Mar
22
2019

Mr Toad’s Wild Ride – Deck Tech and Gameplay

submitted by /u/PleasantKenobi to r/MTGLegacy [link] [comments]

Mar
14
2019

Anything Jacob can do I can do cheaper

There was a request for Jacob’s “Anything you can do I can do better” deck from the most recent game knights episode but made budget. So I took a crack at it.

Commanders: [[Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist]] and [[Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper]]

Goal: As is the goal of Jacob’s deck we want to play our opponents biggest threats, but make them slightly better with our pump effects. Here is a link to Jacob’s episode

Comments: This deck was only possible thanks to /u/Karnblack and his post. I took major inspiration from this list, and adjusted the landbase, added a few different clone effects, and adjusted the ramp. Hopefully everyone likes the deck, and be sure to leave a comment telling me what you like or would change.

Decklist

submitted by /u/Toglerog to r/BudgetBrews
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Mar
08
2019

Krenko, Mob Boss | EDH Budget Deck Tech $25 | Tribal | The Commander’s Quarters

submitted by /u/myersmc16 to r/Magicdeckbuilding [link] [comments]

Mar
03
2019

Sacred Hulk or: How to Have Your Meat and Eggs and Eat Them Too

Hi everyone, Pongo here. Today, I want to talk a bit about some new Protean Hulk technology.

First, let’s review the state of Flash Hulk decks in mid-2018. This isn’t meant to be exhaustive and will necessarily leave quite a few things out for the sake of brevity.

At this time, the majority of Hulk decks either relied on the ‘Breakfast combo’ (a combination of Nomads en-Kor and Cephalid Illusionist allowing you to dump your entire library into the graveyard to assemble another, typically sorcery speed, combo) or else one of a few different Blood Artist combos (a combination of Blood Artist with other creatures permitting their controller to loop sacrificing recursive creatures an arbitrary amount of times). The most well-known decks that used these strategies at the time are Breakfast Hulk proper (which uses its namesake combo and additionally gets Grand Abolisher to protect itself from nearly all forms of interaction), as well as a few different decks (e.g. Hulkweaver, Definitely Not Varolz, etc.) that, broadly speaking, rely on either Karmic Guide or Persist combos with Blood Artist to win.

Both strategies are still widespread in the cEDH meta, are extremely powerful, and serve as something of a reference point for all other Hulk combos. However, neither is without its flaws. Breakfast Hulk’s sorcery speed limitation means that you can’t always take advantage of openings provided by other players fighting each other on the stack over another game-winning threat. Blood Artist lines, by contrast, allow you to win while other spells remain on the stack and on other players’ turns but typically require a second Hulk death trigger which provides opponents a window to disrupt your combo.

Alright, now let’s flashforward (flashback? flash…hulk!? :why:) to about 5 months ago. It was around this time that u/SleepyJackdaw inadvertently brought about one of the most important recent innovations to Flash Hulk technology. By bringing everybody’s attention to the existence of a combined “Breakfast + Blood Artist” loop that provides instant speed wins in a single Protean Hulk death trigger, interest in brewing decks with Flash Hulk was suddenly renewed. Thus, the “Shuffle” pile was born. By combining the ability to take advantage of openings at instant speed, along with the inherent protection of needing only a single Hulk trigger (and an additional layer of protection in Memory’s Journey as the cherry on top) it was said that “The Holy Grail of Hulk piles” was finally discovered. Around this time, myself and many others started brewing a few different decks incorporating this pile.

Here’s where things get interesting: whereas brewers such as u/SirOzzsome and u/synchrobot started exploring the space for Shuffle decks with extra combo pieces enabling efficient Hulk piles to beat any single stax piece or card stuck in hand, u/ShaperSavant and myself—put off by bad experiences drawing into combo pieces and lots of graveyard hate—started exploring decks that aim to maximize card quality by incorporating the smallest amount of combo pieces. This approach incorporated a slot-efficient, synergistic backup line capable of beating even the most oppressive board states and unfortunate draws using Spellseeker and Laboratory Maniac in conjunction with Tainted Pact at the cost of some mana efficiency. Additionally, the extra A+B combo of Lab Man + Tainted Pact combined with the super low cmc of the deck (and no eldrazi titan) meant that the deck could play Ad Nauseam to great effect.

It’s in the spirit of this brew that I then started experimenting with even more extreme approaches to improve the card quality of Flash Hulk while simultaneously enhancing the deck’s ability to play Ad Naus and value Tainted Pact. The obvious step to do this was to try cutting pieces that are mostly dead outside of the combo but are also crucial to not have exiled. This ultimately led to a brew I affectionately dubbed “JUMPMAN” that aimed to get around the fact that it’s impossible to fit a draw effect into a Hulk pile with Lab Man and the Breakfast combo. By milling into Radical Idea and casting it from the graveyard, it was possible to reduce the amount of totally dead combo pieces in the deck to just Lab Man and the Breakfast combo (since Radical Idea can, at minimum, be cycled away). With the only card of importance now being Lab Man, Tainted Pact suddenly became a card that could be played for value. Cutting otherwise useless combo pieces made Ad Naus even better. Four mana to win the game at instant speed is an obvious disadvantage compared to the Shuffle pile, but it was hardly a hurdle in my control and stax-heavy meta (where waiting to cast Flash at the end of a counter war is especially useful) and only mildly inconvenient in racing situations. All those freed up slots got converted into more interaction as well as powerful mana and draw engines to help with grinding against the well-represented midrange decks. In other words, a Flash Hulk deck that is also a midrange Ad Naus (MAN) deck.

Almost immediately after brewing this deck, u/elfric brought an easily overlooked, old card to my attention: Sacred Guide. All the loose strings of my previous experiments suddenly came together; Sacred Hulk was born.

Sacred Guide W Human -- Cleric 1W, Sacrifice Sacred Guide: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a white card. Put that card into your hand and exile all other cards revealed this way. 

By running no other white cards, Sacred Guide effectively turns into another copy of Tainted Pact for the purposes of exiling our library. Importantly, it only costs 1 mana so it can easily be fit into a Hulk pile alongside Lab Man. This leaves space in the pile for Hapless Researcher for a guaranteed draw. Finally, either Blood Pet or Sylvan Safekeeper can be included in the pile using the last CMC to either discount the win to 3 mana (Flash + activating Sacred Guide for 1UW and sacrificing Blood Pet) or get free protection. The biggest loss is terms of white cards is Silence although Autumn’s Veil does a reasonable impersonation. Eladamri’s Call can be cut for Sylvan Tutor. Finally, losing Enlightened Tutor isn’t so bad as in this shell it mostly a redundant copy of Mana Crypt, Sylvan Library or Mystic Remora.

“But why is this an improvement?” you may ask; the answer lies in the even more elegant layering between the deck’s three pillars: Flash Hulk, Tainted Pact and Ad Nauseam. Compared to JUMPMAN, Sacred Hulk’s Flash Hulk pile can be pulled off for only three mana (again, with no timing restrictions). This puts Sacred Hulk much closer to other Hulk decks in terms of speed and offers a lot of turn 2 and protected turn 3 win potential. Tainted Pact suddenly becomes even more of a viable value play since, like JUMPMAN, we don’t have to worry about exiling much beyond Lab Man while using it. Having the redundant library exiling effect means that we are even more able to play Tainted Pact and not have to worry about recurring it for use later (or about exiling one of two different Breakfast combo pieces). Finally, this redundancy makes Ad Nauseam even more consistent at assembling an A+B combo which, when combined with any cantrip or a Tymna draw, can allow us to win through common Hulk hate such as Grafdigger’s Cage, Rest in Peace, Cursed Totem and Leyline of the Void. The final (and perhaps biggest) appeal of Sacred Hulk is that, compared to other Hulk decks, we have very few dead draws.

Where other decks find drawing into Dread Return, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth or Karmic Guide inconvenient, drawing into Lab Man opens lines where we can use a creature or general-purpose tutor to find either Sacred Guide or Tainted Pact and win from there. Drawing into Sacred Guide opens tutoring Lab Man. Drawing into Tainted Pact is just fine. Basically, drawing into combo pieces is no longer a potential roadblock; an opening hand with one of our combo pieces can be a plan in-and-of-itself. Finally, stax pieces that would force other Hulk decks to scramble for an answer are only mildly inconvenient for us since we can just assemble one of our two card combos that operate through most types of stax.

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane and introduction to some new Hulk shells and technology! If you have any questions or comments (or just want to hang out and chat) don’t hesitate to post here or join us at the Unified Hulk Discord: https://discord.gg/ZaEtFCd

Love,

Pongo

submitted by /u/TeamTurnThree to r/CompetitiveEDH
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Feb
28
2019

[The Spike Feeders] S2E9 – Sensei’s Divining Dreidel

S2E9 of The Spike Feeders, reporting for duty!

We’re back for another competitive commander game! This week Jim is pretending S2E8 never happened, reprising PST. Will he be able to show off what the deck is actually capable of? You’ll have to watch to find out!

Decklists:

Jim: Paradox Scepter Thrasios (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/paradox-scepter-thrasios-1/) deck credit to /u/ShaperSavant and /u/SFRG

Eliot: Tatyova (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/tatyova-benthicc-druid-3/)

Jan: Food Chain Tazri (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/food-chain-tazri/) Deck credit to /u/ShaperSavant and /u/BigLupu

Jerry: Niv Mizzet Storm (https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/08-10-18-niv-mizzet-storm/)

Critical Decision Points

In this section we like to call out some of the key decision points of the game. This section contains spoilers. Watch the video before you keep reading!

22:13: Eliot sandbags his [[Cavern of Souls]]. He could have played it from his hand, then used it to make Tatyova uncounterable. Instead, he held onto it because he wanted to draw an extra card off the landfall trigger. Should Eliot have gone for the sure thing or the glory?

33:34: On Jim’s winning turn, he starts digging for an answer to Niv-Mizzet using [[Thrasios, Triton Hero]]. The rate per card here is 6 for the first card (2 to cast Thrasios and 4 to activate), and 4 for each card after that. /u/biopower pointed out yesterday during our exclusive Patreon preview on Discord that Jim could have activated Sensei’s Divining Top’s draw ability, and – holding priority – activate [[Isochron Scepter]] to untap the top and activate it again. This allows me to draw the top and recast it. Rather than paying 4 to dig 2 cards deep, taking this line allows me to dig 3 cards deep for every 5 mana spent, which is a much better rate

Socials

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TheSpikeFeeders

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thespikefeeders

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thespikefeeders

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thespikefeeders

Discord: https://discord.gg/wzbZEzq

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submitted by /u/chefsati to r/CompetitiveEDH
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Feb
23
2019

PERSISTENT PETITIONER EDH – PleasatKenobi’s Deck Tech and Gameplay

submitted by /u/PleasantKenobi to r/magicTCG [link] [comments]

Feb
17
2019

What Lord Windgrace Should Have Been

Commander: [[Lord Windgrace]]

Price: $49.98

Goal: Abuse Landfall triggers to create giant armies and generate insane value

Decklist

The Beauty of Jund Landfall

I’ve wanted to brew Windgrace for awhile now, figured why not today!

The deck is all about getting lands in to play, into our graveyard, into our hand… basically we are milking every part of a lands life for value.

Core Cards

  • Our “Lieutenants” for this deck are [[Omnath, Locus of Rage]] and [[The Gitrong Monster]]. Omnath builds us a gigantic army thats hard to deal with while Gitrog draws us ludicrous numbers of cards.
  • [[From the Ashes]] and [[Wave of Vitrol]] may look like non-basic land hate, but in our deck, they are ways to get tons of landfall triggers. With lord windgrace out, if we have 3 non basics in play, we can get 3 basics from our effect then -2 Windgrace for 5 triggers at once, which is conservative. 5 4/4 baloths? 5 5/5 elementals? Seems pretty sweet to me.
  • Speaking of baloths, [[Rampaging Baloths]], [[Zendikar’s Roil]], [[Seed the Land]], and [[Sporemound]] are great ways to make lots of creatures from all our landfall triggers.
  • [[From Under the Floorboards]] is one of my favorites cards for this deck- we ramp a ton, get Windgrace out, discard FUTF to draw a card, and create a truckload of zombies. Basically a White Sun Zenith.
    • These are some cool utility lands in the deck: [[Dakmor Salvage]], [[Drownyard Temple]], [[Geothermal Crevice]], and [[Haunted Fengraf]]. Two of the best lands we can use are [[Myriad Landscape]] and [[Blighted Woodland]], each giving us recurable tools to keep pumping out lands.
  • The last few crucial cards are [[Splendid Reclamation]], [[Ramunap Excavator]], [[Mina and Denn, Wildborn]], and [[Borborygmos, Enraged]]. Each is doing super powerful stuff on their own, and once paired with other pieces of the deck can get out of hand quickly.

Nice short deck breakdown today! Any crucial cards I missed? Deck look cool? Do I need more team pump? I think most of the time we just get there with 5/5s and 4/4s, but I could be wrong. Maybe I should have included more of Gitrog’s combos…

submitted by /u/LicensedMagician to r/BudgetBrews
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Feb
16
2019

Totally Not the Second Episode (Thousand-Year Storm)

Happy Saturday r/EDH 🙂

After being sick as a dog for most of the week, I’m surprised that this came together at all, but I took a stab at some real video editing in my latest flick (uh oh).

[[Thousand-Year Storm]] is a sweet mythic from Guilds of Ravnica, and it’s spawned one of my favourite decks to play. In today’s video I detail some cheap ($$/cmc) ways to get the most out of it, and hope to give you some interesting things to think about. Thanks!

https://youtu.be/uvsJglY8-0Q

The full list is available here: https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/thaw-banana/

submitted by /u/LaurentianOfficial to r/EDH
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Feb
14
2019

[The Spike Feeders] S2E7 – Mono = One, and Colour = Colour

S2E7 is a game of cEDH using only mono-coloured commanders! Click here to watch it.

Decklists

Jim: KSai

Eliot: Naru Meha’s Infinite Bounce House

Jan: Wake Me Up Before You Godo

Bill: Omnath High Tide. Huge thanks to /u/Tartaras1 for this sweet decklist!

Critical Decisions

In this section we like to provide a little more context behind the decisions we make in the game. This section contains spoilers, so go watch the video before you keep reading!

6:00 Bill casts [[Rites of Flourishing]]. If you read Tartaras’ primer for the deck, mana doublers play a prominent role. Was this the right time to slam it down?

6:54 Eliot casts Mystic Remora. You see throughout the rest of the game that this was an excellent time to play it, because the rest of the guys seem perfectly content to let him draw cards. If you were in Jan’s, Jim’s, or Bill’s position, which Mystic Remora draws might you have avoided?

28:53 Eliot chooses to draw his entire deck while shortcutting his loop. Jim makes a point of drawing attention to this, because having an empty library before Labroatory Maniac hits the field briefly puts Eliot in a vulnerable position if anyone can make him draw a card. Now, given that Eliot has 80+ cards in his hand it’s unlikely that anyone at the table can resolve a spell, but sometimes bluffing like this can throw people off their game enough to make sequencing errors.

Did we miss anything here? Let us know in the comments below!

Socials

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TheSpikeFeeders

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thespikefeeders

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thespikefeeders

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thespikefeeders

Discord: https://discord.gg/wzbZEzq

Our Sponsor

Fusion Gaming supports us – go show them some love!

submitted by /u/chefsati to r/CompetitiveEDH
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Feb
07
2019

[The Spike Feeders] S2E6 – A Box of Your Own Design

S2E6 of The Spike Feeders is comin’ in hot!

Today’s a special day in The Spike Feeders universe, and I’d like to start things off with a story. Way back in August of 2018 when we started filming Season 1, Jan frequently played a [[Mishra, Artificer Prodigy]] deck that had a tendency to draw games out – especially if I was playing my [[Nin, the Pain Artist]] stax deck at the same table. Our first go at recording a game with Mishra at the table went for over 2 1/2 hours and filled up the tiny little SD card that came with our overhead camera, so we scrapped the game and Jan decided that Circu had a more robust win condition.

Folks on our Discord have been prodding Jan to dust on Mishra for an episode, and his day in the sun has come!

Decklists

Jan: Mishra Stax

Eliot: Consultation Kess

Jim: Kambal White Nauseam

Bill: Najeela Flash Hulk

Critical Decisions

As always, we reserve this section for the points during the game where critical decisions were made. This section contains spoilers. Go watch the episode before you keep reading!

3:43 Jan casts [[Nether Void]]. I’ve actually written an article about situations like this: The Metaworker – Who Does This Benefit?. Jan is on his way to MagicFest Toronto at the moment and is unavailable for comment, but I think his rationale was that he thought he could make his third land drop and cast Mishra much sooner than he did.

12:04 and various: Bill focuses on attacking Jan with Najeela, eventually knocking him out of the game first. If you were in Bill’s shoes, how would you have divided damage?

15:32: Jim casts [[Abolish]] targeting [[Survival of the Fittest]]. Jim mentions an alternate line that involves Abolishing one of his own mana rocks to enable a [[Fatal Push]] later in the turn. Were there any other lines Jim could have taken?

17:48: The card that Eliot drew was [[Doomsday]]. What would you have done in Eliot’s position?

19:00: Jim hints that he doesn’t actually know when the optimal time to activate [[Aetherflux Reservoir]]. He ends up using it to get rid of the [[Zulaport Cutthroat]], but there might have been a better time to do it. Thoughts?

19:21: Bill topdecks [[Protean Hulk]]. If he hadn’t, did he have any lines that would enable an immediate win?

MagicFest Toronto

If you’re at MagicFest Toronto this weekend, be on the lookout for our very own Jan de Vlaming! He is judging at the event and will likely get in at least one game of Commander.

Socials

Patreon

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Discord

Our Sponsor

Fusion Gaming supports us. Go show them some love!

submitted by /u/chefsati to r/CompetitiveEDH
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Feb
05
2019

A Hero bo1 needs

submitted by /u/TheVindicareAssassin to r/magicTCG [link] [comments]

Feb
02
2019

Trying to build an Arcum deck, please give feedback (Budget currently does not optimal mana rocks atm)

https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/26-01-19-arcum-dagsson/

So I am still new to CEDH and assembled this deck based on my own research. As a result, I think I put a lot of sub optimal pieces in the deck. As a result I feel the deck is really janky in at least one aspect, maybe it doesn’t have enough protection? Not sure…… any help would be appreciated as to what exactly I may be doing wrong. As the title states, my budget does not currently include some of the more optimal mana rocks like Mana Crypt/Mox Opal/Mox Diamond/etc.
Main win cons are Rings/Monolith, Power Artifact combo or Metalworker/Staff of Domination combo if that doesn’t work.

submitted by /u/DragonicStar to r/CompetitiveEDH
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Feb
01
2019

[Primer] Tymna and Kraum’s Midrange Ad Nauseam Divergent Transformations

Tymna and Kraum’s Divergence

What is midrange in cEDH?

​ In short, Midrange decks focus on value and card advantage, disruption, and an efficient way to win. Win conditions tend to require (a) as few cards as possible and that (b) individual cards have a use outside of winning the game. This is the essence of “card quality,” with each card chosen for maximum impact and for fitting in lockstep with other card choices, synergies, and functions.

​ TKD supports these goals by having several draw engines in addition to the double-general powerhouse. About 1/3 of the deck is Instants and we include a comprehensive suite of 25 pieces of interaction via targeted/mass removal (12), disrupting stax (2), and countermagic (12). A one-card tutor that wins on resolution is the namesake card, Divergent Transformations (DT) to find our targets as a clear way to plan winning lines in addition to the powerful Ad Nauseam lines.

​ Threatening to win via a single card combo is a powerful aspect of the deck that forces opponents to adjust their play styles. After initial disruption, opponents are often on the back-foot, torn between trying to recover and holding up their own disruption as the midrange deck threatens to win.

​ One powerful example of a synergistic package of individually powerful cards includes the stax piece Counterbalance and its supporting ensemble. Counterbalance works extremely well with topdeck manipulation such as tutors, Sensei’s Divining Top, Scroll Rack, Necropotence, and even draw engines like Mystic Remora and Kraum. With a draw engine, unpredictability ensues, with fresh shots to free-counter spells when opponents “test the waters” to see the top card and try to play around it. Scroll Rack also synergizes with shuffle effects, lots of card draw engines, Ad Nauseam, and refreshes the library for Niv Mizzet. Every card in the package plays multiple roles that collectively empower one another. ​

Why the choice of generals, you ask?

​ Tymna and Kraum both generate turn-after-turn no-mana-required card advantage or make opponents to play around their abilities. ​ Having partners also means we can have a one-card combo in Divergent Transformations for Niv Mizzet Parun (NivMP) and Tandem Lookout with only our two generals (more on this below) without needing any other cards to get there. ​

Why Divergent Transformations?

​ When built around correctly, DT (Divergent Transformations) can be played as an instant-speed win for 3R. Ultimately, this is the reason to play and craft a deck around the card and strategy. However, DT has three serious limitations in that it: ​ * Requires 2 creatures to “transform” away * Puts exactly 2 creatures into play on resolution * Limits deck construction to only 2 creatures in the entire 98/99

​ To enable DT, we have a combination of: ​ * Partner generals * Blinkmoth Nexus * Smuggler’s Copter * Token-producing utility cards * Mnemonic Betrayal and Reanimate (for opponent’s creatures)

These resilient and otherwise useful cards also provide (mostly evasion) bodies to generate card draw with Tymna. ​ Our targets are NivMP and Tandem Lookout. Once soulbonded they create a loop, triggered any time their controller draws a card -OR- when ANY player casts an instant or sorcery spell:

Draw –> Ping opponent –> Draw… and so on until opponents are dead (with ways to refresh your library as needed). ​

Why these creatures over other DT options? ​ * Compactness – only two cards (the creature targets) are required to win, meaning no need to dedicate any more card slots to win conditions. * Efficiency – the NivMP and Tandem Lookout often win without even needing additional mana via our draw step. * Utility – Tandem Lookout is virtually a second Tymna and has great synergy with her and tokens. * Flexibility – NivMP is also an outlet for Isochron Scepter and (while very difficult to cast) NivMP also produces a lot of card advantage and represents a way to clear out small creatures even without Tandem Lookout. ​

The MAN (Midrange Ad Nauseam) Plan

​ Ad Nauseam, Paradox Engine and Isochron Scepter respectively also provide another axis on which to play and win. Without delving into to much detail, these cards form the backbone of many cEDH powerhouse decks, including almost every Storm deck, an entire archetype of Midrange Ad Nauseam decks in all colors and a wide array of Paradox-Scepter Thrasios decks. They all require having a low mana curve, non-land permanents to produce mana, and a spell that can double as a way to win when repeatedly cast (e.g. Winds of Rebuke or Swan Song). ​ It is worth noting that unlike Thrasios decks, producing infinite mana does not deterministically win here. Often, those combos pair up with or follow Ad Nauseam (or another turor, draw, outlet, or combo piece). This fits into the strategy of having many card draw engines and focusing on disruption while creating a consistent flow of card draw. ​

Metagames: Where does Tymna and Kraum’s Divergence fit?

​ Midrange decks like this generally fare well in unknown or open environments as they are flexible and can shift roles during games depending on the situation. ​ In particular, we do excel against decks that rely on creatures, as Thrasios Tymna decks often do as well as opponents like Chain Veil Teferi, Food Chain Taziri, and Midrange Consultation LabMan decks that can win through most disruptive stax pieces played in other hate-bear or midrange decks. Having a way to win that is not reliant on our life total means having more options when getting beat down by opponents. ​

Brief Thanks

/u/Bigpoppawags aka Lilbrudder who has been an amazing collaborator, tirelessly testing many individual cards and builds for DT MAN decks and to the Midrange Ad Nauseam (MAN) discord for your engagement, feedback, tweaking and testing both this version and my/our other crazy ideas. ​ Feel free to check out the decklist for a full primer, credits, and other builds and versions of Divergent MAN decks! ​

TL;DR

​ Lots of card and mana advantage engines, instant kill, high card quality and density of disruption. Few if any “dead” cards (i.e. are only useful to win with but do nothing else).

​ Divergent Transformations owns games. Niv Mizzet Parun is a boss and Tandem Lookout is Tymna’s lost sibling.

​ There’s always a winning line, you just haven’t found it… yet.

Edits: Formatting

submitted by /u/ShadowMizzix to r/CompetitiveEDH
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Jan
28
2019

Competitive EDH Staple Budget Analysis Pt. 1 (Jan 2019 Edition)

Introduction

Hey everybody! Dan here, bringing you another look at the competitive EDH meta, this time through a different lens, and with a different data source. While in previous posts I’ve worked with the Conglomerate, this time I decided to utilize AverageDragon’s excellent Decklist Database, which is a more inclusive resource. I figured this would give a broader perspective on the data I’m pulling for analysis.

So just what am I analyzing? Well, I went and dumped every one of the 53 decklists in the Primary Database. All 5300 cards (which actually ended up being 5301 cards, confusing the hell outta me). From there, I pruned out any cards with only the land type, as this post is going to focus on the nonlands in the format. If this is anything resembling well received, I’ll also cover lands at another point. After cutting the lands, I had a pile of around 3200 or so nonlands played across the 53 most prevalent cEDH decks. Here is where some analysis began. I talked to a few people, and decided on what I specifically will be using as my definition of staple in this post. A staple is a card that is playing in at least 25% of decks in which it is legally allowed to be played. So first, I had to determine the amount of decks in each color identity so that I could figure out what my threshold would be. As there are 53 decks, that means cards without a color identity had to meet or exceed 13 copies in my dataset. Table 1 shows the specifics for this exercise.

 

Color Deck Number Population Threshold
White 23 6
Blue 38 10
Black 41 10
Red 22 6
Green 35 9
Colorless 53 13

Table 1. The population threshold for a card to be considered a staple in this investigation.

 

Applying this baseline, I pruned my dataset even further, down to what I will be calling the staples of competitive EDH. If you’re interesting in the data itself, for your own analysis, I will link both the staple list and the staple list including population numbers.

So what does that leave us with? It leaves us with almost 2400 cards, among them exactly 107 unique nonland cards, and a Dryad Arbor, ruining everything since 2007. From here, we move on to the Meat and Eggs.

Prevalence

We have a pile of cards. Now what do we do with it? The first thing I was curious about was the relative amount of play each of these things we are calling staples gets. They’re all equally staple, but are some more equal than others? As it turns out, yes. Yes, some are. So get a nice handy metric for this, I decided to make a ‘prevalence’ column in Excel, which is merely the individual cards population in my dataset divided by the amount of decks it is playable in. Or, on other words, Column 3 divided by Column 2, from Table 1. To start, let’s look at Figure 1, which is a pie chart showing the color breakdown of all staples in cEDH.

Figure 1. A breakdown of the color of cEDH Staples

Primarily a figure of Blue, Black, and Green with some healthy attempts at plurality by both Colorless and Multicolored identity staples. While this is a BUG dominating format, staple presence at all is a metric that is inherently normalized by color presence. So if BUG cards still dominate the staple list, what does that imply? To me, it indicates a centralization of those three colors. Sure, there is some amount of variety in strategy, but the bulk cards themselves don’t significantly change in one way or another. This is most likely due to the relatively higher format power level that those colors allow (Green mana dorks, Black tutors, Blue counterspells and draw spells). So if the colors allow the best cards for the format, you’re going to be inclined to play that same core over and over, modifying the remaining 20% of the deck slots to accommodate the specifics of your gameplan.

So with this information in mind, let’s take a look at the cards with 100% occurrence in all decks they could be played in.

Table 2. cEDH Staples with 100% presence in decks they are legal in

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume no one reading this with reasonable format familiarity will be surprised by these cards. The Black Tutor SuiteTM is one of the most powerful packages allowed to be played. Mana Crypt is frequently called out in ban discussions, Noble Hierarch is the best mana dork ever printed, and the rest are so ubiquitous you’ve probably never played a game without seeing most of them. Of note, there are no Red cards in this list. Moving on to the next section, we may gain some more insight.

Table 3. cEDH Staples with 99% – 75% presence in decks they are legal in

Ah, Sol Ring. One of many instances of Animar messing up otherwise relatively consistent data. Otherwise, this is yet another pile of cards you can expect to see in all ‘normal’ decks. There will be slight amounts of deviation due to corner cases, such as Animar not having any real need for colorless mana ramp that costs them mana, or Edric not running Brainstorm for whatever reason Edric isn’t running Brainstorm. For completion, please find below Tables 3 and 4 containing the rest of these staples, broken down by prevalence. I’m skipping past discussing the rest because this is primarily aimed at the next section.

Table 4. cEDH Staples with 74% – 50% presence in decks they are legal in

Table 5. cEDH Staples with 49% – 24% presence in decks they are legal in*
*I said initially 25% was my cutoff, but due to some rounding shenanigans, a couple that met my criteria hit on 24% prevalence.

Budget

Figure 2. A breakdown of cEDH Staples by cost

Well damn. That’s not half bad, actually. 42 staples are under $3. And only 17 total more than $50. Obviously lands drop kick you on that front, but that’s another topic for another time. Lets start by looking at the top cost bracket to see if there’s anything that is really backbreaking to lose.

Table 6. cEDH Staples with above $100 cost

First obvious one is Timetwister. At an order of magnitude more in price than anything else on this list, Timetwister really hurts. It is the backbone of ‘Twister loops’ which are the preeminent wincon in multiple cEDH decks. Fortunately, Memory’s Journey or Krosan Reclamation are capable of replacing it for around the entire cost less. So that one has budget replacements.

Lion’s Eye Diamond is another key element to a common cEDH combo in ‘Bomberman’ in which it is recurred by Auriok Salvagers to produce unbounded quantities of colored mana. This combo does not have any effective replacement pieces for Lions Eye Diamond, meaning that without significant financial investment, the Bomberman combo is off the table.

Finally, Grim Monolith still occasionally is enchanted with a Power Artifact to enable it to untap for less mana than it produces by tapping. For this combo, Basalt Monolith is capable of replicating the effect, allowing a slightly slower variant to take the place. The rest of this list is simply the most efficient ramp artifacts, tutors, and counterspells that are also fairly scarce in number. Nothing that isn’t replaceable with slightly subpar but significantly cheaper options. Moving on to Table 7, we will look at the $100-$50 bracket.

Table 7. cEDH Staples with $100-$50 cost

First up is Wheel of Fortune, a card with many solidly awkward replacements in color like, Wheel of Fate, Molten Psyche, and Reforge the Soul. Luckily, Wheel itself isn’t a crucial piece of any deck, simply serving as a powerful draw effect that has tangential benefits over another similar spell. This is something entirely replaceable, either in line or with the ‘101st card’ depending on the deck in question.

Next we have Survival of the Fittest. While cards like Fauna Shaman exist, they aren’t actually 1 to 1 replacements, due to the easily repeatable nature of Survival. Being able to ‘Survival Chain’ to fill a graveyard before using the final creature in the chain to win is a large part of why Survival sees play and Fauna Shaman sees none. In addition, summoning sickness rules the shaman out from any real consideration. Fortunately, Survival of the Fittest doesn’t fill a crucial role in any deck it is played in, simply acting as a powerful strategy accelerator. This is a card that we should not try to directly replace, and simply move on to the next best card we could include, within a different category.

Yawgmoth’s Will is the first card in this category that is similarly irreplaceable to Lion’s Eye Diamond, and often in similar ways. Doomsday, while continuing to fall out of favor, is still a very powerful Magic card, but without access to Lion’s Eye Diamond and Yawgmoth’s will, it is relegated to fringe combos with Reanimate piles or Worldgorger piles as the typically powerful Gush/LED/YawgWill piles are excluded. Mnemonic Betrayal is a card that one might draw parallels to with Yawgmoth’s Will, but I find that, while powerful, it is entirely different in practice. Being unable to set yourself up with Doomsday style effects, or chaining Black tutors from your yard into a win pushes Betrayal into a late game denial/draw effect instead of a pseudo combo piece. This is a card, that if priced out, will incline you away from gameplans like Doomsday in UBx as there isn’t a realistic way to recover the effect.

While painful to lose, cards like Mana Drain, Dark Confidant, Noble Hierarch, Gilded Drake, Vampiric Tutor, and Intuition serve supporting roles in every deck they exist in. They provide speed, consistency, and card quality more than most, but are not linchpins to any particular combos or interactions that a deck requires to be competitive. Mana Drain can be replaced with a Spell Pierce or a Negate or whichever counterspell you didn’t have room for before. Dark Confidant can either become a Night’s Whisper or some next-best card advantage creature, Hierarch can become another mana dork or rock or cantrip, and so on. Exactly how you replace each of these cards will change depending on your strategy, but they are all strictly replaceable.

Table 8. cEDH Staples with $49 to $10 cost

Bloom Tender jumps out at the top of the list as a combo piece that ought to be examined. Bloom Tender when used in conjunction with Freed From the Real allows you to produce unbounded non-Blue mana. This has become one of the mana options people will play in Tasigur or Thrasios decks, as Bloom Tender is an excellent mana dork on its own, so Freed From the Real is the only “bad” card you need to play to go off with it. Currently, the best replacement for it is likely the recently printed Incubation Druid, from RNA. This isn’t a great replacement, as it’s two mana to cast, but has to be activated, most likely by using the Adapt ability for a whopping 5 mana, to be able to combo with Freed From the Real and similar effects. But, it’s also around $34 cheaper than the $38 Tender, so that’s not too bad. Unlike most of the other cards mentioned thus far, Blood Tender is actually ripe for a reprint sometime soon, so don’t expect this price to stick around for toooooo much longer.

Copy Artifact is the next card on this list that sticks out to me as crucial. Being able to Copy Artifact an Isochron Scepter gives you a win outlet with cards like Swan Song in a similar way to Paradox Engine. This is the most efficient card for the purpose, and is typically played alongside cards like Paradox Engine that enable you to go off without a command zone outlet. There are cards like Sculpting Steel and Mizzium Transreliquat that provide similar effects for higher mana costs, so if you want redundancy at a budget level, you can still get it here.

Sensei’s Divining Top is next, as another card that loves Isochron Scepter and Paradox Engine. Being able to stack Top activations to draw your deck is an effect that is sort of replicated by anything from a Jayemdae Tome to a Temple Bell, but unfortunately they all kind of suck. Top is good because it’s 1 cmc, and it lets you filter draws, and it can win with good cards. Losing this effect due to budget wouldn’t incline me to moving to an in line replacement, so this is another card to just replace with something different.

Paradox Engine is more than $5??? When does this all happen. I blink and every price I had in my head is irrelevant. This one is functionally irreplaceable as well. If you can’t get Paradox Engine, you can’t do a pile of shenanigans with Scepter, meaning you need to have a command zone outlet, or a Copy Artifact replacement, to be able to really win without meaningful setup. If you need to slot out Paradox Engine, you need to take a close look at your win lines and make sure they’re tight enough to be effective. Losing it does help your Ad Naus though…

None of the rest of this section is really all that important. They’re excellent cards to have, but they are replaceable with similar effects or cantrips without too much loss, individually. At some point you obviously downgrade a deck enough that it no longer becomes competitive, but we’re working on a budget, which often drives a deck closer to High Power than Competitive, despite being functional in both power levels. As before, for completeness I’ll display the cards between $9 and $3 and the cards less than $3 in Tables 9 and 10, respectively.

Table 9. cEDH Staples with $9 to $4 cost

Table 10. cEDH Staples with less than $3 cost

Down here we start running into quite a few irreplaceable spells as well, like Isochron Scepter, Protean Hulk, Notion Thief, Leonin Relic-Warder, and Demonic Consulation. Luckily, even the cheapest builds can afford to be running cards in this price range, so we don’t really need to concern ourselves with replacing them.

Conclusions

So what has been the point of all of this? That’s a great question. All I’ve really done so far is showed you what I call staples, and thrown some tables and graphs up on a reddit post. Well, I did all of this as background work for what is going to be my next post. I just got enough interesting information out of it that I figured it warranted some discussion of it’s own. There is a major perception of cEDH being a format where you’re priced out if you can’t drop $2000+ on a deck, and that’s just not true. Yes, decreasing budget and using weaker and cheaper substitutes for expensive cards will decrease your decks power level. But for many of these decks, the majority of the cost is in just a few cards that can be replaced. Let’s look at Chain Veil Teferi. Right now, Sigi’s list is averaging $7300. $7300 is a fucking huge amount of money for a game piece. What if we cut just two cards? Timetwister and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. Neither is required to be able to win, though Stroke of Genius also realistically has to turn into Blue Sun’s Zenith with this swap. Removing those two from the deck and replacing them with cantrips or whatever turns the deck price tag from $7300 into $1860. So by replacing the two most expensive cards, we have removed 75% of the cost of the deck. Obviously not every deck is going to have this kind of cost density, but between Timetwister and Underground Sea and Gaea’s Cradle, many decks will have similar quickswaps that get us down a significant portion of the cost without giving up more than a grossly speculative 5-10% win rate.

This kind of replacement has been something I’ve done quite a bit of with my prior budget deck posts, and it has been well received. But now, I want to try moving in a different direction. I want to start making more tools that will allow people to make their own budget decks with ease. To that end, I have started analyzing the staples of the format, and will be building budget packages similar to the budget deck Cores and the [archetype] Cores from some of my previous posts. I’ll be doing something similar for manabases as well, so eventually you should be able to take pieces from a variety of posts and just shuffle them up, slot in 10-15 more cards, and have a budget cEDH all for yourself without significant effort.

This is a fantastic format, but buyouts and general reprint fear from WotC has been increasingly pricing people out of it. Proxies are not always an option for players, for any number of reasons, so the best way we can help grow it is by providing as many tools as possible for people to make decks that can compete as best as possible within much more achievable means. Thanks for reading, please let me know if you think this is worth doing, and I’ll see you next time with my first post working on budget card packages for cEDH.

-Dan

submitted by /u/djmoneghan to r/EDH
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Jan
23
2019

[Contest] Tutor in the Command Zone?

Commander: [[Disciple of Deceit]] Price: $46.39 (MTGGoldfish) Decklist Goal Assemble a 3-part combo: [[Peregrine Drake]] OR [[Cloud of Faeries]]+[[High Tide]] [[Ghostly Flicker]] OR [[Displace]] [[Archaeomancer]] OR [[Mnemonic Wall]] OR [[Salvager of…

Jan
08
2019

Hulk lines with Fledon. I finally did it!

This took so much time to figure out. I have been working on Hulk lines using Feldon of the third path. I think I got something now.

The reason I wanna use Feldon is that I wanna replace Karmic guide and Viscera seer (we need a sac outlet later on (but a better ONE!)). All I really need is hast and dorks. But also if Protean Hulk is inside my grave Feldon can get the trigger if he is in play. Something of a reanimator style. Karmic guide can’t do that. It only brings it into play, but don’t kill it.

So how is this done? Currently, I have found a lot of different lines. But let’s start with this one.

Flash – hulk: 2 mana spent. 1) we find Feldon biomancers familiar and Torch currier 1 cost hast outlet for Feldon. Because of Biomancers passive ability, Fledons ability only cost 1 red mana. Pay that and bring the hulk back into action as a token.

3 mana spent total. This is all the mana we need I promise.

Now proceed to end step because the token will die and give us the second hulk trigger.

Now we need two things. A sac outlet and something that untaps feldon.

Find: Qurion ranger and Dryad arbor for Fledon untap. Then Birchlore Rangers. We can now tap 2 elves to get 1 mana. Now find two more 1 cost elves. This leaves 2 CMC left for anything that is a sac outlet.

My pick is: Dark dweller oracle. Because we got two more elves we have the mana to sac a creature. Now just bring the hulk back and sac it once more.

From here there is a lot of more things you can do. I will leave you to figure out something. I usually find Spellseeker that gives me Dramatic reversal and 3 more whatever 1 cost dorks for more mana.

Cast that spell to untapp everything and bring back the hulk once more.

Notice that everything we have done is in Temur color identity. No white or black.

In any case, I showcase this Hulk line in a youtube video. The video is actually about Biomancers familiar. A review for that card. Take a look if you are interested and tell me what you think. Currently, my mind is working on more Feldon stuff.

https://youtu.be/Odk7QgKoR84

submitted by /u/cEDH_TV to r/CompetitiveEDH
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Jan
08
2019

New EDH player in Münster

Hi guys, I recently moved to Münster (Germany) and I’m looking for a new EDH group. I’ve been playing for nearly 3 years and just like casual groups with a semi competitive spirit. If there is anyone out their who is part of a playgroup or knows about one, please contact me. Thanks a lot.

submitted by /u/Spark1986 to r/EDH
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Jan
02
2019

[RNA] Hydroid Krasis

submitted by /u/TechnomagusPrime to r/magicTCG [link] [comments]

Dec
28
2018

[The Spike Feeders] Q&A Episode 1

Our very first Q&A video just went live!

At the end of November we asked the community for questions that they’d like to see answered on our show. Between our Discord, Twitter, and our subscribers on Youtube, about 45 thought-provoking questions came in. We took our sweet time answering them and editing the video during our time off, and answered all of them!

The video description contains a timestamped list of all the questions that we address in the video.

What do you think?

Is this something we should do on a regular basis? Going forward, we’re thinking about doing this more frequently (every few weeks) with fewer questions in each episode. Do you like the format, or do you have any recommendations on how we can do this better? Let us know!

Your answers

Do you think we were way off on any of these questions? Do you have a better answer? Comment and let us know!

Your questions

If you have any questions that you’d like to see us answer in the next video, feel free to leave them here. We will also be posting on Youtube when we’re ready to start gathering questions for the next video.

Season 2 starting soon!

We’re just wrapping up the last few things we needed to do during our break, and ramping up for Season 2! Subscribe to us on Youtube to get notified when our season premiere drops this coming Thursday, January 3, 2019!


Hit us up on social media

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TheSpikeFeeders

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thespikefeeders

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thespikefeeders

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thespikefeeders

Discord: https://discord.gg/RfN62pS

submitted by /u/chefsati to r/CompetitiveEDH
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Dec
26
2018

The Great Cthulhu EDH

So, since I was given an artist proof of [[Wrexial, the Risen Deep]] for Christmas, I decided that the only sensible thing to do is to make a new deck around it, and the best unique idea I could come up with is a Lovecraftian themed deck, helmed by none other than the Great Old One himself. Ideas on how to proceed? I’m hoping for as lovecraftian as possible. Things like [[Ancient Excavation]] and [[Extract from Darkness]] . Give me your best mind-bending horrors!

submitted by /u/Onihanta to r/EDH
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Dec
22
2018

Now is a great time to be brewing/playing, so please stop arguing about Gush/Foil bans

Guys, I think we’re in the most brew-friendly period I’ve seen since 2 years ago post-Drake. The meta is shifting rapidly, there are new cards and new top decks popping up frequently, and the recent most popular deck (UBxd) is interactive, tricky to play with and against, and very beatable. So please, let’s stop arguing about Gush/Foil bans, and just start brewing/playing. If you don’t take this chance to brew, I’m pretty sure you won’t find things to be easier if a Gush ban somehow does occur (which I would definitely be against). You know, if there’s one thing that is truly stopping people from brewing, it’s not Gush/Foil — but the (mistaken) belief that the format is somehow broken. Stop thinking that way, and discover how great the format is right now :).

Speaking of UBxd, the thing to keep in mind is that as mana efficient as Daze, Foil, Snuff Out, and Gurmag are, they are just 1-for-1s. You aren’t losing if you get Dazed, Foiled, or Snuffed Out — you’re just trading. Gurmag isn’t like Mulldrifter, Ninja, or Skyfisher where using removal means you’re down cards — if you play clean answers to Gurmag, it’s again, just a 1-for-1. If you play enough 2-for-1s and clean answers to Gurmag, UBxd will trade all their cards into you, and you’ll very likely win the topdeck war afterwards. (Or just play things like flashback cards that are very difficult for UB Delver to trade with.) UBxd also gives you plenty of time to run your gameplan. I don’t think they are even favored to have Angler on turn 3, and Angler is extremely easy to chump. You have plenty of time to play out your cards, and just keep in mind: if you get Dazed, Foiled, or Snuffed Out, they’re not winning, it’s just a trade (or worse for UBxd).

submitted by /u/kungfutrees to r/Pauper
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Dec
12
2018

18th place seems suspiciously familiar…

submitted by /u/hexarin to r/Pauper [link] [comments]

Dec
11
2018

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain – [Spike Feeders $75 Contest Deck]

Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain - [Spike Feeders $75 Contest Deck]

Commander: [[Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain]]

Deck Price: $73.60 (Commander Excluded) as of 12/11/2018 (See image at bottom of post)

https://i.redd.it/ppgbib6gpp321.jpg

Deck List: https://decks.tcgplayer.com/magic/commander/the-commander-s-quarters/jhoira–weatherlight-captain—-spike-feeders–75-contest-deck/1343015?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=sponsorship&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=commanders-quarters

$25 Version Budget Deck Tech Guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dprTZiy3QSA

So this is an upgraded version of my Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain deck. Out of all the decks I have built so far on the channel, I would say that this one is probably the most competitive. I rarely pull it out when playing with my playgroup because it can go off too quickly. Technically it can win on turn 3 but you need to perfect opening hand to do so. Generally it goes off on turn 5 or 6 at the very latest.

Strategy

Get Jhoira out as quickly as possible (turn 2 or 3 is ideal), and then cast a ton of free or reduced cost artifacts. Artifact costs will be reduced by cards like [[Etherium Sculptor]], [[Foundry Inspector]], [[Semblance Anvil]], etc. We are running a ton of mana rocks in this deck to generate a lot of mana very quickly as well.

How do we win?

Storm off with our cantripping artifacts. Make sure you draw into gas with cards like [[Artificer’s Assistant]], [[Riddlesmith]], and [[Mana Severance]]. Return artifacts back to your hand to cast them again with [[Displacement Wave]], [[Retract]], and [[Hurkyl’s Recall]]. Finish your opponents off with [[Golem Foundry]], [[Aetherflux Reservoir]], or [[Temporal Fissure]].

Pricing on MTG Goldfish:

https://i.redd.it/t5r8fa59gp321.png

submitted by /u/myersmc16 to r/BudgetBrews
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Dec
11
2018

Extra Turns #02 w/ DJ, Kyle Hill, and Ashlen Rose

submitted by /u/tlamy to r/magicTCG [link] [comments]

Dec
11
2018

Extra Turns #02 w/ DJ, Kyle Hill and Ashlen Rose l Commander Gameplay l Magic: The Gathering EDH – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bva8rOrKiVA

It’s time for another epic Commander battle! Josh is facing off against DJ (Jumbo Commander on YouTube), Kyle Hill (Because Science on YouTube) and MTG Cosplayer Ashlen Rose. It’s Roon vs Akiri & Tymna vs The Locust God vs Oona, Queen of the Fae.

submitted by /u/ahipikr to r/EDH
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Dec
08
2018

TIL Nevinyrral’s Disk is Larry Nivens disk spelled backwards

submitted by /u/jyper to r/magicTCG [link] [comments]

Dec
07
2018

Budget Commander: Niv-Mizzet, Parun

Hey everyone! It’s been a while but I’m back with a new article and video:

Budget Commander: Niv-Mizzet, Parun

The video highlights the goal of the deck and highlights key cards in the brew, while the article goes more in-depth with lots more card options to choose from.

[[Niv-Mizzet, Parun]] is the strongest version of the Izzet guildmaster yet, and as an Izzet/Niv fanboy this made me very excited to brew with him! This brew is extra special since it was made in collaboration with the fine folks at Laboratory Maniacs. Check out our live brew for the high-powered budgetless version of the deck!

submitted by /u/SpiketailDrake to r/EDH
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Dec
07
2018

Jeskai Saheeli Primer

Oren Lagziel (Lagzilla) shares his thoughts, tips, and side boarding strategies for Jeskai Saheeli after a respectable finish at SCG Baltimore. Seems pretty strong. What do you think? https://www.cardknocklife.com/modern-jeskai-saheeli-primer/ s…

Dec
05
2018

Day[9] vs. Kari Byron | Magic: The Gathering: Spellsingers | Season 5, Episode 6

submitted by /u/DreamyPants to r/magicTCG [link] [comments]

Nov
29
2018

GRN Guild Kits, how balanced they are?

I’m planning to import the whole set and they would be priced at relatively more than US unfortunately, but I’m okay with that. My only concern is how balanced they are in terms of gameplay?

submitted by /u/azgaroux to r/magicTCG
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