I promised you guys a small post about my brew CandleFactory so here it is. I’ll go through the idea I had, my testing and what I found works and not.
So many fun interactions
So, the idea for the deck is quite simple and it started with me liking Candelabra of Tawnos and buying a second one. The plan was to build something with Mana Flare but I began having fun with a stupid Lands deck instead. That didn’t work out and I put aside the Candelabras and instead focused on re-brewing my Field of Dreams deck (Kevin Costner.dec) and while brewing on that one I dug up my seldom used Copy Artifacts. That’s when it hit me, one of my favorite things to do with Copy Artifact is to copy an activated Mishra’s Factory (you then end up with an UN-activated Mishra’s Factory that is an Land Enchantment) and as Factory is good with Candle that might be something worth playing.
The idea struck me about an hour before my friend Johan Råberg was going to come over for a couple of games so I just put together something rough to test against him in that hour. As Factories, Copy Artifacts and Candelabras is far from a complete deck I quickly decided to also put in my absolut favorite combo in the format Guardian Beast + Chaos Orb. And if you want that combo you should probably have some Transmute Artifact to be able to find the restricted Orb. And if you have Transmute and Guardian Beast you should also play some fun artifacts to get and protect so I added Icy Manipulator, Jayemdae Tome, Su-Chi, Triskelion and some junk I don’t remember. Of course I also added a couple of Maze of Ith as they are amazing with Candelabra. Add a bunch of mana and restricted cards and you have my first version.
After some goldfishing though I felt it was a little boring to use the Candelabra for only Factory and Library of Alexandria (now, that’s a thing of beauty!) so I actually added 2 Fireball and 1 Mana Flare just for the sake of it.
After Johan came and we played some magic the deck actually worked better than expected and I got to win against Johan both with Mana Flare, Candle+Factory, copying Su-Chi/Triskelions and Beast combo. The problem was however that it was super vulnerable to Armageddon so I wanted counterspells. That’s how the red package went out. It was mostly just cute anyway.
The week after
I didn’t think much about the deck after that until Johan once again came over for some games the day before the tournament Alphaspelen 3. Then I actually tried some new builds and decided to play it at the tournament. The reason however, was mostly because when he went home I went to sleep so I didn’t have the time to build a new deck. I actually didn’t even build a sideboard and just took 15 good cards right before leaving for the tournament.
But let’s rewind to the day before the tournament. As said before I had removed the red Mana Flare package for Couterspells and that was what I tried this evening to much success. The last thing I changed was to remove red completely and instead put in white. The reason I still had red was to have Red Elemental Blast against Energy Flux. But I decided white was better because of being able to also Disenchant Underworld Dreams, this is a slow deck after all.
Which one should I choose?
As I’ve already done a tournament report that is not what I’m going to do here. Instead I’m going to write about a couple of findings from playing the deck.
- Copying one of my three threats was something I did more than I expected and it was great having that choice to be able to win quickly when needed. This also protected the Guardian Beasts for a late game combo, as the opponent used removal on my other threats. Don’t know what the right number of threats are though.
- The Reconstruction is nice but sometimes it just get stuck in your hand. Don’t know if I should cut it or not (I probably should, but I love it!).
- Having more than one Candle in play can be amazing but the deck becomes real mana hungry when you want to activate a couple of Factories and also untap them a couple of times. I now own a third one but I think two is the right number with Transmute and Copy Artifact.
- Copying Icy Manipulator was fun and I quite often did it and won by using Icy as mana denial. I would love to play more Icy Manipulators to actually have this is one of the main plans.
- Two Guardian Beast seemed like the right number, sometimes they block small critters, sometimes they allow you to combo and sometimes they just protect stuff as they were designed to do.
- It’s always nice with a counterspell in hand to protect the combo or against Armageddon but as the deck mostly plays out like a tap out control deck I think three is enough.
- The split between Mana Vault and Fellwar Stone is something I’m not sure about. Mana Vault is amazing as we play a lot of 4-drops and with Transmute you can get rid of it as well. Therefore, I would like more. But as Factory and Candle is so mana intensive we also need a steady source of mana, like Fellwar. I’ll probably continue to play a split.
I liked being able to board in more Beasts, maybe I even would want one more. Mostly against creature decks with Swords to Plowshares. Against those decks my creature plan is so much worse than theirs so it’s really good to be able to combo in the late game. It also gives us two more good blockers.
The Disrupting Scepter was just there because I had no idea what to put in the sideboard.
The Ivory Towers should probably be cut as we are a tap out control deck and want to play our cards instead of keeping them i our hand as you can do with Swords and Counterspell.
A COP: Red should be a good inclusion because sometimes you can get in control but still have a long way to go before you can kill the opponent. If he or she plays burn that is a big problem with only three counterspells.
Against control decks, and maybe also combo decks, one more counterspell would be nice to have access to in the sideboard.
Sure, we play Guardian Beast but one City in a Bottle could be nice as a Transmute target against Arabian aggro and more.
Actually I haven’t played much more with the deck so I don’t have many more findings to write about. I have however brewed and thought about it a bit to see what different directions you could go with the deck.
I’ve narrowed my ideas down to four main builds but keep in mind these are all just rough sketches.
This is the version I played at the tournament. Skipping the red, skipping going aggro, and playing the Guardian Beast combo. There is however a couple of ways to build this as well. I’ve looked into playing the beast in the sideboard and The Abyss main, or the other way around. Mostly to have different game plans depending on the matchup. But I haven’t gotten this to work yet. But sure, with The Abyss main you become really good against creature decks and against control I think the combo is the best.
The Abyss Aggro
This build skips the beats and instead plays The Abyss, as it is amazing with Maze of Ith. It also adds a couple of more artifact creatures to go with the Abyss and it’s probably the best version. It is however also the most boring build as you more often than not loose track of the main idea, copying factories and using Candelabra. And you also loose the beast combo. In this build I've also decided to cut Counterspell and Transmute Artifact as there is no combo to tutor for or protect. Lastly I also switched to playing 4 Mana Vault instead of a split between Fellwars and Vaults as this deck wants to ramp out a creature quick and copy it.
The Abyss Control
You can do the same as in the above build but instead of more creatures add more Icy Manipulator to become more of a tap out control. In this build the copy factory plan is still valid and good. I like this quite a bit as it does everything I want, except comboing with Guardian Beast. I also added more books and cut a Transmute Artifact as I don’t need to find the combo.
Light the Candle
This is the first version I tried, the one that splashes red for Mana Flare and a couple of Fireballs. I don’t think this will be even close to as good as the other builds but it’s absolutely the version that will give you the most varied game play, as you have so many different game plans in the same deck. It makes the Candles even better but without a Fireball in hand you don’t want to play Mana Flare so it’s a bit clunky. That’s why I only play one. The cards to cut is harder though. You want Counterspell to protect one of your two combos but there isn’t much else to cut. Maybe the artifact creatures, but then you really need to draw a factory for your Copy Artifacts to do anything.
That’s all my thoughts for now. I will continue to brew on this for a while and test different things, but I wanted to share my initial thoughts about the deck. I lean towards playing either the Icy control with The Abyss or a more opted version of what I played last time. The Abyss version is probably the one which is most true to my initial idea of copying Factory and hitting hard with Candelabra of Tawnos. But then again, the beast combo is just so fun.