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Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Test of Endurance Casual Deck
Hey all, and welcome back
to the deck garage. Normally, something I like to harp on is
that life-gain doesn’t win you games. Something people tend
to forget is that you don’t win the game by gaining life,
you win when your opponent runs out of life; however, this
statement isn’t always true. Today’s e-mail and accompanying
deck illustrate this…
Hey, I've been playing casually for
a few years and now i am thinking about tournement play. The
underlying combo of the deck is illusions of granduer and
test of endurance, with blue counter and white life gain and
4 x Tundra
4 x Adarkar Wastes
4 x Flooded Strand
4 x Plains
4 x Island
4 x Force of Will
1 x Daze
1 x Gush
2 x Impulse
1 x Mystical Tutor
2 x Illusions of Grandeur
2 x Donate
2 x Show and Tell
2 x Confiscate
4 x Life Burst
2 x Reverse Damage
2 x Swords to Plowshares
2 x Orim's Chant
2 x Replenish
2 x Test of Endurance
1 x Renounce
1 x Enlightened Tutor
2 x Academy Rector
1 x Meddling Mage
2 x Isochron Scepter
2 x Despotic Scepter
Havent thought of a side board yet
Comments and suggestions much appreciated
Correction: life-gain *can* help you win the game as long as
Test of Endurance is involved.
The first thing I’d like to do to help Frank’s deck along is
to dump a couple of cards that don’t quite fit the theme of
this deck *or* aren’t high enough quality to make the cut.
This means Confiscate, Show and Tell, Reverse Damage,
Renounce, and Despotic Scepter.
-2 Despotic Scepter
-2 Reverse Damage
-2 Show and Tell
The next thing I want to do is to go through and up the
count on what I consider to be really key cards. Impulse
allows Frank to search deep into his deck, so why not play
Swords to Plowshares can help take care of immediate
threats, especially those early-game beasts that are
difficult to deal with, such as River Boa.
+2 Swords to Plowshares
I also want to include four copies of Isochron Scepter. Life
Burst, Orim’s Chant, Impulse, Swords to Plowshares, and
Enlightened Tutor *all* fit on Scepter, meaning it will
almost always be good when Frank draws it up.
+2 Isochron Scepter
Now for a bit of housekeeping. Daze is an OK card, but I
don’t really see room for it in this deck. Out it goes.
The same can be said for Gush. With only four Islands and
four Tundra in the deck, I’m not entirely sure of the wisdom
of returning lands to the hand.
Mystical Tutor is, much like the above, an OK card that
doesn’t really need to be hanging out. We have a limited
amount of room, and I would much rather play an extra copy
or three of Enlightened Tutor -- especially with the
increased number of Isochron Scepter in the deck.
-1 Mystical Tutor
+3 Enlightened Tutor
OK, so our goal is to gain as much life as possible in as
short amount of time as possible. What will be the biggest
detriment to gaining life? Yes, kids, it would be losing
life. What will be the cause of a lot of lost life?
Opponents’ spells and creatures, yes, that is correct. This
means that I do want to increase the number of Orim’s Chant
in the deck to four. And yes, this does have something to do
with Isochron Scepter being in the deck.
+2 Orim’s Chant
Since there are only two real ways to win in this deck -- by
gaining fifty life and scoring a Test of Endurance *or*
Donate-ing an Illusions of Grandeur and watching the victim
struggle -- I want to up the count on Test of Endurance to
three. The amount of searching cards in this deck should be
enough to support just two, but I would prefer to err on the
side of too many than too few.
+1 Test of Endurance
The last change I want to make to this deck is to increase
the number of lands. Frank cannot afford to miss out on
land-drops, especially since he has to attempt to hold off
his opponent’s forces while gaining as much life as
possible. Out go Meddling Mage (too many cards in casual
environments to be effective) and Academy Rector (we have
enough search), and in go three copies of Coastal Tower.
-2 Academy Rector
-1 Meddling Mage
+3 Coastal Tower
Here is the finished product…
NON-CREATURE SPELLS (37):
4 Enlightened Tutor
4 Force of Will
2 Illusions of Grandeur
4 Isochron Scepter
4 Life Burst
4 Orim’s Chant
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Test of Endurance
4 Adarkar Wastes
3 Coastal Tower
4 Flooded Strand
I hope that helps, Frank, and good luck!
See y’all next week.