My favorite part about new expansions is that each one brings with it a few new mechanics, and sure as Red is hasty I get deck ideas using them. Today's deck involves the untap mechanic from Shadowmoor, with a little persist thrown in on top.
> Hiya BMoor!
> I've been reading your Deck Garage articles since Ravnica block and you have great ideas, so I'm hoping to get your feedback! I've been working on a Shadowmoor deck based on the untap mechanic because I picked up the "Turnabout" precon. Of course, the untap mechanic feels very random to me, which is why I'm having difficulty turning it into a solid deck idea.
> Land (23)
> 12x Forest
> 11x Plains
> Creatures (28)
> 4x Order of Whiteclay
> 4x Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers
> 2x Wilt-Leaf Liege
> 4x Kitchen Finks
> 4x Safehold Elite
> 2x Heartmender
> 2x Resplendent Mentor
> 2x Silkbind Faerie
> 4x Devoted Druid
> Other Spells (9)
> 4x Curse of Chains
> 3x Shield of the Oversoul
> 2x Mercy Killing
> My friend likes to play creatures with wither, so I've
> mixed (useful?) untap
> effects with persist, Heartmender and Order of Whiteclay to
> keep my army
> coming back. My main problem is that my deck seems to want
> to go both the
> untap route, which would play more defensively, and the
> green/white aggro
> route (now popular in block constructed tournaments). I
> hesitate to go the
> aggro route because it's already been done, and I
> don't need to play
> tournament-level decks when my playgroup is casual. My
> main concern is
> trying to find the balance between these two while still
> around my opponent.
> Other concerns I have about the deck involve enabling my
> untap creatures and
> the lack of any solid "finisher". The more I
> play with the untap mechanic,
> the more the deck wants to be defensive. But of course, I
> don't want it to
> be *too* defensive, because keeping my opponent from doing
> nothing just
> isn't fun for us.
> Perhaps I should mention that I prefer to keep the deck in
> green/white and
> strictly Shadowmoor for now (but if you have suggestions
> from the rest of
> the Lorwyn block or 10th edition, I'd love to hear them
> Thanks for any advice you might have!
> --Eric (Ontario, Canada)
It looks like a fun deck, Eric, but I have to admit I'm a bit surprised to hear you say that the untap mechanic is pushing you towards a defensive strategy.
With tap abilities, you usually have to choose between attacking or leaving the creature open to use its tap ability. But with untap abilities, you can attack, then use their ability, and then they're all set to block! With untap creatures, why wouldn't you attack every turn you can?
Order of Whiteclay might not seem like it wants to attack every turn, but with 4 toughness it can afford to get its hands dirty and still survive to use its ability on D. And Silkbind Faerie was made to swing in the air and tap down a blocker before your opponent has a chance to declare it as such. To further bolster the offensive nature of these creatures, add in four Barkshell Blessing. A quick +2/+2 will help get that extra punch in, and Conspire will cock your untap creatures' triggers while it provides an additional +2/+2! If that's not enough conspiring for you, AEthertow can also get rid of pesky blockers.
Though honestly, if your goal is to utilize untapping and persist to their maximum, I really think you should rethink your commitment to just white and green, and add in blue. Blue gives you access to a few more untappers, most notably Knacksaw Clique and Leech Bonder. Leech Bonder especially works well with persist and with fighting wither creatures, and strangely enough even Heartmender. You have a Heartmender out, and play Leech Bonder-- it's a 1/1. Your next turn, Heartmender takes a counter off to make it a 2/2, it attacks, and untaps to move its counter. Now you have an attacking 3/3, and you've moved a -1/-1 counter onto one of your opponent's creatures-- possibly the one that blocked the Heartmender. Adding blue also lets you add Ghastly Discovery to your list of Conspire spells, which will in turn give you some draw power. And you already have Order of Whiteclay to mitigate the discard!
Now that your deck is G/W/U instead of just G/W, Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers and Wilt-Leaf Liege start to lose some of their luster. Taking them out makes room for these new additions and helps steer you away from the G/W aggro route youd been hesitant to take. Devoted Druid also looks less useful here,
so a good replacement would be Pili-Pala for color fixing and more untapdance partners.
Finally, for your big splashy finisher, try Presence of Gond. Enchant one of your untapdancers with that, and they go from the old softshoe to the techno remix, as you'll be tapping and untapping them so fast it'll be like scratching the records, as droves of Elf tokens hit the dance floor and start stomping the yard-- and your opponent's face. It's not infinite, since every untap ability costs mana to use, but a Presenced Silkbind Faerie could easily tap down an opponent's whole board while producing three or four Elves a turn. Assuming your opponent doesn't concede first, you should have lethal damage on the board quite quickly.
Give these ideas a try, Eric. I think you'll find that untappers are surprisingly aggresive when played to their strengths-- and very light on their feet.