Soulbond - The Buddy System

Joshua Vanderwall | 9 May 2012 12:00
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If you're running anything like this, a good sideboard is going to be integral to a winning strategy. My current sideboard hasn't taken much Avacyn Restored into account, but based on the existing Block Constructed metagame from MTGO, I've got some ideas on how to make bad matches better. First and foremost, Nearheath Pilgrim grants Lifelink to his partner in crime. A couple of these should help the general aggro matchup, clearing out an early threat while gaining you some life. Even just a couple points of Lifelink damage can mean the difference in a close race. I'd probably side out Dawntreader Elks for Nearheath Pilgrim here, since the acceleration is slow and they don't work too well together. A fourth Righteous Blow can also come in here, likely for a Pathbreaker Wurm, who is just a little slow against aggro. Red/White still seems to be pretty dominant in the format, and the only other major problem I foresee with that matchup is Fiend Hunter. Perhaps we can bring in another Ulvenwald Tracker to try to keep them from clearing out all of our threats. Invisible Stalker decks are going to be a race to zero in most cases, and they've probably got a slight edge pre-board. I think the Lifelink plan is good here, but we don't usually get to block, so we can bring in Naturalize to keep them off their real clock, which involves either Enchantments like Furor of the Bitten, or Artifacts like Silver-Inlaid Dagger. Our Avacyn's Pilgrims and Champion of Lambholts are going to be pretty weak in this match, because of Geistflame, so those can probably come out. Mono-Black Zombies have started putting up showings in MTGO, so they may become the real deal in the format as well. I think this matchup could use a couple of Fiend Hunters to keep Geralf's Messenger in check. Unfortunately, Zombies have a plethora of removal at their disposal, much of it at one mana in Dead Weight and Tragic Slip, so our Avacyn's Pilgrim and Champion of Lambholts are pretty poor again here. The loss of Champion of Lambholt is okay, however, since many of their threats either can't block or come into play tapped they're rarely going to be on the defensive. Sigarda, Host of Herons makes for a decent ace-in-the-hole here, with only Bloodgift Demon causing any concern. Finally, the Blue/Green self-mill strategy featuring Ghoultree and Splinterfright. This is the only match where our creatures actually get outclassed, even an 8/8 Doublestrike can only trade with Ghoultree. That's okay, though! Here we probably want the full playset of Fiend Hunters, as well as an extra Plains to help ensure we can cast it when we need it. Trample is going to be largely futile here, so Pathbreaker Wurm can come out. Righteous Blow is going to be crucial for taking out surprise Ambush Vipers to protect our threats, so try to keep mana up to cast that if you don't have Doublestrike active. Dungeon Geists are going to be a nuisance, and Righteous Blow falls a little short, so a pair of Eaten by Spiders can come in to allow our guys to untap.


Soulbond is a strong mechanic with plenty of fun and exciting interactions, but it may be a little slow and requires some extra commitment to the board to actually get your threats online. Wolfir Silverheart is likely going to be an all star in this deck, making your team unblockable with Champion of Lambholt, getting huge Doublestrike damage capabilities with Silverblade Paladin, or just going over the top with Trample courtesy of Pathbreaker Wurm. The deck is going to be heavily sideboard dependent in the format, looking for extra answers to individual threats from other decks. Soulbond may not be a staple in Block Constructed, but we're likely to at least see some fun interactions with Soulbond creatures splashed into various existing archetypes.



Q: Tamiyo, the Moon Sage has eight Loyalty counters on her. I remove eight loyalty counters to activate her third ability which reads "You get an emblem with "You have no maximum hand size" and "Whenever a card is put into your graveyard from anywhere, you may return it to your hand."" Do I get Tamiyo back in my hand when she's put into the graveyard for having zero Loyalty counters?

A: No, Tamiyo, the Moon Sage's ability will be put on the stack when you activate it. Before it can resolve, however, a round of priority must be passed. Before any player receives priority, State Based Actions are checked, and Tamiyo will be put into its owner's graveyard. Once this happens, and both players pass priority, her ability will resolve and, from that point forward, any card that is put into your graveyard may be returned to your hand.

704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, "Timing and Priority"), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event. If any state-based actions are performed as a result of a check, the check is repeated; otherwise all triggered abilities that are waiting to be put on the stack are put on the stack, then the check is repeated. Once no more state-based actions have been performed as the result of a check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, the appropriate player gets priority. This process also occurs during the cleanup step (see rule 514), except that if no state-based actions are performed as the result of the step's first check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, then no player gets priority and the step ends.

704.5i If a planeswalker has loyalty 0, it's put into its owner's graveyard.

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