Monday, October 6, 2014

Five Color Souls

This deck is a small pet project of mine. I woke up one day (or else couldn't fall asleep) and thought "The Souls should have some great purpose in Standard. They can't be completely useless..." and I feel that with this deck, they actually work out pretty well, but I'm still experimenting...

So here we go, a five color deck in Standard!

Five Color Souls


x4 Elvish Mystic
x4 Generator Servant
x4 Rattleclaw Mystic
x4 Sylvan Caryatid
x2 Hornet Nest
x2 Soul of Innistrad
x2 Soul of New Phyrexia
x2 Soul of Ravnica
x2 Soul of Shandalar
x2 Soul of Theros
x2 Soul of Zendikar

Other Spells

x2 End Hostilities
x2 In Garruk's Wake


x3 Temple of Abandon
x1 Temple of Enlightenment
x1 Temple of Silence
x1 Temple of Deceit
x4 Mana Confluence
x2 Wooded Foothills
x2 Evolving Wilds
x2 Plains
x2 Island
x2 Swamp
x3 Mountain
x3 Forest

The Lands

Temple of Abandon  Mana Confluence  Wooded Foothills

Honestly, I would have loved having shocklands or checklands available to me, but we work with what we're given, right?

For starters, this is a five color deck. This means Mana Confluence is an automatic inclusion. On top of that, our mana dorks are red and green, but more n the green side, so we must have our red and green. So three Temple of Abandon, and two Wooded Foothills coupled with three Mountains and three Forests. Keeping up with the requirement of White, Blue, and Black, I included two of each basic, on Temple of Enlightenment, one Temple of Silence, and one Temple of Deceit to cover my bases. I also threw in a couple Evolving Wilds as a catch-all for the basics. It's the "poor man's" fetch land, placing it in tapped, but still useful.

In the efforts of cutting down your costs, replace two Wooded Foothills with another Mountain and Forest. You can always go with more basics, but to make this stable, Mana Confleunce is a must. Without one Mana Confluence and one Sylvan Caryatid on the field, casting any non-red and non-green Soul will be hard. Sure you could get your basics, but a land that makes anything can't be beat in a deck like this.

Mana Dorks and Stalling

Elvish Mystic  Generator Servant  Rattleclaw Mystic
Sylvan Caryatid  Hornet Nest

Elvish Mystic, Sylvan Caryatid, and Rattleclaw Mystic are relatively obvious, but Generator Servant and Hornet Nest might not be. Let me help with that.

Generator Servant is what puts your six mana Souls on the field on turn 4. Ideally, you play a Forest and an Elvish Mystic turn one. Turn two is a Mountain plus a Generator Servant. So far so good. Turn three is another land (maybe) and a morphed Rattleclaw Mystic. On Turn 4, pay three mana, flip Rattleclaw Mystic face up, and sacrifice your Generator Servant. You now have a hasty Soul available, hopefully of the Zendikar, Ravnica, Shandalar, or New Phyrexia variety based on your mana base, but you could possibly have accomplished getting Innistrad or Theros on the field. Either way, a 6/6 with haste on Turn 4 is awesome.

Hornet Nest is included because there needs to be something difficult to get rid of without giving you tons of dangerous tokens. Black seems to be the only color able to take care of Hornet Nest without giving you tokens, so it's not a bad card to throw in. If you don't have any, Sigiled Starfish isn't a bad choice either.

The Souls

Soul of Theros  Soul of Ravnica  Soul of Innistrad
Soul of Shandalar  Soul of Zendikar  Soul of New Phyrexia

I picked this cycle because what else would you do with five colors? Play Chromanticore? (Side Note: You could throw a couple in here, just replace the Hornet Nests or something.)

Anyway, these are big and require mana dorks to get them out fast, which that's pretty much what this deck is. Boosting an army of creatures with +2/+2, first strike, and lifelink, drawing five cards, returning your army to your hand from the graveyard, killing your opponent's creatures and punching them, dropping out a ton of tokens, and ensuring everything on your battlefield can't die is great, espcially when you have a ton of mana remaining after you've cast all of these. Soul of Ravnica give you card draw options, Soul of Theros boosts all of your Souls for a major strike, Soul of Innistrad, gives you your Souls again, Soul of Shandalar takes care of threats an opponent has, Soul of New Phyrexia protects your creatures when you board wipe (we'll get to that), and Soul of Zendikar is actually pretty useless compared to what the rest of them do for you, but tokens can't hurt and it is the easiest to get on the field based on all green being thrown around in the deck...

It winds up being a pretty powerful deck when it fires correctly, but we're not done yet!

Board Wipes

End Hostilities  In Garruk's Wake

Soul of Innistrad or Soul of New Phyrexia are important for the use of End Hostilities. You either need to bring your Souls back with Soul of Innistrad, or prevent them from being destroyed by activating New Phyrexia's ability first. Gets rid of enemy threats AND leaves you your creatures. Seems good.

In Garruk's Wake costs 9 mana, yes, but with sixteen mana dorks and twenty-two lands that produce mana, casting it shouldn't be a problem. It's just what we want to do with End Hostilities essentially, except we don't have to protect ourselves with Soul of New Phyrexia.

I included two of each because the Souls should do enough of the work anyway with some brute force attacks, and four End Hostilities (Hornet Nest was an after thought. I just like it and find it useful) is excessive, especially when double white and double black is hard enough to achieve...

So, here is a fun, five-color, standard legal deck to test out. Could be more casual (if playing casually, drop in Cavern of Souls. That way you can name the deck Cavern of Souls because the library is like a cavern you pull the souls from, then you cast them with it, ah... I took that joke too far), but it's standard legal, and Souls are actually pretty cheap, so why not try it out?

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