We all have our reasons to play and cards to invoke our zeal. Personally, if I am to truly enjoy a deck over a period of months or years, it should have strange angles and creative lines of play. I like to have an "oops, I win" factor in the deck, but I don't want that to be the only plan. My deck should have a fighting chance against most comers, but it shouldn't be consistently broken. Playing with it should be an experience.
|Project M, version that won Arvika Festival 2015.|
Now, I'm not getting that much younger and with a more proper adult life comes more expenses. My wife and I are moving to a new apartment this summer and the new loans will chip away on the nerd budget. In a few years I might want to slow down my work schedule a little in the name of work/life balance. And there might be an expansion of the family somewhere on the horizon. These things combine to a weird sense of nerd-FOMO; a sense that this year, 2018, might be the last year I am fully able to spend money on high-end cardboard rather than proper life events.
So I went a little nuts. I decided that I should be able to build the best version I could of this new deck without moving cards from Project M. I wanted to be able to bring both this deck and Project M to a tournament with no cards overlapping. So Power went back on my want-list. In this weird state of mind, 9/9 suddenly didn't cut it anymore.
|And after all, these are very nice cards.|
|She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts.|
Anyways, Treasure Island. Power and Libraries may be pretty relics, but they don't add actual personality to a deck. Save a deck like Fork Recursion, power cards are never really needed, they just help you turn the dials up to eleven. Having a lucky clover of four power cards is sweet, but it is not the core. This is the core:
|Treasures and hidden libraries on our island.|
The other two cards might look a little more odd. Aladdin's Lamp is a 10-mana artifact that says that whenever you you draw a card, you can instead tap the lamp and pay X mana to look at the top X cards of your library and chose one of them to draw, putting the rest at the bottom. So here is another neat synergy with Sindbad; as the sailor actually draws a card, you can replace the Sindbad draw with activating the lamp to get all the benefits from the lamp and zero of the drawbacks from Sindbad. The ten mana price tag might look like a lot, but I have certainly hard cast this during playtesting even without the Power Monolith up and running. As the deck plays a lot of mana sources and has a solid late game, this is not as steep a cost as it may seem. And once the lamp is active, life is easy. In particular if we have managed to have a Power Monolith combo going, then all your draw steps are replaced by Demonic Tutor (which should end the game immediately if you have unlimited mana).
The other card might be even less familiar than the lamp:
|The first Wish.|
|Power Monolith package.|
|I think I will replace Tetravus with Triskelion to get a better game against weenies, but other than that this feels good enough. Transmute have a nice synergy with Sylvan Library as well, giving you a shuffle when the top cards fail to deliver.|
|Reconstruction is another deceptively capable card.|
|Playtesting at a local pub in Oslo.|
|The glorious Master with his graceful wolves. Yep, clearly wolves.|
Second, they are deceptively good at handling removal. They don't die to Blasts nor City in a Bottle, they laugh in the face of an Abyss, and the cards that actually kill them will often have to decide between targeting them or Sindbad. If they are removed by a Swords to Plowshares, that is a Sword that didn't hit Sindbad, and if we got to build a wolf or two in the process, we are back in value town. A weird but kinda fun fact is also that Chaos Orb can't kill tokens. I don't know if that will ever be relevant, but it is at least something I guess.
Third, the wolves keep coming and they all have Bands with other. While not fully as strong as proper banding, this can make combat a nightmare for the opponent. They will pretty much never be able to kill more than a single wolf each combat. If you have four or five wolves, there are very few summons that can stand in your way. If you get to untap with Master of the Hunt a few turns things easily get out of hand.
With that into account, I'm not saying that they are obscenely powerful nor that they should be played in every green deck. They are four-drops that die to Lightning Bolt after all, and they take a lot of mana before they win the game. But in a pile like this they offer another attack plan that demands an answer, and they strike from an angle that may be hard to defend against. They have not disappointed during playtesting, and I believe that they may be underestimated in the format.
|A few more cards on the defensive side, and a stellar draw spell.|
|Treasure Island, v1.6|
Next time we're gonna look at a proper tournament report from one of our friends in Italy. Until then, I wish you brisk winds on your travels.