- MAKING THE CUT & WAITING FOR MIRACLES TO HAPPEN! - by Kyle Wright (Views: 585)6th July 2012
WRITER PROFILE: KYLE WRIGHT
Lifetime Pro Tour Points: 0Magic Achievements: 2011 Kent County Champion, 2011 Xtreme Commander Champion, Will never pay for another Xtreme Trades draft (Editor: or so he thinks) Favourite Format: StandardFavourite Colour: BlueFavourite Card: Kaervek, the Merciless or Cruel Ultimatum
Hello to you all and welcome to the first in my new bi-weekly column on strategy, deck discussion and fun within the confines of the latest 2 blocks our friends at Wizards of the Coast provide us with.
Firstly I apologise for the title here Iím not the most adept of writers and as such I have given away the entire purpose of my article. By now, I'm sure you have heard arguments about the miracle mechanic that say Wizards have broken the game or it's just another terrible effect. I'm here to tell you that it's somewhere in between, but still a great route for Standard. The problem developing miracles is there are 2 route for it the ďland and miracle deckĒ or the ďconservative miracle deckĒ. Iím going to try both styles and see how they compare.
Making the Cut
Not all miracles are equal, we have the raise from the dead with holes in your hands Entreat the Angels, to the rather I knew you would deny my existence Blessings of Nature (FYI Green is not that miraculous).
I thought I would compile a short list of potentially playable (and tested) miracles.
Banishing Stroke Temporal Mastery Devastation Tide Terminus
Entreat the Angels
Bonfire of the Damned
These were the cards I thought I would try and got me to the following list of go big or go home miracles
MIRACLES MAIN DECK SIDEBOARD
60 main deck cards
MAIN DECK ANALYSIS
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 0 (0.00%)Artifacts: 0 (0.00%)Instants: 11 (18.33%)Sorceries: 22 (36.67%)Enchantments: 0 (0.00%)Planeswalkers: 0 (0.00%)Lands: 27 (45.00%)
Spell Colour Breakdown:White: 11 (33.33%)Blue: 15 (45.45%)Red: 7 (21.21%)
Mana Curve Analysis:Avg. Casting Cost: 4.55Lowest Casting Cost: 1Highest Casting Cost: 7
0 Mana Spells: 01 Mana Spells: 42 Mana Spells: 43 Mana Spells: 34 Mana Spells: 05 Mana Spells: 76 Mana Spells: 117 Mana Spells: 4
This deck packs a Thunderous 25 miracles so donít say I didnít try the all in plan. My main problem with the deck was the opening hands that had lands and expensive spells. This was very common as you would expect from the deck. Which makes me feel this may not be our best route to victory.
On the other hand, you live and you learn. The reactive miracle cards were very underwhelming . Turn 2 Thunderous Wrath is mostly irrelevant, 9/10 times thereís nothing to do with this spell, and the 5 damage doesnít really get you anywhere as your game plan is to stick down some angels and go to town. Banishing Stroke was even worse because there wasn't even the option to cast it for one mana without a reasonable target. Now I know all the miracles can be cast for an actual mana cost but nothing feels too good about a 6 mana Oblivion Ring.
Think Twice shines in this deck and is more of a turn 4 or turn 5 play in many cases to maximize your miracle draw. Using the Think Twice early is a very risky move as can get you into miracle draws you now have to pay the full bill for. It's better to wait and fire it off when you can cast Temporal Mastery, Terminus with enough creatures for it to be relevant, Devastation Tide when it's reasonable, or the targeted removal spells. Another note about Think Twice is that you should very rarely cast it on your turn because your draw step ensures that you cannot cast the potential miracle card. If you cast it on their turn it will be the first card you drew for the turn in many cases. Be aware that flashing it back on the same turn you cast it will make for a useless draw too (it will be the second card drawn for the turn).
Bonfire of the Damned was very impressive in this deck because it was a good spell in the mid-game without paying the miracle cost. The format is filled with creatures and this spell can take out Geist of Saint Traft and other hexproof threats.
Desolate Lighthouse serves fundamentally as additional Think Twices, but has another very important function: discarding useless miracle cards and land. This land helps to fix the immediate problems with the deck, too many lands and far too many overly expensive cards. Also you get a chance at casting a better card with the miracle cost. What's better than an end of turn Hallowed Burial? Only an end of turn
Time Walk, but that's not the point.
Entreat the Angels is a great win condition and is almost certainly better than
White Sunís Zenithfor the most part at least. Hard casting this never felt negative as it will mostly be for the game. If not winning then soaking up some beats can be a great use in the situation.
Ponder oddly enough served up a nice way to set the miracles in place ready to relax and watch it all unfold.
All in all I want to go for something with the magnitude and promise that the all-in miracles deck gives and put some consistency in there.
I looked at which miracles in testing were shining brighter and making me believe in the strategy.
Anyone who knows me is aware that Iím always one to try and stick to my guns, if I say itís good I have to make sure Iím right. And what if Iím not? Try and try until it works.
MIRACLES V2 MAIN DECK SIDEBOARD
60 main deck cards
MAIN DECK ANALYSIS
Card Type Breakdown:Creatures: 6 (10.00%)Artifacts: 0 (0.00%)Instants: 9 (15.00%)Sorceries: 20 (33.33%)Enchantments: 0 (0.00%)Planeswalkers: 0 (0.00%)Lands: 25 (41.67%)
Spell Colour Breakdown:White: 10 (28.57%)Blue: 15 (42.86%)Red: 7 (20.00%)Colorless: 3 (8.57%)
Mana Curve Analysis:Avg. Casting Cost: 3.31Lowest Casting Cost: 1Highest Casting Cost: 7
0 Mana Spells: 01 Mana Spells: 72 Mana Spells: 123 Mana Spells: 24 Mana Spells: 35 Mana Spells: 36 Mana Spells: 47 Mana Spells: 4
Going on from my initial design there was a lot I liked, and an awful lot I didnít. The basic strategy is still intact as the main win condition is still Entreat the Angels but at 3 it appears less in my opener, and more as a miracle.
Desperate Ravings helps again with more card draw for the opponent's turn and has the flashback utility. Also this card can discard big spells, albeit a lot more randomly than the Lighthouse.
Solemn Simulacrum helps smooth mana out and has a great draw outlet when he dies. The extra miracle chance generation helps as well as giving you something to do after a turn 3 Temporal Mastery (everyone loves double explore!).
Divine Deflection is a card I cannot unsleeve at the moment, it does everything from spot removal to winning the game. Never do I feel thereís a bad time to be hitting this card, but there are definitely bad ways to use it. Shining Shoal was a card that white decks used to get me with, now we have a version which lacks the Shoal's 0 mana cost but still helps disrupt the aggro decks.
Pillar of Flame helps smooth out the early turns.
Delver of Secrets/Insectile Aberration and Strangleroot Geist are 2 early plays that can cause a lot of pain and an early way to deal with them is exceptionally handy.
Miracles will take time to completely figure out as we don't have a good comparison to the effect. Remember to set aside the cards you draw since the judges won't be forgiving if you add it to your hand. It's difficult to prove it was the first card you actually drew for the turn, so make sure to practice this beforehand. The last thing you want to do is give away the information of drawing a miracle because the other cards just go straight to your hand without thinking. Try and draw cards in a similar fashion to offset the opponent and even throw in a bluff or 2. Just donít stall as judges will come down on that as well.
So to have rambled so much I was given an initial number of words and may have gone over that. Hopefully our wonderful editor doesnít cut the article sh...
Until next time,
Kyle ďSokiĒ Wright
- lee west - July 9, 2012, 17:31 As much as I'm also loving devine deflection right now I would probably play a maximum of 2 as you could play a 4th copy of snapcaster mage which I find flashes back divine quiet nicely