ello and welcome back to the Lab. It's a Lab on wheels this time around; I'm typing this nearly halfway through a personally charged road trip across the US. Accordingly, I'm currently flush with adventure. There's something truly liberating about traveling.
I've met some friendly folks so far on my literally coast-to-coast journey. I'll throw a quick shout-out to Games +1 of Davenport, Iowa, where I participated in a Magic 2013 Prerelease event, which was a blast. It reminded me of how fun Prereleases can be (it was my first proper one in quite a while). The Limited experience (opening packs, building a forty-card deck, playing it against similar from-scratch decks, making the tiniest modifications throughout) remains a thrilling mind-whirl. I went with a white-blue deck filled with little beaters and topped off with a Captain of the Watch, which turned out to play extremely well with Griffin Protector and Healer of the Pride (the Healer was best buds with my Rhox Faithmender). Sleep handed me a few tight games also.
Omniscience | Art by Jason Chan
As a Johnny observing the battlefields of M13 Limited, I appreciated the combinations possible in the format. One of my opponents had insane shenanigans with Roaring Primadox. Bond Beetles and Mwonvuli Beast Trackers caused all sorts of trouble for me, and in one very close game, Bloodhunter Bat drained me for 2 no less than ten times. I was also delighted to be on the receiving end of a Spelltwine, which grafted Divination and Talrand's Invocation together. That's probably enough chatter about the Prerelease, especially since, by now, that weekend's fading into memory obscurity. But from my current typing perspective, it occurred yesterday!
Wanna know something else random? Today, July 16, is my birthday! And thanks to my recent shift to Mondays, my column landed on it! So wish me a fun one, or else you'll face no repercussions whatsoever.
Alright, onto some crazy decks and other variants of zany. Last week, I requested your deck ideas concerning Magic 2013, but primarily centered on Omniscience. You guys came through with some fun ideas! So let's proceed to the spillage of my inbox.
Know It All
When I first read and absorbed Omniscience, miniature blue fireworks began to explode all around me. I knew it was too staggering of a Johnny card to be ignored here, so I sounded the reader conch shell in hopes of presenting a wide spectrum of deck ideas that involved it.
Russell Lee sent in a powerful deck that, based on my scant view on tournament matters, might actually compete in Legacy. He wrote:
The best part of Omniscience is that it's a hyperactive Dream Halls, so my first instinct was to just replace Dream Halls with it. However, it turned out to be quite a bit more. It's very Legacy, more broken than fun, though easy enough to disrupt if Show and Tell gets circumvented.
A quick Show and Tell can enable early Omniscience, and from there things speed up dramatically. A free Conflux can find a bizarre spread of Prismatic Omen; Progenitus; and Coalition Victory, which wins the game. That seems good.
A reader known as Highwayman sent me a list, which makes use of one of my all-time favorite cards: Jhoira of the Ghitu. And Worldfire. Okay, three of them. Highwayman wrote:
I figured I'd try to get the M13 "twin Timmy giants" of Omniscience and Worldfire into the same deck. The win conditions are Worldfire with either Keldon Marauders in play, Rift Bolt suspended, or another creature further up the stack (courtesy of Jhoira or Quicken).
To cast the win condition, you are going to want to land mana accelerate into it, use Jhoira, or have Omniscience out. Omniscience can itself be mana accelerated into or suspended in the same way.
But what if you don't draw the combo with Omniscience out? No matter, that's where Omniscience has another trick: Wheel of Fate. Wheel of Fate can be hard-cast with Omniscience out, and you are hoping either to draw the combo with the next seven cards or another Wheel of Fate. The Lotus Bloom can be helpful here, allowing you to suspend Rift Bolt when you are otherwise tapped out but using your Omniscience to cast spells.
Vedalken Æthermage is Jhoira copies five and six, and an extra creature for casting creature + Quicken + Worldfire, all courtesy of Omniscience.
Robert Richley sent in a mono-blue Omniscience deck, which is a reasonable approach. However, he showed some moxie by running only one copy of the enchantment! I liked his reasoning, though. He wrote:
This deck is based on the synergy between cards that love other cards, such as Tamiyo, the Moon Sage; Lunar Mystic; and, of course, Omniscience. It doesn't look like it at a first glance (probably because Omniscience is rather costly), but as soon as Omniscience hits the table, it draws the deck and wins.
Here are a few card-by-card descriptions:
Boomerang is used to stall out and keep my board safe. I considered this card after playtesting this deck and losing Tamiyo to an Oblivion Ring.
- Since this is a control deck, the draw suite is pretty self-explanatory. Brainstorm and Opt are particularly helpful with Temporal Mastery.
Fuel for the Cause, Steady Progress, and Volt Charge are for Tamiyo and to help me ramp with the Chalice. I've won a few games on turn 6–7 thanks to the proliferate, and they also play necessary roles in the control build.
Long-Term Plans is basically an extra copy of any card in the deck. Early game, it's a Lunar Mystic, late game it's a Tamiyo or an Omniscience.
Omniscience is the centerpiece of the deck. Its cost forced it to be a singleton, but I normally set it off pretty early in the game thanks to the deck thinners.
Archaeomancer helps me draw faster early game. Once I drop the Omniscience, it doubles as a free copy of any card in my graveyard.
Everflowing Chalice is the only ramp I have. It works incredibly well.
- Tamiyo is intended to be cheated out after you drop Omniscience. A few free proliferate spells get you her emblem, and then things get crazy. Boomerang bounces infinite permanents, Mana Leak counters infinite spells, Volt Charge deals infinite damage (not to mention proliferate), Temporal Mastery is infinite turns. It's hard not to win once the two cards are out.
Nice! I hadn't gotten around to featuring Tamiyo or Lunar Mystic in this column yet, so triple bonus!
Mark Schofield sent in today's last deck. It's an admirable approach: use Omen Machine to cheat out Omniscience with ramp back-up. He wrote:
Omniscience is tricky because by the time you could hard-cast it, you don't really need it, making ramping to ten rather pointless. So cheating it into play is the best option, and I decided on Omen Machine. It not only puts Omniscience (and all your game-winning creatures) onto the battlefield for free, it steals timing and card advantage away from your opponents too!
Propaganda keeps you alive long enough to cast the Omen Machine you found with Treasure Mage, and Diabolic Vision lets you set up the bomb you prefer.
Well, that's it for today. Until next time!