Straight From Draft To Tribal Wars

Building On A Budget - Clerics

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Clerics is already a popular Tribal Wars deck on Magic Online, but I have another spin on it. I started to wonder what a Cleric deck might look like without Rotlung Reanimator or Scion of Darkness -- two cards that most of the current Cleric decks revolve around. Instead, I wanted to make a deck that utilized cards that people have fun with but usually don't get played. With that in mind, I sought out to make an interesting Cleric deck.

What I found was that certain clerics are fun to play with certain other cards. For example, Pariah and Daunting Defender are pretty cool together -- your opponent's team rushes in only to run into on a cleric and have all the damage prevented. Nomad Mythmaker and Unquestioned Authority is another fun combination -- or Unquestioned Authority and Pariah, for that matter.

This deck has the ability to hold off quite a horde of creatures. Of course, breaking through on offense might be difficult, and I predict most games ending with Cabal Archons or 10/10 Vile Deacons, although it's pretty good to serve using a creature with Unquestioned Authority.

Building on a Budget - Clerics

This deck plays exactly like a Cleric deck in draft. You play out some annoying clerics, clog up the board, and eventually win with something or other. If you're running low on life because your opponent is trying to burn you out, Cabal Archon, Teroh's Faithful, Pariah, or Master Apothecary will do the trick to stop the bleeding. It's almost strange how good Pariah is in this deck. You can Pariah your opponent's creature, then Mythmaker it back onto one of yours later when you have insane Battlefield Medic/Daunting Defender action going.

Overall, I think one of the most crucial cards in this deck is Battlefield Medic. If it lives, you'll probably win. So you may ask, why not also play Daru Spiritualist? While the Spiritualist is good at protecting your creatures from burn, it doesn't really help when you are trying to block a Mongrel or a Roar of the Wurm token. In Limited play, the Spiritualist works better because you can always target your creatures with Whipgrass Entangler after blocking, but I don't play any clerics with repeat target effects in this deck.

Tips On Playing The Deck

Sideboarding Options

Planar Guide
Planar Guide is an excellent sideboard card against Wrath effects, with the added bonus of killing Elephant and Wurm tokens.

Duress/Cabal Therapy
Duress and Cabal Therapy are good versus control decks and can also solve the Wrath problem. Be careful not to overload the deck with these cards though, they dilute your ability to clog the ground.

Engineered Plague
Engineered Plague is a nasty one -- you know why. Elves frowns at it, as do other decks.

Visara the Dreadful
Visara the Dreadful is also wicked. Once again, you know why. Gorgon Legend indeed! Board this in versus decks like Beasts and any slightly slower creature deck.

Worship can really catch your opponents off guard if they aren't ready for it. They may side in enchantment removal in response to your Pariahs and such, so it may not be so effective.

Ok, so I didn't actually put any removal in the Cleric deck. What can I say? They're healers, not killers! If the need arises however, a few Smothers in your pocket can't hurt.

Adding Money To The Deck

Obviously, Rotlung Reanimators would be insane in this deck. I didn't include them because I'm just rogue like that and they cost too many tickets. Still, if you have them, you'd be crazy not to play them. One of the biggest banes of this deck is Wrath of God, and Reanimators fix that problem.

Besides that, Patriarch's Bidding is good in here as well. It has great synergy with the Wretches and the Arcons. I highly recommend a couple.

Overall this Cleric deck is a ton of fun to play. I would say it has more game versus some of the tier one decks in Standard that many of my Tribal decks have. Of course, it probably won't be beating Psycatog or Wake (at least not without the Duresses, Therapies, Rotlungs, and Biddings), but you can watch the Red Greed player squirm under the pressure of your Daunting Defender. If you're a fan of Clerics -- or just playing draft decks in constructed -- check this one out.

Until next time, may all of your Elves tap for trips green.

Nate Heiss
Team CMU
Nateheiss on Magic Online

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