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The Stuffy Doll Contest is winding down now, and we’re down to the finalists. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to narrow them all down. My original intent was to pare it down to five entries, thus providing a week of articles as we counted down to first place. But it’s a testament to how great all the entries were that I just couldn’t narrow it down that far. The decklist you’re about to see you could call “honorable mention”. You could just as easily call it “sixth place”. Or you could call it “BMoor’s sad attempt at milking an extra article out of this whole affair and making us wait longer to see the winner.” But after all the work I’ve put into organizing this contest and procuring the prizes (I thought I had store credit at Shuffleandcut.com, but I ended up having to pay for it), I’d say that you should be happy to have these articles to read. And besides, Natsume here specifically said that all he/she wanted was “the chance to showcase the deck”, bless his/her heart. (A side note: Natsume sounds to me like a girl’s name, but after getting that wrong with MangaFan a while back, I don’t dare assume.) So, without further ado, here’s the first of the uppermost echelon of entries, the worst of the best (and the best of all the rest), the first step on the path to Number One:
Spear and Shield
4 Flagstones of Trokair
4 Urza’s Tower
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
7 Snow-Covered Plains
4 Stuffy Doll
4 Weathered Wayfarer
4 Kjeldoran Javelineer
4 Outrider en-Kor
3 Ballista Squad
3 Loxodon Warhammer
4 Magewright’s Stone
4 Gelid Shackles
4 Coldsteel Heart
While I’m sure there many submissions about mono-black Stuffy Doll
(SD) builds with Brainspoil and Consume Spirit/Tendrils of Agony, I decided
to go the opposite way with white. Of course, there’s the obligatory
Outrider en-Kor combination, but I decided to try out a different sort of
creature burn, the defensive kind white is known for.
Stuffy Doll is a defensive creature, as once one hits the table, all
attacking tends to cease. Really, it does. So, to utilize it I made
this deck to continue playing defensive until a Stuffy Doll is cast, then
turns aggressive. White also has many intricate combos (non-game winning
though) with unkillable creature and Worship, opponent’s creature and Spirit
Link, and Weathered Wayfarer and land.
In fact, I decided to abuse this last combo. Urzatron is a quick way to
power out a Stuffy, but so are other fun things, such as deck thinning
with Flagstones of Trokair or Arena for maximum SD abuse since your opponent
isn’t going to attack with a Doll on the field. Both the SD and
Wayfarer both like to tap, Magewright’s Stone felt ripe for abuse with all
that colorless mana being produced. In my search for tappers to abuse the
Stone even further led me to the white defensive burn, especially that of
Kjeldoran Javelineer, whose upkeep requires only colorless mana, and
Ballista Squad, a Heat Ray on a body. The final combo abuse of lifegain
in Spirit Link/Loop could have been utilized, but equipment doesn’t give
that inherent card disadvantage and we all sort of love a 3/1 trampling,
Spirit Link SD, right? Well at least it can make the defensive guys more
aggressive. With the usual combos of Worship and Outrider, no one’s
going to attack/block you? Well, with Gelid Shackles, I don’t think they
really have a choice.
Sideboard options include many fun combinations and support, such as
Wrath of God + SD, Porphory Nodes + Warhammer + SD, or Magus of the Disk +
Magewright’s Stone for…well, a 2/4 blocker or something. Plus, with
Wayfarer and Coldsteel, one can dip into a second color if needed.
Sorry for the long explanation, but thanks for reading it all the way.
I'll probably try to submit more decks if I have time. Oh, and I'm not
really submitting my info cause I don't really care about the prizes, just the
chance to showcase the deck. If I do manage to win, and you want me to
spread publicity with the tee or something, I'll e-mail you info then.
Natsume, never apologize for too much explanation. My pet peeve in being a deck mechanic, besides receiving lots of similar decks, is people who don’t explain enough. Without such in-depth analysis of card choices, you might not have made the top.
So, let’s look at how this deck fulfills the requirements of the contest. You’ll recall that decks are to be judged on “how well they are built, how creative they are, how unexpected and humorous its victory will be, and if it looks like it can actually achieve a victory,” after the core requirements (Stuffy as win condition and no red cards) are met.
How well is Natsume’s deck built? Well, the explanation Natsume provided speaks for itself. Despite the fact that Gelid Shackles and Kjeldoran Javelineer don’t really play well on Turn One, the deck has a good curve to it. I was skeptical of the Urzatron at first, but between Natsume’s justifications for it and Weathered Wayfarer being able to tutor it out, it does work well—when your deck is built around a 5-mana artifact, you generate extra mana where you can I guess. And it does go perfectly well with Ballista Squad and the Javelineer. Arena was a nice add-in that several contestants toyed with, and Worship was a nice way of keying off of Stuffy’s indestructibility. Gelid Shackles especially works well here, as it stops blocking and activated abilities, but still allows the creature to attack. Stuffy Doll always appreciates a foolish attacker, after all.
How creative is Natsume’s deck? Well, he/she wasn’t the only one to use Ballista Squad, but a lot of the Coldsnap cards in here were original, as was Worship and the Urzatron. And almost every white deck submitted used Outrider en-Kor, but they all had a different combo they were focusing on so I’m willing to overlook that. Natsume’s E-mail really showed a lot of thought and time put into this deck.
How unexpected and humorous will Natsume’s victory be? Well, you have to get out Ballista Squad and/or a Javelineer, and then you have to play a Stuffy Doll, and then you have to wait a turn so you can attack with the Doll and Javelin it. The opponent is bound to see that coming a turn in advance, but it’s still pretty funny to watch it happen—especially if Stuffy is wielding a Loxodon Warhammer at that point. The Warhammer’s life gain will trigger whenever Stuffy “deals damage”, and it deals damage whenever damage is dealt to it. So you’ll be gaining swaths of life with every Ballistic you throw at it, and even more if your opponent decides to block. It’ll be funnier if you can take him or her out in one swing, but the idea of using Kjeldoran Javelineer as a white Drain Life on a stick just screams good times, doesn’t it?
Can Natsume actually achieve a victory with this deck? Well, it has Worship. It has Loxodon Warhammer. It has creatures to equip and to keep the Worship working. So I would expect it to. At the very least, it’s unlikely to lose to combat damage, between the Worship, the Warhammer life gain, and the “range strikers” shooting down anything that dares to attack you. Magewright’s Stone might even accommodate some nifty combat tricks, like unexpected blockers or double duty from a tapper. So I’d expect it to do pretty well, as long as its mana base holds up and it doesn’t A) fail to assemble the Urzatron and flounder, or B) draw too many Urza lands and too few white mana sources to cast its spells. Counting the Coldsteel Hearts, it has 15 white mana sources, and nothing really needs more than one white mana (though Ballista Squad needs one each turn). Those are odds I can live with.
Such a great deck, and it only made honorable mention? Just wait’ll you see the entries later this week! Be sure to keep checking back, because it only gets better from here!
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