Rather than talk about the new faeries from Wilds of Eldraine first, I want to focus on the support cards that make the deck challenging to play against. First is the sorcery: Ego Drain. For one mana you get Thoughtseize without having to lose two life when you play it. Thoughtseize is a staple card in black pioneer and modern decks. Ego Drain has the same effect, but you have no downside if you have a faerie in play. Otherwise, you must discard a card. Both cards allow you to look at your opponent’s hand and have your opponent discard a non-land card of your choice. This gives you information about what cards your opponent has currently and allows you to get rid of the card that you feel provides the biggest obstacle for you in the early game.
Next is Faerie Fencing. Like Ego Drain, Faerie Fencing is at its best when you have a faerie in play. For a black mana and X mana you give an opponent’s creature -X/-X. If you have a faerie in play, that creature gets -3/-3 plus -1/-1 for each additional mana spent to cast Faerie Fencing. This is a better Cut Down when you have a Faerie in play and allows you to deal with your opponent’s creatures at a low mana cost.
The third of our three support cards is Spell Stutter. For a colorless and a blue mana, you get Make Disappear with upside. Spell Stutter required your opponent to pay two mana plus an additional mana for each faerie you have in play. Most of the time, you will have at least one faerie in play when you cast it, so often the spell you want to counter ends up in the graveyard because many times your opponent will not have enough mana to pay the additional cost.
Wilds of Eldraine introduced a handful of new faeries to standard. Among these, Sleep-Cursed Faerie and Faerie Dreamthief provide the deck with quality one mana creatures that help enable your support cards as early as turn two. Sleep-Cursed Faerie is a 3/3 faerie wizard with flying and ward 2. The downside of the card is that it enters play with three stun counters on it, but you do have the option of spending two mana to remove a counter. Once Sleep-Cursed Faerie can attack, it can quickly close out a game. Faerie Dreamthief is a 1/1 faerie warlock with flying that surveil’s 1 when it enters play. This allows you to shape the top of your deck and look for a card you want in a matchup. Then when it is in your graveyard, you can exile it for three mana to draw a card and lose 1 life. This gives you additional card draw in the mid to late game.
At the two-drop spot, we have Faerie Mastermind and Obyra, Dreaming Duelist. Faerie Mastermind entered standard in March of the Machine and has become a mainstay in Dimir Mid-range deck for its evasive ability and card draw. It works in the faerie package for the same reasons. The new card is Obyra. For a black and a blue mana, you get a 2/2 faerie with flash and flying. Plus, it does one point of damage to your opponent each time a faerie enters the battlefield. Both cards have flash, so you can play them on your opponent’s turn at an opportune moment.
At the three-drop spot, we have Halo Forager and Talion’s Messenger. Both cards are value plays in the deck. Halo Forager is a 3/1 faerie rogue with flying and when it enters play you can spend additional mana to recast an instant or sorcery from your graveyard. This means that you get to replay Ego Drain or Faerie Fencing from your graveyard providing additional value. Then you have a three-power flyer that can quickly reduce your opponent’s life total. As the deck sees more play, having an additional copy or two might be the right call for the deck. Talion’s Messenger is the faerie version of Raffine. Each time one or more of your creatures attacks you get to draw and discard a card then put a +1/+1 counter on one of your creatures. While Raffine can draw more cards than Talion’s Messenger, it does not guarantee that you get to put a +1/+1 counter on a creature each turn because Raffine’s ability only triggers when you discard nonland cards. Talion’s Messenger does not care about the card being discarded. This has made it consistently easy to grow creatures in my play testing.
Finally, Talion, the Kindly King and Twining Twins round out the creature package. Talion is a 3/4 faerie Noble with flying. When Talion enters play you get to choose a number between 1 and 10. When your opponent casts a spell with mana value, power, or toughness equal to the chosen number, that player loses 2 life and you draw a card. This ability gives you additional ways to deal damage to your opponent and many times finishes off an opponent. Twining Twins is a 4/4 with flying, vigilance, and ward 1. It serves as a finisher for the deck.
The mana base is typical of dimir decks except for Drannith Ruins. The creatures in the deck are all non-human. This allows you to spend extra mana in the late game to give a creature that just entered the battlefield two +1/+1 counters. This helps get the creature above 5 total power and toughness to avoid an opponent’s Cut Down and helps to finish off a game quicker.
In my play testing of the deck, I liked the early results. The deck has proven that it can compete with the already existing decks in standard and can win those matchups. The downside to the deck is that you must grind out wins because the faeries in the deck do not have the power of many of the aggro or best mid-range creatures in standard. This is why Ego Drain and Faerie Fencing are keys to the deck’s success.
That’s it for this week. I’ll see you next time!