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Magical Darwinism, Part 3

June 8, 2012

Hi guys and gals and those who are undecided!  Welcome back to my little slice of perfection in an article tribute.  Just a quick re-intro to who I am, what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.  I’m Rodney, I’m taking a pre-constructed deck and trying to evolve it over time into something that’s not completely embarrassing to play, is enjoyable to play, and is budget friendly.  I started writing this article and have continued into episode 3 because, very simply, this is the best way I know to pay tribute to the original Jay Moldenhauer-Salazzar and his brilliant concept for a column.  By blatantly ripping it off!!!  When we left off, I had made a few changes to the original decklist…so without further ado…my decklist ver 1.2

My Current Decklist



11 Swamp


2 Ambush Viper

1 Brain Weevil

1 Devouring Swarm

2 Disciple of Griselbrand

2 Festerhide Boar

2 Hollowhenge Scavengers

2 Morkrut Banshee

2 Reassembling Skeleton

2 Bloodgift Demon

1 Somberwalk Spider

1 Typhoid Rats

1 Jade Mage


2 Bonehoard

1 Demonmail Hauberk


2 Dead Weight


3 Altar’s Reap

3 Doom Blade

1 Naturalize


2 Caravan Vigil

2 Rampant Growth

1 Life’s Finale

Game 11  Blue/Green Pod with Skaab Ruinators

Who’s your Mommy?

Really fun game here.  The ending comes from four Skaab Ruinators/Cackling Counterpart tokens coming to my face.  The biggest downer there at the end was the Lifes Finale just chilling in my hand since the beginning of the game because I misclicked on a forest with a Caravan Vigil rather than the second swamp I needed to wrath the board.  Them’s the breaks.  I did like how my deck played out, though.  Jade Mage made her triumphant debut on turn two, and I was AMAZED at how wonderfully she played out.  Turn 3 saw a never-ending stream of EOT Saproling tokens, brought to you by the number 2 and the letter G.  I was unfortunate to not get the other swamp I needed, although my opponent helped that out with an Acidic Slime on the one swamp I had out early.  Fun, fun game, awesome ending, and my deck played well.  Can’t say enough about what kind of a turbocharge the Jade Mage made on the deck. Here’s hoping I draw more!


Game 12 Red Green Black..something?

It hurts more to lose to bad design.

Not much of a game, and I didn’t make much in the ways of awesome plays.  I kept a very slow hand, and that wasn’t the right move.  The end comes with an array of 1/1 and 2/2 value (they give some type of resource besides just being a creature) creatures.  Perilous Myr, Llanowar Elves, Phyrexian Rager (x2).  The beatdown proved too much for my keep.  I’m sure that his deck never got out the starting blocks, and I didn’t get to see what it really did, but I was dead just the same.  I’ve got to get better at keeping hands and throwing them away when they’re bad.




Game 13:  Mono White Token Control

Right Card, Wrong Player

Another good game, even though I lost.  I do have a weakness to flyers, and his flying spirits made the point.  I drew both of my answers to flying hordes, in a Somberwild Spider AND a Life’s Finale.  When my Bonehoard also showed up, I thought that I had a real chance to win this game.  Then his Oblivion Ring showed up, and I was a sad duckie.  A good game, and one I enjoyed.  However, this whole flyer thing is starting to be a theme for me tonight.






A pause to reflect on how I’ve lost the past three games.  Flyers, dumb author, flyers.  I knew coming in that I was weak to flyers, and that I was weak to swarms.  How to address those shortcomings is my next order of business.

Game 14:  Red Black Vampires

He’s not so tought. Okay, he is.

I won!  I won!  The changes that I’ve made to the deck so far are starting to pay off beautifully.  There were a couple of key points for the deck.  Point 1:  He had an active Bloodline Keeper, transformed with plenty of friends.  I had enough life to take the swing, but he doesn’t swing.  I think that he wanted to swing all the way from 20 to 0 on me.  But there was a grand Finale waiting for his vampires.  An UnLife Finale, if you will.  Finale into Bloodgift Demon goes well.  Until, of course, my Red Black opponent throws enough burn to conduct a cookout at and of the Keeper.  No worries, though, as Point 2 was me bringing back a Skeletor that had hit the bricks, only to give him a Dead Weight to hold (triggering Morbid) and then bringing in my 4/6 Somberwald Spider.  A few swings later, and that was that.


Game 15:  Batterskull and Curse of Deaths Hold

Son of a…














Yep, that’s all it took to defeat me.  He fiddled with a Batterskull repeatedly until cursing both the Skeletor in His Younger Years that I had into nothingness.  Since the rest of my hand through the game was ramp ramp ramp…it didn’t take long.  Batterskull is rough.

So, artifacts are still an issue, and swarms of creatures (especially flying creatures) are hard to handle.  On the plus side, I didn’t play any of the top tier decks during this set, so I was able to see what the deck is capable of doing.


2 Disciples of Grisenbrad:  Doesn’t do enough for me.  Doesn’t affect the board, gives me the option for sacrifice tricks, but at some point the tricks have to give way to better answers.

1 Brain Weevil:  Never drew him.  No pouty weevils on my team, buddy!

1 Devouring Swarm:  Alas, mana curve…we hardly knew ye.

1Forest:  With the Rampant Growth and the Caravan Vigil, I can go get some lands.  I’ve noticed a slight tendency towards mana flooding, and want to see if getting rid of the forest is better than getting rid of the ramp.


1 Lifes Finale:  Awesome every time I drew it.  I want another!

1 Naturalize:  I have to have a better set of answers to artifacts/enchantments.  I’m in green, there’s no reason that I can’t answer those if I want to.

Who you gonna call?

2: Acidic Slime:  SLIMER!  Okay, so he doesn’t fly, but that’s really the only bad thing about this guy.  Slimer gives me a versatile answer to artifacts, enchantments, or LANDS.  If it hasn’t come through in what I wrote before, artifacts are starting to be irksome.  It does cost 5, but kill that PLUS the rattlesnake effect of a deathtoucher seems to be okay for my deck.  Also, it lets me say Nice.  Batterskull.  SLIMED!

1 Spider Swarming: Remember those problems I was having with swarms?  Well, I want my own swarm!  And the flashback is directly in my colors, so who doesn’t like that?  Nobody, that’s who!

Swarm Busters!



My updated decklist

Lands: 23 Swamps and Forests.


1 Typhoid Rats

2 Ambush Viper

1 Jade Mage

2 Reassembling Skeletor

2 Festerhide Boar

2 Acidic Slime

2 Bloodgift Demon

2 Hollowhenge Scavenger

2 Morkrut Banshee

1 Somberwald Spider

Non Creatures:

2 Lifes Finale

1 Spider Spawning

1 Demonmail Hauberk

2 Bonehoard

2 Naturalize

3 Doom Blade

3 Altar’s Reap

2 Rampant Growth

2 Dead Weight

2 Caravan Vigil

I think that’s enough for this time around.  I’ve got one more point that I’d like to make, and then we’ll wrap this up.  I touched on this in the forums for the last article, and I think that I’d like to get it out there to everyone (every two?  Every seven?) that is reading my article.  One of the things that I really liked about the JMS articles originally was that there was a lively back and forth in the forums for the article.  JMS and his forum people would carry on the conversation throughout the week and it would give feedback for JMS.  Obviously, I won’t get 12387 pages worth of forum conversation going on with these articles (I’m just not that good of a writer) but I would love to see conversations taking place in the forums about the decklist.  Possible inclusions, possible directions that you would take the deck, alternate decklists, what you would do with the deck or some idea within the deck.

Follow me @RodneyHines, or e-mail me at, or (best) talk to me on the forums!  I’m “Tellah,” in honor of the greatest mage to ever wear purple robes.

See you next time, you spoony bards!






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