Monday, June 27, 2011

You Can't Lose

Here's an old favorite of mine and this is the deck where the Timmy in me really shines. For those of you who've visited this blog before, you'll notice that my old "You Can't Lose" deck can be found in the (Old) Decklists section here. This is the new version.

This kind of speaks to a larger issue, but I'm officially moving away from Vintage and the vast majority of decks I post on this blog will follow the Legacy Ruleset from now on. I'll make a longer post about this topic later. For now, onto the new and improved deck...

You Can't Lose

13 Creatures
4 Shield Sphere
4 Goblin Welder
3 Platinum Angel
1 Pentavus
1 Phage the Untouchable

7 Control
1 Stifle
4 Pact of Negation
2 Firestorm

11 Draw/Tutor
4 Entomb
4 Careful Study
3 Deep Analysis

9 Other
4 Animate Dead
2 Final Fortune
2 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
1 Darksteel Forge

20 Mana
2 Mox Opal
4 Glimmervoid
2 Darksteel Citadel
4 Great Furnace
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Vault of Whispers

How does the deck work?

A mix between a standard Reanimator and a Tezzeret Affinity deck at first glance, it turns out to be much more once you finally get it. Instead of it's hyper aggressive counterparts, this plays totally different, with an odd control-ish flavor. The M.O. is simple: get a Platinum Angel out as fast as possible and abuse its power to its fullest (with cards like Pact of Negation, Final Fortune, and to a certain extent, Phage the Untouchable). You win with through a normal beat down by flying angels, a not-so-normal beat down by an army of pentavites, or simply with Tezzeret.

Note that the purpose of Shield Spheres to help you in the first 2 or 3 turns as the deck gets going by serving as blockers, candidates to weld with your goblin, and to fuel metalcraft for the Mox Opals. After those first initial turns, unless you're protecting Tezzeret, one the angel is out, it doesn't matter if creatures get through or not. Also note that the single copy of Stifle acts a fail-safe to save you in an instant when your Platinum Angel is unexpectedly killed.

How does this deck differ from similar decks out there?

Like I stated above, Reanimators and Tezzeret Affinities are usually hyper aggressive. This one is not. Notice that this deck lacks the punch from fatter creatures found in Reanimator. Also notice that this deck lacks all "affinity" cards due to all of the non-artifact cards in the deck. The only purpose for having artifact land is to have targets for your goblin and Tezzeret to abuse.

Through 4 copies each of Careful Study, Entomb, Goblin Welder, and Animate Dead, there are plenty of ways to resurrect an angel or Pentavus on the second turn. And if you have an angel out, you can immediately save it's butt with as many Pact of Negations you wish. But unlike Reanimator, when you use Entomb in this deck, you have plenty of potential non-creature targets like Darksteel Forge and Deep Analysis.

What is your favorite thing about the deck?

I've been trying to make a viable Platinum Angel deck as soon it was introduced. But at the time I only had Final Fortune and Phage to play with (and Lich, Nefarious Lich, and some other black enchantments... but they never worked). And when Pact of Negation was introduced I was still going about it the wrong way by still holding onto affinity and throwing in some Copy Artifacts for more angels. (That also never worked because it just turned out to be a worse Affinity deck that didn't have any punch. The only way I ever won was with a flock of angels and copies of angels.)

In this deck, especially with the inclusion of Tezzeret, everything all comes together nicely. Other than the two copies of Tezzeret, there isn't a single card that has to be hard cast for more than two mana. And of those spells of 2cc or under, only Final Fortune requires double colored mana. This makes the mana base really solid, considering that it features three colors, evenly represented.

But while Phage is the guilty pleasure of the deck (being completely unnecessary and is only included so the deck features a "you lose the game" card in every color). I'm also a little ashamed by the Darksteel Forge. One of my rules for Casual Deckbuilding is to make sure the decks I make are fun to play against. Platinum Angel + Darksteel Forge isn't fun to play against. Oh well.

What makes this deck casual?
  • Features rarely used cards? Check.
  • Has multiple win conditions? Check.
  • Includes a goofy gimmick? Check.

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