Game #73: Talrand the Sky Summoner

Game #73: Talrand the Sky Summoner
Date: 2013-10-10
Location: Family Game Store
Vs: Balthor; Emmara Tandris; The Mimeoplasm

Talrand, Sky SummonerVSBalthor the DefiledEmmara TandrisThe Mimeoplasm

I decided to go for a Token Based strategy as well in the second game of the night. I started with a Sol Ring, which was cool, and a Rune Chanter’s Pike.  I started building up a squadron of drakes via Opt, Brainstorm, Gitaxian Probe and Oona’s Grace, but they fell to Balthor’s Oblivion Stone.  The Mimeoplasm was loading up the graveyard to a massive extent and Emmara called upon Trostani and Garruk to start building a giant army and life total.   Balthor summond Geth who stole a lot of things including an It That Betrays (which I polymorphed into something or other).  I am able to kill Balthor before we all die to bazillions of giant tokens.

About the Deck (

This deck is about playing Talrand, and then as many cantrips or other cheap spells as possible. There are a few other Instants and Sorceries Matter creatures in the deck. Oona’s Grace is a favorite, as is Whim of Volrath.  I took out Omniscience and replaced it with the new Sphinx that draws cards on flyers doing things.

Game #72: Oros, the Avenger

Game #72: Oros the Avenger
Date: 2013-10-30
Location: Family Game Store
Vs: Balthor; Emmara Tandris; The Mimeoplasm

Oros, the AvengerVSBalthor the DefiledThe Mimeoplasm

It took me a long time to draw a hand that had more than one land in it.  I started with a Withered Wretch (who only ate a fetch land, before it was Skinrender-ed) and a White Knight.  The Mimeoplasm did a lot of Transmuting to load up the Graveyard and Emmara played Collective Blessing and Knight Captain of Eos (who always makes me think of Captain E.O.) and later a Nomad Assembly (or whatever the Kor Soldier Token Rebound Spell is.

I played Everlasting Torment (to give Oros Wither-breath), and a Lethal Vapors (to try to deal with the massive token producing horde and give us an extra turn against Emmara). But Balthor just did his thing and generated ridiculous amounts of Mana (Candelabra, multple Cabal Coffers, probably Nykthos) and made lots of zombie triggers (or maybe some Extort) and that was the end of us.

About the Deck (

This deck was designed back when I was really frustrated by Balthor (and Glissa) and all of their repeated recursion shenanigans (eventually I will do an “On Balthor” post). So I decided to make a deck that only cared about the graveyard in that it didn’t want anyone to have one ever. It has tons of graveyard hate, some Exile spells, and I don’t think it has any recursion.  It also plays a number of other grief-style cards (prevention of life gain, destruction of creatures, damage on spells). I try to win by either General Damage, or by doing silly things with Indestructible or Infect-y Thrashing Wumpus-es  or by wiping the board.

Game #71: Rasputin Dreamweaver

Game #71: Rasputin Dreamweaver
Date: 2013-10-23
Location: Family Game Store
VS.: Balthor; Sharuum the Hegemon; Jenara, Asura of War

Rasputin DreamweavervsBalthor the DefiledSharuum the HegemonJenara, Asura of War

I started with a lot of white mana in my hand, but no blue. I played an early Suture Priest.  Jenara rolled out a Propaganda, Sharuum had Jace Beleren, and Balthor had Liliana of the Veil.  It ended up being a very slow crawl of a game.

Jenara had a Sphinx of Uthuun that I copied with a Phyrexian Metamorph, and I was able to do some pinpoint removal tricks with Stone Cloaker (including taking care of an Ashen Rider somehow) and Ghostly Flicker. I was also recurring Cloud of Faeries, but not in any way that was gaining me great advantage.

Balthor dropped an Akroma’s Memorial, that didn’t really scare me. Living death almost wiped me out, but I had a Ghostway (which turned my metamorph into an Akroma’s Memorial). I got to a point where I was able to recur Ghostway every turn by having an Archaeomancer on the board, but I still didn’t have any offensive value to generate.

Sharuum played an Avacyn and equipped it with Swiftfoot Boots.  I tried to swing in and kill Balthor with my Pro-black Flying team, but my Akroma’s Memorial got bounced. I had lost my Ghostway recursion by this point, but it did allow my Metamorph to become Avacyn (Thanks, New Legend Rule!).  Then Jenara Played an Avacyn… (Thanks… New Legend rule…), and exiled my artifact-Avacyn (because stupid Angel of Restoration can’t swoop in to save other Angels).   By this point it was nearly closing time at the store, so I packed up my cards early (I had no real way to deal with double Avacyn, and the game didn’t look like it was ending any time soon), my deck was a few draws away from really getting rolling, but it was too late.

About the Deck (Tapped Out: coming someday)

This is my blink/flicker deck. It can generate lots of mana under the right conditions with Rasputin(a) (the first of my “Italian Legends to Full Art Foil Gender Bending” generals), and Gemstone Array (one of my secret favorite cards).

It can do some fun tricks (like the Ghostway and Archaeomancer good times above). It does have a Deadeye Navigator in the deck because it is good AND on theme.

Game #70: Teysa, Orzov Scion #1

Game #70: Teysa, Orzov Scion #1
Date: 2013-10-23
Location: Family Game Store
Vs.: Kami of the Crescent Moon; Balthor, the Defiled

teysa-russian foilvsBalthor the DefiledKami of the Crescent Moon


I had been saving my very favorite deck for a special game, and I decided #70 was a good one. Of course, I was playing Balthor, so who knows how it was actually going to pan out. I’d never played aginst KotCM’s player before, so I didn’t have much to go on for what to expect.  I had 3 lands in my opening hand, so I was happy.

Balthor started strong with Urborg, Phyrexian Arena, Carrion Feeder and a Bazaar of Baghdad. Kami drew a bunch of cards. We get Prosperitied and I have to discard (Reya Dawnbringer, Reveillark, Reassembling Skeleton, and other stuff that I have plans to get back).  Curse of Swine is foiled by Sacrifice outlets allowing us to ditch our guys to avoid exile to PigTown.

Balthor gets a big Patriarch’s Bidding, which includes a Grey Merchant of Asphodel.  I’m ready to start doing lots of tricks with Reya, Karmic Guide and Reveillark, but we get Evacuated.  Then, more Gray Merchant and we die.

It was an okay game, but Teysa didn’t get to do super fun things (she may not have even hit the board).

About the deck: 

This deck gets its own post!

Game #69: Lorthos, the Tidemaker

Game #69: Lorthos, the Tidemaker
Date: 2013-10-02
Location: Family Game Store
Vs: Balthor; Karador; Mimeoplasm

Lorthos, the Tidemakervs.Karador, Ghost ChieftainThe MimeoplasmBalthor the Defiled

This was the debut for Lorthos (aka, The Freshmaker, aka Mr. Tentacles, aka Dr. Octopus) and his beasts of the deep blue sea. I had a lot of lands in my opening hand, which was great. Among them were Coral Atoll and Sveylunite Temple. Also in there was Quest for Ula’s temple, which I charged up.

Karador played Braids, which ate my lands, which was sad. Balthor played a Coat of Arms. I played Tidal Influence. Balthor’s Oblivion Stone made life sad by taking my Quest (which did get me a Sealock Monster).

Mimeoplasm became a Hornet Queen.  Balthor got activated with a bunch of things in the graveyard and it caused me to sacrifice Lorthos before he could make with any tides.

Karador started with the discard tricks. Sacrificing Mindslicers to Vish-Kal and other shennanigans with Sadistic Hypnotist.  Mimeoplasm Increasing Ambitions for Praetor’s Grasp, which goes and gets an Urborg from someone. Balthor is having issues with Mana Crypt (which is always funny).

I hung on, but was never quite able to cast anything of value. The endgame got pretty silly, I don’t even remember who won the game (other than Not Me), but it was a lot of fun.

The Karador Deck is one that I’ve played against many times (though not as often as Balthor). It is an All-Creature deck and pretty cool. You can see it here.

About the Deck (

This is an ultra-mono sea creature theme deck.  The goal is to beatdown with sea creatures.  There are no Merfolk allowed because that would be too easy. Cephalids (since there aren’t enough Octopodes for Octopus Tribal) are cool, and my favorite little Crustaceans, the Hominids, also are invited.  Homarid Spawning Bed was actually the inspiration for the deck (as one of my favorite cards from Fallen Empires), and it’s a good way to get rid of things like Leviathan, Polar Kraken, etc when the upkeeps become too messy.  The Serpents aren’t really natural creatures, but they can be played for free with Ula’s Temple.

I’m trying to decide if Nykthos counts in an Ultra-Mono deck.

Game #68: Johan

Game #68: Johan
Date: 2013-10-02
Location: Family Game Store
vs: Balthor; Maelstrom Wanderer; The Mimeoplasm

Johan VsBalthor the DefiledThe MimeoplasmMaelstrom Wanderer

After a decent game with Zur, I decided to pull out this Random Naya pile. I started with a two land hand, but stalled out at three lands for a long time (though it allowed me to discard Anger to the yard).  I didn’t do much more than play a Personal Sanctuary (a french one that I couldn’t translate). I may have also played a Retaliator Griffin.

Balthor had  a Caged Sun and a Pontiff of Blight. Maelstrom Wandered into a Myr Battlesphere and possibly also a Molten Primordial. I don’t remember much else from this game other than Mikaeus showed up and we all died to massive amounts of extort from the Pontiff of Blight.

About the Deck ( )

This deck is sort of a random mishmash of things. I needed to have another Naya deck at the ready so I could take apart Uril.  Johan was a favorite Legend from the old days, so I through this deck together. It does a lot of different things. Making big mana by attacking or Mana Echoes. Tricks with Aluren and Horned Kavu and Warstorm Surge (or making a Changeling loop), some life gain tricks.  It’s not a very focused deck, but it can be a lot of fun to play.

Game #67: Zur, the Enchanter

Game #67: Zur, the Enchanter
Date: 2013-10-02
Location: Family Game Store
Vs.: Balthor; Omnath, Locus of Mana; Tibor and Lumia; The Mimeoplasm

Zur the EnchantervsOmnath, Locus of ManaTibor and LumiaThe MimeoplasmBalthor the Defiled

I had been carrying this deck around since the spring, saving it to play against the person who inspired it (via a facebook comment that I saw). Said player was playing Omnath (formerly Vorinclex, which is pretty much a straight up Ramp deck). The Tibor and Lumia deck was one I’d never played against before.

I had decent lands to start, as well as a Spectral Searchlight. While other things were happening, Zur’s Marketplace provided such services as: Unifying Theory, Pure Reflection, Well of Knowledge, Oath of Lieges, Cauldron of Souls, Common Cause and Shifting Sky (set to White), Reconnaissance (to untap Zur), and Phyrexian Unlife.

Omnath had a Scavenging Ooze, Tibor and Lumia got a bit S&M with a Basilisk Collar. Balthor had a Noxious Ghoul and Gray Merchant. Balthor killed Omnath, a Liliana Ultimate happened (though which, I don’t recall). Cyclonic Rift happens, and Balthor dies. I’m able to get Phyrexian Unlife/Delaying Shield active, but Mimeoplasm has a Krosan Grip or Naturalize, and that’s the end of me.

I built up a pretty good selection of services, so the game still counts as fun, even if victory was out of reach for me.

About the Deck (

This is Zur’s version of Group Hug. I really hate the concept that there is one particular correct deck for each General. It bothers me when assumptions are made about a deck just based on the general, and even more when actions are taken because of those assumptions (Oh, you play Zur. Kill you first). I saw a posting by a friend of mine on a Facebook group (that I’m no longer part of because they play EDH/Magic at a different speed and for different reasons than I do), talking about how it would be funny if there was a Zur Group Hug deck. I thought “Only if Funny means AWESOME” and started building the deck.

Without access to Green, it was hard to do some of the traditional Group Hug tricks, and Black usually offers things at a price, so I decided to make the deck more of a Marketplace: lots of things that anyone can pay into to activate (the Mongers) etc. It’s not a Bear Hug deck or a Group Slug deck, though it is really fun to get to play cards like Common Cause and then tie them with cards like Darkest Hour or Shifting Sky to just pump all of the creatures. Join Forces cards get thumbs up, while Tempting Offer cards get the thumbs down.

In the one playthrough of the deck, I was surprised at how few people actually made use of the options provided to them. There really is no trick here, you get what you pay for (or, in a few instances, what I give to people via Cauldron of Souls and Spectral Searchlight and the like… Zur isn’t afraid to play politics. All you have to do is ask, and Zur lets you set your own price).

As far as win conditions go, it’s pretty much Darksteel Reactor or Near-Death Experience. There are a few defensive cards like Propaganda, Michiko Konda, and Phyrexian Unlife/Delaying Shield to keep me alive, and fun stuff like Unspeakable Symbol to let me pay some life, help some people and get down close to 1.