Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Named for a Transformer, this deck takes a strange slant on one of the least enjoyed paths to victory; Land Destruction.

Players don't like land destruction because it inhibits them from playing their deck. Personally, I'm OK with non-basic land destruction. Non-basic lands always cost a lot and tend to allow players to do c-c-crazy things that a less expensive (dollar-wise) mana base wouldn't make room for. The extra functionality of those non-basic lands means that the game becomes boring; if you can play anything without any kind of reprisal for that risk then where's the tension in the game coming from?

Not that non-basic lands shouldn't ever be good (I've got plenty) or formats shouldn't allow for the bonuses that playing 3 or 4 colors in a deck can give but the occasional barrier needs to be there, for a lot of reasons not the least of which being establishing color identity. Especially when dealing with a casual Legacy format like I am and color identity is more like a watercolor painting smeared by kindergarteners than a distinct philosophical view of how the game should be won.

That said; Slamdance is partly a LD deck, partly a taxing/denial deck, inspired by my friend Jason's love of the card Mana Web.

7 Mountain
4 Rhystic Cave
4 Shivan Reef
8 Island

2 Jetting Glasskite
2 Veteran Brawlers
3 Avalanche Riders

3 Oona's Grace
3 Hoodwink
3 Mana Short

3 Demolish
1 Inferno
4 Stone Rain
3 Exhaustion
1 Earthquake

3 Slow Motion
2 Psychic Venom

4 Mana Web

So, right away; Veteran Brawlers. Terrible, right? Yeah. But it fits the theme, man. So I have to have it.

Neat combos; Mana Web + Slow Motion means that my opponent is likely tapped out or losing that creature. Rhystic Cave is a mana fixer that helps force bad decisions on my opponents and if they're playing a mono-color deck, is almost always going to work in my favor.

Because the goal is to tax what lands my opponents do have and destroy what they don't tap, certain decisions have to be made early on; do I cut off a color or just go for everything? Is bouncing that land more important than waiting to bounce the artifact/enchantment? (Usually the answer here is yes) What land is best to target with Psychic Venom?

But in general, Slamdance is using stalling combos like Exhaustion and Mana Short to stall, Avalanche Riders to chip away, until spells like Earthquake or creatures like the Glasskite can come in and mop up.

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