Archive for the 'Mtg theory' Category

Team Kate and Wills

Let's all play some Standard! Wait, no.

That’s what I  nearly registered my deck as on Sunday 1st May, as a sort of commemorative joke, because the deck that I had brought was in fact Team America. Given that we were at GP London on the weekend of the Royal wedding, however, it just felt kind of wrong. Not to mention that I’m sure many would question whether the list that I ran actually qualifies as a real Team America deck or not. Whatever, a blue/black/green shell that pretty much plays all the best cards that it possibly can (read: Force, Bob, Goyf, Brainstorm, Thoughtseize, Big Jace, Hymn, Wasteland etc.) is the exact kind of deck that I like to play – even if it is full of buzz words like ‘tempo’ that don’t really mean anything. Essentially the combination of cost-efficient card draw, discard, removal and beaters leads to a pretty good deck. Here’s the list:

Continue reading ‘Team Kate and Wills’


I told you so.

Yesterday, as the observant ones amongst you will have clocked, was the Mirrodin Besieged Games Day and I played the idiotic, super-speedy Kuldotha Red deck. I had a pretty good day, going 4-1 in the swiss and feeling moderately confident in the deck. I certainly saw a lot of players who just had no clue how to pilot the deck (holding on to Signal Pest(s) until turn 4 or so is just plain wrong) who were nonetheless still doing well on sheer power level even through misplays.

In the quarterfinals I lost two not-at-all-close games to Boros where the guy sided in at least 12 cards that just ruin the deck that I was playing (Cunning Sparkmage, Kor Firewalker, Arc Trail, Divine Offering, Basilisk Collar, etc.) – it was kind of brutal. Still, I came 4th on standings at the end of the day and won some packs – which had nothing in them of worth, although the Top 8 card (foil full art Black sun’s Zenith) certainly made up for some of that.

The overall winner of the event, however, was my friend Toby (now two times Games Day Champion of Cambridge!) piloting his U/W Shape Anew deck. What was he newly shaping into? Why, it’s our friend Blightsteel Colossus, of course…

Oh hai guys!

I told you so! Of course, this isn’t really the be-all and end-all of Magic: the Gathering, it was just sort of funny that the poster-child for Timmy power creep won our local event.

I think in terms of playing the deck again, I would certainly choose to do so and probably not with any changes (perhaps a couple of copies of Mortarpod in the board for some spice). I would also hope to face more straight control or any of the combo matchups, and I would also be happy with the mirror, as the only things I played against in the swiss were two copies of Mono-W Quest and three variations on UB Infect control (one with Grand Architect). The latter is the one that crushed me by dropping a really early Platinum Emperion – harsh.

The Little Goblin That Could

Or: I sincerely hope that Goblin Guide gets me there this time (it did once before).

I won a Games Day a little while back, and then didn’t play two or three of them until Scars of Mirrodin fairly recently, on the back of Runeflare Trap.dec – it was a brilliant day, 4-1-1 in the swiss (the loss I easily could have won if I had played tighter, and the draw was an ID in the sixth round when I was locked in anyway) before fairly easily taking the Top 8. A huge part of what made that deck tick (or at least my build of it) was the inclusion of Goblin Guide.

The little red speedy Isamaru really added an extra dimension to the game plan and often gave the impression that I was the beatdown, giving me plenty of room to live until I assembled the combo. The only other Games Day I’ve played since then I got the combo part right (I played Mono-W Quest) but completely missed out on this aspect. Tomorrow I will be slinging this brew:

Continue reading ‘The Little Goblin That Could’

Sway of the Stars

Some people really like the UrzaTron. I really like playing with Loci. Following on from yesterday’s competitive Pauper 8-Post three colour control deck, today I give you my casual Legacy 12-Post mono blue combo deck! I decided that I couldn’t be bothered to draft anymore after selling a bunch of my cards online, so I built this for a laugh instead:

Mono Blue Sway Baby!

The list is really straightforward (and a little limited perhaps by my budget and the fact that I built a round a ten mana sorcery – which is even more than Warp World, previously the funniest thing to spend a ton of mana on):

(22) Lands: 4 Cloudpost, 4 Glimmerpost, 4 Vesuva, 10 Island
(12) Creatures: 4 Epochrasite, 4 Triskelion, 4 Aeon Chronicler
(14) Instants: 4 Mana Leak, 4 Condescend, 3 Negate, 3 Evacuation
(8) Sorceries: 4 Ancestral Vision, 4 Sway of the Stars
(4) Artifacts: 4 Prophetic Prism

Break me!

So, as previously mentioned, the deck could probably do with some better cards (which would cost more tix) and could probably also do with one or two more Islands. I also just kind of stuck with what I knew in terms of cards that work well with the ‘Posts e.g. Prophetic Prism. In case you don’t see the combo, the idea is to use your defensive cards and countermagic to live long enough to suspend an Aeon Chronicler (or two) and cast Sway of the Stars. Everything gets reset, and you should have enough cards in hand that Chronicler one-hit kills them the next turn. Of course, dropping Triskelion on turn 3 and protecting it with counters is also pretty strong as a plan b.

I also though I would try something new for this post – a video replay of a game I played with the deck online vs. Elves, but so far everything is cocking up! Depending on how this works out, I may be experimenting with video recording a little more in the future. I hope to get a video up real soon!

URb 8-post

It’s my Pauper deck that I play online on MTGO. Pauper is a real man’s format for real men, in which you can only use commons. This deck is super sweet and I love it. The deck has gone through a bunch of iterations and has plenty of sweet interactions. This is the current build, though the sideboard has a few slots that change quite frequently (as it should do) and there are one or two cards in the main that I will be re-assessing soon e.g. is Mnemonic Wall pulling its weight? Is the spicy Strangling Soot I added the other week worth playing?

Click the image to see it larger!

75 Main Deck:
3 Izzet Boilerworks
6 Island
1 Bojuka Bog
5 Mountain
4 Cloudpost
4 Glimmerpost

3 Expedition Map
3 Firebolt
3 Flame Slash

4 Prophetic Prism
4 Prohibit

1 Arc Lightning
4 Compulsive Research
1 Capsize
1 Staggershock
1 Strangling Soot

2 Mystical Teachings

1 Mnemonic Wall

1 Ulamog’s Crusher

1 Kaervek’s Torch
3 Rolling Thunder
4 Condescend

15 Sideboard:
1 Arc Lightning
1 Echoing Truth
3 Negate
4 Pyroblast
3 Shattering Pulse
4 Stone Rain

More Than Meets The Eye

There has been some discussion for a while about the various merits of the big artifact creatures you can choose to Tinker for in Vintage. Now I’m no expert on Type 1, but I have a pretty good grasp of the reasons for choosing your robot from the currently available selection.

  1. Darksteel Colossus – It’s big, it kills them in 2 hits (often even over blockers because of the low toughness of most non-robot/Oathed in guys in Vintage thanks to trample), it has the neat ‘shuffle it back into your library’ effect. It’s the classic robot. Indestructible maybe isn’t the most relevant as most removal will cause sacrifice or exile it.
  2. Inkwell Leviathan – It takes longer to kill them but it has a few neat advantages, namely that it has islandwalk (are you playing Vintage? Then there’s a high chance you’ll be playing with Islands) and retains trample for the non-blue decks. It also has shroud (because it’d suck to get this guy Pathed) and, most importantly in my eyes, can be pitched to Force in a pinch.
  3. Sphinx of the Steel Wind – can also be pitched to Force, and also has enough keywords to require dedicated reading time for the unprepared. It takes a lot longer to kill them (4 turns compared to 2 or 3), doesn’t shuffle back in and is still vulnerable to some removal, however it is good for getting back into the game after an aggro start from your opponents.

Now, bearing all of this in mind, the spoilers for Mirrodin Besieged today brought us this monstrosity:


Yep, that thing kills them in one; still has trample and is indestructible; now shrinks any guy that gets in its way; still shuffles and did I mention that it kills them in just the one swing? It remains to be seen if the Type 1 crowd will pick up on this over the other options, but it is certainly pretty spicy. 

P.S. The rules for poison counters don’t change in EDH/Commander. This thing is pretty nuts there, if expensive (didn’t stop them nerf’ing Emrakul).

Day 14

Still haz it.

What You Wore Today

Again? Screw this.

Instead, let me present my updated decklist for tomorrow’s PTQ… *Contains spoilers* for all my opponents who want to have the blade against me. Hah.

Continue reading ‘Day 14’

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