Well, this particular listing is a tricky one. I wanted to find one where for once there would be more than 1-2 cards worth of argument, and boy did I find one. I myself tried 3 different colour builds, eliminating one for severe bad mana. For this listing anyone trying it should make sure they build theirs before reading on (make up your list and post it, then come back with a new post to comment on differences between builds. This way, hopefully we can get some real diversity. I expect this one to spark a few arguments about colour choice.
Here are the cards you have to work with:
Fires of Yavimaya
Ertai, the Corrupted
Steel Leaf Paladin
Angel of Mercy
Strength of Unity
Voice of All
good luck ....... here is some of the dreaded whitespace .... so post your decklist than come have a look at the below section
Welcome back from that horrific white void.
The only really sure thing about this list is that whatever you build will feature shaky mana and no blue.
The first thing a seasoned IB limited builder will probably take note of is:
So it looks like R/B is a good option. The problem is (as it often is with these colours) the number of quality creatures. Blue is no help, so green is the next logical place to look. Green fills in early drops and provides some mana help, and here it lets us access cards like fires of yavimaya, voracious cobra, and horned kavu.
Looking to another option, white gives us some quality white flyers and tons of black hate, but is ill suited to be a 3rd colour with a strong commitment needed. So we put in the back of our mind to sb white against heavy black decks.
After some meddling and very difficult decisions cuts, I build the following R/B/g deck.
Fires of Yavimaya
discusion: I really don't much care for this mana base. I don't normally care for cameos, but I think it is very appropriate in this deck, which will need both a second R and a second B. The thing causing us problems is a need to access green mana early, but in order to have a steady curve, we really can't avoid this. Maniacal Rage was the second last cut once again. Plague Spores got dropped last minute for the apprentice. Against a slow deck this could change, but I wanted a quicker curve and something to gate back for the horned kavu. On the plus side, the removal base here is top notch, and you have tons of aggression. I checked back on my sb plan (green out for white), and found that it would wreck the mana curve.
I was also unhappy enough with the mana base , and had seen enough power in other colours that I decided to look at another build. White and Green are both very deep and contribute several excellent gold cards. Also, I get to play all that black hate, which will be very important in a sealed deck. With a stronger green component, I ought to get smoother mana as well as I get access to green mana help. So here I tried W/G/r.
The problem here was cutting cards. There were 23 creatures I wanted to maindeck. I went mostly by mana , cutting away some hard to cast or more expensive red in an effort for a very aggresive deck. Here is build #2
Fires of Yavimaya
Voice of All
Angel of Mercy
discussion: cutting down to the right number of cards was absolute torture here. Pouncing Kavu was one of my first victims, as it was him or a bunch of white creatures. From there , I also dropped sparkcaster (which I had REALLY wanted to keep) and creatures that I felt didnt contribute to the deck's aggresion. The remarkable thing is this strategy still has 3-4 quality creatures and 3-4 quality spells in the sb, obviously a very depp build, and the mana is slightly better. With tons of aggresion and evasion , coupled with black hate and tricks, this deck just about makes up for the lack of those black kill spells. The rage really almost made it in this deck, but the 18th land was more important, and I couldnt afford to cut another early drop from the deck, while I didn't want to lose my more expensive spells.
In the end however, and despite mana issues, I felt the shear power of the R/B/g build would make it the deck of choice, so if I were to play it in a tourney, I would play that build, with a plan to switch to build number 2 when faced with decks heavily into black, saving me from having dead removal, and hating them off the table.
BRg seems to be colors to choose. My deck differed from yours in the following way:
-Thornscape Apprentice, Kavu Aggressor, Kavu Scout, Ancient Kavu
+Thunderscape Familiar, Darigaaz's Charm, Hypnotic Cloud, Plague Spores
The Familiar makes both green and black spells cheaper and has power equal to its casting cost.
I'll almost always play the charms if I have them in the right colors, and Darigaaz's fits in very well here.
I find Hypnotic Cloud (with Kicker) and Plague Spores to be very useful disruption (and removal), and should be more easily cast with two Familiars in the deck.
a) you're only playing 12 creatures .
b) you took out most of your 3 drops, making your mana curve spotty
c) the THUNDERSCAPE familiar is a 1/1 first strike, the only 2 power familiar is THORNSCAPE. and the THUNDERSCAPE APPRENTICE gives this aggresive deck first strike and helps you play
a turn 2 horned kavu, which is great for applying pressure.
d)Only one of the 2 familiars would help hypnotic cloud, and depending on familiars to sort out your
mana curve isnt a great idea. The lower cost should be a bonus, not a dependency. I can see spores going in, but I just think I would rather have a creature than a cloud.
My first reaction was that this deck is going to be slow unless green is played, and the blue is not even there. I started to put together a B/R/w deck but I was afraid it would get run over quickly if it didn't draw perfect mana and the terminate. Plus, several of the white cards I really wanted were double casting cost.
This may have ended up differently had I been able to lay all the cards in front of me and look at them as a whole, but I am going W/B/u.
land: 7 plains, 6 swamps, 5 islands
voice of all
angel of mercy
ertai, the corrupted
The dismatling blow or juntu stakes would get sided out for strengh of unity if they weren't needed.
I haven't looked at what anyone else wrote yet but that is my deck. I think the cards would support a R/G/b deck also, and probably another combination at least. I like my deck because I think it could run over any deck running black as a primary color. There are a lot of flyers, including two that combo very well together. I also have the confounds, which are easily castable cantrips that can undo other people's combat tricks/creature enchantments/removal.
I just read over what others have written. Nevyn, your second deck is way better than the first one. It might lack removal or very many tricks, but the ones it has are strong.
An interesting perspective but I have a few questions.
a) Are you maybe running too many islands? You need lots of WW and BB and I count 5 (and a half) blue mana symbols.
b) This is the main reason I decided to not play both black and white: too many high drops. You run 14 creatures , and 10 of them cost 4 or more!
Meanwhile you have only 1 pseudo-removal effect that costs less than 4. I am just worried you would get overrun by aggresive decks. This is why I do my final cuts based on a list by cc.
AS for which of my decks is better, I think the strength of both is the use of red and green for a solid aggresive base, with either black or white driving the deck. Head to head, I think build #2 might win, but against a varied field, I would feel more confortable playing build #2, whic has more upside. The ability to deal with opposing bombs is a necessary one, and the black build can do that, and still put out some excellent creatures. Meanwhile, against any deck without a strong black commitment (even R/B/U decks can be more focused on the outer colours), you have an inefficient acolyte and a wasteful crusading knight. And tricks are great, but straight out removal is just better. I stand by my original plan, but like I said originally, I chose this build because I don't really know the right answer, there are several options, and none are overpowered but several are workable.
I'd definitely build B/G/R. Probably like this:
1 Agonizing Demise
1 Phyrexian Slayer
1 Phyrexian Scuta
1 Sinister Strength
1 Nomadic Elf
1 Quirion Elves
1 Quirion Explorer
1 Serpentine Kavu
1 Stone Kavu
1 Thornscape Familiar
1 Ancient Kavu
1 Kavu Aggressor
1 Pouncing Kavu
1 Scorching Lava
1 Plague Spores
1 Darigaaz's Charm
1 Horned Kavu
1 Voracious Cobra
For the record, I did as you said and didn't read ahead before posting this.
Interesting build, focusing more on green than on red , but I recommend that you post your listing with a mana breakdown and with your desired lands listed.
For example, you have suggested a deck which needs lots of green ,and must still produce BB and RR. it's plausible, but you also left your self few land slots.
I was also surprised to see that you didnt include fires of yavimaya. I think it would be excellent in this deck. Still , a good build and thanks for the input.
well, truth is I didn't notice the Fires in the list until I already posted
But what would I switch it for, Singe maybe?
No mana fixing lands? weird
Anyways, it would probably look like this:
Add the sixth forest (going up to 61 cards) depending on play style. Only five forests because it has no double-colored casting costs, and only one green ability (Nomadic Elf). Red gets the cut over it because all the (insanely powerful) gold cards have red in the cost.