Building a Madness deck.

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Ninja_Of_Ni, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Ninja_Of_Ni New Member

    Well, I think I've decided what deck I want to build next. I just found out about a neat little mechanic called madness which I think could lead to a fun deck.

    Right now I have 2 ideas I might go with, but need some feedback on which would work best. Obviously for this mechanic to work I'm going to need some way to force myself to discard cards. My original thought for this was to use a masticore, but recently one of the people I play cards with suggested going with Psychatog. From looking at prices, Psychatog is cheaper than Masticore, but I remember hearing from somewhere that Psychatog was once considered broken (and I don't want to have any of my friends throwing a fit about using those types of cards).

    So, my next idea for this deck is what to do with it. If I go the Psychatog route, I think blue/black control would be the way to go. The other color option I've thought about is green/black since I have a Lord of Extinction which I've been wanting to find a deck for. I guess a third option would be the 3 color route of green/black/blue since I have a feeling I'll need ways to draw cards in order for this to work. My other issue I'm seeing with this is that Psychatog and Lord of Extinction probably won't play well together seeing as Lord of Extinction's power/toughness are based on the number of cards in all graveyards and Psychatog involves exiling your graveyard to make it stronger.

    So, any good suggestions? As always, I would like to keep this on decent budget (about $50/month).
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Madness is broken. Super-duper broken. It should be easy to build a deck that can bash people's heads in using madness. Psychatog was, once upon a time, considered broken by a lot of people. And Psychatog is a very powerful card if used properly. But madness is way more broken than Psychatog. If the thought of your friends whining about you using broken cards really bothers you, madness should really be more of a concern than Psychatog. This might not seem obvious because most of the madness cards don't look that good by themselves, but it's the synergies that make everything crazy. After the tenth time you see your opponent discard Basking Rootwalla to pump up his Wild Mongrel or whatever, you're probably going to be at least a little bit annoyed with how good madness is. I know I was.

    Madness has run over the metagame a couple of times in Legacy, always powered by some pesky card that was made with the assumption that discarding cards would be a cost to you, which, other than when you're playing with madness, it is. Lion's Eye Diamond, Wild Mongrel, Survival of the Fittest, and even Anurid Brushhopper. But especially Survival of the Fittest. It even had a presence in Vintage for a while thanks to Bazaar of Baghdad. Madness is a very powerful mechanic.

    Psychatog really ends up being a different deck. A good deck itself, but I advise against trying to use Psychatog to break madness the way those other cards I listed were used. There is some synergy, because madness needs a discard engine and Psychatog needs you to discard cards. But actually, Psychatog's strength emerges, not from when you're discarding lots of cards, but from when you're drawing lots of cards. And I mean lots of cards. The best Psychatog decks I've seen were, without exception, decks that used blue and black removal spells to control the board and draw cards, setting up a clear path for Psychatog, at which point then would draw lots of cards, discard lots of cards, and remove lots of cards, making Pyschatog big enough to kill in one hit (or sometimes two or three hits if the situation required it). When it comes to Psychatog, if you're playing madness cards, those cards are taking up slots that could go to either controlling things better or making Psychatog as big as possible. Here's an extreme example: if that green card I just drew is a Basking Rootwalla (a typical broken madness card) I can discard it to Psychatog and play it for free, but then it won't even go toward filling up my graveyard, whereas if that green card is a Berserk instead, I can cast it and make my Psychatog do enough damage to kill you.

    Not that either of those necessarily makes for a broken deck. You can build a fun madness deck that isn't actually broken or a fun Psychatog deck that isn't actually broken. It seems like a bit of a waste, though.

    As for Lord of Extinction, you have plenty of options. Foremost among them being one of the only mechanics that's more broken than madness: dredge. Even a simple black/green control deck (Pernicious Deed and such) would work.

    My favorite use for Lord of Extinction doesn't actually involve casting him or ever having him in play. He's the perfect card to pitch to Sutured Ghoul in any of the decks that do the Cephalid Breakfast style "dump everything into the graveyard so that I can bring back my Sutured Ghoul and kill you with it" thing. If you've never seen it, it goes something like this...

    -Get both Cephalid Illusionist and Nomads en-Kor in play (I'm partial to Aphetto Alchemist and Mesmeric Orb because of a thread we had here). Use them to repeatedly throw cards from your library to your graveyard.
    -You have a few copies of Narcomoeba in there, so they enter the battlefield because of their ability.
    -Dread Return's flashback sacrifices the Narcomoebas to bring Sutured Ghoul from your graveyard to the battlefield.
    -Dragon Breath sees Sutured Ghoul entering the battlefield and hops on for the ride.
    -Sutured Ghoul eats Lord of Extinction. Watch out. It says on the card that an "*" counts as a "0" but it turns out that the current rules don't work that way. Sutured Ghoul's power and toughness are now equal to the number of cards in all graveyards. That number is currently somewhere between "more than enough" and "so many that it almost stopped being funny."
    -Attack with Sutured Ghoul.
    -Win.
  3. Killer Joe Active Member

  4. Ninja_Of_Ni New Member

    I think I'll give some of these ideas a shot. I'm more looking for a fun deck, but I do also want it to do well playing against my friends. I'm not sure what they would consider broken, but I feel I could get away with using madness in our games. Usually we play multiplayer games consisting of 4-6 people, so I want to take that into consideration for building this deck. I'm not usually the one everyone considers a threat unless I play my mimic vat deck, at which time there is usually a huge target on my back (depending on what the guy we consider the "best" of our group is doing). Even though this is a casual group, everyone puts a bit of effort into building and improving their decks. So far, I haven't heard anyone in the group complain or try to say that a certain member shouldn't play a certain deck.

    Do you think that blue/black/green could work for a fun madness deck? I really enjoy playing 3 color decks and this combo seems like it could work. When I looked up madness, a lot of them were black or green, but I feel I could add blue into the deck for ways to draw cards. As for my discard engine, I think I'll go with my original plan to use some sort of masticore seeing how psychatog's second ability needs cards to be in the graveyard since I'll probably be using permanent madness spells. I think I'll save the Lord of Extinction for when I build my next EDH deck.
  5. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    Well, if you're mixing blue in, you can certainly get a lot of "Draw a card, then discard a card" abilities, which helps at both ends.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Blue is an excellent color for use with madness cards. In particular, I would consider Circular Logic, Deep Analysis, Careful Study, Wonder, Aquamoeba, Merfolk Looter, all depending on what the rest of your deck looks like. I mean, you wouldn't want to use all of those, because you're also using green and black cards, but go with whichever ones work best with the rest of your deck. One of blue's biggest contributions for madness is probably Wonder. You're already using a discard-outlet, so it's easy to get Wonder into the graveyard and giving all of your creatures flying is very nice.

    Masticore is a good creature. When it was new, it used to be thought of as arguably the best creature in the game for its utility, cost-efficiency, and lack of colored mana requirements. I wouldn't tell you that you definitely shouldn't use it (using it in a madness deck automatically gives you a way to pay the upkeep and it's a fine attacker/blocker to have on the board), but seeing that you've mentioned it a few times as a discard engine, I must point out that there are better cards for that role, especially the broken Wild Mongrel.
  7. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Try Vengevine in a madness deck if you don't want to have any friends.
    Oversoul likes this.
  8. Ninja_Of_Ni New Member

    Yeah, after looking at Wild Mongrel I think choosing it for this deck over Masticore as a discard engine would be a good choice. For one thing, the Masticore only discards on upkeep whereas the mongrel is an ability I can use any time thus allowing me to better play my madness spells in response (also, the price for Wild Mongrel was a bit cheaper than Masticore). I think here later today I'm going to take a look at Gatherer and start putting together this deck on paper. I probably should also look at my current collection to see what I already have that would work well in this deck. My card collection is mostly stuff from the last 3 blocks with the bulk of it being SOM (since these sets were the most available when I started playing), but I do have a few random older cards from different packs I've bought and playing a few pick-a-pack drafts at FNM.
  9. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Zombie Infestation is also a nice madness outlet. Perhaps you could pick up some Squee's or Life from the Loam. Dredge (LftL, Golgari Grave-troll), incarnations (Brawn, Anger) and flashback (Cabal Therapy) are all mechanics that work nicely with Madness.
  10. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Since you are going to be putting cards in your graveyard fairly quickley, you might want to look at cards that have threshold like Were Bear.
  11. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Indeed... Actually, there are way too many options to build something with madness. What are the madness card you want to build around?
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You went to all that trouble to win your friends back after you lost them all because you played Vengevine. Now you're going to go Loam on them?
  13. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Friends are overrated ;)
  14. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    I'm sure we all feel that way... the stereotypical Magic player, of course, has limitless friends and always has a bevy of beautiful women hanging on his arm, right?

    Heh, heh.

    Note: It is rather difficult to successfully convey sarcasm in a post.
  15. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Well I must not be the stereotypical magic player, I have a limited number of friends and two beautiful women hanging off my arms (my wife and daughter and both are gamers)

    So What are the madness card you want to build around?
    Sounds like a good thread.... build a madness deck....... lets do it.
  16. Ninja_Of_Ni New Member

    Actually, I was recently thinking from some of these ideas that Dredge+Psychatog+Circular Logic could be a really good deck. I'm not sure as to whether I should use Circular Logic and Psychatog seeing as Psychatog would remove cards from my graveyard which Circular Logic would need to be useful, but dredge could put enough cards in my graveyard for either one of those spells.

    I haven't really decided which madness cards I want yet, but I would like to build a deck that would be strong in multiplayer. I think the whole Dredge+ Psychatog might not work as well in multiplayer as it would in 1 on 1 games. I do like the idea of Dredge+ Circular logic in this case, and I bet my Lord of Extinction would be pretty powerful. I'm thinking here, aggro/control could work. My latest idea would be to use creatures with dredge and instant/sorcery madness cards.

    I also have a rules question I would need answered before I use this deck. With the madness mechanic, does the card have to be discarded from my hand in order to play it for madness, or could I use madness from a card when it is discarded off the top of my library?
  17. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Cards are not discarded from the top of the library. "Discard" in Magic always (except for under rules from a really, really long time ago) refers to cards being removed from one's hand.

    This is why the dredge mechanic (or cards with similar effects) refer to only to cards moving from the top of the library to the graveyard. As far as I know, there's never been an official term for when cards undergo this. It is commonly referred to by players as "milling" because the card "Millstone" was the original method employed to achieve this effect (it was used both for putting cards in an opponent's graveyard or for putting cards in one's own graveyard).
  18. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Dredge and madness work together, because for dredge or madness to work you need a discard outlet. A dredge/madness control deck however... Okay, Psychatog is a good creature to build a control deck around. There are few Dredge control elements though. There's Life from the Loam, but that card is reasonably expensive. There's some stuff like Deep Analysis that would fit in this deck. On the whole you'd just be building a Psychatog deck though. Aside from Loam and Circular Logic there's not much design space for a control deck. I think Madness/Circular Logic is better in a Aggro or Aggro-Control deck, a deck with beaters plus some occasional control. Dredge is, well, tbh you'd end up with a dredge deck... :/ If you want to go off the beaten path, perhaps something like G/R Madness is a path to explore. If it's Circular Logic you want... U/B with control elements like Circular Logic, Big Game Hunter and Darkblast, perhaps Stinkweed Imp. Utility in the form of Deep Analysis, Cephalid Coliseum. Outlets are Careful Study, Psychatog and Zombie Infestation, . To make the deck shine you could try Intuition plus Squee.
  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Plus Threshold! That's some synergy.... :)
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    While I'm convinced that any two of those mechanics could be used together, a 60-card deck using all three would be an interesting sight to behold...

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