Monday, February 22, 2010

Sigil Up

So I was talking to Lee the other day and she was running a Bant tokens deck, so I asked her "Why don't you use Sigil Captain? Turns your Emeria hilarious...". But she seemed to think that was dumb, so I decided to prove her wrong.

Well, Sigil Captain and Emeria Angel were obvious 4 - ofs, and possibly Elspeth, Knight-Errant as well. I like Ajani Goldmane here, but it's very situational so I'll just throw in one for kicks. We could also throw in a Martial Coup, maybe a Conqueror's Pledge. At that point I look at the colors and decide that blue doesn't really get me much, while red pulls both Siege-Gang Commander and Goblin Assault into the fold, as well as the never out of place Lightning Bolt.

Sigil Blessing is a nicely underrated card which has blown out more than it's share of opponents when I tested this deck. Brave the Elements is a great card that I might consider running, but it feels awkward with such a heavy goblin presence.

I sideboarded based on what I see in MWS meta, meaning that it's purely aggro (Kor, Boros, very little Jund) and control (American, Grixis, very little Jacerator) with a little bit of combo decks floating around. So I have Kor Firewalkers for the aggro, Great Sable Stags and Oblivion Rings for the control/combos, extra Sigil Blessings for the mirrors (I lump Boros in with mirrors here. There's nothing better than swinging out, getting blocked 6 for 6, then just Plaguewinding the hell out of them). Until recently I've always run some graveyard hate like Relic of Progenitus, but I've noticed that it's just not that popular on MWS (even RDW) so not worth the sideboard slot.

Depending on your local metagame, you might consider throwing in some anti-cascaders like Ethersworn Canonist, some graveyard hate cards, or some more anti-control cards (maybe throwing in an island to be ready to Negate their Cruel Ultimatum). I considered more Martial Coups and Day of Judgments, but more often than not you won't want to run them, and you'll have enough Soldiers to not care if one or two get eaten by a Sphinx of Jwar Isle during an attack. Remember that for this deck you probably want to side in reverse of what their deck is, i.e. become more aggressive if they're controlling, become more controlling if they're aggressive.

Naya Tokens with a Sigil

Terramorphic Expanse 4
Rootbound Crag 4
Stirring Wildwood 1
Lightning Bolt 4
Arid Mesa 4
Plains 3
Mountain 2
Jungle Shrine 2
Sunpetal Grove 3
Path to Exile 2
Goblin Assault 4
Conqueror's Pledge 1
Sigil Blessing 2
Noble Hierarch 2
Dauntless Escort 2
Sigil Captain 4
Emeria Angel 4
Ant Queen 1
Siege-Gang Commander 4
Ajani Goldmane 1
Elspeth, Knight-Errant 4

Oblivion Ring 4
Luminarch Ascension 1
Sigil Blessing 2
Kor Firewalker 4
Great Sable Stag 4

Playtesting this was very rewarding. It generally performed well enough to be considered a very strong option for a more budget deck than most (you could easily replace a lot of the more favored cards like Elspeth with slightly less good token makers, and you could always shore yourself up with some Explores). I was happy to see that Sigil Captain was an obvious enough threat to merit an immediate response (meaning that the deck's theme was obvious enough), but not so integral as to completely wreck the deck if he dies. Also, he and Emeria lie really nicely on the curve together. Turn 4 Sigil Captain into turn 5 Emeria + Fetchland always feels better than a turn 4 Emeria with no land to back her up.

Also, in all my playtesting I have yet to draw my singleton Ant Queen, so I have no idea how I feel about it yet.

Anyways, Sigil Captain is a cool guy, I would hang out with him at parties.