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Nightmare and Laugh: Decks true to their name...
By Robert Hilliard
Wondering why this doesn't have an episode number???... Enchant Rant Episodes II, III, V, and VI got floored... I lost the contract with the studio... I can no longer write for the Rosanne Goodman show. Maro told me I'd be canned after a while... Look at me, I'm talking to Magic cards...

Oh well... I'd be normal at GenCon or Origins! Speaking of which - hope you all have plans of attending...

Welcome to this Deck Rant on the Recurring Nightmare and Last Laugh Deck Archetypes. Two very strong Enchantment decks. Of the 2 deck archetypes - Recurring Nightmare played a big role on the tournament scene and Last Laugh, though fairly new, brought a whole new meaning to permanent destruction.

Let's start with the serious contender in tournaments - Recurring Nightmare.

Recurring Nightmare - a rare from Exodus, CC of 2B - Them's the characteristics of it... Well -you should know we're talking about Black Enchantments.

Now here's the great part:
Sacrifice a creature, Return Recurring Nightmare to its owner's hand: Return target creature card from your graveyard to play. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.

Sac a creature, any creature(you must control it, WOTC says so...), return Nightmare to your hand, and put a creature card from your graveyard into play. How many times has your favorite creature in the whole wide world been placed in the graveyard by a Bolt, or Wrath, or Disk?... Plenty - I know, it happens to me too... But with a creature on the table and 3 open mana(1 of them black of course!), you can get it back into play.

Here's the beauty of it: You can play it as an instant - that's right instant, so once you cast it, you can return it before someone gets rid of it!... All you need on the table is an Ornithopter?!!!... Is that so hard to believe - the Thopter now is useful?!...

Please note - you can play it as an instant, but only any time you can "play" a Sorcery. That limits it to Main phases, but still allows it to be extremely strong. Trust me, to get rid of this, your opponent will have to work very hard. They'd have to kill the creature while this is still on the stack.

Well - if you're going to use it, make sure it's back in your hand before the end of your second main phase...

Here's a list of cards the Nightmare saw run with it most: Spike Feeder, Tradewind Rider, Wall of Blossoms, Nekrataal, Birds of Paradise, Cursed Scroll(this was just mean, because you all knew what the card in hand was...), Yavimaya Elder, and Uktabi Orangutan. There are a lot of variants out there. And the Nightmare made utility creatures very popular.

Now you can see that the card's name really defined it's attitude, and the fear it brewed in opponents...

>Okay, that was a little long winded... go ahead and make the "beverage" run of your choice, and come back in about 5 seconds...

>Okay... my daughters took all the cookies and milk from me after hog-tying me, so on with the rest of it...

Last Laugh - a rare from Torment, CC of 2BB... blah, blah, now the cool part:

Whenever a permanent other than Last Laugh is put into a graveyard from play, Last Laugh deals 1 damage to each creature and each player. When no creatures are in play, sacrifice Last Laugh.

Let's pretend you don't know what that means and you're opponent is running it against your elf deck.
-Turn 1 you play Forest, Exploration, Forest, Concordant Crossroads.
-Opponent's turn 1, he plays a Swamp and says go.
-Turn 2, you play a Llanowar Elf, Priest of Titania, and an Elvish Archer.
-Opp. Turn 2, he plays a Swamp, Dark Ritual and Last Laugh and says go.
-Turn 3, you play a Symbiotic Elf and attack for 3, giant growthing for a total of 6.
-Opp. turn 3, your opponent plays a swamp and then Dark Banishes your Archers.

Now, the archers die, and Laugh triggers, killing the priest, the llanowar, and they each trigger killing the symbiotic, which will trigger the insect tokens, and the laugh, and if stacked correctly, kill both insects. Meanwhile, each player has just taken 6 points of damage, and the Laugh has to be sacrificed. Your opponent now has 3 cards in hand, you have none. Your opponent also has 3 lands to your 2.... and so on...

Such is the power of the Laugh - worship it...

The Laugh decks give Black something it normally doesn't have - direct damage, in the Pestilence sort of way. It hurts everyone, and all creatures.

Notice that it is not based on just creatures going to the graveyard. It is based on any permanent!... Enchantment, Creature, Artifact, or Land go to the graveyard, and the Laugh goes off, and keeps going until nothing goes to the graveyard, or there are no creatures in play.

For four mana it is a strong Enchantment. Run in a Braids Deck, and with Black's life gain ability, this is an extremely deadly combo. Run in a Necropotence Deck with Zuran Orb, or Solitary Confinement... almost any card I can think of, this works nicely with... for Black of course.

The most dangerous place for Last Laugh to be - In the "in-play" zone, during a multiplayer game.

Well that's the Texan take on those 2 Black-Chantments. Now you know why I said "Once you go Black... you win!"

The next installment will be back on Enchantment cards, not decks. I'll cover some White Enchantments that are very Pro-tec-tiv-e. 'Scuse me, I'm still learnin' to a-nun-see-ate.

'Til then, may you give people Nightmares about Last Laugh...

Train.

Read More Articles by Robert Hilliard!

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