Monday, October 11, 2010, 11:35 AM
I'm an idiot. I can admit it. I missed the link for the GDS2 essay questions until it was friday night and I didn't have time to get them done before the deadline on sunday evening. I'm a busy guy right now; my days are filled with soccer practices and games, ballet classes and recitals, and girl scout meetings, x2. I just didn't have the time to check the site everyday and when I didn't see it on monday I assumed we had another week until they were posted. Oh well right? At least now I can do what american men do best, yell at the TV on sunday and make judgements upon all the coaches and players.
Here are a couple of cards that I designed a month or so ago and was waiting until the GDS2 to use. I really like Phyrexian Arena and I thought making an enchantment for each color along those same lines would be kind of cool. Keep in mind that they are rares and, as of now, they have not been play tested. I'm happy to hear any contructive feedback.
Friday, October 1, 2010, 10:57 AM
Here is the list of lands that I always seem to play, or at least consider playing, in EDH decks with their corresponding colors. I kept the list free of lands that I are strickly mana producers, anything that is rediculously expensive to purchase, lands that I don't think are very good (eg. cyclers), and lands that will only benefit a small number of decks (eg. Wirewood Lodge , Serra's Sanctum ).
- Windbrisk Heights : IMO this is the easiest to cast of all the Hideaways and allows you to play the hidden card at instant speed during or after your attack step.
- Emeria, the Sky Ruin : Great graveyard recursion.
- Sejiri Steppe : This is great if you have a way to cheat it in at instant speed ( Knight of the Reliquary ). Even if you play it as normal and enable a creature to get in for damage it's still a good card.
- Forbidding Watchtower : A 1/5 blocker is always great, even better if you have a tribal soldier deck to fit it into.
- New Benalia : Coming into play tapped is a perfectly acceptable cost if you get to manipulate your next card draw IMO.
- Kjeldoran Outpost : Not a bad land by any means but works best in soldier or token decks.
- Halimar Depths : The best of the Worldwake lands, if you can run it in your deck you should.
- Oboro, Palace in the Clouds : Not great in most decks but if someone in your playgroup plays land destruction then it gets better. If you are playing any kind of landfall ( Roil Elemental ) then it gets bumped to stellar.
- Academy Ruins : Most decks run enough artifacts to make this into a nonartifact based deck. Plus recurring any kind of sacrifice, draw/search artifacts is awesome.
- Tolaria West : Paying 3 to tutor up any land in your deck is really powerful. And you can always search up nonland 0 casting cost cards as well (eg. Chalice of the Void , Pact of Negation ).
- Soldevi Excavations : Again, a land that allows you to manipulate your next draw is pretty awesome.
- Faerie Conclave : Another man-land, not the most powerful but sometimes you just need a blocker.
- Volrath's Stronghold : This is a nice way to recur your general if you don't have the mana to recast.
- Shizo, Death's Storehouse : Gives your general or any other legendary fear, nuff said.
- Cabal Coffers : Allows you to pump large amounts of mana into cards like Consume Spirit or Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief .
- Bojuka Bog : There is a lot of graveyard recursion in EDH, this land helps take those cards you've already dealt with out of the equation.
- Leechridden Swamp : This is a great way to widdle down multiple opponents without getting too much hate.
- Crypt of Agadeem : Great card for dredge decks or even if you are late in the game and need to pay a large amount to cast your general again.
- Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle : Not too tough to get enough mountains to trigger this in EDH.
- Ghitu Encampment : This almost didn't make the list, but, it has first strike and if you play it turn 1 then you can have something to swing with turn 2. So why not play it?
- Keldon Megaliths : Again, almost didn't make the list, but if you are out of cards then you might as well ping someone or something.
- Keldon Necropolis : Kind of steep but it has the possibility to get you something out of a wrath effect before it resolves.
- Oran-Rief, the Vastwood : This card is great with token decks or even if you just want to give your new creature a lasting buff.
- Mosswort Bridge : Not too hard to cast in green and like the other hideaways, you can play the hidden card at instant speed when you meet the requirements.
- Treetop Village : This is a green staple and for good reason. Turn two swing for three is possible but you also have a built in trampler that is easy to pump in green.
- Svogthos, the Restless Tomb : Again, great in a dredge deck but it's also decent late in the game when your graveyard if full from wrath effects.
- Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion : This card has screwed me too many times to count. Double strike is awesome and it's even better to target an opponents creature when they aren't attacking you. Inevitably, I swing into an oppenent and forget that they can give a blocker double strike, which gives it first strike, and thus ruins may carefully laid plans for domination.
- Novijen, Heart of Progress : Great for tolken decks or beefing up creatures that just entered the battlefield.
- Prahv, Spires of Order : Not a bad way to get some breathing room when you need it.
- Skarrg, the Rage Pits : Cheaply gives your creatures a small buff and trample.
- Celestial Colonnade : All the man-lands from Worldwake are on here because they are pretty great for obvious reasons.
- Creeping Tar Pit
- Lavaclaw Reaches
- Raging Ravine
- Stirring Wildwood
- Mutavault : This card really shines in tribal decks but it's not bad on it's own. If nothing else, run it for those times when someone else is playing slivers.
- Strip Mine : You pretty much need to have this in your deck to help deal with those lands that ruin your plays for domination... like Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion .
- Vesuva : Duplicating lands with cool effects is pretty hot but it can also get you out of color problems when needed.
- Dread Statuary : Pretty simple, goes in any deck and gives you a 4/2 creature if and when you need it.
- Tectonic Edge : Again, another way to deal with Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion , any other nonbasics that are giving you problems.
- Ghost Quarter : Another way to deal with problem lands or even just slowing someone down.
- Reliquary Tower : This is a must in every EDH deck. Why would you not run this?
- Gargoyle Castle : Another great card that gives you a creature when you don't need the extra mana.
- Miren, the Moaning Well : Trigger your Grave Pact or just get something out of a wrath effect before it resolves.
- Boseiju, Who Shelters All : This card is almost a little too narrow to make the list but if you have a blue mage in your playgroup who stacks his deck with counters then this guy is a must.
- Hall of the Bandit Lord : The cost is steep for generating one mana to play a creature spell but it's worth it when you are in a jam and need to get things moving.
My previous lists of cards I always seem to play can be found at the following links:
Creatures I Always Seem To Play
Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 12:07 PM
I was only able to make it to one pre-release event this weekend unfortunately, but it gave me enough of a chance to see what works and to check out some cool plays. I posted last week that I thought blue was the weakest color in the set and green and black the most powerful. After actually playing this weekend I can say that blue is still the least powerful, green and black seemed decent, but white rocks pretty hard. While infect makes green and black good color choices, if you aren't drafting infect then you might want to move into white when it's available. Btw, if you are looking to put together an infect deck in limited then you pretty much have to go all in on infect; half and half doesn't get the job done.
Something that is kind of obvious but I think it's important enough to point out is that artifact removal is huge in this set and you should be running it, even if you have to splash a third color. Removal is always a must but regular creature removal just won't cut it in this set. Played white-red on sunday and it did well, but when I lost, I lost because I didn't have artifact removal. I had good creature removal (3 Galvanic Blast ) but my artifact removal was lacking without splashing green to play a Slice in Twain , which in retrospect I should've done. Running that one card would've increased my win percentage significantly.
A couple cards I played that seemed to really shine were Razor Hippogriff , Culling Dais , Glimmerpoint Stag , Perilous Myr , and Ogre Geargrabber . Geargrabber rocked every time I played it because everyone played some sort of equipment and if they were unable to remove him they were faced with the decision of wasting mana to re-equip each turn or just have a dead piece of equipment that only benefited me. Glimmerpoint Stag was an allstar. It created some good interactions by blinking creatures with -1/-1 counters on them and thus removing those counters; it freed up a couple permanents from being enchanted with Arrest and Volition Reins ; it also blinked my Myr Battlesphere which gave me another 4 myr to pump it with. Culling Dais was a great way of making my chum blockers count for something, it also combo'd well with Perilous Myr which was a great card by itself. Razor Hippogriff was great for obvious reasons; 3/3 flier for 5 that brings back an artifact and gains you life, awesome.
One combo that just killed me was Tumble Magnet , Trigon of Corruption , and Contagion Clasp . I had it played against me two different matches and it completely locked my play down. Contagion Clasp was really the pivotal card and it can be used as a catalyst for a number of different combos. I didn't play Tel-Jilad Fallen because I wasn't in green, and while no one played it against me, I heard that it was a solid card choice.
My rares consisted of Necrotic Ooze , Ezuri, Renegade Leader , Grand Architect , Semblance Anvil , Darksteel Juggernaut , and Myr Battlesphere . Played the Anvil, Juggernaunt, and Battlesphere and all three were pretty hot. I opened 6 Myr and 2 Origin Spellbomb so when the Myr Battlesphere hit the table it was pretty much game over. Everything else I played was pretty much just draw so I could get to the Sphere, stall so I could draw the Sphere, accelleration to play the Sphere, and recursion so I could get the Sphere back. Pretty easy deck to play lol. Hope everyone else was able to make it to at least one event last weekend and had some fun or at least some good card pulls.
Sunday, September 26, 2010, 5:14 PM
Second day of Scars pre-release is now over with and I hope everyone had a great time playing. My pre-release was ok, but not great. I didn't do badly, and I pulled some decent value cards and cards that I wanted. I unfortunately was matched against a player who had obviously marked his cards and had been playing with an edge over players for most of the day. I posted two weeks ago about cheating and ways to spot it in The Art of the Shuffle pt. 2, and it is no joke that some people will go to lengths to win at Magic just to get some prize packs. I played a guy who had oriented his land upside down in his sleeves and deck so that he could see if he was going to top deck land, and see open sleeves facing him which gave him the ability to know which cards coming up were land. I called him on it after our second game of round 5, which means he'd been doing it all day against other players, and he claimed it was an accident. The judge gave him a warning, which according to the judge is the protocal for marking cards, and we played out the 3 game which he won narrowly. There is no way in hell this guy had not known about his "mistake". He played 4 rounds and never fixed his "mistake". I of course put myself on tilt after the first game when I realized what he was doing. It is what it is, but when I say stay vigilant for cheaters it's for good reason.
I'll posted in the next day or two about what cards stood out for me in the one sealed event I was able to play in this weekend.
**Just after posting this my friend called me who played in the saturday event against this guy and he had done the same thing but my friend didn't realize there was anything fishy.**
Friday, September 24, 2010, 9:25 AM
Well, we've got a full spoiler to look over now and I've put in a pre-order for my must have singles. Here is what's got me excited:
Genesis Wave : Pre-ordered 2 of them at $1 each, which is a steal IMO. Can't wait to fit it into my Azusa, and Elf decks.
Ezuri, Renegade Leader : I was definitely happy to see this guy on the spoiler. The first EDH deck I ever built was an Elf deck and this guy is going to fit perfectly.
Grasp of Darkness : Great removal and it will probably replace Terror in my Drana deck.
Necrotic Ooze : Here is a perfect example of a card that I will force into every deck I play for the next 6 months just because I think it should be awesome but it will only shine once out of every 10 plays.
Sunblast Angel : I don't have a spot for this card yet but I think it will get play so I picked it up while it was still only $2.50.
Etched Champion : Hot, super hot, damn hot. I really like this guy. Definitely going into my Sharuum deck and I probably should've picked up a playset for standard while they were still cheap.
Painful Quandary : This is a hate card, plain and simple. I play this card and I will lose the game because everyone will immediately gun for me. I'll play it a couple times to stir things up but it's a foregone conclusion that it won't stay in my deck for more than a few games.
Steel Hellkite : This will replace Filigree Angel in my Sharuum deck.
Prototype Portal : I'll take another Soul Foundry , thanks!
Liege of the Tangle : Azusa seems to be made for this guy.
Exsanguinate : Wow, this is the best multiplayer card in the whole set and it is already proxied in my Drana deck.
A couple quick cards that caught my eye:
Leonin Arbiter : Going to see some EDH play for sure.
Whitesun's Passage : This is going to be the card that everyone under values for the first month of drafting.
Hand of the Praetors : I think this will see lots of early play in standard, mainly because it's awesome.
Tainted Strike : To me this seems like a really really powerful card and I think it's going piss some players off.
Koth of the Hammer : Jeebus this guy is incredibly overpriced. Look for this to fall to around $30 in the coming months.
Hoard-Smelter Dragon : It's a given that this will see heavy EDH play. I think it will see some maindeck play as well and definitely will fill a lot of sideboards in standard.
Spikeshot Elder : Definitely a bulk rare but I like it.
Asceticism : On paper this seems awesome but I doubt I'll ever actually play it in anything.
Glint Hawk Idol : I think this will be a solid pick 4-5 in draft but we'll see.
Kuldotha Forgemaster : This thing was built for the Johnny EDH player.
Lux Cannon : I really wanted to pick up a couple of these but they are overpriced right now by default for being a mythic.
Mox Opal : I can't believe people are valuing this at more than $30. You can't have more than 1 on the board at once and it hinges on the number of artifacts you have in play. This is maybe a $20 card IMO.
Nim Deathmantle : This is probably the best equipment in the set; besides Sword of Body and Mind of course.
Infiltration Lens : Probably the second best equipment in the set.
At a glance I'd say that blue is going to be the weakest color in the set, infect make black and green the strongest, drafting a straight infect deck is probably going to be tough because creatures dealing damage in -1/-1 counters makes them great in any deck, and myr will probably get picked pretty high (as they should). I think I might proxy up a standard myr deck. It seems like you'd be able to play all the best cards from multiple colors pretty easily in a myr deck and still have a decent amount of early aggression.
Good luck to anyone playing in pre-releases this weekend!
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