Help with a "casual" Vintage Constructed Kaalia deck?

  • #1
    My local shop holds a casual tournament every Saturday. The reason behind the tournament is to foster the spirit of magic. Playing cards, having fun, without necessarily having to spend loads of money. Consequently, it has its own ban list. It is as follows.

    As copied from the shop's Facebook page.

    "Vintage banned and restricted list with a few modifications:

    No power nine No Crucible of Worlds No Stoneforge Mystic No artifact lands No affinity cards No tricking Emrakul into play No Magic Trick decks that instant combo kill without a way to defend. No infinite loops No death to poison No Mass Polymorph No Reanimator decks No Stone Forge Mystic

    And as always the number one rule: if I think your deck is trying to break these rules or perform some sort of Magic Trick, Instant kill combo or if I think it is not in the spirit of the casual format I will politely tell you "no.""

    Now, I just recently decided to begin playing EDH, and bought the Kaalia precon deck. I love flavor. So, I want to build around her, and I think she'd be great for the casual tourney.

    Don't get me wrong though, the tournament can be highly competitive. Some of the shop's best players compete, and they're some of the, if not the, highest ranked in the area, by DCI rating. So the list does need to be competitive.

    I didn't start playing Magic till Rav block (super stoked for the upcoming set!) so my knowledge of cards previous to then is slight.

    I'm basically thinking a fast paced aggro deck with disruption and removal. Cards I'm currently considering.

    SpecialK47150's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Kaalia of the Vast
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Blightning
    4 Path to Exile
    4 Terminate
    4 Demonic Tutor

    An array of powerful angels, demons, and dragons, including Rakdos the Defiler, Karmic Guide, Rune-Scared Demon, etc.

    And of course the relevant dual lands, etc.

    So, thoughts? Can you guys help me shape this into something?
    Last edited by SpecialK47150: 4/16/2012 7:51:11 AM
  • #2
    Hi there.

    I have owned an Angel/Demon/Dragon (equivalent) deck and I found that Kaalia is not necessarily as good as she looks. First off, she's legendary, whcih means you might end up with more than you want of her in your hand. Secondly, she's a creature, which means she's killed easily enough. Not having haste/shroud makes her the obvious target for any player with wits enough to save his removers. And, she's got to attack to trigger her ability, which is never good....

    My suggestion would be either (or both) cutting the number to 2 Kaalia of the Vast, and/or adding something like Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots. Another option (which I myself prefer) is having Heartless Summoning instead of her (to an extent at least). Heartless Summoning + signets and you're hardcasting your fatties in the fourth turn anyway.

    Finally, I don't know how much enchantments are trouble for you, but they tend to be among my worst threats (maybe a characteristic of my group), but maybe you should consider some enchant removers. If you do go for heartless summoning you could get Paraselene - a way of getting rid of the -1/-1 and still getting life for it. Other mass destruction cards might be nice, but you can do that with your fatties too, maybe better than with sorceries.

    Finally, if you only have angels/dragons/demons, consider adding some lighter ones not to be too dependent on being able to cast something cost6 or on kaalia.

    Hope this helps Wink
  • #3
    I appreciate it, but it misses the point. I really like Kaalia, I want a Kaalia deck.

    Lightning Greaves is nice, but I've never been a big fan of equipment. I'm hoping I can keep their removal down by making them discard it. Perhaps Reanimate, for when she is killed? Or Spellskite to redirect?

    So, more of a decklist outline

    SpecialK47150's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Kaalia of the Vast
    2 Karmic Guide
    2 Angel of Despair
    1 Rakdos the Defiler
    1 Rune Scarred Demon
    1 Griselbrand

    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Blightning

    4 Path to Exile
    4 Terminate
    4 Lightning Helix

    23 Land

    Obviously there are some holes. It needs more low cost aggresive creatures, but what to cut? It also needs some card draw, if only necropotence wasn't restricted!
    Last edited by SpecialK47150: 4/16/2012 9:45:16 AM
  • #4
    First off, Swords to Plowshares > Path to Exile. Since your gameplan is to beat face with huge demons/creatures, it doesn't really matter if the opponent gains +3/4 life since you should be attacking with 5/5s or bigger.

    Also, Demonic Tutor is restricted at 1 per deck in Vintage.

    The main problem I'm seeing right now is that you currently have 25 cards already (only counting 1 Tutor, 28 with 4). You'll probably run at least 6-7 Angels/Demons/Dragons to be sure to have a bunch of them in hand for Kaalia and 24 lands, so you aren't left with any creatures that cost less than 4. That's problematic against aggressive decks. You do not want to get pounded on for 4 turns by a Goblin Guide and friends.

    Here's my suggestions:

    -4 Terminate
    +4 Lightning Helix

    Both cards fulfill the "early-defense" role, but the Helix is just so much better. It takes out most early creatures (except Tarmogoyf I guess) and gives you an extra 3 life cushion to work with. Also, it's not completely useless against control decks.

    -1 Kaalia of the Vast
    -4 Path to Exile
    +3 Swords to Plowshares

    Kaalia is a Legendary, and you don't want to draw multiples. Running 3 of her should ensure that you will draw one, but rarely draw like 3 of them at a time. I've already explained the Swords.

    -4 Blightning
    -3 Demonic Tutor
    +2 Vindicate/Oblivion Ring
    +4 Wall of Omens

    The opponent's hand should already be in pieces with 4 Hymns and 4 Thoughtseizes. Only against the slowest on control decks will Blightning be anything else than a Lava Spike. Vindicate and the Ring both deal with opposing permanents your other cards cane handle like Enchantments, Artifacts and some Planeswalkers. Obviously Vindicate is better, but it's kinda expensive. The Wall might not be an Angel/Demon/Dragon, but he's pretty useful at protecting you during the early turns. Plus, he draws you another card anyways, so he's never completely useless.

    Now that the early game is taken care of, It's time for the fun stuff: the 10 slots left for fatties. I'd personally run these:

    +4 Baneslayer Angel
    +3 Bloodgift Demon
    +1 Reaper of the Abyss
    +1 Bogardan Hellkite
    +1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath

    Most of them except the Hellkite and Akroma are reasonably easy to cast, so you won't be completely screwed if your Kaalias bite it. Baneslayer is just too good to pass up and it a brick wall for most aggro decks, Bloodgift Demon gives the deck some much needed card draw and the Reaper looks pretty fun to use. The Hellkite should be pretty brutal if you ever get to drop him with Kaalia and Akroma is pretty unkillable unless your opponent has White in his deck. Basically, make sure that your deck still works without Kaalia. In fact, you could just use her to bait out whatever removal the opponent has left before slamming down fatty after fatty.

    As for the manabase, make sure that you can get both BB and RW consistently on the first few turns. You might need shocklands or alpha duals for that though.
  • #5
    But since it is an aggressive game plan, I want to mitigate their life gain. Giving them life is counter productive.

    I had thought about dropping the Kaalia count, but she dies fairly easily, so its always nice to have multiples. Similar to standard decks running multiples of Thalia. I may go down to 3 though, I'll have to get it built and see how it plays out. Purchasing an extra shouldn't hurt, she doesn't cost much.

    Good point on Blightning, it does need cut. And I do need some sort of early game. Perhaps some aggressive, low drop creatures? Or should I just try to control till turn 4, then drop Kaalia and start bashing face?

    Vindicate does look great, thanks for the suggestion.

    I am fully prepared to pick up the necessary duals, shock lands, and fetches.
  • #6
    It seems all like good advice.

    I would suggest you tried out some mock plays with Lightning Greaves. It's a definate life saver in a deck like yours. Of course, you don't have to take my advice, but having a way of giving haste AND shroud for ZERO seems just too good to pass - you can either equip kaalia, and later on (maybe on the same turn), an angel/etc. I say it because even in green ramp Elvish Piper decks (I drop elvish in turn 3 or less), I almost NEVER manage to use it's ability more than one or twice in the same game. After I started with the Greaves, the rate increased considerably. But again, I don't want to be annoying, it's just my point of view.

    Wall of omens seems the best early game control. If you keep Path to Exile, you could even exile your own wall in a desperate mana shortage event.

    Last but not least, you might consider waiting till the last collection is released, since it's gonna be PACKED with angels and demons...
  • #7
    How about adding Faithless Looting/Unburial Rites to the deck? Looting helps with drawing into Kaalia as well as setting up Rites reanimation. Since you're both in B and W you can use Rites twice most of the time. This deck probably needs a plan B.
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