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April 16, 2012


Whispers of the Muse: Werekill’s Venser Deck

by Dredd77

Welcome back to another installment of Whispers of the Muse, our occasional deckbuilding series that takes a reader-submitted deck, then turns it over to the community to tweak and modify! Today’s submission is a timely one, as Duel Decks: Venser vs Koth was only recently released. Werekill has been poring over it, sensing that there were improvements to be made but not quite sure where to begin.

Says Werekill:

I think it would make a fun Modern deck, but other than adding a few cards like Lone Missionary, Mulldrifter, and a few Vensers, I’ve got no idea where to go with it.

What do you think folks, is there enough of a shell for a decent Modern deck here? This is the scorecard from our writeup:

If you were rebuilding the deck, what would you keep? What would you cut? And what other cards would you bring into the deck?

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Werekill
    Apr 16 2012

    Thanks in advance, guys.

    By the way, if you want to include some of the “blink” effects from the new set that’s about to release, I don’t mind. There’s an instant that does an instant Venser effect (ie puts on battlefield immediately instead of eot) for a single white mana, and theres a 2U card that does the same to 2 permanents at once.

    • Icehawk
      Apr 17 2012

      Those are good options, but there are older ones like Momentary Blink and Otherworldly Journey that are options too. The latter also adds a +1/+1 counter. Might come in handy if you’re not using undying.

      • Werekill
        Apr 18 2012

        Huh, good point there. I like both of those for sure, and I’ll definitely keep them in mind. Thanks!

  2. Apr 16 2012

    Well, first of all, I’d remove the Modern-illegal cards. 😛

    But yeah. I’d try to focus on Venser’s first ability, and add more ETB creatures, like the aforementioned Mulldrifters and Venser (creature form). I’d also wait for Avacyn Restored’s new tricks, like Ghostly Flicker and Cloudshift, for redundancy. 🙂

    • Werekill
      Apr 18 2012

      Of course. :p

      And yeah, that’s what I was thinking. I don’t like Venser’s creature form too much, though.

  3. Aaro
    Apr 17 2012

    I made a Venser deck myself a few months back, but most of my knowledge is going to be in Standard… Anyway, there are lots of ETB critters/artifacts out there, and some good support cards too. (I’ll keep my suggestions on-color with White/Blue)

    ETB effect Creatures/Artifacts:
    Wall of Omens (card draw)
    Contagion clasp/engine (-1/-1 counters, proliferate)
    Stoneforge Mystic (equipment fetch)
    Pilgrim’s Eye (land fetch)
    Blade/Master/Wing Splicers (golem tokens)
    Trinket/Treasure mages (artifact fetch)
    AEther Adept (bounce)
    Inquisitor/Deceiver Exarchs (lots of options)
    Stonehorn Dignitary (make opponent skip all his/her combat steps!)
    Glimmerpoint Stag (exile another permanent)
    Clone (offensive or defensive for legends)
    Slayer of the Wicked (if you’re up against werewolves, zombies or vampires)
    Geist-Honored Monk (spirit tokens)
    Sun/Frost Titans (good stuff!)
    Myr Battlesphere (myr tokens)
    Spine of Ish Sah (destroy permanents)

    Non-creature support:
    Pacifism or any aura (blink to re-attach to a different—even hexproof, because it doesn’t target if it’s not cast—creature)
    Day of Judgment (blink one of your big creatures before casting)
    Saving Grasp (dodge removal, reuse ETB effects)
    Tumble Magnet/Sphere of the Suns/Vivid lands (blink to recharge counters)

    Well, those are some options for Venser’s +2 anyway… that’s not even focusing on his -1, though bounce your token producers a few times and that “creatures are unblockable” ability will be pretty great. 🙂

    • Aaro
      Apr 17 2012

      P.S. – I don’t know much about Modern, so some of these may be banned… (Stoneforge…?) Best check into that!

      • Werekill
        Apr 18 2012

        Ha, yeah, Stoneforge is banned. That’s sad, too; I just pulled a Sword of Feast and Famine. 😦

        Thanks for the great suggestions!

    • Aaro
      Apr 17 2012

      One more idea: it might not be real competitive, but what about Allies?? Here are the ones that spring to mind…

      Hada Freeblade (+1/+1 counters)
      Kazandu Blademaster (+1/+1 counters)
      Kabira Evangel (protection)
      Talus Paladin (+1/+1 counters, lifelink)

      Jwari Shapeshifter (whatever you want, but probably something with counters?)
      Umara Raptor (+1/+1 counters)
      Seascape Aerialist (flying)
      Sea Gate Loremaster (card draw)

      Your +1/+1 counter-growing allies will be susceptible to not only normal removal, but also bounce, so you’d want some counter-magic and/or protection (maybe Faith’s Shield, which could also protect Venser) as well. Might as well throw some proliferate in while you’re at it for Venser’s loyalty counters and the +1/+1 counters. Tezzeret’s Gambit is the obvious one, I think…

      Might not be real competitive, but it’d be fun to play!!

      • Werekill
        Apr 18 2012

        Ha, well, even though the allies are good, I’m not going to use them. The only reason why is because a good friend of mine (and my main playtest partner) has an ally deck himself.

  4. Icehawk
    Apr 17 2012

    I play casually only with modern cards, but double check me. Some might be DD reprints or something like it.

    I stripped mine down to basic lands and built it up from there. I used quite a bit of what was originally in the deck (I bought 2 of ’em), but I bet qutie a few of those won’t be modern legal. It really just depends on where you want to take this deck.

    I maxed out Clone and added in another O. Ring. Depending on how much bounce you have, you might consider, at least siding anyway, Prison Term. The ability to reattatch it without bouncing is nice and well worth the extra mana.

    I kept the Sphinx and maxed out Preordain. I can’t remember if I stuck some Foresees in it or not. I think I put a pair of Wall of Omens in instead of them. I didn’t use any artifacts, but I play casually.

    Basically a lot of nice ETB effects with a few counterspells on the side. Oh and a second helping of Venser. It all adds up, but you definately need some sort of finisher. I use the Sphinx it came with. The Angel just didn’t fit where I was going with the deck.

    Having a little instant bounce would be good too. Otherworldly Journey is a favorite of mine.

    • Werekill
      Apr 18 2012

      Sounds like a plan. I’m considering getting another of these, but I’m going to try to split the cost with the friend so that I can just spend 10 on the Venser deck. He likes red, and the Koth stuff seems good for him.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. web8970
    Apr 19 2012

    Having completed a few games with the Venser deck myself, I found out that a quick and smooth play as well as courage when it comes to tough choices, are key. Therefore a few cards were weighing on my hand, rather than being cast:
    * Vanish into memory: As nice as the momentary removal is, I dislike the discard part
    * Minamo Sightbender: I rarely found myself having the mana for his activated ability available
    * Windreaver: It might be a lack of skill on my side, but I don’t cope with that creature. Being quite expensive for it’s stats, it requires to leave quite some lands untapped in order to make use of it’s potential.
    * Overrule: The same is true here. As the lifegain does not make that much of a difference there are better counters for at least 3 mana.

    Some suggestions for replacements:
    * Meddling Mage: Not only can he prevent Koth from ever showing up, in addition it doesn’t say anywhere on the card that the restriction lasts as long as the mage is in play. Blink him again and again and create a list of red spells to forbid 🙂
    * Galepowder Mage: More of him helps to enable free blinks.
    * Aethermages Touch: An underrated card that seems to be made for ETB effects
    * Sky Hussar: At the same cost as the Windreaver, he comes with a more stable body as well as a nice ETB ability.
    * Preordain: Well, blue is part of the deck, isn’t it?

    So much for my suggestions …

    • Nathalie Goddy
      Apr 19 2012

      You are wrong about Meddling Mage: when it is removed from the battlefield, the restricted card can be cast again. When it returns, you can name that card again (or another card), but the previous restriction will have disappeared regardless.

      • Aaro
        Apr 20 2012

        Exclusion Ritual will accomplish something similar to this (because it exiles cards which then can’t be cast), but it’s prohibitively expensive…

      • web8970
        Apr 20 2012

        Ok, you are right, my mistake.
        Anyway, keeping Koth out of the battlefield for the cost of including the Mage still sounds like a good deal to me …

    • Icehawk
      Apr 19 2012

      How did I forget about Sky Hussar?

      Great card. My VvK hasn’t come in yet, so I can’t remember if I put it in it or not. Knowing me, I probably did even though I doubt I’d use the draw too much in it. That shines best when you have tokens. No matter what it’s a nice combat trick.

  6. web8970
    Apr 20 2012

    What do you guys think about the Windreaver at all? Am I the only one considering him a bit too clumsy and crying for replacement?

    • Icehawk
      Apr 20 2012

      I took him out for Aether Adepts.

    • Apr 21 2012

      In full agreement here. It was a clever card when you could put damage on the stack, but not so great these days…

  7. web8970
    Apr 22 2012

    We had another duel this weekend and there were several things that I noticed:
    * That Windreaver is so absolutely useless. An overcosted 1/3 body and no way of using the activated abilities as all the mana is needed for spells
    * Koth’s deck is all about putting Mountains into play, so Overrule hardly works out. Any other hard counter – I suggest replacing it with Negates – is better suited.
    * My best weapon against Koth himself was the Neurok Invisimancer. He didn’t last long against this little friend.
    * The Galepowder Mage proved to be an absolute blast. My opponent was willing to do any unfavorable trade in order to get him off the field.
    * On the other end of the table I almost always found two 3/3 (or even 5/5) first striking Plated Geopedes in the red zone.
    * More scary than Koth was Jaws of Stone. As said, the red deck cares about it’s lands, this spell ended my game when I was in the assumed safety of 12 life …

    I still don’t know how to brace my deck against these threats for our next encounter. Of course, shifting to all control would be an answer but it would take the fun out of the deck …

    • Icehawk
      Apr 23 2012

      A touch of redirection? Redirect to be precise. Has a venser feel to it, imo.

      Another Wall of Denial and perhaps 2 Wall of Omens would help too. Depends on how far defense wise you want to go. I run just 2 WoO.

      Really basically what’s been said above too. Depending on what threats your Koth buddy palys, Prison Term may work as well as anything. The shifting nature of it is insane.

  8. TopAce
    May 6 2012

    Im working on the same deck, found some interesting cards/things:

    – Stormfront Riders
    – Knight-Captain of Eos
    – Captain of the Watch
    – Timely Reinforcements
    – Kor Skyfisher
    – Goldnight Commander (good synergy. 3x +1/+1? Yes plz!)

    – Azorius Aethermage (really wonder why this one isnt in the original deck)
    – Aether Spellbomb (how easy can it be…)

  9. Elie Hendriks
    May 12 2012

    – Mulldrifter
    – Draining Whelk
    – Snapcaster Mage
    – Aven Riftwatcher
    – Sky Hussar
    – Sea Gate Oracle
    – Momentary Blink
    – Æther Adept
    – Mangara of Corondor
    – Cloudgoat Ranger
    – Solemn Simulacrum
    – Azorius Æthermage
    – Equilibrium
    – Spellstuttur Sprite
    – Sower of Temptation
    – Duplicant

    Or spalsh black for;
    – Shriekmaw
    – Mournwhelk
    – Ravenous Rats
    – Massacre Wurm
    – etc…

  10. Jason
    Aug 16 2012

    I love Venser, and i have put several sunblast angel’s with a Sleep combination as a finisher. But, even without the Sleep, Sunblast keeps creatures at bay when they have the knowledge you could blink him and destroy all of his creatures that attacked.

  11. Jason
    Aug 16 2012

    Also, Kor Hookmasters keep creatures at bay very well.


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