Attempting to build a Samurai Deck...

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by TheCasualOblivion, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    Really want to build a Samurai deck, just on general principle. Not really doing to well, as there doesn't really seem to be any real trick to them.

    Here it is so far, its kind of generic, since Samurai don't have many tricks as of yet. I don't see any way to go one color with this deck either, the available cards say White/Red.

    Creatures (24)

    3 Devoted Retainer
    4 Konda's Hatamoto
    4 Samurai of the Pale Curtain
    3 Ronin Houndmaster
    4 Brothers Yamazaki
    2 Nagao, Bound by Honor
    2 Takeno, Samurai General
    2 Konda, Lord of Eiganjo

    Spells (14)

    4 Swords to Plowshares
    4 Lightning Bolt
    3 Orim's Thunder
    3 Wrath of God

    Land (22)

    2 Plateau (I actually have 2)
    2 Battlefield Forge
    11 Plains
    7 Mountains


    Not really any strategy to this. Samurai have no tricks. Not really sure if anything else can be done with this deck. The only thing I can think of to do with this is to put cards in that take advantage of the fact that I have 10 legends in this deck. I'm not really sure what those cards would be.

    duh, Konda's Banner. Forgot about that. Not sure how many to run or what to take out.
  2. Istanbul Sucker MCs call me sire.

    I like Trumpet Blast in this deck. Look it up.
  3. jorael Craptacular!

    Maybe you already read THIS? Jay tunes a samurai precon deck during a few weeks of playtesting. Great insights.

    Starts at: Way of IntoTheAether
    "Constructing Preconstucted"


    How about those legendary CoK lands that boost Legendary creatures? (or the Legends lands like Karakas if you have them :D )
  4. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    Version 2.0, revised and rethought

    creatures (24)

    4 Konda's Hatamoto
    3 Samurai of the Pale Curtain
    2 Sensei Golden Tails
    3 Ronin Houndmaster
    4 Brothers Yamazaki
    2 Nagao, Bound by Honor
    2 Takeno, Samurai General
    2 Godo, Bandit Warlord
    2 Konda, Lord of Eiganjo

    Spells (16)

    3 Empyrial Plate
    3 Konda's Banner
    1 Tenza, Godo's Maul
    3 Call to Glory
    3 Orim's thunder
    3 Wrath of God

    Land (22)
    9 Plains
    7 Mountains
    2 Eiganjo Castle
    2 Battlefield Forge
    2 Plateau

    More tricks this time. Konda's Banner should be no sweat with 14 Legendary creatures in the deck. Legendary Creatures should also help with the Empyrial Plates, which have won games for me before. Added Godo and Sensei Golden Tails, for more legends.
  5. Ping New Member

    A couple problems i see with your legendary build for this is you're relying on the legendaries...The legend rules sort of nerfs your hopes to build a nice army. The sensei golden-tail is a nice addition to any deck because you pretty much make all your creatures get +1/+1 for fighting
  6. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    I have some updates on this. I finally managed to put together all the cards for this deck, and started testing it against my decks. Its amazing how much that can change a deck. I did manage to get the Samurai deck to stand up to my other decks, which I never thought was possible. I just didn't think they had the juice for that. I had to take a lot of the flavor out to do it.

    I started out with a few changes from the last version I posted. I was testing it against my decks, So I knew the deck had to be faster. I added four Devoted Retainers and dropped the 2 Godos and the 2 Kondas. The 6-7 mana guys were just too big, and I needed some more help early. I don't like 1/1s without a strong ability, but the Devoted Retainers are at least decent for board control, and there really isn't much other choice. I traded the Houndmasters for Kitsune Blademasters, I think they're strongerI also replaced the 3 Call to Glories with 3 Masako the Humorless. She can be played as an instant, and she stays put. I wanted to try that. I also added 2 plains, and removed 1 mountain. The deck I started testing looked like this:

    Creatures
    4 Devoted Retainer
    3 Samurai of the Pale Curtain
    4 Konda's Hatamoto
    2 Sensei Golden Tails
    3 Masako the Humorless
    3 Kitsune Blademaster
    4 Brothers Yamizaki
    2 Nagao, Bound by Honor
    2 Takeno, Samurai General

    Spells
    3 Empyrial Plate
    3 Konda's Banner
    1 Tenza, Godo's Maul
    3 Orim's Thunder
    3 Wrath of God

    Land
    11 Plains
    6 Mountains
    2 Eiganjo Castle
    2 Battlefield Forge
    2 Plateau

    First off, I noticed this deck was slow and not very agressive. I also noticed that this deck wasn't holding cards in hand like my white weenie deck does, so I chucked the Empyrial Plates for 3 Swords to Plowshares. I kept testing, and found I really wasn't getting much use out of the other Equipment, so Konda's Banner and Tenza had to go, and were replaced by a fourth STP, and 1 each of Kitsune Blademaster, Sensei Golden Tails, and Samurai of the Pale Curtain. The deck was starting to work better, and the games were really telling me to go more aggressive. I had gotten that far without ever getting much utility out of Masako, so she was out. Nagao was a bomb though, so my third one of him had to go in. Also a star card in the deck was Wrath of God. I subbed out the 3 Masakos, an Orim's Thunder, one Devoted Retainer, and went back to 2 Sensei Golden Tails, and added 4 Ronin Houndmaster and a third Nagao for more violence, and added 1 Balance, one of my all time favorite cards. Finally, I was finding less and less use for red mana, and more and more for white, so I dropped another mountain for another plains. Here is the final deck with some comments on the cards.


    First off, I found no trouble with the Legendaries in this. Sensei Golden Tails I never had a problem with running 3, the Brothers are made to be 4 per deck. Holding 3 isn't an issue since after having two in play, killing off one of them becomes priority #1. Nagao has a target on him too, and combined with how much he tears things up, running 3 isn't an issue.

    Creatures (30)
    3 Devoted Retainer--Not much bite, but good for early board control, if nothing else
    4 Samurai of the Pale Curtain--Wish there was another 2/2 Bushido, these guys are nasty
    4 Konda's Hatamoto--One of the stars. 2 Sensei Golden Tails and the 4 Brothers can usually trigger him enough. Bushido 1 makes him 2/3 which is decent for board control if he doesn't have company
    2 Sensei Golden Tails--Triggers the Hatamoto, his main purpose. The Bushido tokens are nice too, since they really do stack.
    4 Kitsune Blademaster--These things do not get blocked, ever.
    4 Brothers Yamazaki--All the times these were underwhelming alone really is made up for for the few times they both are there. 2 damage becomes 8 in an instant.
    4 Ronin Houndmaster--These made the deck a lot more violent. 2/2 Bushido remains tough to block, and you don't see these guys coming
    3 Nagao, Bound by Honor--I somehow missed noticing that he triggers himself and attacks as a 4/4 with Bushido 1. I think I could actually call this card the star of the deck.
    2 Takeno, Samurai General--I like having a nice bomb to drop at six mana. This is it.

    Spells-(10)
    4 Swords to Plowshares--Aggro needs to clear the way
    2 Orim's Thunder--Some decks(especially mine) don't run artifacts/enchantments, so I went down to 2. Otherwise this card should be in EVERY SINGLE W/R deck.
    3 Wrath of God--Is this card ever bad? If I fall behind, I can hide behind bushido and start keeping creatures in hand, and play a game of chicken over when to pop this
    1 Balance--One of the most broken cards ever. Cheap to find, cheap to cast.

    Land (23)
    12 Plains--This deck craves white mana...
    5 Mountains--...and seems to be able to wait for red
    2 Eiganjo Castle--This card is a royal pain early with Sensei and the Brothers. I never seem to regret having this card in play.
    2 Plateau--I actually have 2.
    2 Battlefield Forge--best non Plateau R/W land.

    This deck in games no longer resembles the original deck. The original was slow and passive, while this one is very very agressive and attacks all out. I originally thought Samurai would do well with a patient deck that built up force. I found playing them that this just doesn't seem to work. That being said, the deck seemed to do better the more cheap Samurai I threw in it. I've gone just about all Aggro, and the deck seems to work better than it has any right to. The key to the deck strangely enough is Bushido. The whole deck revolves around it. My Samurai in a fight are more than a match for my opponent's creatures, giving me the advantage in attacking or blocking. 30 Creatures and attacking most every turn seems to work. I lost a lot of the flavor of the original deck in the tuning, and the deck seems rather generic with few tricks and not much of the feel of a tribe deck, but I guess that's the price of winning. I can only hope Betrayers and Fumiko the Lowblood can change all of that. I can still go back to the original build for multiplayer games.
  7. jorael Craptacular!

    Cool update. Although I find the whole samurai theme a bit boring compared to spirits in Kamigawa, I'm certainly going to try it. I actually had a samurai deck and what you say about being slow was true for mine too. The fact that I went kamigawa constructed didn't help either: no cheap removal. :mad:

    You made your build more aggresive while also packing some mass-removal. So a aggro/control hybrid seems to work for these warriors, eh?

    Have you tried other equipment? I had 2x no-dashi and 2x that legendary daisho (returns equiped samurai when they die). But that slowed the deck too much. Your second version packed 7 pieces of equipment, so I can imagine the slowness.... I'm going for the 2 daisho's only. Fits the theme, is nasty mid-game and 2 pieces shouldn't slow me down too much.

    Could be a cool combo with the wrath of gods: you get to return a creature!
  8. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    What really shocked me was how fast this deck ended up. This deck in testing stood its ground and won games against my fastest decks. I'm not so sure fast is the right word, as much as "able to deal with fast" is.

    The deck did end up being a little boring. There is just a few wrinkles of tribe synergy in it. It barely feels like a tribe deck at all. Its more of a Bushido deck as opposed to a Samurai deck. I'm really curious how much Fumiko the Lowblood will change that though.
  9. jorael Craptacular!

    Yeah, Fumiko is another excellent legendary samurai! I'd like to add 2 of them too (max 2 per legendary creature for more diversity and less legendary-screw).
  10. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    I'm going with 4 Fumiko. You can go big on Legendary cards if they are key to the deck. and you absolutely need one, and also if they are serious bolt bait. Fumiko is both.
  11. jorael Craptacular!

    That's certainly true.

    Samurai are pretty straightforward, so I'm going for some diversity: each legendary permanent max 2 (except the brothers!).
  12. Striking Dragon Goblin Lackey

    Squee's embrace seems like a decent addition to samurai decks, a nice boost and replaces itself for only 2 mana.
  13. V.L.Sigma New Member

    I know this card isn't very offensive, but have you thought of Hold the Line? I was thinking of making a samurai deck, and was gonna include a pair of these cards.
  14. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Have you taken a look through the Betrayer's spoiler yet? There are some excellent Samurai cards in there.

    Pull up the Betrayer's spoiler, and then just do an old "Control + F" and search for samurai.

    Some of my favorites include...
    Fumiko the Lowblood
    Isao, Enlightened Bushi (Green though)
    Kentaro, the Smiling Cat (helps play off-color samurai, seems like a good fit)
    Toshiro Umezawa (heavy black)
  15. jorael Craptacular!

    Yeah BoK gives us some additional samurai to work with! I really like Fumiko.

    An easier way to search is to use gatherer and fill in samurai and select which sets you want to be searched.

    Gatherer samurai search Betrayers of Kamigawa
  16. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    Betrayers gives only three of interest, at least to me.

    Kentaro, the Smiling Cat-I like this. I think I'd replace, or reinforce Sensei Golden Tail with this as the 2 drop legendary samurai.

    Fumiko, the Lowblood-Talked about her before. I think she has more ability to change games than any other samurai.

    Isao, Enlightened Bushi- This card is fantastic, but complicates your deck, requiring you to go to 3 colors, made more complicated by the fact that a Samurai deck tends to be primarily White. It'd be simple to go W/G and dump the Red, but I don't like that idea either.
  17. Crackdown New Member

    I'm also looking at a type 2 Samurai deck, but with a twist (for fun play). I want to use only those cards without activated abilities so that I'm free to prevent my opponent from using those abilities (creature and artifact).

    Creatures - 22

    4 Lantern Kami
    4 Samurai of the Pale Curtain
    4 Leonin Skyhunter
    2 Fumiko the Lowblood
    2 Kentaro, the Smiling Cat
    2 Konda's Hatamoto
    2 Nagao, Bound by Honor
    2 Yosei, the Morning Star

    Spells - 16

    3 Glorious Anthem
    3 Call to Glory (Can be devastating with Fumiko out)
    3 Final Judgment
    3 Arrest
    4 Damping Matrix (the idea)

    Possible other cards: Wrath, Scour

    Am I way off base here? Samurai have this wonderful Bushido triggered ability and others that are not activated. Why not level the playing field and see if they can win?
  18. jorael Craptacular!

    Damping matrix is also very cool with glittering lynx and glittering lion :) Opponents can't remove the damage prevention!

    Of course, those are cats, not samurai....

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