Accept one favor from an ouphe, and you’re doomed to accept another.
Its secrets once wrought the greatest artifice ever known. Now crabs loot the rubble to decorate their shells.
“Release that which was never caged.” – Spellbomb inscription
During the collision of the shards, entire ways of life disappeared without a trace.
She remembers every word spoken, from the hero’s oath to the baby’s cry.
Where wasted life cries out to be reborn.
“Before I hire new recruits, I test how long they can hold their breath. You’d be surprised how often that comes up.” – Zahr Gada, Halimar expedition leader
It plucks away memories like choice bits of carrion.
The void is without substance but cuts like steel.
Amidst the darkest ashes grow the strongest seeds.
The wise pay as much attention to what they throw away as to what they keep.
The dark opening seemed to breathe the cold, damp air of the dead earth in a steady rhythm.
Elves believe the hydra-god Progenitus sleeps beneath Naya, feeding on forgotten magics.
“Roil tide! Roil tide! Tie yourselves down!”
“How can we wage war against ourselves? What happens the the kami of our very souls rise against us? I answer simply: We cannot. We die. There can be no victory in this war.” – Sensei Hisoka, letter to Lord Konda
No more shall the righteous cower before evil.
That’s all the flavor text in the Extended deck I played yesterday. Deck list and commentary in the full entry.
I’ve been having a lot of fun with the Ghost Gifts deck, a white-blue-green Gifts Ungiven deck that you can read about here. The deck was very strong against Zoo and reasonably strong against Depths. That said, I was primarily going to “Gifts for good cards,” to quote Jon Loucks. Unlike other Gifts builds such as Jon’s or Shota Yasooka’s, Ghost Gifts didn’t have a “this game is done now” plan, except for the brutal Worship plus Wall of Denial plan post-sideboard against aggro builds.
What I really wanted to do was somehow cheat out a game-ending threat, which is something I tried unsuccessfully earlier in the PTQ season with Progenitus in my Gifts deck.
After pondering this for a long time, I finally came up with a blue-black-green shell that actually can power out a game-ending situation using Gifts Ungiven. Let’s break this down:
Ending the game
Consider the following Gifts package:
Clearly, if they bin the Sundering Titan and give you the Dread Return, you’re in business. Let’s look at the other outcomes. If they give you…
…Titan and Return, then you retrace Crime to bin the Titan, and Return the Titan
…Titan and Worm Harvest, then you retrace Crime to bin the Titan, cast Worm Harvest, and flashback Dread Return
…Titan and Raven’s Crime, then you cast Crime to bin the Titan, retrace Worm Harvest, and flashback Dread
I went back and forth between Sundering Titan and Iona as the maindeck Dread Return target, but I settled on Sundering Titan since it is crippling for many Extended opponents. In particular, it is better against Zoo decks, where it tends to remove their lands entirely, shutting them out of the game. Iona, in contrast, forces you to pick between protecting her (naming ‘white’) and not dying to burn (naming ‘red’).
Iona comes in post-board against decks that don’t suffer much to a Sundering Titan, such as Dark Depths.
In retrospect, I think going into black in place of white makes this deck weak enough against Dark Depths that I should have moved off of the multiple-Ghost Quarter plan. Post-board you get Night of Souls’ Betrayal and other good options, and given the slightly more color-intensive nature of this deck and the loss of four cards to the endgame Gifts package, the deck really would like to have more on-color lands to let it keep hands against fas aggro.
If I were to rebuild this and bring it to a tournament tomorrow…well, I might not. The reanimation package is great fun, but the white-blue-green build was so much stronger that it feels hard to recommend this in its place. In fact, I might just cut one of the Wraths from the original Ghost Gifts list and just opt for Worm Harvest all on its own as an endgame. It may not lock the other player out, but it is tremendously hard to deal with and turns all of your late-game land topdecks into action. That deck would look like this:
Whats with all the gloomy feedback at this blog ? I see some jealous behavior?