Game #67: Zur, the Enchanter
Location: Family Game Store
Vs.: Balthor; Omnath, Locus of Mana; Tibor and Lumia; The Mimeoplasm
I had been carrying this deck around since the spring, saving it to play against the person who inspired it (via a facebook comment that I saw). Said player was playing Omnath (formerly Vorinclex, which is pretty much a straight up Ramp deck). The Tibor and Lumia deck was one I’d never played against before.
I had decent lands to start, as well as a Spectral Searchlight. While other things were happening, Zur’s Marketplace provided such services as: Unifying Theory, Pure Reflection, Well of Knowledge, Oath of Lieges, Cauldron of Souls, Common Cause and Shifting Sky (set to White), Reconnaissance (to untap Zur), and Phyrexian Unlife.
Omnath had a Scavenging Ooze, Tibor and Lumia got a bit S&M with a Basilisk Collar. Balthor had a Noxious Ghoul and Gray Merchant. Balthor killed Omnath, a Liliana Ultimate happened (though which, I don’t recall). Cyclonic Rift happens, and Balthor dies. I’m able to get Phyrexian Unlife/Delaying Shield active, but Mimeoplasm has a Krosan Grip or Naturalize, and that’s the end of me.
I built up a pretty good selection of services, so the game still counts as fun, even if victory was out of reach for me.
About the Deck (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/zur-just-wants-to-love-you/)
This is Zur’s version of Group Hug. I really hate the concept that there is one particular correct deck for each General. It bothers me when assumptions are made about a deck just based on the general, and even more when actions are taken because of those assumptions (Oh, you play Zur. Kill you first). I saw a posting by a friend of mine on a Facebook group (that I’m no longer part of because they play EDH/Magic at a different speed and for different reasons than I do), talking about how it would be funny if there was a Zur Group Hug deck. I thought “Only if Funny means AWESOME” and started building the deck.
Without access to Green, it was hard to do some of the traditional Group Hug tricks, and Black usually offers things at a price, so I decided to make the deck more of a Marketplace: lots of things that anyone can pay into to activate (the Mongers) etc. It’s not a Bear Hug deck or a Group Slug deck, though it is really fun to get to play cards like Common Cause and then tie them with cards like Darkest Hour or Shifting Sky to just pump all of the creatures. Join Forces cards get thumbs up, while Tempting Offer cards get the thumbs down.
In the one playthrough of the deck, I was surprised at how few people actually made use of the options provided to them. There really is no trick here, you get what you pay for (or, in a few instances, what I give to people via Cauldron of Souls and Spectral Searchlight and the like… Zur isn’t afraid to play politics. All you have to do is ask, and Zur lets you set your own price).
As far as win conditions go, it’s pretty much Darksteel Reactor or Near-Death Experience. There are a few defensive cards like Propaganda, Michiko Konda, and Phyrexian Unlife/Delaying Shield to keep me alive, and fun stuff like Unspeakable Symbol to let me pay some life, help some people and get down close to 1.