That time EDHrec was even more awesome

city of shakarAlready I have, at length, written about EDHrec.com on this site. It is one of the best resources for EDH on the internet, and I always go there to look up things I’m working on. Not for new tech, mind you, but to find cards that might be obvious inclusions that I just didn’t think about. Today, however, I wanted to share a story about a time when the guys at EDHrec were even more awesome than usually.

Back in December, EDHrec released their own playmats with their logos, and I commented on a picture of it on Facebook, asking if they ship to the EU. I need more mats, since my very first mat, an UltraPro mat with a dragon on it, has received more than its fair share of coffee  stains by now, my Grave Titan mat seems to be cursed (I went january-october of that year without even a single T8! Swapped back to my old mat, and won the next tournament), and the Brian Kibler lounging mat I got from my friend as a wedding gift was more than distracting.

Further, I sometimes host EDH nights at my place, and since most people in our group keep their mat at our LGC, they seldom bring it to my place. As such, it’s always good to have a couple of extra mats around, and I thought I could ask my wife for one for Christmas – she asked me what I wanted and I hadn’t given her a concrete reply.

EDHrec replied that they do indeed ship to the EU, but just a few minutes later, I got this message in my inbox:

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In the end, unfortunately, the shipping proved way too expensive, but I think it’s the thought that counts. Also, me being acknowledged as an “edhrec hipster” is way cooler than the playmat even!

I think, however, that this shows that EDHrec is concerned with its audience and its fans, and I urge everyone who uses the site to contact them via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail, I’ve always gotten replies when I’ve done so. I think it’s a good mark of respect from EDHrec that they take the time to answer questions and suggestions properly. Not everyone does that, not even in our EDH community, where most people are really cool.

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Mana Burn #25 – Shadows over Innistrad drinking game

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Let us wave the glorious Mana Burn banner! It is I, your friendly neighborhood Grim Lavamancer, and I am here with a new Mana Burn.

What’s Mana Burn, you ask? Why, it’s everyone’s favorite blog based Magic the Gathering webcomic – only available here at Goyf Wars.

I hope you all have enjoyed the Battle of Zendikar block. Personally I found it a bit lacking, but I’m very much excited about Shadows over Innsmouth. I mean Innistrad, of course. The original Innistrad is one of my favorite blocks ever, so I really hope the return journey doesn’t disappoint. As you may be aware the first spoiled cards showed up on the intrawebs a few days ago, you should check them out if you haven’t.

With the better part of the spoiler season ahead of us I decided to take a few guesses on what might show up, and what better way to do that than in comic form? As usual, just click on the picture below to read the comic:

Click to read-25Are you also looking forward to Shadows over Innistrad? What do you think will show up? Please comment below and let me know!

 

Two flavours of control

city of shakarToday I’d like to go through two of my decks and compare and contrast them, in order to demonstrate how control works in EDH. One of the decks is a deck I’ve played for some time now, about six weeks, and the deck is overall undergoing less changes – In Wydwen’s Ward (link to TappedOut.net). Wydwen plays different from any other Dimir general I’ve tried, and in a good way. Whereas Lazav could be – at times – very clunky due to the number of cards that provided incidental mill that the general needed. Nevermind the restrictive mana cost, which can be worked around quite easily at least.

wydwen,thebitinggale.hqWydwen, on the other hand, is also a Voltron-style general, but she requires way fewer slots for achieving a state where a kill is possible. Built-in evasion, the annoying activating ability that both protects herself and can work as a defensive measure, and Flash means she’s tough to deal with, even for decks with a bunch of instant-speed spot removal. In order to deal with her, a deck generally needs both a piece of instant-speed removal or two, as well as a bunch of pressure on the player, in order to make him/her sloppy with the mana. I guess Sudden Death is the greatest anti-Wydwen tech.

Meanwhile, cards like Runechanter’s Pike turns her into a 2-3 turn clock frequently, and even allows her to kill in one hit on rare occasions.

The other 99 cards in Wydwen really only supports a controlling strategy, aside the few equipment pieces that is specifically there to enable a kill from the general. These could be strapped onto any of the other creatures as well, technically, but it rarely happens. All the pieces are really modal, and can be interchanged in accordance with preference, metagame and wallet. In general (pun very much intended), I think Wydwen is underplayed.


The next deck I wanted to elaborate upon in this post is my new blue-green build, Prime Spekar Zegana. The list, currently less “finishedzegana” than Wydwen, can be found here, on TappedOut: Zegana’s Prime Time. I’ve been playing this online and in paper for┬ájust a few weeks, which makes me say it’s less finished – though I don’t believe an EDH deck is every truly finished. In some aspects it’s very similar to Wydwen, which might make some wonder why I’d build both – both decks are generally part-blue goodstuff lists, both decks win via creatures, both decks tend to draw lots of cards etc. However, Zegana generally does not win via commander damage, meaning it relies more heavily on creatures of her own to win. Further, Zegana has lots more creatures in the deck, and contains many more synergies, meaning the deck is a bit more fragile to interaction.

What Zegana lacks in resistance she makes up for in explosiveness, and she also tends to recoup better in the late-game than Wydwen, if things go south. Zegana does need another creature in play to work properly, which Wydwen generally doesn’t even want.

Finally, and the biggest difference, is the control elements in the decks. Wydwen has all the tools to deal with almost anything, while Zegana only carries the basic countermagic. However, Zegana plays a more pro-active role in control, it’s very possible to force a board wipe from an opponent even though Zegana might not have one herself. An effect of this is that Zegana tends to be way less discreet about her power on board, unfortunately.

All in all, the decks are different enough to make them play extremely differently, and right now I’m in love with both. I’m looking forward to Friday when I get to bring out both decks, hopefully.

 

 

Check out my other stuff! (shameless plug)

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I know I’ve been horrible at updating this month and I wanted to elaborate on the reason for that, since it’s at least two-fold. I want to be clear that writing is a passion to me, and I write because I want to, not really for anybody else. I feel no obligation to the readers of this blog, although I think you guys are awesome for reading, commenting and spreading my stuff.

As has been customary for me since quitting my old job with the Student Union, I have been changing work places every six months. This holds true for the third time in a row, and I’m currently at a new job, in a new position, with lots of work to do. As such, my time is fairly limited as it stands.

Secondly, I have been writing for another online outlet: X1sverige. If you happen to be a Swede like I, you can find my stuff under my tag, Robin Kaas. Currently, there are only a couple of texts up, but my aim is to write a piece a week or so.

This is not a closing post of this blog, nor do I have any plans to discontinue either playing or writing about Magic, but it is a little explanation to the lack of posts in February this year – I am working on a new piece for this blog side-by-side with this, so there you go. Usually, I hate it when I find blogs with only posts about why they don’t post more – so I guess I’m both lazy and a hypocrite.