Making a Splash: Chromantislivers

Skittle and Slither Your Way to Victory!

by Thos Fisher

Greetings, ThoughtScour readers. I am very pleased today to present my first guest column for this fine website, and you might be pleased to know that it involves a new Standard deck that can be built to maximize the effectiveness of some new cards you might have just picked up at your M15 prerelease.

Supreme Verdict decks have consistently occupied a large portion of the standard metagame since the powerful sorcery was printed in Return to Ravnica.

Supreme Verdict

Supreme Verdict

As a bane to both Pack Rat armies and more traditional aggro decks, every viable standard deck has to have a plan for dealing with an uncounterable board wipe. With that in mind, today’s deck is exciting because it can make your army indestructible as early as turn 3!

Let’s take a second look at Sliver Hivelord.

Sliver Hivelord

Sliver Hivelord

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M15 Set Review – Artifacts, Gold, and Lands

We’ve already reviewed whiteblueblack, red, and green - now we’ll wrap up with artifacts, multicolored cards, and lands.

Be sure to check back this afternoon and watch thoughtscour.com on social media so you don’t miss our prerelease recommendations this afternoon!

 

Artifacts

Avarice Amulet

Avarice Amulet

I actually don’t hate this, as paying ~six mana for a Honden of Seeing Winds plus a Bonesplitter is something I can imagine helping win games.

The card is glacially slow and seems a bit win-more. You want to put it on something like a durable flier, but if you have a durable flier, you’re already winning. There’s also serious potential downside if your opponent kills your dude, but I feel like you have more control over the Amulet than your opponent since you can choose when and where to equip it first.

Maybe this is something you want to side in when you think your opponent’s removal is stretched, or if the power boost seems relevant for punching through Walls.

Rating: 2.0

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M15 Set Review – Green

Green plays its traditional role to a T in M15: First there is ramp. Then there are fatties.

This strategy should be pretty potent, as white, blue, and red have very small creatures and few ways to combat an early Charging Rhino. Green does suffer from having a dearth of interaction (the only “removal spell,” Hunt the Weak, pretty weak itself), so you’ll want to pair up with another color that gives you some removal or tempo spells. Black-green seems like a natural midrange deck, while white-green convoke seems to have a powerful enough game plan to not need removal.

(If you haven’t seen them, check out the reviews for whiteblue, black, red, and artifacts/gold/lands!)

Now for some ratings…

 

Ancient Silverback

Ancient Silverback

This is a huge beefcake and quite impossible to kill in the absense of Flesh to Dust. I think you usually want to think of it as a seven-drop, and leave up G whenever you can, because your opponent will have a hard time winning the game if you keep this in play for three or four turns.

It’s definitely not a bomb since it’s so expensive and doesn’t win you the game if you’re already behind, but it’s a very formidable six-drop.

Rating: 3.0

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M15 Set Review – Red

Red is a purely aggressive color in M15. Aside from the Goblin looter and Wall of Fire, every common creature fits into an aggressive deck, and lots of the support spells help beatdown decks finish out games or keep opponents off balance. If you choose red at the prerelease, you are assuredly looking to turn dudes sideways.

(White, blueblackgreen, and artifacts/gold/lands are up too!)

Check out the ratings below.

 

Act on Impulse

Act on Impulse

This card is more like a six-drop. Since you have to cast the exiled cards this turn or lose them, you’ll need plenty of extra mana open to ensure you hit something valuable. This does let you hit your land drop, but you definitely need some extra value to make this playable. The ideal scenario is playing this in a deck with a very low curve so you can actually get all three cards and never get stuck revealing a six-drop.

I think the band of decks where Act on Impulse is good is actually fairly narrow.

Rating: 1.5

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M15 Set Review – Black

Black is really looking to grind it out in M15. It has several removal spells to slow the game down, a few durable fatties to help you stabilize, and about a hundred ways to grind out some card advantage. If you’re building a black pool, think hard about what every card’s role is in winning a grindier game.

The individual cards are fairly strong. There are a couple of standout spells like Flesh to Dust and very few unplayables.

(White, blueredgreen, and artifacts/gold/lands are up too!)

Check out the ratings below.

 

Accursed Spirit

Accursed Spirit

It’s funny how being in black turns Bladetusk Boar from a menacing game-closer into an awkward four-drop. A three-power evasive creature for four mana is definitely good, but black is a more controlling color, so it’s hard to use the pressure this creates to compound the damage done by your earlier plays.

This is definitely a good card though, and can be a pain for your opponent to deal with if they don’t put enough pressure on you.

Rating: 3.0

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M15 Set Review – Blue

Blue seems to have a double personality in M15. On the one hand are the traditional blue control spells like Divination and a two-mana 1/3 looter. On the other hand, blue has some tempo-oriented tools like Welkin Tern and the new Frost Lynx.

The color definitely has some power and depth, but if you choose it at the prerelease, there’s a chance your pool will be evenly split between controlling cards and tempo cards, leaving you with a confused deck.

(Whiteblackred, green, and artifacts/gold/lands are up too!)

Check out the ratings below.

 

Aeronaut Tinkerer

Aeronaut Tinkerer

Blind Phantasm with the ability to turn into Chapel Geist is a card that interests me. The former is a decent 2.0 while the latter is a more exciting 3.0. I’m willing to do a little work to get there. Unfortunately there aren’t many artifact options. The only common one I want to play is Will-Forged Golem. If you happen to have two or three artifacts you’re already willing to play, then Aeronaut Tinkerer becomes fairly enticing. If not, you might still be playing him for curve considerations. Otherwise, feel free to cut him.

Rating: 2.0-3.0

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M15 Set Review – Prerelease Recommendations

I don’t mean to over-hype every set I get my hands on (what can I say, Magic is fun!) but I really think M15 is one of my favorite sets of all time. I started playing mtg around 4th Edition, and I remember opening packs and having NO idea what was going on but being fascinated by the dizzying array of flavor – who was this Urza guy? What was a Tetravite? Even the Shakespearean flavor text on many of the cards added a tint of beauty to the game.

By revisiting multiple planes and mixing in a fair bit of mechanical diversity, I think the design team of M15 has recaptured that spirit. I truly hope M15 limited play with live up to its flavor game.

Oh that’s right – you came for limited analysis? I guess we can get around to that…

Garruk M15

(To skip to individual ratings, you can find white, blueblackredgreen, and artifacts/gold/lands with these links!) Read more