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 Post subject: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-30 12:23 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Zurgo's Kor

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Welcome to the Core of the Mardu tribe. Enter his BLOOD CIRCLE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

The purpose of this deck is to deliver pain to your enemies at all points of the game, whether attacking or blocking, and all the points inbetween. Begin with the Kor of the deck--the only creatures in the game who can redirect damage--and use them to force your opponents into tricky situations: do they block your assaults and lose life, lose their creatures; or, do they hold off to attempt their own assault, only to have it backfire?

General's Regalia
Kor Chant
Martyrdom
Nemesis Mask
Nomads en-Kor
Outrider en-Kor
Pariah's Shield
Shaman en-Kor
Simulacrum
Spirit en-Kor
Zealous Inquisitor
Zhalfirin Crusader

Without these, the deck doesn't work. There should be enough of these in the deck to always have one available.

Ashen Rider (killing this guy is the point, and there are a few ways to bring it back)
Boros Reckoner
High Priest of Penance
Mogg Maniac
Nested Ghoul
Phyrexian Obliterator
Souls of the Faultless
Spitemare
Wall of Souls

These are some of your targets outside of Zurgo and indestructible creatures. You can either pile on loads of damage and sacrifice their bodies, or deal damage in small amounts in order to keep them alive.

Sometimes the body must die for the future of the tribe.

Assemble the Legion (provides an ever-increasing army while also allowing you to deal excess damage willy-nilly)
Boros Charm (a multi-use card with each mode being useful in various scenarios, and tutorable via Sunforger)
Daru Spiritualist (each redirection from a Kor triggers its ability)
Deftblade Elite (combat damage redirected from the Kor is still combat damage when applied to this creature)
Frontline Medic
Nahiri's Machinations (a card made for this deck)
Shield of Kaldra
Tajic, Blade of the Legion
Task Force

When you have excess amounts of damage, these are your shields.

Archangel Avacyn
Chandra's Ignition
Flameblade Angel
Impact Resonance
Orim's Thunder
Pestilence
Repentance
Staff of Nin
Triskaidekaphobia

These should help keep the damage going whenever your opponent's are refusing to cooperate. This section will probably have the most changes over time as I work out which ones are best.

Armillary Sphere
Baton of Morale
Chromatic Lantern
Disciple of Bolas
Greed
Legion Loyalist
Oblivion Ring
Orzhov Charm
Orzhov Signet
Path to Exile
Pyreheart Wolf
Rakdos Signet
Relic of Progenitus
Sunforger
Swords to Plowshares
Tithe
Victimize

Mana, Utility, and random Removal in Mardu colors--another fairly fluid section for this deck. I'll see how each of them works out, and look out for more cards which could fit.

Infiltration Lens
Inquisitor's Flail
Rout
Umezawa's Jitte

This part of the deck is rather limited, but Zurgo still deserves some of the best. Some of these have other uses, but they are normally best paired with Zurgo. I don't want to dedicate a bloated budget to make Zurgo one-hit KO wonder, because that's not what this deck is meant for.


Other card possibilities:

Arcbond--I really want this in the deck...but I feel just as strongly that it would end too many games in an unfun manner (especially being tutorable with Sunforger).

Swift Kick, Blood Feud, Fall of the Hammer, Traitor's Roar--there are plenty of these cards which are really good at dealing damage indirectly, especially with Zurgo's power + indestructibility combo. I had them in at first...but there's just not enough room currently. More efficient removal (Path, Swords, O-Ring) took these spots for the most part.

Magnetic Web--awesome card, but terribly slow. It'll likely hang around for the first set of cards I switch out.

Wall of Essence, Wall of Hope, Inviolability--damage absorbing creatures and such which lost out because I'd rather be attacking or dealing damage than gaining life (and Task Force and Daru Spiritualist took Inviolability's possible spot).

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni--spot taken by Ashen Rider, but still presents a very interesting card: it can absorb massive amounts of damage through regeneration, but also can Ninjutsu into the game when your opponents are unwilling to block.

Stuffy Doll--it fits into one side of the deck, but I don't like it as much as Task Force and Daru Spiritualist. Those two are cheaper (and Stuffy Doll matches Zurgo's CMC, causing a conflict there), cooler, and can still get in on the attack.

Starlit Sanctum--I'm set up for infinite life, but the combo bores me and doesn't entirely help me against general damage and poison. It's going to sit out for now.

I'm glad to hear suggestions, and once I get a few games in I'll have a better understanding of what works and what doesn't.

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Last edited by Segrus on 2016-May-18 8:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-30 1:37 pm 
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Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni belongs in every deck... even monoU can find a home for it if you look close enough!

Kidding aside, you are already forcing difficult blocks and impossible combat math calculations, Ink-eyes is a superstar in these situations. Getting the best thing out of a graveyard is often more important than hitting someone for 5 because it means it is more difficult for them to reanimate and or someone has to waste additional resources to combat her.

Baton of Morale might be the card to cut as if the opponents are not familiar with banding (which lets face it is a majority of magic players) this can bog down the game (but not in a good way).

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The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-30 2:04 pm 
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Inkeyes22 wrote:
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni belongs in every deck... even monoU can find a home for it if you look close enough!

Kidding aside, you are already forcing difficult blocks and impossible combat math calculations, Ink-eyes is a superstar in these situations. Getting the best thing out of a graveyard is often more important than hitting someone for 5 because it means it is more difficult for them to reanimate and or someone has to waste additional resources to combat her.

Baton of Morale might be the card to cut as if the opponents are not familiar with banding (which lets face it is a majority of magic players) this can bog down the game (but not in a good way).

Perhaps, but banding provides a very important function of being able to determine combat damage in every situation. Being able to stop tramplers from reaching through my ranks is worth the complication of having to explain banding.

It's also just one card. I'll likely only have to explain once every many games. There's not a lot of card draw or tutoring in the deck (a VERY big weakness currently, but I want to see how this runs first before I try finding spots for card draw).

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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-30 2:36 pm 
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Segrus wrote:
Perhaps, but banding provides a very important function of being able to determine combat damage in every situation. Being able to stop tramplers from reaching through my ranks is worth the complication of having to explain banding.

It's also just one card. I'll likely only have to explain once every many games. There's not a lot of card draw or tutoring in the deck (a VERY big weakness currently, but I want to see how this runs first before I try finding spots for card draw).


I agree, banding is powerful to quote MaRo,
from Blogatog Oct 2012 wrote:
Banding is a 10. I could see us maybe one day bringing back elements of banding but I have no belief the entire mechanic will ever return.

It confused everyone and it combined multiple mechanics that worked differently under one keyword.


Even people that played back in the day often get banding wrong. I would recommend getting some card drawing to assist a known weakness and forget about banding, unless of course you play with a regular group and they all get it, or at least care enough to learn it. Some people will just not care and let you run it and others will think you are cheating when banding works differently when you are attacking and when you are blocking.

Again that's how I would handle it, but I am not saying it is perfect or the only way to handle it.

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Shabbaman wrote:
The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-30 3:31 pm 
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Inkeyes22 wrote:
Even people that played back in the day often get banding wrong. I would recommend getting some card drawing to assist a known weakness and forget about banding, unless of course you play with a regular group and they all get it, or at least care enough to learn it. Some people will just not care and let you run it and others will think you are cheating when banding works differently when you are attacking and when you are blocking.

Again that's how I would handle it, but I am not saying it is perfect or the only way to handle it.

I'm pretty good at the rules, and I've spent a decent amount of time teaching newer players wherever I was really active (I'm hoping to work on that this Wednesday with a new group; they are an hour's drive away, but only twice a month so I think I'll manage).

That being said, it means no nevermind to me to bring a copy of the banding rules with me for clarification. This helps to clear things up.

About card draw...

All of these cards do lots of stuff all of the time. They're pretty efficient at what they do. Before I go crazy with card draw, I want to see exactly how efficient. That'll help me determine better what type of card draw I'll need. Do I need to go up as far as Necropotence when something like Sign in Blood will do? My average CMC is fairly low comparative to many decks, or at least rather solid. I'm also running 40 lands currently. Will Dark Tutelage be good enough? Maybe Read the Bones would be best? I won't know until I play the deck a few times.

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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-30 5:59 pm 
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Segrus wrote:
All of these cards do lots of stuff all of the time. They're pretty efficient at what they do. Before I go crazy with card draw, I want to see exactly how efficient. That'll help me determine better what type of card draw I'll need. Do I need to go up as far as Necropotence when something like Sign in Blood will do? My average CMC is fairly low comparative to many decks, or at least rather solid. I'm also running 40 lands currently. Will Dark Tutelage be good enough? Maybe Read the Bones would be best? I won't know until I play the deck a few times.


While all of those are decent options, my thoughts are that Necro is too much black. It is an amazing card but I rarely run it in 3 color decks. Something that is one shot probably is not the right answer, unless you could find it with Sunforger etc.

I really like Skullclamp in non-blue decks as it is a repeatable draw. Unfortunately for you other than the tokens Assemble the Legion produces, you want to keep your creatures around, so this might not be the best option.

My Zurgo deck does run Dark Tutelage and Dark Confidant because my mana cost is very low, most things cost 3 or less. I do run some lifelink in the form of Loxodon Warhammer and a few drain spells to ensure that I don't completely kill myself. Phyrexian Arena has done me good and Underworld Connections is okay as well.

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Shabbaman wrote:
The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-31 12:59 am 
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If you plan to attack with Zurgo whenever you get the chance, Infiltration Lens may be interesting too. And depending on how much mana you can spare, Erebos, God of the Dead might be less costly than Dark Tutelage, with some nice extra features.


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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-31 2:04 am 
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Dork Confidant wrote:
If you plan to attack with Zurgo whenever you get the chance, Infiltration Lens may be interesting too. And depending on how much mana you can spare, Erebos, God of the Dead might be less costly than Dark Tutelage, with some nice extra features.

Infiltration Lens is one I'm considering as I'm playing a game (right now, in all seriousness) with Zurgo, but not entirely just for Zurgo.

I don't play any of the gods. Just a thing I have.

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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-31 2:53 am 
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Looking good, looking good :)

That Obliterator was sooo sweeeet! I only realized the synergy a few minutes after you played it. And Simulacrum... FREAKING SIMULACRUM!!!

I think you should add Stuffy Doll. That would just be sweet, man. And how about Kiki-Jiki? That little guy sure can make a sacrificial lamb or two. Any token maker for that matter, but Kiki is special. Manor Gargoyle is a nice brick wall to soak up some damage. Also, Mother of Runes wants to be in here, maybe even Eight-and-a-Half-Tails. You know, prepare some redirection, turn on the protection and laugh. Same with Jareth, Leonine Titan, but that one's kinda costly. Grave Titan is also a nice token maker. Finally, you have Kor Chant, but no Kor Dirge?

Have you thought about Furnace of Rath effects? I mean, with most of your creatures being indestructible or protected in a different way, this could work towards making the effect of these cards one-sided.

As to what to cut, I've tried to make Mogg Maniac work in my Nin, but it just didn't work right, plus I'm not sure, but does it even work the way you want it to with the en-Kor creatures? I mean, their redirection abilities are one activation-one damage. It would seem to me that the first point of damage kills the goblin and the rest of the redirection abilities fizzles. Also, Soul of New Phyrexia never worked for me. I just don't have that kind of free mana in my decks...

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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-31 3:50 am 
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Antis wrote:
Looking good, looking good :)

That Obliterator was sooo sweeeet! I only realized the synergy a few minutes after you played it. And Simulacrum... FREAKING SIMULACRUM!!!

Thanks! Yeah, Obliterator is hoss. I'm really hoping to continue to terrify people with that one, despite the incredible mana cost hurdle. Simulacrum is never getting taken out.
Antis wrote:
I think you should add Stuffy Doll. That would just be sweet, man. And how about Kiki-Jiki? That little guy sure can make a sacrificial lamb or two. Any token maker for that matter, but Kiki is special. Manor Gargoyle is a nice brick wall to soak up some damage. Also, Mother of Runes wants to be in here, maybe even Eight-and-a-Half-Tails. You know, prepare some redirection, turn on the protection and laugh. Same with Jareth, Leonine Titan, but that one's kinda costly. Grave Titan is also a nice token maker. Finally, you have Kor Chant, but no Kor Dirge?

All good cards. I still have Grave Titan, Jareth, and Kor Dirge on the side--I just never found a spot for them.

Protection is interesting, but I wouldn't be able to do anything about White damage in that case. Manor Gargoyle is fine with the indestructible, but...mana cost. Mana cost with him, Kiki (even more so), and Stuffy Doll--all a potential problem at five mana. Also, Manor Gargoyle is terrible on the attack. Stuffy Doll can't do anything about attacking. At least Kiki makes a token to attack, so he's most likely of these three to make it here.

I'll keep my eye on them, but I currently put their chances at low without a proper assessment of the deck.
Antis wrote:
Have you thought about Furnace of Rath effects? I mean, with most of your creatures being indestructible or protected in a different way, this could work towards making the effect of these cards one-sided.

It definitely could, but I'm worried about it being win-more. I also need to know if the concept even works consistently enough. There's not a whole lot of redirection (for good reason, they cause so many headaches with the rules) creatures, so losing even one is a big deal. Card draw should hopefully help this, which is the first thing I plan on changing.
Antis wrote:
As to what to cut, I've tried to make Mogg Maniac work in my Nin, but it just didn't work right, plus I'm not sure, but does it even work the way you want it to with the en-Kor creatures? I mean, their redirection abilities are one activation-one damage. It would seem to me that the first point of damage kills the goblin and the rest of the redirection abilities fizzles. Also, Soul of New Phyrexia never worked for me. I just don't have that kind of free mana in my decks...

Damage is applied all together, instantaneously (at least as far as combat damage is concerned). You activate the ability as much as you want, but the damage is applied all at once.

Basically, the ability would look different or would change how the Comprehensive Rules works if it applied the damage one at a time. Combat damage is applied all at once in the Damage Calculation step. No one has priority, so the game doesn't even perform game state checks until after damage is applied. You can get triggers due to damage at this time, but the triggered abilities don't reach the stack until afterwards.

To do what you're saying, the damage would have to be prevented during damage calculation and cause a trigger to occur for every time you activated the ability. Then, after damage calculation, you'd get as many triggered abilities on the stack as there were triggers. Players would have opportunities to respond to each triggered ability, after the damage was already prevented. If any of the triggered abilities were countered, you'd likely have to retro-actively apply the damage to their original target. I'm not confident about that last bit, because it'd be such a screwball ability to get this far.

It doesn't work the above way, due to how the ability is written. Mogg Maniac receives all of the damage simultaneously and likely dies, but still deals all of the damage it got dealt to an opponent. That's what Soul of New Phyrexia is for. If it doesn't work out, oh well.

NOTE:
Oracle Ruling for Boros Reckoner wrote:
1/24/2013: Boros Reckoner's first ability will trigger even if it is dealt lethal damage. For example, if it blocks a 7/7 creature, its ability will trigger and Boros Reckoner will deal 7 damage to the target creature or player.

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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-31 4:11 am 
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Put more simply, the ability acts like a replacement effect rather than an ability which creates a triggered ability for each 1 damage to be redirected.
Comprehensive Rules wrote:
614.1a. Effects that use the word "instead" are replacement effects. Most replacement effects use the word "instead" to indicate what events will be replaced with other events.

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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-31 4:29 am 
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Segrus wrote:
Protection is interesting, but I wouldn't be able to do anything about White damage in that case.
Why not? The redirection ability has to be used in advance by its very nature and that's the only time protection matters, because that's when you need to target. My understanding of the rules is that you can activate and resolve 50 redirection abilities, THEN give the creature in question protection which'll prevent the damage it would get. It should work, no?
Segrus wrote:
Manor Gargoyle is fine with the indestructible, but...mana cost. Mana cost with him, Kiki (even more so), and Stuffy Doll--all a potential problem at five mana. Also, Manor Gargoyle is terrible on the attack. Stuffy Doll can't do anything about attacking. At least Kiki makes a token to attack, so he's most likely of these three to make it here.
It's true, Stuffy Doll cannot attack in any effective way, but the key point about it is that it doesn't need to. The whole point of the Doll is that it's doing damage just by being there. Coming from someone who's been running it for a long time. It's also great rattlesnake, since it makes nonevasion creatures useless against you. And that rattlesnake effect grows for every redirection creature you have. Hey! I have an idea for you: how about playing Valor Made Real and Blaze of Glory? With cards like the Doll, Spitemare or the Obliterator, it could make for some really nasty surprises. Plus both are Sunforger-able. Can you imagine what would a Phyrexian Obliterator do, if it blocked the whole alpha strike?! And don't get me even started on copying the Doll with Kiki-Jiki... I did that a few times in Nin and it's just hilarious.
Segrus wrote:
It definitely could, but I'm worried about it being win-more. I also need to know if the concept even works consistently enough. There's not a whole lot of redirection (for good reason, they cause so many headaches with the rules) creatures, so losing even one is a big deal. Card draw should hopefully help this, which is the first thing I plan on changing.
I know Furnace effects are dangerous, but one I'd definitely recommend is Gratuitous Violence. That one only doubles the damage caused by your creatures, which means redirection is unaffected and, again, is nuts with Stuffy Doll ;)

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In my 20's I was a Johnny.
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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-31 5:48 am 
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Antis wrote:
Segrus wrote:
Protection is interesting, but I wouldn't be able to do anything about White damage in that case.
Why not? The redirection ability has to be used in advance by its very nature and that's the only time protection matters, because that's when you need to target. My understanding of the rules is that you can activate and resolve 50 redirection abilities, THEN give the creature in question protection which'll prevent the damage it would get. It should work, no?

It works just as you say.

I'm also wondering if there's any reason to put in protection when I can put in more indestructible. Indestructible would be more useful, as then I can pile on all the damage to my "Damage Targets" on top of saving my "Damage Blackholes."

I know I'm missing a few of those, but I believe I only own one Darksteel Plate at most.

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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-31 7:33 pm 
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Segrus wrote:
I'm also wondering if there's any reason to put in protection when I can put in more indestructible. Indestructible would be more useful, as then I can pile on all the damage to my "Damage Targets" on top of saving my "Damage Blackholes."

I know I'm missing a few of those, but I believe I only own one Darksteel Plate at most.
I can think of a couple of them:

-indestructible doesn't make Zurgo unblockable
-indestructible doesn't save you from Swords and Condemn and stuff
-there is no one-CMC creature that gives away indestructible just for tapping it, which leads to:
-protection is generally cheaper to get (Brave the Elements, Mother of Runes)

Even if you're not convinced about protection in general, I'd still advocate the inclusion of the Mother by her own merits. In your deck, she's so cheap and synergistic she's a natural fit.

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In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
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 Post subject: Re: Zurgo's Kor
AgePosted: 2015-Feb-01 12:40 am 
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Antis wrote:
Segrus wrote:
I'm also wondering if there's any reason to put in protection when I can put in more indestructible. Indestructible would be more useful, as then I can pile on all the damage to my "Damage Targets" on top of saving my "Damage Blackholes."

I know I'm missing a few of those, but I believe I only own one Darksteel Plate at most.
I can think of a couple of them:

-indestructible doesn't make Zurgo unblockable
-indestructible doesn't save you from Swords and Condemn and stuff
-there is no one-CMC creature that gives away indestructible just for tapping it, which leads to:
-protection is generally cheaper to get (Brave the Elements, Mother of Runes)

Even if you're not convinced about protection in general, I'd still advocate the inclusion of the Mother by her own merits. In your deck, she's so cheap and synergistic she's a natural fit.

It's interesting that you're pushing so hard on this. I didn't say Protection wasn't useful, I just said I felt Indestructible would be more useful. I can't cover every weakness of the deck; it's mad to even begin to try. Mother of Runes doesn't entirely protect me from Swords and stuff, as she can't protect both herself and something else. They don't even have to waste removal to do it, as my opponents will know exactly when I'll use her and what I'll target (unless I'm using her as a redundancy to a pre-existing Indestructible or Protection effect). Unless, of course, I'm planning on playing chicken with all of my opponents every round of combats on whether I'll be preventing all of the excess damage or I'll be making Zurgo 'unblockable' (even though with the majority of decks being multicolor, I'm unlikely to always be able to run through all of my opponent's creatures). Which, in all of the ways you slice it, I'm likely to lose something.

Mother of Runes is a good card, and Protection in general is good, but I don't believe it's the perfect fit you're letting on. Does Indestructible have it's problems? Yes. Definitely. I'm willing to put up with that for now and see how they play out.

Mother of Runes is a good card, but she's also expensive money-wise and I only own one. That one copy isn't moving from where it's at, but not from being stubborn: it's in my Cube, and now that I have the Cube together I'm not ever planning on taking it apart if I can absolutely help it.

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