Creature Type: Sorcery 003, Packing when Trading

moment with pm

 

Today i present to you a videoguide of how to properly pack cards when doing a trade!

For reference, I have over 700 registered trades over at Svenskamagic.com, and nobody have ever complained about the packaging. And it really sucks to get damaged cards due to sloppy packing! So this is my little way of helping the trading community!

 

Here is the link to the video if you prefer that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywRksLKHLkw

Please let me know what you think! ūüėÄ

UB vs. BUG (and others)

city of shakar

Related to my appearance in this week’s episode of the Commanderin’ podcast, I got the following tweet:

Skärmavbild 2016-07-28 kl. 21.25.13

This is a very interesting question indeed – and taken on surface value, one obvious answer would be “nothing”. But this is a slipperly slope, of course; if we disregard the drawbacks that come with extra colour(s) in EDH, and disregard important aspects like available commanders, then five colour decks would beat out every non-five colour deck.

perniciousdeed.hq

‚̧

But considering the colours as-is, a few noteworthy things arise. In general, Sultai (black-blue-green) tends to ramp way better than Dimir (black-blue), because green is the undisputed king of ramp in EDH. And, as most people would have you know, ramp is one of the two most important aspects of a deck in EDH (the other being card-draw).

Another thing that Sultai does way better is dealing with some problematic enchantments. Spot-removal such as Krosan Grip and Beast Within can help to deal with problematic resolved enchantments and artifacts, and one of my favourite cards of all time – Pernicious Deed – is available to Sultai.

And further, green brings some pretty neat creaures into the mix, the big beaters in the format belong there, and some of the best utility creatures as well. Two notable examples are Eternal Witness and Deathrite Shaman.


All is not just gravy and ramp, however, because Sultai comes with three¬†downsides that I’d say makes it different enough from Dimir to consider playing Dimir over Sultai in the format.

  1. tasigurThe fact that partial paris mulligans was removed from the format means that the manabases in the format must be constructed with a bit more care, and that’s always easier with a two-colour deck than a three-colour deck, even if the third colour is green. Getting color-screwed the first couple of turns is unlikely in a two-colour deck, but a bit more common in a three-colour deck. This isn’t a huge deal, though, and it’s not specifically a downside of Sultai vs. Dimir of course, but it is a downside. Every game where you get stuck on lands or colours will suck, because we’re talking multiplayer, and you’ll likely lose very slowly.
  2. Three-colour decks will suffer more from budgetary constraints. Even on a budget, most cheaper dual lands will make for a stable mana base, but in order to minimize the threat of the above issue, one ought to play with the fetch lands and dual lands available to Sultai. It’s not a huge divider, but it is to be considered.
  3. The available commanders. This is a big deal. Looking at the Sultai commanders available (link to EDHREC), there are only five of them, and there are a few similarities between them. Sultai is good if you want to interact with graveyards, but they can also be good goodstuff decks, or combo. Dimir, on the other hand (link to EDHREC), has some twenty listed and a few more that are too unpopular to even be mentioned there, but there is a wider range of strategies available – Dimir can do most anything. This is a huge upside that cannot possibly be ignored, especially not these days when tucking isn’t a thing anymore and building around your commander isn’t as dangerous anymore.

In the end, like all things in EDH, it comes down to personal preference. As for me, I almost always start my deck building with a commander that I want to try or build around or haven’t seen in my local paper metagame, and if that commander happens to be Sultai, I go Sultai. On the other hand, if that commander happens to be Dimir, I go Dimir.

Which do you prefer – two or three colour? Leave a comment!

Guest appearance on Commanderin’!

wydwen banner

A while ago, Mr. Sean Whatson and I recorded a special episode of the Commanderin’ Podcast, and today it’s being released to the public. We talk about Dimir strategies in general, discuss our favourite Dimir cards, and I gush a bit about my favourite Dimir general – Wydwen!

Click here to listen to the episode on their home page, or find it through your podcast app of choice.

Deckbuilding 101 – Card evaluation

pharika banner

Welcome back, class! The last time we learned about concepts in EDH, that is, the necessity of choosing and sticking to a theme. I hope you’ve spent your leisure time pondering what to build, because this time we’re talking about card evaluation in EDH. I want to stress that what I’m about to share is my method, and it is in no way all-encompassing. This is merely the way I do it.

I want to reiterate – the goal here isn’t necessarily to build the strongest possible 100-card deck – it’s more likely to build a fun and/or unique deck that suits your goal, style, meta and collection. The last bit, the collection, will differ widely between players. I prefer to mostly build from what I own, which has affected my method of building, but I will expand upon and include a couple of other examples.

solemnsimulacrum.hq

SadBot – the first ramp card to be added after Sol Ring.

The first thing I do is to go to EDHREC.com, and look up either whatever general I’m building, or researching the available commanders in my intended colour(s). EDHREC is a very powerful tool if used responsibly, and it is a great starting off point if you’re at a loss over where to start. Once I’ve got a grip on the commander, I sit down and type a list of cards I know from memory that I want. Usually I like to do this on paper – but anything works.

Next, I go to my collection of “EDH playables”, a big box of cards sorted by colour. I go through the relevant colours and pick out all the cards that I want to play in the deck.

By this time, I often have a stack of cards around 150 or so cards, and by this time, I start to break down the deck in it’s relevant parts. If we break down the bare bones, here’s what we have:

Commander: 1
Lands: 38
Mana ramp: 10
Card draw: 10
Sweepers: 4

These are numbers I always start with. Some decks will want more than 38 lands, some can get by with less. Some cards might want more than 10 ramp cards, some less, and so on.

Easy math will tell you that in practice, most commander decks aren’t 100 unique cards, they are 100-1-38 (the commander and the lands) which leaves us 61 card slots. Take away the slots for the basic ramp and card-draw, that leaves 41 slots. Take away the slots for sweepers, and that leaves 37. Does that mean only 37 cards differentiate EDH decks? Of course not, but most decks should have these basic card types before considering anything else.

Remember class, the goal here isn’t to build a “competitive EDH deck” (since that’s an oxymoron) – the goal is to build a functioning EDH deck. Since you will devote at least 45 minutes to every game you sit down for, most often more than that, it’s important to have a deck that stands a fighting chance – lest the games will turn into very boring slogs towards the end for you.

After I’ve sorted out the lands, the ramp cards, the card draw and most often at least a basic suite of sweepers, I separate the cards left into three tiers. These tiers aren’t set in stone, but it’s usually what I do in order to rank cards.

livingdeath.hqTier one:¬†Cards that are absolutely necessary for the deck to function. They are central to the theme, whatever it is, and the deck will not do without them. Cards in Pharika that are tier one are cards like Grave Pact, Viscera Seer, Oath of Ghouls, and Living Death. The deck would be considerably worse without these cards, and they are central to Pharika’s theme of controlling graveyards and grinding out with your own.

Tier two:¬†Cards that aren’t exactly necessary for the deck, but are good in it and most often related to the theme. Cards that are tier two in Pharika include¬†Eidolon of Blossoms, Doomwake Giant, Creakwood Liege, and Maelstrom Pulse. Most spotremoval falls into tier two-territory, and though many spotremoval cards make the cut, not all should, for obvious reasons.

Tier three:¬†Tier three is the lowest of the tiers, though that does not mean that they are cards that can be cut without consideration. These cards did make the first cut out of the box/binder, mind you. Cards in tier three are cards that aren’t related to the theme directly, cards that fall into the “danger of cool things” territory (yes, it is within the curriculum to refer to an article from 1999), pet cards etc. Although most of the time, there aren’t that many tier three cards in my decks, I have a few pet cards that I tend to play with. An example in Pharika would be Vraska, the Unseen. Although she isn’t a pet card specifically, I really like planeswalkers, and I like to have them in all of my decks – and Vraska is the only black-green one prined so far. She’s also like the best rattlesnake there is, and if there is one deck that could protect a planeswalker from attackers, it’s Pharika.


Lavamancer 2By now, we’re getting a rough sketch of what we need in the deck – and we can start making cuts. Usually, I start from tier three, make heavy cuts, go to tier two, make slightly less cuts, and initially, I keep almost all cards in tier one. Once the deck is around 110-120 cards, I start to look at what the next part will be about: mana curve and designing mana bases!

I’ll leave you with a few wise words from our very own friendly neighbourhood Lavamancer, like the last time.

Your homework for the next time is to make a rough sketch of your deck, and try out the tier system for yourself. It is a lot easier to work with if you have a large collection, though it can be done electronically, if you plan to buy a bunch of cards.

Class dismissed!

The first detention slip

ojutai banner

Dear Mrs. and Mr. Reveler,

You might already be aware of this, but in case Xenagos has neglected to inform you, I am assigning him detention for the rest of this game. The reason is as follows:Xenagos

Xenagos has been acting out in class consistently. It is not that he himself has done too much damage to either other students, his surroundings or myself, but he gets the other students all fired up over nothing. His ability to incite rebellions among the students, while impressive, has led to severe complaints from the other participants in our activities.

I’ve taken it upon myself to discipline Xenagos in order to make sure that he refrains from other outbursts in class and assigned him the usual detention homework. For your information, this week¬†the class is memorizing Homer’s Odyssey, and I’m expecting him to hand in his solution to Zeno’s Dichotomy paradox on Monday at the latest.

Until Xenagos has shown he is capable of interacting with other students without getting them into an inflammatory state, I will not accept him back in my class.

 

All the best,
Dragonlord Ojutai, PhD, MD, JD, MBA, LIM, OMG

 

Deckbuilding 101 – Conception

pharika banner

“Art” is a controversial word. Plenty of people smarter than me have spent many hours trying to convince people that a thing so commonplace and almost banal as video games can be defined as “art”, much like other non-interactive mediums – literature, film, music. I, however, I think deckbuilding is an art. And it’s a tough one to boot.

In a series of posts beginning with this one, I intend to break down my method for deck construction in EDH. To exemplify, I’m also going to present my latest protect – Pharika, God of Affliction. To start off, I want to make a few things clear, using some truisms:

purphoros,godoftheforge.hqa) There are no such things, practically, as a “solved” EDH deck.¬†Another label which one needs to be very careful with is “finished”. There are commanders that tend to be linear in their strategy – meaning they lend themselves to some strategies more easily. An example of this could be Purphoros, God of the Forge. Practically all Purphoros decks want to do more or less the same thing – drop Purphoros, make a whole bunch of tokens and kill everyone else at the table as soon as possible. It’s a linear strategy in a commander that more or less builds itself, and though every list will have variations, many will contain the same core strategy. Even then, it’s hard to argue that this list or that list is the perfect Purphoros 99; local variations always exist in individual metagames, and that has to be taken into account during the deckbuilding progress.

To clarify – let’s say you play Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Some metagames might be very cutthroat, so you put in all the extra turn spells you can, in hopes of regrowing them until you have either an unbeatable board state, or everyone else is plain dead. Other metagames might be more casual and the opponents will play less powerful decks, meaning every game ends with you taking 4+ turns in a row, regrowing your time walks, and winning. This will either get you kicked out of the playgroup, or targeted first in every game, neither situation is preferable.

These two considerations leads me to always fine-tune and make changes to my decks, with the waxing and waning of my local paper metagame. This, obviously, isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a thing to take to heart – you won’t likely¬†sleeve up your 99, say “done” and play that same 99 until you retire the deck.

winterorb.hqb) EDH is, by its very nature, a very broken format. The object is very rarely to find a list that will combo-kill or lock down the table on turn 5 every game. The reasons for this is mostly the same as before Рpeople may outright refuse to play against your deck, or target your first, turning your game into Archenemy.

Here, we get into a murky territory, but the object of your deckbuilding will, in many cases, be to find something that is “fun” to both play with and against. Granted, “fun” is a subjective experience, but I can say from my 20+ years of playing the game (this is an argument from authority, disregard that) that the games that I enjoy and find memorable are games where interactions and agency are important aspects. Games where someone blows up all the lands might be memorable, but not fun, since you can’t interact without mana. Games where someone kills you with a spectacular storm combo on turn 5 or 6 might be memorable for the sheer spectacle, but it’s hardly interactive, and losing to a nigh-masturbatory combo gets boring very quickly.

Don’t get me wrong – if you want to play in a metagame where people are playing die-hard, cutthroat, mass-land-destructing, storm-comboing steamrollers, then by all means. If you enjoy that, and if you find a group of people who enjoy that, knock yourselves out. However, from my experience both of online and paper metagames,¬†most groups are not like that. Jason Alt’s 75% deckbuilding theory¬†might be applicable to your local paper metagame, if you’re playing in anything similar to mine.


With all this in mind – today I want to talk about¬†deck concepts. This isn’t a hard thing, per-se, but I want to stress the importance of a central theme or thought right from the get-go. Your concept could be almost anything, a few examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Tribal X (tribal dragons, tribal merfolk, tribal zombie, tribal elves)
  • Commander-based (Voltron, commander-based combos)
  • Vorthos decks (story-based decks)
  • Good-stuff (control, ramp or mid range)
  • Colour(s) (certain colour, colour pairs, shards, wedges etc.)

vowofdutyTo start off you need to think about what sort of deck you want to build. Then, use that central idea as a filter for when looking for¬†cards. A card that might be underpowered in one deck might fit like a glove in another. To give an example from my own decks – one of the most powerful cards in my Ojutai deck is Vow of Duty. The Vow of-cycle, first printed in the original Commander product, are all interesting – they give +2/+2 and ¬†grant a static ability, and if they’re cast targeting an opponent’s creature, that can’t attack you. This leads to interesting multiplayer situations, no doubt. In Ojutai, however, Vow of Duty grants Ojutai not only Vigilance, an underrated ability in a format where you have to block potentially three or four times for every time you attack, it also turns on his permanent Hexproof and boosts his power to the important threshold of 7 – enough to kill in exactly three swings. I’ve played many, many white Commander decks since the printing of Vow of Duty, but only in Ojutai do I consider it one of the best cards in the deck.

pharikasnakePharika has a few cards of similar calibre that I had to buy to put the deck together – most notably Eidolon of Blossoms and Doomwake Giant, which both triggers on Pharika’s activated ability, since the Snake tokens she puts onto the battlefield are Enchantment Creatures.

What I’m trying to get at with all this rambling is that it’s good to have a theme, and it’s even better to keep focus on that theme. I built Pharika very recently, the deck is only about six games old, but I’ve had a blast playing with it, and I will surely continue to work on it while I write this series. My initial thought, my central theme was quite simple – I wanted an interactive, good-stuff build that utilized some of the cool cards Golgari has to offer in EDH, and I wanted Pharika to be sufficiently different from Meren of Clan Nel Toth, which I played extensively from the release of Commander 2015 up until this spring, when Meren became the most popular Golgari general on¬†EDHREC.com. Pharika, on the other hand, has only 66 registered decks, compared to Meren’s 485. I wanted something hipster, and I wanted something weird, and in brainstorming with Grim Lavamancer, I tossed around the idea of Pharika. So far so good.Lavamancer

I want to finish today with a few select words from our very own friendly neighbourhood Grim Lavamancer – take it away. Your homework until next time is to think about a concept for a new EDH build.

Deck Spotlight: Grim Lavamancer’s Dragonlord Atarka!

atarka bannerToday, we present to you another part of my interview series where I talk to people I play with about their decks. This time, I’ve dragonlord atarkabeen speaking to Grim Lavamancer about his Dragonlord Atarka deck. The interview turned out to be quite long, but it’s well worth the read. In case you haven’t been paying attention (shame!), Grim Lavamancers starting his Atarka project was what inspired me to build my Dragonlord Ojutai deck.

Atarka has also been mentioned before, most prominently in this post, where Grim Lavamancer presents his custom-made Atarka mat, which he drew himself – and which turned out really well, if you ask me.

The list can be found here, on TappedOut.net: I have eated all the dinner.

And without further ado, I present to you the chat I had with Grim Lavamancer about his awesome deck! Enjoy!


Tell us about your deck. What does it do?
This deck, much like Dragolord Atarka herself, is all about getting the most out of life. You see, Atarka doesn’t believe in half measures, she believes in living life to the fullest. You want a cigar? Smoke a Cuban. Fancy a drink? Make it a double! That moron over there annoying you? Smash his face in with 1500 kilo* worth of dragon.

 

It’s all about having a good time, and to me (I’ve told you before that I’m an unapologetic Timmy) that means ramping it up with one green acceleration spell after another, dropping a couple of dragons on the table and sing a jaunty tune over my enemies screams for mercy. At first glance it may just seem like an average R/G aggro deck with a sub par commander, but there are a few surprises down the line – Sneak Attack is probably the biggest one, which I’ll tell you more about in a minute.

 

* That’s 2175 pounds to our American readers.

 

How does it do it?
How? Well… Claws, fangs? That sort of thing. A fiery breath probably helps as well. As for the jaunty tune I’d suggest “The 59th Street Bridge Song” by Simon & Garfunkel or The Partridge Family theme song (C’mon get happy).

 

Uhh…
What’s that? Oh, you meant how the deck plays? Alright. As I said earlier, ramp spells are very important to this deck. Most of theexploration creatures that don’t add early game value are rather expensive, quite a few of the heavy hitting dragons costs six or seven mana (including the commander herself) and you won’t accomplish much without them, so you need to get a respectable amount of lands on the table as soon as possible. Cards like Skyshroud Claim and Ranger’s Path gets you two at a time from your library (and lets you search for a dual land like Taiga or Stomping Ground) while cards like Exploration and Oracle of Mul Daya allows you to drop the lands on your hand at a faster rate.

 

I was originally a bit worried that the deck was going to run out of juice after the first few ramp spells and a dragon or two, though cards like Outpost Siege, Sylvan Library, and Harmonize helps me work around that, but it turns out that the Dragonlord herself is just so full of value (and other things, like sausages, ribs, hamburgers, stake, bear, beer, chili nuts, chips, and so on) that you’re still in the game even with an empty hand. I really cannot overstate the usefulness of her enters the battlefield trigger enough, it’s a real life saver!

 

xenagos god of revelsI agree, it’s burned my team to a crisp on more than a dozen occasions. But, go on…
Haste enablers are very important in EDH, it’s not unusual for there to be four enemy turns between dropping a creature without haste and getting to use it, and much can happen during four turns! Ogre Battledriver and Xenagos, God of Revels are your best friends here, not only adding haste to your dragons but giving them a significant boost as well. Surrak, the Hunt Caller could probably have been replaced with something with a little more staying power, but it would hardly be a Dragonlord Atarka deck without her trusty little sidekick, would it?

 

Anyway, once you’ve got yourself a pile of lands, a haste enabler or two, and a couple of fatties on the battlefield you just pick whatever opponent that annoys you the most and do your thing. Barbecue sauce is optional but recommended.

 

Why did you build this deck?
After playing a fair number of games with my Mizzix deck I wanted something more aggressive to play with, so I decided to return to my roots and construct myself a fierce red and green deck. I’ve always liked dragons (a few years ago I tried my luck with Zirilan of the Claw, but it ended up playing almost every game in the exact same way) and wanted to include quite a few of them without relying too much on a tribal theme. After some consideration I decided to go with Dragonlord Atarka. Fitting, since I scraped my Surrak, Dragonclaw deck in order to build it. Thus mirroring the Khan’s of Tarkir story.

 

Hah, that’s neat! But I have to ask anyway – did you consider any of the other Gruul commanders?Atarka, World Render
As a matter of fact, I did. My first idea was to use Xenagos, God of Revels as commander, but even in the earliest concept stages it seemed way more powerful than I’d be comfortable with. I decided to go with Dragonlord Atarka instead, since I really like the card (Khan’s of Tarkir is my favorite block in a very long time) and because the game is Elder Dragon¬†Highlander, so it feels right to play with an actual Elder Dragon. A strong case could probably be made in favor of Atarka, World Render instead of her Dragonlord version, but I didn’t want to go too far down the Voltron road, so I somewhat ironically went for the larger of the two. I actually ended up so excited about building the deck that I made a customized playmat for the deck.

 

What are the best cards in the deck?
Xenagos, God of Revels is probably the best card in terms of raw power. He turns pretty much every single creature in the deck into a complete killing machine. He’s especially go(o)d at it since most creatures in the deck has flying.

 

What are your favourite cards in the deck?
A word of warning: anyone who doesn’t want to read about me gushing all over Sneak Attack can skip to the next question.

 

It’s Sneak Attack! Aww, man, words cannot express how much I love that card! I used to run it in a vintage deck back when Scourge had just hit the shelves along with Dragon Tyrant (who’s also included in this deck for nostalgic reasons). There’s just something about the card that really speaks to me. I’m actually a bit surprised that I don’t see it in more EDH decks, it interacts really well with enters the battlefield creatures, and allows for some unconventional blocking strategies as well, a sneak attacked Solemn Simulacrum is a surprisingly decent chump blocker and dropping an Acidic Slime during your blocking phase is just gravy.

 

Yeah, I remember you playing that Vintage deck. It didn’t win the most games, perhaps, but you¬†always had a bunch of people lining up around your table to watch the spectacle. Great times…
I like Sneak Attack so much that I ended up constructing a small sub theme around it, with cards like the aforementioned Dragon Tyrant, Berserk, Genesis and the like. I haven’t had the chance to play it a lot yet, but every game I’ve dropped the sleeping dragon it has had a major impact on the game.

 

Any changes you’re looking to make?dragon broodmother
A few, here and there. The deck is still rather new, so I make a few changes as I go along. There are a couple of Dragons that I’d like to get my hands on, especially Dragon Broodmother who would outperform a lot my current creatures. A Pathbreaker Ibex would be nice as well. The mana base is really solid, but I’ll probably buy a Fire-Lit Thicket sooner or later and make it airtight (that is until Price of Progress makes a long dreaded return to our¬†local meta game).

 

Finally, tell us your best war story!
There was the time when I played Berserk on a Sneak Attacked Dragon Tyrant and ended up completely obliterating one of my opponents, but I’ve already told that story. There’s also the time the other day when I and two opponents each had a Xenagos, God of Revels on the table in a true Mexican Standoff, but I believe there’s already a twitter post that shows that. So I’m going to spend the reminder of this interview cracking a few Atarka jokes:

 

Why did Atarka cross the road? To eat the mammoth on the other side!

 

Hah, classic!

 

Two Dragons are eating a clown, when one dragon says to the other, ‚ÄúDoes this taste funny to you?‚ÄĚ

 

Yeah, but that joke’s a complete rip-off…

 

What did Atarka said when she ate a Blueray disc? “I think the book was better!”

 

 

So, Atarka and Surrak went into a bar when…

 

Hello? Where did you go? Hello? Come back, I can change! I promise!

The Hipster factor

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“What is that game you’re playing?”

I think a lot of us have been asked that question at some point when playing Magic at a cafeteria table in school, by the kitchen table around nosy siblings, or in a local gaming store not dedicated to cardboard slinging specifically. Ponder a proper answer to that question for just a second.

Done?

I’m going to guess that you will try and explain that the game is a sort-of mix between chess and poker, with a fantasy flavour stapled on to it. If the person you’re talking to is invested in gaming you might use terms like “trading card game”. Most of the time, I find myself explaining to people that “you take these cards, there are many thousands of them, and you build a deck for yourself and you play against other people who have built decks.”

Usually, there is no point going deeper into the topics of metagaming, archetypes, net decking etc. – to the person you’re explaining the game to, you’re a deckbuilder, and you play against other deckbuilders. Never mind the fact that most of us will never T8 a grand prix with a rogue brew of our own, or make a mark on the Standard metagame with some new tech. Innovation is most of the time for the pros, unfortunately, when it comes to most formats.

zurtheenchanterThe exception is EDH. In EDH, building something for yourself is almost the norm. You select the commander you would like to build a deck around, and even though you technically can net deck an EDH list it might be unwise. Every play group is its own metagame, and a deck that is too powerful or percieved as too powerful might construct a new downside to the player Рthe others around the table will bully you out. Even though your net decked Zur list is awesome, the others will catch on as soon as you reveal it, and kick you out of the game Archenemy style. This fact seems to frustrate most tournament-calibre spikes that dip their toes into the water.

Innovation, thus, is sometimes key to being able to play politically. On top of that, EDH seems to be one of those formats that people play specifically to discover new cards.


I’m relating this to one of my more recent decks. I was looking to play some more red, since I wasn’t playing red at all for a while, and I settled on re-building my Meren deck after a while and make her Jund.¬†I’ve been wanting to rebuild her since I noticed she was the most popular Golgari general on EDHREC.com – playing her lost me a lot of Hipster points. I’m not trying to say that innovation is quantifiable, but I believe most people will agree that it’s boring to sit down at a table and see the same general in every game played against you. I wanted to build Adun Oakenshield, but he is expensive and hard to come by, so that project is slated for late 2020 instead.

prosshskyraiderofkherAfter going over the other Jund options, I found that most were either too weak, too similar to Meren (like Shattergang Brothers or Kresh the Bloodbraided for example – both being prime examples of “sac for value” type generals), I decided to just say “screw it” and go with Prossh, Skyraider of Kher.

This might make me a hypocrite, on paper, since Prossh is by far the most popular Jund commander, but I regained a few Hipster points just last weekend when I decided to cut all of the “sac for value” cards and go balls-to-the-wall aggro with Prossh. I’m not pretending to innovate on Prossh as a general, but I do play some unusual cards – like Berserk, Diligent Farmhand, or Inferno Titan. A link, to my deck: Prossh it to the limit, on TappedOut.net.

What’s imporant to me is that the deck feels like my own, even if the general is hugely popular. It boils down to some sort of Rifleman’s Creed thing – this is my deck, there are many like it but this one is mine.

That, and all the Hipster points I make from Wydwen and Ojutai must be invested somewhere. I deserve to sometimes just bust out Prossh and destroy my opponents with enough force to leave only a pair of smoking boots behind. To quote XKCD’s “What if?” blog: in a way, they don’t die, they just stop¬†being¬†biology and start being¬†physics.


What do you think? How important is creativity and innovation to you when it comes to Magic or EDH? Leave a comment!

Unboxing a display of Fate Reforged. Ugin?

moment with pm

The title pretty much says it all, and the Video will show it all so I will just shut up now!

Here is the Video:

 

Over and Out!

 

The Dragon’s Bowl

Mana burn banner

Hello kids! Grim Lavamancer here, and this time I don’t have a comic for you. Sorry about that. But I’d figure I’d use the Mana Burn banner anyway so you know it’s me. Also, while not a comic per se, I’ve at least drawn stuff, so it’s somewhat related.

As you might have already seen, I recently made a couple of playmats. One for Purgatog’s Ojutai commander deck and one for my Atarka deck. You’ve already seen the Ojutai mat, so I thought I’d show you the Atarka one as well:

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I’m very happy with how it turned out! I wanted to show Atarka in all her gluttonous glory, and what better way to do that than having Surrak feeding her with a cupcake? This is especially fitting since I ended up scraping my Surrak, Dragonclaw deck in order to build this.

Here’s a couple of close ups:

From top left to the bottom: Command zone. Library, graveyard and exile zone. Surrak on a stepladder. Scraps and leftovers from various meals (not even Atarka would eat a human skull without a couple of lime wedges). Two goblins preparing the next meal (readers of Mana Burn might recognize these two guys as the unnamed goblins that sometimes accompany Red).

I recently took the playmat and Atarka for a spin and played a few games with my usual playgroup. In one of the games I got to use the following three cards in unison:

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Simply stunning. This is quite possibly the happiest I’ve ever been in a magic game. Veteran Magic players might recognize just¬†how devastating berserking a sneak attacked Dragon Tyrant can be. Of course, nowadays you can play much meaner things with Sneak Attack, but sometimes style is more important than strength. And it still managed to deal 48 damage in a single go, instantly killing an opponent that had harassed me the entire game.

Oh! I almost forgot! If you’re a fan of the Atarka playmat or the Ojutai playmat and want one for yourself, you’re free to use my designs. No strings attached, though I’d very much like to hear about it in the comment section.

You can download a high resolution version of the mats here:

Atarka
Ojutai

We used inkedgaming.com to print the playmats (the images above use the standard playmat measurements) and are very happy with the results. High quality print and a very reasonable pricetag (although we did end up paying an additional customs fee, european buyers might want to take note of that).

What’s that? You’re still disappointed that I didn’t post a new comic? Don’t be sad. I’m currently working on one which you’ll hopefully get to see soon. Here’s a sneak peak:

Skärmavbild 2016-05-25 kl. 14.02.16

A good day to you all!