Ethan Fleischer's Ornithopter Aggro

Posted in Daily Deck on July 9, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Today's Origin Story deck probably looks a bit strange to most people. It doesn't look like a deck at all, just a pile of cards. Believe it or not, back when Magic first came out there were no deck building rules other than a 40-card deck minimum. You could play as many copies of a card as you wanted! The four-of one card, 60-card minimum deck building rule didn't come about until tournaments started in early 1994.

Later that year, Antiquities came out and young Ethan Fleischer was intrigued by this new card: Ornithopter. It was a creature that you didn't have to pay any mana for! That had to be on the same power level as the Moxes and Black Lotus, right?

Ethan collected as many Ornithopters as he could and built his very first deck: an aggro/tempo deck based around the absurdly powerful zero-mana Ornithopter. Unstable Mutation was the card that tied everything together and enabled the Ornithopters to attack. Unstable Mutation was a pretty powerful card back in the early days of Magic. Creature removal was not as prominent and it was pretty rare for blue to have the ability to give a creature +3/+3. Unstable Mutation could also be used as a very slow removal spell, making this card pretty versatile.

This deck's plan is to cast one or more Ornithopters on turn one, and then as many Unstable Mutations as possible on subsequent turns. On turn two, you could attack for six with two Unstable Mutations. On turn three you could attack for as much as thirteen, provided you have drawn five Unstable Mutations.

The deck is aggressive and simple, but unfortunately Ethan never won a single game with it. It did, however, give him the foundation he needed to become a great deck builder and Magic designer. He went on to win The Great Designer Search 2 back in 2010. Ethan has been a designer at Wizards for about five years now, has been a lead designer on plenty of sets, and has certainly come a long way since his Ornithopter days.

Ethan Fleischer’s Ornithopter Aggro

Download Arena Decklist
Creature (13)
13 Ornithopter
Enchantment (14)
14 Unstable Mutation
Land (13)
13 Island
40 Cards

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