CASUAL 60: Heliod’s Crusade
Theros is in full swing, but a lot of the fun of Magic: The Gathering, is mixing cards from different sets. This deck takes a card from Theros, a card from Gatecrash and a card from Avacyn Restored and combines them for some truly explosive wins. Here’s the deck:
4 Court Street Denizen
4 Evangel of Heliod
3 Safehold Elite
3 Nip Gwyllion
2 Inquisitor Exarch
2 Judge’s Familiar
4 Hearthfire Hobgoblin
2 Leonin Skyhunter
3 Safewright Quest
1 Sundering Growth
2 Pollen Lullaby
4 Cathars’ Crusade
2 Oblivion Ring
2 Carnage Altar
14 Other Spells
This deck hopes to cast an Evangel of Heliod with a Cathars’ Crusade on the board (and hopefully some other creatures). This will give you a large number of 1/1 soldiers, but also put as many counters on your creatures. And yes, those counters go on the soldiers too, so if your evangel gets you 8 soldiers and you have a Cathars’ Crusade in play they’ll be 9/9 soldiers.
And that’s where the card from Gatecrash comes in. With Court Street Denizen you’ll be able to tap as many creatures as Evangel of Heliod puts in. Meaning that often you’ll be able to tap out your opponent’s creatures and swing in with the (now massive) creatures you already had on the board.
All this deck really wants is white mana symbols, as such some of these guys are interchangeable. Do you need Nip Gwylions specifically? No, but turning a 1/1 lifelinker into a 14/14 lifelinker is very satisfying. Judge’s familiar is there to provide a little bit of control, while Inquisitor Exarch can build you a nice life buffer.
Of special note is Safehold Elite, which comes back with a -1/-1 counter when it dies, but if Cathar’s Crusade is on the battlefield that counter gets nullified, allowing this poor elf to die over and over again. That is why I included a couple Carnage Altars, if you find yourself stuck you can keep sacrificing safehold elite to draw a card AND put more +1/+1 counters on your creatures each time, you can even do it in the middle of combat to boost your damage. If you want you can even swap out the Hearthfire Hobgoblins for Restless Apparitions to maximize this aspect, but honestly it’s hard to argue with double strike.
This deck contains a handful of cards to smooth things out. Safewright quest is a rare land-get spell in white and helps to assure that you’ll be able to hit Cathars’ Crusade on turn 5 and the evangel on turn six. Pollen Nap is there to buy you some time should your opponents ramp up faster than you. Oblivion Ring serves double duty, removing threats and counting toward your devotion.
I put this deck together with a budget in mind, but there are some higher cost cards out there that you might want to consider. Heliod, God of the Sun fits perfectly here, even allowing you to make more critters to trigger your Cathars’ Crusade, likewise almost any version of Elspeth would work well in this deck.
There you go. Hopefully you guys have as much fun playing this deck as I did designing it. If you guys get a chance to play it let me know how it goes.