Reinventing Gauntlet of Might

Beyond Dominia: Casual and Beginner's Advice Mill: Reinventing Gauntlet of Might

By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 07:20 pm:

The other day, I posted this deck under a "pet decks" heading on the rumor mill. As I was goldfishing with it earlier, it got me thinking about how fun this deck is, and how it is completely against the grain of contemporary magic theory. In the days of beta, this was THE red deck. Remember when Gauntlet of Might was restricted? A deck like this running 4x of the other red restricted cards was something to be reckoned with. Or maybe this is all just some delusion I've been having. Anyway, here is the list.

Power-Gauntlet, Red's True Avatar. v4.0
"Pure Nostalgia Version"

20 Mountains

1 Mox Ruby
1 Sol Ring
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Vault
4 Gauntlet of Might
1 Sword of the Ages
1 Temporal Aperture

1 Fork
1 Wheel of Fortune
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Pillage
2 Arc Lightning
2 Earthquake
2 Fireball

4 Shivan Dragon
4 Dragon Whelp
2 Two Headed Giant of Foriys
2 Roc of Kher Ridges
2 Granite Gargoyle

I can't pretend this is optimal, I just threw it together one day when I was bored. I was going more for style with this build . . . and trying to capture the essence of really old magic. As I may have mentioned before, this was my signature deck repeatedly throughout my long magic career. In my time, I have owned no less than 13 Gauntlets . . . not to mention the hundred or so individual Shivans I've owned.

One version looked alot like this one, only it was all Unlimited cards. I had a land-killer version with Fissure in addition to the other LD spells for red. I had a version that used a bunch of weird Urza's stuff, including echoing dragons and crater hellions. This recent build got rid of a few things that just couldn't make the cut anymore, like Rock Hydra. You never know though, I might just throw one Hydra back in!

I added Pillage as a replacement for Shatter/Stone Rain, and Temporal Aperture just because it's a neat concept and the card was made for decks with high casting costs. The Temporal Ap meets my personal standards, it's weird enough to have existed in the same set as Time Vault and Chaos Orb. Arc Lightning is there for potential card advantage (can you tell the deck is built as an anti-weenie aggro?), but it might leave for Incinerate or Chain Lightning. Everything else is vintage.

People used to fear this deck. I know it's hard to believe now, but it's true. It would never do well against a competitive type1 deck, because it occasionally does almost nothing for the first 3 turns. It can still kill you on turn 5 though. It is a constant stream of ridiculous threats.

Against many casually oriented decks, the opponent must get rid of every one of my creatures (except maybe the gargoyle) or risk death. Then I can still burn them for a bunch. Never underestimate a man wearing two Gauntlets of Might. :)

I just thought this would be fun to post, since the Gauntlet is probably one of the least played of the old cards. It's right up there with Consecrate Land, Copper Tablet and Cyclopean Tomb. Yet there was a time when it was restricted and even take out of print!

I guess what I like about this deck is that it doesn't contain a single traditionally "good" red creature; it has no mana curve to speak of. It is the anti-sligh. The smallest thing in here is the Granite Gargoyle, and even he pumps. The other thing that's nice about this is that I imagine Richard Garfield and his original playtesters probably fielded something like it. This was the big red deck, the one you made once you gathered up a bunch of rares.

Or maybe it was all just a dream I had once. So the question is, what cards could I include to make the deck better? I have this notion that perhaps I can make it good enough to at least take down type2 decks . . . although it's untested, so it might be able to do that now. I've already established that the entire Oddysee block can't handle a Sedge Troll. :)

Or maybe the real reason I like this deck is that it is, in effect MINE. There are no decklists of anything like this that I know of. I won't claim it's mind-blowingly original, in fact if you look at the design is quite simplistic. Yet again, I'm the type of player who'll generally take a loss it it means I can play with a deck I designed myself. Or failing that, one that no one else uses.


By The Usual BD Stompist (Fbi) on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 07:35 pm:

Raging River:)?

By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 08:12 pm:

I have played with Raging River before, but it's completely unnecessary . . . because it only affects non-flying creatures. If that wasn't the case, It would be in there just to include another unused oop! :)

I know, I know, an all-flying red deck is really strange now. I was quite angry when they decided Red didn't fly! Obviously judging by the original set, red was a flying color! Being the color of dragons and storms, it made sense enough for me.

I guess I'll add that I'm taking suggestions from any set, not just the older stuff.


By DefiantVanguardVs.PhyrexianInvasion (Puschkin) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 09:11 am:

Rukh Eggs and Jokulhaups.

Eggs deal damage when paired with Gauntlets, Eggs are devastating when paired with Jokulhaups and Jokulhaups + Gauntlet means you can float lots of mana, blow up the world, and play a red flying nasty (or the 2H Giant, my personal red favourite) afterwards.

greetings from the synergy guy that loves old cards. Don´t stop, HengeWolf!

By Ufactor (Ufactor) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 10:44 am:

damnit, where are the kobolds?

By Justin (Justin) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 10:49 am:

your deck brings back so many memories, i remember being in highschool sittinf on ivory towers with a library of leng & howling mines, or luring a thicket basilisk. No chain lightnings?

By MossFire on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 02:12 pm:

maybe Two Headed Dragon? :) they'd compliment your two headed Giants nicely.

i too think jokulhaups would tear ass in that deck.

-- MossFire

By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 02:45 pm:

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

As I think I remarked in the original post (and if I didn't, I was thinking about it), I'd like to include some Chain Lightnings as soon as I can reaquire them. Same goes for Rukhs, I used to love those things. :)

Hmm . . . maybe it's time to forgive ebay for screwing me out of 4 Spiritmongers, and pick up a couple new toys . . .

I agree about the 'haups as well, that was one of my favorite cards around Alliances. I built a very mean Red/Green haups deck I called "Nordic Hammer." It involved Lhurgoyf and Orcish Lumberjack, among other things. With all the mana this thing spews, I could even concievably run one obliterate. Obliterate just isn't as oldschool though. Same goes for Urza's Rage . . . it might be useful but I can't get past the crappy name and artwork. No blue planeswalkers or robots in this deck! :)

I bet nobody knew that Jokulhaups comes from the Icelandic Jokullhlaup, which means literally "glacier-burst." Basically, this happens when a volcano erupts under a glacier, melting the ice and building intense pressure until it all explodes outward. These things happen far inland and just erase everything in their path clear to the sea. A wicked idea for a card, and expressed quite well I might add.

It's funny that Two-Headed Dragon was mentioned, my "neo-gauntlet" from a few years ago ran a couple of those. They are debatably as good or better than a Shivan, and that's a big statement from a man who's owned dozens of Shivans. I should pick up a few of those while I'm at it . . . not only do they fit the deck perfectly, but I can use my sol ring (or any off-color moxes that might worm their way in) to pump them up. Synergy . . . not to mention the Dragon also runs past that single morphling like it wasn't there. Actually, anyone who thinks they can defend against this deck with Morphling will realize it's just not possible. The control player might kill me with it, but it'll be due to losing my offense through other means. Morphling may be a weenie buster, but he's not much good against a 15/6 Shivan Dragon.

One other dragon I used once upon a time was the Shivan Hellkite . . . any thoughts on that? It's benefits are obvious . . . but I get the feeling it doesn't really matter if I spot remove every creature on the board when I could just fly over for 16 or something.

I was also thinking about Overmaster, I just wish it would let me force through artifacts as well as Sorceries and Instants. Final Fortune is another one . . . and I might see about picking up one Hammer of Bogardan again. So many options to choose from.

Building a better Gauntlet . . .


By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 03:02 pm:

I guess I should also address the Kobold Question. Although I wouldn't mind getting a bunch of Kobolds and trying out a Kobold deck (I have heard of people using them with the gauntlet before, actually), I just don't think anything so small has a place in this deck. I need one gauntlet out to make them offensive, and two or three active gauntlets out to make them good. This is a casual deck, but that's just a little too far toward useless for my liking. :) The point was that with only 14 creatures, you generally only need one or two out at a time to be a threat.

Which gets me to thinking, does anyone remember when "fat decks" (only we didn't call creatures "fat" back then) were just as much a strategy as "weenie decks"? How funny is that? One of my friends made "Big Black", in his words, "If it's not a 5/5 or bigger, it's not going in!" You might laugh, but it had Juzams and lots of nasty spells, not to mention all the crazy demons like Lord of the Pit, Yawgmoth Demon, and Demonic Hordes. It may not have been godlike, but it sure was fun to watch! Basically, I think he'd either crush someone, or kill himself. :)


By The Usual BD Stompist (Fbi) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 05:28 pm:

My fattie deck had all the old chestnuts in it: Serra Angel, Mahomati Djinn, Ernham Djinn (after chronicles came out anyway), Sol'kanar the Swamp King (only 1 since hes a legend -- they used to be restricted lol), and Shivan Dragon. For some reason I didn't use Sengir Vampire even tho I played Sol'kanar. So I didn't round out all 5 colors until homelands when I wavered between Ihsan's Shade and Baron Sengir as my black fattie par excellance. (I did however played some trial games with Minion of Tvesh Szat) Of course, I always lusted after Juzam but even then he was like a $50 card or so. And post-homelands I retired Ernie to run Autumn instead.

The only downside was I consistently lost to my friends deck running Mons Goblin Raides (yes)

Of course everybody knew my deck would've been great if I coulda just afforded those Vesuvan Dopplegangers (clones were SUCH a step down)

And of course, the best combo in my deck was my 1 unlimited icy+royal assassin:)

By Green Knight (Greenknight) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 05:41 pm:

I say take out the 2 two headed giants for 2 Covetous Dragons, They are fatter and fly and with 10 artifacts should stick around awhile. I don't know about the Arc's but they wreck havoc on those weenies! Long live Gauntlet of Might (and Shivan Dragon too :o)) Have fun Hengewolf,


By The Usual BD Stompist (Fbi) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 05:54 pm:

NO! Playing two-headed giant is an absolute must! They might not be that good anymore, but man were they cool back in the day

By Green Knight (Greenknight) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 06:08 pm:

Sure they were cool back in the day but I think you can play C. Dragon and still be true to the deck, don't ya think:)? Plus the Art rocks on the Dragon (OK I really like two headed's art as well).

By The Usual BD Stompist (Fbi) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 06:18 pm:

Sure Covetous are a good idea, but not in place of Foryises (foryi?) :)

By Green Knight (Greenknight) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 06:22 pm:

Hmmm, but Dragons are cooler than Giants, and H.Wolf :o)
Have a good weekend FBI!

By Green Knight (Greenknight) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 06:36 pm:

that should have read "ask H.Wolf"...

By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 01:46 am:

Ah, the Covetous Dragon . . . I've used it. I never really liked it much, although it was in my dragon deck. Although I have 10 artifacts (most of my versions had about the same amount), I very often only have one artifact on the board, which is basically begging the opponent to get 2 for 1 card advantage. Also, I like having one or two non-flyers in the deck, just in case I get hit with major anti-flying hate. It is a nice thought, although you'd probably have to cut the Two-Headed Giants out of the deck with a chainsaw. They're entrenched . . . almost like tenure or something. :)

And yes, Dragons are indeed cooler than giants. :)
That's why I'm running the maximum allowable oldschool dragons, and only 2 giants. When I rebuild the all dragon gauntlet, the covetous will be making an appearance to be sure.

Once again, I'm quite pleased with all the responses. This is a nice change from arguing esoteric magic philosophy over in the rumor mill.

On a final note, I fondly remember when Legends were all restricted. It made sense, really. They were individuals, so if I disintegrated Sol'Kanar, how is it he's coming back again? Of course it drastically reduced their effectiveness as tournament cards, so I understand why they changed it. Mechanically speaking, restricted Legends was a bad idea, but stylistically speaking it was a neat concept. It made them definitely separate from other types of creatures. I'm pretty sure the original legends were gold BECAUSE they were legends . . . WotC co-opted the gold border into meaning multi-color in general some time later. In a way, I still feel weird when I look at a gold sorcery or a gold creature that's not a legend . . . there's just something a little wrong with it. I'd like to see them do some work on the graphic design of the game, instead of making every multi-color gold, why not develop new borders that show a blending of the colors used in the card? It's probably too much to ask, but I'd love to see a card like Spiritmonger sport a black earth border with green tendrils running through it . . . plus similar stuff for the other combinations. Just a thought.


By DefiantVanguardVs.PhyrexianInvasion (Puschkin) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 10:23 am:

Ha,ha, first you say that this "is a nice change from arguing esoteric magic philosophy over in the rumor mill" and then you philosophy about legends being the only viable gold cards!

To all who can´t remember to spell the Two-headed Giant right: It is a pun on "four-eyes" and pronounced like that.

By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 03:28 pm:

Well, I can't help it I guess. :)


By Klobberer on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 07:42 pm:

I run a fun Multi-player deck with Gauntlet.

20 mountains
4 Gauntlet
4 Mana Flare
4 Furnace of Rath
4 Fork
24 Burn

I know it's not legal, but man is it fun to burn 2 players to death on one turn.

By the way, if you have any extra Gauntlets you want to get rid of, I'm your man!

By Sylvester (Sylvester) on Sunday, April 21, 2002 - 01:19 pm:

Why don't you check the new, muilticolour Gauntlet?
(Mirari's Wake, iirc).

It's green and white, but then, with that, coat of arm, gauntlet and sterling grove, you ahve 16 ways of pumping weenies/fetching cards that do :)
(add ET)

You could easily go the kobold way, then... It's not as classy, though i ahve to awdmit.

By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 04:16 pm:

What? A green/WHITE Gauntlet of Might? Oh, I get it, because the +1 +1 part is like crusade, and the mana flare part is like . . . Vernal Bloom I think it's called. Leave it to wizards to take an original concept and make it as bland as possible in a reprint. I won't even get started on what I think of their narrow views of what is and isn't "off-color."

Thanks WotC, take away everything about the Gauntlet that made it unique, and add a mana to the casting cost just so no one will use it. It could've cost 4 like the original and not been broke. And finally, they give it a stupid name, and then give it to an enemy color. It should've at least been green/red . . . they could've at least shown that much respect for the master.

Ah, well, I guess I'd like to see that kobold deck now. :)


By Redman, Relentless Leader of Scrubs (Redman) on Monday, April 22, 2002 - 06:35 pm:

Ahh, Gauntlet of know, sometimes, in my more cynical moments I'd like Magic to die as a commecial venture (seems like it could be headed that way anyways) so that maybe cards old OOPs like Gauntlet might come down to reasonable price levels so I could actually play with them, like back in the Elder Days...

By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 01:56 am:

You and me both, Redman . . .

Oh wait, I own 4 Gauntlets of Might. :)

Still, it's a great example of a card that just shouldn't be worth half what it is. I've never even met more than one or two other people who played with the card, so how can it be $80? Trust me, you won't ever be able to trade or sell them either.

Lucky for me, I'm not giving mine up. Reaqquiring a new set of gauntlets 4 times was more than enough. It's just one of those cards, like the Lotus, that no matter what happens I'm always going to own.


By Redman, Relentless Leader of Scrubs (Redman) on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 02:37 am:

What makes these types of cards even more frustrating is they cost a bunch if you want them, but if you have them, you're not going to be able to find anyone else to take them off your hands. Like this set of The Dark that I'm holding onto for sentimental value becasue if I wanted to sell it it'd go for 6 bucks (for the Ball Lightning) To think, Frankenstein's Monster, reduced to such chaff! (Well, maybe it deserved t a little, but still...)

I suppose there's always people like me to take up that slack I suppose, but I am of a dying breed (or at least, my funds are not substantial enough to impact the market)

Oh, wait you had a decklist, didn't you? :)

I know a card that can be hillarious in a deck like this is Scent of Cinder. It's newer, but I always think it's great to burn someone for 5 or 6 only to show them the 2 Shivans that will be coming for them next turn. :)

Granite Gargoyles are awesome.

I would definitely play at least one Fissure, the effect is nice (if ridiculously expensive) and I love the art and flavor text. It's a classic from my old LD days, and I don't think I could pass up an opportunity to throw one or two in. Besides, who knows when your opponenet will play a Serra Avatar or something. Note the classy bury effect as well. :)

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 10:40 am:

You know Redman, believe it or not, old, old R/G decks in my old school packed Fissure as standard creaturekill back when Ice Age had just rolled around the corner.

By Henge Wolf (Wolf) on Tuesday, April 23, 2002 - 11:43 am:

Redman, you know what I like! Over half my Gauntlet builds ran fissure . . . I just have to find mine . . . I know they're buried around here somewhere. :)

And you're (unfortunately) 100% correct about the lopsided pricing. I got a pretty good deal on my most recent Gauntlets, but I can't tell you how many times I'd get one for $75 (cash or trade) and be lucky to get half that later if I wanted to sell. In the day I had to trade a UL TimeWalk for a Beta Gauntlet! That one still pains me a little, but it WAS a different game back then.

A couple years ago I sold three UL Gauntlets to a friend of mine for $50 each, along with numerous little rares thrown in, and I I felt very lucky to get that. It's a shame . . . it's like that with a lot of old stuff. Dealers want an arm and a leg for them, but the average player nowadays won't give you a basic land for any of it. My only solution is to seek out cards at the absolute lowest price possible, and then intend to keep them forever. :)

Granite Gargoyle IS awesome.


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