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Cards and Deck Ideas 2
By Alex Makhovykh
My Weekly Article

In my last article Iíve discussed the uses of Attunement. Since that time I have gotten a bunch of responses on other cards that people wanted me to do. I really like one of them: Rathi Assassin. I will be doing it this article, and if it becomes too long Iíll have to do the Spontaneous Generation in my next one, so please forgive me about that. However, I will try to fit it into this article. Anyway, I chose to go with Rathi Assassin because it seems like a card with a lot of potential that needs to be used more than it is. Thatís not to say others arenít treated the same way. Moving on, Iíve managed to assemble a nice original deck while trying to figure out just how the hell Rathi Assassin can be used properly, so it always works. Well, obvious things came up on my mind and on paper- creature tapping, making sure theyíre black, and mercenaries. Anyway, after a bit of thinkiní, I came up with this deck:

"Tools of Assassin"
Artifacts(7):
4 Ring of Gix
3 Distorting Lens
Creatures(11)
Ascendant Evincar x1
Cateran Enforcer x1
Rathi Assassin x4
Rathi Intimidator x3
Silent Assassin x2
Enchantments(7):
Seal of Cleansing x4
Parallax Wave x1
Ivory Mask x1
Parallax Nexus x1
Instants(12)
Enlightened Tutor x4
Vampiric Tutor x4
Dark Ritual x4
Lands(23)
Swamp x15
Plains x8

As you can see, this is not a mercenary deck, but rather a control deck with some mercenary engine. Ring of Gix taps creatures-or anything else for that matter-, Distorting Lens is there just in case you are playing against black, Rathi Assassin plays a big role, as he kills creatures and brings out smaller folks to horde your opponent, such as Rathi Intimidators. Tutors help you find key cards when you need them, or just search for that card that is needed at time- often Ivory Mask or Seal of Cleansing. Parallax enchantments slow down your opponents, while Seals of Cleansing and Ivory Mask that were mentioned before are against Bargain or Replenish or Stroke or Blaze etc. And for the obvious reasons Cateran Enforcer is a 4/3 with fear and can get you Rathi Assassin for 4 mana. Dark Rituals are there for one reason- speed, while Ascending Evincar makes your creatures a little beefier, simultaneously pissing off Stampy & Rebels. Try playing this deck- you may find that it is more fun than it actually seems. If anyoneís playing with sideboard, Iíd suggest something like this:
Scour x2
Erase x2
Absolute Grace x1
Dust Bowl x2
Defense Grid x2
Powder Keg x4
Cursed Totem x2
Erase/Scour is against Bargain & Replenish, Absolute Grace is against Wildfire & Sligh, Dust Bowl is against decks with a lot of non-basic lands, Defense Grid is versus blue, while Kegs are against Suicide Black, Sligh, Wildfire, Tinker, Stampy, Rebels, and Blue Weenie, while Cursed Totem, even though defying the deckís purpose, goes great against Rebels, Bargain, & Morphling.

Now letís do Spontaneous Generation. A card with sooooo much potential. The deck Iím gonna make is gonna look a little weird, but itís pretty cool.

Saproling Draw
Artifacts(2):
Masticore x2
Creatures(20):
Elvish Lyrist x4
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary x2
Priest of Titania x4
Llanowar Elves x4
Uktabi Orangutan x2
Stampede Driver x2
Deranged Hermit x2
Enchantments(4):
Saproling Burst x2
Saproling Cluster x2
Sorceries(12)
Spontaneous Generation x4
Collective Unconscious x4
Land Grant x4
Instants(2):
Crop Rotation x2
Lands(20):
Gaeaís Cradle x4
Treetop Village x3
Forest x13

MmmmÖ manaÖ And you gonna have plenty with this deck. Bring out early elves, then cast Spontaneous Generation on turn 3 or 4. Follow up with Collective Unconscious. Keep going. The only problem is running out of cards, but thatís not really a problem, Ďcause you gonna be putting some big punch on your opponent by that time. Or just use Saproling Cluster to turn all of your cards into tokens, and attack next turn with a bunch of 2/2 tramplers- thanks to the Stampede Driver.
Loosing to stampy? Bring in Deranged Hermit and Saproling Burst- it should be enough to stall your opponent for a couple of turns you need to take control of the game. Sligh? Bring in a couple of weenies, Gaeaís Cradle, and a Masticore- I donít see no Goblins.
Overall, do be careful, and remember that the main point of the deck is to kill your opponent, so try to do that as fast as you can- because that timely Earthquake can ruin your plans. Basically, donít play a game of How Many Tokens You Can Generate. Stay in focus, and kill your opponent as soon as you can. Now for the sideboard:
Rishadan Port x2
Cursed Totem x3
Tranquil Groove x3
Powder Keg x2
Uktabi Orangutan x2
Defense Grid x3
Port is obvious- control decks, really fast decks, L/D. Cursed Totem- Rebels, Morphling, Bargain. Tranquil Groove- Replenish, Bargain. Powder Keg- Stampy, Rebels, Tinker. Uktabi- Tinker, Masticore, Acc. Blue. Defense Grid- Counter-control decks.

Anyway, try these decks, use your own ideas, and give me your comments and input!

And now, the moment youíve all been waiting for-the card match up! Whatís a card match up you ask? Well, at the end of my every article Iíll be naming two cards and a format and I want, along with your input about the article, to tell me which card you think is better in that certain format, and/or deck.

And tonightís match up is: "Tonight Ladies and Gentlemen, coming live from Las Vegas, with tonightís match, letís get ready to Ruuuuuumbbbble!" Format is Extended.

Now picture this: A Counter-Oath deck, similar to what Bob Maher Jr. Played at the Pro-tour. Now hereís the thing- should this deck use Morphling or Spirit of the Night? I know a lot of people are gonna start saying "Morphling" right away- either because Bob used it or just because it is so versatile. However, Morhling need a lot of mana to function very well, while Spirit of the Night can be brought out as a 6/5 with all of it abilities and attack on the first turn. The only disadvantage I see in him is the fact that he can be targeted with stuff like Swords to Plowshares- but your deck isnít called COUNTER-Oath for nothing. In any case, tell me what you think, and see ya in 7 days!
(BTW, Iím very sorry how late I was with the article, I had soooo much schoolwork, itís not even funny. Once again sorry for the inconvenience.)
"Hatred outlives the hateful."

superguy98@hotmail.com

Read More Articles by Alex Makhovykh!

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