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Tag Archives: Omnath

Permanent Links to my decklists

As some of you have discovered, I’ve been working on a set of pages for my decks, proposed or existing. It’s up there, and the main page has links to all my decks, what’s in them, and how they’re supposed to work. If you hover over the main page link, you’ll also get a dropdown showing the sub-pages (which hopefully will be self-explanatory).

I’ll be updating those pages every now and then, especially when cards go on or off the Wantlist and Watchlist (which will be available for each deck… eventually.) When I make changes to the decks I’ll still post here, but I’ll also update the decklists on these pages.

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

 

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Quick Hit: Omnath, Locus of Mana

Another link to another deck: The big fulla himself 🙂

Link to decklist

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

 

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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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Game Report: Sek’Kuar times 2

I played a couple of really quite interesting games last night, using my new Sek’Kuar deck (see previous post for details on the deck). To the report!

Game1: Stonebrow, (my) Omnath, Sek’Kuar, Thraximundar

The Stonebrow and Omnath decks were being piloted by a couple of new(ish) players, so I thought that Thrax, which was being run by Sam (hi Sam!) would be the big threat. Boy was I wrong… I actually stopped taking notes for this game about 6 turns in as I thought the game was over by that point. Again, I was wrong!

The first few turns for the non-Omnath players were fairly tame, but Omnath’s line of play went something like:

Ouch. Luckily for me I had a Terminate in my hand and enough blockers (due to Mogg War Marshal and Bloodthrone Vampire) that the Omnath wasn’t going to kill me. Also luckily, I killed Omnath on my turn, then Stonebrow played Wheel of Fortune to make Omnath discard the Rancor… however in response to the Wheel of Fate Omnath played Chord of Calling for… Rofellos. Oh crap…

Then replay Omnath, play Asceticism (to which I respond with Wrecking Ball), replay Omnath AGAIN before the mana runs out (now under Asceticism). OH CRAP… Thankfully he didn’t have trample at this stage. Eventually (and I may be remembering this in the wrong order) these things happened:

  • Asceticism gets killed by a Wickerbough Elder
  • Omnath gets to 45/45 (still without trample) and gets killed by something. Response: Momentous Fall. OH DOUBLE CRAP. Gain 45, draw 45 cards? Sure.
  • Play and equip Shield of Kaldra. OH TRIPLE CRAP. Neither Stonebrow nor myself can get rid of Omnath now (slim chance that I can make the player sacrifice it, but there are plenty of other creatures to go through first and my Grave Pact is in the graveyard due to the Wheel of Fate)
  • Stonebrow gets a Mana-Charged Dragon going and using mana from both of us, get Omnath down to 28 life.
  • By this stage Omnath is truly ridiculous; it’s generating ~20 mana per turn, and the big lug – still without trample – is in the hundreds
  • Omnath plays Patron of the freakin’ Orochi.
  • Omnath Genesis Waves for 20 (leaving three cards in their library) and hits three different ways to give it trample (O-Naginata, Roughshod Mentor and Horned Helm) and MARK OF SAKIKO. The writing is on the wall. Since the Dragon can kill Omnath on the next swing, Omnath swings in and kills the HELL out of Stonebrow, incidentally making Omanth a 428/425 Trampling Indesctructible Death Machine of Death.

It’s my last turn. I have Sek’Kuar, two War Marshal tokens, Fires of Yavimaya, Wickerbough Elder (used) and two Graveborn tokens in play, and Hellkite Hatchling and Natural Affinity in my hand. “All in!” I declare, casting Natural Affinity and then the Hatchling, devouring all of my non-token creatures (which now includes my lands). The end result is a 16/16 Hellkite, 17 Graveborn tokens, Sek, and two Gobbos. Unfortunately for me, the Natural Affinity gives Omnath enough lands to block with and he drops to 12, and then kills me extremely dead.

All in all this turned out to be a very enjoyable game, although not I imagine for Sam who got knocked out early and then had to watch while the remaining two of us managed to stall out the game for a while (although he did kick off another game before we finished).

Lessons Learned: Needs more ways to deal with artifacts, and more global removal (which I’m trying to get in)

MVP: Natural Affinity + Hellkite Hatchling making me a big tramply flier and 15 Graveborn tokens at the low low cost of sacrificing my lands 🙂 Good endgame plan 🙂

LVP: Don’t recall… I don’t remember being disappointed by anything I drew, but it was a weird game in which I was on the defensive pretty much the whole time.

Game 2: Emperor EDH

Team 1: Sisay, Damia and Momir Vig

Team 2: (my) Tolsimir, Sek’Kuar, Akroma White

We all picked our decks and then assigned team members randomly; the Captain Sisay and Damia decks are both very good, and as you’ll see the Momir deck is no slouch either. The Akroma deck is a good one but takes some time to get set up, and my Tolsimir deck is wildly variable, at the best of times. To the game!

Not too much happens early except Momir gets Thrummingbird plus Orochi Hatchery out early, and starts swinging into Akroma, proliferating the token(s) on the Hatchery. I put an end to those shenanigans by evoking Shriekmaw and killing the bird. Damia drops Bad Sygg, which starts getting him cards almost immediately when Momir attacks Akroma with a Coiling Oracle and two Snake tokens.

Sisay drops an Azusa and an extra land, but Akroma resets the board (something it is very good at) with an Akroma’s Vengeance. I gain 15 life off Deathgreeter. Go team! After the wrath, Sisay drops a Sun Titan, which gets a Loxodon Warhammer into play. Damia plays Keiga, and I drop a Gleancrawler. Not being able to attack from the General’s position is not good for my deck; it loves the red zone!

Next turn Damia plays Psychosis Crawler and then Forsee (ouch) then Momir plays his general and Forgotten Ancient. Tolsimir plays a Marshal’s Anthem, kicked once, to get Rampaging Baloths back into play.

After that Momir starts playing Mystic Snakes and Draining Whelks, and that pretty much wraps up the game. I think by the end of the game (Momir, in conjuction with two Psychosis Crawlers (a Dimir Doppelganger and a Spitting Image) kills off Akroma and then get to work on me) Momir has cast Draining Whelk three times and Mystic Snake twice… isn’t this supposed to be Elder Dragon Highlander??

I have one last big turn after a Minds Aglow where I have Insurrection in my hand, but Momir has Draining Whelk in his. I try and draw out the Whelk while still having enough mana for Insurrection, but can’t do it, and die to Minds Aglow again in Damia’s next turn.

Not such a great game, the deck didn’t really fire like it can. Also (pet peeve) I don’t particularly enjoy games where the same cards get cast again… why have a 100 card deck if you’re just going to cast the same spells? It’s not a big deal though and there were any number of ways that I would have died.

Lessons Learned: Need more graveyard removal. Don’t play this deck as an Emperor.

MVP: None. Maybe Deathgreeter 😉

LVP: The deck may need another land or two; I was stuck on 4 for a couple of turns.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in EDH/Commander, Game Report

 

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My Decks: Power Rankings

Just made this post over on mtgcommander.net, thought I may as well post it here too.

Starting from the bottom in the power stakes:

Isperia
Fun: 7
Power: 3

There’s something about this deck; it just never seems to fire. I have some quality fliers in here now (Baneslayer, Yosei, Glen Elendra Archmage) and a biggish suite of counters (about 9 in total, counting things like Draining Whelk) but I have yet to even get close to winning a game with it. I may have to look at a few other lists to see what they’re running differently, but I’ve been trying to avoid that (to me, it would feel too much like someone else’s deck. Yeah I know, I should get over myself 😉 )

Zedruu
Fun: 6
Power: 4

This is the deck of mine that really needs the most work. It’s basically the Political Puppets precon with a few changes thrown in. I have some ideas for this, but it’ll have to wait until I take a break from actual deck building. Occasionally I’ll trade for some cards for it and chuck them in, but really I should basically redo the whole deck from the word go.

Doran,
Fun: 6
Power: 6

Treefolk Tribal. If I’m honest I went a bit overboard with the theme on this one – too many Treefolk, not enough stuff that deals with other peoples things – I have a Lignify, a Rootgrapple…… and that may be it. I have a Solar Tide that REALLY should go in here, but again this is a deck that needs 15-odd cards taken out, and 15-odd “destroy/exile target X” cards thrown in. Can attack for stupid amounts of damage fairly early on though.

Tolsimir
Fun: 7
Power: 7

Token deck. Somewhat Wrath-resistant given Fecundity, Cobra Trap, and Fresh Meat, but it needs upgrading for things like Dauntless Escort and/or Concordant Crossroads… basically things that let my “little” 3/3 or 4/4 Saproling army actually attack 🙂

Kitsune Mystic
Fun: 8
Power: 6

Mono-White enchantments. I loving playing this deck, but if the the rest of the table is playing “properly” the whole thing is a 2-for-1 waiting to happen. When it goes off (usually with an Open the Vaults or Retether) the board state gets awesome 🙂

Savra
Fun: 7
Power: 7

Savra is all about sacrificing my guys to keep your guys off the table – it’s not a slow grinding control deck (I can’t build – or play – those types of deck properly) but it intends to get massive Lord of Extinctions and Golgari Grave-Trolls and beat face. I’m listing this after KMystic even though it’s less fun to play because it is more powerful. The groans when Mindslicer hits the table make this deck worth playing all by itself 🙂

Nin,
Fun: 8
Power: 7

My latest complete deck that I’ve actually played a game or two with. Nin can do some stupid good stuff, and is lots of fun to play. It plays the political game quite well as it can let other people draw a ton of cards, then when it’s time to pounce it can take those players out quite quickly. In theory 😉

Kaalia
Fun: 9
Power: 7

I think – when it works – this is by far the most fun deck I have. I guess that speaks more about my inner Timmyness than anything else, but when I’m smashing peoples faces in with Demons, Dragons and Angels it make me very big happy 🙂 Truth be told though, it’s not very powerful and without Kaalia it’s just an overpriced Fatty deck

Jaya
Fun: 8
Power 8

Another fun deck, this one can also take the rest of the table out pretty quickly – very low on creatures so not affected too much by boardwipes. Burn baby, Burn! 😉

There’s a fairly major gap between the previous decks and the other 4 – All of the ones below here are capable of winning pretty consistently, although (as always) there are always improvements to be made

Ghost Council
Fun: 7
Power: 9

This deck more than any of my others has the late game sewn up. It’s all about controlling the board, and plinking away for 5 or 10 or so per combat phase. It has a “blink” theme in it, but I’ve made sure that the creatures that it can blink want to be either leaving or entering the battlefield, like Skeletal Vampire or Cloudgoat Ranger.

Omnath
Fun: 9
Power: 9

One member of our playgroup got to live the dream with Omnath last week; he managed to kill the table by turn 6, using General Damage. Essentially this is a very linear deck – make mana, make Omnath huge, give him trample/make him unblockable (Trailblazer’s Boots is tech!) and SMASH. Add mana doublers, Seedborn Muse and Patron of the Orochi for the huge lol’s. It does have the big dumb green spells like Terastodon and GWave in here, but this deck, more than any of the others is all about the General Damage. Tons of fun, and my fastest deck by quite some margin.

Mayael
Fun: 10
Power: 9

My first EDH deck, and still my favourite. What’s not to like about putting all the bestest creatures in the world in one deck (Blue and Black creatures need not apply)? Mana Mana Mana, big dude, big dude, 2 big dudes…. Love it.

Animar
Fun: 8
Power: 10

Easily my most powerful deck, I built Animar to be flat-out good while at the same time fun. It’s the only deck I purposefully built an infinite combo into (Cloudstone Curio + Animar + two Eldrazi/morphs, for an infinitely large Animar.. add Tidespout Tyrant to bounce every (targetable) permanent on the board), and it’s designed to be able to do it’s thing under duress. Having said that, you can still make a lot of crazy, silly, fun plays with this deck.

Untested
I’ve just finished a Garza Zol deck, and I’m now building Damia. From looking at it I’d say Garza is about 7 fun/6 power, and the way I’m thinking about building Damia will make it about 6 fun/8 power.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Challenge of Doom, EDH/Commander

 

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