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1.25.05

Hey all, and welcome back to the Deck Garage!  Hope yíall are enjoying the New Year, as well as the Betrayers of Kamigawa cards that have just come out.  This week, I was sent a land destruction deck by Brian.  Hereís the e-mailÖ

Symmetrical Land Destruction (60)

Creatures (8)                                        Lands (24)
4 Azusa, Lost but seeking                    16 Mountain
4 Rorix Bladewing                               4 Forest
                                                         4 Wooded Foothills

Spells (28)

4 Tectonic Break                                             
4 Raze                                                  Sideboard
4 Devastating Dreams                          3 Mountain
4 Cave-In                                            4 Pyroclasm
4 Pillage                                             4 Detonate
4 Crucible of worlds                             4 Shatter         
4 Winterís Grasp                                             

Deck name: Symmetrical Land Destruction

The Purpose of this deck is to destroy your lands and your opponents lands, but eventually bring yours back with Crucible and Azusa.  There are alot of peices of this deck to hold off weenie decks that are often fast enough to get creatures out before you can destroy their lands, these are Cave-In, Devasating Dreams, and even a Pyroclasm in the sideboard.  I run maindeck pillage for the choice of artifact destruction or land destruction.  Just incase one runs into a ravager-affinity the sideboard includes Detonate and Shatter.

        Any changes to this deck are fine with me.  What kind of budget am I on?  It could be described as modest at best.  Thanks for your time,

                                                             Brian F.

Looking over Brianís deck, I think he is off to a great start.  He has an acceptable amount of lands, his sideboard shows that he knows where his weaknesses lie, and he is running with a good concept for his deck.  There are a few changes I would like to make, though.

The first change is that I want to make is to actually pull a few land destruction spells.  Most decks that focus on land destruction should operate just fine with twelve or so land destruction spells, while the rest of the deck compliments the land advantage.  Looking over the deck, the weak links are probably Winterís Grasp and Tectonic Break.  Winterís Grasp is on that list because of the double green requirement in its casting cost and the fact that in this deck, it is a lesser Pillage.  Tectonic Break does something very similar to Devastating Dreams, but it is just more expensive, meaning Break gets cut.

-4 Tectonic Break
-4 Winterís Grasp

The next major change I would like to make is to pull a couple of copies of Rorix Bladewing and Azusa, Lost But Seeking.  Both are legendary creatures, and Brian probably doesnít want to see multiples of either card over the course of the game.

-2 Azusa, Lost But Seeking
-2 Rorix Bladewing

Brian now has twelve slots to reasonably work with, and I think at least some of those slots should be filled with cards that help him win the game.  If Brianís opponent manages to get any form of creature removal on the table, then he would currently have trouble winning with just Rorix Bladewing.

The first card I recommend using is the old standby, River Boa.  In addition to being a fairly cheap creature, the Boa serves well as a blocker if Brianís opponent manages to get out a sizable threat.

+4 River Boa

If we run with this theme of creatures that are good on both offense and defense, then Troll Ascetic jumps to mind immediately.  Brianís opponents will have a bit of trouble getting rid of it with any form of removal, and it is big enough to be a threat.

+4 Troll Ascetic

With these changes, a weenie rush might not be a huge issue for Brian, as his creatures begin to live through some of the initial rushes because of their regeneration.  I think this allows him to get rid of Cave-In and replace it with targeted removal.  Brian didnít supply a type, but his deck looks like it is all Extended legal, meaning I canít cop out and throw in Lightning Bolt.  Magma Jet, however, is legal and a decent choice for both removal and making sure that Brian is getting all of the cards he needs when he needs them.

-4 Cave-In
+4 Magma Jet

Brian still has four slots available, and I think these could probably be Sakura-Tribe Elder.  The Elder not only provides an additional (if small) threat for later in the game, but it also helps Brian get a quick land advantage on his opponent.  It can also help thin out Brianís deck if he is on the hunt for Devastating Dreams or Crucible of Worlds.

+4 Sakura-Tribe Elder

With the changes to Brianís deck, his land could probably use a bit of fixiní.  The first thing I would like to do is throw in Karplusan Forest, which is often forgotten when making sure a deck will have an adequate number of land.

+4 Karplusan Forest

Next, Iím going to cut the Mountains from sixteen down to ten and increase the Forests from four up to six.

-6 Mountain
+2 Forest 

Turning the attention to Brianís sideboard, there are a couple of things that I think could be better.  I definitely donít like the three mountains eating up valuable space, and Shatter here just bothers me.  Shatter, for 1R, destroys one artifact.  Naturalize, for 1G, destroys one artifact *or* one enchantment.

-4 Shatter [SB]
+4 Naturalize [SB] 

Looking at how Brianís deck is designed, I think his biggest issue might come from any form of a control deck, which only has to counter a few key spells to let the game go in their favor.  Thus, over the three Mountains, Iím putting in Boil.  Destroying all Islands at instant speed seems right up this deckís alley.

-3 Mountain [SB]
+3 Boil [SB]

I think that about wraps up work on this deck; hereís how it came outÖ

CREATURES (16):

2 Azusa, Lost But Seeking
4 River Boa
2 Rorix Bladewing
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Troll Ascetic

NON-CREATURE SPELLS (20):

4 Crucible of Worlds
4 Devastating Dreams
4 Magma Jet
4 Pillage
4 Raze

LAND (24):

6 Forest
4 Karplusan Forest
10 Mountain
4 Wooded Foothills

SIDEBOARD (15):

3 Boil
4 Detonate
4 Naturalize
4 Pyroclasm

I hope that helps, Brian, and good luck!  Iíll see yíall next weekÖ

-Paul Hagan

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