This is a black and white deck using exalted and either double strike or double damage (or both) from unblockables as the combo. The Inquisitor's Flail deals "double damage" not double strike. A Tormented Soul equipped with the flail and paired with a Silverblade Paladin will deal 4x the damage and be guaranteed never to take any combat damage, all while benefitting from the exalted bonus.
Following an exalted swing from any creature with an Essence Harvest leverages the strength of the exalted attacker which lasts until the end of turn and amplifies the damage even more while granting life bump.
The best opening is:
T2 Dark Favor + Swing for 4 unblockable
T3 Silverblade Paladin soulbound + Swing for 8 unblockable
T4 Inquisitor's Flail equip and + Swing for 16 unblockable
Landing a Sublime Archangel on T5 will take it to 28 damage with the exalted bonus factored in.
Playtesting with Faith's Shield has me convinced that it works well with the exalted combo. It also has a very low mana cost and is easy to save mana for when needed. Angelic Destiny as a pump for the attacker is strong as well and am trying that out for now. Not sure if is better than Mark of the Vampire though and have been considering it too.
Removed Lingering Souls for while to evaluate the others. I decided that usually by the time it comes into play it really only helps if Sublime Angel is out and by then it is more than likely a win anyway. It is nice for recovery from Mutilate though.
Even with these changes everything is still a 4 drop or less, which keeps the mana situation manageable.
So I added the Swiftfoot Boots and got the hexproof protection for the Tormented Soul . Having the soul be protected and equipped with the flail is very helpful. I also found Grand Abolisher and have decided that his protection from spells during the turn is excellent for preventing an unwanted tap before attacks begin with exalted fliers or souls.
The biggest element of defense though so far has got to be lifelink. By getting a Vault of the Archangel into play the swings from exalted allow you to play defense by recouping the life and absorbing the hits between turns. Since Exalted decks are such glass cannons you have to get defense from somewhere and there is only so much control/removal you can add. The lifelink also benefits from the fact that as exalted you must attack every single turn, even if the damage is not being delivered to the player and just his creatures.
Played a few hands today against mono blue and mono black decks. Despite having protection from black, the Knight of Glory was a victim to a forced sacrifice and again to -1/-1 counter. Managed to win all 4 rounds though by getting off to good starts with Tormented Soul and doublestrike amplifiers.
Had mixed results with a green deck that included Garuk and some big creatures. Won the first and then got overrun and lost the second. The green deck had several good removals that prevented the exalted damage from piling up.
If I could find a good way to grant hexproof to the exalted attacker it would be really hard to beat.
As far as i know in standard the only hexproofing i can think of is Mask of Avacyn . But it's definitely not as good as it should be if it needs to be competetive... howabout card:Apostle's Blessing as an alternative which could make a creature unblockable as well as protect it from unwanted spells. I like the touch with Essence Harvest , adding in Trepanation Blade could make the spell a lot more devastating too. Angelic Benediction would definitely be a hindrance to an opponent. They'd be leaving at least 2 creatures open to block and you'd have the option of killing either one with your attacker if they're forced to block every turn. I think a flyer with evasion and vigilance would suit this deck very well... Serra Angel or Serra Avenger . The prior is pretty costly but being able to attack and block with the same creature is a pretty big deal
@xiitributeiix I hadn't considered Undying Evil much before now, only because when I've used it before it was on creatures who had some type of effect on entering the battlefield that I wanted to maximize. Its a great card though and it might be something I can try out in this deck. I prefer low mana cost cards and try to keep the whole deck beneath 4 if possible. Thanks for the suggestion!
@gheridarigaaz I'm with you on Mask of Avacyn , and am eagerly watching Ravnica spoilers to see if there is anything new that would replace Swiftfoot Boots . I think Apostle's Blessing is good, but with Faith's Shield already in there already it is very similar. May have to play test a bit and see how it would work. Thanks for the suggestions!
I haven't seen any really good replacements yet sadly. Although, I do like the Desecration Demon , a 4 drop 6/6 flyer who just gets bigger and bigger is interesting for this deck too.
Spirit Mantle is rotating out as well. Early on I had both the Duty Bounds and the Aven Squires, but ended up rotating them out in favor of the Abolishers and Nighthawks. What I experienced was that the regen cost on the Duty bound was too high and the Avens were just ok, but not as much of a deterrent as a flyer with deathtouch.
So far the Dark Favor seems to be playing well. It is low cost and with all of the lifegain from the vaults and vamps it isn't a problem. The +3 gets doubled or quadrupled quickly and unlike the exalted bonus it sticks around after the attack phase to make tormented souls (or whatever its enchanting) less vulnerable.
Seeing how you want the deck to be fast i might be tempted to knock the land count down by two, it also means that with Vault of the Archangel and Cathedral of War you may wind up short on colored mana to mass-cast your smaller spells. I would actually run Duty-Bound Dead here because it gives that extra +1 the regen only suffices for late-game use. Tbf for a 1-drop at 2 toughness that's not too bad
|Date added||2 years|
|Last updated||1 year|
|Legal formats||Extended, Legacy, Vintage, Commander / EDH, Modern|
|Illegal cards||Grand Abolisher , Swiftfoot Boots|
|Folders||Testing, Decks to Watch, Poopers, meh., Look in to, decks i like, Exalted, Interesting, Decks, exalted decks|
|Top rank||#16 on 2012-08-19|