tech-deck

Legacy Deck Tech: Elves

[you can see every deck tech here]

Hello & welcome to this weekly deck tech! This week we’re looking into a pillar of the Legacy format: Elves. So far we’ve talked about Merfolk & Goblins in the past few weeks as decks that can be both played in Modern & Legacy; I wanted to keep the ball rolling and explore yet another archetype that spreads across the formats. Elves has been a top tier deck in Legacy ever since the Lorwyn blocks and can be very cheap to build (if you don’t buy Gaea’s Cradle, which are very expensive, but they are really good to be honest). Let’s jump right into it, and at the end I’ll talk about how to make some changes to make the deck modern-legal.

Big Mama

Craterhoof is the finisher of the deck & pretty much your only goal. The deck is considered a combo deck because of all the crazy interactions your cards will have and the speed of it. The end goal each game is too go crazy, ramp up & tutor your single Craterhoof for the win. We’ll see how you get to that point but that’s pretty much your only win condition.

Mana Dork

An Elves deck wouldn’t be the same without the good old Llanowar Elves! You need mana dorks because you rely heavily on playing some elves & creatures. The deck plays very little lands (between 16 & 18 usually) so you need to cast as many mana dorks as possible, as quickly as possible.

Another Mana Dork

Elvish Mystic is pretty much the same as Llanowar Elves, serving as another mana dork to accelerate your game and put as many elves on the battlefield.

Yet Another Mana Dork

This is the last one, I promise. Deathrite Shaman is just such a good mana dork that can screw over Loam decks while giving you mana, as well as interact with graveyards in general, gaining you life & pinging your opponent. It’s just a very versatile card, on top of being an elf!

Not Technically a Mana Dork

With this guy you can get mana from your elves the turn they come into play, which is awesome and helps you accelerate way faster. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a very good card in the deck, really.

Not Technically a Mana Dork 2: Electric Boogaloo

Pretty much the same than Rangers, but on steroids. This card lets you generate big mana quickly, even the turn when your creatures come into play. I know this might not seem too crazy either, but by the end of the deck tech you’ll understand why these cards are so good.

Let’s Start Over

Here you can bounce a forest to your hand to untap an elf. It seems like it would set you back but since the deck plays so few lands you might find yourself missing a land drop so in that situation you can use a forest for mana, bounce it, play it again and tap it one more time, on top of untapping a mana dork, netting you 4 mana. This card isn’t CRAZY, but it does provide that little extra ramp to be honest.

I Swear, I’m a Elf

Similar to Quirion Ranger, but this time you bounce an elf. You might wonder “why would i bounce a creature??” but trust me, this card is VERY good! There is a good reason why people play this non-elf in an elf deck. Just think of the fact that with Heritage Druid & Birchlore Rangers you can tap your creatures with summoning sickness for mana; just use your creatures, bounce them, use some of the mana generated to replay them, use them again & so on.

Putting it All Together

This is it. This is the card that let’s go get so much mana, so quickly. Just think about it for a few seconds, we’ve been talking about tapping all your elves, bouncing them, replaying them, but there was something missing to go overboard. This is the card. While you do all of that, if you have 2 or 3 Nettle Sentinels on the field they’ll get to untap every single time you cast a spell, which means that with a Heritage Druid, you net yourself 3 mana for every spell you cast. So this is how you end up with HUGE amount of mana.

Using All That Mana

Now that we’ve seen how to generate tons of mana, you might ask yourself “what if I can’t do anything with my mana?” or “what if I don’t have enough creatures to really go off?”. Don’t despair, Glimpse of Nature is here for you. With some Nettle Sentinels & Heritage Druids you’re netting yourself some good mana for every spell you cast, and with Glimpse, you’re drawing cards for every spell you cast; making sure your hand stays full so that you can keep playing more & more spells. Usually if you can resolve a Glimpse of Nature, the game should end on the same turn.

Finding Big Mama

This is pretty simple; generate tons of mana, find your Craterhoof, play it and win. This can also help you find other things if necessary, even some Dryad Arbors or something. It’s just a very versatile card that can help you in many situations and usually assures you the win when cast.

What if Big Mama is Gone?

Let’s say for some reason your opponent was able to deal with Craterhoof before you can play it, then you need another plan. Shaman of the Pack does that; just play all those nice little elves and then cast 2 or 3 Shaman of the Pack to drain them for a good amount of health. It usually works to finish the game but Craterhoof should be your number 1 plan.

Modern Version

The plan is somewhat similar: play as many elves as possible. The only difference is that you’ll play Ezuri, Renegade Leader as a finisher instead of Craterhoof Behemoth, with some Elvish Archdruids, Dwynen’s Elite & Elvish Visionary instead of the Birchlore Rangers, Glimpse of Nature & Quirion Ranger. Also you’ll play some Chord of Calling instead of Green Sun’s Zenith and try to fit in some Collected Company instead of Deathrite Shaman (sadly it’s banned in modern…). So you just play a bunch of elves & make them trample over with Ezuri, it’s that simple, with the Shaman of the Pack back-up as well.

Wrap-Up

That’s it for this week! I hope you guys enjoyed the deck tech as much as I did. If I missed anything let me know. I’ll see you guys next week for another deck tech!

some more los muertos symmetra to go with my other post bc everyone liked that so much!! (and also bc i love it too..) 

they totally stole hard light tech from vishkar and developed a prosthetic that can use it for satya together 

EDH Deck Tech: Norin

[you can see every deck tech here]

This week we have something exciting! One of my favourite commanders, for being really original, Norin the Wary! The design of this card is so unique & weird and makes place for such a cool deck. The ability of Norin is odd enough that people are mostly unfazed by it; most of the time your opponents will just think “yeah whatever” and let Norin resolve; especially since you always play Norin on turn 1. Let’s see why you should play Norin and why he’s so good!

Making Use of the Blink

Since Norin blinks every time anyone casts a spell or attacks, he will blink OFTEN, like, very often. So you need to take advantage of that constant blinking. Genesis Chamber is amazing for that, every time a creature comes into play another token comes with it! With this card, Norin will provide you a small army of tokens!

Being Aggressive with the Blink

So, while Genesis Chamber provides you a bunch of tokens, those little 1/1s aren’t much use without something to give you the edge. Purphoros gives you that edge. Cards like Impact Tremors, Ogre Battledriver, Into the Web of War, Warstorm Surge & Pandemonium are all cards that will make your deck a force to reckon with by just putting little 1/1s on the field constantly.

Reusing those Triggers

Since the deck relies on creatures entering the battlefield, might as well have some good ETB effects on top of that! Playing cards like Cloudstone Curio & Conjurer’s Closet will make sure that your creatures are always coming into play, providing you goo value from your Solem Simulacrum, Filigree Familiar, Duplicant, Fanatic of Mogis, Spawn of Thraxes, Inferno Titan, Stingscourger, Mindclaw Shaman & such!

We Need More Creatures!

Since you want a lot of creatures coming into play, you might as well go the token route! Krenko is amazing at that, creating a crazy amount of tokens over & over again! And since you’re playing Cloudstone Curio & Conjurer’s Closet, you might as well play cards that come into play with tokens, like Myr Battlesphere (which is insane with Genesis Chamber), Pia & Kiran Nalaar,  Mogg War Marshal, Beetlback Chief & Siege-Gang Commander.

GOBLINS

This is not necessarily the usual way to go with the deck, but since you’re playing a bunch of goblin tokens generator, you might as well go the Goblin way on top of that, giving your deck another angle of attack. Listing all the good Goblins would take forever, so really you should just look up tribal EDH, Legacy or Modern goblin decks and pick what you want; but cards like Moggcatcher, Goblin Matron, Goblin Chieftain, Goblin King, Goblin Recruiter, Goblin Marshal, Goblin Bombardment (paired with Goblin Sharpshooter) & Quest for the Goblin Lord all come to mind as great Goblin cards, but there are far more good cards. 

Combo Win

If you’re in the type of meta that plays combos & stuff you should always have one too, just in case. If you don’t want to combo off you can just use the individual cards separately as they are playable, and if you’re in a pickle you can combo off for the win. Playing Kiki-Jiki with Zealous Conscript can make you an infinite number of ZC and you can attack everyone for lethal. But, I mean, Kiki is just a value machine & Zealous can be VERY good even by itself.

Keeping a Plentiful Hand

As a red deck, especially filled with small stuff, you will get empty-handed fairly quickly. You need ways to keep your hand full and cards like Reforge the Soul, Wheel of Fortune, Magus of the Wheel, Skullclamp, Memory Jar, Wheel of Fate, Dragon Mage & Chandra Ablaze are good ways to keep a grip full. Your opponents sort of benefit from it too, but having to discard their hand can disrupt their game plan and it will most likely benefit you more.

Bigger Threats

Since most of your creatures will be 1/1s, granted that they will deal damage when coming into play, you still need a little something more. Cards like Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Gauntlet of Might, Eldrazi Monument all take your small creatures and turn them into massive threats, also you get some nice extra mana out of it!

Answers/Burn

It’s all fun & games, playing creatures & stuff, but you still need something more; answers. You don’t need that many, but it’s nice to have an option to deal with problematic things. Since you’re playing Red, those answers can often just aim at your opponents face too. Cards like Blasphemous Act, Chaos Warp, Incendiary Command, Vandalblast & just any XR burn spell could do it; I have a soft spot for Bonfire of the Damned. Thunderous Wrath is pretty good too, especially if you have ways to manipulate the top of your library.

Various Effects

Here are some cards that are very good to include but don’t have a category to go with; stuff like Sensei’s Divining Top & Scroll Rack to filter your draws, cards like Sol Ring, Ruby Medallion & Mana Vault/Crypt to ramp, Panharmonicon to have some more triggers, Goblin Welder & Feldon to reuse cards from your graveyard (paired with Wurmcoil Engine for extra value) & Dualcaster Mage for a surprise answer to control players. There are more cards, but I just wanted to mention these ones.

Chaos 

I’m not a fan of this strategy, I talked about Goblins earlier as I think it’s a better direction than Chaos, but most build of Norin I’ve seen don’t really play Goblins, and they tend to embrace the Chaos cards; stuff like Confusion if the Ranks, Warp World, Grip of Chaos, Planar Chaos, Possibility Storm & all. It makes for a more crazy and weird deck and makes unique games, but I feel like the deck loses so much by doing so and could be just a GOOD deck instead of being a “LOL RANDOM” deck. That’s just my opinion though, so instead of Goblins, you can play Chaos if you want; the rest of the deck doesn’t really change.

Wrap-Up

There you go, all you need to know to make a Norin the Wary deck! So, as I said, you can either go the Chaos or Goblin route, but the rest of the deck stays fairly similar. I really love this deck and it’s by far my favourite Mono-Red deck as it’s more interesting than a straight-up Purphoros deck or Krenko deck, it’s sort of a mix of both! If I missed anything let me know! I’ll see you guys next week for another deck tech, which should be Standard!

Modern Deck Tech: Holiday Ho-Ho-Harmless Offering

[you can see every deck tech here]

Hello & welcome to this very special Modern Deck Tech! Since this weekend is Christmas, I thought I’d do something in the spirit of the holidays; and what’s more holiday-like than giving away presents? In this case it’s cards we’re giving away to our opponent, and whether or not they enjoy the presents is not really important. Let’s dive into it and explore this fun deck!

Gift Giving

Harmless Offering is exactly what its name says, sort of. You offer an harmless card you control to your opponent, what could go wrong? It’s all in good spirit, right? You can also play Bazaar Trader if you wish to have even more gift giving going on, and if you want to make the deck in Legacy you have access to Donate

Gift of Immortality

Immortal Coil is, imo, the best gift you could offer; it’s an easy combo to set up to win the turn you donate it. Pair it with some Relic of Progenitus or Nihil Spellbomb to make sure the graveyards are empty and BAM you win on the spot.

Demonic Gift

This is also a very good gift option since you start out by getting really good value and then donate it away for your opponent to lose. Drawing some extra cards, draining some life while killing off a creature & making your opponent discard their possible answers. If hey don’t have a counterspell or enchantment removal you’ll win on the spot! 

More & More Gifts!

The 2 previous gifts would personally be the only gifts I’d play in the deck, since it’s really tempting to play a lot of targets but you end up losing to fast decks since you’re not interactive enough. Though there are a lot of other options if you want to diversify. Bronze Bombshell is pretty cool since you can straight up deal 7 damage to your opponent. Lich’s Tomb is also pretty neat, acting similarly to Immortal Coil; if you deal enough damage they’ll end up sacrifice all their permanents, including the Tomb and lose. Abyssal Persecutor is pretty good as well, making sure you don’t lose along the way. Aggressive Mining is a pretty funny gift that prevents your opponent from playing any lands, so that’s a thing! Also, if you want to branch out into Legacy you can play Illusions of Grandeur & Disillusions of Mediocrity, which are super fun to play!

Gift of Removal

Even though the deck is a fun gift-giving experience, you still need removal spells. Terminate is amazing, as well as Lightning Bolt. You can even play some Murderous Cut, but it goes a bit against Immortal Coil so I’m not too tempted by it; maybe some Ultimate Price or Doom Blade. You just need a bit of removal to deal with early threats.

Forcing Your Gifts

In a match-up where people will try to refuse your gifts out of politeness & with the help of counterspells, you need to be assertive and insist that they take your gift, with the help of your own counterspells. Remand should do the trick, though Cryptic Command, Dispel, Mana Leak or Spell Pierce are also nice ways to make sure your opponent accept your gifts!

Finding Your Gifts

Your gifts are probably buried somewhere in your backyard, so you need to dig for them. What best way to do that than some good old Ancestral Vision & Serum Vision? Just draw tons of cards and you’ll be sure to find what you need!

Gift of Friendship

What best way to deliver your gifts than asking a friend for help? Your good friend Snapcaster Mage is always there for you and will make sure you’ll give out your gifts in time. Give flashback to your Harmless Offering, Remand, Terminate & whatever you need to fulfil your holiday gift giving!

Wrap-Up

There you have it boys & girls, a good old holiday cheer wrapped in some sleeves! The example of deck that I just talked about is a Grixis Control shell with Harmless Offering as a win-condition, because I feel like it’s the perfect match of effectiveness & gimmick. Modern is a very cutthroat format and going all-in on Harmless Offering would often prove unwise as you’d lose before you could do anything; by adding the theme into a Control list, you make sure you have time to get to your combo; but if you wish to make it more fun and less serious, you can take out some control aspects for the other cards I’ve talked about! Here is decklist that I’d build with the cards under the cut! See you guys next week for another deck tech, and 

happy holidays to all of you! :)

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