Saturday, January 16, 2010

Probably the Nerdiest Words I've Ever Written

First of all, I'd like to apologize for slow updates, but I go to one of the hardest academic institutions in America so that's the way it's gonna be. And we've got all of Lee's great articles to read anyways, and Worldwake spoilers, etc.


So, Noel deCordova had a contest running up until yesterday (details here). The gist of it is to build a deck around a Planeswalker, and have it work both in playability and in theme. All cards are allowed (even Un-cards), and the entries are to be judged based on flavor, synergy, and a written description of the deck.

All my decks are built around some sort of synergy, but I've never put in cards because of the names. Sure, I've thrown in cards purely for hilarious effects, or even sometimes flavor text (see: Manamorphose, Droning Bureaucrats), but I'm not a Vorthos nerd who reads up on Magic lore and understands why Ajani is suddenly Avenging himself or why Jace decided that minds are clay [note: no apologies to Vorthos dudes, you know you're nerds just admit it].

But alas, I could not resist and so wrote what to me is one of the more embarrassing things in my life. So what better place to put this than on the internet?

10 and 2

Eternity Vessel 1 Artifact
Quietus Spike 1 Artifact - Equipment
Quest for Pure Flame 1 Enchantment
Form of the Dragon 1 Enchantment
Final Fortune 1 Instant
Desperate Gambit 1 Instant
Searing Wind 1 Instant
Overblaze 1 Instant - Arcane
Temporal Extortion 1 Sorcery
Plague of Vermin 1 Sorcery
Blood Tribute 1 Sorcery
Anthem of Rakdos 1 Enchantment
Final Punishment 1 Sorcery
Choice of Damnations 1 Sorcery - Arcane
Booby Trap 1 Artifact
Furnace of Rath 1 Enchantment
Wound Reflection 2 Enchantment
Reiterate 1 Instant
Rakdos Signet 2 Artifact
Hidetsugu's Second Rite 1 Instant
Guul Draz Vampire 1 Creature - Vampire
Vampire Lacerator 1 Creature - Vampire
Ebonblade Reaper 1 Creature - Human Cleric
Volcano Hellion 1 Creature - Hellion
Chandra Nalaar 3 Planeswalker - Chandra
Heartless Hidetsugu 1 Legendary Creature - Ogre Shaman
Rakdos the Defiler 1 Legendary Creature - Demon
Sorin Markov 4 Planeswalker - Sorin
Curse of the Cabal 1 Sorcery

Mountain 5 Basic Land - Mountain
Swamp 5 Basic Land - Swamp
Reflecting Pool 4 Land
Dragonskull Summit 4 Land
Akoum Refuge 2 Land
Graven Cairns 4 Land

I decided to build my deck not limiting myself to one Planeswalker, but rather to one theme based on the interaction between 2 Planeswalkers: Chandra Nalaar and Sorin Markov. Each of these very much like when their enemies are Bloodied, and this deck is built to take advantage of that synergy, the one-two punch of holding someone at 10 life, then burning them for 10. Each card in this deck is based around that theme of halving or doubling life totals or damage, and so if you keep your mind on 10 and 2 you're sure to hit them for 20 whenever you take the wheel of this deck.

Chandra is of course represented, going on a Quest for Pure Flame to Overblaze your foes with a Searing Wind. She's willing to take the Form of a Dragon if need be, leaving her defenses down to strike (perhaps with the added kick of a Furnace of Rath). A Heartless Hidetsugu is along for the ride, offering his Second Rite as the perfect synergy with Sorin's trickery. And will your foes be willing to stop you from Extorting Time if you Reiterate yourself, or if you are able to Reflect their Wounds? And when you need that last bit of reach, you can always make a Desperate Gambit for your Final Fortune.

While Chandra is hot-blooded, Sorin provides the cool logic needed to patiently allow this deck to work. He knows that it's not about bashing your opponent over and over, it's about waiting for the right moment then unleashing all your fury at once. He'll usually run out and set a life-total to ten, leaving your enemies open to all manner of spells. But he can also be tricky, perhaps Mindslaving them into a Booby Trap to force a Damning Choice, like a Plague of Vermin gone too far. And to back up our spells we have a powerful Rakdos the Defiler and a Curse of the Cabal, both able to half-wipe our enemies' boards clean.

That's exactly what I submitted. Note that I'm perfectly aware that this is not a good deck, and it borders on unplayable, but remember that the primary component was flavor. A lot of cards got cut for this final product (just search Gatherer for "half life", "loses life", "double", and "10 damage" if you want a good idea of cards cut).

Anyways, enough of that.