The lack of appeal of colorless mana...
When the spoiler first alerted me to the fact that Guildpact would feature a cycle of four-colored creatures, I could hardly believe it. First of all, it sounds like a rumor someone could easily fabricate. Browsing the net for home-made expansions for Magic, you will come across the most outrageously broken cards, the most gigantic creatures and a lot of multi-multi-multi-colored creatures. It has an appeal I no longer deny; and quite frankly, neither should you.
I didn't believe the rumors because I didn't think Guildpact should have four colored creatures. I mean, I thought this block was supposed to revolve about two-color combinations. Each combination given a own name (of which the effect I have already seen: people are calling RW decks Boros decks, even when no guild-cards or Ravnica-block cards are played. It is just an easier way of referring to a two-colored deck) and a function within the great city-planet of Ravnica. It was like the color pie was being expanded from five to ten!
Mr Brown: "Mr Pink, you are Ravnica's army. Be fair and pure, and a little angry at the same time".
Mr Pink: "I want to be mr Grey! I want to scare people to death but be very religious about it! And be really annoying most of the time"
Mr Brown: "You can't be mr Grey; he's mr Grey. Look at him! I am just
annoyed looking at him.. I'd attack him, but I'd lose yet another life
and I am emptyhanded as it is!"
Mr Grey: "Are you talking to me?"
Mr Purple sacrifices a goblin and says: "No, he's actually talking to
Anyway, ten colors, I can deal with. I have not yet memorized the names for the last three guilds (although I can't seem to forget the name Simic. Odd) but I am confidant I can manage.
But what do the Nephilims tell us? Perhaps that somewhere in the future, the non-blue cards will be their own guild. Probably not guilds though. Perhaps Clans. Or Companies? So next block, there will be 10 three colored Clans (I actually needed pen and paper to work that out, and I am still not sure it is correct) and in the block after that five four colored Companies (of which the Nephilims are ancient founders or investors or they wrote the first businessplan or something) and finally a block with a single five-color Cult (worshipping Cromat and Karona, which you shouldn't worship for obvious reasons).
Go Johnny Go!
The last reason I can't believe wizards would design the Nephilim, is that there are such utterly untournamently rares. They seem tailor-made for us casual players! Hoorah for us! Uncastable-creatures-with-kick-ass-abilities is our middle name! I hope to be presenting you with five decks built around each of them.
For no particular reason (other than the alphabet), I'll start with:
Dune-Brood Nephilim BRGW
Creature - Nephilim
Whenever Dune-Brood Nephilim deals combat damage to a player, put a
1/1 colorless Sand creature token into play for each land you
Prelude to a deck...
At the Guildpact prerelease I openend one of these and I gave serious consideration to play it. I didn't really have the cards to make a solid two-color deck. I was already forced to play three colors.. so why not four? Why not win 'the prize' for getting a Nephilim in play. It wouldn't win me the tournament, but it would be story told at every prerelease to come (by me, anyway).
Unfortunately, a little bit of hope lingered in my heart and I opted for the slightly more consistant three-color deck. I know you are all disappointed.
Get on with it!
Right! Sorry. I was getting lost in musings about decks that could have been, while I should be providing decks that are. Or will be, more accurately.
First of all, the main color is going to have to be green. In any multicolor monstrosity its a smart move to select one or two main color so the deck won't wither and die if you don't get all colors. Green is an obvious choice because of the landsearching spells which allow you to find your other colors, but in this case even more so because having a lot of land suites the Dune-Brood Nephilim just fine.
Second of all, the deck is going to be Ravnica-block constructed. I will not hold myself to this restriction with every Nephilim deck I am going to create, but I have a feeling that it will work out fine for the Dune-Brood Nephilim.
Next, this deck needs a lot of creatures, because I want to be able to amass a creatrue horde even if the Dune-Brood Nephilim never hits the table. This also means recurring creatures from the graveyard or the ability to search my library for creatures is going to be very useful.
Last of all, I need to have some way of getting the Dune-Brood Nephilim through unblocked. Drift of Phantasms should not keep this deck down!
I have thought of the card to use in combination with the Dune-Brood Nephilim. It works well with a lot of creatures, will give us a way of removing blockers and fits the colors (okay, that last one wasn't really hard, I know). The only problem is, I don't want to play it.
Glare of Subdual 2GW
Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target creature or artifact.
See? Match made in heaven (also known as R&D Secret Lab). You play a couple of creature and get a Dune-Brood Nephilim into play. Next turn, you play the Glare of Subdual, use some of your creatures to tap away all the blockers and the Dune-Brood will be spewing Sand tokens all over the place. Soon, your living Sahara desert will be tapping all other creatures (ironically, this is lot like having Thirst cast on them) and running rampant around the board.
The problem is that any deck featuring Glare of Subdual has no need for the Dune-Brood Nephilim. You'd be better of just playing Ghazi-Glare and win your local Friday Night Magic. It's not a very expensive rare (yet) but I feel it just outside the border of budgetcountry. Dune-Brood Nephilim is still on the otherside of Crap river, but Glare of Subdual is slowly following Respectable Road to Chase-Rare Mountain (beyond Chase-Rare Mountain is a parallel world in which all lands are of two types. For an explanation on how that is possible, please contact Leonard Nimoy).
So, I have to find a replacement. If only I could get a similar effect but then stuck onto a (non-blue) creature. But wait! Sandsower gives us just that! (and fits the Sahara theme.)
I think it's time to reveal a decklist!
4x Civic Wayfarer
1x Conclave Phalanx
4x Dune-Brood Nephilim
4x Elvish Skysweeper
4x Golgari Guildmage
3x Nullmage Shepherd
4x Selesnya Guildmage
4x To Arms!
4x Selesnya Sanctuary
Civic Wayfarer together with Farseek should be sufficient to find all colors. Selesnya Sanctuary is still included though, because it card-advantage in a land. Three Nullmage Shepherds should be enough artifact and enchantment removal, bt might prove a bit to unreliable. Still, a 2/4 for four mana is never bad.
Selesnya Guildmage provide a backup way to generate a lot of tokens or a way to finish a game quickly once you have a lot of tokens. The single Conclave Phalanx is just a precaution against decks with more flying creatures than the Elvish Skysweeper can handle.
Till next Nephilim!