In most card games I’ve played, I’ve noticed that the majority of people usually follow the decklists of tournament winners for direction when putting together their own brews. Often, these guidelines are taken as law and demonstrations of innovation become fewer and further between. That’s where The Forgotten comes in. I will be looking at the current Magic: The Gathering Standard metagame and highlighting underrated cards that I haven’t seen getting as much play as other, more mainstream ones. These cards deserve more spotlight and make for excellent main or sidedeck choices.
The first card I will be looking at will be Darksteel Axe, which was released in the Scars of Mirrodin set. This equip joins the ranks of the few equips that can be played on turn one. What this usually translates into is that it is nigh impossible to counter, with the popular Mana Leaks coming online the second turn. With it only costing 1 mana, it’s also a fairly safe drop or way to bait your opponent for counterspells, which they will be tempted to do if they have no answers for it. Darksteel Axe gives the creature it’s attached to a healthy +2 Power and more importantly, has the Indestructible mechanic, rendering it immune to the most commonly played artifact removals: Ratchet Bomb, Divine Offering and the prolific Ancient Grudge. This trait relegates it to being targeted by an Oblivion Ring, which I’m sure your opponent would rather use on a different threat from your deck. This card works well maindecked in aggressive strategies or as a great side in game 2 and 3 when you think your opponent is going to switch in artifact hate.
Another noteworthy card I came across was Fuglent Distraction, also from Scars of Mirrodin. Paying three mana to tap two creatures at instant speed isn’t shabby at all, but the additional effect of unattaching equipment from the creatures you just tapped is the icing on the cake. With its effect serving both offensive and defensive capabilities, this card screams versatility, which is something I’ve come to value highly in my card choices. Another consideration is the mana economy; tapping mana to equip a creature, only to have to pay again to re-equip those creatures, or another in case they want to attack or block, is beyond frustrating and also locks up mana that could’ve been spent on something else. This card is great sidedecked in aggressive and control decks.
I’ve recently been running Red Deck Wins (RDW), an aggressive burn deck that hits fast and hard. Of the current maindeck choices, Goblin Fireslinger seems to me to be the weakest element in the maindeck. Tapping to do 1 damage to your opponent means taking five turns to do 4 damage (including the turn it’s dropped) which seemed to be a bit slow and, more importantly, leaves the goblin open to destruction/removal before its work is done, as it often is. Even Grim Lavamancer, which has a respected place in the deck is at odds; too early and you don’t get much out of it until your graveyard gets filled. New Phyrexia introduced us to Furnace Scamp who allows you to get in for a quick 4 damage by sacrificing himself when he hits your opponent. Four damage is the equivalent of a metalcrafted Galvanic Blast and puts a lot of pressure on your opponent, leading the march for the rest of your spells to whittle down your rival’s health. I’d suggest sidedecking Goblin Fireslinger or some copies of Grim Lavamancer until you come across decks that are light on removal where you’ll really capitalize on them and get the most for your mana. This card does well maindecked in Red Deck Wins.
Until next time, keep turning those rocks over, and be sure to check out our Magic the Gathering contest!