Maniac Chimes

Posted in Feature on March 14, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

I'm going to try to post roughly one reader submission per week. This week's deck was sent to me by Francisco Jose Ronquillo Marroquin of Guatemala.

Sphinx of the Chimes

This is a blue-black control deck that wins with Sphinx of the Chimes. Sphinx of the Chimes is an extremely powerful creature, in that if you have a large hand and your deck is properly constructed, it can potentially allow you to draw your entire deck the turn it comes into play. The problem is that it requires the fairly serious design constraint for a control deck that you have to play four copies of each spell in your deck.

Franciso uses Heartless Summoning, a card that hasn't seen much play since Solemn Simulacrum and Wurmcoil Engine left Standard, to greatly accelerate his Sphinx of the Chimes, which is nice, but it gets even better when you understand what he's actually doing with the Sphinx of the Chimes.

Drawing your entire deck is nice, but it doesn't actually win you the game most of the time in Standard. You just don't have any way to play all those spells. In fact, you usually just lose the game if you draw too many cards at once because there just isn't any way to turn those cards into mana. However, Laboratory Maniac can easily convert that loss into a win, and Heartless summoning turns him into a one-mana 1/1.

If you're trying to play Sphinx of the Chimes and win in the same turn by casting Laboratory Maniac, Heartless Summoning will save you four mana—and if you want to cast two Laboratory Maniacs for added insurance, it will save you six.

The rest of the deck is devoted to buying time and setting up the combo.

The list posted is as it was submitted to me, but I will suggest that multiple Laboratory Maniacs seem superfluous to me, since you'll only use them when you're drawing your entire deck, and there's a reasonable chance that you can just discard to draw again in response if they have a removal spell to kill it in response to you drawing the last card to win.

Since you need a sizeable hand to actually win with Sphinx of the Chimes, I would suggest playing four Divinations in place of three Laboratory Maniacs and the Increasing Ambition.

The sideboard is also mine, since it was submitted without one.

Francisco Jose Ronquillo Marroquin's Sphinx of the Chimes Combo

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