Building_on_a_Budget

Transmuting Post-Besieged

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The letter A!s promised, I've got my latest build of Master Transmuter sleeved up and ready to go.


Master Transmuter is one of the most powerful creatures in Extended. Unfortunately, Faeries has prevented this deck from achieving competitiveness. Mirrodin Besieged does a good job of changing that, though. Faerie decks will, and I say this with almost 100% certainty, play Go for the Throat as their removal spell of choice. To them, Go for the Throat is a strict upgrade to Doom Blade. Cards like Putrid Leech, Demigod of Revenge, and Doran, the Siege Tower are all of higher priority than cards like Master Transmuter and Platinum Emperion to any tournament savvy player.


This minor change in the outline of Faeries gives us an opportunity to capitalize on the potential power of Master Transmuter and its friends. That's not the only trick we've picked up to fight the Faerie Menace. Shimmer Myr gives us an opportunity to resolve our spells or force an unwilling Faerie player to fight with countermagic on their own turn.

Spine of Ish Sah may seem expensive, but once you get this thing going with a Master Transmuter, you will understand why it's worth the wait. Destroying one or more permanents every turn is backbreaking for any opponent.

Treasure Mage may seem gimmicky, but it's kind of like a really bad Sphinx Summoner. Treasure Mage combos nicely with Grand Architect to put some very scary things on the table at very early turns of the game.

I experimented with Grand Architect in the past and it seemed like a necessary tool if I were planning on using cards like Spine of Ish Sah and Shimmer Myr. It's worth noting how strong the pump ability on this creature can be. It makes your Master Transmuter dodge things like Disfigure and double Cunning Sparkmage. It makes your Trinket Mages, Treasure Mages, Etherium Sculptors, and Sphinx Summoners all into serious beaters.

Trinket Mage is a nice addition to have when you're playing Grand Architect. Most of the time, you just grab an Everflowing Chalice to help your mana situation, but there are a lot of situations where a Chimeric Mass or Executioner's Capsule can really put a damper on your opponent's plans. Elixir of Immortality is strong against red decks and it lets us shuffle our graveyard back into our library if we've already used Sharuum the Hegemon and need to get a Sphinx Summoner going.

Etherium Sculptor is the deck's turn two play of choice. In fact, I've found that I rarely lose a game when I untap with an Etherium Sculptor on the battlefield. It's especially powerful when combined with Grand Architect. The cost reduction alongside the mana ability allows you to get things like Spine Ish Sah into action a lot faster than one might expect.


Shimmer Myr may shine the brightest when you're playing against Faeries, but it's worth noting how powerful it can be against other decks. Flashing in a large artifact after your opponent makes his attack can often be the advantage you need to win the game.

The top-end package is completely ridiculous:

Precursor Golem is a huge beating for most decks. It gets especially powerful when you have a Master Transmuter spinning it in and out of play.

Sharuum the Hegemon makes it impossible for other non-Faerie/non-combo decks to keep up with a single Sphinx Summoner.

Platinum Emperion is a win by itself against a lot of decks. Things get especially difficult for your opponent if you have a Master Transmuter in play at the same time.

Wurmcoil Engine is a necessary top-end spell that the deck needs to have access to as a turn four play. Decks like Jund and Mono Red can run you over if you don't have access to a single copy of this card.

Sphere of the Suns is like a bad Everflowing Chalice. That being said, it's still quite good. This deck desperately wanted more two-drops that helped lubricate the avalanche of card advantage and board position that starts around turn four or five.

Thousand-Year Elixir is incredible with Master Transmuter. I found myself losing most games where I drew more than one copy, though. I decided the only way to guarantee I wouldn't draw more than one was to only play a single copy. If you decide to play cards like Scarecrone, then you probably want a few extra copies of this in your main deck.

A lot of readers suggested that I use Mindlock Orb in my sideboard to help against the Valakut decks. While the effect is powerful, I'd rather not turn off my Sphinx Summoners and Mages. Leyline of Sanctity seems like a much better choice.

I definitely want access to a Sphinx of the Steel Wind post-board to soften up our Jund opponents.

Lodestone Golem can make things really difficult for players that rely heavily on a specific curve. Playing a full four of these post-board can often make things very difficult for opponents. Remember, Lodestone Golem is especially strong in multiples. With the help of Sphinx Summoner and Master Transmuter it's reasonable to assume we should have trouble finding a few copies in the same game.

The rest of the sideboard is designed to help us tune the deck for specific matchups. This sideboard configuration allows you to shape your deck based on what cards you've seen from your opponent.

Here's the final 75:


I played a few matches with the new list to see how it would fare against the latest versions of decks like Faeries. Match reports are particularly enlightening to read with a deck like this. Understanding the unique interactions between different spells is very important.


Note: The Faeries deck my friend and I used has four copies of Go for the Throat and two disfigures.


I won the roll and kept Arcane Sanctum, Sunken Ruins, Darkslick Shores, Etherium Sculptor, Grand Architect, Shimmer Myr, Everflowing Chalice. I played my Arcane Sanctum and passed the turn. My opponent played a Creeping Tar Pit and passed the turn back. I drew Wurmcoil Engine, cast Etherium Sculptor, and passed the turn. My opponent played a Mutavault, cast Bitterblossom, and passed the turn. I drew Sphinx Summoner, cast Grand Architect, attacked for 2, and passed the turn. My opponent played an Island and passed the turn back. I drew a Treasure Mage, and passed the turn to my opponent. My opponent cast a Vendilion Clique during my end step. I tapped my Grand Architect and Etherium Sculptor using Grand Architects activate ability, cast Shimmer Myr, and cast Wurmcoil Engine. I showed my opponent my hand and he took the Sphinx Summoner, I drew a Plains. My opponent played a fourth land, attacked for 4, and passed the turn.

I drew a Sphinx Summoner, played the Plains I had drawn, and entered my attack step, my opponent thought for a bit and decided to cast a Cryptic Command tapping my team and drawing a card. I made my Wurmcoil Engine and Shimmer Myr into blue creatures and tapped my team. I used the remaining mana and my lands to cast the Master Transmuter in my hand. My opponent untapped, thought for a bit, and passed the turn. I drew an Island, played it, and entered my combat step again. My opponent let it go and I attacked with Wurmcoil Engine and Platinum Emperion, my opponent chumped both. I cast a Treasure Mage during my second main phase and it met a Spellstutter Sprite. My opponent untapped and, seeing the battlefield, conceded.

Sideboarding:
-1 Semblance Anvil
-1 Chimeric Mass
-1 Elixir of Immortality
-1 Spine of Ish Sah
-1 Platinum Emperion
-2 Trinket Mage
+4 Lodestone Golem
+1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
+1 Shimmer Myr
+1 Scarecrone


My opponent mulliganed and I kept Darkslick Shores, Vivid Creek, Island, Island, Everflowing Chalice, Lodestone Golem, Sphinx Summoner. My opponent played a Darkslick Shores and cast Thoughtseize. He took my Everflowing Chalice and passed the turn. I drew a Shimmer Myr, played my Vivid Creek, and passed the turn. My opponent cast a Bitterblossom and passed the turn back. I drew a Sphere of the Suns, played Darkslick Shores, cast the Sphere, and passed the turn. My opponent played a third land and passed the turn back. I drew another Lodestone Golem. I decided this was a good opportunity to dodge Spellstutter Sprite and I cast a Lodestone Golem. My opponent responded with a Vendilion Clique. He took my Shimmer Myr and I drew a Thousand-Year Elixir.

He untapped, attacked for 4, failed to play a fourth land, and cast Thoughtseize, taking my Sphinx Summoner. I drew another Sphinx Summoner and cast it. I searched my library for another copy of Sphinx Summoner. My opponent drew his card and passed the turn. I drew an Island, played it, cast another Lodestone Golem. My opponent drew for his turn and simply passed again. I drew a Master Transmuter, cast it, and passed the turn. My opponent was assembling a nice army of Faerie tokens, but it still looked pretty bad for him. He played a Creeping Tar Pit and passed the turn. I drew a Sunken Ruins, played it, used Master Transmuter to phase my Sphinx Summoner off, then back on the battlefield. I searched up a Lodestone Golem, cast it, and passed the turn again. My opponent attacked with all his Faerie tokens and I ate one with my Sphinx Summoner. I drew an Arcane Sanctum, cast Thousand-Year Elixir, and passed the turn.

My opponent attacked with all his Faerie tokens again. I activated my Master Transmuter returning my Sphere of the Suns back to my hand, and putting the other Sphinx Summoner onto the battlefield, then I searched for Sphinx of the Steel Wind. I used the Elixir to untap my Master Transmuter, activated my Master Transmuter, and phased out a Sphinx Summoner to make a Sphinx of the Steel Wind. I blocked two tokens and netted some life. On my turn I spun up the last Lodestone Golem and put it onto the battlefield. I attacked with Sphinxes and my opponent chumped the big one and traded his Vendilion Clique for the other. My opponent drew for his turn and decided it was an okay time to concede.



I lost the roll and kept Arcane Sanctum, Island, Plains, Swamp, Vivid Creek, Everflowing Chalice, Sphinx Summoner. My opponent played a Forest and passed the turn. I drew a Master Transmuter, cast Everflowing Chalice and passed the turn. My opponent played a Mountain, cast Rampant Growth, found a second Forest, and passed the turn. I drew a Treasure Mage, cast Master Transmuter, and passed the turn. My opponent cast a Cultivate, finding some land, played his land, and passed the turn. I cast Treasure Mage, searched my library for Platinum Emperion, and passed the turn.

My opponent played a sixth land, cast Prismatic Omen, and cast Scapeshift. He searched his library for four Valakuts, a Raging Ravine, and a Forest. He targeted each of my creatures, and then me with the remaining 60 or so damage. I phased out my Master Transmuter and put Platinum Emperion onto the battlefield. I drew Thousand-Year Elixir, cast it, attacked for 8, played my Vivid Creek, and passed the turn. My opponent played a land and destroyed my Platinum Emperion and dealt me 3 damage. He passed the turn. I drew an Island, played it, cast Master Transmuter, and passed the turn.

My opponent cast a Harrow, put two lands onto the battlefield, targeted my Master Transmuter for 3 and me with lethal. I activated my Master Transmuter returning my Everflowing Chalice and putting my Sphinx Summoner onto the battlefield. I searched my library for Sharuum the Hegemon. I activated my Thousand-Year Elixir, and reactivated my Master Transmuter. I returned Master Transmuter and put Sharuum the Hegemon onto the battlefield. Sharuum returned Platinum Emperion to the battlefield. My opponent passed and I attacked him for lethal damage.

-1 Chimeric Mass
-1 Executioner's Capsule
-1 Elixir of Immortality
-2 Trinket Mage
-3 Shimmer Myr
-1 Precursor Golem
-1 Wurmcoil Engine
+1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
+4 Lodestone Golem
+4 Leyline of Sanctity
+1 Platinum Emperion


I went down to six cards and kept Island, Arcane Sanctum, Leyline of Sanctity, Leyline of Sanctity, Sphinx Summoner, Etherium Sculptor. I put both Leylines onto the battlefield and my opponent led with a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. I drew a Swamp, played my Arcane Sanctum, and passed the turn. My opponent played Forest, cast Explore, played another Valakut, and passed the turn. I drew a Grand Architect, cast Etherium Sculptor, and passed the turn. My opponent played a fourth land, cast Harrow, then cast Cultivate, and passed the turn back to me. I drew a Treasure Mage, cast Grand Architect, attacked for 2, and passed the turn.

My opponent cast a Primeval Titan and searched for a Valakut and a Raging Ravine. I drew another Arcane Sanctum, played it, cast Sphinx Summoner, searched for Master Transmuter, and passed the turn. My opponent cast a Primal Command putting one of my Leylines on the top of my library and shuffling it. He attacked with Primeval Titan and searched for his fourth Valakut and an Evolving Wilds, and passed the turn. I drew Spine of Ish Sah, tapped Grand Architect and an Island, cast Master Transmuter, and cast Treasure Mage. I searched for a Platinum Emperion, tapped Etherium Sculptor, Master Transmuter, and Treasure Mage to cast Spine of Ish Sah, destroying the Primeval Titan. I then attacked with Sphinx Summoner for 4, and passed the turn. My opponent cast another Primeval Titan and found a Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds. I drew a Thousand-Year Elixir, attacked for 4 in the air with Sphinx Summoner, cast Platinum Emperion, and passed the turn.

My opponent cast another Primal Command and put my other Leyline on the top of my library. He entered combat and I activated my Master Transmuter to destroy his Primeval Titan. He sacrificed his first fetch land and found a fifth Mountain. He sacrificed his second and found a sixth. He targeted my Master Transmuter with one trigger and my Platinum Emperion with the other three. I used my Elixir and bounced my Master Transmuter back to my hand and then back to the battlefield. I used the Master Transmuter to bounce my Platinum Emperion back to my hand and then back to the battlefield also. My opponent sacrificed his other fetch land and finished off the Emperion and the Transmuter. He passed the turn. I attacked for lethal damage.


Go for the Throat may seem like it makes Faeries better than ever, but it certainly gives this deck a huge advantage. Shimmer Myr and Spine of Ish Sah give this deck the tools it needs to compete in the latest version of Extended. I strongly recommend putting this deck together. It's one of the most fun archetypes you can possibly play with.

Happy Brewing!




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