Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Kaldra Deck

I made a few changes to the previous build. The deck was getting a little too serious for me to just use Stoneforge + Jitte + Batterskull as a crutch to win. I also rather not play any counter spells at all if I can help it (even in a control deck). And as it turns out, all of the changes made to the deck made it the perfect deck to feature an old favorite:


The Kaldra Deck
Legacy Deck

Creatures (4)
4 Stoneforge Mystic

Equipment (3)
1 Sword of Kaldra
1 Shield of Kaldra
1 Helm of Kaldra

Control (12)
4 Restore Balance
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Venser, the Sojourner
1 Karn Liberated

Other (13)
4 Ancestral Vision
1 Zuran Orb
1 Elixir of Immortality
3 Timely Reinforcements
4 Tithe

Mana (28)
4 Lotus Bloom
4 Mox Diamond
4 Maze of Ith
1 Glacial Chasm
4 Tundra
11 Plains


How does this deck work?

This deck is designed to potentially stretch out the game to dozens of turns through a combination of mass life gain and multiple reset buttons. In that time the deck has plenty of time to assemble Kaldra for the win. If that doesn't work, the back-up plan is still to control the board and manufacture a win with equipment, Angelic Destiny, and white weenies.


How does this deck differ from similar decks out there?

If you look at my previous build, this one looks much more casual... which is a good thing. Gone is the Jitte & Batterskull and in comes Kaldra. Gone are the Mana Leaks and in comes Venser. An along with all of that, Drogskol Reaver just didn't make the cut. What this all means in terms of design is that I've pulled back on the life gain sub-theme and the deck is now just all-in on the suspend theme. At all times there will be some combination of Restore Balance, Ancestral Vision, and Lotus Bloom. Each of them will just be tickng away, waiting for the next round of overpowered effects each for the low, low price of a few more turns--something this deck has in abundance.

Like most casual players, I've also always wanted to make a Kaldra Deck ever since they were printed in Mirrodin Block. I could never really get it to work when they were first printed. I tried decks with both Captain Sisay and Godo, Bandit Warlord, but they never stuck. The printing of Stoneforge Mystic helped keep the dream alive, but the main problem was figuring out what to do if any of the pieces got destroyed, discarded, or just man handled in a number of different ways. Because of the reset nature of this particular deck, especially with Elixir of Immortality and Karn Liberated, all of a sudden, making Kaldra the main win condition became a possibility. There's literally nothing your opponent can do to the Kaldra set that Karn can't undo... unless they deal with both the elixir and Karn, of course.

Then there are the planeswalkers. Since the deck is already stretching to game out for many turns, planeswalkers seemed like a nice fit for the deck. Both Venser and Karn have the ability to exile any permanent, but Venser in particular has a special place in the deck. Blinking out Stoneforge Mystic or Karn can be nice, but Venser + Glacial Chasm can be the nuts if your opponent has no answer for it.


What is your favorite thing about the deck?

The previous build just wasn't doing it for me in terms of maximizing the devastation done by Restore Balance. Drogskol Reavers and germ tokens cluttered the battlefield and Mana leaks clogged up your hand. And you even had to hold back on sacrificing at least 1 Celestial Colonnade to a Zuran Orb at all times. In this build, Restore Balance can resolve when you have no creatures or land on the battlefield and no cards in hand, all because of Kaldra. Kaldra gives the deck a win condition that can destroy and/or create a 8/8 token with first strike, trample, and haste at any given time. (This works because Kaldra is legendary. Helm of Kaldra's 1 mana ability can be activated as many times as you see fit.)

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