Usually when I go out to a magic tournament, my goal is simple: to win. There are several ways to win in Magic: the Gathering, and it’s important to embrace them all. Bringing your opponent to zero life is popular. Even forcing your opponent to draw a card when they have none left in their library is a decent strategy from time to time. An often overlooked win condition is forcing your opponent to play so long that they become dehydrated, bored, or die of old age. Pack a bag full of snacks, water, this deck, and prepare yourself to become the Fun Police:
The goal of the deck is to create a win condition that is so recursive, so durdly, and so slow that your opponent is too weak to carry on with the rest of the tournament after playing against you.
This card does everything you could ever want it to do, except win the game in less than about 30 turns. This card is a draw engine, a removal combo with Azorius Charm, a tutor, a Snapcaster Mage, a scry disabler, and a threat that is so underwhelming that your opponent won’t deal with it until it’s too late. If you’re going to be playing a deck with a win condition as slow as shredder, you’ll need at least one Elixir of Immortality.
Do you want to live forever? I know I do. Part of the strategy of this deck is to mill yourself with Codex Shredder to find your important “time-wasters”… I mean “control spells.” Now doing this, combined with discarding all those cards you’re going to be drawing off of those Sphinx’s Revelations for 7-15 cards every turn, you’ll need a way to put it all back into your library. If you mill this card by accident, fear not, you can always use a shredder to get it back in your hand, play it, and shuffle both artifacts back into your library to draw into them again on your next rev.
“Hey Cory, what about Psychic Spiral, that card seems pretty good, and would help you win faster.”
While Spiral and I have had some devastating victories in the past, it is going to have to sit on the bench for this one. The goal is not to win with mill, it is to lay siege to your opponent’s emotions and sanity.
This card is one of my favorite cards in the deck. His +1 isn’t fun. Making your opponent choose between giving you a Supreme Verdict or a Sphinx’s Revelation isn’t fun. The face your opponent makes when you -8 to search through your entire deck and play a Codex Shredder is priceless. Be sure to grab some random card from their deck also –Thoughtseize is usually my favorite, because it adds to their misery.
Don’t panic, I know this looks like a win condition, but let me explain. This card is in the sideboard for decks that have no way to interact with it. The goal of the deck is to stop your opponent having fun, and your opponent not being able to interact with your minor royalty does just that. In the unfortunate happenstance that your monoblack, B/W, White Weenie, or U/W opponent has conceded game 1 before time has elapsed in the round, side this guy in for a quick way to win game 2. The same goes for Fiendslayer Paladin against mono-red. If anyone can kill the fun, a Paladin can.
Many have tried constructing other “pillow fort” style decks that involve Sphere of Safety, but I have a big problem with this. When you land the sphere, your opponent either loses hope or they know immediately if they can deal with it, and will concede on the spot if they cannot. Fun police presents no barrier; no imposing permanent that they cannot overcome. Fun police only shows you a door, open for you to walk through and win… then slams the door in your face turn after agonizing turn.
The original Fun Police list had 3 Mutavaults in it. The problem I have with this card isn’t that it is too weak, no no, the issue is that it is too strong. If you’ve got complete control of your opponent you might be tempted to try and win with Mutavault. If you’ve got one on the battlefield, and have open attacks for several turn in a row, your opponent may even call a judge on you for slow playing, and that will never do. We do the policing around here, not the judges! If you feel like you can restrain yourself from winning with Mutavault, go ahead and put it back in, if only as a way to deal with opposing Mutavaults. The same rules apply to something like Blind Obedience: make sure you don’t do something stupid like accidentally win with extort.
How to Play Fun Police:
Fun Police plays a lot like U/W control in the first 10 turns. Blow up their creatures with Supreme Verdict, handle other threats with Detention Sphere, and counter the rest. When you get Codex Shredder online early in the game, mill yourself for 1 card per turn. Eventually you will hit a card you need, like Sphinx’s Revelation, which you can simply return to your hand with shredder. Whenever the opportunity presents itself late-game, mill your opponent for one, especially if you have just Azorius Charmed an important creature onto the top of their library.
More important than how you pilot the deck, is your attitude. Should your goal be to make the person on the other side of the table angry? No. Should it be to frustrate them until they submit to your massive brain and patience? Oh yes! Don’t be a dick when you’re winning, just be calm, cool, collected, and a tiny bit smug. Take a sip of your water, but don’t let them have any, dehydration is a win condition. Take a bite of your carefully packed mid-game sandwich, but don’t let them have any, hunger is a win condition. Most of all, be sure to use the second ability on Codex Shredder way more frequently than required.
Your Worst Enemies:
While the deck is particularly resistant to mill, because of your ability to crack a shredder and get back your Elixir, sometimes you just won’t have enough time to react to this menace. Pithing Needle helps here, and be sure to save a counter-spell for this guy.
Not the card, the concept. If you can’t be patient enough to force your opponent to concede, this is not the deck for you. Go and play Pool Party if you want to have enough time between rounds to use the bathroom.
I’ve been testing this deck against people formerly known as my friends, and it has confirmed my assumption that with U/W, it doesn’t matter what the win condition is; as long as you get control of the game, you win. I’ll take it a step further and add that Codex Shredder actually makes the deck better than traditional U/W by drawing you effectively infinite copies of whatever card you need when used in conjunction with Elixir of Immortality. Test this deck out at your local FNM, or better yet at a store in a near-by town that you don’t mind being banned from, and tell me what you think.