Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cheap.dec: Sliver Changelings

There has been a lot of buzz lately about building decks without a lot of expensive rares which has inspire me to start this series of articles. From time to time I will publish a deck exploring a synergy of un/commons. I will target the deck list to 28 commons 8 uncommons, and 24 basic lands. This would give the deck a rough cost of $5 or less. I will also make an effort to avoid using chase un/commons that would inadvertently make the deck components harder to assemble. These decks will often be designed as mono-color for both budget, and ease of play. The basic design will be 7 pockets of commons (4 each) 3 pockets of uncommons (2 each), and a complement of basic lands.

This week I am going to explore the unique synergy in Standard between Changelings who have all creature types, and slivers, who convey abilities to all other slivers in play. The basic concept is that every creature in play have the sliver creature type, and that all natural slivers would "lord" abilities to every other creature you control. A quick survey of the Sliver uncommons currently available reveals a total of 15 options. 5 mono-color, 5 allied color pairs, and 5 enemy color pairs. Since a dual color in a key card would make this deck much harder to play, I will narrow the to just the 5 mono color options, each of these is an excellent option, and could be built around.

Red: Fury Sliver
Green: Might Sliver
White: Quiled Sliver
Blue: Telekenetic Sliver
Black: Vamperic Sliver

Of these options, I have no doubt that the best option is Red's Fury Sliver and it's lord ability of double strike. Dropping one of these gives each of our creatures a first strike ability which will often protect them from combat damage, and make unblocked slivers kill that much quicker. Now on to the uncommon Changelings, to see what they may add. This reveals another cycle of 5 mono-colored changelings in the uncommon slot. Three of the five involve the Champion mechanic to summon. If I am going to remove a creature from play, it is going to have to represent a major upgrade.

Red: Changeling Berserker
Green: Changeling Titan
White: Changeling Hero
Blue: Turtleshell Changeling
Black: Ghostly Changeling

Once again it's red for the win, as Changeling Berserker's haste ability lets him swing out of the gate. So with 2 of 3 of our uncommons selected, it's time to take a look at our 7 common slots that will form the bulk of our deck. I will begin by reviewing the common slivers currently available to see what other lord abilities we may be able to capitalize on. Battering, Bonesplitter, Homing, and Two-Headed our our available slivers. In the changeling category we find Firebelly, and Warspike. I will not be using is the Homing, because it doesn't allow us to search for changelings, has no board relevant lord ability, and may be complicated for a new user to get. I will also pass on the Warspike because it adds to the already high mana curve, and it's first strike ability becomes irrelevant when Fury Sliver is in play. To fill out my deck I select Lashout, Puncture Bolt, Brute Force, Haze of Rage, and Dead//Gone.

The final deck list has a cost of $5 and consists of the following list. This deck is about as budget friendly as it gets. It has a nice removal package to keep the red zone clear, and can pound home damage of 10 plus per turn. It is severly limited against control, damage prevention and CoP red will ruin it. Over all it's a great deck for the resources invested, but has holes that one would expect from such an extreme budget deck.

24 mountains
(4 each)
Battering Sliver
Bonesplitter Sliver
Two-Headed Sliver
Firebelly Changeling
Puncture Bolt
Brute Force
(2 each)
Fury Sliver
Changeling Berserker
Baldavian Rage
Haze of Rage

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