MTG: Revisiting Two Classic Onslaught Block Decks Based On Cycling!

Well, the Onslaught Block, which now seems to be ages in the past for me, was one of the periods in my personal Magic history when I was most actively playing the game, participating in tournaments and such. When my good friend and fellow M:tG enthusiast Luki and I were drowining in Magic nostalgia, one deck we talked about was the classic “Astral Slide” Deck. I had never owned the cards to assemble and play that kind of deck back in the days as the cards were quite expensive but the times they are a changing, or so they say, and my curiosity was raised so I looked up some key cards of ye ol’ Astral Slide deck and was pleasantly surprised all was dirt cheap as of now! Anyways in this article I will not only show you my somewhat modernized version of the classic Onslaught block “deck to beat” based on cycling, but also a very, very different version of what was known as “Beast Bidding” back then, which was played competitively when Ravenous Baloth was still considered a good card, which also employs cycling as its central mechanic, however in a very different way than “Astral Slide” did.

Let me start by showing you THE central card that both the following decks I want to present to you are running – a card that hails from the far in the past Urza Block. Lo and behold:

This card is simply awesome in any deck playing a considerable number of cycling cards with colorless cycling costs, as we shall see in two VERY different decks which both use Fluctuator as an extremely effective catalyst enabling them to do what  they do a lot cheaper and easier.

Let me start with giving you my modernized / updated version of the old Astral Slide Deck (it may well have a fighting chance in a more competitive environment although I cannot say for sure…also know that this is just a rough deck draft):

Astral Slide Revamped:

Creatures…22

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Eternal Witness 1GG

4 x Carven Caryatid 1GG

4 x Acidic Ooze 3GG

3 x Valley Rannet 4RG

2 x Eternal Dragon 5WW

1 x Woodfall Primus 5GGG

Sorceries… 2

2 x Decree of Justice XX2WW

Enchantments…8

4 x Astral Slide 1W

4 x Lightning Rift 1R

Artifacts…4

4 x Fluctuator 2

Lands…24

4 x Plateau

4 x Forest

4 x Drifting Meadow

4 x Slippery Karst

3 x Smoldering Crater

3 x Tranquil Thicket

2 x Secluded Steppe

About the Deck:

Well the basic premise of the Astral Slide Deck is to use its namesake…

…with tons of cards with cycling – many of which can be cycled for free with Fluctuator in play – just like this card for example…

…and using Slide’s effect on your array of Creatures with very powerful/useful effects, triggering these over and over again, like this one for instance:

Besides Astral Slide, you also have Lightning Rift which basically gives you a Shock whenever you cycle and pay 1 generic mana, which is a great way to get rid of smaller but bothersome opponent Creatures or for chipping away at your opponent themselves little by little:

So on the one hand, this deck contains no less than 23 cards with cycling by my counting, of which 16 (!) can be cycled for free with Fluctuator at the ready, and you shouldn’t have problems finding it sooner or later with all the cycling through the deck going on. So this should give you ample triggers for either Astral Slide or Lightning Rift.

On the other hand, the deck tries to max out on what was formerly known as CIP (Comes into Play) Effects of Creatures since you will be able to slide them out so to say each time you cycle and they will come back into play at end of turn, thus activating their for the most part awesome effects over and over again. Eternal Witness, which I showed you above is a prime example. Furthermore I added Carven Caryatid, which is a 2/5 Defender that draws you a card every time it enters play as well as Acidic Ooze which is your one-stop-solution for any bothersome permanent that is not a Creature or a Planeswalker. Actually, you can “Land Lock” your opponent with Astral Slide and Ooze, since you most likely can slide Ooze in and out each turn, destroying a land of your opponent’s each time you do so. Well you get where this is going!

As potential finishers I added Eternal Dragon for nostalgic reasons mostly (and cause he plainscycles as well) and Woodfall Primus which has a nice comes into play effect on top if being a huge beater!

OK so much for my take on Astral Slide! Let us move on to the second deck, which is a very unique take on what they used to call “Beast Bidding” back in Onslaught times. I play it basically monoblack as you shall see below (deck explanation will follow as per ususal):

Black Beast Bidding (Casual/Legacy Format):

Creatures…16

1 x Wonder 3U

1 x Anger 3R

2 x Barkhide Mauler 4G

4 x Primoc Escapee 6U

4 x Ridge Rannet 6R

4 x Yoked Plowbeast 5WW

Sorceries…16

4 x Innocent Blood B

4 x Chainer’s Edict B

4 x Buried Alive 2B

4 x Patriarch’s Bidding 3BB

Artifacts…4

4 x Flucuator 2

Lands…24

4 x Blasted Landscape

4 x Barren Moore

4 x Polluted Mire

4 x Polluted Delta

4 x Volcanic Island

2 x Swamp

2 x Bojuka Bog

About the Deck:

Admittedly, this build looks VERY different from ANY Beast Bidding Deck that were competitively played back in the Onslaught Era, however the basic principle is the same: Get some Beasts into your graveyard, then unleash a mighty…

…choosing Beasts and then rushing your opponent with an instant army of reanimated Beast Creatures.

This deck has a very different approach to accomplish this goal and I must say without wanting to praise myself too much, I am quite pleased with how the deck is supposed to work out – IN THEORY! I am however looking forward to put my quite unusual deck creation to  the test one way or another. But here is how it works, or rather is supposed to work:

So in this deck you run a ton of Beast that are quite sub-par at first glance, like this one for instance:

However they have one crucial thing in common: All have “Cycling: (2)”. Now if you remember Fluctuator’s ability as seen above, you will be able to cycle your beasts for free, draw a card and maybe cycle again if you are lucky enough to have drawn another beast (or on of your 8 “Cycling (2)” Lands). So in this manner you would be putting more and more beasts into your graveyard until you can unleash a powerful “Bidding” and crush your opponent.

Now what I really like about the above decklist in particular is the fact that this deck features two “modes” so to say. From turns 1 to 4 or even beyond depending on your luck of draw, your will be playing in “Monoblack Control Mode” trying to slow down the opponent by killing their creatures efficiently by means of Innocent Blood and Chainers Edict. While you do so, try to get Fluctuator out and drop Beast after Beast into your Graveyard.

Then, once you think you have enough Beasts in your graveyard, you shall cast Patriarch’s Bidding and thus enter the second mode which I would call “Beast Beatdown Mode”. You’d best kill your opponent in one fell swoop and I actually added something pretty smart I think to the mix that will ensure a brutal, unstoppable beast assault as early as turn 5, when you will be able to afford the Bidding, or even at a later point in game.

Noticed the playset of Buried Alive? Well you could just use it as a convenient way to get  3 more Beasts into your Graveyard instanly, but way cooler and VERY useful for facilitating a one-turn-kill by means of a mighty Beast rush. What you’d do is pick Anger and Wonder plus any Beast of your choice  as the third card and “entomb” them by means of Buried Alive. Now you may have noticed that I am running the old red blue Dual Land Volcanic Island. You have Polluted Delta to get a hold of one and you should do so, because Wonder will give all your Creatures flying, hence making them all hard to block provided it is in your Graveyard and you control an Island. Anger will grant Haste to all your mighty monsters if in Graveyard and provided you control a mountain. And as it happens, Volcanic Island does both count as Island and Mountain.

So bottom line, if you play it right and have some luck of draw on your side as well, you will be, at the point that you cast the Bidding, attacking with a hoard of hasty and flying Beasts thanks to the great synergies of Buried Alive, Anger, Wonder and last but not least Volcanic Island. This means you could well win in one turn without your opponent doing some nasty stuff to your Beasts like casting a Wrath of God, so that their only hope to stop your stomping, beastly hoard would be Instants…

Lastly note, since Bidding lets your opponent choose a Creature Type as well and reanimate all Creatures of the chosen type from their own graveyard, I added two Bojuka Bog as a preemptive measures to prevent your opponent from profiting from your Bidding at all…

Well I hope you liked my blast from the Onslaught past and my fresh takes on some classic decks from that era of the Magic: the Gathering Trading Card Game!

Thank you for being a reader and see you next time!

Game on!!

Andi

 

 

Panzer Clash: Introducing a New Card Type – GENERALS!!

Dear Comrades and Allies!

I tried to seize the opportunity, the new chance for an old game of mine (Panzer Clash as this post’s title indicates), namely the imminent Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to be launched next Wednesday, October 1st 2014, to introduce something new to said old game that will most likely be a great addition and add greatly to the gameplay value of the game on so many levels!

I am talking about GENERALS!! And here is one for you to feast your eyes on:

 

General Alexeij Trostzky

 

Looking pretty neat eh? And let me tell you this is a real person, a good friend and long-term Panzer Clash fan and supporter, in this picture, drawn as a WW2 era Soviet Generel. Why the hell didn’t I just put Erwin Rommel or George S. Patton or any other real historical figures on there you may rightfully ask. The reason is as simple as awesome, for I have an evil “master plan” for the Generals in mind.

So we will do it like this:

On our upcoming Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign we will offer a very, VERY exclusive and unique deal as our highest “perk” (backer level), and trust me this won’t be cheap at all, by means of which YOU get the once in a lifetime opportunity to be portrayed as a General in a similar way as you can see in the above sample card, and your card will be printed with the final product, the 400+ cards Panzer Clash “Mega Pack”!! So if you ever dreamt of being in a game (or of being a famed strategic mastermind WW2 panzer general), this will be your chance!! Besides you will get a “Panzer Clash Goodies Package” if you back at this high-end “General” perk, consisting of 3 copies of the game, a Panzer Clash Fan Shirt (we got 4 designs to choose from – one for each faction in the game) as well as an art print with YOUR artwork as a general.

But enough about the most awesome backer reward in the history of crowdfunding card games (well maybe there was a more awesome deal that I am not aware of – apologies for the bravado in this case) and on to how the General cards actually work and how they will greatly improve your Panzer Clash gaming experience.

For those few brave ones who were crazy enough to buy my game Elemental Clash, or those who have at least some knowledge about it, all that needs to be said is that the Generals in Panzer Clash are the almost exact equivalent of the very popular Spellcasters in Elemental Clash.

For those without any Elemental Clash knowledge or even experience, here’s how the Generals will work:

First of all, playing with General is optional, but all players have to agree whether or not to use Generals. So if you choose the “General” mode/variant of play, you first (prior to playing) choose one of the at least 12 General cards we are planning on including in the Panzer Clash Base Game. Each General has certain strenghtes and weaknesses so you pretty much have to build your deck around the specific General you chose, in order to have a deck that works well with his unique and specific abilities and such. The choice of General influences deckbuilding a lot as you should adapt your deck to him as well as possible so as to make maximum use of his specific powers.

Every General has a name and a Faction he’s associated with as well as 3 Stats and 2 Abilities. The Stats are “Hand Size”, “Card Draw” and “Deck Size” whereas the abilities are firstly the “Static Ability” and secondly the “Flip Ability. Here a graphics that illustrates this and explains the general layout all Generals will have in common:

Generals Explanation

Let me explain how the stats and abilities work a bit more in depth. If you are not so interested in the details, you may stop reading here! 😀

First of all, the Generals are never shuffled into the deck with all the other cards but are placed face-up on the table in front of their owner.

The Hand Size in green is both the number of cards you draw at the beginning of each game AND the number of cards you need to discard down to at the end of your turn, if you have more than the number indicated in the Hand Size orb/icon.

The Card Draw value in blue is simply the number of cards you HAVE TO draw during each of your turns, during Draw-Phase.

The third Stat in red/orange is the Deck Size which is very important as it determines the maximum number of cards you can have in a deck with this General. This is so very important because the goal of the game is to deplete the opponent deck by means of dealing damage through Units and Events. So a small deck means you will have less time to win as a smaller deck is more easily torn apart by your opponent than a bigger one. So the deck size value has to be considered when building decks as you HAVE to stick to that maximum card total value when playing with a certain General.

Now on to the two Abilities that are to be found in the horizontally split text box in the lower half of the General card:

The Static Ability is a continuous type of ability that will give you a permanent bonus of one kind or another from the very beginning unto the end of the game, UNLESS you use your Generals Flip Ability:

By flipping your General card face-down, you can activate your usually very powerful but one-time Flip Ability. It can be used at any given point in the game (so also any time during an opponent turn for example) but as I said only once in one game, as you have to flip your General like so…

General Unflipped Flipped

….and there is no (not to-date and probably never will be) way if unflipping your General to use his mighty Flip Ability one more time.

What is most important about using your Flip Ability is that it will permanently shut down your Static Ability, which creates a lot of tension and forces you to think strategically about if and when to use your once-per-game Flip Ability.

Well, that about covers how the generals work.

As I have seen in Elemental Clash, where the Spellcasters proved to be so fun to play with and so popular that NOBODY ever plays the regular version of the game without Spellcasters, the Spellcasters aka Generals will add a ton of gameplay value and overall long-term enjoyment to the game and enhance your overall Panzer Clash experience greatly. You have to choose a General, you have the amazingly fun challenge to build a good “home” (a deck that suits his powers well) for him and then you can see how everything falls in place when playing some actual “General Style” games. From my personal experience I can say that timing the unleashing of your Flip Ability creates very tough choices as you have to use it just at the right time to max out the “profit” you gain from it. Smart, tactical decisions that matter are one huge quality for me, and many agree as I know for a fact.

So bottom line: I am really excited of being able to bring Panzer Clash to you along with the amazing General cards that add so much fun and value to the game overall on probably more levels I can imagine right now!! And again: If YOU want to be a general too, secure your card by backing at the presitgious “General” level on Indiegogo. 

Well we hope to see you there as our loyal supporters and will keep you updated on everything, prior to and during the campaign!!

Thank you for your time and attention and…

….Clash On!!

Yours truly,

Andi

MTG: Various Random Deck Ideas in Various Formats!

Dear readers!

As I am in a writing mood once again and after a long, productive day not in the least tired, I will just spam out some random deck ideas intended for various formats, well just Modern and Legacy, that I had just today.

The first one was inspired by me advising my magic companion Luki, seen on my previous post, to include the “Splicer” Creatures, which all generate 3/3 Golem Artifact Creatures and give them some special abilities, like this rather expensive for example…

…. and combining them with the Commander of one of his new Commander / EDH Decks:

So there are various such Splicers which, as I said, have all in common that they generate one, or even two as in the example above, 3/3 Golems, and give all Golems some specials such as Trample, Vigilance, Flying and so forth. Splicers mainly come in White and Green, with just one of blue color. Somehow these reminded me of Slivers, which also share all their special abilities with one another. And since I love Slivers and love Artifacts, it was somehow just natural to think about how to build a Splicer/Golems deck! So here’s the list.

GoGoGolems (Modern Format):

Creatures…26

4 x Birds of Paradse G

4 x Steel Overseer 2

4 x Blade Splicer 2W

3 x Master Splicer 3W

3 x Vital Splicer 3G

3 x Wing Splicer 3U

3 x Sensory Splicer 4W

2 x Maul Splicer 6G

Instants…8

4 x Otherworldly Journey 1W

4 x Harrow 2G

Enchantments…4

4 x Tempered Steel 1WW

Lands…22

4 x Seaside Citadel

10 x Forest

5 x Plains

3 x Plains

About the Deck:

So the Creature-wise and pretty obviously, the deck  consists mostly of Splicers. Each of them creates a 3/3 Golem Artifact Creature Token, except the costly (6G) Maul Splicer, which spawns even 2 of those. The additional abilities the Splicers grant all Golems are as follows:

Blade Splicer (which is the cheapest at 2W) gives all First Strike, Master Splicer gives all Golems +1/+1, Vital Splicer lets you regenerate them at the negligible cost of 1 generic Mana, whereas Wing Splicer (the only blue Splicer) turns all Golems into Flyers, Sensory Splicer gives all Vigilance and lastly, the mighty Maul Splicer grants all Golems Trample. So the more Splicers the merrier obviously. The more Splicers the more 3/3 Golems and the more additional abilities for all of them.

To support the “Splicer base” I am running several other Creatures as well. Besides Birds of Paradise, which speed up the deck and make a turn 2 Blade Splicer a possibility, probably this one is the most important Golem/Artifact Creature supporter:

Obviously, this awesome guy will power up all your Golems permanently, through +1/+1 Counters, turn after turn. Not a Creature but serving pretty much the same quite powerful purpose are the four copies of Tempered Steel. It is an Enchantment for 1WW that gives all your Artifact Creatures +2/+2 which is obviously pretty neat as your Golems will all be 5/5s by default instead of “just” 3/3s.

There is a minor combo involving a card that I really really cherish as an universal life saver for any Creature, however in this deck it serves another purpose:

Just use it to “flicker out” any Splicer and when he returns you get another Golem Token… or even two in case of Maul Splicer!

Despite the fact that the Splicers are all quite costly (but hay, they give you a free 3/3 Golem or two plus awesome additional abilities) the deck has worked out pretty well in our casual environment. I would not play it competitively though as obvioulsy, this is a low-budget, fun deck!

“Jeskai”(RWU) Aggro Control (Casual/Legacy Format):

Creatures…8

4 x Meddling Mage WU

4 x Lightning Angel 1RWU

Instants…28

4 x Brainstorm U

4 x Lightning Bolt R

2 x  Path to Exile W

4 x Accumulatd Knowledge 1U

4 x Magma Jet 1R

4 x Lightning Helix RW

3 x Fire/Ice 1R/1U

3 x Electrolize 1RU

Enchantmetns… 4

4 x Steel of the Godhead (an Aura)

Lands…20

4 x Arid Meas

2 x Scalding Tarn

4 x Mystic Monastor

4 x Plains

4 x Mountaiens

About the Deck:

So the new Khans of Tarkir brings us, among many other awesome things, 5 new three color combination cards, quite similar to the 5 “shards” in the Alara block. I was exceedingly pleased that my  all-time-favorite three color combination UWR (Blue White Red) is represented as well, so it was only natural that I chose the UWR (they call this faction “Jeskai”) Sealed Deck pack in yesterdays prelease event, about which I will report briefly in a future post to follow soon. So yeah, there are, among many other cool cards, tripple mana lands again, and here is my favorite of them all:

So having been all pumped when we, my sister, my buddy Robin and I that is, came home after the prerelease event was over, I just HAD to build a fun “Jeskai” Deck, although I did not use any cards of the brand new set, save for the above awesome tripple land, but rather classics such as the in my humble opinion magnificent Lightning Angel:

As you can see, she is a pretty awesome deal as a 3/4 for just 4 Mana that attacks right away, is hard to block through flying AND has vigialance on top of all that, making him not only a great attacker but in fact a supreme defender as well.

I would call this deck an “Aggro Control” type of build, despite the fact that it is running only 8 Creatures, albeit quality ones, such as 4 of the above Angel as well as 4 absolutely pesky Meddling Mages:

How my two only playsets of Creatures will become unstoppable forces of nature will be revealed at the end of this deck description!

Notably, the deck features no less than 28 Instants, all of them high quality and terribly cheap with tons of 1 Mana ones and the costliest coming at just 3 Mana. If it weren’t for Lightning Angel, the deck could well win with only 3 lands in play. You may ask why I am not running Isochron Scepter, which would allow me to cast one of the many quality 2 mana or less Instants over and over again. The reason is simple. I will have ample such Instants in hand and it may seem unreasonable, but Scepter is actually too slow for this kind of deck and prone to be destroyed by artifact hate.

Instead of describing all my Instants galore, please look them up at magiccards.info. However there is one GREAT GREAT card that is a pet card of mine in any deck with Blue and White Creatures (such as, incidentally Meddling Mage and Lightning Angel). When I had my Creatures and Instants together, I realized I had 4 card slots left to fill. And our test games showed that adding four of this one really paid off:

Think about it: Your Meddling Mage will become a 4/4 unblockable Lifelinker and Lightning Angel will be downrigth insane with one (or even more!!) Steel of the Godhead attached, making him a 5/6 Flying, Vigilant, Hasty, Lifelinker that CANNOT be blocked!! Holy shit!! That SHOULD spell serious trouble for any opponent. Testing showed that including Steel of the Godhead to fill up the four empty slots was probably the best card choice when constructing this deck!

Lock Around the Clock – Revisited (Casual/Legacy):

Instants…8

4 x Daze 1U

4 x Counterspell UU

Sorceries…6

4 x Surpeme Verdict 1WWU

2 x Wrath of God 2WW

Enchantments…6

4 x Ghostly Prison 2W

2 x March of the Machines 3U

Artifacts…16

4 x Talisman of Progress 2

3 x Howling Mine 2

3 x Static Orb 3

3 x Clock of Omens 4

3 x Icy Manipulator 4

Planeswalkers…2

2 x Elspeth, Knight Errant 2WW

Lands…22

4 x Mishra’s Factory

4 x Seat of the Synod

4 x Ancient Den

6 x Plains

4 x Island

About the Deck:

This deck, which is a pure control lock-down build,  is just plain evil and a major annoyance to any opponent as its very goal is to totally shut down said opponent – and when I say totally, I mean TOTALLY!! How! Let me show you some key-cards and then elaborate on how well they actully work together like the gears fo a well-working and well constructed engine. Have a look at the following cards and you may be able to figure it all out on your onw!! 😀

Exhibit A: Clock of Omens (maybe THE central card in the lock-down engine, hence the deck’s fancy name “Lock around the Clock”!)

Exhibit B: Static Orb (The actual Lockdown card in the deck)

Please note the errata on this card, which tells you it loses its crippling effect when in tapped state. Back then in Tempest artifacts where universally considered to just “shut down” when tapped. So if you look at exhibit A and B, you may see the great interaction between the two of them. Simply tap Orb and Clock to untap any artifact (even Clock itself can be untapped by its own effect if you happen to have any better stuff to untap) prior to your Untap Step and you will get a FULL Untap Step while your opponent’s options will be harshly limited by being only allowed to untap two permanents each turn. Factor in this and you will be able to tap the last two untapped permanents your poor opponent will have as well, cheaply and conveniently:

Exhibit C: Icy Manipulator

Oh man how I love it to “give a good home” to old classics like the highly used and valued back in the olden days of MtG Icy Manipulator. You’d best use him in conjunction with Clock and Orb, as you can pay one mana to tap one of the two permanents your opponent will be allowed to untap and then use Clock’s effect to  untap Manipulator only to tap the very last opponent card remaining untapped as well!! This is really putting your opponent in the thoughest of imaginabel situations, being unable to do ANYTHING at all!!

But the synergies don’t stop here. Have a peek at…

Exhibit D: Ghostly Prison

Ghostly Prison is just awesome against any aggressive and fast creature rush deck, but just imagne it with Static Orb around. The opponent will have a choice between a rock and a hard place so to say: Either they untap 2 mana to pay the harsh tax demanded by Prison and then have no untapped Creature to attack with OR they untap a Creature and a Land, but then again, they will be one mana short of being able to let the Creature attack.

One more great great synergy for you, which is based on a cards interaction I discovered myself (yes I am aware that most likely others have realiezd this as well even before me) and which I have been using as a great and reliable draw engine in various decks. It is all about combining Clock of Omens with…

Exhibit E: Howling Mine

Same as Static Orb, Mine shuts down when tapped, so simply use Clock’s effect to tap your Mine(s) prior to your opponent.’s draw phase and all sudden this is a viable and reliable draw engine that works for you only, denying the extra draw to your opponent(s).

As this is a Control deck par excellence, I would like to mention that I run 6 Creature Mass Removal spells, namely 4 Supreme Verdict which can’t be countered and 2 Wrath of God, which can be countered but prevents Creatures from regenerating when unleashed.

Lastly, about the win conditions: I have three very different ones which I will list briefly below:

  • Elspeth, Knight Errant: You can win with this kightly lady all on her own, as she creatues an 1/1 Soldier Token by adding a counter to her and, how perfectly convenient, gives any Creature +3/+3 AND Flying for a turn, also by placing a counter.
  • Mishra’s Factory: You can just slowly and steadily chip away at your opponent with your classic “manlands” as you will be tapping any defences left by means of Icy Manipulator AND the Factories survive your mass Creature removal, which is pretty neat as well. Now what is really f’ing awesome if you combine Elspeth’s second ability with a Mishra’s Factory. That will give you an awesome 5/5 flyer for the investment of 1 generic mana per turn, which is a hell of a deal and should quicken the opponent’s downfall considerably.
  • March of the Machines: This is probably  the most original and creative win condition the game features and I am quite happy to have discovered it all by myself, not just borrowing the idea from someone else. March of the Machines is a 3G Enchantment that will turn all your non-Creature artifacts into Artifact Creatures with Power and Toughness equal to their mana cost. As I am running quite some 2 – 4 cost artifacts, dropping a “March” once you have a ton of those out can really spell unexpected instant defeat for your opponent as you’d be overrunning him with a ton of 3/3 and  4/4 artifacts. However a word of warnin: Drop your March only when you are set up to and dead sure about being able to dish out lethal damage on the very turn you cast March of the Machines. Otherwise there is the possible danger of your opponent killing off your, as Creatures, a lot more vulnerable key artifacts!

Well you guys, I hope you enjoyed my more or less out-of-the-ordinary deck ideas presented within this article. Stay tuned for more Magic Madness soon!

As always, thank you for being a reader and

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

PANZER CLASH launching on INDIEGOGO Oct. 1st 2014

“Bringing an Old Game of Mine Back to Life – Better than Ever Before!!”

FB Cover 4

Dear readers and people with a general interest in historical matters – especially the WW2 era!

I am very pleased to share with you an awesome announcement regarding a card game of mine that few may remember, and even fewer will remember the fact that it was in fact printed and published by now gone for good and for good reasons TOG Entertainment, USA. Years ago I fought to get back the rights to Panzer Clash, a Light, Card-Based War Game for 2 Players, from said company, and luckily I was successful, but afterwards, the game was forgotten and sent to “game purgatory”. Just today however, I had the genius (?) idea to dig deeply into my bountifully filled vault of games of my own devising, and the gem my digging produced was none other than the Panzer Clash Customizable Card Game!

As everything is done and the game has been finished for years (remember it had been printed and published by TOG Entertainment previously already) and I am only lacking the funds to have it printed in larger quantities, I am exceedingly pleased to announce, and quite unexpectedly to me as well, that…

Panzer Clash will be launching on Indiegogo in little more than a week from now, on October 1st 2014 to be more precise!

The upcoming Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaing, which will last all throughout October and end on Sunday, 2nd November midnight sharp, will be AWESOME for several reasons and we at AP Games are very excited about being to offer you some very special things over the course of said campaign. Here’s just a few highlights:

  • You will be able to secure your copy of the Panzer Clash “Mega Pack”, which will be a fully customizable game containing more than 400 cards – enough for nearly unlimited deckbuilding options by combining all “Base Set” cards of all four of the warring factions in one big box. We are as of now waiting for the final pricings from our US printer but promise to offer you the best deal possible money-wise!!
  • There will be a limited edition/pledge level of 350 copies of the game including the Official Panzer Clash Soundtrack, which is a compilation of various Metal tracks from such big names as Sabaton, Endstille and Hammerfall that is NOT available anywhere except in the upcoming Indiegogo campaign.
  • We will have awesome extra items in store for you such as four different Panzer Clash fan shirts – one design for each faction.
  • And here probably the most awesome highlight of all: We plan to include unique “General” cards in the game, which are not only a novelty in the game but you will be able to get YOUR PORTRAIT of a WW2 Panzer General immortalized on one of these cards as a truly unique perk/backer reward! Plus a Panzer Clash goodie bag consisting of several copies of the game and a shirt etc will be  yours as well!

But enough for the bravado and Crowdfunding madness announcements.

Let me move on and tell you all a bit about the actual game, how it works and what makes it unique!

ABOUT THE GAME:

First of all a disclaimer that should be obsolete but just to have this out of the way once and for all: We at AP Games are fanatic pacifists and although the Panzer Clash Customizable Card Game is set in the horrible WW2 era, we do not intend to glorify war or even promote Naziism or anything like that. The sole purpose of this game is to entertain, it is entirely unpolitical as we ourselves are and should, at best, create awareness for certain historical events, which, as horrible as they were, should never be forgotten. We strive to contribute to that cause!

So now on to the actual game:

Panzer Clash is a light, card based war game for 2 players that takes about 20 mins to 45 hours (play time can vary greatly due to various factors). If I would have to compare Panzer Clash to an well known other card game I would call it similar to Magic: the Gathering, as you build decks and then battle with your opponent in both games. But that is pretty much where the similarities end. Obviously, Panzer Clash adopts a rarely seen theme, as opposed to a plethora of fantasy-themed CCGs that flooded and still flood the games market. Furthermore, the goal of the game is very unique and seldom seen as well. As a retheme of my somewhat popular Fantasy CCG “Elemental Clash”, the goal of the game is to reduce the opponent deck of cards to zero before the other player does. In order to achieve that goal, you try to inflict damage to your opponent by means of Units (Tanks, Infantry etc) and Events of various powers. For each one damage dealt to your opponent through your Units and Events, they have to discard the top card of their deck to their discard pile. As soon as a player is required to draw (you must draw a card during each turn) and cannot do so because their deck is depleted, they lose immediately.

So in Panzer Clash, you have Unit cards that fight for you or defend you against opponent attacks:

Unit Card Samples Presentation

As you can see, in the Panzer Clash Base Game, all 4 major warring factions of the WW2 Era are represented. There will also be Neutral Cards that belong to neither faction. Besides your Units that attack and defend mostly and stay on the field until destroyed, you have supporting Event cards that either have some beneficial effects on you or harm your opponent one way or another. There are three types: Regular Events that you can use in your Main Phase, Flash Events that you can use any time, even during the opponent’s turn, provided you have the resources available, and Permanent Events that remain in play until destroyed by certain cards (or until the game ends!). Here some samples for Event cards… Again one for each faction – there will be plenty of Neutral ones as well that can be used by any faction.

Event Card Samples Presentation

Besides Units and Events there are the Terrain and Terrain Modifiers Cards to be placed on the former. The Terrain Cards is probably THE most unique and innovative element in Panzer Clash, which sets it even apart from the first, the original “Clash Game” Elemental Clash. I shall explain briefly how the Terrain cards mechanic works  and why I think it is such a great fit for this game in particular and furthermore adds a new layer of strategy to the whole game, adding tremendous depth gameplay-wise. But first have a look at the Terrain cards and Terrain Modifiers:

Terrain Card Samples Presentation

Terrain Modifier Card Samples Presentation

 

So the Terrain mechanic works like this basically: Besides the two Player’s Decks there is one seperate “Terrain Deck” containing various types of Terrain cards like Cities, Villages, Plains, Forests and so forth (you can see some in the above sample images). Before every game of Panzer Clash, during setup, you shuffle the 30 cards Terrain Deck and then place on the table a grid of 4 rows times 5 columns of face-down Terrain Cards without looking at them, so at random. This is the “battelfield” on which your Units will be moving around, always headed towards your opponent’s “Back Row” in order to inflict direct damage on them. Terrain cards are turned face up as soon as a Unit is trying to move onto one of them. This creatures a nice “Fog of War” effect seen in many strategic video games and adds an element of unpredictability and luck (as there are beneficial and harmful Terrain types) and gives the game tremendous additional strategic depth, since you will face tough choices when trying to move around your Units most efficiently on a previously unknown grid of Terrain Cards. And no game of Panzer Clash will be the same through the very nature of the randomly created battlefield that is implemented in the form of Terrain cards.

Before moving on, a word on the resource system: There is only one type of “Resource Cards” in the game: Factories. You will stack your Factories on each other in your Factory Row that is located before you Back Row of Terrain Cards in order to be able to afford higher cost and thus more powerful Units and Events and always have the choice to either start a new Factory Stack in order to deploy more cheaper Units faster OR to add an additional Factory to an existing Stack in order to be able to afford the costlier Units and Events! You can place one Factory per turn by the way.

So much for the Panzer Clash Customizable Card Game. As the last part of this introductory article, let me showcase the awesome Panzer Clash Official Soundtrack Audio CD (Compilation):

About the CD:

As I said before, the Official Panzer Clash Soundtrack will be a special you will get on top of your copy of your game, strictly limited to 350 units (as no more do exist as a matter of fact – at least not in my posssession). The Panzer Clash Soundtrack is as of now available NOWHERE except through the upcoming Indiegogo Campaign. It features songs from big names in Heavy Metal, but also contributions from lesser known artists, some of which have taken the trouble to write and produce songs exclusively for the Panzer Clash Official Soundtrack, which is of highest possible production quality, as I would like to point out. But pictures say more than words, so have a look at the Soundtrack in physical form:

PC Soundtrack CD small

And here is the line-up in the form of a more or less representative image:

soundtrack press release poster updated small

 

And lastly, if you couldn’t quite make it out above, here’s the line-up along with the song titles to be featured on the Panzer Clash Soundtrack!

PC soundtrack inlay small

…and what a mighty line-up it is!!

Closing this rather long introduction, I thank you all for your interest and hope to see you on Indiegogo soon!!

Let the Clash of Panzers begin!!! (Well, only in cardboard form as I do sincerely hope!!)

Yours truly,

Andi, AP Games

 

P.S.: For a full visual card spoiler please visit http://www.panzerclash.com

P.P.S.: As a little teaser as the very last thing I will torment you with in this one article, one song from the Panzer Clash Soundtrack!

 

MTG: Warming up for the Prelease tomorrow – EDH Deckbuilding Madness!!

Well, dear reader, tomorrow is the day of the by my humble self long-anticipated pre-release event of the new Khans of Tarkir Magic: the Gathering edition/block, which I will be attending, with some friends, at our local magic cards shop in Linz. And I am all excited and pumped to get a sneak peek on some of the new cards as well as playing on the sealed deck prelease tournament! I for one can already safely say that I am going to like the new set/block, as I know for sure they will have new tripple color cards and lands and, most pleasing for me personally, one three color combo will be my all time favorite trinity of colors: WUR (White – Blue – Red)! And that is about all I know for now about Khans of Tarkir – oh yeah, and that Morph will make a comeback – as I haven’t been paying attention to any card previews this time – deliberately, so that I can enjoy the prelease tomorrow even more!

To warm up for tomorrow’s great pre-release event, I spent a good part of the morning and the early afternoon with what can only be called “deckbuilding madness”, in the great company of one of my best buddies, when it comes to M:tG and otherwise, Lukas Laner! The below photograph should serve as visual proof of the “madness”!

MTG Madness with Luki

So we both spent several hours building and testing EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander, nowadays known as “Commander”) decks. While Luki built two, one WUG with this one as the Commander…

and a second EDH Deck in the color combination of RGB, using…

…as the Commander.

The former makes use of many CIP-Ability Creatures (Creatures that have effects when they enter the battlefield that is), which can be triggered again and again with Roon’s awesome ability. Roon has Trample and Vigilance and a 4/4 body (as you can see) on top of that so I consider him pretty awesome! The latter is an aggro-control themed deck with lots of sacrifice effects to max out on Sek’Kuar’s Token generating ability. I will not go in depth any further, as this article would drag on endlessly if I did and instead just show you the deck I built, first providing a full decklist and then sharing my thoughts on the playing style and strategy involved. Please know that the following deck is VERY raw and there is MUCH room for improvement as I more or less threw together some more or less use- and/or powerful cards of the right colors that I found among my admittedly extensive collection. So it didn’t turn out terribly bad and I like the general concept, but yeah, I gotta pimp it a bit to unleash its full potential. But on to the actual deck. As I mentioned initially, my favorite 3 color combination (and I consider 3 color EDH decks best actually) is White/Red/Blue. So I checked on the internet for some potential UWR Commanders (they would have to be legendary creatures) and the best, at least by my reckoning, and the best if you just built the right deck around him was this mighty fellow:

As you see, mighty Ruhan is quite the force to be reckoned with, as a 7/7 for 4 Mana with no drawback whatsoever IF you are only playing 2 player EDH/Commander, which is the case with me and my friends. When I saw this one, I thought this power could be harnessed!

So the basic plan after getting a hold of a copy of the Fomori guy, was to pack a 99 cards deck full of cards that give Ruhan Power boosts and/or additional effects in order to deal the deadly 21 Command Damage ASAP (For me there are two general types of EDH Decks – those aiming for “Command Damage Win” and those who try to win through regular damage – that would be 40 under normal circumstances) AND cards that protect Ruhan from being killed one way or another.

A prime example for the former type of cards, the ones that boost Ruhan, is the below Aura (Enchant Creature) which I think is a terrific card which I find myself using again and again in many types of (suitable, mana-wise) decks:

Just slam that on Ruhan and you got a 9/9 Lifelinked and UNBLOCKABLE behemoth of a Fomori Giant!! Add more Auras and Equipments and you are good to go. This one would be a nice additiona to mighty Ruhan as well by the way:

Well, as I said one “half” (I haven’t checked the actual percentage to be honest) is there to pump and enhance Ruhan with the ultimate goal of infliciting 21 Command Damage soonest, while the other half is stuff that should prevent your Commander from dying. For that reason I included a considerable number of counterspells but also more obscure but really useful as “lifesavers” so to say like for example…

So here’s the VERY raw first draft of my “Ruhan Beatdown” EDH Deck which I built just today and tested twice. There are many, many out of focus cards that could be replaced by better options, as I do own A LOT of cards but of course not all there are to be had. I am very much motivated though to improve the deck in order to near perfection, as I am convinced it has quite some potential, with a 7/7 Commander for just 4 Mana nonetheless! OK so here the decklist:

Ruhan Beatdown EDH (Commander):

Commander: Ruhan of the Fomori 1RWU

Creatures…9

Wall of Denial 1UW

Archaeomancer 2UU

Steamcore Weird 3U

Wonder 3U

Anger 3R

Lightning Angel 1RWU

Mnemoic Wall 4U

Ogre Savant 4R

Draining Whelk 4UU

Instants…18

Brute Force R

Ajani’s Presence W

Enlightened Tutor W

Condemn W

Emerge Unscathed W

Lightning Bolt R

Impulse 1U

Magma Jet 1R

Test of Faith 1W

Confound 1U

Otherworldly Journey 1W

Hindering Light WU

Fire / Ice 1R / 1U

Lightning Helix RW

Counterspell UU

Hinder 1UU

Fatal Frenzy 2R

Rewind 2UU

Sorceries…13

Steelshaper’s Gift W

Reckless Charge R

Faithless Looting R

Recoup 1R

Compulsive Research 2U

Fabricate 2U

Idyllic Tutor 2W

Browbeat 2R

Deep Analysis 3U

Breath of Life 3W

Wrath of God 2WW

Day of Jugment 2WW

Supreme Verdict 1WWU

Enchantments…11

Vanishing U

Invisibility UU

Journey to Nowhere 1W

Steel of the Godhead 2U/W

Battle Mastery 2W

Unquestioned Autority 2W

Griffin Guide 2W

Empyrial Armor 1WW

Ghostly Prison 2W

Propaganda 2U

Control Magic 2UU

Artifacts….13

Skullclamp 1

Basiliks Collar 1

Fellwar Stone 2

Lightning Greaves 2

Swiftfoot Boots 2

Talisman of Progress 2

Umezawa’s Jitte 2

Isochron Scepter 2

Grafted Wargear 3

Sword of Vengeance 3

Loxodon Warhammer 3

Darksteel Ingot 3

Mirari 5

Planeswalkers…1

Ajani Vengeant 2RW

Lands…34

4 x Island

4 x Plains

4 x Mountain

Mana Conflux

Command Tower

Opal Palace

Terramorphic Expanse

Evolving Wilds

Flood Plain

Mystic Monastery

Izzet Guildgate

Izzet Boilerworks

Steam Vents

Scalding Tarn

Azorius Guildgate

Boros Guildgate

Fairy Conclave

Blinkmoth Nexus

Mishra’s Factory

Radiant Fountain

Forgotten Cave

Lonely Sandbar

Temple of the False God

Rogue’s Passage

Soaring Seacliff

Well, dear friends of Magic: the Gathering, if you are not familiar with some of the cards, I recommend you simply look them up at the comprehensive cards encyclopedia over at…

http://magiccards.info/

…but I will mention some notable cards:

This deck runs very few Creatures, 9 to be precise, as I rather focus on pumping and enhancing my Commander, but two of them are really great. For once, I would wish that Lightning Angel…

…was a Legendary Creature – oh how lovely a Lightning Angel Commander deck would be…! The second notable Creature is a great great defender. Look for yourself:

Good luck to any opponent who wants to get past this one!! 😀 And that for just 3 Mana. A good deal for stalling if you ask me.

Emerge Unscathed is a great way to protect your Ruhan first and then make him unblockable, in many a context. It is an Instant at the cost of 1 White Mana that gives any one Creature protection from any one color for a turn. But the cool thing is that it has rebound, meaning you can cast it again at the beginning of your next turn, giving Ruhan protection from the color of your choice to make him unblockable in many cases.

Confound (1U) and Hindering Light (WU) are great countes to protect Ruhan, as they will only counter spells that target one of your permanents. And what is especially great with this cheapo counters is that they draw you a card on top of their neutralizing effect.

Vanishing, for 1 Blue Mana, employs the old and hence obscure Phasing mechanic, allowing you to save your Ruhan from pretty much everything and anything at the cost of paying UU!

Ghoslty Prison and Propaganda are identical save for the color (one being white and the other blue) and are enchantments at the mere cost of 2W and 2U respectively that tax your opponent two mana for each Creature they want to attack with. Great, great stalling cards.

I packed in some quality equipment such as classic Loxodon Warhammer, making your Ruhan a 10/7 Lifelinked Trampler, as well as Sword of Vengeance

… and the lesser known Grafted Wargear which costs 3 to cast and 0 to equip, giving a hefty +3/+2 boost and coming with a drawback that doesnt really matter in this deck!

And since the deck has a considerable number of casting cost 2 or less, quality instants such as Counterspell, Lightning Helix and Fire/Ice to name a few, I thought adding an Isochron Scepter – an old favorite of mine – to the mix:

I have to note here that many of the weaker Instants may have to go in favor of more Ruhan power-ups and/or protection!

And lastly, check out this awesome land, Rogue’s Passage, that will ensure your Ruhan WILL inflict his full Command Damage!

Well, all in all I REALLY like how this deck is conceived, the strategy behind it, as simple as it might be (get out Ruhan, power him up to the max and protect him by various means in order to push through 21 points worth of Command Damage – that’s all there is to it!) and not least to mention, the deck features my favority “trinity” of colors. As noted multiple times before in this article, there is obviously MUCH room for improvement, as I just threw the deck as I listed it above in a hurry and just from the stuff I had around currently. What I will do (actually right after publishing this post) is looking for more  awesome Ruhan boosters in the form of Equipment and Auras. There is bound to be a lot more that the deck would benefit from adding, that’s for sure. Furthermore I am REALLY looking forward to see the Red-White-Blue (and all other) cards from the imminent Khans of Tarkir edition/block and I got a hunch there will be some gems in therer somewhere that would make good additions to the deck I discussed in this very article.

OK friends and readers, I will be sure to post a tournament report either tomorrow evening when I return from the prelease event or the day after at the latest, so stay tuned for some Khans of Tarkir Prelease tales!

Wish me luck for tomorrow’s event – fun is what I am going to have for sure anyways!!

So thanks again for reading and, as always….

HAPPY GAMING!!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

Introducing: EVOsaurs – A Card Game of Mutation and Natural Selection!

scisource_be5061

 

Dear readers!

I am very pleased to be able to announce to you YET another games project of mine, that is all about dinosaurs and evolution by means of mutation and natural selection as first proposed by Charles Darwin – hence the title of the game: EVOsaurs!

In Evosaurs, each player starts out with 3 generic “Basic Dinosaur” cards which mutate (more or less) randomly, gaining both beneficial and harmful “modifications” this way while constantly being put to the test of survival in various natural events of beneficial or harmful nature as well. The game, in its basic form, is probably more of a simulation, trying to implement the very mechanics of mutation and selection, in a vastly simplified manner as a matter of course, as drives evolution in real life nature and as seen and well-documented in natural history at large.

So during a game of EVOsaurs, your dinosaurs will be subject to beneficial or harmful mutations, whilst being constantly put to the test of survival through certain natural events. The goal of the game is to be the player with the most total population among their surviving dinosaurs (of course your species can go extinct as well) at the end of the game – that is the case when the 50 cards “Selection Deck” containing the aforementioned natural events, runs out of cards.

Let me give you a more in depth look at the inner workings of EVOsaurs. You may stop reading here if the above answered all your questions about my new creation already! 😉

So as mentioned before, each player starts with 3 identical, generic, so called “Basic Dinosaurs” with a basic Fitness (FIT) of 1. FIT is the universal value that drives the game and determines many things, such as population gain or loss during certain events that involve what could be called “Fitness-Checks”. More on that later. Here is an image of what your Basic Dinosaur would look like:

Basic Dinosaur copy

There is not much to it actually, just the card name on top, the card image in the center and the Fitness Icon in the bottom right corner. The red area is where you will be putting small, six-sided dice to keep track of the species’ current population count.

Besides the Basic Dinosaurs, of which 3 are dealt to each player at the beginning of the game, Evosaurs consists of two main decks. One is called the Mutation Deck and contains Major Mutations as well as Minor Mutations:

Major and Minor Mutation

Major Mutations (see the sample to the left) are put right onto your Basic or lower evolutionary stage Dinosaur and certain Mutations only work when attached to a Dinosaur of the right kind, the right Major Mutation. There are Small/Medium/Large Herbivores and Small/Medium/Large Carnivores. To the right you see a Minor Mutation card. It is attached in an overlapping manner to your Dinosaur card and has a Fitness Modifier that will either add to the total Fitness of the Species it is attached to or lower it, if the number is a negative one. Besides the general Fitness modifier, most Minor Mutations have additional effects and that further modify FIT for instance, as seen in written form on the card.

The second deck I mentioned is the so called Selections Deck. It contains natural events that either put your Species to the test of survival, like Ice Ages, Epidemics or even a Meteor Impact, or have some beneficial effects on all species or on those who have enough Fitness. Here some samples:

selections

The game system itself is pretty simple and also, as I have to admit, quite random, as you are not “playing god” and attaching the Mutations you draw from the Mutations Deck as you wish, but rather as they are revealed. The Major Mutations are an exception. When you draw one you may choose if you want to evolve one of your Species with it and if so, which.

There are basically 3 Phases in the game. First off is Population Phase. Each player adds 1 Population to all of their dinos. As I said above, population is kept track of by means of 6-sided dice. Second comes Mutation Phase. For each dino, each player draws one card from the Mutation Deck and adds that to that species if it is a Minor Mutation. If a Major Mutation is drawn, the player can decide which of their dinosaur to attach it to – or to not attach it at all and discard it instead. Third and last comes Selection Phase. One card is drawn from the Selection Deck and applied to all dinosaurs still alive (on the field) immediately. That may cause the loss or gain of population or even the adding of some Mutations etc to one, some or all live species on the field. When the 50 card Selection Deck runs out, when the last card was drawn and has resolved that is, the game ends and all players count the total population of their remaining dinosaurs. The player with the highest population count at the end is the winner! And that is EVOsaurs for you in short!!

Admittedly, this is not really a “gamer’s game” and in fact more of an attempt of simulating certain natural mechanics in the form of an easy to teach and easy to play card game. And that was my intention from the start – I wanted to create a teaching tool conveying otherwise complicated scientific concepts like natural evolution by means of mutation and selection in the appealing, fun form of a simple card game!

And the terrific news is that I have already established ties to none other than the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and since their mission is to spread scientific knowledge and promote science and scientific thinking everywhere, maybe I will be lucky and they will take interest in my humble creation! Well, it has to be seen!

If you have come that far, I thank you very much for your kind interest. I hope you had a good read and I wish you, as always,

HAPPY PAINTING…errrrr..GAMING!!

Sincerely yours,

Andi

 

 

MTG: Even More Decks: “The Survivor” Updated + Monored Dragonramp!

Hello, hello and thrice hello!

Now that I have time, are under the “Magic Spell” once again and am in the mood for writing, here two more decks I came up with. The first is actually an update on an older, only semi-successful deck (even in the casual environment among my MtG buddies…) which I tweaked majorly – predominately by throwing some money at it! 😛 Anyways, have a look at…

The Survivor 2.0 (Modern Format):

Creatures…14

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Fleecemane Lion GW

4 x Troll Ascetic 1GG

2 x Thrun, the Last Troll 2GG

Instants…12

4 x Emerge Unscathed W

4 x Mana Leak 1U

4 x Otherworldly Journey 1W

Sorceries…8

4 x Day of Judgment 2WW

4 x Supreme Verdict 1WWU

Planeswalkers…4

2 x Elspeth, Knight Errant 2WW

2 x Ajani, Mentor of Heroes 3GW

Lands…22

2 x Treetop Village

4 x Seaside Citadel

8 x Forest

4 x Plains

4 x Island

About the Deck:

First off: Yeah, yeah I admit it, I AM myself now buying into the Planeswalkers craze, to some extent. The good thing (good for my ever so empty wallet) was that I owned a copy of both the Planeswalkers I am running in this updated version of my “Survivor” deck, Ajani, Mentor of Heroes and Elspeth, Knight Errant namely.

So same as in the previous incarnation of the deck, the plan is to play some Creatures that are extremely hard to get rid off due to hexproof and regenerative powers etc, then unleash a mass Creature remover such as the regular Day of Judgment or the uncounterable Supreme Verdict. By doing so you will clear the field and only your “Survivors” will be the last Creatures standing, your opponent most likely being defenseless and open for your direct attacks.

Let me show you the “Survivors” themselves so you see why they qualify so well for a deck with a plan as laid down above:

In the old deck I did run 4 Troll Ascetics. They are a hell of a deal for 1GG (3 Mana), being 3/2s with hexproof and regeneration at the mere cost of 1G. So normally you’d just wait until you got 6 Mana, then unleash either Day of Judgment or Supreme Verdict and spend the rest of the Mana on regenerating Troll. And hey presto, your opponent should be in serious trouble!

What I did add to this revised version of my previous Survivor Deck are two high quality creatures that can also be very hard for your opponent to get rid of, and even harder than getting rid of Troll Ascetic in one case. But first a card that really struck me and caught my interest when I first saw it. Have a look at Fleecemane Lion:

I mean, look at it… A 3/3 for just 2 Mana is a hell of a deal already and at a basic level equivalent to then very popular Watchwolf from the first Ravnica Block. But Fleecemane Lion tops that one and makes it clearly obsolete, for the Lion boasts an awesome additiona ability. Whenever you got 5 Mana (3GW) to spare, he will become monstrous, meaning he’ll get a (neglectable) +1/+1 Counter, making him a 4/4 AND, and this is truly awesome, he will be hexproof AND indestructible henceforward. Granted, paying 5 extra mana is a harsh tax, but in a control style deck it is surely realistic that you’ll get the Lion Monstrous eventually, which will make him not only survive your mass creature removal but also leave him unharmed from anything that would target him (from your opponent’s side). I can’t believe they are selling such an awesome card for just 2.50 bucks (USD). Well good for me, since I just purchased a playset to pimp my Survivor deck!! 😀

The other new Creature forced me to dig deeply into my anyways quite empty pockets. Just look at him and be stricken with awe:

This trollish geezer is kinda like a Troll Ascetic on Steroids. At a cost of 4 mana (just one more generic mana than what Ascetic would cost you) you will get a 4/4 Creature that does 3 awesome things which makes it (nearly) impossible for your opponent to get rid of him. Firstly, Thrun cannot be countered. Secondly, Thrun has Hexproof. Thirdly, Thrun regenerates at the mere cost of 1G. I mean, come on. Seriously? No wonder I had to pay 10 bucks for a copy, in played c0ndition… The only way to really get rid of him would be mass destruction that prevents regeneration or effects that force you to sacrifice a Creature. But I am not worried, since both these things have become pretty rare in Modern Format – at least to my knowledge.

And even if your opponent has indeed something to kill off nearly invicible Thrun, I have an allround solution/weapon to even foil an opponents attack to have me sacrifice him or whatever. Behold:

I really, really dig this card as it is THE life-saver par excellence. Something nasty would be done to one of your Creatures? Never fear, just shift them out into exile and let them re-enter the battlefield at end of turn, unharmed and well. And if that wouldn’t be useful and powerful in and off itself, you even get to place a +1/+1 Counter on the Creature you temporarily exiled when it enters play again. This would make Thrun an even more menacing 5/5 and is a really nice bonus to the life-saving effect of Otherworldly Journey. Besides Otherworldly Journey, you also have a playset of Mana Leaks to prevent anything bad from happening to your otherwise well-protected Trolls and Lions. Emerge Unscathed gives one of your Creatures protection from any color for one turn and then rebounds to be used a second time on the following turn, which can be great for getting past opponent defenses if they have any after you cast some Day of Judgment and/or Supreme Verdict.

And now here’s where the Planeswalkers come in:

Imagine you got out one of your oh-so hard to kill surviors as well as an Elspeth, Knight Errant for instance…

While I don’t really need her other two abilities, look at the second from the top. Add one counter to give any one of your Creatures +3/+3 and flying. Just use it on your Trolls or Lions and you’ll have one huge threat to your opponent quite instantly. She will make a humble Troll Ascetic for instance into a 6/3 hexproof, regenerating flyer. And of course, Planeswalkers are not Creatures so they WILL survive your Judgments and Verdicts. It is a similar story with Ajani, Mentor of Heroes:

He will give your “Survivor” a PERMANENT +3/+3 boost in the form of +1/+1 Counters each and every turn. That should apply quite some pressure to any opponent, especially when you constantly whipe out their defenses by means of mass creature removal.

One last interesting interaction in this deck: I added two Treeptop Villages to the mix, that turn into 3/3 Tramplers for a turn if 1G is paid. First off, they will also survive your board sweepers and secondly, and i do like that a lot, you can use Elspeth’s (and also Ajani’s) ability on them to turn them into 6/6 tramplers that fly (in the case of Elspeth)!! A pretty neat backup plan if you ask me.

Pumped to try this new revision of my old Survivor Deck with my friends and maybe at the local game store casual tournament!!

Well, the other deck I want to present in this two part deck article is less creative and probably less powerful. It goes by the name of…

Monored Dragonramp:

Creatures…14

4 x Dragonspeaker Shaman 1RR

3 x Mordant Dragon 3RRR

3 x Spawn of Thraxes 5RR

1 x Kilnmouth Dragon 5RR

3 x Bogardan Hellkite 6RR

Instants…12

4 x Lightning Bolt R

4 x Pyretic Ritual 1R

4 x Seething Song 2R

Sorceries…7

4 x Pyroclasm 1R

3 x Geosurge RRRR

Enchantments…3

3 x Claws of Valakut 1RR

Lands…24

4 x Forgotten Cave

2 x Valakut, the Molten Pinacle

18 x Mountain

About the Deck:

Well, actually there is not much to say to this deck, as it is pretty straightforward. It is Monored, it has Dragons and it uses tons of red Mana Ramp such as…

…hence the title “Monored Dragon Ramp”. Easy as that! 😀

So the basic plan is to use said Mana Ramp to drop a mighty Monored Dragon of choice ASAP and start beating down with a powerful (usually 5/5) flyer that usually has the ability to deal some extra damage to Creatures and/or Players. A fine example for this is Spawn of Thraxes:

Actually, when you have a perfect draw, you can spawn off a Spawn (of Thraxes) as early as turn 2. Simply cast Pyretic Ritual, then Seething Song followed by Geosurge and finally the Spawn of Thraxes himself… However in the very likely case of not drawing that perfectly, you got some tools to stop an opponent Creature rush short until you reach the threshold of available mana to let the draconian rage begin, namely classic Lightning Bolt and Pyroclasm, the latter being able to whipe out whole armies of small Creatures. Also, Dragonspeaker Shaman is an excellent way to lower the “critical mass” of mana needed to start summoning dragons, as he decreases the cost of all of your Dragon Spells by 2.

I am fully aware of the fact that this deck has some serious issues such as lack of card draw and consistency. But if you manage to power out some mighty flying, firebreathing dragons early on and stomp your opponent thoroughly it does feel rewarding and is indeed a ton of fun!!

MTG: Follow-Up: Prismatic Dragons

Well, dear readers, I am both in a writing mood and in the mood for theorizing new magic decks. Hence here one extra deck for you, as a little “follow-up” to the threefold deck article I just posted minutes ago! I hope you don’t mind. So here comes…

Prismatic Dragons (Casual/Fun)

Creatures…20

4 x Birds of Paradise G

3 x Joiner Adept

1 x Crosis the Purger 3UBR

1 x Darigaaz the Igniter 3BRG

1 x Dromar the Banisher 3WUB

1 x Intet the Dreamer 3URG

1 x Numot the Devastator 3RWU

1 x Oros the Avenger 3WBR

1 x Rith the Awakener 3RGW

1 x Teneb the Harvester 3BGW

1 x Treva the Renewer 3GWU

1 x Vorosh the Hunter 3GUB

1 x Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund 4RBG

1 x Bladewing the Risen 3BBRR

1 x Defiler of Souls 3BBR

Instants…4

4 x Harrow

Sorceries…8

4 x Supply / Demand xGW/1UW

4 x Channel the Suns 3G

Artifacts…6

2 x Belbe’s Portal 5

4 x Dragon Arch 5

Lands…22

4 x Terramorphic Expanse

10 x Forest

2 x Swamp

2 x Mountain

2 x Island

2 x Plains

About the Deck:

Seriously, this deck is not to be taken seriously. It may not be competitive by a far stretch but one thing it is for sure – F. U. N. !!

Well besides the 4 obligatory Birds (of Paradise) and the in a “rainbow” 5 color deck highly useful, Mana-morphing Joiner Adepts…

…this deck is packed with (nearly, not the old Legends ones) pretty much all multicolor Legendary Dragons there are to be found. Here a classic example:

WAY back in the Invasion Block, they started with a first series of five Legendary Dragons with three colors – a series that was continued with 5 new ones with other color combinations, of which the above example is one, in the Planar Chaos set. All these have in common that they are 6/6 Flyers for just 6 Mana and have a nice effect to be activarted by paying 3 Mana when they deal combat damage to a player. The Invasion ones have somewhat weaker effects, at least in my opinion, than the newer ones, but still I wanted to run all of them! Furthermore, I included one really nasty non-Dragon, non-Legendary multicolor cards which can annoy your opponent to death and won’t hurt you yourself much, but see for yourself:

Well, in this FUN deck, the basic plan is to put your multicolor Dragons (and the Defiler) into play cheaply and easily by means of…

…or alternatively through…

The nice thing about this deck is that it features a Dragon-Toolbox, and man, do I LOVE toolboxes – of any kind – in any deck (those who know me know that!), through this fine and not too expensive card:

This means you can just pick and choose the multi-colored Dragon Legend (or your Defiler of Souls) and add them to your hand, only to put them into play inexpensively through Dragon Arch or Belbe’s Portal as shown above. The cool thing is that they can’t be countered that way!

Harrow and Channel the Suns accelerate your Mana and make sure you always got the right colors of Mana, the latter making an early “hard-cast” Dragon Legend possible as well, while Joiner Adept makes all your lands produce any kind of Mana, which gives you utmost flexibility, also allowing for “hard casting” of your big, badass dragons in case Arch or Portal won’t work out for you for whatever reason!

Well, this one should be cool to play and could in theory work out well, although personally I would prefer not to show up at any tournament with it whatsoever! 😀

 

 

MTG: Hornet’s Nest, Beastly Powerdraw & “The Menace” Strikes Back!

Dear readers and friends of the fine Magic: the Gathering CCG!!

Well, after a long Spell of Yu-Gi-Oh! deckbuilding and playing, I have finally returned to my all-time favorite Trading Card Game  Magic: the Gathering! And along I bring a ton of new deck ideas, three of which I will, without much further ado, present you here! So let’s get started with the first of the three, but let me warn you first that all three are very, very unconventional decks, all built on a budget, containing many of my oh so beloved “crap rares”, with questionable competitiveness – but the latter doesn’t really matter for me as long as I am playing a deck that does rather crazy and unique stuff probably nobody has ever thought of before (well, as millions are playing this game, the odds are good someone else will in fact have thought of it). But here we go, starting with…

Hornet’s Nest (Modern Format)

Creatures…17

4 x Avacyn’s Pilgrim G

4 x Hornet Nest 2G

2 x Eternal Witness 1GG

4 x Sigiled Captain 1WWG

3 x Hornet Queen 4GGG

Enchantments….8

4 x Fists of Ironwood 1G

4 x Intangible Virtue 1W

Instants…13

3 x Otherworldly Journey 1W

4 x Harrow 2G

2 x Chord of Calling XGGG

4 x Scatter the Seeds 3GG

Lands…22

2 x Pendelhaven

12 x Forest

8 x Plains

About the Deck:

Well, this deck is  VERY similar to the White Green Token Convoke Deck I think I previously posted on here as it shares many cards with the old deck, though this new build COULD be a MAJOR improvement if all works out as expected. It is for sure innovative and original, as I did not see anything similar anywhere and as it uses some crap rares as its major elements. So in the old Tokens deck, the best I had were 1/1 Spirit Tokens with Flying – en masse. The new deck is an improvement as it is mostly built around Insect Tokens spawned by Hornet cards, which were just recently introduced, represented by just two different cards in M15 (the new, 2014 Core Set). Now these Insect Tokens are 1/1s that also fly, BUT, on top of that they have Deathtouch! The Hornets are represented by just two cards as I said before, but those are quite hefty I think. Lets have a look at the rather cheap Hornet Nest…

…. and the quite expensive Hornet Queen:

Well, first of all, these two cards can well be considered “crap rares” as they both go for around an Euro a copy. The first card, Hornet Nest is a hell of a defensive card. At three mana, it is just a humble 0/2 and it has Defender on top of that, meaning it cannot declare an attack. However your opponent will shy away from attacking as long as you have it out since it will spawn one 1/1 Deathtouching Flying Hornet for each damage it is deal. So if you opponent attacks with a big guy, you will get a ton of deadly little Insect Tokens which in turn act as a hoard of supreme defenders. But rest assure, with this deck, you will be going on the offense with these evasive little nuisances.

Hornet Queen on the other hand is really quite expensive when you only look at its stats at 4GGG, being just a 2/2 Flyer with Deathtouch as a nice bonus. However it enters play with no less than four 1/1 deathtouching and flying insects.

Now to how this deck attempts to max out on the hornet mayhem:

Firstly, I am running the awesome Token boosting Intangible Virtue, which is an enchantment for just 1W that not only boosts the stats of all your Creature Tokens by +1/+1 but gives them Vigilance, meaning you don’t need to tap them in order to attack, on top of the deal. Now imagine your hoard of hornets! They will all of a sudden be equally useful on the offense as well as on the defense, since they will be 2/2s that fly and are thus hard to block, with deathtouch, so your opponent will shy away from blocking them in most cases even if they happen to have flyers AND you don’t need to tap them to attack thanks to Vigilance so you will be able to defend with your little deathtouchers even if they attacked previously. Just an example: If you play Hornet Queen and have just one Intangible Virtue out, you will get an a little army of  a combined Power of no less than 10 along with your Queen which is a 2/2 Flying Deathtouch Creature as well.

Now if Intangible Virtue isn’t nasty enough, imagine having out multiples of those, or even better one of my favorite underestimated Uncommons: Sigiled Captain. Have a look and go figure:

Yes that is right. With this rhino guy out, all your Hornets will enter play as 3/3s and would be even 4/4s when you have Intangible Virtue out in addition! Again if we imagine you playing a Hornet Queen, whilst Captain is on the field, you will have a Flying Deathtouching Token army with combined Power of no less than 12. Make that 16 with a Virtue in play!! That is pretty amazing if you ask me!

To round off the Token madness, I added 4 Fists of Ironwood and 4 Scatter the Seeds, which both produce relatively harmless 1/1 Saproling Tokens. Fists of Ironwood is an Aura for 1G that gives the enchanted Creature Trample and generates two  green 1/1 Saprolings, whereas Scatter the Seeds costs 3GG and spawns 3 such 1/1 Saprolings, and the cool thing is that it has Convoke, so you can technically play it for free if you tap enough (green) Creatures whilst casting it. Of course, Sigil Captain’s and Intangible Virtue’s effects affect the humble Saprolings as well.

A great support card, a super Creature searcher is Chord of Calling, which I am running twice:

As you see it has Convoke as well, so you can considerably drop its cost if you have an army of Tokens already to be tapped for Convoke. I would recommend fetching either Captain, as his ability really kicks major ass in the context of this deck, or Hornet Nest. Both are rather cheap and would cost you 7 and 6 mana to fetch and put into play directly via Chord, respectively. However if you have a bunch of Tokes from a previously played Horent Nest for instance you can considerably decrease the cost of Chord of Calling.

Now that all sounds pretty awesome to me already, but the deck has a trick or two more up it’s sleeve. For once, I am running two Eternal Witnesses, mainly to retrieve a killed Hornet Nest, so you can use it to generate a ton of Hornets again and secondly, my favorite “combo” card for Hornet Queen: Otherworldly Journey:

Now if you scroll up a bit again and look at Hornet Queen, just imagine what this card can do for you! First off, you can use it to save your Hornet Queen from any harm, but that is not the point. As Hornet Queen generates 4 1/1 Flying Deathtouch Insect Tokens WHENEVER it enters play, it will do so AGAIN after it was exiled and returned to play with Otherworldly Journey. And as a nice bonus, she will re-enter play with a +1/+1 counter on it, which is a nice thing to have in general!

Oh, and I threw in Avacyn’s Pilgrim (G) and Harrow (2G) in order to ramp up mana, mostly for the costly Hornet Queen. Well… this could be fun to play. It has to be seen!!

Beastly Powerdraw:

Creatures…26

4 x Elvish Mystic G

3 x Garruk’s Companion GG

3 x Kalonian Tusker GG

4 x Wirewood Savage 2G

4 x Leatherback Baloth GGG

4 x Garruk’s Packleader 4G

4 x Rampaging Baloths 4GG

Sorceries…8

4 x Prey Upon G

2 x Hunt the Weak 3G

2 x Soul’s Majesty 4G

Instants…4

4 x Harrow 2G

Lands…22

22 x Forest

About the Deck (Legacy/Casual Format):

I got the idea for this deck when I saw this card for the first time:

A 4/4 Beast for 5 Mana… Lackluster at best. But oh man was I excited when I read its beastly ability. Draw a card whenever you play a Creature with Power 3 or more?? Count me in! The thing I cherish most in any TCG is card draw. Well that is not hard to guess since extra cards means EVERYTHING! More cards = More “Threats” and “Solutions” as I like to call it in advanced M:tG theory! 😉

Green has gotten it’s fair share of indeed very powerful card draw over the years, and these two cards I will be running in this deck as well, so it deserves the title “Powerdraw”!

Exhibit A: Wirewood Savage:

Exhibit B: Soul’s Majesty:

While Wirewood Savage draws you one card each time you play a Beast, thus setting the theme of this deck to Beasts necessarily, Soul’s Majesty, which I can’t believe but goes for like 50 Euro Cents a piece, is really the embodiment of what I would call “Powerdraw”. Just see to it that you have a relatively high-Power Creature out and you will be drawing pretty much a full new hand of cards for just 4 Mana. That can in fact compare to blue card draw, blue being THE card draw color traditionally.

The second element of this deck which I am quite fond of are a relatively new card type of the color green, which act as pseudo-direct damage, at least for creatures, and are a great way of clearing the way for a mighty attack and/or for getting rid of some pesky creatures of your opponent. Take a look at this prime example for what I am talking about:

As you have lots of high-power creatures, you can just spend 1 Mana and let your Creature fight a potential blocker or pesky creature of your opponent’s that you need to get rid off and let them fight! This is basically the potentially better GREEN Lightning Bolt – just for Creatures though.

The actual cast of Beasts is pretty much standard: The 3/2 Trampling Garruk’s Companion, the 3/3 Kalonian Tusker, which both cost just GG, as well as the immensely powerful compared to its cost Leatherback Balot (GGG – 4/5) and Garruk’s Packleader, your main draw engine on a respectable 4/4 body and lastly the Mythic Rare but still rather cheap Rampaging Baloths. The latter costs just 6 Mana, is a 6/6 Trampler that has the amazing Landfall Ability to put a 4/4 Beast into play whenever you play a land. Imagine this with Packleader: You will draw a card when Baloths are played, then you will draw a card whenever you play a land and thus get a 4/4 Beast Token. Considering all this, I think it is not over the top to call this deck “Beastly Powerdraw”! 😀

“The Menace Strikes Back” (Modern Format):

Creatures…24

4 x Birds of Paradise G

3 x Voyaging Satyr 1G

4 x Kiora’s Follower UG

4 x Lorescale Coatl 1UG

2 x Trygon Predator 1UG

4 x Corpsejack Menace 2GB

3 x Arcanis the Omnipotent 3UUU

Enchantments…10

2 x Rancor G

4 x Fertile Ground 1G

4 x Dawn’s Reflection 3G

Instants…4

4 x Bioshift U/G

Lands…22

4 x Yavimaya Coast

4 x Llanowar Wastes

4 x Llanowar Reborn

5 x Forest

5 x Island

About the Deck:

For regular readers of this blog I should by now already be notorious for my MANY MANY Corpsejack Menace Decks, a card that is by far my all-time favorite “crap rare” and I currently own 4 totally different decks built around its awesomely abusable ability, the above deck being the fifth in the series. And I DO ensure you, I could probably think of 5 more!! For those who have NOT being paying attention, here is is in all its counter-doubling glory:

This deck is, if I dare say so, probably the most crazy mix of crazily and exceedingly well working together cards probably nobody ever played before, at least not in this, and I say it again, utterly crazy combination. So here is the basic plan (I will show you by visuals!):

Take this omnipotent fellow:

Times him with that awesome dweller of the deep:

And thirdly, add this underestimated and obscure snake:

And times all that with the above shown “Menace”.

I hope you figured it out by yourself, but just to make sure, I will explain in words:

Arcanis taps to draw 3 cards, which will let you put three +1/+1 Counters on Coatl – untap Arcanis via Kiora’s Follower to draw another 3 cards (note, you will have drawn 6 cards for free!!) and put another 3 Counters on Lorescale Coatl. This has just turned your Coatl into an 8/8, and drawn you a fresh hand of 6 cards for absolutely no Mana spent. Now if we throw Corpsejack into the mix, the Coatl would be 14/14 instead! Of course, additional Kiora’s Followers will let you do this a third time, needless to say…

And I already have a good plan what to do with the tons of cards you will be drawing this way each turn: I am running both Fertile Ground and Dawn’s Reflection. Both are Auras enchanting lands that net you additional mana whenever the enchanted land is tapped for Mana. At the cost of 1G, Fertile Ground will net you 1 additional Mana of any color and Dawn’s Reflection will add even 2 Mana in ANY combination of colors. Now you can enchant a land of your choice with a bunch of these and untap either with Kiora’s Follower OR with Voyaging Satyr, who taps to untap any land:

Now the deck has a few additional tricks up its sleeve as well. First off, I added 2 odd copies of Rancor. Not for the negligable +2 Power boost, but rather for the reason that it grants Trample. This can be devastating if you put it on a Lorescale Coatl with dozens (and I kid you not, he WILL get THAT huge!) of +1/+1 Counters, since your opponent won’t be able to just “chump block”. Even more nifty of a card is Bioshift. It lets you transfer all +1/+1 Counters from one Creature onto another – and that at instant speed. This means if you have a Coatl with a ton of counters but without evasion or trample, just attack with your 0/1 Bird of Paradise or attack with all you got and just instantly move all +1/+1 Counters from Coatl to (one of) your unblocked Creature(s). And it is going to be even uglier, a lot more uglier with Corpsejack in play. If you remove X counters with Bioshift and place them again on a Creature of choice, preferably an unblocked one, the number of counters will DOUBLE!!

Well, dear friends, I played a very well running deck built around Lorescale Coatl and only Odin knows how many decks prominently featuring Corpsejack Menace, but this one just blows my mind. I am sorry, but after having tested the build a bit, I just cannot contain and conceal my excitement! In my first test game I was able to swing in for 100 damage with a pumped-to-the-max Coatl, dealing some 100+ points worth of combat damage to my poor opponent… Neither would I say this is the best deck ever nor would I think that it would win me any tournament but it sure is hella fun to play!!

 

 

YGO: Revisiting Anti Meta & Rock Stun

Dear readers and friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG!

Recently I revisited some old favorite decks of mine – namely my dreaded Anti-Meta Deck and my old, long-neglected Rock Deck, the two of them having many parallels but playing differently still, even more so with the changes I made to both decks recently.

I reported about my Anti-Meta deck, which I have semi-successfully played at tournaments already, previously on this blog. Back then I already noted that I really loved how the deck worked, since it screws any Special Summoning, including the still booming XYZ-ing, royally and manages to win with really small Monsters averaging in at maybe 1500 ATK, with the lowest being under 1000 and the very highest being 1900 ATK. I really enjoy not “being in with the crowd” and to venture off the beaten path in general so an Anti-Meta Deck without any Extra Deck whatsoever winning with some weakling Monsters is right up my ally. So I had thought the deck was already nasty enough, annoying the crap out of most opponents, but through experimenting on the amazing YGOPRO Android App (do download it from Google Play – it is well executed, free and fun!!) I realized that the deck could be made even more annoying and indeed powerful. The result could be called “Rainbow Anti-Meta” or “Rainbow Stun” since it includes not only Earth Attribute Rock Monsters but Monsters of various Attributes as you are going to see. So here I present you with the card list for my new Anti-Meta build:

Rainbow Anti-Meta:

Monsters…20

2 x Koa’ki Meiru Maximus

3 x Banisher of the Radiance

3 x Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo

3 x Koa’ki Meiru Boulder

2 x Koa’ki Meiru Tornado

2 x Koa’ki Meiru Ice

1 x Koa’ki Meiru Guardian

1 x Koa’ki Meiru Sandman

1 x Koa’ki Meiru Wall

1 x Thunder King Rai-Oh

1 x Neo Spacian Grand Mole

Spells…12

3 x Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru

2 x Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru

3 x Catapult Zone

3 x Pot of Duality

1 x Forbidden Lance

Traps…8

3 x Call of the Haunted

2 x Dimensional Prison

1 x Bottomless Trap Hole

1 x Solemn Warning

1 x Mirror Force

About the Deck:

So as I said above this is an Anti-Meta deck that mainly punishes or downright shuts down Special Summoning of any kind as well as many other things. The deck contains a good number of Earth Attribute Rock Monsters but features a lot of different Monster Attributes, hence the name “Rainbow Anti-Meta”. As I have written in a previous article on a former incarnation of this deck, what I wanted to achieve with this deck is to go a different route rather than buying into the XYZ & Synchro “craze” I had encountered previously on tournaments. So what is different about this new Anti-Meta build of mine? Well basically I took out some Koa’ki Meirus and then added even more but different Koa’ki Meirus, whilst Rock Monsters still build the core of the deck, allowing me to still run tripple Catapult Zone, one of my all-time favorite Field Spells, as a core element of the deck:

Catapult Zone is simply great as it does two awesome, very much (ab-) usable things. As you can read for yourself, not only does it prevent one of your Monsters (any, not just Rocks) from dying in battle once per turn, but also lets you send a Rock Monster from deck to graveyard whilst doing so. If you run some Call of the Haunteds for instance, this creates a Rock toolbox kinda thing in which you send just the Rock Monster you need most to the graveyard only to reanimate it with Call of the Haunted.

But on to the Koa’ki Meiru cards, of which the better part of the deck consists. What I took out were 2 copies of Guardian, Sandman and Wall each, as I found something even better than those quite awesome Monsters and I figured I could use these 3 toolbox style via Catapult Zone + Call of the Haunted. So the Koa’ki Meiru Monsters I added are Koa’Ki Meiru Tornado on the one hand…

…and Koa’ki Meiru Ice on the other…

…as well as 3 Koa’ki Meiru Boulders and 2 Koa’ki Meiru Maximus. As you can see in the above images, both Tornado and Ice have effects that let you destroy Special Summoned Monsters, which will give most competitive decks you are going to face a hell of a hard time in most cases. While Tornado will stay on the field longer as he doesn’t have an upkeep cost as most Koa’ki Meirus tend to have, Ice is kinda a one-shot deal. You use his effect to destroy a Special Summoned Monster, possibly let him attack for 1900 damage and then let him die. There are no Continuous Spells to reveal from your hand to save Ice and discarding an Iron Core will most likely not be an option either, but that is fine really as experience with testing this deck shows.

Another one-shot Koa’ki Meiru Monster is Koa’ki Meiru Maximus. Maximus has a fearsome 3000 ATK and can be Special Summoned (yeah, despite of all the anti-Special Summoning stuff in the deck, it does some Special Summoning as well! Trust me, it works!) from hand by banishing an Iron Core from the hand. Once per turn, Maximus lets you destroy any one card on the field. Similar to Koa’ki Meiru Ice, Maximus is best used as a one-shot weapon, as the upkeep cost is quite difficult or uneconomic to pay for (discard a Koa’ki Meiru Monster or an Iron Core). So what I’d recommend is to Special Summon your Maximus, destroy a card with his effect and attack for 3000 and then let him die at end of turn. Of course if you have a spare Iron Core or expendable Koa’ki Meiru Monster in hand, making Maximus do his thing for another turn would not be a bad thing either.

A great addition to the deck is Koa’Ki Meiru Boulder, which lets you add any Level 4 or lower Koa’ki Meiru Monster or an Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru to your hand when it dies in battle. I find myself running the little guy into opponent Monsters all the time only to fetch me an Iron Core, or any of my Koa’ki Meiru Monsters (except high-level Maximus of course), which all have very diverse and useful effects. Thanks to Boulder, the deck does not only have a graveyard based toolbox (through Catapult Zone) but also a Koa’ki Meiru Toolbox so to say and thanks to Boulder, I can run only 1 – 2 copies of certain Kao’ki Meiru Monsters since I can fetch them with Boulder anyways accoring to what I need most at any point in a game.

In an effort to support and enable the effects of my various Koa’ki Meiru Monsters, I am running tripple Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru as well as two of the awesome, new Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru. Actually, rather than fetching Iron Core with Boulder, sometimes grabbing a Diamond Core is an even better option, as it adds ANY Koa’ki Meiru card from deck to your hand, including the mighty Maximus of Koa’ki Meiru. So yes, Diamond Core is VERY useful and versatile, since it even expands the Koa’ki Meiru toolbox theme mentioned before. In general, I reall like decks that are able to fetch you just the right card out of a diverse toolbox of different cards, and the fact that this deck has two of these toolboxes (the graveyard-based one enabled by Catapult Zone as well as the Koa’ki Meiru toolbox) makes it a very enjoyable and rewarding playing experience!

The non-Koa’ki Meiru Monsters, Spells and Traps are pretty similar to what I ran in the older version of my Anit-Meta Deck. Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo is just plain evil, as nobody can Special Summon once he is face-up on the field AND when he is flipped, all Special Summoned Monsters are destroyed, fair and square!

He is one of my all-time favorite Monsters and can ruin the plans of many a player, as nowadays XYZ and Synchro Summoning etc are still highly popular. Then I am still running tripple Banisher of the Radiance, which has a lackluster ATK of just 1600 but the awesomely crippling (for your opponent) effect that all cards are banished instead of sent to the graveyard. This really messes up many a strategy as graveyard-based effects are highly popular as well. What is curious about Banisher and Pachycephalo is that there are seemingly some dyssynergies with other cards in the deck, such as Call of the Haunted, which would be shut down by Pachycephalo, wheras Banisher would banish the Monsters you send to the graveyard via Catapult Zone so again Call of the Haunted would not be able to revive them. However this is part of why the deck is so much fun to play, as it is really challenging and you have to make your choices right, choices that matter, in order not to harm yourself with all your Anti-cards!

Also I kept the limited Thunder King Rai-Oh and Neo Spacian Grand Mole as both can be a major pain for the opponent as well. Thunder King prevents players from adding cards to their hands except by drawing (note that this will shut down some of your cards like Pot of Duality and Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru so use with care!!) AND you can sac him to negate a Special Summon, thus supremely doing what this deck does best – annoying “mainstream” opponents. Grand Mole is awesome as well as if he battles with a Monsters, both Monsters are returned to owner’s hand before damage calculation, thus neutralizing many an XYZ, Synchro or even Fusion Monster…

All in all I love this deck and IF I should ever go back to playing at the tourneys, this would surely be my choice for four reasons:

a) It totally wrecks XYZ, Synchro and any other deck that does at least some Special Summoning of sorts.

b) It wins with small critters, which is rather unusual and taunts your opponent splendidly.

c) It is challenging to play as there exist some internalt dissynergies which need to be considered whilst playing.

d) It is very versatile and greatly able to adapt to pretty much any situation due to various toolboxes.

OK, so much about my revised Anti-Meta deck. Next up a new take on my old Rock-Stun deck:

Neo Rock Stun (aka “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”):

Monsters…19

2 x Gaia Plate the Earth Giant

1 x Megarock Dragon

3 x Gigantes

3 x The Rock Spirit

3 x Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo

3 x Barrier Statue of the Drough

3 x Block Golem

1 x Neo Spacian Grand Mole

Spells…11

3 x Terraforming

3 x Catapult Zone

2 x Solidarity

2 x Attack the Moon

1 x Dark Hole

Traps…10

3 x Call of the Haunted

2 x Rock Bombardment

2 x Release from Stone

2 x Dimensional Prison

1 x Mirror Force

Extra…9

3 x Gem-Knight Pearl

3 x Gogogo Goliath

3 x Number 106: Big Hand

About the Deck:

This deck is VERY similar in playing style to the Rainbow Anti-Meta deck discussed above. It too is very crippling for many opponents as it stops them from or punishes them for Special Summoning. What makes this new incarnation of my old Rock Deck so awesome is the following: I got the idea to revisit and revise the old Rock build when seeing a card that really really intrigued me. When I saw that one I thought: “Stopping your opponent from Special Summoning is fine by itself, but WHAT IF only the opponent could not Special Summon anymore while I still can?” So this is the amazing card that would make my nasty plan happen:

This is plain evil… Barrier Statue of the Drought is just like Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo, except with a loophole! So I set out to build a Rock deck prominently featuring the above card which does not Special Summon, except Earth Attribute (Rock) Monsters!! I can only imagine one thing more annoying than not being able to Special Summon: Not being able to Special Summon whilst your opponent can do so! This is possible now thanks to Barrier Statue of the Drought! I just had to build a deck around it and you can see the result in the above deck list. I have to note that there is a Barrier Statue for every Attribute and I was very surprised when I set out to purchase me some Barrier Statues only to realize that one went for 20 (Euro) Cents only! I did not expect them to be so cheap since the effect is soooo powerful in todays Special-Summon-crazy metagame!

So the basic premise of the deck I wanted to build was this: Prevent your opponent from Special Summoning whilst doing so yourself to your heart’s content! And this is my approach on how to achieve these goals:

You stop your opponent from Special Summoning either with Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo as seen in the previously discussed Anti-Meta deck or preferably with Barrier Statue of the Drought. The latter will not interfere with your own Special Summoning at all since all Monsters in main and extra deck are Earth ones. I wanted to run tripple Giant Rat in order to easily get the Barrier Statue into play, but my decision to play Solidarity, which will give all your Monsters a hefty 800 ATK boost as long as at least one Rock Monster (and all your Monsters are Rock Types in this deck) is located in your graveyard.

Furthermore, I decided to aim for some Rank 4 Rock type XYZ-Summons and this card is just perfect for some instant XYZ-action:

If you read the card it should be pretty self-explanatory. Just Tribute Block Golem to Summon 2 of your less useful Rocks from your Graveyard to instanly XYZ into a classic Gem-Knight Pearl or any of your other Extra Deck XYZs.

Less obvious XYZ-enablers are Gigantes and The Rock Spirit. Both must be Special Summoned by banishing a Rock Type Monster from your graveyard and both are Level 4, which means you can get them out quickly and easily setting everything up for some Rank 4 XYZ-Summoning as well. On top of that, Gigantes has a very nice effect, as he destroys all Spells and Traps when destroyed by battle, which turns him into a walking Heavy Storm and which can clear the way for your attackers. The Rock Spirit has an effect as well, but nothing worth mentioning really – I mainly run him as instant XYZ-material!

Lastly, I am running 3 Monsters that could be called the deck’s “Boss Monsters”. Both can be Special Summoned and both are highly powerful. Gaia Plate the Earth Giant can be Special Summoned by removing 2 Rock Monsters from your graveyard, has 2800 ATK and the devastating ability to half the stats of the Monster it battles with. Also you need to remove a Rock Monster from your graveyard during each of your Standby-Phases, otherwise Gaia Plate would die. Megarock Dragon on the other hand can be Special Summoned by removing any number of Rock Type Monsters from your graveyard and will have an ATK of 700 times the number of Monsters you banished, which will make him huge in mid- to late-game:

Now we have seen lots and lots of cards requiring you to banish Rock Monsters from your graveyard – hence, you may have already guessed it, Catapult Zone is, once again, the backbone of this deck, THE card that makes this deck tick! As we have already seen, Catapult Zone sends a lot of Rock Monsters to the graveyard while keeping your in-play Monsters from being destroyed in battle. This and the Trap Card “Rock Bombardment”, which lets you send a Rock from deck to graveyard and inflicts a negligible 500 damage to your opponent’s life points, will give you enough “fodder” for Special Summoning the aforementioned Gigantes, The Rock Spirit, Gaia Plate the Earth Giant and also Megarock Dragon.

Now considering that you have a ton of cards that (require you to) banish Rock Type Monsters from the Graveyard, Release from Stone is an extremely useful card to run in this deck. It lets you Special Summon any of your banished Rocks, becoming the equivalent of a Call of the Haunted for banished Monsters in the context of this particular deck. I could not resist to at least add two copies to the deck.

Also, as mentioned initially, Solidarity is a great card too in this deck in my opinion, as all your Monsters have the same Type (Rock) so Solidarity will give all an 800 ATK boost, which will turn your measly Pachycephalos into respectable 2000 attackers for instance.

Another terrific card which I just recently “discovered” is Attack the Moon:

What an immensely useful card in any deck with a considerable number of Rock Monsters. Just fiddle around with the battle positions of your Rock Monsters and destroy a Spell or Trap each time you do so, which will clear the way for a safe attack with your remaining attack position monsters. This is really a foolproof solution for nasty surprises like Dimensional Prison or Mirror Force! Love that card!

Overall I must say I am really looking forward to trying out this new, surely improved version of my old Rock Deck as I think it can put a literally “rock-hard” grip on many an opponent and stopping most players from Special Summoning pretty much anything whilst you can go willy-nilly with Special Summoning your own critters would just be priceless!

So thank you for reading this once again quite lengthy Yu-Gi-Oh! deck article of mine! I hope you had a good read and encourage you to leave me a comment if you happen to have any thoughts, ideas or input on any of the two decks showcased! Thanks!!

Game on!!

Yours,

Andi