Speaking Casually: Running the Maze


Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Arcane Sanctum. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate), and have survived the maze that is Black Friday shopping. While I don’t participate in that madness I know people that do. You have to pre-plan, double check those plans, plan for the possibilities things may not go your way, and know when to turn one way instead of another. Add to that thousands of people shopping in the same space, and you have your holiday shopping maze.

This, along with Magic Mics recent Top 10 Simic cards┬ámade me think of a deck I used to run: Maze’s End.


Maze's End


Maze’s End (Return to Ravnica Block through Magic 2015)

2 Azorius Guildgate
2 Boros Guildgate
1 Breeding Pool
2 Dimir Guildgate
2 Golgari Guildgate
2 Gruul Guildgate
1 Hallowed Fountain
2 Izzet Guildgate
4 Maze’s End
2 Orzhov Guildgate
2 Rakdos Guildgate
3 Selesnya Guildgate
2 Simic Guildgate
1 Temple Garden

4 Riot Control
4 Defend the Hearth
4 Druid’s Deliverance
4 Fog
2 Negate

4 Supreme Verdict
3 Urban Evolution
2 Merciless Eviction

2 Kiora, the Crashing Wave

1 Bow of Nylea
2 Detention Sphere

3 Crackling Perimeter
3 Revoke Existence
3 Saruli Gatekeepers
2 Shock
2 Turn / Burn
2 Negate

How the deck works:

The primary win-condition is Maze’s End. To win you activate Maze’s End with 9 different Gates already in play, and once the ability resolves you win putting the 10th Gate in play.

Maze's End Card

Pretty sweet, right? It sure is. The inevitability of this card is what made it a lot of fun to play. However you may be asking yourself: “How do we get to 10 Gates”? I’ll show you.

This is how you stay alive. Your goal is to prevent the opponent from doing any damage to you, sweep the board when needed, and draw extra cards during the mid-late game. Doing these things, and knowing when to do them, can help keep you afloat long enough to run the Maze, and secure victory.

Now you may think this is great (and it is), however we have to have other ways to win in the deck.

Kiora card

Planeswalkers are always great win-conditions in their own right, and this one is no different. Being able to play extra lands on your turn, and having Fogs in your hand to protect her, could eventually lead to 9/9 Krakens on the board.

Kraken token


Then in the sideboard we have more win-conditions.

Crackling Perimeter

Tapping excess lands each turn will slowly damage the opponent where they will have to start paying attention to their life total. Suddenly 1 becomes 2, which becomes 3, and so on. The incremental damage can add up quickly, especially after a wrath effect. Notice though this only hits players, and not their creatures, however you can redirect that damage to their planeswalkers.

Ok…but WHY?

Honestly? Why not! Prior to the release of Dragon’s Maze I was already playing a Turbo Fog deck based around Tamiyo, the Moon Sage along with these same spells plus Gideon Jura.

A match made in heaven? Maybe. Once Gideon causes the creatures to attack you can use Tamiyo to draw a bunch of cards. Maybe Fog effects, Supreme Verdicts, or other cards. It was a Bant deck that won by getting Tamiyo’s Emblem, and never being without a spell. The deck was great, and I enjoyed playing it a lot. However something happened that caused me to change direction: Dragon’s Maze pre-release.

While the event itself was not that memorable (I pulled a Ral Zarek) I walked away with a playset of the pre-release version of Maze’s End. I was immediately enamored with the card. It was also the first foil I played, and during that time I was close to finishing some Legacy decks as well as double sleeve them, so I decided to double sleeve Maze’s End. It was a great time, and I had a lot of fun not only playing the deck, but experimenting with the sideboard. At various times I had win-more cards like these in there.

I miss those days, and it’s part of the reason I started this “Speaking Casually” blog series. Maze’s End felt like a deck to troll┬ápeople with though, and while I’m not that type of guy I did feel like that at times. If you choose to add this deck to your casual group just keep in mind win-conditions like Maze’s End can be frustrating to players so your mileage of fun may vary, just like Black Friday shopping.

Well that’s all I have this time around, and I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Do you keep your old Standard decks to casually play with friends? Let me know what are some of your favorites in the comments below. Make sure to also follow me on Twitter & Facebook under MTGPackFoils, and until then…



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