E-League Logo Visit Our Sponsors!
Visit Our Sponsors!

E-League Deck Clinic

Warped Devotion
By Grim13 on August 27, 2001

Daniel Gil Bayo writes: My nick is Unclued on the IRC, and I'm sending a couple of IBC decks I've constructed because they don't work as much as I'd like. (Clinician note: The second deck may be reviewed at a later date)

1st deck: Bouncing devotion
The idea of the deck is to use bouncing with the warped devotion to clean the table and opponent's hand at the same time and finish the game with Dromar.

//NAME: Bouncing Devotion, 0.99b
// Lands
4 Swamp
5 Island
4 Plains
2 Caves of Koilos
4 Coastal Tower
4 Salt Marsh
// Total: 23 lands

// Creatures
2 Dromar, the Banisher
// Total: 2 Creatures

// Spells
2 Repulse
3 Vindicate
2 Lobotomy
1 Yawgmoth's Agenda
3 Phyrexian Arena
2 Death Grasp
4 Warped Devotion
4 Fact or Fiction
3 Wash Out
4 Rushing River
4 Gerrard's Verdict
4 Dromar's Charm
// Total: 36 spells

The first thing that came to mind when I glanced at this deck is, what on EARTH will you do against decks that run few or no nonlands? Not only will you be stuck with 4 useless Warped Devotion, you'll also be stuck with more bounce than you'll need in a lifetime. A few other problems that came to mind are the deck's inability to deal with a quick Lobotomy (Dromar is the only win condition, unless you intend to grasp for 20), the problematic mana curve (0-4-20!-9-1-2 and 2 X spells), and the unsteady counter base (only 4 counters make it hard to protect your interests). I also duly noted the lack of recoils in the deck. Considering the above factors, as well as a slightly shaky mana base (23 lands for 61 cards), I set out to rework the deck. (Clinician's note: As Devotion decks have been tried at PTQ level and deemed a failure, I'm going to focus on a slightly more casual deck. Therefore, no SB is listed, as one was not included with the original deck)

//NAME: Warped Devotion, v1.0
// Lands
3 Swamp
6 Island
3 Plains
4 Caves of Koilos
4 Coastal Tower
4 Salt Marsh
// Total: 24 lands

// Creatures
3 Putrid Warrior
2 Dromar, the Banisher
2 Stormscape Apprentice
// Total: 7 creatures

// Spells
2 Repulse
2 Vindicate
4 Warped Devotion
4 Fact or Fiction
3 Wash Out
2 Recoil
4 Rushing River
4 Gerrard's Verdict
4 Dromar's Charm
// Total: 29 spells

Card by card analasys:

-Cut down to 60 cards.
-Additional land added. More emphasis on Caves to increase chances of a turn 2 drop.
-Putrid Warrior: As I mentioned, the deck is seriously short of 2 drops. He stops the pain from assorted pesklings, trades off with bears, and allows you to gain some life while you set up the combo.
-Stormscape Apprentice: As above, the mana curve is too slow. You can drop him turn 1 or 2, and for one mana a turn, he'll stop anything for you. Once again, great delay while you set up the combo. He's also a nasty win condition if you get desperate.
-Dromar: He's in the theme of the deck, so I left him in. He's kinda overpriced, but otherwise, he's a fun card.
-Repulse: Card advantage is great, and with Devotion, you get three-for-one.
-Vindicate: Cut these down to 2. You want to bounce permenants, not kill them. Left the two in for cards that have pro-blue and for surprise dodecapods.
-Warped Devotion: The main reason why I'm working on this deck (:
-Fact or Fiction: My original inclination was to use probes. However, as I did not want to add cards to the 3cc slot, and 5cc seemed a little slow, I kept these for eot use.
-Wash Out: Your best chance against pesky cards like Sterling Grove, anything with pro-blue, or anything rush oriented.
-Recoil: Bounce AND discard- what more could you ask for? Kept down to 2 of these because lategame they become inferior to River or Repulse.
-Rushing River: Solid bounce. If only it could target lands.
-Gerard's Verdict: Turn 2 drop, helps you empty out their hand a little, and even occasional lifegain.
-Dromar's Charm: Counter, lifegain, removal, you name it.

Didn't make the cut:
-Lobotomy: By turn 4, the least of your worries should be lobotomy. You should be bouncing like there's no tomorrow trying to stay alive, or else this will just draw a counter.
-Agenda: If you're at the point where you have to recycle your cards, you've pretty much lost already. Save the slot for something more helpful.
-Phyrexian Arena: Card advantage is swell, but you'll end up bleeding yourself to death. Also, another three-slot is not that good.

SB thoughts:
Undermine, Spite/Malice, Lobotomy, Dodecapod, Ravenous Rats, Aurora Griffin (for that cute Wash-out trick), U/W and U/B bears, Vindicate.

Overall theory:
This deck will never win a PTQ. There just aren't enough permenants in IBC to bounce around, and too many decks will just sit back and counter your threats. However, it would be fun for a casual game, and would be even better for a team or multiplayer game, where there's always something to bounce. Obviously, you need to sit back and stall using early creatures or discard, drop the combo, and bounce away any threats.

Hope this helps,
Or Shoham

     Grim13 on IRC