Faeries. Yes, indeed, faeries. To be honest, I would have expected more of this deck. It stands a moderate chance to win against non-revenge AI and only gets worse when your opponent actually has some thought behind her actions. There are so many high-tier cards in the deck, yet the connection between good cards and doing stuff just doesn’t happen. Tells you something about the state of the game, doesn’t it. Maybe it would also have helped if anything in the deck was bigger than 2/1. If only we didn’t already have two other terrible blue/black decks, then we wouldn’t have had to limit ourselves to mono-blue.
Back to topic. Right. Faeries are an odd bunch to play. Remember Thoughts of the Wind? It’s basically like that. Most of your deck can and should be played as instants, but the exact when and how is a bit tricky. Count out your mana and don’t waste it. Don’t play creatures that won’t result in killing your opponents faster. (6 damage will drop 14 health as quickly as 5 will.) Sometimes, making your opponent THINK you have a Spellstutter Sprite can be all you need to win the game. Consider Wing’s Thoughts of the Wind guide for philosophy that can be applied to this deck as well.
Speed limit: one card per turn
Well, they don’t do a lot of things well. What do they do, then? Faeries are tempo masters. Every card serves to slow down your opponent’s development while leaving something on the field to advance your own. That works well in theory and principle, but it can’t deal with facing tempo disruption itself. If your opponent has the tools to kill swarms of faeries with even moderate efficiency, there’s not much you can do except weep over the shards of your hopes and dreams. (Read: Just quit the game against Izzet. Consequently, you’ll lose 95% of your games because no one plays any other deck, ever.)
This deck also contains the tools for a rather cute super-control combo deck that builds around draw, Psychic Possession, and Forced Frutition to do… something. Not very much, since your entire deck will be combo enablers with little use once it goes off. Can you guess how I think about that variant?
Up to Mischief deck list (by mana cost)
60 cards, 23 Island
- 3 Faerie Impostor
- 4 Zephyr Sprite
- 3 Unsummon
- 3 Spellstutter Sprite
- 2 Familiar’s Ruse
- 3 Hands of Binding
- 2 Wasp Lancer
- 3 Scion of Oona
- 1 Vendilion Clique
- 3 Pestermite
- 2 Sower of Temptation
- 2 Glen Elendra Archmage
- 2 Dissipation Field
- 1 Psychic Possession
- 1 Reins of Power
- 1 Sleep
- 1 Stolen Identity
Up to Mischief card-by-card analysis
Faerie Impostor: 4.0
I don’t like it. I don’t think anybody does. Sure it’s a 2/1 flier for one mana, but it’s a dead card even if you have some other cards to bounce with it since it’s only worth it with ETB effects. That being said, when you can accept her temporary loss in faerie count and have some juicy ETB out, she’s invaluable.
Oona’s Gatewarden: 2.5
Great if there’s something big that really needs two -1/-1 counters, since you can then safely block it with some more faeries to actually kill it. Wait, can’t you just multiblock in the first place? Can’t you just play Faeries that won’t sit around being useless 95% of the time, such as ones that can attack? Ones that stand a better chance than seven in sixty to be drawn?
Zephyr Sprite: 3.0
Boring, bland, splashless, weak, slow, tiny. Any other deck would have to have no other options to put this in. Yeah, it’s pretty good. It’s tiny enough to make your opponent wince when they waste removal on it and can ping your opponent for a few points while making sure your Spellstutter is up to tempo.
Would you like some tempo, opponent? How about these auras and combat tricks? Well we would all like a lot of things. Oh, and don’t bother killing my creatures, either. Oh, you cast a spell? Let me just pick up that Spellstutter for a second…
Alright, I guess? Why not Turn to Frog? Would be far superior if the shrunk creature didn’t STILL kill any of your blockers. Would be better if it was a faerie that helped you develop.
I apologise, can we go back to Diminish? At least that allowed you to kill things.
Spellstutter Sprite: 3.5
Why I think this deck is bad. If you go first, great, pretty much an unconditional counter for two mana with a free Zephyr Sprite on top. If you don’t, a dead card in most situations. Still, your fae count is eventually going to be high enough, then it’s still a counterspell.
Briarberry Cohort: 2.5
Hard to fit into your curve most of the time. If this isn’t a 2/2, you’re doing something wrong. In that, I suppose it’s strictly better than Storm Crow, but WRITER TERMINATED FOR HERESY TOWARDS OUR SAVIOR STORM CROW.
Familiar’s Ruse: 4.5
It’s Counterspell. With a free Spellstutter bounce on top. Need I say more?
Another card for the “useless not going first” pile. Bouncing the first land of the game is brutal, but it doesn’t do a whole lot beyond that. Sure it’s a bounce like any other, but Unsummon does basically the same job, cheaper. Don’t need this.
Hands of Binding: 4.0
Probably one of the strongest enablers; It’s uncommon at least to see multiple flying blockers. This takes care of whatever will stand in your way, for good. If there are no fliers that need tapping, all the better. Keep the lardiest fatty down while swinging away at your opponent. Cipher doesn’t target, either. You can throw this onto any creature even with a Scion out. Unless there’s a good reason why you shouldn’t (for instance: you have Wasp Lancer, they only have Zephyr Sprite for fliers), you should cipher this onto the smallest guy you can. Don’t give them more reasons to kill your good ones.
Wasp Lancer: 3.5
Dodges removal, doesn’t flash, punches face, has no flavor at all. Sure, YOLO, but can you really call that flavor? Compared to Sower of Temptation?
Scion of Oona: 5.0
Counter removal, trick combat, get nasty by halfing your opponent’s clock. At instant speed, for 3 mana. Don’t rely on him sticking around for too long if your opponent can get rid of him, though.
Sprite Noble: 1.5
So I get half of a Scion of Oona, which is then also cut in half and only available from a tap, without flash. Why?
Vendilion Clique: 4.5
I need to spell it Vendillion, I must, I… anyhow. Very scary faerie that allows you to peek into your opponent’s hand and filter out their largest threat, or cycle through your own cards. With instant speed. Five, please. Oh, we only get one. I suppose the other ones were out of stock from all the tournament decks that use it.
Illusory Angel: 2.0
I want to like it. It’s big and cheap and flies. However, when you can activate its ability without wasting a spell, during your own turn no less, its size is likely not to matter.
Likewise, I want to hate this card. I do, they’re annoying and that not in the “the problem is you” way. The combos you can do with them are too much to pass up, so no decks should really be without them. One of the most harmless things to do with them is to mash them once your opponent’s turn starts after they skipped the last one and then tap down one of their lands. Proper representation of phases and priority is unnecessary, right Stainless?*
Glen Elendra Archmage: 4.5
It’s two Negates stapled together, or two blocks, or swings for respectable amounts. Or any combination that you please. Once again, this was commonly used in tournament decklists where this (and Vendilion) were the only faeries, if that says anything.**
Sentinels of Glen Elendra: 2.0
Big as a dwarf, surprising as one, expensive as one. When I said that I’d like some big faeries, I meant some that don’t suck.
Dissipation Field: 4.0
You will be taking some damage either way, so you might as well throw back whatever did it. Eliminates your opposition at least half the time, and that’s assuming that they get recast each turn. And that they don’t eat a Spellstutter the second time around.
Psychic Possession: 2.5
Great as a “fuck you, Izzet”, largely useless against a large portion of decks. If nothing else, it technically cantrips, so who would be hurt by a singleton. Multiples also stack, if you’re the type that sideboards in DotP. With as much flash as there is in this deck, what does it matter if you draw during your opponent’s turn?
Sower of Temptation: 3.5
“Mine now.” Decent body stuck together with cheap Mind Control. If your opponent will just kill this, then don’t let them. You are playing faeries, after all.
Reins of Power: 3.0
As it turns out, this is great in a deck that rarely has notable creatures out if any at all. It can also be used as a panic fog by casting it in your opponent’s combat phase after attackers are declared. Better than not having it for versatility and stealing the game.
Exchangeable with Reins of Power. That being said, it kills blockers and attacks for two turns straight. That can often be enough to take the game by itself.
It’s bad in most decks, and those decks don’t even want to keep their mana open for cheap instants. I would’ve loved it if it had been Inspiration, but you really can’t afford to spend four mana at sorcery speed.
Last Thoughts: 1.5
Draws a card, two if you are lucky. Spread out over time. Concentrate does more, with no risks involved. Now is Concentrate such a great card that you need more slightly worse copies?
Faerie Invaders: 1.5
Sentinels of Glen Elendra is far superior than this, and that’s rather bad by itself. Feel like I’m repeating here. Oh so many terrible cards wasting deck space.
If you can target your own guys, can be practically an unavoidable Mind Control. You rarely will be able to, and it could at least be cheaper than Mind Control for doing less. (How often do you see enchantment destruction in DotP14?)
Oona, Queen of the Fae: ?
She’s really beefy. Her ability ends games while ensuring you’re around to see it go off. She’s also a bigger removal target than her Scions. She’s also really expensive in a deck of one-drops. In this build, she doesn’t fit very well for doing too little.
Mind Unbound: 1.0
This one, unlike Oona, does nothing even if you don’t die on the turn it’s dropped. It’s quite likely even to just mill you out if you don’t win very very soon after it. The draw is not optional.
Forced Frutition: 1.0-4.0
Useless in this build. In other builds, also rather dangerous. Your opponents have to play a lot until they run out of cards, unlike in Dream Puppets where it gave them the choice of winning with the 3 best cards in their library or losing. Your opponent’s library will always be worth more than yours, so even with Psychic Possession it is a bad idea to play at most times.
Overwhelming Intellect: 3.0
Too expensive, inconsistent even when you can raise the mana. Why not run another card that will help you outside of hypothetical situations?
Stolen Identity: 4.0
See, this will gladly end the game late. Can be ciphered onto its own token, so that the Pathrazing becomes even less avoidable. Every creature in the game at least neutralises itself, if nothing else. Now how about two It That Betrays… es?
*To be clear, it is correct that you can do that. It is not that the game skips straight into your opponent’s main phase, allowing them to cast Worldfire if only they mash faster than you do.
**It also made for a finish beyond exciting when the tournament was decided based on a land drop. Watch the footage here.