(No infinite mana combo today. Let me playtest it first, OK? - And playtesting today revealed a shocking possibility in my Arcane Burn - 20 damage in one turn using 5 lands and about 6 cards - there's a catch of course. ;) ) A few fine months ago, I thought of finding a way to run a mana acceleration deck using green to play Crush of Wurms early enough to matter. I executed this fine plan recently, thanks to Yam guiding me towards a certain card I had overlooked - Gilded Lotus.
The deck list is simple, focusing merely on one objective - playing Crush of Wurms, and playing it via flashback within the next few turns - preferably by the turn after the next.
18 Forests 6 Mountains
4 Llanowar Elves 4 Fyndhorn Elder 4 Orochi Leafcaller (placeholder - 4 Traproot Kami would be better) 4 Sakura-Tribe Elder 4 Kodama's Reach 4 Gilded Lotus 4 Fireball 4 Crush of Wurms 3 Staff of Domination 1 Sekki, Seasons' Guide
I'm not going to autocard anything just yet. Why not? You can merrily hop on to Wizards and check up on cards you are interested in. Unlike my Mycosynth Golem deck, there are few interesting cards, if any. First up, let me explain how the perfect hand would play.
Turn 1: Forest, Llanowar Elves (2 green mana) Turn 2: Forest (3 green), Fyndhorn Elder, (5 green) Turn 3: Forest (6 green), Gilded Lotus (9 green) Turn 4: Crush of Wurms Turn 5: Forest (10 green), Kodama's Reach (11 green), attack with 3 6/6 Wurm tokens Turn 6: Forest (12 green) - flashback Crush of Wurms, attack with 3 6/6 Wurm tokens Turn 7: If opponent still alive, attack with 6 6/6 Wurm tokens. Any questions?
How often does this actually happen? Never. It has never happened during any of the 10 playtests I have had with my younger brother's deck. It usually hits on turn 6, usually changing the entire game mentality all the way slanted towards you winning. The deck generally reaches around 13 mana every game - meaning you have a lot of headspace for expensive creatures and spells.
Here's something that's more likely to happen: Turn 1: Forest (1 green), Orochi Leafcaller Turn 2: Forest (2 green), Sakura-Tribe Elder (sacrificed when blocking something) (3 green) Turn 3: Forest (4 green), Fyndhorn Elder (6 green) Turn 4: Mountain (7 mana), Gilded Lotus (10 mana), Kodama's Reach (11 mana) Turn 5: Forest (12 mana), Fireball the advancing army (say bye bye to the few annoyances) Turn 6: Mountain (13 mana), Staff of Domination (at end of opponent's turn, draw two cards with the staff) Turn 7: Crush of Wurms Turn 8: Forest (14 mana), flashback Crush of Wurms Turn 9: Fireball everything your opponent has that is still standing or tap it with Staff of Domination, swing unstoppably for 36 damage.
Now, let me explain my card choices. Orochi Leafcaller is a placeholder - you can replace it with anything cheap like Wear Away or Naturalize to rid threats you don't like. Sakura Tribe-Elder and Kodama's Reach provide you with mana to deal with problems when neither Llanowar Elves or Fyndhorn Elder show up to help you with your mana base. Gilded Lotus is always a good thing to drop when you have the mana - it's a good investment, losing 2 mana (since you can tap it the turn you play it) the turn you play it to get 3 mana additional mana every turn following the drop.
Fireball may seem out of place, since I'm placing the rough average mana cap of 13, meaning you won't be burning your opponent out of the picture. However, looking carefully at things will tell you that 13 mana is a lot when it comes do dealing with creatures on the board. It helps you survive against weenie decks, allowing you more time to draw your fatties. A 13-mana Fireball usually means most of an army, if not the entire army. Crush of Wurms is a natural - nine mana to play, and only 12 to flashback. Why not Tooth and Nail? It's a card advantage thing. Staff of Domination is a crazy card - fooling around with card drawing, life gaining and creature tapping while you have around 13 mana is no joke to your opponent. Why Sekki, Seasons' Guide? Simple, to stall - a lame excuse to say I don't know what is better to put here.
The resilience of this deck is probably overlooked, since it works more like a combo deck - running off only on one main card - Crush of Wurms. This deck is actually far more resilient than it looks. It can hold off against white weenies long enough to pull of Crush of Wurms. The game isn't lost if you draw very few lands. I've executed a Crush of Wurms with two Forests in play. I've also executed Crush of Wurms with 13 Forests in play. Doesn't sound realistic? It happens.
Everything focuses on Crush of Wurms. The moment it hits - the change of mentality is enough to win you the game.
So, what's the next article? Hopefully, I'll be able to present to you my version of the infinite mana combo. It won't be entirely unique, but it'll be entirely fun.