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Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage

R/B Ninjutsu


Ugh. After just one week back at the Deck Garage and I manage to miss an article. I’d like to blame any variety of things outside of my control, but it was simply poor time management with class assignments that caused the delay. I promise it won’t happen again. Really.

No matter the reason for my absence, I’m back and ready to start helping contributors. Let’s check out this week’s e-mail:

Good Day-

I have only just recently picked up Magic after about
a ten year hiatus; the last booster I purchased before
two months ago was Fallen Empires.

I've been in a couple of leagues for the purposes of
practicing and catching up, but they're over soon so I
figured I'd give a go at making a workable deck out of
some of my favorite new cards:

Nezumi Shortfang (brings back fond memories of The
Death of a Thousand Stings

I'm not sure if I should go Kamigawa Block what with
the new expansion due out soon, but I know so little
about Standard that it would be foolish for me to give
that a go. Any input on that particular subject would
be greatly appreciated.

Here's what I have so far. I know it's quite
creature-heavy. Thank you in advance for your help.

Creatures (28)

4 Glitterfang
4 Kami of the Waning Moon
4 Kami of Fire's Roar
4 Kuro's Taken
4 Throat Slitter
3 Nezumi Shortfang
3 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
2 Yuki-Onna

Spells (8)

4 Glacial Ray
2 Death of a Thousand Stings
2 Shuriken

Land (24)

16 Swamp
8 Mountain

The main focus of the deck is to stall for a little
while, not doing much other than taking a few swipes
with the Glitterfang and dropping some regenerating
rats for defense. Once my two Kamis are out I'll
hopefully be sending an unblockable stream of
Glitterfangs as ninja conduits. The Shinobi and the
Shortfang will eat into hands so I can slowly finish
off my opponent with Stinging Deaths and Stabwhisker.

Thank you in advance for any help.

First, I’d like to push this deck towards a Standard-legal build since, as stated in the e-mail, Ravnica is hitting shelves soon. I’ll keep the advice in this column solely on cards from 9th Edition and Kamigawa Block, as I don’t have a good enough grasp of the cards coming out in Ravnica to give decent advice with them yet.

Second, the focus I will be taking is pulling some of the lesser creatures in the deck in favor of some better creatures and removal. I see that the purpose of the deck is to stall for a unique win featuring Glitterfang, Nezumi Shortfang, and Death of a Thousand Stings.

Third, as per request, I’ll be leaving Glitterfang, Nezumi Shortfang, and Death of a Thousand Stings alone. However, I would like to voice my dislike for both Glitterfang and Death of a Thousand Stings.

Glitterfang’s drawback is unjustified, and I think it would be a much better option if it were Goblin Balloon Brigade, Frostling, Godo’s Irregulars, Mogg Sentry, or Raging Goblin, all of whom cost one red mana, are Standard legal, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

I’m not really seeing another, greater option than Death of a Thousand Stings that does something similar. The closest I could find would be Devouring Greed, which could finish the game much faster than Death of a Thousand Stings.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…

The first thing I would like to do to the deck is cut Shuriken and Yuki-Onna to add in a more consistent form of removal. Since we have a few cards that work off of Spirit or Arcane cards in the deck, let’s go with Rend Flesh as the removal card of choice.

-2 Shuriken
-2 Yuki-Onna
+4 Rend Flesh

The next thing I would like to do is cut down on Kami of Fire’s Roar. I absolutely hate seeing a small creature with a large cost, especially if its ability doesn’t quite do enough to justify it. This is one of those cases. I’m taking it down by two.

-2 Kami of Fire’s Roar

It seems like this deck would do best if it were focused on setting up its win conditions as early as possible. Don’t worry about fending off whatever your opponent is doing; let your removal handle the problems and set up your own win. Two mana is a fair amount to dedicate each turn to stop your opponent, especially if the creature doing so doesn’t really help you out that much.

-4 Kuro’s Taken

However, I can see where a regenerator would be helpful. Why don’t you go with a slightly smaller, though less aggressive, creature with a similar ability, but that has an evasion ability attached to it. It doesn’t hurt that Will-o’-the-Wisp got upgraded to being a Creature – Spirit.

+4 Will-o’-the-Wisp

As this deck seems to have its focus around forcing an opponent to discard and reaping benefits because of it, Nezumi Shortfang really should be a full set. It will be the most useful of the discard cards in the deck. To make a bit of room, I’d like to cut down on Okiba-Gang Shinobi by one.

-1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
+1 Nezumi Shortfang

The last creature that I would like to add is Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni. He can serve as a great finisher to a game, especially if a lot of creatures have hit your opponent’s graveyard throughout the course of the game.

+2 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

As a last addition to the deck, I’d like to swap around the land and add in a full set of Sulfurous Springs. It’ll help ease out the mana.

-4 AnyLand
+4 Sulfurous Springs

That wraps up all the work on this week’s deck; here’s how it came out…

4 Glitterfang
2 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
4 Kami of the Waning Moon
2 Kami of Fire's Roar
4 Nezumi Shortfang
2 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
4 Throat Slitter
4 Will-o’-the-Wisp

2 Death of a Thousand Stings
4 Glacial Ray
4 Rend Flesh

LANDS (24):
4 Mountain
4 Sulfurous Springs
16 Swamp

Hope that helps, and I’ll see y’all next week. Really, I promise.

-Paul Hagan


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