So.... two walls walked into a bar but couldn't get through the door. They were stucco. <snare drum> I know its bad, but I thought this one up on my own while writing the article and it made me giggle.
Walls have been a part of Magic since Limited Edition Alpha. Originally they were just another creature with rules baggage that said a creature type of "wall" could not attack. It was clunky and a flavor fail, but people loved them. In fact, when Wizards tried to depreciate and stop making walls, they ended up reversing course because players didn't want to see them go. Today walls are just another creature with no rules baggage. They now all have the "Defender" ability which says "This creature can not attack". The new ability fixed the exception based rules nightmare and allowed wizards to grant the ability to other similar creatures like gargoyles or this guy.
When Rolling Stones came out in Stronghold (1998) I just had to build a deck around it. Sure there were ways since the beginning to get walls on the offensive, but they were one-offs and led to card disadvantage. Rolling stones, however, granted all your walls the ability to attack - so this card really turned on the gas. After a few months of our weekly playgroup I figured out the deck was fun, but like most of my crazy deck ideas it was more theme than finely tuned nightly winner. The deck was filed away to the dustbin of time and the cards separated out into my collection. Flash forward 18!!! years and I find out Assault Formation is a thing. Time to rebuild my old deck!
The deck build is pretty simple and filled with mostly walls. Temple of Plenty is an important addition to the mana base as it allows you to scry to find the cards to activate your slumbering walls. Idyllic tutor is a nice to have for the same reason, but the card is spendy and takes up a slot that you can cover "for free" with the temples - after all you have 8 targets in the deck and you only need to hit one. Here, as always is my build if you want to take a look. Let's put a spotlight on a few of the important includes before you run off to start brewing a deck!
Assault Formation - This is the card that makes the deck sing, and with Rolling Stones is the build around me core of the deck. Of course you prefer to see Assault Formation hit the table, since the pump ability and "damage from defense" make the win a heck of a lot quicker, but either card can get the job done.
Wall of Omens / Blossoms - The addition of these two walls gives a tempo boost to your deck, replacing itself with a new card to feed the ramp Overgrown Battlements has created. In my build I run just the four Omens to keep the deck Modern legal, but if you are playing kitchen table casual I don't know why you wouldn't run more. The card is hard to beat for two mana and when Assault Formation is in play its a 4/4 for 2. Impressive!
I love this deck. It gives me a touch of nostalgia while still managing to hold its own. Whether you decide to build a deck around Assault Formation or become inspired by another "build around me" card, they are an enjoyable Magic puzzle to solve. This type of deck teaches the intricacies of the rules and opens your eyes to new strategy as you try to short circuit the very fabric of the game. Most of the time the deck you end up with won't be a turn one killer, but Magic should be about layed-back fun too... so give this type of brew a try, and enjoy the deck!!
Beware Dwarven Demolition Team. Spawn of Satan and source of all evil. Wall these guys up in your catacombs and forget about them.