Building_on_a_Budget

Building up counters with Coretapper and Power Conduit

Charge it!

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The letter W!elcome to artifact week! Rather, welcome to the end of it, along with the end of a certain deck that has been abusing these trinkets to no end. Overall, I have high hopes for what Standard will look like post-bannings, but if you want the whole scoop make sure to check out Aaron's article today. I am not here to steal his thunder…I am here to play with toys.

Charge it! No, I am not talking about credit cards, I am talking about charge counters! Now, I have done a charge counter deck in the past, and it was pretty cool, but now with the full power of Mirrodin and 8th Edition, and the pesky Ravager deck out of the way…all new cool sorts of decks can come out of hiding.

Come forth cool decks! Fear not the Ravager!

This deck takes advantage of the awesome power of Thunderstaff with Sculpting Steel. Thunderstaff is simply an awesome card that never got the credit it was due. While one Thunderstaff doesn't shut anyone down (although it's still powerful), playing a second or copying it with Sculpting Steel really hurts most creature decks, slowing them to a crawl. This extra time allows you to win in any cool ways you prefer!

…and I prefer Lightning Coils! Ever since I drafted the Power Conduit deck in Grand Prix Kansas City to make Top 8 I have a soft spot in my heart for those crazy charge counter-based cards from Mirrodin. Lightning Coils has many mini Ball Lightnings hidden in its wiring, and it's not afraid to unleash them! You can easily help it along with Power Conduit and a charge counter generator, or simply by using Energy Chambers.

The lands in an artifact based deck get to do all sorts of cool things too, since they don't need the restriction of producing silly colored mana. Cloudposts, Urzatron, Stalking Stones…you name it. Not to mention the charging powers of Mirrodin's Core.

Let's check out this gizmo.

Building on a Budget: Charge it! (Less than 30 Tickets)

The deck plays out by gearing up with a Myr on the second turn, following up with some combination of shiny artifacts. There are a lot of different ways games can go, but the big decisions you are going to make will likely involve Sculpting Steel. There are three great targets for Sculpting Steel: Thunderstaff, Energy Chamber, and Coretapper. Coretapper, while looking innocent, is actually a great beating in this deck, especially in combination with Lightning Coils. In fact, you can get a rather quick kill with them:

Turn 2: Coretapper

Turn 3: Lightning Coils, put a counter on it.

Turn 4: Coretapper, tap the first one to put another counter on the Coils. Sacrifice both for 2 counters each, plus 1 counter each from them going to the graveyard.

Turn 5: During your upkeep, the Coils crack for 8 counters and you get 8 wonderful little Ball Lightnings that smash your opponent for 24 damage. W00t!

Note that you can use either a second Coretapper or a Sculpting Steel, so this isn't actually that uncommon of a draw. Not too shabby for a little dude eh?

Your other route to victory is building one of your little Myr into a giant monster with the aid of Energy Chambers and Power Conduit. It takes surprisingly fewer turns than you might expect. One good strategy is to divide your counters among a few Myr so that they can all start to attack, then you can pump them on the offense with your Thunderstaff to finish the job, and Stalking Stones can help out if the going gets tough.

Tips on Playing the Deck

  • Normally you won't want to pump your Coretapper with the +1/+1 counters; he has other work to do instead of attacking.
  • Altar of Shadows is a nice catch-all. If you need a mana boost to activate it every turn, throw some counters on it. Just be sure to have a Power Conduit around in order to pull them off again later as +1/+1 counters. You can also activate a Stalking Stones over and over again as a mana sink.
  • Don't store your charge counters from Coretapper on itself…it is too fragile of a target. Throw them on an Icy or a Power Conduit or whatever random artifact you have to keep them safe for moving with the Conduit later.
  • Try to get as many counters on the Lightning Coils as possible once you are going to go over 5. This will maximize the amount of damage you do with each wave of Ball Lightnings.

Adding Money to the Deck

There are lots of cool things you can add with this theme, even just within the realm of artifacts. Blinkmoth Nexus is the single best card to add to this deck. It gives you an evasion artifact creature that you can pump up with your Power Conduits. It is also a great way to get around Wrath of God effects. You can splash a little red for Bosh, Iron Golem or even do something a bit flashier with blue: add 4 Fabricates and the Kaldra pieces! You could also go with Urza's Armors to strengthen the Thunderstaff theme. If you wanted to go more red, you could use Atog and Shrapnel Blast.

Overall this deck is a ton of fun and is much more competitive than you might expect. I mostly wanted to illustrate that the rest of Mirrodin works fine even without the artifact lands. In many ways it is like a whole block of cards just got unbanned for competitive play! Enjoy the new format folks!

Until next time, restrict your staff.

-Nate Heiss
BuildingOnABudget and NateHeiss on Magic Online

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