Thran Utopia #5: The loneliness of a combo deck player

Hi all and welcome back here. Today will be a more out-there column than what you’re used to from me by now, but I hope you’ll like it regardless. The topic today is my combo deck called Druidstorm. It is based on pumping Devoted Druids, thereby generating mana. You draw cards with Recycle, for pump spells and other cheap spells, and end the game with Banefire. There’s also a Living Wish-toolbox for finding engine pieces, fuel for the engine, or additional finishers. This deck isn’t top of the class, but fun to play with regardless. That’s what I’m gonna show you, but not in a boring play-by-play wall of text. No sirrie – I made a comic.

Initially I wanted to show another combo deck in here, but it proved to be a lot of work to churn out even one combo walkthrough. Also, this way I have additional fodder for upcoming columns! You can expect combo deck reviews from a Wort conspire deck and a Squandered Resources/Second Sunrise deck in the future, either in this form or another.

About the deck
I made this deck after I saw a similar deck posted on the MTGSalvation Casual forums, but with blue. I felt the deck would be more consistent without it, because Devoted Druid makes green mana, and adding blue makes Manamorphose into a card that you have to be careful with. You can’t just accelerate with it, because you need to keep blue mana in stock for potential future use.

So I made a monogreen deck based around the power of Recycle. A personal wish was fulfilled; I didn’t make a deck with Null Profusion like I wanted, but did it with the green original!

The deck is not meant to crush casual kitchen tables. No – I occasionally pull it out and try to win with it. Just like with every combo deck, you are playing by yourself. Some people call it masturbating, but that’s looking at it in the wrong way. You see, when a combo deck enters a game, the game becomes about two players racing for the win. It’s not a battle, but more like speed-skating. You both have the same goal, but you can’t really help it if the other guy is faster than you.

Sure, lack of interactivity isn’t cool – that’s why you limit yourself to one game per night at most. To me, there is no better Magic feeling than building a working combo deck, even if the engine’s a bit rusty at times. As a deckbuilder, I find it gratifying to show other people my accomplishment, an accumulation of testing, hard work and creativity. Combo decks bring me the most gratification and that’s why I’ll always have a soft spot for them. I can understand why other people wouldn’t like playing against them, but as long as you’re not choking your group all the time, everything is fine. Let everyone have their fun every once in a while.

Druidstorm Decklist
Lands (14)
7 Forest
2 Karplusan Forest
1 Stomping Ground
4 Tranquil Thicket

Creatures (5)
3 Devoted Druid
2 Eternal Witness

Other spells (41)
1 Banefire
4 Harmonize
4 Land Grant
4 Leering Emblem
4 Living Wish
4 Lotus Petal
4 Manamorphose
3 Might of Old Krosa
2 Nostalgic Dreams
4 Recycle
3 Slagwurm Armor
4 Vines of Vastwood

I recently discovered Invigorate, and with that came that stupid ‘how could I’ve missed this?’ sentiment. I gladly give an opponent three life in exchange for four mana! New Phyrexia also offers me a free pump spell in Mutagenic Growth, but I’ll have to wait and see if it’s better than other contenders. Finally, Tezzeret’s Gambit looks like a sturdy piece of carddraw that could help oil the engine a bit. As I said, it can be a tad rusty at times.

Next week
Thanks for reading/viewing this week. Next week I’ll be giving an egocentric view on the New Phyrexia spoiler, which should be enough time for me to fully digest the whole set. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get a peek at the Braid of Fire monstrosity I might just build next week. Feel free to leave me feedback on this comic column – until next week!


Posted on April 29, 2011, in Articles, Thran Utopia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Even as a writer for Red Site Wins, especially with having more writers on board than when we first launched, I haven’t read every single article, let alone series (or column. …Is the difference between a column and an article that a column is portraying several stacked articles, thus, making a column? Or can a single piece of article be called a column? Maybe it’s a very small column? Or does the walls and walls of text arranged vertically make the column and not necessarily a metaphor for a stack of papers making up printed-out articles? And does Mark Rosewater ever reference a single one of his “articles” as “articles” and not “columns”? Ahh, tangent).

    Anyway, I think doing combo decks in comic form are a great idea. At least, for now! Let’s see if doing the same thing over and over in terms of explaining the deck in comic form ever gets stale. Another reason I enjoyed this is because I’m also a Johnny (combo deck-builder). Has all the Thran Utopia’s been about combo decks? Oh, man! I’ve been missing out!



    • P.S. Ah, I see. Upon further investigation (I have quite the process), you don’t write about combo decks specifically. Which is good. Variety! Good stuff.

      • Hi Brad,

        thanks for chiming in. I see you answered a lot of questions yourself. As for the column/article debate, in Holland I’m used to the term column, so I may have been too literal in porting my thoughts from one language to another.

        As for this particular form of article, I really enjoyed making this one, although it did cost me way more time than I envisioned. You just goldfish until you have a decent game (one that portrays how the deck works), and this means documenting each game in text until you get the right one. Then you have to recapture the right game ‘on camera’ and edit the footage afterwards. Kinda cumbersome, but I hope it was worth it. I would like to do an article like this again some time, as I have a few combo decks I could really show this way.

        Lastly, I don’t know how you read this site, but I use RSS and ReadItLater to keep track of everything, therefore I usually read everything. You are the first fellow RedSiteWinner to comment on me, so I suppose I can comment on others as well. Didn’t really know how that would go, but I guess there’s no harm in doing so.

        Anyway, thanks for the feedback and I’ll catch you later!

  1. Pingback: Thran Utopia #17: Taking a leap « Red Site Wins

  2. Pingback: Taking a leap | Stidjen's Magic

  3. Pingback: Stidjen's Magic

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