A Token Effort

As I’ve written many times before, the decision to really dive into building a real MTGO collection is a tough one to make. Despite my commitment to this, it’s a slow and arduous road filled with trying to squeeze every penny out of each ticket I put in, and resisting the temptation to sell to bots unless I have a good reason beyond I don’t want to charge my credit card for four more dollars to get what I want, whether it be an Isolated Chapel or just to enter another draft.

As a result of this painfully slow transition, I now have a decent Standard collection, albeit minus all the cards worth more than five tickets each since starting small seems like a wise idea in case MTGO turns out to suck, or I just change my mind. Even with this somewhat motley crew of spells and lands, I managed to assemble a deck or two that are worth playing for kicks. In fact, I stumbled upon a deck I really like that plays a card that people forgot about when Tempered Steel became extinct. Here is my take on BWG tokens:

Maindeck

  • 4 Birds of Paradise
  • 2 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
  • 4 Doomed Traveler
  • 2 Mortarpod
  • 3 Gather the Townsfolk
  • 4 Intangible Virtue
  • 4 Lingering Souls
  • 2 Timely Reinforcements
  • 3 Oblivion Ring
  • 4 Mentor of the Meek
  • 2 Fresh Meat
  • 2 Increasing Devotion
  • 4 Razorverge Thicket
  • 4 Woodland Cemetery
  • 3 Isolated Chapel
  • 3 Plains
  • 5 Forest
  • 3 Gavony Township
  • 1 Grim Backwoods
  • 1 Vault of the Archangel

Sideboard

  • 2 Nihil Spellbomb
  • 4 Shrine of Loyal Legions
  • 3 Celestial Purge
  • 2 Ray of Revelation
  • 2 Timely Reinforcements
  • 2 Naturalize

Hey, look ma, no mythics! I just moments ago had the idea for Fresh Meat. It’s a card I’ve always wanted to make use of, and not-so-coincidentally I happen to own four Chinese foil ones! That unknown aside, this deck can do some really awesome things. It has access to three different ‘spell’ lands, giving a wide array of interesting effects that are generally useful. The Grim Backwoods is probably getting the boot soon though, as I really would like another Vault of the Archangel despite it not being useful in multiples. Also, the deck functions VERY well against most control decks, so the ability to eat men for new cards is unneeded.

If I were to add mythics to this deck, the Increasing Devotions would be the first spell cut for something like two Sorins, mainly used as extra anthem effects(I’m not playing Honor the Pure because of all the Green accelerators and the Shrines in the board, and I can win Anthem fights with Ray of Revelation usually), but also serving up a stream of tokens should I need them. After that, Mentor of the Meek has been downright awesome in some games, and just a shade too slow in others. It certainly makes token mirrors a joke however, so I’m hesitant to just cut it because it isn’t great all the time. Consider it a calculated risk to play it main. Also consider an opener of Birds/Pilgrim, Mentor, Gather draw two. Who cares if they kill it after that. It’s also good to hold until later when you can play it and get a draw off a stray one drop. There is also the question of what to play instead of Mentor. Hero of Bladehold seems like an obvious choice, but I just can’t buy into it. Sure, it wins games unchecked, but opponents are not going to be Fiend Huntering, Vapor Snagging, or Doom Blading silly tokens, so they will usually have something by the time you play it. Hero is an interesting sideboard option as well, but it would only be good in aggro mirrors, as Shrine of Loyal Legions can single handedly spell doom for control decks who have to use Ratchet Bombs just to survive the initial attack AND also sided out much of their single target removal. Blade Splicer would be considered, but really I just hate that card. It might be the worst $6 rare anyone ever played.

This brew isn’t without problems though. Sword of War and Peace is a scary, scary card, but I feel that more and more decks will move away from it,  since there are now decks like Black based zombies, various Green aggro decks, and the resurgence of U/B control(this decks natural prey).  Good old Red based Wolf Run, and any deck that tries to unfairly put an Elesh Norn into play is very bad news in game one, though there are three Oblivion Rings main to give the deck a few outs to large fast men(women? whatever a praetor is), as rebuilding isn’t terribly hard after you exile an offending fatty that wiped most of your board away.

This entire deck, if bought from bots, would cost roughly thirty or so tickets right now, and 80%+ of that comes from buying a manabase you will want to own anyway, so if you’re feeling frisky, log on and jam this thing for a bit. It’s a blast to play! So much actually that I was thinking of rocking a list close to this at Gamer’s Gauntlet’s Mox Standard event this Saturday@noon. Either that, or some terrible deck with Havengul Lich in it. Thoughts on either?

Nigel

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