Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

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Tinfish
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Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Tinfish » 17 Sep 2014, 06:47

One of my favourite things in MTG is building decks - around something they're supposed to do, like my mono-black shadow aggro deck, or something they're supposed to be, like my (actually rather terrible) green Spike deck. I've rambled at length in other posts about my love for the possibility of a five-colour Sliver commander deck, and my desire to run a green/black token deck, drowning my enemies in a sea of ankle-biting little monsters (Strangely, it appears that the tokenspamming deck in Khans is Mardu's red/white/black - with my antiquated colour prejudices, tokenspam seems like a green-flavoured thing to me!)

I once attempted to make a white Kor deck (the en-Kor in the Rath Cycle were (usually small) white creatures sharing a "pay 0: transfer one damage from this creature to another creature you control" mechanic). Turned out I didn't have enough of the right cards, but you get the idea.

One idea that immediately pops to mind in Khans is a white/green Abzan/Spike deck; spikes, being nothing but +1+1 counterd, and having the ability to sling them about at will, synergise excellently with Abzan's buffs to creatures with +1+1 counters.

My question is this: what strange, bizarre, outlandish or beloved theme decks or theme deck ideas have you come up with?
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby jkefka » 17 Sep 2014, 09:20

gods, which one. There's my most Johnny-ish 60-card technically Modern-legal deck, the Undead Alchemist. Look him up, and Lich Lord of Unx. You'll figure out what it does pretty quickly.

Of course my best example is my Zedruu commander deck. There's a lot of ways to do a Zedruu deck. I call mine "The Environmental Hazard." Every card in it either:

- Exchanges control of something, including itself
- Gives everyone something good, like everyone drawing an extra card or letting them play out cards for free
- Can be activated by any player (e.g., the three on-color Mongers from Mercadian Masques)
- Redirects and/or copies instants and sorceries, or
- Is one of those straight-up chaos cards, like Warp World.

It's not designed to win, it's designed to make everyone else's game much more interesting.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby JackSlack » 17 Sep 2014, 16:26

I'm going to again pimp my so-far hypothetical cRPG deck, because I think it's a fine example of how a theme deck should look.

Basically it's an excuse to phrase everything in RPG terms. Should be a lot of fun to play once I get it together.

jkefka wrote:It's not designed to win, it's designed to make everyone else's game much more interesting.


That sounds a lot like my Fun for Everyone deck. Got a decklist handy? :)
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Atifexe » 17 Sep 2014, 16:40

For a moment, I thought the title said 'Elven Herbs and Spices' instead of 'Eleven Herbs and Spices.' I though it was funny.

More often than not, my decks wind up revolving around zombies or token generators. Every colour has methods to produce tokens, but red (goblins) and white (soldiers, angels, spirits, etc) are arguably the most consistently present.

The silliest 'theme' decks I've considered making are an 'everything is everything' one (aiming to make every permanent have every permanent type), a total lockdown one (with sufficient combinations of cards, no one can do anything anymore) and a 'three card combo' one. The total lockdown one kinda got scrapped due to the belief that it'd be no fun to play against, and the 'three card combo' one only has a few ideas going for it.

The 'everything is everything' one hasn't been thoroughly thought through yet, but I believe that it could be done in a Bant-coloured deck. It would require Enchanted Evening, Mycosynth Lattice, Xenograft, Life and Limb, March of the Machines or Opalescence, and some sort of Anthem effect. It would also want to run plenty of enchantment search and a decent amount of mana and card acceleration. Of course, there's only one way to turn everything into Planeswalkers, and that winds up being a board wipe, so that card type is to be excluded.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby jkefka » 17 Sep 2014, 16:49

JackSlack wrote:
jkefka wrote:It's not designed to win, it's designed to make everyone else's game much more interesting.


That sounds a lot like my Fun for Everyone deck. Got a decklist handy? :)



I didn't, but I realized I should anyways, so now I do.

Click to Expand
1 Zedruu the Greathearted
1 Mana Cache
1 Psychic Battle
1 Master Warcraft
1 Chain of Plasma
1 Wishmonger
1 Statecraft
1 Boldwyr Heavyweights
1 Puca's Mischief
1 Shivan Wumpus
1 Confusion in the Ranks
1 Magnetic Web
1 Omen Machine
1 Order of Succession
1 Howling Mine
1 Drain Power
1 Armageddon Clock
1 Shunt
1 Juxtapose
1 Courtly Provocateur
1 Goblin Flectomancer
1 Kaboom!
1 Task Mage Assembly
1 Braids, Conjurer Adept
1 Redirect
1 Misdirection
1 Bazaar Trader
1 Pandemonium
1 Risky Move
1 Delay
1 Pyxis of Pandemonium
1 Warp World
1 False Orders
1 Cultural Exchange
1 Leonin Arbiter
1 Perplexing Chimera
1 Alliance of Arms
1 Burning Inquiry
1 Sailmonger
1 Warmonger
1 Lightning Storm
1 Willbender
1 Aether Storm
1 Captivating Glance
1 Chain of Silence
1 Curse of Echoes
1 Possibility Storm
1 Diluvian Primordial
1 Samite Sanctuary
1 Swerve
1 Switcheroo
1 Donate
1 Timesifter
1 Chemister's Trick
1 Whims of the Fates
1 Wild Ricochet
1 Conjured Currency
1 Elkin Lair
1 Naked Singularity
1 Goblin Game
1 Reroute
1 Ertai's Meddling
1 Well of Knowledge
1 Adarkar Wastes
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Icy Prison
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Illicit Auction
1 Temple of Enlightenment
12 Mountain
12 Island
7 Plains


EDIT: Figured out that "tappedout" thing

http://tappedout.net/mtg-deckpaste/17-0 ... al-hazard/
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby JackSlack » 17 Sep 2014, 17:00

Man. I like that deck. I think I like it better than mine. Daaaaang.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby jkefka » 17 Sep 2014, 17:06

I like yours, but it has a couple of cards that I looked at and went "...no, that works too much in my favor" when I was building this crazy thing. When I said it's not designed to win, I meant it.

Personal favorite recent addition is Timesifter. Whatever the rules text says, what it actually says is "the turn order is now random." Best way to fuck with a multiplayer game.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby JackSlack » 17 Sep 2014, 17:24

Curious to know which cards: I thought I ruthlessly designed that thing to favour nobody! (Heck, it has Oath of Lieges in there despite my having no basic lands!)
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby jkefka » 17 Sep 2014, 17:40

well, there's DtN of course, and all the Parley cards ultimately benefit you though they do give everyone a draw. Maze's end is an actual wincon, though I don't know if you have the gates to win with it. The black cards are also generally meaner than my deck goes, but then again I stayed away from black by keeping Zedruu.

I don't know if it's more accurate to say that you have more dangerous cards than I do rather than they favor you too much. I think the big difference is my deck isn't designed to kill anyone and runs no cards that are aggressive about bringing about someone's untimely demise. If someone dies in a game with zedruu, it's generally because the players other than myself worked through the chaos enough to pull it off. Or something got redirected to their face.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby JackSlack » 17 Sep 2014, 18:28

That's fair. I'd agree my deck has a meaner edge than yours; even the Commander kind of reveals that. I've joked my deck is either group hug or group slug depending upon my draw.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby tamaness » 17 Sep 2014, 18:37

That sounds like the goal in my Niv-Mizzet deck. < http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/chaotic-board-1/ > It's intended to make games go long, but it's pretty bad at its job. Knowledge Pool is a fun add, though.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby WP&P » 17 Sep 2014, 19:33

I used to be far more dedicated to crafting around themes than I am today. I'll give you two examples from back in the day, of decks so crazy that they just might work:

First, before Storm was a mechanic, I built a deck I called Storm Brew because it picked up on an odd synergy between Storm Cauldron and Stormbind. The cauldron bounces lands back to players' hands when used, while Stormbind pitched cards from hand to shock things, for 2 mana. With both out there, I can shock at will since the activation of Stormbind would reload my hand. The deck was four colors, and fixed its mana by using lands like Rainbow Vale, Undiscovered Paradise, and Gemstone Mine since their drawbacks would not be felt. Another stormy synergy was with Storm Seeker, punishing my opponent for their hand full of lands. Storm Crow had a home here.

My other example is my Disco Beatdown deck. At the time, I was really getting into Techno music, which uses an unrelenting 4/4 meter... so I decided to craft a deck that was an unrelenting 4/4 beatstick generator! I found all the 4/4 creatures for 4 mana that I could, including splashing black for Derelor (look him up), and I used a bunch of 4-mana artifacts too. The reason was a four-mana enchantment called Titania's Song (naturally, a disco hit) that would make those all into 4/4's for 4 mana. And playing the role of the sparkly disco ball hanging from the ceiling was Nevinyrral's Disk-O, a way to get rid of all the un-cool stuff and make the world safe for me to get my groove on.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Lurkon » 17 Sep 2014, 19:47

Atifexe wrote:For a moment, I thought the title said 'Elven Herbs and Spices' instead of 'Eleven Herbs and Spices.'

Came here to say that.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Tinfish » 17 Sep 2014, 20:19

I don't want to play against your zombie-powered mill deck, Jkefka. I kinda do want to play against your insane madness of a commander deck, though. It's possible that your username was well chosen!

Aside from the synergy between Megrim and Bottomless Pit - which led me to construct a black/blue counterspell/discard deck - this discussion has led me to realize that a lot of my themes revolve around creatures of a single type; slivers, spikes, kor ... I even tried making an elf deck once, but it turns out elves don't have much other than 1/1s. Or at least I didn't. These days, going by Khans and M15 cards, it seems like goblinspam is a good fit for me.

I can't seem to find it in Gatherer, but I'd swear there was a red enchantment that allowed you to sacrifice goblins to do damage ...
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Duckay » 17 Sep 2014, 20:23

Full disclosure, I thought this thread was going to be a deck list for a KFC theme deck.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Tinfish » 17 Sep 2014, 20:32

Duckay wrote:Full disclosure, I thought this thread was going to be a deck list for a KFC theme deck.


You'd need some kind of Chicken token generator for that; I don't know if such a thing exists. Tap, sacrifice a Chicken: target opponent gets nausea, heartburn, discards his or her bowels on their next upkeep.

Entirely unrelated - JackSlack, looking at your Commander deck list led me to Braids, Conjurer Adept, and then to Braids, Cabal Minion - whose art I absolutely adore.

Does anyone have suggestions for my hypothetical black/green token deck? I'd swear I've seen some kind of black goblin that produces more goblins, for example, but I can't find it in Gatherer. There's over a decade of cards to look through ...

A quick search suggests that Thallids are still a thing, and could form the mushroom-y meat in a token deck, although I'd expect they'd need some kind of buffing cards in there to keep up with the power curve.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Duckay » 17 Sep 2014, 20:34

I was thinking R/W birds. I don't think chickens are a thing.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby korvys » 17 Sep 2014, 20:38

Chickens are a thing in Unglued.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Atifexe » 17 Sep 2014, 21:48

Weirding Shaman is probably the goblin you're looking for. It relies on having goblins already to activate its ability, but it does allow for you to build up your supply.

Thallids still exist, and compared to most other token generators, they are rather slow. There are several ways to speed them up - pairing them with Slivers can be quite destructive. I used to have a really solid Sliver/Fungus deck that used Conspiracy and Hivestone to make everything both a Fungus and a Sliver, even the Saproling tokens. It only used Sporoloth Ancients and Sporesower Thallids for the Thallid component, while the slivers included both Frenzy Sliver and Virulent Sliver at the low end, and Brood Sliver and Vampiric Sliver at the top end. It ultimately functioned more as a sliver deck than a token generator deck, and it wouldn't take too much to tweak it in the other direction.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby jkefka » 18 Sep 2014, 03:01

Ahh goblins. I also have a goblin commander deck. It is very different from Zedruu. It is very definitely designed to win. I generally only pull it out if I want to be mean. The premise of the deck is that, with Krenko as commander, I produce and arbitrarily large number of goblins, but I rarely attack with them. Instead, I use them as ammunition, set them on fire, and fling them at my enemies. I call it the Flaming Goblins deck.

Click to Expand
1 Krenko, Mob Boss
1 Legion Loyalist
1 Volcanic Wind
1 Thunder-Thrash Elder
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Goblin War Drums
1 Rustrazor Butcher
1 Downhill Charge
1 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Rolling Thunder
1 Ember Hauler
1 Door of Destinies
1 Quest for the Goblin Lord
1 Goblin Matron
1 Intimidator Initiate
1 Furystoke Giant
1 Horde of Boggarts
1 Goblin Diplomats
1 Infernal Plunge
1 Goblin Grenade
1 Ogre Battledriver
1 Furyborn Hellkite
1 Massive Raid
1 Goblin Soothsayer
1 Goblin King
1 Mogg Maniac
1 Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician
1 Boggart Shenanigans
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Mudbutton Torchrunner
1 Krenko's Enforcer
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Kaervek's Torch
1 Goblin Assault
1 Goblin Guide
1 Brightstone Ritual
1 Goblin Marshal
1 Goblin Offensive
1 Arms Dealer
1 Reckless One
1 Warbreak Trumpeter
1 Moggcatcher
1 Goblin War Strike
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Skirk Prospector
1 Voracious Dragon
1 Goblin Warrens
1 Skirk Drill Sergeant
1 Mogg Infestation
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Goblin Warchief
1 Mogg War Marshal
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Illusionist's Bracers
1 Goblin Arsonist
1 Pandemonium
1 Path of Anger's Flame
1 Goblin Lackey
1 Goblin Lookout
1 Burn Trail
1 Goblin Razerunners
1 Hellraiser Goblin
1 Beetleback Chief
1 Goblin Bushwhacker
1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Smoldering Spires
33 Mountain

http://tappedout.net/mtg-deckpaste/18-0 ... g-goblins/

There are many versions of this deck that people have made, and I don't claim this is the best by any means, but I enjoy playing it rather a lot. Also it has the best flavor text of any deck I have ever built.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Tinfish » 18 Sep 2014, 06:15

"They certainly are."

I'd be very scared to face that deck - Krenko by himself doubles the number of goblins you have each turn! He produces exponential goblin.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Atifexe » 20 Sep 2014, 23:59

I want to build a Red/Blue Goblin commander deck that runs Mirror Gallery, so I can cast a kicked Rite of Replication on Krenko.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby Tinfish » 21 Sep 2014, 05:46

So I've been looking about on Gatherer and it seems Return to Ravnica would have been the ideal time to make my green/black token deck - Golgari All The Things! I really like Scavenge, Evolve, Populate and Proliferate (which is brokenly good) as mechanics. Of course Populate would require splashing white for Selesnya, and once you've gone white there's Abzan creatures which would be ungodly good in a +1+1 counter deck ...

Unfortunately, Ravnica's cycling out means it wouldn't be Standard-legal, and from what I've seen green/black doesn't really have the same playstyle in Theros/M15 ... so it's either build it as a Modern deck or find something else to build around ... but I am rather attached to the colour green.

Does anyone who was around in Ravnica have any tips about the interaction of Evolve and Scavenge, playstyle-wise? Evolve pumps up your creatures if you play something fatter than them, and Scavenge makes things fatter from your graveyard (but since they're not coming into play fatter, it's not triggering Evolve). I like both mechanics, but I'm not sure if they actually mesh well.
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby fantôme » 10 Jan 2015, 09:45

My favourite silly pet deck is my Birds deck, it uses Mindshrieker (for big bird) or Dovescape (for little birds) with high cmc but cheap alternative cost cards:

Divining Top, Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor fix the top of my deck - for Terminus, Temporal Mastery and Dig through Time, (and soon Temporal Trespassing). Also useful is flashback - Feeling of Dread and Think Twice.

Also a single Time Stop for flavour.

It often doesn't go off fast enough, but when it does: oh wow what a lot of doves.

Everything is either time or bird themed, at the moment it just gets called the Time Birds deck, but I feel like it could have a more imaginative name, any suggestions?
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Re: Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices: Theme Decks

Postby BarcodeReader » 12 Jan 2015, 18:59

What to pick... Let's see, a bare bones Esper Mill deck built using as many Jace cards I could muster, a mono-white Bird Soldier deck, starring Commander Eesha, Mono-black Rat Tribal swarm deck, and 2 decks mostly inspired by LRR: a Pheldagrif friend deck, and a Treefolk tribal deck using Sapling of coelfenor. Still working on a Narset multi-turn/combat step deck, wanting to use as many cards specifically from khans and Kamigawa blocks as practical to keep a kung-fu vibe.
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