Game #28 : The Reaper King

Game #28 : The Reaper King

Date: 2013-06-01

Location: A friend’s house in Baltimore, MD vs: Voltron (custom deck)

Result: Fun Loss

Reaper KingVSVoltron Defender of the Universe

One of the best thing about casual formats is that you can play homemade cards. I’m totally for it (as long as the cards are made with the spirit of the format in mind, and are basically balanced (or unbalanced towards being worse)).  My friend built an actual Voltron voltron deck that is full of custom cards.   I decided to pit my WUBRG robot vs. his.

I started out with 3 lands, two of which were Lairs, and had to do A LOT of land tricks to get a manabase going.  I had  Lord of the Unreal, Diamond Kaleidoscope and a Crystal Ball to help out a bit.

Reaper king hit the board, but got destroyed, and I was stuck on 40 lands for quite a bit of time, all the while being milled by Voltron with a Sword of Body and Mind.  I tried to get out both Spirit Mirror (for changeling trickery), but it was Krosan Gripped. I got out Reaper King again, and was able to destroy the Sword, but my Runed Stalactite was also destroyed.

Voltron had all his Lions out, and I eventually died to a big General Damage swing.

It was an uphill battle the whole way, but it was a lot of fun.

About the Deck ( The goal here was to exploit Changelings and Lord-style creatures. Since there’s no uber-changeling, I went with the most fun (and affordable) 5-color legend that acts in a lordly way.  This deck is the only 5C deck where I only run a single basic land of each type.  Runed Stalactite on the Reaper King is usually a good play.

BONUS: Voltron’s Team Continue reading


Game #27 : Squee, Goblin Nabob

Game #27 : Squee, Goblin Nabob
Date: 2013-06-01
Location: A friend’s house in Baltimore, MD
vs: The Sorcerer Supreme (custom card)
Result: Fun Win

Squee Goblin NabobVSSorcerer Supreme

I played this 1v1 game against my friend’s custom 4-color general, Dr. Stephen Strange, The Sorcerer Supreme.  The deck was based around pingers. Since EDH is a casual format, I have no issues with people playing with custom/homemade cards as long as they are fun, and this one is.  To add the the fun, we played random planechase as well.

I started with a 2 land hand, that also had swords of Ice, Fire, Feast and Famine.  Nephalia was our setting, so after dropping a land and a Golem’s Gauntlets, I milled away several creatures.  We both ended up milling for a total of 14, and then we hit the Draw-4 phenomena as we moved to the Great Forest.

I was able to get an Empyrial Plate and a Sword of Feast and Famine on the board.  Dr. Strange had a Zhur-Taa Druid, but it got destroyed by the wrath of god Phenomenon as we planeswalked to the Grand Ossuary.

I stuck Squee and suited him up, but he got killed before I could give him the Sword of Feast and Famine. Dr. Strange got out a Staff of Nin and the Dr. Himself, and I had a Goblin Assault as well.  The staff meant recasting Squee was going to be a great challenge. We travelled to the Stairway to Infinity and then again to Glen Elendra.

I had to try to draw the ping on a Goblin Token in order to get Squee back. He didnt’ bite, so I was able to swing in with all of the equipment on the token, and then used Glen Elendra to trade for Dr. Strange, and tried to re-equip my equipment to the stolen Dr., which finally drew the ping, which let me re-cast Squee. I didn’t have enough to then re-equip, but it was enough to give me the option to equip either Squee or a hasty token next turn. Squee took the ping, but a drawn grafted exoskeleton allowed the token to infect for a victory (normally I don’t like poison, but for a deck where Squee is normally the only source of damage,  make an exception)

This was a fun game. Strange didn’t get a good set of pingers to stay on the board. I got to do some complicated tricks, which made it a fun game, even if it was a Poison win, and Squee didn’t deal the killing blow.

About the Deck (

This is Squee Voltron. He’s joined by a few other Legen-wait for it-dary Goblin friends, and some token generation,  but mostly Squee just wants to Suit Up and smash face.   The emphasis is on easy to equip Equipment.  Squee can die early and often, and never goes to the Command Zone unless there’s no other option.

Game #26: Marrow-Gnawer

Game #26: Marrow-Gnawer
Date: 2013-06-01
Location: A friends’s house in Baltimore,MD
vs: Kresh, the Bloodbraided
Result: Neutral Win

Marrow-GnawervsKresh the Bloodbraided

Despite the set-back of not being able to play at my LGS for quite awhile, I was able to get in a few games at a friend’s house while we were waiting to go to another friend’s wedding. There were only the two of us, which means head-to-head games, but the decks I brought were ones that could potentially handle that.

The first game pitted a pretty generic Marrow-Gnawer plus lots of Relentless Rats deck against a high-curve Kresh the Bloodbraided deck.  I started the game with 4 lands, the deathtouch rat, a Relentess Rat and a Necrologia.  I got out 3 relentless rats, a few of which died to Kresh’s Vein Drinker, but I stuck a Marrow-Gnawer with a Thornbite Staff and created 100 rats (which I felt was arbitrarily large enough).  Kresh couldn’t draw a board wipe, and that was the game. Not super exciting. I wish there would have been more battling, but that’s what happens in 1v1 games.

About the Deck: (

There’s not much special about this one. 30 Relentless Rats (in a variety of languages), a general that makes more rats. A Thrumming Stone to cast many rats fast and furiously. Things to get rats back from the dead, etc.  This one might come apart for the new demon-finder that can have multiples in a deck.

On Proxies

Proxying cards is a hot-button issue for a lot of EDH players. On one hand, it’s a casual, non-sanctioned format that is nominally about Fun/Social gaming, so why does it matter if the cards are real or not. Some of the best cards in the format are $100+ . On the other hand there are copyright/counterfeit implications, as well as some indignance by those with $100+ cards when other people get to have the same effect for 5-cents.  I’m not going to go any further in to the debate; if you’re reading this, you’ve probably read it all before. Instead, I’ll just explain how I handle proxies.

(If you haven’t been part of the debate, Commander Cast’s “Staple Remover” just wrote an article about it)

My basic policy is:  If you own a copy of a card, you can proxy it in a deck.   I call this the Physical MTGO rule. If you own the cards that you need for a deck, you could theoretically build that deck, so go ahead and use them.

This is, of course, within reason. A deck of all sharpie-proxies would be ugly and hard for opponents to understand, and just printing out an entire deck is kind of lazy (except not, because that’s a lot of physical cutting and pasting).

In practice, I have “placeholders” in a lot of my decks. Sharpied lands that hold the slot in the deck for the actual card.  Whenever I can, I keep a binder of my most commonly used cards so that I can swap cards in if I draw the placeholder (or, if playing with sticklers who are willing to wait for me to prepare a deck, swap the cards in before a game and swap them back out afterwards).  It’s sort of like the “Commander Cube” idea, with out the pain in the backside of having to Draft.


Case in point:  I own 90% of a playset of Revised Duals.  They’re good lands and they go in every deck. They’re better than any other multi-color land (I don’t proxy for Shocks – I only play what I own) They also are expensive, and I can’t afford to buy enough for all of my decks. Rather than swapping them around all of the time, I put real ones  in the two-color decks, and do sharpie-proxies for the rest. I keep a page in my proxy binder with one of each as “proof of ownership.”  Some people think it’s because I don’t play with sleeves or worry about damaging them, but I’ll happily shuffle them into a deck if someone wants me to take the time to do it. (I almost sharpie altered one of my 3 Underground Seas for an old CommanderCast contest with a picture of Ib Halfheart  on a ‘beach’ vacation, but I can’t draw well enough to make it look cool)


Other cards that I frequently have placeholders for:  Good lands that are also expensive (Urborg; Cradle; Stronghold, etc.).  Genesis; Survival of the Fittest.  None of these are cards that I play in every deck that they could fit into, but when they really fit into a deck, I want to have them there.  I also proxy Sol Rings (I own about 15-20), but I don’t have to have them in every deck.    For the lands and the Sol Ring, I’ll usually just use the sharpie-proxy on the table, and for the non-land permanents I’ll always fish out the actual card from the binder.

The key thing here is that I proxy for cards that I really want to have in a deck. Just because a deck has green, it doesn’t mean I feel that the TryHard Law of Staples requires me to include a Cradle and Survival of the Fittest, but for the 4% of my decks that I want to have a Survival in, I don’t feel super bad about sticking a placeholder in.

The other area where I use proxies is for Generals and Planeswalkers. Wiping a foil-common and printing a custom-card decal  with MSE is pretty easy (though time consuming), and I like having foil generals, or alternate art generals, or full-art generals. Sometimes the old Legends cards have kind of lame art, so I like to make them look cooler (or I’ve gotten an Italian Legends card because they’re cheap, but want to easily see what it says in English… in those cases I often use a clear sleeve with the cards back to back).

Angus MacKenzie Gwendlyn di Corci.1 Lady Caleria.2 Xira Arien.2

I don’t play Planeswalkers a lot, but they’re usually pretty pricey, and when I do want one for a deck, I really want it in the deck. Plus, Planeswalkers ALSO look cool with alternate art, so I’ve made foil-proxies for several of those as well.

Chandra Ablaze Elspeth Knight-Errant.1 Liliana of the Dark Realms  Tamiyo the Moon Sage

I am planning a WUBRG Planeswalker deck. In order to make that happen, I’m going to have to proxy a lot of them (only ones I own though), but I think it will be cool. I thought about doing alternate arts of DC superheroes (as the “Superfriends”), but instead I’m going to go with  Marvel’s “NextWave”.

Tezzeret Agent of Bolas

I don’t mind playing against non-placeholding proxies if they’re not going overboard, but only if it’s for play-testing purposes, or because the card is in the mail.  However, I’ll usually give a hard time to someone who’s slotting in things like Mishra’s Workshop, or Imperial Seal, etc.

In the last few months I have done some de-proxifying of decks. The equipment suite that used to be shared between Kemba, Rafiq and a few others got mostly replaced in Kemba when I decided it wasn’t Voltron.  I own a set of Swords of Protection and Value, but I only play them in two of my decks.

So, there you have it. I’m a terrible human being that fundamentally ruins your ability to enjoy the game because of individual, non-gameplay-based, choices I make in my decks.