Cards n’Flux: M12 Event Deck Review
By otakuman5000 On 14 Aug, 2011 At 10:13 PM | Categorized As Reviews, Reviews, TableTop Gaming | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHello and welcome Magic players to another edition of Cards n’Flux.  My name is Corlando, your super awesome tour guide through the wondrous world of Magic the Gathering.  This week we are going to be looking at the two new event decks Wizards has put out for Magic 2012.  Both decks have their good points but I get the strong feeling that yet again one of these decks is going to be much more popular than the other.

 

First up this week is the Blue Illusion deck… no it’s the Blue artifact deck… nope, back to illusion.  Does this give you an idea of the major problem with the deck?  In case you have not seen the deck list, here it is:

 

Illusionary Might:

Land:

1 Glacial Fortress

4 Glimmerpost

19 Island

 

Creatures:

4 Æther Adept

2 Grand Architect

1 Lord of the Unreal

4 Phantasmal Bear

3 Phantasmal Dragon

1 Phantasmal Image

4 Porcelain Legionnaire

1 Precursor Golem

4 Spined Thopter

1 Steel Hellkite

 

Spells:

4 Mana Leak

3 Mind Control

4 Preordain

 

Sideboard:

2 Flashfreeze

2 Frost Breath

3 Master Thief

1 Mind Control

2 Negate

4 Neurok Commando

1 Stoic Rebuttal

 

Wizards claims this deck is great for delaying and yet also dropping good threats such as Phantasmal Dragons and eventually Steel Hellkite.  However, the problem comes from being aggressive and being control.  If you are paying mana to get creatures onto the field to kill your opponent, then you are not holding mana back in an effort to counter your opponent’s bigger creatures and spells.  And even though Grand Architect is great at boosting Blue creatures, it can put players in a very awkward position.  “Do I tap my blue creatures for mana instead of swinging, or due I swing, risk losing one or two of my creatures, and hope he does not do something next turn to hurt my forces.”  This deck is literally two decks Wizards smashed together, an aggressive, slightly swarming Illusion deck, and a ramping Blue artifact deck.

Now saying all that, do I think this deck is a product for people to ignore, no.  What you get for your money is quite a few good cards.  Steel Hellkite and Precusor Golem are pretty good bombs to add to any deck and two Grand Architects are useful in getting them out.  Building around these and adding in a few fun blue drops such as Treasure Mage to search out your threats and Aether Adept to bounce your opponent’s would be the best way to start.  Then adding in a few big threats such as Wurmcoil Engine, Mindslaver, or Platinum Hyperion (essentially season to taste) will give people a deck that could be very consistent and very fun.  On the Illusion side, players get a Lord of the Unreal and a Phantasmal Image, the two cards that almost seem required if you plan to make an illusion deck.  With a little trading and some luck, players can easily gain a full playset of the Lord and Image plus some Adaptive Automatons to make the deck a real threat.  Maybe once Innistrad hits we will have a few more illusions to toss in the deck.  I sure do hope so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue deck is a pretty decent, if a bit akward, however in my opinion the Black Vampire deck is probably going to be the more sought after deck.  Here’s a look at the decklist and let us see if you can spot why:

 

Vampire Onslaught:

Lands:

23 Swamp

1 Verdant Catacombs

 

Creatures:

2 Bloodghast

4 Bloodthrone Vampire

4 Gatekeeper of Malakir

1 Kalastria Highborn

4 Pawn of Ulamog

1 Vampire Hexmage

4 Vampire Lacerator

2 Vampire Nighthawk

3 Vampire Outcasts

4 Viscera Seer

 

Spells:

2 Blade of the Bloodchief

4 Dismember

1 Mimic Vat

 

Sideboard:

4 Distress

2 Go for the Throat

4 Skinrender

3 Vampire Hexmage

2 Vampire Nighthawk

 

Four copies of Dismember, are serious?  For those who do not know, Dismember is the official removal spell of standard.  Why?  Because it is such a tricky little spell.  For four life and a colorless mana you can kill practically anything in standard, even if you are mono Green.  That is quite powerful and this is just the beginning.

With this deck comes, arguably, the foundations for a Red/Black Vampire deck that has claimed many victories in recent Magic tournaments.  The only real cards you will need to make the conversion will be a handful of burn spells such as Lightning Bolt, Searing Blaze, etc, a few more rares such as Kalastria Highborn and maybe few Hero of Oxid Ridge, and a few dual lands.  Arguably, this is the best event deck Wizards has ever put forth for its young players.  Granted a large portion of the cards are set to cycle when Innistrad hits, but for the time being players have the opportunity to take an event deck all the way to the winner’s circle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of the cycling thing, it is a shame that at least 35 of the cards supplied by the deck are going to cycle, but a lot of people like to build vampire decks.  In my regular play group practically every one of the nine or so guys that show up regularly have a vampire deck.  So even though the decks life in standard will be short, I believe the deck has quite a lot of staying power.  With this thought in mind I say if you are going to get an event deck, get either one of these two decks.  Sure one of them operates like a person with split personality disorder and the other is not long for this world, but each offers something useful to the starting or veteran player.

 

With that we begin the closing of the article with the Closing Questions Section:

 

1.  Which of these events decks is your favorite?

 

2.  Do you have any real critiques for Wizards and their event decks?

 

3.  If you had the ability to create an event deck, what would you focus on and from which set?

 

Thank you all so very much for sticking with me through this weird and hectic summer.  I am happy to announce I am beginning my final year of college with strong grades and a determination like one I have never felt before.  Unfortunately, the beginning of my final year of college is going to start far from my college and pretty far from my country of origin.  I will be heading to Akita Japan this fall and spending a good 4 months studying Japanese culture and beginning the foundations for my eventual masters and doctorate in East Asian Studies.  Due to the displacement caused by this grandest of adventures, I will be unable to guarantee a weekly Cards n’Flux update.  This does not mean I will be terminating the column, far from it in fact.  You all will still get the occasional article from me and you should all expect articles concerning the Ajani verse Nicol Bolas duel decks and the launch of Innistrad. Now, if you would like to read about my adventures in the land of the Rising Sun, you can follow me on my blog, Otaku Abroad.  Here is a link: http://otakuabroad.blogspot.com/ Thank you to all of my readers and hope that your lives are filled with happiness and good times.  And remember no matter if you deck build in Ontario, Canada; sling spells in Spain; or combo win in Japan, “Etherium is limited.  Innovation is not.”  This is Corlando signing off.

 

About - I am a 44 year old Gamer/Geek/Otaku who has been gaming and watching anime since the late 1970's. I am a passionate otaku who loves all types of games, anime and comics. I have been writing about games since I was a young man. I am an entertainment retail expert and an avid game collector. You can always find me playing or watching something geek related.

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