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Monthly Archives: January 2012

There was a post here…. but I eated it

My apologies to all three (maybe I’m up to 5 now) of you who clock in regularly – I didn’t post this weekend and for that I am eternally sorry. I’ve drafted up a post or two, but in each case they’ve spiralled off into a hate-filled tangent that doesn’t deserve to see the light of day.

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion “screw it, I can handle the vitriol” so one of these days soon I’ll probably just post the damn thing and ride the wave of comments which will no doubt come. It’s on an issue I find central and pivotal to my enjoyment of the format, and I’m not blindfolded enough to think that my view is the One True Way™, but so far I get as far as typing “You’re doing it WRONG” before I realise that I’ve probably gone too far.

So, to end this ramble before I lose all viewership completely; there’s something coming, and it may well affect who plays with me in the future. If so, so be it. If not, well, maybe it’ll do some good. Who knows!? Although I haven’t set out with the express purpose of challenging the accepted norms of EDH like certain other bloggers claim to do (DJ, looking at you here), my next post here does just that. I’ll be putting some pretty big disclaimers on it beginning and end, but nevertheless I think feathers will be ruffled. Stay tuned, the ride’s gettin’ rough 😉

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in EDH/Commander

 

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Game Reports: Blech

(Decks I’m playing in italics)

Game 1:

Karn, Glissa and Merieke vs Kaalia

I scoop in response to my fourth creature getting killed/taken control of before I can swing with it. That game goes another hour and apparently it’s my fault because they don’t have their own creatures to use

Game 2:

Isperia, Tolsimir, Sliver Legion (5 colour angels)

I pull out Isperia one last time before it gets ripped apart and rebuilt (see General Damage Control). Isperia actually pulls out the win, but not before all three decks get into a horrible creature stall. Pride of the Clouds is a 24/24, and that’s after the angel deck is taken out of the game!

Game 3:

Nin, Child of Alara (5-colour tokens), Jaya Ballard

Nin gets turn 2 Kami of the Crescent Moon. 12 turns, 24 spells and 6 FREAKING LAND later, I die.

 

I hate EDH…..

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in EDH/Commander, Game Report

 

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Edric: Brainstorming

As detailed below, my next deck will be a Superspies Edric. It’ll definitely be a bit lower on the power scale than it could be (the other option in the poll below – U/G Elves – would have been more powerful by some margin) but hopefully I can strike the right balance between power and fun… What follows below are some initial thoughts on what could and should go in it. Bullet (point) time!

OK so that’s all the obvious stuff. What’s slightly less obvious? What should I put it that’s vaguely on theme that I can use to actually close out games? Suiting up 1/1’s and 2/2’s to get in there is all well and good, but in the end I’m coming dangerously close to making another deck that doesn’t really do anything, and can be safely ignored. All going well I’ll be drawing a lot of cards with this deck; I’m already running Psychosis Crawler in a couple of decks but maybe it needs to go in here too? I’ll be putting Simic Sky Swallower in as he’s a big threat, and I can (barely) justify it’s inclusion as a mutated flying super-soldier. Or something. (The art for that guy always made me think of a flying battle station, for some reason. Maybe it’s just me).

The other issue is I’m really having issues coming up with on-theme(ish) green cards to put into the deck. Unsurprisingly, green doesn’t get a lot of sneaky spy-types…..

Because of the theme of the Magic game, my Spy Organisation (which really needs a name, or at least an A.C.R.O.N.Y.M) will be “fantasy spy” rather than “hi-tech spy”, but even so with the odd exception I can’t think of any green cards that really fit. Any suggestions?

I’ll be posting a quasi-decklist in the next week or so; in the meantime feel free to suggest cards or themes in the comments!

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Challenge of Doom, EDH/Commander

 

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And the results are in…

By a very narrow 5-4 vote, SuperSpy Edric wins over Elfball (minus the ball) Edric. I’ll start building this one soon!

Thanks to all of you who voted!

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Challenge of Doom, EDH/Commander

 

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Game Report: Damia, Sage of Stone (again)

Pulled out Damia this week; I was convinced that it was better than the last few runs have suggested, and it was on a par – or thereabouts – with the decks I was playing against. It did much better this time, but there are still cards that need to come out when I have the time to make the changes (HA!)

The Table: Axelrod Gunnarsson, Geth, Damia, Mayael

(for once I was the only one playing one of my decks!)

I get off to a fast start with Forest, Mana Vault which draws some groans from the table, and fair enough. Axelrod lays down a Withered Wretch turn 2, and Geth a Zombie Infestation. My turn two is Cultivate, play a Swamp, Nezumi Graverobber, and Mayael plays Druid of the Anima. Turn 3 doesn’t actually bring a lot (I leave the Mana Crypt tapped) – I attempt to Regrowth the Cultivate but the Wretch very sensibly removes it, and then gets rid of Geth’s graveyard (after a zombie token from the Infestation). I let the first trigger resolve, then take his last card with my Graverobber, letting it flip. Of course, it’s not going to steal anything while that Wretch is in play….

Nothing of real note happened on turn 4, except Mayael tried to play Realm Razer, before we told them that it costs 6 and put it back in your hand, please…. Axelrod assures us that he can handle it, and keeps mana open to do so if it ever hits (pro tip: Float mana in response to the ability, let the ability resolve, THEN kill it. If you kill it with the ability on the stack, well you just Armageddoned…)

In the meantime Geth has been stuck on 2-3 land, so we’ve been leaving him alone. I’ve been beating on Mayael and Axelrod with the Graverobber and a 3/3 Wickerbough Elder. Mayel lays down a Rage Reflection but has no creatures out, so that hangs around for a bit, but eventually I pop it with the Wickerbough to increase it’s power.

On turn 6, I cast Damia, with 3 cards remaining in my hand. It survives the turn, and I draw into Thought Gorger. “Why not?” I ask myself, and drop Teferi’s Puzzle Box and the Gorger, discarding my hand and getting 5 +1/+1 counters on it. Somehow Damia lives AGAIN and I draw seven. I send Damia at Mayael (who by this stage has Mayael and the the Druid, but nothing else, Wickerbough Elder at Axelrod (no creatures, or maybe still the Wretch), and the 7/7 trampling Gorger at Geth, who only has a Sanguine Guard (and cards in hand to make Zombies with) to block with. The Guard blocks the Gorger and Regenerates, then Axelrod Comet Storms for 5 on the Gorger and the Wickerbough Elder (what actually happened is much more complicated and involved damage, taking back damage, re-blocks, pump spells, damage resolving, going back to first strike damage step…. it was pretty much a mess of “Oh, actually go back to <x> and I’ll do this…. It was messy. I don’t often take back anything I do – if I screw it up, I screw it up. But this is social, right?). Meanwhile Mayael pumps Mayeal with something random, giving it +2/+2 which is enough to kill off Damia, while Damia’s Deathtouch kills of Mayael. My next note is

Dreamscape, STE, WElves – Yay Mana

Which is something I do need to change about this deck – too much mana ramp and not enough to do with it. All that is negated by an Earthquake from Axelrod which clears the board of everything except that damn Sanguine Guard of Geths. I replay Damia, and drop another card I’ve been waiting to play – Moonring Mirror. Damia lives again, and I draw 5 cards, putting 5 cards under the Mirror. Next turn, I put the Mirror’s ability on the stack, then Damia’s – Damia’s resolves, drawing my hand up to 7, which puts more cards under the Mirror, then the Mirror exiles my “new” hand and I get 12 cards from under it. Worth the wait, although there are hoops I have to jump through, to be sure. Things like that get my Johnny sense tingling 🙂

At about this time Axelrod drops a Caged Sun (naming black) and a Magus of the Coffers. Due to various flukes and politicing, Axelrod and Mayael are both on 14, and Geth and I are both on 17, so he can’t blow everyone out of the game with another Earthquake equivalent, but that much mana is scary. Thankfully Damia + the Mirror has given me plenty of options, and I’m able to Stomphowler the Caged Sun before he gets too ridiculous, although he has access to 20 mana thanks to the Magus. I get a Darksteel Plate onto Damia, and then Genesis Wave for 15. After the dust clears (I wave into Oracle of Mul Daya and Null Profusion, along with 6 or so lands – it’s a good turn) my board looks like this:

(excuse the poor quality – bad camera phone + bad lighting). Highlights include:

I am now down to 13 life. Remember that 20 mana Axelrod has? He plays a land, and declares “I can draw the game here” – he has Crypt Rats in play and everyone would die. We convince him this is a LAME way to finish the game, so he thinks for a second, and does this instead: Red Sun’s Zenith me for 13 (exactsies! And before I can get a post-Wave turn) and then Crypt Rats for 7, wiping the board and leaving himself and Mayael on 1, and Geth on 3 (ish). Geth recovers faster than the others, and takes down the rest of the table. (Axelrod could have won, if he had activate the Rats for 6 instead, leaving him on 2, but I forget how it would have made a difference. Something about surviving Geth’s Leechridden Swamp and then burning him out, or something…)

MVP: Damia. No question this time, she did her job beautifully. Non-General MVP: I’m gonna give this one to Teferi’s Puzzle Box. More than once I heard “I could have dealt with that with my LAST hand”

LVP: Too many mana dorks. It’s been said before, but I need to replace them with business spells. At least Llanowar Elves, Dreamscape Artist, Elves of Deep Shadow and Birds of Paradise need to go. They just don’t do enough, even in the early game. Dishonourable mention to Living End, which was going to make me sacrifice my Indestructible Damia and return said Mana Dorks to play (of course I just should have not suspended the damn thing in the first place, so that one’s on me)

“You’re playing WHAT?!” Award: To Geth, for getting the beats on with…. SEVERED LEGION. Good work, dude 😀

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in EDH/Commander, Game Report

 

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A very important milestone

I’m popular!

(Not very many people will recognise the significance of that number, but it’s a big one for me)

Thanks to everyone who regularly comes back to see what I’m on about now! I think this site must be bookmarked because most hits to the main page come here directly, instead of clicking through from Facebook or my signature on one of the forums. Thanks again!

Oh, one more thing – if you haven’t voted in the Edric poll a few posts down, please do! Thanks!

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Prison Rules, EDH, and having a good time (ooh err)

There’s been a bit of discussion lately in our playgroup, and in the wider community about how Commander “should” be played, and whether certain lines of play are appropriate to the format. In particular, whether it’s socially acceptable to take another player out early, or to focus on one player to the exclusion of the other players in the game. This came up partly, but I should point out not only, because of the game I reported on last week, in which one player was taken out very early (turn 6 or so) but the rest of the game took around an hour. In our group we call this “Prison Rules” for reasons which I hope are reasonably clear to the audience…

The question is, is this an OK way to play? I’ve since been told that my Omnath deck isn’t fun to play against, purely because it focuses on one player until they die, then moves on to the next, instead of spreading the damage around, like most of my other decks do. I can understand that; if you’re the first one to be chosen* then you definitely run the risk of sitting on the sidelines for a long time watching the others, and of course that’s not fun.

(*for whatever reason – I’d like to point out that I usually attack the strongest player, while in last week’s game the Omnath player, who wasn’t me, chose the weakest player simply because Omnath killed him off immediately. At that point the other two remaining players tried – unsuccessfully, in the end – to take Omnath down.)

Thinking some more about the way Omnath plays led me to the conclusion that all General Damage based decks must play that way; if I hit all 3 players at the table with my General, and they’re all another hit away from dying to it, of course they’re all going to come after me! In that case, it simply makes sense to take out as many players as quickly as you can, in order to give them the least chance to retaliate. This is how I built Omnath – when it’s running good it kills one player per turn until the game ends (this is almost how it worked last week – it killed all three players in a single hit, and the last two in consecutive turns, but there was a big gap between the first kill and the second).

EDH is, first and foremost, a casual format. “Graveborn Muse” over on Musevessel.com, opined that casual means:

Casual Magic means you care about how much fun your opponents are having.

Now that is a definition I agree with 100%, and the comment that my Omnath deck isn’t fun to play against has got me thinking that maybe I need to take it apart and rebuild something else – although personally I did have fun playing against it, as I desperately tried (and almost succeeded) to stop a 400+ power monster from running me over.

So the question for the day (500 words in!) is this:

Does focussing on one player mean that you are not playing socially?

Like virtually everything in life, I would say “it depends”. There are times where it’s obviously the correct thing to be doing; you have a board full of dragons, and That Guy Over There has a Pernicious Deed in play, with 5 mana currently available. You’re going to lose your team unless you take him out (or down) before he untaps; I believe you should attack him while the attacking’s good (and then make a deal with him to not blow the Deed while you attack other people, a point on which I’ve already discovered I differ from the most of the rest of my group; they’d rather force the Deed and rebuild on their own turn).

However, if you’re attacking the same guy again and again simply because he’s open, while it may be the smart thing to do from a winning-the-game perspective, it is almost certainly affecting his enjoyment of the game, and maybe you should hold off and let them play for a while. Yes, that drags the games out. But (and I’m sure I’ve said this before) aren’t we here to play the game? The best play in a sanctioned Magic tournament is not always the right play in an EDH game. (Notice the difference between “best” and “right” here). Having said that, if two players in the game are enjoying beating on each other as hard as they can (say for example, Terastodonning 12 lands from the same player…..) then go for it!

Now I’m not saying “don’t take out the threat” or “well, maybe I’ll just sit back and watch everyone else play then” either – you have to be enjoying yourself as much as the others around the table – but what I am saying is that we’re playing a non-sanctioned format, around a kitchen table (or equivalent), for fun and kicks.

Is there a place for so-called tight play in EDH? Yeah, I think so – but only if the rest of the table agrees. In the future I’ll be taking a look around the table and seeing who I’m playing against (both players and decks), and then select a deck accordingly – if I’m up against Kiku, Sisay, and Progenitus, then I’ll bust out a “good” deck. If I’m playing against Cat-Lady Sisay, 5-colour Angels, and Hazezon Tamar, then maybe I’ll shoot for Mayael, or Garza Zol, or Tolsimir, decks which are entirely capable of taking out a game, but in a much less focussed way.

At the end of the day (and, thank goodness, approaching the end of this article!) EDH is about having fun. Nobody should be stressing about should I be making this play or that play – we’re here to have fun (I hope!) and if you’re spending too much time worrying about the meta-meta-game (which is what this has been all about!) you’re probably thinking too hard 😀 EDH is (in theory) about haymakers and crazy plays, and focussing on one player, or more precisely the type of play that leads to focussing on one player, almost inevitably leads to the opposite kind of game. Think Big! Do Dumb Things! Enjoy Yourself!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in EDH/Commander

 

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