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Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
 Blue-Black deck that is utilizing Warped Devotion- 4.11.05

Hey all, and welcome back to the deck garage! Checking out the last couple of weeks, we’ve worked on two extended decks, so I think that means its time for another fun casual deck. Fortunately for you (and me, I guess), I was sent one just yesterday…


I was planning on working on a deck with unblockable creatures, and imprinting an echoing of truth onto a spellbinder to keep anything my opponent has off the board. While I was trading with a friend for some needed cards, I saw a warped devotion and a combo popped into my head. Thus my unblockable discard deck was made.
This deck is casual, but I haven't looked into what other types it may be playable in. Budget isn't of to much concern, as I am just trying to get more opinions on how to make it better and I'm sure I can get most cards suggested.

Phantom Warrior x4

Spellbinder x4
Star Compass x4
The Rack x4

Dark Ritual x4
Dibolic Tutor x4
Megrim x4
Warped Devotion x4
Boomerang x4
Echoing Truth x4

Island x8
Swamp x12



OK, getting rolling here, I think the first thing I would like to do is add another set of creatures. Since we’re clearing a path with a lot of bounce spells, I think a creature with fear might be able to get through on a fairly regular basis. Mono-black or heavy artifact decks might present a problem, but eh, that’s acceptable for a 1/3 creature for 1UB that comes with fear and draws you a card whenever he deals combat damage to a player.

+4 Shadowmage Infiltrator

To make room for this card, I think we can get rid of Star Compass. In this deck, the Compass really isn’t mana acceleration, since Max can cast any card in his deck with three mana anyways, so as long as he draws three land, he should be set. It doesn’t hurt that there is a full set of Dark Ritual in the deck.

-4 Star Compass
Next, I think it is OK to throw in a full set of Isochron Scepter over Spellbinder, since Spellbinder does cost a bit more, and there are only eight creatures to attach it to in this deck. Scepter, on the other hand, can be dropped fairly early, and it can help deal with immediate threats on early turns. It also doesn’t hurt that it might allow Max to win without seeing a creature.

-4 Spellbinder
+4 Isochron Scepter

Next on the list is Diabolic Tutor. I don’t quite know Max’s budget, but I’d like to stick in Demonic Tutor. Of course, everyone knows about this card’s power, so if that is deemed a bit too much in Max’s gaming circle, Vampiric Tutor is almost as good. The reasoning behind this change? They cost less mana. It also doesn’t hurt that if push comes to shove, Max can stick Vampiric Tutor on his Isochron Scepters.

-4 Diabolic Tutor
+4 Demonic Tutor / Vampiric Tutor

Next, I’m going to cut the Megrim down to two copies. I think it is good, but I also don’t like having to rely on Warped Devotion being on the board for it to be good. Also, since Max is playing four copies of some variety of Tutor as well as Shadowmage Infiltrator for card draw, Megrim shouldn’t be a problem to find when he needs it.

-2 Megrim

I’d really like to put in more of the following card, but I just can’t find room for two more Recoil. If it cost two mana instead of three, Boomerang would be gone in favor of this card. *SIGH* At any rate, Recoil fits the theme of both bounce and discard, all rolled up into one nice spell for 1UB. It doesn’t hurt to have Warped Devotion on the board when this card hits, either – I’ll bounce a permanent, you discard two.

+2 Recoil

Last thing I would like to do is put in Salt Marsh and Underground River. Both will help the mana base of this deck a lot, allowing Max to get the mana he needs when he needs it.

+4 Salt Marsh
+4 Underground River

Here’s where the deck stands now…

4 Phantom Warrior
4 Shadowmage Infiltrator

4 Boomerang
4 Dark Ritual
4 Demonic Tutor / Vampiric Tutor
4 Echoing Truth
4 Isochron Scepter
2 Megrim
4 The Rack
4 Warped Devotion

LANDS (20):
7 Island
4 Salt Marsh
5 Swamp
4 Underground River

Wow, looking over this week’s article, it looks like I came up a little bit short. I mean, I’m happy with the results of Max’s deck, but just over two pages in Microsoft Word? That’s not a lot!

I have been asked before how to figure out the land count in a deck, and since I have a little extra space this week, why don’t I show my method here?

First, we figure out how many land are in the deck. In Max’s case, it is a nice, round 20 lands.

Next, I deduct the number of non-basics that I wanted to throw in that produce both colors. In this case, four copies of Salt Marsh and four copies of Underground River are deducted, so we have 12 land – [20 – 4 – 4 = 12] – with which to play.

Next, I count up all the colored mana symbols on my cards in the deck. For example, four copies of Shadowmage Infiltrator (1UB) give me four blue and four black mana symbols. The total for this deck is 24 blue mana symbols and 18 black mana symbols. Keeping those in mind, we total them to get 42.

Next, we divide the blue mana symbols by the total number of symbols to get a percentage. [24 / 42 = 57%], so we can assume that the land needs to be 57% blue. I always double check myself by doing the same formula for the other mana symbols, in this case black. [18 / 42 = 43%], so that matches up with our earlier assessment, since the two totals give us 100%.

Now, we go back to the land count we have to play with – in this case, 12 – and make it 57% blue and 43% black. [12 * .57 = 6.84] and [12 * .43 = 5.16], so it is probably safe to go with 7 islands and 5 swamps, as shown above in Max’s decklist.

This isn’t the end-all, be-all for land counts, as sometimes you’ll need a bit more in one area or bit less in another, but it serves as a good starting place.

Now that I’ve hit the beginning of page 4, I think that y’all have probably heard enough from me this week.

Max, I hope that helped, and good luck!

I’ll see y’all next week.

-Paul Hagan

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