Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Felidar Sovereign Deck

I've tried many, many times to make a Gain Life Deck/Felidar Sovereign deck and I've crashed and burned an equal amount of time. I've tried all kinds of 3 color and 4 color combinations, but I think I'm going to scale it all the way back and boil it down to its bear essentials. The theme of this gain life deck is "go big or go home."

Felidar Sovereign Deck

Creatures (19)
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Tireless Tribe
1 Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant
4 Divinity of Pride
2 Felidar Sovereign
4 Chancellor of the Dross

Control (13)
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Righteousness
4 Gerrard's Verdict
1 Death Grasp

Other (4)
4 Unburial Rites

Mana (24)
4 Dark Ritual
3 Diamond Valley
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Scrubland
4 Isolated Chapel
8 Plains

How does the deck work?

This deck thrives on the luck of the draw and the perfect hand. There are many hands that will just explode right out of the gate and there are potentially many terrible hands where the game will be over before it begins.

The first step is obviously to have 2-3 Chancellors of the Dross in your opening hand. The next step has to do with potential 1st and 2nd turn plays. These plays may include:

  • 1st turn double Dark Ritual + Divinity of Pride.
  • 1st turn Serra Ascendant, 2nd turn Tireless Tribe + Diamond Valley.
  • 1st turn Tireless Tribe, 2nd turn Dark Ritual + Unburial Rites.
  • Reveal Chancellor of the Dross, 1st turn Serra Ascendant, block + Righteousness.

How does this deck differ from similar decks out there?

As you can see, I stripped down any and all splashing of additional colors. In general, instead of stalling with Mazes of Iths and crawling the life total back up with Armadillo cloaks in the mid-game, this deck wants to get your life total to 25-30+ life as fast as humanly possible. Instead of including things like Faithless Looting or Night's Whisper, this deck skips all kinds of extra card drawing and hopes that you'll naturally draw all the necessary bits and pieces to get off to a great start.

(Much like my other Felidar Sovereign Deck in the past, I'm still in love with the Serra Ascendant + Righteousness combo, especially when you throw in a Diamond Valley.)

What is your favorite thing about the deck?

Once I decided to rush for the life gain, it was easy to finally let go of all of the fluff. Even if this deck includes some control-ish type cards like Gerrard's Verdict and Swords to Plowshares, those card can be turned on yourself to net yourself some emergency life gain in the right situation. To name a specific card, I think Tireless Tribe is the glue that holds it all together. The Tireless Tribe + Diamond Valley combo can single-handedly bring you back into the game and the Tireless Tribe + graveyard reanimation keeps the beats coming.

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