Entries tagged with “Heartless Summoning”.


Hello again, I’m back to talk about a card that has caught my attention greatly, due to a couple of things -

A. It’s black and acts as a ramp type card
B. It’s -1/-1 effect and how it can be benifited from and/or become less of an issue
C. What color decks can utilize this card the best 

Yes its Heartless Summoning! (Again)

I’ve been testing and building decks non stop with HS since I’d first seen the card. Heaps of ideas and tricks come to mind but in what situations can they actualy be utilized. Since the rotation I knew i’d be losing my precious Lotus Cobra – a card that allowed me to play 3 colors without too much of a problem and ramp into my favorite 5-7 costing big nasties. We have also lost cultivate, Overgrown Battlement and Joraga Treespeaker so when I had first seen HS I decided to see how well it would perform in replacing these other type of ramp cards and most notably – in black! There isnt the actual need for green. But even so the first ideas that came to mind involved green and ill go over some of the ideas I’ve had and wether I found them viable.

Glissa, the Traitor + Perilous Myr
The idea is to have Glissa out and free cast the myr, it dies, kill a 2 toughness creature and return the myr with glissa.
Works great against weanie decks and Tempered steel.
The issues here though are many -
One - its a 3 part combo that also relies on your opponent to have small creatures.
Two - Glissa has a target painted on its head as it is, making it a 2/2 is just making it easier to kill. 
Three – Glissa does not benefit from the minus {2} casting cost so realisticly in no way does HS work  with Glissa alone.

But of course I can’t just say Glissa is useless with HS. The benefits HS grants work incredibly well with artifacts since it reduces colorless mana. So on the other hand Glissa can synergize with the artifacts. Casting solemns for 2 mana on turn 3 means you can cast a 7 cost on turn four like Sheoldred, Whispering One. We also have the everlasting Wurmcoil Engine and although he becomes a 5/5 and his tokens break down to 2/2′s casting him for 4 mana is simply awsome. Even if the wurm dies, and well Dismember suddenly becomes a shit tonne better, your still left with a deathtouch token which, regardless of his power, makes light work of big dudes as you all know. Plus Glissa can always help you return Wurmcoil Engine and although we’d all prefer it to go straight to the battlefield HS helps reduce the casting cost making Glissa’s graveyard recursion that much more effective. The problems Ive encounter with HS seems to evolve around 2 things – If I have Heartless Summoning my board presence is weakend greatly and if I dont have HS the deck is consierably slow. Its a self contradicting issue that has taken me a while to wring out. I tried to add blue to the deck so that I could use Ponder and Forbidden Alchemy to dig for the HS faster or when I had out HS ive often found my self extinguishing my hand fast. Funny enough after testing and testing I still couldnt get it to function consistantly using blue. Maybe im missing something, but in the end I decided to scrap it and try something different.

Blue Black looked like a winner. Grand Architect just said to me – lets play heaps of shit for the cost of peanuts. And in combination with HS things like Solemn Simulacrum were a free play. And with a good hand turn 3 Wurmcoil was playable with only 2 blue creatures and HS. But once again I found that i was burning my hands fast and due to my weakend side of the board my creatures werent lasting long. I tried putting in more big dudes, not a good option as without HS or Grandy im left with a hand of turn 6 drops that i end of dying from before I play them. This deck really really didnt like Day of Judgment either; “… augh fuck me!” I said.  ”I just want the fucking card to work!” –  and well I gave that deck the boot I just couldnt get it to function.

 And I tried a few other things like Black/Red using Furyborn Hellkite and Inferno Titan. The idea here was to use cards that wont suffer from the -1/-1 effects. Titan allowed me to deal extra points of damage and with Perilous myr or a burn spell I was able to kill fairly large targets. I was also able to achieve bloodlust pretty easily which meant my turn five Furyborn Hellkite would be an 11/11. But this just wasnt enough, the colors were inconsistant, Black Sun’s Zenith was a bad board wipe.. it doesnt work well vs Dungrove Elder which I found to be highly problematic. Even with Tribute to Hunger I couldnt always get through to him. And without HS once again it was just a black red control deck lacking removal. I Did not like eeeet!

Finally I think i pinned it. Black/White!
It all changed when i was playing around with the old Ichor Wellspring+Sun Titan+Phyrexia’s Core engine. I was looking at a way to draw cards for the colors and remembered Mentor of the Meek. I thought at first that I wouldnt have enough cheap drops but that all changed with Blade Splicer. See when I have HS out, Blade Splicer only costs {w} to cast. Blade splicer will die but then I get a 2/2 golem. Since HS effect is static, two creatures come into play with power less than 2 allowing me to pay 2 mana and draw 2 cards. Mentor of the Meek only costs {w} to cast aswell.  Alongside perilous myrs free casting cost and solemns {2} im able to draw alot more cards. It became clear to me Sun Titans value within the deck increased alot as i also realised the titan was able to bring back HS, Mentors and Blade Splicer. It also gave me a similar combo to the Glissa+Perilous Myr  I talked about earlier. In a sense, Sun Titan was operating as Inferno Titan and with Mentor of the Meek it was a draw engine. Furthurmore black and white offered the greatest removal cards. O-rings, Day of Judgment, Black Sun Zenith, Tribute to Hunger, Lilliana of the Veil. Unburial Rites was also more playable. Sheoldred and Burial Rites bring back Sun Titan. Sun Titans bring back mentors and Myrs. I have everything i need. Removal, Card advantage, Board presence. And in other situations i can just generate 2/2 tokens with Sun Titan and Blade Splicer and Elesh Norn can be used here to keep the splicer and myr’s alive by negating HS’s -1/-1 effect. But most notably the deck functions without the HS.
Heres the deck list anyway – Criticize away!!

BW Control (60)
Solemn Simulacrum
Mentor of the Meek
Perilous Myr
Sun Titan
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Blade Splicer
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Wurmcoil Engine
Liliana of the Veil
Heartless Summoning
Unburial Rites
Black Sun’s Zenith
Tribute to Hunger
Day of Judgment
Isolated Chapel
 Phyrexias Core
10 Swamp
 Plains
Sideboard (15)
Silverchase Fox
Auriok Replica
Ratchet Bomb
Nihil Spellbomb
Timely Reinforcements
Oblivion Ring

Well this was the end result and it seems to work fairly well and alot more consistantly. Mentors seem to work great as Heartless Summoning creates the perfect conditions for Mentor of the Meek to work effectively. It outweighs the extra cost required to draw the card and lowers the power on the golem token to alow for a double card draw with Blade Splicer. Perlious myr now replaces itself for 1 mana and paying 3 for solemn to draw a card when hes cast and another card when he dies keeps the card advantage up. And most of all Sun Titan keeps the engine going. All i need now is the one lilliana and i can build it!

Peace out Amigos!

 (feel free to create an account on the right of screen and log in to comment on Leighs new article! – spud.)

Puresteel and Birthing Pod have had their glory in the sun.  Now it’s time for a planeswalker deck, and to me there has never been any other than Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas.  He’s the first planeswalker that I’ve really gotten along well with, maybe it’s because of his cool arm, or his enchanting eyes… but either way, Tezz is the first planeswalker that I ever tried to build/play a deck around. Lets have a look at some UB cards that might find their way into a UB Tezz control deck post rotation, now that some of the nasty ramp decks are non-existant.

It’s pretty tempting to build a deck around Tezz and Grand Architect and make it a combo deck with Kuldotha Forgemaster but then again there’s always the chance to also make poison decks and control decks with plenty of counters and stuff that wipes the board like Black Sun’s Zenith.  I think it’s worth thinking about all three versions of a Tezz deck… I know I’ll definitely look at making one of them to test out.  I’d like to do one with the new Liliana in it: Liliana of the Veil, but that’s all going to depend on the nature of the deck and whether she fits in.

First lets just have a look at some of the new Innistrad cards that might make the cut.  Number one is Heartless Summoning which looks like it’s going to be such a great card and playable in many different decks due to the awesome casting cost only having that solitary black mana in it. As mentioned above, the new Liliana should see play in various versions of Tezz.  Also there’s no doubt that Snapcaster Mage, Think Twice and Dissipate will appear in various versions as well as Tribute to Hunger which I’m running in the main deck of the 2nd of my decks below.

Deck Idea #1, Tezzeret, Dark Architect.

 As far as Tezz decks go, it would work the best in a Grand Architect version due to the fact that you can very quickly spring some big nasty creatures on your opponents.  The best of them being the ever present Wurmcoil Engine but also the extremely useful Steel Hellkite and the completely free to cast Myr SuperionKuldotha Forgemaster makes an appearance in a deck like this also, offering even more ways to search for things (besides for Tezz).  Tezzeret gives you that advantage to swing at an opponent with a 5/5 poisonous Inkmoth Nexus also and then theres a Blightsteel Colossus which can finish things off very quickly.  Grand Architect Tezz deck could be quite frustrating for an opponent but then again there is a new 1 mana cost articfact counter spell to stop this type of stuff happening.

One other thing I’ve encountered before in Tezzeret decks is multiple ways to win and this obviously increases the complexity of the deck.  One thing that might be worth noting is that Heartless Summoning probably not worth playing unless you’re going to be ramping up into one of the big guys.  I’ve included two Wurmcoils in the decklist below so that if you peel one of the Treasure Mages early and a Summoning, you can easily do turn 2 Summoning, turn 3 mage and Turn 4 Wurmcoil.  However, if you’re not going to be ramping stuff out quickly don’t worry about playing the summoning too early.  It’s only two mana and can probably be dropped on any turn you like.  I wouldn’t want to miss out on a potential two turn kill with an Inkmoth Nexus just because I stupidly put a Heartless Summoning out earlier and then didn’t use it.

A Tezzeret Architect deck might look something like this:

Tezzeret, Dark Architect. (60)
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Grand Architect
Solemn Simulacrum
Heartless Summoning
Myr Superion
Kuldotha Forgemaster
Sphere of the Suns
Phyrexian Metamorph
Treasure Mage
Wurmcoil Engine
Contagion Engine
Steel Hellkite
Platinum Emperion
Blightsteel Colossus
Mindslaver
Darkslick Shores
Drowned Catacomb
Buried Ruin
Island
Swamp
Inkmoth Nexus
Sideboard (15)
Clone Shell
Mana Leak
Dissipate
Spine of Ish Sah
 Black Sun’s Zenith
Spellskite

 

Deck Idea #2, UB Tezz Control.

Combolicious, rampy Tezz decks aside, the previous version I used to play of UB Tezzeret used to excite me somewhat, especially when it really went off.  Now it’s probably much better and can probably find its way to a new form whilst still maintaining a nature of control.  It used to run a lot of card draw artifacts and attempt to keep Tezzeret in play to utilise his end abiltiy to win the game.  I think that’s still reasonably possible as long as the deck is able to pack enough counterspells to stop mass artifact removal.  Creeping Corrosion is the number one thing to worry about but I think as long as there’s a Mana Leak or Dissipate in hand then that shouldn’t be too much of a worry. 

The idea of the control/end-ability Tezz build is to do just that.  Wipe the board, ruin their hand, build up artifacts and then… Bam! win with Tezz’s grand finale.  One of my favorite cards in the previous version was Ichor Wellspring so when I built this decklist it was the second card I picked. 

The wellspring is not only a second turn play that draws you a card, but it’s an artifact that can easily become number one target to be turned into a 5/5 creature (by Tezz) if you need a blocker; Or if you want to go on the agro.  And obviously the best reasoning behind this is that when or if it dies you’re going to get to draw yet another card.  I also like it with Mirrorworks.

 Lets have a quick look at the list below:

UB Tezz Control (60)
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Ichor Wellspring
Semblance Anvil
Sphere of the Suns
Tumble Magnet
Phyrexian Metamorph
Mirrorworks
Thopter Assembly
Liliana of the Veil
Tribute to Hunger
Black Sun’s Zenith
Contagion Clasp
Mana Leak
Dissipate
Island
Swamp
Darkslick Shores
Drowned Catacomb
Inkmoth Nexus
Buried Ruin
Sideboard (15)
Torpor Orb
Contagion Clasp
Mental Misstep
Phyrexian Revoker
Hex Parasite
Spellskite

 

Deck Idea #3, Tezz UB Poison.

 The third and final incarnation of the Tezzeret deck is probably one that’s similar to a version I’ve had for a while now on Modo and never really got firing properly.  A lot of the time I’d find a ramp deck getting out an Eldrazi, effectively ending the game… or getting out a couple of Valakut and burning you away before you even have a chance to really do much.  So it’s probably much more worth while looking at a poison version of a UB Tezzeret now, than it was previously due to the absence of these other powerful decks.  The version I was running on modo utilises the proliferate and phyrexian mana mechanics and tries to use a lot of little tricks to poison up your opponent asap.  One of the key cards in the deck is Tezzeret’s Gambit (shown here).  This card not only utilises both mechanics but helps draw cards and speed things up.  For basically the same cost as Divination you still get the two cards but get to add counters around the board (poison on opponent, counters on Tezz, on the Sphere etc).  Here’s a new version of the same thing. 

One thing that will become noticable in the previous two Tezz decks is the lack of Dismember.  I just don’t see a place for it in some of those decks, they’re either a combo/ramp deck or a slower control deck.  The spots are far more well used by artifact removal and in the one case where I ran Tribute to Hunger, that card is used in that deck in order to resolve a situation where you’ve got one untouchable creature left on the board.  Particularly good following an opponents board wipe when they play a single creature afterward.  In this third version of the deck I’ve decided to run 4 maindeck Dismember in order to remove blockers and speed things up.  The whole idea is to get 3 or 4 poison through as quickly as possible and finish up the game using the proliferate cards, which there is plenty of.

Once the opponent is poisoned there is absolutely no way they can remove those counters and then you can just add to them using proliferate, which is something else that they can’t stop from happening.  The only way they’d be able to stop it is counter every single artifact that you cast, but with Tezzeret on the battlefield you’ll find those proliferate artifacts so much more easily.

Tezzeret UB Poison (60)
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Tezzeret’s Gambit
Phyrexian Crusader
Plague Stinger
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
Contagion Clasp
Throne of Geth
Thrummingbird
Contagion Engine
Dismember
Sphere of the Suns
Island
Swamp
Darkslick Shores
Drowned Catacomb
Buried Ruin
Inkmoth Nexus
Sideboard (15)
Doom Blade
Mana Leak
Dissipate
Phyrexian Metamorph
Sword of Feast and Famine

 

I’ve packed some Feast and Famine into the sideboard to help with speeding the plays up.  Poison is all about trying to end the game reasonably quickly.  The swords not only make your creatures Pro Black, to protect them from spot removal like Dismember, but also help you to untap your lands and then continue to play more spells, or leave mana open to regenerate Skithryx.  Some other cards that I might like to see in the sideboard of this deck rather than having so many counterspells, would be Curse of Death’s Hold.  This new curse allows you to effectively deal with an opponent who is playing mass creature decks, or using cards that create lots of tokens.

 Well that about brings an end to the three part article about post rotation standard.   I think, judging by the last SCG Indianapolis results that we might see more Illusion or Mono Red Decks, but time will tell.  I will probably be testing all three of these builds myself soon to see what they’re like… once I’ve done the last of my University work for the semester that is.  Gotta keep my priorities in order.  Of course GP Brisbane is right up there in the priority list.  I’m looking forward to my 3rd Grand Prix for the year but quite distraught about what I’m going to play.  At the moment I’m probably looking at a BUG Pod deck that I’ve built (based very closely on the list from the last article I wrote) which seems to do quite well, however I can’t seem to get it to function well against UW control quite yet.  I’m keen to hear thoughts on the three decklists that I just wrote up if anyone else out there is a Tezzeret Fan.

Happy gaming and thanks for reading. Feel free to create an account and start commenting. You’ll see the comments sections appear once you’ve logged in and clicked on the heading for the article that you want to comment on.