Deck of the Day: The Tony Stark Deck

I’ve been playing competitive Magic for more than a decade now (well, some would argue how competitive). I make decks to win. This wasn’t always the case. Years ago I had a “shuffly deck” that tried to abuse Elemental Augury and a fairly bad artifact deck (a version of which I recently reconstructed). But I generally don’t build decks with loopy combos or suboptimal creatures anymore. My decks are full of nonbasic lands, rares and mythics.

This became a problem when my oldest daughter started really showing an interest in Magic. The decks she was able to build and felt comfortable playing didn’t stand a chance against my tuned decks. I decided to put together a few decks to play against her. One was the artifact deck, which can still be really good if I get the Urzatron online early enough. Another is an all foil five color deck which is mostly commons with a few uncommons. In both decks I avoided tournament staples and tried to play cards which either nobody ever plays or which haven’t seen play in years. But even those proved to be too good to play against a true beginner so I decided to build a deck out of a box of random commons I had lying around. Literally, I built a deck out of a box of scraps, thus my wife named it the Tony Stark Deck.

Iron_Man_Marvel_Playing_CardsThe Tony Stark Deck:

2 Blind Creeper
2 Cackling Fiend
1 Dauthi Jackal
4 Dregscape Zombie
4 Dross Golem
1 Frightcrawler
1 Halberdier
1 Lavacore Elemental
3 Pestilent Kathari
1 Shepherd of Rot
2 Skinthinner
1 Skirk Volcanist
1 Skittering Horror
1 Skulking Fugitive
2 Viscera Dragger

Other Spells
1 Befoul
1 Lunge
1 Mind Rot
1 No-Dachi
1 Raven’s Crime
1 Stir the Grave
1 Swallowing Plague
1 Wave of Indifference
1 Wrecking Ball

9 Mountain
1 Smoldering Crater
14 Swamp

It’s a straightforward little Rakdos deck but has also proven to be a tough out, at least against beginner decks. It won the first few games it played. And the deck illustrates some of the greatest aspects of Magic:

  • Your deck doesn’t have to be packed with rares and mythics to be competitive. This was not true of lots of other card games. For example, the first Star Trek CCG had cards which required certain other character cards to be used, and of course those cards were rare. This would be like a powerful Magic card which required having Tarmogoyf in play.
  • There are cool little combos everywhere you turn. Sure this deck may not have a Channel/Fireball waiting here but there is some synergy. For example, Dauthi Jackal, Dross Golem and even Pestilent Kathari have some evasion and can help you keep your Lavacore Elemental in play. The Unearth ability of the zombies doesn’t make Skittering Horror die.
  • Even seemingly bad cards can be powerful in some situations. Against casual decks, Pestilent Kathari becomes a big threat. A flying deathtouch creature with first strike basically kills anything you’re likely to see. I’ve played the deck against some “better” decks (still not tournament quality, mind you) and the little bird warrior can inflict a lot of pain on removal light decks.

PestilentKathariNo I’m not suggesting that you pack this deck to your next Modern FNM (and yeah, good luck playing this against a real Modern deck) but for those of us who are fully immersed in tournament level Magic it’s fun to go back in time to when you were playing the game with your family and friends, without rulebooks and without Gatherer, and just having a good time with a fabulous game full of possibilities.

Images copyright Wizards of the Coast and Disney

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Roy Z

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