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Peasant Magic - 07.01.04
Peasant Blues

Peasant Blues

Well there is a lot of business to take care of today as the summer tournaments draw closer and the PEZ Council has also decided to ban Brainfreeze. After that, however, it is time to move onto the Blue decks of PEZ. While, with the exception of combo, Blue has performed poorly in the environment it seems likely that new cards may well change that equation. Because of access to critical new cards and the lack of an archetypal blue build this article will actually contain a total of 5 decks. How cool is that!

The Banned and Restricted List

On behalf of the Peasant Magic Council:

Changes to official Peasant Magic rules, June 28.

As of July 15, the banned list for
Peasant Magic now includes:
Brain Freeze.

The Peasant Magic Council is also concerned about, but
is not acting on:
High Tide
Skullclamp, and

Brain Freeze:
Decks combining High Tide with "free-spells" from Urza's Block have proven to be very strong. Brain Freeze, in particular,  seems to have taken the deck from one that plays a role in the metagame to a deck that warps it. We feel that a great deal of space for deck design has been opened by eliminating this deck's cheap, nearly uncounterable win condition.

High Tide and Prosperity:
Other components of the aforementioned Tides decks, we considered taking action against both of these cards, but ultimately decided against it. While Prosperity as a win condition is still an option, and High Tide with the "free-spells" can be recognized as somewhat dangerous, we belive that without Brain Freeze as a cheap, nearly uncounterable win condition, the metagame is capable of containing Tides decks. We believe that every color, with the possible exception of green, has a way to disrupt the combo which we believe will serve as a check on potential abuse. However, we are still concerned, and intend to solicit more input from the community and watch results from upcoming touraments to determine whether further action needs to be taken.

Skullclamp has been banned in Standard and Mirrodin Block Constructed play because it is a cheap card that fits well in almost any agressive deck. It is especially effective at giving these decks an edge against control. While we see Skullclamp's power, the Peasant Magic Council believes that Skullclamp's being uncommon makes it far less clear whether it belongs in
every aggressive deck in this format, and so we have decided to take no action at this time. However, we are still concerned, and intend to solicit more input from the community and watch results from upcoming touraments to determine whether further action needs to be taken.

We believe that Sinkhole is not an inherently overpowered card, although its casting cost places it in a class of its own among land destruction effects. The Peasant Magic Council recognizes that it is a good common that is far more expensive than most other commons. We considered making Sinkhole an uncommon for cost purposes alone, but we decided to continue to
watch tournament results to determine whether Sinkhole is or is not a problem.

The complete list follows:


The following cards have been banned based on price and / or being over powered for the format.

  • Ali From Cairo
  • Bazaar of Baghdad
  • Berserk
  • Brain Freeze
  • Candelbra of Tawnos
  • Diamond Valley
  • Juzam Djinn
  • Library of Alexandria
  • Mana Drain
  • Mishra's Workshop




  • Strip Mine

Upcoming Tournaments

Saturday, July 10 at 12:00 (Noon) – event #ME-966 -Gamefest Milwaukee. BTW/ this is a great convention in its 3rd year, http://www.advantageconvention.com/ 

Friday, August 20 at 9:00 AM – event#TCG00401 – Gen Con. https://registration.gencon.com/regsystem/listevents2.cgi 

Saturday, August 21 at 2:00 PM – event#TCG00402 – Gem Con. https://registration.gencon.com/regsystem/listevents2.cgi 


With Brain Freeze banned, many players may be turning back to the original PEZ combo deck. While the deck remains, for the most part, unchanged the addition of Serum Visions helps to improve consistency since it can search deeper into the library than Brainstorm. Still, the deck remains vulnerable to targeted removal or protection effects as well as counterspells; all of which were unable to stop the deck before the Brain Freeze ban.

    • 4 Serum Visions
    • 4 Slight of Hand
    • 4 Impulse
    • 3 Merchant Scroll
    • 4 Frantic Search
    • 4 High Tide
    • 4 Snap
    • 4 Cloud of Faeries
    • 3 Disrupt
    • 1 Feldon's Cane
    • 4 Prosperity
    • 1 Force of Will
    • 20 Island

This deck takes some practice to play properly and requires players to properly estimate the turn to go off since the deck will never hold a hand that automatically wins. Ideally, the deck will wait until just 1 turn before the opponent would otherwise win. Still, the deck is fast, possibly going off on Turn 4, and allows for an alternate style of play in the format. It won Gen Con a few years ago so that means that it must be good.

Drake Tides

The alternative to Pros-Tides combo may look less viable but is much easier to play and posts similar speeds. In addition, the deck never fizzles out on the turn it goes off - either your opponent has an answer or you win. Generally the deck will win on Turn 5, it can win on Turn 4 and rarely has to wait beyond Turn 6.

    • 4 Opt
    • 4 Serum Visions
    • 4 Slight of Hand
    • 4 Impulse
    • 3 Merchant Scroll
    • 4 High Tide
    • 3 Disrupt
    • 3 Mental Discipline
    • 4 Capsize
    • 1 Whispers of the Muse
    • 1 Goblin Cannon
    • 3 Peregrine Drake
    • 22 Island

The deck needs to have in hand a Drake, a Capsize, and Goblin Cannon. The deck can substitute Merchant Scroll for the Capsize and either Mental Discipline or Whispers for the Cannon (since these cards will allow you to fetch the proper components). In addition, the deck will need either 2 High Tides and 4 Islands or 1 High Tides and 6 Islands. That may seem like a lot of cards to pull off a combo but it always goes off consistently. Once all the cards are in place, the deck casts the Drake and then bounces the Drake so it can be cast again - this establishes an infinite mana engine. The downside is that, just like Pros-Tides, the Drake is a weak spot for this build and players with an instant response have a strong answer to the build.

Drop-Go or MUC (Mono Blue Control)

So far we have only seen one successful Blue Control build in PEZ and that deck probably did well based more on the strength of the player than on the strength of the deck. Still, just one new card may have given control builds a big boost since it provides a well needed answer to early threats as well as means of avoiding counter burnout.

    • 3 Spire Golem
    • 4 Aether Burst
    • 3 Echoing Truth
    • 1 Capsize
    • 4 Mana Leak
    • 4 Prohibit
    • 3 Power Sink
    • 4 Counterspell
    • 4 Accumulated Knowledge
    • 4 Sun Droplet
    • 1 Isochron Scepter
    • 22 Island
    • 3 Maze of Ith

The new spell I mentioned above is Sun Droplet. It provides a great early drop at 2 mana and helps the deck slow down early threats. In addition, once control is established the Droplet can help the Blue player gain a nice life cushion should things go awry. Maze of Ith is critical in stopping the ground game and the effects combo well with the Droplet. The Aether Burst and Echoing Truth are included to slow down fast opponents and also as a means of supporting the Golem versus removal. Some players may wish to add either Desert or Serrated Arrows versus the ground game instead of bounce as these cards add permanent control.


A recent card that has excited many Blue players is Isochron Scepter. So far the builds seem to be quite divergent. Some go for the quick combo by packing Lotus Petals and bounce that can target lands. Other players opt for a slower more controlled and stable approach to the build. The win condition is also very much up for grabs at the moment. Many players look to Mishra’s Factories for the win although my personal preference is to use Vision Charm on a stick to mill the opponent to death. Because of all these differences this deck should be seen more as a template than as a finished product since no one version has gained ascendancy among the playgroups I have heard from.

    • 4 Vision Charm
    • 4 Boomerang
    • 4 Hoodwink
    • 4 Serum Visions
    • 4 Impulse
    • 2 Merchant Scroll
    • 4 Memory Lapse
    • 1 Fire/Ice
    • 4 Isochron Scepter
    • 3 Maze of Ith
    • 4 Lotus Petal
    • 22 Island

This version is an example of one the more combo-oriented builds. A quick Scepter imprinted with Boomerang or Hoodwink can stall out the opponent’s mana. Likewise, Vision Charm can shut down most mono-colored decks. Alternately, Memory Lapse is amazingly strong at stalling an opponent since it stops them from drawing additional cards/threats. This means that is helps slow down the game if it is put on a stick and also supports the land bounce theme as well. The win condition can either be damage via Fire or the Vision Charm switching over to its Millstone role. Without mass removal or enough bounce this deck needs to mulligan aggressively.

Blue Skies

Blue Skies has always fallen short as it attempted to make its PEZ debut. While Unstable Mutation allowed the deck to pump fliers up quickly there were really no cards that also allowed for the acceleration needed in this format. Now, however, the introduction of efficient equipment has changed all that.

    • 4 Flying Men
    • 4 Thought Nibbler
    • 3 Spiketail Hatchling
    • 4 Cloudskate
    • 3 Wormfang Drake
    • 3 Curiosity
    • 2 Foil
    • 4 Daze
    • 4 Gush
    • 4 Unstable Mutation
    • 4 Bonesplitter
    • 21 Island

The aggressive use of both Daze and Gush in a faster environment than Blue Skies was intended for has forced the deck to alter its mana curve. This has increased the number of small fliers but access to both Unstable Mutation and the Bonesplitter help to compensate for the frontside 1’s. I really like this deck since it is about as fast as most other aggro decks in the format but everything has evasion and there is just a smattering of counter magic as well.


Well, there you have it. 5 decks is a lot, especially for a week like the one I just had. I know I could have gone into more detail on card choices and the reasoning behind specific decisions but I will either address those concerns latter or you can e-mail me with any questions you may have. Also, I hope to see some of my old friends at Game Fest Milwaukee next week and also meet some new ones. Remember the PEZ tournament will be on Saturday at Noon and I will be forced to play Affinity since I have no other decks made. See ya’ll next week.

Jason Chapman – chaps_man@hotmail.com



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