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 Post subject: Revisiting Mindstorms
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:54 am 
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I've been playing a lot of D13 lately and have tweaked all my old builds, but there is one deck that I'm just not satisfied with; Mindstorms. No matter how I build it, I'm not happy when I leave the deck editor. Here's what I've settled on for now:

[1v1] "Out of my Mindstorms"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
60 Cards. 35 nonlands (18 creatures, 17 spells). 25 Lands (11 10; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse
cost  
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 3x Mana Leak
cost  
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 4x Wee Dragonauts
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 1x Cerebral Vortex
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
cost  
-- 2x Lightning Elemental
-- 2x Steamcore Weird
cost  
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 3x Spellbound Dragon
-- 1x Beacon of Destruction
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 1x Tidings
cost  
-- 1x Sphinx of Jwar Isle
-- 1x Sphinx of Magosi

In my experience with the deck, it loses for two reasons; either it misses some early land drops and falls too far behind, or it runs out of gas and can't finish. For this reason I've decided to run the full complement of Spellbound Dragons backed up by a Sphinx of Magosi, all the Prophetic Bolts, and a copy of Tidings to hopefully keep me peeling through my deck once I hit the five mana. The early game has Compulsive Research, Electrolyze, and Cerebral Vortex to help get to five mana on time, but I think these are pretty standard inclusions in any Mindstorms build.

The Dragonauts are there as early blockers that will probably soak up some removal and help protect your five-drops; if they get in for some chip damage then that's just gravy.

I'm also running the Lightning Elementals and a pair of Steamcore Weirds because of the curve; there's nothing else at three mana or less that I want to play (except maybe a singleton of either Quicksilver Dagger or Volcanic Geyser) and I have enough cards at five and up already, so I have to play these four-drops.

As for the cards I'm not running, I find Wand of the Elements to be pretty bad because of the deck's absurd mana requirements; sacrificing land is just not where you want to be, IMO. Time Warp in this deck is really just "draw a card" and it's competing with so many other five-drops that I just can't justify its inclusion. Niv-Mizzet is just too slow and you never want to attack with the damn thing, so he's out as well.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:19 am 
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Here is my build. Unfortunately due to an unknown error I cannot access my promo unlocks anymore, so I completely abandoned the game.

[1v1] "Spellbound"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
60 Cards. 35 nonlands (14 creatures, 21 spells). 25 Lands (12 9; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse
cost  
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 3x Mana Leak
-- 1x Reverberate
cost  
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 4x Wee Dragonauts
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 1x Cerebral Vortex
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
cost  
-- 2x Wand of the Elements
cost  
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 3x Spellbound Dragon
-- 1x Beacon of Destruction
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 2x Time Warp
cost  
-- 2x Conquering Manticore


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:00 pm 
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I actually found Act of Treason more useful than not. For example, I remember using it on a Qasali Pridemage, attacked and then sacked it to his Intangible Virtue and finished by ping his toke with a Razorfin hunter. I also used it on multiple occasions on Yavimaya Elders. I know you didn't like Wand of the Elements but its strength is not necessarily on the token creation but on the fact that its a deterrent. Players simply put will not attack into it unless they have something big or a combat trick for a 3/3 creature that is not even on the field of play... Personally I have never been fond of the Wee Dragonauts and if you run them you should do so in more offensive build but instead you are using them as blockers and I think that is a waste of them. Your deck seems to be split between being offensive and defensive; for example I don't quite see the reason for the Lightning Elemental and Steamcore Weird split, they are polar opposites of each other. I ran the full set of Steamcore Weird to get to the late game so to speak and left the Lightning Elemental sitting home. Anyways, enough of that I will post my deck:

"Burst Lightning"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
61 Cards. 36 nonlands (11 creatures, 25 spells). 25 Lands (12 9; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse
cost  
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 3x Mana Leak
-- 1x Reverberate
cost  
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 2x Act of Treason
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 3x Breaking Point
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
cost  
-- 3x Steamcore Weird
-- 2x Wand of the Elements
cost  
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 1x Beacon of Destruction
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 2x Time Warp
cost  
-- 2x Conquering Manticore
-- 1x Sphinx of Jwar Isle

It says 61 cards but I am sure it was 60.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:56 pm 
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[1v1] "Pingy"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
60 Cards. 35 nonlands (14 creatures, 21 spells). 25 Lands (11 10; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse
cost  
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 3x Mana Leak
-- 1x Reverberate
cost  
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 4x Wee Dragonauts
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
-- 1x Schismotivate
-- 1x cerebral vortex
cost
-- 1x Steamcore Weird
cost  
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 3x Spellbound Dragon
-- 1x Beacon of Destruction
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 2x Time Warp
-- 1x Tidings
cost  
-- 1x Sphinx of Jwar Isle

I think that the 3 drops are better than the 4 drops even if you have 4 mana open. hey, 4th turn can be used for a 3 drop, and a terramorphic.
I like Insurrection, it won me few games. and you have so many mini-tutors, and options to discard it mid game. attacking with 11/5 dragon can be a bomb.
I agree to anyone who will say that my curve is bad, and too high, but I like it better than the alternatives.


Last edited by bentz on Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:23 pm 
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I run more three-drops than you do bentz, but I would never consider running 15 cards at 5+ mana.

Why is everyone running Reverberate and Time Warp in these lists? Could we get some discussion on those cards as they relate to the 1v1 version of this deck?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:31 pm 
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HARBiNG3R wrote:
I know you didn't like Wand of the Elements but its strength is not necessarily on the token creation but on the fact that its a deterrent. Players simply put will not attack into it unless they have something big or a combat trick for a 3/3 creature that is not even on the field of play... Personally I have never been fond of the Wee Dragonauts and if you run them you should do so in more offensive build but instead you are using them as blockers and I think that is a waste of them. Your deck seems to be split between being offensive and defensive; for example I don't quite see the reason for the Lightning Elemental and Steamcore Weird split, they are polar opposites of each other. I ran the full set of Steamcore Weird to get to the late game so to speak and left the Lightning Elemental sitting home.


I think Lightning Elemental is okay because it has two "modes"; a burn spell to the face (potentially repeatable) or a deterrent. He's probably a bigger deterrent than your Wand, although he trades with everything and can't block fliers.

The Dragonauts are there mainly as three-toughness flying blockers, like I said, but it's not like they have defender; you also have to consider that every removal spell that they attract is one less that'll be pointed at your five-drops and that's important because this build will have trouble winning without those creatures. Ideally I'd like to not play them, but the deck doesn't have anything else that great at three mana or less; I'm not buying Act of Treason, but I've admittedly never tried it here.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:53 pm 
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For the record - we run the same amount of 3 drops. actually, everyone here ran exactly 14 3-drops.
time warp is the sort of 5 drops that you always feel comfortable playing, you usually play it the instant you reach 5 mana, burn for 2 with gelectrode or 1 with hunter, swing for 3 with wee. the extra land drop you get is the most important thing IMO.
I don't think it is spectacular, and can see removing it.

same as hakeem, I really hate the wand, you always have better uses for the lands.

About offensive/defensive. I think it depends on how the game goes, and who are you facing. I like the flexibility of this deck to go into each of the mods, and that's why I don't like any of the 4 drops.


Last edited by bentz on Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:43 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
He's probably a bigger deterrent than your Wand



While I don't expect to convince anyone of running the Wand or not since you either like it or hate I will argue this point all day. There is no flexibility to Lightning Elemental at all, its a 4/1 with haste and we both know that what that card wants to be on the field tapped and attacking all day. Its deterrent is only to creatures with 4 power or anything important like a Talrand, simply put this card will not stop a bunch of 2/2s from attacking, it will not stop a bunch of tokens from attacking. Having a 3/3 creature for blocking purposes is more valuable then a 4/1. The Wand also has staying power that the elemental just does not have; you can lose a 3/3 to removal but your opponent still knows that you can make another one and that will still make him decide whether he wants to lose creatures to blockers. Not to mention that the wand can get creatures with flying. If your goal is to use the Elemental as a deterrent you are just doing it wrong.


Hakeem928 wrote:
The Dragonauts are there mainly as three-toughness flying blockers, like I said, but it's not like they have defender; you also have to consider that every removal spell that they attract is one less that'll be pointed at your five-drops and that's important because this build will have trouble winning without those creatures. Ideally I'd like to not play them, but the deck doesn't have anything else that great at three mana or less; I'm not buying Act of Treason, but I've admittedly never tried it here.


I know act of treason doesn't have a sexy ability at first glance but much like Reins of Power you can find that the card is more flexible then not. ideally you don't want to be using it on the first creature that hits the board or something vanilla.

As for time warp, I think you see that card as only being useful if you can get some loop going and that's just not the case. Having your Sphinx of Jwar Isle on the field for example will allow you to net double the damage and possible allow your pingers to get more damage in. If you can cast them back to back or Reverberate them that could be game. At worst you just draw another card and play another land.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Lightning Elemental wants to be tapped and attacking, no doubt; but having a four-power creature on defense isn't terrible either. I like the Elemental because it can do a ton of damage if left unchecked; if all I happen to get is a four-mana "removal" spell that kills a 2/2 then I'm usually okay with that. In my opinion it is superior to the Wand because there are actual game states where this thing does damage.

I've run Time Warp in this deck a lot more than I've not run it, so don't think I'm talking from inexperience with the card; it's just that it doesn't really do enough here. If I have a strong board or a big flier then perhaps it just wins me the game, but if I'm behind then it's just Explore. The problem I have with it is that it's a five-mana card in a deck that's chock full of five-mana cards; I just can't squeeze it in there.

Talking about five mana cards, why am I the only one running Tidings here? Four cards is a LOT and almost everything this deck does is at sorcery-speed anyway, so having to tap out isn't usually a big deal; I'd much rather draw four than draw one and (maybe) get to play an extra land.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:08 pm 
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There is nothing wrong with running the Lightning Elemental, I just think that their roles are different. Since you are running the Wee Dragonauts and the Elemental you might benefit from running Schismotivate and Thunder strike for some good burst damage. As for the Tidings but i just can't make room for it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Someone talking about Mindstorms?! I love Mindstorms!

"Izzet Over Yet?"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
61 Cards. 36 nonlands (12 creatures, 24 spells). 25 Lands (12 9; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse
cost
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 3x Mana Leak
cost
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 2x Breaking Point
-- 1x Cerebral Vortex
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
cost
-- 2x Lightning Elemental
-- 2x Steamcore Weird
cost
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 2x Spellbound Dragon
-- 1x Beacon of Destruction
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 1x Tidings
-- 2x Time Warp
cost
-- 1x Sphinx of Jwar Isle
cost
-- 3x Volcanic Geyser

Here's my build. To this day it's probably the only thing I have ever built in a duels game that I am 100% happy with! Seriously I played the living carp outta this thing to get it working to my satisfaction.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:02 pm 
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I went back to look at my build, I ran cerebral vortex and not magosi, due to the triple blue cost with only 9 islands.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:09 pm 
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Here is my version of "Mindstorms". Your main sources of card advantage are Compulsive Research, Electrolyze, Quicksilver Dagger, and Prophetic Bolt. The rest I'm pretty sure is self explanatory.

[1v1] "Mindstorms"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
60 Cards. 35 nonlands (15 creatures, 20 spells). 25 Lands (11 10; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Creature
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 4x Wee Dragonauts
-- 3x Steamcore Weird
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 3x Spellbound Dragon
Spell
-- 3x Mana Leak
-- 1x Reverberate
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 1x Cerebral Vortex
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
-- 2x Quicksilver Dagger
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 2x Time Warp
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:08 am 
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Someone talking about Mindstorms?! I love Mindstorms!

"Izzet Over Yet?"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
61 Cards. 36 nonlands (12 creatures, 24 spells). 25 Lands (12 9; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse
cost
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 3x Mana Leak
cost
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 2x Breaking Point
-- 1x Cerebral Vortex
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
cost
-- 2x Lightning Elemental
-- 2x Steamcore Weird
cost
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 2x Spellbound Dragon
-- 1x Beacon of Destruction
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 1x Tidings
-- 2x Time Warp
cost
-- 1x Sphinx of Jwar Isle
cost
-- 3x Volcanic Geyser

Here's my build. To this day it's probably the only thing I have ever built in a duels game that I am 100% happy with! Seriously I played the living carp outta this thing to get it working to my satisfaction.




This one gets my vote. I also agree that Steamcore weird often did his work as removal + blocker to buy a bit of time to continue the long hazarduous journey to that final, liberating Volcanic Geyser.
I found this an interesting deck to play, but a true nightmare to play AGAINST (when piloted well ofc). Once they got to their fivedrops in relative good health, smallest slipup or bad draw for you could mean going from 20 life to 10 in one turn.


edit: oh i noticed no reverberate ! nononono that has to be in there, it's a wincon for that deck. -1 breaking point +1 reverberate.


Last edited by Baal on Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:44 am 
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This deck is so fun to play! and that's even more important.

my favorite moment for this deck is reverberate cerebral vortex against mana matery after allied strategies for 18 damage to the face when they were at 18 exactly (electrolyze).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:27 am 
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Mindstorms was a pretty great deck once you learned how to pilot it effectively. This is my build, as I remember it.

[1v1] "Mindstorming"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
60 Cards. 35 nonlands (14 creatures, 21 spells). 25 Lands (11 10; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse
cost  
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 3x Mana Leak
cost  
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 2x Wee Dragonauts
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
-- 1x Cerebral Vortex
cost  
-- 2x Steamcore Weird
-- 2x Wand of the Elements
cost  
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 3x Spellbound Dragon
-- 1x Beacon of Destruction
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 2x Time Warp
cost  
-- 1x Sphinx of Jwar Isle
-- 1x Sphinx of Magosi
cost  
-- 1x Volcanic Geyser

The basic idea is to stall as much as possible until you can safely drop your big flyers and win the game in a few turns. Spellbound Dragon is the real mvp and could often win the game in "one" turn by dealing 8 when discarding a 5 drop, then casting Time Warp and doing it again. All the high cost cards makes sure you'll almost always have the fuel for your dragon and 5 toughness makes it pretty hard to kill for many decks.

The biggest problem is getting there, as the deck has a really weak early game. Ward of the Elements is surprisingly effective at holding back aggro though, as a instant speed 3/3 kills most small creatures in the game and opponents holding creatures back while digging for an answear or a way to alpha strike is perfect, since it buys you time to set up your explisive turn. Being forced to sac lands can be annoying, but you really only need 5 lands down with this deck and coupled with all the draw that isn't that hard, even after sacing or discarding to research. That being said, I have definitely lost games because I stalled on 4, but I feel like that's a risk you have to take here.


Last edited by Dragon_puncher on Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:00 am 
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"Mindstorms"
A library for the Izzet 2013 deck (Mindstorms)
60 Cards. 35 nonlands (16 creatures, 19 spells). 25 Lands (12 9; 4 other).
Open this library in the deck planner. (Learn more)
Land
-- 4x Terramorphic Expanse
cost  
-- 2x Razorfin Hunter
-- 3x Mana Leak
-- 1x Reverberate
cost  
-- 1x Gelectrode
-- 4x Wee Dragonauts
-- 3x Arc Lightning
-- 1x Cerebral Vortex
-- 3x Compulsive Research
-- 2x Electrolyze
cost  
-- 2x Lightning Elemental
-- 1x Wand of the Elements
cost  
-- 2x Dominus of Fealty
-- 3x Spellbound Dragon
-- 1x Beacon of Destruction
-- 3x Prophetic Bolt
-- 1x Tidings
cost  
-- 1x Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
-- 1x Sphinx of Jwar Isle

Love this deck! Pretty similar to yours Hakeem.

-I like reverberate. Pretty flexible imo and worst case is toss it to dragon.
-Wand I'm not quite sure about. Haven't seen it enough to make a good judgment. The couple times I had it out it stalled, like I hoped, but never led to anything.
-I like steamcore, but I have found lightning elemental to be more useful. I kind of look at it as a 2 dmg burn vs 4 dmg.
-Sphinx of Magosi is probably better, but Niv is more fun for me


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:01 pm 
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I hated this deck for a long time because of the impossible mana curve, but I think I got something working by turning it into a sort of mirror-universe burn deck whose chances of winning go up instead of down as the game goes longer.

Land (25)
4 x Terramorphic Expanse
10 x Mountain
11 x Island

Creatures (9)
3 x Steamcore Weird
2 x Izzet Chronarch
2 x Razorfin Hunter
1 x Gelectrode
1 x Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind

Spells (26)
3 x Mana Leak
3 x Arc Lightning
3 x Breaking Point
3 x Compulsive Research
3 x Volcanic Geyser
3 x Prophetic Bolt
2 x Electrolyze
2 x Time Warp
1 x Beacon of Destruction
1 x Tidings
1 x Reverberate
1 x Wand of Elements


Very few creatures, but includes all the pingers for extra burn and board control, and all the enters-play-for-value disposable bodies. The only big one we're running is Niv-Mizzet, as he upgrades Compulsive Research and Tidings into Arc Lightning++. One notable inclusion here that wasn't seen yet in this thread is Izzet Chronarch. This is one of the most important cards in this build because we basically never run out of cards with it. When so many of our burn spells already chain into each other, Chronarch is effectively 3 cards worth of value. Also, the 2 power is relevant. It's not just some overcosted Archeomancer.

I'm convinced that this is the only build where Breaking Point is any good. Play it as early as possible(even if the opponent only has 1 creature in play), since either choice - slowing their game down or speeding ours up - is fine.

Reverberate is a concession to the mana curve being clogged at . We don't usually do anything cute with it like taking two extra turns or stealing a Cruel Ultimatum or anything. It's simply a way to play two of our 3-CMC cards for only 5 mana instead of 6.

Give it a try! I played through the entire Revenge campaign with a 100% win rate and only felt like I got lucky vs. Ajani and Goblins. I replayed Ajani a few times and still did fine, but then lost 9 consecutive rematches vs. Goblins, which makes sense. We are very much the slowest deck in the game. Weirdly, we're a slow deck that seems to be good against Jace, as his Howling Mines smooth out our land draws and prevent us from losing to our own mulligans.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:10 am 
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I see what card you played here...
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:38 pm 
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Land (25)
4 x Terramorphic Expanse
12 x Mountain
9 x Island

Creatures (16)
4 x Wee Dragonauts
3 x Steamcore Weird
2 x Izzet Chronarch
2 x Dominus of Fealty
2 x Spellbound Dragon
2 x Razorfin Hunter
1 x Gelectrode

Spells (19)
3 x Mana Leak
3 x Arc Lightning
3 x Compulsive Research
3 x Prophetic Bolt
2 x Electrolyze
2 x Wand of the Elements
2 x Thunder Strike
1 x Schismotivate


This is almost the opposite of the previous burn-y build. We have almost double the creatures, and we have all the combat tricks. These are how we deal with Leatherback Baloth, Baneslayer Angel, and such. It's also nice being able to bluff a [Steamcore Weird] attacking into larger things. Those little plinks add up.
We cut everything over 5 mana, and limit ourselves to only 9 of those cards. The reason for this is so we can go all-in on the [Wand of the Elements] rush. The 12/9 Mountain/Island land split is nice, because we can safely make a lot more 3/3 tokens.

We have enough incidental card advantage to keep the saclands flowing. We don't often get stuck with a fistful of uncastable bombs. We can hold up [Mana Leak] and still do something with [Thunder Strike] when we're not on 5 yet.

I don't know, it just seems to run much more smoothly than any other Mindstorms build I've tried.


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