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Tribal Tribute: Illusions
By arjan van houwelingen
Happy New Year! Normally I donít make New Yearís resolutions, but this January I have been more contemplative than usual. One of my goals is to write more about Magic in 2006. Why? I like playing the game and I certainly like constructing decks. My decks are usually for casual multiplayer and I like to be creative instead of making killer-decks. Our playgroup includes several other creative players, who often use certain cards in a surprising way. Iíd like to share deck-ideas with you at the CPA on a regular basis and make it an interesting and inspiring event.

So welcome at the first installment of this regular column where I kick of with a tribe that is being described by: ďthe condition of being deceived by a false perception or beliefĒ, and: ďa misleading image presented as a visual stimulus.Ē (www.dictionary.com)

quote:
Itís an Illusion (U)
20 Island
4 Winding Canyons

4 Meekstone
4 Mask of Memory
4 Mind Games
4 Halcyon Glaze

4 Imaginary Pet
4 Phantom Warrior
4 Fleeting Image
4 Thalakos Mistfolk
4 Aura Thief


The deck
Not a mainstream tribe, this tribe is 100% pure blue. It may take some time before other players will realize the tribal theme, but that is part of the beauty! While Illusions donít have really aggressive creatures, this deck is quite able to go head to head with other (tribal) decks.

Imaginary Pet is there to stop the early bleeding. Most players hesitate to throw their weenies against a 4/4 body. So it is a 2-mana-upkeep defender that can become a beater during the end game if you have emptied your hand. Hopefully that doesnít happen, because you keep drawing cards with Mask of Memory. Imaginary Pet will make sure that you can trigger Halcyon Glaze continually. Thalakos Mistfolk and Fleeting Image can also be bounced, so you should always be able to animate the Glaze. And thatís great because Halcyon Glaze is a real beater. Starting turn 4 you can start swinging with a giant flying beater while you play some other Illusions that have evasive abilities (flying, shadow, unblockable). If need be, this deck can put on a damage race.

Imaginary Pet is also cheap to play as a surprise blocker with Winding Canyons. You can also make Halcyon Glaze into a flying blocker, by playing a creature at instant speed. And it is quite amusing to drop an Aura Thief as a chump blocker when some opponents have interesting enchantments in play.

This deck controls its opponents creatures with Meekstone and Mind Games (Illusions are all in the mind, after all). Just tap them down and the bigger creature wonít even untap. Your army doesnít have that problem, barring Imaginary Pet, which is there for blocking anyway. Only Halcyon Glaze has a power greater that 2, but it will still untap, being a non-creature enchantment during your untap step.

Alternatives
A notable Illusion that I did not use is Somnophore. It also has power not greater than 2 and can keep your opponents creatures tapped permanently, even the smaller ones. They would fit the deck perfectly. Mistform Warchief is cute for this tribe, but doesnít really add something to the deck. I rather have an evasive creature. Ephemeron looks interesting too, but is more expensive to cast. Returning it to your hand doesnít cost any mana, though (which you might have to do often, since it doesnít combo well with Meekstone). Blue is good at countering and bouncing. Both will slow down an opponent while you could damage them with your small evasive creatures. That might be another interesting idea.

The only rares in the deck are Winding Canyons, Imaginary Pet and Meekstone. Imaginary Pet is cheap and easy to acquire (reprinted in 9th edition) and the other two arenít power rares either. Thus, this deck should fit most budgets.

What do you think?
Next time (soon) another tribe. Let me know what you have to say about this one. Have you ever played an Illusion deck? What do you think of Halcyon Glaze? Have you ever played with Imaginary Pet?


As always, feedback is appreciated!

Arjan van Houwelingen (Jorael)

Read More Articles by arjan van houwelingen!

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