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A Fistful of Jank - Tactically Elite Druids - Evan Pringle (5/29/2014)

Back when I was running the Slippery Slivers deck, a Magic enthusiast saw my (ridiculous) mana base and asked me if I was running an infinite combination. I said that any infinite combos in my deck would have been both surprising and unintentional. He explained that the combo involved three cards: Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
, Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa DruidSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Mark Winters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool. Whenever you tap Zhur-Taa Druid for mana, it deals 1 damage to each opponent.
, and Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
. I had to tell him that the deck I was using that night had Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
, but only slivers for creatures.

After I got home, I looked up the card combination and found exactly how it works: You have to get Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa DruidSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Mark Winters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool. Whenever you tap Zhur-Taa Druid for mana, it deals 1 damage to each opponent.
onto the field. Either before or after that, you must cast Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
while you have Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
in your hand. When Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
resolves, exile Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
to its enters-the-battlefield effect. When neither creature has summoning sickness, tap the Druid for one green mana plus a point of damage to the opponent; use that mana and the Arcanist's tap effect to cast Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
, targeting the Druid and the Arcanist, which gives them +0/+3 and untaps them. Repeat.

As a rule, I don't like infinite combos. They can easily make some big feel-bad moments, and I prefer fun to crushing dreams. But I also like janky synergy (as you may have noticed), and this combo had that in spades. The damage was done – I had to make this happen.

I approached this deck differently from any other I've ever made. The playstyle is so divergent from my norm that I needed a little guidance, so I searched on TappedOut.net for a deck that used the combo. I settled on a deck by Lord007 called Elite Taactics (I love this deck name so much, but it feels wrong to steal it, so I had to come up with something lesser). I used this as a jumping-off point.

Ideally, I would have four of each piece of the combo. What I had in my collection was more than a playset of Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa DruidSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Mark Winters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool. Whenever you tap Zhur-Taa Druid for mana, it deals 1 damage to each opponent.
s, two Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
and only one Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
. That wasn't going to cut it. I also wanted four Omenspeaker
Omenspeaker
OmenspeakerSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
57
Artist:
Dallas Williams
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Omenspeaker enters the battlefield, scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
s for the scrying and blocking, but only had two.

Time passed, during which I played a sealed event and scored another Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
. I eventually had to outright buy two more Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
s (I would have bought three but the Gamers Grotto had only two available).

Along came the Journey into Nyx prerelease, which granted me another Omenspeaker
Omenspeaker
OmenspeakerSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
57
Artist:
Dallas Williams
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Omenspeaker enters the battlefield, scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
, a Nullify
Nullify
NullifySet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Adam Paquette
Text:
Counter target creature or Aura spell.
and two copies of a new card: Hubris
Hubris
HubrisSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
Return target creature and all Auras attached to it to their owners' hands.
. After literally putting Hubris
Hubris
HubrisSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
Return target creature and all Auras attached to it to their owners' hands.
side-by-side with Ætherize
Ætherize
ÆtherizeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Artist:
Ryan Barger
Text:
Return all attacking creatures to their owner's hand.
, I decided the new card needed to replace the old card in this deck. I felt that the likelihood of Ætherize
Ætherize
ÆtherizeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
29
Artist:
Ryan Barger
Text:
Return all attacking creatures to their owner's hand.
hitting a gaggle of creatures was unlikely enough that I wanted the ability to bounce something that wasn't necessarily going for my throat.

One of the last additions to the deck was Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of ThoughtSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
44
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn. -2: Reveal the top three cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library in any order. -8: For each player, search that player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffles his or her library. You may cast those cards without paying their mana costs.
. I had nabbed a copy of Duel Decks: Jace vs. Vraska soon after it was released, so I actually had one available. It seemed pretty clear to me that all I wanted to do was use his -2 ability to help me get together the pieces of my death machine.

The last time I was at Friday Night Magic, I saw multiple opponents running mono-black devotion, so I did something else I've never done: I proxied up an early, simple mono-black devotion build and tested against it.

The verdict? It helped me decide what to put in my sideboard, but it just killed me every time. Even when it had a slow start and I had a good start, it absolutely destroyed me. My only hope was to not be paired against it.

Against anything else, I had no idea what was going to happen. Ultimately, all I wanted was to hit the combo once sometime during the tournament. That would be enough.

Thus, I went to FNM in search of Magical Christmas Land.

My Round 1 opponent was Nick, running an Azorius deck. It turns out this was his first tournament ever, so I told him I hoped he had fun and returned often. And then I didn't let him play anything in Game 1. To be honest, because life totals weren't changing, I neglected to write anything down for a long time. What I know for sure is that I had a counterspell or bounce spell answer to everything he played until he finally landed an Ascended Lawmage
Ascended Lawmage
Ascended LawmageSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vedalken Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
53
Artist:
Ryan Yee
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying, hexproof
and hit me for three. Next turn, I got out Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of ThoughtSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
44
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn. -2: Reveal the top three cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library in any order. -8: For each player, search that player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffles his or her library. You may cast those cards without paying their mana costs.
and got the last piece of the combo I needed. Jace then became a nice target for the Lawmage, which was fine; he had served his purpose and could go back to being a living Guildpact. I played out all the pieces to the combo and passed turn. My heart pounded very fast while I waited to see if he could disrupt me at all. He read each card carefully, but eventually passed the turn to me. I explained the interaction and I won; it was pretty anti-climactic, actually.

For Game 2, I did a little sideboarding. I pulled out two Gruul Keyrune
Gruul Keyrune
Gruul KeyruneSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
230
Artist:
Daniel Ljunggren
Text:
{T}: Add {R} or {G} to your mana pool. {R}{G}: Gruul Keyrune becomes a 3/2 red and green Beast artifact creature with trample until end of turn.
s and the Ring of Three Wishes
Ring of Three Wishes
Ring of Three WishesSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
M
Number:
216
Artist:
Mark Winters
Text:
Ring of Three Wishes enters the battlefield with three wish counters on it. {5}, {T}, Remove a wish counter from Ring of Three Wishes: Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
and put in two Skylasher
Skylasher
SkylasherSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
49
Artist:
Dan Scott
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flash Skylasher can't be countered. Reach, protection from blue
s and the Renowned Weaver
Renowned Weaver
Renowned WeaverSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
137
Artist:
Yohann Schepacz
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{1}{G}, Sacrifice Renowned Weaver: Put a 1/3 green Spider enchantment creature token with reach onto the battlefield. (It can block creatures with flying.)
in an attempt to shut down his flying plan. In practice, though, he jumped out of the gate with an early Warden of Evos Isle
Warden of Evos Isle
Warden of Evos IsleSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
79
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Creature spells with flying you cast cost {1} less to cast.
. I played out my Jace and got nothing that helped enough. The highlights: Nick played Search Warrant
Search Warrant
Search WarrantSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
193
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You gain life equal to the number of cards in that player's hand.
and went to 23 life; I eventually brought him back down to 22 by tapping a Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa DruidSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Mark Winters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool. Whenever you tap Zhur-Taa Druid for mana, it deals 1 damage to each opponent.
, but it was more to be petulant than effective; at one point, I cast an Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
and exiled Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
, but he bounced my Arcanist and my Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
was gone forever; I cast Hubris
Hubris
HubrisSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
Return target creature and all Auras attached to it to their owners' hands.
to bounce an attacking Medomai the Ageless
Medomai the Ageless
Medomai the AgelessSet: Theros
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Sphinx
Rarity:
M
Number:
196
Artist:
David Palumbo
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Whenever Medomai the Ageless deals combat damage to a player, take an extra turn after this one. Medomai the Ageless can't attack during extra turns.
.

But I love the way this one ended. Nick had the Warden with Righteous Authority
Righteous Authority
Righteous AuthoritySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
R
Number:
189
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each card in its controller's hand. At the beginning of the draw step of enchanted creature's controller, that player draws an additional card.
on it. He also had an Incursion Specialist
Incursion Specialist
Incursion SpecialistSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
38
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever you cast your second spell each turn, Incursion Specialist gets +2/+0 until end of turn and is unblockable this turn.
. As it was, he could hit me for 7 with just the Warden, but I was at 8. I wanted to see something fun happen, so I asked him, “Can you cast two spells this turn?” He said he could, so I encouraged him to do it because it would be so cool. He was very hesitant and I couldn't understand why; finally, I realized how it must sound from the point of view of someone who assumes I'm still trying to win, so I dropped my hand on the table, showing I had no counterspells. He cast two cheap spells, allowing him to attack me for 8 damage I couldn't block and I loved every second of it. I'm kind of weird, I know.

Game 3 went so badly for me I actually attacked with my Omenspeaker
Omenspeaker
OmenspeakerSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
57
Artist:
Dallas Williams
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Omenspeaker enters the battlefield, scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
. He had landed an Ascended Lawmage
Ascended Lawmage
Ascended LawmageSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vedalken Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
53
Artist:
Ryan Yee
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying, hexproof
and enchanted it with Righteous Authority
Righteous Authority
Righteous AuthoritySet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
R
Number:
189
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each card in its controller's hand. At the beginning of the draw step of enchanted creature's controller, that player draws an additional card.
. It was a bloodbath.

So Round 2 began with me at 0-1, but with a moral victory because I actually hit with the combo. My new opponent was Brand
Brand
BrandSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
176
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Gain control of all permanents you own.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
on with his Blue/White Heroic deck. Brand
Brand
BrandSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
176
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Gain control of all permanents you own.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
on had been playing Magic for only three weeks at that point, so I welcomed him to the addiction before we began.

In Game 1, I played out an early Omenspeaker
Omenspeaker
OmenspeakerSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
57
Artist:
Dallas Williams
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Omenspeaker enters the battlefield, scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
and countered everything he had. I wasn't getting exactly what I needed by drawing the top card, so I played Ring of Three Wishes
Ring of Three Wishes
Ring of Three WishesSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
M
Number:
216
Artist:
Mark Winters
Text:
Ring of Three Wishes enters the battlefield with three wish counters on it. {5}, {T}, Remove a wish counter from Ring of Three Wishes: Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
and took a couple of turns to get them myself. I then cast all three cards, passed the turn and held my breath. He soon passed it back to me and it was over.

Game 2 gave me an opening hand that included an Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
and a Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
and enough land to make me want to keep it. My counterspells again kept me going; I just always seemed to have an answer. For instance, he cast Ajani, Caller of the Pride
Ajani, Caller of the Pride
Ajani, Caller of the PrideSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Ajani
Rarity:
M
Number:
1
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
+1: Put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target creature. -3: Target creature gains flying and double strike until end of turn. -8: Put X 2/2 white Cat creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is your life total.
and I hit it with Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
. I then played Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of ThoughtSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
44
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn. -2: Reveal the top three cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library in any order. -8: For each player, search that player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffles his or her library. You may cast those cards without paying their mana costs.
and admitted I felt like a douchebag. I used Jace's -2 ability and picked up a Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa DruidSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Mark Winters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool. Whenever you tap Zhur-Taa Druid for mana, it deals 1 damage to each opponent.
. My next turn Brand
Brand
BrandSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
176
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Gain control of all permanents you own.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
on played Silence
Silence
SilenceSet: Magic 2010
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
31
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Your opponents can't cast spells this turn. (Spells cast before this resolves are unaffected.)
on me, so all I could do was use Jace's -2 again. I needed a land and got it with another Druid, then made an error: I had eight cards so I discarded one of the Druids, then remembered I could have played the land. It didn't really matter, though, because I was able to play out all the moving parts and he couldn't disrupt it on his turn. It was glorious, and made all the better when Brand
Brand
BrandSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
176
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Gain control of all permanents you own.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
on said, “That was more frustrating than the standard control deck.” My work there was done.

My win brought me to a different, lower-numbered table. It's sort of like going from the kids' table at Thanksgiving to the adults' table. But I knew my Round 3 opponent; his name is Chris and I was pretty sure he was going to make me sit at the kids' table again. He was piloting a mono-green ramping deck that he liked to call Hail Hydra!

In Game 1, he played up the ramping aspect of his deck pretty well. He gained life and cast creatures like it was all rotating out of Standard. A couple of his all-stars were the Courser of Kruphix
Courser of Kruphix
Courser of KruphixSet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment Creature
Sub Type:
Centaur
Rarity:
R
Number:
119
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Play with the top card of your library revealed. You may play the top card of your library if it's a land card. Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.
and Nylea's Disciple
Nylea's Disciple
Nylea's DiscipleSet: Theros
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Centaur Archer
Rarity:
C
Number:
167
Artist:
Trevor Claxton
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Nylea's Disciple enters the battlefield, you gain life equal to your devotion to green. (Each {G} in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to green.)
. I landed an Omenspeaker
Omenspeaker
OmenspeakerSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
57
Artist:
Dallas Williams
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Omenspeaker enters the battlefield, scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
and an Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
with Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
stapled on, but that was it. I actually had all the pieces to my combo early in the game, but I was color screwed, getting only Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
s for lands. It allowed me to counter spells and such, so it kept me alive longer than I had a right to be, but it wasn't going to win me the game.

At one point, he attacked with a Courser of Kruphix
Courser of Kruphix
Courser of KruphixSet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment Creature
Sub Type:
Centaur
Rarity:
R
Number:
119
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Play with the top card of your library revealed. You may play the top card of your library if it's a land card. Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.
and a Nylea's Disciple
Nylea's Disciple
Nylea's DiscipleSet: Theros
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Centaur Archer
Rarity:
C
Number:
167
Artist:
Trevor Claxton
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Nylea's Disciple enters the battlefield, you gain life equal to your devotion to green. (Each {G} in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to green.)
. To minimize damage, I blocked the Courser with the Omenspeaker
Omenspeaker
OmenspeakerSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
57
Artist:
Dallas Williams
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Omenspeaker enters the battlefield, scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
and cast Hubris
Hubris
HubrisSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
Return target creature and all Auras attached to it to their owners' hands.
on the Disciple. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to bounce the creature that gained him life when it entered the battlefield. Knowing that if I got my combo working his life total wouldn't matter, I waved off his concern and told him I was pretty much dead in the water, anyway.

He cast two Disciples and gained – I believe the figure was 30 – life, bringing him to an enormous 61 life total. I wanted to describe his side of the board, but writing down the cards would have taken a long time, so I took pictures. He had two Nylea's Disciple
Nylea's Disciple
Nylea's DiscipleSet: Theros
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Centaur Archer
Rarity:
C
Number:
167
Artist:
Trevor Claxton
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Nylea's Disciple enters the battlefield, you gain life equal to your devotion to green. (Each {G} in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to green.)
s, a Kalonian Tusker
Kalonian Tusker
Kalonian TuskerSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
U
Number:
182
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
, a Courser of Kruphix
Courser of Kruphix
Courser of KruphixSet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment Creature
Sub Type:
Centaur
Rarity:
R
Number:
119
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Play with the top card of your library revealed. You may play the top card of your library if it's a land card. Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.
, two Elvish Mystic
Elvish Mystic
Elvish MysticSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Wesley Burt
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool.
s, a Kalonian Hydra
Kalonian Hydra
Kalonian HydraSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hydra
Rarity:
M
Number:
181
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Trample Kalonian Hydra enters the battlefield with four +1/+1 counters on it. Whenever Kalonian Hydra attacks, double the number of +1/+1 counters on each creature you control.
, a Sylvan Primordial
Sylvan Primordial
Sylvan PrimordialSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Stephan Martiniere
Power:
6
Toughness:
8
Text:
Reach When Sylvan Primordial enters the battlefield, for each opponent, destroy target noncreature permanent that player controls. For each permanent destroyed this way, search your library for a Forest card and put that card onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.
, and a Garruk, Caller of Beasts
Garruk, Caller of Beasts
Garruk, Caller of BeastsSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
6
Color:
Green
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Garruk
Rarity:
M
Number:
172
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
+1: Reveal the top five cards of your library. Put all creature cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. -3: You may put a green creature card from your hand onto the battlefield. -7: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast a creature spell, you may search your library for a creature card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library."
. Oh, and the top card of his deck was a Hydra Broodmaster
Hydra Broodmaster
Hydra BroodmasterSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
6
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hydra
Rarity:
R
Number:
128
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
{X}{X}{G}: Monstrosity X. (If this creature isn't monstrous, put X +1/+1 counters on it and it becomes monstrous.) When Hydra Broodmaster becomes monstrous, put X X/X green Hydra creature tokens onto the battlefield.
. He attacked with everything and I died.

In Game 2, I countered spells and I bounced creatures, but he could ramp so fast I simply couldn't keep up. I hit his Kalonian Hydra
Kalonian Hydra
Kalonian HydraSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hydra
Rarity:
M
Number:
181
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Trample Kalonian Hydra enters the battlefield with four +1/+1 counters on it. Whenever Kalonian Hydra attacks, double the number of +1/+1 counters on each creature you control.
with Hubris
Hubris
HubrisSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
Return target creature and all Auras attached to it to their owners' hands.
to buy me a turn, but it was to no avail. I even cast a Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of PurphorosSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Enchantment Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Text:
Creatures you control have haste. {2}{R}, {T}, Sacrifice a land: Put a 3/3 colorless Golem enchantment artifact creature token onto the battlefield.
(first and only time all night) and sacrificed a land to make a Golem token to block. At the end, all he needed was that Hydra again and two Sylvan Primordial
Sylvan Primordial
Sylvan PrimordialSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Stephan Martiniere
Power:
6
Toughness:
8
Text:
Reach When Sylvan Primordial enters the battlefield, for each opponent, destroy target noncreature permanent that player controls. For each permanent destroyed this way, search your library for a Forest card and put that card onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.
s and it was over.

Chris loves to talk Magic, and he's good at teaching some of the finer points. He liked the concept of my deck and wanted to see it improve, so he gave me a lot of tips (and a couple cards) to make it better. I believe the single best piece of advice he had about combo decks was this: make a strong deck, then fit the combo into it. It seems simple advice, but he got me thinking I might be able to make a version of this deck more viable in the future.

For now, though, Round 4 brought me back to “the kids' table” and an opponent named Corey with his Golgari Guardians deck. I didn't know what to expect of him, so when I got out an early Gruul Keyrune
Gruul Keyrune
Gruul KeyruneSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
230
Artist:
Daniel Ljunggren
Text:
{T}: Add {R} or {G} to your mana pool. {R}{G}: Gruul Keyrune becomes a 3/2 red and green Beast artifact creature with trample until end of turn.
, I began turning it into a creature and attacking with it. He got out a Gatecreeper Vine
Gatecreeper Vine
Gatecreeper VineSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Plant
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Trevor Claxton
Power:
0
Toughness:
2
Text:
Defender When Gatecreeper Vine enters the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card or a Gate card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
and a Basilica Screecher
Basilica Screecher
Basilica ScreecherSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
58
Artist:
Christine Choi
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
, which started gaining him life with Extort. Plus, my skies were wide open, so he just kept flying in and hitting me, the first time Bloodrushing a Slaughterhorn
Slaughterhorn
SlaughterhornSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Bloodrush — {G}, Discard Slaughterhorn: Target attacking creature gets +3/+2 until end of turn.
onto it. Soon he had out an Axebane Guardian
Axebane Guardian
Axebane GuardianSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
115
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
Defender {T}: Add X mana in any combination of colors to your mana pool, where X is the number of creatures with defender you control.
and a Vraska the Unseen
Vraska the Unseen
Vraska the UnseenSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Vraska
Rarity:
M
Number:
208
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature deals combat damage to Vraska the Unseen, destroy that creature. -3: Destroy target nonland permanent. -7: Put three 1/1 black Assassin creature tokens onto the battlefield with "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, that player loses the game."
. He also tried to bring out a Liliana of the Dark Realms
Liliana of the Dark Realms
Liliana of the Dark RealmsSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Liliana
Rarity:
M
Number:
97
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
+1: Search your library for a Swamp card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. -3: Target creature gets +X/+X or -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of Swamps you control. -6: You get an emblem with "Swamps you control have ‘{T}: Add {B}{B}{B}{B} to your mana pool.'"
, but I had a Negate
Negate
NegateSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell.
that said he wouldn't. He kept using Vraska's +1 ability, eventually getting her to 8 loyalty. I played out all my combo pieces and passed the turn. Looking at what Vraska can do now, he could have easily stopped me there, but he didn't see it. He passed the turn back to me and that was that.

Haste didn't seem to be of particular importance in this matchup, so I sideboarded out one Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of PurphorosSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Enchantment Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Text:
Creatures you control have haste. {2}{R}, {T}, Sacrifice a land: Put a 3/3 colorless Golem enchantment artifact creature token onto the battlefield.
and Messenger's Speed
Messenger's Speed
Messenger's SpeedSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
129
Artist:
Clint Cearley
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature has trample and haste.
and brought in two Skylasher
Skylasher
SkylasherSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
49
Artist:
Dan Scott
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flash Skylasher can't be countered. Reach, protection from blue
s to deal with the Basilica Screecher
Basilica Screecher
Basilica ScreecherSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
58
Artist:
Christine Choi
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
.

Pretty early in Game 2, he played Lay of the Land
Lay of the Land
Lay of the LandSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
81
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Search your library for a basic land card, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
, which I countered with Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
. I quickly realized I shouldn't have done that as he had many other better targets for a counterspell (Lay of the Land
Lay of the Land
Lay of the LandSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
81
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Search your library for a basic land card, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
didn't impact anything I was planning). He played a lot of creatures with Defender; I had no creatures on the board, so I countered every creature that didn't have Defender, saying, “I feel better when you have creatures that can't attack.”

To try to get extra value, I played an Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.
with Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.
on it. On his turn, he played Stab Wound
Stab Wound
Stab WoundSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -2/-2. At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 2 life.
on it, which was frustrating because I had a Negate
Negate
NegateSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell.
in my hand but only one blue mana source open. It didn't matter much, because I soon had out my combo death machine and passed the turn. He played two Stab Wound
Stab Wound
Stab WoundSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -2/-2. At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 2 life.
s, one on the Druid and one on the Arcanist. I still had the Negate
Negate
NegateSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell.
in my hand, but again only one blue mana source open.

In desperation, I used Ring of Three Wishes
Ring of Three Wishes
Ring of Three WishesSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
M
Number:
216
Artist:
Mark Winters
Text:
Ring of Three Wishes enters the battlefield with three wish counters on it. {5}, {T}, Remove a wish counter from Ring of Three Wishes: Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
to get the pieces once more (including my last Arcanist), which used up all the charge counters on it. I played out the combo and passed the turn, this time leaving the mana open to counter another Stab Wound
Stab Wound
Stab WoundSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -2/-2. At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 2 life.
, but he admitted he only had the three he used. He passed the turn back to me, and I finished him, discovering that people watching the match really liked seeing a goofy combo like this actually work.

So I ended the night with a record of 2-2 and a ranking of ninth place out of 15. The deck did better than I expected and I found I enjoyed crushing dreams more than I thought I would. Plus, I got the FNM promo: an alternate art Tormented Hero
Tormented Hero
Tormented HeroSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
108
Artist:
Winona Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Tormented Hero enters the battlefield tapped. Heroic — Whenever you cast a spell that targets Tormented Hero, each opponent loses 1 life. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.
, which means I now have a playset of the little life-drainers. If I centered a deck around them, that might be rather interesting. A bit janky, though …


Tactically Elite Druids decklist:
Instant (19)

4x Cancel
Cancel
CancelSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counter target spell.

1x Dissolve
Dissolve
DissolveSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
47
Artist:
Wesley Burt
Text:
Counter target spell. Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)

2x Essence Scatter
Essence Scatter
Essence ScatterSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
51
Artist:
Jon Foster
Text:
Counter target creature spell.

2x Hubris
Hubris
HubrisSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Text:
Return target creature and all Auras attached to it to their owners' hands.

2x Negate
Negate
NegateSet: Morningtide
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Jeremy Jarvis
Text:
Counter target noncreature spell.

2x Nullify
Nullify
NullifySet: Born of the Gods
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
45
Artist:
Adam Paquette
Text:
Counter target creature or Aura spell.

2x Spell Blast
Spell Blast
Spell BlastSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Brian Snoddy
Text:
Target spell is countered; X is casting cost of target spell.

1x Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

3x Triton Tactics
Triton Tactics
Triton TacticsSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
71
Artist:
Jack Wang
Text:
Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.


Enchantment (3)
2x Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of PurphorosSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Enchantment Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Text:
Creatures you control have haste. {2}{R}, {T}, Sacrifice a land: Put a 3/3 colorless Golem enchantment artifact creature token onto the battlefield.

1x Messenger's Speed
Messenger's Speed
Messenger's SpeedSet: Theros
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
129
Artist:
Clint Cearley
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature has trample and haste.


Planeswalker (1)
1x Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of ThoughtSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
44
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn. -2: Reveal the top three cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library in any order. -8: For each player, search that player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffles his or her library. You may cast those cards without paying their mana costs.


Land (23)
4x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

11x Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

4x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

1x Steam Vents
Steam Vents
Steam VentsSet: Guildpact
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Island Mountain
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Text:
(T: Add U or R to your mana pool.) As Steam Vents comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Steam Vents comes into play tapped instead.

1x Stomping Ground
Stomping Ground
Stomping GroundSet: Guildpact
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Mountain Forest
Rarity:
R
Number:
165
Text:
(T: Add R or G to your mana pool.) As Stomping Ground comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Stomping Ground comes into play tapped instead.

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 Mystery
Temple of Mystery
Temple of MysterySet: Theros
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Noah Bradley
Text:
Temple of Mystery enters the battlefield tapped. When Temple of Mystery 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 {U} to your mana pool.


Creature (10)
3x Elite Arcanist
Elite Arcanist
Elite ArcanistSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
54
Artist:
James Zapata
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Elite Arcanist enters the battlefield, you may exile an instant card from your hand. {X}, {T}: Copy the exiled card. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost. X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.

3x Omenspeaker
Omenspeaker
OmenspeakerSet: Theros
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
57
Artist:
Dallas Williams
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Omenspeaker enters the battlefield, scry 2. (Look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

4x Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa Druid
Zhur-Taa DruidSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Mark Winters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool. Whenever you tap Zhur-Taa Druid for mana, it deals 1 damage to each opponent.


Sorcery (1)
1x Divination
Divination
DivinationSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
49
Artist:
Howard Lyon
Text:
Draw two cards.


Artifact (3)
2x Gruul Keyrune
Gruul Keyrune
Gruul KeyruneSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
230
Artist:
Daniel Ljunggren
Text:
{T}: Add {R} or {G} to your mana pool. {R}{G}: Gruul Keyrune becomes a 3/2 red and green Beast artifact creature with trample until end of turn.

1x Ring of Three Wishes
Ring of Three Wishes
Ring of Three WishesSet: Magic 2014 Core Set
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
M
Number:
216
Artist:
Mark Winters
Text:
Ring of Three Wishes enters the battlefield with three wish counters on it. {5}, {T}, Remove a wish counter from Ring of Three Wishes: Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.


Sideboard (15)
2x Burnished Hart
Burnished Hart
Burnished HartSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Elk
Rarity:
U
Number:
213
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
{3}, Sacrifice Burnished Hart: Search your library for up to two basic land cards, put them onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

1x Clan Defiance
Clan Defiance
Clan DefianceSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
151
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Choose one or more — Clan Defiance deals X damage to target creature with flying; Clan Defiance deals X damage to target creature without flying; and/or Clan Defiance deals X damage to target player.

2x Gruul Charm
Gruul Charm
Gruul CharmSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
169
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Choose one — Creatures without flying can't block this turn; or gain control of all permanents you own; or Gruul Charm deals 3 damage to each creature with flying.

2x Opaline Unicorn
Opaline Unicorn
Opaline UnicornSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Unicorn
Rarity:
C
Number:
218
Artist:
Christine Choi
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

1x Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R

2x Prophetic Prism
Prophetic Prism
Prophetic PrismSet: Rise of the Eldrazi
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Number:
222
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
When Prophetic Prism enters the battlefield, draw a card. {1}, {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

1x Renowned Weaver
Renowned Weaver
Renowned WeaverSet: Journey into Nyx
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
137
Artist:
Yohann Schepacz
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{1}{G}, Sacrifice Renowned Weaver: Put a 1/3 green Spider enchantment creature token with reach onto the battlefield. (It can block creatures with flying.)

2x Skylasher
Skylasher
SkylasherSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
49
Artist:
Dan Scott
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flash Skylasher can't be countered. Reach, protection from blue

2x Turn Burn
Turn Burn
Turn BurnSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
134
Text:
Target creature loses all abilities and becomes a 0/1 red Weird until end of turn. (Turn) / Burn deals 2 damage to target creature or player. (Burn) Fuse (You may cast one or both halves of this card from your hand.)



Some notes: I decided I didn't like having even one copy of Divination
Divination
DivinationSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
49
Artist:
Howard Lyon
Text:
Draw two cards.
in this deck (it started with four); it forced me into making bad choices. My intention was to have a Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of Purphoros
Hammer of PurphorosSet: Theros
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Legendary Enchantment Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
124
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Text:
Creatures you control have haste. {2}{R}, {T}, Sacrifice a land: Put a 3/3 colorless Golem enchantment artifact creature token onto the battlefield.
out when I cast my combo so I didn't have to wait another turn, but it simply never happened. During the night, I began thinking my mana base would be better served by replacing four Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
s with two copies each of Simic Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Simic GuildgateSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Gate
Rarity:
C
Number:
246
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
Simic Guildgate enters the battlefield tapped. {T}: Add {G} or {U} to your mana pool.
and Izzet Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Izzet GuildgateSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Gate
Rarity:
C
Number:
242
Artist:
Noah Bradley
Text:
Izzet Guildgate enters the battlefield tapped. {T}: Add {U} or {R} to your mana pool.
, as I would have appreciated the mana choice despite the tempo loss.


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