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DoJ droping? Cast a Mana Leak
and then Surgical Extraction
Geth's Verdict? Sword of Body and Mind 's or Timely Reinforcements 's tokens.
Surgical Extraction 'ed your stalker? Use Vault Skirge or Mirran Crusader instead .
Aggro putting on the pressure? Drop a Day of Judgment or Timely Reinforcements .
Suggestions are welcome. if you post a well-thought out suggestion I'll be willing to take a look at one of your decks and offer the same service, just make sure to have a link to the deck you want me to look at in your post.
Also +1 for cookies.
Oldest at top; Newest at bottom
Last Update: [02/10/11]
This deck has gone through a lot of playtesting and constant revision. With what has currently been released I feel that this will be a competitive deck that I'll be able to take to my FMN. I've worked towards making this deck more consistent while also lowering the price; however, I still need help.
Ok, so I've been debating a lot about this deck and they boil down 1 basic thing: Drop black. Either I drop black for another color (depending on Innistrad, but so far I'm thinking red), or drop it completely and focus on a UW deck.
Some reasons to not drop black are: Distress + Surgical Extraction to get rid of boardwipes; Tormented Soul ; Draw from the Nihil Spellbomb. Also if I keep black I'm considering adding in Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas to dig for the right sword.
Some reasons to drop black for red (or any color): Blasphemous Act and Slagstorm become one sided boardwipes when I have Sword of War and Peace out. Curse of Stalked Prey speeds up my clock. Along with cards like Devil's Play in order to get that last bit of damage.
However, I really can't decide. So I need some help; either suggestions or offers to playtest (on Cockatrice or OCTGN2).
Played around with the lands a bit morel; still trying to find that money mix. Trepanation Blade is probably what I'm gonna put in instead of Batterskull in order to lower the mana curve. Still trying to figure out what I need and don't need in order to streamline this deck as much as possible.
Woot! This deck made the Top 3 FNM. One dream has been achieved thanks to all you guys and your suggestions. Still would love any more you guys could offer. I'm considering Nevermore from the new leaks as a nice replacement for Mana Leak .
I'm also considering making this more 'mill' oriented. Like I said before Sword of Body and Mind + Undead Alchemist leads to some serious pressure from both zombie 2/2 tokens and wolf 2/2 tokens. Some problems with this would be the fact that Undead Alchemist is really fragile and in order to protect him I'd either have to have a Sword of War and Peace out or add in some Swiftfoot Boots .
Created a copy of this deck to test out any large scale changes. Currently I'm trying out 'mill.'
The Invisible Swords Mod 1
Decided to commit to something more mill based. Same old same old with the Invisible Stalker and Sword of Body and Mind , but then drop a Undead Alchemist to start making tokens. If they're still not close to decking out after another swing or two kill the Undead Alchemist and swing for win with all the zombie and wolf tokens you've created.
Anyway I'm trying to slim down my sb. I've lowered the Nevermore count from 3 to 2 and bumped the Revoke Existence count up to 4. I figure the Blades are still gonna be strong in the Innistrad meta and there's the new Heartless Summoning that seems to be a strong contender.
I'm not sure Sword of Body and Mind is going to be a good idea against a lot of decks post innistrad (with a lot of casting costs revealed as exiling creatures from your own graveyard, filling up their graveyard makes it easier for them). Sideboard for the protection blue/green is still good, and if you really need the tokens, it could work out, but I'd be careful with the mill unless you're going all in on that. Feast and famine i think would just work better (of course, it's something like 3x the $price, but whatever)That said, I'd swap card:Jace's Archivist for Mindshrieker , it's another cheap, evasive creature that can carry a sword, and the ability is just fantastic, especially if it's holding a SoFaF, dump all your mana into the ability, deal a bunch of damage, then untap.
card:Jace's Archivist replaced Jace, Memory Adept ; reason being I only used Jace for the +1 draw and Jace's Archivist is cheaper in mana and $ and could net me more cards.
Yeah, after look at the new leaks, Sword of Body and Mind is gonna hurt against gy play decks, so hopefully either Innistrad comes with some gy exile shenanigans or I'll have to switch it for Sword of Feast and Famine .
White splash is for Divine Reckoning and the sb Revoke Existence . Without white splash I'd be defenseless against any decks with artifact or enchantment play and susceptible to really fast aggro. I will look into Disperse since its a turn faster than Oblivion Ring .
I use Distress over Despise mainly because I have a play set of Distress already and because I also use Distress to nab Day of Judgment s or other boardwide wipes. However running a 2/2 split might be a good idea.
Mirran Crusader , he already has pro g&b plus swords he'll have protection from 3-4 colors making him almost unblockable, and because of double strike he get's double sword effects. mill for 10 twice, get a 2/2 wolf twice. deals damage to a player equal to the number of cards in your hand twice and gain life equal to the number of cards in your hand twice.
But what would I take out?
card:Jace's Archivist? I'm considering switching him back out for Jace, Memory Adept .
Tormented Soul ? Shifts my mana curve off and my ideal play (t1 or 2 creature t3 sword t4 equip and swing).
Now don't get me wrong. I'd love to have him (his double strike is amazing with the swords), but I just don't see where to put him.
Oh, Gideon Jura has always been the bane of my existence when facing CAW decks, he ALWAYS shows up at the right time, might want to add him. Keep 2 Sword of Feast and Famine Sideboard to switch for body and mind. Go ahead and run 3-4 Go for the Throat s Mainboard and keep an equivalent amount of either Doom Blade or Dismember Side board. Consecrated Sphinx and Skaab Ruinator would be fun and or helpful as well. [[Surgical extraction is a card I am iffy about as to whether you should mainboard or not, I might toss it in the sideboard to make room for something else.
I'm iffy on anything that isn't unblockable, but Vault Skirge is a nice card.
Gideon Jura is a nice one, but I feel that he's too slow either I win by the time I can drop him or I've lost. And he crowds my 5 drop spot that has both Batterskull and any of the swords if a droped Mirran Crusader instead of my 1 or 2 drop creatures.
I like the 2/2 split of Doom Blade and Go for the Throat as it is; remember only a black deck can have black creatures but any deck can have Wurmcoil Engine . That being said I have 3 Dismember in the sb in case I'm going against MBC.
Now Surgical Extraction is probably the pivotal card against control and mirror matches. The only way to kill a Invisible Stalker is a boardwhipe, which is why I run Mana Leak ; however I'll not always have the mana or the couterspell open when they drop a DoJ so I want to remove that option for them as soon as I can, enter Surgical Extraction which makes Invisible Stalker impossible to get rid of.
That being said I definitly want to play around with the swords and find out what'll be the best to play for the Innistrad Block; I may end up just switching out Sword of Body and Mind for Sword of Feast and Famine completely.
If you run up against a GY deck, try a few Nihil Spellbomb s in your sideboard. As a bonus, it's card draw in back. It should make Body and Mind a bit less dangerous.
You also might want to look into various clones, especially Phantasmal Image . Sure, they can't carry a sword, but they're a good answer for the creature your opponent does manage to land.
Otherwise it looks solid. I'm still on the fence as to whether Mindshrieker or the Stalker is better for carrying a sword (I much prefer raw power over protection), but this defintely looks good.
Phantasmal Image is an amazing card, along all the other clone spells; however I don't have to room to fit him in.
Mindshrieker just doesn't seem that good to me. With angels and vamps in Innistrad and other cards with flying in m12 I feel that Mindshrieker may never be able to consistently land a hit like Invisible Stalker does.
I'd switch in Feast and Famine. It lets you play for the turn while still leaving mana open for counters.
I'd also keep the crusader. Double Strike is huge, especially with a sword. I feel like the Geist would just get blocked and killed the first time he swung. The crusader even has useful protection built right in.
Geist with a sword will do 8 damage + the sword's effect. A crusader with a sword will also do 8 damage, but gets two sword triggers.
Yeah, the Geist was just something I was considering to put some pressure on just in case I didn't draw a sword.
The reason I prefer Sword of Body and Mind over Sword of Feast and Famine is because, SoBaM equiped to a stalker puts them on a 5 turn clock. This bypasses the one reason you'd want to run a Mindshrieker over a Invisible Stalker . Another reason is price; I am just leery of spending 24$ for a Sword of Feast and Famine when I could get two Sword of Body and Mind for nearly the same price.
Ok, further playtesting has revealed that this deck is quite inconsistent. Main problem I running into is that I need to have a creature and a sword in my opening hand, starting without them leads to a slow game.
I'm currently debating on what to put in instead of Batterskull , since I don't want to put in Sword of Feast and Famine unless I either find an amazing deal or have to I'm looking for good alternatives in Innistrad.
you might want some Unsummon to protect your creatures, and/or Spirit Mantle for more unblockable creatures. and besides, Sword of Feast and Famine won't do you much good in this deck; it's not ramp, and you have other control aspects. maybe also Jace, Memory Adept ? i know you don't want to spend a lotta money, but he could be a real bitch, and put your opponent on a 2-3 turn clock instead of 4-5. bee tee dubs, i hate war and peace. personally, id run two more body and mind. but it's probably a good idea to have another win con. and also, Leyline of the Void in sideboard can be a lifesaver if those eldrazi bitches come out. hope i could help.
look at my deck? white weenies go boom
I've been considering bounce spells as ways to protect both my creatures and stall the opponent; however I'm not sure what to take out for them. Yeah I've decided against running Sword of Feast and Famine , because I feel it doesn't quite fit the deck. Spirit Mantle seems overkill since all of my creatures are unblockable or nearly unblockable with a sword.
The thing about Sword of War and Peace is it's lifegain, which can help to put you out of the reach of aggro decks. Without Batterskull you run the risk of a fast deck taking you out before you can get in enough hits with the Sword of Body and Mind . The five turn clock it puts them on starts on turn 4, and finishes on turn 8 - long enough for most aggro decks to take you out.
Also, War and Peace makes you immune to Slagstorm , which you're going to see a lot of - it's solid removal for red that doesn't target.
@SplodyCopter: I actually had also considered card:Jace's Archivist as a replacement for Jace. :p Thanks for the suggestions.
@unknownarms7: Problem is if I don't have those basic lands they come in tapped. After the first 3 lands if the lands start coming in tapped it doesn't slow this deck down to much. However I'm still trying to find that perfect money mix of lands and your suggestion might actually be better.
@gop2002: Yeah, I'm keeping the swords in; I'm just considering something cheaper to replace Batterskull . Maybe Trepanation Blade like I said earlier, or Darksteel Axe . Lifegain might not be that much of a problem depending on the meta; if they're isn't that many creatures with flying I might run Vault Skirge over Tormented Soul . Another thing to consider is that I have 3 Timely Reinforcements in case I'm running against aggro or burn, and for the most part they've managed to stall long enough that I can win.
I feel that Batterskull slows you down a little to much or at least that is what I thought when I play tested.
hope this helps
Yeah, the Batterskull is a remnant of when this deck was a bit more controlling. I've been slowly trying to shift the deck to be more aggressive; however I haven't found a suitable replacement for Batterskull . What I may end up doing is switch out Batterskull for two more Sword of Body and Mind .
Here's a rough idea of what I'm planning:
-3 Mana Leak
SB: -1 Timely Reinforcements
SB: -2 Mental Misstep
SB: +3 Nevermore
Hm. What do you think I should take out for Nevermore than? I was working under the assumption that I could just name the proper artifact/enchant kill card for the colors my opponent is running game 2 and then drop another one naming the corresponding boardwhipe; however I now see that I'd still be stuck trying to figure out what their late game 'bomb' is.
Do you think I should drop the Surgical Extraction s?
I would find room on main board for the Nevermore 's. The Surgical Extraction 's need to be ran in all sideboards from now on in standard with all the grave yard manipulation that innistrad is bringing.
thats my mana worth hope this helps.
@bman5604: I'm not sure on the Nevermore s; I just feel like I'd only use then in case they have a DoJ or artifact kill. What I'm probably gonna do is try and fit 3 Mana Leak s mb and then g2 switch them out for Nevermore depending on the deck.
The reason I'm using Dismember is so that I don't have a hassle of taking up slots in my sb to do a Doom Blade /Go for the Throat switch out. However, Dismember doesn't work that well against any major threats so I might try and see what I can move around.
I've been saved too many times by Timely Reinforcements to take it out. The life gain and tokens manage to stall most decks long enough for me to get what I need.
I would say Nevermore needs to be main boarded. Only reason why I say that is that if you are playing enough and know your meta well enough you will have a idea of what everyone is running and have an idea of what type of deck they are running by turn 3 so that way you can slow there roll.
For example you see
If you see
I just feel that Nevermore would help you a lot more than you are thinking it will.
Thats all i am getting at. I still think it is a solid deck just think that Nevermore would put it over the top.
While I like the deck and the concept in general, cards I would look to add would be Gideon Jura who was the Mind-sculptor's best friend in Caw-blade and continues to prove that he is one of the best planeswalkers around. The other additions I'd look to add would be Hero of Bladehold for those added tokens and thus more targets for your swords and batterskull.
You definitely have an interesting choice in swords though. Sword of Feast and Famine would help with casting counter spells which was one of the huge benefits of it to begin with. Anyway those are my ideas for the deck, just don't know what I'd take out for those.
If you don't mind taking a look at my Planeswalker Contagion deck. I haven't really looked into adding cards from innistrad yet and would like some feedback there, especially for the sideboard.
Gideon Jura doesn't quite fit with this deck. The reason CAW blade ran it is because there wasn't:
a) anything else as good as Gideon Jura to protect Jace before he ult'd
b) nothing that could stall against aggro decentlyReason A doesn't apply because I don't have Jace and Reason B is replaced by Timely Reinforcements . Now admittedly the main reason for not using him is the cost; I've already dropped Jace, Memory Adept and I'm still a bit iffy on forking over the money for Sword of Body and Mind
Hero of Bladehold is a good card, and is great for putting on pressure; however I'm not sure what I could even take out. I'm still having problems with figuring out the Mana Leak /Nevermore problem as well as choosing between Dismember /Go for the Throat /Doom Blade .
Sideboard your Nevermore s and Dismember s. Swap them in if they'll be useful, and otherwise stick with the counters and Doom blades. Plus after a game you'll have a good idea what to name for Nevermore .
Divine Reckoning might work better than Day for the sideboard - lets you keep your stalker, but clear up the rest of the board.
Problems I have with Divine Reckoning is that it doesn't do a hard reset of the board. Another reason to use DoJ is to get around Hexproof.
I'm trying to debate about the Dismember /Doom Blade /Go for the Throat , since I've never been to an FNM at the store I'm planning on going to I can't plan for the meta. And I really don't want to mess with my SB anymore; I feel like I've gotten down most of the decks I'll face.
Nephalia Drownyard is a good card for mill; however, this deck is a bit to fast to warrant its usage. There's also my bias against colorless mana lands, because its really sucky to draw into a god hand thats completely unplayable because you only have colorless mana or non basic lands (for that matter).
Dismember is the best removal in Standard. I would not suggest running anything other than it, unless you run other removal in addition to it, and in a 3 colored deck, you definitely want to minimize the amount of colorless-producing land possible, just to help affirm your previous thoughts.
I'm not sure Undead Alchemist is right for this deck. If you are playing a creature heavy deck, and you manage to get a swing or two through with him, THEN he becomes good. Since you run no other zombies, I don't think he is too great by himself. Against control, the low amount of creatures means you can usually mill all four and not hit a single creature. I think card:Jace's Archivist, as someone else has suggested, would be much better, especially if you can keep your hand stocked up from Curiosity . It is much faster most of the time, and the drawback of letting your opponents have plenty of cards never stopped turbo-fog or similar mill decks. Overall, it looks pretty solid. +1 and good luck with it!
I agree with you, after more playtesting Undead Alchemist was nearly never a good card to draw into, what I would have preferred is a Mirran Crusader or another Sword of Body and Mind . I've played with having card:Jace's Archivist in this deck, and he ends up being kinda slow and something I don't want to use since none of my spells have flashback.
What I'm probably gonna do is remove the Undead Alchemist s, increase the land count by 1, add in another Tormented Soul and a Sun Titan . With the amount of artifact hate going around I'll probably need something to recur my swords back.