Vedalken Orrery & New Frontiers

Story

According to Wizards Of The Coast the most submitted idea for “You make the card II” was “You can play sorceries as instants. However, Vedalken Orrery was already in the set so they ignored those submissions.
So when Orrery was out? I ordered four-of. Unfortunately I never managed to do anything useful out of it. Best situation I got to was when my friend cast Naturalize, targeting Orrery. I responded with Flicker, which bounced Orrery out of game and back in. It took a while before he was ready to believe that his Naturalize will fizzle even though the Orrery is in battlefield as we speak. But that set of four was left to gather dust. And then I noted this combo submission in moxdiamond.com:

Balance + New Frontiers
you’d be amazed how stupid people can be when they see that you’ve retieved no land.

The thing is: why not play massive New Frontiers on opponents turn? Then they will decide first. Also: why use Balance which is restricted? Since I had good skeleton for this combo, I made a deck from it:

The deck

4 x New Frontiers
4 x Vedalken Orrery
4 x Terravore
3 x Jokulhaups
1 x Obliterate
4 x Llanowar Elves
4 x Wild Growth
4 x Stone Rain
4 x Winter’s Grasp
1 x Kaervek’s Torch
1 x Demonfire
4 x Moment’s Peace
4 x Sandstone Needle
4 x Hickory Woodlot
5 x Mountain
9 x Forest

Want to try it? Cards you don’t need:

You don’t need else than Orrery and Frontiers, really. And from them, Orrery can be replaced with Hypersonic Dragon, Leyline of Anticipation, Alchemist’s Refuge or alike. Add mass land removal (Armageddon, anyone?) and you’re set.
What you need is basic lands as New Frontiers fetches those. Special lands are bad for this deck.

How to play

Slow opponent down with land destruction and accelerate mana with Elves and Wild Growths. Try to use two-mana lands only once so you can get as much mana out as possible. Play Vedalken Orrery, wait opponent’s turn, untap and wait until opponent has reached end phase. Then cast New Frontiers with X at about 10.
If opponent fetches lands, fetch none (or as much as you need to cast Jokulhaups) and as your turn starts, untap. Cast Jokulhaups. Your opponent has no lands and a depleted library. Victory is at your grasp with Terravore.
If opponent refuses to fetch lands (or fetches, say… one), get as much as you paid for and win the game on more traditional way or with X-burn.

Tips:

Try to have fun. This deck is in reality 4-card combo (Orrery, New Frontiers, Jokulhaups and Kaervek’s Torch), which means you most likely will never get to see it work like it should. But when it does, boy is it fun. 😀

Terravore

Story

This deck actually started from Wizards article about Revenant. It took me to Lhurgoyf which made me search for other creatures like it and then… Oh, well.
There was Extended tournament coming to my town and I had never been in a Magic tournament so I wanted to participate. I thought that no one would be expecting land destruction deck so I could make some decent position by surprise factor. Land destruction cards and Terravore – easy deck. I ordered four-of Terravores and Winter’s Grasps and started testing.

Early playtesting showed that land destruction needed mass wipe effect to fix the situation where opponent escapes. As I was heading to a tournament I decided to spend a bit and ordered full set of Jokulhaupses. I called my deck “Jokulvore”.

Needless to say I didn’t win. My decks do not win tournaments. But I did beat few opponents which was nice. And I still have this deck:

The deck

4 x Terravore
4 x Jokulhaups
4 x Llanowar Elves
4 x Wild Growth
4 x Molten Rain
4 x Pillage
4 x Stone Rain
4 x Winter’s Grasp
1 x Thermokarst
3 x Misguided Rage
4 x Moment’s Peace
4 x Sandstone Needle
4 x Hickory Woodlot
4 x Karplusan Forest
4 x Wooded Foothills
2 x Mountain
2 x Forest

Misguided Rage is what I call “poor man’s Ice Storm” – I wanted 20 land destruction cards where all of them would be 3-mana versions but I have only one Thermokarst and Ice Storms cost about $15 a piece which is way too much. Buying 3 more Thermokarsts would cost only $1.80 but the mana base is already complex enough and my base rule is that I create the deck from cards I already have. And I have abundance of Scourge commons. 😉

Misguided Rage is very well suited since if you have a good start, opponent has only lands in play. And you’ll be surprised how often people sacrifice a land in the first game against this deck. 😀

Want to try it? Cards you don’t need:

You don’t really need any specific card beyond Terravore. Jokulhaups is good but not mandatory. Mana acceleration can be achieved with other means. Land destruction spells can be any card that destroys lands.
You could probably turn this to Green-Black version if you use black land destruction spells.

How to play

Very simple: aim for 2nd round 3-mana start. Either by starting first turn with Hickory Woodlot or Sandstone Needle and landing normal land on second turn or then by dropping green-mana land and Wild Growth or Llanowar Elves on first turn. That enables second turn land destruction and cripples your opponent. Keep pumping up mana and destroying lands until there is enough critical mass to get 7+ powered trampler to play. Beat opponent to death. Use Moment’s Peace to save your skin if needed. Wipe board clean with Jokulhaups if you have to.

Tips:

• This deck has awesome synergy: everything aims to add lands to graveyards. Fetchland goes to graveyard. Two-mana lands go to graveyard when depleted. Land destruction… You get the idea. All you need is Terravore.
• There is no creature tutor in this deck. Be prepared to mulligan.
• Starting with Terravore is a safe bet but hand with 4 land destruction, karplusan forest, mountain and wild growth is best possible start.
• Ultimate kill-combo is to gather 9 mana, draw them all, drop Jokulhaups and then use remaining 3 mana to land Terravore to empty table. Preceded by land drop of that turn if possible.
• You play a deck that relies on Jokulhaups. Don’t put more than 9 mana on the table. Ever. You need those lands if you need to wipe the board.