In our second-to-last Premodern primer (colorless Artifacts and Lands will be the last one!), we take a look at the multicolored “gold” cards that are legal in Premodern!
There are no banned multicolored cards! Yay!
THE CARD POOL
This deck was very popular in Invasion Black Constructed, using cards like Gaea’s Skyfolk, Temporal Spring, Jungle Barrier, and Mystic Snake to gain small amounts of card advantage on every turn. It was only made better when the Odyssey Block gave it Madness, Threshold, and Flashback cards to synergize with.
Although Wood Sage was not available in either of those two Blocks, it seems tailor-made for this archtype. It digs for gas, accelerates Threshold, and dumps Flashback cards into the ‘yard.
R/G Fires is a “Zoo” deck that uses the namesake Fires of Yavimaya to put early pressure on an opponent before sacrificing it for the win.
AEther Rift seems like it could be a cool Bloodbraid Elf-esque card, but skipping your turn three to play a “brick” (does nothing) enchantment can be a major setback. Hull Breach, however, is a sa-weet Sideboard card!
One of my all-time favorite Type II metas was when Judgment dropped several W/G multicolored cards that could make big impacts on a game. The resilient crew of Phantom creatures Centaur and Nishoba and Mirari’s Wake were released at the tail end of the recursive Penumbras Bobcat and Wurm and Mystic Enforcer.
Perhaps most importantly, Anurid Brushhopper made a big impact as a cost-efficient 3/4. Its activated ability confers evasion at the expnse of card disadvantage, but it’s also an enabler for your Madness, Threshold, and Flashback cards, thus mitigating the disadvantage.
Don’t forget Armadillo Cloak!
G/B “The Rock,” G/B/r “Jund,” and G/B/w “Junk.”
“The Rock” and its associated decks are my favorite deck archtype. These decks are a group of midrange, grindy decks that play efficient creatures that generate card advantage supported by a literal fistful of spot removal. Here’s a 2008 primer on The Rock written by Aaron Forsythe. and Andy Culpepper’s recent article on Jund and Junk.
A 5cmc regenerating 6/6 leads this stack of Pernicious Deeds, Vindicates, and Terminates to victory.
Could you imagine if you could successfully resolve a Decimate? A 4:1 would be one Hell of a card! Unfortunately, you are required to have a legal target for all four modes in order to successfully resolve the spell. However, you can choose the same card for multiple modes. For example, you can target an “animated” Treetop Village for the creature and the land modes, leaving you with only the task of finding an artifact and an enchantment to destroy. Targetting the same permanent twice kind of defeats the purpose of the card, though.
An honorable mention goes to Phyrexian Purge, which seems good initially as a four-mana 2:1, but the six life is a real dealbreaker in a format with Sligh and without Death’s Shadow.
In our latest Premodern article on Blue cards, we noted that the Aven gave us a host of Bird cards to synergize with Kangee, Aerie Keeper.
Sliver Queen is an obvious inclusion in any Sliver deck that can cast her. Combined with Acidic Sliver, she gives you a way to finish an opponent off six mana and two damage at a time. There isn’t much not to like about the Shroud provided by Crystalline Sliver. Unfortunately, the FNM promo prize is driven up to $13 by EDH demand (over one thousand decks!). Hibernation Sliver can keep your best Slivers safe. Finally, Victual Sliver turns all of your Slivers into Spike Feeders. If you are so inclined, you can find all but the Queen in the Premium Deck Series: Slivers deck, along with two Ancient Ziggurats (not Premodern-legal, nevertheless good to own), for the low, low price of gulp $175. More on Slivers can be found in Andy Culpepper’s article here.
“Pink Weenie” aka Boros
I just though it was funny that both Reflect Damage/Captain’s Maneuver are worse versions of Deflecting Palm. It took them awhile, but R&D eventually made a playable card within this mechanic. Unfortunately, it took them longer than 2003.
U/W/x Control (Typically Bant or Jeskai)
Blue and White have been the go-to defensive duo for a control deck looking to sit back and make your opponent’s game miserable. Absorb does this pretty well. Although Counterspell and Healing Salve on one card initially looks pretty mediocre, countering a Fireblast and gaining three life could be really good. I don’t think it’s a no-brainer playset in every U/W Control deck, but I would strongly consider it in the sideboard at the very least. Speaking of the sideboard, Treva’s Charm has one mode that is always online and another two which are almost mutually exclusive (most Premodern decks either win during combat or revolve around an enchantment combo). Fire // Ice is maindeck playable and I would definitely have another 1-2 in any sideboard that can run it.
Teferi’s Moat and/or Dueling Grounds put your opponent into a “prison” until you can get to your win conditions.
Speaking of win conditions, Lightning Angel is basically Mantis Rider, which sees a ton of Modern play in the most-popular aggro deck: Humans. One such human, Meddling Mage, is a nice choice here as well.
This deck is usually U/B, but splashing Red adds some interesting technology as Crosis’s Charm is one of the better Primeval Charms.
The strategy is simple: Recoil and Undermine protect your Shadowmage Infiltrators until you can Psychatog your opponent to death. Iñaki Puigdollers brilliant and thorough breakdown of the different types of Psychatog decks can be found over at Premodernmagic.
4. Tutors & Draw Spells
Altar of Bone and Eladamri’s Call are also both tutors, but wouldn’t you just want Survival of the Fittest?
Diabolic Vision and Lim Dûl’s Vault should look very familiar to you, but I am now obsessed with trying to break Guided Passage. How the Hell did this card never get played? It’s a draw three!
Life // Death is just an a slightly more expensive Reanimate.
We already talked about Bladewing the Risen and Crosis, the Purger in our Premodern article on Red cards. Crosis is usually the only one that can be activated in the typically mono black Reanimator deck. Although, Andy Culpepper brewed up a B/u Careful Study variant on the Premodern Magic blog. I suppose, since the deck plays ten sources that can create any colored mana, that Dromar, the Banisher or Darigaaz, the Igniter could also be used. However, Dromar is three colors so he can only really act as a quasi-Hibernation and bounce Red and Green cards and the extra reach provided by Darigaaz is an expensive guessing game. The other two Primeval Dragons of Dominaria aren’t even worth discussing (a couple Saprolings or a couple life).
Other Reanimator targets include Iridescent Angel, the aforementioned Phantom Nishoba, and of course Nicol Bolas. If you can pay the upkeep cost and he hits, well it’s Game Over.
We talked about Cadaverous Bloom in our Blue Article, because of Prosperity‘s role in the deck. Death Grasp could be a finisher in an infinite mana combo that can’t use Drain Life for some reason. However, this also seems redundant with Pros Bloom in the format.
Squandared Resources fits in well here, too.
Cavern Harpy is the enabler for the Aluren combo deck described in our Green article.
Sterling Grove has a place in an Enchantress deck as described in our Green article. It provides both protection and acts as a tutor.
This combo deck, as we talked about in our very first Premodern article on Black, can make great use of Gerrard’s Verdict.
Artifact Mutation and Corrosion both put the hurt on artifacts, but for different reasons. Artifact Mutation is just a great 2:1 or even 3:1 depending on what your Saprolings do. Corrosion takes one turn, to get online but then it just Pernicious Deeds all 0 and 1 cmc artifacts under your opponent’s control.
Aura Mutation is good for the same reason that Artifact Mutation is.
Galina’s Knight and Glaciers could be good against Sligh. However, Glaciers is expensive and Sligh usually has a full board, an empty hand, and showing lethal by the time you can cast it.
Haunting Apparation could be a cool win condition in U/B Control against Green, but it doesn’t have any evasion and Green tends to destroy Flying creatures.
Llanowar Knight can’t be targeted by Black spot removal and has relevant creature types.
Lobotomy, the original Lost Legacy, wrecks combo decks.
Ghostly Flame is an interesting sideboard-against-sideboard card, insofar as it counters CoP: Red/Black and Protection from Red/Black by turning everything into a Ghostfire.
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