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Magic: The Gathering - Core Set 2020
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Doom Blast

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If there’s one thing I learned from the Magic 2015 prerelease, it’s that casting a hasty Scuttling Doom Engine on turn four using Generator Servant is insane. I won the first event I played in with two Servants and a Doom Engine, and a friend of mine won the second event with the same combo. Given how incredibly easily this wins games in Limited, I decided to see if I could turn the idea into a Standard deck that could be built on a budget.

There are a lot of different shells you could use for such a deck. You could throw the two cards into a normal Red Deck Wins shell or play green as well to make a heavy ramp deck. However, I really wanted a deck that would let me also use Shrapnel Blast. Sacrificing the Doom Engine with Shrapnel Blast gives you 11 direct damage, which is absolutely absurd for 2 mana. To make sure Shrapnel Blast would have other options as well, I decided to go with a more artifact-based deck.

The Creatures

Scuttling Doom Engine
Generator Servant’s main purpose is to power out Scuttling Doom Engine, but enabling a hasty Illusory Angel isn’t bad either. Also note that the 2 mana can be used for anything, so overloading Cyclonic Rift is another option.

Scuttling Doom Engine is very difficult to deal with effectively. Unless it becomes exiled by something like Banishing Light, it will always get in for at least 6 damage, and it can’t be chump-blocked by small creatures. By leaving mana open for Shrapnel Blast, you can make sure your opponent will be taking a bunch of damage no matter what.

Despite playing Ensoul Artifact and Shrapnel Blast, Ornithopter is not a card I originally wanted to include in the deck. It just doesn’t do anything on its own, and unlike decks such as Affinity and Tempered Steel, in which I’ve played the card in the past, the deck doesn’t have eight or ten ways to turn a 0/2 into an effective attacker. However, a third card that works well with the free creature seemed like enough to warrant its inclusion.

The card that pushed me over the edge was Illusory Angel. With Ornithopter, you can have a 4/4 flying on turn three. Even without Ornithopter, there are enough cheap spells in the deck that Illusory Angel will be playable by turn five at the latest, and if Serra Avenger is any indication, the under-costed flyer is good enough even if you have to wait a couple turns to cast it.

Phyrexian Revoker is one more artifact you can turn into a 5/5 or sacrifice to Shrapnel Blast, and it’s a pretty solid one in the current Standard format. Most of the best decks in Standard prominently feature at least one Planeswalker, and shutting that down while also making a 2/1 doesn’t seem bad at all. Unlike its predecessor Pithing Needle, it can even be used to cut off mana from cards like Elvish Mystic and Sylvan Caryatid.

Frenzied Goblin gives you something to play on turn one or a cheap spell to enable Illusory Angel. Cutting off a blocker every turn can be devastating in a deck as fast as this one. Your opponent has to leave back one more blocker than he’d like to, and the best of the bunch will be taken out of commission for the turn.

The Spells

Ensoul Artifact
Ensoul Artifact’s primary purpose is to turn Darksteel Citadel into an indestructible 5/5. Barring that, Ornithopter is a pretty good target as long as it doesn’t die to removal instantly. If your opponent does have removal, it’s not a huge loss. Ornithopter barely counts as a card, so it’s not much of a two-for-one.

Shrapnel Blast sacrificing Scuttling Doom Engine is the dream, but sacrificing Ornithopter or Darksteel Citadel is still pretty good, whether you’re using it as a removal spell or to finish your opponent.

Hot Soup gives the deck a bit of extra reach as well as another cheap artifact to sacrifice or turn into a 5/5. Putting it on Scuttling Doom Engine is pretty sweet—even if your opponent has something like Lightning Strike to take advantage, he’ll still be taking 6 damage. A Darksteel Citadel enchanted with Ensoul Artifact is another great option, as it’s completely immune to the destroy trigger.

Cyclonic Rift and Lightning Strike give you a little extra removal. Lightning Strike can also be used to help burn out your opponent in combination with Shrapnel Blast or Scuttling Doom Engine. Cyclonic Rift has the advantage of being able to deal with creatures of any size, and it can sometimes be overloaded for a devastating setback.

Playtesting

Jund Monsters — Game 1

Ornithopter
My opponent won the roll and played a Forest. I played Izzet Guildgate, cast Ornithopter, and passed the turn.

He cast Sylvan Caryatid, and I enchanted my Ornithopter with Ensoul Artifact. I attacked for 5 and ended my turn.

My opponent cast Polukranos, World Eater and passed the turn. I attacked for 5 again, played a Guildgate, and passed back.

My opponent cast Domri Rade and used his -2 to make his Polukranos fight my Ornithopter, killing both. During his end step, I cast Lightning Strike to kill Domri. I cast Frenzied Goblin followed by Illusory Angel and ended my turn.

My opponent cast Courser of Kruphix, killed Illusory Angel with Mizzium Mortars, and ended his turn. I attacked with Frenzied Goblin, using its ability to push through for 1.

My opponent cast Vraska the Unseen and used her -3 to destroy Frenzied Goblin. He attacked with Courser of Kruphix and ended his turn. I played a land and passed.

My opponent attacked for 2 with Courser. He then used Vraska’s +1 and cast Ghor-Clan Rampager and Scavenging Ooze. He played a land, gaining 1, and passed the turn. I played a land and ended my turn.

My opponent played a land from the top to gain a life, activated Mutavault, and attacked with everything. I overloaded Cyclonic Rift and took 2 from Mutavault. My opponent cast Ghor-Clan Rampager and passed the turn. I cast Scuttling Doom Engine and ended my turn.

My opponent cast Vraska and blew up the Engine, taking 6. He attacked me with Ghor-Clan Rampager, cast Scavenging Ooze, and ended his turn. I sacrificed Darksteel Citadel to Shrapnel Blast to deal 5 damage and win the game.

Game 2

Darksteel Citadel
My opponent started off with a Temple of Abandon, and I cast Hot Soup.

He paid 2 life to put Blood Crypt in untapped and used it to cast Sylvan Caryatid. I cast Phyrexian Revoker naming Sylvan Caryatid and passed the turn.

My opponent paid another 2 life for a Blood Crypt. He cast Domri Rade and used his +1 ability, failing to find a creature. I cast Ensoul Artifact on Darksteel Citadel and attacked Domri Rade with both creatures. My opponent blocked the Citadel with Sylvan Caryatid, and Domri took 2.

My opponent played a Temple of Abandon and used Domri Rade’s +1 to find Polukranos, World Eater. He cast Sylvan Caryatid and passed the turn. I killed Domri with Lightning Strike and attacked with both creatures. My opponent blocked Phyrexian Revoker with Sylvan Caryatid and took 5.

He cast Polukranos, World Eater and ended his turn. I equipped Hot Soup to Darksteel Citadel and dropped my opponent to 6.

My opponent cast Stormbreath Dragon and attacked with it and Polukranos for 9. I blocked Polukranos with Phyrexian Revoker, and he passed the turn. I attacked for 5 again and cast Ornithopter and Frenzied Goblin. My opponent overloaded Mizzium Mortars, but Darksteel Citadel’s indestructible prevented it from dying to the Hot Soup trigger.

He attacked to drop me to 7, and I won on my turn.

Wrap-Up

This deck has some incredibly powerful plays, but it does suffer in other areas. Draws without Ensoul Artifact or the Generator Servant combo can be tough. If your opponent manages to deal with your major threat, it can sometimes be difficult to close out the game. As we saw in the first game, however, a couple good draws can quickly make up for a long string of bad ones. If you’re itching to attack with 5/5 flying creatures on turn two, or if you just like offbeat artifact decks, give this a try at your next Friday Night Magic.


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