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Breaking Through – Morphing Again

 

A little over a month ago I wrote an article on the possibility of Polymorph in Standard. Some liked my take while others liked the premise but went a different direction. Polymorph decks had a decent share of success before Rise of the Eldrazi, but now there are a bunch of new tools to experiment with. Today I would like to take another look at the deck’s direction and examine each new piece and how it can make its way into Polymorph. Because at the end of the day, who doesn’t like 15/15 crazies in play?

So before, I was a big advocate of playing U/W control with Polymorph, as I thought green did not add enough, but with Rise of the Eldrazi, that may change. In that shift, Summoning Trap potentially becomes a playable addition as well, to be a little more consistent. Let’s look at potential add-ons from Rise.

 

Awakening Zone 

This is a card that I want to mess with in a bunch of different decks, but it seems at its best here. Whether you need a steady stream of chump blockers, mana to cast your fatty, or guys to Polymorph away, this provides it all. There aren’t a ton of things that see play that can seal with this either. Maelstrom Pulse and Oblivion Ring are the best options, but both of those are bad at hitting your Polymorph target in response to the spell, so it’s a bit of a give and take.

 

Deprive 

This is a huge help for the deck as it provides a counterspell that takes out everything, and actually has a bonus most of the time. Resetting a Khalni Garden or the occasional Halimar Depths if you are running it is much better than having counterspells that only deal with noncreatures or instants, etc. This again seems like a natural home for this counterspell and I am excited that it was printed.

 

Domestication 

Not my favorite Control Magic of all time, but any Control Magic needs to be looked at when examining Polymorph. The 1 mana cheaper part of the card is a pretty big deal but I still think I would prefer Vapor Snare for its interactions with lands just like Deprive has. Still, it’s not out of the question to mess around with for sideboards.

 

Emrakul, The Aeons Torn 

This is basically just better than Progenitus was if you opted to use him. While Iona is still the queen of the castle, many decks have built with her in mind and usually have at least 2 different colored outs to her. There are exceptions of course, like Vampires and Mono-Red, but against those decks you have different issues.

I like Emrakul as a one-of because he is another guy that you can eventually hardcast and he wins the game with a single attack basically. Progenitus could attack once and still be beaten, whereas the card advantage presented by Emrakul is insane. There are a few things that can deal with Emrakul that couldn’t handle Progenitus, like Oblivion Ring, or a Cunning Sparkmage with a Basilisk Collar on it, but I still prefer him.

 

Growth Spasm 

A touch of mana fixing with a touch of token making, if you are looking to ramp up naturally while still having the option of Polymorph, Growth Spasm is not a bad choice. I think it loses in a fight to Awakening Zone though, as both net you a guy for turn 4, but one continues to do so for the rest of the game at a no mana investment. Still, another option and options are always good.

 

Oust 

Much like a control deck, the lifegain is basically irrelevant when playing this deck, so this card just gives you time. Path to Exile is an awesome card, but used early, it can ramp your opponent’s into an answer that we definitely don’t want happening. Oust on the other hand, actually takes away a potential answer from the opponent as it clogs up a draw step. If you are going white, I think you want to max out on Oust and cut back on the Paths a little bit to maximize synergy with your deck. The rare occurrence can also come up where you want to reset Iona so you Oust it away and then Polymorph it back into play on a different color. Probably won’t happen often, but still.

 

See Beyond 

This is a big one. See Beyond gives us more Jace-type effects to get rid of our fat that we have drawn while also just being a nice and cheap draw spell. Opening hands with a monster in them were almost always a mulligan as only Jace could right the wrong. Now however, I think See Beyond in those opening hands makes them not only keepable, but good! This should likely be a 3- to 4-of in most builds.

Now that the new guys have been given their due, let’s examine the various builds or directions that a Polymorph deck can go.

White/blue

This is the more controllish of the decks and can often play out just like U/W control although with a combo finish. My last article on the topic touched on this type of deck which, at the time, I favored for that particular metagame. This is hardly the only real direction to go of course though, and I actually think it is probably no longer the best, as the tools in green are just so important for the future of the deck. I wouldn’t ignore white altogether though.

Green/blue

This version plays out a lot more like a combo/tempo deck that U/W does as you do not have the control elements needed to push the game longer. That said, you have many more token generators and additional ways to dig for your Polymorph that make the deck fairly consistent in the early game. Often you can end up with a turn 4-6 Polymorph with protection back up pretty easily. I think the tools from Rise of the Eldrazi have us moving in this direction, but there is also a hybrid route.

Blue/white/green

This direction uses the removal and momentum swingers that White has at its arsenal combined with the token generation and mana stability of green to find a middle ground. The mana is not as good of course, but you do have more options on how to play out a game, allowing you to stay fluid based on the opponent’s decisions. In essence, this is the midrange Polymorph deck. There is one last option as well though that breaks from the traditional Polymorph mold a bit.

Trap/Morph

This deck allows you to use the combined powers of Summoning Trap and Polymorph to have 6 to 8 ways of finding a fatty in time to take over a game. This does not end up like other Summoning Trap decks though, as you still can’t use other creatures as you can end up blanking your Polymorphs, but the Trap is still an OK card even with only a few targets in the deck. Usually, based on math alone though, you have to increase your threat density a bit to insure seeing a target.

Lets examine what a new U/G Polymorph deck without Summoning Trap might look like.

While there aren’t a ton of token generators in this list, there is enough library manipulation to find one when needed. The hole for this sort of deck is in dealing with the hyper-aggressive decks like Boros Bushwhacker as you have no removal. Awakening Zone and Into the Roil should help that front, but I don’t know if they can be enough to withstand a full-on attack. The sideboard can be used to patch some holes here though, granting you an additional Into the Roil and Fog. Both of these can come in handy and Fog is almost a perfect fit here as it allows you to generate an additional token off of your zone and effectively Time Walks the aggro player. A quick mock up of a potential sideboard for the deck might look like the following:

 

It is worth noting that while your secondary win conditions are limited, Garruk plus Awakening Zone can do some nasty things to an opponent. Jace is another option, but he usually takes a little too long to ramp up so unless you have multiple Awakening Zones going, you can almost count him out. Gargoyle Castle is a nice addition that gives a little support later on and can of course be Polymorphed if need be.

Lets take a quick look at what U/w/g gives us.

As you can clearly see, the mana is going to be worse no matter what steps you take to avoid just that. For our efforts though, we get some removal spells, Silence, and Elspeth. As we all know, Elspeth can just win games on her own, and is going to be better than Garruk most of the time in this style of deck. You still have access to things like Fog in the sideboard if you wish, but can also turn to more Path to Exiles or Day of Judgment. There are not a ton of white sources in the deck, so that needs to be taken into account when looking into spells with WW in the mana cost. The draw spells help you find your white mana but that is hardly a perfect solution. One hidden gem to adding white is that we now have the ability to hard cast both of our win conditions. With Garruk and Awakening Zone in the deck, that becomes a real possibility, even for something that costs 15 mana.

If you begin to move away from the pure Polymorph deck and into a Summoning Trap hybrid, you can easily reach the conclusion that 2 monsters are just not enough. For example, with one target left in your deck and 45 cards remaining, which is about how many should be left when casting your first Summoning Trap, you’re left with like a 15% chance at actually hitting your target. Obviously you can figure out how that scales up with more guys to hit. With that in mind, you probably need something like 5 guys to give yourself a reliable chance to hit a target.

This just seems like it dilutes your deck too much to be worth it. I understand the allure of just the Summoning Trap deck, as you get other creatures like Wall of Omens to protect you en route to bringing out a big guy, but a hybrid between the two decks just seems greedy and loose. If you are willing to have 5 or 6 monsters in your deck, by all means, give this a shot, but I would advise against it.

With Rise of the Eldrazi, it seems that Polymorph has a real chance at moving into the realms of a competitive deck and away from fringe rogue strategy. Figuring out exactly what direction you want to take with the deck is something you will have to determine during playtesting and deck building, but it ultimately comes down to your discretion. Regardless of whether this deck interests you or not, be prepared for it and likewise if you do play it, be prepared against those that are you. At our local shop, someone Telemin Performanced out an opponent’s Iona, which of course, did not end well for the Polymorph player. Good luck building for the upcoming PTQs!

Conley Woods

66 thoughts on “Breaking Through – Morphing Again”

  1. Well written article with a good flow of ideas, and great pace.

    1 card that you forgot to consider was Vines. I think it deserves at least a few copies maindeck.

  2. I’ve been testing this deck a LOT and I really don’t like Awakening Zone or Deprive. We maxed out on the Growth Spasms and are playing Spell Pierce maindeck. The matchup against Jund is actually quite good, as they almost always aren’t fast enough to win before you can ‘combo’, and if they don’t play anything in order to keep mana up to kill your tokens, you just build a hand they can’t beat and go for it.

  3. I’ve noticed that in every Polymorph deck I’ve seen, they always play 3 or fewer Polymorph targets. If this takes off, does Sadistic Sacrament become a legitimate sideboard option?

  4. even if u run more than 3 targets, sadistic sacrament could be deadly for this deck
    get rid of 3 of their 4 polymorphs and there is a good chance they arnt guna win.
    the deck can still win with ramping into a hard cast of iona, but sacrament could hurt
    the only problem is the triple black mana cost of sacrament
    thought hemmorage could hurt if u cant counter it
    that goes for most ‘combo’ decks

  5. Sorry – newb question. Can you help me understand why Emrakul would be vulnerable to an oblivion ring? I guess I’m not clear on what “protection from colored spells” means.

  6. @Maddogg – A card is only a “spell” when it’s on the stack. The “exile target card” effect from Oblivion Ring is a triggered ability. Emrakul does not have protection from triggered abilities, so Oblivion Ring can exile it.

  7. I think all your decks you posted have way 2 high curve to be successfull along with 4 deprives main deck … You are running like 13+ 4 drops man …
    I also think awakening zone should never be a 4 of since jund is the deck and they have a maelstrom pulse for multiples.

    The guy that posted that growth spasm is better than zone i would have to agree with him 100%, because spasm will just make for some insane turn 4s, because u will be able to cast a polymorph with spell pierce or dispel backup…

    i think the starting base for this deck should be :

    1 Iona Shield of Emeria
    1 Emrakul the Aeons Thorn

    4 Growths Spasm
    4 See Beyond
    4 Polymorph
    4 Ponder

    4 Khalni Garden
    4 Misty Rainforest

    This should probably be the 4ofs that you should start building your deck with. I think that Jace is not necessary a 4 of, it depends on how combo do you want to go. But probably you should go bellow the number 2 …

    The starting cards you see here have a lot of synergy, so all the builders arround you have a lot of work to do, because i honestly belive this is going to be a tier 1 deck … It has so much card draw, library manipulation and synerg …

  8. hey i’ve been testing this deck a lot, and i really think ubg the way to go. the basic idea here is you don’t want them to bolt a token as you morph, and believe it’s scary as shit seeing them have open mana on your turn 4 and not knowing to morph or not. the solution, of course, it to look at their hand and just take their removal if they have it, or to know that the coast is clear if they don’t, or if they have multiples, to wait a turn until you have protection mana up. on top of that, you play 4 copies of spreading seas, because it’s screws the shit out of people when they need WW for day or that RB for terminate etc., which you know they have (and also the rest of the lands in their hand. anyway, it really works. i’m not maindecking iona because it actually can lose to jund, and is still vulnerable to UW. iona comes in for the mono colors, emrakul for jund / basically everything that doesn’t run day, oblivion ring, journey, or jace. anyway here’s my list:

    http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=570768

    feel free to email me @carleton.edu

  9. @Maddogg: Emrakul says that it has protection from colored spells, and by the time that Oblivion Ring hits the battlefield, it is not considered a spell anymore; it is considered an enchantment.

  10. so Progenitus only doesn’t die to O-ring over Emrakul? Spasm looks like the way to go, I can see a lot of singletons for this deck like all the 1 mana counters and different token sources. I’m not sure I like explore isn’t there anything better?

  11. Oh right see beyond sweet! 4 Spasm for sure and maybe a single Zone. I don’t see much point in not MD Emrakul with a pair of negate and the discard. Annihilator basically plays defense

  12. I’ve won a fair amount of games without Iona, who is my only fatty to poly into. I personally am not a huge fan of Emrakul. There are a few times he’s an excellent roleplayer but really you’re just asking for trouble if you think random poly’s will always be safe. I’d rather not gamble on who I poly into and just play Iona.

    Playing trap in the deck sounds awful. Nothing is worse than playing 6 mana for a very bad impulse that has a very good chance of not fetching anything. Summoning Trap is another deck entirely and deserves much more fat to cook with. I’m sure there are all sorts of ways to make a solid build, I’m personally not a fan of Emrakul in my Summoning Trap deck either and Ulamog seems flatly better, but whatever you do try out Pelakka Wurm and don’t forget Momentous Fall 🙂

    The enchantment is awesome, but will be better once alara rotates out.

    The standard u/g poly deck is fine the way it is. Vines is absolutely amazing. Garruk and Jace are too, so worrying about an alternate win-con isn’t needed. I also run one maindeck vapor snare, which has won me several matches. So sacrament isn’t really devastating, although it’s fine if people wish to waste sb slots for them 🙂

    One card I’ve not really liked and think other poly players should consider yanking from their boards are Fog’s. I’ve replaced mine with Unsummon. It’s better with Iona, sets back opponents turn structure, momentum, it “bolts” a leech, etc.

    Interesting read here Mr. Woods.

  13. @alex durrant

    Jund plays bolt. Once they resolve leech, they make you chump, then shoot your polymorph target. the matchup is unwinnable after they know what you’re playing.

  14. @maddogg

    A better explanation of why Emrakul gets O-Ringed:

    Oblivion ring is merely an enchantment, which has a triggered ability that goes on the stack after the enchantment comes into play. A triggered ability is certainly not a spell. Hope that helps if you read this. A lot of the confusion that occurs in magic is a player’s understanding of abilities. My roommie always asks me if “X” ability can be used at instant speed, and acts like its freakin’ christmas when I tell him it can. Haha

    A card will explicitly tell you if it has that restriction. Younger players: if you read your cards, and understand what the card means, you are on your way to being a better player. 🙂

  15. @ epsteinj

    Iona always has to name black against Jund. Once that occurs, if you get her in play, you race the holy hell out of Jund. Older Jund lists cannot handle this much air power, and they will feably try to race you, but lose to your chump engines. Good Luck with the deck tho!! 🙂

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  17. I’ve been playing with a Blue/Black Djinn of Wishes with Emrakul deck… Why Polymorph when you can simply have your Djinn cast Emrakul for you for the extra turn trigger. =)

    Ponder, Halimar Depths, Jar-Jar Sphinx, and Liliana set it up pretty well (along with various counterspells and kill spells), though this will almost definitely not be as consistent as the polymorph deck. Still, getting to “cast” Emrakul in Standard without needing to ramp all the way up to 15 is pretty awesome.

  18. for u/g
    @ amc: i tried unsummon before fog in the side. i’ve had a better track record with fog but they seem pretty similar (although i tried 1-2 unsummon and switched to 3 fog.) i think it depends on the meta. against rdw, fog is kinda the nuts and i think it’s also better against boros (which i think is one of the worst matchups… does anyone still play that?).
    also put a land on top with your 1st turn halimar for goblin guide 😉
    @ conley: i don’t understand why you’d ever want to play summoning trap and polymorph in the same deck. if you’re building around one of them, then the other is bad. am i missing something? they are two different decks, right?
    -isaiah

  19. also, see beyond rules, and lets you keep hands you couldn’t/shouldn’t normally keep. i think with four of these badboys one could switch to playing only one bomb in the main (leaving you with 6-8 outs if you draw it, depending on how many jaces you play.)
    i’m still not sold on awakening zone. seems to slow. maybe for the bant version that actually runs creature removal… but u/g is go for the throat combo. need to maximize reliable turn three and four combos.

  20. can someone tell me why this deck isn’t dead to targeted removal on the polymorph target? i like the vines idea for this reason…

  21. I opted for more versatile countermagic in this lists. Vines is good of course, but sometimes you just need to counter a Wrath or something along the way, even a Planeswalker. Like a resolved Jace is annoying when you want to combo. No fault if you do want to Vines though.

    And while I agree Awakening Zone is slower, it is also insanely powerful in here. Try it out.

  22. @ j mil

    Because it plays both Negate and Deprive? If your opponent is leaving mana up for instant speed removal, then he isn’t spending it pressuring you, and you should have time to get the mana for Polymorph + counter. Vines is okay, but I would play Spell Pierce before playing Vines and I’m not sure either makes sense.

    I happen to be a fan of adding summoning trap for consistency. Because, seriously, even with See Beyond and Ponder, relying on drawing Polymorph every game is just dangerous. After sideboard, Jund decks often run Duress, making things even more difficult. Yes, sometimes you win games on the back of Garruk or Elspeth, but those are pretty few and far between. If this deck is going to be viable at all, it’s going to need some viable alternate win conditions.

    A point in favor of Awakening Zone over Growth Spasm – Awakening Zone also helps protect you from sacrifice effects which can be very relevant with Gatekeeper of Malakir and Consuming Vapors both possibly seeing play.

  23. I have been testing UG Summoning Trap -deck. I play with 8 real targets and the trap “fizzles” about 20% of the time and I think that is too often. Of course when turn 4 EOT Emrakul arrives, the feeling is great.

  24. Thanks for all of the answers! It still seems strange to me to be able to target him with the enchantment. So, does this mean I can block him with a colored creature? I play regularly against someone who plays this deck, so I want to make sure I know ways to get rid of Emrakul!

  25. @Maddogg

    I will help by explaining the stack. The stack is where all spells and abilities sit (allowing them to be countered etc). Once no one is going to play another spell/ability, the spells come off of the stack. What ever the printed card says happens and the Sorcery/Instant goes to the graveyard. Artifacts, Enchantments, Creatures all become permanents when they come off of the stack. If there is a come into play ability on those permanents then that ability triggers and goes on the stack. At this point the ability is coming from a permanent not a spell.

    Anything in play is a permanent not a spell, Emrakul has protection from colored “SPELLS” (Terminate,Path to Exile, Act of Treason, etc) However a Guard Gomazoa can block Emrakul all day long assuming you dont run out of permanents to sacrifice.

  26. Just a quick thing on the bant polymorph deck’s mana… why no seaside citadel? I could see easily cutting a forest and glacial fortress for two.

  27. As usual the best tech for combo decks like this is to have a transformative side board. If you oppoenent boards in Sadistics and stuff to kill the combo pieces and you’re suddenly a Broodwarden / Spawn beat down deck they’re gonna get thrashed holding a bunch of blanks.

    The best defense for a gimmick combo deck is to make sure they don’t know what you’re doing game one, avoid their tech in game 2, and if it goes to 3 make them play sideboard roulette with what you’re gonna do that game.

  28. Ah, you went and posted the near-exact list I’ve been tuning for a few weeks now. That said, I’ve found the U/G version to be best, as it offers much better ramp and stall, which helps the deck’s consistency. I’m currently maindecking Sphinx and Emrakul (Sphinx is actually better to hit against Jund in Game 1). The deck has a lot of play against Jund and U/W decks (surprisingly enough you come prepared with more/better counters, especially post-board). Hardcasting Emrakul happens a lot more than you’d expect against U/W. That said, the deck folds to just about any aggro deck and Boss Naya is very tough as well.

  29. I like the U/G version best, the combination of Negates and Deprives seem good defense against Blightning, ramdom sweepers, walkers, etc.

    Awakening Zone looks fantastic but I need to playtest.

    At this point, I’d say the deck looks about Tier 2, but with some tech-ing could go higher. I’m gonna run it against Jund 10 times tonight and see how it does…

  30. I hope Pollymorph gets big, so I can cast telemin’s performance lol. I’m glad that card exists, it makes sure that creatureless dekcs, and pollymorph and summonig trap decks can never get to big. U can’t cast it til turn 5, unlike Pollymorph, but it can still keep u in the gAme if u flip up a huge fatty of ur own.

  31. After reading the article and comments I am astonished with people’s assumptions on the deck.

    I’m giving Conley the benefit of the doubt here, he is obviously a great builder and player, but those two decks must have been thrown together JUST as examples. (at least I hope, because both are awful). The reason you choose to play UG polymorph over UW, UR or any other combination is speed. You have far less actual removal, you are a tempo deck of sorts. By speed I am not trying to say that the deck only wins when it casts polymorph turn 3 or 4, more that you end up having more mana in play than your opponent and you can take advantage of them either tapping out for a play OR them playing more conservatively and keeping removal up, while you play polymorph with vines or negate (or deprive) backup. So basically my point is where is the rampant growth AND explore? The UG version pretty much needs 6-7 turn 2 ramp effects.

    On to the 2 different targets. Soon after playing with the deck, you will realize that you are hoping to hit one of the two pretty much every time polymorph resolves. Embrace that feeling. Only one of the two is right. That card is Iona. I am only referring to the main deck of course. The sideboard allows you to fine tune your winning creature, especially against decks that have answers to it in multiple colors.

    From the new cards:

    See beyond – This card is incredible! Its more than I would have hoped for in the deck. All I wanted from the new set was another ponder effect to make the deck a bit more consistent. This does so much more. Not only is it not like traditional draw – in the sense that just drawing cards in this deck is bad, you don’t want to draw into your creatures – but it lets you have 1-of creatures that shuffle back into your deck when they die (this will save you 2 very important slots in the sideboard.

    Deprive – Another great card for the deck. The mana would have to be tweaked a bit to support this since playing polymorph and keeping this up need 3 blue. This will open up important spaces in the maindeck since you can cut down on the amount of counterspells you use.

    Growth spasm – a 3 mana acceleration spell is NOT good in UG, regardless of if it makes a token or not.

    Awakening Zone – Too slow! and vulnerable. This is for UG and only UG. I haven’t tested bant or any other combination close to as much, since UG is better against the two most played decks.

    Oust – I know this isn’t in UG… but even recommending it is ridiculous, why would you put one more turn on the clock with Iona? 7+7+7 = 21, if you oust your opponent is at 23, you would need one more attack! Seems terrible.

    So I read through the comments, people are freaking out about sadistic sacrament. Thought hemorrhage would be the same issue if it resolves. Yes there are cards that are good against the deck, both of which are not currently being played almost at all, and both of which are very easily dealt with.
    As a side note the person that said if sadistic sacrament resolves they take 3 of your polymorphs and you almost cant win… Why on earth wouldn’t you take BOTH of their creatures!? and then you ACTUALLY can’t win….

    In any case, I would like to see a response to this from Conley, at least I would appreciate it. [email protected] is my email if you want to email me instead of talking in the comments section.

    You can see my merits with this deck on modo under the name okgo if you are interested.

  32. Uh, adding trap to UG poly makes perfect sense. Read Alex’s article and see that hard casting even becomes an option if you add Realms Uncharted + Nature’s spiral.

    Summoning Trap $4-$5 after nationals is my bet

  33. The other serious drawback of Emrakul in a Polymorph-only deck (as opposed to the Summoning Trap hybrids) as compared to Progenitus is that Emrakul doesn’t have protection from Jace-bounce, which IMHO makes your U/W matchup much harder; you need to try and stick Jace yourself to keep theirs off the table, and that gives them time to more fully set up and leave themselves less vulnerable. The big tapout-style decks are also likely to be coming with Martial Coup for enough tokens to survive a swing from the big guy, so he’s not as fatal as he ought to be there either.

  34. I like Red as a third color better than white after Rise of Eldrazi, it pairs better with Blue being the main color and gives you access to two fetch lands. Also the new instant speed spell that deals one damage to a player or target and puts a spawn into play is really nice when you have polymorph in hand at the end of their turn you can make the target when they tap out. That card in combination with Brood Birthing is also pretty good at allowing you to have plenty of targets as well as casting the polymorph quite early. I also like having a single Banefire for late game win conditions.

  35. i play vamps and sadistic sacrament is a bad card in this meta. sure people play it at fnms, but you shouldnt be worrying about that.

    i like the banter version myself. any ideas for a sideboard yet?

  36. I’m trying real hard to make this an actual deck atm. So far I’m splitting games against Jund but I have legitimate concerns about facing other decks, including the weakness to Jace that was pointed out earlier in the comments. I’m trying to keep a running list of cards and situations that pose real problems but I’m just not convinced yet that there is enough room in the deck to solve all its problems.

    Sure is fun though.

    Jonathan

  37. Why is no one considering Sphinx of the Steel Wind? Jund has no answer for it, at all. ever. They lose when you polymorph into it, unless they are running fleshbag marauder or something strange like that. Plus it is really good at getting you back into the game if you find yourself on a board that is behind. Just my opinion.

    Oh, and awakening zone is awful. It really is too slow for the straight ug version of the deck. Maybe in Ugw where you have the ability to play it turn 3, wrath, and then have a token to morph… But I have not had any success with it against jund so far (mostly what I have been testing against). Haven’t tried growth spasm yet, but it seems like a good idea. Also… has anyone found a good way to fight mono red yet? I have been considering sideboarding into pelakka wurms to try and make this matchup better…

  38. @zach

    Sphinx of the steel wind can come in game 2 if they don’t know you have it, otherwise jund can board in deathmarks and just kill it.

    Against mono red you just need to try to resolve an iona as soon as possible. Lots of UG list have fog to prevent 5-8 damage to help you get there.

  39. @ str8: your assessments seem to be perfectly correct. see beyond is the nuts. growth spasm is too slow.

  40. 5 creatures as a estimate to reliably hit with summoning trap is a laughable estimate. With 10 creatures you still got 20% chance to miss.
    Trap needs 12 good targets at least while polymorph only needs 2. Alot of the good cards that would work in a trap deck like wall of omen etc dont work in polymorph. Therefore it doesn’t really make much sense to combine them.

    Polymorph will stay a crappy deck to be honest. It’s quite slow and depends on finding the polymorph, it’s vulnerable to removal on the target and worst of all no creature is a garanteed win. Jace, o-ring etc. are too much of a easy out.

  41. I’m liking the UG version of this deck best, and agree with with many of the other posters that the sample decks in your article are too slow and top heavy. The changes I’ve made to speed this up are adding:

    Explore x 4 – This deck needs early ramp, and as much card draw as possible.
    Narcolepsy x 3 – No need to add white for oust, the pulse risk is worth it.
    Growth spasm x 4 – More ramp that produces a token, count me in.

    I’ve dropped to two each of Jace and Garruk, three each of Deprive and Negate, one Awakening zone, one Spell Pierce and no Into the Roil. My additional card draw/ramp lets me play only 23 lands. I’ve tried Rampant growth, but like the other ramp options better.

    I’m still undecided on Progenitus vs. the Eldrazi vs. Sphinx.

  42. this deck is so jank… this deck takes the fun out of magic and relys on one card and one card only and that is polymorph. Even if you can win game ones you will almost always lose game two and game three. Get your polymorphs/summoning traps and sell them to the idiots that want to play this lame “cheat” deck that really requires no skill or ingenuity.. its a stupid excuse of a deck and it will never be tier 1.

    play this at ptqs and nationals and you will be in the losing bracket…. ill be there… lol-ing at you

    stupid decks making me waste sideboard cards

  43. I have not had time to retest it but pre rise i had the hybrid version running.At first I had such good results that I sent it to you guys before pt san diego.It had redundancy to the max and I even ran trapmakers snare as morph\trap 8-12.The main problems where gatekeeper on oneside and day of judgement and counter spells on the other.Also some decks could race your win conditions if they came out on turn 5 or 6.Getting trap to work means about 10 to 11 dudes and see from beyond,Jace 2.0,halimar depths,and maybe ponder.To me the best new tool is awakening zone which can provide something this deck needed badly chump blockers!

  44. Personally, I prefer playing against ‘unusual’ decks in tournaments. Who wants to play against Jund all day?

  45. I put the U/G variant together and man, it is sick. i killed jund in turn 4 many times and i was able to hold out and draw polymorph the other games. unless you are very low on life, emrakul is an auto win. the only other deck i tested against was allies and was a tough match ( although not unwinnable) but i dont know how popular that deck is at the moment. if this deck is as good against other top decks as it is against jund, this deck will be tier 1 for sure.

  46. @ JWC imo you’re exactly right, so i prog main and iona and emrakul side. emrakul comes in to non-white, non-jace decks (read jund, allies, etc.), iona to mono (in particular mono white). that’s my take anyway

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  48. A lot of the more successful Polymorph decks as of late tend to be more focused on accelerating, since they have no real removal. The white version might be able to sufficiently stall your opponent until you can cast the Polymorph, but I would recommend playing Explore and/or Rampant Growth in the GU only version.

    Also, I got completely destroyed by Vines of the Vastwood, as it gives your guy “troll shroud,” making Polymorph resolve and their removal spell fail.

  49. Re: Summoner’s Trap decks –

    What tools do you have beside Jace to set up your deck? Halimar Depths and Ponder to peek, but any other ways to really set it up?

  50. @Alex Durant. U have the same concerns I had. I feel awakening zone deserves a fit. maybe over rampant growth, possibly over some slots with garruk.
    @Everyone else. Belive me. this will be a deck. Teirs are hard to asses as a great deck is very metagame dependent. Teirs have nothing to do with winning tourneys, its anticipating the meta. if everyone is playing UW with dispels SB and anticipating UG, then the deck possibly might be less desirable. but we all know thats not the case. It definiteley has the tools to be a top contender in tournaments, and u will definitley see it in nearly every top 8 tournament from here on until the next set.

  51. sëver

    I actually laughed out loud when somebody on another site said that chapin said “growth spasm is better then awakening zone in this deck.” This has to be a joke…you guys do realize that the polymorph plan does not always pan out? Exactly like someone else said, a lot of decks drop some pressure creatures at the start and then keep mana open for your poly target thus making you deal with their creatures then stick to your plan. If you play awakening zone however…@[email protected]

    Let alone chump blockers it makes casting emrakul FAR FAR easier then actually playing a land every turn for 15 turns and dropping him when the sun is setting in the windows behind you.

    Let alone it combos as an alternate win condition that isn’t polymorph/iona but with garruck and your other plants laying around!

    Seriously…this deck wants to do 3 things effectively and as quickly as possible during the whole course of every match; sift and see cards, accelerate mana to haste the combo or hard casting, play polymorph and have a token in play.

    Garruck does the last 2 and helps with casting the sift cards and protecting yourself with counterspells that you SHOULD BE RUNNING.

    Ok i have had enough venting for now,
    Shane

  52. I’ve been playing UG polymorph on mtgo for a week now, and it’s a blast. The biggest downside is that Naya Allies is an autoloss for this deck…..until you polymorph into NOVABLAST WURM, which you have conveniently sided in for this otherwise unwinnable matchup.

  53. I think we should do what dragonstorm used to and run 2 reality spasm main. 🙂 it not only stops spot removal, but also helps against aggro

  54. I just made a rediculous Polymorph deck. It doesn’t lose. Although, it’s not PURE polymorph to be honest.

    Let me explain. The core of the deck uses these cards-

    4- Polymorph
    4- Elvish Piper (bring any creature from your hand into play with 1 mana)
    4- Clones
    4- Emrakul
    4- Progenitus

    + White creature control elements + blue card drawing elements

    Notable Differences in play-

    Awakening Zone- I left this out since there is no need for it. You only need 1 token, so I use growth spasm and Khalni Rainforest instead. I have domestication, as well as my Elvish Pipers, giving me a total of 16 different options to polymorph.

    The big weakness in normal Polymorph decks are control decks. If they counterspell your polymorph…. you lose. period. Another weakness is vs. fast elf decks and the like that barrage you with lots of powering creatures before you can kill them. Even with card drawing, if you don’t get out your poly quick enough, you still lose.

    Elvish Pipers simply give another option. Combine card drawing + Polymorph + Pipers = almost a zero percent chance you’ll get screwed by a bad draw, and also gives you a buffer against counterspells.

    Clones may sound stupid in a poly deck, but they work REALLY well in gameplay. I only bring in 2, so the odds of a polymorph bringing in an Elvish Piper or Clone vs. a Aeons or Emrakul is lower than 1:1. Even if the poly does bring in a Piper or a Clone, at the worst, you’ll likely have a heavy hitter in your hand that you can warp in with your piper next turn. Then with Clone, the very WORST thing you can have is a tie for the best creature on the battlefield. Having Clones helps bigtime also if an opponent somehow casts a big heavyhitter before you. At their very worst, they’re a good defense card, at their best, they’re a four mana clone of Emrakul.

    The other weakness this deck solves is help vs. Weenie decks. As I mentioned before, Poly decks sometimes get hurt vs. really fast hitting decks with lots of powering ally’s, or perhaps hastened goblins. Having more than 3 creatures in the deck goes a long way to stop this, as well as providing a buffer against those who use Telemin performance.

    Hope this helped.

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