Hello, dear readers!
Today, we have a lot of ground to cover. Why? Because I’m going to show you five – that’s right, five – decks I built around cards from Fate Reforged, namely the Siege cycle, as I think that all of the Sieges are rather good and deserve to be put into decks. Their functions and applications, however, are extremely different. Some of them can be built around, others are clearly meant to play a supporting role.
Interested in what I cooked up? Then here we go!
We’ll start off with the white one:
Hydras in the Citadel
The Khans mode of Citadel Siege is all about +1/+1 counters, and +1/+1 counters are definitely Abzan, so I decided to stick with that wedge. With the exception of Sakura-Tribe Elder, every creature in the deck interacts with +1/+1 counters in some way, and even the elder won’t complain when he gets pumped. There are the all-stars of the theme, Corpsejack Menace, Kalonian Hydra and Ghave, Guru of Spores. Primordial Hydra is just a big beater but can grow to insane proportions really quickly. A funny guy is Mycoloth, because even if you don’t have him devour anything when he enters the battlefield, he can easily gain a few counters in this deck to start pumping out tokens. For removal, we play Festercreep and Retribution of the Ancients for opposing creatures (and make no mistake, giving all creatures -3/-3 with Festercreep is a walk in the park), Shinewend for enchantments, and Triskelion for creatures and players. To hold the fort, Kitchen Finks is an amazing addition because it can come back via persist. Then, if it has a -1/-1 counter, put a +1/+1 counter on it so that the counters negate each other. And voilà, it will persist again! The deck is rounded out by two copies of Ajani, Mentor of Heroes and three Abzan Charms.
Something I found out when playing this deck is that while it seems obvious that Khans is the mode to choose with Citadel Siege, it all depends on the current situation. Dragons may well save your bacon early on even if it doesn’t fuel your game plan one bit. So don’t make the mistake of trying to shift into autopilot. It’s at least a tiny bit more complex than it looks!
Some other cards I would have loved to put into the deck are Savage Summoning and Mer-Ek Nightblade. Sadly, there’s only so much room in a 60-cards deck. Savage Summoning in particular allows for cool tricks though. Need an instant blocker? No problem. Or how about flashing in a Kalonian Hydra at the end of your opponent’s turn to effectively grant it haste and immediately double the +1/+1 counters on all of your creatures during your next attack step? BAM!
Also, Daghatar the Adamant and Dromoka, the Eternal would have been nice inclusions, but Ghave is just better than Daghatar, and Dromoka gets outclassed by Kalonian Hydra pretty easily, even if you combine her with Mirror Entity to transform everything into dragons. Sorry guys, maybe next time!
Blue is next:
Monastery Siege is clearly a support card as it either provides you with gas or protects your permanents. However, both of its modes are interesting and helpful, although the Khans are definitely the one you’ll want to choose first. I’ve thrown it into my already existing Esper artifacts shell where it does some hard work. Thanks to Monastery Siege, the deck has taken up a lot of steam as it’s now possible to discard a threat (say Sphinx of the Steel Wind) and reanimate it with an Unburial Rites that was also discarded. An early Inkwell Leviathan can really bring the beats! And Rites on Sharuum the Hegemon should usually result in two fatties entering the battlefield. I’ve included a small toolbox for Sphinx Summoner that consists of Hex Parasite against opposing planeswalkers or generally things with counters on them, Duplicant to get rid of indestructible creatures, Ethersworn Adjudicator to handle creatures and enchantments, and Phyrexian Metamorph for when they have something you want to have as well. The summoner’s most frequent target, however, has always been Sharuum for me.
The rest of the deck is pretty self-explanatory – artifacts, artifacts, and more artifacts. Even that little singleton Forest can’t fool anybody…
Here comes the black one:
Draining the Throne Room
Palace Siege might be my favorite of the cycle as it provides something every control deck needs: inevitability. As soon as one is on the table, it should be enough for you to concentrate on not losing – the Siege will do the rest. And the cool thing about it? Both modes can win the game for you! To arrive at the point where this enchantment will really pull its weight, the deck plays lots of creatures that are hard to attack into because they have a big butt, destroy opposing monsters, or provide a bit of lifegain. Or sometimes even several of these aspects (see Siege Rhino or Vampire Nighthawk). We want our opponents to have a difficult time if they opt to send their army our way. And make no mistake, that’s exactly what they’ll do as soon as they realize what your master plan is, because almost nothing makes you Enemy No. 1 as easily as draining everybody’s life at the same time.
Yes, they are going to try to make your life miserable. So why don’t we return the favor? In Palace Siege and Greater Good, the deck plays a few valuable enchantments that are bound to get destroyed, and since we really don’t want that, I’ve included a pair of Martyr’s Bond to make our opponents think twice about destroying our cool stuff. As it is, Martyr’s Bond also happens to work nicely with Greater Good and Merciless Executioner. Then, there’s a single Treasury Thrull to get the enchantments back if they bite the dust, and hey, the thrull has extort, too! Amazing, this coincidence!
In the late game, the combination of Basilica Guards, Siege Rhino, Kokusho, the Evening Star and Palace Siege can cause huge life swings and should make you the winner of many games.
Don’t forget red!
Token decks have a large problem in multiplayer games: many opponents pack mass removal. The more players, the higher the probability that someone can really ruin your day. Thus, a token deck needs ways to come back from getting its board wiped, or has to be able to deal large amounts of damage within a short time frame. And Outpost Siege is exactly what the doctor ordered! The Khans mode provides you with gas, basically adding another card to your hand every turn. And Dragons punishes people for killing your dudes. Nice!
The question now is, why wait until they kill our stuff? Let’s sacrifice all those little critters for triggering Outpost Siege ourselves. And the perfect card for that is Goblin Bombardment. One point of damage doesn’t sound like much, but first, the sacrifice doesn’t require any mana investment, and second, we play other cards to maximize the use of this little enchantment, such as the Siege, Hallowed Spiritkeeper and Promise of Bunrei. A special mention has to be made for Twilight Drover. This harmless looking guy is a one-man-army who should never ever be underestimated.
Dictate of Heliod provides the option of going down another path by drastically increasing the power of your dudes – at instant speed! And since we’re already speaking of divine support, let’s invite the Lord of All the Tokens to our party. I know, this god is becoming a bit boring but he really kicks this deck into overdrive when he’s on the table. Now, Hordeling Outburst and Promise of Bunrei also deal six damage to each opponent, and Siege-Gang Commander (what a fitting name here, by the way!) is a lot more dangerous than that. Oh, and Mogg Infestation? That card is usually there for your own guys. Don’t believe me? Let me set the stage for you:
You’re in a four players game and control a Purphoros, God of the Forge, three 1/1 Goblin tokens thanks to Hordeling Outburst, and a Blade Splicer with its Golem token. You cast Mogg Infestation on yourself, killing your five critters. Ten Gobbos enter the battlefield under your control, triggering Purphoros for 20 damage to each opponent. That means you’ve just dealt 60 damage with a spell for five mana! WHAM!
And last but not least:
The Queens and Their Entourage
Frontier Siege is a strange card. I like it a lot, but it doesn’t make it easy to reap its full benefits. First of all, it ramps like crazy but has the audacity to do so in two instances so that you can never use the four extra mana it provides for a single spell. Damn! And then, it lets your fliers fight other creatures but was printed in the color with the least fliers. Seriously?!
Ha, but that’s not disheartening, no – it’s a challenge! So how do we maximize the Khans mode? By cramming our deck with cards that require as few non-green mana symbols in their mana costs as possible, of course. Especially cool are cheap spells which cost only two mana, as you can basically cast them for free. So I’ve put Wall of Blossoms (getting a 0/4 that draws a card for free? I say thank you!), Viridian Zealot and Sylvan Scrying into the deck. The last one allows for a cute toolbox of lands for different situations, so that Kessig Wolf Run, Tectonic Edge, Swarmyard, Mystifying Maze can all put in an appearance, with Petrified Field to get them back if they are destroyed.
Also, permanents with activated abilities are great, and if those abilities cost two mana, that’s perfect. Oh, hello Ant Queen, you are absolutely amazing here! Also rather cool is the new Shaman of the Great Hunt who can draw you quite a few cards. And then, of course, there is Stormbreath Dragon who can take out players if used correctly.
Okay, so what about Dragons mode? Well, buzzing insects don’t take kindly to other creatures, so Hornet Nest and Hornet Queen can become veritable weapons of mass destruction. Sometimes, it’s the right play to have your Flametongue Kavu shoot your Hornet Nest to call forth the angry buzzers. And if you really want to summon The Swarm, how about committing a Blasphemous Act?
I’ve been a bit sceptical about the new uncommon dragon cycle, but in this deck, Destructor Dragon is actually very good. Either it costs four mana, or it offs two permanents upon entering the battlefield (one via Frontier Siege, one via its death trigger), or both if you control two Frontier Sieges. Sounds good enough to me. Oh, and by the way, Harmonize has never been better. Drawing three cards for tapping two lands? Sign me up!
To Be Continued
But not today. I like building decks around new cards, and the Siege cycle certainly delivers. If you haven’t tried them out yet, I can only ask you to give them a shot. Loads of fun can be had with them, so get yours and win the table.
Until next time! Cheers!