Ratbomb deck help

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Sentinelking, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Sentinelking New Member

    Hi all,

    Working on a combo deck built around Crypt rats and Basilisk collar with Swarmyard as a safety net - any advice?


    //Ratbomb

    //Land
    16 Swamp
    4 Swarmyard

    //Creatures
    4 Crypt Rats
    4 Nantuko Shade
    4 Uncle Istvan
    4 Ravenous Rats

    //Spells
    4 Beseech the Queen
    4 Persecute
    4 Terror
    4 Consume Spirit
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Basilisk Collar
  2. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Any kind of parameters, like particular formats or restricted cards? Multiplayer or single player?
  3. turgy22 Nothing Special

    That's a really cool deck idea.

    The one glaring flaw I see is that there's absolutely no way to deal with a pro-black creature (though I guess the idea is to win before that becomes an issue). You might want to include some edicts (Cruel, Chainer's, Diabolic) or a colorless damage source to deal with any pro-black creatures that might hit the table.

    Also, Cabal Coffers is a solid addition in any mono-black deck.
  4. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I have always liked Crypt Rats, but I call it the poor man's Pestilence (not that it's hard to come by a playset of Pestilences, but Crypt Rats just looks like it's supposed to do what Pestilence does, only not as well). Basilisk Collar is perfect for overcoming this. But to make this work, you really need to pump out lots of black mana to make those bombs as big as possible. I think even adding Cabal Coffers (which would help) might not do that enough for my tastes.

    Although it's less common, CoP: Black could ruin your day moreso than pro-black creatures. Pro-black creatures can ignore your weapons and, if quick enough, outrace you, but really, a lot of decks will always be able outrace a Crypt Rats deck, and it's not something I'd worry about too much. But something like a CoP can shut you down with one card. Fixing the deck to get around those reasons might require quite the overhaul, though. I'm sure it's still possible to keep the Rats/Collar/Swarmyard core.

    I'd definitely cut Terror for something better. I'd always cut Terror for something better. Never use Terror. I'd also cut Persecute. I've used it a whole lot, especially in one of my old Pestilence decks. It's an unreliable card. Sometimes it's devastating, but in the long run, you'll want something more consistent.
  5. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Actually CoP is not that great against Crypt Rats, since you can run it one mana at a time and COP would have to activate for each one... the pro-black is tougher to get around.
  6. Sentinelking New Member

    just a casual deck -

    I was thinking of virulent strike as an alternative way to add deathtouch to the rats and maybe reanimate to steal creatures from the opponents graveyard...

    COP:B and Problack is an issue - I'd drop persecute and terror - maybe doomblade?
  7. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You can do that with Pestilence. Can't really do it with Crypt Rats. The Rats will kill themselves.
  8. turgy22 Nothing Special

    Can't you stack the activations for one big hit before the rats die? Or does the effect wear off immediately once the rats leave the battlefield? That's also worth noting in that the Swarmyard wouldn't really do enough to protect the rats. Perhaps what's needed is a way to better protect the rats from themselves.
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You should be able to add each trigger to the stack, at least that's how I remember it, but that's not the problem. You still end up with a one-shot that can only do as much damage as you have mana minus the amount of mana your opponent can call on to defend against it. With Pestilence, I can outmana my opponent (with Coffers or whatever) at the end of his turn, forcing him to take damage even if he has a CoP, and then hit him again even harder on my turn. I protect myself with Urza's Armor or whatever. With Crypt Rats, Basilisk Collar looks like excellent self-protection to me. But the offense is still going to be less robust than Pestilence.

    And what I mean about pro-black creatures is that while any good white aggro deck with pro-black creatures is going to outrace this, it's also true of any good aggro deck at all. I mean, if you're playing against Berserk Stompy or Food Chain Goblins or whatever, they're going to murder you before you can even do anything. That's just how those decks operate. A slower, scrubbier deck with lots of pro-black creatures might have the advantage that its creatures won't die to Crypt Rats, but the player controlling those creatures is still taking plenty of damage from the Rats (and thanks to Basilisk Collar, you're protected). So unless you're playing in an environment where color hosers are common (most people I used to play with didn't usually bother with them because it makes turns the game into rock, paper, scissors), it might not be a concern.
  10. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Some decks will kill other decks no matter what.
    How about raise dead to get the rats back after they die.
    and maybe a pro-black creature yourself like cemetery gate?
    I think all decks need tutoring
    maybe, Liliana Vess or Ratcatcher?
  11. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Oversoul: Well, he said casual deck so presumable he's facing other casual decks and not the "fast" decks you're describing. So maybe he has time to set up...
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    That's the impression I got too. Maybe I should clarify why I said that about the pro-black creatures. In a typical scenario against a white deck, the opponent won't be using solely pro-black creatures (otherwise he's going to look pretty silly against a red deck or whatever). At a given time, there might be one or two on the battlefield, maybe another one if the opponent has creatures with variable color protection or something. This is not necessarily lethal. This deck can still take out the opponent's other creatures and then "ratbomb" the opponent to death, doing more damage with Crypt Rats (one-sided or even with life gain thanks to Basilisk Collar) than the opponent's White Knight or whatever can dish out. Now, it's also possible that a fast white deck will deal massive damage before the combo is online and throw the last damage in past this deck's defenses thanks to protection from black. I thought that was Mooseman's concern, but it's also possible he was talking more generally. Either way, for cases like this, I think Crypt Rats deck is realistically going to lose anyway. Trying to patch the deck to compensate for this one weakness doesn't seem worth it. Then again, maybe I'm just not thinking of the optimal ways to do so...

    In contrast, anyway, a similar deck that plays Circle of Protection: Black (or any similar card) can slow the "ratbomb" damage that the opponent takes down to a crawl, leaving plenty of time to win with a single pro-black attacker (or something else entirely). With one card and a little support, this deck can be dismantled. CoP: Black isn't even the best card to do this, but it's one that is, or used to be, popular in casual games, which was why it was the example I used. I should note that I've built and used plenty of decks that can be dismantled by one card (or one card with a little support). I mean, any deck is going to have some weakness. Whether this one is particularly glaring depends on Sentinelking's goals for this deck and on what sorts of decks he finds himself playing against. All I can really say for sure is that this issue is the one that would leave me hesitant to build such a deck, were I contemplating doing so.

    I suppose that's also based on experience that's pretty well outdated now too. Lately, when I have played Magic at all, it's been with Legacy tournament decks that weren't really what I think of as casual.
  13. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    Crypt rats plus swarmyard, that is so very cool! You should add Scythe of the Wretched, that way you can recur your Crypt rats or steal their best creatures. But your deck would get a bit slower, it's more something if you go for a multiplayer deck. But then you could add Grave Pact to get around pro:black and Mimic Vat. Vat seems like a nice way to recur Crypt Rats, or another way to steal their stuff after you've destroyed it.
  14. Defenestrator New Member

    Mimic Vat, if you can get some, is perfect. i was thinking Sword of Light and Shadow for protection and Phyrexian Reclamation to get your stuff back (or wait for the Sword of Pro-Black-Green coming out this year). Vess is a must, although Dimir machinations is a nice way to tutor for the rats. If you have them hanging around, Corpse Dance could be good too.
    Is Nantuko Shade pulling its weight? I'm a fan of the card, but a bit of a nonbo with the Rats, II would have thought.
  15. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Nantuko Shade might be better here than you think. I've used the comparatively crappy Darkling Stalker in my budget Pestilence deck since before Nantuko Shade was even printed. Darkling Stalker does have the advantage of regenerating and I've taken advantage of that to keep Pestilence alive, but the main use is an alternative damage source that the opponent must deal with somehow. Nantuko Shade doesn't regenerate and won't normally survive once the Crypt Rats get going, but it could still be very useful to throw out if the opponent is able to stop Crypt Rats or to force the opponent to waste removal so that Crypt Rats can do their thing. It's also good with Basilisk Collar.

    There might be better cards to consider for those slots, but I wouldn't call it a "nonbo."
  16. Shabbaman insert avatar here

    There's also Nim Deathmantle. More budget than Mimic Vat, but it'd keep recurring your rats as well.

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