Hi, folks old school! Here we are again with the challenge #12months12decks, if you need to refresh your memory or know what this is about click here
Ornithopter is one of those cards to which we all love in one way or another, it’s an iconic card from old times, although it didn’t see much play in the time of Revised. When Mirrodin was published, we did realize its true potential, expansion where «Affinity» emerged, the terrifying deck of artifacts… days in which we knew that after Ornithopter will came a Cranial Plating, a play with which still I have nightmares.
The idea of the deck was born because I wanted to play Ornithopter in Old School, his affinity with Atog is more than obvious, but by itself it’s not very dangerous, until you play a Blood Lust, and the opponent begins to look at him with a little more of respect, but let’s not get ahead, let’s start by seeing the deck, I played a similar list on the last day of the league with which I was ninth:
- Why call the deck «weenie» and not «sligh«? Well, when I first thought about the deck I had seen quite a few decklists that combined Atog with Black Vise, Su-Chi or Ankh of Mishra, or with other creatures that weren’t artifacts, such as Serendib Efreet or Savannah Lions, but none played small creatures artifact and that’s what I based on to design it, in an army of low-cost creatures that were scratching the life of the opponent and when they were no longer useful were food for Atog, thus fulfilling a double function, that’s why it comes closer to the concept of «weenie»
- Like White Weenie or Black Weenie, it’s based on low-cost creatures and some disruption and in some way pump them. The best artifact creature of cost 1 in Old School is Brass Man, that was an easy choice. For a mana we have a 1/3 that if you want to untap it, you have to pay one colorless mana in upkeep, and if we can’t untap it, it will be food for Atog. He is able to stop Savannah Lions, Mishra Factory or Black Knight, not bad. Ornithopter is another artifact that we should include, by itself it’s no big deal, it enters free, flies and is a blocker of Hypnotic Specter, Serendib or Serra Angel, apart from being food for Atog, but combined with Blood Lust becomes more dangerous. Atog is our best creature, our «finisher», the bad thing is that it’s red and Circle of Protection: Red (from now on COP: Red) is played a lot.
- Battering Ram: I know it’s one of the most controversial cards in the deck, but then I explain the reasons why I included this card that is never played (unless you are playing a cube). As I said before, the concept of the deck is based on the «weenie concept», and in Old School Battering Ram is the only creature artifact of cost 2, we have the Ornithopter of cost 0, Brass Man of cost 1, the next in the list is Battering Ram, if wego to the next one on the list (cost 3) we have Onulet, Dragon Engine, Yotian Soldier … but the mana curve soar and in a 4-Strip Mine format and unpowered if the curve is high we run the risk of not being able to play them for to get stuck -and they would become dead cards in hand- hence playing Battering Ram, because we’ll be able to cast it on most occasions, it also has other advantages, its ability to win banding in the pre-combat phase is quite useful because we can attack with Atog and protect him if we see an unfavorable situation at the battlefield, and I already tell you that the two in attack will become virtually 2/3 which, in practice, will be almost unblockable, because if they block them all the damage will go to Battering Ram and we will save the Atog. Then there’s his second ability that if we find a wall, no matter how big, it will fall. And another reason to play it’s that there’s nothing more epic than winning a game by hitting with Battering Ram, I assure you.
- Ankh of Mishra and Copper Tablet: normally all Atog decks play with 4 Ankh of Mishra and occasionally some Copper Tablet, there’s no need to explain their power, starting T1 with Black Vise and T2 Ankh is almost a «prison style». I designed the deck with a ratio of 3 + 1 respectively. I decided on this combination because the Ankh of Mishra at an advanced game loses power, but the Copper Tablet, on the other hand, at an advanced game is good enough to scratch those points of life that resist us; I always want to see an Ankh in my opening hand and the Copper at late game, I even won a game thanks to Copper Tablet.
- I think that without Blood Lust the Ornithopter would be worse. A typical start for this deck is T1 Mishra, Brass Man and Ornithopter, T2 Mountain and attack with Brass Man and the Ornithopter plus Blood Lust, which takes 5 lifes points. Logically, in the second game it’s more difficult to do this because the opponent is already prevented.
- The red color isn’t famous for its ability to draw cards, so the only card we have to draw is Wheel of Fortune, amazing card, in this deck is decisive, as you have several Black Vise on the battlefield and get to solve the Wheel It can be very painful for the opponent.
- Balance is undoubtedly another of our MVPs, I played it as the only white card in main (you can also play in the sideboard), and it’s one of the few cards we have to confront big creatures such as Serra Angel, Juzam Djinn, Shivan Dragon etc. . It may seem incongruous to play it in the same deck along with Black Vise, for its enormous discarding power, but being so versatile we can have both in the main. As we also put many creatures on the battlefield we can do the trick of feeding Atog in response to Balance being resolved and it will surely be larger than the creature chosen by the opponent (unless it’s a Colossus of Sardia).
- We have 20 mana sources plus 4 Strip Mines, having so much artifact we can put the 8 colorless lands. Mishra`s Factory is essential and combines well with Atog, being the second best creature in the deck. We have 6 sources that give white to play our sideboard, and with that amount I have managed well, I have not missed the white color in any game.
- Obviously, one of our worst pairings is The Deck, which has a lot of cards against us: Moat, Swords to Plowshares, Lightning Bolt, Blue Elemental Blast, Disenchant, etc … but which decks are going well against The Deck? Few, of course. Nor do we like decks with big creatures like Erhnangeddon, or Workshops decks. Triskelion is our public enemy number 1, it will clean the battlefield as if it were an Wrath of God. Energy Flux is another of our worst nightmares, we want to have Red Elemental Blast at hand, or Disenchant. Sedge Troll will also put us in trouble as we only have Balance to get rid of. Of course, COP: Red, we’ll have to destroy as soon as we can.
Dust to Dust being a sorcery won’t be so scary to answer if we have Atog (And maybe it’s the opponent who has to exile his artifacts). We like the decks that runs Serendib Efreet because, although they do a lot of damage from above, we can play the race to see who does more damage. Monoblack, unless you get an early Juzam down, it can be a good pairing since with our removal we kill half an army.
- Our star card on the sideboard is undoubtedly Disenchant, essential. It’s the reason why I play with white and not with another color, it will help us break COP: Red, Moat, Tetravus, Energy Flux, etc., the list is long. The second best option is Red Elemental Blast, as it helps you fight Counterspell, Energy Flux, Serendib, etc. Then the rest is a matter of the local metagame, Winter Orb against control, City in a Bottle, Swords, Meekstone…
- As possible cards to include we have Jalum Tome, which is an artifact and draw engine. Orcish Mechanics also seems good option but it takes away artifacts that might come in handy for the Atog. Aeolipile is more direct damage than skips COP: Red. Aladdin, although the bad thing is its cost 4 that is high in the mana curve. We could even play Tawno´s Weaponry because it’s an cheap artifact and would give Ornithopter a plus.
- I think the splash to white is important, with blue you gain P9 and Serendib, with black Demonic Tutor and Gloom, with green Sylvan Library and Regrowth, but with white you gain Balance and Disenchant that for as it’s thought the deck seems to me better, Disenchant are critical against many strategies. Maybe with black you can make a good deck, but Gloom aren’t as decisive as the Disenchant. Monored I don’t see it effective enough because if opponent plays a COP: Red you won’t be able to do practically anything.
That’s all for today! With this deck we give a twist to the classic Atog deck (and budget-friendly). Thank you for reading and we’re waiting for you next month with a new post of #12months12decks I hope you liked it. You can follow the hashtag on Instagram and I would love to hear your impressions through the comments or on my Instagram account: @retroplayermtg
Until next time!