Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Dark Tide

Don’t you love it when you discover a card that immediately gets you thinking of ways to abuse it? That’s exactly what happened with today’s deck, once I stumbled upon a card called Bubbling Muck. Honestly, I had never heard of the card before – a rather embarrassing admission once I discovered how prevalent it had been during Urza’s block. Indeed, this is often the case, as those cards are ‘new’ to me (I stopped playing around Weatherlight..), so try not to judge. But enough about my MtG history, let’s talk about today`s deck: Dark Tide.

How it works. So the deck itself plays quite similar to your normall High Tide-type deck. The main difference here being that the addition of Black offers you more flexibility, both in play-styles and win conditions. Another benefit is that a Storm-based combo deck tends to require a lot less luck when it comes to winning. Why? Because you normally only need to cast <10 spells, as opposed to generating insane mana on top of playing an extremely high number of spells to reduce your opponent’s life total to zero.

Colour balance. This is the part that can be tricky. For example: Force of Will or Duress? While I can understand the argument for including FoW, I decided to go with the latter for a number of reasons. Not only does it build your storm count, but it also lets you know if it`s clear to go for the combo and doesn`t cost you card advantage. In short, it always has a use; whereas FoW does not and can just be stuck in your hand – not an ideal plan for a Storm deck. The one downside to this decision is that Time Spiral re-news your opponent’s hand too, and a well-timed Orim’s Chant or Abeyance in response to your Duress can really ruin your play. The bright side to this is that if does happen, then at least you got a new grip of cards in your hand to try to win with next time.

No Dark Ritual? No problem! Yes yes, I know - it seems almost blasphemous to be playing a Black combo deck without incorporating Dark Ritual. The thing is, with the 4x Muck and 4x Tide, they just aren’t necessary. With those 8 cards, the deck does not need any more mana ramp; what it needs is to be drawing extra cards. In order to do so, the deck contains 17 spells that get cards in your hand. Not only do these replenish your grip while cycling through your deck, but they also add to your storm count and [thus] win you the game.

I know I just wrote that Bubbling Muck and High Tide make other mana pumping spells unnecessary, but that was only sort of true. The 4x Lotus Petal are not there for ramp, but they are there to get you that first B mana without having to tap a land to do so. Also, if you`re playing against a Wasteland deck, you might just want to go the Mono U route; in these instances, the Petals can also be used to cast Tendrils if you`re short on Braingeyser-ing your way to victory. The fact they are re-usable with Time Spiral just happens to be an added bonus, albeit one that is rarely necessary.

Speaking of which.. in the end, I decided to go with Braingeyser instead of Stroke of Genius because the Instant speed of the latter isn`t really necessary and it costs an additional mana to cast. Admittedly, the latter point probably isn’t relevant and the cost of U vs UU can be. These are just some things to consider when you’re trying out the deck and tweaking it to your style. Another omission was the inclusion of other cantrips and/or Impulse. The deck list is already pretty tight due to the addition of Black, but it’s another thing you might want to consider. Happy Brewing!

Dark Tide


4 Underground Sea
4 Island
1 Swamp
4 Polluted Delta
4 Fetch lands

Total: 17


4 Cloud of Faeries

Total: 4


4 Bubbling Muck
4 High Tide
4 Brainstorm
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Meditate
4 Time Spiral
4 Lotus Petal
4 Duress
1 Snap
3 Turnabout
2 Tendrils of Agony
1 Braingeyser

Total: 39


4 Tormod’s Crypt
4 Chain of Vapor
3 Engineered Plague
1 Infernal Contract
3 Cabal Therapy

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