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Brian Moorhead [mailto:bemore4096@yahoo.com]
Monday, March 28, 2005 9:12 PM

Human-themed Prismatic deck by BMoor
By request of the readers, I have built a Prismatic decklist based around the new creature type, Human. Building this deck was a challenge because there are no tribal Humans, yet there are so many of them. Since Prismatic requires each color to be represented, the first task before me was to determine which Humans to use of each color, and that meant isolating the common traits Humans shared. These were few, as humans come from all types of backgrounds and in all dofferent colors, just like in real life. But I did notice a few things.  They all tend to be small, with powers and toughnesses rarely exceedin 3. Since all tournament legal Humans are from either Mirrodin or Kamigawa block, many like to share a deck with artifacts and many others are Legendary.  They also all have a second type, and some have abilities that benefit that other type. I figured since Time of Need is one of the most effective search cards in Prismatic, and since a 250-card deck really needs search effects and card draw wherever it could get it, I decided to include at least one legendary Human in each color. That way, no matter what color creature you need, Time of Need can get it for you. So let's get started on the creature list.
In white, we had plenty to work with: the Auriok and Konda's army. First of all, I found a gem in Empty-Shrine Kannushi, a real boon in any Prismatic deck. Devoted Retainer also seemd like a good, cheap creature who could hold his own on the field. I also gave the nod to Auriok Salvagers, a very solid card, and Konda, Lord of Eiganjo despite the double white in his casting cost. Since i had two Samurai there, I figured it would be worth including either Takeno or Nagao, and ended up choosing Nagao for his lower mana cost and more uniform bonus.
I looked into some flying Wizards, since humans are bound to lack air support, but my need for reliable library searching drove me to include Trinket Mage and Higure the Still Wind. Trinket Mage should be excellent; if we include artifact lands he works as a mana fixer. And Higure, while also having a color-heavy casting cost, opens the door to Ninja tricks. So I also included Ninja of the Deep Hours for card draw purposes and Mistblade Shinobi to make your opponent recast those Sliver Overlords. Finally, I decided Thought Courier would be another good card draw engine, as well as being able to discard extra legendaries.
Black was a real challenge, as it had a shortage of good Humans. It did have Disciple of the Vault, which reminds me of Devoted Retainer in its speed and utility, and Moriok Rigger, who further justifies the inclusion of some Artifacts. I also wanted a legend, but the only black legendary Humans are Toshiro Umezawa and Kiku, Night's Flower. Toshi really needs the deck built around him to a degree wwe won't have room for, so I opted for Kiku. I sense her ability may be quite useful.
My first impulse was Brothers Yamazaki.  My second was Godo, Bandit Warlord. We've obviously got a lot of incentive to rum Samurai, so in go Ronin Houndmaster and Battle-Mad Ronin. I also threw in Vulshok Berserker.
Mirrodin block was very harsh to green. There were only two green humans in all three sets, but one of them was Eternal Witness and the other was Sylvok Explorer, who just screams Prismatic. In Kamigawa block, we have all of Dosan's monks to choose from. I went with Order of the Sacred Bell since it's the biggest Human so far (not counting Konda post-bushido) as well as Isao, Enlightened Bushi for reasons I will explain.
Now, there we have a solid roster of creatures, Now the trick is winning with them. The obvious way is to attack with them. But the whole fun of having a Human deck is to make their Humanity matter. The simplest way to do this is with generic "choose a creature type" effects that let you just choose Human. These will do the job, but may end up benefiting your opponent as well. Also, this deck has several ways of benefiting other types, mainly Samurai and Ninja. That's when the perfect solution hit me: Artificial Evolution! Change all instances of "Samurai" or "Ninja" to "Human"! Suddenly Higure is tutoring up Empty-Shrine Kannushi! Nagao gives your whole army a boost(why I picked him over Takeno)! Isao can regenerate anything on the board! And Godo....don't get me started. So 4 copies of Artificial Evolution were a must, but to make them last even longer I decided to throw in Isochron Scepter. This'll let you reuse the AE whenever needed, as well as Time of Need in a time of need. Appropriately I also chose some more acceptable Scepter targets. We also need some artifacts to go with Disciple, Rigger, Trinket Mage, and the Salvagers. The foursome just scream Spellbombs.
All that really leaves is the lands. With Trinket Mage, 4 of each artifact land will help. And with all the Legendaries, 3 each of the kamigawa legendary land cycle seemed appropriate. I also looked for land that could provide any color mana and found Mirrodin's Core and Glimmervoid. Temple of the False God looked good, and the rest can be just basic lands.
So after all that, here's the decklist:
3 Nagao, Bound by Honor
2 Konda, Lord of Eiganjo
3 Auriok Salvagers
4 Devoted Retainer
4 Empty-Shrine Kannushi
3 Higure, the Still Wind
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
4 Trinket Mage
3 Mistblade Shinobi
4 Thought Courier
4 Moriok Rigger
4 Disciple of the Vault
3 Kiku, Night's Flower
3 Godo, Bandit Warlord
4 Vulshok Berserker
3 Ronin Houndmaster
4 Brothers Yamazaki
4 Battle-Mad Ronin
4 Order of the Sacred Bell
3 Eternal Witness
3 Isao, Enlightened Bushi
4 Sylvok Explorer
Other Spells:81
4 Time of Need
3 Terashi's Grasp
4 Sylvan Scrying
4 Shared Triumph
4 Artificial Evolution
3 Terminate
4 Cover of Darkness
3 Aphetto Dredging
4 Crown of Fury
4 Lifespark Spellbomb
4 Sunbeam Spellbomb
4 Pyrite Spellbomb
4 Necrogen Spellbomb
4 AEther Spellbomb
3 Wayfarer's Bauble
3 Chromatic Sphere
4 Isochron Scepter
3 Konda's Banner
4 Darksteel Pendant
4 Darksteel Ingot
4 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Shuriken
Lands: 92
4 Ancient Den
4 Tree of Tales
4 Vault of Whispers
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Great Furnace
3 Shizo, Death's Storehouse
3 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
3 Shinka the Bloodsoaked Keep
3 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
3 Eiganjo Castle
4 Temple of the False God
4 Mirrodin's Core
4 Glimmervoid
9 Plains
9 Mountain
9 Swamp
9 Island
9 Forest
Wow, that was a lot of typing. I won't explain the purpose of each card: you should be able to figure it out yourselves. I will tell you which Humans I was tempted to include, though: Mothrider Samurai, Indebted Samurai, Neurok Prodigy, Fleshgrafter, Cursed Ronin, Ronin Cliffrider, Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Dosan the Falling Leaf, Budoka Gardener, the list goes on. There are a lot of good Humans out there, but getting them all into one deck was difficult work.
This deck's weakness is probably its lack of flying, remedied by either Spidersilk Armor, the many green Hurricanesque instants, or the addition of flying Humans. Only playtesting will tell what its true weaknesses are.
Hopefully you've seen what it's like building a Prismatic deck, and will attempt it yourself one day. If you have any questions or comments, send them to me at bemore4096@yahoo.com. Good luck!

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