Saturday, 10 September 2011

Magic Deck: Terravore

As past of my clearing up of the cupboard where I store games (including Magic), I have re-discovered a variety of decks that I've not played in a while. One of these was a Terravore deck which I made a while ago and was a particular favourite of mine for a while. 

As with some of my other recent posts, I will look into what is in the deck at the moment, and think about cards to take out and replace with other ones. 

I like this deck a lot because it went through a lot of iterations before I ended up with what I have now. I was looking through Gatherer, probably for cards to put into current decks (back when I was still building a lot of new decks as I didn't have that many), and was Terravore and it looked like such an interesting card to build a deck around, I thought about it a lot and looked at what I had that I could put into one (which wasn't much really as I had only been playing for a year or so). 

The first time I put the deck together it had Argothian Wurm and Shivan Wumpus because I couldn't find any copies of Terravore anywhere, and they were my back-up versions (plus big creatures). I might have also had a Detritivore, but as I only played casually, most people only had basic lands, so it wasn't very useful. Initially it was focused around destroying my opponents lands and winning with big creatures, but it wasn't very fun (especially for my opponents), so I put it on hold for the time being. 

After a lot of searching on the internet (there were hardly any shops that sold booster packs nearby, let alone single cards), I eventually found a set of four Terravores online, although it was on eBay, and from America. Three of the four were foil ones which might have made it a bit more expensive, but after checking the conversion, it didn't seem like too much, so I put a bid in and kept an eye on the lot until it completed, and I had won it (I think there might have been a bid or two near to its close, but I wasn't in lectures when it did close so I could check it then). It took about a month and a bit for the cards to eventually arrive from the other side of the Atlantic, but they eventually turned up (and that has been the only time I have brought anything from eBay). 

Now, I had the cards that I wanted to build a deck around, I went around building the deck. I think I started off with Mountain Valley as the 'sac land' of choice, with Havenwood Battleground and Dwarven Ruins helping out. I may have started off with one or two Stomping Grounds, getting more when I could (I think they were legal in Standard back then, so fairly costly to find). I suspect I had Crop Rotation in fairly early on as it goes well in the deck. In order to make sure I had the Terravore available (being my main win condition), I had some Summoner's Pacts in the deck as well. Had to be careful about playing them; I had to ensure that I had 4 lands in play to pact for the pack next turn, and ensure I had at least one land in a graveyard so Terravore didn't die when played, but it was nice to be able to get the creature and play straight away. The deck also had a few Wooded Foothills which were very handy, but I since took them out for another deck (although I might put one or two back in). The deck usually won by getting out a Terravore and casting Wildfire (bonus if I could use the sac-for-double-mana lands, extra bonus if I could sacrifice all my lands to Greater Gargadon before Wildfire resolved). In multiplayer games, that usually meant a lethal Terravore, at least until there was only one or two players left and peoples graveyards disappeared as they were removed from the game, but by that point I was still in a strong position. 

At some point I added some White to the deck. Initially I needed the Green for the Terravore (and some of the land searching), and Red for the land destruction. I mainly added white for Ajani Vengeant, as it is useful and has a pretty nice and relevant ability, and Path to Exile was pretty handy (I didn't mind the extra land people were getting as it was more to be put into their graveyard). I think that, as I had a lot of searching as it was, I added one each (or just one) of Temple Garden and Sacred Foundry, and that was enough for me to be able to fix the mana required. I added in a Knight of the Reliquary when I got one too, as I had already added white and the ability was very useful - plus a "fifth" Terravore (even if it only counted lands in my graveyard, that is what I was trying to do anyway!). Adding White also meant I could replace Summoner's Pact with Eldramri's Call (it fit the same function, and can be played a turn before Terravore, so technically quicker than the Pact, for which I would have to wait until 4 lands, or 3 if one sac'ed for double). 

The deck was getting near to completion, when Zendikar was released, complete with the Landfall ability, and various other cards that cared about lands in some ways or another. Surprisingly, only a few cards made it in, but they were some nice ones. At one point I got hold of some Living Wish and was able to have a mini-toolbox type thing going on with the sideboard. Speaking of the sideboard, I also had a few interesting one-off sorceries, as I was considering getting the Red version of the Wish, but didn't in the end, so that is something that will need changing. 

Anyway, the deck has come a long way since it was first an initial thought in my head, and here it is in its current form:

I think the main thing that needs updating is the sideboard to be able to utilize Living Wish well.  I will remove the Balance as it is a little too powerful, and can be un-fun to play sometimes. I rarely ever use Flame Jab, so think I will remove that. I think the lands can also use a bit of a change around slightly, particularly ones with different names to utilize Realms Uncharted a bit better. Perhaps a Terramorphic Expanse for instant sacrificing after finding it with Crop Rotation. Maybe a single Tectonic Edge in case someone plays an annoying non-basic land (that is why there is a single Avalanche Riders in the deck - to search up if I really need to destroy a specific land someone has). 

As Living Wish can also get a land as well as a creature, I think I need one or two lands in the sideboard, as that would be helpful (there have been times when I would really like an extra land, but can't get one with the wish). 

As the deck can act as a double-toolbox (singletons in the deck to be searched and singletons in the sideboard to be wished), the way I am planning to separate them is to have cards in the deck that I don't mind drawing during the course of a normal game (Avalanche Riders, for example), and cards in the sideboard will be some that I might want every game (to increase the chance of getting one), and cards that I wouldn't want every game, but would be handy to have nonetheless (Gorilla Shaman, for example). 

As this was a favourite deck of mine, I am hoping that the improvements to it will be fun to decide upon and test out :D Will hopefully have an updated list soon, although possibly after Inistrad comes out, so I have a few more cards to add, if I see any good ones!

UPDATE: I updated this deck, details in this post