This post is a continuation of Mono White Silver.
The first version of every deck I make is mostly theory-based and therefore not initially equipped to do serious battling with. Not everyone can make decklists like PVDDR can, right? So a few days ago I launched the first version of my new white/silver (meaning artifacts) Prototype Portal-deck. I played a bit with it (just goldfish, unfortunately) and now I’m here to share the changes I’ve made. Now the deck should be ready to enter the final phase of testing: playing real-life opponents to interact with.
If you are interested in the previous version, check the link atop this article. The only list you’re gonna read here is the v2.0, supplemented by the changes from the first version up to this one. So here’s all you need – the decklist.
This is the new list. In total, the deck changed a total of nineteen slots, adding five different new cards. Let’s see what changed!
First of all, it was apparent that Leonin Abunas had more synergy with the deck than Indomitable Archangel. That was an easy four-for-four swap.
– 4 Indomitable Archangel
+ 4 Leonin Abunas
I got some great advice on my deck thread on MTGSalvation from a user named Stirge that really took the deck to the next level. To do that, however, I had to make some cuts. At first I thought of removing the Wurmcoil Engines, but I shied away from that after adding what now feels like the most crucial card in the deck.
The first swap I made was Sensei’s Divining Top in favor of Crystal Ball. I dismissed Tops because they are redundant – or so I thought. What I didn’t realise was that with Top under a Portal, I could draw an extra card for one mana each turn, with the option of paying one mana to rearrange the top three before drawing. It had eluded me that a Top-token vanishes outside the battlefield. So:
– 3 Crystal Ball
+ 4 Sensei’s Divining Top
From testing the first version of the deck I knew I needed more acceleration. At first I added some Palladium Myrs, but they are basically a more vulnerable Worn Powerstone in this deck; you can’t use either the first turn, but the Myr dies to a lot. Besides, you technically use Worn Powerstone on the first turn if you have one more mana to untap it with Voltaic Key.
+ 3 Worn Powerstone
The biggest cards I missed somehow are up next. First off is a card I had noticed by the end of the first article, namely Epochrasite. I used this little critter to great success in my Mishra-deck, but here he can shine even more. Epochrasite Prototypes are 4/4’s for two mana, which is pretty cheap.
+ 4 Epochrasite
The second Big Discovery was Sculpting Steel, this one entirely suggested by Stirge. Not only is Sculpting Steel great at getting discount on Prototype Portal and Wurmcoil Engine, it is also a very flexible card to imprint on a Portal. You just pay three mana for whatever you have on the battlefield. I felt stupid for not seeing this card in my initial selection process.
+ 4 Sculpting Steel
And now the casualties. Scourglass left the deck as announced, seeing as it created a tension with the Archangel/Abunas-slot. The card that protected the essential pieces of the deck was vulnerable to a card with a high ‘imprint me’-factor.
– 3 Scourglass
I decided to cut the whole mana-denial slew of cards, since now I had seven artifacts to make more mana, plus the option to imprint mana on a Portal. That meant ditching all the Lodestone Golems and the Scepters of Dominance. The last card to go was the fourth Tumble Magnet to cut the deck down to a neat sixty cards.
– 4 Lodestone Golem
– 4 Scepter of Dominance
– 1 Tumble Magnet
Going back and forth
Those Tumble Magnets changed a lot. I’ve had versions of the deck with two, three, four, and even zero copies. I searched for something to defend against aggressive fliers, possibly with Portal-synergy, and came up with the mediocre Junk Diver and the better-but-expensive Sanctum Gargoyle. In the end, I remembered Tumble Magnet, and how I can just tap down fliers. No need to get into a rumble in the air. Plus, Tumble Magnet is brutal.
Other cards that came up during the big makeover. I started with the possibility of a Proliferate-package, but decided (and found out) it was slow and demanded a lot of slots. I still kept Everflowing Chalice as an option, but ultimately Mind Stone successfully defended its four slots based on his imprintability and late-game carddraw. I found out that during a lot of the games I wanted to make mana with my Prototyped Sculpting Steel, and when you both have an artifact land and a Mind Stone, the choice isn’t much of a choice.
Arcbound Crusher was prominently present in the Proliferate-plan, but quickly dismissed after dismissing Proliferate. I thought about adding Crushers over Wurmcoils, but he’s just too vulnerable early on. Still, the idea of Proliferating Arcbound Crushers and Epochrasites is something that speaks to a Johnny like me.
Duplicant looked like another big and useful critter. I had two beside two Wurmcoils at one point in the finishers-department, but it didn’t feel right. The deck doesn’t need a lot of finishers, it needs synergy with Portal. In the end, the Duplicants turned into Tumble Magnets, because I needed the early-game defense.
I’m trying to trade for white-based fetchlands now, since those work better than Flagstones in combination with Sensei’s Divining Top.
The only thing left for me is playing some real Magic. Playtime has been reduced quite a bit in the past few months due to other obligations from my friends (plus some bad time management, but that’s inherent to being a student). Goldfishing in this stage doesn’t hurt as well, as you get to know what your deck needs and how you need to play it. Situations are gonna come up, some more than others, some more important than others. If you can tackle a few of those encounters during goldfishing, you win time when you get to play with your friends. This kind of time management is especially useful when Magic sessions are getting scarce.
On a closing note, I read a WordPress-blog today that encourages people to write one blog a day or a week. Writing about Magic is not something I can do every day, but I’m gonna try for an article each week.