So long, and thanks for all the BUGs

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Today marks a special day in the blog – it’s the first day I’m retiring an EDH deck since starting the blog. Damia, Sage of Stone is no more, at least not for now. I’ve dismantled the deck after some consideration, and the reason for that is quite simple: the deck felt solved. The things I had left to add was the boring things; the expensive lands, the expensive tutors, the expensive monsters. The deck did well the times I played it, it had the tools for handling any type of permanents, aside Hexproof’d non-creatures and those could be dealt with by the deck’s nine counterspells. It had plenty of ramp and some rather powerful threats of its own in Time Warp and recursion. In short, the deck did exactly what I wanted it to do, but I disliked it for it.

My experiences with the deck, detailed in “EDH nights with Damia, part 1” and “EDH nights with Damia, part 2“, showed me that there were three issues with the deck:

1. The deck relies too little on its Commander.damia,sageofstone.hq

2. The deck wants to take extra turns really badly.

3. The deck lacked a coherent strategy and feel.

The second issue is easily fixed, just cut the Time Warp effects from the deck and done, but the first much less-so. Damia is not a build-around commander, at a whopping seven mana, even with all the ramp available in green, it’s easy to see why she would be cast late in the game if at all, and rarely more than once. While I respect players who like to de-centralize their EDH decks and build away from the Commander and make the deck less reliant on it, I don’t like doing so. I think the Commander should be the centrepiece of any of my decks, and Damia didn’t fill those shoes.

So looking at the Sultai wedge, there are four commanders printed in exactly those colours to date: Damia; Vorosh, the Hunter; The Mimeoplasm and Sidisi, Brood Tyrant. Vorosh has the same issues as Damia, his effect isn’t really built-around and the decks playing him as commander usually wins by taking an arbitrary amount of extra turns. The Mimeoplasm and Sidisi, Brood Tyrant are both graveyard-centric commanders and not that interesting to me. Thus, swapping commander wouldn’t fix the issue.

purphoros,godoftheforge.hqFinally, the deck played a lot like a pure BUG control deck, only singleton. The deck also lacked in variance, due to the amount of tutors and card-draw, which made it very powerful, but not very fun to play. I also suffer a lot from what is commonly, quite insensitively, as “deck ADD”, meaning I don’t generally like playing the same deck every time. I wanted a change, and I wanted something to build. I first turned to Purphoros, God of the Forge. I love his art work, I really like the flavour of the gods, and mono-red seemed like a good challenge. However, I didn’t want to dismantle my Brion Stoutarm deck for the cards, and while I was very excited about the card as commander after listening to the podcast “The Five Commanders“, on paper, just cramming him together with a bunch of mana rocks and creatures that put more creatures into play felt very uninteractive and frankly quite boring to play.

There was especially one part of the card that excited me about Purphoros:

type line

Being very hard to remove, on account of it being an enchantment most of the time, and always Indestructible, is very nice when it comes to choosing general. I will not play Purphoros, however. Stay tuned for my next EDH deck.

Erebos and friends

Leave a comment


  1. psykopatmullvad

     /  October 12, 2014

    Looking forward to see the next project! Mine is Zurgo in papermagic 😀


  2. Grim Lavamancer

     /  October 13, 2014

    Alas poor Damia, I knew her well… (Or more exactly, I didn’t.)

    I’m looking forward to see what new general you will chose, and also to see how you form a deck around him/her. A word of warning though, from someone who has played a few EDH-decks that almost completely relies on the general for it to function – the more vital a general is to the success of a deck the more will your opponents stockpile Spell Crumbles, Spin into Myths etc etc. and you’ll have quite a few boring games ahead of you were all you can do is desperately trying to find your general from your library.

    The sweet spot (for me at least) is a general that fits well with the overall theme of the deck and have good synergies with the other cards in it, but won’t ruin your game too much if someone takes away your ability to play him/her.

    Also, nice Hitchhiker’s reference!


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