Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Need Machine

While I was testing Overkill, Caitlin brought a new deck she was working on to try out.

"It's casual," she said, "and I just built it," so I would know that this was an 'in progress' build. You know how it is; mock the concept up, see what happens, take it from there. Her build: tribal scarecrow with Reaper King.

"I have a deck like that," I said.
4 Global Ruin
3 Tribal Flames
3 Exotic Disease

2 Llanowar Knight
2 Shivan Zombie
2 Scarecrone
3 Galina's Knight
2 Heap Doll
1 Pili-Pala
2 Tatterkite
3 Reaper King

2 Collective Restraint

4 Harrow

4 Barbed Sextant

9 Forest
2 Swamp
2 Mountain
3 Terramorphic Expanse
3 Plains
4 Island
Originally, the Need Machine (named after the punchy Foetus song) was a kind of protection-bears (2/2s with pro-{color}) deck with Domain-related spells (cards that got better for every land type I had in play) to overwhelm opponents. Global Ruin is the kind of card that can really wreck unprepared decks.

That shifted when I opened a couple Reaper Kings in my box of Eventide and thought, "well, this is a great creature for a five color deck!" But, I kinda one-bun'd it when I went scarecrow. I just didn't want to get rid of the most relevant pro-protection creatures.
There are new scarecrows to consider, but also the Shapeshifter creature type and the rise of "blink" related spells in Blue and White, like Displace.

While talking about her deck, Caitlin told me that there weren't more decent scarecrows to add and she was right: the color matters themed scarecrows from Shadowmoor block find no kin elsewhere, and the scarecrows printed in Shadows over Innistrad's block seem to carry no theme to them at all.

Special note to Wizards; I like the untap symbol. Bring that coolness back on something!

So there may not be much wiggle room when it comes to adding creatures; that's a bummer but there are clever workarounds like changelings to help. It's also possible that through some clever recursion tricks, Scarecrone might be a path to take-although whoa, that card is pricey!

The spells offer less opportunities: Global Ruin and Collective Restraint will keep pretty much any creature deck away; Exotic Disease, while expensive, provides quite a bit of breathing room while pairing with Tribal Flames as a reasonable win condition. Cutting those seems like a Very Bad Idea.

But at least six creatures can go, Galina's Knight, Shivan Zombie, and Llanowar Knight, so I've got a place to start.

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