A few episodes back on “The Eh Team” – a podcast I’m a part of, we had a spoof intro about “Smi77y’s Angels” who of course were my three other co-hosts. As a deck builder I tend to find pet cards in a set that I really enjoy, but are also capable of seeing tournament play. In the past it’s been [card]Kuldotha Phoenix[/card], [card]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/card] and [card]Vengevine[/card]. Sometimes the cards are under the radar, sometimes they aren’t. This set was pretty special as a couple episodes back on “The Eh Team” I mentioned Spellskite as my favorite card and sleeper of the set, well now the card is going for $10 and saw tournament play on its first time out being a legal card. (And although this article is about sleepers and I may be late to the game, I’d like to include Spellskite as it is definitely my favorite card of the set). What I’d like to share with you today is Smi77y’s Angels, my top three favorite, tournament ready cards of the set.
These are my angels, my name… is Smi77y.
Chancellor of the Tangle: This is a card that a lot of people will disagree with me on. It’s not necessarily a very good card if it’s not in your opening hand, however it is a card that fits in so many decks and makes certain opening hands highly favorable against the field. And I feel that payoff is worth the downside of being a fairly vanilla creature.
I’ve already began brewing with this guy and you can find those brews HERE. Ideally this guy fits best in a deck where you can actually cast him because you don’t want to be sitting on a card that is completely dead. With [card]Lotus Cobra[/card] casting this Chancellor is very reasonable. His best fit through testing so far has been in Eldrazi Green due to the fact that he is the easiest to cast in a dedicated ramp deck. And it’s opening starts in that deck are out of control. The deck did however need some additional tweaks to maximize this guys versatility, therefore I definitely feel this creature is a build around creature.
One other relevant fact is that its toughness is 7. In a world of Titans I don’t believe a 6/6 would work right now and honestly it would make his relevant upsides more even with his downsides. Luckily he is a 6/7 that matches up very well with [card]Sun Titan[/card], trades with [card]Inferno Titan[/card], and is a great blocker against [card]Grave Titan[/card]. [card]Frost Titan[/card], which is seeing the least play right now is the only titan that is highly favorable against Chancellor. [card]Primeval Titan[/card] is still a much better card, but at least Chancellor can block and make your opponent use 3 Valakut Triggers.
So why am I truly stoked on this guy’s capabilities as the best Chancellor? The fast starts aren’t just fast, they are insane and extremely difficult to stop. As you can see with the link above to my GW aggro deck, maximizing the incredible two drops we have in standard is why this guy is so bonkers. A turn two [card]Stoneforge Mystic[/card], fetching Batterskull, followed by sitting on the mana and playing Batterskull, followed by a Phyrexian Metamorph (a card you will see talked about shortly) = 2 Batterskulls in play by turn 3. And your Stoneforge on turn 1 is incredibly difficult to deal with.
Or how about a turn one [card]Squadron Hawk[/card], filling up your hand and discarding [card]Vengevine[/card]s. Or a turn one [card]Lotus Cobra[/card] followed by turn two [card]Vengevine[/card], or even Jace! The upsides swing a match into your favor by such large numbers that I would be surprised if this guy doesn’t see some top 8’s by October. Once we lose [card]Fauna Shaman[/card], Cobra, Mystic, etc., I’m not so sure he will be good enough anymore. So enjoy the insanely fun lightning quick starts Chancellor of the Tangle has to offer!
Phyrexian Metamorph: Perhaps the most under the radar card in the set, there’s no doubt in my mind that this card is VERY good and will see tournament play. Probably sooner than later, and probably more-so post rotation. It’s not just a 3 casting cost clone, it’s FAR more than that for many reasons. The main being the fact that it’s an artifact in itself, let me remind you – we are in an artifact block where the amount of artifacts you have matters. We have cards like [card]Grand Architect[/card] which are incredible cards that work well with artifacts and are just waiting to bust onto the scene.
The fact that it’s an artifact really gives us some powerful synergies, but to boot we know the fact that it can copy artifacts and doesn’t even have to become a creature. Therefore it makes its versatility FAR greater than just a clone. Let’s look at a couple of examples as to what we’d be copying in a tier 1 meta-game.
Batterskull: As I listed above, in certain decks copying your own Batterskull early can be insane. A point I didn’t mention was the fact that once Batterskull is copied Phyrexian Metamorph can bounce himself to your hand to recopy anything else you need! That’s beyond incredible, especially when the top decks (Caw-Blade) are running Batterskulls maindeck.
Titans: This should be obvious, but this isn’t even close to my favorite targets as they come into play too late generally.
Vengevine: This is another one of my favorite targets. Larry Swasey recently piloted a UG deck to top 8 against 7 Caw-Blade decks in the SCG Open series, and this card fits beautifully in there. But even mono green or GW Vengevine decks can support this guy. [card]Lotus Cobra[/card] and Birds produce blue mana (which you don’t even have to have) to make the small blue splash very real. Having additional pseudo haste creatures in an aggro deck is priceless. As someone who thinks haste is the best ability on a creature, this card was truly needed for standard.
Tumble Magnet: Extra [card]Tumble Magnet[/card]s for the same cost if your back is against the wall or you need to get in with that final point of damage? Yes please.
Any relevant creature/Equipment: [card]Acidic Slime[/card], [card]Stoneforge Mystic[/card], [card]Elvish Archdruid[/card], Lashwrithe, Swords,Tezzeret artifacts that were turned into creatures, [card]Merfolk Sovereign[/card]… Wait wtf….?
As a bonus to this article I’d like to share a new decklist I’ve been working on, and it’s a merfolk deck. Yes, in type 2.
*4 Corsi Trickster
*4 Stoneforge Mystic
*4 Coralhelm Commander
*4 Merfolk Sovereign
*4 Grand Architect
*4 Phyrexian Metamorph
*4 Spell Pierce
*4 Mana Leak
*1 Sword of War and Peace
*2 Jace Beleren
*4 Seachrome Coast
*4 Glacial Fortress
*2 Celestial Colonnade
*3 Tectonic Edge
*4 Leyline of Sanctity
*1 Thada Adel, Acquisitor
*1 Sword of Feast and Famine
*2 Jace Beleren
*3 Phyrexian Revoker
*2 Scroll Thief
*2 Into the Roil
I’ve only shared a fraction of the ideas I have for Phyrexian Metamorph. It’s time to get excited.
Spellskite: I won’t cover this card in too much depth as we all know its capabilities. But the fact this card saw tournament play right out of the gate is saying a lot about its power level in all sorts of decks. I’ve listed over five different decklists here on 60cards.com with this little guy featured in the 75. He is clearly the nuts for standard and so many more formats. He even won me games in my first NPH draft. I think it’s safe to say that any card drawn by Chippy is going to see play at this point (even if he is a dirty dirty man with the art).
Spellskite is an answer to so many problems for so many decks. He’s fantastic in creature decks that lack removal for the new [card]Splinter Twin[/card] combo, and he’s perfect for Tezzeret decks to protect your planeswalker and still be able to attack when/if you need to. If you missed the window to pick this guy up for $1.50 a piece I’m sorry, I guess you should have been listening to “The Eh Team”.
As an additional bonus, because apparently that’s what incorporating decklists into articles is called now. Here is the updated Tezzeret, the Mindhammer aka The Mind Hammer decklist sporting not one, but two of Smi77y’s angels!
[deck title=Tezzeret, the Mind Hammer]
3 Wurmcoil Engine
3 Phyrexian Metamorph
4 Galvanic Blast
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Go for the Throat
3 Everflowing Chalice
4 Sphere of the Suns
4 Tumble Magnet
4 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Koth of the Hammer
4 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Dragonskull Summit
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Go for the Throat