This week I certainly make a tribute, but I will not give you a tribal legal deck. Instead, I give you a deck that abuses a clash between one tribe and all others and is one of my favorites.
4 Orimís Thunder
4 Viridian Longbow
4 Clash of Realities
4 Bushi Tenderfoot
4 Beloved Chaplain
4 Bogardan Firefiend
4 Blinking Spirit
4 Flametongue Kavu
4 Karmic Guide
The centerpiece of this deck is Clash of Realities. With this enchantment any creature coming into play can do three damage to a spirit or a non-spirit creature, depending on its own type. The moment I saw this card I knew it was a great budget rare that screams to make a deck around it. The decklist here is my first deck with the Clash. There are certainly other ways to use this card, but we will get to that later. Be mindful that the creature does the damage, so Benevolent Chaplain canít be targeted by this trigger and Hypnotic Specter canít shoot down a White Knight this way. The idea of this deck is to maximize the effect of the Clash, while minimizing the opportunities of an opponent to shoot down your creatures.
As said before Benevolent Chaplain canít be shot down by a creature that triggers Clash of Realities, because of its protection from creatures. So that old chap gives you a good early defense. Another resilient creature is Blinking Spirit. Not only is it hard to kill, it also gives you a way to reuse the Clash. Since most creatures in play will be non-spirit (unless your playgroup is stuck in Kamigawa-block) the fact that Blinky is a Spirit puts the Ďusableí in reusable.
Bogardan Firefiend is one of the more interesting spirits from the old days. Its graveyard trigger gives you more options to shoot down some creatures and this is sometimes enough to let an opponents Craw Wurm visit someone else. This card has some nostalgia value for me too. So whatever you do with deck idea, donít make me sad by dropping these Firefriends.
Flametongue Kavu is very nasty on its own and I doubted if I should include it. Not because it is too good, but because it finds its way all too often in my red decks. But, it fits the theme of Ďcome into play damageí and that one damage more can be a life-saver, uhm, killer. They give also your deck the needed offensive power. So I sacrificed a little originality for power and added four of them (blasphemy!).
Karmic Guide is the only flying creature and is only 2/2 for five mana with echo, but her other abilities make it all worth. Not only does she have protection from black, it also animates one of your dead creatures again. Note: if you animate a Karmic Guide, it wonít give you an additional creature to animate, the animation only triggers when played from your hand. A good target to animate is Bushi Tenderfoot. With Clash of Realities and Bushi entering play you can target Karmic Guide or another Spirit and if you kill it Bushi flips and you get Kenzo! Coincidently Kenzo has enough toughness to survive one Clash trigger if your opponent would be playing spirits. Also, Kenzo is another excellent creature to go offensive. A 3/4 double strike with bushido 2 hacks its way through a lot of creatures unscathed!
Iíve added Viridian Longbow to aid in flipping Kenzo and to deal additional damage when needed. Three or four damage isnít always enough. Orimís Thunder is one of my favorite Ďdisenchantí alternatives and fits this deck perfectly. If you donít have them, buy a playset. It is an excellent choice for enchantment and artifact kill in any Boros multiplayer deck.
Other clash-ics to consider
I made this deck right after Champions of Kamiga, before Ravnica gave us mana-fixing guildlands and other interesting cards. If I would construct this deck again I would certainly add Boros Garrison. And there are probably many, many creatures that would be interesting with the Clash.
Some spirits I can think of: Ember-Fist Zubera as a cheaper replacement of Bogardan Firefiend (or more of the same). Kabuto Moth is good at protecting your own creatures. Hikari, Twilight Guardian is, just like Blinking Spirit, reusable if you use some arcane and spirit spells. It takes more effort, but you get a bigger creature with flying. Kami of the Honored Dead would love to be targeted by any non-spirit creature entering play. Even if they can kill it, you would have gained a lot of life and can return a spirit back to your hand (hmmÖ perhaps Karmic Guide?).
Non-Spirits that come up in my mind: Commander Eesha might be better than Beloved Chaplain, but a bit more expensive. Luminous Angel gives you a spirit each turn. Sunhome Enforcer is a great creature and survives one shot from the Clash. Coalhauler Swine is the opposite of Kami of the Honored Dead. If anyone targets this swine the whole table takes damage. This could be interesting, perhaps with some additional life gain (Lightning Helix, anyone?). And there are probably a lot more other creatures that might be interesting for this kind of deck.
One player in our group (hrothmar!) once used Clash of Realities together with Mistform creatures to prevent an opponent from shooting down his creatures. Just remember that Mistform Ultimus is allied with the spirits.
Using a lot of token generators is yet another way to use the Clash (as with Death Match) and I must say that Luminous Angel is looking more and more attractive. I already added it to my wish-listÖ
Should I stay or should I go?
Do you enjoy these tribal articles? Have you played Clash of Realities in a deck? Post your decklist! Did you also think the flipped version of Bushi is named Kenzo, the hardheaded? Do you like Bushi/Kenzo? Do you have any good stories about that card?
Thank you and as always your response is appreciated!
Arjan van Houwelingen (Jorael)