Gunslinger: Matt Place

Posted in Feature on October 7, 2009

By Wizards of the Coast

When a new set comes out, R&D will often bring decks to events to show off the potential of the new cards. These aren't our best FFL decks per se, but instead a glimpse into what the set has to offer. Often these decks are intentionally un-streamlined, both to keep opponents guessing and to make the deck more fun to play for 10 straight hours!

Matt Place was gunslinging at the Los Angeles, CA Prerelease:

Matt Place's Snake Trap

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Iona, Shield of Emeria

Did I ever tell you about the time I had turn-three Iona, Shield of Emeria against mono red? Good news: I won that game!

My deck from the Prerelease is trying to maximize the power of Lotus Cobra and Summoning Trap. The deck is a deck of dreams, and the key to many of these dreams is a turn two Lotus Cobra. Casting turn-three Baneslayer Angel is a play that comes up relatively often. To do this you need a turn-two Cobra followed by a turn-three fetch land, giving you five mana for the Angel on turn three. The much bigger dream is the turn-three Iona. This one involves turn-one Birds of Paradise, turn-two Lotus Cobra, and then a turn 3 fetch land. This gives you six mana on turn three to cast Summoning Trap and hopefully find one of your three copies of Iona in your top seven cards.

This deck is heavy green-white but includes black for a few reasons, the main being that you want fetch lands to combo with the Lotus Cobra. Once you decide to put in the black fetch lands, you might as well add some strong black cards, and Ob Nixilis, the Fallen is perfect for this deck. With fetch lands and Path to Exile (cast on your own little creatures) you can quickly drain your opponent for 6 and create a 9/9 Ob Nixilis (often much larger).

A couple cards to think about to improve the deck: Sphinx of the Steel Wind is very strong against Jund decks. They have few ways to win the game once it hits the table due to its lifelink and its protection from red and from green. You would usually pull her with a Summoning Trap, but in some games Lotus Cobra or Birds of Paradise will give you the you need to actually hardcast her. Another card to think about is Martial Coup. This deck generates a lot of mana in the late game, so big spells can be game-changers.

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