This deck is my oldest deck I have constructed that has survived the countless rebuilds, dismantles, bulk sales, etc. that I’ve done over the years. I will admit that part of the reason the deck has survived is two-fold: it has little value in it, so there’s little reason to dismantle and sell it. Secondly, most of the cards are so proprietary that they wouldn’t function well in most other decks, so it was never torn apart to support other deck concepts. But, my combination of cold calculation and nostalgic sentiment aside…I really do just like the flow of the deck.
The golem as a tribal creature was used heavily in the last set of the Scars of Mirrodin block, New Phyrexia. The set is probably best known for giving us a few Modern staples from the Phyrexian mana mechanic, but the little golem tribal that was thrown in was rather fun to play. Let’s take a look:
- Blade Splicer x4
- Master Splicer x4
- Wing Splicer x4
- Sensor Splicer x2
- Adaptive Automaton x3
- Solemn Simulacrum x2
- Conjurer’s Closet x2
- Arcane Adaptation x3
- Tempered Steel x2
- Instants and Sorceries
- Cloudshift x4
- Dispatch x4
- Ghostly Flicker x2
- Glacial Fortress x4
- Island x10
- Plains x10
This deck used to run the full Bant color scheme to include the other golem splicers that green provided. It was a difficult decision the day I decided to cut out the Green. The Regenerate and Trample offered by the two Green splicers was a tough pass, but the CMC of 4 and 7 respectively slowed the deck down too much. And I was wasting space on mana ramping and fixing that could be better used to supplement the splicers and golems further. So I sacrificed Green to beef up the Blue and White options for the deck.
The splicers have a two-fold benefit; they create golems and then buff the golems with passive abilities. The splicers that made the cut each provide one golem when they come into play and provide one of the following: First Strike, +1/+1, Vigilance and Flying. Adaptive Automaton provides extra body for the golems and Solemn Simulacrum supplies a little extra hand and mana advantage.
Conjurer’s Closet was included in the deck to give a permanent flickering ability for the splicers to keep producing golems. The high CMC makes it the easiest exclusion from the deck, and the slots opened could be given to additional Automatons or Simulacrums.
The enchantments are perhaps where I’ll see the most disagreement, but especially before I traded the Xenograft for the recently released Arcane Adaptation. Xenograft is a less-effective Arcane Adaptation for two additional mana. It was an easy replacement. Arcane Adaptation was an important inclusion for me because it provides survival and viability to the splicers by declaring golems and giving the splicers the bonuses the golems are getting. Tempered Steel is an easy decision, as that enchantment makes the golems go from a threat to a insurmountable.
The little trick for this deck to build its army is to start flickering the splicers to produce more golems for cheap. Cloudshift and Ghostly Flicker provide a little extra survival for the splicers in addition to producing more golems. Dispatch is the easy choice for removal to keep the battlefield in your favor.
- (Glacial Fortress) Blade Splicer, create a 3/3 golem token. Golems have First Strike.
- (Island) Master Splicer, create a golem token. Golems have +1/+1 and First Strike.
- (Plains) Adaptive Automaton, declare golems. Golems have +2/+2 and First Strike. Cloudshift Blade Splicer, create a golem token.
- Ghostly Flicker Blade Splicer and Master Splicer, create 2 golem tokens. Cloudshift Blade Splicer, create a golem token.
- Wing Splicer, create a golem token. Golems have +2/+2, First Strike and Flying. Swing with 6 5/5 golems with First Strike and Flying.
The largest and most glaring problem with this deck is the high CMC curve. It’s basically 4. And that’s ridiculous. But…the deck gets crazy pretty fast once you hit 4 mana. A growing army of 4/4’s or 5/5’s with First Strike and Flying is a lot to deal with. I’ve found the deck works best with a Blade Splicer in the opening hand to help back the pressure off after the first couple of turns. Against some speedy aggro or burn decks, that might not be enough. But, not every deck has to be a bullet train…some of the fun ones aren’t.