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Purple Beast
By Jeff Boes
Hi, I'm back. I know at least one reader missed me, because he hunted me down online to ask why I hadn't submitted another screwball deck. Okay, the fact is: I don't get screwball deck ideas every day. Maybe, every 4 or 5 days. And many of them are so incredibly bad, I'm embarassed to share them.

This one, it's okay. Not great, but okay, and maybe there's a germ of a seed of a speck of an idea here for you. I call it "Purple Beast" because while it's a Beast-based deck, it's not your typical green-mana-acceleration, toss 6/6 creatures on the table and hope your opponent scoops, kind of deck.

And I've only build this contraption online, which is where 99% of my Magic-playing happens nowadays. Sad but true.

Here's the contents:

(MTGO Standard w/Darksteel)

3 Darksteel Citadel
2 Forgotten Cave
4 Great Furnace
4 Island
2 Lonely Sandbar
4 Mountain
4 Seat of the Synod
3 Darksteel Ingot

3 AEther Charge
3 Chalice of the Void
2 Crystal Shard
3 Dismantle
2 Machinate
2 Pyrotechnics
2 Regress
1 Shunt
2 Slice and Dice
4 Vex

4 Avarax
3 Clockwork Vorrac
4 Quicksilver Behemoth

61 cards; a lot of my decks seem to turn out at that number. I could probably drop a Vex from here to get it down.

Card choices here are pretty odd-looking at first. The path to victory is to bring out an AEther Charge, then pound down with Beasts. Avarax is an all-star, because it generally (a) bonks opponent on head for 4 by way of the AEther charge, then (b) searches out a brother Avarax for next turn, and finally (c) hustles over to serve up 3 damage, sometimes more if you have 1R free.

But the Quicksilver Behemoth is no slouch either, because he leaves play after attacking or blocking! Assuming he survives, of course. Four points to the noggin for coming into play. Next turn, four more via attacking, and four more when he makes the round trip to and from your hand.

The rest of the deck is designed to set up and support that board situation, and the presence of the Chalices of the Void drives the rest of the deck. I think the Empty Cup got a raw deal from most players. It was highly hyped when the Mirrodin set came out, and then players decided it wasn't all that hot, and the Cups never made much of a splash (at least, not that I've seen). But my experiences online are pretty enlightening to me.

What does a Cup with 1 counter do?

Stops Oxidize, most Goblins, Arcbound Worker, Disciple of the Vault, lots of White Weenies, all Spellbombs, most Elves, a fair amount of Equipment, Shock, Electrostatic Bolt.

What does a cup with 2 counters do? Stops Naturalize, Shatter, Terror, Sliths, a fair amount of Equipment, lots of Clerics and Zombies, all the Mana Myr, all the Echoing spells, Isochron Scepter, Raise the Alarm, Mana Leak, Purge, Sylvan Scrying, Shrapnel Blast, almost all the rest of the Goblins, all the Talismans, most of the rest of the White Weenies.

Think about it. If you could stack your deck so that your first few turns were:

Land, go.
Land, Chalice X=1, go.
Land, Darksteel Ingot, go.
Land, Chalice X=2, go.

I've had games start like that with this deck, and they're quite impressive.

As a result, the evolution of this goofy little deck meant that several odd spells got in:

Dismantle [Shatter]
Machinate [Spellbombs]
Pyrotechnics [Pyroclasm, Pyrite Spellbomb]
Regress [Boomerang, Unsummon, AEther Spellbomb]
Shunt [Mana Leak]
Slice and Dice [Pyroclasm, Pyrite Spellbomb]
Vex [Mana Leak]

All of these cost 3 or more, and they take the place of 1cc or 2cc spells named in the brackets. Machinate gets in ahead of the more usual Thirst for Knowledge or Thoughtcast, because quite often you need to dig for a specific card (often either the Behemoth, the Avarax, or the AEther Charge), rather than just drawing another copy of what you already have.

The weak spot in the deck is the Clockwork Vorrac; it's OK, but fragile, and without a Crystal Shard in play it doesn't do enough. But until Fifth Dawn and the mighty Qumulox, it'll have to do. Riptide Replicator might be a worthy addition, too, but I have none on- or offline to try.

Read More Articles by Jeff Boes!

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