Lord of the Mana Dorks

Been a long while since I wrote anything about what sort of decks I’m playing. After Eternal Weekend, I vowed to retire my Candelabras for a while. I’ve basically some variation of CandleFlare or Big Brown since starting in Old School, so it was time for something different. I started looking over cards that I really enjoy the look of and that don’t see much play. I immediately homed in on Dark Heart of the Wood and Elves of Deep Shadow, so a Green Black deck it was!

Via mkelle30 on discord

From that starting point, I didn’t have a lot of direction, so I looked around for inspiration. From Discord, I learned of a deck called Machine Head, which seems to be GB Djinns, Dorks, and buffs, which was somewhat appealing but not totally. Then I saw this “all in” version, and it tickled my fancy much more. Sure there’s no Dark Heart in there, but let’s face it, that card isn’t very good anyhow. I also don’t own a Juzam, let alone a set, so they were out. I appreciate the lack of Strip Mines in this as well, since I try to limit myself to a maximum of two per deck.

via discord as well

Seeing this deck got me thinking about another local deck that runs Lord of the Pit, a deck called Blasphemer, created and piloted by Tom here in Toronto. His is a WB deck that runs Preachers and uses Resurrection for getting Lord in play, but can also hard cast it if necessary. So, I started brewing with him. As we discussed Sylvan Library, I remembered my experiences with it when I don’t have a shuffle effect, where I found it kind of annoying. This did lead me over to another wonderfully underplayed card though, that lovely tiger bird itself, Natural Selection. I know it’s not amazing, but it is a one mana instant that gets me a shuffle, making a pair of them seem sensible, plus it’s an Unlimited card I didn’t own, so it was a double reason for picking one up.

so spicy!

A bunch of mana dorks, some Lords, Sylvan Library, and tiger bird are all in, but what else? Feeding the Lords is always tricky, so I first thought about running Breeding Pit, the card that was basically made for feeding our Lord and Savior, but four mana plus an upkeep seemed a bit steep to me. Night Soil looks like just the thing though; two cmc, can compost critters from any graveyard, happens at instant speed… Seems like fun tech to me. Now I felt like I had a solid shell but not enough threats. As mentioned earlier, djinns are common in these builds, so I tossed in a pair of Erhnies and then a pair of Sengirs because they fly and are badass, but what else could work? Well, Fallen Angel is just awesome art and can act like an Atog, so that was a no brainer. At the behest of local players, Hippies, Hymns, Paralyze, and a pair of Crumbles would round out the spells for this build.

current/final build
2 strips, no LoA, so almost gentlemanly

I played with it like this for a few weeks and it worked pretty well. I sometimes included Rituals to speed it up, but I generally found that I had enough dorks that Rituals were really overkill, and running only a pair of hippies meant that it was unlikely to result in landing them on turn one, so Rituals came out. I debated Stormseekers as some direct damage and solid spice points (imho), but couldn’t really find the slots for them. Tom came to the rescue again and suggestions dropping a Crumble in favor of Desert Twister, since six mana is remarkably consistent for this deck, and it’s a wonderful answer to anything. That leads me to where the deck is currently. I’m sure there’s still some changes to come, for instance I’m now testing out two Berserks and it’s quite fun.

Overall, I feel like Black Green is a color combination that isn’t seen too often in the OS world, as green is largely regarded as either a support color (library + regrowth) or is run as more of a mono color build. Black is similar as a support color, players often splash for Tutor and/or Twist, sometimes a Derelor or two, but there are also a lot of staples that make their way into other lists, Hymns, Hippies, Juzams, to name a few, so tends to see more play across the spectrum. This has been a rewarding color slice to brew in,and I’ll certainly keep this together for quite some time.

I do miss my Brown deck though. Candelebra is life.