Whispers of the Muse: Aaron F’s Eldritch Onslaught (Innistrad)
Welcome to another eidition of Whispers of the Muse, our popular deckbuilding series which uses preconstructed decks as a starting point.
When we say ‘popular,’ we mean it in the literal sense- this is a feature that is both for and by the readers. We’ll post the scenario, then it’s up to you to chime in with thoughts, ideas and suggestions in the comments!
Today’s Whispers features a deck from the Innistrad, the beguiling Eldritch Onslaught. Here’s the letter we recieved from Aaron F.:
I had never even heard of the concept of self-mill before this pre-con, but it seemed like such an interesting idea from your review that I went right out and picked it up. Unfortunately, I was playing against an opponent who had some finely-tuned decks, and I didn’t have near the same success as you had in the playtests. In fact, I didn’t even win once out of 6–7 games. It usually wasn’t even close.
This didn’t discourage me—rather, it made me want to tune it up! I don’t want to change the feel/strategy of the deck, just make it more effective/reliable/competitive. Oh, and I’m not worried about block-legal, but if we can keep it standard-legal that’d be cool. Here are my thoughts so far…
One thing that always made me sad was seeing cards without flashback—cards that I wanted or needed in my hand—go tumbling into the graveyard. A way to combat that would be by adding more flashback spells and more resilient creatures. One idea I had was Chandra’s Phoenix, which is not only evasive but very hard to keep dead when red burn is available. I also figured I’d add cards for a full playset of Burning Vengeance, which will increase my shot of drawing one, and hopefully even more than one since they stack so nicely. More Geistflame for cheap flashback/burn, more Charmbreaker Devils for card advantage…
I’m not averse to adding some rares if they’re not too expensive (Devil’s Play seems nice). I also considered going full-on Grixis and splashing some black (maybe via dual lands like Dragonskull Summit and Drowned Catacomb instead of just swamps?) to accommodate Forbidden Alchemy and its flashback cost… don’t know on that one, though the card filtering would definitely help keep what I want where I want it, hand vs. graveyard. If I added Black, I wonder about including Reassembling Skeleton, who doesn’t care if he gets milled into the graveyard. There’s the big downside of him being slow (tapped) coming back from the graveyard though…
Lastly, I’m curious on everyone’s thoughts on a reliable mana-base. With Terramorphic Expanse no longer standard-legal, would it be worth investing in three more Sulfur Falls to make a playset with the singleton copy I have now? Land like that isn’t cheap and aren’t flashy to buy… but maybe it’s a good, solid investment if it can help stave off mana lock/flood, which is never, ever, ever fun.
So: what to lose, what to keep, what to do! I’m all ears. I forgot to add, I do have one copy of Mirror-Mad Phantasm which could fit into this deck. I’d like to know everyone’s thoughts on if it’s a good idea, and if so how many would be good.
For reference, here’s the stock decklist.
So what does everyone think? If you were modifying the deck, what would you see cut? What would you replace it with? And how would you construct a competitive Eldritch Onslaught? Let us know in the comments!