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John Shultis on Magic
Carnival of Blood

Welcome to another great Precon Recon! I would first like to apologize to my readers for missing some weeks. I have been busy, and then suffered a computer virus that shut me down last week. Hopefully all systems are go, and I will be back on track!

So, this week I have a special Precon Recon. It is for my editor here at Pojo.com! Bill is definitely one of the greatest guys I have had the pleasure of doing business with in a long time. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be reaching all of you here now reading this article. While I may not be super famous, or making thousands writing, Bill has given me a place to start, and for that I will be forever grateful. So without further ado, it is my privilege to Recon the Carnival of Blood deck from Innistrad in a standard format. For the original deck list (with all card images), check out this link: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/productarticle.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/innistrad/intropacks#deck4

Main Deck

60 cards

12 Mountain
12 Swamp

24 lands

2 Blood Seeker
3 Bloodcrazed Neonate
1 Child of Night
2 Crossway Vampire
1 Falkenrath Marauders
2 Falkenrath Noble
2 Markov Patrician
1 Night Revelers
2 Rakish Heir
1 Sengir Vampire
2 Stromkirk Patrol
2 Vampire Interloper

21 creatures

1 Cobbled Wings
1 Curse of Stalked Prey
1 Diabolic Tutor
1 Fireball
1 Gruesome Deformity
2 Mask of Avacyn
1 Night Terrors
1 Tectonic Rift
1 Traitorous Blood
1 Traveler's Amulet
2 Tribute to Hunger
2 Vampiric Fury

15 other spells

So the Carnival of Blood deck is a black and red (wait for it) VAMPIRE deck! Whoa, didn’t guess that one! The deck is very strong creature wisVampire Interlopere, supporting some of the better vampires from Innistrad. However, in that department, the weakness there is that they also support some heavy casting costs, or weak defenses. The spell side makes some vague attempts at granting evasion, which I agree should be a major focus here. But it falls well short in the end. It also does some minor attempts at fixing the defense problems associated with the newer vamps. Although it yet again falls short. There are some major, and relatively low cost options that send this deck absolutely over the top. And it keeps it standard for some time. So let’s get on with it!

The pulls are mainly focused in the spell department. So I will actually begin in the smaller category, and begin pulling some creatures. The main creature to pull is the Vampire Interloper. I find no use for a creature that cannot block. Being aggressive is fine and all, but there are times when you may need to defend, and having the option there is always better than not. Both should be pulled. And while Markov Patrician is certainly packing a nice punch, I think that Child of Night does it just as effectively, and we will remove the Markov Patricians. Another Vampire in the creature side that just doesn’t fit well is the Night Revelers. It is nice having haste, but for five mana, just a hasty 4/4, I would pass. So that’s the creatures. Five in total.

The spells is where the deck mainly gets its overhaul. Cobbled Wings, Fireball, Gruesome Deformity, Mask of Avacyn, Night Terrors, and Traveler’s Amulet are all cards I would not recommend keeping. This frees up seven cards.Olivia Voldaren While not a whole lot, it will make an impact.

While there are several options that you could add that are rare, such as Olivia Voldaren or Stromkirk Noble, they may not necessarily be cost effective. But if you can get them, they certainly would do well in this deck.

For this deck, you should focus the removed spells on ensuring your vampires hit their mark. I would use three to four of the slots we opened for a mix of Tectonic Rifts, and Ruthless Invasions. I would try and go three Ruthless Invasion and one more Tectonic Rift. The reason is because you can get away with Ruthless Invasion for just three mana, and the loss of life could be easily made up for with some life gain. But more importantly you would gain the advantage of getting much stronger creatures for the attack. The remaining spells would be some nice removal spells. While Victim of the Night is a nice removal from within the set, I feel that Go For The Throat is still the better choice, since you will likely see several of the things named in the Victim of Night. Sideboard enough copies of each to handle whichever you are facing. Either that, or run Dismembers. The -5/-5 handles most of the things that you would need removal spells for.

The creatures would be more suited towards cheap, hard hitting creatures. Instead of the Markov Patricians, run more Child of Nights, if you like the life gain. But for me, for the same mana cost, you could get an even better card. The Screeching Bat begins as a 2/2 flier. But for just four mana, it transforms into a 5/5! And it is just an uncommon! While there were some decent options for vampires in M12, I don’t feel that bloodthirst really has a place in the deck. If you would like, you could always splash in a VampirStromkirk Noblee Outcast. But I would mainly stick to the two more Child of Nights, and add three Screeching Bats/Stalking Vampires.

Again, cards such as Bloodline Keeper/Lord of Lineage or Stromkirk Noble really could up the potential for this deck. They add such a difference, and make the deck play entirely faster, and fiercer. If possible, get your hands on one of each, and work them in. You’ll notice the difference instantly, and want to add more!

But there we have it. Use your spells to focus on getting damage in unlocked, and then hold kill spells for the time after the offensive. Your opponent may find themselves lured into a false attack, and then your spells will set the stage for a Carnival of Blood indeed!

Hope this deck lives up to expectations. And I hope Bill likes my modifications!

I want to take a minute to thank all my readers for your support. I have received several e-mails for deck ideas, and cannot wait to get started on them! Next week I will be looking at the M11 deck Power of Prophecy intro deck, and attempt to bring it up to standard format while making it into mono-blue control for Timothy Liberty! Then, I will take a look at more Innistrad decks for the rest of the month. Any other submissions will be held over until November, but keep them coming! I love hearing the feedback and suggestions!

So until next time, keep safe, and keep gaming!

P.S. If any of you readers may know of anyone hiring writers, please shoot me an e-mail!

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