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Making it Work (7): Credit Voucher
By arjan van Houwelingen
After the spectacular rare from last time* (Umezawa’s Jitte) Limited must have decided to balance things out, because this time he gave me a much tougher artifact to work with:

Credit Voucher

2, tap, sacrifice Credit Voucher: Shuffle any number of cards from your hand into your library, then draw that many cards.

Card advantage?
When I looked the card up in Gatherer my first thought was: “What a cool card, for 2 mana, you can mulligan a part of your hand!” Then, the sacrificing part registered. The fact that you can ‘redraw’ a portion of your hand is cool, the fact that it will costs 4 mana and a card isn’t. You may improve your hand, but at the cost of a card. Plus, there is no guarantee that your new hand will be any better. So, when is it worth it? When will Credit Voucher make a difference?

I contemplated what kind of card you’d like to ‘mulligan’ and my first thought was lands. Most decks need about 5 to 8 mana-sources. After that you want to draw business cards, not land. Unless drawing land means business for your deck. Seismic Assault and spellshapers come to mind, as does a failed deck idea (…ominous foreboding). So, it would be nice to toss the useless lands away and, hopefully, draw some business cards in return. Nice, but not spectacular. Compulsion does that too and with that you don’t run the risk of drawing the same cards again. Blue, of course, is superior in card drawing, so a deck with that color probably doesn’t need the artifact. But maybe other colors could take advantage of the Credit Voucher. I’ve had my hand full of lands after playing an end of turn Sprouting Vines. It would certainly be nice to turn all that land drawing in ‘normal’ card drawing. Hmm, interesting!

I decided to implement the idea. Green is good at land searching. It should be doable to accumulate enough lands to make the Voucher worth it and change your hand. As I said, Sprouting Vines is a good land searcher. In a multiplayer group, the odds of witnessing a spellcasting frenzy are high, and with the Vines you can just wait until you Sprout for lands. Elfhame Sanctuary isn’t very spectacular: skipping your draw phase to search for one land. But with 2 or more of them in play, you fill your hand a lot faster (you skip the same draw phase for each enchantment). You’ll gain only land, but this sounds like fun with the Voucher.

I decided to make a deck with ridiculous amounts of green land searching. Stockpiling lands in your hand without ever seeing a Credit Voucher is probably very frustrating, so I added some cards that can use the redundant lands in your hand in varied and interesting ways.

This is a Catastrophe
10 Plains
14 Forest

4 Sprouting Vines

4 Naturalize**
4 Catastrophe

4 Credit Voucher
4 Elfhame Sanctuary
4 Solitary Confinement

4 Yavimaya Elder
4 Anurid Brushhopper
4 Gigapede

There goes my credit
The deck has plenty of ways to search for land. That way, you can ‘Armageddon’ with Catastrophe when you have a better board position. Catastrophe also functions as creature removal. The Brushhoppers can dodge it, Gigapede can be returned and your elders are meant to die anyway***. You need only one Elfhame Sanctuary to fuel Solitary Confinement. So long as you have lands to search for, you can keep yourself confined****. I added Naturalize to get rid of dangerous enchantments and artifacts. Terashi’s Grasp could be better in this deck since the extra mana won’t be a problem and the lifegain is a cute little bonus.

Now the only card in the deck I didn’t mention yet is Credit Voucher. Why? Because it does absolutely nothing in this deck, besides being discarded. The land drawing is there, but you’ll never reach a full hand. The deck has more than enough ways to use the lands you draw. The deck would most probably improve by taking them out and replace them by basic lands. That way you can fuel Solitary Confinement 4 more turns (with an Elfhame Sanctuary). I don’t know what you would consider ‘making it work’, but I don’t think this deck qualifies. Besides, after game 1, I realized I don’t like Solitary Confinement. The card is boring. Maybe if I added stuff like Inferno and Flame Rift, the Confinements would be cool, but that’s a whole different kind of deck.

Luckily, I had another idea.

Search and Destroy
Mercadian Masques may have a bad reputation, but the block is filled with awesome casual cards (and Prophecy is one of the most interesting sets ever for drafting). Going through my card collection I spotted the trio Skyshroud Sentinel, Howling Wolf and Nesting Wurm. The creatures are a bit expensive for the body they pack, but their search ability is pretty cool. I’ve had my fun with them together with Vampire Hounds and Skyshroud Vampire. Maybe Credit Voucher could use these search-creatures and swap them for ‘normal’ card drawing.

I realized that there is a cool interaction between the cards. Say you play one Skyshroud Sentinel and look for the other 3. After that you could use Credit Voucher to shuffle useless cards into your deck, including 2 Skyshroud Sentinels. Then if you play the Skyshroud Sentinel you kept, you can look the remaining 2 up again!

Nice card advantage, but what to do with it? I chose to use Stormbind. The random discard is a risk, but after you fill your hand once with the Voucher trick and any of the 12 search-creatures, you pack a lot of ammo to start your killing spree. Repopulate shuffles your creatures back into your library, which is really nice after having thinned your deck. You only need to draw one Howling Wolf to have all 4 of them again. When you start gunning Credit Voucher becomes less interesting and is best used as ammunition, but the card is really useful before that. It can even help you draw a Stormbind. The deck did alright, even during multiplayer and what is more important, it’s fun!

Howling Storm
10 Mountain
14 Forest

4 Repopulate
4 Hull Breach
4 Credit Voucher
4 Stormbind

4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Skyshroud Sentinel
4 Howling Wolf
4 Nesting Wurm
4 Flametongue Kavu

When I have had some inspiration and card ideas I look on the internet to see what others have thought up. It’s good practice, but I advise you only to do it after you put some deckbuilding effort in it yourself. Getting lazy won’t help your own creativity.

The fact that all those search-creatures and Credit Voucher exist in the same block is a sign I failed to observe. Not only did other players already use the same combination in their decks, it was almost tournament worthy and in 2003 Brian David-Marshall wrote an article about it on the Wizards site! For your convenience here is the decklist that was discussed:

7 Island
14 Forest

3 Revive
4 Skyshroud Claim
4 Natural Affinity
4 Ensnare
4 Credit Voucher
4 Brainstorm

4 Vine Trellis
4 Skyshroud Sentinel
4 Howling Wolf
4 Nesting Wurm

Originally Brainstorm was used for its cool interaction with the search-creatures and Credit Voucher was added because it did the same thing. The deck tries to win by casting Natural Affinity, making all lands 2/2 creatures. Then using Ensnare to tap all the opponent’s creatures and swing with at least 10 lands. I recommend you read the original article if you haven’t already or have forgotten it. You can the article here.

Credit Voucher is pretty limited in its capabilities, but as it turns out it certainly isn’t useless. And I can vouch for that. I enjoyed trying to use the card and I hope you enjoyed this article.

See you next time, Arjan van Houwelingen (Jorael).

Feedback is appreciated!

*: Episode 4. Limited had 2 articles in a row because I couldn’t get this done on time. It’s a shame, I know.

**: I tested with Devout Witness instead of Naturalizes. Yes, I love the card, unfortunately opponents usually don’t. Devout as it is, it’s usually killed before you can witness the destruction of your opponent’s artifact or enchantment.

***: I mean Yavimaya Elders. I’m not that psychotic.

****: If I had meant elderly people in general, this card would have been very fitting.

*****: Just read the article instead of these lame footnotes. Do you enjoy reading them? I just find the scrolling required on a website very irritating. I also hate it when writers try to be funny with footnotes.

Read More Articles by arjan van Houwelingen!

 - Wednesday (July 18. 2018)
 - Thursday (May 17, 2018)
 - Tuesday (Aprl. 24, 2018
 - Monday (Apr. 16, 2018)
 - Friday (Apr. 6, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018)
 - Monday (Apr. 2, 2018)
 - Friday (Mar. 23, 2018)
 - Thursday (Feb. 15, 2018)
 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)

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