This weekend I tested the DOOMSDAY MACHINE! deck. I have to say, piloting the deck is very difficult. I made a mess of it, really. It’s easy to forget triggers or activations, or see interactions already on the table. Also, stacking the triggers correctly can be of vital importance. One of the reasons for that, as it turns out, the deck can be explosive. I quickly had both Saheeli, the Gifted on the table, and her cost reduction effect quickly got things out of hand. People seemingly feared her ultimate, which is frankly not that interesting, or maybe the opponents tried to oversell the importance to incite people to remove her. She is all about the cost reduction, though.
The explosiveness also came from the mana rocks included, especially with the untap effects included. This is a point of interest, and so I think I’ll add more of these. This brings us to the first cut: Karn, Scion of Urza. This card did some work, making rather big Constructs early on. The problem is the +1 ability. This is a “bad” card draw effect, that holds some risks in this deck, as it also exiles. Sure, you can get these cards back with the -1 ability, but it is risky, and there is no way to get Karn back when he dies. The deck has card draw build in, so while Karn is good, I don’t think this is the deck to use him in.
Initially I wanted to replace Karn with Gilded Lotus. Looking through all the options, I settled on Basalt Monolith though. There are some artifacts in the deck that can untap themselves by paying mana, which is important because I run Quicksmith Rebel and strongly concidering Quicksmith Spy.
Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer easily overperformed. He really helped keeping (most) of my artifacts safe from (mass)removal. And then there was Scrap Mastery.
I think that was the singlemost important spell in the deck. It basically allowed me to not only get back in the game, but to win on the spot. This is what went down: A mass removal spell was played, then countered. Another player countered the counter and things died. Now that the control/counterspell players where more or less shields down I cast Scrap Mastery and got a lot of things back, including a Karn, Silver Golem and a Mycosynth Lattice. This, in turn allowed me to turn opponents’ lands into 0/0 artifact creatures, killing them. Then, without fear of someone throwing in a spanner in the works, I set up Metalworker and Staff of Domination, drew my deck and Station combo’d for the win.
So, maybe, in the end I got a little bit lucky. The Karn lockout is disgusting, though, and since I plan to use more mana rocks, maybe I’ll expand on this side of the deck. I can do this by adding:
- Memnarch. During deck construction I included more cards that turned things into artifacts. This is important to some of the combos and tricks. I ended up cutting things except Mycosynth Lattice, but now I think I need more ways to accomplish this ánd stealing artifacts makes Memnarch a force.
- March of the Machines. This joins Karn in the “turning all lands in 0/0’s” trick, keeping everyone off land forever. And suddenly having lots of creatures is nice as well.
- Vandalblast also counts as a coup de grâce after turning things into artifacts. It somehow feels the least “on theme” though.
There are some other things worth concidering, moving the deck further away from just big stupid artifact creatures. High on the list are:
- Cogwork Assembler. Another infinite combo with Metalworker when you have more than 4 artifacts on hand. That and Krark-Clan Ironworks and Myr Battlesphere. The Assembler fits with the factory theme of the deck to a tee.
- Untap effect are important. I lucked out on these, but having a Voltaic Key, Voltaic Servant or even better a Paradox Engine would be great.
All in all the deck worked fine, but some tweaks will make it run a bit better. Or make it more difficult to disrupt every possible combo. Maybe the deck lacks interacting with opponents, but it makes up for that by being difficult to handle, and every move being a puzzle.