Vengeur Masqué

I always thought Illusionary Mask was a cool card. So, I acquired 4 of them, then I tried to find them a home. Dreadnought was a no-brainer. I first tried a mono-blue version, but it was just a bad combo deck with counters. Then, I stumbled on Paul Barclay's Full English Breakfast tournament report and tried to fit the Masks in it. Vengeur Masqué was born. The name comes from the title of a song by French punk-rock band Ludwig Von 88.

I had already played Full English Breakfast in a small extended tournament at GP Koeln (Feb 2001), so I knew the deck mechanisms fairly well.
I played Vengeur Masqué for the first time in a tournament in PT Venice (March 2003) and reached the finals with the following build:

4 Birds of Paradise
1 Genesis
1 Nantuko Vigilante
2 Quirion Ranger
4 Survival of the Fittest
3 Wall of Roots

1 Squee, Goblin Nabob

1 Ancestral Recall
3 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
1 Gilded Drake
1 Morphling
1 Time Walk
1 Tradewind Rider
1 Voidmage Apprentice
3 Volrath's Shapeshifter

1 Black Lotus
4 Illusionary Mask
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Phyrexian Dreadnought

2 Flooded Strand
4 Forest
4 Island
2 Polluted Delta
4 Tropical Island
1 Wooded Foothills

1 Druid Lyrist
1 Elvish Lyrist
1 Naturalize
1 Ravenous Baloth
2 Uktabi Orangutan
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
3 Back to Basics
2 Misdirection
1 Suq'Ata Firewalker
1 Waterfront Bouncer
1 Bottle Gnomes

You can read the report here.

Since then I piloted the deck numerous times with some success, the better record being first place in Duelmen in November 2003 (report).

There are 3 central cards to the deck:

  • Illusionary Mask: along with Phyrexian Dreadnought you get 12/12 trample for 1 mana
  • Survival of the Fittest: together with Squee, Goblin Nabob, it's a tutor for a creature each turn
  • Volrath's Shapeshifter: get 12/12 trample creatures even without Mask or go to the throat with a Phageshifter

That makes the deck blue/green.
The rest is card drawing, counters and utility creatures.

A third colour can be safely added, all combination have been played with some success.