Hexproof
Budget White Metalcraft

Joshua Vanderwall | 11 Jan 2012 16:00
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We're going to take a break this week from the nitty-gritty of rules and take a look at a casual Standard deck with a twist. We're going to assemble a deck with no Rares or Mythics. The entire deck will be comprised of Commons and Uncommons. To this end we're going to look at White Metalcraft, which may not be up to snuff in the competitive scene, but has a lot going for it in a more casual environment. With Metalcraft up, the creatures in this deck are some of the most mana-efficient creatures available in any color, like Ardent Recruit who is a 3/3 for W as long as you've got Metalcraft active and, just as important, they're pretty much all Common and Uncommon!

To kick things off, let's talk about construction. We're looking to build out a cheap, fast, and efficient creature-based deck strategy based on having Metalcraft active. In case you're not familiar, Metalcraft gives some bonus to a creature or spell if you have three or more Artifacts in play. This means we'll need plenty of Artifacts to make sure we can keep Metalcraft up. Memnite is an obvious choice, at 1/1 for 0, he's both a critter to pummel your opponent with and an Artifact to help get Metalcraft online. Mox Opal is an obvious inclusion but, alas, it is also a Mythic Rare, so we have to give that a miss here. Signal Pest is really effective in a creature-heavy deck, so we'll want to include some of those. Also, Vault Skirge is another solid Artifact 1-drop, though in this deck you don't have access to Black so you'll always be paying the Phyrexian Mana cost with life. Piston Sledge is another good inclusion since you get to attach it to a creature when it enters the battlefield. Depending on how many artifacts you have in play, it may be pretty painful to re-equip it, but we've got a solution for that in Ichor Wellspring. This isn't the most effective card in general, but it cantrips (allows you to draw a card when it comes into play) and if you can bounce it with a Glint Hawk or sacrifice it to a Piston Sledge, you get to draw again, giving some minor card advantage over the course of a match.

Creatures with Metalcraft are in relatively short supply, and the most efficient creatures all come from White, so mono-White is something of a given here, though Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer would make for a very interesting WR Metalcraft deck. Starting with the aforementioned Ardent Recruit, we've got a solid non-artifact 1-drop. For 2 mana we've got both Auriok Sunchaser and Auriok Edgewright. Puresteel Paladin is another consideration, though being Rare and the general lack of Equipment in the deck exempt him from duty. Ghalma's Warden was in consideration, and even made it through my first draft of the deck, but as the Converted Mana Cost(CMC) of the creature goes up, the less value you're getting out of Metalcraft in general, so I eventually opted to remove him. I don't like the Artifact creatures with Metalcraft so much either, as the higher the mana cost the less efficient the creatures become. Razorfield Rhino, for example, is a 6/6 for 6 mana. Green can trump this with the likes of Engulfing Slagwurm, a 7/7 for 7 that also comes with a nasty ability, so he's not going to compete in a longer game, and he's just not efficient enough for inclusion. Rusted Relic is closer at 5/5 for 4, but he's still a bit slow for our game plan. I'd rather be swinging with a Doublestriking Edgewright on turn three than clunking along with a vanilla 5/5 on turn 5.

Finally, we've got utility. Dispatch is certainly a go-to here because of its Metalcraft. Oblivion Ring is an almost sure inclusion in any White deck. Dispense Justice is another Metalcraft card that fits our theme, and 2-for-1ing is always good.

Here's the Decklist:

3x Ardent Recruit
4x Auriok Edgewright
4x Auriok Sunchaser
2x Dispatch
1x Dispense Justice
4x Glint Hawk
4x Ichor Wellspring
4x Memnite
2x Oblivion Ring
4x Piston Sledge
20x Plains
4x Signal Pest
4x Vault Skirge

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