MtG: Three New Decks (One for my sis, one for a buddy & one for me!)

Dear readers, fellow M:tG enthusiasts!

Saturday is approaching and with that the next “Beginner’s Tournament” at the magic shop in Linz (and also my birthday, which happens to be on that day too!) which should just be called “Casual Tournament” as mostly pros take part in it as mentioned in previous posts.

In this article I want to share with you three different Magic decks, one I built for my sister who had voiced her wish for a Green/White/Red deck (and her wish was my command of course), the second I built for a buddy for an upcoming Legacy Tournament we both want to participate with and the third and last I built for myself, as I was toying around with that deck idea for quite some time already. So without much further ado, let us start with the deck I came up with for my sister! As always I will provide you with the full decklist and then discuss the deck and the strategy behind it for a bit. Let’s get started then, shall we?

Nora’s RWG Beatdown (Modern/Casual Format):

Creatures…22

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Avacyn’s Pilgrim G

4 x Cerodon Yearling RW

4 x Woolly Thoctar RGW

4 x Loxodon Smiter 1GW

2 x Marisi’s Twinclaws 2 G/W R

Instants…14

4 x Lightning Bolt R

3 x Path to Exile W

3 x Giant Growth G

4 x Lightning Helix RW

Enchantments…4

4 x Rancor G

Lands…20

4 x Rootbound Crag

4 x Sunpetal Grove

1o x Forest

1 x Plains

1 x Mountain

About the Deck:

This deck is raw cardboard power! Wisely and well I invested in a playset of Birds of Paradise, which I got for half the price of what a ONE Bird was worth back then in the “good old times”, for my sister and in this deck, BoP rules. The basic plan is to have at least one forest in your starting hand and one Bird or Avacyn’s Pilgrim, who is kinda the “Backup-Bird”. You’d play both and on your second turn you play a land, preferably Rootbound Crag or Sunpetal Grove, which make red/green and white/green mana respecitvely, and come into play untapped provided you control a Forest (or a Mountain/Plains), which is why I included 10 Forests as it is vitally important to have one in your starting hand, and then you’d basically let the action begin by dropping either Woolly Thoctar, which is an insane 5/4 for just RGW or an awesome 4/4 Loxodon Smiter for 1GW which cannot be countered (which is always nice!) and has a very situational secondary ability.

The real beatdown however begins as soon as turn 3 when your big guy is able to attack. Your big, badass yet cheap creatures are backed up by an array of low cost (mostly converted casting cost 1) non-creature spells such as Lightning Bolt or Path to Exile to get any early blockers out of the way, or spells that boost your critters, making them even more dangerous such as the temporary Giant Growth or the permanent booster Rancor. Rancor is really great in this deck as, besides giving a +2 Power boost it grants trample, which can be very vital (plus it returns to your hand if the creature it enchants leaves play). Thanks to Rancor, a 3rd turn attack with a 7/4 trampling Wolly Thoctar or a 6/4 Loxodon Smiter is not only a possibility, it happens every other game or so, and this was my plan right from the start. Lastly, Rancor or multiples of it are a nice fit for Birds of Paradise as well, as my sister discovered herself. As Birds have evasion in the form of flying, enchanting them with Rancor(s) can push through these last few bits of damage needed for the win – and so can Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix.

Two honorable mentions: Cerodon Yearling doesn’t really fit the mana curve but it can be awesome too both as a blocker and an attacker as it has both Vigilance and Haste on a 2/2 body for just WR. Marisi’s Twinclaws on the other hand can be pure evil with Rancor or even Rancors (in the plural) and/or Giant Growth, as they are a 2/4 Double Striker for 4 mana.

All in all this deck is a force to be reckoned with and my sister is very satisfied with how I built it, with its overall performance and I must say she wields it very well already. Brace yourselves attendees at the “Beginner’s Tournament” as this deck rocks!!

One last note: The deck actually features a sideboard with, among other cards, 4 Troll Ascetics which a are 3/2s for 1GG, have hexproof and regenerate at the cost of 1G. The reason for such a card is simple. There is a ton of targeted white exile this and exile that stuff (Path to Exile, Journey to Nowhere, Oblivion Ring etc etc) in our local metagame so I figured Ascetic would be a great sideboard card. Furthermore I included nasty cards for my sister such as Flashfires, which kills all Plains and Boil which does the same for Islands, both at the cost of 3R. Nora will not be harmed at all and her arch-nemesis, the monowhite Exalted/Exile deck a new friend of us keeps playing quite successfully time and time again, will be devastated by a card like Flashfires!

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OK on to the next deck. This time it is a deck intended for the Legacy Format, which I built for a buddy so we can both participate in an upcoming Legacy Tournament at our local cards shop. I will be playing WUR Landstill, my old favorite, and came up with the following deck for my gamer friend Robin, with the cards I found in my extensive M:tG collection:

Robins White/Red Landfall Weenie (Legacy Format):

Creatures…19

4 x Steppe Lynx W

3 x Isamaru, Hound of Konda W

2 x Grim Lavamancer R

4 x Soltari Priest WW

4 x Plated Geopede 1R

2 x Jötun Grunt 1W

Instants…10

4 x Lightning Bolt W

2 x Path to Exile W

4 x Lightning Helix RW

Enchantments…4

4 x Honor of the Pure 1W

Artifacts…7

4 x Adventuring Gear 1

3 x Explorer’s Scope 1

Lands…20

4 x Arid Mesa

4 x Marsh Flats

4 x Plateau

8 x Plains

About the Deck:

Ok this is really very experimental here but it COULD work out pretty well. First of all I have to say that I think red is the perfect color to splash into White Weenie if you want to go that road, and I myself played white/red weenie quite successfully for a long time. The thing is, your early creature ambush will be brought to a hold after a few turns in many cases, at least from my experience and red gives you not only great and cheap solutions for getting rid of pesky blockers – Lightning Bolt is a prime example here – but also serves as the “kill mechanism” if you inflicted a ton of early damage, which is very realisitc in such a build, and just need to push through that last bit of damage for the win. Lighting Bolt and Helix are your best friends here.

So the experimental and in-need-to-be-tested thing is that this particular Weenie build I centered around Landfall. For those not familiar with the Zendikar Block mechanic: Landfall just triggers some abilities, like for instance Steppe Lynx getting a temporary +2/+2 boost, whenever a land enters play under your control. How convenient that they released “enemy color” fetchlands in Zendikar and how exceedingly convenient that I happen to own a playset of each the White/Red and the White/Black fetchland from that set. I included both of course, even though there is no black in that deck and hence no Swamp to fetch with Marsh Flats. But that does not matter since not only will Arid Mesa or Marsh Flats search for your old-school original White/Red dual land Plateau, it will trigger your Landfall cards twice per turn: First off when you play the “fetchie” and then again when you sack it to put another land into play from your deck.

Speaking of Landfall, I am running 12 cards that have Landfall and each of them, two being creatures and one being a cheap equipment, have the same effect. Steppe Lynx is a 0/1 with “Landfall: +2/+2 until end of turn” for just one White mana. That means if you drop him on turn 1 and then on turn 2 you pull off the Fetchland thing, the Lynx will attack as a 4/5 beast on you second turn. Same thing with Plated Geopede. It is a 1/1 First Striker with the same Landfall Ability, so you’d have a 5/5 firststriking monster to attack with if you happen to be able to fetch the turn it attacks. The third and last card with Landfall is Adventuring Gear, which costs 1 to play and 1 to equip, giving its bearer +2/+2 until end of turn whenever you put a land into play. Unless you are terribly unlucky and draw no lands or even better fetchlands to play, this will double to power boost of your Landfall Critters, possibly making your humble 1 mana Lynx a 8/9 behemoth of a cat  if it has Adventurer’s Gear attached and you played and used a Fetchland this turn. Besided the Fetchlands, I included another 1 casting and 1 equip cost equipment, as a Landfall enabler. Whenever the bearer attacks, you may look at the top card of your deck and put it into play in case it is a land. That is pretty awesome when combined with the 3 x 4 Landfall cards mentioned above!

I also included some classic cards such as the 2/2 for 1 white mana Isamaru, Hound of Konda, as well as one of my all-time favorite White Weenies: Soltari Priest. He is a 2/1 with Protection from Red and Shadow, making him practically unblockable for the mere cost of WW. He is your prime target for one or even more Adventurer’s Gear(s) because he can dish out major damage through his evasive capabilities.

Along the cheap and efficient creatures I added a ton of pinpoint creature removal such as Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, Lightning Helix (which helps to make up for lost life due to excessive use of Fetchlands) as well as two copies of the classic Grim Lavamancer. He is really great to do away with pesky small blockers or general nuisances like Birds of Paradise as he is kinda a “Shock” on a 1/1 creature. You can pay 1 red mana, tap him and remove two cards from your graveyard to have him deal 2 damage to target creature or player. That is pretty awesome as you’ll have a ton of Fetchlands and used Instants in your graveyard anyways. Back then this guy was super-popular, but nowadays I rarely see him in any decks. I think Lavamancer is a great addition to this deck in particular.

Lastly, what would White Weenie be without a Crusade? Well I added the newer and better version, Honor of the Pure, 4 times. It gives all your White creatures +1/+1 which is never a bad thing – what a shame that Plated Geopede will be left out and not benefit from it.

Well we will see how the deck performs in a real Legacy tournament environment, of which I have absolutley no clue how it will be, but so far I am satisfied with what I have come up with for my gaming nerd buddy Robin.

OK on to the last deck, the deck I built or rather am building for me!

Wrath of the 1/1s (Modern Format):

Disclaimer: I am building this deck on a BUDGET hence no Doubling Season since those are f’ing expensive and I run Avacyn’s Pilgrim and Elves of Deep Shadow over Birds because the former two are 1/1s!

Creatures…26

4 x Avacyn’s Pilgrim G

4 x Elves of Deep Shadow G

4 x Doomed Traveller W

4 x Sakura-Tribe Elder 1G

4 x Sigil Captain 1WWG

4 x Corpsejack Menace 2GB

2 x Triskelion 6

Instants…4

4 x Putrefy 1GB

2 x Mortify 1GW

Sorceries…8

4 x Lingering Souls 2W

4 x Spectral Procession 2/W 2/W 2/W

Lands…22

2 x Pendelhaven

4 x Brushland

4 x Llanowar Wastes

6 x Forest

3 x Swamp

3 x Plains

About the Deck:

Well this is a just-for-fun deck which happens to fall into the Modern Format category. It lives and dies with you drawing into one of these:

This Rhino Soldier Guy will turn all you 1/1s into 3/3s as soon as they enter the battlefield, which is quite amazing as we will see when we take a look at the rest of the deck. First off though, feast your eyes on this beast and go figure what evil devilry he’d do if paired with Sigil Captain:

Yes that is right, if we take a simple 1 mana 1/1 Avacyn’s Pilgrim or Elves of Deep Shadow, those two together would make him a whooping 5/5 beast of a Pilgrim/Elf. But the madness does not stop there. I have 18 very useful Creatures that are 1/1s. Elves, Pilgrims and Sakura-Tribe Elders are useful in the beginning for ramping mana, but if you manage to get Sigil Captain out, or even both the Captain and “The Menace” later in the game, they will grow huge. Doomed Traveller is awesome as he creates a flying 1/1 token when he dies, meaning you got a big bad flyer thanks to Captain (and even worse, Menace).

Also this deck has lots of ways to generate 1/1 flying creature tokens such as Lingering Souls which spawns four 1/1 Flyers when you Flashback it or Spectral Procession which can give you three 1/1 Flyers potentially at the low cost of WWW. Let us take Spectral Procession for instance and see what the Captain and the Menace will do to them:

If you play Procession with Captain out, you will get three Flyers that will each be 3/3, so you just generated an attack force with total Power of 9 for as little as 3 mana. If Corpsejack Menace happens to be out as well, you will get three 5/5 Flyers instead, which would be a total of 15 evasive Power, again for just 3 mana.

Well, the problem with this deck is, and I mentioned it before, that all depends on whether or not you manage to draw into a Sigil Captain early enough and can manage to keep him in play long enough to actually make use of his great, great ability. Maybe I should drop the creature/artifact removal (Putrify) entirely and swap in some Honor of the Pures instead to at least turn my three 1/1 Flyers from Spectral Procession into three 2/2 Flyers etc… The deck can win without Captain and Menace I think, though it would be a rocky road to victory – or defeat…

One awesome stunt you can pull off with Captain and Menace I almost forgot to mention however: Imagine you play Triskelion…

…which is a 1/1 as you can see above. It comes into play with 3 +1/+1 Counters, which you can remove to “ping” a player or creature for each counter removed. Well with Captain out, you will have a 5/5 Triskelion that can dish out 4 damage. With Menace alone you got yourself a 7/7 Trike that may divide 6 damage as you wish. Not bad, but what if….what if both Menace and Captain were out whilst you drop your Triskelion? Well you will have run the numbers already. What you would be getting would be an 11/11 Triskelion that can shoot for 10! I doubt that this will occur on a regular basis but nonetheless this is a great combo once you manage to pull it off!!

That leads me to another idea… How about an artifact deck with above Triskelion, aforementioned Corpsejack Menace and this neat guy I happen to own a playset of?

This begs for furhter consideration and I see another crazy deck article coming up soon!

Well I hope you enjoyed this one and thank you for reading. As always to you all

HAPPY GAMING,

Andi

Presenting the Elemental Clash Future Sight Preview Pack!

Dear friends and fans of the Elemental Clash Customizable Card Game!

Shortly after the release of the first full Elemental Clash Expansion “Legendary Legacy” (available here) and on the occasion of my 27th birthday (which is tomorrow on 31st of May), it is my great pleasure to announce the release of the

Elemental Clash: Future Sight Preview Pack

EC FS Boxshot small

This exclusive pack of 35 cards (+1 rules explanation card) will grant you, dear friend of Elemental Clash, an exclusive glimpse into the future of Elemental Clash, into what I have planned for the game over the course of the coming 2 – 3 years.

The Future Sight Preview Pack is availaible as of now HERE.

If you want to know what you will get with this pack, please read on!

So, as I have mentioned before, after Legendary Legacy, there will be no more 100+ card expansions any more, but rather what I call

Demi-Expansions

which will be smaller sets of about 90 cards each which will all have a certain theme and introduce one major, new game mechanic. Furhtermore, as announced previously, there will be so called

Tribal Packs

starting with the “Tribal Pack: Orcs”, which will be reinforcement packs of about 36 cards all about one new Creature Type.

But back to the Elemental Clash Future Sight Preview Pack:

The pack will contain 15 never-before seen, exclusive preview cards from 5 different Demi-Expansions I have planned to realiz over the course of the next few years (as always, finances are the only thing that hold me back and I cannot provide you with any release dates for any of the Demi-Expansions), with the first one being a very special set all about our favorite type of fantasy creatures:

Dragonforce Logo low res

The other four Demi-Expansions will each focus on one of the four Elements in the game and they will go by the names of

Gravestorm (Earth)

Winds of War (Air)

Reign of Chaos (Fire)

Benthic Behemoths (Water)

Out of these five upcoming sets, the Future Sight Preview Pack includes one “Unique” Creature, one regular Creature and one Spell, so 3 cards from each of the aforementioned Demi-Expansions, showcasing the new mechanics that will be introduced in these, in order to give you a taste of what is going to come in the future.

If you are curious about the exact contents of the Future Sight Preview Pack, here a full cards spoiler for your convenience:

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For those of you who are extra curious, I will explain the new mechanics/keywords briefly for you:

  • Tribute:

Tribute is an additional cost you pay upon playing a card requiring a Tribute from hand. This means you have to destroy cards you control as described in the Tribute card. There are Tribute(s) that are mandatory and such which are optional, as stated on the card. If you paid Tribute for a card that is neutralized, the Tributed card(s) will still go to the Archive.

  • Last Stand:

If you have 7 or less cards left in your Spellbook, the “Last Stand” effects are applied as specified on the cards.

  • Echo:

This Spell or Effect is copied as many times as a card with the same name is in your Archive.

  • Gamble:

To Gamble just means you roll a six-sided dice and follow the instructions as described on the card that requires you to Gamble.

  • Reinforce:

For a card in play that has Reinforce, you may reveal any number of cards with the same name from your hand and shuffle them into your Spellbook. The Reinforce effect(s) resolve for each, as described on the card.

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Alright, that is about all I can tell you about the Elemental Clash: Future Sight Preview Pack and the upcoming Demi-Expansions for now. Again I cannot provide you with even a general timeframe when any of these will be available, as all depends on how my financial situation develops in the nearer future.

So all I can say is please support the Elemental Clash project by purchasing your copy of Elemental Clash: Legendary Legacy and/or your Future Sight Preview Pack. It is a bargain after all, offering highest quality art and gameplay value at an affordable price tag!

Thank you for your attention and interest – more new card previews will be posted as they come in so stay tuned and as always…

HAPPY GAMING!

Sincerely yours,

Andi

MtG Nostalgia: Revamping “Black Summer” in 2014

Well dear readers,

you can see that the Magic: the Gathering craze is holding me in a tight grip again these days (after an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh craze) fuelled by weekly tournaments of various kinds (from sealed deck, over commander to “anything goes” casual) in the relatively near Magis Shop I discovered in Linz (a somehwat more than an hour train ride from my place), so here comes another MtG deck/strategy article.

This time we are going back to the past again, far back, to a point in time even before my own Magic career started now exaclty 15 years ago, in 1999 with the Sixth Edition.

We have summer 1996, which should become known as “black summer”, as aggressive, black decks fuelled by the immense draw powers of Necropotence…

…released in Ice Age back in 1995 were abundant and dominated, featuring classic, powerful black cards like Dark RitualHypnotic Specter and Hymn to Tourach to mention a few, always engaged in an eternal struggle with classic White Weenie decks featuring Protection from Black White Knights, Order of  Leitburs and/or Order of the White Shields as well as with so called “Turbo Stasis” control decks.

Having read all about that period prior to my start into M:tG in old issues of “The Duelist” a relative had borrowed me and I had found in a comic store for cheap, I am well familiar with the Magic decks before my time and always wondered if they could still compete after so many years had passed, at least in a modified form.

The weekly casual tournaments at the Magic Shop in Linz  (they should really consider renaming those, cause “Beginner’s Tournament” is quite misleading as usually 90% of the people showing up there are actually pros!) would be the optimal testing ground for that I assumed. Of course I could just take the deck list of a “black summer” 1996 Necro-Deck running a playset of Necropotences just like back then in the times of yore, but that would be quite lame and I think I can emulate the playing style and feel of the old deck archteype quite well running newer cards that fit the theme along the old classics, which are all allowed as there are no restricted or even banned cards in the so  called “Beginner’s Tournament”, namely the aforementioned Dark Ritual, Hymn to Tourach and Hypnotic Specter. Quite to my surprise, the latter has dropped in price to almost zero these days – oddly enough as he was always  highly sougth after and considered a top card back then, and I think he is really powerful with great potential disturbing your opponent’s  strategy by forcing random discards being a reasonably priced (mana-wise) flyer and all. But more on that later. Anyways even though I woul be free to do it, I will not run Necropotence in my “old and new crossover deck”, since I think I have found superior alternatives.You want to know what could beat good-old Necropotence? Well read on to find out!

Let me show you the “Black Summer 2014” deck which I am tempted to run in this week’s “Beginners’ Tournament” instead of the Elves for Emrakul deck I had announced earlier.

Black Summer 2014 Deck (Casual Format):

Creatures…12

2 x Gatekeeper of Malakir BB

4 x Hypnotic Specter 1BB

4 x Vampire Nighthawk 1BB

2 x Abyssal Persecutor 2BB

Instants…4

4 x Dark Ritual B

Sorceries…20

4 x Thoughtseize B

4 x Cabal Therapy B

4 x Surgical Extraction B

4 x Hymn to Tourach BB

4 x Sign in Blood BB

Artifacts…4

4 x Skullclamp 1

Lands…20

20 x Swamp

About the Deck:

Well, this is my modernized version of the classic Necro-Deck memorably popular during “black summer” in 1996.

The deck consists mostly of cost 1 or cost 2 cards and is monocolored, so I dare play only 20 lands, all Swamps. The Dark Rituals certainly help out in case of mana problems and a turn 1 Hypnotic Specter or Vampire Nighthawk is very much possible and in fact your perfect opening play. Man the people back then in the Necropotence era would have jumped at a card like Vampire Nighthawk:

A 2/3 Flying Deathtouching Lifelinker for 3 Mana – what a package!!

In general I would call this deck an aggro-control deck with lots and lots of hand disruption, pinpoint in the form of Thoughtseize (the better Duress) and Cabal Therapy or random in the form of Hymn to Tourach and Hypnotic Specter. You basically take out anything the deck wouldn’t be able to deal with right out of your opponent’s hand.

Even without an explosive start powered through Dark Ritual, you can Thoughtseize a card on turn one, pay 2 life for the alternative casting cost (“Phyrexian Mana”) of Surgical Extraction and take out one bother some card once and for all by exiling any and all copies of it from your opponent’s hand, graveyard and deck. That is pretty awesome. You can follow that up with a turn two Hymn that will take out two more cards from your opponent’s hand at random, which can be quite devastating. On turn 3 you can then cast Hypnotic Specter, which will be a constant engine for random discards or Vampire Nighthawk who will make up for the life lost to your Thoughtseizes, your Surgical Extractions and your Sign in Bloods.

Speaking of: I found more or less ideal card draw options for this deck, without resorting to actually playing Necropotence: Those are 4 Sign in Blood and 4 Skullclamps.

Sign in Blood costs just BB and causes a player to draw 2 cards and then lose two life. This means you got cheap and efficient card draw at the ready, which you can even use as a “finisher” in some tight games where you just need to push through one or two more points of damage in order to win, simply by targeting your opponent with the Sign in Blood.

Skullclamp on the other hand…

…being my all time favorite equipment for sure, and I am sure glad to be allowed to play it in the form of a playset in the “Beginner’s Tournament, as it is so tremendously useful on so many levels. It draws you two cards when the Creature it is attached to dies. This means the Creature will be replaced twice, by two new cards. Furthermore, it gives the equipped Creature +1/-1, meaning that your Nighthawks and Specters will attack for one more damage each turn, which might matter more than one might think plus if you attach 2 Skullclamps to one of your 2 thoughness Creatures, you will draw 4 new cards at once.  That is pretty amazing. And lastly, I always like to think of the ‘Clamp as a form of “life insurance” for the equipped Creature, as opponents will be hesitant to destroy it and give you two new cards for free basically. What a deal for a 1 cost Equipment that equips at the mere cost of 1 as well. I think in conjunction, Sign in Blood and Skullclamp are worthy replacements for good old Necropotence.

And oh my, I almost forgot to mention my killer-Creature:

Abyssal Persecutor just kicks then so powerful Juzam Djinns demonic butt! His only drawback is “just” that you cannot win the game and your opponent cannot lose. That is negligible however since you can get rid of Persectuor easily through Cabal Therapy’s flashback cost of sacking a Creature or by Kicking Gatekeeper of Malakir, targetting yourself, once your opponent is exactly at or below 0 life!

Well, fellow Magic: the Gathering enthusiasts, this is my take on “black summer 2014”!

Hope you enjoyed my deck article and will also read the next one, being about my new EDH deck that I built right after I built my sisters (deckbuilding galore these days!). I will spend my evening doing just that so I will be back soon with YET another Magic: the Gathering deck article!

Until then I wish one and all always

Happy Gaming,

Yours,

Andi

MtG: Building an EDH/Commander Deck for my Sister (+WTF is EDH??)

Dear readers, dear friends of the fascinating Magic: the Gathering CCG!

I am immensely pleased about the sudden interest and enthusiams for said game my sister has been showing lately (see previous posts) and I am especially happy, that Nora also expressed interest in playing the awesome Commander Format (formerly known as “Elder Dragon Highlander” or EDH in brief), which started out as an obscure fan-made alternative way of playing Magic and which has only relatively lately been picked up by Wizards (of the Coast) and elevated to an official tournament format and dedicated Commander sets (preconstructed decks) have been released in 2012 and 2013, each of them coming with cards especially designed for the new Commander format. Here an example:

I applaud Wizards of the Coast for this wise and awesome move, reconginzing the popularity of a fan format, picking it up and turning it into something official, even desigining and publishing dedicated Commader Format cards as the one seen above.

So since Commander is played quite often over here in the “nerd-cave”, my sister wanted to have a  go at Commander/EDH (I will just call it EDH in the following) as well. I really welcomed this and was so pleased with my sister’s interest not only in MtG in general but also specifically in EDH, that I ordered her one of those awesomer EDH decks, which contain a ton of really great and valuable cards, such as awesome reprints of costly, old cards like this one…

 

…as well as 3 oversized foil commanders, being quite powerful and very much playable right out of the box.

The deck I bougth for Nora is fully in German, which will make it so much easier to play for my sister who knows only a few odd bits of English – this being the reason why I bought the below preconstruced deck for her instead of just building an EDH deck from my extensive cards collection, which is mostly in English language.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Incidentally, the “Ausweichmanöver” (Evasive Maneuvers in English – if you want the full, unaltered card list you can check it here. Just scroll down a bit as the above deck is at the bottom of the page) deck was the cheapest of the Commander 2013 Edition preconstructed decks AND it is my sister’s favorite three color combination (green – white – blue, as you can see in the picture) – that is just perfect. With Nora’s permission (she is not home Monday through Thursday due to work in a nearby town) I opened the pack yesterday, sleeved and modified it a bit, taking  out some of the more complicated cards, in order to make my sister’s headstart into the world of EDH a bit easier, swapping some cards with better replacements I had handy, as well as removing the multiplayer-oriented cards, as we aren’t really into 3+ players games in general ove here.

Below, I will present you with the modified Evasive Maneuvers EDH deck, which is going to be Nora’s first deck in this awesome format, and which should be regarded as a work-in-progress, as it could be improved even more. My card modification options were quite limited as most of my cards are in English language and I wanted to add German cards only, to remove the language barrier for Nora.

But first I want to answer the question some of my readers might be having for quite some time:

“WTF is EDH anyways??”

Well, dear reader, I have posted many articles on Commander / EDH decks already but never actually provided you with any info about how EDH actually works. To make up for that deficit, I shall try to explain briefly what EDH is all about and how it works:

First off you need to build a deck of course. Deckbuilding for EDH follow these rules: You need a 100 cards deck, 1 Commander + 99 cards that make up your actual deck. Each and every card can be included exactly once in your 99 card deck (there is a ban-list but most cards, no matter how old and/or powerful are allowed) except for basic lands, which are unlimited. Your commander card must be a legendary creature and its “color identitiy”, the colors featured in the commander’s casting cost, determines which colors you will be allowed to include in your deck. Let us look at an example: The Commander in Nora’s EDH deck:

If you chose Derevi as your commander, the cards in your deck may only have green, white and/or blue mana symbols on them (that includes not only the casting costs but also the mana symbols in the text box etc. With Derevi I could not play a Karplusan Forest for example, being neither red nor black, but having a red mana symbol in its text box) and you would not be allowed to run cards with any red or black mana symbols anywhere.

And this is how it is played: Your 99 cards deck is shuffled and you draw 7 cards at the start and 1 per turn just like normal, but your Commander is placed in a special location on the playing field, the so called “Command Zone”. So the Commander is not shuffled into the deck along with the rest of the cards but sits in your Command Zone and can be summoned from there any time, provided you can pay for his or her costs. When the Commander dies or is exiled, you may return him to Command Zone and can cast him or her again from there any number of times. HOWEVER, each time beyond the first time you summon your Commander from Command Zone, you must pay an extra 2 generic mana in addtion to the Commander’s native casting cost. For example your Commander died 2 times and you summon him the third time from Command Zone you’d have to pay for his or her printed casting cost + 4 generic mana.

Furthermore, in EDH each player starts with 40 Life instead of the regular 20 and there is an alternative win condition: Either you reduce your opponent’s life from 40 to zero or you inflict a total of 21 “Command Damage”, that is damage your Commander inflicted on your opponent. So even if a player has a zillion life, they will lose the very instant your Commander inflists the 21st point of Command Damage.

Well that is EDH for you, in a nutshell! Hope this was to some degree educational to some readers who are not yet familiar with this amazing, alternative way of playing Magic: the Gathering and I encourage any and all MtG fans to give it a try some time. EDH has a lot going on for it, and I could write a whole essay on that, but (at least for now) I will spare you and instead move on to Nora’s Work-in-Progress EDH decklist, which is just the slightly modified “Evasive Maneuvers” preconstructed deck.

So first the decklist, then a few thoughts on the deck, as usual!

Nora’s First EDH Deck (Work-in-Progress):

NOTE: The cards I added are marked in GREEN! 😀

Commander: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician

Creatures…28

Sakura-Tribe Elder 1G

Mistmeadow Witch  1U/W

Sunscape Familiar 1W

Quasali Pridemage WG

Farhaven Elf 2G

Eternal Witness 1GG

Stonecloaker 2W

Fiendhunter 1WW

Flickerwisp 1WW

Thornwind Faeries 1UU

Wall of Denial 1WU

Carven Caryathid 1GG

Stoic Angel 1GWU

Rafiqu of the Many 1GWU

Angel of Finality 3W

Lu Xun, Scholar General 2UU

Aerie Mystics 4W

Karmic Guide 3WW

Acidic Slime 3GG

Indrik Stomphowler 4G

Azami, Lady of Scrolls 2UUU

Mulldrifter 4U

Roon of the Hidden Realm 2GWU

Rubinia Soulsinger 2GWU

Murkfiend Liege 2 G/U G/U G/U

Skyward Eye Prophets 3GWU

Arcanis the Omnipotent 3UUU

Woodfall Primus 5GGG

Instants…8

Swords to Plowshares W

Reciprocate W

Otherworldly Journey 1W

Reprisal 1W

Confound 1U

Arcane Denial 1U

Abolish 1WW

Aethermage’s Touch 2WU

Sorceries…8

Steelshaper’s Gift W

Time of Need 1G

Cultivate 2G

Borrowing 100,000 Arrows 2U

Breath of Life 3W

Resurrection 2WW

Saltblast 3WW

Kirtar’s Wrath 4WW

Enchantments…7

Darksteel Mutation 1W

Lignify 1G

Journey to Nowhere 1W

Oblivion Ring 2W

Steel of the Godhead 2W/U

Control Magic 2UU

Finest Hour 1GWU

Artifacts…9

Sol Ring 1

Skullclamp 1

Selesnya Signet 2

Simic Signet 2

Swiftfoot Boots 2

Lightning Greaves 2

Loxodon Warhammer 3

Basalt Monolith 3

Darksteel Ingot 3

Planeswalkers…2

Elspeth, Knight Errant 2WW

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes 3GW

Lands…38

6 x Forest

7 x Plains

6 x Island

Command Tower

Rupture Spire

Transguild Promenade

Opal Palace

Faerie Conclave

Secluded Steppe

Temple of the False God

Evolving Wilds

Terramorphic Expanse

Grassland

Azorius Chancery

Selesnya Sanctuary

Bant Panorama

Seaside Citadel

Azorius Guildgate

Simic Guildgate

Selesnya Guildgate

Seijiri Regfuge

My Thoughts on the Deck:

Well as you can see there is a lot of green in the above card list, as I found many ways to improve the deck, removing all multiplayer-oriented cards, some cards that may be to difficult for a beginner like my sister Nora and replacing some cards with better alternatives, altogether in an effort to focus the deck a bit more on the two major themes of the deck: One being “flickering” creatures (removing them from play temporarily and bringing them back at end of turn) and the other being dictated by the Commander: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician. Let us look at her once again:

So the second theme would be tapping and untapping permanents, mostly done via Derevi, who, especially designed for the new Commander Format, is so awesome, I cannot resist to talk about her a bit:

Derevi is a great deal at the cost of just GWU (3 mana), being a Flyer with some kickass abilities. The first lets you tap or untap any permanent when she enters the battelfield or whenever one of your creatures deals combat damage, which begs for including cards that have great effects when tapped (but more on those later). The awesomeness could stop right there but it does not and Derevi has another kickass ability, only relevant in EDH. No matter how many times she got destroyed or exiled or whatnot, you will always be able to summon her from your Command Zone for exactly 1GWU. No more, never-ever. That is pretty darn badass in EDH!

So with this deck I chose to go with one of two general winning strategies I see in “EDH therory” – I divide EDH decks into those which try win by means of dealing 40 regular damage asap (or more if your opponent has life  gain, which is pretty common in EDH btw) and those which just try to inflict 21 Command Damage as fast as possible. With a fast, easy and always cheap to summon Commader with evasion I went with the second approach and there are many cards that support this strategy, like the “diabolic duo” Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots, which give your Commander not only Haste but also protection in the form of Shroud (Greaves) or Hexproof (Boots), Loxodon Warhammer and the awesome Steel of the Godhead, which is a 3 casting cost Enchantment which will give Derevi +2/+2 and Lifelink and, best of all, make her unblockable, so not even your opponent’s flyers and Reach creatures will be able to prevent you from dealing Command Damage. “Bant Exalted” trump cards Rafiqu of the Many and Finest Hour will make a Command Damage victory possible in like no time, as both have “Exalted” (giving a Creature attacking alone +1/+1 each) and Rafiqu gives a lone attacker, Derevi, Doublestrike and Finest Hour, an Enchantment for 1GWU, will give you a second combat phase when only one Creature (again it would be Derevi in the best case) attacked. If you have Steel of the Godhead attached to Derevi and both Rafiqu and Finest Hour in play and attack with Derevi alone, you will deal 24 points worth of UNBLOCKABLE (thanks to Steel of the Godhead) Command Damage in just one turn. That is pretty fudging awesome if you ask me.

There is much trickery involved in this deck such, either made possible by Derevi’s primary ability or in hte form of flickering Creatures with awesome “comes into play” effects, of which I added a ton to the deck.

A great, great target to untap with Derevi’s ability would be…

…for instance. Basalt Monolith would be a good target as well, tapping for 3 mana and maybe I should add a Mana Vault for Nora too, which is pretty much the same as Monolith, with the big and important difference that it cost only a tripple of Monolith’s cost (1 generic mana).

Furthermore, you got a ton of cards that let you “flicker” a Creature – remove it from play and return it at end of turn – and I added a ton of Creatures with amazing CIP (Comes-into-Play) Effects such as Eternal Witness, which lets you retrieve a card from your graveyard repeatedly as you’ll be flickering her in and out with cards like Mistmeadow Witch. You can also use your flickering cards as great ways to protect your Creatures from any harm, escaping anything from bounce, exiling, over pinpoint destruction to mass removal. You can even flicker a Creature out and cast your Kirthar’s Wrath. All Creatures will be destroyed and you will have a huge advantage over your opponent as the Creature you flickered out will return to play unharmed at end of turn, maybe even triggering some awesome CIP Effect. Besides Eternal Witness, there are some other amazing CIP Effect Creatures like Carven Caryathid which draws you a card whenever it enters the battlefield (and being a modest defender at 2/5 for 1GG), like Acidic Slime which destroys a Land, Enchantment or Artifact upon hitting the playing field, or like über-awesome Woodfall Primus (go ahead take a look if you can take the awesomeness!! 😉 ), which destroys any one non-Creature Permanent (and yes, that includes nasty Planeswalkers) whenever he comes into play.

There is much much more that could be said about this deck, like the odd fact that it features 3 white cards that reanimate Creatures from your graveyard, which is peculiar, but I will leave it at that.

Overall I think this deck has great potential, applying both early pressure with a quick, cheap and easy to summon Commander with a very much abusable effect, and featuring a lot of control elements as well and includes many great and useful card interactions,  mainly based on the combination of flickering your own CIP Effect Creatures etc.

Well I hope I did my job right and will be able to present my sister with a powerful (at least full of potential) very first EDH deck when she comes back home tomorrow. I futhermore hope that what I did with the original deck will be fine for her and Nora won’t mind my overly enthusiastic and hasty deckbuilding/deck-tuning efforts. Of course we will try to refine and improve the current deck list as presented above, which is, and I have to emphasize it again, a work in progress, together, as I am sure about one thing: There must be a ton more cards that would make for kickass combos with both the flickering and the tap or untap permanents aspects already strongly represented in the deck!

If YOU can think of some cards that would go well with either aspect, please do share them in a comment, as my MtG card knowledge is only ALMOST encyclopedic and I have a huge hole in it when it comes to anything after the Zendikar block.

So, dear readers, all that remains for me to say is the usual gamer-nerds greeting:

Happy Gaming!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

MtG: Building some decks for and with my younger sister!

Hello dear friends of the Magic: the Gathering TCG!

In my last post about the poorly named “Beginner’s Tournament” I omitted to provide the card list of the deck my younger sister Nora

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

(Here to be seen cheering for Elemental Clash!)

…was running in the event, as a good friend reminded me of (thank you Tobi). So in this brief deck/strategy article I will share with you the two decks I built for and with my little sis. First off her White Flyers Weenie with a splash of blue as she played it in the tournament and then the second deck we built together – monored Dragons. As always, I will be providing you with the full decklist and follow that up with some of my strategic thoughts on the deck.

Let us get this started with

Nora’s WU Flyers Weenie (Casual Format):

Creatures…19

4 x Judge’s Familiar U/W

4 x Suntail Hawk W

4 x Soltari Priest WW

4 x Leonin Skyhunter WW

3 x Knight of Meadowgrain WW

Instants…7

3 x Path to Exile W

4 x Mana Leak 1W

Sorceries…3

3 x Armageddon 3W

Enchantments…8

4 x Curiosity U

4 x Honor of the Pure 1W

Artifacts…2

2 x Loxodon Warhammer 3

Mana Sources (Lands etc)…21

3 x Chrome Mox 0

4 x Adarkar Wastes

4 x Glacial Fortress

10 x Plains

My Thoughts About the Deck:

When I asked my sister Nora like two weeks ago, when she had “confessed” her interest in M:tG to me, what kind of deck she wanted us to build for her (and her deck knowledge is quite extensive already, having watched me and friends trying out multitudes of decks already), her answer or choice of deck type was a very wise one for a “newbie”: White Weenie. Nora said, and I fully agree, White Weenie would be the perfect beginner’s deck. When I suggested to “splash” a second color, we soon agreed on a straightforward White Weenie build with a touch of blue added – a combination I wanted to try out myself actually for quite a while.

So overall the deck we built together is a classic approach to the White Weenie archetype, particularly specializing in flying or, in the case of Soltari Priest, virtually unblockable Creatures, with blue added for countermagic in the form of very much splashable Mana Leak and a card that fits an all flyers or even unblockables deck perfectly:

Curiostiy, whilst being a Creature Enchantment, or Aura as they call it nowadays, and thus vulnerable, as it will die with the Creature it enchants, is just such an awesome draw engine in a deck like this, with 16 out of 19 Creatures being either Flyers or having Shadow (Creatures with Shadow can only be blocked and block other Creatures with Shadow – a pretty old and rare ability so opposition to your Shadow guys is highly unlikely). Drawing a Curiosity and slamming it onto one of your Creatures, best on Soltari Priest who has Shadow and Protection from Red, just means you draw two cards each turn. That is pretty awesome in my opinion. If you draw into multiples of Curiosity, the awesomeness increases even more.

Overall the deck, like every White Weenie, is built to overcome the opponent fast and furious with a rush of cheap but efficient Creatures. In this case we went mostly for Creatures with evasion (flying or shadow), with the exception of Knight of Meadowgrain which costs WW and is a Lifelinked 2/2 First Striker. With the 3 Chrome Moxen I, being a kind person, borrowed my sister, a first turn 2 mana Creature (your mana curve tops off at converted mana cost 2 when it comes to creatues, and only 5 cards in the deck cost more than 2 mana) is highly likely and apply consierable early pressure to the opponent. And since the “everything goes” rule, as I like to call it, in the beginner’s tournament we devilishly added 3 copies of kickass Weenie trump card Armageddon:

In a deck like this, Armageddon is just plain evil. First of all, you got your Moxen as mana sources that will survive Armageddon, then you will be able to field a huge army in turns 1 – 3 and then cast Armageddon to wreck your opponent’s plans who will, in most, cases, not have as many creatures or other nasty cards in play as you will have and furthermore, all you need is 1 – 2 extra lands to play after Armageddon so the deck is fully functional again (out of 42 non-land cards, 37 of your cards cost 2 mana or less). That is pretty much the killer in this deck and can devastate pretty much any other deck / opponent. The best case scenario would be first turn Mox, two one mana creatures or one two mana creature or one one mana enchanted with curiosity; second turn some more Creatures and turn 3 Armageddon. That will leave your opponent mana-less (unless they have some non-land mana sources such as “Mana Elves” or Moxen of their own), whilst you have one mana left in the form of your mox as well as a hard-to-block army of small but efficient creatures.

Other notable cards are the two kinds of mana friendly, new and wiedely superior version of good old Crusade: Honor of the Pure, which costs 1W instead of double white (making it great for two color decks) and gives the +1/+1 boost to your white creatures only, which is kickass.

Loxodon Warhammer is quite expensive to cast and attach (6 mana in total) but gives one of your Creatues an awesome +3 Power boost as well as Trample and Life Link, so we, my sister and I, thought it might be worth including. Maybe we would be better off with some awesome, card drawing Skullclamps, as, again, every card is allowed in the so called “Beginner’s Tourament”.

Another honorable mention would be Judge’s Familiar, who is just the better version of Suntail Hawk:

Simply lovable, isn’t he. And perfect for imprinting into Chrome Mox, which would make blue AND white mana in that case.

Well, overall this deck really rocks and has a ton of potential and in fact Nora’s win ratio even against some of my more competitive decks we tried out against her Blue/White Weenie was pretty high – at home. At the tourney she did not win a single game however, which she took with countenance to my surprise and great joy, which I attribute to her nervousness, which nobody even noticed, just making too many mistakes or due to the fact that she was not familiar with the mostly English opponent cards. In general she is shy of asking someone for clarifications in case she does not know any card and would rather be silent and lose instead of ask and maybe win, knowing what the opponent card does. But that will change over time as Nora, and that makes me really proud of her, said she would surely try again despite her “failure” in last Saturday’s tournament.

I was also considering to build a sideboard for her with Silver Knights against Red and White Knights and Soltari Monks against black, but that would only furhter confuse her at this point I guess.

OK so much for Nora’s tournament deck. The day after the tournament, Nora and I were up to building her a second deck, vastly different from the above one, which would be all about her favorite type of fantasy creatures – Dragons. And here is the result:

Nora’s Monored Dragons (Casual):

Creatures…11

3 x Mordant Dragon 3RRR

1 x Hoard-Smelter Dragon 4RR

3 x Spawn of Thraxes 5RR

1 x Thunder Dragon 5RR

3 x Bogardan Hellkite 6RR

Instants…8

4 x Lightning Bolt R

4 x Seething Song 2R

Sorceries…11

4 x Pyroclasm 1R

4 x Breath of Darigaaz 1R

3 x Geosurge RRRR

Enchantments…4

4 x Claws of Valakut 1RR

Lands…24

4 x Forgotten Cave

2 x Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

18 x Mountain

My Thoughts About the Deck:

Well this decks mana curve when it comes to Creatures starts at 6 and ends at 8, featuring just 11 Creatures – all big, badass red Dragons!! The basic strategy (and we decided against Dragonspeaker Shaman) would be to burn down an early creature ambush by means of Lighning Bolt in conjunction with potential field sweepers like Pyroclasm and Breath of Daarigaz and then power out a first, devastating Dragon on turn 4 by means of mana ramp in the form of Seething Song and Geosurge.

The optimal draw would be Seething Song and Geosurge plus any 6 – 8 Mana Dragon, preferably your big bad boss Dragon:

You could incinerate some of your opponent’s early Creatures with your Lightning Bolts and Pyroclasms on turn 1 and 2 and then pull off an impressive Borardan Hellkite turn 3, which will burn down most of the remaining defenses that might have survived your fiery instants and sorceries. Of course any other of your various Dragons on turn 3 to 4 would spell major trouble for your opponent.

There are quite a few great Dragon creatuers in the deck besides Bogardan Hellkite, all having in common that they are 5/5 Flyers:

  • Mordant Dragon can be pumped by +1/+0 for 1R as often as you want or can and will deal as much damage to an opponent creature equal to the number of damage it dealt to the opponent when it attacked. That can be quite useful to take down any troublesome opponent Creature of choice.
  • Hoard-Smelter Dragon destroys any target artifact for 3R which is great in and off itself but he’ll also get +X/0 until end of turn, where X will be the converted casting cost of the destroyed artifact. Pretty neat!
  • Spawn of Thraxes, which Nora pulled twice out of one booster, one regular and one in foil (pretty kickass!!), will inflict damage to a Creature or Player equal to the number of mountains you control at the time it comes into play.
  • Thunder Dragon deals 3 damage to all non-flying Creatures in play when it enters the battlefield, thus potentially whiping out whole armies of small beaters / weenies.

Another great, great card we added to the deck is Claws of Valakut. It is an Aura (Creature Enchantment) for just 1RR that gives a creature First Strike and +1/+0 for each Mountain you control. With you Dragons all being 5/5 evasive Flyers and with a mountain-count of 18, this can get pretty ugly for your opponent and end games sooner than they had expected.

Also, Forgotten Cave thins out the deck by drawing you a fresh card via Cycling in case you don’t need it as a land. Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle is just in for the fun of it, but might be tremendously useful in some games:

Well so much about Nora’s second Magic: the Gathering deck and the plan or strategy behind it.

The biggest problem this deck would have nowadays I think would not be protection from red or something similar to that but rather the abundance of cheap Creature removal that is so common these days. You could have spent 3 cards and 8 mana to pull off a third turn Hellkite and you opponent could just pay 1 white and exile your Dragon via Path to Exile or similar, cheap cards. Playing against counter heavy control decks would also be a great problem, so I think Nora’s best bet for her next tournament would still be her White/Blue Weenie. Plus she is already more familiar with the latter and most of the cards in the deck are in German, whereas the Dragon deck consists mostly of English cards since I owned only very few of the cards in German Language.

Once she is more familiar with the Dragon deck cards, and she is pretty good at memorizing certain cards and their effects, Nora could have a try with her Dragons deck as well in a future tournament and catch some opponents by surprise!

Anyways what I will do now gives me great pleasure: Today my sister’s very first Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH or Commander as it is called officially now) arrived in the mail, the German version, especially ordered for Nora an entirely in German language so she will be able to play it without any language problems. I have the honor to open it up, having asked for Nora’s permission first of course, and see what lurks inside. When I see the awesome oversized commander on the box…

…I have sooo many great ideas how to “pimp” that deck to the max, again, only with my sister’s permission and together with her. So expect a “Nora’s First EDH/Commander Deck” article soon!! 😀

OK I am off to some fun unboxing action with the awesome product shown below so you all take care and

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

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EC: Welcoming Phil McDermott (UK) to the EC Art Team

Dear readers! Dear friends & fans of Elemental Clash!

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to our newest member to the ever-growing, international Elemental Clash Art Team.

Let us all give a hearty welcome to talented illustrator, artist, writer, animator and much more, Phil McDermott from the UK.

Let me first show you the totally stunning first piece of art Phil made for the upcoming Elemental Clash: Dragonforce Demi-Expansion at a VERY affordable price (Thank you for that Phil!). Have a look at Phil’s fatastic interpretation of Stonegorger Dragon:

Stonegorger Dragon small

Well as you can see, Phil has a VERY unique and interesting style, which is exactly the kind of art/artist I am looking for for Elemental Clash! I am really enthralled and fascinated by Phil’s style and am very much looking forward to see more awesome artwork from him soon – provided my financial situation will allow for it…

Before I show you the actual Stonegorger Dragon card preview, let me tell you a bit about Phil McDermott and his work:

Phil wanted me to extend his kind regards to you, my dear readers, and would like to invite you to visit his art portfolio as well as his youtube channel where you’ll find his “animation stuff”.

Phil is based in the UK and multi talented, being not only artist but also a writer, mostly working in the sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. His style influences range from comic books, gothic and heavy metal artwork, sci-fi movies, artist like Simon Bisley and HR Giger. Phil has worked on book covers, album covers, T-shirt design, concept design- anything that needs some cool artwork and his main focus at the moment is a Transmedia sci-fi novel/motion comic series called Arcis (you can see some bits of that on Phil’s Youtube channel).

And here is the card preview of Stonegorger Dragon, featuring Phil’s magnificent illustration:

Stonegorger Dragon

Well, as you can see, this is another Dragon card featuring the new TRBUTE mechanic to be introduced in EC: Dragonforce (I have shown you two other Dragons requiring TRIBUTES before: Primordius the Kingorger Ur-Dragon and Venus Dragon if you remember). Stonegorger Dragon is yet another high-risk/high-reward card as you can feed a ton of Element-Stones to him to make him huge and possibly, if you sacked some Mars-Stones, wipe out a whole opponent army with his play-effect, BUT if you lose Stonegorger (there are plenty of options for that such as cards that destroy or purge Creatures, return them to hand or neutralize them right away) you destroyed a (large) number of Element-Stones for nothing basically. So you’d want to be careful with that one and play it only when you know your opponent does not have anything to get rid of the Dragon or figure out some way of protecting the Stonegorger. In any case, this card can be huge, but has to be used with caution as he requires a hefty tribute (quite literally) to unfold his full potential.

Anyways that was my introduction of Phil McDermott combined with an awesome card preview from the upcoming EC: Dragonforce Demi-Expansion!

So one more time, welcome to the EC team/family Phil!! I for one am very much looking forward to see more of your unique art!!

And to all my readers and friends out there, as always,

Happy Gaming,

Yours,

Andi

MtG: A Beginner’s Tournament with 1 Beginner vs 8 Pros

Dear readers and friends of Magic: the Gathering!

So last Saturday my younger sister Nora, who had just very recently discovered her interest for the M:tG CCG, travelled with me to Linz where she would be bold enough to participate in an official event they (in hindsight) laughably called a “Beginner’s Tournament”. Well, whilst I have to say it was big fun overall, the thing was that all players there were more or less pros playing their competitive Standard, Modern or Legacy decks and the only real beginner was poor Nora (my trusty boy companion Robin was also quite a newbie though as well), who even had to struggle with the language barrier as she knows only a few odd bits of English, and some of her more complicated cards in her deck were in English because I was not able to find German replacements in time, and also most of what her opponents played was in the English language. Still she faced her opponents, and nobody could tell, so her opponents told me afterwards, how nervous she obviously was. She took it like a man…errr woman that she did not win a single game in 4 rounds. To my great pleasure she was not totally desperate after that ostensible ordeal and she saw it as a fun new experience and said she wanted to try again soon! Hence I am very proud of you, Nora!!

Here she is, bravely standing her ground:

Nora Magic Turnier 2

 

I think Nora will do much better next time as I am sure she just made a ton of strategic mistakes and overlooked certain things, as I was not able to assist her all the time participating in the event myself so I guess she did many things wrong and that is the reason why she did not win any game. Her White Weenie deck with a splash of Blue for Mana Leak and Curiosity, is kickass (of course: I built it with/for her!!) and her win ratio even against many of my more competitive decks was very high when we practiced at home. Furthermore, I must pay my respect to the other Magic gamers. They were all kind and gentle to my sister as they saw she was a bit unable to cope with the totally new experience/situation for her.

So I wonder why they call this a Beginner’s Tournament… I expected lots of Newbies and whom we found there were pros and veterans just like myself. I had even re-built the original, 12-year-old version of my Elves Deck (read all about it here), which happened to be my first real Magic deck, in order not to be unfair to the rest of the participants, whom I expected to be beginners, as, after all, they called it a “Beginner’s Tournament”. The dozen year old deck fared pretty well against all the totally up-to-date, powerful decks I played against, which felt quite satisfactory and rewarding to me and earned me the 4th place, one spot away from a free booster. It is just curious and nice that my first deck ever, however outdated the cards might be, is still able to beat more or less competitive more modern decks.

What bothers me a bit is the fact that these “Beginner’s Tournaments” are overcrowded with people who are anything else but beginners will scare away the actual newbies, who have just started playing Magic (and who are not as dauntless as my little sis!) which would be an undesirable situation in my point of view. Not all are as fair and morally correct as my humble self to at least play a beginner’s deck for Thor’s sake so the actual beginners wouldn’t be scared of by the competitive, pimped-to-the max decks of the pros participating in a “Beginner’s Tournament”.

I do not know the reason why the vast majority of people participating (we were 9) were actually no beginners at all and played really competitive decks – maybe it is cause there is no entry fee and you can win free booster? Maybe it is also because all cards are allowed. Yeah, you read it right. As I read it on the website of the Linz Magic Shop I phoned the store owner asking if they are serious, saying “may i bring a deck with 4 Black Lotuses” and he was like “sure, go ahead”… That is very strange…

So technically I could just take my several k slightly-powered Vintage Deck to next Saturday’s “Beginner’s Tournament”, with playsets of Mana Drain and Force of Wills, (original) Dual Lands Galore as well as Mox Sapphire, Sol Ring, Balance, Maze of Ith and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale to mention a few of the costlier cards included and win me 4 free boosters… But that is not how I roll… I will do something very different because where is the fun in having 4 instant wins (Well I must say even my Vintage deck could lose to pretty much any other deck, as there are always bad draws and such, but if I can finish 4th with my 12-year-old Elven Deck Odin know’s what could happen when I field my mildly-powered Vintage deck). I will build just another fun deck instead!!

As I think nobody from the Magic crowd there will be reading my blog, I think it is safe to share my deck with you here:

Elves for Emrakul! (Casual)

Creatures…29

3 x Llanowar Elves G

3 x Elvish Mystic G

3 x Quirion Ranger G

3 x Wirewood Symbiote G

4 x Wirewood Herald 1G

3 x Elvish Visionary 1G

2 x Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary GG

1 x Gaea’s Herald 1G

3 x Elvish Archdruid 1GG

2 x Fierce Empath 2G

1 x Blightsteel Colossus 12

1 x Emrakul, the Eons Torn 15

Sorceries…4

4 x Time of Need 1G

Artifacts…7

4 x Skullclamp 1

3 x Lightning Greaves 2

Lands…20

3 x Wirewood Lodge

17 x Forest

About the Deck:

Hell yeah, Elves again!! But what a totally different build at all. The Elves in this deck are just a means for a certain end, the end of the opponent this is,  brutally brought to them by an early…

… with haste thanks to Lightning Greaves. Emrakul + Lightning Greaves simply spells defeat for your opponent, no matter what pretty much. Besides: Looking at how Emrakul’s price is skyrocketing makes me giggle – got mine for far less than $10 USD and now he is around 50 on average.

So the Elves in the deck have the sole purpose to get the 15 Mana for Emrakul together as fast as possible. OF COURSE I could be unfair or rather just plain evil by abusing the “anything goes” rules of the “Beginner’s Tournament” playing a playset of Channel, so I can play Emrakul on turn 2 or 3. But where would be the fun in this so I am rather playing fair to have some fun instead of a turn 2 or 3 instant win.

I might have to rebuild this deck after some testing, because right now the mana generation relies mostly on Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary, who costs just GG and taps for as many green mana as you control forests. I am just not sure if I can get a decent number of forest into play fast enough, without any forst fetchers such as Nature’s Lore or Skyshroud Claim, so I may be better off with swapping in 1 more Elvish Archdruid and some Priests of Titania. Well on the other hand, relying on forests for massive mana generation has its merit, as relying on Elves to do so would be relying on creatures and there are by far more ways to get rid of small creatures like Elves than of basic Forests. Furthermore, Rofellos can be tutored for by Time of Need for 1G (and so can Emrakul). Testing will show which route will be the best to take.

Anyways the basic premise is to generate 15 mana as fast as possible. You got 6 tutors for Emrakul, and 2 tutors for your “backup solution” Blightsteel Colossus, which costs “just” 12, in the form of Tiem of Need and/or Fierce Empath.

Likewise you got 8 tutors for one of your two copies of Rofellos: 4 Wirewood Heralds and 4 Time of Need.

With many ways to get your two cornerstones into you hand, you just need to generate enough Mana to cast your big bad Emrakul.

There are plenty of ways to untap an Elf – it would mostly be Rofellos or Archdruid – 12 to be more accurate: 3 copies of Quirion Ranger, 3 copies of Wirewood Symbiote and 3 copies of Wirewood Lodge, the latter being the best option since it cannot be countered, being a land, and land destruction is rare these days it seems.

And finally, FINALLY, thanks to the “anything-goes” rule, I am able to play my all-time-favorite Equipment, which also fits perfectly into this particular deck:

Skullclamp is just insane in this deck. In total I have 22 Creatures with 1 Toughness (not counting Rofellos for obvious reasons) that, with Skullclamp handy, all translate into “pay (1) to draw 2 cards”. What an amazing draw engine. You are bound to draw into the right cards you need with that. There are some neat combos, maybe the best being ot attach the ‘Clamp to a Wirewood Herald, who will die, draw you 2 cards and search your library for any Elf – obviously Rofellos would be your Elf of choice (if you are facing a control/countermagic deck like I did last time, searching for Gaea’s Herald first may be a good idea!)! Elvish Visionary draws you 3 cards with the ‘Clamp, which is nice as well.

I am also running my second favorite equipment (it would be number 1 in Commander!):

This works soooo great on so many levels in this deck. First attach it to Rofellos or Archdruid so they will make mana the very turn they come into play AND they will be protected from most harm your opponent might have in store for them and once you get out Emrakul, just attach the Greaves to him, attack for 15 with Flying and Annihilator 6, probably taking out all opponent permanents through the latter in your first attack and then get an additional turn to swing in for another 15!

Well, dear readers, that is my plan and that is going to be my deck in next Saturday’s “Beginner’s Tournament”. And if I get my ass handed to me again by someone who plays with some 50 bucks planeswalkers or whatnot I am bringing up the like $ 3000 (???) deck on the third, laughably named, “Beginner’s Tournament and show them who’s the boss!! 😀

Well as it looks like, Nora will want to try again as well this weekend, which is a great pleasure for me!

I will report faithfully how the two of us will have done after the tournament on Saturday. Nora got a new deck too: Mono Red Dragons. More on that later maybe!

Until then I wish all “beginners”, the real ones and phonies,

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

ELEMENTAL CLASH: LEGENDARY LEGACY RELEASED!! + RAFFLE

Dear friends and fans of Elemental Clash!!

Finally, I have the great pleasure to announce the the first full expansion set to Elemental Clash: The Master Set…

LL Boxshot small

ELEMENTAL CLASH: LEGENDARY LEGACY is completed and AVAILABLE NOW on The Game Crafter!!

You can purchase the expansion, which consists of over 250 exciting, brand-new and brilliantly illustrated cards – over 100 different ones – right now.

Just click here and you will be redirected to the shop page on TGC!

On the joyful occasion of finally releasing the voluminous first expansion the Elemental Clash: The Master Set I am going to do a little

RELEASE RAFFLE:

You can win 1 out of 3 highly exclusive and limited (no more than 10 copies will ever be printed!) EC: LL RELEASE PROMO PACKS, consisting of 36 never-before released, awesome and special Promo cards, some of them illustrated by my humble self!

I will show you the content of the Release Promo Pack below but firt:

Here is how it works:

To enter the raffle just purchase a copy of Elemental Clash: Legendary Legacy (fair warning: The Master Set is required to play) until May 31st,  23:59 pm GMT +1 and send me an email to andreas.propst31@gmail.com with your receipt or just a screenshot or anything that proves to me you actually ordered a copy of the game and when the Raffle ends at midnight on 31st May (my birthday btw) 3 winners will be chosen in a random manner from all the people who participated. The three lucky winners will each get 1 of the ultra-limited, super-special Legendary Legacy Release Promo Packs. IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to immense  international shipping costs from TGC, only US-citizens can enter the raffle! Sorry, all others, I don’t want to discriminate anyone but I simply cannot afford 40 dollars shipping for a small pack of promo cards – asking for your understanding.

And if you are curious, here a slideshow of all the 12 different cards included in the Release Promo Pack!

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This exclusive Promo Pack contains playsets of 4 alternative art versions of the Master Set Dragons, 4 Austrian folk-tale inspired cards and 4 cards that I, the designer of Elemental Clash, have illustrated myself.

Please do consider participating in the raffle – it is your chance to get some awesome Promos that will probably never be released again in this form and no more than 10 copies of the Legendary Legacy Release Promo Pack will ever be printed!

Also please do share the news on your social media or tell friends about the game and the raffle. That would be much appreciated.

As a little teaser for the actual Legendary Legacy expansion, here a few card previews from the set:

Here are 5 of the 10 new Spellcasters that come with the Legendary Legacy Expansion:

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And here some previews of regular cards:

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Finally I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the

skinny-mat

as well as to all the countless other kind and enthusiastic people who have selflessly helped, supported and assisted me in making Elemental Clash: Legendary Legacy a reality!! You guys are awesome!!

With that I would like to close my announcement post and wish you all out there

Happy Gaming!

Sincerely yours,

Andi

 

Mtg Nostalgia: Re-Assembling my Very First Magic Deck – Elven Beatdown!!

Dear friends of the awesomely fantastic Magic: the Gathering CCG!

This year I am “celebrating” my 15 years “Magic-anniversary” as no less than 15 years have now passed since I bought my first Magic cards, which captured my mind and enthralled me at once, with a whole universe of fantastic creatures and arcane magic to be explored, readily available in somewhat expensive packs of trading cards. It has been about 12 years though since I built my very first “real” magic deck (it took a few years until my friends and I finally got around to learn how to play the game properly) and on a special occasion, about which I am going to talk shortly, I have decided to re-build that very first real deck I made more than a dozen years ago: Elves. And I must say right away, it has not lost its charme, nor its (potential) power over all these years.

The special occasion which I am talking about is tomorrow’s “Beginner’s Tournament” at our local Magic Cards Shop. Yes, a 15-years-veteran, my humble self, will actually participate in an event especially aimed at beginners who are new to the fantastic world of Magic, and, quite fittingly, I will be playing my old Elf deck which I re-assembled with VERY few tweaks especially for tomorrow. As a redeeming factor, I have to note that in the case of me winning some prizes (entry is for free and some boosters will be distributed among winner and finalists) I will freely distribute those among the participants ranking below me in the end.

And one more thing I have to note before I show you my actual 12-year-old Elf deck, is that I am exceedingly pleased that my younger sister, who has just very recently discovered her interest in the game, is bold enough to actually participate in tomorrow’s beginner’s event, which will be her very first tournament. I am proud of you, Nora!! 

So here’s my old Elf deck list for you – afterwards, as usual, my thoughts on the deck, which, after so many years have passed, still manages to compete even with quite a few of my more competitive, more recent decks:

Elven Nostalgia:

Creatures…26

4 x Llanowar Elves G

3 x Fyndhorn Elves G

4 x Priest of Titania 1G

4 x Wellwisher 1G

4 x Titania’s Chosen 2G

2 x Timberwatch Elf 2G

3 x Heedless One 3G

2 x Ambush Commander 3GG

Instants…4

4 x Wirewood Pride G

Enchantments…6

3 x Blanchwood Armor 2G

3 x Gaea’s Embrace 2GG

Artifacts…2

2 x Slate of Ancestry 4

Lands…22

3 x Wirewood Lodge

19 x Forest

About the Deck:

Well first of all I have to say that I am not running this 100% like the very first incarnation of my Elves Deck. The very first version didn’t even have Llanowar Elves, as I only a bit later realized that their mana making powers are quite helpful in this and many other decks. In the current version I am virtually running 7 copies of Llanowar Elves (4 real ones and 3 Fyndhorn Elves which are exactly the same save for the name) and I also added Slate of Ancestry to draw me a fresh hand once all my Elves/hand cards are spent.

Next I would like to note that this is kinda an “Anti-Modern-Deck” as I imposed the rule on myself to only run cards with the old layout, including basic forests, and only black-bordered cards, which made me purchase a playset of German Beta Llanowar Elves (don’t worry the whole set was 2 Euros, so like 2.50 USD). That self-imposed rule also lead me to play cards of which superior versions have been released more recently – the prime example being Priest of Titania vs Elvish Archdruid. Priest costs 1 less than Archdruid and taps to produce 1 green mana per Elf in play, whereas Archdruid does the same plus he gives +1/+1 to all your other Elves. He would be an easy turn 2 play with 7 mana elves in the deck. Still I insist on running this deck the old-school way – “Anti-Modern” as I would like to put it.

On to the actual card choices:

  • Llanowar/Fyndhorn Elves speed up the deck tremendously whilst upping the, in this particular deck, vital Elf count for just 1 green mana.
  • Priest of Titania is amazing for generating lots of mana to cast your higher cost Elfs and other Stuff like Gaea’s Embrace etc early on. Can be untapped for just 1 green mana by Wirewood Lodge, to generate even more mana, if needed.
  • Wellwisher is your life-saver so to say as he taps to net you 1 life per Elf in play. Same as above you could untap him with Lodge to double that life gain!
  • Titania’s Chosen, while having a bit of a, well, homoerotic look to him…

…is and was even back then a widely underrated/underestimated Elf/Creature, which enters play as a lowly 1/1 but has a       huge potential to grow very large over the course of the game, as he will get a +1/+1 counter for every green spell cast successfully. With a deck consisting of 2/3rds of green Spells, some of them very cheap and costlier ones being made affordable by the massive mana ramp the deck features, Titania’s Chosen is bound to become quite the force quite soon. He is the ideal target for Gaea’s Embrace, which will give him +3/+3, lets him regenerate at 1 green mana AND, most importanly, gives him Trample plus he will get a +1/+1 Counter from casting the Embrace. That alone would make him a 5/5 regenerating Trampler that will grow huger and huger the more spells you cast. You could even let him go even more out of hand by slamming an additional Blanchwood Armor on him, thus giving him yet another +1/+1 counter and a +1/+1 boost for every Forest you control. And at the point you do this you should have at least 3 – 5 Forests in play. I love that guy! Definitely a great turn 2 play powered through one of your mana elves.

  • Timberwatch Elf is anotherr great Elf to untap through Wirewood Lodge as he taps to give any Elf +X/+X for the turn whereby X is the number of Elves in play. The cool thing is that you can pull off his abilitiy instant-speed so you’d just attack with multiple Creatures and boost the one that was not blocked. Or you just pump a Trampler and you should be fine too. Untapping Timberwatch Elf via Lodge would be a great thing to do so it would double the stats boost granted by the Elf.
  • Heedless One’s Power and Toughness are each equal to the number of Elves in play, hence he should be huge once you play him, but what makes him really awesome is that he is a Trampler and thus ideal for enchanting with Blanchwood Armor, targeting with Wirewood Pride or with Timberwatch Elf’s stats boosting ability. That way he can really get pretty huge, inflicting massive or even lethal damage as early as turn 4. Just imagine having 5 Elves, so he’d be a 5/5. Play Wirewood Pride on him to make him a 10/10 for just 1 green mana, then boost him for +5/+5 twice through Timberwatch and Lodge and he’ll be a 20/20 Trampler that attacks on turn 4. Pretty awesome and hard to handle for many opponents. Totally weak to creature removal though, but more on that later.
  • Ambush Commander is risky to play but can be potentially devastating for your opponent as he will virtually double the Elf count in most cases, as he’ll turn all your Forests into 1/1 Elves. You can already imagine what such a drastic increase of the Elf count would mean for Priest of Titania, Wellwisher, Timberwatch Elf, Heedless One as well as Wirewood Pride. Unless your opponent plays a Pyroclasm or Infest or whatnot, Ambush Commander pretty much spells defeat for your opponet – when in the right company!
  • Wirewood Pride is an awesome instant which gives any Elf, preferrably an unblocked or trampling one, +X/+X whereby X is the number of Elves in play.
  • Blanchwood Armor is an amazing power-up, which is best put on a Trampler like Heedless One, giving him +X/+X permanently, whereby X is the number of Forests you control. And with a Forest count of 19, X should be considerably high when you cast the Armor.
  • Gaea’s Embrace, albeit a bit costly at 4 mana gives some awesome abilities and stats boost to the Creature it enchants, namely +3/+3, Trample and the power to regenerate the enchanted Creature for just 1 green mana. I would put this one on Titania’s Chosen for instance, though any other Elf will become an immediate threat too with a Gaea’s Embrace attached to it!
  • Slate of Ancestry is in there to fill your hand again after you have spent all your Elves and your hand is more or less empty. It is an artifact that costs 4 and taps for 4 to discard your hand and then draw as many cards as you have Creatures in play. Ususally this should give you pretty much a fresh hand of cards, provided you got a ton of Creatures in play, which should be the case most of the times with this deck (unless all your Elves were wiped out by a Wrath of God or similar devilry…)
  • Wirewood Lodge is a very special and very essential land card. At the cost of paying one green mana and tapping the Lodge, you can untap any one Elf. As mentioned before, you can untap Wellwisher to gain double the life, untap Priest of Titania to get double the mana or untap Timberwatch Elf to dish out double the stats boost. Pretty amazing for a land!

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In conclusion I have to say two things:

  1. Obviously, this deck is VERY outdated, and I am fully aware that there would be by far better cards and other altogether more competitive builds for Elf decks available nowadays, but the outdatedness is intentional. I wanted to rebuild the deck I had assembled and played so successfully about 12 years ago pretty closely to the original, to recreate and relive the feeling of the “good old days”.
  2. Obviously, red direct damage and black creature removal as well as to some degree white Spells like Path to Exile or Wrath of God would obliterate this deck, they would tear it apart – fair and square. Furthermore, anything with a considerable number of flyers would simply annihilate me with this deck, since I have zero answers to Creatures with flying. I know green has plenty of good anti-flying stuff, but I did not include any and didn’t feel like building a proper sideboard. My plan against the flyers is to simply to be faster than the opponent and maybe survive long enough through massive Wellwisher lifegain.

Long story short, this is by no means intended to be a competitive deck for any format, but just a fun and nostalgic experiment to recreate the feeling of Magic as it was for me in the very beginning, and as a befitting deck joice for a veteran to field in a “Beginner’s Tournament” as I intend to do tomorrow!

Hope you enjoyed this personal blast from my Magic past and wish you all

Happy Gaming!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

EC: Korlash gets an Army – Introducing ORCS into Elemental Clash!

Dear readers, der friends and fans of the Elemental Clash CCG!

These days, as I am waiting for the very last artwork for Elemental Clash – Legendary Legacy to be completed, the box cover artwork, I am happy to present to you the first of many TRIBAL PACKS!

Tribal Packs will be 36 cards Mini-Expansions – not to be confused with the 90 cards “Demi Expansions” I introduced in a previous post – all focussed around one particular creature type – or Tribe. Through a lucky windfall I will talk about probably in a future post, I came in the possession of some quite awesome Orc Creature artwork, done by none else than my trusty art team member, Emmanuel Bou Roldán from Argentina. So the first Tribal Pack will introduce, like every Tribal Pack that will come after it, a new creature type to the world of Elemental Clash – in this case it will be ORCS! Have a look at what the Orcs Tribal Pack Mini-Expansion box will look like:

Tribal Pack Orcs Boxshot

 

The timing for the Orc art and cards which I am going to showcase in the following post could not possibly have been more perfect.

As you may remember from a previous post, with Legendary Legacy there will be the first Orc in the game – in the form of a Spellcaster card. Here he is again for you – Korlash the Orc Purger:

Korlash, Orc Purger

Well, whilst Korlash is awesome in and off himself, with a powerful Static Ability shutting down so many decks, from Boon and Salvage decks over recursal and reanimation decks to decks using lots of Destroy-Effects. However, I was thinking that Korlash would be pretty lonely being the only Orc in the game without any minions of his own race to control and rule. This was simply begging for regular Orc Creature cards to be made and just as it happened I “came into” some kickass Orc Creature art, which I will be publishing in the form of the first of hopefully many “Tribal Packs” Mini Expansions which I will be trying to release every now and then. I have to note that each Tribal Pack will not only introduce a new Tribe, but also a new card ability – in the case of Orcs it will be “Breakthrough” – more on that later – and futhermore I will say it right away: I cannot give you a certain release date for this first 36 cards Tribal Pack all about Orcs. I will try to get all the art together, and I have a good part of it already through this obscure windfall I keep mentioning, over the course of a month and may well be able to release the Orcs Tribal Pack on in Mid-June to beginning of July 2014!

But let’s take a look at the actual Orcs, brilliantly illustrated by Emmanuel Bou Roldán. I will present them to you in the form of a deck, for which I am going to provide you with the decklist and follow up with my thoughts on the deck, illustrated with what we all want to see most – some great Orc card previews!

Korlash’s Army:

Spellcaster: Korlash, Orc Purger (35 cards)

Creatures…15

2 x Orcish Recruit

3 x Orc Herald

3 x Orcish Hogrider

2 x Orcish Elite Archer

3 x Orcish Warchief

2 x Orc Berserker

Spells…8

3 x Orcish Warbanner

3 x Devastating Flames

2 x Berserk

Element-Stones…12

2  x Powerstone

2 x Hastestone

8 x Mars-Stone

About the Deck:

The deck is limited to only 35 cards and probably adding Earth for card recursal like the powerful and cheap Earth Ritual would be a good idea. However not in this deck, as Korlash will purge all cards that would go to the Archive anyways, hence I chose another path – the path of a fast and fiery Orcish onslaught!! That means the deck pursues an aggressive and fast creature- (in this case Orc-) rush strategy, combined with some supportive Spells, 2 of which will come with the Orcs Tribal Pack (Orcish Warbanner and Berserk – will tell you what they do later on). Besides Korlash’s reduced deck and hand size (a hand size of only 2, so 2 less than a standard hand of 7) this Orcish Spellcaster has a lot to offer. Why his Static Ability kicks major butt against so many deck types and strategies was already mentioned above. Moreover, Korlash draws you 2 cards each turn which is bad because you will run out of cards sooner on the one hand and is awesome on the other hand especially in a creature rush deck, as you will have ample backup Orcs if your first “wave” gets killed off, always drawing two fresh cards each turn, with the odds of drawing at least another Orc being quite good. And in case you are in need of a great Orc creature, there is always your loyal Orc Herald:

Orc Herald

Well as the above card clearly states in its flavor text, the Orcs have a better organized military than their distant relatives, the less intelligent and thus somewhat chaotic and disorganized Goblins. And of course, every well-organized army has archers as well. So have the Orcs as seen in the Orcish Elite Archer below:

Orcish Elite-Archer

These guys can be great to take out small blockers from a distance or kill off some high attack Creatures with 1 toughness such as Will-o-the-Wisp or the Dwarven Double-Axe Brigand without being killed himself. So you best leave  your Elite Archers in the back row (DEF-Zone) and shoot some vulenerable targets from there. An awesome combo which I didn’t find the space for in this deck would be equipping Orcish Elite-Archer with Reaper’s Scythe. That would turn your lowly Orc archer into a true killing machine, as he would be take out any and all Creatures, no matter how much DEF (unless they have Immunity: Fire or cannot be targeted by Effects).

Another Orcish elite Unit is this one, which features the one new ability this first Tribal Pack will introduce – Breakthrough:

Orcish Hogrider

Orcish Hogrider has the classic Quickattacker Ability but also features the new Breakthrough Ability. Breakthrough simply means that if this Creature is blocked, excess damage will be inflicted to your opponent and cause him to discard cards from the top of their Spellbook. For example in the case of the above Creature, if Hogrider gets blocked by a 1 DEF Creature, the excess 2 damage will be inflicted to your opponent and they have to discard the top 2 cards from their Spellbook to their Archive – or if Korlash is stil unflipped/face-up, they’d be sent right to the Purgatory. Pretty useful and awesome ability, Breakthrough that is!

Well every army needs high-ranking officers, so here you have the Orc Warchief, who not only boosts the stats of all other Orcs you control by +1/+1, but also gives all of them, as well as their Goblin minions, the new Breakthrough ability.

Orc Warchief

The last Orcish Unit/Creature I can show you is the most dangerous of them all. Meet Orc Berserker:

Orc Berserker

Well this is one brutal Creature for sure. You’d best attack a weak Creature that won’t kill the Berserker first, draw 1 card and then attack a second time with a respectable ATK of 4! And with at least one Orc Warchief in play Berserker will be a 5/3 beast that will have Breakthrough as well.

Well so much for the Orc Creatures and the previews of them. The one Orc for which I don’t have an artwork for and hence am unable to present you a card preview yet would be Orc Recruit. He will be a 1/1 with Breaktrough for the cost of 1 Fire Energy. No more, no less.

When it comes to support Spells I am running will be Devastating Flames from the Legendary Legacy Expansion, which you can basically cast for free and lets you distribute 5 damage among any number of Creatures and/or Players. It would be best used to get rid of (multiple) bothersome Creatures but can also serve the finishing blow if you opponent is running low on cards in their Spellbook. The other two support cards are included in the Orcs Tribal Pack: Orcish Warbanner and Berserk.

Warbanner fits the overall plan of rushing the field and attacking for max-damage quickly very well, as it gives all Orcs +2/+0 whilst attacking (and would give all Goblins +1/+0 whilst attacking – but this is irrelevant in an Orc-only Spellbook like this one…) at the mere cost of 1, being a Permanent Spell. The drawback is you’ll have to purge the top card of your Spellbook during each of your Standby-Phases. Still the investment will be worth it by my thinking, since you will want to swing in for the win in as few turns as possible anyways.

Berserk on the other hand is a Spell that gives one Creature +3/+0, Breakthrough and Purge whilst attacking, but you have to destroy the targeted Creature after Combat. This is ideal for dealing the finishing blow, and would also be the perfect timing to finally pull off Korlash’s Flip Effect, which would give all your Creatures Purge and a +2/+0 boost until the end of the turn. Provided you were able to field a formidable number of Orc warriors you should be able to swing in for the win early on if you combine the powers of the boosts from Warchief, Warbanner and Berserk combined with yet another terrific ATK boost from your Spellcaster Korlash. The new ability – Breakthrough – will ensure a quick win by bypassing small blockers.

Lastly I have to mention that I included 2 Powerstones and 2 Hastestones for additional power and speed. In a mono-element/color Spellbook like this 8 Mars-Stones should be sufficient anyways!

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Well, dear reader, dear friend of Elemental Clash, I hope you found the sneak peek at the new Orc Creature type, along with many a card preview, interesting and hopefully, you’ll be looking forward to the first Tribal Pack, introducing Orcs to the Elemental Clash universe, as much as I do.

I will keep you posted on the progress and estimated release date of the Elemental Clash Tribal Pack: Orcs and will close this article with yet another, very exclusive preview:

Tribal Pack 2 is already in the workings. It will be all about…

Moon-Albs

Moon-Alb Doomblade

Be prepared for more Elemental Clash awesomeness!!

Until then I wish you all

Happy Gaming!

Yours,

Andi