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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
"Donations Support a Good Cause"
October 14, 2010
Today's deck is one I think everyone has attempted at one
point or another-- a deck dedicated to taking control
of opponents' cards. Red and Blue have each had enough tools
to do so that the temptation of defeating an opponent with
his own weapons is undeniable for the more adventurous of
deck builders out there.
When I was searching for some inspiration for another deck
of mine I stumbled upon your website. I play magic for a
long time now, but after a break for years I'm finally back
and have some nice ideas for decks. Now I have this Donation
deck which is a lot of fun to play. The only problem is that
the balance somehow doesn't feel right and I'm out of ideas.
Here's the deck list:
3x Izzet Signet
4x Jinxed Idol
4x Bronze Bombshell
4x Bazaar Trader
3x Dominus of Fealty
3x Illusions of Grandeur
4x Shivan Reef
1x Mystical Tutor
4x Rune Snag
3x Act of Treason
3x Mark of Mutiny
The deck idea is pretty funny. I saw some decks like this
before but most of them were based around take over and not
donating stuff. This is kind of a hybrid. I take over
creatures and donate them to myself with bazaar. Then I give
my opponent (friendly as I am) Illusions of the grandeur,
bombshell and/or an idol. The fun thing about the idol is
that I can sacrifice his own creatures to give it to him, or
simply just give it with bazaar trader.
I used to have Lightning Bolt in there in stead of boomerang
to make sure I could make it through the first couple of
turns without losing to much life against an aggro deck for
instance. But Boomerang seems to fit a bit better I think.
Also for protection against things like Sword of Fire and
Ice, which is a problematic card for me to play against. And
of course to shoot Illusions of the Grandeur out of the game
once it's at the other side. It's a pretty slow deck, though
I think that's okay for a control like deck like this one.
The problem I have lies in the balance I believe. Somehow
when I play it doesn't seem to feel right. It seems it could
be a much better deck than this. Maybe it lies in the number
I have of each of the cards. Maybe there should be less of
some cards and more of others? Or maybe I missed a card in
magic that would fit in perfectly? Maybe it is just a really
tough concept that will never run smoothly but you know
Johnny's, we just have to try don't we ? :)
I hope I gave you enough info to work with. Thanks in
advance for taking a look at this deck.
David van Egmond
Well, David, most players just try and steal their
opponents' cards. This is the first I've seen that had the
dual purpose of giving your opponent
harmful permanents and taking theirs. It's possible that
this duality of purpose is the source of your problems. The
cards you donate to your opponent combo with the cards that
donate them, while the cards that gain control of your
opponents' cards don't. Meaning Bronze Bombshell, Jinxed
Idol, and Illusions of Grandeur are dead draws until you
draw Bazaar Trader or Donate, and Donate is a dead draw
without one of those three. Bazaar Trader is less
restricted, in that it can be useful with an Act of Treason
or Mark of Mutiny, and it can swing for 1 if needed. Even
so, a 1/1 isn't hard for an opponent to kill, and if it dies
How to solve that problem? Well, one way is to make sure you
have ways of making your one-sided trades that only involve
a single card. My personal favorite are the blue Auras that
say "you control enchanted permanent". Confiscate,
Commandeer, Take Possesion. Scars of Mirrodin just gave us a
new one in the form of Volition Reins, though the
triple-blue requirement there might be tricky. They also
allow you to steal any type of permanent on the board,
including planeswalkers, where your current build can't
really steal anything but creatures.
After that, all there is left to steal is instants and
sorceries. That one might be trickier, but still doable. If
you can't outright gain control of them, you can still copy
them with Twincast or Reverberate, or change their targets
with Redirect or Swerve. If you get to choose the target of
a spell, you may as well be the controller.
But of course, this is in essence a combo deck, and thus it
benefits from the same thing every combo deck benefits
from-- reliable ways to draw extra cards and dig through the
deck for combo pieces. For that task, I'd recommend Foresee.
A bit costly at four mana, but it gets you six cards deep
into your deck-- deeper than any card in recent memory.
Finally, I'd suggest replacing Boomerang with Disperse. You
lose the ability to bounce lands, but it's pretty clear
that's not what you want it for anyway. And in a two-color
deck, hitting 1U is much easier than UU in the early game.
Disperse/Boomerang also works well with those blue Auras I
mentioned-- bounce your Aura when they play something that's
better than what you've got under your Aura, then replay the
Aura and steal the better thing.