Thursday 12 March 2015

Chittering Lapse.dec

Chittering RatsBack in the good old days of magic when most cubes were powered, most creatures were awful and combo decks were a big part of cube there were a number of archetypes that could only compete by denying the opposition the ability to do their thing. Pox style black decks and Winter Orb Selesnya lists were the main two but there are a fair few varients. Generally these decks attack mana bases, occasionally the hand, which slows the game right down and allows you to take a lead with your weaker cards. As dorks got better and people tired of the power you no longer needed to supplement your weenie decks with this kind of disruption to be able to take games and so favouring more threats, consistency and redundancy we have seen a decline of these kinds of resource attack deck. Since the release of Unexpectedly Absent I have been wanting to try out a version of resource attacking that attacks your capacity to draw new cards or out of a situation. With a bit of focused removal, be it land, hand or threat the idea is to slow their ability to do much useful, with this gained time you can set them back further by forcing them to draw cards they already had or irrelevant things. Sadly this is only a strategy that goes as far as not losing, I had no actual idea how I intended to win games and having never tried a deck like this out before I was not so sure which sort of direction to go in. This is the list I ended up running, a couple of C cube cards and a couple of B cube things too. It is lovely when you reach a critical mass of a type of thing that you can make new archetypes in cube and while I only managed a 50/50 with this deck I had a lot of fun and some great games with it. 

23 Spells
Memory Lapse
Inquisition of Kozilek
Swords to Plowshares
Ancestral Visions

Delver of Secrets

Snapcaster Mage
Unexpectedly Absent
Memory Lapse

Dark Confident
Baleful Strix
Unexpectedly Absent
Azorius Charm
Tidehollow Sculler

Lapse of Certainty
Chittering Rats
Esper Charm

Lingering Souls

Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Restoration Angel

17 Lands


Wasteland, no other colourless
Single Basic (Island)
3x Sac Lands
2x Dual Man Lands

I considered playing green as well for Temporal Spring, Deathrite Shaman and perhaps even Plow Under but I thought I should leave that till I had some more experience with the deck. Deathrite would still have been decent in this list and would likely have done more work than Delver. Waterfront Bouncer was a serious consideration as it would allow for a Chittering Rats lock as well as some good utility with Snapcaster. Venser, Shaper Savant also had appeal but in the end I went for the more rounded Restoration Angel figuring that trying to get a lock on people was hopeful and I would be better off trying to actually win games. For this reason also I threw in Delver of Secrets and Lingering Souls, both powerful cheap cards that can win games if pushed to do so and are good for tempo. The Delver was fine but a little superfluous to requirements, perhaps if I had Diving Top or Brainstorm in the build for some reason. 

Azorius Charm was surprisingly good, for the first time ever I used the lifelink ability to blow someone out and win a race rather than just to edge a few life points further away from burn range! Lots of the cards were more useful in this deck than they usually are, little subtle things about them made quite a big difference. Esper Charm for example, being instant speed discard worked very well with knowing your opponents draws a lot of the time and wanting to deny them the opportunity to do anything useful with their mana and turn. Jace is obviously great but almost all of his uses were better in this deck. Fateseal is much in line with limiting the utility of drawing cards. Bounce can be a Timewalk if used on Chittering Rats or even Snapcaster Mage.

It is very satisfying to Memory Lapse a spell on a turn they miss a land drop only to then blow up a land so that they cannot recast what you Lapsed. Misinformation is a complete powerhouse that most people are unaware of. Best case scenario it is a one mana triple Timewalk! Obviously this is hard to engineer and so the card is a little too narrow for main cube use however this is the deck to best take advantage of the card and even though I was mostly only getting two wasted turns with the card that still felt pretty game winning. The deck is sadly a little polar, it is very good at punishing weak draws, floods and screws alike. It is good against threat light decks and decks taking risks. What it is not good against a cheap decks full of redundancy. A good white weenie or RDW should tear this to bits. Against the solid midrange decks you do also tend to need them to have a weaker draw to be in with a reasonable chance. I could easily see adding another one mana black discard spell to the deck and Looter il-Kor would be a great addition also. I would like to have squeezed a Mox in as well but didn't think I would be able to withstand the card disadvantage. This is not a viable tier one deck you can just make blind and hope to do well with however it is a good counter to certain types of thing and rewarding and fun to play with, if not against!                       

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