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“Tainted Healing” A Rogue Master Brewer Recap

Hello fellow brewers! I’m excited to (attempt to) write for RogueDeckBuilder, I’d like to start off by saying thank you to Kevin and others affiliated with My local game store is “Gone Rogue Games” a recent project of Kevin’s close friend Zach, and I can attest to Kevin’s claim of being busy in many of his recent video’s and podcasts. He truly is working feverishly both online and offline to provide for the Magic Community. So thank you Kevin!

Alright, I guess I better get into it! My name is Tyler Roundy, a participant in the Summer Rogue Master Brewer Contest. There were MANY ingenious submissions and I am still trying to wrap my head around how not only did my submission join the ranks of Top 8, but after a close, community driven voting process it actually came out on top as the winner of the Rogue Master Brewer Contest. So thank you to all who participated and voted, it was a cool experience.

Tainted Healing
I’ll start off by stating the obvious, there’s no argument that at first glance this deck shouts “Casual”. And yet to wind up tying for first at the local game store with Kevin and his then recently featured Mono Red Infection deck against the likes of Esper Dragons, Green Devotion, traditional Red Aggro, along with a cool brew around Starfield of Nyx(Another card that should bring about some neat Rogue decks), was pleasantly surprising. And showed that perhaps there was maybe a little more to it than just being another run of the mill kitchen table brew.

First off, have you ever pulled a card and said to yourself “Okay designers, what did you have in mind for this card?” Alright, alright. Who am I kidding, of course you have. I mean we Are on Rogue Deck Builder after all.

Well anyways, the card that had me asking this question was Healing Hands. At first glance it sounds rather inconspicuous, and in most cases I’d say that’s the case. I mean yeah, in an Origins Sealed Draft it’s a decent filler to throw into GW Aggro. But there’s one interesting phrase in its text that caught my eye, and that would be “Target player”. Sure, in non-Standard formats, like Commander, it may have some application, but surely Wizards isn’t going to tack that sort of rule text on a card without there being some synergy or some way to exploit that option within the same set or block. –On a side note, one thing I myself am trying to get better at, and something I believe all players need to be careful to do, is paying attention to those important key words that give you options such as “You may“, “If-Then“, or “Target“. Options give you choice, and choice gives you power, nowhere more so than in Magic.

Now with myself being a purely synergistic player for better or worse(I think sometimes it’s something I get a little too hung up on), in always trying to find neat little interactions. Naturally I had to figure out just what this interaction was. My search eventually brought me to Tainted Remedy, which again, in Standard initially sounded quite unremarkable. However, I found that at the time there were just the right amount of cards with just the right curve to actually make a Standard deck centered around Tainted Remedy IN mainboard surprisingly viable, or at very least, a genuinely unique and enjoyable deck to play. Which is something I, and certainly many of you, strive for.

And so without further ado, Tainted Healing:

Play Alhammarret’s Archive, I dare you.” – Me
The deck revolved around Tainted Remedy with life gain spells which had the ability to target, such as Healing Hands and Congregate. It ran light on creatures, using just a handful that had synergies with Life gain and Tainted Remedy(ie: Ajani’s Pridemate and Blood-Cursed Knight), their main purpose being to chump block and extend the game long enough to Life(?) my opponents to death. I actually found that siding out most of my creatures was usually my most common pre-game 2 move. Lifelink spells were also heavily utilized, although somewhat counter-intuitively, by many times targeting the opponents creatures rather than my own.

However, much to my remorse many of the key cards that allowed this particular deck to be reliably viable are now lost in the deep dark depths we call Modern. And for now I have degraded “Tainted Healing” to a Sideboard. Nevertheless! As old cards go, a whole slew of new ones follow in their wake. With Battle for Zendikar out, to my poor wife’s apparent dismay, my thoughts have been off in Magic Deck Building Land, a place I find myself in often. -On a side note, if anyone is interested in seeing “Tainted Healing” in Modern I do have that brew in the works.

A card that quickly caught my eye this time around is Zada, Hedron Grinder, this 3/3 Goblin comes with some interesting rules text.

So stay tuned for that brew! Testing is almost complete. ;)

Thanks for the read. Til next time, brew on!

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