Are you a fan of those scenes in tv shows and movies where the characters ‘suit up’ with a cool sequence of armour and weapons attaching themselves, resulting in a badass, monster crushing machine? Like this?
I like Rick and Morty, and I like those sequences, and I wanted to build a deck that felt like the video above. I wanted to have some wry, sarcastic humour in the deck, some meme cards that also played well with the others, and pointed out some of the clunkiness of the voltron trope. I don’t think I have to worry about my swords being hard on the wrists, because I chose a Commander that scoffs at wrists. For such a meme deck, who could be a better choice to be in charge other than Cronenberg Morty!
Aw jeez! If you haven’t seen the show, or hate the show, aw jeez, that’s too bad. A lot of this probably won’t make much sense.
The Unnecessarily Badass Suit Up
You can also go check out the deck at Archidekt, and kinda skim along for the mechanical stuff. You can tie the same premise to Iron Man, Batman, Sailor Moon, etc. but Morophon, the Boundless isn’t quite as great a fit as to Cronenberg Morty.
If there was a Rick card, it would probably be silver bordered and maybe look something like the above. A few random copies would probably have different text, including how the same-texted Rick cards were all counterfeits. I’m just going to stick with Morty for now, and focus on the suit up.
One of the inspirations for this deck was the cycle of Dragon auras from Scourge. I always wanted to have a deck that used these, but they seemed like afterthoughts in my dragon decks, and generally unreliable overall. A similar card was printed in Modern Horizons in Smoke Shroud, where the trigger was a Ninja ETB.
I also noticed a number of equipment cards like Obsidian Battle-Axe that would attach themselves to a creature upon ETB, but like Smoke Shroud, they were typically tied to a creature type.
Enter Morophon. Literally. Enter the battlefield. It qualifies for the Dragon auras, all the tribal equipment, and a bunch of fun other stuff.
Eldrazi sweeper Kozilek’s Return is a great way to sweep the board of dorks early, and then again for free when I cast the Commander. The effect is on cast, so no damage to Morty!
Weird counterspell Not of this World is a great meme card, and keeps up the free Eldrazi spell theme. It should be fairly easy to push Morty to 7 power. Both Eldrazi Temple and Shrine of the Forsaken Gods can help hardcast this, and Morophon too!
Card draw rock Dragon’s Hoard allows me to bring up that one episode… But it also makes a great mana rock that draws a card for each time I cast the Commander. One of my favourite all-time mana rocks.
Reference card Spreading Plague doesn’t bother me, just the rest of the world. I mean, I’m already Cronenberged, but it’s still nice that this will leave my Commander alone. It’s terrific against Field of the Dead.
Black enchantments Homicidal Seclusion and Deadly Wanderings can probably speak for themselves as meme cards, but also do a huge amount of work by providing lifelink. This deck is a lot of a glass cannon. They also buff my creature through shroud, which can be relevant because…
I might have gone rogue with the Cloak and Dagger.
Or attached the Lightning Greaves. I figured 0 equip costs still fit the badass suit up mold, and they’re included along with Grafted Wargear.
The one exception to free equip is Assault Suit, which provides a buff, haste, immunity to sacrifice effects (surprisingly relevant) and really fits the theme. And makes it so I can pass Morty around the table. Hahaha, gross.
Helping pay for it all are a mishmash of mana rocks, including sneaky allstar Inspiring Statuary, that lets me tap equipment to cast Morty. It’s good to include a nod to improvisation, even if that’s only a stylistic choice.
Since the Dragon auras and stuff like Kozilek’s Return want to be in my graveyard, I’m packing tons of looting effects to keep the engine moving. Desolate Lighthouse is from that episode….
After you announce Izzet Charm, make sure you sarcastically ask, ‘I dunno, Izzet?’
Cards like Chemister’s Insight, Sanctum of Calm Waters and all the loot spells might be more of a stretch when it comes to memes, but they help loot with some other bonuses as well. I’d swap out the Sanctum for a Monastery Siege if I could.
Modal enchantment Mirrodin Besieged is pretty Magic specific, but it’s established that portals go there. Plus it gives the all-important backup wincon in case Morty is taken prisoner in Vedalken Shackles or something.
You know Divine Reckoning… from that episode… etc… but as a Magic card, it’s a cheap frontside wipe, an expensive but loot-friendly backside wipe (um…) and since Morty is the only creature I play, fits super well.
Changeling-friendly Swarmyard, regrettably, does not regenerate pickles. Pickles with Rat/Insect parts qualify, however. Pretend you don’t hear the squirrels.
Turning on the gravity shoes might help at the Contested Cliffs, but I’m going to be a beast and make you fight about it.
I think Slayers’ Stronghold is probably the most meme-worthy, ’cause this deck totally slays it, but all of the haste lands are valid here, and I’m playing with them all. Hanweir Battlements, Flamekin Village, and Hall of the Bandit Lord round out the group. Haste from a land is a huge deal, believe me.
Also providing Suit Up value are lands Llanowar Reborn, Forge of Heroes, and even Cathedral of War. The deck runs so few coloured cards (and fewer non-Izzet) that I can go deep on utility lands, even in a 5-colour build.
Since I’m casting almost all non-creature spells, Whirlwind of Thought is a perfect inclusion, and right on theme. Jeskai Ascendancy is great, too, helping loot and providing a useful untap and buff with every cast.
Finally, what Rick and Morty deck would be complete without a Summary Dismissal? One of my favs is ‘Later, chodes.’
I could go into plenty more detail about meme cards, like how the Merciless Eviction is clearly for Jerry, but I think you get the idea. I will mention that this is the third build of the deck, with the first two being heavier on cards that looked a lot like Merciless Eviction. Stuff like Duneblast, and a bunch of Charm cards that were versatile, and danced around my strategy, but took away from the density of fun, Suit Up stuff and the looting required to make it all go. The previous builds could probably get there with board control and inevitability, but they didn’t feel like I wanted them to feel.
I don’t know that this is going to get a ton of play from me, because it’s pretty linear, but the results of the Suit Up sequence (which you can do with mouth-made sound effects and picking up the cards and twirling them around) are pretty great. I can occasionally attack out of nowhere for Commander lethal, too, making this a legit threat to win some games.
And if you’re like me, choosing the creature type when Morophon ETBs is a great opportunity to celebrate all the wacky types still out there in the multiplanarverse.
Finding decks that pay homage to the content you devour is great, but even better when they’re fun, and competitive enough to make a game of it. This does all that, while making Inventor’s Goggles leap from meme to deadly weapon. Wubbalubbadubdub, or maybe the opposite.
Once again, I’ve been lucky enough to play tabletop Magic with actual humans this week. Games unite us, and have been a great boon through this time of quarantine. But we’ve been reminded by the sports world this week once again that games are only a very small part of the big picture, and that while we engage in diversions, people are suffering, in large part because of a lack of justice.
We have strived as a species for most of our history to create greatness for all to share in. We have enabled ourselves, entertained ourselves, challenged ourselves, and engaged ourselves. Magic the Gathering, despite being a massive profit engine for Hasbro, is a wonder of a mathematical system that provides enjoyment for human minds, regardless of what the attached bodies are like. Stuff like this is worth celebrating as a human achievement.
Like sports, where athletes have had to weigh this week whether they want to boycott to protest indefatigable injustice, or keep doing the thing they love most. The thing they put their energy, their passion into. Their peaceful pursuit, that makes the world better by creating enjoyment and opportunity for others. Even after protesting, one of the first responses was that their protest was silly. That what they said and did didn’t matter.
But they do matter. Our pursuits matter, our passions matter, our acts of love matter. Your act of love and passion might be dunking a basketball, or writing about some card game, but if it’s done in peace, with respect and humanity, how could it not matter? It’s not saving lives, or exploring the universe, but not everybody can do those things. Sometimes it’s the artists and the athletes and even the content creators that inspire the people who make the big scientific breakthroughs, and help others through times of crisis. We are all in this together, even though plenty of us preach the contrary, or tell us we have no value because we aren’t chasing profit with our every waking moment.
I hope your portal leads directly to the weekend, where you can do something that means the world to you. Put your passion, love, creativity, intelligence and all that into it. It’s a good habit to get into. What you do matters. Your life matters. Black Lives Matter. Thanks for reading.