ello, and welcome back to Building on a Budget! In this, the next-to-last installment of the 10 Decks in 10 Weeks experiment, we will be taking out the Red from last week's Madness deck, and building around the remaining Black cards from that deck to build around Null Profusion
Out: Akroma, 4 Fiery Temper, 4 Jaya Ballard, 3 Lightning Axe, 9 Mountain, 4 Pyroclasm, 4 Rakdos Carnarium, 3 Reckless Wurm, 3 Stingscourger, 4 Phyrexian Totem, 2 Terramorphic Expanse
The inspiration for my build of Profusion Confusion comes from Week 2 of 10 Decks in 10 Weeks. If you check out my game against Gurgi (Game 7), you'll see that I got worked over by his green-black-red Null Profusion. His deck featured Null Profusion, Utopia Sprawl, Rampant Growth, Reclaim, Recollect and Summer Bloom, and ended with Grapeshot for the win. While I wouldn't want to end with Grapeshot (this is a two-color build, unlike his three-color build), I wanted to base my deck around the engine I saw in his match.
In short, here's how the deck would play out. I would use mana acceleration to get up to six mana on the board. Then, I would drop Null Profusion
. On the following turn, I would play a ton of lands using Summer Bloom
, untap them all several times using Early Harvest
, and then eventually have a ton of mana left to kill my opponent with.
My kill card of choice? Consume Spirit. But how would I make sure that I have both enough green mana in play to play the majority of the spells in my deck early, yet have enough black mana later in the game to win with a Consume Spirit? I decided to splash in a single Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth into the deck. Urborg is selling for two tickets online, so I wouldn't want to add in a whole playset—but one to two copies seemed fine for a budget build. Plus, they are legendary—I really only want to draw one per game, and only when I'm about to win.
Now, there were a lot of acceleration choices for this deck. I wanted to go with cards that work well with Early Harvest and Summer Bloom, since these are the main parts of the engine to get the Null Profusion combo working. This meant that creature-based acceleration (Llanowar Elves) or artifact-based acceleration (Golgari Signet) were off the menu. This does allow for any spell or ability that would put a land directly into play (Wood Elves, Rampant Growth), or an enchantment that accelerates my mana (Utopia Sprawl, Overgrowth).
In the end, here's what I came up with for the cards to add to the deck:
In: 4 Early Harvest, 3 Reclaim, 3 Summer Bloom, 4 Rampant Growth, 2 Consume Spirit, 4 Chromatic Star, 4 Harmonize, 2 Gaea's Blessing
Early Harvest: The main engine for the deck. This allows me to untap my lands, which can allow for a Null Profusion a couple of turns early (with the help of Rampant Growth), and allows me to keep untapping my lands once Null Profusion is in play.
Reclaim: Reclaim is a nice, cheap spell that can recur any given card from my graveyard. This is especially important once I get Null Profusion in play, because it allows me to keep getting Early Harvests.
: With Null Profusion
in play, this allows me to both draw a card and to play three additional (untapped) lands. One of the dangers of Null Profusion
is getting stuck with two lands in your hand, having already played a land. Summer Bloom
circumvents that problem and helps boost my mana.
Rampant Growth: The cheapest, most reliable sorcery-speed mana acceleration in Green. Search for Tomorrow is also a consideration for this deck, and I might end up adding it in to give myself another set of accelerants, plus a turn-one play.
Consume Spirit: The kill card. I don't want too many of these, because my deck is primarily Green, so I won't really be able to use it effectively unless I'm about to kill my opponent.
Chromatic Star: This is in here for two reasons. First, it helps color-fix the deck. Second, it is a fail-safe for Null Profusion against discard. If I play a Null Profusion, and my opponent makes me discard my hand, I lose the game (I'll have no cards in hand, and no way to draw new cards). If I leave a Chromatic Star on the board with a Null Profusion in play, I'll be able to draw at least one card on my turn.
Harmonize: The best card drawing spell in green-black right now. I don't have many early plays, and the ones that I do have can involve me emptying my hand (Chromatic Star, Rampant Growth). This helps me to draw more cards, and drawing more cards in a combo decks means drawing more pieces to help you get your combo going.
Gaea's Blessing: These were added to complement the Reclaims. Also, if I get down to one card in hand with Null Profusion in play (either due to discard, or by being forced to play Null Profusion with only one other card in hand), this lets me return key spells to my deck (usually Reclaim or Early Harvest) plus draw two cards (one from the Profusion and one from Gaea's Blessing itself).
In: 9 Forest, 4 Golgari Rot Farm, 1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
The Golgari Rot Farms are another failsafe in case I end up with one card in hand.
Now, this deck is definitely at the higher end of my 30-ticket limit for Building on a Budget. I checked around several people selling cards in the seller's room of Magic Online, and here are the average prices I found on the key cards in this deck:
Early Harvest: 2.5 Tickets each (10 tickets)
Haakon: 3 Tickets each (9 Tickets)
Harmonize: 0.5 tickets each (2 Tickets)
Null Profusion: 1 ticket each (4 Tickets)
Urborg: 2 tickets each (2 Tickets)
Total: 27 Tickets
With the other commons and uncommons added, this deck hits right about at the 30 ticket mark. Let's see if all of these rares are entirely necessary!
Game 1: Fiss (Mono-Green Aggro)
I die to Llanowar Elves and a Moldvervine-Cloaked Birds of Paradise the turn before I'm going to go off with Null Profusion. On my next-to-last turn, I could have played Early Harvest to drop an early Null Profusion and had some mana up, but instead I played Null Profusion (hoping to save Early Harvest for the following turn) and ended up dying to his creatures.
Game 2: GattoV (R/W/G Slivers)
He double mulligans and then beats me to death with double Sidewinder Sliver, Two-Headed Sliver, and a late Sinew Sliver. I fizzle while going off by drawing a billion lands and only one Early Harvest or Summer Bloom. I also am reminded that while Golgari Rot Farm is good mana fixing, you can't untap it with Early Harvest—the Harvest only untaps basic lands!
No offense to Gatto V, but it is never a good sign for your deck when your opponent double mulligans, and then kills you with a trio of 1/1 creatures. Usually I'll wait a few games to tinker with a deck, but Profusion Confusion needed help, and stat.
First off—Golgari Rot Farm had to go. The entire deck is reliant on untapping lands with Early Harvest, and the Rot Farm did not work in this paradigm. I could definitely replace it with basic lands without any problems.
Secondly—Haakon and Smallpox didn't really have a place in this new deck. Smallpox was great when I could discard madness cards, but Profusion Confusion doesn't want to lose cards in hand or lands on the board. Aside from Smallpox or reaching three cards in hand with Null Profusion on the board, I didn't have a way to reliably get Haakon into the graveyard. Plus, the deck was either going to win with a massive Consume Spirit to the noggin', or not at all—attacking for three wasn't going to make a difference.
With those ten cards out of the deck (and with the deck down 10 tickets in price, now at a much-more sleek 20 ticket cost), I set about adding more pieces to the combo. I wanted another Summer Bloom and Reclaim, to make sure I didn't get stuck with lands in hand, or without a means to restock my Early Harvest. I also found this to be a great opportunity to add in a playset of Search for Tomorrow. These would compliment the Rampant Growth, would give me another turn-one play for the deck, and would allow me to have eight cards that facilitate a turn-three Harmonize. Last, I added in two Forests and a Swamp, plus a third Consume Spirit, just in case I needed an early life buffer against a weenie rush.
Out: 3 Haakon, 3 Smallpox, 4 Golgari Rot Farm
In: 1 Summer Bloom, 1 Reclaim, 2 Forest, 1 Swamp, 4 Search for Tomorrow, 1 Consume Spirit
Game 3: Burninthefires (B/W/U Orzhov)
I accelerate early with Rampant Growth and Search for Tomorrow, and then drop back-to-back Null Profusions. They stack, so every spell I play draws me two cards. This allows me to draw multiple Summer Blooms and Early Harvests, and I Consume Spirit him for 22 with zero cards left in my library.
Game 4: UNCIVLIFE (B/R Rakdos)
UNCIVLIFE drops a couple of early Signets and starts playing Nightmare Void. I end up going into top-deck mode, ending with me dropping Null Profusion with two lands in hand. On his turn, he recurs Nightmare Void, casts Coercion, and miscounts the mana he could produce with his signets, passing the turn (he could have played Nightmare Void on that turn). However, since he doesn't I untap, play my last land, draw a second Profusion, play that, draw into Early Harvest, and then go off, winning the game.
Game 5: Emmychan (Thallids)
I get a turn-five kill this game. I play a turn-two Summer Bloom, allowing me to play Harmonize on turn three, Null Profusion on turn four, and go off for the kill on turn five. Record: 3-2
Game 6: TheFlash414 (W/G Aggro)
I combo off the turn before I'm going to die. He kills two of my Swamps with Mwonvuli Acid-Moss, but I drop Urborg, play Early Harvest into Null Profusion, play Summer Bloom for three more lands, play another Early Harvest, and then go off by drawing six cards with Chromatic Star and Harmonize, allowing me to find everything else I need to win.
Game 7: Shadowdancer74 (Mono-White Aggro)
I draw absolutely nothing but acceleration and die.
The deck is definitely working better at this point (and how could it not after a 0-2 start?), but I've had two straight close calls where I almost ran out of gas on the way to comboville—one in which I won, and one in which I lost.
To make the deck more consistent, I decide to add in a pair of Diabolic Tutors. First, if I don't draw Null Profusion, I can't win. Diabolic Tutor lets me get that Null Profusion before turn four/six (depending again on acceleration), and it also lets me search out the missing combo piece (Early Harvest, Consume Spirit, Urborg, Summer Bloom) once I start going off with Null Profusion.
I also grab a piece of the playbook from wayyyyyyyyyy back during Odyssey Block Constructed, and add a single Mirari to the deck. Mirari is going for 1-2 tickets these days on Magic Online, so it's not big strain on the budget to pick up a single copy. Mirari lets me copy all of my essential spells (Early Harvest, Rampant Growth, Search for Tomorrow, Summer Bloom, Harmonize) at a time when I have mana to spare, which will help me from fizzling. While I don't draw an extra card from Null Profusion off of a copy of a spell from Mirari, this sometimes works in my favor. For instance, I can Reclaim a card, have the Null Profusion trigger go on the stack, and then copy Reclaim to put, say, Early Harvest on my deck. On resolution, Early Harvest returns to the top of my deck, I draw it, and then the second card goes on top of my deck—which I'll draw once I play Early Harvest!
Out: 1 Reclaim, 1 Gaea's Blessing, 1 Consume Spirit
In: 2 Diabolic Tutor, 1 Mirari
Game 8: Blue_Skies322 (U/W Morph)
I misclick a Swamp for a Forest and end up with seven black and a green in my mana pool with double Early Harvest in hand while going off with Null Profusion in play. I end up mana burning for 8 and dying. It's tricky playing a combo deck with tight mana, so I chalk this loss up to a learning experience.
Game 9: Xynshe (Thallids)
I start with a double mulligan but manage to come roaring back into the game thanks to Search for Tomorrow, Rampant Growth and Harmonize. I get Null Profusion to the board and fizzle out my combo the turn before I'm going to get overrun by Thallids and Saprolings.
Game 10: jarred (B/W/U Orzhov)
I'll let this game speak for itself. If you wanted a technical how-to guide on playing this deck, this is the game log you should look at.
Opening Hand: Forest, Forest, Chromatic Star, Chromatic Star, Early Harvest, Mirari, Search for Tomorrow
BOAB Turn 1: Forest, Suspend Search for Tomorrow
Jarred Turn 1: Flagstones of Trokair, Martyr of Sands
BOAB Turn 2: Draw Null Profusion. Play Chromatic Star, use Chromatic Star (draw Gaea's Blessing) to play another Chromatic Star.
Jarred Turn 2: Gemstone Mine, Castigate (taking Early Harvest), attack with Martyr (19-20)
BOAB Turn 3: Upkeep: Unsuspend Search for Tomorrow (getting Swamp). Draw Harmonize, crack Chromatic Sphere, draw Search for Tomorrow. Play Gaea's Blessing targeting Search for Tomorrow and 2x Chromatic Sphere. Draw Forest, Play Forest, Suspend Search for Tomorrow.
Jarred Turn 3: Play Ronom Unicorn, play Orzhov Basilica returning Gemstone Mine, attack with Martyr of Sands (18-20)
BOAB Turn 4: Draw Diabolic Tutor. Play Harmonize (Drawing Forest, Forest, Reclaim). Play Forest.
Jarred Turn 4: Play Underground River. Attack with Martyr of Sands and Ronom Unicorn (15-20). Play Blind Hunter (13-22).
BOAB Turn 5: Search for Tomorrow unsuspends (get Swamp). Play Forest, Mirari.
Jarred Turn 5: Attack with Martyr of Sands, Ronom Unicorn, Blind Hunter (8-22), play Stinkweed Imp, Terramorphic Expanse.
BOAB Turn 6: Draw Swamp, play Swamp. Play Diabolic Tutor with Mirari double, grabbing Consume Spirit and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. (End of turn: Jarred gets Swamp with Terramorphic Expanse).
Jarred Turn 6: Attack with Martyr of Sands, Blind Hunter, Ronom Unicorn, Stinkweed Imp (2-22). Play Gemstone Mine, Icatian Javelineers.
BOAB Turn 7: Draw Swamp, play Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. Play Consume Spirit on Ronom Unicorn for 4; Mirari it to Icatian Javelineers (10-22).
Jarred Turn 7: Attack with Martyr of Sands, Blind Hunter, Stinkweed Imp (5-22). Play Ronom Unicorn, Zombify Ronom Unicorn, play Watery Grave.
BOAB Turn 8: During Upkeep, Reclaim Consume Spirit. Draw Consume Spirit, play Swamp. Play Consume Spirit on Ronom Unicorn for 4; Mirari it to the second Ronom Unicorn (13-20).
Jarred Turn 8: Attack with Martyr of Sands, Blind Hunter, Stinkweed Imp (9-22). Play Blind Hunter (7-24).
BOAB Turn 9: Reclaim Consume Spirit during upkeep. Play Consume Spirit for 4, targeting Blind Hunter and copying it with Mirari at Stinkweed Imp. (15-24). Blind Hunter Haunts Martyr of Sands.
Jarred Turn 9: Attack with Martyr of Sands, Blind Hunter (12-24).
BOAB Turn 10: Draw Forest. Play Null Profusion, play Forest (draw Forest).
Jarred Turn 10: Attack with Blind Hunter, Martyr of Sands (8-24). Play Dimir Aqueduct, returning Gemstone Mine.
BOAB Turn 11: Play Forest, draw Reclaim. Play Reclaim, targeting Gaea's Blessing. Copy Reclaim, targeting Consume Spirit. Draw Consume Spirit. Consume Spirit Blind Hunter for seven. (16-24). Blind Hunter haunts Martyr of Sands. Draw Gaea's Blessing.
Jarred Turn 11: Attack with Martyr of Sands (15-24).
BOAB Turn 12: Play Gaea's Blessing, targeting Reclaim, Reclaim, Reclaim (Draw Harmonize, Search for Tomorrow). Play Search for Tomorrow and Mirari it (put 2x Forest into play, draw Null Profusion).
Jarred Turn 12: Play Gemstone Mine, play Stinkweed Imp, attack with Martyr of Sands (14-24).
BOAB Turn 13: Play Harmonize
(draw Null Profusion
, Rampant Growth
, Early Harvest
). Play Forest
(draw Rampant Growth
). Play Rampant Growth
; copy it with Mirari
(put 2 Swamp
into play, draw Summer Bloom
). Play Early Harvest
; copy it with Mirari
(add 16 black mana to my pool between resolutions, draw Consume Spirit
). Play Rampant Growth
; copy it with Mirari
(put 2 Swamp
into play, draw Chromatic Star
). Play Chromatic Star
). Play Reclaim
targeting Early Harvest
(draw Rampant Growth
). Play Rampant Growth
(draw Early Harvest
, get Swamp
). Add black to my mana pool (21 black, 2 green), play Early Harvest
and copy it with Mirari
(17 black). Add 19 black to my mana pool between resolutions (36 black). Play Consume Spirit
at Jaredr for 33, copying it with Mirari
. (He sacrifices Martyr of Sands
revealing another Martyr of sands to gain 7 life—3 from the Martyr and 4 from the two Blind Hunter
s haunting it, bringing him to 31 before the Consume Spirit
hits. He dies).
Game 11: amaneatingllama (Saprolings)
He plays Gaea's Anthem, then plays Supply // Demand for five Saprolings, and chains them into Scatter the Seeds for three more. I take 16 and die the next turn, with nothing on the board.
At this point, I start looking around for solutions to large hordes of two-power critters. In virtually all of my losses, an Infest or Hideous Laughter-type card would have pulled my fat out of the fire. Unfortunately, there are literally no global "-X/-X" Black spells available in Standard right now! My choices for dealing with hordes of creatures in black-green are: Crime // Punishment, Hail Storm, Damnation or Plague Wind. Damnation is ideal, but it's so far off the budget radar that it's not even a consideration. Plague Wind is the other type of "too expensive," and Crime // Punishment is too conditional. My choices are either Hail Storm, or to push my deck in the other direction—make it even more focused on the combo, at the expense of getting disrupted by discard and land destruction. I opt for the second choice—I'd rather go down swinging than sit there with a dead Hail Storm in hand, wishing I had a combo piece.
To speed up the deck, I dredge out those old Overgrowths I had considered earlier. I don't have many turn-three plays (excepting Harmonize with Rampant Growth or Search for Tomorrow), so this will let me ramp up to Null Profusion two turns early. I go down to one Consume Spirit—either I win with the one copy after drawing my entire deck, or I lose!
Out: 1 Diabolic Tutor, 1 Summer Bloom, 1 Search for Tomorrow, 1 Consume Spirit
In: 4 Overgrowth
Game 12: Signut (G/W Doubling Season)
I get stuck at one mana (with double Chromatic Star and Rampant Growth), and he plays Doubling Season and Stormfront Riders. I play Search for Tomorrow into Rampant Growth. He plays Storm Herd for forty tokens. I play double Early Harvest, Null Profusion, Harmonize, Early Harvest, Mirari, and Reclaim, and go off with Overgrowth helping me untap for extra mana.
Game 13: Sendtrash (B/R Madness)
By the end of turn seven, I have Null Profusion, Mirari, Urborg, 2 Overgrowth, Chromatic Star, 12 Forests, and 10 Swamps in play, with a Consume Spirit for 23 (Mirari'd) on the stack.
Game 14: Zeka2 (White Weenie)
I don't go off, and I lose to Master Decoy, Duskrider Peregrine, Veteran Cavalier, and Crossbow Infantry. Fizzle-de-dizzle!
Game 15: Thanks_for_Coming (R/U Izzet)
I get turn two Rampant Growth, turn three Overgrowth and Search for Tomorrow, turn-four Harmonize, Chromatic Star, Reclaim Harmonize, turn-six Harmonize/Overgrowth, turn-seven Early Harvest/Null Profusion/go off.
All in all, this deck would benefit greatly from having a sideboard—that way you could side in whatever creature kill you needed after Game 1. Because all of my playtest games are one-game matches, I didn't have that luxury. Still, the deck pulled out some pretty impressive (and quick) victories.
Join me next week for the last part of 10 Decks in 10 Weeks! See you then!