6/6 Flyer for Only Four Mana (Return to Ravnica Preview)
September 10, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Until Return to Ravnica, there have only been two 6/6 flyers for four mana in the history of Magic the Gathering. Both creatures had steep drawbacks to balance their undercosted stats and ability.
Return to Ravnica gives us a third creature. Of course, it has a drawback too. Otherwise, it would be too powerful.
However, it looks like the drawback can be overcome with clever deck building. Also, in certain metagames, the drawback won’t really hurt you too much.
Check out Desecration Demon below to see what I’m talking about.
Against decks with few creatures, Desecration Demon is going to be pretty awesome. If your opponent doesn’t have a removal spell right away, he’ll be in a tough situation.
He can sacrifice creatures to keep the 6/6 from attacking and hope to draw an answer, but he won’t have a lot of time before he runs out of creatures to sac. Plus, Desecration Demon will keep growing with +1/+1 counters every turn.
If your opponent doesn’t sac creatures, then he’s looking at six damage in the air every turn. That’s a very quick clock.
On the other hand, Desecration Demon becomes a liability if your opponent has many creatures. He can just sac them to keep the big flyer tapped so it won’t be able to affect the board. Therefore, decks like Selesnya token decks are going be a bad matchup.
You can make the matchup better by playing mass removal spells like Bonfire of the Damned and Mizzium Mortars. Mutilate works well too. Desecration Demon has six toughness so it can survive most Mutilates.
Decks with Gravecrawler or undying creatures like Geralf’s Messenger and Strangleroot Geist can be tough to beat because they can get multiple sacrifices from their creatures. Against these decks, you can play cards like Pillar of Flame and Grafdigger’s Cage to get an edge.
I can see Desecration Demon going in many different decks. It can be a finisher in an aggro deck. Its drawback may keep him from attacking but that means less blockers so your cheap aggro dudes can attack from more damage.
Midrange decks seem like a good place for the black creature. You can play mana acceleration like Farseek or Arbor Elf to play it on turn three. Note that Arbor Elf can untap Overgrown Tomb to give you the second black mana to cast it. This dual land is in Return to Ravnica.
The mana acceleration also helps you cast Bonfire of the Damned and the overload cost of Mizzium Mortars.
You can play life gain cards to lengthen the game. This strategy works well with Desecration Demon because it allows you to survive even if your opponent has many creatures to sac.
Cards like Vampire Nighthawk and Thragtusk can buy you enough time for Desecration Demon’s sac ability to make an impact on the game.
Also, you can play Essence Harvest to take advantage of its high power. This sorcery not only gives you a lot of life, it helps you race your opponent because he loses six life.
If you want a recurring source of this effect, Blood Artist is the way to go. This Vampire combos very well with Desecration Demon. Every time your opponent sacs a creature, he will lose one life and you’ll gain one life.
Sometimes your opponent will have too many creatures on the board to sacrifice. In these situations, I want access to Disciple of Bolas. This card turns Desecration Demon from a liability into at least six cards and six life.
Before casting Disciple, make sure to move to the combat step first to give your opponent a chance to sac a creature. If he does sac, you’ll get an extra card from Disciple because Desecration Demon just gained a +1/+1 counter.
Desecration Demon fits in a control deck. You can keep the board clear with mass removal spells like Mutilate and then drop the big flyer to end the game quickly.
Curse of Death’s Hold can keep token decks under control. Intagible Virtue negates the Curse, but you can play the flexible removal spell, Abrupt Decay, to destroy it.
Finally, Heartless Summoning seems like an excellent card to play with Desecration Demon. With this enchantment on the battlefield, the creature becomes a two mana 5/5 flyer!
Out of all the Return to Ravnica cards spoiled so far, Desecration Demon is my sleeper pick of the set. It has flying and awesome stats for only four mana. You can build your deck to lessen his drawback. Also, he doesn’t die to the strong removal spells, Abrupt Decay and Mizzium Mortars.