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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:13 pm 
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yeah he's a good card even when he's your only ally in your deck

probably the best ally we got come to think about it

edit: besides gideon of course


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:03 am 
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I don't get why they didn't give us some of the ally cards. I'd love to play Hada Freeblade and Oran-Rief Survivalist. This would actually make allies useful and would shift the meta towards assessing early threats not just jaddi offshoot and ramp.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:42 am 
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I'd run nantuko husk DJ


So I'll try this tomorrow. Deck got its butt handed to it again today, even after adjustments. Note: this was the only obvious failure in the CGB tests, other than my attempt to update tap dancer, which needs some work, maybe (possibly it just had a really bad matchup though).


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:39 pm 
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Updated from: viewtopic.php?p=392804#p392804
Check here for it's brother: Naya Zoollies

Took this one for a few spins this weekend, and finally settled on this build after a number of false starts:

Before I get started, this is not a top tier deck, but it is a fun deck, and it's by no means a weak deck. It's worth a shot when you get bored of ramping past everyone else, and or feel like trying something totally different that our new set offers.

Mardu Allies V2

White: 14
1 x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
3 x Serene Steward
3 x Kor Bladewhirl
4 x Tandem Tactics
2 x Lantern Scout
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Black: 9
4 x Kalastria Healer
4 x Read the Bones
1 x Ob Nixilis Reignited

Red: 8
3 x Titan's Strength
3 x Firemantle Mage
2 x Chasm Guide

Multi-Color: 5
3 x Drana's Emissary
2 x Munda, Ambush Leader

Lands: 24
3 x Plains
2 x Swamp
5 x Mountain
2 x Shambling Vent
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Clifftop Retreat
2 x Isolated Chapel
2 x Blighted Steppe
4 x Evolving Wilds


Thoughts: I think I'm homing in on the right build now. I've added further notes where needed.

Serene Steward: this card is far more versatile than I expected it to be. It seemed like it would be way too slow, but in this deck it does exactly what you'd want it to - make cards into serious threats. It's very unlikely to blank for a turn, so you basically always have a way to get it to add a counter to something. I wish it were free, but tbh that would be totally OP. Still just as good as I'd originally decided, I think it stays

Kor Bladewhirl: The opposite of what I expected. This is on my possible cuts list. Turns out first strike feels pretty irrelevant. I'll hold back from cutting it until I get a chance to see if it's more relevant online, but I have doubts. It's still in, I still think it's meh

Lantern Scout: good here with my life gain sub theme, but I'm not totally sold. It will make my final cut for sure, but it doesn't belong in every Ally deck - or at least I don't think so right now.

Firemantle Mage: I am shocked by how good this card is. It belongs in a lot of decks, even without any further ally support. This is a much better card than expected. It basically read - ETB your opponent may only block one creature this turn. BIG!

Chasm Guide: This is good, but not great. I thought it would be more valuable, but this deck is as pro-allies as decks will be, and it still doesn't feel like an amazing card. We will see if I change my mind, but right now, it feels like a bit of a dud. I'm killing the AI with life drain from Kalastria Healer and Drana's Emissary far more often than with Chasm Guide's haste effect - don't get me wrong, it matters, but not much. Surprisingly, I may cut it, especially if I decide to add some better protection against the META, like Aligned Hedron Network for example, which would be pretty great in this deck. So I think the right number is 2 right now, but I may change my thoughts later

Munda, Ambush Leader: This is a dangerous card, both for you and your opponent. It basically reads: never draw anything other than allies for the rest of the game. Note: that means, no more lands. Be careful. Seriously. It will probably win you the game, but it can really mess you up, if you aren't careful.

Hero of Goma Fada: part meh, part holy crap this just one me the game. I like it, it stays in, but I wish I had something else to play instead. It just doesn't feel like a killer 5 drop. Cut it, too expensive, slows you down too much, doesn't do enough IMO

Defiant Bloodlord: only in the deck until I get to see if it's instant win or not. I have yet to play it, and it's a single copy in any case. That said, this deck gains quite a bit of life, so I think it could be good. On the other hand, it also drains quite a bit of life already, so this might just be extremely expensive win-more. Total Fail - As expected - Gone, good riddance

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar: I said this elsewhere, but I'll say it again. Always run him. Man, so stupidly good.

Nantuko Husk: did not make the cut. It felt like a bad play every time I had it in hand. That said, in a better, less Ally-centric build I'm sure he'd be pretty good. I may get around to it, but for now... /timmy

Play notes: the deck is pretty complicated in terms of its internal interactions, but it's pretty much autopilot. Play an ally every turn, win.

New notes: lowering the overall curve helps allies a lot. This may not be the 100% most perfect build ever, but the curve is about right, so don't mess with it too much, IMO.


Last edited by DJ0045 on Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:51 pm 
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yeah DJ I agree, without zataport cutthroat nantuko husk just isn't good enough


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:00 pm 
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yeah DJ I agree, without zataport cutthroat nantuko husk just isn't good enough


Hate, Hate, Hate that we didn't get that card. But tbh sac decks are almost OP. If we had it I would have some ridiculous decks to post. Shame.

Zulaport Cutthroat not in duels. /sadface


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:08 pm 
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I really like the idea here DJ, I'm just not sure what Read the Bones and Titan's Strength are doing in the same deck...

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:12 pm 
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felbatista wrote:
I really like the idea here DJ, I'm just not sure what Read the Bones and Titan's Strength are doing in the same deck...


Actually, do you have any better recommendations? Titan's Strength is in because it helps a bundle with its scry. It has been important in more than a few occasions, both the scry and the extra damage are relevant here. Read the bones is in because this deck gains quite a fair bit of life, and at times it needs gas. In this case, I chose read the bones because it also fit the curve well for me.

I'm totally open to suggestions though, this deck is not a top tier build, so any ideas are totally welcome if they can help elevate it a bit more.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:14 pm 
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I would probably run more Allies instead of RtB. If you're using it to draw more gas, I rather run more gas instead.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:18 pm 
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felbatista wrote:
I would probably run more Allies instead of RtB. If you're using it to draw more gas, I rather run more gas instead.


I have to reject that for now. None of the other allies are good enough from my tests. I'd rather thin the deck, or play more reach, like possibly putting the devoid red damage spell back in.

Next set IMO.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:21 pm 
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Burn is fine, as is the 2/3 Black Ally. I just think RtB is more of a grindy card, and if this is a grindy deck, I don't know why you're playing combat tricks.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:39 pm 
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felbatista wrote:
Burn is fine, as is the 2/3 Black Ally. I just think RtB is more of a grindy card, and if this is a grindy deck, I don't know why you're playing combat tricks.


I'll think about it/try it (putting the direct damage back in), but the deck is probably grindier than you think. There are big plays to be made, but it's not particularly quick. Like with slivers you need specific combinations of allies for the whole thing to suddenly get dangerous. So you sit back, make some early plays, get some damage in, get ahead - say for example with your combat trick, which also helps you filter a bit. Later the combat trick matters again when they can only block one of your creatures so can you hit them for much more or even trade up, it's also very relevant when you have first strike active.

The death touch creature is not very good. I think you need to try it out and you'll see immediately why. In this deck you are only gaining life at moments when you would be attacking, and although it might get you a few points of damage occasionally, but that death touch creature won't make the difference - it certainly won't help on defense, which would have been a reason for me to run it. Now if we had a way to flash allies into play I would feel COMPLETELY different - so maybe next set? That would be a totally different ballgame.

Basically, the deck stalls out, so it is definitely worth thinking about how to break the stalls, but it isn't going to be lower quality allies. I used extra draw as it also helps recover from the almost certain sweep we are going to face - because this deck can't win that fast, hence why it's not top tier yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:33 pm 
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Deathtouch is fine on offense. You'll get to attack past big blockers, which is some form of unblockable damage. It's also nice alongside First Strike. If the deck is not fast, though, I think a burn spell has to be better than a combat trick.

That said, you've played with the deck way more than I did (exactly 0 games so far), so I don't know why I'm still talking like I know stuff...

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:40 pm 
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Firemantle Mage is the only reason to run red, IMO, and as good as the card is I'd rather have better mana. Mobius wants to know why you aren't playing the white Retreat*, he called me out hard on that one when talking about the WB Ally deck I'm currently working on. I also think your evaluation of Hero of Goma Fada is a bit off; the card is effing insane from my experience.

*(He actually doesn't, I just don't want to take the credit)

Also, multiple copies of Blighted Steppe in a three-color deck seems super-greedy.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:57 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
Firemantle Mage is the only reason to run red, IMO, and as good as the card is I'd rather have better mana. Mobius wants to know why you aren't playing the white Retreat*, he called me out hard on that one when talking about the WB Ally deck I'm currently working on. I also think your evaluation of Hero of Goma Fada is a bit off; the card is effing insane from my experience.

*(He actually doesn't, I just don't want to take the credit)

Also, multiple copies of Blighted Steppe in a three-color deck seems super-greedy.


Retreat... Hmmm, tell Möbius it's too expensive, too slow, and it's a do nothing 4cmc enchantment, why not Valor in Akros? At least this deck wants to drop a creature every turn. I tested the hell out of goma fada, and I don't like him because he's too expensive. If you were running mages you'd get it. Who cares if they are indestructible when your opponent can't block them anyway? :P

Regarding blighted steppe, I had this dream of pulling off instant speed counters... It's probably not a reality though.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:11 pm 
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Sure it's a do-nothing 4CMC enchantment, but at pseudo-5CMC it triggers rally and continues to do so every time you topdeck a land. That's why not Valor in Akros.

I'll concede that Hero is "worse" than Firemantle, but in my deck I don't have to manage three colors.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:25 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
Sure it's a do-nothing 4CMC enchantment, but at pseudo-5CMC it triggers rally and continues to do so every time you topdeck a land. That's why not Valor in Akros.

I'll concede that Hero is "worse" than Firemantle, but in my deck I don't have to manage three colors.


Hero is much worse, you also don't get the haste ally or ways to gain extra damage. I haven't tried a WB allies deck, so I can't speak on that subject just yet. None of them are going to be good enough in the meta, so I didn't really see the point. There definitely seem to be better things to do in WB.

But, I'm game, and I'll give it a shot shortly.

Regarding do nothing 4 CMC enchantments, I'm really not a fan of the retreats in general, yeah I know... I'm in the minority right now, but I'm right, they may get better eventually though... It's not so much that they are bad, as I don't see the point, and they fit in non-optimal builds. Meanwhile Valor might actually be worth including in some builds now. Lol. I mean it's a dream, but i can envision some reasonable token strategies where it might make sense. Things centering around nantuko husk, which btw ought to be in your WB build, so you can actually get something from your tokens, given their lack of haste.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:28 pm 
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emeria is the only retreat I think is worth it


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:33 pm 
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I need a fun deck, gonna give this a shot. Off the bat though, not sure I like: tandem tactics, read the bones, titan's strength.

Might go for more burn / creatures in those slots. Although maybe these cards are right where they want to be not sure yet


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:51 pm 
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beeswax wrote:
I need a fun deck, gonna give this a shot. Off the bat though, not sure I like: tandem tactics, read the bones, titan's strength.

Might go for more burn / creatures in those slots. Although maybe these cards are right where they want to be not sure yet


Do not replace tactics... That life gain is a big deal in this deck, and it really screws with the math. The others, up to you. I'm fairly sure on tactics, Fel and I have been discussing the other two with good reason. Also, you may want to lose the two blighted steppes, they've never been an issue, but Hakeem's right, they aren't needed. Maybe add an plains and a swamp instead.


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