Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turtle Power

So after a long streak of dismal performances at Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, yesterday I finally managed to fight my way back into the Top 8 of MPDC 23.07, actually finishing in 2nd place with my recent Izzet deck that I affectionately dubbed Turtle Power. The name is a nod to the perennial favorite Magic card Horned Turtle, which is a 1/4 Blue creature for 3.

While the archetype is nothing new, this build is closer to a pure Control/Burn list than the Izzet decks from earlier this year. Here's what my list consisted of:

Turtle Power
2nd place in MPDC 23.07 by gwyned
4 Minotaur Skullcleaver
4 Nivix Cyclops
8 cards

Other Spells
4 Annihilating Fire
4 Cancel
4 Essence Scatter
4 Inspiration
4 Lightning Strike
4 Razortip Whip
4 Shock
28 cards
9 Island
9 Mountain
4 Izzet Guildgate
2 Unknown Shores
24 cards

4 Dispel
3 Negate
3 Lava Axe
3 Frostburn Weird
2 Voyage's End
15 cards
Nivix Cyclops

Overall I was pretty happy with the deck. However, there are a couple quick changes I would make:
  • Drop to 23 lands. Even as a Control deck, with its low curve, 24 Lands is probably too much.
  • Replace some, if not all, of the Inspirations with Divination.
  • Take out 2 Dispels and a Negate from the Sideboard, and replace them with Archaeomancer to fight back against MonoBlack's hand disruption.
If you have other thoughts on how this deck could be improved, I'd love to hear them!


  1. I like Explosive Impact over Lightning Axe for versatility. Agreed that Archaeomancer is a boss. I like 1-2 Thassa's Bounty, too. I will never play Unknown Shores, feel like 1 Mountain 1 Island is better. Maybe Electromancer over Minotuar, then again - you prob like the 4 point burn spell surprise factor. Deck overall seems soft to Hopeful Eidolon on Gladcover Scout, but overall a sweet build.

  2. Counter-Burn is a favorite strategy of mine from days of old. Glad you did well with it!

    I feel like a lot of your sideboard cards are maindeck material. Dispel might be better than Canel to protect your dudes, you can put Annul in the empty board slot to fight the Aura/Hexproof decks. Voyages End is always good for me. And why not Frostburn Weird in the main? He's a powerful turtle :-)

  3. I also believe Cyclops is inferior to Frost-Burn Weird in every way imaginable. Costs more, can't attack always when you would like to, deck only has 16 proactive spells that even let it attack, but you typically want to leave mana open rather than tap out to attack in order to counter spells and use removal at a better time, and it can't sac itself when bestowed with Stab Wound like FBW can.

  4. At least for me, this deck isn't about attacking with creatures. The Minotaur is practically just a Ball Lightning, designed to hit once and then go away. The Cyclops allows the deck to win out of nowhere in a way the Weird simply can't. It also presents a double-threat to Dimir Mill, forcing them to counter a burn spell and remove the creature to avoid damage. Typically the Weird only came in against aggressive decks where I needed more protection.

    Given how much the deck plays Draw-Go, Cancel still seems better for its versatility. Annul might be worth looking into though. Voyage's End is good, but it neither counters nor burns, so it belongs in the Sideboard.

    At least, those are my thoughts right now.