the ETB shenanigans, and sacrificing all the wrong creatures!

It is really, really good against a tapped out burn player, but if you can make this much mana you should probably be winning at that point anyway.

It's also good for tilting control players, especially if you can empty their hand in the worst way possible (killing their permanents with their own spells, countering their own stuff, sending miracles the wrong way, missing land drops) and leave them tapped out before attacking with the team.

I'm including it in the hopes of causing so. much. mischief. It's a fun card. It's probably more efficient to just attack for infinity "phantasmal" damage, but I like that I have the option.

July 18, 2012 6:22 p.m.

I like it against the control matchup. Tapping them out by making them counter their own win condition seems legit.

July 18, 2012 11:36 p.m.

Deco_y says... #29

Mindslaver is perfect for destroying combos. There is nothing better than totally taking control, attacking their best creature into your Wurmcoil Engine , or so many great things.

July 19, 2012 12:26 a.m.

letto27 says... #30

How about Akromas Memorial in this deck if your using new m13 cards i feel like it fits perfectly

July 21, 2012 6:44 p.m.

Deco_y says... #31

I might have said this before, but tooo much land! You need at most 22 for this deck.

September 3, 2012 5:20 p.m.

dorminjake says... #32

I don't know! It's been playing very smoothly for me lately. I might cut to 23 if anything, but honestly my Ponder s and Staff of Nin (new favorite card!) have kept my hand pretty well stocked with gas. By the same token, they also keep my hand pretty stocked with land, so I do see what you're saying. More action would probably be preferable.

One thing I will say though: I've moved away from the illusion aggro side of things a little, replacing the Phantasmal Bear s entirely with card:Jace's Phantasms (flying is pretty crucial where I play), and my biggest reason for keeping Lord of the Unreal in is for drawing out removal spells so I have a better chance of getting Grand Architect to stick. People who are less familiar with my deck jump to thinking I'm straight illusion aggro and kill my lord accordingly. So it's pretty important for me to have three land as soon as possible, because the architect is pretty much the crux of my strategy these days. Until I land him, I reeeeally don't want to miss a land drop.

If I can't get an architect into play, or if he dies before I can really abuse his abilities, then it's nice to be able to hardcast one of my four 6-drops before, you know, turn 10.

I don't strongly disagree about cutting to 23, but 22 scares me with the way I've been playing it. So far, so good, by the way. I came in third last Friday, and the week before that I didn't lose a single game, let alone match. I am now colloquially referred to as "wurmcoil guy" (also Jake, strangely enough).

September 4, 2012 12:05 a.m.

dorminjake says... #33

Oh! I should also probably mention: I abuse the hell out of Buried Ruin . I love that card so much. So really it feels more like 20 land + 4 artifact recursion spells, you know? Especially since I need so much blue mana specifically for painting artifact creatures into Grand Architect 's +1/+1 effect.

And because my staff dies a lot.

September 4, 2012 12:08 a.m.

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Date added 2 years
Last updated 1 year
Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.81
Folders Standard, Other Decks to Versus, Look in to, Past Decks, Other players, Blue Control/Artifacts, Options, Blue discard deck, Interessantes, Look into further, Pro Copy Decks
Top rank #7 on 2012-07-21

Last update 1 year ago

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