So I realize I haven’t written about Magic in a long time. Well, not for others to see, at least. Ought to be more than a year. So what happened? I got picked up by Red Site Wins. While it sounded promising, the site unfortunately bled out. Without a motivation to write every week, I quickly lost interest. Plus, tagging cards was annoying as hell.
So, I’m not going to do that anymore. Need to know what a card does? Magiccards.info it! This article does not mean I am back. It just means that whenever I have something to write about, I might post it here. No schedule, no obligations – just writing whenever I damn well please. Blogging is great!
In all seriousness, let’s get to the topic at hand: MishraZoa.
When Mishra, Artificer Prodigy was released in Time Spiral, I immediately liked him. Besides having a knack for legendary build-around creatures, I love me some card advantage. Finally, I love the storyline (currently reading Rath and Storm, then it’s on to the Ice Age-cycle) and Urza and Mishra were always two of my favorite characters. I’ve even written about them in high school, even though I knew nothing about them except for what the cards told me. (I just finished The Brothers War, so now I do know who they are a bit better.)
Anyway, Mishra. My first deck with him used a lot of accelerants to power out Triskelavi (?) and Myr Matrices (?). Stupid plurals. It was slow and it was horrible. I even played Clockwork Hydra.
Flash forward to Shards of Alara-block. There came out all sorts of cool artifacts. The deck had lain dormant for a while, so I also missed cards that came out in the meantime, like Elsewhere Flask. I made the deck a lot more aggressive with Esperzoa’s, fed those with Flasks and cheap artifacts courtesy of Trinket Mage. Good ol’ Trinket Mage. The deck was fun to play for a while, allowing for massive carddraw (imagine having a Mishra out while casting Esperzoa, then bouncing and Elsewhere Flasks) which dug for my Shrapnel Blasts. One time I fifteened someone with three Blasts while getting the required red mana via a Flask. Good times. Etherium Sculptor was there to help cheapen artifacts, but with Mishra and Sensei’s Divining Top, I could just draw all my cards.
The deck fell out of favor after a while and when I was looking for Tops to trade away, I encountered it recently again. I fondly remember the deck, trying to foil it out (I still have a foil Top) and grinding out wins with it. I decided to give it another whirl.
Just like the last mayor revisit, some cool cards came out in the meantime. I mean, there was an actual artifact block! Having always wanted to build something cool with Myr, old and new alike, I decided to mix Mishra together with those little beak-like critters. *cackles*
I knew going infinite was a possibility with Palladium Myrs (or other mana Myr, really), Mishra and Myr Galvanizer, and that was something I actively tried to avoid. Not being fun to play against at the proverbial kitchen often quickly translates to not being fun to play with. Infinity: the burden of shame.
I tried various artifacts that looked like fun: Sphinx Summoner, Myr Battlesphere, Myr Turbine, Myr Matrix and Myr Reservoir, to name a few. I also felt like not having played with Tezzeret the Seeker in a while, so in he went, too.
Realizing I would not be able to play a lot of the old standby’s, I just loaded every idea into Decked Builder and started over from scratch. Now would be the best time to show you the list so without further ado, here it is:
4 Iron Myr
4 Myr Superion
4 Silver Myr
4 Grand Architect
4 Master of Etherium
4 Mishra, Artificer Prodigy
3 Myr Battlesphere
4 Shrapnel Blast
3 Myr Matrix
2 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Academy Ruins
4 Crumbling Necropolis
2 Great Furnace
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Vault of Whispers
Let’s break it all down, shall we?
We have a lot of mana-production. 8 Mana Myr, backed up by 4 Grand Architect. This allows for some explosive openings. It does make the deck vulnerable to removal sometimes, and weak to all-mana draws, so pay extra attention to mulliganning accordingly.
With all this mana, a turn-three Mishra is not out of the question. Mishra helps make good draws insane, but good draws without him are rarely in need of him. He just dials up the broken-o-meter by a notch or two.
The piece that really put everything together was Grand Architect. I initially added him to help with the general casting of spells. Then I really thought of all the implications, and he quickly went from two ‘let’s try this guy out’ copies to four ‘I wish I could play six of him’ cards. For one, he boosts Mishra to a 5/5. Second, he can tap himself for mana the turn you cast him. And third, he can cast Myr Superion all by himself. This quickly helped Superion over the top and to four copies. Turn three Architect, turn four Mishra and two Superions (I’m talking about casting one and searching for the other; if you’re lucky enough, you can even cast two because yes, Mishra also taps for two with Architect).
Myr Matrix and Battlesphere are really just icing on the cake. The power of this deck lies in the cheap guys backed up by Lords (Architect boosts blue guys, Master of Etherium artifact guys). Sure, you have your wins on the back of a turn-four Battlesphere, but it’s the basis that start jumps off of that enables all the wicked stuff.
Finally, I have two copies of Tezzeret to round things out. Untapping artifacts serves as pseudo-vigilance or adds mana (imagine making a mana-Myr blue and untapping it with Tezz). Also, for -2 you can casually search up a Superion and have a huge roadblock.
In conclusion, this deck is a boatload of fun, albeit slightly more vulnerable to bad draws than most decks. You have insane draws and you have the ones that do next to nothing. I’m hoping that with time, I learn to play this deck better and make better use of the worse hands. I think that’s the case, not that the deck lacks firepower.
See you next time, whenever that may be.