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Refurbishing a Deck

Written by Joshua Claytor on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

Refurbishing a Deck

Joshua Claytor

Joshua is the current content manager of Legitmtg.com and Puremtgo.com.

I want to cast goofy cards in Standard. I guess since I decided that I am not good enough to get back on the Pro Tour, nor am I healthy enough to do so, that if I played Standard I was going to play the stuff that I enjoyed playing over what may be the most competitive thing. I loved Aetherworks Marvel, and was pretty sad when it got banned, but eventually came around to understand why it needed to go. It was a super nice mix of fun and competitive though, because I happen to love Summoning Trap things.

I love to take turns, so looking at UG Ramp, ala Ali Aintrazi could work, but he has talked about it a lot.  I could offer new perspectives on well, New Perspectives, but as much as I like Approach of the Second Sun, it’s just a boring cycling deck.  I wanted to figure out what I wanted to do in Standard, and I made a list of cards that I wanted to cast and figured I would go from there.

Are these cards better now that Felidar Guardian, Aetherworks Marvel and Smuggler’s Copter (and others) are gone?  Maybe, some of them were pretty ok when they were in the format anyways.  Let’s move on to the list of cards that I want to cast:

Aetherflux Reservoir
Metalworks Colossus
Paradox Engine
Approach of the Second Sun
Part the Waterveil
Crush of Tentacles

These are the kinds of cards that I am trying to have the most fun with.  Most of these are silly engines, but there is one creature that I could play along Reservoir and Panharmonicon, but it seems better suited elsewhere.

Anyways I may have articles for all of these, I may not, but I at least wanted to write about Refurbish, because I have been having a lot of fun with the card in the new Standard format, which I get to play already thanks to the bans going in effect on MTGO already.  Sometimes MTGO is good, sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s just right.


That’s the deck, let’s talk about it for a minute or two.

What’s the point?

Well, we use Refurbish to reanimate a giant monster, hopefully one with a really good ability, and then beat your opponent with it.

How do we get our expensive monsters into the graveyard so we can cheat them out?

Lightning Axe and Cathartic Reunion are our main ways of dumping cards.  Haunted Dead, when in the graveyard can get cards out of hand and in to the graveyard as well.  Liliana Death’s Majesty mills us as well.

Why is there no Tormenting Voice?

In my experience with the deck with Reunion, Axe, Dead, Nahiri and Liliana, we had no real issue finding cards or putting them in the graveyard.  By cutting Tormenting Voice, we allowed our deck to have a little more flexibility and it allowed us to play with more exciting cards.

Why are there cards in here that cannot be Refurbished?

It’s true, Angel of Sanctions and Linvala, the Preserver are unable to get fixed up, but they can live Ever After, and Rise from the Grave as well.  These are just two solid creatures that can help us with board control or life gain.  They are both easily castable too, but one could say that about most of the cards in the deck.  Prized Amalgam is about the hardest thing to cast, but it’s possible to do so thanks to Aether Hub.  Amalgam also works so well with Haunted Dead and the reanimation spells that I thought it made a lot of sense to run them.

Why Gearhulks?

Well the new Titans are about the best artifacts that one can Refurbish in the format.  While each color is great, the ones in the Mardu wedge are the most relevant to us and our needs.  Cataclysmic Gearhulk is in my mind the weakest of them the hulks, but that is because Vehicles and other artifacts are seeing a lot of play now, and that matchups were it would normally shine against (Zombies) typically have cheap creatures that can come back into play for cheap activation costs!  Combustible Gearhulk has a neat Browbeat kind of feature, and it really makes things hard on the opponent.  They can let you potentially fill your graveyard with more threats, which will also damage them greatly, or give you more cards.  It’s not the best decision for them to make.  Noxious Gearhulk kills a creature and gains life, which helps you catch up.   There are not a lot of super great artifact creatures to Refurbish thanks to the Vehicles, but I think in the right metagames, Filigree Familiar would be the cat’s pajamas.

We have all kinds of sweet artifacts to play with though.  Planar Bridge could be cool, Gonti’s Aether Heart is just begging to be built around, but we do not have the energy to take advantage of it.  Soul Separator might actually have a place in the deck, but really there is not a lot of exciting artifact creatures to be returned.  That makes Refurbish a bit harder to build around, because you can’t return non artifacts with it.

Demon of Dark Schemes would be a super cool thing to cheaply reanimate, as would Exquisite Archangel.  Though creatures have gotten so efficient recently that there are not a ton of super tasty reanimation targets.  These cards are easily cast now.  I can’t imagine what something like Cataclysmic Gearhulk would have cost in the earlier days of Magic, when spells were the undercosted things and creatures were the overcosted ones.

What reanimates things?

Refurbish, Ever After gets two things, and Rise from the Grave gets one, but can use either graveyard.  Liliana, Death’s Majesty can reanimate cards, and Nahiri, the Harbinger can cheat things out as well.  With the addition of Liliana, there may be too many reanimation spells, but thankfully, the walkers can do other things.

Why is your sideboard a train wreck?

Because I’m not very good at actually building sideboards sadly.  It does address things that I want it to though.  Need to deal with Vehicles or New Perspectives at instant speed? Bring in Forsake the Worldly.  Help against Aggro?  You have a ton of options, with Unlicensed Disintegration, Yahenni’s Expertise and Radiant Flames leading the pack.  Lay Bare the Heart comes in against control.  Gideon’s Intervention seems like the kind of card I want to try out in the board and may actually be better than the two creatures in the sideboard.

You know what?  I’m gonna give it a go, take out the two creatures for two Gideon’s Intervention.  Let’s just see how that works out!

With that said, I am gonna hop back online and play some more matches with the deck, I hope to stream it later on in the week, so hopefully I’ll see you then!

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