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Peasant Magic Decks - 2010

 

I Am Curious (Colorless) - B. Siems

 

Most of the time, a proper introduction of moderate length is necessary for a well written article. But every now and then, and you can just plop out something like this:

 

Ulamog’s Crusher: 8 (common)

Creature-Eldrazi

Annihilator 2 (Whenever this creature attacks, defending player sacrifices two permanents.)

Ulamog’s Crusher attacks each turn if able.

8/8

 

Today’s topic is Ulamog’s Crusher, one of the spoiled cards from unreleased-as-I-write-this-set Rise of the Eldrazi. (In stores everywhere, April 23 2010. This product placement sponsored by Wizards of the Coast. Or not.) I can still think of several reasons why this guy will be hella-awesome in Peasant and Pauper Magic circles.

 

Reason one: He’s colorless. Being colorless, the Crusher can provide heavy artillery for colors that normally don’t access to fatties (a.k.a "everything that isn’t green.") Also, being colorless allows him to just laughs at "protection from" effects.

 

Reason two: He isn’t an artifact. Mark my words now; the day after this set is released, a newbie (or perhaps even intermediate) Magic player somewhere will try to Shatter/Disenchant/Naturalize this cat. And he or she will feel real stupid when it fizzles.

 

Reason two: He’s an 8/8 for eight mana. Power/toughness-to-mana cost ratios like that don’t happen often without the creature being very rare, way overcosted, hampered by cumbersome drawbacks or so very, very multicolored. This guy’s particular hangup is the "attacks every turn" clause, which really isn’t much of a drawback, in my ever so humble opinion. That brings me to...

Reason three: He has the newfangled Annihilator mechanic. It’s a triggered ability, meaning that your opponent is sacking two permanents to the sin bin regardless of whether Ulamog’s Crusher gets blocked or not. Let’s review that: two dead permanents, every time he taps. Every. Time. He. Taps.

 

Reason four: He’s a freaking common! No, really! In any other set, the Crusher would’ve been printed up as a rare. I can’t really speak as to what that means for Standard, but from a PEZ/Pauper perspective, it means that the format has some powerful, Timmy-esque fatties and that’s something that isn’t going to happen every day.

 

All very well and good, but this guy is still eight mana. How should we go about using him? Obviously we should use him to smash face, but we will need ways to get him into play quickly. There are two general methods to accomplish this; mass mana production and fancy combo decks laden with tricky rares. Since this is a PEZ/Pauper article, let’s ignore the later and build decks based around the former. And if we’re talking common mana production, we’re talking green. And speaking of green mana makers, here are two more cards from Rise of the Eldrazi.

 

Overgrown Battlement: 1G (common)

Creature-Wall

Defender

Tap: Add G to your mana pool for each creature with defender you control.

0/4

 

Joraga Treespeaker (uncommon)

Creature-Elf Druid

Level Up: 1G (1G: Put a level counter on this. Level up only as a sorcery.)

1/1

Level 1-4: Tap: Add GG to your mana pool. 1/2

Level 5+: Elves you control have "Tap: Add GG to your mana pool." 1/4

 

So with that out of the way, let’s try a theoretical experiment in deck construction i.e. where I pull a PEZ deck concept outta my butt, sans regard for playtesting.

 

Deck Number One: It’s A Pile! A Stinking Pile!!!

(Peasant Magic and current Standard legal.)

 

COLORLESS

4 Ulamog’s Crusher

 

GREEN

4 Arbor Elf

4 Druid of the Anima

2 Gifts of the Gargantuan

4 Harrow

4 Joraga Treespeaker*

4 Llanowar Elves

4 Overgrown Battlements

 

WHITE

4 Hyena Umbra

4 Narrow Escape

 

LANDS

12 Forest

6 Plains

4 Rupture Spire

 

SIDEBOARD

4 Crystallization

3 Entangling Vines

4 Naturalize

4 Nature’s Claim

 

How the deck works (in theory): Ulamog’s Crusher is the sole path to victory in this G/W deck and as such the deck lives or dies on whether you can get him in play. Tutor like a mofo for land (Harrow and the Gift) while dropping your mana makers (the elves and Battlements) as soon as possible. Once you hit eight mana, start casting Crushers and go to town!

 

This strategy does have one glaring weakness; stopping the Crusher stops your assault. You opponent can accomplish alla that by creature enchantment lockdown, counter magic or outright creaturekill. So our countermeasures include the instant Narrow Escape (return a permanent you control to its’ owner’s hand and gain 4 life) and the creature aura Hyena Umbra. What’s the Umbra do? Keep reading.

 

Hyena Umbra: W (common)

Enchantment-Aura

Enchant Creature

Enchanted Creature gets +1/+1 and has first strike.

Totem armor (If enchanted creature would be destroyed, instead remove all damage from it and destroy this aura.)

 

Basically, they’ll have to burn/Doom Blade/StP it twice in order to make it stick. Finally, our sideboard provides us access to those anti-creature methods to use on our opponent. Plus enchantment and artifact kill. Lots and lots of enchantment and artifact kill.)

 

There you go; a PEZ deck with spoiled cards from an unreleased set. Until next time, I remain...

 

B. Siems


 

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