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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
"Unblockable Aggro Deck"
January 7, 2011
 

Samuel here has done pretty much everything right. Not only is his decklist fairly solid, but he's gone above and beyond the call of duty to explain to me exactly what his goals for his deck are and what he's done so far to try and make it work. He's even referred to previous fixes I've done, proving that he's done his homework.


Hello again, BMoor. I sent you an email a little while back asking about getting my deck of unblockable creatures fixed, but I later on showed it to my friends who proceeded to point out a pretty significant flaw which I had failed to notice: my deck was rather split between control and aggro elements and so probably wouldn't do either one very well. They suggested I change it again and make it either more aggro or more control. I couldn't figure out how to make a good control deck out of it, and I also already have a controllish Simic deck, so I decided to go aggro with it. I'd like it if you could fix this version instead of the previous one I sent you. Here's the deck list:

Creatures:
Zephyr
Sprite x4
Cloud Sprite x4
Nightshade Stinger x4
Inkfathom Infiltrator x4
Dauthi Horror x4
Dauthi Warlord x4
Inkfathom Witch x4
Dauthi Marauder x2

Non-Creatures:
Scare Tactics x2
Chorus of Woe x4
Syphon Life x4

Land :
Ancient Ziggurat x4
Secluded Glen x4
Darkslick Shores x4
City of Brass x4
Thran Quarry x4


I think this deck will probably be fairly effective, but I do have a few concerns. The most prominent of those concerns is that it won't measure up to another fast deck. There aren't a whole lot of efficiently-costed unblockable creatures out there, so I think if I was up against another aggro deck with more efficient creatures I'd probably die faster than the other player. The problem is that the deck is themed around unblockable creatures, so it's not like I can just scrap these ones out and go for more efficient but bloackable options. The second thing I'm wondering about is if this deck will be too predictable. In case you forgot from my last email, I only play casual with my friends, so it won't take my opponents long to realize how the deck works. It's very simple: draw, land drop, summon, swing out, end turn. I guess aggro decks are suppose to be like that, but I've never made an aggro deck before and honestly, I don't know if this is how it's suppose to be done.
Chorus of Woe

I attempted to address my first issue with the Scare Tactics and Chorus of Woe, since they essentially mean "Deal X damage to target player, where X is the number of creatures you have." seeing as the opponent can't block any of them and I'll be swinging every turn with everything I can. Though really, there aren't any true aggro decks in my groups' metagame right now (it has a variety of combo and control, but no aggro). But if this one works well, they might start popping up and I don't want the deck to just be good for a while until someone whips up a Goblin deck and beats me over the head with it. As for the second issue, I have no idea how to address it, or if I even need to. Good aggro decks are suppose to consistently do the same thing, aren't they?

Syphon Life is there in case the game starts to draw on a bit longer than I'd like, but I'm not sure if I really need it. It's just that I wouldn't know what to replace it with. I think I'm good on my number of creatures, and since my play group mana-shuffles their decks, I've got the perfect number of lands to make sure I hit my fourth land-drop on turn four. And I can't think of any other good non-creature spells to add. Maybe some cheap draw power, like Ponder?

The only stipulation I have for this deck is that I probably can't afford cards like Watery Grave (not that my mana base isn't already tricked out enough- getting mana screwed sucks and I can't afford to waste even a single turn to it because I need one color of mana and not the other), the theme needs to remain on unblockable creatures, and I don't want to add or remove any colors. If I did, it wouldn't really be the same deck as before. I want to make the current deck I have respectable and this is the deck list I came up with to do so. And on the note of colors, the deck is a lot heavier on black mana than blue mana. I'd kind of like to even that out a bit because I'm a little OCD about that sort of thing, but that's really not too important.

Also, since you say you like it when your readers suggest ideas for future articles, I was thinking that maybe you could do articles that give in-depth overviews on different deck types. Sort of like a how-to guide for certain decks, perhaps where you make your own deck for that type as an example. I mean, people like me who have never made an aggro deck before would benefit if they had someone who knows just what an aggro deck should look like showing them how they work and such. And with so many different deck types in existence, there are a lot of potential articles you could do like that.

PS: I'd also like to apologize for something in my first email. I mentioned that you've probably never seen a deck like this before, and later on I noticed you had already done a fix of an unblockable deck. You've said before that you appreciate it when people actually read your articles and not just get a fix and then leave the garage. I'm working on reading the rest of your articles still and I don't want to give you the idea that I had ignored all the previous lessons you've given (I actually think I've learned a lot of things from you). So, yeah. That's all there is for me to say. Thanks a lot BMoor; I hope you can see what you can do with this deck.

~Samuel


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for the E-mail, Samuel. I've pondered
your deck for quite a while now, as well as your comments. How-to guides on various play styles would be fairly useful, wouldn't they? They'd take a fair bit of research, of course, but I would like to explore that idea. Thank you!

But for today, it's U/B unblockable aggro. Let's see what we can do. The biggest thing that stands out to me is that you're using no basic lands whatsoever. Is that really necessary? Maybe it is, but with so many hybrid cards in your deck, I think you could get away with a few ordinary Swamps and Islands.

But then again, you did mention not being comfortable with your black-to-blue ratio and wanted it to be more even, so let's see if we can't add a few blue cards.

The first such blue cards that come to m
ind are some of the il- creatures from Time Spiral block. They came in blue and black, and also white if you're interested in a three-color deck, but the two that best serve you would be Drifter il-Dal and Infiltrator il-Kor. One is a 2/1 shadow for a measley one blue mana... every turn. The other is a 3/1 with shadow that be on the board and swinging as early as turn four... if you suspended it on turn two. Aggro decks aren't known for wanting to invest in the future, or on letting the game run until turn six, which is the earliest that this il-Kor will be able to attack if you hardcast it. That's probably why the Infiltrator hasn't seen much play. Drifter, on the other hand, is very popular and would suit you quite well in place of one of your 1/1 fliers for 1. The Infiltrator? I'll let you be the judge.

Adding in both of those creatures would make your Dauthi
Warlord more impressive, but I'm skeptical as to whether you really want the Warlord at all. Sure, he hints at being a 4/1 or 5/1 for 1B, but will that make up for all those times he's a 1/1 for 1B? How many shadow creatures do you need on the board do you need for the Warlord to be effective? Two? Three? And remember, your opponent probably has kill spells.

Speaking of, let's talk about your noncreature spells. First of all, Syphon Life was a wise choice. Not only is it an extra 2 points of unblockable damage, but the life gain is helpful against other aggro decks. Remember, most of your creatures can't block! And with a single Syphon Life in the graveyard, you never have to worry about mana flood, because every land you draw is a potential 2 damage more.

Chorus of Woe and Scare Tactics I have less confidence in. Sure, it's extra damage because all your creatures are unblockable, but maybe you can do better. My first suggestion was Hideous End. It allows you an answer to opposing creatures, in case you get a creature-light draw or your opponent's aggro swarm is faster than yours. It also allows you to push in an extra 2 points of life loss, like Syphon Life does, while killing one of their creatures.  Boomerang would also be a good choice, giving you a temporary solution to just about anything. And since you intend to end the game quickly, temporary solutions are all you really need. Boomerang can also bounce a land, setting your opponent back a turn and thus allowing you to capitalize on your speed.

Another good spell would be Scarscale Ritual. Aggressive decks tend to play out their hand quickly, and if your opponent manages to survive the first wave, or play Pyroclasm and cut off your initial surge, it can be very useful to be able to restock your hand. Granted, Scarscale Ritual will likely mean sacrificing one of your creatures, since so many of yours have one toughness. Maybe Consult the Necrosages or Preordain would be better for your needs?

But if you really want to spend a black mana to pump your creatures' power, Why not try Virulent Swipe? In order for Chorus of Woe or Scare Tactics to deal as much extra damage as Virulent Swipe, you need four attacking creatures that turn. Virulent Swipe only asks for one, and for one again next turn.

That's just about all I can come up with for you, Samuel. Your deck was pretty solid to begin with. Now I just need to get thinking about those in-depth overview articles!

Good luck!

~BMoor

 

 

 

 

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