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Going in Blind: The Conclave’s Chorus

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It's that time again: I was stretching to find a topic for last week's article. I guess it's unfortunate that new installments of this series will usually come when I've temporarily run dry; it'll give them a more negative bent. So I'll try to stay positive. This is a hobby, nobody should be reading articles that are any less entertaining than I can make them. And sure, this sort goes on inside my head. I'm not going to lie about what I'm thinking, I'm just going to decide not to get so dejected in the first place. After all, building new Commander decks is fun, and there's no reason that starting with a random Legend should change that.

Alright, enough stalling. What do you have for me today random button?

Click.

Click.

Click.

Click.

Well, that's better than [card Myojin of Cleansing Fire]Myojin[/card] was, at least it doesn't have a much better commander trying to fill the same role in the same colors. I could do cool things with Mindless Automaton and friends, and it would work wonders with [card Glistener Elf]Infect creatures[/card]. It's good with evasion abilities and small creatures with abilities that belong on larger ones. In fact, this sounds like the sort of deck I might enjoy playing!

Oh.

Right.

That's exactly the same set of attributes my [card The Mimeoplasm]Mimeoplasm[/card] deck has.

At least this has a new color.

The point here is to find some reason you would actually want to play said commander, and if I'm going to delve into [card the Mimeoplasm]Mimeoplasm[/card] territory, white had better offer some interesting things.

I mean, I guess [card Chorus of the Conclave]Chorus[/card] makes for a less intimidating commander, even though it still functions pretty well as long as you're not trying to kill the table with Triskelion. Also, while my [card The Mimeoplasm]'Plasm[/card] build didn't include a whole lot of graveyard interaction, it still used a lot of deck slots on fatties which we should be able to free up for [card chorus of the conclave]Chorus[/card]. The question is what to fill them with.

I'm not as concerned about this deck being overpowered as I was with the Ooze, so tutoring effects are probably okay in this build. Good thing too, as to make [card chorus of the conclave]Chorus[/card] effective we need a lot of mana. I guess some more token making cards could make their way in here as well seeing as I mostly avoided those in 'Plasm.

Time to boot up magiccards.info (ever since they added the color identity search option I've preferred this to Gatherer purely based on loading speed). This process could use some music; Stan Rogers' Barett's Privateers Pandora station away!

Removing Counters

Well, the [card Phantom Tiger]Phantom creatures[/card] want a static boost, not more counters; I'm not even sure Sekki, Seasons' Guide is worthwhile. Lunar Avenger will always be worse than [card Akroma, Angel of Wrath]Akroma[/card]. Some of these Pentavus impersonators are completely unplayable. At least Suncrusher might finally have a chance here with no [card Visara the Dreadful]Visara[/card] or [card Avatar of Woe]Avatar[/card] to compete with. Still, build your own Visara isn't all that exciting, even less so when it costs you eleven mana.

Nonetheless, I've got some sick stuff going on here. Workhorse is exactly that, imagine casting it 'kicked' three times, then dropping Triskelion with fourteen counters the following turn! Fertilid, while less explosive, is even better; who doesn't want an engine of “1: Draw a Rampant Growth?”

But none of these do anything The Mimeoplasm wouldn't do better...

Power. It Matters.

Maybe white will offer up some more 'stats matter' cards, though red would really be ideal for that role. Besides, The Mimeoplasm can only be one creature at a time, so [card Chorus of the Conclave]our choral arrangement[/card] should actually work better with Viridian Joiner and friends.

So, Auriok Bladewarden and a bunch of life gain. I guess I really shouldn't have expected anything better. It's also unfortunate that Chorus of the Conclave doesn't interact very well with Persist.

Something Old and Something New, Something White and Nothing Blue

White must offer something old [card The Mimeoplasm]Dino-Ooze[/card] doesn't have access to. What's in white's slice of the color pie that interacts favorably with big creatures? Vigilance? Sure, but that's not going to do enough. Lifelink? Yeah, maybe with Vigilance, but neither really stands on its own. What about [card Battle Mastery]Double Strike[/card]?

Some of these seem fine, but more importantly, this is finally a deck that wants Bushi Tenderfoot // Kenzo the Hardhearted! Back before I started playing in tournaments I had a mono-white deck in which I played all of my 'best' cards. Yes, that does mean I used Celestial Dawn and False Dawn to cast Phage the Untouchable and B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) in #theworldbefore[card Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth]urborg[/card]. Among my favorites was Raksha Golden Cub, so naturally I included Shield of Kaldra (and the [card Sword of Kaldra]other[/card] [card Helm of Kaldra]pieces[/card]) to improve him. [card Bushi Tenderfoot]Kenzo, the Hardhearted[/card] was simply too good to pass up. Of course, I never did manage to flip him.

Critial Hit

But back to the deck at hand, there's one more category of creatures to look through. You know what they say about massive creatures: they deal massive damage.

Hey, most of these are actually pretty cool! Kusari-Gama is the only one really left out (it's just a worse Whispersilk Cloak 95% of the time). Still, [card Sakiko, Mother of Summer]Sakiko[/card] and [card Mark of Sakiko]Mark[/card] (what a cute couple) are pretty cool. I've espoused Summer's Mother's value in a token deck, and while we might have some of those, she's almost as good with enormous creatures as with little ones.

Moving On

Alright, that sums up our interactions with [card Chorus of the Conclave]Chorus[/card], it's time to move on... what's this? I'm being informed that +1/+1 counters can interact with cards without being removed. Whoops!

Glad I didn't miss those, but now I can get to formulating a de-

The creatures want to attack? Fine, fine, I'll find some evasion and protection for them.

I'm Sorry Ms. Jackson

Finally, time to figure out what's actually going in the deck. Usually I stick everything I want to play in one long document, and then painstakingly cut cards away until I have few enough to run. That usually takes more than a week, and I don't have that kind of time right now. I'm leaving for New York, and I doubt I'll find enough pairs of fresh eyes in time to weed out all of the bad ideas. This time I'm going to try starting with only the cards I'm absolutely sure of, then adding cards until I reach the right number. Of course, knowing me it'll still be too many at the start.

Mycoloth offers unparalleled token production; Soul's Might should be almost as awesome in here as it has been in The Mimeoplasm; Hydra Omnivore dishes out too much damage to pass up; and Garruk's Packleader should draw for every creature I cast.

And just like that, only forty-two of my sixty-two slots are filled! Oh wait, I still need to add more ramp, I'll focus on bigger ramp spells to get to ridiculous levels of mana, but the doublers get wrathed away. I guess I'll need some land ramp too. Wait, Cultivate and friends should be replaced with some creatures to work with Chorus when I'm flooded. And there are still seven free spots!

I guess some more removal's in order, and Woodfall Primus has trample. Twilight Drover should have enough tokens to work with, but how about Congregation at Dawn just to make sure. Chorus really wants to be casting one spell per turn anyway. This deck needs a lot of basics for all of the fetching. Just like in Standard you want at least one basic per fetch in slow decks, we have ways to find approximately seventeen basic lands, so in they go. The list is still a bit light on removal, so with this many basics why not go for a Mouth of Ronom? A little more tweaking, and:

[deck title=Ach Hans-pella][Chorus]Chorus of the Conclave[/Chorus]
[Beats]Auriok Bladewarden
Chameleon Colossus
Nantuko Mentor
Souls Might
Bushi Tenderfoot
Student of Warfare
Canopy Crawler
True Conviction
Bramblewood Paragon
Hydra Omnivore
Beloved Chaplain
Silhana Ledgewalker
Ajani Goldmane
Skyhunter Skirmisher
Mirran Crusader
Pentavus
Triskelavus
Kinsbaile Borderguard
Mycoloth
Living Hive
Pollenbright Wings
Twilight Drover[/Beats]
[Accompaniment]Etched Oracle
Mindless Automaton
Cream of the Crop
Drumhunter
Garruks Packleader
Greater Good
Kavu Lair
Paleoloth
Wild Pair
Congregation at Dawn[/Accompaniment]
[Solos]Shinewend
Triskelion
Spike Weaver
Wall of Reverence
Soltari Visionary
Duplicant
Woodfall Primus
Terastodon[/Solos]
[Harmony]Spearbreaker Behemoth
Lightning Greaves
Swiftfoot Boots[/Harmony]
[Cadence]Fertilid
Workhorse
Viridian Joiner
Mark of Sakiko
Sakiko, Mother of Summer
Mana Reflection
Miraris Wake
Explosive Vegetation
Hunting Wilds
Skyshroud Claim
Solemn Simulacrum
Wood Elves
Farhaven Elf
Primeval Titan
Yavimaya Dryad
Kor Cartographer
Ondu Giant
Quirion Trailblazer[/Cadence]
[Bass]Mosswort Bridge
Windbrisk Heights
Emeria, the Sky Ruin
Yavimaya Hollow
Miren, the Moaning Well
Kor Haven
Mystifying Maze
Temple Garden
Horizon Canopy
Stirring Wildwood
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Tower of the Magistrate
Brushland
Sunpetal Grove
Krosan Verge
Windswept Heath
Wooded Bastion
Saltcrusted Steppe
Mouth of Ronom
Scrying Sheets
Arctic Flats
10 Snow-Covered Forest
7 Snow-Covered Plains[/Bass][/deck]

Well, I'm not sure if this new deck building approach panned out. It was a lot faster, and it resulted in a less staple-heavy list, but at the same time it came out with a less balanced list because categories where I had too many good cards ate up more slots than they should have.

What do you think? Want to see more of these, or would you like different subject matter/tone? Any thoughts on the deck or the process?

Jules Robins
julesdrobins@gmail.com/Google+
@JulesRobins on twitter

8 thoughts on “Going in Blind: The Conclave’s Chorus

    1. In my ever-present quest to cut down on staple use, I've excluded it in the hopes that the deck would be strong enough without it. That said, it probably causes more fun/ridiculous results than say, Solemn Simulacrum, so perhaps my efforts would be better directed elsewhere.

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