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”!
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
Wall of Denial 1UW
Steamcore Weird 3U
Lightning Angel 1RWU
Mnemoic Wall 4U
Ogre Savant 4R
Draining Whelk 4UU
Brute Force R
Ajani’s Presence W
Enlightened Tutor W
Emerge Unscathed W
Lightning Bolt R
Magma Jet 1R
Test of Faith 1W
Otherworldly Journey 1W
Hindering Light WU
Fire / Ice 1R / 1U
Lightning Helix RW
Fatal Frenzy 2R
Steelshaper’s Gift W
Reckless Charge R
Faithless Looting R
Compulsive Research 2U
Idyllic Tutor 2W
Deep Analysis 3U
Breath of Life 3W
Wrath of God 2WW
Day of Jugment 2WW
Supreme Verdict 1WWU
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
Control Magic 2UU
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
Ajani Vengeant 2RW
4 x Island
4 x Plains
4 x Mountain
Temple of the False God
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…
…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….