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Azusa Deck

11.15.04 

Hey all, and welcome to a late edition of the Magic Deck Garage. Sorry Iím a bit behind this week, but class caught up with me. Also, yíall bombarded me with e-mails this week, so if Iím a bit late in answering, donít worry too much Ė Iím just working my way through them slowly.

On to this weekís Garage!

The deck I got this week was from Greg, who has just recently decided to jump into Magic. His deck is based around something Iíd been eye-balling and hoping that someone would try out Ė the combination of Azusa, Lost But Seeking and the ton of wizards provided by Champions of Kamigawa that say something along the lines of, ďX, Return a land you control to its ownerís hand: Get a cool effect.Ē Hereís the e-mailÖ

Hey!

I'm kind of new to Magic (being a Pro Yu-Gi-Oh! player and a pro Duel Masters player, I got the concept pretty quick!). From seeing the Kamigawa cards, I thought of a comination of Azuma, Lost but Seeking and the Wizards that Blue got. Here's my deck, Mana Cycling!

16

x2 Azusa, Lost but Seeking

x3 Meloku, of the Clouded Mirror

x2 Uyo, Silent Prophet

x3 Viridian Shamen

x3 Keiga, the Tide Star

24

x4 Mana Leak

x4 Condescend

x4 Counsel of the Soratami <-- I prefer this over Thirst for Knowledge.

x3 Commune with Nature

x3 Rampant Growth

x3 Crystal Shard

x3 Echoing Truth

20

x1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge

x1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers

x1 Boseiju, that Shelters All

x9 Island

x8 Forest

I don't mind any changes as money is no problem. I'm playing in a Type 2 Environment, for local Friday Night Magic. I also need help constructing the sideboard for this kind of deck. If you think that the deck would do better with the Thirst for Knowledge, take them out by all means! Thanks!

The first thing I want to do is ditch Uyo, Silent Prophet. There arenít too many cards in the deck (Counsel of Soratami and Echoing Truth being exceptions) that I think warrant using it, and Uyo is pretty expensive.

-2 Uyo, Silent Prophet

In his place, Iíd like to sneak in Soratami Savant, who is somewhat like a walking Mana Leak. Iím not a huge fan of having to pay *three* mana to achieve its effect, but since Greg will have a large amount of mana open anyways, itís not too bad.

+3 Soratami Savant

Iím not sure Keiga, the Tide Star belongs in this deck en masse. Iím going to lower the count by one, just to make sure that it doesnít come up too often. Six mana is a lot, and when Greg is using that mana to ensure counter back-up and to abuse his wizards, it might be too much.

-1 Keiga, the Tide Star

With the amount of Affinity running all over the place, I wouldnít be too against running a fourth Viridian Shaman.

+1 Viridian Shaman

Finally, since Greg would like to abuse the abilities of the blue wizards and Azuma, Lost But Seeking, Iím going to up the Azuma count by one more (as opposed to two Ė she is a legend, after all).

+1 Azusa, Lost But Seeking

While we are discussing creatures, I think that we need to make a change regarding Rampant Growth. Sakura-Tribe Elder has a similar effect to Rampant Growth. In fact, the only difference is that when you sacrifice the Elder, the effect is instant speed as opposed to the sorcery. Later in the game, you might not want to see another fetch-a-land spell, but a 1/1 is acceptable. In short (too late), there isnít really a good reason to run Rampant Growth as long as Sakura-Tribe Elder is legal.

-3 Rampant Growth

+4 Sakura-Tribe Elder

Since Gregís creature count is a bit low, I donít think this is the right deck for Commune with Nature. I have nothing against the card (I actually think its really good!), I just donít believe this is where it belongs. Look for it to pop up in a slightly more aggressive deck in the near future.

-3 Commune with Nature

I noticed that Crystal Shard was hanging out in this deck, but Iím not quite sure why. Unlike other versions of UG, which run Eternal Witness, Viridian Shaman, Triskelion, and Solemn Simulacrum, Greg is only running three Viridian Shaman. All of the rest of his creatures donít have a ďcomes into playĒ ability, soÖ

-3 Crystal Shard

Greg expressed some concern with his card draw spell. I donít think that Counsel of Soratami or Thirst for Knowledge are really the right cards for the deck. Instead, why not try out Serum Visions. For a lowly blue mana, Greg can draw up a card and stack his deck for the win.

-4 Counsel of Soratami

+4 Serum Visions

Gregís deck looks like it is going to have a bit of an issue with early creatures. Anything large before turn three or four could very easily turn into an issue, so Iím going to up the count on Echoing Truth to four. Take that, Ravager!

+1 Echoing Truth

As the last change to the non-creature spells, Iím putting in two Rude Awakening. One of the decks Iím playing right now is a UG deck that abuses Awakening, and it is simply unfair sometimes. You can be completely losing the game, and then draw up Rude Awakening, tap eight mana, and win on the spot.

+2 Rude Awakening

With land, I donít think any of the legendary lands included really do that much, so Iím cutting them and turning the land into thirteen islands and ten forests.

As for sideboard options, as always, I recommend putting in a hefty amount of artifact-hate. Since Welding Jar is still out and about, Oxidize gets to make the cut.

+4 Oxidize

Who wants to wait for a threat to hit play, though? What happens if Gregís opponent plays Arcbound Ravager and he already has a Disciple of the Vault in play?

+3 Annul

The sideboard would be the place for Boseiju, Who Shelters All. Control match-ups are out there, but you donít want too many of these. I wouldnít be surprised if control decks start running this land just to destroy their opponentís copy.

+2 Boseiju, Who Shelters All

Iíve snuck in another copy of Rude Awakening in the sideboard, if only for the fact that there are some games that Greg will have to rely on this card for the win.

+1 Rude Awakening

Tooth and Nail is still out-and-about in Type II, so an old classic is getting its number called to stare down guys like Darksteel Colossus Ė Bribery! Who needs to wait for their opponent to trick him into play?

+2 Bribery

Finally, in case Greg runs into a case of Stupid Red Burn, Iíve thrown in three Troll Ascetic.

+3 Troll Ascetic

With what, weíve wrapped up work on Gregís deck. Letís see how it came outÖ

CREATURES (19):

3 Azusa, Lost but Seeking

2 Keiga, the Tide Star

3 Meloku, of the Clouded Mirror

4 Sakura-Tribe Elder

3 Soratami Savant

4 Viridian Shamen

NON-CREATURE SPELLS (18):

4 Condescend

4 Echoing Truth

4 Mana Leak

2 Rude Awakening

4 Serum Visions

LAND (23):

13 Island

10 Forest

SIDEBOARD (15):

3 Annul

2 Boseiju, Who Shelters All

2 Bribery

4 Oxidize

1 Rude Awakening

3 Troll Ascetic

Hope that helps, Greg, and good luck!

Iíll see yíall next week.

-Paul Hagan

 


 

 

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