Monday, July 7, 2008

Deck Evolution: Shadowmoor Turnabout

Over the last couple of weeks we began what will continue to be a series of article centered around the concept of pre-con decks, and evolving them through out the block. For the basic concepts, and the beginning of the Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Super block, please read last weeks post. So far we have taken our $20 budget and attended the Lorwyn, and Morningtide Pre-release events, and ended up with a very playable collection of cards. We have a very good green/red deck option with a good contingent of white for second decks, or color combination options. We have a splashable black option, and very little blue. I was a little concerned with our collection with such week offerings in both black and blue. This could make 3 of the 5 deck options for Shadowmoor less then ideal for our collection. This week we will take our $20 an attend the Shadowmoor pre-release, and see what we fun and value can be had for our minimal investment.

In this case we win the virtual lottery, and receive the Turnabout (G/W) deck. Not only does this support our strongest color and complement a solid second color in our collection, but it has the most solid card pool of any of the pre-con decks from this set. The Demigod of Revenge promo card from the event is another solid addition. The deck contents, plus our randomly generated booster pack are listed below.

Sapseep Forest
Barrenton Medic
2 devoted Druid
2 Drove of Elves
Elvish Hex hunter
2 Old Ghastbark
2 Pale Wayfarer
2 Pili-Pala
Resplendent Mentor
Rhys the Redeemed
2 Safehold Duo
3 Safehold Sentry
Seedcradle Witch
Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers
Wilt-Leaf Liege
Barkshell Blessing
Dawnglow Infusion
2 Gleeful Sabotage
Gloomwidow's Feast
2 Mercy Killing
3 Presence of Gond
Reveling Horn
Shield of the Oversoul
Toil of Renown
Umbral Mantle
11 Forests
12 Plains
Foxfire Oak
Blazethorn Scarecrow
Paraphet Watchers
Thornwatch Scarecrow
Nurturer Initiate
Rite of Consumption
Briarberry Cohort
Zealous Guardian
Elsewhere Flask
Splitting Headache
Steel of the Godhead
Tower Above
Kitchen Finks
Deus of Calamity

As always the first thing to do is examine our new card pool and decide what to put up for trade, and what to try and acquire with our trade value. The Wilt-leaf Liege, Demigod of Revenge promo, Dues of Calamity, along with our prior Rhy's the Exiled, and promo Wren's Run Packmaster gives us an unmatched $31 in trade value to work with. My first priority is to finish our play-sets of Kitchen Finks, Firespout, and Wilt-leak Liege. These are each incredible cards that bring not only value to our collection but complement our strongest color combinations with real utility strengths. It is widely believed that Eventide will complement Shadowmoor with the "enemy" color combinations. We were very luck so far having 2 week colors, but Eventides expected combinations will make 4 out of the 5 decks weak options for our collects presenting some combination of either black or blue. We have to take this opportunity to address this weakness in our collection.

For this reason I opt to pick up the following cards, heavy in blue and black with a focus on strong utility cards worthy of splashing, rather then focusing on particular deck strategy;

4 Mulldrifter
4 Oblivian Ring
4 Ponder
4 Makeshift Manequin
4 Terror
3 Shield of the Oversoul

Now with my remaining $5 I will look to the common box to further strengthen my weak colors, and pickup some generic utility and mana fixing. Be sure to pick up enough Islands, and Swamps to play with, because these additions make them both easy splashes, or playable color in their own right.

4 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Chainbreaker
4 Scuttlemutt
4 Shimmering Gratto
4 Amoeboid Changeling
3 Aphotic Wisps
4 Ashenmoor Cohort
3 Briarberry Cohort
4 Cancell
3 Drowner Initiate
2 Eyeblights Ending
4 Faerie Macabre
3 Face Vaulter
3 Festering Goblin
4 Frogtosser Banneret
3 Gravedigger
3 Ink Dissolver
3 Latchkey Faerie
3 Merfolk Looter
3 Merrow Witsniper
4 Mothdust Changeling
4 Nameless Inversion
4 Pestermite
4 Prickley Boggart
3 Scarsdale Ritual
4 Silkbind Faeries
2 Smolder Initiate
4 Spell Stutter Sprite
3 Weed-prunner Poplar

We now have a incredibly strong collection which is playable in all five color, and support 3-8 decks. Our greatest strength is clearly in green, but with strong support and utility available in every other color, and adequate mana fixing to make any splash or two color combination feasible. We have a collection of cards in excess of 350 cards not including basic lands, and only about 17 cards are marginal, and do not fit directly in to a strong deck option;

Elf Token
GW untappers

Our new precon creates a lot of over lap with our existing Elves, and Warriors builds which can easily be adapted to either include white, or replace red in the mix. Depending on your local game, and the decks that you face a number of quality card mixes exist. I honestly believe that our G/R Warriors build is our strongest option, but we should consider finding spots for the following new cards in our collection.

Devoted Druid
Drove of Elves
Elvish Hexhunter
Old Ghastbark
Safehold Duo
Seedcradle Witch
Wilt-leaf Cavaliers
Presence of Gond
Shield of the Oversoul

Join me next week, when we will take our $20 budget an attend the Eventide pre-release, and see what new fun and value the next expansion will include. Many of you may have missed the release of the Eventide Pre-con contents, and the promo cards is widely believed to be Figure of Destiny.

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