Heartbeat of Legend

Posted in Building on a Budget on February 18, 2005

By Nate Heiss

Mana Flare
Back when we started playing Magic, we all had our favorite pet cards that we tried to do cool things with. The very first deck that I put real effort into revolved around one such card. For me, that card was Mana Flare. Ah, beautiful, bountiful mana. The Mana Flare provided me with an awesome way to abuse platinum hits like Fungal Bloom and Stream of Life

Ok, so maybe the deck wasn't such a smashing success, but it was a lot of fun. At least my Rock Hydras has a lot of heads to go around! In one particular game against Mike Turian, I had cast all four Stream of Life and gained over a hundred life! At the time I was simply shocked that I managed to do such a crazy thing…of course, two hours later he still beat me, but then again, Mike was always pretty sharp at Magic, even back in the old days.

Mana Flare has recently gotten a new paint job, and now is suspiciously turned into a green card. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to put the ol' boy back in action. After all, Kamigawa is chock full of high mana cost legends just begging for a little love from Heartbeat of Spring. What happens when Myojin of Cleansing Fire makes an appearance on turn 4? Well let's just say this…it isn't your average Wrath of God!

I wanted to focus on green-white for this deck since the creatures are all pretty tough to kill, and since you will be giving your opponent lots of mana also, you probably want to try and avoid them taking out your shiny new fatty with a removal spell; especially since they will likely have enough mana to cast another threat on the same turn as well. No, our fatties have to stand up to the harshest of removal. Luckily there are a few mechanics working towards our goal: Indestructibility (Myojin of Cleansing Fire, Konda, Lord of Eiganjo), Untargetability (Kodama of the North Tree), and death triggers (Jugan, the Rising Star).

Let's take a look up close…

Building on a Budget: Heartbeat of Legend (about 30 tickets)

Download Arena Decklist

Time of Need
As you can see, this deck has a lot of legendary power going for it. To help with drawing duplicate legends and lower the overall cost of the deck, Time of Need lets us play fewer copies of the key cads and get away with it. It also acts as a shuffler in addition to Sakura-Tribe Elder for seeing new cards with the Divining Top. The Top is your main means of finding the Heartbeat faster, but the strange reality is that you can actually hold out pretty well even without it. You can get a draw with Time of Need and Sakura-Tribe Elder, allowing a block + acceleration on turn 2, while you go Time of Need up the North Tree on turn 3 and proceed to clog up the ground on turn 4. Against most decks, the North Tree will be enough to put a kink in their plans until you can cast a Jugan or better. Needless to say, once you stabilize it only goes downhill for your ill-fated opponents.

The deck has nice interaction between Myojin of Cleansing Fire and either Jugan or Konda. Konda will live through the Wrath, while Jugan will gladly bequeath his bounty upon the Myojin, making it a giant threat. Kodama of the North Tree bites the bullet there, but he will have served his purpose by that point in the game. Seshiro is in there as a bonus target for Time of Need, not to mention his nice interaction with the Hatchery, which will be producing lots of friends when you have the Heartbeat out.

Tips on Playing the Deck

  • Play out the Heartbeat as soon as possible, unless it looks like your opponent is really struggling with their mana - in that case you might want to take the free turns they are giving you to develop your position the old fashioned way.
  • Konda has vigilance and is indestructible so there is no excuse for not attacking with him.
  • You cannot move your Jugan counters onto Kodama of the North Tree. Be careful about that.
  • Sometimes it is good to Time of Need for a second Jugan, so that you can play the second one out, making the one you already have in play die with the second one due to the legend rule. Why would you do this? For the 10 +1/+1 counters of course!
  • The Top, Hatchery, and Cage of Hands are all odd-numbers of mana per use - use this to your advantage to avoid mana burn!

Adding Money to the Deck

This is a fun deck, and really isn't meant to be cutthroat, so I would recommend adding whatever fatties would make you smile the most when in play. If you wanted to branch out of Kamigawa block you could go for Darksteel Colossus and/or Sundering Titan. Just keep in mind that 8 mana or less is really the number you should be shooting for, since if you don't miss any land drops and you have a Heartbeat of Spring you will have 8 mana available on turn 4. Bosh or Aladdin's Ring (another personal favorite) also come to mind.

Until next time, Rock Hydra.

- Nate Heiss
BuildingOnABudget and NateHeiss on Magic Online

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