BMoor's Magic The
March 16, 2007
Hey I am writing you today about a deck that I personally think should
do alright, but I have yet to construct said deck and thought I would
drop an expert a line to see if you had any suggestions to make it run
more smoothly before I go out and blow all my money just to find out
that the deck sucks real bad. I wanted t do something differnt, so I
put in four copies of Chronozoa and a bunch of way to clone it, perhaps
too many ways to clone it. I included Paradox Haze to get the time
counters off of my Chronozoa faster. Nantuko Husk seemed like a good
way to kill off Chronozi at my own pace, and if an opponent decides to
throw a burn spell at a my Chronozoa I use Kor Dirge to target one that
is already ripe or Will-o'-the-Wisp and regenerate it. Without further
adieu here is the deck list.
Chronozoa x 4
Body Double x 3
Clone x 3
Dimir Dopplganger x 4
Will-o’-the-Wisp x 4
Nantuko Husk x 4
Dash Hopes x 4
Kor Dirge x 4
Mana Leak x 2
Cancel x 4
Paradox Haze x 4
Island x 6
Swamp x 6
Underground River x 4
Watery Grave x 4
Well, I'm glad you came to me before running out to buy all these cards, because quite frankly there's quite a few here you don't need. As a matter of fact, the way you describe the use of these cards, I'm not even fully convinced you understand how Vanishing works at all. Since I'm sure some of my readers don't get it either, I'll just explain it out.
[WARNING: RULES DISCUSSION AHEAD]
Vanishing is essentially three abilities-- one replacement ability and two triggered abilities. The first one is the replacement ability. Chronozoa comes into play with three time counters. It doesn't seem like a replacement ability, but it is-- the coming into play with time counters is replaing coming into play normally (without them). The second ability is a triggered ability. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter from Chronozoa. Nothing complicated there. The third ability is where I think the confusion is coming in. When the last time counter is removed, sacrifice Chronozoa. This is the tricky part because it works differently than Fading, the other ability that's very similar to Vanishing. With Fading, you remove the last counter, and then on your next upkeep you sacrifice it. With Vanishing, you sacrifice it as soon as the last counter is removed.
[END RULES DISCUSSION]
You speak of using Kor Dirge to redirect damage to a Chronozoa that's "already ripe". By that I'm assuming a Chronozoa that has no time counters on it. But Chronozoa gets sacrificed immediately upon removal of its last time counter, so unless somebody dealt damage to you with Chronozoa's sacrifice trigger on the stack, Kor Dirge will never get your Chronozoa to multiply. By that same token, Nantuko Husk will only be useful if you sacrifice your 'Zoa with the 'Zoa's own sacrifice trigger on the stack, during your upkeep. Otherwise, you're just sacrificing a 3/3 flyer to give +2/+2 to a non-flying creature. And frankly, you're better off keeping the 3/3 flyer. Nantuko Husk is only a good deal when you're sacrificing creatures smaller than 2/2, or when you can make an infinite amount of them.
As a matter of fact, all your black cards in this deck are a little lackluster at what they do. Dash Hopes is a dismal counter spell in a deck that already has the mana for Cancel and Mana Leak. Nantuko Husk and Kor Dirge are poor choices for accelerating your cellular reproduction cycles. And I REALLY hope you haven't gone out and bought Dimir Doppelganger yet-- It's a good card, but you already have 4 Clone and 4 Body Double. You don't need more than 8 clone creatures. Especially not when the next four are chase rares! The only black card that works well in this deck is Will-o'-the-Wisp. But blue has been playing control for years, so it's got plenty of decent blockers without adding black for them.
So, then, take all the black out of this deck. Your wallet will be grateful you don't need all those dual lands and Doppelgangers. And if you've already bought them, well, you can resell them and pay for just about all the cards I'm about to suggest. Now, I've taken out some key tools of this deck-- early blockers, some counter spells, and ways to successfully sacrifice a full-term Chronozoa. That last one will be easy-- Timebender. Timebender makes a good way to suddenly pop a 'Zoa and produce two more, especially in response to a spell targeting it. And being a Morph, it allows you to swing for 2 while you're waiting for the right opportunity to unmorph. You can't argue with the morph cost either-- only one mana. And at one mana to cast as well, you could drop one face-up as an early blocker which we mentioned you'll need. Put Timebender in the slots Nantuko Husk used to occupy.
Of course, you'd rather not hardcast a Timebender if you can help it, so let's see what else we can put in Will-o'-the-Wisp's slot. I'd like to keep the mana cost here low so you can play it as early as possible, and I'll keep it Standard-legal. If you want a flying blocker, I'd say your best bet is probably Flying Men-- it's no Will-o'-the-Wisp, but at least it has a point of power. But you'll be filling the skies with paramecium soon enough, so let's not worry too much about it having flying. Drowned Rusalka could be good. It also gives you a "sacrifice a creature" ability that you can use with the 'Zoa's own sacrifice ability on the stack, and it will be relevant even if you weren't plnning on attacking with it this turn. The only trouble is that the first creature you're likely to want to sacrifice is the Rusalka itself, since it's only a 1/1 and not a potent blocker. As far as real defense is concerned, try Imaginary Pet. For one more mana, you get a 4/4. Sure it can't attack unless you empty your hand, and sure you'll need to recast it most turns, but it sticks around during your opponent's turn and it knows how to protect this house! If that's not your style, then you could also try Vertigo Spawn, a Guildpact quirky uncommon that also tends to discourage attacking, but for different reasons. My recommendation-- put either the Pet or the Spawn (or two of each) into Will-o'-the-Wisp's slot.
Next come the replacements for Kor Dirge and Dash Hopes. Dash Hopes won't be hard to replace-- you've already got 4 Cancel and 2 Mana Leak, so just add the other two Mana Leak. That leaves six slots with which to find something to replace Kor Dirge.Blue isn't known for damage redirection, so we'll have to go about it another way. What did Kor Dirge do for you? It allowed you to kill Chronozoa on command (except no it actually didn't), it helped save creatures, and it gave you a way to kill your opponent's creatures. Well, I'd say the best replacement in blue would be Reality Acid. Usually Reality Acid is reserved for decks with repeatable bounce effects, because without some way to make the Acid leave play faster, it just doesn't do anything. But since you've already got Paradox Haze and Timebender to expecite the vanishing, Reality Acid could work here quite nicely. Remember, you still control the Acid, so the counters get removed on your upkeep, or upkeeps. Interestingly, with two Paradox Haze in play, you have three upkeeps a turn, an dsince Chronozoa and Reality Acid both have Vanishing 3, then in three upkeeps they eack will lose all their time counters and be sacrificed. The Acid costs the same as Kor Dirge, but can deal with noncreature permanents as well-- the perfect answer for that one impossible enchantment. We've got six slots, so put in 3 Reality Acid, and the other three can be used for card drawing. Compulsive Research or Ancestral Visions are probably the best choices.
All that leaves is the Dimir Doppelganger. What can you replace it with? Well, that's why we dropped it in the first place-- it was redundant. You've got Clone and Body Double-- you don't need mroe cloning creatures. Especially when they remove the card they're cloning from the game where Body Double can't find it. So, what can you put in there? Well, you could add some Jhoira's Timebug if you insist on getting those counters off of Chronozoa as fast as possible. But you've already got plenty of counter-removal strategies, so it seems a shame not to throw in some Errant Ephemeron. But one more thought-- you've got Chronozoa constantly replicating themselves, you've got clones turning into more Chronozoa, and you've got either Imaginary Pet or Vertigo Spawn. All those creature are Illusions. So, if your deck is so dedicated to making multiples of an Illusion, then maybe the best card you could use is--- Krovikan Mist?
Think about it.
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