M13: The Nicol Bolas Intro Decklist

With the release of the latest Magic 2013 core set & Duels of the Planeswalkers video game, Wizards of the Coast decided that Nicol Bolas should take center stage as the bad guy.  Many have said before that he’s the bad guy of a set with no story line, but that’s besides the point.  He is the bad guy, he’s an ancient, humongous dragon of immense power, wisdom, and malice.

What Wizards of the coast failed to do, in my opinion, was highlight him within their card game product.  His face/likeness/symbol is all over the M13 packaging, this I realize, but his physical card is set at the Mythic rarity slot, which means you could easily open an entire box of Magic cards, 32 packages, and not see a single Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker.

Why not feature him on a intro deck?  I know they’re not in the mode of doing this, as the Mythic rarity is aimed at driving sales and set the appeal of the overall card game by making it sought after, but nonetheless I thought it could’ve been a great idea.  And as they did not capitalize on it, I took the pleasure of designing Mr. Bolas’s intro deck.

To match the other M13 intro decklists I limited myself to M13 cards only, included only 2 rares(well, 1 mythic and 1 rare), plus only 12 uncommons, and 24-25 lands.

Without further ado: The Nicol Bolas M13 Intro Deck – Blood of the Victor

LANDS  –  25
2 Evolving Wilds
6 Island
6 Mountain
11 Swamp

CREATURES  –  15
1 Augur of Bolas
2 Bloodhunter Bat
2 Bloodthrone Vampire
1 Disciple of Bolas
1 Faerie Invaders
1 Harbor Bandit
1 Liliana’s Shade
1 Fire Elemental
1 Mindclaw Shaman
2 Ravenous Rats
2 Zombie Goliath

SPELLS  –  20
1 Crippling Blight
2 Divination
1 Elixir of Immortality
1 Essence Drain
1 Flames of the Firebrand
2 Gem of Becoming
1 Index
1 Mark of Mutiny
2 Murder
1 Negate
1 Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
1 Primal Clay
1 Public Execution
1 Smelt
2 Switcheroo
1 Tricks of the Trade

For further inspection, check out the decklist on Tappedout.net: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/the-nicol-bolas-intro-decklist/

I wanted this deck to be disruptive and deceitful, like ole’ NB himself.  I know the Blue/Red intro deck already has the Augur of Bolas & Mindclaw Shaman, but I couldn’t create this list and NOT put them in there.  The same goes for the Disciple of Bolas.  If all three are so heavily attached to the big guy, I figured I’d throw them in there.

On the creature side of things, you’ll notice I tried to be as splash-able as possible, but black was an overwhelming majority.  Liliana’s Shade and the Harbor Bandit look like all-stars to me.  The shade will put another swamp in your hand and the bandit wants to become unblockable, plus they’re both prime targets for Tricks of the Trade.  The Bloodthrone Vampires are there to swallow used Bolas minions, plus also nail your opponent’s creatures that have been ensorcelled by some Mark of Mutiny or Switcheroo trickery, a la Slave of Bolas.  Zombie Goliath looks like a FANTASTIC target for the Disciple of Bolas, gaining you 4 life and drawing 4 cards when it gets sacrificed.

For the spells, I couldn’t do less than the 2 Gems of Becoming, nor did you want to see 3 of them in case of mana flood.  I had originally put an Archeomancer in the creatures, but his 4-drop double-costed blue mana was too tricky, so I went for the Elixir of Immortality.  That’s also in case you’re trying to ramp towards NBP and stalling out, those 5 life should be handy.  I noticed that the deck may be vulnerable to flyers and other evasion like big green tramply-guys, but those are what you should want to direct your removal like Murder and Flames of the Firebrand towards.

Essence Drain was originally a Mind Rot, but when I was making final edits, the whole deck was 3-drop heavy.  That might not have been too bad, since I feel like there’s decent card draw in the deck, but to get the real feel of an intro deck, I felt like some inferior cards should be in there, you know, for authenticity. 😉

Something in between Public Execution and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker would have been nice, but the only 7-drop I could find that this deck would want is the Sphinx of Uthuun.  I wanted to keep the Disciple of Bolas so badly that I couldn’t do it, hopefully you’re curving out towards a nasty Negate at the right moment and a Switcheroo whilst waiting to cast the big Planeswalker.

So, there’s the deck if it had been printed.  Please, tell me what you think!! Would you have picked up this intro deck?

I know this is a bit of  a pipe dream, no one is printing Mythic Rares in an intro deck, but it would’ve been sweet.  Thanks for reading!!!

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About recalcitrant041

Andrew Babcock has manifest destiny on his mind. The road west is paved with basketball, psychic dreams, passable egg-toast, Dungeons & Dragons, and haiku.

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