The Young Poisoner's Handbookby Jon Wilkie
Welcome to the first installment of The Library of Leng in the glorious world of cyberspace! We hope to bring you more and better columns now that we're online, including updates of old decks, theme decks featuring new releases, and even some non-Magic theme decks. We also want to make it easier for you to tell us what you want to see in The Library of Leng, and will be working on a method for you to give us instant feedback, so stay tuned!
This month's deck is called "The Young Poisoner's Handbook," and features the Suq'Ata Assassin, an amazing new card from Visions. The Assassin is a 1/1 creature that costs 1BB, but it has two really cool abilities: it gives poison counters if not blocked, and can only be blocked by artifact or black creatures. It slices, it dices, and it includes a free Fear. It's the perfect card to build an all-poison deck around, and so that's what we did.
The key to "The Young Poisoner's Handbook" is to play fast and mean. If you get a creature through unblocked ten times, the game is over. Use Terror to shut down creatures early in the game, saving Winter Blast to slip poison creatures through late in the game. Above all else, attack all the time! The game will be decided quickly one way or another, and only by playing aggressively will you be victorious.
The fun aspect of this deck is that with four flying creatures, two Fears, two Ebony Charms (mini-Fears), and four creatures with built-in Fear, your opponent will have a very difficult time blocking. If he or she does get blockers out, Winter Blast the heck out of them. Also remember that Marsh Viper gives two poison counters each time it attacks, so use your Fear on it, if possible.
That's about it for this month. Next month we'll be featuring our first non-Magic deck in Library of Leng, and we think you'll like it a lot. It's called "Ride of the Valkyries," and it's an all-female deck for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle. See you here next month!
The Young Poisoner's Handbook
The Assassins of Suq'Ataby Scott Hungerford
The Suq'Ata originally came from the plane of Rabiah the Infinite, an Arabesque world connected to the plane of Dominaria through a series of huge, magical cyclone gates. In the distant past, when the gates between Dominaria and Rabiah were secure, many people crossed through the gates to make their home in the magic-rich environment of Jamuraa.
A number of these people, who would eventually become known as the Suq'Ata, settled and built cities reminiscent of their distant home. They began to build a trading empire, and soon had caravans traversing the huge continent of Jamuraa in search of valuables and profit. While this mercantile society was well-versed in spells, treasure, and artifice, with them also came one of the oldest arts on Rabiah--the way of the assassin.
Within the modern cities of the Suq'Ata there exists a network of secret guilds wholly devoted to murder. Using spells of summoning, fear, and mind-numbing cold, the assassins of Suq'Ata seek not to defeat their opponents outright, but to poison them over time in a variety of insidious ways--perhaps a cobra trained to remain still until it strikes, or food tainted with a tasteless poison, delivered by an unseen hand.
The Suq'Ata assassins have a variety of spells and charms that generate an aura of fear, allowing them to pass through the most well-guarded halls and chambers. Even the most vigilant of guards will flee from the smallest swampfly if the fear-aura spell is woven well by an assassin. Suq'Ata assassins have been known to walk through the heart of a crowded banquet hall to deliver their poisonous gift, either by knife or vial, no matter how many guards are present.
One of the oldest folktales in Suq'Ata society is about an assassin that trained a venomous serpent to hold itself in an upright position for endless hours. Then a simple illusion would be cast across it, so that the serpent appeared as nothing more than a simple wax candle. Once set into place on a noble's bedside, the snake would strike repeatedly at anyone who tried to put a match to its deadly head.