10/17/2013 CT: "Make War, Not Love"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Command Tower, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com

Gonna start by saying that Opal Palace is a good, and very nice toy, for EDH. I do enjoy the utility of pumping the general not just by a bit but incrementally. This is definitely a shoe-in for Seizan and Karador, as in the first I do occassionally attack with the demon, and for Karador it helps shore up his small size relative to what can be quite a small cost! Dropping Karador for 5 and getting a 6/7 out of the deal? Seizan, a 7/6 for 5 first off? Yes, please!

 

The new general is the ONLY card that entices me to play amongst all that have been shown before. Being a Rhino is awesome, and I'd definitely be using him with Rhox War Monk not for the blink but for the flavor. A controllish general, unlike the other "Bant" generals available to us (excluding Rubinia, whom is overshadowed by Merieke in her function) makes for better utility overall when not applying beatdown fist to opponent's forehead (which is what Jelana and Rafiq are for, even if people use them in control shells). Even better, he can't protect himself! There is much advantage in forcing your general to work with your deck instead of the deck built to support the card. Don't want another Emmara Tandris.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)

He can definitely be aggressive. He can swing for 4, and it doesn't matter what you block with, if he blinks it (since he's untapped), he gets it out of the way; and you'll take 4 since he has trample and you have nothing.

Heh, good point. You need to block with two 4/4s or three 2/2s to stand a chance of killing him.

Green, Blue, and White are not normally what I play with, but Roon intrigues me. As Qilong pointed out, this general needs support to stay around. Flame Slash is an easy way to get rid of him. For opponents also playing white, Curse of Exhaustion may cause problems enchanting the Rhino's player, so those playing him will need a healthy amount of cancelling spells.

For Roon, I'd be building a tool box of cards to work with him, protect him, but otherwise that he affects. Some of these will attempt to impair resistance (Lavinia of the Tenth) and others are into resources ([Karmic Guide/c]). I think I will be good guy and not put [c]Sylvan Primordial in this deck, but I am sure to include Acidic Slime and ramp creatures. One of the more brutal things to burn mana on with is with Roon, Deadeye Navigator, and Thousand-Year Elixir (so handily provided in the precon), as this means I can blink a toy every player's turn for four mana, without the potential oppressiveness of the Witch. So, in goes the Witch, and out stays the DEN. Elixir + Roon is good for other things, but he needs options that help.

 

That said, I do not want to make the typical resource-destruction toolset that invariably comes with blink decks. I'd rather have an attrition deck and use creatures that make blink targets (a GWU version of my Karador deck) than another GWU aggro-control deck. I will still use a "general damage package" such as Warhammer and Champion's Helm, but a Voltron he isn't. For me, the challenge is making the deck fun without murdering other people's fun; making it strong without being oppressive; making it able to stand up to good decks, but not crush them when not "holding back" (I used to hold onto Primeval Titan before it was blessedly banned because I knew that the game would go downhill/players would quit if it did drop).

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)

Yes! Absolutely. I much prefer games without resource destruction. I prefer my blink creatures to do things like draw me cards (Mulldrifter) or make me tokens than blow up other peoples' stuff. (I confess I did use to have a deck built around untapping Mangara of Corondor, but... that was a long time ago...) I will admit that Lavinia of the Tenth does look pretty strong, and she does still let big stuff come over the top, but blinking her seems like a bit too much of a blanket "no, you can't have fun this game".