Thursday, October 4, 2012

Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter

With Return to Ravnica getting the official release tomorrow, I don't know that there will be much gaming, so much as the thrill of opening packs and, for me, a chance to revisit my Commander Rhys deck to see if Populate doesn't suck as much as I think it does. (Spoiler: It's bad. Spoiler spoiler: maybe not as bad as I think.)

In the meantime, with M13 being out for awhile it's a good time to update a fairly recent deck, Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter.

7 Plains
6 Island
8 Forest
3 Bant Panorama
3 Sovereigns of Lost Alara
3 Ethercaste Knight
4 Qasali Pridemage
1 Giltspire Avenger
4 Aven Squire
1 Noble Hierarch
1 Battlegrace Angel
2 Rhox Charger
3 Hero of Bladehold
1 Birds of Paradise

2 Silent Arbiter

3 Covenant of Minds
3 Dueling Grounds
3 Eel Umbra
2 Bant Charm
The basic idea: run Exalted creatures to help create very large attackers and use Dueling Grounds and Silent Arbiter to ensure that my creatures are bigger than my opponent's. Eel Umbra is there as both a source of protection for my creatures and a something that gives Sovereigns of Lost Alara a reason to live.

This deck presents some challenges in the mana base which I've tried to get around by confining myself mostly to cards with a single color in the mana cost along with the addition of a Bird of Paradise and a Noble Hierarch and Bant Panorama to help dig up the proper colors. The exceptions are the Battlegrace Angel and the three Hero of Bladehold. Because these creatures have such positive effects on combat (lifelink and extra damage, respectively) I feel like they are the 'I win' cards once a Dueling Grounds shows up.

My real secret though is Rhox Charger. Trample is usually a good thing but on a 3/3, it's less impressive. Make it a 5/5 or more? Now it's a problem and it's an easy problem to create in this deck.

The biggest question is probably Covenant of Minds. However, I like cards like this which create opportunities for my opponents to make difficult choices. I have a feeling that opponents will be more afraid of what they see than what is coming but no matter what, it digs 3 cards into my library and sets me ahead. The expense is problematic but this deck has a nice curve to it so I think it should work out most of the time.

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