MtG: Preparing for my first ever EDH / Commander Tournament!

Hello everyone!

I know I have been posting a lot about Magic: the Gathering recently, mostly because I found a great place to play at and participate in various tournaments relatively near to me (a bit more than an hour train ride actually). With great joy I noticed that they are hosting monthly EDH, more recently known as “Commander”, tournaments as well, the next being tomorrow!

Since I have grown ever fonder of this rather unconventional way to play Magic: the Gathering, which started out as a fan-made variant of the game but Wizards (of the Coast) picked it up, made it an official tournament format, released dedicated cards to the newborn format and whatnot, which I welcome and applaud to very much.

For those who don’t have the slightest clue what EDH/Commander (I will call it EDH in the following cause that outdated name is shorter and saves me typing!): You got a deck of 99 cards plus 1 Commander, which must be a Legendary Creature. You can have exactly one copy of each card in the 99 cards deck and your Commander’s casting cost colors determine the colors that can be in your deck cards. For instance if I have a Red/Blue/Black Commander, I can only have cards in my deck with red, blue and/or black mana symbols on them, so playing Giant Growth or Crusade would be out of question for example. Also you play with 40 Life, which makes the format much slower than others.  Alternatively you lose as well if you received 20 or more damage from the opponent Commander (“Command Damage”), even if you got a thousand life or so.

The one-of-only thing makes for very fun deckbuilding and card inclusion choices which makes the process of building an EDH deck a fun thing to do all by itself. Plus, pretty much any card is allowed in EDH, only very few are banned and in the EDH preconstructed decks they published there are some awesome reprints of quite valuable old cards such as the alternative art, “modern” layout Sol Ring…

… which is all pretty damn cool. But so much about the theory and EDH in general!

So after having played and enjoyed EDH casually and with friends for a few years, tomorrow is going to be the day that I partake in my first ever, real EDH tournament. And man, what a tough choice of decks I had to face, since I have like half a dozen full-fledged EDH decks at my disposal, RBU Zombies, Prismatic Slivers and WUG Rafiqu Exalted among others. In the end however, I chose to place my bet on my WUB Sharuum Artifacts Deck, as it has quite a few awesome interactions, as I like artifact decks and as the combination of white, blue and black cards is a quite potent one in ED (with Red and green being among the weaker colors).

Though I pimped the deck to the max, I decided against running certain overpowered cards that I happen to own in playsets of four, first and foremost…

…which I am shocked about as I just saw the average price of one is at around 200 USD now!! And I bought my playset at about 200 bucks! Forget stocks and such, invest in old M:tG cards instead!! But let us stay on the topic…

I want to present you my White/Blue/Black Sharuum Artifacts deck in its entirety in the below decklist, followed up by some thoughts and comments on the general strategy and on some noteworthy cards. So here we go:

WUB Sharum Artifacts Good Stuff (Commander Format):

Commander: Sharuum, Sphinx Hegemon

Creartures…22

Etherium Sculptor 1U

Steel Overseer 2

Tidehollow Sculler WB

Baleful Strix UB

Sydri, Glavanic Genius WUB

Trinket Mage 2U

Scarecrone 3

Leonin Abunas 3W

Master Transmuter 3U

Arcum Dagsson 3U

Vedalken Archmage 2UU

Ethersworn Adjudicator 4U

Sphinx Summoner 3BU

Razormane Masticore 5

Triskelion 6

Sharding Sphinx 4UU

Memnarch 7

Clockwork Dragon 7

Magister Sphinx 4WUB

Sphinx of the Steel Wind 5WUB

Inkwell Leviathan 7UU

Darksteel Colossus 11

Instants…4

Enlightened Tutor W

Hinder 1UU

Thirst for Knowledge 2U

Clutch of the Undercity 1UUB

Sorceries…11

Steelshaper’s Gift W

Demonic Tutor 1B

Fabricate 2U

Compulsive Research 2U

Argivian Resoration 2UU

Wrath of God 2WW

Damnation 2BB

Thoughtcast 4U

Birbery 3UU

Beacon of Unrest 3BB

Rise from the Grave 4B

Enchantments…4

Copy Artifact 1U

Artificer’s Intuition 1U

Oblivion Ring 2W

March of the Machines 3U

Artifacts…20

Tormod’s Crypt 0

Sol Ring 1

Mana Vault 1

Expedition Map 1

Sensei’s Divining Top 1

Executioner’s Capsule B

Voltaic Key 1

Lightning Greaves 2

Swiftfoot Boots 2

Talisman of Progress 2

Talisman of Dominance 2

Cranial Plating 2

Worn Powerstone 3

Darksteel Ingot 3

Skeleton Shard 3

Sculpting Steel 3

Nevinyrral’s Disk 4

Mindslaver 6

Dreamstone Hedron 6

Darksteel Forge 9

Planeswalker…1

Tezzeret the Seeker 3UU

Lands…39

2 x Swamp

2 x Island

2 x Plains

Command Tower

Glimmervoid

City of Brass

Arcane Sanctum

Dromar’s Cavern

Azorius Guildgate

Orzhov Guildgate

Dimir Guildgate

Jwar-Isle Refuge

Underground River

Caves of Koilos

Vault of Whispers

Seat of the Synod

Ancient Den

Darksteel Citadel

Lonely Sandbar

Secluded Steppe

Barren Moor

Flooded Strand

Polltued Delta

Scalding Tarn

Arid Mesa

Verdant Catacombs

Marsh Flats

Underground Sea

Tundra

Mishra’s Factory

Blinkmoth Nexus

Temple of the False God

Halimar Depths

Tolaria West

Academy Ruins

Opal Palace

About the Deck:

Well let us first take a look at my Commander: Sharuum, Sphinx Hegemon:

While she is a pretty good deal being a 5/5 Flyer that returns any Artifact from your Graveyard TO PLAY for a converted mana cost of “just” 6, she is only of secondary importance to the deck. While 4 unblocked attacks of Sharuum will spell defeat for your opponent, which is not a bad deal by any means, I don’t really need her to win, but rather to grant me access to the trinity of colors I wanted for this particular deck. For me, EDH decks fall into two categories: One has the goal to inflict 20 command damage as fast as possible and the other being to reduce your opponent from 40 to 0 zero by other means than command damage. This deck falls more in the latter category, while a command damage victory is certainly not impossible, especially when you equip Sharuum wit what I regard THE best equipment in any EDH deck, Lightning Greaves…

…which does not only protect your Commander against targeted spells or abilities but lets him or her attack one turn earlier, which is just awesome!

Well this deck has a lot of nifty strategies with may or may not unfold. For instance you could try to use Arcum Dagsson…

…to get a cost 9 Darksteel Forge into play early on, making all your Artifacts indestuctible, which would be awesome in and off itself. However things get insane when you follow up with a Nevinyrral’s Disk, which can also be fetched by Arkum same as you fetched Darksteel Forge:

Nevinyrral’s Disk (note the awesome reprint with new illustration especially for the EDH format)  taps to destroy all artifacts, creatures and enchantments in play. Note that it has not be sacrificed to activate its effect. So what will happen when you let the Disk go off with Darksteel Forge in play is everything creature, enchantment or artifact in play will go booom expcept for your own artifacts, which are indestructible thanks to Forge, including Disk. So for just 1 lousy mana you will be able to wipe the field clear one-sidedly every single turn. Go figure.

What is also great to go along with Darksteel Forge is March of the Machines, an Enchantment for 3U that turns all your non-creature artifacts into artifact creatures with power and toughness each equal to their casting cost. That will give you at least a 9/9 indestructible Darksteel Forge and probably much more which is quite neat as well.

Another good target for Arkum Daggson would be Mindslaver:

Combine with Academy Ruins and you will be able to control your opponent’s every other turn if you have enough mana that is!

Another great card to bring high-cost/high-power artifacts into play easily and cheaply is Master Transmuter:

Just pay 1 blue mana, return a low cost artifact (and you got plenty of those) to your hand and bring in whatever artifical devilry you may have in hand just like this. This card is even better with Lightning Greaves handy, as you can pull off the trick the very turn Transmuter comes into play. Darksteel Forge or high-cost but highly awesome artifact creatures like Sphinx of the Steel Wind…

…would be prime targets for Master Transmuter!

In general, reanimation is a side-theme in this deck as well, starting with my Commander’s ability as well as Argivian Restoration which lets me bring back any artifact from graveyard to play, Beacon of Unrest, which lets me reanimate either artifact or creature or Rise from the Grave, which lets me reanimate a Creature. The nifty thing about the latter two is that I could also reanimate from my opponent’s graveyard, which is pretty neat.

One card I have to mention in particular, as, while it hasn’t any connection to artifacts in particular, it can just be so devastating in EDH: Bribery! Bribery costs 3UU and lets you search your opponents deck for any one creature and put it into play under your own control. This can get very ugly for your opponent, considering many big guys are being played in the format. Once I was able to pull this one out of the opponent’ deck:

THIS spells trouble for your opponent!! 😀

Of course, any good EDH deck features lots of tutoring, that is cards searching for specific other cards. In  deck that consists only of one-ofs this is vital. So I am running about 10 cards that let you search for other cards, not counting “fetch lands”, from good old Demonic Tutor which searches for everything at just 1B, over Trinket Mage, which fetches 1 or less costing artifacts, up to Tolaria-West, which is pretty much a tutor for any land.

I am furhtermore running no less than 6 Fetch-Lands (the good ones from Onslaught and Zendikar, not he mediocre Mirage ones) as well as two old Dual Lands (Underground Sea and Tundra) which should considerably help thining out the deck.

Well, dear reader, there is still so much to say about this deck and I barely scraped the surface of what it is capable of but since I cannot write a book on the subject right here, I will end this article here. I did my very best to make this one rock, and if it does shall be seen in tomorrow’s tournament! I for one am very much looking forward to my very first Commander/EDH tournament, no matter what the outcome will be! It is all just for fun, isn’t it?

With that I will  end this rather lenghty post and wish you all,

Happy Gaming!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “MtG: Preparing for my first ever EDH / Commander Tournament!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s