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Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,
With each new Magic: the Gathering set, we here at MTG Realm love to work out a few casual (sixty-card standard constructed) builds to explore the new mechanics and some key cards. Too often we gather a collection of new cards which simply just hits our shelf not to get gamed with again. The greatest compliment we can get from another player at a Friday Night Magic event is a comment along the lines of 'wow, what's that card - that's actually pretty good' or some such thing. With more tournament-worthy 'net decks' becoming prevalent / popular at local gaming stores, we're seeing less and less cards from any new set with only a dozen or so 'good' cards seeing prevalent play. That's just one reason we like to toy with our new 'sampler' builds to showcase more of the new cards with our group at our kitchen table.
Anywhoos - here's one of those 'sampler' builds featuring Gatecrash's Simic Combine and their new mechanic 'evolve'. We particularly love the mana acceleration possible here with Gyre Sage and Somberwald Sage to drop increasingly larger threats onto the battlefield.
23 Lands : 10 x Forest, 6 x Island, 4 x Hinterland Harbor, 2 x Breeding Pool, 1 x Alchemist's Refuge
30 Creatures : 4 x Arbor Elf, 3 x Experiment One, 3 x Cloudfin Raptor, 3 x Gyre Sage, 2 x Elusive Krasis, 3 x Somberwald Sage, 2 x Drakewing Krasis, 2 x Nimbus Swimmer, 2 x Fathom Mage, 2 x Maste Biomancer, 2 x Prime Speaker Zegana, 1 x Soul of the Harvest, 1 x Worldspine Wurm
7 Other Spells : 3 x Simic Charm, 2 x Simic Keyrune, 2 x Increasing Savagery
If, over the next few weeks, we like the 'feel' of this deck, we will likely drop a few cards, pick up a few additional copies at MTG Mint Card to give it a more competitive profile and take it for a spin at our local gaming store, OMG! Games here in Canada-Land just north of Toronto.
Our buddy Marvel Sutantio in Jakarta, Indonesia had some very excellent points regarding strategy and the new Simic 'evolve' mechanic. Here's his solid points . . .
• Having Ajani, Caller of the Pride giving +1/+1 counters to Fathom Mage (and for Zameck Guildmage) can consistently give you a free card draw every turn. Ajani curves extremely well with Fathom Mage too.
• A good evolve deck IMHO doesn't rely on accumulating +1/+1 counters on a specific key creature. Those counters are just tools, a win more card. So cards such as Ooze Flux, Simic Manipulator, Simic Fluxmage aren't useful. I think the deck best work using both green & white's "standard" powerful creatures while giving them those +1/+1 as a win more mechanism.
• Sooo in conclusion, I think the deck should use creatures like Centaur Healer, Loxodon Smiter, Thragtusk, Armada Wurm, to evolve Elusive Krasis (Unblockable finisher), Gyre Sage (Mana booster to cast the bigger guns) & Fathom Mage (card drawer). Plus having Master Biomancer active to boost the big guns to be even bigger. Prime Speaker Zegana is sweet as another card drawer in the deck.
• IMO Simic Charm is probably the only charm worth playing in this kind of deck
• Another thing I've been thinking about is Unleash. Making a UGR deck using Unleash as an initial source of +1/+1 counters then spreading them out can be quite interesting....
• Though it probably won't be as versatile as Scavenge. Filtering / drawing cards using Grisly Salvage then Scavenging Dreg Mangler & Deadbridge Goliath can be quite interesting. Especially with Gyre Sage giving the much needed mana boost to pay for the Scavenge costs. Lotleth Troll can give extra +1/+1 counters too. But the sickest combo in this UBG deck would be Corpsejack Menace + Master Biomancer.