Onslaught Block Constructed Face Time
Building On A Budget - TurboRhythm
Monday, September 15, 2003
This week I've decided to look at the lighter side of Block Constructed, with a deck that is lots of fun and easy to play. I'm becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Biorhythm, a card that many of us have lovingly dubbed "the face." (In my heart this deck will be called Turbo-Face, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to most people.) The point of this deck is to use land destruction spells and mana acceleration to slow down your opponent while you gain a large mana advantage, casting expensive spells while they are still stuck on three lands.
If you are familiar with the Onslaught Block Constructed format, you will realize that it is mind-bogglingly slow. Using land destruction in this format is like putting the brakes on a speedy glacier. Being that there are rarely any creatures in play in this format anyhow, Biorhythm is often an instant win card, but you always can use Shock to finish your opponent off or attack with some creatures just in case he or she sneaks a critter out.
Building on a Budget - Turbo Rhythm
The heart of this deck is 4 Misguided Rage, 4 Lay Waste, and 4 Ark of Blight, followed up by Decree of Annihilation. A Misguided Rage on turn three is about equal to Stone Rain in OnBC, and the Ark can be as fast with a second turn investment. Lay Waste is a good follow up spell to keep your opponent's land count down and it cycles just in case you draw it late when you don't want it.
The mana acceleration consists of Wirewood Elf, Goblin Clearcutter, Elvish Aberration, and Temple of the False God. With these cards you will hopefully be able to cast Biorhythm by turn six, if not sooner. The Goblin Clearcutter is your most powerful accelerator, allowing you to cast Biorhythm on the fifth turn (fourth turn if you have a Wirewood Elf to accelerate the Clearcutter out). This may not always be the right play, but many times this will flat-out win since your opponent often has no creatures in play.
The other big thing this deck does is cycle Decree of Annihilation rather early. This is also a big play when you have a Clearcutter out, since you can most likely attack with it for several turns while your opponent is trying to stabilize mana again.
Tips On Playing The Deck
- Don't use your Biorhythm until you're sure you'll win. Decree of Justice in response is occassionally a concern, but it probably won't be a factor because of all the landkill.
- If your opponent has no creatures in play, you don't have to worry about getting Lightning Rifted out of the game after you play Biorhythm. According to the Magic rules, by the time your opponent gets a chance to kill you, he or she will have already lost the game.
- Use your Elvish Aberrations wisely--they serve many uses in this deck. Sometimes you need to forestcycle them, sometimes you must tap them for mana, and sometimes they are simply fatties.
- You'll rarely (if ever) want to play Decree of Annihilation rather than cycle it. But if the going is rough, blow up the world--your land destruction will help you stabilize faster than your opponent.
- Keep at least one Shock in reserve if you can--you might need it to burn your opponent out after a Biorhythm.
- If your opponent has creatures out and is attacking, your best bet is to get him or her to alpha strike you--leaving nothing back to block. Drop Biorhythm and attack back for the win.
Adding Money To The Deck
If you really enjoy playing this deck then you might want to make it a little better. There are three cards in particular that can do the trick.
The first and most obvious is Wooded Foothills. It's important to choose the best type of mana you want access to--especially with the Clearcutter.
The next card I would add is Form of the Dragon. This card fits so nicely into this deck! With all the mana acceleration, getting a Form out is a piece of cake. As an added bonus, this gives you a wonderful enchantment to keep if you cast Decree.
The last card I would add may be the most important. If you haven't guessed, it's Starstorm. The way the deck is set up right now, it'll have a difficult time winning against any sort of beatdown-oriented deck. Even though these are rare in OnBC, they still exist. Starstorm will help you reduce the size of your opponent's army--perhaps enough to follow it up with a Biorhythm. Cast Startstorm at the end of your opponent's turn, leaving a Clearcutter or an Aberration alive, and then follow through with the Biorhythm on your turn.
This deck is a blast to play and has good shock value if you just are looking to beat on your friends. If you need a break from the normal block decks, give Turbo-Rhythm a try!
Until next time, may the face be with you.
Nateheiss on Magic Online