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Magic: The Gathering!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

Tap This, Kill That!

Welcome one and all! This is Captain Red Zone coming to you with yet another deck for your viewing delight. This week I’m bringing to you Commander a deck that I came to my mind a while ago.  If you read my other article here at 3TF, you may have notice that I have done a few mono colored decks. I’ve done Black, Blue, and White so far. So I figured that this week I’ll bring to you another mono colored deck followed by one more next week. Then when I’m done with these I’ll start on a few dual colored deck and work my way up from there… maybe. So this week here at 3TF we’re going Red! I like red and so I’m going to do my favorite Red Commander Deck with Ashling the Pilgrim! So let’s start!

Burn Baby Burn!

Ashling the Pilgrim: We’ll start off with the Ashling. She is a card that gives you a lot of options and flexibility. With the ability to get bigger, board wipe, and kill players all in one little card for one colourless and a red, she is a total package.

 May Her Flames Rise Up To Meet You!

From here you can put in about 99 Mountains or your favorite mono red lands and you, my friend, are off to the races.

I hope you enjoyed this article and I’ll see you next wee-hold on a sec…
What’s that…?

Yeah I did it…

So what if it’s a little short…

Don’t Judge Me!



It seems that The Powers That Be have informed me that I have to do another deck. They said if I put this article out there like this my readers will hunt me down a do all kinds of bad things to my pets while I watch. I don’t really care about the dog but I don’t want to know what would happen to my lizard sooo…

On To The Next One!!!

With Ashling out of the way, I moved on to pingers. For those of you that don’t know, a pinger is a creature, usually with a small body like a 0/1 or a 1/1, that has an ability that pretty much reads “some kind of cost and/or tap”: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player ”. In Magic this ability was once a Blue mage’s thing.

But it was later turn into a red thing when it was decided that blue had too much stuff and red was where the direct damage felt like it should be. Lighting bolt is red but the guy that does almost the same thing but on a smaller every turn scale is… blue? Now it’s pretty much a red thing, with a few exceptions here and there. It’s so red now that it even shows up on a few Legendary guys.

So with that, let’s see if it has come far enough to make it as a 100 card singleton deck!

You Can Turn That Sideways!

Let’s start with our Legendary guys. I couldn’t pick one to be the Commander. So, I’ll list them here. I’ll pick the one I think it should be at the end, but all of these will go in the deck so feel free to swap them out to see who you like best.

Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit, Heartless Hidetsugu, Jeska, Warrior Adept, Jiwari, the Earth Aflame, and Kamahl, Pit Fighter: These guys all have the tap for damage ability going for them. Some tap and deal more damage than one, like Ben-Ben who does damage equal to the number of Mountains you control. Heartless Hidetsugu does half of everyone’s total life, but keep in mind that includes you too. Jeska has first strike and haste so she could attack from time to time while pinging for one if she can’t get in there. Jiwari has a nice anti-art strike ability. Kamahl goes for three points on a tap and 6 with a swing, making him the biggest one of this group in battle but his one toughness kind of makes him a very weak general for this deck. But still, a Lighting Bolt on a stick is good.

Ashling the Pilgrim and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker:  These two are our backup Legends. Ashling could easily run a deck solo, like I showed earlier, but she has no problems helping us out here. Plus she has a ping like effect where she can hit everything on the board for the amount of +1/+1 counters she has, getting around Shroud and Hexproof dudes. Kiki-Jiki can give us extra tokens of our other guys. This may not be as useful here as it maybe in other places but we’ll keep him around just in case.
From here we go into the meat of the deck: the pingers that will make up the rest of our team.

Brimstone Mage, Chainflinger, Crimson Hellkite, Crimson Manticore, Cunning Sparkmage, Embermage Goblin, Fallen Ferromancer, Frostwielder, Goblin Sharpshooter, Grim Lavamancer,
Lightning Crafter, Prodigal Pyromancer, Tar Pitcher, Vithian Stinger, Whipkeeper, and Wojek Embermage:  All of these guys have “Mana,  (and /or) Tap: deal (some amount of) damage to (creature and/or player)”.  I’m not going to point out each one and how much they do, but I will pick the ones that do something else as well. Fallen Ferromancer has Infect so he can pick away at a larger guy until one of the other guys can burn him off or he can slowly poison a player turning their 40 points to 10. Frostweilder exiles a creature that she dealt damage to when it dies. Keep in mind she does not have to kill the guy, just dealt it a damage the turn it dies. Goblin Sharpshooter untaps when a guy dies. Wojek Embermage can kill of a swarm of tokens.

Not bad of a list for an ability that didn’t start out in red. There were even more but I left them out because A) there were too many dudes and I still needed to add out things or B) Their ability caused you to do something else like discard and I want to try and keep what’s in my hand for this deck.

So now we’re on to the other guys I added to help out this group of fire starters...

Dragonmaster Outcast, Inferno Titan, Mine Layer, Moggcatcher, Stuffy Doll, Stigma Lasher, and War Elemental: Dragonmaster gives us a few dragons to use for late game attack. Inferno Titan is a 6/6 pinger when he shows up and attacks. Mine Layer gives us a land destruction outlet. Moggcatcher helps us search out goblins, and a few of our pingers are goblins, so that works. Stuffy Doll can help get around players that shroud themselves. Stigima Lasher can keep people from gaining life so they stay inside burn range while War Elemental gives you a nice beater.

Shine It Up Reeaally Nice!

So I can hear you now says things like “But Captain, 1 damage is not going to win a game! What are you going to do, kill everyone 1 point at a time?”, “What are you going to do when a guy with more than three defense shows up?”, and “Who farted?”… 1) We’ll get around to killing the other players soon enough, 2) I have a plan for those big guys, and 3) He who smelt it, dealt it.

Basilisk Collar, Gorgon Flail, and Quietus Spike: These cards will help our pingers deal with bigger guys by way of deathtouch. The Collar can gain us a life for each ping. The Flail pumps up our guys a bit and the Quietus Spike works as a way to cut life totals in half making it easier to deal the last few with our dudes.

Blade of the BloodChief, Grafted Exoskeleton, Kusari-Gama, Neko-Te, and Scythe of the Wretched: These will bring up the rear. Blade will pump our guys for every death on the field even if it’s not us doing the killing. I say if you get it early, let it get passed around to your dudes instead of keeping it on one guy. That will make sure no one goes “that dude is getting really big… kill it with Doom Blade”. Grafted Exoskeleton gives Infect so we can poison out a player or to with a pinger. Kusari-Gama can deal out a lot of damage; just remember if someone attacks someone else you can ping all of the defending player’s blockers. Neko-Te will tap down a lot of guys until someone realizes that you’re using it with a pinger, hitting their biggest dudes, and decide to Grip it. The Scythe will give us the chance to steal creatures we kill.

Infiltration Lens, Pariah’s Shield, Thornbite Staff, and Whispersilk Cloak:  The lens gives us cards, which is something we’re lacking. The Shield goes with Stuffy Doll. The Cloak is for evasion. The staff is something interesting. It turns our non pingers into pingers but it works with our other pingers as well. Give a pinger that only needs to tap a equipment with deathtouch and the staff… think… that’s right, you just killed every guy on the field you don’t like. Deal 1, kill it, untap, and repeat.
Now this maybe living the dream, so let’s move on to…

Battle Strain, Circle of Flame, Furnace of Rath, Impatience, and Repercussion: Battle Strain helps take out bigger guys by bringing them into burn range; remember, we don’t have to be in the battle for it to work. Circle of Flame is our red Ghostly Prison… I really need to get some help. Furnace of Rath helps us by doubling our burn. Impatience makes sure that people keep playing stuff to move the game along and punishes people who don’t. Repercussion let’s our pingers do double work picking away life while picking away dudes.

Blood Moon, Fervor, and Uphill Battle: Non-basic land hate, giving our guys haste, and tapping down their guys sounds good to me. Sign me up.

And Stick It Straight Up Your Candy @$$!

We’re almost done. Just a few more spells to give us something to do while we ping!

Beacon of Destruction, Grab the Reins, Into the Core, Smash, and Smash to Smithereens: Fireball should be here but I have a feeling that if the game goes long enough for it to work, we should be dead so Beacon can fill in for now. Reins are just a good spell for dealing with guys. Into the Core, Smash, and Smash to Smithereens are for some artifact hate.

Acidic Soil, Aftershock, Bend or Break, Melt Terrain, Molten Rain, Shatterstorm, Wheel of Fate, and Wildfire: Acidic Soil deals out some extra damage. Aftershock as our catch all for what red can handle. Bend or Break is a good land destruction card. Molten Rain and Melt Terrain are for pinpoint land hate. Shatterstorm is for whenever a player gets too out of hand with an artifact combo. Wheel of Fate give us some needed draw, and I put in Wildfire because it’s one of my pet cards.

Chandra, the Firebrand and Koth of the Hammer: These two are here because Koth can make mana
for our effects and dude while turning our Mountains into pingers. Chandra is a pinger herself and can deal out a lot of damage by copying our spells or going -six for six damage to up to six people and/or creatures we don’t like.

If You Smeeeeellllllll What The Captain Is Cooking!

34 Mountains later, we have a deck. I think our General for this deck should be Heartless Hidetsugu. He can cut our opponents life in half making it easy for our small guys to finish off the last few points. There you go. Don’t touch my lizard and I’ll call this one done and over with. You should feel lucky you got out of this with only a few burns and a smoked hat. Now go get some water and come back next week when I’m going Green!

Hope you had fun and please leave any comments or suggestions.  Until next time,

This is your Captain speaking… We’re heading into the Red Zone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

 The Cats Are Out Of The Bag!

Welcome one and all! This is Captain Red Zone coming at you once again with another deck for your viewing pleasure. This week I’m going to bring to you a Commander deck that I've wanted to try since the beginning of this month. If you read my other article here at 3TF, you know that on the 29th of this month there's a remake of a show from my childhood. That show being ThunderCats! So I figured that this week I’ll bring to you my ThunderCats Themed Commander deck.
In Magic there are a few Legendary Cats to pick from.

What... Mistform is a Cat... Shut Up!!!

From Purraj of Urborg to Mirri, Cat Warrior, we have a few chooses to make. We could go White, Blue, Green, or Black and a few mixes of these to make a deck. So I am going to let the show lead the way for this one. If you know the show, the one in charge of the ThunderCats is none other that Lion-O, Lord of the Thundercats.

He wields the powerful Sword of Omens. A sword so powerful it fuels the entire group with extra strength, power, and pride. When he holds it’s up and lets out his cry to summon the team, they go into a trance like state and rush to the aid of their leader no matter what they were doing or where there are.

Dance Puppets!!! DANCE!!!

So who we pick as our Commander here has to be strong, pure of heart, and like to use weapons. From the list of Legends there is only one I can see being our leader here… Raksha Golden Cub!
He’s white, so there’s your pure part. He’s not the biggest guy on the team but Lion-O wasn’t either. But the best part is his ability. When he has an Equipment, let’s say a sword of some kind, he gets bigger, makes his team of cats bigger, and they all become better fighters with double strike. Sounds pretty close in to Lion-O to me. So let’s get started with the rest of our team!

ThunderCats Are On The Move!
While there are only a handful of Cats on the show, we can’t make a deck without the key lineup.
Kemba, Kha Regent, Jareth, Leonine Titan, Leonin Abunas, Skyhunter Skirmisher, Kemba’s Skyguard, Seht’s Tiger, and Spirit of the Hearth: This is our starting line-up. Kemba is our strong female character Cheetara. Jareth is the local strong man Panthro. Leonin Abunas is the master of invisibility Tygra. The Skyhunter and the Skyguard are the high flying WilyKit and WilyKat. Seht’s Tiger is the ever loving but mostly annoying Snarf. Rounding out the cast is Spirit of the Hearth as the ghostly guide Jaga.

While this is our main cast, there are other Cats that show up later in the show’s season. I could name a few more names but I don’t remember the rest so well, and I’m not going to act like I do. So, I’ll just round out this part with other cool Magic cats to fill the Pride.

Kemba’s Legion, Leonin Den-Guard, Leonin Shikari, SkyHunter Cub, Sunspear Shikari, and Taj-Nar SwordSmith:  These are our Equipment loving backups. Kemba’s Legion is here for blocking multiple dudes. Leonin Den-Guard, Skyhunter Cub, and Sunspear Shikari gain extra abilities for carrying a weapon which makes them a good B-Squad if we have trouble finding our other main cards. Leonin Shikari and Taj-Nar Swordsmith bring some extra tricks to get what we need.

Ajani’s Pridmate, Blade of the Sixth Pride, Jedit’s Dragoons, Jhovall Queen, and Leonin Battlemage: This is our team of big men... er... cats... um... catdudes? ...whatever, you know what I mean. Ajani’s Pridemate and Blade of the Sixth Pride are not to ones you write home to mom about, but in a deck with a little life gain here and there, a few weapons, and Lion-O backing them up they could get there. They're strong early game, ok mid-game, and could be the final push you need in the end game. Jedit’s Dragoons, Jhovall Queen, and Leonin Battlemage are our vigilant dudes. This is an ability that needs to be in more Commander decks. The ability to attack and block is pure money in a multiplayer game.

Felider Sovereign, Leonin Arbiter, Leonin Relic-Warder, and Whitemane Lion: These are here to round out the team. A win con in Felidar Sovereign, not much of one... but hey it could happen. Leonin Arbiter is here to make it a little harder for the other players to look for their combo pieces. Leonin Relic-Warder for a little removal and Whitemane Lion to save a dude we don’t want dead.

ThunderCats Are Loose! (like your mom)
So we need a sword for this deck. But to make sure we get what we want, we’re going to need a few more weapons. So on to...

Convenient plot device for writers who have run out of time to logically solve their problems.

The Mirran Sword cycle (Sword of “Bam” and “Boom”, don’t act like you don’t know them): If you’re playing an equipment deck with the intent to win, you should have these. Here they can be even more broken because of Raksha. With him out and equipped, these become everything they say times two. A Body and Mind milling 10 and making a 2/2 wolf kind of sucks. A body of mind that does twice the damage, mills 20, and makes 2 2/2 wolves is just wrong. And that’s with the “worst” one.

Sword of Vengeance and Sword of the Paruns: A few extra swords can’t hurt. Sword of the Paruns can give a guy quasi-vigilance and a nice pump for what we could use at the time if we need extra attack or defense. And come on, look at Sword of Vengeance and tell me it doesn’t look like Sword of Omens.

Leonin Bola, Leonin Scimitar, Lighting Greaves, and Swiftfoot Boots: These are our cheap equip cards for when we need to pump a guy or we’re low on mana.

Champion’s Helm and Whispersilk Cloak: When we get Raksha out and give him a sword, I want to keep him out without feeling like a Terror will kill him.

Give Me Sight Beyond Sight!
Here are our other white cards I want to put in, just because they're cool… not everything I do has to have a reason… don’t judge me!

Roar of the Kha, Call of Glory, and To Arms!: The Roar of the Kha is the reason for these cards here. I just imagine Raksha with a sword held high telling the team “the enemy is attacking, ThunderCats…HOOOOOO!!!!” and the team just gets that look and stand up ready to fight for you!

Return to Dust, Dust to Dust, Cleanfall, and Cleansing Meditation:  Here we have artifact and enchantment hate. The last thing we want is for some combo to go off without us having some kind of way to stop it.

Path to Exile, Oblation, Day of Judgment, Wrath of God, and Hallowed Burial: Creature removal is one of the things white is best at and if you’re in white you have to have a board wipe.

Resurrection, White Sun’s Zenith and False Defeat: Here we have three ways to come back after the board has been wiped.

Brave the Elements, Enlightened Tutor, and Stir the Pride: Brave can save the team or help the team get past the other mono-colored player's forces. Stir the Pride can be like our Overrun or a way to gain a ton of life to stay in the game. Enlightened Tutor can get the artifact or enchantment we want. And speaking of enchantments…

Honor of the Pure, Shared Triumph, Light from Within, and Marshal’s Anthem: The pump Enchantmentss that can help keep our dudes big and in the game, and a little creature recursion with the Anthem.

Ghostly Prison, Journey to Nowhere, and Oblivion Ring: Like I said before, me and Ghostly Prison are having a little love affair. I haven’t told my wife. Keep it to yourself and I won’t have to O-Ring you.

True Conviction: If you weren’t going into the red zone by now get up off your ass.


34 lands later and there we have it. This is getting to be a lot more fun then I figured it would be. Just remember to put in your land based hate cards like Ghost Quarter and stuff to cut off the people who are ramping hard and early.

Hope you had fun and please leave any comments or suggestion. Until next time,

This is your Captain speaking... We're heading in to the Red Zone!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

Reality Is Merely An Illusion!

Welcome one and all! This is your boy Captain Red Zone coming at you again with another deck for your viewing pleasure. This week I’m going to bring to you a themed Commander deck that I’m kind of a shamed I made.  If you know anything about me, you know that I hate Blue. Let me explain. When I first started playing Magic my favorite colors were, in order: Red, Black, White, Green, and Blue... after artifacts. The reason? Counterspells. I hated counters because I was a bad player who always countered the wrong spell. I left mana up to counter a spell that never came. Even when I wasn’t playing blue I always seemed to have my win condition countered, even after doing everything to get my opponent down to one card in hand.
The other thing is counters are the do-it-right-or-pay spells of Magic. Your opponent plays a card you’ve never seen before and you have a chance to counter it, you read the card but can’t figure out why they are playing it. “Is this some combo I’ve never seen?”, “Is he just some guy playing a bad card”, “Is this a trick and he’s trying to lure out my counter?”, ”Is this the best card he has or the worst?”…all of that and more would run around in my head before I could choose to counter or not. Then if I let it go through and it turns out to be a problem? Too late, its here doing it's thing and I can’t stop it. Let go through it with the other colors. A problem card shows up and you have a card to stop it, it hits the field and you decide during the rest of that turn should it stay. If you still don’t like it by the end of the turn you can Doom Blade, Path to Exile, Crush, or Naturalize it. Blue? You usually have to bounce it back to their hand and wait until they play it again to counter it. Congratulations, you just 2 for 1’d yourself cause you didn’t know your opponent’s plan. Not knowing in the other colors still usually lead to a 1 for 1.

Then the good people over at Wizards printed M12. If you read one of my other articles or have seen the cards in that product, you should already see where this one is going. But for those that don’t know for one reason or another, Blue has been given a few cards in this set that made me want to give this color another day in court. Those cards being the new Illusion creatures.

Here’s a little Magic trivia for you. There are two legendary creatures in the game of Magic that are naturally Illusions. One is the five colored Cromat, that I always thought was an elemental, and the other is Mistform Ultimus.

After last week’s article, Cromat will not be here as our Commander for this one. Plus if I’m going to do this it should be a mono colored deck. So grab your 50 cent rare and let’s get this deck started before I come to my senses and realize what I’m doing!

It Was All A Dream!

We’ll start with our “lords” because there are only 3 of them and they gave me the idea to start with this deck anyway.

Lord of the Unreal, Adaptive Automaton, Mistform Warchief, and Brass Herald:  Three of these guys give a +1/+1 bonus to the other illusions that will be in this deck. Lord of the Unreal brings Hexproof, or trollshroud if you’re nasty, to our very fragile group of creatures. Brass Herald brings a little bit of digging. Adaptive Automaton is just one of my favorite new cards in the M12 set and the main reason I may be cracking some packs. Mistform Warchief helps us cast our already low cost illusions for even less, thereby making this deck even more aggro then it looks.

These lords are not the A-Team of Magic lords but for a tribe that has very little help in this department you could do worse (and by worse, I mean a tribe that only has the Herald and the Automaton as Lord-like figures).

But Lords aside, let’s start to see where this tribe is going. Your guys are going to die. Don’t worry, we will get around to saving them soon. For now think of what the illusions bring to the table for you. If a player points a spell at one of your guy, what is the chance it’s going to be a good thing? It’s a Path to Exile, Doom Blade, Oblivion Ring, etc. Your guy was usually dead anyway. With the exception of a few guys like the “lords”, most of these guys will end up in a graveyard. So look at the bonus these guys have.  Your opponent can’t Mind Control them cause they will blow up first. Most of your guys will never be put in a place where they will be attacking you. So let’s use this “flaw” to our advantage.

Gossamer Phantasm, Illusionary Servant, Errant Ephemeron, Krovikan Mist, Phantasmal Dragon, Phantasmal Forces, Phantasmal Monster, Riftwing Cloudskate, Somnophore, Wandering Eye, Palichron, and Zephid:  Here is the goal: Play out as many under cost guys with some kind of evasion as possible and hit hard as early as possible. Gossamer Phantasm, Illusionary Servant, and Phantasmal Dragon are all at good price and worth a spot removal trade. Krovikan Mist could easily finish someone off in this deck. Somnophore and Riftwing Cloudskate can keep pesky things like a Blinding Mage under control if played right. Palichron pays for itself and could easily avoid trouble by flying back into the hand. Wandering Eye, Phantom Monster, Zephid, and Phantasmal Forces are extra flyers that can help bring the hurt.

AEther Figment and Phantom Warrior: These guys can hit players without fear of the bigger guys on the other side of the field. Plus with a lord or two out they can easily slow bleed a single player out of the game.  Two unblockable dudes coming in as a 3/3(or 5/5 if kicked) and a 4/4 can put a clock up quick.
AEtherplasm, Mistfolk, Phantasmal Abomination, Phantasmal Bear, Phantasmal Image, Phantom Beast, Phantom Whelp, and Vertigo Spawn: These are our ground forces so to speak. Phantasmal Abomination and Phantasmal Bear are, again, under cost for their size. AEtherplasm, Vertigo Spawn, and Phantom Whelp provide nice battle tricks. Phantasmal Image is a bomb. It is a copy of the best dude on the field (that can be targeted) for two mana no less.
Frost Titan, Kozilek, the Bucher of Truth, and Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre:  Frost Titan is here to lockdown a few dudes while doing his thing. The Eldrazi, on the other hand, are here for a different reason that I’ll get to later.

A Pleasant Illusion Is Better Than A Harsh Reality

Here is the part where we put a little reality in to this deck. A few things that don’t go up in smoke just because you looked at them funny.  So on to...

Jace Beleren, Jace, Memory Adept, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor: Yeah I know, I just put this deck out of the price range for some people. But hey if you don’t have these that’s cool, their just here for card draw and the occasional win. Chances are they will be dead before you get to use them more than once so feel free to replace them with Howling Mine type cards.

Brainstorm, Ponder, Preordain, Crystal Ball, Sensei’s Divining Top, Private Research, Blue Sun’s Zenith, Mind Spring, and Advice from the Fae: Hey, if I’m playing blue, I’m going to draw me some cards! It’s one of Blue’s more redeeming characteristics. A little deck manipulation with Ponder, Preordain, Top, Brainstorm, Advice, and Crystal Ball to get what we need. Side note, I want to get my Top and Crystal Ball altered to look like a Beer Keg and a bottle of Cristal champagne .

Don’t judge me, you know you’re feeling that.

Sleep, Misstep, Reality Spasm, and Cryptic Command:  These are our big assault spells for when we’re ready to swing in for the kill or some serious damage.  Tap that field down and keep it tapped.
Time Stretch, Amnesia, Mana Short, Back to Basics, Phantasmal Terrain, Shapeshifter’s Marrow, Copy Enchantment, Rite of Replication, and Relic of Progenitus: A few hate cards and cards to be hated for. Hey if you’re That Guy playing, chances are you got a target on you anyway so why not play a few things to earn that bullseye? Amnesia is really good against the guy who thinks he’s smart cause he has a had full of cards and a Reliquary Tower out. Mana Short can put an end to a few infinite mana combos but it’s not a catch all. Marrow, Rite, and Copy Enchantment gives you extra backup. Phantasmal Terrain is here just because it has Phantasmal in its name and acts like a Spreading Sea. I hope I don’t have to tell you how to use Back to Basics and Time Stretch.
Future Sight, Into the Roil, Cast Through Time, Day of Dragons, Disappear, and Propaganda: A few of the other Blue cards that I like. Future Sight is amazing and you should play it! Period! I have dreams of playing Amnesia or Mana Short with a Cast Through Time out. Propaganda and Ghostly Prison have become two of my personal staples. Disappear is a somewhat on theme removal spell. Then we have Day of Dragons that turns all of our guys into 5/5 flying Dragons... in a Mono Blue deck!

Hinder and Spell Crumple:  I hate counterspells but these two make it for Commander hate. Sorry.

Elixir of Immortality, Three Wishes, and Intuition:  Remember the Eldrazi from earlier? Well this is why they’re here.  Three Wishes and Intuition lets us puts them in the grave so we can have extra chances to replay our fallen illusions. If we ever get the chance to cast them, gravy. But we need them to bring our guys back to us. Like I said, they will die a lot, but with this back up plan it doesn’t matter as much.

Is the Dream Over?

I think this deck works best with 33 Islands, but as always you should feel free to play around with the mana base.  But there it is. A Blue Deck I’m ashamed that I made. But hey, it was fun and maybe I’ll even get around to playing it someday.

Hope you had fun and please leave any comments or suggestions.  Until next time...

This is your Captain speaking… we’re heading into the Red Zone!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Walk Into The Random!!!

Drop down and Get Yo M12 On!!!

Welcome one and all! Today I will, once again, be talking about a few random things on my mind. This is my more casual section so I figured I should let you know now. There are no decklists here but maybe a few ideas will pop up. Here I talk about a few things like game play, news, and other topics of interest to me.  So, if this all sounds boring to you, then you may want to check back later this week when I talk about another Commander deck that isn’t real.  To all of you who are still here, let us take a walk into the random.
M12 Is Upon Us
The M12 Prerelease was this past weekend and have I got to tell ya…..nothing. What!! See I had to miss it! WHAT!!! Let me explain, I am a married with a child. My wife of 5 years is one of those people who don’t like Magic. I on the other hand love this game. So, to keep the peace in my house, every other weekend I go out with my friends and we play. On the weekends I don’t go, I stay home with my wife and son and sometimes we do stuff like go to the beach, movies, or just watch some TV. Good old family time!! So guess which weekend this prerelease landed on.  But I’m not going to let that stop me from telling you a few of my opinions about M12! So let’s go!

First, I’m so glad to see that Wizards has given us Oblivion Ring back. The Standard Meta has taken a huge hit since it left. Planeswalkers got out of control, huge creatures have run rampant, and artifacts have stolen match after match. This is one card I think the game needs to keep in the core set as a fall back answer for nonland permanents. I’m only speculating here but I don’t think cards like Jace, The Mind Sculptor and the Titans would not have taken over the format so much if we would have still had the Ring around.

This years M.V.P.!!!

Next, have you seen Blue lately?? With the new illusion creatures in this set, Blue is doing a go job of pretending to be Green and Red. It has bears, dragons, and even new lords!

The new face of .... Aggro????

 And the funniest thing is I hate blue. I like to turn dudes sideways and run them out into the red zone. I like to keep attacking, kill things at instant and sorcery speed, and bring down my opponents life points. These are things Blue is not known for outside of Merfolk decks. Yet here I am ready to crack some packs and the idea that I maybe passing something like a Runeclaw Bear for a Phantasmal Bear because X, Y, and Z (I’m already in UW, etc) just feel wrong… but I can’t help but to feel like it’s the right thing to do. This goes to show that they did something really good in this set and I tip my hat to them.
But it’s Not All Good
What can I say; there are a few things about every set that we all won’t like. Call me spoiled, but I’m just not that impressed by the Mythic rares in this one. Not that I don’t like the titans or the Planeswalkers, but this set did it wrong in my opinion. When the Planeswalkers were first put in the core set, it gave players a chance to grab a couple without needing to crack Lorwyn packs. When Wizards started doing the half-new core set thing, they added cards like Lightning Bolt and Baneslayer Angel that gave that set this new frontier feel. The Titans gave you five good reasons to crack packs with the core set they were in.
But now? Two of the Planeswalkers are reprints, one of which only sees play in casual formats like Commander. All five titans are back but if you have been playing since last summer the only good thing with this is Primeval Titan is down in price since you may have the other ones you would play with. This may sound a little hypocritical, since I just said:
 “When the Planeswalkers were first put in the core set, it gave players a chance to grab a couple without needing to crack Lorwyn packs.”
   This could easily be:
“When the Titans were reprinted in the core set, it gave players a chance to grab a couple without needing to crack M11 packs.”
I’m not saying I have beef with the Titans, my problems isn’t even with the Planeswalkers. I’m just saying that the combination of the two makes this set feel a little boring to me. With 3 new Walkers, it feels like 3 out of 10 cards are cool new cards you want to get whereas before it felt more fifty/fifty. Maybe it’s me, but this seems to be the part of the set that just doesn’t sit right with me.
A Time To Kill
This past weekend I had a chance to sit down with a new DVD from the friendly people at Netflix. I watched a movie called “11:14” that a friend recommended. It’s a story about the lives of 5 people that all happen to cross each other’s path at 11:14pm because of a couple of “accidents”.  It’s done like Pulp Fiction, so prepare to watch it a few times before you catch every detail of how things happen. I found it very funny and my family enjoyed it. We watched it about 3 times just to see how things worked. Car accidents, graveyard sex, a penis in the middle of the road, and Motherf**king Patrick Swayze!!!

 Motherf**king Patrick Swayze!!!

This movie is on point and if you haven’t heard about it go check it out.

Well that’s all for today, join me next later this week when I talk about another deck that I’m excited to try and kinda embarrassed to play.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

Security is a False God!!!

Welcome back one and all! From the moment I saw the new Commander product in full my mind has been full of ideas. New Commanders that need their own decks, old decks that need new cards, old cards that got reprinted that need to go in old decks, the list just goes on and on!  But the one thing that I wanted to do so badly was build a deck I kind of wanted to do but never could figure out where to take it. That deck being my five color Commander deck.  At first I wanted to do an all dragon deck, but then my brother show me HIS deck with Scion of the Ur-Dragon at the helm. Then I wanted to use Cromat as my Head of State, but was quickly talked out of it by a few people in my group. Apparently he’s a horrible guy to play. I don’t see why but from popular polls he can be in a deck but is not fit to lead. So I made a Slivers deck with Sliver Overlord as the go to guy. 

It works but it felt a little too linear. I mean come on all you have to do is put in ever good sliver you can find and when you run out of slivers fill in the extra space with any staples and bombs you have room for. Very good, very fun, but when you look around almost EVERY slivers deck is the same thing. I wanted something new, something different, something I could get down on my needs and thank the heavens for…. AND I GOT IT!!!

Your Capacity to Keep Your Vow Will Depend on the Purity of Your Life

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I went to the Temple of the False God and found Karona. With the new summer multi-player product came some new cards that made Karona, False God a lot better as a General. Those cards are the new Vow auras.

 Now in case you don’t get it yet, here’s a quick rundown. Karona maybe a False God but she is a giving one. She likes to run around the table give of herself and giving +3/+3 to the creatures of each players favorite type. The problem? She will let your opponents kill you with General damage, WITH YOUR OWN GENERAL NO LESS!! That stinks!!! But now that the vow auras have been printed, you can have her make a promise to never attack you. So, when she decides to move over to the next player she can do what you really want and smash someone else’s face in. now this sounds like a new kind of deck that uses a general that doesn’t see much play. So, just a little FYI, I haven’t built this deck or play tested it but I am going to do a little brainstorming. Here we go!

My Religion Is Based On Truth and Non-Violence

Just because Karona is taking a vow of non-violence doesn’t mean your opponents other creatures have. So let’s turn our side of the board into a true church.

Vow of Duty, Vow of Flight, Vow of Malice, Vow of Lightning, and Vow of Wildness: You should already know what these are for. Don’t forget you can have the biggest dude on the field that doesn’t belong to you sign a Vow contract with you as well.
Riddlekeepr, Windborn Muse, Ghostly Prison, Stuffy Doll, and Propaganda: You have to put some money in the collection plate if you want to bring your problems here. With a fee of 2, 4, or 6 mana a dude, I’m pretty sure we won’t see too many fights here. Good old Stuffy can keep at least one player sitting still for a while and may even provide a good way for the table to deal with a single player who got to turtle up quickly, remember it’s says choose not target so you can get around those player shroud effects . Also, while Riddlekeeper may not be too big of a deterrent in this format, two cards for each creature can add up quick.
Wall of Omens, Wall of Denial, Fog Bank, Overgrown Battlement, Wall of Frost, and Wall of Blossoms:  All good buildings need walls, and here at the Temple of the False God we have spared no expense.  We have walls that replace themselves in Blossoms and Omens. We have a mana wall in our Overgrown Battlement. Walls made for punching like Fog Bank Wall of Frost, and Wall of Denial.

Angelsong, Fog, Batwing Brume, Darkness, Dawn Charm, Deep Wood, and Heavy Fog: Look, sometimes Walls aren’t enough to keep out the people who want to bring us harm. So we will pray for bad weather, and with a line up lick this, it will happen. These should give us time to set up the mana base and walls so we can stay in the game. We can even save a player or two. I mean isn't that what church does? Save People?

The Wrath of (the False) God

Our God here maybe a false one, but that doesn’t make her any less vengeful. Sometime we need to show those non-believers where the true power lays.
Wrath of God, Damnation, Day of Judgment, Decree of Pain, and Martial Coup: Come on now, what self respecting God never kills everything that has upset it? With a set like this, it should become clear to the whole group that fighting is only allowed outside your temple walls.

Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Oblivion Ring, Oblation, and Spin into Myth: These are for when you don’t want to punish the table for the sins of one person. Spot remove is really good if used right and these make sure your doing things right.

And the Rest Will Follow

So what kind of church would we have without a few loyal worshippers willing to take our word to the masses?
False Prophet, Steel Hellkite, Baneslayer Angel, Platinum Angel, Emeria Angel, Verdant Force, Bloodbraid Elf, Skyward Eye Prophets, Qasali Pridemage, and Nin, the Pain Artist: More removal, token makers, a few angels, and some prophets….. Sounds like soon someone will be passing me some “Kool-Aid” for the big ritual.
Gideon Jura, Garruk Wildspeaker, Ajani Vengeant, Sorin Markov, Liliana Vess, and Venser, the Sojourner:  I had to drop a few of my favorite Planeswalkers in here. Gideon is remove, a creature, and a target willing to sacrifice himself for our church. You’ve got to respect that. Garruk is our groundskeeper, he make the lands work better, put a guard dog out at night, and will also sacrifice himself for us. Ajani and Sorin helps us take care of those local thugs that keep trying to get violent on our grounds. Liliana is for searching out cards like a tucked God or something. Venser works great with our Walls and Stuffy, but he also makes sure when our guys leave the church that nothing gets in their way.

Lightning Greaves, Sol Ring, Sensei’s Divining Top, Darksteel Ingot, Whispersilk Cloak: Must… struggle…… against…. yearning……for……..Staples!..... Their….. Too……… Good!!
The Signets and Bounce Lands of Ravnica: Those 2cc artifacts from Ravnica are all here. Yes they do get destroyed but they are not auto includes. If you want to, you can easily replace them with ten dual color lands of you choose. I like them, I have all ten, and not to many lands I would like to take from my other EDH decks just to build this one. I also have all ten of the Bounce Lands so they make it in here as well on the same principal.  So feel free to play around with this part.
About here we could slip in about 7 or so other cards from each color of our favorite type. Mine? Fact or Fiction, Wildfire, Mageta the Lion, Ring of Gix, Grave Pact, Greed, and Harmonize. 30 lands divided by 5 comes up to about 6 of each and there we are. A deck made for a God.

So until next time, this is your Captain speaking... We're headed into the Red Zone!!!