Sometimes you have to make sure that you’re willing to bail on an idea when it’s not working. Today, let’s do a quick rundown of something that, in that vein definitely did not work.
First, the list:
4 Lone Rider
4 Avacynian Missionaries
4 Glory-Bound Initiate
4 Thraben Inspector
4 Hanweir Militia Captain
4 Always Watching
4 Neglected Heirloom
4 Desert’s Hold
4 Faith Unbroken
2 Sea Gate Wreckage
1 Geier Reach Sanitarium
4 Shefet Dunes
4 Desert of the True
First I saw the rudimentary utility of Neglected Heirloom. Seems simply enough, stick it in a deck with a bunch of other transforming cards, and you’ll have something decent or at least get an idea of if the card is garbage. Easy, right? Make the shell, see what you got.
The problem we have here is Lone Rider, or more properly, It That Rides As One. Because flipping this creature gives me the kind of critter I really like to have and it’s so big, and it’s so hard to race. And they printed Desert’s Hold in Hour of Devastation, which fits so nicely alongside it! Turn one desert, turn two Rider, turn three Desert, gain 3 life? That’s sweet. You only need to give the rider +2/+2 in any form to have flip-worthy power, and –
Quickly, this deck became about flipping the Rider. And that became about ways to squeak 2 power for 3 mana smoothly. And then it became about finding ways to draw the Heirlooms to feed the Rider, and –
You can see how this became a mess.
Don’t get me wrong. This pile won a bunch of games, but you can win a lot of games in the Just for Fun room by making a deck with 24 land and a bunch of creatures with a curve. There are things that will just stumble and fall, and you’ll take them out at the kneecaps. That’s just how it goes. But, this deck was still this deck, and it still faced the problem that it failed against opponents who were prepared, and it really failed against opponents who could adapt. People who could correctly time removal, or hold mana up for Rider flips, for example. People who didn’t run a lot of creatures, leaving deserts dead in hand. People who had some way to attack other than attacking my rather plump life total.
On almost every angle of attack, I was not quite up to it compared to what my opponents were capable of doing.
So there’s the deck. The only really cute thing in it that I still like is the interaction between Exert and Always Watching, but guess what? There’s a better deck for that in Red White, and that deck is a real beast to put together now.
MTG Goldfish cites this deck as being about eight bucks. If you plan on playing with Always Watching or Glorybound Initiates, they’re the main things of value in the deck, so it’s not such a waste to play around with.