Hexproof
Budget White Metalcraft

Joshua Vanderwall | 11 Jan 2012 16:00
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The primary benefit of playing this deck, as mentioned, is its exceptionally efficient creatures which benefit from Metalcraft. This profoundly low mana curve means that you can get away with running fewer lands without worrying about missing a land drop. As you never need more than three lands out to be able to cast at least one spell every turn, I opt to run only 20 lands in the 60 cards. That's enough to typically make my third land drop, but not reliably my fourth or beyond which is perfect! With this decklist, you're typically looking to drop a Memnite first turn as well as one of your 1-drop artifacts to start getting your Metalcraft online. Second turn I like to drop an Auriok Edgewright so that third turn I can drop another artifact and swing with Doublestrike. Ideally, third turn will see a Piston Sledge attached to the Edgewright, letting you swing for 10 damage on turn 3! If left unchecked, a 5/3 Doublestrike will obviously win games on his own, but the torrent of creatures doesn't have to stop there. Auriok Sunchaser is 3/3 Flying for 1W and their evasion means they carry a Piston Sledge pretty handily as well. Ardent Recruit is a 3/3 for W, which helps you flood the board with bigger creatures than your opponent can hope for that early in the game.

Some board control is available as well, from Dispense Justice as a 2-for-1 to Oblivion Ring which can handle practically any problem that comes down. Dispatch is my personal favorite inclusion here, as the Metalcraft will typically be active making it some of the most efficient removal anywhere. Since most of the removal in the deck will exile instead of destroy, even graveyard recursion and Indestructible aren't a problem for this deck. Removal should be used freely and early, though, as playing this deck is something of a race. The more creatures you can get through to damage the opponent in the early rounds, the less damage you'll have to sneak through later if the game goes long. Once a steady supply of blockers starts popping up, you'll tend to have to rethink your strategy, either waiting for a mistake from the opponent or simply flooding the board with cheap threats.

The cons list for this deck is pretty straightforward. This deck relies on Metalcraft to win. Without it, the creatures are no longer efficient and, in fact, some of them become notably inefficient. See Auriok Sunchaser, which is a 1/1 for 1W when you don't have Metalcraft. This means that artifact hate like Ancient Grudge is particularly nasty against this deck. Spot removal that can target your artifact creatures, like Doom Blade, is also very effective at nixing the Metalcraft bonuses. Finally, since your artifact creatures are all so small, pretty much anything in Red will put a damper on your day. Arc Trail is particularly effective, typically killing off two creatures and disabling Metalcraft.

Since the deck likes to swarm with creatures, it is very prone to mass removal effects as well. Most games you're going to overextend to try to get the killing blow through, and it's very hard to come back from a Day of Judgment, Slagstorm, or Black Sun's Zenith. In many cases, you'll be very near victory before they have mana up to clear the board, at least, so you'll just need to recover enough to eke a few more damage through to win, though this is harder than it sounds when you have trouble re-activating Metalcraft.

This deck often shines in Aggro matches. It has larger creatures than most other aggro decks will see. It gets them out fast and in full force. A good draw will let you empty your hand by thirdor fourth turn and this usually translates entirely to board position. Remember to protect your artifacts in this matchup, since your Ardent Recruit is going to be a 3/3 beast compared to 1 and 2 power weenies from other Aggro decks. You don't want to swing with a Memnite that's going to trade, even favorably, with an opponent's blocker if it loses your Metalcraft.

The greatest thing about this deck, aside from the face-smashing potential of a turn three 5/3 Doublestrike, is the wallet-friendliness of it all. The most valuable cards in the deck are Dispatch and Memnite, which command a greater-than-$1 price tag. From scratch, you could assemble the entire deck for less than $20!

Going forward, I'd like to dedicate some portion of these articles to answering any questions you may have about Magic. Please feel free to submit any rules or gameplay questions in the comments below or via PM to encaen!

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