Round Robin Returns!

Posted in Building on a Budget on May 7, 2008

By Ben Bleiweiss

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Building on a Budget Round Robin! Also, welcome to Magic Online III! For those just joining us: Building on a Budget is a column dedicated to building decks (using Magic Online) that cost 30 tickets or less. The Round Robin is a group of decks that I come across while playing online. If I see a deck I like, I get permission to use it, and then start playing with the new deck instead!

When we left off from the last edition of the Round Robin, here's the Extended deck we were starting on:


MagicProVirus Bringer Start

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The Bringer deck uses Composite Golem plus Deathrender to massively accelerate huge creatures into play. If you put Deathrender on Composite Golem and then sacrifice your guy, you can end up with two Bringers in play in one fell swoop! The deck also uses Coretapper for a good sacrifice effect.

As mentioned above, the budget for this column is thirty tickets or less, and the initial version of the Bringer deck, as provided by MagicProVirus, is well over forty tickets. In addition, there are a few components to the deck that tear it in too many directions—for instance, Coretapper, while it is an easily sacrificed artifact creature, doesn't really have much synergy with the deck outside of Pentad Prism (which is hard to get past one counter, as there are only four non-blue-producing lands in the deck) and Lightning Coils.


Composite Golem
MagicProVirus really liked the Lightning Coils aspect of the deck, so I decided to go more in that direction for the initial rebuild. Composite Golem is a great sacrifice outlet for a Bringer deck, since it can translate directly into a Bringer without the need for additional colored mana. Moreover, Composite Golem combos well with an underutilized card from Time Spiral: Fool's Demise. If you enchant Composite Golem with Fool's Demise, you will be able to create a loop: Composite Golem adds to your mana pool, Fool's Demise returns Composite Golem to play and Fool's Demise to your hand, and you can use the mana from Composite Golem to re-enchant the Golem and start anew. This is great for upping your storm count (in case you want to go that route), but in the spirit of the intent of this deck, it is also fantastic for getting an arbitrarily large number of charge counters on Lightning Coils for a truly massive attack of 3/1 creatures.

Since I want to focus more on the combo aspect of this deck, we can safely take out three of the four Sundering Titans. They are great creatures, but they also cost nearly four tickets each, and removing three of the four will take us closer to budget. I also took out the Coretappers and Pentad Prisms in favor of Fool's Demise and Prismatic Lens. Since this deck already runs Thirst for Knowledge, I thought that Seat of the Synod would be a better fit than Coastal Tower; this gives us a land drop that can also function as a good card to discard against the Thirst. Last, I took out one Mindslaver, one Legacy Weapon, and one Bringer of the White Dawn to add in Fabricate (a great tutor in an artifact-based deck, especially when I now have several one-ofs) and a third Lightning Coils.

1 Bringer of the White Dawn (1.5)
4 Coretapper
1 Legacy Weapon (.5)
1 Mindslaver (3.5)
4 Coastal Tower
4 Pentad Prism
3 Sundering Titan (12)
New Total: 28.25 Tickets

4 Fool's Demise
1 Lightning Coils (.25)
4 Fabricate (.25)
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Prismatic Lens
New Total: 29.50 Tickets

MPV Bringer 1

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Game 1: Zeb364 (Red-White-Blue Scepter)

Zeb364 hits me with Lava Spike on turn one and Firebolt on turn two, then imprints Glacial Ray on Isochron Scepter on turn three. I drop two Urza lands the first two turns and find the third one with Thirst for Knowledge by turn four. Zeb364 plays Counterspell on my Deathrender, but I get down Composite Golem and start attacking. My first Fabricate target (Sundering Titan) is also met by Counterspell, but my second one (Mindslaver) lands, allowing me to burn him out with his own spells left in hand.

Record: 1-0

Notes: This game, I got stuck with two Bringers of the White Dawn in my hand. I decide that I really do want the Coastal Towers in the deck—I have more white Bringers than any other color Bringer, but I still want access to blue for Thirst for Knowledge and Fabricate. I decide to yank out the Cloudposts. They aren't great without the ability to tutor them up, when I already have the Urza Lands for colorless mana acceleration. I also add in one Academy Ruins. I have a lot of one-of artifacts, and I'd love a way to recur them if they get used or countered and I don't have a Bringer of the White Dawn handy.

Out: 4 Cloudpost
In: 3 Coastal Tower, 1 Academy Ruins

Game 2: Styxdaniel (Green-Blue "Comes Into Play" Stuff)

Styxdaniel suspends a second-turn Riftwing Cloudskate. I get down Deathrender, which he returns to my hand. The Cloudskate goes back to Styxdaniel's hand via Ninja of the Deep Hours and is resuspended. I attempt to play Composite Golem, and it gets eaten by Indrik Stomphowler, making this game a total blowout.

Record: 1-1

Game 3: jusjade (Blue-Black Rogues / Mill)


Fool's Demise
Jusjade drops Prickly Boggart and then Sage Owl. I get down the Urzatron thanks to Thirst for Knowledge, and add an Island and Academy Ruins. Jusjade plays Traumatize, allowing me to tutor from my graveyard for virtually anything I want. I end up putting Deathrender, Composite Golem, and Lightning Coils on top of my library, following them up with Sundering Titan to make sure that jusjade doesn't have Counterspell mana, and then using Fool's Demise (in my hand) to make infinite 3/1 haste tokens.

Record: 2-1

While I did finally go "infinite" with the Fool's Demise combo, the deck has been wayyyy too slow, and I don't have nearly enough sacrifice outlets for Deathrender. I need something I can drop earlier—so after searching Gatherer for blue or artifact sacrifice outlets, I decide to go with Hapless Researcher. I also want to be able to play the Bringers without the absolute need for Composite Golem. To this effect, I go with a fairly radical solution: instead of adding in specific color fixing, I add in one of every non-blue-producing Signet from Ravnica block! The theory here is as follows: I want a two-drop that can produce two off-colors of mana, since I'll likely have access to blue, but not necessarily green, red, black, or white mana through my lands. If I get any one Signet, I can Fabricate for another one, and fix my mana to all five colors...or grab the one Darksteel Ingot. I go with the multi-Signet plan instead of Prismatic Lens and Lightning Coils, and get ready for version three of this deck!

Out: 4 Fool's Demise, 3 Lightning Coils, 4 Prismatic Lens
In: 4 Hapless Researcher, 1 Boros Signet, 1 Golgari Signet, 1 Gruul Signet, 1 Orzhov Signet, 1 Rakdos Signet, 1 Selesnya Signet, 1 Darksteel Ingot

MPV Bringer 3

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Game 4: Diak0gotik (Artifact Sac)

Diak0gotik drops Spawning Pit, Ornithopter, Myr Retriever, and Arcbound Worker within the first three turns. I get a draw with three Signets, enabling me to play Mindslaver on turn four and activate it on turn five, adding a Hapless Researcher to my board. This allows me to sacrifice Diak0gotik's entire board to Spawning Pit, play the Arcbound Reclaimer in his hand, and make him return both the Ornithopter and the Worker to the top of his deck. The next turn, I play Deathrender, equip it to my Researcher, and put Bosh, Iron Golem into play for free after attacking for 3. Diak0gotik tries to get back into the game with Lodestone Myr, but I am able to hardcast Bringer of the White Dawn (thanks to Signets of varying colors!), allowing me to get down the Mindslaver lock.

Record: 3-1

Game 5: misterpid (Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker / Greater Gargadon)

Misterpid drops Sensei's Divining Top on turn one and suspends Greater Gargadon on turn two. This board is followed by Solemn Simulacrum on turn four and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker on turn five. For my part, I drop two Urza Lands and a Coastal Tower, and proceed to draw four Thirst for Knowledge and three Fabricate, fail to find my third Urza land (I had three Towers and four Power Plants by the end of the game, between my hand, board, and graveyard), and concede the turn before I'm going to die to double Greater Gargadon.

Record: 3-2

Game 6: nyad99 (Five-Color Good Stuff)

I start by building up my mana with Thirst for Knowledge and Signets. Nyad99 plays Sensei's Divining Top, Wanderer's Twig, and Civic Wayfinder. I drop Deathrender on turn five, and follow it with Bringer of the White Dawn on turn six, equipping it with my Render. Nyad99 kills my Bringer with Death Rattle, and I drop Bringer of the Blue Dawn straight into play! Nyad99 is unable to deal with both a 7/7 trampler and my ability to draw three cards a turn, and quickly succumbs to my forces.

Record: 4-2

Game 7: Enright (Blue-Red Card Drawing)


Squee, Goblin Nabob
This was a long, long game. Enright gets Merfolk Looter and Looter il-Kor and starts discarding Squee, Goblin Nabob all over the place. He follows them up with Words of War and Compulsion, and kills off three straight Bringers. However, those Bringers are a diversion, as I am building up enough mana to get and use Mindslaver. I take out his entire board after Mindslaving him, and take out his hand thanks to a Goblin Lore.

Enright then drops Chamber of Manipulation and another Compulsion, and I have to Fabricate for both Legacy Weapon and a Signet to use it! This allows me to start taking out his permanents one-by-one, slowly whittling away at both his card-drawing cards (to take Squee offline), and then his lands. Sundering Titan accelerates my kill, and soon I have won the game!

Record: 5-2

One direction I definitely could have taken the deck from the start was towards charge counters and +1/+1 counters, utilizing the Coretapper plan. As it stands, the Bringer deck is slow, but powerful. Cards like Sun Droplet would work wonders for stabilizing the early game, but I already have a Sun Droplet / counter deck in mind for post-Shadowmoor (hint: If you remove a -1/-1 counter from a persist creature using Power Conduit, you can immediately give that same creature a +1/+1 counter. Have Kitchen Finks die as a 3/2 and come back as a 4/3!), so I didn't want to go that route just yet.

I did, however, really like the pacing on Enright's blue-red deck. It had a lot of good, clean effects, a lot of synergy, and best of all, a pretty tight budget: outside of Squee, all of the cards in the deck could be gotten for a pittance. Let's take a look at his deck:

Enright UR Start

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Remember when I had my Twenty Hidden Gems article last week, and I asked you which gems you most wanted to see me build a deck around? Well, here's the results of that poll.

Which of these ideas do you most want to see a deck built around?
Sprouting Phytohydra 810 12.1%
Zur's Weirding 721 10.8%
Braids, Cabal Minion 584 8.7%
Ageless Entity / Well of Lost Dreams 499 7.5%
Spellweaver Helix 418 6.3%
Eye of the Storm 379 5.7%
Gleancrawler 345 5.2%
Rakdos Riteknife 341 5.1%
Iname, Death Aspect 338 5.1%
Horobi, Death's Wail 334 5.0%
Guiltfeeder 333 5.0%
Proteus Staff 315 4.7%
Equilibrium 254 3.8%
Three Dreams 252 3.8%
Chisei, Heart of Oceans 249 3.7%
Artificer's Intuition 184 2.8%
Bioplasm / Timesifter 168 2.5%
Ion Storm 156 2.3%
Total 6680 100.0%

The top three finishers are, in order, Sprouting Phytohydra, Zur's Weirding, and Braids, Cabal Minion. Well, Enright has the perfect start for a Zur's Weirding deck! He has lots of card drawing to overwhelm the opponent's ability to pay life, a way to get cards from his graveyard to his hand (Squee), and the right colors for a Zur's Weirding deck. Next week will be the last part of the current Round Robin, but don't worry—it will definitely be back again in the future, as it has been extremely popular! And when we return next week, we'll see what happens when we get my Weirdings into Enright's Words of War.

See you in seven!


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