- 4x Birds of Paradise
- 4x Blood Artist
- 3x Deathrite Shaman
- 2x Doomed Traveler
- 3x Kitchen Finks
- 3x Mortician Beetle
- 3x Ranger of Eos
- 4x Viscera Seer
- 2x Voice of Resurgence
- 1x Forest
- 3x Godless Shrine
- 3x Marsh Flats
- 4x Overgrown Tomb
- 1x Swamp
- 3x Temple Garden
- 3x Verdant Catacombs
- 2x Woodland Cemetery
The point of this deck is to use your creatures as fodder for Viscera Seer and as chump blockers to keep you alive until you can drop a Grave Pact and completely control the other player's board. Almost all of the cards have some kind of synergy with each other and work towards setting up the win.
Grave Pact: Assuming you've played creatures turn 2 - 3, a 3rd or 4th turn Grave Pact can completely stop most aggressive strategies.
Blood Artist: If you get Blood Artist out at the same time as Grave Pact it become's almost impossible for my opponent to recover, each killed creature causing a chain reaction that only needs to happen a few times for me to win.
Viscera Seer: With him out you can win even without the other two engines, or he can help you stall long enough to find them. By turning combat into an opportunity to scry through your deck he makes the rest of the deck possible.
Birds of Paradise: After allowing me to dump my hand or play that turn three Grave Pact, Birds can just sit there until I need to block something with flying or it can be used to stretch with Immortal Servitude and Ranger of Eos.
Deathrite Shaman: Similar to Birds, Deathrite Shaman allows for big turn three plays and, despite his increased usefulness late game, more often he's just more fodder for the engines.
Doomed Traveler: This is the one-drop in the series of two-for-one creatures used in this deck. It's important because it allows for two death triggers late game and two Viscera Seer triggers early game.
Voice of Resurgence: A great two-drop all around, in certain match-ups it can be very disruptive, but the rest of the time it's not only a two-for-one but it can also have a similar effect as Tarmogoyf. Simply by growing each turn as creatures are played it can grow very large very quickly (I know it's technically not as good as Tarmogoyf, but in this deck it's essentially the same thing, especially when you can reanimate creatures that are killed).
Kitchen Finks: The card made famous by it's value and it's use throughout Modern in Melira-Pod and Junk value decks, here is the three-drop two-for-one. It has the same value here as in all of the decks it's already used in, but it can be much more effective when used in concert with the engines of the deck.
Ranger of Eos: I was hesitant about this card when I first noticed that it could fit in the deck, but I have since changed my mind. This card is practically an engine on it's own, turning a slow game with mana dorks into a race against a giant Mortician Beetle. This is one of the cards that can make it worth it to keep lands on top when you scry and leave mana dorks around.
Immortal Servitude: Before this card I hadn't considered any kind of reanimation cards, but I saw it and thought, 'that card has a lot of potential.' In this deck that potential is realized, working in much the same way as Ranger of Eos, allowing me to sacrifice mana dorks and engines without fear. It can be especially devastating in a game where I have enough mana to reanimate a couple of Rangers.
Proclamation or Rebirth: This is a back-up to Immortal Servitude, not being strictly better or worse. Early game it's more efficient for reanimating three or less one drops, but it quickly loses value as the game goes on and there are more one-drops and higher CMCs that it can't handle. It can be used late game as a repeatable effect, but at that point it's just win-more.
Abrupt Decay: One thing I've found in my attempts to build decks outside of the meta is that it's extremely difficult without removal. While Grave Pact can shut my opponent down, it isn't always out at the same time as Viscera Seer, making it hard to block fliers. Abrupt Decay is the backup just in case things aren't working out, and even then I'll put it on the bottom most of the time I scry into it.
Mortician Beetle: This card doesn't fall into any of the three above categories as it does nothing to the rest of the deck on it's own, isn't useful fodder, and has no utility whatsoever. At the same time, it's possibly the most synergistic card in the entire deck, because while it's incapable of effecting anything, it benefits from most of the other cards. When there's no Blood Artist out to sneak in a win, this card can go a long way towards speeding up the game.
The next step is acquiring/testing some of the staples of the Modern format to see how well they work here.The deck can have trouble with a few popular archetypes, namely Control and Combo, but also some of the faster decks like RDW/Burn; Elf Tribal; and sometimes Robots; though it has reached the point where it can race them on a good hand. In addition, any graveyard or enchantment hate can make it virtually impossible for this deck to win. I've constructed the sideboard with these decks more or less in mind, so let me know if you have any ideas for how to beat those match-ups, what cards I should have to bring in, and what cards I should take out.
If you have any ideas or comments let me know.
I went 3 - 0 (6 - 1) at my local Modern Tournament. Scythe Tiger was fun but oftentimes irrelevant so I'm switching it out for Doomed Traveler to get as much value out of Viscera Seer as possible. Next up on the chopping block is Deathrite Shaman, another fun card that's actually good, but I find that I almost never actually want to draw it. Most of the time if it shows up off of Viscera Seer I just stick it one the bottom so I can look for something useful.
I'm currently testing the deck sans Perilous Myr to see if it's really necessary (even though I like it a lot and it can be great removal). In it's place I've added Proclamation of Rebirth and Scythe Tiger. Proclamation works because it provides additional reanimating (though it's not strictly better than Immortal Servitude since Servitude can grab two, three, or even sometimes four drops late game). Scythe Tiger can work very well as early aggro or as fuel for Mortician Beetle and Grave Pact in the absence of Ranger of Eos or Viscera Seer.
May 3, 2013 6:40 p.m.
Because that's not the point of the deck. Just because there's Kitchen Finks and Viscera Seer doesn't mean I'm looking to play some kind of Melira wanna be. That said, it's not a bad idea. The reason I'm don't have any sort of Melira combo in here is because it doesn't fit. I had Cathars' Crusade as a fun card and sort of Melira substitute but it slowed the deck down too much and didn't always work. What I have now is much more reliable than waiting around to pull Melira. But then you say 'so add Birthing Pod and Fauna Shaman and stuff'. If I put those in I might as well go the whole nine yards and build Melira Pod, and while that's kind of cool it's been done to death. This is not Melira Pod, it's Grave Pact /Immortal Servitude shenanigans.
May 3, 2013 6:51 p.m.
If I wanted to I could have a transformative sideboard to turn this into Melira Pod, and it would probably work, I usually don't enjoy creating/playing a deck that someone else came up with. The exceptions to that rule are when I want to build something my way or the idea looks really cool.
May 3, 2013 6:55 p.m.
I wasnt suggesting you go the full melira pod, I was suggesting that she could be plan b with grave pact so you have 8 cards that let you mess with your opponents board and a higher chance of pulling one when you need. I understand wanting to break out of the archetypes and i apologize if my suggestion seemed like it was pushing you too hard to go melira pod or bust. So just a suggestion that she could be immortal servitude 5-8 since persist does go to the graveyard when it and then returns it would trigger grace pact. And I think murderous redcap would be cool with immortal servitude cause youd get 4 uses out of him
May 4, 2013 10:38 a.m.
That makes sense. The only issue I have with it is that my biggest problem with this deck has been that it is too slow. I've gotten the deck to the point where I can be losing badly till turn four, but after I drop Grave Pact my opponent either comes to a complete stop or I wipe their board for them with Viscera Seer. With that in mind, I've geared the deck towards getting Grave Pact out ASAP and, failing that, there are a whole bunch of resilient creatures I can rely on. The problem with Melira is that it only interacts with Kitchen Finks (and Murderous Redcap if I added that). I could focus more on her and add cards like Black Sun's Zenith , but even then if I don't have her those cards don't work half as well and if I don't have the rest of the cards my opponent would probably kill her before I could do anything with her. On top of that, assuming I use all those cards, the deck is probably going to be much slower, coming back to the original problem that this deck can just sit on a handful of chump blockers half the time and lose. Or win. But I've found that it works better if I focus on cheap value creatures that I'm almost never disappointed to draw.
However, with all of that said it's not out of the question for me to build another iteration of this deck more focused on the Melira interactions and see how that one works. The main reason Kitchen Finks is in this deck is to help stall along with the fact that it's essentially two creatures for Grave Pact and Viscera Seer. I could do something different and use Melira with persist and Black Sun for a more controlling deck. Right now the Immortal Servitude focus is usually for one CMC creatures, but with a little tweaking I could focus more on two drops for Melira's sake. Either way, it's not a bad idea but I'd probably build a new deck before I tried to squeeze Melira in here. I'll get to that eventually, so thanks for the idea.
TL;DR I'll make another Melira focused version of this deck
May 4, 2013 1:37 p.m.
Not a bad idea, I'm just not sure how productive it is. Part of the problem is that the life gain off of him is just win-more by the time it's really effective (after Grave Pact is out). In addition, it's another creature that I don't want to use as fodder until I've set up, at which point it's largely irrelevant. There are lots of fun cards for this deck, and many of them work well, but the problem is distilling that list into something consistent and effective. As it is right now, the deck can have problems with control or combo simply because it is fairly dependent on interaction with the opponent. If the other guy just sits there until he whittles my life total down/goes infinite, all I'm doing up until that point is poking him with 1/1s.
May 16, 2013 6:22 p.m.
May 17, 2013 5:58 p.m.
The problem with Death Cultist is that he packs too little bang for his buck. Even though it does stack with Blood Artist, it's a one time effect that only works on itself making it largely irrelevant to the rest of the deck. It's too disconnected and doesn't do enough on it's own.
May 17, 2013 6:35 p.m.
June 2, 2013 4:34 p.m.
I actually did have that in here at one point. The reason it's helpful is that it refills your hand with creatures that fuel the deck. However, like you said, it benefits your opponent, and while it may not be as great for them, one of the factors that make this deck work is its ability to outlast your opponent until they run out of steam. Especially post-sideboard, it can really make the difference for your opponent. Right now this deck as it is doesn't have that problem because of Immortal Servitude and proclamation of Rebirth. Using those cards, you can grab all of the fuel you spent setting yourself up to win without benefiting the other side. Still, depending on how proclamation works out I may bring Fecundity back.