nce upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a deck. This deck wasn’t like all the other decks. It was special. It did things that all the other decks wanted to do, but were not allowed. This deck broke all the rules. It was a rebel. It had an adoring public. For throwback week, I wanted to bring an old school deck back to life in this new format with Champions of Kamigawa. I found my subject when reminiscing about the decks of the past, and stumbling on a deck that just broke all the rules. You could say it re-wrote the book. In fact, it was probably the only Blue/White aggro archetype of its time.
Don’t like what your cards say? Why not just change the words? That was the credo that a Sleight Knight player lived by. They made you think twice about Lightning Bolting their White Knight, because it might become the equivalent of a Silver Knight at any moment. Your Drain Life might become red all of sudden, only to be Blue Elemental Blasted. Sleight Knight players made Red and Black players especially live in fear, since they often main-decked cards like COP: Red and Karma.
COP: Red: “Hi, my name is COP: Red. Is that a mountain I see over there?”
Burn Player: *Crying profusely*
COP: Red: “Here is my friend Karma, she usually hates swamps, but today she doesn’t seem to enjoy your mountain friend too much.
Burn Player: *pinching himself to wake up from the nightmare*
Needless to say, if you want to have a lot of fun watching your opponents suffer the wrath of Sleight Knight, then this deck is for you. Of course, the deck has changed a bit since the old days. For instance, we no longer have use of the giant brain, er, I mean Sleight of Mind. However, in its place we have better tools than ever! Someone in R&D surely loved this deck back in the day. Check out the toys!
While you could play all of these, I decided to only go with the first two (Mind Bend and Swirl the Mists), since they are the most efficient. However, there is one more special color dabbler that has snuck into the mix:
This guy is better than Purelace on a stick! Um, scratch that, I was trying to say he was good, but comparing him to Purelace might not be the best approach. So let's just leave it at "there are plenty of cool things that can be done with the Fox."
The second ingredient is finding things that are good to color change! I have gone with some old favorites and new classics!
I have to admit that Auriok Champion is a simply awesome card that is not getting the respect it deserves. I still have hopes that it will one day be in many decks. The reason behind using COP: White is because you can just 8.5 Tails their guys, Purelace style, and then prevent the damage. Note this also works on spells. I think the Swords are self-explanatory…the pointy end goes toward their dome, and it comes in assorted colors as needed.
Building on a Budget: Sleighty Fox (very close to 30 tickets)
The deck plays out by putting a few small creatures in play to start with. Things get turned up a notch when you start messing with color words. Play out a COP or change your protection as needed. You can start doing some really degenerate things once you have disabled your opponent. Many opponents will just scoop up their cards and run away crying, but the ones who stick it out are in for a crazy spectacle of Swords and Champions, with Purelacing Foxes bringing the team together.
Tips on Playing the Deck
When possible, try to save your Mind Bend's effect as a surprise. This will mean that you effectively made your opponent waste a card, turning the Mind Bend into a 1-mana Counterspell and sometimes more.
A tip for those who have trouble ‘bending’ online. First you must choose the color that you want to replace, then you need to choose the color to replace it with (same goes for land types).
In general, you want to use Swirl to name the main color that your opponent is playing. That means all your guys will get protection from that and your circles will become the right type. Also, you can get a new Lace ability for the wily Fox!
Daring Apprentice wins the counter war…you can’t stop him without a Stifle or Squelch. He is a pretty good target for Sword of Light and Shadow.
Thought Courier is a great way to get rid of redundant Foxes or Swirls. While it is fine to chuck extra blue mana away, be careful to keep a lot of land for in play – you might need a lot for the Circles of Protection sometimes.
Don’t get too cocky with Worship out – there are still plenty of ways to lose. Can we say Disciple of the Vault?
Watch out for artifacts – you will need to make them white with the Fox before you can stop them.
Adding Money to the Deck
More Swords would be great for this deck. I think I rode the 30 ticket line a little closer than usual this time with all the rares. It would be great to have Savannah Lions. It might be a good idea to pack a few emergency Wraths of God. If you want to dig back and use older cards for that good ol’ time feel, try using Sleight of Mind, White Knight, Coast Watcher…or even Narwhal. What’s Narwhal you ask? Let us just say there are horned fish involved.
Until next time, may you be in a band that has protection from Deserts.
BuildingOnABudget and NateHeiss on Magic Online