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Felipe Musco
Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:17 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianópolis, SC, Brasil
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If you want a cheap deck, this is your choice!
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14 Snow-Covered Island
3 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Dreadship Reef
3 Desert
1 Urza’s Factory
3 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
2 Fathom Seer
2 Willbender
4 Vesuvan Shapeshifter
4 Brine Elemental
4 Remand
4 Cancel
4 Spell Snare
2 Think Twice
2 Repeal
4 Mana Leak

4 Rewind
1 Draining Whelk
3 Phyrexian Ironfoot
2 Willbender
2 Repeal
2 Shadow of Doubt
1 Wipe Away

If you want to play a cheaper deck, and learn about all different play styles of Magic, play this build. It’s an aggro-control-combo deck! Not an explosive aggro, but has some early drops, can reach in for damage, and well, Brine Elemental IS a 5/4! Control due to the card advantage and counters, and combo because of the deck’s main goal: locking down the opponent!
The Pickles combo consists on having a face-up Brine Elemental, and a Vesuvan Shapeshifter (either face-up or face down). During your upkeep, you can flip down the Shapeshifter, and when you flip it up, you do it copying Brine Elemental, unleashing his "skip the untap step" clause. Doing it every turn, your opponent will never get to untap again, as you calmly beat him down to put him to sleep. Also, notice most creatures are morphs, enabling all sorts of Shapeshifter shennanigans, like flipping him up copying Fathom Seer, drawing cards without having to return Islands to your hand, or copying Willbender, protecting your creatures even from Split Second spells, sucking pump effects, reflecting some removals, and even making an opponent Extirpate himself! If you want to kae a more beatdown-ish route, you can board in Phyrexian Ironfoot, but if you want to save some bucks, just cut him loose and drop the Snow Lands.

Brewing Cost: 68.55

Adding Future Sight to the Mix:
This deck has not that much going on for it in FS. The first addition, from my point of view, would be Delay over Remand, for the reasons stated in my article about FS. If Delay is going MD, then Nix probably coul, too, make it’s way atleast into the SB. Since the deck DOES have a "combo" in it, protecting the pieces is of vital importance, and although Wilbender can turn Extirpate away from Briny or Shapy, Logic Knot could play an important role as well. Also, 1-2 Pact of Negation can help out, too, in a pinch, although this is not a real combo deck that "goes off", so it can be dangerous. Then, Tolaria West could come in for some nice interactions that could, for instance, allow for a singleton Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to make it into the deck, allowing for sideboarded Tendrils of Corruption against aggro decks. Zoetic Cavern could work out, too, specially as a "bait" to removal spells. Venser, Shaper Savant could find a spot at the sideboard, too, perhaps over a Rewind.

How to stop it:
Although Pickles is one of the most popular monocolored decks out there right now, it’s incredibly slow most of the time, so the best way to beat it is rushing it, packing removal to take out the morphs when they’re still at their early stages. Also, any card that can disrupt the lock can cripple them enough to outrun them.

White Weenie can try to rush it, and even throw a wrench with a well-played Mana Tithe early on. In control, white has a harder time, as Wrath of God probably won’t ever resolve, and Faith’s Fetters can’t stop the Shapeshifter Shennanigans, since morph is not an activated ability. Temporal Isolation on Brine Elemental won’t help out, too, as they can declare it as an attacker (thus benefitting from shadow), and bounce Temporal Isolation with Repeal after blockers have been declared and damage has been stacked, so it does not produce any effect. Magus of the Moat can hose down their win conditions, but not the combo.

Black’s early disruption can most certainly stop Pickles on its tracks. Also, if you cannail an early combo piece with a Brain Pry or similar spell, you can Extirpate it (before they can play around Willbender, that is) to make you life that much easier. Then, Sudden Death is also a great asset, killing pretty much ANY creature they may have, morphed or unmorphed. A well cast Bitter Ordeal can make things much harder for Pickles, too. Black’s discard spells may also make it easier resolving Damnation, so you can take back control of the game.

Careful on a mirror match, so you won’t cast Brine Elemental, enabling THEIR Shapeshifter to copy YOUR Elemental, giving THEM the combo earlier. Other than that, the best way blue can TRY to stop pickles is through a Tron-based Spell Burst lockdown, with Repeal to bounce back any thing that might have slipped through your guard.

Green can try and beat Pickles by packing an early punch, or more easily by making room in the sideboard for 1-2 Seedborn Muse, which can then be fetched by Sumonner’s Pact, Weird Harvest, heck, even Chord of Calling if you can ramp up fast enough with Magus of the Vineyard.

Red can try and beat Pickles with Sligh builds, and by packing enough removal to make it harder for the Pickles player to even keep his morphs down in the frist place.

If you have counter back-up, Teferi’s Moat pretty uch shuts down Pickles. You still won’t stop the combo, mind you, but you WILL stop them from winning, so you cant ake your time to kill them slowly. Resolving a Simic Sky Swallower or Rumbling Slum can be pretty helpful, too, in a sense they won’t be able to stop it accordingly soon enough, and with the Swallower, they’ll have to get the combo out as sonn as possible, which will not necessarily happen. Putrefies and Mortifies can run rampant, as well, if you have enough room.
I don't like YOU.

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