Struggling To Love


Deck List:
2x Jace’s Phantasm
4x Phatasmal Bear
4x Phantasmal Dragon
2x Aeon Chronicler
4x Infiltrator Il-Kor
4x Psychosis Crawler
2x Sturmgeist
2x Phyrexian Ingester

2x Mind Spring
2x Negate
2x Think Twice
2x Blue Sun’s Zenith
2x Cancel
2x Rewind

22x Island
2x Reliquary Tower

This is about the unloved deck. Perhaps you have one. Over time i have accrued the above cards and played with them in different combinations; the phantasm’s were all part of my short lived and gimmicky Lord Of The Unreal illusion deck, the Infiltrator Il-Kor was part of my brief experiment with introducing a splash of blue into my Kor Equipment deck. Aeon Chronicler, Sturmgeist, Phyrexian Ingester, Psychosis Crawler and the Reliquary Tower were part of my “Big Blue Card Draw” deck along with the Blue Sun and Mind Spring. Each of those decks has came, been built, battled, lost, been sold off or bored me to death leaving these random playsets and pairs. In the spirit that they don’t do any good sat in a collection I decided that mashing all of these mixed purpose cards together into one 60 card Modern deck was a good idea, or at least a better idea than just staring at them in my folder.
At Maze’s End multiplayer Modern is the game format of choice and so many of my decks are skewed that way; being too quick and overtly threatening will see you picked on, being too ponderous and late game orientated will ensure that you don’t last long enough to see it. Midrange and subtle is the order of the day. I have a variety of decks which achieve mixed results, Magic can be a game of rock, paper scissors sometimes and often choosing the wrong deck can make victory impossible. I wanted the reject home of unloved U to be one of those decks which consistently pulls out the rock and stands in the middle of the field looking baffled and being battered. I wanted the deck not to work, so that I had an excuse to whack it up on eBay.
Yet it works. It annoys me. I have agonised for hours over decks, built them and seen them stutter and whimper lamely through games: Kithkin, Kor, Giants, Illusions, Splicers. Each has struggled to maintain a threat or keep up with the pace of the game. This mish mash works out just fine. The bears provide an early blocker, the kor has Suspend and Shadow which puts people on a clock and forces removal. The Aeon Chronicler and Sturmgeist are the big hitters and the Psychosis Crawler means that if the board is locked down you can still passively sting and sit back for blocking. Phyrexian Ingester, though rare to make an appearance, munches up (“like an old Twix” – my friend Ian would say) any major creature threat. The Cancel and Rewind give a moment’s respite and a welcome deterrant (nobody really knows when you have them to hand). I think i’ll replace the big X draw spells with Divination or Opportunity though as they’re only really worth it if you’re sat on 7+ mana (and if you’re sat on 7+ mana you better have something more interesting to do than draw cards, even if they can sting your opponent).

Loathe as I am to say it, I might end up keeping this one going for a while.

Struggling To Love