From: dystmesis

Subject: B/G PEZ Skullclamp Deck

Hey all, dystmesis here. This might be my first or second post. I'm not sure. I tried to send something last week, but I never got confirmation of it ever being sent, and I haven't seen anything on Pojo, so I'm assuming it didn't. Anyway...

Today, I'm here to talk to all you good little PEZ-eaters about a little Darksteel card called Skullclamp. While this card can be very useful, that's not really why I chose to build a deck or two around it. Rather, it's because I like the name. So nyah. :P Plus, I tried to make a Skulltap deck before, and it didn't work out like I had hoped. Skullclamp is like a permanent Skulltap, so it's that much better.

Anyway, for those of you who don't yet know what Skullclamp is, it as an equipment card that reads as such:

Skullclamp 1
Equip 1
Equipped creature gets +1/-1.
When equipped creature goes into a, draw 2 cards.

Obviously, the point of using Skullclamp is to draw cards by sacrificing your own creatures. However, the first thing that a PEZ player should notice about a Skullclamp is that its rarity is _uncommon_. This means that running a deck based around Skullclamps eats into your other uncommon slots. The only condolence I can think of is this: You only need one Skullclamp on a creature when it dies to draw cards. Obviously, multiple Skullclamps increase the number of cards drawn, but just one can make a big difference.

Since the Skullclamp is used for drawing cards, and since you need creatures in play to use a Skullclamp, a Skullclamp-based deck will easily utilize a deck with a lot of cheap, weak creatures that come into play and leave play very quickly, often for cool effects. When I first started working on this, I thought that Black would be the obvious choice. Anyway, here's the first deck:

NAME: Eric Clampton
11 Swamp
5 Forest
Play me
4 Wild Mongrel
4 Frightcrawler
4 Ravenous Rats
4 Chittering Rats
Sac me
4 Penumbra Bobcat
4 Myr Moonvessel
4 Festering Goblin
4 Death's-Head Buzzard
4 Abyssal Gatekeeper
4 Repopulate
4 Echoing Decay
4 Skullclamp
SB: 2 Forest
SB: 2 Simplify
SB: 4 Naturalize
SB: 1 Disturbed Burial
SB: 3 Diabolic Edict
SB: 2 Quagmire Druid

The strategy for this deck is basically just to disrupt your enemies into submission, while building up a large army, a large hand (for Mongrel), or at least a seven card graveyard (for Frightcrawler). The Festering Goblins, Death's-Head Buzzards, Abyssal Gatekeeper, and Chittering Rats are all disruptive utility creatures that can easily be sacrificed with Skullclamp to draw cards. The Chittering Rats aren't sacrificed as easily as the others, but is just as (and sometimes more) disruptive as the rest of them.
Also, you can put a Skullclamp on it and swing for 3.

When I first tried playing mono-black Skullclamp, I kept decking myself!
Therefore, I added green for Repopulate. It seemed to me to be the best solution for getting all my creatures back onto the deck for continued card drawing. Plus, if you don't need it, it has cycling. Wild Mongrel followed suit soon after, due to the massive card drawing that was available in this deck.

Wild Mongrel and Frightcrawler are the two biggest creatures in the deck.
Wild Mongrel gets potentially bigger every time you use your Skullclamp, and the Frightcrawlers get bigger once you've put seven cards in the graveyard. Plus, you can put two Skullclamps on it and swing for 5 once you get threshold.

Myr Moonvessel grants you free a Skullclamp usage every time you use one, and if you can draw into multiple Moonvessels, it's clear sailing.
Skullclamp on a Penumbra Bobcat gives you either a 2/1 black cat, or even more card drawing for the body of just one creature!

The deck does have a few problems. I'm not sure if there's enough land in the deck. When I tested it, it seemed to work fine, and I was able to get creatures out at a decent rate. However, depending on how the deck is shuffled, this could possibly lead to disaster. *shrug* 16 lands might be enough. Two other problem areas are in two of the creatures themselves, Abyssal Gatekeeper, and Death's-Head Buzzard. Stated simply, these guys have a nasty habit of killing all of your creatures. Therefore, they're better intended for when you have nothing else in play. It's very suicidal and fun, but if that's not your thing, you might want to take them out and put in some other utility cards/lands.

Speaking of utility cards, I've only really got 2 spells in the deck. I discussed the purpose of Repopulate, but not the purpose of Echoing Decay.
Honestly, I'm not sure if Echoing Decay is the best card for this spot.
Instead of Echoing Decay, you could use Terror or Diabolic Edict or something instead, and they might work better. But I like Echoing Decay. It has the potential to eat through small armies for only two mana.

Due to the lack of removal in general in the deck, that's what most of the sideboard is for. I put the two forests in there because I felt that the sideboard might need more forests in play for some of it's effects. The Disturbed Burial is in there for additional creature 'regeneration'. The rest of the green part of the sideboard is simple: enchantment/artifact destruction. The black part of the sideboard is simple as well: creature destruction.

Other possible cards that could possibly be good in this deck include Carrion Feeder, and his bigger cousins, Nantuko Husk and Phyrexian Ghoul.
These cards are good because they let you put the 'Clamp on a creature, and then sac it at will. This works pretty well with higher-toughness creatures.

So, anyway, that's my basic analysis of this deck, for now. Next time, I'm going to post some other Skullclamp-based decks as well, so if you have any suggestions, ideas, thoughts, criticisms, etc, etc, please email me at But be gentle, I'm sensitive! :D Bye folks!

I racked my brain for ways to get rid of a giant spider with two small steak knives. I wished I smoked then, because if I smoked I'd have a lighter, and since spider webs are flammable I could've at least distracted the creature towering over me, maybe even cause it to combust. I also wished I went to church, because then I'd know some better prayers. All I could come up with was "Our father who art in heaven, please don't let a giant spider eat us!"

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