Saturday, March 17, 2012

Balance Restored

Here's a fun deck that I just threw together and like many of my recent decks, the missing piece seemed to be one of the new Dark Ascension cards. Drogskol Reaver brings the beats, the card draw, and the lols. This deck idea goes way back to middle school for me when I first started playing Magic and everyone was still playing Revised. (Yes, I'm old.) I remember seeing Balance for the first time and wondering why it was so broken... I also wanted to get my hands on as many copies of them as possible. Three Balances later I learn about this so-called "Restricted List." Because of this list, my "Balance Deck" were limited to a single copy per deck and my dreams were subsequently shattered. Enter Time Spiral, enter Dark Ascension, and flash forward 17 years into the future and you get the following deck:

Balance Restored
Legacy Deck

Creatures (6)
2 Weathered Wayfarer
2 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Drogskol Reaver

Equipment (2)
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Batterskull

Control (13)
4 Restore Balance
4 Path to Exile
4 Mana Leak
1 Karn Liberated

Other (15)
2 Ancestral Vision
1 Zuran Orb
1 Elixir of Immortality
3 Timely Reinforcements
4 Tithe
4 Pristine Talisman

Land (25)
4 Mox Diamond
2 Diamond Valley
4 Celestial Colonnade
4 Tundra
11 Plains

How does this deck work?

It would be nice if Balance and Land Tax weren't banned in Legacy, but alas, Wizards isn't going to make deck building that easy. The idea of the deck is to have at least 1 Restore Balance counting down at all times, constantly resetting land, creatures, and hand sizes in the process. From there, the deck has two themes. First, it wants to take advantages of the re-balancing with cards like Weathered Wayfarer, Zuran Orb, Timely Reinforcements, and Tithe. Next, because there is so much overlap with life gain and this deck naturally wants to extend the game out as many turns as possible, the life gain theme is found throughout the deck, headlined by Drogskol Reaver.

The deck wins with late game hits from Drogskol Reaver and Celestial Colonnade or it wins with any creature wielding a Batterskull. A lot of times the game will immediately end if you land a clutch Parallax Wave on your own creatures right as a Balance hits the battlefield.

How does this deck differ from similar decks out there?

In all of my deck making, I've never messed with any of the Time Spiral cards that use the suspend mechanic. When Time Spiral was released I was on one of my multi-year breaks from Magic and I just never owned any Time Spiral cards in the past. So this deck really doesn't compare to anything else I've put together.

What is your favorite thing about the deck?

I usually never make control decks and this has got to be one of those rare exceptions. It's both the nostalgia factor of having a deck that uses multiple "Balances" and the endless ticking timer on all the Restore Balances. Throw in an Elixir of Immortality and this deck has incredible reach, not to mention the game breaking nature of Karn Liberated.

All you need to do is constantly reset the game with Balances, keep your ass alive with life gain, and you'll be having a lot of fun with this deck.

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