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Insert Dragon Here - Part 1: Darigaaz

Of all the challenges involved with deck building, there is one that sticks out in my mind as the most difficult. You can have the perfect creatures backed by the perfect spells, or the perfect spells complemented by the right finisher but there will be one force that acts as the great equalizer.


For many three, four, and five color decks the land count is the most difficult to find. You must carefully balance ratios and drawbacks. Some times it's enough to make you rip your hair out. So what happens when you have a three-color deck and none of the colors allows you to manipulate your library very well? We are about to find out.

Please help me with this Darigaaz deck I'm working. It's my first try at putting together a 3-color deck, and I could use a few pointers.

1x Darigaaz's Attendant
1x Darigaaz, the Igniter
2x Lava Zombie
1x Bog Initiate
1x Nightscape Familiar
4x Ravenous Rats
1x Trench Wurm
1x Caldera Kavu
1x Kavu Recluse
2x Thunderscape Apprentice
2x Thunderscape Familiar
1x Rooting Kavu
1x Thornscape Apprentice


1x Fires of Yavimaya
1x Frenzied Tilling
1x Simoon
1x Breath of Darigaaz
1x Ghitu Fire
1x Implode
2x Savage Offensive
2x Scorching Lava
1x Zap
1x Agonizing Demise
1x Annihilate
1x Death Bomb
2x Recover
1x Soul Burn
2x Whip Silk

4x Forest
8x Swamp
1xDarigaaz's Caldera
1x Geothermal Crevice
1x Shivan Oasis
1x Urborg Volcano

2x Cremate
1x Twilight's Call
2x Singe
1x Thunderscape Battlemage
2x Overload
1x Hull Breach
2x Wallop
1x Phyrexian Slayer
1x Phyrexian Reaper
1x Troll-Horn Cameo
1x Bloodstone Cameo

Thanks, Steve Gilder 


Looking at the deck, I'm assuming that it's supposed to be Invasion Block Constructed, so I build a version for that and a Type Two version. They will look quite different.

3 Nightscape Familiar
4 Ravenous Rats
2 Yawgmoth's Agenda
2 Urza's Rage
3 Ghitu Fire
3 Thunderscape Battlemage
4 Flametongue Kavu
2 Darigaaz's Charm
2 Darigaaz, the Igniter
4 Terminate
4 Blazing Specter
3 Star Compass

2 Forest
8 Mountain
3 Swamp
4 Darigaaz's Caldera
4 Urborg Volcano
4 Terminal Moraine

This looks like it's the right numbers for everything, but you probably want to tinker around with it just in case. The early turns will spent either setting up the mana, or going into insane Nightscape Familiar/Blazing Specter/Flametongue Kavu/Darigaaz, the Igniter mode. This is devastating since Specter should take out any sources of removal either by being the target, or stripping them from your opponent's hand. Flametongue knocks out whatever excuse for a blocker, which leaves Darigaaz open to tearing your opponent's throat out.

I promised a Type Two version didn't I? Coming right up! This time, it will be much more of a Fires deck, but the black should give it an advantage against other decks of the sort.

4 Bird of Paradise
3 Seal of Fire

3 Utopia Tree
4 Terminate

3 Fires of Yavimaya

4 Phyrexian Scuta
4 Flametongue Kavu
4 Blastoderm

4 Saproling Burst

1 Darigaaz, the Igniter

2 Earthquake

7 Forest
3 Mountain
2 Swamp
4 Darigaaz's Caldera
4 Sulfurous Springs
4 Karplusian Forest

I'm not sure if the Caldera is fast enough for Type Two. In theory, you can play it as your third land with a Bird of Paradise in play and not lose any significant tempo, but that plan is not hard to disrupt. Utopia Tree is almost shamefully second tier, but I can't bring myself to put Llannowar Elves there. Yeah, it can be colorless mana. Yeah, Blastoderm is the only double color casting cost card. However, with many of the cards requiring specific mana, this will still be tough. You can always put Chimeric Idol in there for Darigaaz and the Utopia Trees to ease the curve, but this is a Darigaaz deck after all. Maybe the sideboard?

So many possibilities, so little time. Should I even attempt an Extended version? You do? Well, ok. But only because you asked nicely.

4 Mox Diamond

4 Bird of Paradise
4 Duress
3 Cursed Scroll

3 Incinerate
4 Powder Keg
2 Hull Breach

4 Phyrexian Negator

4 Hunted Wumpus
4 Blastoderm

2 Forest
4 Land Grant
1 Mountain
2 Swamp
4 Mountain Valley
4 Bayou
4 Badlands
4 Taiga

Does it stand a chance? It can drop a second turn Blastoderm. (Taiga, Bird of Paradise, Bayou, Mox discard a land) which ought to pose some serious problems for your opponent. I know I'm running Powder Keg and Cursed Scroll in the same deck, but Keg is for Slivers so setting it to two won't take out Scroll. They both combat weenies, which is important, but Keg takes care of untargetables and artifacts. Anything they don't get, Incinerate ought to. Hull Breach takes the slot where Seal of Cleansing fits in Junk decks. I don't have to say much about that card.

It's late. I'm tired. Do I have to do a Type one deck even though no one will care? I do? Sigh, if you insist.

Mox Sapphire
Mox Ruby
Mox Jet
Mox Emerald
Black Lotus
Demonic Tutor
Ancestral Recall
Time Walk
Time Twister
Wheel of Fortune
Sol Ring
Mind Twist

3 Bird of Paradise
4 Duress

2 Diabolic Edict
2 Powder Keg
1 Nevyneral's Disk

4 Phyrexian Negator
4 Blastoderm

4 Land Grant
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
1 Forest
1 Swamp
3 Tropical Island
4 Mishra's Factory
4 Bayou
4 Badlands
3 Taiga

I have no idea if that deck will work, but it looks good, doesn't it? If you actually pilot this deck to victory in a local tourney, send me a report and I'll send you whatever I've got laying around here. Make sure you've got some sort of proof, like photos, match slips, a borrowed Ancestral Recall (just kidding!) or something. The prize won't even be worth lying for, so don't get your hopes up.

You have no idea how big a headache coming up with the mana bases for four decks gives you. My pain should convince you of my point, which if you have forgotten, was that coming up with mana bases for three or more color decks is tough, and should not be attempted by amateurs.