Recently, we reviewed the Magic 2015 Clash Pack, which was made up of two decks, “Fate” a blue/green tempo deck, and “Fury” a red/green aggro deck. Today, we’ll take a look at improving upon the “Fate” deck.
Before I begin, let me note that with any pre-constructed deck improvement article, I will not be including cards from the block that is about to rotate out in October. This means that there will be no cards from the Return to Ravnica block. This means that cards such as Master Biomancer, which would work quite well in this sort of deck, are out, as are shock lands such as Breeding Pool. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use them, but for purposes of this exercise, they will not be seen as potential options. Everything in this deck will be from Theros on, which is part of the challenge – to build a Standard-legal deck that will be good for the longest amount of time while still being competitive.
Here’s the list we begin with:
1 Prognostic Sphinx
1 Prophet of Kruphix
1 Hypnotic Siren
2 Leafcrown Dryad
3 Kiora’s Follower
2 Frost Lynx
2 Nimbus Naiad
2 Thassa’s Emissary
3 Horizon Chimera
1 Temple of Mystery
As constructed, “Fate” is not a bad blue/green tempo deck with plenty of evasion, at least for an introductory product. Prognostic Sphinx, Prophet of Kruphix, and Temple of Mystery are all Constructed playable cards. So what stays and what goes?
First let’s go over the creatures. The Sphinx and Prophet will certainly stay.
- Hypnotic Siren is interesting. But it’s a very situational card, and its ability to steal a creature is only going to be relevant in the late game. As it stands, one copy isn’t going to do much. It can probably go, as it’s the only one-drop creature in the deck.
- Leafcrown Dryad is a 2/2 with Reach that can be bestowed to give a creature 2/2 and reach. It’s not a bad card, and those can stay for now. Omenspeaker is a two-drop 1/3 that gives you Scry 2. This ability to set up your draws is pretty nifty. They can stay for now, as well.
- Vaporkin is a 2/1 flyer that can only block other flyers. The obvious choice to replace these would be Cloudfin Raptor, but as those are not in Theros block, for this exercise I will not include them. But there are better flyers than these available.
- The 3 Kiora’s Follower can stay as they will help this deck be able to “ramp” into its better creatures more quickly.
- Frost Lynx is really nice in Limited, but there are just stronger creatures that can go into this slot. Nimbus Naiad is a flyer with Bestow that I’m fond of, but we may find something stronger.
- Thassa’s Emissary is nice in that it can draw you cards and give the enchanted creature the ability to draw you cards whenever it deals combat damage. But I’m not totally convinced it’s so strong in Constructed.
- Horizon Chimera is a card that I’m quite a fan of. The three copies can stay.
The first thing I would do is replace the Hypnotic Siren and the 3 copies of Vaporkin with 4 copies of Flitterstep Eidolon.
Flitterstep Eidolon is a 1/1 un-blockable for 1U that can also be Bestowed onto another creature for 5U. That sounds like a lot, but in this deck, with the Prophet of Kruphix to untap all your lands and giving your creatures Flash, that is very possible to happen a lot earlier in the game than you’d think. Because Flitterstep Eidolon is a Creature as you cast it, the Prophet gives it Flash before it actually becomes an Aura through its Bestow ability (For rulings reference.) Making something un-blockable is a lot better than simply giving it flying, and you have big enough creatures in this deck that you would want to become un-blockable.
The two Frost Lynx and Thassa’s Emissary will go for a full playset of Boon Satyr.
Boon Satyr fits right into the theme of the deck, plus it already has Flash on its own. A 4/2 for 1GG is already pretty good. Because Boon Satyr is a green card, and we’re cutting blue cards, we’ll have to tweak the mana base a bit later, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, considering we’ll be adding 7 dual lands to the mix. The Satyr adds some nice combat tricks and is perfect to stick on a Flitterstep Eidolon.
The Nimbus Naiads are nice flyers, but they’re a bit vanilla, so we can cut them for 2 more Omenspeakers. Much as I like them, the Leafcrown Dryads will also go for a second Prophet of Kruphix and a second Prognostic Sphinx.
Prophet of Kruphix may be the best card in the deck. It’s only a 2/3 for 3GU, but it allows you to untap and creatuers and lands you control during each other player’s untap step. Not only that, it allows you to cast your creatures as though they had flash. As mentioned earlier, this includes your Bestow creatures. This is why we need a second copy, in case our first copy is destroyed.
Prognostic Sphinx isn’t bad, either. Being a 3/5 flyer that can give itself hexproof by discarding a card is not bad. Plus, whenever he declares an attack, you get to scry 3. Being able to see the next three cards, and put those you don’t want to the bottom is extremely helpful. Plus with a Boon Satyr and a Flitterstep Eidolon on him, he can do some serious damage (becoming a 8/8 creature that can’t be blocked!)
The three Horizon Chimeras will remain, as they have Flash, Flying, and Trample, which works very well alongside the other creatures we have added.
Already, the creature line-up is far better. So now onto the non-creature spells.
Negate is fine for dealing with non-creature spells, but Dissolve is a lot better for just one more blue mana. It counters any spell, plus it allows you to Scry for 1. Pin to the Earth is good in Limited, but we can find something stronger. It may be better to replace those two copies with two more copies of Voyage’s End, which un-summons a creature and lets you scry for 1. It helps you to save your own creatures from removal at instant speed, as well, and fits very well into the tempo theme that we’re going for.
Divination and Jace’s Ingenuity are nice card draw, but the latter costs five mana, and even at instant speed, that’s a lot for Constructed. Griptide is nice, but at 4 mana it’s an expensive un-summon. Aetherspouts is a much better card than Griptide, and it’s only one more mana to potentially deal with far more creatures. Curse of the Swine is nice removal, but it’s really only good in this build as a sideboard card.
One of the Griptide will go for another copy of Aetherspouts. The two Divination can go, being at sorcery speed, but we’ll keep the two Jace’s Ingenuity in, as being at Instant speed makes them work well with the Prophet of Kruphix. The Curse of the Swine will be replaced by another copy of Dissolve. We’ll also cut one of the Islands, as you really only need 24 land for this deck, adding in another Voyage’s End to keep up the tempo game.
The other Griptide and the Divinations will be replaced by a certain four-drop Planeswalker by the name of Kiora.
You may ask, why three copies? That’s because Kiora. the Crashing Wave only has two loyalty to start. Much of the time you’ll be using her -1 ability to draw a card and play an additional land that turn. Her +1 could be relevant, of course. That emblem could definitely be relevant, as well, and with three copies of Kiora, you get a much higher chance of one of them potentially gaining you that emblem. A four-drop will be fairly easy to cast in this deck.
As for the mana base, we will be obviously keeping the one Temple of Mystery. We’ll be cutting 7 islands, going down to 9 total, and adding in three more copies of Temple of Mystery, plus four copies of Yavimaya Coast, the green/blue “pain” land from Magic 2015.
As now constructed here is the list
Non-Creature Spells (14)
This new build still has a tempo feel to it, countering your opponent’s more important spells with Dissolve, and setting back their tempo with Voyage’s End, while in both cases also setting up your next draw. You also have instant speed card draw for those turns when you aren’t casting any creatures, but being able to play that while threatening something as threatening as a Boon Satyr or AEtherspouts helps play some mind games with your opponent.
The deck now has pure power, building around its two marquis cards in the Sphinx and the Prophet. The deck is built around pumping them up and hopefully making them un-blockable. The Horizon Chimeras with their flying and trample make them powerful evasive creatures. The Omenspeakers help you set up your draws while holding the ground, and the Kiora’s Followers tap to untap your lands to be able to do more with your mana.
Plus, you have three copies of Kiora to draw you cards and help you to play extra land, while keeping opponent’s big creatures at bay. Threatening one of her emblems is also fun.
Overall, these upgrades are not incredibly pricey, outside of the Kioras. But as this deck will be good until October 2015, with potential upgrades coming in Khans of Tarkir, it’s definitely worth a run. Do keep in mind that this list is built for Standard. If you’re a Modern player, or a Casual player, then there are plenty of other ways you could go with this list. But with the cards available from the Theros block and Magic 2015, this seems like the best deck to run.
There are obviously other ways to improve upon this deck, but this seemed the most obvious route to me. How would you alter the “Fate” deck from the M15 Clash Pack?
– Elspeth for the Win
The Magic 2015 Core Set Clash Pack is available on Amazon.com.