MtG: Modern Budget Elves – Building (a) Deck(s) for a Friend…

Hello, hello and thrice hello to all Magic: the Gathering enthusiasts out there!

After a lengthy break in posting on here – due to massive workload in real-life, well sort of – I am finally taking the time again to write a new post on here. This time it is once again a Magic Deck & Strategy post, but one with a special purpose: My good old friend Thomas from a nearby city here in Upper Austria has recently gotten into MtG (or rather I talked him into it successfully – one could argue about that lol) and he has taken a particular liking to the Elves tribe, playing my (slightly) modified, very first “real”, serious Magic Deck, which was and is Monogreen Elves. Well, so we talked a bit and Thomas agreed to let me build a Modern Format Elves Deck for him, me using my supreme knowledge and skill on building decks on a limited budget (yeah, there we go again, bragging like hell as always… wicked, silly me!). So yeah, this article goes out to my friend Thomas and may amuse or be of interest other readers as well.

Since the deck will be intended for Modern Format (if and how competitive it will be has to be seen but we are going to play it casually for the most part anyways) we have to forgo on many a great non-Modern Elf card such as cheap mana maker Priest of Titania, life gaining Wellwisher and their best friend Ambush Commander… How unfortunate. Anyways there are tons of great Modern legal Elves to mess around with, so let’s see what comes off it!

Fortunately we got a lot of “Elven Gems” in Modern to choose from, first and foremost your one-stop Elf Deck win condition…

Once again unfortunately, the price of that one has risen considerbly, for obvious reasons, so, as we will have to confine ourselves to a very tight budget, we will be able to only run a single copy or MAYBE two in the two decks I am going to present in the context of this here article. However, one copy can still work as, and I’ll spoil that detail about the two decks I am going to present to Thomas in the form of this post and with all other interested readers, will be “Elf Toolbox Decks” powered by this fine Elven “Tutor” (card searcher):

Elvish Harbinger can search out Ezuri as shown above as well as pretty much any other Elf Spell (not only Creatures mind you but also Tribal Sorceries and Enchantments as we will see) plus he will provide some, rather negligable, mana ramp. I mentioned already that I will be showcasing two different builds of Elf decks. Well I want to give Thomas a bit of a choice here to some degree, the first deck being a Monogreen (green Spells only) Elves Deck and the second one featuring both green and black Elf Spells, thus being a two color Black-Green Elf Deck. So let us not waste any more time and get to Deck #1: The Monogreen Elf Toolbox Deck. First I will provide my suggested decklist as usual, followed up by some explanatory words on the strategy behind said deck! One last note: This is not supposed to be one of those expensive as hell Elves Combo Decks that grow rampantly everywhere nowadays, may it be in Modern or Legacy.

Alright, here comes

Monogreen Elf Toolbox for Thomas (Modern Format):

Creatures…26

4 x Llanowar Elves G

4 x Elvish Mystic G

4 x Elvish Harbinger 2G

4 x Elvish Archdruid 1GG

1 x Jagged-Scar Archers 1GG

1 x Imperious Perfect 2G

1 x Reclamation Sage 2G

1 x Ezuri, Renegard Leader 1GG

4 x Drove of Elves 3G

2 x Immaculate Magistrate 3G

Instants…4

4 x Might of the Masses G

Sorceries…4

4 x Elvish Promenade 3G

Enchantments…3

3 x Descendants’ Path 2G

Artifacts…3

3 x Slate of Ancestry 4

Lands…20

2 x Oran Rief the Vastwood

18 x Forest

About the Deck:

Well, the typical basis of any good Elves Deck is first turn (one casting cost) Elves like Elvish Mystics and Llanowar Elves…

These little guys will ensure you can either drop your number 1 Search Engine (Elvish Harbinger, as shown above) or your Priest of Titania replacement Elvish Archdruid reliably on turn 2. With Elvish Harbinger you have a ton of options. You can search out the big boss of all Elves, Ezuri, Renegade Leader and put him on top of your deck or pretty much any of your many one-of Elves. Before I talk about those, I would like to point you to a card that I REALLY REALLY like in a Tribal Creature Deck with at least some green involved, ESPECIALLY in conjunction with Elvish Harbinger. Take a gander:

So what you’d do, you’d search out your Elf creature card of choice with Elvish Harbinger, put it on top of your library and just wait until your next upkeep, when Descendants’ Path will put it into play reliably and for absolutely no cost to you whatsoever. And even without setting this up like this you have almost a 50:50 chance to get a free Elf through this awesome enchantments almost half of your deck consists of Elves (26 in total). Not too shabby I would say.

Here some other gems you can search out with Elvish Harbinger, besides Ezuri:

  • Jagged Scar Archers (1GG) are as strong as you control Elves and deal massive damage to pesky fliers.
  • Imperious Perfect (2G) strengthens all your Elves AND creates Elf Tokens.
  • Reclamation Sage (2G) is useful for getting rid of pesky enchantments and artifacts.
  • Immaculate Magistrate (3G) puts X +1/+1 Counters on target Creature whereby X is the number of Elves you control. That is so awesome I included not one but 2 copies of this one in the deck!

Also I am running a full 4 copies of Drove of Elves, which costs 3G and has Power and Thoughness equal to the total number of Elves you control PLUS it has Hexproof on top of that, meaning only you and no opponent can target it with Spells and Abilities.

A really awesome mid-game target for searching out with Harbinger is Elvish Promenade, since it is a Tribal Elf Sorcery that can be searched via Elvish Harbinger just like an Elf Creature. Just look at it!

Another great addition to the deck is the instant Might of the Masses. You are bound to have lots of Creatures around so why not attack with a few and slam this on the one unblocked attacker to swing in for some major damage.

Lastly, for massive card draw, I included 3 copies of Slate of Ancestry:

OK that’s it for the Monogreen Elves Toolbox Deck I would like to suggest to Thomas. On to the Green Black one!

Green Black Elf Toolbox for Thomas (Modern Format):

Creatures…22

4 x Llanowar Elves G

4 x Elves of Deep Shadow G

4 x Elvish Harbinger 2G

4 x Elvish Archdruid 1GG

1 x Imperious Perfect 2G

1 x Rhys the Exiled 2G

1 x Ezuri, Renegade Leader 1GG

1 x Lys Alana Scarblade 2G

1 x Shaman of the Pack 1GB

1 x Immaculate Magistrate 3G

1 x Nath of the Gilt Leaf 3GB

Enchantments…6

3 x Prowess of the Fair 1B

3 x Descendants’ Path 2G

Instants…8

4 x Might of the Masses G

4  x Eyeblight’s End 2B

Sorceries…4

4 x Elvish Promenade 3G

Lands…20

4 x Llanowar Wastes

6 x Swamp

10 x Forest

About the Deck:

Well much of the deck is the same or at least similar to the monogreen version we looked at above: There are 8 one mana mana makers, with the notable change of swapping in the black mana producing Elves of Deep Shadow…

…we got Descendant’s Path in there as well as a source of free, additional elves and of course our central search engine Elvish Harbinger. Only the targets are somewhat different in this one. Here the partly black one-ofs I included:

  • Lys Alana Scarblade (2B) lets you discard an Elf-card to give a Creature -X/-X whereby X equals the number of Elves you control. This adds some great Creature pinpoint destruction.
  • Rhys the Exiled (2G) gains you life and can be regenerated if needed.
  • Shaman of the Pack (1GB) has great stats as well and makes your opponent lose life equal to the number of Elves you control. Awesome with Elvish Promenade!
  • Nath of the Gilt-Leaf is one hell of a nuisance as well. Just look at what he does!

Probably the card that intrigues me most and has great potential in the deck, even more so as it can be searched via Harbiger being a Tribal Enchantment – Elf is Prowess of the Fair:

Basically whenever one of your nontoken Elves dies there will be a token to make up for the loss. Pretty cool when playing against control decks or decks with heavy creature destruction in particular!

One card has to be mentioned lastly. Eyeblight’s End is a highly potent creature pinpoint removal Spell that is tribal as well and can be fetched (searched) with your Elvish Harbinger if you need an answer to a threatening opponent Creature! I like it!!


Well Thomas, well, dear readers, these are my two suggestions for Modern Elf Decks built on quite a tight budget. I am well aware that one could create far better and more competitive Elves deck in the Modern Format but that was neither the goal nor do I or Thomas have the financial means to assemble such an über-powerful deck.

So yeah Thomas, now it is your call!! Which one will it be?? 😀

Anyways, to all my readers, thanks for your interest once again and I hope you enjoyed my little budget deck suggestion post. Maybe I will find more time to post more regularly on here again, on all kinds of subjects. There is definitely enough to share but not enough time, alas, on my end at this point in time.

So as always I wish you

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

P.S.: Thomas, you will find all the cards mentioned in the decklists at www.magiccards.info!! 🙂

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MtG: The Madness Deck-a-Thon Continues!!

Dear readers!

NO – not by any means am I running out of steam and hence our daily MtG-Madness shall be continued – indefinitely!!

Never fear, tormented blog reader, the latter was but an empty threat and I will eventually post about different topics when the time comes. But for now, it is time for another tripple Magic Deck-a-Thon! And if you thought yesterday’s Decks were crazy enough, I think I can even top that and am having a hard time which decks to choose. So I will torment you with 3 crazy decks, with the third being the most original and at the same time most foolhardy by far – let me just utter the deck name to give you a small taste of the sheer insanity: Sliver Bidding FTW!!

But let’s start with a quite innovative Mill-Build I came up with all by myself (pats on his own shoulder) and which I named “Mill & Lock Around the Clock”, followed up by the boldly titled “Mighty Morphing Mages” until your brains will eventually be mauled thoroughly enough to fathom the grandheur of “Sliver Bidding”!!

So let the madness start with exhibit A:

Mill & Lock Around the Clock (Legacy/Casual):

Creatures…8

4 x Coretapper 2

4 x Leonin Abunas 3W

Instants…4

4 x Enlightened Tutor W

Enchantments…6

4 x Ghostly Prison 2W

2 x Aura of Silence 2W

Artifacts…22

4 x Grindclock 2

4 x Energy Chamber 2

4 x Howling Mine 2

4 x Semblance Anvil 4

3 x Static Orb 3

3 x Clock of Omens 4

Lands…20

4 x Ancient Tomb

4 x Darksteel Citadel

4 x Ancient Den

8 x Plains

About the Deck:

“Nomen est Omen” would be the perfect latin phrase to describe this deck, as it features not one but two “Clocks”, one of which facilitates a crippling, one-sided, almost complete lockdown for your opponent, whilst the other Clock will be grinding away more and more ferociously at your opponent’s library. So yes, this is a Mill-Deck, yet not a proverbial “run-of-the-mill” one. Let me show you the first Clock, the one that does the actual milling. Meet Grindclock, a cheap as shit crap rare recently reprinted in M15:

All by itself, it will take quite some time until Grindclock has enough Charge Counters on it to mill substantial numbers of cards from your opponent’s deck, yet this build features lots of simple ways to add more Charge Counters such as Coretapper and Energy Chamber, but also highly potent synergies, that mainly involve the second, equally important Clock, namely Clock of Omens:

Most importantly, Clock of Omens facilitates the one-sided lockdown in conjunction with Static Orb, but also, by tapping two artifacts, it lets you untap an artifact… well how about doing it mutliple times to Grindclock to up it’s charge counter count considerably? Also, a neat little trick I came up with quite a long while ago is to tap your Howling Mine(s) during your opponent’s turn so only you will get the double draw!

Two cards that make opponent attacks simply impossible under the Static Orb lock and the playing of Artifacts or Enchantments on your opponent’s part impossible are Ghostly Prison and Aura of Silence respectively.

A last card I don’t want to go unnoticed is Semblance Anvil. With it, you will be able to play many of your Artifacts like Coretapper, Energy Chamber and many more including your Grindclocks for absolutely free. Take a gander:

On to the next crazy deck, aptly named…

Mighty Morphing Mages (Casual/Legacy):

Creatures…24

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Coral Trickster 1U

4 x Aphetto Alchemist 1U

4 x Voidmage Apprentice 1U

3 x Willbender 1U

3 x Ixidor, Reality Sculptor 3UU

2 x Arcanis the Omnipotent 3UUU

Enchantments…11

4 x Training Grounds U

4 x Secret Plans UG

3 x Trail of Mystery 1G

Sorceries…3

3 x Time of Need 1G

Lands…22

4 x Yavimaya Coast

4 x Thornwood Falls

2 x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

8 x Island

4 x Forest

About the Deck:

This is a Morph Deck – how lame… or is it?? Well the Main Combo which I recently discovered involves Ixidor’s activated ability…

…and the ominous, largely overlooked and underestimated powers of Training Grounds:

Well if you count one and one together, you will see how awesome this synergy or even combo can be. Ixidor can turn any Morph Creature face up for the mere cost of 1 blue mana!! Now I could have crammed the deck full of morphing fatties such as one of my favorites…

…but I wanted to do something a little more, well, “stylish”, hence I filled the deck with morphing Wizard Creatures. These aren’t half bad either when you look at effects like Willbender‘s and in the case of Voidmage Apprentice, you basically get a hard counter, the equivalent of Counterspell, for just 1 blue Mana with Ixidor and Training Grounds out.

There’s some cool combos with Arcanis, the Omnipotent, who draws you 3 cards just by tapping him, involving Coral Trickster and Aphetto Alchemist, which both untap Creatures (or other stuff) conveniently.

Secret Plans ensures that you will never run out of cards and Trail of Mystery not only fetches additional lands through Morphing but also boosts the power of your “Mighty Morphing Mages”!

And that’s about all there is to say about this deck – yah, pretty straightforward. Still a cool combo in my humble opinion. Now let’s move on to the epitome of crazy MtG Deck…

Sliver Bidding (Casual):

Creatures…10

1 x Heart Sliver

3 x Homing Sliver 2R

1 x Harmonic Sliver 1GW

1 x Shifting Sliver 3U

1 x Bonescythe Sliver 3W

1 x Sliver Hivelord WUBRG

1 x Constricting Sliver 5W

1 x Megantic Sliver 5G

Instants…4

4 x Dark Ritual B

Sorceries…18

3 x Duress B

4 x Living Wish 1G

4 x Buried Alive 2B

3 x Beseech the Queen BBB

4 x Patriarch’s Bidding 3BB

Artifacts…8

4 x Thran Turbine 1

4 x Fluctuator 2

Lands…20

4 x Llanowar Wastes

4 x Blasted Landscape

4 x Slippery Karst

2 x Polluted Mire

3 x Bojuka Bog

2 x Swamp

1 x Forest

Sideboard…15

1 x Homing Sliver 2R

14 x Random Creatures and/or Lands

About the Deck:

Everyone who has been around during the Onslaught era must still be familiar with the Beast Bidding Archetype. Then I came up with Mutant Bidding and now I am gone totally bonkers and present you with: Sliver Bidding! But how on heaven and earth you may ask?!?

The answer is as simple as showing you one particular Sliver that makes all the madness possible:

This little guy gives all Slivers in hand Cycling, but not regular Cycling but, as you can see, “Slivercycling: 3”! If you combine this with Fluctuator…

You will be able to discard a sliver for 1 mana and search for another one, spend another mana and discard that one to fetch the next and so on and so forth. So you will be able to fill your graveyard with Slivers pretty fast – I even added Thran Turbines, which provide extra mana for basically free Slivercycling Action. As Homing Sliver is SO very vital for the strategy, I decided to only run 3 copies main deck and add 4 Living Wishes so I have basically 7 Homing Ones at my disposal in the deck. Now what happens if a ton of Slivers are in your graveyard?? As the title of the deck suggests and you will most likely already have guessed, a massive Patriarch’s Bidding…

…will simultaneously revive ALL your graveyard Slivers. And what are Slivers good at? Right, Supporting each other!! And all their great abilities will take effect the turn you cast your Bidding. Of course I added some Bojuka Bogs to prevent your opponent from getting a few Creatures into play through your Bidding. Lets assume you managed to get all your other Slivers besides the Homing one into play at the same time via Patriarch’s Bidding: Each Sliver will have Haste thanks to Heart Sliver, can only be blocked by other Slivers thanks to Shifting Sliver, will destroy a ton of artifacts or enchantments through Harmonic Sliver, will get +3/+3 through Megantic Sliver, deal double damage thanks to Bonescythe Sliver, be indestructible due to Sliver Hivelord AND in case your opponent has Creatures, Constricting Sliver will remove them from the game. This should be pretty much overkill. And you can to some degree ensure your massive Sliver Ambush will hit bullseye by casting Duress and getting rid of nasty opponent hand cards.

Well, I warned you… the craziest deck I have built in a long while. And yes, I know it won’t be able to seriously compete but I bet it is a ton of fun to play and highly original – and that is what counts for me.

OK, dear readers, as announced, the torture will not find an end quite yet because we still have to deal with a crazy

BONUS DECK!!!

I can’t even think of a name that does the deck justice so let’s just call it

The Galvanizer (Casual / Modern):

Creatures…8

4 x Galvanoth 3RR

4 x Prognostic Sphinx 3UU

Instants…15

4 x Magma Jet 1R

3 x Reverberate RR

4 x Seething Song 2R

4 x Riddle of Lightning 3RR

Sorceries…12

4 x Serum Visions U

2 x Cruel Ultimatum UURRRBB

2 x Seering Winds 8R

4 x Time Stretch 8UU

Enchantments…3

3 x Eyes of the Watcher 2U

Lands…22

4 x Halimar Depths

4 x Izzet Guildgate

8 x Mountain

6 x Island

About the Deck:

Seriously, this deck is a joke – DO NOT TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY!! 😀

All revolves around the crappiest of crap rares imaginable. Behold:

So the plan is to scry a lot and manipulate your library (your secondary, maybe much better win condition Prognostic Sphinx is great at that!) so that some HUGE, eventually game winning Sorceries, namely Cruel Ultimatum, Searing Wind and, best of the three, Time Stretch, are moved in place for Galvanoth to unleash them for free. If you have a Reverberate, you can copy any of these devastating Spells for just two additional red mana. Also a cool one-two punch is possible with Riddle of Lightning!

Well, once again the deck is very fiddly and FAR from being anywhere near competitive. Still I enjoy the POSSIBLE, quite mighty interactions and am looking forward to play this in a casual environment.

Alright, enough of the MtG Deck madness / torture already. That’s it from me today. I hope you enjoyed some of my outlandish deck ideas and wish you, as always,

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

MtG: Three Crazy Ass Decks that MIGHT actually work – 2 out of 3 Featuring Evil Emrakul!

Welcome, welcome and thrice welcome to yet another Magic: the Gathering Deck article!!

You may wonder why this is becoming almost an obligatory, daily feature, but well, what can I say, I am might much into MtG these days yet have no opponents available to play some actual games of Magic, so all I can do is resort to writing about the decks I would be supposed to be actually testing/playing.#

Just a quick note: As the Elemental Clash crowdfunder on “Spieleschmiede” (that would translate to “Games Forge” in English) is nearing, I will post some more about my very own Elemental Clash as well as other (side-) projects on here in the future. That is a solemn promise! For now, bare with me and my “Magic Madness”.

So, this article is, as the title announces so boldly, about three pretty crazy decks that MIGHT actually work – in a casual setting mind you – I didn’t built them for a tournament environment but just for fun and would never expect them to produce any good results in any official event – so do take them with a pinch of salt!

Interstingly, two of the three crazy-as-shit decks feature the – arguably – mightiest, most vile beast the vast world of MtG has to offer. I am speaking about none other than the notorious…

I usually avoid building decks around “fatties” or high-cost Creatures but this one is simply awesome if you look at what a huge number of various, vile and evil things he does to your opponent – no wonder he averages in at about 40 US-dollars and I am glad I got a hold of 2 copies while they were half as expensive…

Furthermore, I must note that I posted many an Emrakul Deck on here before, such as a deck with Elves powering out the mighty Eldrazi Lord or one just putting him into play inexpensively with Fold into Aether. So two out of the three decks I wanna present to you in the following feature Emrakul, yet he is not the only win condition in either and what’s more, since both these decks are totally untested, I can’t even say for sure if they can reliably and early enough power out the “Tearer of Eons”. Anyways let’s start with the two decks including Emrakul and then move on to something really pathetic that CAN however be highly frustrating for your opponents –  well provided they run some Creatures lol… You will see what I mean by this but let’s get started already:

Eldrazi Enchantment Ramp (Casual)

Creatures…13

4 x Arbor Elf G

4 x Cloud of Faeries 1U

4 x Verduran Enchantress 1GG

1 x Emrakul, the Eons Torn 15

Instants…8

4 x Dream’s Grip U

4 x Snap 1U

Enchantments…19

4 x Utopia Sprawl G

4 x Fertile Ground 1G

4 x Overgrowth 2G

4 x Dawn’s Reflection 3G

3 x Eldrazi Conscription 8

Lands…20

12 x Forest

4 x Island

4 x Darksteel Citadel

About the Deck:

Well the deck works pretty straightforward. Slam a ton of mana-producing Enchantments, from 1 cost Utopia Sprawl right to 4 cost Dawn’s Reflection on a single land (at best a Forest as that can be untapped by Arbor Elf OR an indestructible Darksteel Citadel if you are facing land destruction which could rip the deck apart like nothing) so that it produces a ton of mana each time you tap it for mana. That is step 1. Step 2 is playing stuff like Dream’s Grip, or even better, the infamous duo Cloud of Faeries…

… in conjunction with Snap:

You may have already realized it from looking at the above two cards, but with some Faeries and Snaps, you can repeatedly untap your boosted lands by first playing Faeries to untap two lands, then tapping those lands for Mana, then playing Snap, untapping two lands again and targeting the Fairies to return them to your hand, to be played once again and so forth. With this process, you may be able to produce enough Mana for Emrakul, provided you survive until the “breaking point” in your deck is met. But even if you can’t come up with 15 Emrakul Mana in time, a good backup plan would be to just slam an Eldrazi Conscription…

…onto one of your Faeries, making it a highly threatening 11/11 Flyer, Tramper with Annihilator 2!

One last note: with 19 Enchantments, I added 4 Verduran Enchantresses for massive card draw!

Alright, on to the next crazy deck featuring Emrakul:

Sac-a-Fact (Casual/Modern):

Creatures…12

4 x Disciple of the Vault B

4 x Etherium Sculptor 1U

3 x Vedalken Archmage 2UU

1 x Emrakul, the Eons Torn 15

Sorceries…2

2 x Banefire XR

Artifacts…26

4 x Welding Jar 0

4 x Chromatic Sphere 1

4 x Chromatic Star 1

4 x Ichor Wellspring 2

4 x Pentad Prism 2

3 x Semblance Anvil 3

3 x Krark-Clan Ironworks 4

Lands…20

4 x Glimmervoid

4 x Mirrodin’s Core

4 x Darksteel Citadel

4 x Swamp

4 x Island

About the Deck:

This deck is crammed full of rather cheap artifacts which get even cheaper, eventually even being free to cast for a good part through awesome Etherium Sculptor…

and underrated but in many decks I could think of highly powerful Semblance Anvil:

With Sculptor, your Chromatic Spheres and Stars will be free to cast and with Anvil, even cards such as Ichor Wellspring will be free as well. All these three cards draw you cards, when destroyed or even when played and when destroyed in the case of Ichor Wellspring. This is great because not only will you not run out of (cheap) artifacts, but you will draw into the key-cards you need for victory. These are Krak-Clan Ironworks and Banefire OR Emrakul the Eons Torn.

Now, in case you manage to survive until you can pull off the overkill, you’d sacrifice a ton of your manifold artifacts to Krark-Clan Ironworks and use Chromatic Sphere or Star to produce one red mana for Banefire and invest the colorless mana gained from sacking a ton of artifacts into said Banefire. If you cast it with X being 5 or more it can neither be countered nor can its damage be prevented. That should Spell game over for your opponent in many cases. What would make things even worse would be having a Disciple of the Vault around, which is a 1/1 Creature for a cost of 1 black Mana which lets your opponent lose 1 Life Point whenever an artifact lands in a Graveyard – and that would be happening quite often if the deck unfolds as intended.

Besides the card draw through artifacts (Chromatic Star and Sphere as well as Ichor Wellspring) I added some copies of Vedalken Archmage, who may be risky cause he requires double blue to be cast (2UU to be more precise) but on the other hand he draws you a card each time you play an artifact.

Oh and not to forget, just for the fun of it, I added an Emrakul for a possible overkill in case I manage to make 15 mana in one fell swoop!

OK, now on to the next and last of today’s crazy decks – this time totally devoid of nasty Eldrazi like Emrakul:

The Overtaker:

Before I share the decklist with you, I wanted to remind you that this deck is utter crap… errr built just for fun. It can be highly annoying to an opponent but can totally suck ass as well, especially when playing against (nearly) creatureless decks. You will see. OK, here comes the decklist anyways!

Instants…12

4 x Perilous Research 1U

4 x Fling 1R

4 x Downhill Charge 2R

4 x Grab the Reins 3R

Sorceries…8

4 x Threaten 2R

4 x Unwilling Recruit XRRR

Enchantments…4

4 x Hatching Plans 1U

Artifacts…10

4 x Claws of Gix 0

4 x Spawning Pit 2

2 x Ashnod’s Altar 3

Lands…20

4 x Terramorphic Expanse

12 x Mountain

4 x Island

About the Deck:

Ok so this is as crazy (or maybe even stupid) as it gets: This Deck has no other way of winning besides overtaking opponent Creatures, attacking with them and then doing nasty (for your opponent – beneficial for you) things to them.

The plan is simple: Take control of an opponent Creature with Threaten, Unwilling Recruit or Grab the Reins, attack your opponent to deal some (or some more with Unwilling Recruit and/or Downhill Charge) damage and then, laughing in your opponent’s hopefully shocked face, sacrifice it for 1 Life to Claws of Gix, for a charge counter on Spawning Pit, for 2 Mana to Ashnod’s Altar or for drawing two cards with Perilous Research OR, maybe most nasty, to deal double damage by Flinging the ovetaken Creature into your opponent’s sad face!

Of course the deck, having no other win condition than attacking with and sacking of enemy Creatures, is useless against any creatureless builds and highly unlikely to win against decks with only few creatures. Playing against a Creature heavy deck however can be pretty fun… the mischievous kind of fun no less!

Two things I would like to say on a closing note: Firstly, Running Hatching Plans with Perilous Research and/or Claws of Gix is card draw at its best and secondly, having lots of Mountains at your disposal, a cast-for-free Downhill Charge can greatly increase the damage done by an overtaken, attacking Creature!

Alright, that was my article about some of my more crazy deck ideas. While they may not work out all that well and not equally well against some decks, and while I cannot emphasize enough that these are only fun decks, intended for a casual environment, I think the three decks showcased above are quite original and can be a lot of fun. And the fun is what counts, isn’t it so you guys? 😀

Alright, until next time, I thank you a lot for reading and command you to have a

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

Getting stomped in Modern, my new Modern Deck Plans + Bonus: Doran Tiny Leaders!

Dear readers and friends fo the grand Magic: the Gathering TCG!

First off my humble apologies to those who are anxiously waiting for a non-MtG related post direly… Don’t worry I will eventually bring in some diversity sooner or later but it is just that I am REALLY really much into Magic these days as you may already have realized by now! 😛

Anyways, yesterday Friday a good buddy and I gave us quite the MtG tournament marathon at the local Magic Shop, first participating in a Modern Tourney from 4 pm till about 8 pm and then, on top of that a Legacy Tournament from 8:30 pm until almost midnight. So, while much fun was had, I got stomped badly in Modern, as, rather than playing my pretty standard but highly powerful, quite competitive “Affinity” Deck (you can barely call it that anymore since the only Affinity card it still runs is 4 copies of Thoughtcast…), I chose to play something out of the ordinary, rarely seen but, well, less competitive. The Deck I ran was a Doran/Defenders Deck in Green/White/Black. I will spare you the full list but just so much: The key card is this nice, quite new, crap rare here:

While well-known and quite popular Doran the Siege Tower is great, Assault Formation is THE key to the deck’s suggest as it runs lots of powerful Defenders, such as the massive mana generating Overgrown Battlement, the card drawing Wall of Omens and Carven Caryatid and the – with Assault Formation – quite insane Tree of Redemption, which is a 0/13 for 4 mana, with an awesome ability to boot:

Well, in theory the deck should work like a well-oiled engine and if you draw properly it can apply quite some pressure pretty early on – however, and this may sound like a bad excuse – if you draw badly time after time, all the intricate plans are in vian more or less. So yeah out  of 5 rounds I won just 3 games and finished last or second from last with my Doran Defenders Deck. Luckily, I am not the person taking pride in or desiring victory – for me it is all about an interesting and entertaining gameplay experience – and that I did definitely have, so all is fine! 😀

Still, I wanna retry my hand in a Modern Tournament again some time soon, and I already have a deck in mind which has the qualities I am looking for in a deck – it being original, in fact being a build I came up with all by myself, a kind of deck which I take most pleasure in running – and which I played in a Legacy Event while ago. In Legacy it had zero chance but many people recommended to try it – in a modified version without old Dual Lands and stuff obviously – in a Modern Tournament and noted that it might in fact perform decently well in a Modern setting.

The deck I am talking about is one I showcased here before, but it’s been a while and I think I had some ideas for modifying it a bit as well, so I will just show you my WIP, preliminary list right away and then discuss the plan, the strategy behind it. So here comes…

Modern Survivor:

Creatures…14

4 x Birds of Paradise

4 x Fleecemane Lion GW

4 x Troll Ascetic 1GG

2 x Thrun, the Last Troll 2GG

Instants…4

4 x Path to Exile W

Sorceries…8

4 x Day of Judgment 2WW

4 x Supreme Verdict 1WWU

Enchantments…4

4 x Oblivion Ring

Artifacts…3

3 x Chrome Mox 0

Planeswalkers…4

2 x Elspeth, Knight Errant 2WW

2 x Ajani, Mentor of Heroes 3GW

Lands…23

4 x Seaside Citadel

4 x Yaviamaya Coast

4 x Brushland

3 x Adakar Wastes

4 x Treetop Village

4 x Mutavault

About the Deck:

Well as I said I posted a very similar deck list – for Legacy Format with proper, original Dual Lands etc, on here already but as it has been quite some time since that, I doubt many will remember it.

Anyways I named the deck “Survior” because it is all about efficient mass Creature removal (4 Judgment Day and 4 uncounterable Divine Verdicts) combined with (rather) cheap and equally efficient Creatures that would survive said mass removal, either by being indestructible – that would be Fleecemane Lion –  or by inexpensively regenerating them  – in this case: Troll Ascetic and his superior Thrun, the Last Troll.

The latter is especially evil and VERY hard ot get rid off, as he cannot be countered, has Hexproof AND regenerates for 1G. What an awesome package on a 4/4 body for 4 Mana.

But even if my Ascetics or Thrun get removed SOMEHOW I got an awesome backup plan that actuall helps the main (Creature based) strategy a ton as well. So get this: I am running 4 so called “Manlands”, lands that is, which can be turned into a Creature until end of turn by spending some mana. Namely I got 4 Treetop Villages which will be 3/3 Tramplers when activated for 1G and 4 Mutavaults, which cost just 1 generic mana to active and will be 2/2s (with all Creature types, but that doesn’t really matter in the context of this build). Now destroying all Creatures and then beating down on your oppoent with Manlands would be, in many cases, enough for the win. However: Add two copies each of two awesome Planeswalkers to the mix. For once I am running 2 of…

as well as this awesome fellow:

First off, giving +3/+3 and flying OR place three +1/+1 counters on Troll Ascetic or Thrun should be quite unfortunate for your opponent, as they will become insanely huge faster than you can say Planeswalker three times in a row. However, what I find even more awesome is to use the Planeswalker’s Effects on some of the Manlands. Remember, Judgment Day and Supreme Verdict will most likely level the battlefield when it comes to Creatures. Planeswalkers and Lands will be unharmed, so with Elspeth you can easily turn your Mutavault into a quite impressive 5/5 Flyer. A Treetop Village would be a 6/6 Flying Tramper even! The more I think and write about it, the more I like the concept to be honest.

As for some of the other card choices: I am running 4 Birds (of Paradies) as I want to have a one drop that enables me to play an Ascetic on turn 2 and play my mass removal one turn earlier, even if the Bird(s) will fall to it.

As my weapon against anything non-Land, I am running 4 Oblivion Rings, mostly out of sheer fear againt nasty Planeswalkers like über-powerful (and über-expensive) Liliana of the Veil, which had cost me 2 rounds in yesterday’s modern tournament pretty much. Furthermore I am running what is probably the best Creature pinpoint removal in the white color in Modern – 4 Path to Exile. Lastly, I added 3 Chrome moxes so I can speed the deck up further. Note that Fleecemane Lion is even quite good without being Monstrous as I could play a 3/3 on turn one with a Mox in play.

OK you guys, I think this rogue-like, very unusual and self-developed deck in then next Modern tourney I am going to attend – hopefully soon – and put it to the test in what is quite a hostile environment – not when it comes to the games who are pretty cool and relaxed but rather concerning the decks they play!

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OK, as promised in the post title, I have some bonus for you: My new Tiny Leader Deck about which I am highly excited to try it out some time soon hopefully. So here comes the decklist – explanation and thoughts will follow on the foot!

Tiny Doran Defenders (Tiny Leaders Format):

Leader: Doran the Siege Tower BGW

Creatures…13

1 x Birds of Paradise G

1 x Treefolk Harbinger G

1 x Pride Guardina W

1 x Perimeter Captain W

1 x Disowned Ancestor B

1 x Overgrown Battlment 1W

1 x Angelic Wall 1W

1 x Wall of Blossoms 1G

1 x Wall of Omens 1W

1 x Wall of Mulch 1G

1 x Carven Caryatid 1GG

1 x Axebane Guardian 2G

1 x Black Poplar Shaman 2B

Instants…10

1 x Enlightened Tutor W

1 x Worldly Tutor G

1 x Vampiric Tutor B

1 x Smother 1B

1 x Aprupt Decay BG

1 x Tower Defense 1G

1 x Kin-Tree Invocation BG

1 x Mortify 1BW

1 x Putrefy 1BG

1 x Maelstrom Pulse 1BG

Sorceries…4

1 x Unearth B

1 x Inquisition of Kozilek B

1 x Demonic Tutor 1B

1 x Idyllic Tutor 2W

Enchantments…6

1 x Lignify 1G

1x Eland Umbra 1W

1 x Heroes Resolve 1W

1 x Sterling Grove WG

1 x Assault Formation 1G

1 x Pernicious Deed 1BG

Artifacts…1

1 x Slagwurm Armor 1

Lands…16

1 x Marsh Flats

1 x Windswept Heath

1 x Wooded Foothills

1 x Temple Garden

1 x Overgrown Tomb

1 x Command Tower

1 x Sandsteppe Citadel

1 x Forbidding Watchtower

1 x Stirring Wildwood

3 x Forest

2 x Plains

2 x Swap

About the Deck:

Well, this Tiny Leaders Deck is pretty much an adaptation of my Modern Deck which I discussed briefly above. So the basic plan is to get Doran out and attack for massive damage. However the most important card, even more important than the leader is, once again, Assault Formation. I will show it to you once again in case you forgot what it does! 😀

With Assault Formation, as long as I have green mana to spare, will be able to attack, and attack big because even most of my one mana Creatures have a respectable 4 toughness. In order to get out my single copy of Assault Formation, I am running tutors galore, some of which can fetch you other card types than just Echantments but all my 6 Enchantment Tutors should make sure I WILL get a hold of Assault Formation rather sooner than later. The best cards to “finance” Formation are Overgrown Battlement and Axebane Guardian.

This deck futhermore features a ton of highest quality pinpoint Creature Destruction, such as the super-awesome…

…as well as similarly awesome Smother, Mortify, Putrify and Maelstrom Pulse. I think the Black-Green-White color comination is just awesome when it comes to removal! Oh and if need be, I have also kinda a “reset button” in the form of Pernicious Deed!

Futher cards that I want to mention are Slagwurm Armor, Heroes Resolve and Tower Defense. Slam Slagwurm Armor on Doran or any attacking, high-Toughness Defender (being able to attack through Assault Formation) or likewise a Heroes Resolve and in the case of Doran, he will attack for 11 or 10 respectively, whilst Tower Defense gives ALL your Creatures +5 Toughness (and Reach to boot!) which could be a game winning move.

A card that deserves a honorable mention is Kin-Tree Invocation:

With a regular Doran out you will get a 5/5 for just two mana through Invocation… if Doran, or any other high-toughness Creature is pumped consicerably, the token might well be 10/10 of even more. I like! 😀

Alright you guys, that was my article about my plans on my next Modern Format Tournament Deck and about my new, kickass (at least I could imagine it’d kicks some butt lol!) Doran Tinly Leaders Deck. Can’t wait to try these out, even if it is just with friends at home for the time being.

Well as always I hope you enjoyed the article and I thank you very much for being a reader!

Game on!

Yours,

Andi

MtG Tribal Decks: Of Merfolk, Goblins and Mono-Red Dragons…

Hello everyone!

Although I just posted a Magic deck & strategy article yesterday – and likewise the day before yesterday – I still got a ton of ideas and new decks in store which I can’t help but present to you in even more MtG deck showcase posts. This time around, I will be presenting to you 3 very different decks, all of them being Tribal Decks more or less – firstly, Green-Blue Merfolk ,secondly Red-Black Budget Goblins and thirdly and lastly Mono-Red Dragons!  So let’s get started with the first deck on our list, which I’d like to call…

UG MERFOLK POWERDRAW (Casual/Modern):

Creatures…24

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Stoneybrook Banneret 1U

4 x Lord of Atlantis UU

4 x Master of the Pearl Trident UU

4 x Cold-Eyed Selkie 1 G/U G/U

2 x Merrow Reejerey 2U

2  x Lorescale Coatl 1GU

Instants…4

4 x Mutagenic Growth

Sorceries…4

4 x Aquitect’s Will U

Enchantments…8

4 x Rancor G

4 x Spreading Seas 1U

Lands…20

4 x Yavimaya Coast

9 x Forest

7 x Island

About the Deck:

This deck is not strictly a Tribal Merfolk Deck, yet it revolves mostly around Merfolk Creatures, almost all of which, quite notably, have the Islandwalk ability or even give it to other Merfolk Creatures. Furthermore, no less than 10 Creatures total in the deck give all Merfolk +1/+1, namely Lord of Atlantis (UU), its identical counterpart Master of the Pearl Trident (UU) and the two Merfolk Reejereys (2U) and what’s more is that the deck features temporary and permanent stats boosting cards that are highly cost-efficient, namely Rancor and Mutagenic Growth. So as to make all my Merfolk Islandwalkers unblockable I am running 8 “Islandwalk-Enabler” Spells – 4 Aquitects Will, which draw you a card in addition to their base effect if you control at least one Merfolk Creature and 4 Spreading Seas, a card which I hold in high renown. It is in fact pseudo-land destruction combined with card draw at the affordable cost of just 1U. Spreading Seas turns any land into a plain, basic Island AND draws you a card on top of that. As if the multiple-boosted Islandwalkers in conjunction with said “Islandwalk-Enablers” woudln’t spell enough trouble for your opponent already, the deck features an awesome and highly potent Draw Engine. Take a gander at this awesome Merfolk card:

Just imagine Cold-Eyed Selkie unblockable as your opponent will most likely control at least 1 Island and boosted mutliple times by Lord of Atlantis and his ilk. Add a Rancor and you got one hell of a draw engine that dishes out major damage as well while it is at it. In the likely case that you only got the unblockable Selkie and slam a Rancor onto it, it will draw you 3 cards each time it launches an attack on your opponent. This is why I could not resist adding a card that is not a Merfolk but which has a special place in my dark, magic-infested heart:

Just times that with a boosted, unblockable draw engine like Cold-Eyed Selkie and go figure! 😀 Hence, I called this deck “Powerdraw”.

But now let us proceed without much further ado to the next deck, which is my very own remix of the popular Goblin Deck archtype, with quite some black added to the mix and somewhat built on a budget (since I am not prepared to invest in a very costly playset of the totally awesome Goblin Piledriver):

Red-Black Goblin Fun on a Budget (Casual/Legacy):

Creatures…31

4 x Mogg Fanatic R

3 x Knucklebone Witch B

4 x Frogtosser Banneret 1B

4 x Goblin Matron 2B

3 x Goblin Warchief 1RR

3 x Goblin Chieftain 1RR

3 x Mad Auntie 2B

4 x Goblin Ringleader 3R

1 x Krenko, Mob Boss 3R

2 x Siege-Gang Commander 3RR

Instants…1

1 x Tarfire R

Sorceries…8

4 x  Goblin Grenade R

1 x Boggart Birth Rite B

3 x Warrren Weirding 1B

Lands…20

4 x Dragonskull Summit

4 x Sulfurous Springs

2 x Teetering Peeks

8 x Mountain

2 x Swamp

About the Deck:

I decided to divert from the usual route of buidling my Goblin deck mono-red, partially because I was not willing and able to invest in Goblin Piledrivers (they cost about 30 bucks a copy nowadays!!) and other expensive, red Goblin staples and partially because I think some of the black Goblins they released predominantely in the Lorwyn and Shadowmoor cycles are actually quite awesome as well. So a Red-Black Goblin deck it woul be. I decided against going for a Modern Format legal build for the simple reason that I woudln’t want to miss out on Goblin Matron and, even more vital, Goblin Ringleader. The thing that makes this deck so very special in my eyes and that makes Matron and Ringleader something I woudln’t want to miss out on is that, curiously, ALL cards in this build are Goblin cards, save for the lands of course. Indeed, besides the Creatures, which are all Goblins, and I got no less than 31 total of those, all Instants and Sorceries the Deck features are Goblin Tribal Instants and Sorceries too! This means if need be, your Matron could fetch any Instant or Sorcery you’d currently need from the deck and, even more and totally awesome, Goblin Ringleader will fill your hand with up to 4 Goblin cards reliably as, and I need to emphasize it again, all 40 non-land cards in this deck belong to the Goblin Tribe!

Furthermore, all my Goblins are highly supportive of each other: I got 6 Goblins that boost all other Goblins by +1/+1 (3 Goblin Chieftains and 3 Mad Aunties, the latter being able to regenerate a Goblin by simply tapping the Auntie on top of the stats boost), also I have 6 Goblins (Goblin Chieftain and Goblin Warchief) that give all Goblins Haste and lastly I got no less than 7 Goblins in the deck that reduce the costs of all Goblin Creatures and Goblin Tribal Sorceries and Instants by 1 – in the form of 4 Frogtosser Bannerets at the cost of just 1B and 3 of the classic Goblin Warchiefs that cost 1RR.

All in all that sounds like one hell of a synergetic deck and the prospect of having a Goblin Ringleader draw me 4 cards, which would not be all too unlikely, as I have to mention once again, boggles my mind.

Of course I added the tried and tested Siege-Gang Commander to the mix, which will blast your opponent’s Creatures and life points faster than you can say “Goblin Piledriver” thrice  – and so does Goblin Grenade, a great (possible finisher) card that lets you deal no less than 5 (!) damage to target Creature OR Player for the cost of 1 red mana and sacrificing a Goblin – a very much affordable price to pay with Goblins galore as seen in this build!

I am very much looking forward to see how the deck will perform as I put it together now, but I am confident it will be more than half decent, even without the costly but highly powerful Piledrivers. But let us now proceed to the last deck on our list for today:

Mono-Red Big Bad Dragons (Casual/Legacy):

Creatures…22

4 x Dragonlord’s Servant 1R

4 x Dragonspeaker Shaman 1RR

2 x Rorix Bladewing 3RRR

4 x  Imperial Hellkite 5RR

4 x Kilnmouth Dragon 5RR

4 x Bogardan Hellkite 6RR

Instants…4

4 x Seething Song 2R

Sorceries…8

4 x Rites of Flame R

4 x Sudden Demise XR

Enchantments…2

2 x Claws of Valakut 1RR

Artifacts…2

2 x Belbe’s Portal 5

Lands…22

4 x Forgotten Cave

4 x Myriad Landscape

14 x Mountain

About the Deck:

Well, this deck is quite, how can I say… primitive. It is all about getting lots and lots of powerful, flying and firebreathing, red Dragons out on the battlefield fast to overwhelm your opponent through raw, draconian power!

The backbone of the deck are however, quite ironically, two non-Dragon Creatures that will enable you to get out your Dragons earlier, faster and in greater numbers. Take a look at exhibit A, the classic Dragonspeaker Shaman:

Reducing the costs of your Dragons, which start at 6 mana with legendary Rorix Bladewing and end at 8 with the mighty Bogardan Hellkite, by 2 is nothing to sneeze at. In the Khans of Tarkier Block however, another similar Dragon-Cost-Reducer joined in. Take a look at exhibit B, which is a third cheaper than Dragonspeaker, which is quite nice:

With the aid of cheap Mana generator Rite of Flame, you can drop Dragonlord’s Servant on turn 1 and follow up with Dragonspeaker Shaman soon after. This will ebable you to get out your terrible Dragons much earlier than usual, which will no doubt apply quite some pressure to your opponent. With one Servant and one Shaman out,  a single Seething Song can easily produce an 8 Mana Dragon, 8 Mana incidentally being the upper end of your Dragons mana-curve – in the form of mighty Bogardan Hellkite. Other notable dragons can be churned out equally fast and easily such as Imperial Hellkite, which calls for backup as he is summoned, letting you search your deck for any Dragon and putting him into your hand upon entering the battlefield. A Dragon I am particularly fond of is Kilnmouth Dragon, who is, in its most basic form a 5/5 Flyer with an useful tap ability, but most notably, he has “Amplify: 3”, meaning he will enter play with no less than three +1/+1 counters for each Dragon card you reveal from your hand at that point. With a deck featuring Dragons aplenty, Kilnmouth Dragon can easily enter play as an 8/8 or 11/11 Creature or even more…

Another way of getting even more dragons into play at an inexpensive cost is the 5 Mana Artifact Belbe’s Portal. Upon playing it, you name a Creature type and it will tap for 3 Mana each turn and put a Creature of the chosen type into play, no matter how costly that Creature would be. Naturally, one would chose the Creature Type “Dragon” in this kind of deck…

Lastly I want to mention the Aura (Enchant Creature) Claws of Valakut. At a cost of 1RR it will give one of your evasive, all by themselves highly powerful Dragons First Strike and +1/+0 FOR EACH MOUNTAIN you control. That can be very deadly for your opponent indeed.

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Alright, dear readers, these were my three tribal deck ideas for you. Again, I hope you found the article to some degree insightful and interestinga and I would be mighty pleased if you subscribed to this my humble blog if you liked what you read. More to come soon. Big Promise! Until then,

Happy Gaming!

Yours,

Andi

MtG Nostalgia – Three Old-School Decks in the Spotlight

Dear readers and friends of the awesome Magic: the Gathering TCG!

It has been just a day since I last posted about MtG Decks but as I have built about a dozen of those recently, I wanted to follow up with yet another deck and strategy article on the foot!

In this article I want to focus on “old-school” decks, of which I will be showcasing 3. These decks mostly consists of “pre-modern” cards and strategies, with one deck having been built devoid of ANY modern cards – a purely “anti-modern deck” or “classic deck” as you could call it.

The cool thing about decks that were played in the more distant past of MtG, and I am in the game for over 15 years, is that nowadays, decks that were terribly expensive to assemble back in the days are nowadays dirt-cheap to buy together. Just an example: I got my playset of Spiritmonger for about 2 US Dollars, whereas back then when that beast, which has lost nothing of its awesomeness in my eyes, would go for 10 – 20 Dollars a copy  if I remember correctly. In this articel however I won’t be posting a deck featuring the “Monger” (although I just HAVE to build a black green deck with four of ’em as I got 3 Pernicious Deeds and 4 Lotleth Trolls just lying around unused – what a shame!) but instead one deck I came up with all by myself (without the help/inspiration from the Internet) which uses only pre-modern cards, a GW Enchantment Beatdown Deck and another deck of my very own devising that worked surprisingly well and proved to be a major nuisance for my opponents, a Mono-Blue Isochron Scepter Deck and lastly I will showcase a good-old, classic Psychatog Build. Note that all decks are intended for casual play only and were built on a budget!

So let’s get started with the first deck:

GW Enchantment Beatdown:

Creatures…20

4 x Birds of Paradise

4 x Auratog 1G

4 x Femeref Enchantress GW

4 x Verduran Enchantress 1GG

1 x Cantivore 1WW

3 x Endless Wurm 3GG

Sorceries…4

4 x Rofellos’s Gift G

Enchantments…16

4 x Rancor G

4 x Briar Shield G

4 x Seal of Strength G

4 x Wild Growth G

Lands…20

4 x Brushland

5 x Plains

11 x Forest

About the Deck:

What makes this deck peculiar, and I noted it before, is that it consists exclusively of pre-modern cards, cards that is, that fearture the old, classic card layout. I built it this way on purpose, inspired by the pre-modern decks of Stefan, my good, new gaming buddy, who stopped playing MtG in the Urza Block – so, ages ago.

This deck is an enchantment-focused deck, yet totally different from the popular Enchantress decks that are played in the Legacy format. The deck’s heart and soul are pretty much the double team of enchantresses, namely Verduran Enchantress (I could not and did not want to afford 4 of the strictly superior Argothian Enchantresses 😦 ) which draws you a card whenever you play an Enchantment AND the VERY rarely seen Femeref Enchantress, which draws you a card whenever an Enchantment is put into any graveyard.

The deck is quite fast and able to conquer the opponent by force in just a few turns, due to some of the best and cheapest creature boosting Enchantments around, namely Rancor, Seal of Strength and Briar Shield. The cool thing about the latter two is that you have to sacrifice them to get their (full) effect so not only will you draw a card when you play them for 1 green mana each through Verduran Enchantress but you will also draw when one of them is put into your graveyard thanks to your Femeref Enchantress.

The deck contains a really cool combo which, as awesome as it is, is not really necessary to win, but if you happen to get a Rancor in  hand and this nasty fella…

…your opponent is bound to be treated to some major beating! For each green mana you can play Rancor and boost the ‘Tog by +2/+2 each time you sacrifice Rancor and replay it. Don’t sacrifice the Rancor when you cast it for the last time and your Auratog will be a colossal trampler swinging in for the kill – possibly.

Two noteworthy other cards in the deck are Rofellos Gift on the one hand and Endless Wurm on the other.

Rofellos Gift is a sorcery for 1 green mana which lets you reveal a number of green cards from your hand to retrieve that many Enchantments from your graveyard to your hand. Perfect for recovering sacrificed Briar Shields and Seal of Strenghts.

Endless Wurm just spells overkill in this deck: A 9/9 Trampler for just 3GG (!!!). The only downside or drawback the monstrous Wurm hasis negligable in this deck. During your upkeep you have to sacrifice an Enchantment to keep Endless Wurm alive. Once again, three cheers for Rancor!!

Bottom line: I tried this deck several times against all kinds of different decks and most of the times (except when I had bad luck drawing) it worked out like a charm – fast and deadly. I am highly pleased with the result of my “anti-modern” experiment!

Alright then, on to the next MtG nostalgia deck! It is once more something I came up without borrowing ideas from other decks or decks to be found on the web. Of course I cannot and will not claim I am the first to have come up with a build like this, which would be quite silly. Still I am quite happy with the non-influenced outcome! So here comes…

Mono-Blue Scepter Control:

Creatures…4

4 x Prognostic Sphinx 3UU

Instants…34

4 x Brainstorm U

4 x Counterspell UU

4 x Muddle the Mixture UU

4 x Memory Lapse 1U

4 x Boomerang UU

4 x Hoodwink 1U

4 x Accumulated Knowledge 1U

2 x Impulse 1U

Lands…22

4 x Fairy Conclave

18 x Island

About the Deck:

At first glance, the deck looks pretty boring with lots of cheap instants and just one Creature that was included as a finisher (Prognostic Sphinx – a card I like a ton and of which I can’t believe it is dirt cheap, a true “crap rare”), despite the fact that the deck can win with the Farie Conclaves alone as well.

The central strategy revolves around…

…combined with cheap and efficient blue instants such as Counterspell, Memory Lapse of Boomerang/Hoodwink. You may wonder why I don’t just play a so called “Scepter Chant” lockdown deck featuring Orim’s Chant, of which I happen to own 4 copies on top of that, but I decided to deliberately go for a mono-blue build that can be, in my opinion and from my experience with this deck so far, as much annoying and crippling for your opponent as a Scepter Chant deck would be.

So the basic plan of the deck is to get a hold of a Scepter asap – Muddle the Mixture does a wonderful job in Transmuting into a Scepter if you need one (or into anything else costing 2 mana, stuff of which the deck runs plenty) – and either go the “counterspell” route or go for the “return stuff” option. Imprinting a Counterspell on Scepter is awesome as you will be able to counter any spell once per turn. Memory Lapse is arguably even more crippling for your opponent as they will be forced to put the countered card back on top of their deck, drawing the same card over and over again. While the “countering strategy” sounds and is great, I even prefer to put a Boomerang and/or Hoodwink on one or more Scepters, as both let you return ANY permanent – INCLUDING LANDS – to the owner’s hand. So while you can return all opponent Creatures to their hands with surplus Boomerangs in your hand, you can put the opponent under a thorough “land-lock” as you use your Scepter with Boomerang imprinted turn after turn to return a land to your opponent’s hand each and every turn.

This deck, as I can tell from my (highly fun for me, highly frustrating for my opponent) test games so far, the deck is really slow and usually wins by attacking with the 2/1 Flying Farie Conclaves and in conjunction with a Prognostic Sphinx or two – which is optional, not mandatory. On a closing note on this deck, I just have to show you Prognostic Sphinx, which I deem totally awesome as it is hard to kill with 5 Toughness, even harder to kill because you can give it Hexproof if need be and on top of that it flies, attacks for 3 and lets you Scry: 3 each time it attacks! What a package!! Take a look:

Ok then, let’s move on to the next and last deck in this deck and strategy article. It is nothing original but saw major play back in the days. Now that all is dirt-cheap to obtain, I decided to relive some memories (I never had such a deck before as I have to note!) and build my very own PSYCHATOG Deck with some new cards and my own twists added. Furthermore, I now have a good home for my playset of precious Underground Seas. So here comes the deck list:

UB Classic Psychatog:

Creatures…8

4 x Nightscape Familiar 1B

4 x Psychatog 1UB

Instants…

4 x Brainstorm U

4 x Counterspell UU

4 x Daze 1U

4 x Rune Snag 1U

4 x Aether Burst 1U

4 x Accumulated Knowledge 1U

4 x Circular Logic 2U

4 x Forbidden Alchemy 2U

Lands…20

4 x Underground Sea

4 x Polluted Delta

4 x Mishra’s Factory

4 x Island

4 x Swamp

About the Deck:

Well, the deck is admittedly a pretty standard Psychatog-Build but it has a few personalized twists I added. First off I need to brag about my 4 Foil Player Rewards Psychatogs…

and my 4 Foil FNM Circular Logics to go along with what is arguably the nastiest of all the ‘Togs:

Well as I said the cards in the deck are pretty much all standard for any Psychatog Deck. Let me showcase a few of them anyways:

My only Creature besides the ‘Tog is Nightscape Familiar, which is a 1/1 for 1B that regenerates for 1B. But most important of all, he reduces the costs of my blue (and red – but I aint have any of that color in this deck) Spells by 1. This is pretty vital if you look at the costs of the cards in the above decklists. Nightscape Familiar will not only let me summon Psychatog for 2 mana, he will reduce the cost of many powerful instants to 1 blue Mana: Daze, Rune Snag, Aether Burst and Accumulated Knowledge’s costs will be halved once the Familiar is out.

Furthermore it should be noted, that this deck features various cards that grow stronger the more copies of the respective card are in your graveyard. A good example is Accumulated Knowledge which draws you 1 card plus 1 for each Accumulated Knowledge in your graveyard. Rune Snag and Aether Burst do the same for countering and bouncing respectively.

Lastly I should note that I casually added 4 Mishra’s Factories for the unlikely case that all my Psychatogs get killed or exiled or Thor knows what…. But with all the countermagic (4 Counterspells, 4 Daze, 4 Rune Snag, 4 Circular Logic) I am quite confident to be able to protect my ‘Tog(s) and the Factories will be just the icing on the cake, doing some additional damage!

OK, dear reader, this was my “MtG Nostalgia” deck and strategy article for you! I hope you found it at least to some degree interesting and informative and maybe you even got the urge now to build an old-school deck as well. There are many more decks out there that are really cheap to build as compared to when they were pretty new (Thinking Mirari’s Wake or Beast Bidding here) so feel free to tinker a bit with “old but gold” cards and deck ideas yourself.

So thank you for reading and

GAME ON!

Yours,

Andi

Dreams of Dystopia Hitting KS Tomorrow SUN April 12th, 6 PM Central American Time!!

Dear board and card game enthusiasts, dear readers of my blog!!

With great joy I am able to announce the launch of “DREAMS OF DYSTOPIA – The Deckbuilding Game with a TWIST” tomorrow Sunday, 12th of April 2015 at 6 pm American Central Time sharp!

DoD PNG

Dreams of Dystopia is a highly-interactive, very much combat-centered (some people have even mentioned a similarity to “Magic: the Gathering”, in a favorable way – like, what if Dominion and MtG had a baby!) Deckbuilding Game with similar core mechanics as other games in the Genre, such as aforementioned Dominion, Thunderstone and others.

There are various things that make Dreams of Dystopia (or just “DoD”) so special, such as the direct player vs player combat mechanics (The goal of the game is not to accumulate a number of Victory Points as is standard in most Deckbuilders but to reduce your opponent’s Life Points to zero by means of combat) or a fresh take on a resource system, which acts more like a threshold than managing some sort of currency. But most outstanding – and this is why we call DoD a game “with a TWIST”, is the fact that each card (except useless Curses and the Heroic Deed cards that act as resources of sorts) has actually two sides – the “Demonic” side of one card being printed on one side of the actual card and the “Divine” side on the other side. Right at the outset of the game you have to choose a Master, and furthermore you have to decide whether you’d wanna go with their Demonic or their Divine side. This sets the tone for the rest of your game as choosing sides has a ton of influence on your later game choices – for instance, “buying” off-faction cards (like if you have a Demonic Master and you want to aquire a Divine card) will cost you 2 extra fame – resources. We really emphasized the double-sidedness of the cards and the flipping to a degree that you can even reverse cards, change from Divine to Demonic and vice versa, mid-game, actually changing your whole strategy as you go along. Please watch this short teaser trailer to understand the core mechanics of the game a bit better:

Furthermore I am pleased to be able to say we got us some awesome feedback and pre-reviews of DoD already and are very excited about the launch of the project on Kickstarter tomorrow, Sunday 12th of April!

If you want a deeper look into how the game actually works and hear some praise for the game from an expert, please watch this video preview, kindly made for us by Nick of Board Game Brawl. Thank you Nick!!

Dreams of Dystopia is a collaborative effort between game designer Andreas Propst (my humble self) and US-based artist and illustrator Robert “Misfit” Modelski.

So please everyone join in and support us on KS starting tomorrow April 12th and going all through May 11th 2015, even if you can “just” spread the word! Any and all help and support will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Andi

P.S.: For more information please visit the DoD Hombase at http://www.dreamsofdystopia.com! Thank you!!

MtG: Theros Block Follow-Up – Centaurs Tribal & Heroic Menace

Dear readers!

Following up my previous Magic: the Gathering article about two Theros Block inspired Modern Format decks, here two more decks which are more or less losely based on Theros Block cards and mechanics.

The first will be another “installment” of my “Obscure Creature Type” decks series, this time dealing with the much overlooked Centaur “Tribe” or Creature Type and in the second part of this two-part article, my old friend and by far favorite “crap rare” Corpsejack Menace will make a dreadful return, this time harnessing the powers of the Theros Block Heroic mechanic with which we alread dealt in the previous article! Be prepared for a Centaur Tribal 101 and some serious counter doubling action brought to you by none other than “The Menace” himself! So let’s get started with the Centaurs. As always I will show you a sample deck list and follow-up with some thoughts on how the game is supposed to play!

Tribal Centaurs (Modern Format):

Creatures…22

4 x Birds of Paradise G

2 x Elvish Mystic G

4 x Burning-Tree Shaman 1RW

4 x Fanatic of Xenagos 1RW

4 x Pheres Band Warchief 3G

4 x Centaur Battlemaster 3GG

Enchantments…4

4 x Rancor G

Instants…10

4 x Mutagenic Growth G

2  Giant Growth G

4 x Lightning Bolt R

Sorceries…2

2 x Soul’s Majesty 4G

Lands…22

4 x Karplusan Forest

4 x Rootbound Crag

8 x Forest

6 x Mountain

About the Deck:

This could be called a classic Red-Green Beatdown deck, but what makes it special is the fact that it is strongly focused on the Centaur Creature Type. All Creatures save for the Birds (of Paradise) and Elvish Mystics, which were added for much needed mana acceleration, are Centaurs. Centaurs seem to have amazingly powerful stats compared to their costs, but very little “Tribal Support”. In fact the only directly Centaur-Creature type relevant card is Pheres Band Warchief. But what a great card this is to have in an almost all-Centaurs deck. Just have a look at what it does:

The +1/+1 boost is good but the Warchief will make your Centaur army unstoppable through giving all of them Trample as well as a defensive force as well by giving them all Vigilance. What a great, great card in a deck like this indeed!!

As I said before, most of the Centaurs have great stats for what the cost, even without Warchief to boost them. Burning-Tree Shaman is a 3/4 for 1RG that deals 1 damage to a player for each time they use an activated ability (except mana abilities – so you’ll get no damage from him in this particular deck). Fanatic of Xenagos costs the same (1RG) and pretty much lets your opponent choose whether he’ll be a 4/4 permanently or a 3/3 which gets +1/+1 and Haste for the turn it enters play. Pretty tough choice there! And lastly, Centaur Battlemaster we have seen in the previous article already. He is a 3/3 for a steep 3GG that gets no less than three +1/+1 counters each time you target him with a Spell.

This is why I am running cards like Rancor, Mutagenic Growth and Giant Growth, which are great on ANY of your Creatures but just insane when used on your “Heroic” Centaur Battlemaster. Heck, you could even shoot your own Centaur Battlemaster with a 1-cost Lightning Bolt to give it a permanent +3/+3 boost!

Heroic Menace:

Creatures…24

4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Sakura-Tribe Elder 1G

4 x Mistcutter Hydra XG

4 x Setessan Oathsworn 1GG

4 x Corpsejack Menace 2BG

4 x Centaur Battlemaster 3GG

Instants…14

4 x Bioshift U/G

2 x Mutagenic Growth G

4 x Solidarity of Heroes 1G

4 x Harrow 2G

Lands…22

4 x Yavimaya Coast

4 x Llanowar Wastes

7 x Forest

7 x Island

About the Deck:

Without kidding, I think I currently own 3 different decks abusing the crapraretastic +1/+1 counter doubling powers of Corpsejack Menace…

…and I am VERY tempted to build yet another one, this time combining the Theros Block Heroic Ability with “The Menace”!

Well if you are not familiar with the Heroic ability (you should be after reading the previously posted article on here), it usually involves putting +1/+1 counters on a creature when it is targeted by one of your Spells. Centaur Battlemaster for instance will get no less than 3 such counters whenever targeted by one of your Spells. Now, you should have guessed after looking at the above card, Corpsejack Menace doubles the number of all counters placed. So if you pay 1 green mana or 2 life in the case of Mutagenic Growth, your Centaur Battlemaster will gain 6 (!!) +1/+1 counters for just 1 mana or 2 life if Corpsejack is in play! That is f’ing amazing if you ask me. Setassan Oathsworn is pretty nice as well as he will gain no less than 4 +1/+1 counters through Menace whenever targeted by one of your Spells.

There are so many interactions going on in the deck, which I really, really like:

First of all, Solidarity of Heroes and Bioflux really shine with Corpsejack around. Solidarity will double the counters on a Creature twice. If you target a Centaur Battlemaster with no counters, he will get 6 (3 from his Heroic ability times two through Menace) and then these will be doubled by Solidarity and by Corpsejack, resulting in 12 x 2 = 24 +1/+1 counters in total!! That just blows my mind. And then comes Bioflux into the game. It lets you move all +1/+1 counters from one Creature to another. Just move them from a blocked Creature, maybe your 24-counters-bearing Centaur, to your hard-to-block Birds of Paradise or any unblocked Creature and Menace will double the counters once again while being moved. That will result in 48 points worth of damage straight into your opponent’s face.

Mistcutter Hydra is kinda your backup solution/finisher. It has haste, cannot be countered and protection from blue on top of all that, costs XG and comes into pla with X +1/+1 counters. So yeah, you guessed it, Corpsejack Menace will double these counters as well, giving you a Hydra double the size than you paid for. If you play the X = 5 + G, so 6 mana in total, you will get a hasty, non-counterable behemoth of 10/10. Now if you play Solidarity of Heroes on it with Corpsejack out, you will get a 30/30 Hydra  for an additionla investment of 2 mana (!!) aaand if you Bioflux her counters to your Birds or an unblocked attacker you’ll get through a massive 60/60 damage – enough to kill your opponent thrice! Gotta love that Corpsejack! 😀

Q.E.D.

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

Hello dear friends of the Magic: the Gathering TCG!

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

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(Here to be seen cheering for Elemental Clash!)

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

Let us get this started with

Nora’s WU Flyers Weenie (Casual Format):

Creatures…19

4 x Judge’s Familiar U/W

4 x Suntail Hawk W

4 x Soltari Priest WW

4 x Leonin Skyhunter WW

3 x Knight of Meadowgrain WW

Instants…7

3 x Path to Exile W

4 x Mana Leak 1W

Sorceries…3

3 x Armageddon 3W

Enchantments…8

4 x Curiosity U

4 x Honor of the Pure 1W

Artifacts…2

2 x Loxodon Warhammer 3

Mana Sources (Lands etc)…21

3 x Chrome Mox 0

4 x Adarkar Wastes

4 x Glacial Fortress

10 x Plains

My Thoughts About the Deck:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nora’s Monored Dragons (Casual):

Creatures…11

3 x Mordant Dragon 3RRR

1 x Hoard-Smelter Dragon 4RR

3 x Spawn of Thraxes 5RR

1 x Thunder Dragon 5RR

3 x Bogardan Hellkite 6RR

Instants…8

4 x Lightning Bolt R

4 x Seething Song 2R

Sorceries…11

4 x Pyroclasm 1R

4 x Breath of Darigaaz 1R

3 x Geosurge RRRR

Enchantments…4

4 x Claws of Valakut 1RR

Lands…24

4 x Forgotten Cave

2 x Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

18 x Mountain

My Thoughts About the Deck:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

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EC: Foresight of a Future of Draconian Fury + A New Member in the Art Team

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

I bring tremendous tidings to you, on what is almost the very eve of the completion and subsequent release of the full, 100+ cards strong Legendary Legacy Expansion of which only two card artworks are missing and will be handed in soon, as I write these lines.

Believe it or not, despite of what one could call a financial failure – and I do realize I will NEVER break even with the EC project as a whole, which is not my motivation behind pursuing it with full fervor anyways – I have great plans all laid out already for the pleasure of those trusty and loyal few, who are able to appreciate my creation (you know who you are you guys – and you are awesome!) and keep me going, soldiering on with the project, when it comes to the future of the Elemental Clash CCG.

However I will slightly change my plans and not do any more 100+ diffferent cards “full” expansions anymore in the future, as they are far too expensive to complete and far too time-consuming as well. Instead I will be releasing several smaller ones, which I would like to announce as and call

Demi-Expansions

A Demi-Expansion will be about 30 different cards in playsets of 3 copies each (same convenient model as before) and come in a neat and small 90 cards Tuck Box which will considerably drop the price point as the boxes the Master Set and LL Expansion are coming in are quite costly. This and the fact that I will need only a third of the art than I would need for a Full Expansion, will make the Demi Expansions cheaper and thus more accessible and attractive for the customer, the gamers. On my end, I will have to pay for less artwork and will be able to release new sets in shorter intervals. Furthermore, each Demi Expansion will have its own theme and introduce one major new key mechanic each.

So far I have worked out 5 of these Demi-Expansions and I will share with you the names and themes as an exclusive glimpse into the future. Please note that I am not sure about the order in which they will be released and neither can I say how long it will take me to complete all 5 Demi Expansion, as all depends on the big unknown, on how my financial situation will develop, but I would say it could be realistic that all 5 sets could be finished and released within the next 2 – 3 years.

4 of the 5 Demi Expansions will focus on one of the Elements each, from the Undead-themed Earth Demi Expansion “Gravestorm”, to “Winds of War”, having an Air-theme over “Reign of Chaos” which will be a Fire Set introducing dice rolls as a factor of luck in the game to the “Benthic Behemoths” Water Set.

I have not yet completely made up my mind but I think the first of the Demi Expansions will be the one about the most awesome fantasy creature type of all times, going by the name of

DRAGONFORCE

(Not to be confused with the Power/Speed Metal band of the same name!)

I must apologize that I do not have a proper expansion set logo for it yet and for torturing you with so much text . In compensation, I’d say feast your eyes on the very first artwork from the first Demi Expansion – Primordius the Kingorger Ur-Dragon:

Primordius small

The highly talented artist behind Primordius (and do not worry, you will see the card preview with its awesome effects and abilities soon enough) is in fact a new member to the Elemental Clash art team, who based the character closely on a sketch I had provided.

Please everyone give a hearty welcome to

Le Rastislav 

from Slovakia, so basically a neighbour of mine, me being from Austria. Rastislav wanted to extend his greetings to you, dear readers, and introduce himself briefly in his own words, which are as follows:

“Hello guys! My name is Le Rastislav and I’m from Slovakia (that unknown country in central Europe 😀  I am 20, I love digital art, doing this only 1 and half year (really!), and I am an art school graduate as Industrial designer. I am a huge fan of card games and the art that is used in them. It always was my dream to be a card artist and here I am! Thank you EC for giving me a chance and I hope you guys will enjoy my art.”

Thank YOU Rastislav – I for one am enjoying your art and working with your very much so far!! (Le is his last name but he prefers to have his name written last name first for reasons that are beyond me – but so be it!).

So I guess you wanna see the first card preview from the Dragonforce Demi Expansion now. Your wish shall be granted.

Behold:

Primordius, Kingorger Ur-Dragon Presentation

Primordius is supposed to be the very first of the dragon kind, so he is called the “Ur-Dragon”, unites all elements in one, as you can see by the colorful reflexes on his skin and is named Kingorger (as in Kin-Gorger not King-Orger, which is not even a word!) as he has to devour two dragons, two of his own kin, to be summoned. That brings us to the new keyword / mechanic to be introduced in the Dragonforce Demi-Expansion:

Tribute

Tribute is not just ripped straight out of the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game as it works in a differnet way. Cards requiring a Tribute can only be summoned from hand by paying the Tribute as listed on the cards. There may be cards with optional Tributes, but also ones that specifically require tributing like Primordius. Furthermore, different things can be required or optional as Tributes, such as a number of Creatures of a specific Element or Creature Type or Element-Stones or even Equip- and/or Permanent-Spells. In Dragonforce, you will be seeing a  lot of different tributing as well as cards and abilities interacting with that new mechanic.

Well as if this had not raised your curiosity enough already, I will end this post with a few teasers from some of the other Demi Expansions I have all planned through already.

First a sketch I made of a card called Venus Dragon, which is, and you can see it below, inspired by the ominous as well as popular and powerful Venus Wurm:

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Secondly and lastly (for now) a sketch I made of Coelocaudus, Leviathan Monarch, who is going to be featured in the “Benthic Behemoths” Set and is supposed to be the king of all Leviathans and Sea Serpents:
Coelocaudus Concept Sketch Presentation

Well that is all I am willing to give away about the upcoming Demi Expansions for now. I hope you enjoyed the previews and are at least a bit excited, and I am for sure, about the upcoming sets of Elemental Clash!

Just one more thing:

I will be releasing the

“Future Sight Preview Pack”

shortly after the release of Legendary Legacy, which will be a 37 cards pack containing 3 cards from each of the 5 Demi Expansions I discussed above so you can get an exclusive glimpse into what the future will hold for Elemental Clash in the form of acutal cards ahead of time!

Be prepared for more awesomeness soon!!

Sincerely your,

Andi