Test of Opponent's Patience,
How it Works
Damage-prevention and life-gain through and through, all to suit Test of Endurance's win condition. Pretty much everything in this deck either gains life or prevents damage--my kind of M:TG!
Basically, this deck consists of several small combos that feed off of each other to create a giant life-gaining, damage-preventing machine. Even if one of the "cogs" breaks or a belt slips loose, the whole machine will still function! One such combo is an Angel's Feather or a Wurm's Tooth enchanted by Quiet Disrepair plus Well of Lost Dreams. (Quiet Disrepair on Well of Lost Dreams works also, but takes longer to play.) Since I'll never choose to destroy my own life-gaining artifact, I have set up a constant 2-point life-gain every upkeep, which I can then draw off of with Well of Lost Dreams (assuming I have the extra mana to spare). The other combo is Isochron Scepter with Fog, Holy Day, or Life Burst. (The most fun is when there's a Scepter-Fog lock and a Scepter-Burst combo sitting on the field at the same time...) These two combos, added to the 1- and 2-point gains given by Soul Warden and Essence Warden, make Well of Lost Dreams fun and also help me get closer to my goal of 50 life. Gaining life off of Lifegift also helps because it can subtly stop my opponents from wanting to play land, thus locking them down for a few turns while this sleeping giant is roused.
Very fast Burn, Enchantment/Artifact Control, or fast Weenie decks slaughter my strategies before I can even start to get moving with this deck. Black and Blue Control stop me from playing anything, which generally breaks any kind of deck, but this one especially. (But if any of those decks peter out mid-game, watch out--this deck is beautifully resilient and comes back from the brink with a vengeance!)
When I first began to build this deck, my idea was to build a "Fog-It" deck (basically, if anybody hit me for combat damage, I would play Fog or Holy Day). Then, I remembered I had a nifty little foil of a card called Test of Endurance. THEN I saw how much Life-Gain stuff I ran in other decks, and how much extra LG stuff I had lying around. Thus, Test of Opponent's Patience was born. It is now second only to Angels in my little MTG heart, because of its incredible resilience and perseverance. (Must get that from its mama. ;) )
Its initial Stall tactics were made much more lethal with the addition of an Isochron Scepter, which provided a way to continually prevent damage or gain life. Scepter-Fog or Scepter-Day works well against creature decks, while Scepter-Burst is FUNNY HA HA for every-turn life-gain. I also added a Sensei's Divining Top for more draw, since that was what this deck desperately needed--combined with Well of Lost Dreams, this helped me have a more optimized draw.
When Shadowmoor came out and I found Dawnglow Infusion and Boon Reflection, I immediately popped a copy each of those cards into the deck, thinking that they were a perfect fit. However, after careful consideration, I took them both out, as well as the Ajani Goldmane I had added when Lorwyn hit. The deck had a lot of problems playing the higher-mana-cost spells, and it was frustrating to play this deck because of them. But after I made the changes, Test of Endurance came back to its old self, hunkering down into defense, waiting, and gaining life all the way.
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