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color cycle (slow)

Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Seen on Magic: The Gathering Online
color cycle (slow)

In related news, the random number generator hates me. I played a game of 9th Edition Draft and I drafted a good deck, blue and green heavy control. (I know, 9th edition is for n00bs, but I'm a n00b at draft and RAV-GPT-DIS draft requires a level of 1337ness I don't have.) Green provided the muscle; blue had flyers, two Boomerangs, two Mana Leaks, and Telepathy- Green sported a Creeping Mold and a (shiny!) Naturalize. The deck is better than it sounds.

I had a 42-card deck (my preferred number for drafts; 40 is typical, but I just like 42, and it's got a minor strategic advantage); 14 cards were basic land, 7 and 7 of forests and islands. First game, I got four Forests before I ever saw an Island. I got my Utopia Tree early on, however, so it was a reasonably close game; my opponent's incredibly bad mana curve allowed her to win when I didn't draw my creatures at all to do early damage and her three Craw Wurms plus a Scaled Wurm (yes, the eight-mana one) did me in. Second game? No islands at all. Not a one. I never saw one in nine turns, which was how long it took her to do me in with her Kami of Old Stone and two Craw Wurms.

She was playing badly with an unbalanced deck; I should have won easily, but luck has defeated me! It really sucked becuase it was a 4-3-2-2 draft; winning even one game would have netted me two booster packs; without winning a match (8-player draft is single elim), I lose my $2 stake (from which the booster pack prizes are purchased). On the flip side, I drafted seriously awesome cards, much better than I would have gotten from just opening the packs- I did a few "hey, this card would be awesome in one of my other deck" pulls when there was nothing else in the pack, and one raredraft for a really kick-ass rare.

I guess that's the real advantage of a draft: with less randomnes, it's like implicit trading and everybody gets cards they're happier with because they're already building them into a playable deck.

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Utopia Tree...what good fortune...an excellent card!

Now, it would be luck if it was my first pack or a pack I was opening on my own. It's just pure, unfiltered stupidity when it's the fourth pick in a draft. It was the third pack, and it was pretty obvious that I was one of only two people drafting green, but still, that's a card you can and should splash... or even just draft for other games. But yeah, I'm glad I got it!

I have developed an absolutely kick-ass deck in online play that has done horribly abusive things with card draw and a certain flying lizard that does unkind things in case of card draw. It is tearing my opponents apart even when I do not draw Niv-Mizzet because it always seems to have an incredible tempo advantage. I've got guarded optimism about this; I'm going to start playing it against the people using the $300 decks in the Tournament Practice Room and see if I should try entering it in a Standard constructed tournament. But in any event, the deck is simply devilish fun to play- doing evil things with card draw makes me giggle madly.

You'd enjoy the deck, too- it fits your playstyle perfectly. Except for the part about being type-2 legal.

I don't have enough Rav block to build this deck, although I can get a good chunk of it (and my other red/blue deck) with the Izzet theme deck.

I think we'd both have a lot of fun with this deck. Can we work together on this and share cards to build it? I suspect that together, we wouldn't need to track down too many more cards to make the deck. Because whenever I play with paper cards I'm usually playing against you, you'd be welcome to keep custody of the deck, and because I suspect my habits will be mostly online play after I finish college, you can keep it even if our lives take geographically divergent paths. (Microsoft is probably going to offer me a job, so unless you want to move to Washington, it's a pretty strong possibility!)

This deck draws lots of cards. Niv-Mizzet likes drawing lots of cards. This deck would be greatly improved if it had more ways of getitng to Niv-Mizzet, but it tends to win even when it doesn't ever find Niv-Mizzet.
Qty Card Name
2 Boomerang
2 Convolute
1 Descendant of Soramaro
2 Drift of Phantasms
1 Electrolyze
1 Gelectrode
1 Goblin Flectomancer
15 Island
3 Izzet Boilerworks
3 Izzet Signet
1 Kami of the Crescent Moon
1 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
1 Leyline of Lightning
2 Mana Leak
1 Mark of Eviction
4 Mountain
1 Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
1 Psychic Possession
2 Skyscribing
1 Telepathy
1 Thieving Magpie
2 Thoughtbind
3 Thunderheads
1 Tibor and Lumia
3 Train of Thought
1 Viashino Fangtail
3 Wee Dragonauts

If you run 2 copies of Niv, you tend to find him more. ;)
Also, cards on the lines of Compulsive Research would help you immensely here (common, Rav, 2U, draw three cards, then discard 2 OR a land). It's the most powerful card drawer in the format. Find more Electrolyze, get Volcanic Hammers, and run Gelecrtrode, maybe? I'm trying common and cheap uncommon suggestions (I'm building Niv myself. I also have 14 dual-class lands that cost more than they really ever should). =P

Of course a second Niv-Mizzet would increase my draw percentage, but he's a $3.00 rare and that requires you to get lucky with finding the right card trader (usually a 'bot program, at that); the majority want $4.00 for him. If I was a serious Constructed player, I'd do it, but there are other ways I'd rather spend the money- like 1/4 of a draft entry fee (including the boosters), for one thing.

I know what Compulsive Research is and an early version of the deck used to run it. It's good card filtering, but actually does poorly in this deck. It's handy for giving yourself more options, but that's not why the card draw exists. The card draw is to mine for the really useful card (especially Niv-Mizzet), then let Niv-Mizzet go wild with massive, massive card draw. Extra Skyscribing might help more- note how it (and Vision Skeins, not in this deck) interacts with Psychic Posession, a lucky pack pull I drew just last night (and the deck was still good without it).

In short, this deckwants a card flood, and Compulsive Research doesn't offer it. The sources of major card advantage here are repeated or flexible with regard to how large they are; draw three/toss 2 is handy at any time for just card advantage, but massive card draw is what's important once I've got a mana base going, hence my preference for Train of Thought. I'd put my fourth Train in before putting a Compulsive Research. But what would you suggest removing?

Thunderheads are an incredibly useful violent surprise defense and I consider the card to be badly underrated, so I won't be entirely receptive to taking those out- make some other suggestion if that's your plan.

The burn spells lose the focus of this deck. They're appropriate in my other (also extremely effective) Izzet deck, where red and blue are equal (in this deck, blue outweighs red 2:1) and red is doing burn. I have found that Pyromatics is a very useful card; I've got four of them, and they're all in that other deck, but this deck just doesn't have the space.

Gelectrode would be a good source of ping in this deck, actually, and a more effective removal solution. (As I've actually won games here by playing several meaningless spells a turn and using the Leyline on each of them for a one-turn total of five damage, single pings are serious business.) But what should I remove to slot it in?

I've never used Goblin Flectomancer effectively, so he's looking like a pretty good option to slot out, actulaly.

This deck is pretty elegant- not because there's nothing to add, but because I don't think there's anything more to remove.

Do you play MTGO, or just with real dead tree cards?

Ahh. Yeah, I find running at least 2 copies of a card is a must for me, I do like drawing my cards (unless I'm running tutors). I know, it all depends on what your budget is, but if you want to run the Psychic Possession/card drawer/Niv or and/or Leyline engine, get the second Niv and a second Psychic Possession and a second Leyline (removing things like the glass spinner- I'm so biased against one of cards). Niv may be 4 bucks, but the other two? Easy.

Gelectrode? I guess unneeded because you have Wee Dragonauts. =p

Other card drawer- Dissension common, Vision Skeins (each player draws 2 cards). If you have Possession in play, you draw 4 for their 2.

I always like running Electrolyze if I can in UR. It's 1UR, deal 1 and 1 and draw a card. Burn spells like that are always good to draw, and you do need time to set up the combos in the deck- killing random creatures is good even in casual play.

I play with real cards on weekends (draft on Friday, competitive constructed on Saturday). I've been running three decks, but I've taken to my hybrid version of the Wildfire-Magnivore deck I have, which is not for casual play (land destruction! Pyroclasm! attacking with 14/14 creatures with haste!) at all. =)

Sure! We can work on it... though it may go through some discussion (eventhough we will keep it Type II legal)...

If there was a free version of this, even temporary, I'd play it. That said, I've never played MTG before, ever.

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