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 Red, Green, Blue Ponza

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Crooked Lotus

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PostSubject: Red, Green, Blue Ponza   Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:38 pm

I've tinkering with the idea of creating a Ponza deck for Standard, but as most of you may know, land destruction is something that Wizards has been steering away from lately. I guess that is a good move considering we are now in the "land block", with Zendikar and Worldwake!

This decklist is nowhere near it's final version. In fact, this is the first draft of the deck!

I'd like to get some suggestions on what I can do for this to see if it's tournament viable.

Here goes:


CREATURES -16
4x birds of paradise
4x goblin ruinblaster
4x acidic slime
4x mold shambler

ENCHANTMENTS -4
4x spreading seas

INSTANTS -11
4x lightning bolt
3x aether tradewinds
4x spell contortion

SORCERIES -5
2x earthquake
4x roiling terrain

LANDS -24
2x seaside citadel
4x misty rainforest
4x scalding tarn
2x rootbound crag
2x raging ravine
5x island
3x forest
2x mountain

SIDEBOARD -15
4x pyroclasm
4x flashfreeze
4x negate
3x river boa

-------------------------------------

That's 23 cards (!) in the main deck that provide mana destruction, conditional mana denial (like Spreading Seas), and tempo disruption.

The idea is to gain tempo through denying your opponent the mana they need.

Aggressively attack at any given opportunity, because your win condition is usually attacking with the little creatures that are screwing up your opponent's mana. It may seem like too weak of a win condition, but what is any deck going to do about it with little to no mana? Lightning Bolts, Roiling Terrain, and the occasional Earthquake will help finish off the remaining life points should the creature strategy not work.

Speaking of Roiling Terrain,
this card can really shine in a land destruction deck like this! A Stone Rain that provides additional damage, is super good for this deck. In conjunction with Goblin Ruinblaster, Acidic Slime, and Mold Shambler, the additional damage can really stack up. At worse, you paid 4 mana to put your opponent behind a land and did 1 damage to him; and that's still not bad.

Spreading Seas may not look like the right fit, but it is your lowest casting mana disruption spell and provides a cantrip. It fits the deck's mana curve nicely and has great synergy with........

Aether Tradewinds
This card is new, so click on the card name if you are unfamiliar with it. This card is an excellent tool for this deck. Bounce back their land and get your Spreading Seas, Goblin Ruinblaster, Mold Shambler, Acidic Slime back!?! Thank you sir, may I have another? The synergy Aether Tradewinds provides is phenomenal. The ideal with Aether Tradewinds, was to have the "drawback" of having to bounce one of your permanents back, but in this deck, it's more like a "get more" on top of the Boomerang effect. I cannot stress anymore how good this card is for this build.

Other than the land denial, the deck has red removal for creatures and opposing planeswalkers.

A small control package is also included with Spell Contortion.
I'm not completely sold on Spell Contortion yet, but this is a great place to start testing it. Once some mana disruption has occured, this soft counter will provide more time to seal the victory.

The manabase could use some real help. It seems obvious to run Scalding Tarns and Misty Rainforests, considering this deck is those 3 colors, but after those I'm having some trouble. If any place could use some work, it's with the manabase. Share your suggestions if you'd like.

Finally, my sideboard is still in the works. I really like the synergy of Spreading Seas and River Boa, but I'm not sure that merits 4 slots to the sideboard.
Flashfreeze and Negate help create a solid counter package after game 1.
Pyroclasm is in there for the moment, but I'm not 100% on it.


I tried a version with Bloodbraid Elf, but it cascaded into either an unkicked Ruinblaster or a Spreading Seas: both not good enough for the Bloodbraid interaction. Plus the classic dilemma with Cascade is not being able to run low costing counterspells..... Oh well, maybe we can find a version worth her liking.


I'd really like to see a competitive ponza deck in Standard, so let me know what you think!
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Eurekafox
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PostSubject: Re: Red, Green, Blue Ponza   Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:06 am

This is a deck thats off the radar, no one would see it coming. Some things I think could be changed...

- 4 x Spell Contortion
+ 4 x Everflowing Chalice

The control package is nice to have and may need a spot but I feel that Chalice ramping us further would be great.
Turn 1 Birds
Turn 2 Chalice
Turn 3 Acidic Slime/Ruinblaster/Rolling Terrain
Turn 4 Mold Shambler
Assuming of course the birds lives but even if he dies the chalice won't! You'll also be one land count ahead which fits overall with the LD theme of the deck.

Now for the Mana Base. Seaside Citadel is wrong for this deck. Tectonic Edge has to be in here and i'm sure you've already decided on this but that card is gonna be huge. My mana would look like this...

4 x Misty Rainforest
4 x Scalding Tarns
4 x Raging Ravine
3 x Tectonic Edge
3 x Forest
3 x Mountain
3 x Island

- 1 x Aether Tradewinds
+ 1 x Earthquake

I like Aether Tradewinds but I think three is to many. The card is solid on turn two powered by a birds but really shines late game when it can return one of your creatures that busts a land, which your only running 12 of, which is why I feel we could drop it by one and add in one more 'Quake to help against an early onslaught as well as another source of dealing with planeswalkers. I really like the deck though, this is defo on the test list for next wed.
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PostSubject: Re: Red, Green, Blue Ponza   Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:54 pm

What about Lodestone Golem?
Combined with LD he's devastating right? Just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Red, Green, Blue Ponza   Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:38 pm

After proxing up the decklist and giving it some playtesting, I've concluded that this isn't going to work.

Both Tectonic Edge and Aether Tradewinds slow down your tempo - not just the opponents.
I was faced with difficult decisions on turn 4 in particular.
Tectonic Edge put me back a land when I used it, meaning Acidic Slime wouldn't come down until turn 6 and Mold Shambler didn't hit until turn 7......not fast enough.
By the time you're destroying lands - and that's usually just 1 per turn - the opponent already has their board established enough not to care about losing lands.
Earthquake seemed to hurt me more than the opponent, as this deck isn't heavily combat oriented.
Birds of Paradise had no place in the deck at all: Hedron Crab did tons more and worked great with Roiling Terrain.
But even the Crab wasn't enough to 'get there'.

The star players of the deck were Spreading Seas and Goblin Ruinblaster.
Other than that, it felt like an unfocused deck that would destroy a land here and there.


As for Lodestone Golem? Everything in the deck - with the exception of adding Everflowing Chalice, as you suggested - is not an artifact. Meaning this would only hinder me that much more.

I still feel that the archtype can be explored, but not in the fashion I have started with.
It was just too slow.

I'm still considering a Ponza style deck, but now I'm looking more towards a Grixis style........


If anyone else sees something here, feel free to post it.


Thanks
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