Thursday, 1 June 2017

Power Artifact

Today’s deck stems from one of the earliest available combos in history, harkening back to the Antiquities expansion and the awesome cards that it brought to the game. I know I know, yes another old deck with some Ancient improvements. So can ya guess which format I’ve been playing these days? The funny thing is, the combo itself is pretty good as far as 3-card combos go; in fact, it’s also gotten to be pretty expensive, as the price of its key cards have quadrupled thanks to its relative prominence in 93/94 Magic. Now I know what you might be thinking: dude, the two formats are quite different. My question is: So? In our case, that’s beneficial because we have better cards to enable/protect the combo. Alright, enough with the introduction, let’s start chiseling away at today’s deck: Power Monolith.

I’d say a good place to start today’s article is with the name of the deck: Power Monolith – which we shall now refer to as P. Mon. While we don’t play with the original Basalt Monolith that made P. Mon possible back in the day, the awesome coincidence-ness of the game means we get to keep the name and use a better card in Grim Monolith. Same effect(ish) with a better CMC? Yes please. While Grim does cost 4 to untap, it’s not really relevant because of Power Artifact – it just means we can play it for less mana and thus win the game on a tighter clock.

Speaking of mana, next let’s talk about Mox Diamond. Because we don’t have the use of the original Moxen in Ancient, that means Mox Diamond has to do twice the work. Not only does it help ramp our mana, but it also helps fix it (along with our Bird pals). In a three colour deck where we want two U mana open for Power Artifact and Counterspell, the Diamond/bird duo can certainly be relevant.

Why two colours? One of the things the Old School versions are doing is including G for Regrowth and Stream of Life. I am a bit divided on this as Regrowth is an awesome card but we can use other graveyard recursion without going into another colour. I think the addition of Regrowth on its own doesn’t warrant it in Ancient, however the 4x Naturalize available to us in the sideboard does. Enchantments are one of the best ways to destroy our combo and if we don’t get them with a counter spell then it would be Game Over without a way to destroy their defenses.

The win! When deciding on how to win with the deck, I had started with Kaervek’s Torch – a somewhat obscure Sorcery from the Mirage expansion. Why Torch? The original deck uses Fireball, which provides some defensive versatility as it has the added benefit of being able to take out a bunch of aggro creatures should you need to. I decided to go with Torch because this is not a control deck  and if we are going to use one of our X CMC cards then I want to do it to win the game. To cut to the chase - Torch helps protect itself from counter magic, which is awesome.

What do you Recall here? The last decision I want to talk about is the addition of Recall in the deck alongside the Regrowth . While it’s true that Regrowth is generally the better card, (it’s a Demonic Tutor for the graveyard), there are scenarios where you might prefer the one with the card disadvantage. Recall can often be the superior card in P. Mon because it can get you any number of your combo pieces to win the game. If you had a Power Artifact on a Grim Monolith and the latter gets destroyed, then you might want to get both of them back if there are none in your hand.

I know I focused on the mana base a number of paragraphs today, and I think it’s important to end on it as well. In a deck that can create infinite mana, the lands that you play are incredibly important. In that sense, I do want to point out that playing one colour could open the door to Sol lands, which provide their own pros and cons to the deck. This is simply something you may want to consider, as the final decision on how to play is yours to decide. Happy Brewing!

Power Monolith


4 Island
2 Mountain
2 Forest
4 Tropical Island
4 Volcanic Island
8 Fetch lands

Total: 24


4 Birds of Paradise

Total: 4


4 Mox Diamond
4 Power Artifact
4 Grim Monolith
4 Brainstorm
1 Sleight of Hand
4 Force of Will
2 Kaervek’s Torch
1 Stream of Life
1 Regrowth
1 Braingeyser
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Recall
4 Counterspell

Total: 32


4 Naturalize
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroblast
2 Pyroclasm
4 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Ground Seal
2 Peek

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