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Courier's Secrets


In this experiment, we enact a soulful, secret plan to flood the field with morphs from the clouds.

Next week is my friend Steven’s birthday, though that’s not directly related to this article—if it were, I'd be saving this for next week's article. You see, Steven has an Animar deck with a morph theme that takes advantage of Animar, Soul of Elements’s ability to let us cast morphed creatures for free. Happy early birthday, Steven!

Today, I’ll be going over some ideas for a sixty-card version of this idea, especially taking advantage of Khans of Tarkir’s multiple morph creatures that can be turned face up for no mana. Watcher of the Roost, Dragon's Eye Savants, Ruthless Ripper, Horde Ambusher, and Temur Charger can all be turned up for the low, low cost of revealing a card of their respective colors.

With Secret Plans, we can draw a card every time we morph something up. With Animar making our guys free, with a bunch of free-to-morph-up creatures, and with Secret Plans drawing us a card for each time, we should be in pretty good shape.

The Five-Color Reveal

When looking for creatures that could morph up for no mana, I was surprised by the number of options. Putrid Raptor and Zombie Cutthroat make the list, but they don’t make the cut. They might make for some kind of Zombie variant on this theme, but their costs are a bit steep and restrictive for today’s plans.

Proteus Machine was in the list for a bit—it’s kind of the archetypical example of what I was looking for; unfortunately, there were just too many options. It could be the case that there aren’t enough cards to reveal for the Khans uncommons, in which case Proteus Machine could replace Ruthless Ripper or Watcher of the Roost, but for now, those two have too much utility.

Proteus Machine
Fathom Seer
Gathan Raiders

Fathom Seer is the morph version of Gush, and it can give us some extra fuel when we need it. But requiring two Islands to return to our hand is almost a steeper cost than paying mana, so I’m reluctant to play too many in a deck like this. We’ll probably only be able to use one per game if things are going anywhere close to our way. Gathan Raiders is similar in that its cost is somewhat steep but that it made the cut still, even if not as a four-of. In the end, the Raiders’s synergy with Anger as our finisher is what gave it one slot.

Finally, one of the interesting parts of filling out this deck was deciding what five-color card to run to pay the costs of all the Khans uncommons. I knew I wanted a five-color card, but I wanted it to be one that we could reasonably use. Conflux, for example, would be very powerful—grabbing us five more morphs to cast with Animar—but its 3wubrg is just too steep. I wanted a five-color card with some alternate casting cost, and it turns out Transguild Courier has the alternate cost of 0 with Animar. Sure, it doesn’t offer anywhere near the card advantage of Conflux, but it’s a card we’ll actually be able to cast, and it can be the last 3/3 we play when we’re comboing off.

Transguild Courier
Sliver Overlord

Cloudstone Curio

Cloudstone Curio
I kind of hate this card. It’s used in so many infinite combos, and it basically enables anything. It makes for super-powerful combos that take very little consideration or setup. It pushes a lot of other cards with combo potential into the range of just not being as good as the better option (which is the Curio).

That said, I think this deck is one in which I felt it was almost necessary. Assuming we cast Animar, Soul of Elements and control Secret Plans, and assuming we’re able to cast enough morphs to put at least 3 counters on Animar, and assuming we can turn face up those morph creatures to draw cards, we can continue on and on, playing more and more morphs and drawing more and more cards—until we inevitably have a hand full of lands, extra Animars, and so on. At some point, our turn will just be over.

Now, we do have Gathan Raiders and Anger, so we could run more copies of those cards to increase our chances of just playing enough creatures and making a big enough Animar that we can kill our opponent(s). If you’d prefer to avoid Cloudstone Curio (as I might), you could cut those to make room for the Raiders and Angers—or maybe some copies of Trail of Mystery and Proteus Machine.

But what Cloudstone Curio enables us to do, of course, is go infinite. If we can cast a morph for free, we can return another morph to our hand. We can turn the morph we cast face up to draw a card (with Secret Plans) and then cast the morph returned—and repeat. In that way, we’ll be able to draw as much of our library as we want to ensure we reach the Gathan Raiders and the Anger.

Ruthless Ripper
Watcher of the Roost
Horde Ambusher

Alternatively—or additionally—we can use Ruthless Ripper and Watcher of the Roost repeatedly to gain infinite life and win the game without the combat step. If we still prefer combat, Horde Ambusher can remove all opposing creatures as potential blockers, and Rattleclaw Mystic will allow us to generate infinite mana. During Cloudstone Curio loops with the Mystic, we can pay 2 to turn it up to generate gur. When we repeat, we’ll have netted 1 mana. I don’t know what we’ll be doing with the mana in this deck, but if you want a mana sink in a morph deck, take a look at Hooded Hydra.

After having gone over all those infinite options, I already regret even bringing up the idea of Cloudstone Curio. That Anger-centric plan with which I just get to attack with a bunch of morph creatures sounds so much more interesting, though less powerful. But as I try to write about various combos, I suppose I should bring up the combo standbys every once in a while.

If you love Animar, if you love morphs, or if you just want to play with Secret Plans because of that awesome art—and wish it had been used on a sweet rakshasa Cat Demon creature (the way I do)—give this deck a try.

Andrew Wilson


fissionessence at hotmail dot com

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