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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
"Decimator Web Deck"
June 9, 2011

Whenever a new set comes out, there's always a few cards that call out for a use to be found for them, but they're just too esoteric (or let's face it, not powerful enough) to see any serious use.

And that's why I love my job here at Pojo-- for every set, there's someone out there who adopts one of those cards, builds a deck out of it, and shows it to me.



Ever since I saw the card Decimator Web, I'll admit I was intrigued by it's combination of being a "triple" win condition of sorts while simultaneously being utter junk. So I decided to take on the challenge of building a deck around it. Of course, for a deck to be truly built around Decimator Web, then the Web must be the only win condition, at least in my twisted mind. Decimator Web and it's ability are both moderately pricey at 4 mana, and it involves tapping the Web. So 8 mana to play and tap, then 4 each turn thereafter, making a 10- turn kill, depending on how big their library is and how many cards they've already drawn at that point. To fully exploit this I'd need untap-style effects and lots of mana. I knew I didn't want any creatures. Creatures are win conditions. I was fine with that, I don't mind not smashing with creatures. But creatures also serve valid defense purposes. So I would need ways to defend myself against oncoming creature onslaughts. Finally, I decided that I wanted nearly every card in the deck to be an artifact, and that everything should be connected in a synergistic way, like a factory. Here is my decklist.

Killing Factory

Lands 22

4x Vesuva < Copies locuses

4x Cloudpost <Produces heavy amounts of finite mana

4x Glimmerpost <Yay a new locus

4x Seat of the Synod <Produces blue and can be sacced to throne of geth

4x Tolaria West <Another locus in a pinch

4x Island <lets you transmute tolaria west


Artifacts 38

3x Throne of Geth <gets rid of ichor wellspring and proliferates your counters

4x Ichor Wellspring <card draw and an easy choice to sac to throne of geth

4x Decimator Web <win con

4x Lux Cannon <removal, better with the proliferate support cards

2x Spine of Ish Sah <removal, works well with throne of geth

4x Everflowing Chalice <mana, better with the proliferate support cards

3x Rings of Brighthearth <doubles up on activated abilities, which there are a ton of

4x Contagion Clasp <removal and proliferate

2x Contagion Engine <mass removal and proliferate

3x Voltaic Key <more activations of artifacts, lots of good choices

3x Prototype Portal <crazy both with voltaic key untapping it, and with voltaic key imprinted on it

Spells 3
3x All is Dust <colorless mass removal that overlooks my Killing Factory. Not an artifact, but seemed too good to not use.

Anyway, I'm really open to suggestions here, not sure how well it will work without more defense.



Decimator Web is a cute card, and it does tantalize with the promise of making a player lose the game along simultaneous axes, some or all of which he won't be prepared to defend himself on. Sure, he can have all the life gain he wants, but it won't save him from the milling, and having an Eldrazi Titan in his deck to keep shuffling his graveyard back in won't deal with the poison counters. But Decimator Web holds a dark secret hidden in its numbers.

You see, the idea is that every activation takes away one tenth of your opponent's starting totals in three different areas-- poison counters, life total, and library content. Fair enough. But here's the problem-- a player draws seven cards for their opening hand, and one more each turn. So your opponent's library is already depleted by more than one tenth by the time you can start Decimating him. On the one hand, this is good news because it means that Decimator Web can end a game in your favor sooner than the ten turn timeline it seems to project. On the other hand, this is bad news because that starry-eyed moment of finding an opponent at zero life, ten poison counters, and a freshly emptied library just won't happen. Most times, Decimator Web is just going to mill a player to death. Greg's many proliferate cards means he might get his Web to deliver the tenth poison counter as well sometimes. But barely anyone will ever lose because Greg's Web brought them from 2 to 0 life.

But that's not my concern. My concern is to make sure Greg's opponent lose, by whatever vector possible. Greg specifically mentioned he didn't want creatures, since he wanted Decimator Web to deliver the killing blow. Which means that Greg's decks is effectively like an old-school control deck-- only one playset of cards that actually win the game. Trouble is, those decks devoted all their other slots to control-- counterspells, card draw, and bounce. Greg's other slots are devoted to more artifacts. He has All is Dust, the Contagion twins, Spine of Ish Sah, and Lux Cannon to keep his opponent from winning before Greg does, but he really needs those Everflowing Chalices to find the mana to activate all those abilities. Throne of Geth means he can proliferate poison counters and charge counters on the Chalices and Cannons, but where to find the artifacts to sacrifice? That's why he also needs Ichor Wellspring, in addition to the fact that this deck is dead in the water if it doesn't draw the Web, so anything that draws extra cards has a place here. That means Voltaic Key, Prototype Portal, and Rings of Brighthearth are the best candidates for pulling cards out.

Speaking of Rings of Brighthearth, I noticed that it and most of your lands are the only things in this deck that aren't Standard-legal. I'm guessing that Greg doesn't play Standard, and thus doesn't really care about Standard-legality. But if the opportunity to play in a Standard tournament arises, then I think Greg should jump on it, and so I'll keep track of what is and isn't Standard-legal as I fix the deck. That way, Greg can just swap out his Locus scheme for basic lands and be on his way-- the loss of Cloudpost et al. will surely be counterbalanced by the fact that basic lands don't enter play tapped.

The first card I think Greg would really benefit from is Fabricate (not in Standard). True, Fabricate isn't an artifact itself, but it searches for an artifactand has no function at all outside of an artifact-based deck, so it'll never really let you forget that it belongs in a deck with artifacts. And getting that Decimator Web out of your deck and onto the field is crucial. Tezzeret's Gambit would make a good Standard alternative-- it draws cards and it proliferates. And yes, it's not an artifact either, but the Phyrexian mana and that silver border should help it fit right in.

Greg seems to like what Voltaic Key does for the deck. If he removed it, then I'd recommend adding Unwinding Clock (in Standard) in its place. Unwinding Clock is a Seedborn Muse for artifacts, and in a deck like this, it's far more powerful. Greg will likely want to tap multiple artifacts each turn, which is likely why he likes the Key so much. The Clock will untap all his artifacts with no continuous mana investment... once for each opponent's turn. And unlike the Key, multiples won't have any further benefit. You may not want a full playset of Unwinding Clock, and it may not completely replace Voltaic Key either, but it's a card that deserves a consideration.

Next, let's talk about the other thing this deck absolutely has to do-- get to four mana. Decimator Web costs four to cast and four to activate. The Contagion Twins each cost four to activate. Lux Cannon and Prototype Portal (and Unwinding Clock) both cost four to cast. And there's a good chance the artifact you imprint on the Portal will cost four mana, meaning you'll have to pay four to copy it! Everflowing Chalice kicked once will help you get there in the best way possible-- a turn early. But you may be tempted to hold your Chalices until you can kick them more times. DON'T. You need to get to four mana too badly to hold off casting your mana rocks until you've already got there. And you've got enough repeatable proliferate that as long as you can get it down with one counter, you can end up with a Chalice that taps for four mana or more all on its lonesome fairly easily.

What other mana-producing artifacts can you add? The ideal choice would be something that costs two mana itself and taps for one, so you can have four mana on turn three. Sadly, the only cards in Standard that fit that description are a once-kicked Chalice, Sphere of the Suns, and Myr. Greg specifically said no creatures, so that means no Myr. And he probably doesn't care about Standard, so he can use Mind Stone, Fellwar Stone, Prismatic Lens, and whatever else he can find in the annals of Magic that are better than Sphere of the Suns. But I'm going to propose another Standard-legal mana rock-- Pristine Talisman. It costs three, so it won't get you to four mana any faster. But it will get you there, because the three mana you tapped to cast it plus the Talisman itself means you don't have you keep making land drops every turn once you've cast the Talisman-- and with 22 lands in the deck, you might not. Additionally, the Talisman is a source of life gain, which means it'll help Greg survive his opponent's onslaught until his Lux Cannons, Contagion Clasps, and All is Dusts can get them off his back.

Isolation Cell (in Standard) is another good way to ease up on the creature assault. If your opponent pays the extra two for each creature, his ability to cast spells that threaten you will be severely throttled. And if he pays the two life, then Decimator Web might just bring him to zero life before milling or poisoning him after all.

Finally, Surge Node is a card to consider as a source of extra charge counters for the Cannon and Chalice. Having an extra permanent on the field with counters on it will be beneficial when you proliferate too, since it means the Surge Node doesn't have to worry about running out of counters. Proliferation is more advantageous with each permanent you have counters on, and even if you haven't yet seen a Chalice or Cannon, proliferating a Surge Node will come in handy one you draw one and can start dumping counters off of it, particularly with your Voltaic Keys.

Fixing this one was a challenge, Greg. You already had this deck tuned up like clockwork, there was barely any room for me to add another gear. Here's hoping you'll consider my advice though,or that someone else will read this and be inspired themselves.

Good luck!



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