One of the things that I like about Magic (and lament at the lack of at tournament level) is the long game. Most competitive decks are highly tuned for speed and so, in my opinion, can lack an element of fun (and theme) that can really make the game sparkle (and the players, smile).
This favourite theme deck of mine is fun to play and has a few mechanics guaranteed to trouble any opponent in a mid-length game (ie. it's not a speed deck). The central mechanic is no original spark - I'm not the first person in the world to pair cards like Mind Shatter and Hypnotic Specter (card discard) with Megrim (2 damage to opponent on each discard), but focusing on this combo provides opportunity for many more cool combos. Of course with the arrival of M11 I have to seriously overhaul this deck, but this deck is so much fun that it's gonna be worth it!
Why is this deck fun? Because it has a handful of cards that all work beautifully in conjunction with one another, for example:
- Megrim and all the card discard spells (the Specters, Mind Rot/Shatter/Sludge, Bloodhusk Ritualist).
- Howling Mines and all the card discard spells
- Howling Mines and Underworld Dreams
- Underworld Dreams and Sign in Blood
- Howling Mines and Thought Gorger (uber large creature)
- Thought Gorger and Consume the Meek
1. Megrim and all the card discard spells
Not the most original combo in the multi-verse, but an easy one for most to grasp. This deck is built around this central combo, and builds upon it.
2. Howling Mines and all the card discard spells
On it's own the Howling Mines gives your opponent as much advantage (if not a little more) as it gives you. Filling your deck with loads of card discard spells tips the balance in your favour. This combo itself combines well with Megrim too - you're aim in both cases is to force your opponent to discard cards, with Megrim in play your opponent pays with his life for the privilege.
3. Howling Mines and Underworld Dreams
Even before you play the Mines, Underworld Dreams is a great gradual life draining card. With it however, you're sucking at least two life each turn. With a couple of these in play you can just sit and wait for your adversary to wither away.
4. Underworld Dreams and Sign in Blood
It's not a profound combo, but one I love non-the-less. It gets even better when this deck is in full swing as you can cast a Sign in Blood with Underworld Dreams and Megrim on the deck and Mind Rot in hand - four life followed by another four followed by 1 life at the start of their next turn, your opponent won't know what hit him (or her).
5. Howling Mines and Thought Gorger
The key with Thought Gorger is to play it as soon as you can afford to. The more cards you have in your hand when you play it the better. Howling Mines helps to keep your hand full. I've had an 8/8 one of these on the deck before and it's a hassle for anyone to deal with (and it buys you time to set up the above combos).
6. Thought Gorger and Consume the Meek
What's beautiful about this combo is how BIG this particular 4CMC creature can get. What's tough about it is you can't pull this combo off with both cards in hand, you have to draw 'the Meek after you've played the 'Gorger. Still, it's nice when it does transpire.
The full deck list can be found here: read it, play it, let me know what you think of it. I'm working on an updated version of this deck that works in the current standard environment. It won't be easy since Underworld Dreams and Howling Mines have all cycled out without any obvious replacement for the former. I'll give it a go in the next few days though.