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Soul Sisters

Good Day MTG peeps,

We wanted to yatter about the local meta game today which kind of went head over heels for that white weenie life-gain archetype using the M11 Ajani's Pridemate and Soul Warden / Soul's Attendant. We did have this sort of deck put together within two weeks after M11 came out and it seemed that everyone and their monkey were playing it. If there is something we really do not like, it is playing a stoopid mirror-match. To this end, we will consign ourselves to construct a deck which hopefully wreck havoc on everyone's fav mono-white life-gain deck.

First things first, let's yatter about the life-gain deck. This deck list was put togehter by MTG pro-player Conley Woods who went 3-1 in U.S nationals. The deck is named Soul Sisters for some obvious reasons - the 4 Soul Wardens and 4 Soul's Attendants in the deck. Basically, it runs 8 copies of a 1 mana creature that allows him to gain life for every creature that enters the field. Gaining life is pretty sweet in this build given the fact that Conley also ran 4 Ajani's Pridemates and 4 Serra Ascendants. Essentially, this deck is based off the concept "Life is power." The rapid tempo in which this deck gains life directly relates to just how powerful and effective his creatures will be.

Ajani’s Pridemate typically gets to rather an alarming size due to the fact that most of the decks in Standard play a lot of creatures to trigger the soul sisters.

Also, Pridemate can get big quickly. For example, turn one Soul Warden, turn two Pridemate, a few more creatures from you and your opponent could turn the Pridemate into a 6/6 or 7/7 creature by turn three which not a pleasant thing to be looking at across the game table.

The life gain from the sisters also helps you beat creature decks because you gain so much life that it’s hard for your opponent to kill you. Also, Serra Ascendant becomes a 6/6 pretty easily against those decks if you have one or two sisters on the battlefield. For example, against Mythic, Conley went turn one Soul Warden, turn two Soul Warden and Kabira Crossroads, and then turn three he cast 2 Ascendants that were both 6/6 (his opponent had played two creatures).

Here's the list . . .

Creatures (24)
4x Ajani's Pridemate
4x Soul Warden
4x Soul's Attendant
4x Serra Ascendant
4x Ranger of Eos
4x Kor Firewalker

Land (23)
15x Plains
4x Kabira Crossroads
4x Tectonic Edge

Spells (13)
4x Brave the Elements
3x Elspeth, Knight-Errant
2x Oblivion Ring
4x Survival Cache

Sideboard (15)
2x Celestial Purge
2x Oblivion Ring
1x War Priest of Thune
1x Sun Titan
2x Linvala, Keeper of Silence
3x Path to Exile
4x Luminarch Ascension

Some of the challenges in beating this deck . . .

I have a Mythic Conscription build as well as a Cunning Sparkmage / Naya Collar build - either of these may have to face down a Linvala, Keeper of Silence in the life-gain side-board. Also, Path to Exile, Oblivion Ring, and Celestial Purge can deal with many of the threats which we are thinking about sliding in a buiild. Perhaps we double the volume of pingers in the mix, throw in some removal, etc.

One option is to get a Leyline of Punishment on board. Sure the last line of the card that says damage can't be prevented may be good but what is golden is the line before it which states Players can't gain life. So do you pack a four of and just mulligan until it is in your opening hand so you can play it for free?

Please fill our head with some ideas as to what we should be bringing to FNM - drop us a comment - we would love to hear from the lot of ya.



doktorjung said...

I've been thinking along the same lines, except I'm not as familiar with the Alara block. So I've been considering Cyclops Gladators, Inferno Titans, and Magma Phoenixes as potential board-sweepers to deal with the Sisters and other creatures while they're small? Naya colors still seem appropriate to help ramp into the more-costly red creatures.

Justin said...

I have a solid blue mill deck that has trumped multiple life gain decks and I have a feeling it would do the same thing to this one. Cause as we all know, life means nothing with an empty library.

Anonymous said...

i think they should make stoneforge mystic a promo because its going to go up in price when scars of mirrodin comes out

Liz said...

Playing against JUND is easy, RW Pyromancer, YES. IDK with the others. Will try this Friday.

Jeremy said...

2 Words: Sorin Markov