Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Casual Gamer

Modern Solitaire

For the most part I am a Standard player and a drafter. They actually go hand in hand. I enjoy deck building the most about Magic and both formats utilize that aspect in my opinion the best. Yet, there is always more I want to do with the game. That is why I have recently looked into building a Modern deck.

There are some pretty fun looking Modern decks like Delver or Storm. Again I'm a sucker for anything that is friends with blue or red. Give me both and we may start to get serious. Yet I'm not exactly looking to break the bank. The mana base alone for those decks is going to send my wallet running for cover.

I could always go with Modern Burn. I've seen some cool lists from Grand Prix decks that are only like 120-150. Yet I don't want to be stingy. This is a Modern deck after all. I won't be switching it up in a month. I'll fine tune it but it'll stay by my side for awhile. That kind of commitment deserves a higher ceiling. 

Not like 500 but something I could feel comfy with. 

Maybe half that. 

A good Modern deck with blue and red that has some flare to it for under $250. That is my goal. 

After looking around the internets I got a suggestion from a player to check out this Travis Woo Narset First Turn Kill Deck. I've written before how much I love Narset. Even better is she is pretty much at bargain basement levels right now. A play set for $6 is not too shabby. Yet there was a lot I still didn't like about the deck.

The same stuff I didn't like about the other Narset First Turn Kill Deck I had seen from Gabriel Pancerzewski at Mana-Fyx Games. For one I don't want to drop my budget on Emrakul. I love the big lug. I just don't like his price. 

I also never like the heavy exile and mulligan play the deck forced on you when I played it proxy. I toyed with the Omniscience & Enter the Infinite combo but never liked that it opened me up to being milled too easily by an opponent. Plus Omniscience at $16 a pop is more than I want to assign a fringe card. That kind of price tag goes for the card that makes the entire deck run. 

For a play set of Goryo's Vengeance your going to drop about $50. That is an Emrakul. I'd rather have that playset than any number of Emrakuls. This card is one half of the coin that makes this deck. Having one in your starting hand makes it a favorable keep. I'm not saying you won't mulligan but it will jump the value of the hand. You have the entire coin in Narset & Goryo's Vegeance for roughly $53. That is budget.

This my version of the Narset first turn kill deck. It has the ability for first turn kill but I added some substance to the deck to help it go off on any turn. It also is designed to be played like a game of Solitaire. I have a lot of time alone in the shop. This kind of deck fits my play schedule. 


Creatures: 8

Simian Spirit Guide x4
Narset, Enlightened Master x4

Spells: 40

Faithless Looting x4
Gitaxian Probe x4
Noxious Revival x4
Pull from Eternity x4
Spoils of the Vault x1
Thought Scour x3
Tome Scour x4
Goryo's Vengeance x4
Relentless Assault x4
Waves of Aggression x4
Fury of the Horde x4

Lands: 12

City Of Brass x2
Gemstone Caverns x4
Gemstone Mine x2
Mana Confluence x4

Sideboard: 15

Feldon's Cane x1
Guttural Response x4
Nature's Claim x2
Smelt x4
Research // Development x2
Murderous Cut x2

It's pretty straight forward. Your perfect hand is a Gemstone Cavern, Narset, Goryo's Vengeance, Pull From Eternity, and a second mana source. You want your opponent to go first because then you can play the Caverns to exile the Narset to put her in the graveyard with Pull from Eternity.

Then on your turn one you Goryo's Vengeance and send Narset off to the races. If she gets 7 attack phases then you win the game. Noxious Revival helps put extra attack turn cards on top of your deck to get free cast by Narset. Pretty much once you get two attack cards exiled by Narset the game is yours. 

Tome Scour and Thought Scour help push your deck into your graveyard in hopes of hitting Narset there or grabbing a combo piece for next turn with Noxious Revival. The Faithless looting works the same way. Also lets you discard Narset from a starting hand or turn draw. 

I don't know the exact percent that it goes off on turn 1. It feels as if it goes off very consistently on turn 2. Once the deck gets flowing it tends to have the ability to go off every turn.

This is my kind of Modern Deck.

It's budget friendly. It's flashy and quirky. It's red and blue (and everything else). It's the Modern deck I want to keep handy for the next couple years. 

I'm not delusional in thinking this build is going to be on par with Delver or Storm but I know it has a chance against any deck in the format. 

Some purists would say it really isn't playing Magic. There is no real interaction with the other player. You are basically going to a tournament to sit in front of another person for 7+ rounds and play by yourself. I say that isn't true. 

Just having an opponent forces interaction. My sideboard exists for that reason. The Grafdigger's Cage is REALLY scary for this deck to see. 

I believe nobody would want to see this deck because of the chance it goes off twice. No worse feeling than being a round from the money and you get double first turn killed. That kind of stuff gets tables flipped. 

To me this balances the scales. I can't afford the big net decks but I can afford to give myself a chance against anyone sitting across from me no matter what deck they bring to the table. 

Until next time I'll keep playing by myself.