12 months, 12 decks (V) The Wizard’s Rack

INTRODUCTION

Hello to everyone again! The idea for this deck emerged when I saw a video on Timmy’s channel, YouTuber that I recommend you follow if you don’t already. In that video, Timmy, commented on 10 janky, unusual, but fun combos, and one of them was the Apprentice Wizard combo with Disrupting Scepter that, as you may be thinking, may not be a winning combo, or a devastating one, but I realized that perhaps the wizards werean undervalued and little played card, and combining it with the Disrupting Scepter made it a useful card, and let’s remember that the objective of this challenge is to transform cards that nobody plays into cards, at least, playable and achieve strategies different but that work. My first idea was to make a pure control deck, while you were removing cards from the opponent´s hand you had blue mana untapped to counter any threat and finish the games with The Rack.
This was the initial idea but the deck gradually became more versatile.

The idea is to play threats in the first turns and then discard cards from the opponent´s hand with the scepters while with the Icy Manipulator you control the battlefield, and finish the games with The Rack or Psionic Blast. I don’t play Counterspell because we´re not draw cards like The Deck and we don´t play white, and there comes a time when you cannot face all the opponent’s threats and you don´t get to develop your game, that’s why I ended up removing them, so I only play Mana Drain, which also helps you ramp, something necessary in deck strategy:

The Wizard’s Rack

DISSCUSSION

  • The «star card» is Apprentice Wizard, from which we will get a lot of value from the 3 mana it provides, because the whole strategy is built around it. It´s a slow way of ramping, isn’t the same as Mishra’s Workshop or Mana Vault, the wizards are very useful in the middle of the game when you have mana displayed and at least one Disrupting Scepter and with him on the battlefield you will be able to play anything that you draw. It´s also very useful when there is Energy Flux or when you need to pay for the Mana Vault to untap it.
  • Another star card is Disrupting Scepter. It´s somewhat slow but it goes well against control and against aggro it will be devastating because once The Rack is in play the opponent will try to keep the cards in hand but with the scepter we will discard them and with Apprentice Wizard we will only have to spend a blue mana, having untapped the rest of the lands.
  • We know the power of Sage of Lat-Nam in artifact decks, here it´s essential and it´s our draw engine together with Library of Alexandria, with which it gets along very well (we already know that sages go to the library a lot) but above all, it combines well with Mana Vault since we can play a Su-Chi or an Icy Manipulator in the first turns and then sacrifice the vault to draw a card before it hurts us.
  • We will need the Icy Manipulators to defend us from the opponent’s creatures, our favorite victims will be the omnipresent Serendib Efreet and Juzam Djinn. The Icy is usually the main objective of the Copy Artifact and with 3 Icy Manipulator on the table we can control aggro or midrange decks.
  • The Rack is another of the main objectives of the Copy Artifact, especially in the late game, and it´s that many times the game is decided by a double rack.
  • Azure Drake doesn´t see much game because Serendib Efreet is better, but here it shines because, being a pseudo-control deck in which many times you need to defend yourself rather than attack, the drake is perfect to block Serendib, Hypnotic Specter, etc, and doesn´t die with Lightning Bolt. For its cost you can easily play it with Mana Vault or Apprentice Wizard. Plus, survive the dreaded Energy Flux. The bad news is that he dies with a red blast, you can’t have everything…
  • A 4/4 for 4 mana was never bad and Su-Chi is the best example, and you can play it even on turn one, its greatest handicap are the 4 mana that must be used when it goes to the graveyard so that you don´t burn for mana burn (in EC rules) but that’s why we have the Mishras Factory, the scepters, the Icy Manipulator and even the Fountain of Youth. Su-Chi allows us to have that versatility I was talking about before, since we can get very aggro together with Copy Artifact. Apart from that it will help us ramp with Sage of Lat-Nam or avoid an Energy Flux in upkeep thanks to the 4 mana it provides.
  • In the photo there are 3 Psionic Blast but I played 4 and they works very well, so 3 or 4 is the ideal number, never less. They are necessary to remove threats like Serra Angel, or to surprise and get to remove 10 life points in the same turn with several The Rack in play.
  • Because I only run a Tetravus, or a single Triskelion? Well, as I said before, they are cards that raise the mana curve a lot and if we don´t have a Workshop then it´s more difficult to cast them. In this deck they are included as a finisher, they are large creatures, and the Tetravo is included in main because it flies and can jump Moat, a card that must always be taken into account, especially if you don´t play Disenchant.
  • Braingeyser or Mana Drain are the best restricted cards that you can include if you play blue and unpowered, and with all the mana you can generate they work well. Mana Drain can be saved you against threats like Armageddon or Energy Flux, which is better they not to touch the battlefield because if they don´t complicate the game much.
  • There are some cards that could be included, for example Jayemdae Tome, but this one gets on very badly with Mana Vault and Disrupting Scepter. Mind Bomb could be an option although I have always seen it more as a card for suicide-style decks, where it´s accompanied by fast creatures, such as Flying Men or Serendib Efreet, the latter we could also play it but that point of life that we take turn by turn It hurts us a lot, especially playing Mana Vault and Psionic. The Hive is a card to consider because the wasps are the perfect food for the sages and we will generate an infinite blocker and works well with Apprentice Wizard, even so it´s too slow and you need a lot of mana. Mirror Universe might be an option against burn decks but it doesn’t go well with The Rack. Recall may seem weak but you still have good goals like recovering a Braingeyser or a Chaos Orb.
  • Broadly speaking, The Wizard´s Rack works well against aggro and even better against midrange, that has fewer creatures and we can control better, and it works especially well against Monoblack decks since it cannot remove some of our threats (Control Magic, for example). Against control isn´t bad because we discard the cards with the scepters, but The Deck has so many options that we’re always one step behind, maybe it´s our worst pairing. We are going badly against Erhnangeddom because an Armaggedom sends us home, and against Atog or UR since the amount of sparks they have doesn´t give us time to react. Another horrible pairing is Ponza, against which it will cost us a lot to overcome the games.
  • The mana base has worked quite well for me playing in an environment of 4 Strip Mines and it would not change anything, and with so much colorless spell we can run the playset of Strip Mines and factories, the latter is essential to avoid burning ourselves with the colorless mana of the Su-Chi.
  • From the sideboard, Blue Elemental Blast are essential, Amnesia will be our best trick against The Deck and control decks, Control Magic is a «must have» against decks that cannot be removed it. Psychic Purge is another «must» against Monoblack but also against small creatures decks as it removes other annoying threats, such as Argothian Pixies or Preacher. Triskelion is a similar case, at once it enter the battlefield can make a 3 for 1, apart from being a good finisher. Fountain of Youth works great against decks like Atog or with Black Vise and Ankh of Mishra, since they go down for free and that life point you gain helps you cushion the damage of the Ankh since you need to drop land every turn and when already you don´t need them you can give them as food to the sage. Steal Artifact, Flash Counter or Boomerang are other options for the sideboard.

CONCLUSION

If you thought that Apprentice Wizard not worthed a penny, here you can see that it´s worth something else. In limited format or cube it´s a card to consider, but nobody played it in constructed, or at least I had not seen it in any deck. The Wizard’s Rack is a versatile deck with which maybe you will not win tournaments (or maybe yes, who knows), but with which you will have a good time. If you are curious, here you can see the list I played in the 1st day of the Madrid old school league in which I got a 3-2 and top 8.
If you want to comment on something I will be happy to hear from you, you can tell me your impressions through the blog comments or on my Instagram account @retroplayermtg
Regards and until next time!

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