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Space for Rent!

Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Black/Green Kamigawa-block

7.13.05

Hey all, and welcome back to another edition of the Deck Garage.  I’ve noticed that we’ve been stuck in a bit of a rut here recently, doing Type II or casual decks only it seems, so this week I’ve plucked a Champions of Kamigawa Block deck out of my inbox for fixin’.  Here’s the e-mail I received…

 

 

Hi,

   My name is Jeffrey, and I am a casual Magic player looking to get into Magic Online.  This is a Black/Green Kamigawa-block deck I've designed for this purpose, though it can also be used in Standard.  The main idea is to simply beat down with an army of Spirits, supplemented by abilities such as that of Wicked Akuba, etc., with Devouring Greed as a possible finisher.  The deck also has minor Spiritcraft and Soulshift themes.  Anyway, here's the list:

 

Land (20)

   12 Swamp

   8 Forest

 

Creatures (21)

   3 Sakura-Tribe Elder

   4 Traproot Kami

   4 Wicked Akuba

   4 Thief of Hope

   2 Kami of the Tended Garden*

   2 Razorjaw Oni*

   2 Briarknit Kami

 

Spells (19)

   3 Kodama's Reach

   4 Devouring Greed

   4 Unchecked Growth

   4 Rend Flesh

   2 Long-Forgotten Gohei

   2 Ronin Warclub

 

Sideboard (15)

   3 Manriki-Gusari

   4 Rend Spirit

   4 Death Denied

   4 Wear Away

 

   *I couldn't decide between Kami of the Tended Garden and Razorjaw Oni, so I settled for 2 copies of each.  However, I did note that Razorjaw Oni's "Black creatures can't block" text doesn't specify my own creatures, so that would mean my opponent's black creatures can't block either.

   This is a budget deck, so no expensive (e.g. $5+ per copy) rares please. Thanks in advance.

 

 

I always like it whenever someone sends in a restriction on rares, as it usually spawns a few new ideas as opposed to the older methods that everyone knows (i.e., “Put in Umezawa’s Jitte”, etc.).  Looking over Jeffrey’s deck, I don’t think he needs a *ton* of work done, as I’m pretty happy with the card counts and many of the card choices.

 

The first thing I want to add is a fourth copy of Sakura-Tribe Elder.  No matter what green deck, it usually pays to play a full set of these.  They really are that good.

 

+1 Sakura-Tribe Elder

 

Since this looks like a rush deck, I think Jeffrey should probably go with as much offense as he can muster.  Traproot Kami really doesn’t fit the bill, as the only thing it really does is provide Jeffrey with a blocker, so it has to go.

 

-4 Traproot Kami

 

I’m a bit of a fan of both Kami of the Tended Garden and Razorjaw Oni, so I find myself in the same dilemma as Jeffrey – which of these do you play?  Going further down the list of creatures, I then saw Briarknit Kami, of whom I am not a big fan.  Why not change Briarknit Kami into an additional copy of Kami of the Tended Garden and Razorjaw Oni?

 

-2 Briarknit Kami

+1 Kami of the Tended Garden

+1 Razorjaw Oni

 

Once we cut Briarknit Kami, I can see a bit of theme developing – low casting cost creatures that are either (A) large or (B) deal extra damage, paired with removal spells to clear a path for them.  Let’s aim to make that the central focus of the deck.

 

While we’re talking about large amounts of mana, I feel we need to discuss Ronin Warclub.  It does have a special way to equip it to a creature, but +2/+1 isn’t that stellar, and it certainly isn’t worth playing if you have to pay *five mana* to equip it to a creature in an emergency.  I think it is just too restrictive to see play here.

 

-2 Ronin Warclub

 

Knowing that we aren’t going to be going over four mana for any spell, I think it is safe to cut Kodama’s Reach from the deck, especially with Sakura-Tribe Elder hanging out.

 

-3 Kodama’s Reach

 

I’m not quite sure that we need a full set of Devouring Greed – I can only see at most two of those being cast during the course of a game.  Why don’t we go down to three to clear up some room?

 

-1 Devouring Greed

 

Earlier, I mentioned that we should use some removal to clear a path for Jeffrey’s smaller creatures.  I’m stuck choosing between Hideous Laughter and Sickening Shoal, and I think I’m going to go with two copies of the Laughter and three of the Shoal.  Hideous Laughter could be a double-edged sword with this deck, as it kills just as many of Jeffrey’s creatures as it will his opponent’s, but it can be useful for letting his bigger guys through.  Sickening Shoal, on the other hand, is just all-around good spot removal.

 

+2 Hideous Laughter

+3 Sickening Shoal

 

With that change, we have four slots left, and I think Jeffrey could probably use a few more creatures.  Honestly, almost anything could fill these slots as long as it goes with our theme for creatures, which is extra damage / oversized.  I’m going to go with Kami of the Hunt, but by no means take this as the best card to fit the slot.

 

+4 Kami of the Hunt

 

I think that wraps up work on this week’s deck.  Here’s the final list…

 

 

CREATURES (22):

4 Kami of the Hunt

3 Kami of the Tended Garden

3 Razorjaw Oni

4 Sakura-Tribe Elder

4 Thief of Hope

4 Wicked Akuba

 

SPELLS (18):

3 Devouring Greed

2 Hideous Laughter

2 Long-Forgotten Gohei

4 Rend Flesh

3 Sickening Shoal

4 Unchecked Growth

 

LANDS (20):

12 Swamp

8 Forest

 

SIDEBOARD (15):

4 Death Denied

3 Manriki-Gusari

4 Rend Spirit

4 Wear Away

 
-Paul Hagan
 

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