Ajani Through History

starfallstarfall Posts: 1,515 Chairperson of the Boards
The deckbuilding muse took hold of me last night, and I set about building a single deck which could play all of A Journey Through History... or rather, it can play the first node of all 4 chapters of A Journey Through History four times so I can get all the progression rewards!

Each chapter of AJTH is limited to four colors, and the only color which all chapters allow is green. So a 4AJTH deck will either have to be mono green, or multicolored. (Or, if you want to be weird, you could play a colorless PW and only include either green, colorless or multicolored cards in the deck!)

I've chosen to build with AJ1 because his second ability ties in nicely with a few of the objectives, and also I don't use him for anything else these days (and he used to be one of my favorite PWs!).


Let's have a look at the 8 objectives we have to beat, 2 for each of the 4 levels:

Deal 12 or more damage to creatures
Kill 2 or more creatures
Create 4 or more creature tokens
Cast 3 or more supports which cost 10 or less
Deal 5 or more damage to a creature in a single turn
Cast 3 or more supports
Cast 3 or more supports
Win with only common and uncommon cards

We can condense these down to essentially four constraints on our deck:

Win with only common and uncommon cards
Cast 3 or more supports which cost 10 or less
Create 4 or more creature tokens
Burn a lot of creatures to death!


There are a couple of other features of AJTH that we need to build around.

Firstly, a rather minor but notable inconvenience in The Phyrexian Compleation:
all nonblack and nonartifact creatures get -1/-1 every turn.

And secondly, a much more serious ability that Greg wields in The Long Cold Darkness:
Destroy all creatures and supports. Then, your opponent takes X damage, where X is the sum of all mana cost of all the cards destroyed this way (costs 18 loyalty)


Finally, I'd just like to add that while I've built this deck with all these constraints in mind, I've so far only tested it against A Nightmare Of War. I might have forgotten some really important feature of a level that needs building around, or, perhaps I'll end up discovering I'm not playing enough creatures, or supports, or something-or-other...


Without further ado, here's the deck!

Rupture Spire
Squire's Devotion
Gideon's Triumph

Ugin's Conjurant

Invade the City
Justice Strike
Fiery Finish

Sphinx's Insight

10th card which, um, I haven't decided on yet! Currently Bond of Passion (!)(?). It used to be Beacon Bolt but I think it's too slow.


You'll notice there's a lot of burn, maybe too much, but that's a consequence of a bug; namely that Planeswalker abilities that deal damage, don't COUNT as dealing damage for the damage objective in A Nightmare At War currently. Hopefully it'll get fixed, but for now it has to be played around.

There's another objective bug which needs to be played around, too, which is that the second objective of A Nightmare At War (kill 2 or more creatures) does not count creatures killed by Gideon's Triumph. Still, that in itself is no reason not to play such a good card.


The choice of creatures has mostly been determined by Long Cold Darkness effect: so I'm using Zombie Army tokens (which should have a converted mana cost of zero?) and Ugin's Conjurant which is huge but with a low mana cost. I get a little vampire from Squire's Devotion too (but I'd usually rather he wasn't my first creature so that something bigger has the lifegain effect).

Army tokens are black so they are unaffected by the Phyrexian Compleation effect, although, I think Ugin's Conjurant will be affected (this has literally just occured to me, I thought he'd be OK because he's colorless, but he's not an artifact. Still, he's huge, so he should survive the effect OK)

I've not included any support removal; when I get around to playtesting the other AJTH chapters I may find that I need some, or I may not.

One area that Ajani is weak in is card draw. I've included Invert/Invent, so I can look for removal spells or more zombies, and Sphinx's Insight to get me through my deck quicker, although it's quite a weak card. More card draw may be necessary, especially if I need to guarantee that I can play 3 supports.


That's ma deck! Whatcha think of it? Any ideas for improvement? Or is there something glaringly obvious I've forgotten?


  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,515 Chairperson of the Boards
    I can't believe I posted all that, and it's only just occured to me that I could call this deck "Ajani Through History" :)
  • bken1234bken1234 GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 2,587 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited July 24
    Pun approved. 

    Your 10th card is Swift Reckoning, she works great with his first and is a staple in pretty much all of my Aj1 decks. However since you have a ton of removal, maybe take something else out and add Depose to go with her — a wise man who I cannot name here as he isn’t a member of this community taught me to always make sure there is plenty of draw. 
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,515 Chairperson of the Boards
    Testing in The Space-Time Catastrophe today!

    There doesn't seem to be much to worry about in this level, he has Naru Meha, but she rarely appears and doesn't have any bomb spells to worry about. Small creatures die fairly easily due to his low levels of burn, but large ones are OK.

    You are given The First Eruption for free, so that counts as one of the three supports you have to play! Best to play it as your first card, and hold back your creatures until it has gone away.

    That undecided 10th card needs to be a creature, really. A Nightmare At War gives you a free creature in the form of Chainer's Torment, so I had enough creatures easily for that level, but when playing The Space-Time Catastrophe it was harder to find creatures from the 2 I was playing.

    I'd like something that doesn't die to small burn effects, but doesn't have a high cost (I'm still worred about The Long Cold Darkness effect!). At the moment I've settled on Angrath, Captain of Chaos. It's a bit expensive for what it does but there are a couple of things I want to test: Firstly I want to see if it causes the Vanguard slowdown that has been affecting many players; and, secondly, I want to know if it's affected by The Long Cold Darkness (You'd think it wouldn't be!).

    Legion Conquistador is probably a good card, too.
  • bken1234bken1234 GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 2,587 Chairperson of the Boards
    What exactly do you want the the creature to do? Just hit? Defend? 
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,515 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited July 27
    bken1234 said:
    What exactly do you want the the creature to do? Just hit? Defend? 
    Well it's my primary way of dealing damage to my opponent to win the game. Also I'd like it to be persistent to removal. Defence is unnecessary since the deck packs so much burn.
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,515 Chairperson of the Boards
    Testing with The Long Cold Darkness! A good deal of my planning was based on preparing for this fight (including all of the creatures I'm playing!) so this better work!

    You get a free Antiquities of War here which should help cast your 3 supports if you don't happen to draw them.

    Games 1,3, and 4 were breezed through easily.


    On game 2 he got a huge cascade, filling his hand, pumping his Mishra's Self Replicator to 24/24, and then triggering his ability. I took 44 damage:

    His cards:
    Mishra's Self Replicator(16) + Caves of Koilos (6) + Urza's Tome (11) + The Antiquities War(14) = 47.

    My cards:
    Zombie Army tokens and Vampire tokens (0).

    Not sure where the number 44 came from then! Funny how so many things in the game don't work, but we usually don't even bother to check, isn't it?

    Anyway, we were bust down to 75 life, which was easily enough to survive.

    He kept the pressure on though, using his ability a second time to deal us 21 damage from a Traxos and an Urza's Tome (correct damage this time!)

    Third time he activated it really felt like he was laying it on a bit thick but at least allowed me to check whether his ability destroys Vanguards (it does not).

    I finished the game on 71 life (having gained a little bit here and there).


    So, I feel like the deck is well equipped to take on this level!
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,515 Chairperson of the Boards
    The Phyrexian Compleation

    This level is actually really easy! There's nothing at all threatening in the deck!
  • starfallstarfall Posts: 1,515 Chairperson of the Boards
    Eeek! Apparently Ugin's Conjurant has been nerfed in v3.8, for a maximum X of 10, down to 4!

    I wonder if they fixed his protection from Destroy effects?
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