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John Shultis on Magic
Grab for Power

     Welcome to an all new Precon Recon here at Pojo.com. Here at Precon Recon, I take a Preconstructed deck and Reconstruct it into a more usable deck. This time around, reader Curtis D. wrote in asking for me to take a look at the Grab for Power deck from M12 reconstructed in Standard. For a look at the original decklist, check it out here: http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/productarticle.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/magic2012/themedeck#deck3.

Grab for Power
Magic 2012 Intro Pack

Main Deck
60 cards

1 Buried Ruin
10 Island
14 Swamp

2 Azure Mage
2 Belltower Sphinx
2 Child of Night
1 Devouring Swarm
1 Drifting Shade
1 Gravedigger
2 Merfolk Looter
2 Reassembling Skeleton
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
3 Warpath Ghoul
2 Zombie Goliath

1 Brink of Disaster
2 Crown of Empires
1 Diabolic Tutor
1 Disentomb
2 Divination
3 Doom Blade
1 Frost Breath
1 Ponder
2 Scepter of Empires
1 Sorin's Thirst
1 Throne of Empires


The Grab for Power decks main job is stated to be getting out the Empire Artifacts, and utilizing them. They are the Crown of Empires, Scepter of Empires, and Throne of Empires. They each have their own abilities, but work best when used together. TCrown of Empireshe Crown will tap a creature on its own, but gains control of a creature if it is out with the other two. The Scepter deals one damage to target player, but deals three if the other two are out. And the Throne puts out a 1/1 white soldier token, but puts out five if the other two are out. So as you can see, it is in the best interest to have them all out. But the problem there is that there is only one Throne, and two each of the others. This means that there is not a whole lot of chances to pull them out. The deck contains the Rune-Scarred Demon and a Diabolic Tutor to pull one to your hand. But, again, there is just one Diabolic Tutor and Rune-Scarred Demon, and the Demon costs seven mana. These things combine to make it extremely hard to get out the Empire artifacts.

     Since we are building the deck in Standard, there is not a whole lot that allows us to search for artifacts. Trinket Mage and Treasure Mage are unable to search for the casting costs of the Empire artifacts. So the main card that can be used is the Diabolic Tutor. If you readers should decide to go another format, such as Modern or Vintage, Fabricate is a perfect solution in this deck.

      Since we have a lot of need of artifacts, we are going to gear the deck that direction a little more, and drop some of the other things. In fact, when we are done, the deck will barely resemble the original decklist.

      And so we begin the removals. Anything not suited for a more artifact based deck is going to be removed. I’m going to try and sum the removals quickly. The only original creature that should be left in the deck is the Rune-Scarred Demon, and even then, I say that sparingly. I personally would remove ALL the current creatures, and start from scratch. While yes, the Demon does search, but it costs seven mana to do so. For the spells, I will say here what we will leave IN, since it is easier than what we take out. So leave in theTezzeret, Agent of Bolas Empire artifacts, the Ponder, the Diabolic Tutor, and the Divination. So 90% of the deck should be replaced, IF you build it geared towards the Empire artifacts. Of course you could always go a different direction, but I am trying to exploit the Empire artifacts this time.

     So what kinds of additions should be made? Well, luckily the Scars of Mirrodin block offered a lot of great artifact based cards. Some of the rarer things that should definitely be nabbed and added for this deck would be Tezerret, Agent of Bolas, Unwinding Clock, and Kuldotha Forgemaster. Tezerret is multipurposed in this deck, allowing you to look through the top five cards of your library and put an artifact into your hand, turn an artifact into a 5/5 creature until end of turn, and of course his final blow is to make an opponent lose life equal to twice the number of artifacts you control, and you gain that much life. The Unwinding Clock untaps all of your artifacts during each players untap step. This allows you to fully gain advantage of the Empire artifacts, since you can use them on your turn and on your opponents turn. And Kuldotha Forgemaster allows you to sacrifice off three artifacts to search your library for an artifact card and put it directly onto the battlefield. This is the best possible option for getting out your Empire artifacts. Those are definitely the main rares I would seek out for the reconstruction of this deck.

       For the easier to grab things, we need ways of producingUnwinding Clock artifacts, and mana. The Unwinding Clock untaps your artifacts, but not your lands. So mana producing artifacts would untap, and give access to the mana needed to activate the Empire artifacts. Perhaps one of the best options is available this weekend, and that is the Warden of the Wall from Dark Ascension. Warden of the Wall is a three mana drop artifact that enters the battlefield tapped. It produces one generic mana, but as long as it is not your turn it becomes a 2/3 artifact creature with flying. This means that you’ll have access to mana on your turn and then a defender on your opponents turn. Manalithe is another great card, since it would add any color mana you need, and then untap to the Unwinding Clock. Any of the mana producing Myr are also great options. I would also really suggest using the Wall of Tanglecord from Scars of Mirrodin. For two mana you get a 0/6 that you can pay one green to give reach. And since you will likely be running the Manalithes, you have access to the green mana. For the rest of the deck, cards like Memnite, Darksteel Myr, Hovermyr, Myr Sire, and really any other cheap artifact creatures can replace the creature base that was there. Have fun with this part of the reconstruction, and put your own spin on it.

      For the spells we removed, try and focus onDiabolic Tutor removal or counter spells. The reason is because if you can stall out your opponent, you know that the deck will win, because this kind of deck just needs time to develop. But be sure to up the Empire Artifacts to four copies, and the same goes for the Diabolic Tutor. This way there are more chances of pulling them, and getting it to go off sooner. Once the Empire artifacts are all out on the field, the game ends rather fast. There is not much that can handle three damage, five soldiers, and losing your best creature all at once.

       So like I said, replace the creatures with cheaper artifact creatures that suit your taste and hold things off as long as possible. Use counter spells and removal spells to keep things off the board that your deck otherwise could not stop on their own. And the counter spells also act as a way to defend your own spells from removal. Some of the better counters suited for this reconstruction were from either Innistrad of the Scars block, and should include Dissipate, one of my favorite counter spells.

      I know I left a lot of this reconstruction up to the reader, but that is because with this massive of a reconstruction a lot of it does come down to player’s choice. The main cards that should be sought are the ones I mentioned, even if you just max out your space with those. That gives a pretty solid foundation.

     That concludes this reconstruction, I hope that I did well for Curtis! I have another Precon Recon coming soon! And then next week I will begin looking at the Dark Ascension Precons, and reconstructing them! If there is a specific deck you would like to see me reconstruct though, as always just send me an e-mail with the name of the deck, and the format you would like to see it reconstructed in!

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


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