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John Shultis on Magic
Precon Recon
Life for Death

      Welcome back to Precon Recon! Sorry to all my readers for my extended absence. Between a move, and business, and so many other things including my daughter starting school, things had been so hectic. But now with any luck, things should be settling in, and I can get back on schedule, bringing you some cool mods to the reconstructed decks of Magic the Gathering!

      To kick off my return, I bring for your reconstructed pleasure, the Life for Death deck from New Phyrexia. I looked at this deck and saw immediately the potential. I made a similar deck as this one, only much more effectively. I will use the reconstructed deck as the basis, and build for your what I called a Phyrexian Rage deck. For a peek at the original deck list, swing over here: http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/productarticle.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/newphyrexia/themedeck#deck4

Life for Death
New Phyrexia Intro Pack

Main Deck 60 cards
11 Mountain
13 Plains

2 Blinding Souleater
1 Cathedral Membrane
2 Immolating Souleater
1 Inquisitor Exarch
2 Kemba's Skyguard
1 Lumengrid Gargoyle
1 Moltensteel Dragon
1 Ogre Resister
3 Porcelain Legionnaire
1 Shattered Angel
3 Slash Panther

2 Act of Aggression
1 Apostle's Blessing
2 Golem's Heart
1 Gut Shot
1 Incite
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Marrow Shards
2 Pacifism
1 Phyrexian Rebirth
1 Pristine Talisman
2 Rage Extractor
1 Solemn Offering
2 Whitesun's Passage

     So this is deck a deck that enjoys using Phyrexian mana to get things out quicker than scheduled, at the cost of some life. The deck also has spells in it that replenish your life, so the effects of spending life don’t hurt as much. However, the deck in my opinion does not fully exploit these ideas, nor look at the key spells that could replenish your life. So now I will.

     The first step in reconstruction is always removal of what no longer suites the ideal. The spells in this deck that I feel no longer suite what we are trying to accomplish are as follows: Inquistor Exarch, Kemba’s Skyguard, Lumengrid Gargoyle, Ogre Resister, Solemn Offering, Pacifism, Lightning Bolt, Incite, Immolating Souleater, Cathedral Membrane, Shattered Angel, Pacifism, and Phyrexian Rebirth. While yes, several of these cards do grant some life, they don’t “fit” the deck. And while Phyrexian Rebirth is a very good card, it seems more like a card that you play when your back is against the wall, in all reality, the reconstruction should keep you away from that wall all together.

      So there are seventeen cards we took out, what should we replace them with? Well, we will start by putting in two more Rage ExtractoRage Extractorrs. They are what this deck is eyeing as a win condition. Another card that was overlooked that blew my mind was War Report, especially for this deck. The ability to gain life for each creature, and then for the number of artifacts. Look at the number of artifact creatures in this deck. I honestly have no idea why War Report was left out. Four copies, no question. Only one Pristine Talisman is a joke as well. Up the number on this to four. So right there we have nine cards in. Another card I feel was unjustly overlooked is Elixir of immortality. Gain 5 life, and reshuffle your graveyard, yes please. But I feel maybe only two here. Another great card is Suture Priest. Gain one life whenever you have a creature come into play, while punishing your opponents for creatures they play, I feel this should be another four of. So that brings our total up to fifteen. What do we put in the final slots, Well, pretty much damned near anything we choose. Maybe even add some extra stuff, hell, you’ll have the mana. I personally like Ruthless Invasion, Tezzeret’s Gambit, and Thundering Tanadon. But since you’ll be using Phyrexian mana, be creative and fill these last slots with whatever suites your taste. I like the three I mentioned because they allow you to have a big creature, unblockable creatures, and draw two cards and proliferate.

      And there you have it! This deck is pretty effective I must say. One or two Rage Extractor’s out, and the game just goes all wrong for your opponents, while all right for you, because you gain life at every turn. I’ve gained a whole lot of life using this deck, and taken a whole lot of life as well. After a few turns you won’t even notice that Phyrexian mana is supposed to hurt, you’ll think it’s just keeping you from having too much life. Wouldn’t want that, now would we?

     Enjoy the reconstruction, and catch me here next week when I take a look at another Preconstructed deck, and Reconstruct it.

      So until then, keep safe, and keep gaming!


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