Kamigawa Block Constructed Arcane Spirits

Posted in Daily Deck on June 23, 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.

This week on Daily Decks, we're doing something a little different. Magic Origins previews are happening as we speak—so while we get hyped about the new set, this is a perfect time to learn about some of the origin stories of members of R&D. Some of our more well-known Magic designers, like Mark Rosewater and Gavin Verhey, have already written about their origin stories. Be sure to check them out if you haven't yet.

To continue along that route, I've asked R&D members to share their origin decks. These decks may have been ones that they used when they started playing, or just decks that stuck with them over time. Today's deck belongs to Scott Van Essen. Scott is a designer for Duel Masters, but he occasionally lends a hand to Magic R&D as well. He's been at Wizards for a year and a half (his previous career was in aerospace engineering), and most recently he was on the Lock design team. Scott was also a competitor in both Great Designer Searches.

Scott has been playing Magic since 1997, and has taken some breaks since then. But in 2005 he rediscovered Magic through Magic Online. During that time, he became addicted to drafting and spent most of his free time doing Champions of Kamigawa, Betrayers of Kamigawa, and Saviors of Kamigawa drafts. As you might have guessed, doing that many drafts caused him to accumulate quite the collection, and he built the following Block Constructed deck out of his Draft leftovers. It was the first Constructed deck he ever built online, and he had lots of fun with it.

The deck aims to cast the Onna creatures and gain a ton of value from them. Every nonland card in the deck can return an Onna from the graveyard to hand. This deck can flood the board with Spirits and eventually win by grinding the opponent out with splice onto Arcane spells. In Scott's words, "The deck was incredibly slow and clunky, but if left unmolested for long enough, it could generate some exciting turns (not to mention a whole bunch of clicks on Magic Online)."

This deck definitely took me down memory lane, as I also played a ton of Kamigawa Block Constructed. What I remember most was how poor the mana fixing was back then. We have certainly come a long way from dual lands that don't untap for a turn if you use them!

Scott Van Essen's Arcane Spirits

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