Villainous defense

by Kazzong on 23 June 2022

Main Deck (60 cards)

Sideboard (15 cards)

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Deck Description

A while ago I built a naya defender deck, that used Axebane guardian and overgrown battlement to power out a massive Genesis wave, into large hits with vent sentinel and X spells like banefire and Devil's play.
Seen here:

Yes, it's casual kitchen table magic but boy is it good at mopping the floor with kitchen table decks.

Since Doorkeeper came out I have wanted to build a similar deck around it, but I was missing a piece. I finally found that piece in villainous wealth.

The sideboard is maybe cards

How to Play

The general idea is kind of like old school elfball, but with mill. Play out a few cheap creatures and mana dorks and then Genesis wave for a lot, building a large board presence, then milling the opponent with Doorkeeper and stealing their stuff with villainous wealth.

You must likely don't ever cast Emrakul. She is here to shuffle your graveyard back in when you Genesis wave and mill your villainous wealth. But this deck can easily get the mana to hard cast her if needed.

Drift of phantasms is super useful here. Tutors for Axebane guardian, gomazoa (which is a super under rated defensive card), Genesis wave and villainous wealth. And adds to defender count if you don't need to tutor. And a 0/5 with flying is an blocker as well.

Deck Tags

  • Sultai
  • Defender

Deck at a Glance

Social Stats


This deck has been viewed 438 times.

Mana Curve

Mana Symbol Occurrence


Card Legality

  • Not Legal in Standard
  • Legal in Modern
  • Legal in Vintage
  • Legal in Legacy

Deck discussion for Villainous defense

Try adding Assault Formation

Posted 28 June 2022 at 13:54


While I appreciate the suggestion, I don't think that is the direction I really want to take this deck. Perhaps as a sideboard card to have a different plan for game two.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 14:12


Axebane Guardian would also allow the use of Door to Nothingness (or Helix Pinnacle) tough without anything to tutor it, it could be hard as 1-off to draw it.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 17:20


Helix Pinnacle is a sweet idea here as a sideboard card. I wouldn't worry too much about drawing it, as Genesis Wave is a monstrosity of a card that can dump half the deck on to the battlefield in a single turn.

although I like the flavor win of Door to Nothingness, I think it overlaps a little too much with my main win conditions already. not in effect, but that it targets a player. so if they have something to prevent me from targeting them, both methods are ineffective.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 17:40


Why did you remove the infinite mana aspect, when that part could easily make this go mill infinite?

Posted 28 June 2022 at 15:58


Wasn't going for infinite. My Naya deck, that this was based on, didn't go infinite either. I ran a single test (time constraints) by proxying it on On turn 5 I cast Wave for ten, then a second wave for twenty. Then on turn 6 I cast villainous wealth for 60. So there is no shortage of mana production. And that was with a slow hand.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 16:13


Admittedly, sometimes going for infinite can be a trap. When splintertwin was at it's most powerful, it didn't run 4 of each combo part, and in my own experiments with evolution, it rarely runs 4 of each either.

The question for me is when does people abbandon the potential of the infinite?

This site has so many decks where a two-card combo piece is missing one of the parts.
I'm curious to find out if it's part of the spam-behaviour where trolls list decks in the hope that other people starts using suboptimal decks, or if there could be a natural mechanism behind it where the usual process of evolution abandons the infinite on it's own.

I'm currently running a U/G halfdeck couple, where I could fit axebane Guardian into the green half and freed from the real into the blue part. When these two halves come apart from each other, the combo no longer exists, so the cards in each half faces Extinction unless a way to use the cards within the deck is found that makes the cards worth having in the decks.

I've already done some experiments similar to this by studying what would happen with the moggwarts combo skirk prospector, putrid goblin and first day of class. I tried to put in some cards that could abuse infinite mana that could serve a purpose when infinite mana isn't present. Cards like that get close, but in the end evolution favors something else (at least it has so far, I'm not giving it up that easy)

I'm going to study this on a much larger scale. Maybe there's a defect in the human mind or in evolution that prevents things from going infinite.

I once had a bug in a simulation where evolution was creating burn decks. I remember that according to my own calculations it wasn't possible to kill earlier than turn 4, so when a deck broke the barrier and killed at turn 3, I was ecstatic. Life had found a way. Then later it started to produce turn 2 kills and I was like, hows that possible, it then went on to kill at turn 1 and I stopped the program and searched for the damn bug.

It turned out that I had forgotten to clean up the land count between games, putting it to zero. As each game progressed there would be more and more mountains in play, and so the simulation had access to thousands of mountains. As a result designs started to adapt stuff like fireball in large Quantities, as well as cards that could sacrifice mountains for an advantage.

If the world is a simulation, it makes sense if the programmer gave the simulation a fix, so we somehow drift away from abusing the infinite. Even a virtual infinity.

I'm gonna test this infinity avoidance a little :)
Maybe it's a "natural drift" but learning that it's there, might make it possible to work around.
I'm certainly going to give it a try. Maybe I'll become the bug that breaks our world ;)

Posted 28 June 2022 at 17:54


I agree that the draw of "going infinite" can certainly be a trap as a deck builder. There is certainly the "infinite power!!! feeling that you get, particularly as a new player or new deck builder. big and flashy is cool, and I think that kind of hides the impracticality. so when you try it in a real game, it often under performs.

I often feel that infinite combos are too hard to assemble, or the interaction takes too long to practically use. even if the end result is strong enough to be game breaking. I also find that the individual pieces don't really synergize with other cards, so they may do nothing until you have the full combo out. so it might be a better option to use something that has less overall power, but more synergy with more of the other cards in the deck.

for example:
I built a fun, but not competitive, Naya token deck for Historic recently on MTG Arena. it uses Gala Greeters, Xorn, and Stimulus Package as an engine to pump out several 1/1s per turn, and pump out treasures.
it ramps and builds board presence surprisingly fast.
It can't go infinite, but each card works with more than just the other cards in the combo and none of them are useless on their own, like... Prosperous Innkeeper gains me life with Stimulus Package, and[[ xorn]] works well with Stimulus Package by adding an extra treasure when it ETBs, or Stimulus Package with Witty Roastmaster by pinging every time I make a 1/1 token.

with a board state of two Gala Greeters, one Xorn and one Stimulus Package I can pump out three 1/1 tokens, net 2 treasures, and gain 4 life on each turn, and I can do it at instant speed so not just my turn. add in Prosperous Innkeeper and that jumps to 7 life per turn, add in Witty Roastmaster and I ping for 3 damage as well. finish it by throwing out Jetmir, Nexus of Revels to give them all +3/+0 vigilance, trample and double strike. so each piece works really well with all the others, instead of relying on any one of them to be usable. and more copies of any of these cards just adds more value to each loop.

or of course, my Naya Defender Deck. again, no infinite but it pumps out ramp and burn burn like crazy. super proud of that deck. one of the few I created here that I actually own.

my guess, it isn't inherently part of spam behavior, but just a difference in building styles, or new players not knowing niche cards that go infinite, like Freed from the Real, etc.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 18:36


Just around yesterday I realised that magic is really a game about trades.
At the deepest core of it, when you design decks, you make trades with the game mechanics. You experiment with lands vs manacost and choose a trade at some point, which leads to you possibly loosing because your opponent made a better trade. Realising what trade either of you made means you get additional trade offers "who's the aggro" (Mike flores)

During the game you make all sorts of trades like taking damage early to let your removal hit high quality creatures rather than hit a 1/1, even though some magic schools advice you to take out the 1/1.

The number of trade transactions a game persists of is pretty fucking huge.

I guess "the infinite" is just another form of trade.

So in essence, good players are good traders, but sometimes it's hard to grasp exactly what kind of a trade your opponent is going for.

I myself prefer to trade with the mechanics of the game, while most humans learn to trade with each other.

Even choosing a deck is a sort of trade when viewed through the meta.

Perhaps deckspamming is just another kind of trading. Copycats do make the "easy" trade and sort of cheat in the deal struck between players and mechanics. Those spamming are sort of making a deal too. By putting out spam they risk that someone discovers a new trade within the game.

Being a rogue player I've always lived of the trade between opponents not knowing how to strike deals with my decks, but I used to focus on one build which meant that people over time learned to trade with my deck except at larger tournaments.

It didn't take me long to realise that those "trades" apply to everything in the human world.
We surround ourself in self sustaining trade systems that are almost symbiotic in nature.

From there I applied the concept to lifeforms in general.

The end conclusion is that the purpose of life is to make trades.
The meaning of life on the other hand, the why eludes me so far, but all life trades.
I'll figure out how to use that somehow.

But one thing is for sure, cheaters don't trade directly with people, they are performing a trade with the physics of the world, and their victims fail to see the trade because they usually deal with other people.

In any case there is a deal being struck. It's probably why evolution creates camouflage. Some creatures strike a deal with physics rather than other animals.

I have seen similar patterns in my alien world paper simulation.

The whole damn world is an ecosystem of trading algorithms.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 19:29


Certainly, an interesting take on things. there is an ebb and flow to everything, and there are even studies about such interactions in life. I would say it is a fascinating topic.

like... predicting how communities interact. despite each individual person being hard to predict, PEOPLE, societies, countries etc... are easy to predict, given accurate data to work with. statistical analysis. the psychological nature of mtg I think makes an interesting example of that in action. a microcosm, if you will.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 19:43


Well, after opening up on the topic.

To me it seems like the world is actually two worlds.
On one side theres the physical realm, on the other there's the (in lack of a better word) fictious, and both seem to be able to interact.
Some people are better at interacting with the physical, while others are deeply engaged with the fictious.

Television is sort of cages where we keep the fictious.

For some reason we need either types of worlds, but people are born with different needs.

Take me for example, for me, the physical is everything. I can interact with the fictious, but is rigidly keeping it from spilling into the physical as anything but entertainment. My mind is somehow capeable of trawling the fictious and during roleplaying sessions for more than 35 years I've spellbound people with the fictious. But I also realise how dangerous it is, so I keep it locked away and always try to clean up the fictuousness that others are carelessly spilling. (Like religion)

Yet, a number of other people prefer to live with the fictious. Each year celebrating Santa claus and jesus.

It's odd, but sometimes it feels like I'm better nourished by reality, but others do seem to be nourished by this other side of the world.

To this day, I've always seen them as separate entities, but it could be the world is made out of both and I just haven't thought that much about it.

Over the years though, I've become fascinated with how people seem to want the fictious more than reality. Women for example prefer males that can paint them a story about how good their lives will be together and there is a genetic preference for this.

Perhaps there's a natural cyclist of how much fiction the world can contain before the physics react violently to its presence.

In a way, liars are spell casters, and I'm the old wizened mage that tells them reality will fall apart if they keep it up.

I'll guess I'll just have to strike a really nasty deal with reality to build up a cage big enough for all fiction.

Perhaps dreams are some sort of spillage too?

Posted 28 June 2022 at 20:11


hmm. I suppose I hadn't thought about it that way.

I can agree that many people seem to cling to the ideal fantasy of what they want life to be like. in some ways that becomes a motivation, a conduit for them to make it so: new inventions, discoveries, or simply personal self improvement. I think without that push past what we perceive is our physical limitation we might still be hunter/gatherers instead of talking to people anonymously across the globe in an instant through electricity.

but in others it tends to blind them to reality too much, and they can't differentiate between what is real and what is not. they become wrapped up in the idea of reality they created, they miss opportunities and paths they could take that might improve their situation. I knew a man once who, in all seriousness, said there was no distinction between hiking on a forested mountain in a video game and doing so in real life. if he wanted a breeze, a light fan would work, and if he wanted the scent of pine, a car air freshener was just as good. and he wasn't missing out on anything. I am all for people thinking and believing what they want to, but sometimes... it just makes me sad to know there are people who willingly choose to blur those lines.

that being said, don't know if you watch anime or not, but there is one that explores the concept that fiction, when accepted by enough people, becomes its own reality, and sometimes these realities can bleed into each other. Re:Creators. its got a deeper story than that, but its a good watch. makes you think a bit, which I like.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 20:41


I haven't thought about lies/fiction this way before either, but there are obviously two sides to the world with each their own types of physics, and just like with normal physics you can get a reaction if you expend some energy.

The more energy you expend, the larger the effect will be.
For example, plainly telling a man that his wife and daughters are dead because of a car crash will result in him, first going through stages of despair, then when he discovers that it's fiction, there will be a sort of backlash of energy. Lies tear small holes in reality, but in return, reality hits back very very hard.

So if you kidnap a mans wife and daughters, fake medical records and makes a number of phone calls, then you've successfully created fiction, but it has demanded a large amount of physical energy, which is stored in the wife and children and lose ends in the paperwork. If any of it gets lose, reality will give you such a backlash that you'll probably never be the same person again.

However, there seems to be a loophole, if you drag the wife and kids into a forest, kills them and bury them, then there is a chance that the backlash dissolves as your connection to the case grows dimmer.

So the less you are connected to the fiction directly, the less the backlash will be, which might explain bureaucracy :)

A second part of the loophole seems to be believers or at minimum supporters of the fiction which sorts of explains religion. The odd thing here is that the effect is somehow contained in the believers. Fiction tends to die unless stored in believers, which brings us to writing and memetics which seems to be a third loophole. Fiction can cling on to reality without backlash.

Theres obviously some physical engine involved in fiction, which is why it can manifest.

And there seems to be trades involved in it too. You trade fiction into being.

Skilled liars seem to experience less backlash.

It's an odd thought.

For my part, I'm reminded of "the last action hero"

I love the words of the villain.

"In this world the bad guys can win"
Gives me the creeps everytime.

Perhaps it's wishful thinking in reverse. Maybe I've experienced something as a child that has made me view lies as the end of the world...

Here's an earlier type of thinking about it.

Posted 28 June 2022 at 21:35


either way, what do you think of this deck concept?

Posted 29 June 2022 at 00:06


It does seen like a fun theme.
And as lantern mill is part of my big project I'm on the look for things that connect to it somehow.
You got three cards that could prosper from looking at your own top.
Door keeper, gomazoa and villainous wealth. Delver of secrets or callous deceiver could be a way to exploit these cards more.

Posted 29 June 2022 at 05:18


How so? I could see benefit from being able to fateseal my opponent, so I can ensure I mill safely. But, other than being able to plan ahead, how can those three cards benefit from knowing my top card? I suppose using gomazoa as a shuffle effect to get rid of a top card I don't want is pretty useful.
As for the theme... I have a soft spot for defender cards, mostly because they are usually pretty bad, but when cards that care about defender come along as build arounds they tend to be pretty fun. Vent sentinel, Doorkeeper, and of course Axebane guardian being extremely strong.

Posted 29 June 2022 at 06:24


You nailed it. All three events you get to perform a top control.
It may seem insignificant, but it can quickly add up.
Anyways, I'm just working with what I got in front of me.

You know, the whole reality/fiction setup ?
Theres some irony involved in it. I may try to be rooted as much in the real world as possible, but simulations, my main tool to understand the world with is sort of fiction, because as much as it may affect the real, it just isn't real by default. But it is a real good example of how fiction affects the world. I suspect mathematics is also a sort of fiction.

Posted 29 June 2022 at 07:21