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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Pauper Defenders: Infinite Mana Combo
September 3, 2013
 

Is it even worth apologizing for not being able to write articles more often? It's definitely worth taking the chance to thank all my readers who've stuck with me. And Craig's combo deck here is definitely worth tinkering with. 

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Hey BMoor,

Glad to see you back in the saddle! It has been a while since I checked the site. I'm back at it with Pauper Defenders again and would appreciate your assistance. This one has a different feel (at least in my opinion).

This one is intended to be an infinite combo
deck but has a few back-up plans. First the deck:

Land
9x Forest

4x Island
4x Mountain
3x Evolving Wilds
3x Halimar Depths
2x Izzet Boilerworks

Creatures
4x Orochi Leafcaller (turns G into anything I need - requried with Overgrown Battlement)
4x Overgrown Battlement (infinite cog)
2x Axebane Guardian (doesn't need Orochi, but not as big of a butt and higher CC - recently added, still feeling this out)
3x Drift of Phantasms (Freed from the Real 4&5, blocker if FFTR in hand)
4x Vent Sentinel (Plan B Win Condition)
2x Tidewater Minion (infinite cog or potential expensive attacker, but useful stopping threats)

Enchantments
3x Freed from the Real (infinite cog, big body stopper - go back and forth between needing 2 or three)

Instant/Sorcery

2x Dizzy Spell (get Orochi, or save a creature from combat death - maybe not needed with Axebane)
3x Pyromatics (Plan A Win Condition, and uncounterable just Replicate enough times)
3x Train of Thought (can draw entire deck when (infinite enabled) to get Pyro)
2x Ghostly Flicker (save critical pieces, kill Capsize)
3x Muddle the Mixture (get Battlement, Pyro or ToT or be protection if needed)

So what's the plan? Get Freed from the Real on either Overgrown Battle (or Axebane) for infinite mana to use with Pyro (or ToT to get Pyro), on Vent Sentinel for a machine gun, or on Tidewater Minion for both, and last ditch: use TWM as an attacker. Use FFTR to untap a mana producer (or Tidewater to untap the mana producers) generate tons of mana and use on what I have in hand.

How do I get there (assuming I don't draw naturally)? Use transmute from Dizzy Spell, Muddle and Drift of Phantasms to get required pieces.

The trouble I run into is losing critical pieces just before I am able to go infinite (which is why I recently added the Ghostly Flicker, so that's still being worked out). I've tried going the tool box route with singles of things like Naturalize (to counteract Journey to Nowhere or O-ring) and Apostle's Blessing for protection. But, it is my understanding that in a combo deck, anything that doesn't move you toward your combo is dead weight. And there were plenty of times the "answers" were a problem because the problem they are supposed to answer isn't in the opponent's deck. Lobber Crew appears interesting but I don't think it works like one would hope with Replicate since it puts copies on the stack and not cast.

I lose to pretty much anything that resembles
a tried and true pauper deck (affinity, GW slivers, B/U permission, fairies). I'm not necessarily looking to have a winning record against the proven decks, but maybe a 30% chance at winning would be nice. Just want to feel like there's a shot. Most home builds I can find a way to win against.

Also, it doesn't help that I only play Online, so to actually go through the process (especially on Turn Three) takes FOREVER**. I don't mind it but the opponent does. Wizards needs to find a way to prove a sequence online and then be able to hit the "do that 1,000 times" button like you can in live games.

Last, I've tried keeping it not only Pauper (commons only) but also Modern. That's part of why I don't have Capsize or Rolling Thunder. But for this deck, I think Pyro is better than RT because Pyro is effectively uncounterable. The Modern requirement is really not a requirement though.

As for the name, it's a RUG deck that brings things to the hand so this one is called "Brings the Room Together" (think Big Lebowski). I hope you find it interesting enough to comment on. Feel free to edit anything out for your article if you choose to use it.

Thanks! 

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

Orochi + Battlement + FFTR + Pyro is a four-card combo. Axebane + FFTR + Pyro is a three-card combo, and is therefore easier to assemble. The Guardian's higher CMC and lower toughness shouldn't matter, since he's not a combat critter for you, he's a combo piece. The Orochi, meanwhile, is a dead draw unless you have the Battlement, and is otherwise just adding a combo piece. I would cut the Orochi, the Battlement, and Dizzy Spell (since it no longer fetches you a combo piece) and go to a full set of four of Axebane Guardian, FFTR, and Pyromatics. That gives you a better shot of assembling the combo quickly and with as little risk of losing a piece prematurely.

I pulled ten cards just now and added a total of four, so we've got six slots to play with. Four of them should go to Gatecreeper Vine. Like the Overgrown Battlement, Gatecreeper Vine is a two-mana defender that can help fix your mana. Unlike the Battlement, the Vine can get you red or blue mana (and you need all three colors to get your combo off). It also pulls a land out of your deck, which means one fewer card between you and the cards you need to draw. A less-obvious but still-important advantage the Vine has is that it ISN'T a combo piece, and you can therefore afford to block with it and not worry about it dying. Yes, its presence in play aids your Guardians and Vent Sentinels, but once it comes into play it's done its job, and if it can absorb an incoming attack or draw away a kill spell then so much the better. 

That leaves two more open slots for you. Additional copies of anything you're not already running four of would help, but if you want additional deck-sifting, any reasobaly cheap card draw spell would work here as well. Treasure Hunt is a simple yet powerful card that always replaces itself with another spell, and might also get you some land. You might also add in some extra defenders if you feel you need them-- Murmuring Phantasm, coincidentally, costs the same as treasure Hunt, but has that high toughness you wanted from the Battlement. 

But I'm not dome there. Right now you're using Ghostly Flicker to protect your combo pieces, correct? Well, for your deck, that's a bad choice. Ideally, you shouldn't be casting FFTR until you're ready to go off, meaning that if you need to save your combo pieces, it's from an instant-speed kill spell in response to your own FFTR. Which means if you Ghostly Flicker, you'll keep the Guardian but the FFTR will be countered on resolution. Ghostly Flicker is only effective when you're using it to save artifacts as well as creatures, or if you've got a bunch of ETB abilities you want to re-trigger. To protect your Guardian, you're better off with Ranger's Guile. It's hard to argue with instant-speed hexproof and an additional point of toughness. It also needs less mana, so you don't have to leave three lands up to use it. 

That should just about do it for you. Muddle the Mixture no longer tutors for your Battlement, but it still finds Pyromatics or a Gatecreeper if need be, and makes a good "cover fire" spell to save you from opposing kill spells and the like. Drift of Phantasms, meanwhile, suddenly pulls triple duty, as it's a Guardian, FFTR, or an extra defender. 

Good luck!

~BMoor

 

 

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