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A Fistful of Jank - Aikido - Evan Pringle (2/19/2015)

Aikido
My opponent cast a sorcery before attacking with several creatures, most of them pretty small. One, however, was the Dragon-Style Twins
Dragon-Style Twins
Dragon-Style TwinsSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
R
Number:
108
Artist:
Wesley Burt
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Double strike Prowess (Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
, now a dangerous 4/4 with double strike. I set up some blockers so the only thing getting through was the Twins, then played out Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
, taking no damage and instead dealing 8 to my opponent. To play it safe, I also hit the Twins with Smite the Monstrous
Smite the Monstrous
Smite the MonstrousSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Jason Felix
Text:
Destroy target creature with power 4 or greater.
, and delighted in my opponent's groan.

This was during the Khans of Tarkir
Khans of Tarkir
Khans of TarkirSet: Complete Sets
Text:
This listing is for a complete set, containing one copy of each card. The system will show unit quantity of one, and shipping cost is billed at the one card price. NOTE: Actual shipping is higher and that cost should be built into the set price by the seller. All complete sets should be shipped with insurance and USPS Tracking. The notes field may be used to contain additional information. If you have any questions, please message livesupport or the seller before placing this order.
pre-release, and I have since learned that Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
should have prevented only the first strike portion of the double strike damage, and not the second part.

Still, the interaction ignited a question in me: Could I use Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
as a win condition?

Seeking the Ways
By far, the simplest method of accomplishing this would be to deflect a giant creature attacking me. The odds of that happening, though, mean I can't realistically rely on it often enough to win a game that way.

The better method seemed to be to use pump effects, preferably multiple ones, on an attacking creature, then Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
for great amounts of damage.

This leaves the possibility of the Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
getting countered and thus being open to getting smashed by their newly embiggened creature in a backfiring blowout. To be honest, I rather hoped that would happen once, because it seemed hilarious.

At first, I named the deck “Hand Jive” because it amused me. Much later, as I was thinking about how the deck intends to use my opponents' strengths against them, I realized I was dropping the traditional Jeskai kung fu in favor of “Aikido”!

Building This Mess
I eventually had to buy two copies of Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
to get my play set of them. One of these was in foil, so I spent more than I would've liked, but I had to suck it up and buy the card as I was out of options.

Next came the pump spells. Time to dig out the good ol' Giant Growth
Giant Growth
Giant GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.
s and stick them in the … wait, what? Giant Growth
Giant Growth
Giant GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.
isn't in the current Standard? I'm pretty sure that's not happened since I came back to the game (Rise of the Eldrazi, for reference).

Dejected, I looked at what was available, if not comparable.

Titanic Growth
Titanic Growth
Titanic GrowthSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
198
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Text:
Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn.
came to mind right away. It seems funny, but that one added mana makes this spell so much worse than Giant Growth
Giant Growth
Giant GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.
, so I was happy with only having two of them.

Titan's Strength
Titan's Strength
Titan's StrengthSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
145
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Target creature gets +3/+1 until end of turn. Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
came the closest to Giant Growth
Giant Growth
Giant GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.
. Excepting the color, it costs the same and provides the same power boost. If anything, the lower toughness buff would only help my situation.

I added a full complement of Defiant Strike
Defiant Strike
Defiant StrikeSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Anastasia Ovchinnikova
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn. Draw a card.
s more for the card draw than the boost, but I figured every little bit helps, so why not?

Kahns added Awaken the Bear
Awaken the Bear
Awaken the BearSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
129
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains trample until end of turn.
to the card collection, and it's pretty good. It's not ideal for this situation, though, because the cost is a little rough; I couldn't care less about the tacked-on trample, as it wouldn't even factor in to damage.

I added a couple copies of Mortal's Ardor
Mortal's Ardor
Mortal's ArdorSet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+1 and gains lifelink until end of turn. (Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life.)
more to be funny than anything else. I was amused by the thought of the interaction: your guy is dealing more damage now and even has lifelink, and now here's Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
, which makes it not matter in the least! Ah, the LOLs to be had.

I filled out the rest of the pump spells with just some stuff I had lying around. It wasn't anything outstanding for this concept, just utilitarian.

I should point out here that I had very little time to actually put this deck together, which is dumb. I had the concept for weeks before building it. I knew what I wanted to do. Either I didn't have the time or, likely more accurately, I didn't take the time to begin working on it until about an hour before FNM. (Don't do that. Build well ahead of time. That's an actual lesson you can take away from this. Hey! I'm an educator!)

To fill out the deck, I tossed in a few creatures to block so I might survive. Also, if an opponent tried something that doesn't involve attacking me with creatures, I would want to attack with my own dudes.

I tried to focus on having plenty of creatures with Prowess, while keeping them generally pretty cheap. Ultimately, I wasn't all that happy with what I had available, but I went with it. Looking at it afterward, I think I could have gone with fewer creatures, but that's pure speculation.

Then I turned to the sideboard. Look, I'll be honest: sideboarding is a skill I really need to work on. In this case, I planned on seeing gods, so I tossed in my one copy of Deicide
Deicide
DeicideSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Artist:
Jason Chan
Text:
Exile target enchantment. If the exiled card is a God card, search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them, then that player shuffles his or her library.
, as well as three copies of Erase
Erase
EraseSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Remove target enchantment from the game.
, which would also deal nicely with any copies of Whip of Erebos
Whip of Erebos
Whip of ErebosSet: Theros
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Enchantment Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Text:
Creatures you control have lifelink. {2}{B}{B}, {T}: Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step. If it would leave the battlefield, exile it instead of putting it anywhere else. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
out there. Everything else I added to the sideboard was a guess.

Pre-Game Thoughts
I knew from the start that I needed to keep quiet about what my deck was trying to do. It's very easy to play around this strategy, so my only hope was to face palm people before they knew what was happening.

Make no mistake – I had no delusions of victory here. Simply put, this isn't the way Magic is supposed to work. That is why I do this, though. Playing Magic shouldn't be the same all the time. If I have to crash and burn to give people, myself included, a more interesting time, then I'll do it.

Putting aside the question of what that says about me, I shuffled up my deck, prepared to deal out my first hand with absolutely no testing.

Confessions of a Jankster
There are two problems I have to work through from here on out.

Firstly, life got in the way between FNM and writing this; about three weeks' worth of life, actually, so I'm unable to remember the more mundane details about the matches.

Secondly, these matches are especially boring in the retelling.

So I've decided I'm going to just try to hit the highlights that are represented in my notes and just go for a general impression of the various matchups.

Round 1
My first opponent was William, and he brought along a near mirror match for me: Jeskai Control. One of the all-star cards in his deck was Hushwing Gryff
Hushwing Gryff
Hushwing GryffSet: Magic 2015 Core Set
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hippogriff
Rarity:
R
Number:
15
Artist:
John Severin Brassell
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.) Flying Creatures entering the battlefield don't cause abilities to trigger.
, which was thankfully merely a 2/1 flyer against my deck. He blew out my Highspire Mantis
Highspire Mantis
Highspire MantisSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
U
Number:
177
Artist:
Igor Kieryluk
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying, trample
with a Lightning Strike
Lightning Strike
Lightning StrikeSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
127
Artist:
Adam Paquette
Text:
Lightning Strike deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
, and used a fair number of direct-damage spells to whittle me down to nothing. At one point, I cast Titan's Strength
Titan's Strength
Titan's StrengthSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
145
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Target creature gets +3/+1 until end of turn. Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
onto his attacking Mantis Rider
Mantis Rider
Mantis RiderSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
R
Number:
184
Artist:
Johann Bodin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying, vigilance, haste
and got a quizzical expression that I was hoping to see all night. Of course, a Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
followed it and it hit him for 6, but all in all, I was unable to secure any semblance of victory here, as he finished me off with a Jeskai Charm
Jeskai Charm
Jeskai CharmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
181
Artist:
Mathias Kollros
Text:
Choose one — • Put target creature on top of its owner's library. • Jeskai Charm deals 4 damage to target opponent. • Creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain lifelink until end of turn.
in game one and two Mantis Rider
Mantis Rider
Mantis RiderSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
R
Number:
184
Artist:
Johann Bodin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying, vigilance, haste
s in game two.

I chose to not side anything in, but William sided in some counterspells and his own Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
s. It would have been kind of neat to see the feedback loop of a couple of Palms bouncing damage back and forth, but that did not happen.

Round 2
Pop quiz: What's better than a Fleecemane Lion
Fleecemane Lion
Fleecemane LionSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
R
Number:
193
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
{3}{G}{W}: Monstrosity 1. (If this creature isn't monstrous, put a +1/+1 counter on it and it becomes monstrous.) As long as Fleecemane Lion is monstrous, it has hexproof and indestructible.
going monstrous?
Answer: Having an Abzan Falconer
Abzan Falconer
Abzan FalconerSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
2
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Outlast W (W, T: Put a +1/+1 counter on this creature. Outlast only as a sorcery.) Each creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it has flying.
out when it happens, so the ridiculous beast is flying, too.

That is what my second opponent, Chelsea, used during our games.

Still, I managed to get her life total pretty low in both games. For instance, I hit her Ainok Bond-Kin
Ainok Bond-Kin
Ainok Bond-KinSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Outlast 1W (1W, T: Put a +1/+1 counter on this creature. Outlast only as a sorcery.) Each creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it has first strike.
with Titanic Growth
Titanic Growth
Titanic GrowthSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
198
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Text:
Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn.
(getting the funny look) and Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
. I also did it with Awaken the Bear
Awaken the Bear
Awaken the BearSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
129
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains trample until end of turn.
, bringing her to 7 before she finished me with Herald of Anafenza
Herald of Anafenza
Herald of AnafenzaSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Aaron Miller
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Outlast 2W (2W, T: Put a +1/+1 counter on this creature. Outlast only as a sorcery.) Whenever you activate Herald of Anafenza's outlast ability, put a 1/1 white Warrior creature token onto the battlefield.
and a warrior token in game one.

Game two, I accidentally played Magic the “normal” way, casting a Monastery Swiftspear
Monastery Swiftspear
Monastery SwiftspearSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
U
Number:
118
Artist:
Steve Argyle
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Haste Prowess (Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
on turn one, pumping it with Titan's Strength
Titan's Strength
Titan's StrengthSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
145
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Target creature gets +3/+1 until end of turn. Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
, Defiant Strike
Defiant Strike
Defiant StrikeSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Anastasia Ovchinnikova
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn. Draw a card.
and Mortal's Ardor
Mortal's Ardor
Mortal's ArdorSet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+1 and gains lifelink until end of turn. (Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life.)
(not all at once), bringing her to 4 life until she removed it with Utter End
Utter End
Utter EndSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
210
Artist:
Mark Winters
Text:
Exile target nonland permanent.
. I never could Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
the flying Lion, but boy, I wanted to.

Round 3
The less said about round three, the better.

Opponent: Brian
Deck: Blue/White Good Stuff
Modus Operandi: Akroan Horse
Akroan Horse
Akroan HorseSet: Theros
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Horse
Rarity:
R
Number:
210
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
Defender When Akroan Horse enters the battlefield, an opponent gains control of it. At the beginning of your upkeep, each opponent puts a 1/1 white Soldier creature token onto the battlefield.


It was a dismal beating, even after I sideboarded in everything that could deal with artifacts. At the worst, he gave me three of those stupid horses and built an army to crush me and all my Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
dreams. Factor in the Tromokratis
Tromokratis
TromokratisSet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
7
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Kraken
Rarity:
R
Number:
55
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
8
Toughness:
8
Text:
Tromokratis has hexproof unless it's attacking or blocking. Tromokratis can't be blocked unless all creatures defending player controls block it. (If any creature that player controls doesn't block this creature, it can't be blocked.)
and this was approximately 25 minutes of my life I want back.

That's it; moving on!

Round 4
The final round of the night saw my only victory, in game two, wherein I used a grand total of three copies of Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.
(and no pump spells) to redirect the damage from Butcher of the Horde
Butcher of the Horde
Butcher of the HordeSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
168
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Sacrifice another creature: Butcher of the Horde gains your choice of vigilance, lifelink, or haste until end of turn.
once and Zurgo Helmsmasher
Zurgo Helmsmasher
Zurgo HelmsmasherSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Orc Warrior
Rarity:
M
Number:
214
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Power:
7
Toughness:
2
Text:
Haste Zurgo Helmsmasher attacks each combat if able. Zurgo Helmsmasher has indestructible as long as it's your turn. Whenever a creature dealt damage by Zurgo Helmsmasher this turn dies, put a +1/+1 counter on Zurgo Helmsmasher.
twice.

The other games, though, Sarah crushed me with her Mardu deck, running me over with: Whip of Erebos
Whip of Erebos
Whip of ErebosSet: Theros
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Enchantment Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Text:
Creatures you control have lifelink. {2}{B}{B}, {T}: Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step. If it would leave the battlefield, exile it instead of putting it anywhere else. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
; Crackling Doom
Crackling Doom
Crackling DoomSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
171
Artist:
Yohann Schepacz
Text:
Crackling Doom deals 2 damage to each opponent. Each opponent sacrifices a creature with the greatest power among creatures he or she controls.
; Ajani Steadfast
Ajani Steadfast
Ajani SteadfastSet: Magic 2015 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Ajani
Rarity:
M
Number:
1
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Text:
+1: Until end of turn, up to one target creature gets +1/+1 and gains first strike, vigilance, and lifelink. -2: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control and a loyalty counter on each other planeswalker you control. -7: You get an emblem with "If a source would deal damage to you or a planeswalker you control, prevent all but 1 of that damage."
; Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
Sarkhan, the DragonspeakerSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Sarkhan
Rarity:
M
Number:
119
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
+1: Until end of turn, Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker becomes a legendary 4/4 red Dragon creature with flying, indestructible, and haste. (He doesn't lose loyalty while he's not a planeswalker.) -3: Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker deals 4 damage to target creature. -6: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of your draw step, draw two additional cards" and "At the beginning of your end step, discard your hand."
; Bloodsoaked Champion
Bloodsoaked Champion
Bloodsoaked ChampionSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Warrior
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Artist:
Aaron Miller
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Bloodsoaked Champion can't block. Raid — 1B: Return Bloodsoaked Champion from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate this ability only if you attacked with a creature this turn.
; the aforementioned Zurgo and Nyx-Fleece Ram
Nyx-Fleece Ram
Nyx-Fleece RamSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment Creature
Sub Type:
Sheep
Rarity:
U
Number:
18
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
0
Toughness:
5
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you gain 1 life.
. It was pretty ugly, really.

The one thing I was happy with from this matchup was using Deicide
Deicide
DeicideSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Artist:
Jason Chan
Text:
Exile target enchantment. If the exiled card is a God card, search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them, then that player shuffles his or her library.
on her Athreos, God of Passage
Athreos, God of Passage
Athreos, God of PassageSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Enchantment Creature
Sub Type:
God
Rarity:
M
Number:
146
Artist:
Ryan Barger
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Indestructible As long as your devotion to white and black is less than seven, Athreos isn't a creature. Whenever another creature you own dies, return it to your hand unless target opponent pays 3 life.
. Turns out it was the only one in her deck, but I at least got a look at all her cards. Were I a better player, that knowledge may have actually been helpful.

Post-mortem
Here's the obvious: don't rely on this card to win you games. Some folks even say it's an unplayable card, which is a term that rankles me (though I've used it myself). What they mean is that it's not one of the best cards in any given situation, but there are certainly times when it's helpful.

One thing that was kind of funny is that, in a meta of wedge color decks, I had to use a shard grouping. How quickly people forget some of those color names, though. I told people it was Naya
Naya
NayaSet: Planechase
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Plane
Sub Type:
Alara
Rarity:
C
Number:
27
Artist:
Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
Text:
You may play any number of additional lands on each of your turns. Whenever you roll {C}, target red, green, or white creature you control gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each land you control.
, and they all thought I meant Nylea. Let's see … I'm running green, red and white; why do you think I mean mono-green?

If I had a casual playgroup that liked doing silly things, this is a deck I would definitely keep together (modified with Giant Growth
Giant Growth
Giant GrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Target creature gains +3/+3 until end of turn.
and some other cards). As it is though, its component parts shall be separated with no hope of ever rejoining into the sluggish wannabe that it was.

Aikido decklist:
Instant (25)

2x Awaken the Bear
Awaken the Bear
Awaken the BearSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
129
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains trample until end of turn.

1x Dauntless Onslaught
Dauntless Onslaught
Dauntless OnslaughtSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
6
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +2/+2 until end of turn.

4x Defiant Strike
Defiant Strike
Defiant StrikeSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Anastasia Ovchinnikova
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn. Draw a card.

4x Deflecting Palm
Deflecting Palm
Deflecting PalmSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
173
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. If damage is prevented this way, Deflecting Palm deals that much damage to that source's controller.

1x Gather Courage
Gather Courage
Gather CourageSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
165
Artist:
Brian Despain
Text:
Convoke (Each creature you tap while playing this spell reduces its cost by 1 or by one mana of that creature’s color.) Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

2x Gods Willing
Gods Willing
Gods WillingSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
16
Artist:
Mark Winters
Text:
Target creature you control gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)

2x Kill Shot
Kill Shot
Kill ShotSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
15
Artist:
Michael C. Hayes
Text:
Destroy target attacking creature.

2x Mortal's Ardor
Mortal's Ardor
Mortal's ArdorSet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Target creature gets +1/+1 and gains lifelink until end of turn. (Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life.)

2x Ranger's Guile
Ranger's Guile
Ranger's GuileSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
201
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Text:
Target creature you control gets +1/+1 and gains hexproof until end of turn. (It can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.)

2x Titanic Growth
Titanic Growth
Titanic GrowthSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
198
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Text:
Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn.

3x Titan's Strength
Titan's Strength
Titan's StrengthSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
145
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Target creature gets +3/+1 until end of turn. Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)


Land (23)
3x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

7x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

6x Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

1x Rugged Highlands
Rugged Highlands
Rugged HighlandsSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
240
Artist:
Eytan Zana
Text:
Rugged Highlands enters the battlefield tapped. When Rugged Highlands enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life. T: Add R or G to your mana pool.

1x Temple of Abandon
Temple of Abandon
Temple of AbandonSet: Theros
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
224
Artist:
Mike Bierek
Text:
Temple of Abandon enters the battlefield tapped. When Temple of Abandon enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.) {T}: Add {R} or {G} to your mana pool.

1x Temple of Plenty
Temple of Plenty
Temple of PlentySet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
165
Artist:
Noah Bradley
Text:
Temple of Plenty enters the battlefield tapped. When Temple of Plenty enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.) {T}: Add {G} or {W} to your mana pool.

4x Wind-Scarred Crag
Wind-Scarred Crag
Wind-Scarred CragSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
247
Artist:
Eytan Zana
Text:
Wind-Scarred Crag enters the battlefield tapped. When Wind-Scarred Crag enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life. T: Add R or W to your mana pool.


Creature (12)
2x Dazzling Ramparts
Dazzling Ramparts
Dazzling RampartsSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
6
Artist:
Jung Park
Power:
0
Toughness:
7
Text:
Defender 1W, T: Tap target creature.

2x Highspire Mantis
Highspire Mantis
Highspire MantisSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
U
Number:
177
Artist:
Igor Kieryluk
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying, trample

2x Jeskai Student
Jeskai Student
Jeskai StudentSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
David Gaillet
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Prowess (Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)

3x Leaping Master
Leaping Master
Leaping MasterSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
C
Number:
114
Artist:
Anastasia Ovchinnikova
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
2W: Leaping Master gains flying until end of turn.

1x Monastery Swiftspear
Monastery Swiftspear
Monastery SwiftspearSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Monk
Rarity:
U
Number:
118
Artist:
Steve Argyle
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Haste Prowess (Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)

2x Voyaging Satyr
Voyaging Satyr
Voyaging SatyrSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Satyr Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
182
Artist:
Tyler Jacobson
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
{T}: Untap target land.


Sideboard (15)
1x Arc Lightning
Arc Lightning
Arc LightningSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
174
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Arc Lightning deals 3 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players.

1x Back to Nature
Back to Nature
Back to NatureSet: Magic 2011
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
164
Artist:
Howard Lyon
Text:
Destroy all enchantments.

2x Bolt of Keranos
Bolt of Keranos
Bolt of KeranosSet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
89
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Bolt of Keranos deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)

1x Deicide
Deicide
DeicideSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Artist:
Jason Chan
Text:
Exile target enchantment. If the exiled card is a God card, search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them, then that player shuffles his or her library.

3x Erase
Erase
EraseSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
7
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Remove target enchantment from the game.

3x Lightning Strike
Lightning Strike
Lightning StrikeSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
127
Artist:
Adam Paquette
Text:
Lightning Strike deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

1x Reprisal
Reprisal
ReprisalSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
37
Artist:
Randy Asplund
Text:
Destroy target creature with power 4 or greater. It can't be regenerated.

1x Revoke Existence
Revoke Existence
Revoke ExistenceSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Allen Williams
Text:
Exile target artifact or enchantment.

2x Suspension Field
Suspension Field
Suspension FieldSet: Khans of Tarkir
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
25
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
When Suspension Field enters the battlefield, you may exile target creature with toughness 3 or greater until Suspension Field leaves the battlefield. (That creature returns under its owner's control.)


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