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Flicker Golems

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

Since the Avacyn Restored spoilers 'n' previews were delivered, we here at MTG Realm have had a fascination for the new 'flicker' mechanic.  Flickering is the nickname for exiling a permanent, then returning it to the battlefield.  Of course when you do this, the permanent is treated as a new card that just entered the battlefield and comes along with any 'enter the battlefield' effects.  This mechanic appears on several Avacyn Restored white and blue cards, including an artifact.  Cards in the Avacyn Restored set which is blessed with this mechanic are Cloudshift, Conjurer's Closet, Deadeye Navigator, Ghostly Flicker, Nephalia Smuggler, and Restoration Angel.

Flicker is not a new tech at all.  We've seen it on Turn to Mist and Mistmeadow Witch from Shadowmoor and the very popular Momentary Blink from Time Spiral.  This mechanic is very useful for Magic the Gathering players as it will remove all counters (negative, positve, as well as 'charge' counters) including auras (good or bad like Unholy Strength or Dead Weight).  It will also be good when used in response to a removal spell or ability, leaving no legal target for said spell.  When used on a token however, it is just plain gone.

We are rather interested in using (abusing?) this mechanic for a standard format build to take to Friday Night Magic gaming.  At first, we were thinking about using some shenanigans using Cloudshift and Fiend Hunter.  If you've not seen this in action, then you are in for a bit of a treat.  You play your Fiend Hunter and in response to the creature exile going on the stack, you play Cloushift while this exile ability is on the stack.  The Cloudshift resolves and 'flickers' the Fiend Hunter and upon returning, that creature the Hunter exiled is now permanently exiled and the Hunter is now available to exile a new creature.  Please don't ask us to explain as we are not judges - just casual players but it has to do with objects changing game zones.
Ayywhoos - we wanted something a bit more blunt with this flicker tech.  Specifically, we were looking for any slick 'enters the battlefield' ability which produced additional creatures or enhanced threats on the gametable.  Our first attempt used a bit of mana acceleration to get those nifty Splicer Golems (Blade Splicer, Winger Spicer, etc.) out early and then flicker them for another cheap golem token.  Built into this was a pair of Stonehorn Dignitary to cancel out an opponent's combat step as well as a Shape Anew strategy to cheat out a Blightsteel Colossus.  We did take this for a spin at our local game store, OMG! Games for FNM last week and it failed pretty miserably. 

We hit the drawing board again and this time removed the Shape Anew / Blightsteel component to make room for more flicker / splicer fun.  Here's what we came up with . . .

4x Birds of Paradise

4x Abundant Growth
3x Ponder
4x Tempered Steel
4x Blade Splicer
4x Wing Splicer
4x Vital Splicer
3x Vital Splicer
4x Cloudshift
4x Ghostly Flicker

Our very limited playtesting at the kitchen table has been very encouraging and we can see ourselves taking this build to the next level and improving / tweaking it over the next few weeks.  Currently there is NO sideboard developed.  What do you think ? What should stay / what should be replaced ?

1 comment:

Korwinga said...

I figured I could explain the fiend hunter/ flicker combo. When fiend hunter enters the battlefield, the removal trigger goes on the stack. With that trigger still on the stack, you cast the flicker spell. When fiend hunter leaves play and comes back, he puts the return trigger on the stack, as well as a new remove trigger. When the return trigger resolves, you return whatever you removed with the first trigger, but, since it hasn't resolved yet, you haven't removed anything, so nothing is returned. Then, your 2nd remove trigger resolves, leaving the fiend hunter in play, with something removed by him. Finally, the original remove trigger resolves, exiling another creature, with no way to ever get it back(as the associated return trigger has already resolved).

Also, at my local magic place, one of our players brought a deck that featured bounce creatures(aether adept, the new raven), and control features(frost titan, and stonehorn dignitary) with the various flicker mechanics(including Venser). He was able to make top 4 that night, in a few cases, just by stacking up 30+ stonehorn dignitary triggers, so that he could never be attacked again.