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This is my U/W lockdown deck:
1x Magus of the Moat
1x Isperia the Inscrutable
1x Voidmage Husher
2x Surveilling Sprite
1x Aeon Chronicler
1x Guardian of the Guildpact
2x Wakestone Gargoyle
1x Courier Hawk
2x Sky Hussar
1x Gossamer Phantasm
3x Azorius First-Wing
2x Beacon Hawk
1x Spiketail Drakeling
2x Stoic Ephemera
1x Fathom Seer
1x Castle Raptors
1x Dizzy Spell
1x Valor Made Real
1x Flight of Fancy
1x Serra's Boon
1x Pentarch Ward
1x Shielding Plax
1x Train of Thought
1x Ghostly Prison
1x Ivory Crane Netsuke
1x Sleight of Hand
1x Flow of Ideas
1x Telling Time
2x To Arms!
2x Dawn Charm
1x Ivory Mask
1x Ocular Halo
2x Pallation Accord
3x Teferi's Moat
2x Privileged Position
1x Whispers of the Muse
3x Vision Skeins
1x Biomantic Mastery
1x Calciform Pools
1x Hallowed Fountain
2x Azorius Chancery
I've been playing Magic for a little under a year now and tried to make a casual deck where my opponent could not do anything to me. I dig through my deck with all the draw spells to get out Teferi's Moat, Ghostly Prison, Ivory Mask, and 2 Privileged Position. My opponent can then only attack with flying creatures or use global abilities. I can easily block the flying creatures with all of my flying creatures and even if they use Wrath of God or something similar, they still have to pay 2 per creature to attack me. I realized that if I was drawing so many cards, an Aeon Chronicler would work really well. I then figured it would be really easy to deck myself and threw in the Reminisce.
When I play with my friends, they can beat this deck with a really fast creature rush so I would like a bit more early defense. Also, if I don't draw a Spellbook early, the deck is shot. The mana is extremely screwy. I often get stuck on 3 or 4 land and that makes it difficult to get the lock in play. I also haven't counted the cards, but I know it is well over 60. I don't know if I want it to be that small, but it is definitely not sized right at this time. Help in any way you can but try to keep it low budget and please keep in the cards i mentioned except possibly the Reminisce.
Well, Tim, thanks for sending in your deck! I like your lock, and if you can get it going, it seems pretty solid. What I'm going to do with your deck is a little different from what I normally would - allow me to explain.
First off, you've got over 80 cards in your deck. I know it's hard to take out cards you like, but look at it this way. Right now, you have an approximately 1 in 80 chance of drawing your Ivory Mask-one of the core cards you mentioned. Them's not good odds. Instead, you might draw something like Flight or Palliation Accord. When you need an Ivory Mask, those just won't do. There are two ways to fix this: 1) have less cards in your deck (i.e. 60) and 2) have multiple copies (4) of your important cards. So now, with less cards, and 4 of the important cards, your chance of drawing a particular card has gone from 1 in 80 to 4 in 60, or 1 in 15. It doesn't take a math wizard to figure out which odds are better.
So, I'm basically going to rebuild this deck, explaining to you why I choose what I do. You mentioned that you are on a budget, so I'll try to keep to commons and uncommons for any new cards I put in. First off, we'll put in 3 each of the core cards you mentioned. I choose 3 instead of 4 because you don't really need to draw multiples of these.
This will be the most expensive part of your deck, but if you're going to build a deck around a lock, you want to do all you can do to increase your likelihood of drawing your important cards:
3 x Ghostly Prison
3 x Spellbook (I don't really think you need this card, but you wanted to keep it)
3 x Ivory Mask
3 x Teferi's Moat
3 x Priveleged Position
That makes 15 cards. Next, you want to be able to draw a bunch of cards so you can get to these important pieces. I'll choose the 3 best card drawers you have and suggest 4 each of Sleight of Hand and Telling Time (good card draw for little mana) and 3 of the Sky Hussar (reusable card draw when used with forecast.)
3 x Sky Hussar
4 x Sleight of Hand
4 x Telling Time
Those 12 put us at 27. Now, we need to make sure your deck can survive until you get all these cards going. You noticed the need for this against quick decks. My first suggestion here is Aven Riftwatcher. As a 2/3 flier for 3 mana, she's a good value. You'll get a couple turns of good blocking out of her and gain a total of 4 life in the process.
Or, you can use her to attack for a few points. Second, I'm going to recommend Faith's Fetters. For 4 mana, you can cripple one of their creatures and gain 4 life. That should buy you some time.
4 x Aven Riftwatcher
4 x Faith's Fetters
Those additions put us at 35 cards. Before we get any further, let's do our land. I think your mix is good with a little more white than blue. But a fact that I'm becoming more and more sure of is that 20 lands is rarely enough. You mentioned that you often get stuck on 3 or
4 lands. Let's make that very unlikely by adding in 1 more Island and
1 more Plains. If you can come up with any kind of dual (such as Hallowed Fountain or Adarkar Wastes), those would be best, but I certainly understand the price restrictions on those! If you don't believe anything else I tell you, believe me that it's better for you to err on the side of too much mana than to not have enough.
1 x Calciform Pools
1 x Hallowed Fountain
2 x Azorius Chancery
7 x Island
11 x Plains
That brings us to 57 cards. For the last three spots, I want to make sure you have a few big guys to win the game with. Let's keep a couple you already have, and add in one of the best blue commons in the Time Spiral block: Errant Ephemeron.
1 x Isperia the Inscrutable (good to hit for three and search out more fliers)
1 x Aeon Chronicler (card draw and big creature all in one)
1 x Errant Ephemeron (good value on a big flier)
Now we are at 60 cards. There are a lot of things you had in the deck that are decent cards, but building decks is all about making tough choices. Even if you choose to build your deck differently than I propose, find the best 60 cards in your opinion and refuse to put in anything else unless you take something out.
To mention a couple notable exclusions from your original decklist:
- Magus of the Moat: I actually like this better than Teferi's Moat.
Now that I think about it, I would probably switch these out for Teferi's Moat 1 for 1 as you can get your hands on them.
- Reminisce: I don't think you're often going to run out of cards, but if you find that you do, I suppose this could come back in.
And a couple rares that would fit well if you can get them:
Sprite Noble - Pumping up all your fliers is a good thing.
Pride of the Clouds - This could quickly become the most important offensive card in your deck if you can get one. Make little fliers every turn and eventually throw out a big Pride for a massive attack.
Finally, I just thought about a new card called Lost Auramancers. Your deck features a lot of enchantments, and the Auramancers could help you tutor them up so you can get your lock going more quickly. If you get some of these, you might try dropping some of the card draw in favor of this specific tutoring.
I hope my comments and thoughts helped. I know I changed a lot, but I believe doing something similar to this will increase the dependability and consistency of your deck.
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