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Winter Caravans
By Kirsin Koch
[This deck is in honor of the man who makes our site the best in the biz, Mike Sullivan! Thanks for everything, man.] (Editor's Note: Thanks!)

Recently, I put up an article idea for anyone to post a card that they felt was of questionable disposition and I would make a deck using the card. I got the idea from looking at Pheldagiff and wondering just how this was considered to be a good creature. (I might use a Pheldagriff now with Crawlspace, Portcullis, or Caltrops, but not a while back!) So far, I've gotten the cards Trade Caravan (from Ed Sullivan), Death Spark (Zadok001), and the Flailing creatures from MM (Zadok001). So, this deck is from the ideas people have thrown at me. The result is "Winter Caravans," a deck that focuses on getting lots of mana available while your opponent's land is locked down. I have two versions. The first decklist:

"Winter Caravans"
Colors: White/Blue /Green
Description/Theme: Mana lock deck with creatures that do not tap to attack.
Tournament Format (for those concerned about such things): Extended

White:
1 Enlightened Tutor
4 Serra's Embrace
2 Steadfast Guard
4 Tithe
4 Trade Caravan

Blue:
2 Memory Lapse
1 Morphling
4 Stasis

Green:
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Gaea's Blessing
3 Instill Energy
1 Land Grant
1 Worldly Tutor

Artifacts:
1 Crumbling Sanctuary
1 Rishadan Pawnshop

Lands:
2 Gaea's Cradle
2 Lotus Vale
2 Plains
4 Savannah
2 Tropical Island
4 Tundra
4 Undiscovered Paradise
2 Wasteland

Okay, this deck is basically a Stasis deck taking advantage of the Trade Caravans that can untap lands for you. The Birds of Paradise can provide the mana to pay for Stasis while the Trade Caravans untap your Lotus Vale or Gaea's Cradle. Although the deck is creature light, the Gaea's Cradle will probably provide some more mana than 1 or 0 so it can be worth using to pay for a Gaea's Blessing. The lone Morphling is beatdown and a place to dump excess mana. You can also untap it if you don't get to play Serra's Embrace on it. (Serra Angel, eat your heart out!) The Crumbling Sanctuary works well with Gaea's Blessing and provides a form of protection. The Rishadan Pawnshop is an alternative to paying for Statis and also provides some protection for your creatures in combat. The Tithes and single Land Grant help to find the dual lands.

Feel free to let me know if come up with any improvements.

The second deck I came up with was a White/Red version that focuses on locking your opponent down with Winter Orb. Trade Caravans functions as a really slow Quirion Ranger every other turn and of course works well with Lotus Vale again. Here's the second decklist:

"Winter Caravans (#2)"
Colors: White/Red
Description/Theme: Weenies with Winter Orb for control and direct damage
Tournament Format (again for those who really care): Extended

White:
1 Armageddon
3 Disenchant
4 Soltari Priest
4 Tithe
4 Trade Caravans

Red:
2 Death Spark
1 Firestorm
4 Flailing Soldier
4 Incinerate
4 Jackal Pup

Artifacts:
2 Fire Diamond
2 Marble Diamond
2 Mox Diamond
4 Winter Orb

Lands:
1 Lotus Vale
6 Mountain
6 Plains
4 Plateau
4 Undiscovered Paradise

As you can see this is basically a "Jank" deck with efficient weenies and direct damage with mana control aspects. The Death Spark can be returned to your hand cheaply whenever an opponent kills one of your creatures. The Death Spark is more of an annoyance factor. Psychologically, your opponent will be seeing two uses of a Death Spark and feeling like it's dangerous. You might be able to trick a blue-mage into countering it where you can bring it back and cast a weenie creature. If a blue-mage counters on of your creatures, cast Death Spark in response as it will end up under your creature and you can use it again. Also, the Flailing Soldier should be good in this deck because you will be prepared with extra mana and your opponent will not want to spend what little is available to kill it.

One final note on Death Spark for Zadok001: Death Spark works well in the Buried/Burnt Alive decks were you constantly are recurring Nether Shadows and Ashen Ghouls with Krovikan Horror as another damage alternative.

Read More Articles by Kirsin Koch!

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