Game #82: Krond the Dawn Clad

Game #82 : Krond the Dawn Glad
Date: 2013-11-12
Location: Family Game Store
vs: Karador, Ghost Chieftain; Prime Speaker Zeganna

Krond the Dawn-Cladvs.Karador, Ghost ChieftainPrime Speaker Zegana

This was a “Farewell Tour for Karador as well.  While Balthor is my most played-against general,  Prime Speaker Zeganna is the general I’ve faced the most different decks, this being the 6th different PSZ deck I’ve played against.

I start with a very forest-y hand, and a cluestone allows me to play an Umbra Mystic.  Karador starts loading up the graveyard with a hermit druid (this should have been a sign), and Zeganna has an early Fathom Mage.

I start loading up a Yavimaya Enchantress with Keen Sense, Daybreak Coronet, Pollenbright Wings and such. I get a few swings in before a Sylvok Replica gets rid of the Daybreak (man, I miss Community. Is it October 19th yet?).  Zeganna has a baby Jace and a Deadeye Navigator and Arcanis and a Reliquary tower and is drawing butt-loads of cards. Karador now has Greater Good.

Zeganna uses the Monstrosity Kraken to tap down my good stuff (including an Ethereally Armored Krond). Then uses Jace 4.0’s ultimate to grab Sheoldred and my Bear Umbra (we’d already killed one Bear Umbra) immediately thanks to the ever-adorable Gilder Bairn, and takes a really really LOooooooooOOOoooong time to do it. I start to untap, thinking it’s my turn finally, but that was still the first main phase, so there is also attacking and sorting through a 30+ card hand to be happening.

All I really want to do in this game is swing once with Krond so that I can exile the Reliquary Tower and not let PSZ have a 35 card hand, but that isn’t going to happen. I sac Krond to Sheoldred so I can re-cast him.  Then the board gets big and messy when Karador Twilight’s Calls at the end of my turn and kills us all with many ridiculous triggers from the 25 or so creatures that come into play.

This one was less fun than the last one, but I’m glad Karador got to retire at the top of his game.

About the Deck (tappedout coming someday)

This was the deck formerly known as Uril, which I took apart because I got bored of it. Krond is cooler because he doesn’t have Hexproof and doesn’t need to be overloaded with Auras.  I didn’t lose much by cutting red from the deck (and gained back an actual Taiga and Plateau).  Cutting red also let me make it a bit more Enchantress-y.  This deck has a lot of similar cards to my Bruna deck, but they feel very different to play.

Wizards needs to make a 5-color Archon Legend so I can make an Archon tribal deck. (Or I could just keep building different Karonas)

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Game #81: Lady Caleria

Game #81 : Lady Caleria
Date: 2013-11-12
Location: Family Game Store
vs: Maelstrom Wanderer; Roon of the Hidden Realm (modified)

Lady Caleria.2vs.Roon of the Hidden RealmMaelstrom Wanderer

Maelstrom Wanderer’s pilot was on a “Farewell Tour” of his decks, playing them all one last time before taking them apart to rebuild (which is a very foreign concept to me… take decks… apart?).  Roon was the third of the rebuilt C13 decks the other guy had been playing (see the previous games vs. Marath and Prossh).

I started with a Tormod’s Crypt and a Hanyku and 3 lands.  Roon had a Mother of Runes (if she were a rhino, would she be a Mother of Roon’s?) and a Solemn Simulacrum.  Malestrom had an early Urza’s incubator (elemental) and soon a Paleoloth.  I added silly stuff like Norwood Archers, Icatian Phalanx, and cool stuff like Magewright Stone.

Roon played a Progenitor Mimic on the Simulacrum… I think…, Malestrom played Cryptic Command followed by Incendiary Command, which wheeled away my Akroma’s Memorial.   Roon continued to play a bunch of little value guys, as well as an Aura Shards (Which shut all of the cool enchantments I had in hand right down).  Maelstrom started doing tricks with Crackleburr.  I’m able to play Lady Caleria, but she gets bounced by the Crackleburr.  I block with banding to kill the Wanderer.

Roon now has a Deadeye Navigator and a Hornet Queen and a Seedborn Muse (and then another one), so Maelstrom Wanderer just up and kills Roon.  When he comes after me Lady Caleria is at least able to double shoot and kill an Intet.   Then Wanderer casts Hypergenesis:  I play my only card, an Umbral Mantle, and he plays Riku, followed by a doubled Plated Slagwurm, a doubled Garruk’s Horde, a doubled Engulfing Slagwurm and more stuff.

I die horribly. It was fun. I’m glad Maelstrom Wanderer went out with a savage bang.

About the deck (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/arrowed-1/)

Since my first days of Summer Camp, I’ve always loved archery. Thus an Archer Tribal deck was an inevitability (despite what Andy of CommanderCast thinks, archers are a the-bomb tribe). Banding was my favorite keyword, way back in the day, so since Archers don’t quite fill out an EDH deck, I let that be a sub-theme. Also a few Elves that don’t mind untapping (and I might add Midnight Guard for the Presence of Gond combo).

Decent equipment to give deathtouch or other damage-triggered abilities, and tricks to untap for maximum shootage.

On Teysa

On Teysa: A Love Letter to my Favorite Commander

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/teysa-token-craziness/

I have many decks, this is true, but one deck stands out as my very most favorite deck:  Teysa, Orzhov Scion (#1).*

Teysa Orzhov Scion

Foil Full Art, Alt-Art Proxy I made for her (from found art)

When I first met Teysa, back in the days of Ravnica (when I was reading about things on mtg.com, but not actively playing), I wasn’t that impressed by her and her big ugly friend.  I hadn’t yet fallen in love with the idea sacrificing my own things for fun and profit.  But when EDH came on to my radar, she reentered my life (tagging along with 15 or so other legendary creatures I won in a bulk ebay auction), and I took another look at this forgotten Badass Goth Lawyer  Advisor Advokist, and realized what I had been missing.

This was one of the first 10 decks I built back in the summer of 2010, and it has probably gone through the most modifications and updates of any deck that I have.  Along with Animar, it’s the only deck I actively ask “What does the next set have for the Deck?”.  It is also one of the only three decks (of 110) that I have in Sleeves (Because they are Teysa Sleeves).

teysa-russian foil

This is the holy grail: a Foil Russian Teysa. It took me years to find and came to me from Italy via Finland. Only 100 Euro.

 

The first versions of the deck were a mess of cards, there was a lot of reanimation, and discard effects, but also a bunch of just random cards (Auspicious Ancestor!).  Eventually I started tuning it towards Token Making and Reanimation, but it was still kind of sloppy (and it still is!).  Certain cards that are just plain bad (Nip Gwyillion — cheapest creature that is both black and white. Blood Pet, because she had Thrulls and it sacs itself) but they stay in the deck because I like them.

Teysa-sleeve

I don’t buy “sexy anime” sleeves, but sometimes cards show up in them. This “sexy lawyer” one seemed to fit Teysa both in color and theme, so the Russian one lives there.

The current version of the deck, if given enough time, can get pretty ridiculous. It has a number of infinite loop combos, but they’re not easy to set up or protect (with a God Draw and no Interference, it fits the “Can Win on Turn 3” requirement)**.  It can also get by with a massive Token swarm  (also having exiled most enemy blockers).  It can sometimes gain tons of life.  It doesn’t do any of them super efficiently though.

 

Teysa-german proxy

Before I tracked down the Russian one, I got a Foil German one. The creature type – “Mensch, Berater” is one of my favorites of all time.

LANDS

As this is an early deck, it has a pretty small land-base (~34 Lands). I should probably increase it.  My hope is to some day have enough Russian Alara #238 Swamps for it.  I haven’t picked the plains yet, but I have 8 Russian ones for now.

teysa-basics

Alara Swamp #238 (NEED RUSSIAN ONES) and Random Russian Plains

The non basics include most of the W/B duals, though I haven’t slotted in Temple of Mystery yet.  I think all of the Ravnica lands are Russian (though not the foil guildgate), Godless Shrine, as well as the Caves of Koilos. Volrath’s Stronghold is helpful recursion, and the requisite Coffers/Urborg is in there for extra Mana.  Strongly considering adding: Phyrexian Tower and maybe Mistveil Plains.

teysa-nonbasics2 Teysa-nonbasics1

Other Mana Production:

Both Altars are great Sac Outlets, Sol Ring (while not in all my decks) is requisite. Black Market can make for huge turns, and Scuttlemutt has the added bonus of making a creature both White and Black (because Painter’s Servant is still banned).  I could probably use a Signet or some other Mana Rocks or accelerants, but I don’t know what to cut.  Blood Pet is hiding with the creatures.

Teysa-manahelp

Tutoring/Filtering:

The Rune-scarred Demon is a Russian one. My only Diabolic Intent is here. I might group Academy Rector here as well.  Liliana is on the block. She does tutor twice (theoretically), but she might be better as a land.

teysa-tutor

Recursion:

Bodies that bring Bodies back are key components to this deck. Reveillark/Karmic Guide and another white weenie can make for a board wipe with Teysa.

Graduated: Adarkar Valkyrie, Doomed Necromancer

On Probation: Reya Dawnbringer, Coffin Queen, Apprentice Necromancer

Absent: Gravecrawler (deck doesn’t do Zombies), Mikeaus (he’s in enough other decks)

teysay-crecur

The Nim Deathmantle can do recursion tricks with the Altars, and since it makes the creature black, it can produce some little White Tokens. With Archon of Justice it can eventually exile all of the things.  Cauldron Haze is on the way out, and the other Russian spell (Immortal Servitude) might be too, since it’s narrow in what it brings back. Animate Dead could be any number of other things, but it’s been there since the beginning, and it’s also Sun Titan-able.  The rule for pimping the deck is Russian>Foil, so the Debtors’ Knell is no longer shiny.

teysa-srecur

For Fun and Infinite Recursion (during the Upkeep only): Hell’s Caretaker and Thornbite Staff.  Ashen Rider is their new best friend.

teysa-demonicthorn

MAKIN’ CRAZY TOKENS:

Bodies that bring friends to the Party

Creatures that generate tokens are helpful in this deck.

Wearing out their Welcome: Cloudgoat Ranger is probably becoming Captain of the Watch again (1 more mana, but the deck would rather have buffed soldiers than kithkin ones).  Requiem Angel doesn’t trigger on Spirits going to the ‘yard.

Getting an Invite: Captain of the Watch, Abhorrent Overlord (many black tokens!).

Life of the party: Twilight Drover (need more dice!) and Darien plus pain-lands  (or Darien, plus a token, plus Blasting Station plus Soul Warden for a do-nothing loop).

Waiting in Line: Ophiomancer.  Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts (I don’t get to control the token production, even if they are w/b)

teysa-tokencr

Other spells that bring buddies

Waylay says: 2W: activate Teysa.

Bitterblossom: is Russian AND Rebecca Guay

Mobilization:  the russian version is in a R/W Soldier deck right now, comrade.

Lingering Souls isn’t that great, but the art is pretty. Spectral Procession is Slow. Murder investigation is relatively new, and hasn’t happened yet.

Beckon Apparition makes a W/B token!

Field of Souls doesn’t trigger off token deaths, but lots of regular creatures die too.

teysa-tokensp

Other Planeswalking Friends:

I never seem to do well with Elspeth, K-E. I may switch her out for the New Elspeth. She costs more to cast, but makes a full Teysa activation with her +1. Sorin is relatively new.

teysa-tokenpw

 

 

The Life Gainers of the Party

Since a lot of creatures are coming in to play on my side, it’s nice to gain life. Soul warden also neutralizes Bitter Blossom.

teysa-life

And For your Combo-Victory Needs

These plus Teysa, plus another creature = damage to infiinity and beyond.

teysa-combo1

Other Stuff

Theirs’ is not to Question Why…

Mass Destruction or Worse: Angel of Despair, Archon of Justice, Necrotic Sliver

Fodder: Nip Gwyllion, Blood Pet

Graveyard hate: Puppeteer Clique

Possibly Irrelevant Old Man: Academy Rector (though it does grab Darkest Hour, it’s not much for being recurred)

teysa-todie The Sac-Pack:

If I die, you die too: Grave Pact, and Butcher of Malakir, Victimize

All your not-exiled by Teysa’s are belong to It that Betrays (hooray for reanimation)

Sac Outlet or one-hit-winner: Fallen Angel (plus lots of tokens)

teysa-sac

Boring Protection or targeted removal. 

   teysa-misc

The Most Recent Additions/Swaps

Cauldron Haze: out, Abhorrent Overlord: in. CH was too situational

Grave Betrayal: out, Ashen Rider: in.  I only want to steal via creatues (ItB, Puppeteer Clique).  The Rider fits more along the lines of the clear-a-path for tokens strategy, and is way better with Hell’s Caretaker.   teysa-newadds

My relationship with Teysa is a complicated one.  There are things that I want to stay the same forever, and there are exciting changes I hope to make.

 

 

*I also have a Spirit Tribal/Discard Theme  Teysa, Orzhov Scion Deck (because the Foil German one needed a deck to rule) and a Creatureless  Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts (Because she is also pretty bad-ass, even if she doesn’t quite fit in this deck).

**  Turn 1: Plains, (W)Sol Ring
Turn 2: Swamp, (b/w)(2)Blasting Station, (b/w) any 1 CMC creature
Turn 3: Swamp, (1bw)Teysa, (b)Darkest Hour: sac the now-black creature to the station, Teysa makes a now-black spirit and station untaps. Repeat.

On Balthor

On Balthor: A Love Letter to Nemesis

Throughout the course of this project, it is very likely that I will play against Balthor, the Defiled more than any other general.*  This is for three reasons:

1. The guy that plays the Balthor deck (and formerly  Savra guild deck) only owns 100 cards.**

2. He also consistently comes to Wednesday EDH rather than Saturday, and

3. He’s really fun to have in EDH games.  Even when I’m losing miserably to his deck.

Balthor the Defiled

Full Art Foil Proxy I made for Balthor’s player. The art is from an original Carl Critchlow work that he owns.

When I first encountered this deck, however, I hated it.  I played against it for many consecutive weeks, and really frustrated and tired of losing to it.  I had to approach every game knowing that I was likely going to lose all of my creatures to -1/-1 counters or forced sacrifice, and most of my life to some kind of life-drain or just a bunch of swampwalking, death-touching, pumped up Zombies.  I would hope and pray for enough people to show up that we’d split into multiple tables.

However, by the time I was putting the finishing touches on a deck called “Oros Hates Balthor” (See game #72), I had gotten used to playing against it, and actually looked forward to trying to win games in spite of it.  It helps a lot that the guy that runs it, while competitive and incapable of not trying to win, also can feign (or actually possibly b ) having fun even when he’s not winning.  I also appreciate that he actively tells people that they should be attacking him, and he gets annoyed at the same things that I do during the game.

Some of my favorite EDH moments have happened against this deck, like Plagiarizing its 16 card Graveborn Muse draw with Niv-Mizzet on the table to deal exact damage to win the game.

In 1 on 1 matches (not French Style) it’s pretty tough to beat as well.

About the Deck (I don’t have the decklist, since the cards are so shiny, I can’t even afford to write about them)

The very best part about this very good deck is that it is both  Tribally and Thematically a Zombie deck.   The only non-zombie is Grave Titan, and despite being able to generate ridiculous amounts of black mana, Exsanguinate got cut from the deck when less-Vampiric Zombie replacements were made.***  The fact that “Is it a Zombie?” is the first response to the question “Why don’t you put ____ in that deck?” is a great selling point.

Speaking of selling, this deck is also made out of money.  Every basic land is Foil Unhinged. Other lands include a Bazaar of Baghdad, Promo Maze of Ith and other ridiculous things (can’t remember if the Foil Urborg is German yet, but the Crucible of Worlds is).  It plays Imperial Seal and Grim Tutor, Candelabra of Tawnos and Black-on-Black Liliana. Every card in it that can be foil, is.  He estimates it at about $5,000.

It wins in a variety of different ways.  Some games Balthor gets cast many many times, and we die to ETB triggers.  Sometimes its massive life drain, and sometimes its swampwalking  or Akroma’s Memorial-ed (Zombies like tombstones) beat down.  It also loses in fun ways.  Mana Crypt and Necropotence are my favorite cards in the deck due to the amount of life loss they can cause.  It makes Massive mana with  Urborg-Coffers-Vesuva-Nykthos-Deserted Temple-Candelabra trickery or Mikeaeus-Phyrexian Altar-Gravecrawler.

The cards I hate the most, however, are Noxious Ghoul, Vengeful Dead and Zombie Master.  Geth is high on the list as well, but only because he’s really the only example of the deck reanimating things from other graveyards.

So, Thank you, Balthor the Defiled, for teaching me the importance of Graveyard Hate, and for often being the biggest threat at the table (and diverting attention away from my weak decks).

*Savra, Queen of the Golgari was in the running, until that deck got taken apart.  Balthor has now shown up in more than 20% of the games that I’ve played.

**He secretly has a few more than 100 : like Promo Diregraf Ghouls for Tokens, and a few other cards that  might go in the deck, or that he hasn’t sold or  just given away.

*** Pontiff of Blight and Gray Merchant of (inappropriate slang for sodomy) are actually more brutal than Exsanguinate in this deck.

Game #80: Damia, Sage of Stone

Game #80: Damia, Sage of Stone
Date: 2013-11-13
Location: Family Game Store
vs. Balthor the Defiled; Mangara of Corondor; Balthor; The Mimeoplasm

Damia, Sage of StoneVSBalthor the DefiledMangara of CorondorThe MimeoplasmRuric Thar, the Unbowed

This game took a long time and a lot of little things happened, but not a lot of major stuff. The Mimeoplasm came in to play 4+ times (as Eternal Witness + 2, Liliana’s Reaver +3, a big Dragon + 9, Garruk’s Horde +4, and probably more). Mangara built up a pillow fort and did some exiling in  a variety of ways.  Ruric sent in smashings, but drew hate. Balthor only got cast once, and never sacrificed (and got Strength of Tajuru’ed so he could get his very first, but tainted, General Damage Kills ever).  I just kind of bided my time, played some Faeries (it was Faerie night, I guess) and stole Balthor’s Geth for a turn.  Eventually  my deck did what it was supposed to and drew into the good ol’ ProsBloom engine and I Exsanguinated for 64 to take out Balthor and Mangara (Mimeo and Ruric having been Balthor-ed out).   It was a long game, and I’m glad I eventually got to do the combo in real life (as it’s my third favorite combo deck), but it wasn’t a great game… it ended 30 minutes before store closing. Not enough time for another game.

About the Deck (http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/damia-and-the-faeries/)

This is a Faerie Tribal deck, with some Gorgons as well (because Damia loves Absinthe, and because there are Green Faeries, she is the general). It can swarm with faeries, but really they are a distraction while I try to set up a ProsBloom kill by either Milling or Exsanguinating.  It can’t combo off early, and it doesn’t go “infinite,” so I don’t mind playing it as a combo deck.

Game #79.1, 79.2: Oona, Queen of the Fae

Game #79.1, 79.2: Oona, Queen of the Fae
Date: 2013-11-13
Location: Family Game Store
vs. Balthor the Defiled  (80.1)

Oona, Queen of the FaeVSBalthor the Defiled

I played basic lands on each of my first 4 turns “ramping” into a Knacksaw Clique  (that exiled but did not cast a Yawgmoth’s Will  and played a Marsh Flats (for an underground sea)).  Balthor went.  Turn1: Candelabra of Tawnos, Turn 2: Demonic Tutor, Turn 3: Urborg, and Beseech the Queen, Turn 4: Coffers, Turn 5: Vesuva,  Turn 6: all kinds of big zombies that kill me dead.

By this point more people showed up, and since I was feeling the Faeries, I gave it another go.

Game #80.2

VS Balthor the DefiledEmmara TandrisKamahl, Fist of Krosa

This game didn’t go that much better for me.  I played a Shadwomage Infilitrator early and drew a few cards off of it. This time it was Emmara that had the ‘If this were a tournament for money or prizes*, I’d swear the deck was stacked and call a judge” hand.  Mirari’s Wake followed by Doubling Season and Parallel Lives, followed by a Phyrexian Rebirth followed by Parallel Evolution (and Flashed Back) for about 72 5/5 creatures.   I had a ton of fun in my hand (Denying Wind, Dusmantle Guildmage, other fun cards) but all I managed was to Oona-away the Mirari’s Wake (that had been top-of-the-libraried). Then we all died horribly again.

About the Deck (Tapped Out: Coming Some Day)

This is a mill/ exile library deck.  It can make tokens, it has some discard (but most of the discard is incidental now, as I re-tooled it to be more Mill when I built Gwendlyn). I don’t love resource denial that much, so I don’t play this one often, but I do have some cool Faerie Rogue Tokens to play with it, and it’s also got a few pretty foils.