Block Constructed Magic: Mirage Block Analysis continued


We continue our walk down memory lane with more Mirage block constructed decks. The first article can be found here.

Today I've decided to feature two more decks that were major players in the tournament scene way back in 1997. The first is a combo deck that can lock on turn 4. The second a creature deck that features massive creatures for only 2 or 3 mana.

Sandsipoise

Spells

4 Enlightened Tutor
4 Vampiric Tutor
4 Dark Ritual
2 Disrupt
4 Impulse
2 Wand of Denial
2 Misers Cage
2 Desolation
2 Mangara's Blessing
4 Equipoise
1 Gerrard's Wisdom
4 Sands of Time

Creatures

2 Sage Owl

Land

3 Lotus Vale
4 Undiscovered Paradise
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Crystal Vein
2 Island
3 Swamp
3 Plains

Sideboard

2 Disrupt
3 Disenchant
3 Coercion
4 Tidal Wave
2 Gerrard's Wisdom
1 Soul Echo

Sandsipoise is a combo deck from Mirage that sent more than one person to a Pro Tour back in the day. It was a very powerful 2 card combo that neutralized most threats, before using a 3rd card to finish the opponent off.

The deck utilizes a substantial number of search effects with a couple of tutors, impulse, and sage owls to find the Sands of Time / Equipoise combo.

The combo may not be obvious just by glancing at the cards but actually is pretty simple. Phasing triggers in the untap phase. Sands of Time skips the untap phase. Equipoise makes things phase out. If there is no untap phase, then nothing phases in. Ever. Pretty nasty combo.

Randy Buehler describes the combo in more detail here:

"The way phasing works is that "before your untap step," phase out all permanents with phasing, and phase in everything that is phased out. With Sands of Time in play, no one gets an untap step, so nothing naturally phases. Equipoise causes things to phase out at other times, though, so each turn it would phase out all of your opponent's creatures (as you'd have none) and all or most of his land (as you'd have sacrificed yours to the effect of a card like Desolation). With the board locked up, you'd win with something like Miser's Cage, which you could play off a Dark Ritual. Wacky, to be sure."


Aside from the combo components and search the rest of the deck features utility cards that help keep the player alive before he can get the combo in place. The sideboard has a little something for everybody: Tidal wave helps keep creature rush at bay. There are additional disrupts for counter wars. Disenchant to deal with Forsaken Wastes or other problem cards. Gerrard's Wisdom slows down celerity red. Coercion can be used both against Big Blue and in the mirror match.

Another popular deck from the MVW block era and second deck to feature today: Er'Tog. A really fun and fast creature deck that used a full graveyard to power out cheap fatties.

Er'Tog

Creatures

3 Shadow Gulidmage
3 Circling Vultures
4 Skulking Ghost
4 Ertai's Familiar
4 Fallen Askari
3 Fledgling Djinn
3 Barrow Ghoul
3 Hidden Horror
3 Necratog
4 Man O' War

Spells

3 Song of Blood

Land

3 Bad River
3 Rocky Tar Pit
3 Undiscovered Paradise
3 Gemstone Mine
2 Island
2 Mountain
7 Swamp

Sideboard

4 Nekrataal
3 Disenchant
3 Forsaken Wastes
3 Bubble Matrix
2 Tombstone Stairwell

That's a whopping 34 creatures and only 3 Song of Blood to make them hit harder. This deck is a blast to play and filling up your graveyard to power out Barrow Ghoul's and circling vultures can be an interesting challenge. Shadow Guildmage provides some utility along with Man O' War and Nekrataal's out of the sideboard to deal with enemy creatures. With the amount of graveyard filler this deck provides your Necratog can get to enormous sizes. If only it had trample! Bubble Matrix comes out of the board and can foil burn decks and tombstone stairwell is a potent weapon against decks that don't have as many creatures as you do which is basically all of them.

An interesting difference between the two highly competitive decks above? One has 2 creatures, the other only 3 spells. Both could support all 5 colors. Mirage block has a nice array of deck variety from mono color burn decks to 5 color combo decks. A good mixture and something for everybody.

1 Response to "Block Constructed Magic: Mirage Block Analysis continued"

  1. Bubbles Laroux November 27, 2015 at 7:21 AM
    I love what you've done with the block constructed breakdowns.. I've gone through most, if not all of them. as a player who had been absent post Rath until Mirroden, I find it so interesting to see the dynamics I had missed. Haven't noticed whether you're still at it, but it's good work none the less!

Post a Comment