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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
"Hardy's Shape Anew Deck"
February 8, 2011
 

I'm not proud of having taken so long to fix a deck since my last one, and I'm not proud to have kept Hardy here waiting so long. I am, however, very proud of Hardy, for finding a potential combo piece I missed in my original Card of the Day review of Shape Anew, and building a deck around it. 


Greetings!
The name’s Hardy. After reading your reviews about the “Shape Anew” card, I realized that there actually is a card that is not an artifact, but creates one. Courtesy of red, we have a Stone Idol Trap! After letting your opponent attack with multiple creatures, you may trap him and instantly produce a 6/12 trampler. During your turn, say after attacking for 6, sacrifice it for Shape Anew and out comes a Bone Wand or even a Steel Hellkite! The problem is that it can’t find the right cards at the right time. And before I can manage to get ahold of the combo, I already find myself in front of a horde of unstoppable creatures! I would gladly appreciate your help. Here’s the deck list by the way:


Lands (21x)

1 Forest
9 Island
6 Mountain
2 Kazandu Refuge
1 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Mystifying Maze

Creatures (1x)
1 Stell Hellkite

Other Spells (39x)
2x Naturalize
2x Ancient Stirrings
4x Shape Anew
4x Stone Idol Trap
2x Prophetic Prism
2x Sphinx Bone Wand
4x Cancel
4x Into the Roil
2x Arc Trail
3x Punishing Fire
2x Cerebral Corruption
2x Treasure Hunt
2x Spell Contortion
2x Call to Mind
1x Surreal Memoir
1x Preordain

Hoping for your help.

Hardy.

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

I have to say, I'm especially embarrassed for forgetting about Stone Idol Trap, since I myself used it in my U/R Polymorph deck a year or so ago. Stone Idol Trap's biggest strength is its tendency to be forgotten by everyone, meaning players will frequently play right into it. Good catch, Hardy!


Unfortunately, your card choices haven't been so spot on for the rest of your deck. We've got a lot of chaff to skim off, starting with Prophetic Prism. The whole point of needing Stone Idol Trap, a nonartifact card that creates an artifact token, is so that you're not at risk of Shape Anew flipping over another copy of the cheap throwaway artifact you sacrificed to Shape in the first place! Your giant, game-winning artifacts need to be the ONLY artifacts in your deck, or else why bother with a Stone Idol token at all? If you need color fixing, or a cantrip card, we'll find other options.

There's plenty of other suboptimal spells in here as well. Spell Contortion costs too much, doesn't make the opponent pay enough to ever successfully counter anything, and doesn't even draw you enough cards to be worth it unless you've got nine mana or so to spare, and you won't. Mana Leak is a much better option, and if you've already got a playset of Cancel you may not even need it. Punishing Fire isn't enough burn for its cost-- unless you frequently find yourself up against Ajani's Mantra, you're better off with a playset of Lightning Bolt. Yes, Bolt is one of the rarest commons there is right now, but it'll be worth it. You barely even need Arc Trail. And Cerebral Corruption, or Cerebral Eruption as I assume you meant, most often won't do enough damage to justify its 2RR cost. For the same mana you could have an Earthquake for 3, which is guaranteed to hit for the amount you want to hit. Or you could run Pyroclasm or Slagstorm if so inclined. But since Stone Idol Trap gets cheaper the more creatures attack you, I'm not sure if blowing up all your opponent's small critters is a good idea.

And finally, I would completely remove green from your deck. All it's giving you is Ancient Stirrings and Naturalize. You don't want to put your artifacts into your hand, so Ancient Stirrings is just a less powerful Treasure Hunt that guarantees y
ou a land instead of a spell, and not even that if there is none in your top five. And Into the Roil should handle any noncreature permanent you can't burn down, so don't worry about Naturalize.

So what do we add in place of green? Well, in a way, it's convenient that it took me so long to get to your deck, Hardy. Now that Mirrodin Beseiged has been released, Stone Idol Trap is no longer the only nonartifact card that makes a Shape Anew target. Replace your Kazandu Refuges with Sejiri Refuges, and your two pair of green cards for a playset of Master's Call.

Adding white opens up a whole slew of other options. Instead of hoping for a lucky topdeck off the opponent's deck with Cerebral Eruption, you can sweep the board definitely with Day of Judgment, if you so choose. Instead of relying on Prophetic Prism's cantrip, Wall of Omens will get you a card deeper, hold off smaller attackers to buy you time, and encourage your opponent to overextend on attacks to try and get through the Wall, only to further reduce the cost of your Stone Idol Trap. (Opponents never see it coming) Survival Cache could provide extra life and extra cards if you're good at keeping your life total up, or if your opponent is playing infect.

Though if you want to dig through your deck, your best option is likely Foresee. Then again, in order for Foresee to function, you need at least one gane-winner artifact still in your deck. This is why most Polymorph decks, including the one I ran, use See Beyond-- that way if you accidentally draw your heavy hitter, you don't have to hardcast it.

But on the other hand, both yo
ur Shape Anew targets aren't even that hard to hardcast. Which raises the question of why bother with Shape Anew at all? If you're going to cheat out an artifact, make it a big one. Wurmcoil Engine would be a nice choice, likely better than Sphinx-Bone Wand. But, you're in luck thanks to Beseiged's release. I am of course referring to that 12-mana juggernaut, Blightsteel Colossus. Now THERE'S an artifact to Shape Anew into! Even if your opponent manages to answer it, it just shuffles itself back into your library ready to be shuffled back into your deck. If Blightsteel Colossus is too rich for your blood, than you could try Platinum Empirion. That's a pretty hefty artifact that never really caught on.

As a matter of fact, Shape Anew has already started to shake up tournament scenes thanks to Mirrodin Beseiged. But not because of Master's Call. The real strength of Shape Anew is that the already-well-established Jace the Mind Sculptor control builds can easily become Shape Anew decks simply by adding a playset of Shape Anew and a singleton Blightsteel Colossus to the spell slots, and to the land base, a few of today's Card of the Day-- Inkmoth Nexus.

Yes, the man land is yet another nonartifact card that becomes Shape Anew fodder. And this one is not only colorless, but it costs a mere one mana to be eligible for Shape Anew for the turn, and takes the place of a land instead of a spell. Sure, the 1/1 has infect, and you're looking to win on regular damage, but so what? When are you gonna swing with the Inkmoth? For you it's just there to enable the combo, and maybe chump block if you get desperate.

Inkmoth Nexus reminds me that Worldwake's
Dread Statuary would work too, but then you'd have to pay 4 to animate (and artifactize) the land, and another 3U for the Shape Anew. Already that's more mana than Steel Hellkite or Wurmcoil Engine would ask for. Stick with Inkmoth Nexus.

But then you seemed awfully concerned with getting the proper colors of mana, didn't you? What can we do to help you with that, especially after removing green? The Refuge was a good choice. You could try Terramorphic Expanse or Evolving Wilds-- both are Standard-legal, but I doubt you want a full 12 of your lands entering the battlefield tapped.

All I can really say to that is to bone up on card draw-- Foresee, See Beyond, Wall of Omens, and whatever else you've got room for. If you draw a lot of cards, you'll get the lands you need more regularly.

Good luck!

~BMoor

 

 

 

 

 

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