Greater Good Deck Challenge Vote-Off!

Posted in Feature on August 18, 2005

By Bennie Smith

Bennie Smith began playing Magic in 1994 and started writing about it shortly after. A Virginia State Champion, he enjoys few things better than winning at tournaments with home brews. Bennie has a weekly column on He also recently published The Complete Commander. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and the occasional Commander games on Magic Online under the handle "blairwitchgreen."

I was originally going to post five decks this week, and five decks next week for you to vote on for the Greater Good Deck Challenge, but next week we've got something else going on, so we're showcasing all ten semi-finalist decks for you to vote on right here, right now. It was tough, with ultimately over 150 decklists to pour over. I managed to cull it down to about 30 decks and from there it was excruciatingly difficult to pare it down to 10. There are a lot of clever deckbuilders out there, and if yours wasn't selected, don't worry: you could very well have been close and we may do this again not too long down the road if the readers want it back.

Deck #1: The Greatest Succession, by Xepel

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Why vote for Deck #1? Because of the incredibly cool Battlefield Scrounger/Greater Good/Verdant Succession combo, drawing your deck and going nuts before dropping the Chieftain, Plating him up, and swinging for the stands. Sure, it's not going to happen every game, but when it does it's going to be spectacular!

Deck #2: Greater Genju of the Good (G^3) by NosferatuStuff

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Why vote for Deck #2? Because it's a Vanguard deck with a crunchy, old school Bloom Drain taste, sacrificing permanents and doing weird things that the individual cards weren't meant to do. How much mana can we squeeze out of Inner Fire? How much damage is Spiraling Embers going to deal? You know you want to find out. The Birds of Paradise avatar is perfect here, allowing you to run the critical mountains while giving you green mana for your engine spells.

Deck #3: Ember Marogeyser by noahjedi

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Why vote for Deck #3? Because this is the modern incarnation of my oldest-school Marogeyser deck, with Inner Calm, Outer Strength serving as Scent of Ivy, and Spiraling Embers functioning as Firestorm. Old-school Maro is joined by modern day green fat that can just stomp over and win even without Greater Good.

Deck #4: Great Goryo Goryo by DeadEternity

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Why vote for Deck #4? Because you just can't get enough of Kamigawa's splicy goodness and you just have to set up Footsteps of the Goryo targeting Eternal Witness, with Goryo's Vengeance spliced on to send Yosei over to attack perhaps, but ultimately be sacrificed to Greater Good. Yes, that's a pretty tight lock down, folks. Abandon hope all ye who allow this combo to come together.

Deck #5: Isao Daisho by Angelus13

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Why vote for Deck #5? Because Ayumi was born to die to the Greater Good. Because Oathkeeper and Isao do amazing, wonderful things with Greater Good, especially if you can get Bushido triggered. Whether or not this wins the vote, you'll have to give this deck a try in Vanguard with Seshiro on Samurai.

Deck #6: Verdant Engine by zergman2020

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Why vote for Deck #6? Any deck with Sakashima the Imposter deserves your vote, of course! Reanimate Verdant Force and have fun as you turn each Saproling token into another Verdant Force. Pray you have a patient opponent who will let you have at least a turn or two of fun before conceding to the silliness.

Deck #7: Gigahertz by The Feared Avocado

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Why vote for Deck #7? It's the name, silly! Both the deck and the deck designer. It's also beating down with a trampling, card-drawing, can't-stay-dead insect that laughs merrily at your opponent's targeted removal. Exile into Darkness also does a wicked good Squee, Goblin Nabob impression.

Deck #8: Ensnaring Good Lockdown by Psykohamster

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Why vote for Deck #8? Because only someone by the name of Pyskohamster would use Greater Good as a way to empty their hand to enable the Ensnaring Bridge. Empty the graveyard, flip the Graverobber, and then you can start recurring and sacrificing a random dragon from your graveyard each turn. Bonus points for Tatsumasa working well with Greater Good too.

Deck #9: Greater Heartbeat by calenh

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Why vote for Deck #9? Because this deck is using Greater Good as a pure combo engine, through and through. Heartbeat, Early Harvest, Kodama's Reach for a boatload of mana, then start dropping big beasties and sacrificing them. Hunted Wumpus doesn't have much of a drawback if your opponent is going to soon be dead by Kokusho drain.

Deck #10: Enchanting Good by U_li_oh

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Why vote for Deck #10? Because this deck at first might look like a pile, it came with no explanation or fanfare... and yet it looks like something might be cooking here. Death Pit Offering, Bearscape, Greater Good... this is like a really cool puzzle that may or may not have all the pieces and you won't know until you try and put it together.

There you have it. Vote for which one you think is the coolest Greater Good deck, then head to the message boards to share your thoughts and see what others have to say. I will “sleeve up” the top 4 vote getters and run the deck as soon as 9th Edition hits to see which one makes me smile the most, and that winner will get 4 foil Greater Goods downloaded into their MTGO account. Votes will be counted until the site updates this coming Sunday night.

Getting Inside Mark Gottlieb's Head for Prismatic

Dabbling in Prismatic was fun last week, and I thought it might be even more fun to dabble with the Prismatic decks Mark Gottlieb posted last year (see last week's article for the links). Kill 'em All seemed a bit too brutal and nasty, so I decided to give his Prismatic Singleton deck a try.

The one problem with MaGo's decks is that they're pre-banning, which means they're chock full of no-no's. Thankfully, MTGO's deckbuilder is pretty good at pointing out what's wrong with your deck, and I quickly found the problem children. Spoiled brats, all of them, so I gave them the boot and replaced them with kids who know the meaning of the word fun:

Yes, I picked One With Nothing purely for silly style points, because as far as I know MaGo's deck isn't exactly built around discarding your hand. Then I realized that I would probably have One With Nothing in every single opening hand, or top deck it when I was desperate for an answer card, and then it would cease being cute and silly. So I actually replaced Diabolic Tutor with Choice of Damnations, which I think is perfectly in keeping with the spirit of MaGo and could actually do something useful.

Hopefully when or if Mark reads this, he'll approve of my (admittedly casual) changes!

Random Hall (modified)

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Other (1)
1 Fire/Ice
250 Cards