Friday, February 24, 2012

Mayael's Titans

I recently posted a couple versions of this deck, but I still didn't feel like I got it quite right. Here's the latest version of my Mayael's Titans / Mayael's Aria / Gain Life Deck and this time... I bring back the Serra Avatar combo:


Mayael's Titans
Legacy Deck

Creatures (17)
1 Mayael the Anima
4 Birds of Paradise
4 Wall of Blossoms
2 Eternal Witness
2 Sun Titan
2 Inferno Titan
2 Serra Avatar

Additional Ramp (9)
4 Mox Diamond
4 Trace of Abundance
1 Wild Growth

Other (11)
3 Mayael's Aria
4 Faithless Looting
2 Berserk
2 Oblivion Ring

Land (23)
4 Riftstone Portal
1 Gaea's Cradle
1 Serra's Sanctum
2 Diamond Valley
4 Maze of Ith
4 Savannah
4 Taiga
3 Plateau


How does this deck work?

First of all, the deck doesn't need to win with the combo. Second of all, the deck doesn't even need to win with Mayael's Aria. But the combo basically wins you the game if you have 9 life or more and you have both Mayael's Aria and Serra Avatar in play during your upkeep. The 9/9 avatar will get a +1/+1 counter, the 10/10 avatar will gain you 10 life, and the 20/20 avatar will win you the game. (You can even have less than 9 life if you have a way to instantly buff it, just as long as you get the avatar's power to 9 before the aria's triggered ability resolves.)

That being said, the deck wants to ramp with Mox Diamond, Birds of Paradise, and Trace of Abundance. While you're ramping, you can hold off you opponent's forces with Maze of Ith, Wall of Blossoms, and Oblivion Ring. Once you get 6 or more mana, you just go off with titans and avatars. If that's not enough, the deck has ways of cheating them into play with Mayael the Anima and Hunting Grounds, both of which will get around counter spells.

You can either beat them down with fatties or go for the much cooler win with the aria.


How does this deck differ from similar decks out there?

If you look back at my most recent decklist, you notice that I got rid of most of the graveyard shinnanigans to make room for Serra Avatar. Life from the Loam and Unburial Rites don't work with the avatar, for example. I also switched up all the land, moving away from Kessig Wolf Run and Cloudpost to more defensive lands like Maze of Ith and Diamond Valley. This way, I can re-introduce the 2 card combo and this deck plays much more like a normal ramp deck than a hybrid reanimator.


What is your favorite thing about the deck?

Here are a couple fun things to note when playing this deck:
  • Mayael the Anima actually got more powerful because of the avatar. Because it keeps shuffling back into your library, the longer the games goes, the more likely it is to hit a creature. At the beginning there are only 6 targets in 60 cards, but 2 of those targets keep reshuffling and the deck keeps getting smaller.
  • There are some fun things you can do with Maze of Ith, wait until an opponent attacks with a creature then Berserk and Maze it. It's removed from combat and still dies at end of turn. You can also Maze your own titans to get their effect and keep them safe at the same time.
  • Remember, creatures only die if they attack the turn they are Berserk'd. So if you have a Sun Titan and Mayael's Aria in play and you need some life, you can always instantly use Berserk to gain 10 life.
  • Trace of Abundance works as a ramp card, but it also can give Shroud to Maze of Ith or Diamond Valley. It also feeds into Serra's Sanctum as an added bonus.
  • Diamond Valleys are in the deck to keep your life total up (for the combo), but also to keep value in your Serra Avatars. You can save them from instant exile effects and also double your life total at the same time.
  • If you're under 9 life with both Mayael's Aria and Serra Avatar in play and if you're desperate for that 9 power, you can always Swords to Plowshares one of your other creatures to gain life and instantly increase the size of the avatar.
I've been trying to get this deck right for a long time. With the introduction of Faithless Looting, hopefully I finally got it right.

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