Morning, y’all! 

It’s Wednesday, and my 5-month old son decided that 4am was a reasonable time to wake up and start working on learning how to talk.  At top volume.  Unbelievably cute, but also unbelievably terrible timing. (And do you have any idea how freaky it sounds coming through the baby monitor when you’re half-asleep?  It’s like Darth Vader piped a helium tank into his mask…)   

Fortunately (engage sarcasm mode), the amount of time it took me to change him and get him delivered to his mother for feeding was the perfect amount of time to become just conscious enough to not be able to fall back asleep (end sarcasm).  So here I am.  I fully expect that my boss will find me passed out on my keyboard at work just after lunch today, so here’s looking forward to awkward explanations and little “asdfghjkl” indents across my face.

And coffee.  Dammit, coffee pot…brew faster.  And be about twice the size you currently are, plz.  Intravenous drip would be a welcome option too.

THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED – SISTERS CREATURELESS!

Patrick and I dug in on my impending Sisters Of Stone Death list about a week back.  Again, I’ve been enamored with trying to make a list around her for about the better part of a year now, to the point that I’ve now owned three separate foil copies of her.  (Yeah, I get the poor logistics of the situation…here’s to being chronically indecisive and addicted to selling on CardShark…)  After I recently freed up my Bayou from an old list, however, I decided it was finally time.

We actually ended up (at Patrick’s suggestion) heading into crazy theme-land, shooting for a “Mythology” target featuring the Greek pantheon.  While it was amusing (and Patrick did a great first draft – complete with outline!), it became very clear that we were being stifled by the colors involved.  (Spoiler: No worries, Patrick…I haven’t discarded the idea.  Start thinking about Angus Mackenzie!)  I thought on it a few days, and went cautiously back to the “good stuff” list I had, but it still wasn’t sitting well with me either.  Too many cards like Survival Of The Fittest and Eternal Witness and Genesis and Phyrexian Reclamation are already in half of my other decks; I didn’t want this thing to just end up being a faceless clone of a design I already had ten times over.  And that’s about where it hit me:

Yank ’em all.  Go somewhere you’ve never gone. 

So I started pulling cards, and thinking more about what I wanted in my Sisters list.  I knew it was going to be about big mana to focus on using her as a control element. I want to table her and keep swinging with her over and over.  I want to exile every damn creature that hits the table across from her.  This deck wants to be straight Voltron-style, so it wants room for as many support cards as it can fit.  Spot removal for problems like Mystifying Maze and Ensnaring Bridge effects.  Draw engines to keep things moving.  Protection for Sisters to keep her around.

I finally decided that the way to go was to pull every other creature as a design constraint, freeing up tons of slots to handle all the stuff I wanted to jam in there.  Out comes Solemn Simulacrum and Grave Titan, in goes Life From The Loam and Word Of Command (tech!).

HOW FAR WE’VE COME

So that’s where we are now.  I have the current bloated list saved as a Google Doc here.  

 Here are the current design constraints:

Big Mana – I want to cast and recast Sisters.  And then do it again. 

Reanimation – Soft Sub-Theme #1.  This is a subtle way of getting around the creatureless thing, and with all the removal in the deck, I aimed for cards that would affect my yard (Sometimes a quick reanimating of Sisters is better and cheaper than playing her from the command zone) as well as other players’ yards.

Drain Life – Soft Sub-Theme #2.  Since I’m going to be way down on chump-blockers, it makes sense to have cards that double as removal and life-gain.

Buckets Of Removal – For the same reason as above.

Heavy On Draw And Tutoring – This deck needs to establish early and keep its’ hand full for protection, so I want to be drawing all the time.  It needs to be tutor-heavy to find the draw and the answers it needs to stay afloat. 

Voltron – Because Sisters wants to get into combat with every creature she can, block or get blocked, and rarely ever actually deal combat damage to an opponent, the suite of ‘Sword-Of-This-And-That’ cards are actually pretty terrible here.  I tried to stick with cards that give her Haste, Hexproof, and/or Indestructibility.

So, all of that said, I’m open for thoughts here.  Did I miss some obvious inclusions?  Are there some terrible choices in there that should come out?  God, why am I such a terrible deck builder?  What’s up with Word Of Command?  (The answers are probably, in order, ‘absolutely’, ‘absolutely’, ‘Let me know if anyone figures this one out, because I’ve got nothing’,  and ‘That’s a fantastic question…You need to get over your “bizarre old card” fetish…’)

Grab the Doc, edit if you’d like, post some suggestions in the comments, or shoot me an E-mail.  I’m all ears on this one.  I’ll share progress as things get moving.

Next up:  Imshan’s Thraximundar list!

—>DJ