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Magical Darwinism 1.2 - Rodney Hines (3/28/2012)

Introduction to what I'm doing in this article: Over the past two articles, I've taken a preconstructed deck straight out of the MTGO Storefront, played a few games with it, changed a few cards, played a few more games, changed a few more cards, and so on, and so forth. If you remember Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar's excellent run on Building on a Budget at Dailymtg.com, then this should sound very familiar. If it doesn't, then I hope my tribute is sufficient. On to the article!

Okay, so I admit it. I’ve been cheating on the articles. I put in a few games with the deck without writing up the games. I didn’t do this out of malice, I did it out of love! I wanted to get in a couple more games where I was more concerned about how the game played than I was about making the “optimal” (Yes, the quotation marks are both intentional and sarcastic) play every time. So, I did, and I came to a rather stunning conclusion at the end of the unlogged games. Please remember that my level of excitement for Bonehoard
Bonehoard
BonehoardSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.) Equipped creature gets +X/+X, where X is the number of creature cards in all graveyards. Equip {2}
when I first thought of putting it into the deck was around 9 or 10.

Bonehoard
Bonehoard
BonehoardSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.) Equipped creature gets +X/+X, where X is the number of creature cards in all graveyards. Equip {2}
sucks in this deck. Absolutely sucks.

By the time that it comes out, I’ve either already lost the game or there aren’t enough creatures in my graveyard to make it the type of threat that I really want. Also, it doesn’t do ANYTHING for morbid. It’s just a stick. Granted, it’s a BOOMstick, but it’s still a stick. I decided that I wanted something else in that slot, so…

-2 Bonehoard
Bonehoard
BonehoardSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
100
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.) Equipped creature gets +X/+X, where X is the number of creature cards in all graveyards. Equip {2}

+2 Demonmail Hauberk
Demonmail Hauberk
Demonmail HauberkSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Jason Felix
Text:
Equipped creature gets +4/+2. Equip—Sacrifice a creature.
s

Ahh…much better. Now, on to some games! But first, for reference, here’s my current decklist, ver 1.2

Lands
23 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
s and Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.
s

Creatures
1 Typhoid Rats
Typhoid Rats
Typhoid RatsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)

2 Ambush Viper
Ambush Viper
Ambush ViperSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.) Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)

1 Jade Mage
Jade Mage
Jade MageSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
181
Artist:
Izzy
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
{2}{G}: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token onto the battlefield.

2 Reassembling Skeletor
2 Festerhide Boar
Festerhide Boar
Festerhide BoarSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Boar
Rarity:
C
Number:
179
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Trample Morbid — Festerhide Boar enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it if a creature died this turn.

2 Acidic Slime
Acidic Slime
Acidic SlimeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ooze
Rarity:
U
Number:
165
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Deathtouch (Creatures dealt damage by this creature are destroyed. You can divide this creature's combat damage among any of the creatures blocking or blocked by it.) When Acidic Slime enters the battlefield, destroy target artifact, enchantment, or land.

2 Bloodgift Demon
Bloodgift Demon
Bloodgift DemonSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, target player draws a card and loses 1 life.

2 Hollowhenge Scavenger
Hollowhenge Scavenger
Hollowhenge ScavengerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
4
Toughness:
5
Text:
Morbid — When Hollowhenge Scavenger enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, you gain 5 life.

2 Morkrut Banshee
Morkrut Banshee
Morkrut BansheeSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
110
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Morbid — When Morkrut Banshee enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn.

1 Somberwald Spider
Somberwald Spider
Somberwald SpiderSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spider
Rarity:
C
Number:
202
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Reach (This creature can block creatures with flying.) Morbid — Somberwald Spider enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it if a creature died this turn.


Non Creatures
2 Life's Finale
Life's Finale
Life's FinaleSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
Destroy all creatures, then search target opponent's library for up to three creature cards and put them into his or her graveyard. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

1 Spider Spawning
Spider Spawning
Spider SpawningSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
203
Artist:
Daniel Ljunggren
Text:
Put a 1/2 green Spider creature token with reach onto the battlefield for each creature card in your graveyard. Flashback {6}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

3 Demonmail Hauberk
Demonmail Hauberk
Demonmail HauberkSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Jason Felix
Text:
Equipped creature gets +4/+2. Equip—Sacrifice a creature.

2 Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

3 Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.

3 Altar's Reap
Altar's Reap
Altar's ReapSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
As an additional cost to cast Altar's Reap, sacrifice a creature. Draw two cards.

2 Rampant Growth
Rampant Growth
Rampant GrowthSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
246
Artist:
Tom Kyffin
Text:
Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

2 Dead Weight
Dead Weight
Dead WeightSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
96
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -2/-2.

2 Caravan Vigil
Caravan Vigil
Caravan VigilSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
173
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library. Morbid — You may put that card onto the battlefield instead of putting it into your hand if a creature died this turn.



Game 16: Blue/White Recursion/Hex
Hex
HexSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Destroy six target creatures.
proof
What did I learn in this game? That my deck still needs ways to kill flyers, and that Sun Titan
Sun Titan
Sun TitanSet: Magic 2011
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
M
Number:
35
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Vigilance Whenever Sun Titan enters the battlefield or attacks, you may return target permanent card with converted mana cost 3 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.
returning Geists, Solemns, and Phantasmal Image
Phantasmal Image
Phantasmal ImageSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
You may have Phantasmal Image enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except it's an Illusion in addition to its other types and it gains "When this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it."
s tends to win games. On the plus side here, I was able to stay in the game even after mulliganing down to 5 cards and being stuck on 1 land for the first five turns. Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
mail (the world’s worst shipping service) showed up, but I was never really able to play it, due to playing defensively. Ambush Viper
Ambush Viper
Ambush ViperSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.) Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)
showed up in FORCE, as did Typhoid Rats
Typhoid Rats
Typhoid RatsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)
. The deathtouch provided enough of a rattlesnake effect that I was able to stall for a turn or two, enough to get lands and start actually playing Magic. Also, Ambush Viper
Ambush Viper
Ambush ViperSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.) Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)
kills Geist of St. Traft. Sun Titan
Sun Titan
Sun TitanSet: Magic 2011
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant
Rarity:
M
Number:
35
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Vigilance Whenever Sun Titan enters the battlefield or attacks, you may return target permanent card with converted mana cost 3 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.
brings back the Geist though. Too bad so sad for me.


Game 17: Zombie Flare
Flare
FlareSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Text:
Flare deals 1 damage to target creature or player.Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn.

Cool deck, Skinrender
Skinrender
SkinrenderSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
78
Artist:
David Rapoza
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Skinrender enters the battlefield, put three -1/-1 counters on target creature.
s and Phyrexian Metamorph
Phyrexian Metamorph
Phyrexian MetamorphSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
8
Color:
Blue
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Shapeshifter
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
({(u/p)} can be paid with either {U} or 2 life.) You may have Phyrexian Metamorph enter the battlefield as a copy of any artifact or creature on the battlefield, except it's an artifact in addition to its other types.
s copying those Skinrender
Skinrender
SkinrenderSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
78
Artist:
David Rapoza
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Skinrender enters the battlefield, put three -1/-1 counters on target creature.
s. Look ma! That’s what my Banshee
Banshee
BansheeSet: Chronicles
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Banshee
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
X, T: Banshee deals X damage, half (rounded up) to you and half (rounded down) to target creature or player.
wants to be when she grows up! I’d play a creature, he’d kill it and swing with ever increasing amounts of damage. I was overwhelmed.


Game 18: Blue/Red DrawBurn
Enjoyed the whipping like few others that I’ve received. Blue and Red is a great combo, and pairing drawing cards with burning face seems like it’s a fun way to win the game. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get and keep any threats on the board. He kept burning my creatures away! Eventually, he stops killing creatures and starts to fry my face. Game. Over.


Game 19: Mono Blue Titan Forge
Titan Forge
Titan ForgeSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
141
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
{3}, {T}: Put a charge counter on Titan Forge. {T}, Remove three charge counters from Titan Forge: Put a 9/9 colorless Golem artifact creature token onto the battlefield.

Again, a really cool deck. I’m running GOOD tonight with playing good decks as opposed to tournament winning decks. His deck is all about Titan Forge
Titan Forge
Titan ForgeSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
141
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
{3}, {T}: Put a charge counter on Titan Forge. {T}, Remove three charge counters from Titan Forge: Put a 9/9 colorless Golem artifact creature token onto the battlefield.
and different ways to put more counters on it besides just paying the three mana that it comes with. Surge Node
Surge Node
Surge NodeSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
160
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Text:
Surge Node enters the battlefield with six charge counters on it. {1}, {T}, Remove a charge counter from Surge Node: Put a charge counter on target artifact.
was in there, there was an alternate win of Mindcrank
Mindcrank
MindcrankSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
144
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Text:
Whenever an opponent loses life, that player puts that many cards from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard. (Damage dealt by sources without infect causes loss of life.)
in case he needs to mill me out…pretty cool deck. I won by being able to keep killing his titan tokens to survive and then having a Bloodgift Demon
Bloodgift Demon
Bloodgift DemonSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, target player draws a card and loses 1 life.
willing to sacrifice Skeletor in his Younger Years to the worst postal service ever, Demonmail Hauberk
Demonmail Hauberk
Demonmail HauberkSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Jason Felix
Text:
Equipped creature gets +4/+2. Equip—Sacrifice a creature.
. (You know, I don’t think I could ask for a more nickname filled sentence than that one.)


Game 20: Blue White Humans
Remember what I said about running good at playing decks that aren’t tournament caliber? I didn’t mean to foreshadow it, but I guess you can’t hand the universe a straight line of that quality. At least the game was quick.


So, lessons to be learned from these games? I think that the main lesson for me to take away from this particular deck evolution is that I a) am not a great deckbuilder by any stretch b) am *bad* at this game and c) picked a pretty bad deck to start evolving. But that’s not the lesson I need to learn here. Let’s take a look at my deck and see if I can see any large scale issues with what I’ve got going on.

The first issue I see is that I have 17 creatures currently in the deck, and I’d like that number to be significantly higher. It doesn’t seem appropriate that a deck that uses creatures to win, and is based around a creature mechanic, can’t seem to put enough creatures on the battlefield in order to do what it needs to do. Some (read: ALL) of this is my fault, as I got very happy with trying to speed my deck up to instant speed and didn’t mind at all getting rid of creatures in order to do so. I still love the instant speed answers, and think that some of them definitely have a place in my deck, but 21 non creatures in a CREATURE deck seems not right. I think that I should look again at creatures that bring added utility to the party, with an emphasis on replacement effects for spells that I currently have in the deck.

The second issue is still triggering morbid. Although I have to admit, if I weren’t worried about keeping the theme of the deck, I’d drop it and play a green/black midrange control deck. Since I’m keeping the theme, I have to make it a point of emphasis to play UP the “sacrifice for better things” aspect of the deck. More creatures will tie into it by being more stuff to use, but I still have to have a way to get rid of the creature for cheap/free so I can activate morbid.

So, a quick perusal of Gatherer (that’s at http://gatherer.wizards.com just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about) reveals that there’s a lot of options to work with for sacrificing a creature. Birthing Pod
Birthing Pod
Birthing PodSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
8
Color:
Green
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
104
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
({(g/p)} can be paid with either {G} or 2 life.) {1}{(g/p)}, {T}, Sacrifice a creature: Search your library for a creature card with converted mana cost equal to 1 plus the sacrificed creature's converted mana cost, put that card onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
is an AWESOME card, and would probably do very well in this deck, except that at 6.60 per card at the time of this writing seems like it would blow my cover from a budget standpoint. Fume Spitter
Fume Spitter
Fume SpitterSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Fume Spitter: Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
pops his ugly little head up…and I’m digging it. It’s a strict replacement for Dead Weight
Dead Weight
Dead WeightSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
96
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -2/-2.
, but since most/all of the cards that I want to kill with that card are x/1 critters anyway, that’s a strict upgrade for the deck, since it wants as as many creatures as possible. I don’t even sacrifice speed, as Dead Weight
Dead Weight
Dead WeightSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
96
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -2/-2.
being an enchantment means that I’m tragically slipping that card onto the virtual table at sorcery speed.

Mortarpod
Mortarpod
MortarpodSet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
115
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.) Equipped creature gets +0/+1 and has "Sacrifice this creature: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player." Equip {2}
is also a good candidate: gives me a token creature, cheap to equip and sacrifice, hangs around after the first use, can be used the same turn. Not a bad idea, and I’m personally surprised I haven’t seen it earlier. (Rewriter's note: Can you find where I’ve previously mentioned it and forgotten about it now?) Aaaaand…that’s all the good ideas I see for how to sacrifice stuff on demand. A critter that offs itself and an artifact that turns the biggest creature into a Gut Shot
Gut Shot
Gut ShotSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
({(r/p)} can be paid with either {R} or 2 life.) Gut Shot deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
…not the best ideas that I’ve ever had…but certainly not bad ideas for what I’m trying to do.

So…what’s a poor Tellah to do? Well, let’s start with removing 7 spells and adding in seven creatures. I know that it’s breaking my guidelines, and I kind of feel bad. But…we’ll do this:

-2 Rampant Growth
Rampant Growth
Rampant GrowthSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
246
Artist:
Tom Kyffin
Text:
Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

-2 Caravan Vigil
Caravan Vigil
Caravan VigilSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
173
Artist:
Drew Baker
Text:
Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library. Morbid — You may put that card onto the battlefield instead of putting it into your hand if a creature died this turn.

-1 Spider Spawning
Spider Spawning
Spider SpawningSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
203
Artist:
Daniel Ljunggren
Text:
Put a 1/2 green Spider creature token with reach onto the battlefield for each creature card in your graveyard. Flashback {6}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

-2 Dead Weight
Dead Weight
Dead WeightSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
96
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -2/-2.

+4 Viridian Emissary
Viridian Emissary
Viridian EmissarySet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Scout
Rarity:
C
Number:
95
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Viridian Emissary is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

+1 Acidic Slime
Acidic Slime
Acidic SlimeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ooze
Rarity:
U
Number:
165
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Deathtouch (Creatures dealt damage by this creature are destroyed. You can divide this creature's combat damage among any of the creatures blocking or blocked by it.) When Acidic Slime enters the battlefield, destroy target artifact, enchantment, or land.

+2 Fume Spitter
Fume Spitter
Fume SpitterSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Fume Spitter: Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.


Seven spells out, seven creatures in, all of which look GOOD carrying the Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
mail and they all add value besides what their power/toughness say. And oh look! The Emissary and the Fume Spitter
Fume Spitter
Fume SpitterSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Fume Spitter: Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
trigger morbid when they die, like all creatures, but they also give additional gifts! The Spitter even triggers all by himself, without having to use anything else to sacrifice him. Pretty spicy. Of course, I say that every time I make some changes before I play games. So, on to more games!


Game 21: Green/White
This deck was based around creatures getting bigger when other creatures die. Pretty quick game. 3 lands and hands full of five casting cost creatures don’t tend to win games.


Game 22: Green/Red efficient beaters
His Acidic Slime
Acidic Slime
Acidic SlimeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ooze
Rarity:
U
Number:
165
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Deathtouch (Creatures dealt damage by this creature are destroyed. You can divide this creature's combat damage among any of the creatures blocking or blocked by it.) When Acidic Slime enters the battlefield, destroy target artifact, enchantment, or land.
knocked me back about three turns when it took out my forest. Most of my upper curve is double colored in the cost, so knocking off my lands is pretty rough for it. There was some decent back and forth, but green beef (side note: don’t ever buy green beef at the grocery store, it’s not extra vitamins like they say) and burn that goes to my dome wins games. Also, I found irony that the burn spell that won him the game is Brimstone Volley
Brimstone Volley
Brimstone VolleySet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Eytan Zana
Text:
Brimstone Volley deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Morbid — Brimstone Volley deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead if a creature died this turn.
, which has morbid. :-D


Game 23: Blue/White Humans
I rage quit after drawing one land in 13 cards. Also, I’m making a rage shift to my deck.

-2 Hollowhenge Scavenger
Hollowhenge Scavenger
Hollowhenge ScavengerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
U
Number:
188
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
4
Toughness:
5
Text:
Morbid — When Hollowhenge Scavenger enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, you gain 5 life.

+1 Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

+1 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.



Game 24: Green/White/Blue Splicers
I have something similar to this deck built in my drawer, so imagine my surprise to see it coming up on MTGO. First time ever playing against it online, but it did what it’s supposed to do, which is make lots of golems and smash face. I did see a couple interesting twists, Intangible Virtue
Intangible Virtue
Intangible VirtueSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
Clint Cearley
Text:
Creature tokens you control get +1/+1 and have vigilance.
to give his tokens +1/+1 and vigilance. It was a good, back and forth game, with the final turn coming down to my ability to draw a kill spell to make his golems no longer have flying. Alas, a swamp does not equal kill target creature, so it was good game from me to him.


Game 25: Green/Black whipass.
Liliana came out, so did Quicksilver Amulet
Quicksilver Amulet
Quicksilver AmuletSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
130
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
4, T: Choose a creature card in your hand and put that creature into play.
. There was never any danger that I might win this game. One thing that was relevant was a turn where I could have played Morbid Banshee
Banshee
BansheeSet: Chronicles
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Banshee
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
X, T: Banshee deals X damage, half (rounded up) to you and half (rounded down) to target creature or player.
, but her -4/-4 would have killed one of my creatures since it’s not a may ability. I waited a turn or two, but by that point, the 4/4 beater that I truthfully could have used to apply some pressure was no longer relevant.

Here's the deck as it stands now:


Lands
25 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
s and Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.
s

Creatures
2 Fume Spitter
Fume Spitter
Fume SpitterSet: Scars of Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Fume Spitter: Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.

1 Typhoid Rats
Typhoid Rats
Typhoid RatsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)

4 Viridian Emissary
Viridian Emissary
Viridian EmissarySet: Mirrodin Besieged
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Scout
Rarity:
C
Number:
95
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Viridian Emissary is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

2 Ambush Viper
Ambush Viper
Ambush ViperSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.) Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)

1 Jade Mage
Jade Mage
Jade MageSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
181
Artist:
Izzy
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
{2}{G}: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token onto the battlefield.

2 Reassembling Skeletor
2 Festerhide Boar
Festerhide Boar
Festerhide BoarSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Boar
Rarity:
C
Number:
179
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Trample Morbid — Festerhide Boar enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it if a creature died this turn.

3 Acidic Slime
Acidic Slime
Acidic SlimeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ooze
Rarity:
U
Number:
165
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Deathtouch (Creatures dealt damage by this creature are destroyed. You can divide this creature's combat damage among any of the creatures blocking or blocked by it.) When Acidic Slime enters the battlefield, destroy target artifact, enchantment, or land.

2 Bloodgift Demon
Bloodgift Demon
Bloodgift DemonSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
89
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Power:
5
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, target player draws a card and loses 1 life.

2 Morkrut Banshee
Morkrut Banshee
Morkrut BansheeSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
110
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Morbid — When Morkrut Banshee enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn.

1 Somberwald Spider
Somberwald Spider
Somberwald SpiderSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spider
Rarity:
C
Number:
202
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Reach (This creature can block creatures with flying.) Morbid — Somberwald Spider enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it if a creature died this turn.


Non Creatures
2 Life's Finale
Life's Finale
Life's FinaleSet: New Phyrexia
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Text:
Destroy all creatures, then search target opponent's library for up to three creature cards and put them into his or her graveyard. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

3 Demonmail Hauberk
Demonmail Hauberk
Demonmail HauberkSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Jason Felix
Text:
Equipped creature gets +4/+2. Equip—Sacrifice a creature.

2 Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

3 Doom Blade
Doom Blade
Doom BladeSet: Magic 2010
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
93
Artist:
Chippy
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature.

3 Altar's Reap
Altar's Reap
Altar's ReapSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
86
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
As an additional cost to cast Altar's Reap, sacrifice a creature. Draw two cards.



So…25 games into it, and I need to be honest. This deck is horrible. Low end power, plus many not-good decisions made for the choices in what to change, what not to change, and what themes to keep. Morbid as a mechanic and central focus of the deck has been an overwhelming failure for me as a deckbuilder. Some of it is my lack of ability as both a deckbuilder and as a player, but some of it is that, without having a powerhouse morbid card in the colors and budget, trying to trigger morbid and find situations where it’s relevant is somewhat detrimental to the deck. I’m going to make a final round of changes and keep it in my virtual deck box, but I can’t say this initial stab was successful with respect to building a good deck, a fun deck, or even a competitive deck . The deck doesn’t feel fun, and doesn’t make me enjoy playing Magic. I think that it was a bad choice of deck to start with, exacerbated by Dr. Horrible card choices. (Please note that this is not a cop out. I fully own and endorse the fact that the deck is bad, and that I made it that way. Don't take it as I'm not owning my mistakes, cause I am. And I hate that the end of my first deck is such a downer...hopefully the next one will be better.)

Overall review of the articles: I think that I learned a LOT about long term ideas versus short term gains when talking about what cards to change and preconceptions about what themes I should keep. Having an end game in mind and keeping the deck on point with what I’m trying to end the game with would be better than what I ended up doing with this article, flipping back and forth with what I want the deck to do. So, from a planning standpoint, I need to be able to:


A) Identify what I want the deck to do in the end, how do I want the deck to win?
B) Identify cards currently in the deck that contribute to what I want the endgame to be
C) Identify cards currently in the deck that help, but probably won’t make it to the final cut
D) Identify cards currently in the deck that suck, and need to be binned as soon as possible
E) Identify budget ideas that will help my deck get to where it wants to be
F) ???
G) Profit!

So, that’s the end of the inaugural deck for Magical Darwinism. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. I’ve got an idea of what the next deck I’m going to take for a test spin already, and I’m looking forward to applying the lessons learned during this evolution in the next one! I guess the real question is...are you interested in reading about the next one? Is Chewie interested in putting the next one up on Cardshark.com? Only one real way to find out!


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