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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Decklist Found in a Bottle
February 18, 2010

Hi BMoor,

I've been reading through your Deck Garage lately, and I've also been trying to build a fun deck that revolves around the new Worldwake card, Quest for Ula's Temple. Unfortunately, my friends all prefer to play Type 2, so I can't use Grozroth (who seems like a perfect fit in this deck). However, I can use other Standard-legal powerhouses such as Inkwell Leviathan and Wrexial, the Risen Deep. I was wondering if you could help my deck out, and maybe help out with a few tough choices I can't decide on. Without further ado, here's the deck list and explanations:

11x Island

4x Drowned Catacomb
4x Jwar Isle Refuge/Creeping Tar Pit
4x Halimar Depths

I'm not sure whether I should use Jwar Isle Refuge for the extra life or Creeping Tar Pit for access to a 3/2 unblockable creature. I decided not to put any Swamps in because the only cards which need black mana are Nemesis of Reason and Wrexial, both of which I doubt I'll be hardcasting much. Halimar Depths provides some handy, and uncounterable, topdeck management for when I have Quest for Ula's Temple on the battlefield.

4x Nemesis of Reason
4x Inkwell Leviathan
3x Wrexial, the Risen Deep
4x Kraken Hatchling

I feel like these four "Horrors From The Deep" are the best creatures in my particular deck. Kraken Hatchling, although not necessarily a "horror" for my opponent, is cheap and provides an early defense against creatures. Nemesis of Reason and Wrexial provide a nice little synergy together, with Nemesis milling possible instants and sorceries for Wrexial to use. Inkwell Leviathan is, quite simply, a game winner. With Spreading Seas, Inkwell Leviathan usually puts my opponent on a three turn clock, but is still very devastating even without Spreading Seas thanks to its Trample and Shroud.

4x Quest for Ula's Temple
3x Jace, The Mind Sculptor
4x Ponder
4x Negate
4x Essence Scatter
3x Spreading Seas

Quest for Ula's Temple is obviously the centrepiece to this deck. Jace is there to help with topdeck management, usually with his pseudo-Brainstorm ability (which can also put any creatures I've already drawn back on the top of my deck for more quest counters). Ponder is in the deck for similar reasons. Negate and Essence Scatter provide board control, biding me more time to get quest counters. Spreading Seas messes up my opponent's mana, gives me a free card, AND makes my Inkwell Leviathans/Wrexial unblockable.

Anyways, this deck is ridiculously fun to use, and when it works, it decimates everything in its path. However, the biggest problem I've been having with it is consistency. Is there any way you could fine tune some of the cards? Should I use Jwar Isle Refuge or Creeping Tar Pit? Should I stick with Kraken Hatchling, or are there better cheap creatures I could use for earlygame defense? On that note, should I stick with Nemesis of Reason/Wrexial, or should I use other deepsea creatures like Lorthos, The Tidemaker/Kederekt Leviathan? Are Negate/Essence Scatter and my other Non-Creature spells the best choices for supporting my deck's main goal, or are there other cards that perform their job better? I realize I just asked a lot of questions, and I understand if you can't answer them all, but any advice you can give me is much appreciated :)

Thanks in advance,



Quest for Ula's Temple is one of those cards that, even if you don't think it's any good, it just puts a smile on your face. It's flavorful, it lets you pound down with the biggest, baddest, bluest creatures in Magic (more amusing since Blue doesn't usually do big nasty creatures), and it has that brass ring of being able to plunk down a free creature at the end of every turn just taunting you to try and break it. And remember, it triggers EVERY turn, not just at the end of your turn. You could drop down a big blocker at your end step, then drop another one down at your opponent's end step to swing with. 

First, the Jwar Isle/Tar Pit issue. A point of life could be useful, but anyone who's played with Genju of the Falls will tell you that the Tar Pits are the much better play. I also want you to take out Halimar Depths and replace it with Islands, since you're going way heavy on lands that enter the battlefield tapped. Also for another reason I'll explain in a moment. 

You see, to maximize the Quest for Ula's Temple, you need plenty of creatures in your deck. I'm concerned that your deck's creature percentage isn't quite high enough. To remedy that, I want you to take out Essence Scatter. When you've got Inkwell Leviathan, Wrexial, and Nemesis of Reason, you aren't really afraid of any of your opponent's creatures. It's their kill spells you want to be able to counter, and since Shriekmaw and Nekrataal aren't Standard-legal, Negate should cover you just fine. In those extra slots, I want you to put in Serpent of the Endless Sea. Since you already plan to Spread your Seas over to the other guy's side of the table, the Endless's drawback is not really an issue, and it gets bigger with every Island. 

But if you feel that Halimar Depths is important enough for you to keep in your decklist, then instead replace Essence Scatter with Lorthos, the Tidemaker. He's not really that much more useful than the Endless Sea, but his size isn't tied to your lands, and if you get to eight mana and have nothing to spend it on, you could make a very suitable alpha strike with it. 

Usually this is the part of the article where I rattle off a bunch of other suggestions that might be neat, to give you a smörgåsbord of options, but sadly, your deck wants to be creature-heavy, specifically heavy with Serpents, Krakens, Leviathans, and Octopi, and there just aren't enough in Standard to add any more. Lorthos and Serpent of the Endless Sea were basically the best ones you're not already running. After that maybe Shoal Serpent, which is just a 5/5 that becomes a Wall when you stop drawing lands, and Steelclad Serpent is just too bad for me to recommend with a straight face. So I guess this article is wrapping up early. 

Good luck, Geoff! And to everyone else out there, remember: if you have a deck in need of a once-over, a comment or question about my articles, or just want to tell me you got the Edgar Allen Poe reference in this article's title, send it to bmoor@pojo.com, and you might end up in the operating theater for the rest of my audience to learn from! 



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