Bottom 9 Games of 2013

These were the games, 1 for each month, that I had the least fun playing (and one bonus one that I made un-fun).  For the Best Games of 2013, Go here!

Game #7: Kemba,Kha Regent
Hated/LD’ed out for keeping another player from being alpha-struck

Game #21: Skullbriar, the Walking Grave
another combo-loss so un-fun that I didn’t want to even play Magic afterward

Game #31.1, 31.2: Doran the Siege Tower
Played a total of 5 lands across the two games (and one was strip-mined)

Game #35: Vorosh, the Hunter
singled out for playing a Rhystic Study

Game #49.1: Rafiq of the Many
Silly Planechase makes for a turn 3 Thraximundar. Redo game was a Best-Game runner-up

Game #60: Skyfire Kirin
Just didn’t really get to do much. Not a great deck for head-to-head vs Balthor

Game #71: Rasputin Dreamweaver
Not a bad game, just dragged on for waaaaayyyy too long

Game #75.1: Lim Dul, the Necromancer
I misplayed Necropotence vs a discard deck in a cut-throat level pod and had my only chance to remove the Skull exiled.

Game #86.1: Daxos of Meletis
We all scooped on Turn 5 against a super Try-Hard Damia deck

DisHonorable Mention (game un-fun because of Me)
Game #93: Maelstrom Wanderer
I shouldn’t have played an infinite combo deck at this table, and shouldn’t have cast my entire deck on Turn 5.

Top 9 Games of 2013

In 2013 I played  94 decks (and 102 total Games) as part of the EDH 100 project.  As it is unlikely that I will get to play any more games before the New Year, and since it is customary to do year-end reflections, I thought I’d give the highlights of the preceding year.

Here are the top 9 games (and runners-up) for each month of 2013. These were games that provided the most play Enjoyment.  For the “Worst Of” list, look here…

Game #16: Aurelia the War Leader (Guild) WIN

Aurelia, the Warleader
A game that I probably shouldn’t have won, but some how did.
–Runner up – Game #15: Azami — another one I shouldn’t have won, but did

Game #20: Baron Sengir vs Olivia Voldaren LOSS

The battle of the vampires. I game I lost despite having the Sanguine Bond/Exquisite Blood combo active for more than a turn.
— Runner up – Game #25: Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts — an almost win with a creatureless deck

Game #27: Squee, Goblin Nabob WIN

Squee Goblin Nabob

A rare Poison victory, on the back of a Goblin Token
— Runner up – Game #28: Reaper King vs Actual Voltron in the battle of Rainbow Robots

Game #39: Animar, Soul of Elements #2 LOSS

Animar Soul of Elements
The Mirror match: AniMorph vs All Creature Animar.
— Runner up – Game #43: Seton, Krosan Protector — big Druid smashings

Game #55: Child of Ravnica WIN

Child of Alara
Win via Dragon’s Maze in a game dominated by a wild Karona
— Runner up – Game #49.2: Rafiq of the Many — Rafiq’s last stand vs Teneb

Game #58: Marton Stromgald WIN

Márton Stromgald
Sacrificing everything for the win on the “Night of Obliteration and Insurrection”
— Runner up – Game #61: Ruhan of the Fomori — Ruhan is always fun, even in a crushing defeat

Game #69: Lorthos the Tidemaker LOSS

Lorthos, the Tidemaker
Ultra-mono blue sea-creature beatdown fell a mana short from having a good chance
— Runner up – Game #67: Zur the Enchanter — Group Hug’s first ride

Game #74: Isamaru Hound of Konda WIN

Isamaru Hound of Konda
All 1-drop drives a buff puppy to a General Damage win
— Runner up – Game #78: Intet, the Dreamer — multiple Genesis Waves and Epic Experiments. General Damage win

Game #94: Horde of Notions WIN

Horde of Notions
Elemental tribal synergy was working well
— Runner up – Game #87: Bosh, Iron Golem — net-decked for giant robot explosions. fiery finish in the loss.

Game #94: Horde of Notions

Game #94: Horde of Notions
Date: 2013-12-26
Location: The woods north of Duluth, Brother’s Friend’s Cousin’s house
vs. Teneb, the Harvester; Chorus of the Conclave; Triad of Fates (Dude of Dates)
Result: Fun Win

Horde of Notions, Magic, LorwynvsTeneb, the Harvester, Magic, Planar ChaosChorus of the Conclave, Magic, RavnicaTriad of Fates, Magic, Theros

After the last game I took out one of my last few decks left with me in Minnesota. I considered Rhys the Redeemed (for my brother) but I didn’t want to mess around with a billion different token types, so I chose Horde of Notions. A fun and good, but not totally broken, deck.

I started with two different basics and an armillary sphere, and drew into a Lavaclaw Reaches, ensuring a turn 5 Horde of Notions, that I sent towards Teneb.  Teneb was grabbing lands with a Fertilid and Triad had a Soulbound Tormented Soul/Nearhearth Pilgrim.  Chorus had a Gladecover Scout and a Thraben Doomsayer.

I also had a Ring of Evos Isle (Water!) and a Soul of the Harvest.  Chorus sang a song of increasing Savagery, and Triad “Defanged” my Horde.  I played Spirit of Resistance for some defense, which was well needed since Chorus now had a Giant Adephage with Alpha Authority, as well as a Trostani’s Summoner.

I cast a Maelstrom Wanderer (apologizing, and promising I wouldn’t cast it a billion times this game… which was not totally false) getting a Shield of the Oversoul and a Spitebellows.  Teneb now had a Necropotence that was causing him troubles.  I evoked a Wispmare to re-Fang Horde and got an attack in against someone, but then Horde was Oblivion Ringed (to the Commnand Zone).

I cast Hanna Ships Navigator (my Blue Planeteer) and recast the Horde. Next turn  Hanna got the Shield back for the Horde. And later Horde recast a fallen Maelstrom Wanderer for a Supreme Exemplar that had been Flamekin Harbinger-ed to the top and a Yore-Tiller Nephilim . I championed the Harbinger and also got back a Wispmare with the Yore-Tiller and killed off Necropotence.

Chorus had a massive army of Adephages and Teneb cast a board wipe of some sort to deal with them and that left me with an indestrutible Horde and a Flamekin Harbinger.  Teneb had Whip of Erebos and had Buried Alive Braids and Ashen Rider (he tried to whip the rider in at instant speed, but the rules said ‘no’).   Someone destroyed the Shield of Oversoul, but I Retethered it.  By this time I also had a Mirari’s Wake and an Elemental Lord in play and a Scourge of the Nobilis on the Horde so I was swinging for 2 turn kills or better.

Triad had fate counters on a few of my things (most importantly Maelstrom Wanderer (who, at one point, was also Defanged and I had to bluff my brother into blocking to kill it).    I swung the Horde at Teneb for lethal damage, and was able to hang on to eliminate the other two players (I think I also had Spirit of Resistance back thanks to Miss Hanna).

I didn’t feel bad about winning this one, because with each opponent playing at least White, and two also Green or black, there should have been at least one or more disenchant/mortify/naturalize etc floating around to take out the Sphere of Resistance that was single-handedly keeping me alive, or the Mirari’s Wake that was letting me re-cast 2 elementals per turn.

About the Deck (

This is my Captain Planet and the Planeteers theme deck.  It has 5 legendary Planeteers:  Ashling the Extinguisher, Rakka Mar, Molimo Maro-Sorcerer, Saffi Eriksdottir (for White) and Hanna, Ship’s Navigator (for Blue)  as well as the 5 color-rings from M13.  It also has the Nephilim as Toxic Abominations.

Ideally the 5 planeteers would all be mono-colored legendary elementals, but there just weren’t good choices for White and Blue. They also don’t totally line-up with the Planeteer Characters or abilities.  Rakka is obviously Fire, but what is Ashling… Earth? Heart?  Hanna was mechanically useful for the deck because it also has most of the  Lorwyn hybrid auras in it to buff up the Horde, and there are a number of other enchantments that are worth getting back.

I think this is probably my favorite of all of my 5-color decks.Also, I get to play Conflux and Fustion Elemental and Genju of the Realm


Game #93: Maelstrom Wanderer

Game #93: Maelstrom Wanderer
Date: 2013-12-26
Location: The woods north of Duluth, Brother’s Friend’s Cousin’s house
vs. Skullbriar, the walking Grave; Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts; Olivia Voldaren
Result: Cruel win

Maelstrom Wanderer, Magic, Planechase 2012vsSkullbriar, the Walking Grave, Magic, CommanderTeysa, Envoy of Ghosts, Magic, Dragon's MazeOlivia Voldaren, Magic, Innistrad

After the dumb game with Nin, I decided to pull out a new deck. My brother had switched the general of his Nath deck to Skullbriar, and his friends pulled out a Teysa deck (I love Teysa!) and an Olivia deck (that he really liked).

I took out Maelstrom Wanderer. In hindsight, this was a pretty “D” move. For that, I apologize.

Skullbriar hit me on turn two, and grew to +5/+5, and became a vampire thanks to Olivia. I played lands every turn, including two Ravnica Karoos. I dropped my 5th land and had 7 mana. I cast the Food Chain and Misthollow Griffin that were in my opening hand and opening draw. I exiled the Misthollow enough times to get enough mana to re-cast it enough times to also get an arbitrarily large amount of red and green mana, and then cast Maelstrom Wanderer enough times to put my whole deck on the field. Then I felt bad.

If the world were fair the Nin Game and this game would have both had fair opening draws, rather than one being horrible and one being god-draw. The only justification I had for what I did was that we were on a time limit because my brother had to get on a plane at 5:30 the next morning and it was already 10:30 p.m. At least we got to play another game after it.

About the Deck (

I built this deck because back in the day  RUG Aluren Combo was my second favorite deck to play in Extended (when extended was cool and went back to Ice Age) and I wanted an EDH approximation.  I also wanted to have a deck that was just a dedicated combo deck.

The deck has three main combos: Aluren plus Horned Kavu plus Purphuros/Furious Assault for  Arbitrarily Large damage;  Misthollow Griffin/Food Chain for Maelstrom Wanderer castings;  Morselhorder/Sinking Feeling/Presence of Gond  for Arbitrarily Large elf army.

There are also some bounce tricks and counterspells (I may even make this the first EDH to have a Force of Will in it…).

This was the wrong deck to play in the game that I played it in. I’m generally anti-combo, and I felt really dirty winning on Turn 5 with this (in the context of the game I was in). I mostly have the deck to be one to play after either a crushing defeat or if I’m stuck in a situation where I have to play with a lot of Try-Hards (which was not the case when I played it the first time)

Game #92: Nin, the Pain Artist

Game #92: Nin the Pain Artist
Date: 2013-12-26
Location: The woods north of Duluth, Brother’s Friend’s Cousin’s house
vs. Prossh (stock); Jhoira of the Ghitu; Sek-Kuar, the Deathkeeper
result: neutral loss

Nin, the Pain Artist, Magic, CommandervsProssh, Skyraider of Kher, Magic, Commander 2013Jhoira of the Ghitu, Magic, Future SightSek'Kuar, Deathkeeper, Magic, Coldsnap

My brother set up a game night with one of his friends. We had to drive out in to the woods north of Duluth to meet up with his friend at his friend’s cousin’s house. I only had about 5 project-eligible decks left with me so I didn’t have a lot of options. I decided to give Nin a run, since she’d been in the on-deck box for about 2 months.  This made for a not-actually-Izzet vs not-actually-Jund mix up.  The guys we were playing with said they usually played 2HG, and in hindsight, it might have been fun to do 4-color 2-Headed Giant teams.

I start out with a decent enough hand. Mana to cast the general, a spell book a Kobold and a Dragonstorm. I considered holding the spell book for a bit to see if I could use it for Storm Count.

Instead, I didn’t get my 3rd land drop until turn 9. My 4th was turn 12.

Prossh (my brother) played a Stronghold Assasin, Joira suspended an Inferno Titan, and a Benthic Giant. Prosh then cast Walker of the Grove, Goblin Bombardment and a Death Bringer Thoctar (which did not get Grip of Amnesia-ed by me). Sek-Kuar also had a decent array of creatures. On turn 10 I’m able to equip Darksteel Plate to Nin, and she begins hurting herself in order to draw me cards.

Prossh is re-cast several times and damage is flung willy-nilly due to the Bombardment/Thoctar mess (also the enchantment that lets you pay 2 on a sacrifice to deal 2). I tuck Prossh with a Hinder, but there’s still too many Kobolds. Jhoira has a Rage Reflection and several unblockable creatures. Prossh is able to kill us all in one turn by Goblin Bombarding Jhoira, attaking Sek-Kuar and Deathbringer Thoctar-ing me.

In my hand I have 3 Kobolds, a Dragonstorm and a Gilded lotus. Next turn I would’ve drawn my 5th land and played the Lotus, and the turn after that was another land… enough to Dragon Storm for at-least 4. Pretty Dumb. However, it was nice to play with some new people (and nice to see my brother getting good use out of his Christmas Present).

About the deck (      )

This is kind of a mish-mash deck. It was a sliver off of building Intet, starting with cards that I wanted for a sub-theme that ultimately didn’t fit.    It’s a bit of Instants/Sorceries matter and a bit of Storm, and a bit of Kobold-matters and a bit of abuse Nin. Also, Epic Experiment.  It can be fun to play, but it can also be slow (even though it has a totally reasonable land/mana count) as the above game shows.

I might put in the Splice/Izzett Guildmage combo because it would fit okay here.

Caught Up on Posts!

All Caught Up to Current on Game Reviews.

While I sat up watching and waiting for Santa, I finally got caught up with game reviews from the summer.    They are back-dated so that they show up in order on the blog. I’m getting quite close to game 100. It won’t happen until 2014 though, because I didn’t bring enough un-played decks back to Minnesota with me.

Stocking Tiger

I will continue playing through the decks until all the complete decks are played (which means at least 20 more games). If I ever get to a point where I’ve played all the decks that I have built, then I’ll be allowed to go back to the decks that I’ve played. However, when I build a new deck (and that’s definitely going to be happening) I will play the deck and record the game here

Game #91: Experiment Kraj

Game #91: Experiment Kraj
Date: 2013-12-23
Location: Mom’s Kitchen Table, Duluth, MN
Vs. Teneb the Harvester
Result: silly Win

Experiment Kraj, Magic, DissensionvsTeneb, the Harvester, Magic, Planar Chaos


One last game before bed time. I pulled out Kraj, and my brother took out Teneb. I had a 3 land hand, plus an Essence Warden and a Krosan Restorer. He had a bunch of lands and Buried Alive for It That Betrays, Massacre Wurm and something else and then cast a Corpse Connoiseur.

I played Ascetiscim, Gaea’s Cradle, Mana Reflection and 1000-Year Elixir. Then a Doubling Season and a Vigean Hydropon. It was dumb. Ascetism got Mortified and a giant Kraj (who was putting like 10 counters on things per turn) got Doom Bladed.  Teneb Hit the board, but I had a Tradewind Rider active and he got bounced. Then Kraj got recast, pumped to 22/22 and swung to end the game

About the Deck (

I think this was the second deck I ever built, perhaps 3rd after a retired Niv-Mizzet deck.  The goal is to make Kraj do a lot of cool things.  This is probably the most “Elf” deck that I have as well.  The list posted above has been changed a bit in since I originally posted it, but I haven’t updated the Tapped Out.   I think it’s actually gotten a bit less “elfy” to accommodate more things for Kraj to Experiment on. Illusionists Bracers are a cool new addition, and I really like Quicksilver Elemental and things that put counters on my opponents creatures.  Morphling is a star in this deck as well. I should probably get a Aetherling in there somewhere also.

Game #90: Jasmine Boreal

Game #90: Jasmine Boreal
Date: 2013-12-23
Location: Mom’s Kitchen Table, Duluth, MN
vs. Vorosh, the Hunter
Result: Neutral Win

Jasmine Boreal, Magic, TimeshiftedvsVorosh, the Hunter, Magic, Planar Chaos

My brother introduced his deck as “It does whaaaaaat? and then +1/+1 counters. It has a lot of synergizing that I don’t understand” It also, apparently was either gold or artifacts. I kept a 1 land hand with two Swords of Things and Stuff, Elixir of Immortality and an Expedition Map. Finaly on Turn 4 I get a second plains to cast Leonin Skyhunter.

My brother gets an Early Kathari Remnant and Species Gorger for Cascading-Every-Turn. While he is doing that (for Cosi’s Trickster, Rite of Passage, Shardless Agent (Grinding station), Semblence Anvil (creatures), Blasting Station and Bred for the Hunt) I am playing more lands and equipping a Sword of Blue and Green and Sword of White and Black to the Skyhunter.

He plays a Fathom Mage and Momir Vig and a Hydra and a Darksteel Juggernaut. I play Kinsbaile Border Guard and just keep smashing unblockable damage, making Wolves and milling him. I cast Jasmine, hoping to equip her, but she’s only Human so she didn’t get the Double Strike coolness. So she just looked very very pretty while one of her Knights did the work. My brother had fun because his deck did a lot of things, I had neutral fun because I really only needed one 2 drop creature to win (because Swords are Just Dumb).

About the Deck (Tapped Out sometime)

This is Knight’s Tribal. The General is their Fair Maiden (and oh, so fair she is). Ideally she becomes Shiva (or Spiral) and caries 5-6 Swords around. Usually it’s just putting Swords on Knights though.  Elixir of Immortality is the Holy Grail.  Sir Shandalar of Eberyn is the more thematic general, what with being a knight, but Jasmine has been my favorite Legend since Legends, so she needed a deck for sure.

Game #89: Cromat

Game #89: Cromat
Date: 2013-12-23
Location: Kitchen Table, Mom’s House, Duluth
vs. Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
Result: Neutral Loss

Cromat, Magic, ApocalypsevsNath of the Gilt-Leaf, Magic, Lorwyn

After a good burger and some Christmas Light viewing, my brother and I decided to play a few games. We started doing just Precons (Prossh was his early Xmas gift from me), but moved on to regular decks. We forgot to do Planechase.

I played a Swamp, Island, Plains, and Forest on turns 1-4 an then my lands dried up for about 5 turns. I got a few more plains, and finally another Island and then a Mountain when I was down to 5 life. He slowly killed me using Ob-Nixilis the Fallen.

I cast the following things: Standard Bearer, Bladed Pinions, Valor, Spirit Mantle, Throne of Geth, Frostwind Invoker, Soliton, Urborg Uprising, Scryb Ranger, Cystbearer and Cromat.

But the nail in my coffin was a Gray Merchant of Asphodel (which I gave him for his birthday). I hate that guy.

About the Deck (Tapped out Coming Soon)

How I built the Deck (in 5 minutes or less)

  1. Randomly pulled 12 cards of each color and artifacts from the box of stuff
  2.  Eliminated the 2 cards from each pile that make the least sense.
  3. Added 39 lands, balanced across the colors.

On Animar

On Animar

Along with Teysa #1, this is probably my most favorite deck to play. It has potential to do explosive things, but isn’t a broken deck.  Animar has a long history.

In its first incarnation it was a Sliver deck, (it really was the sliver that broke off of my retired Sliver Overlord deck) and it had about 10 non-creature spells (things like Survival of the Fittest, Hivestone, Doubling Season, Lightning Greaves, Warstorm Surge and a few other things). Eventually I started pulling out non-creature spells for creatures that could do similar things (Warstorm became Rage Thrower, Survival for Fauna Shaman, Boots for Elgaud Shieldmate) only leaving the Hivestone. The number of slivers pared-down as well, though the hivestone engine was important enough that I kept a Hoarding Dragon.

Then M14 slivers hit and I hated them, so I de-sliverized the deck (Animar is against giving handouts to those greedy free-loaders) and was able to make it fully ‘all-creature’. Since then I’ve tinkered a lot with the creature mix. The current incarnation plays up the +1/+1 counter theme more than past version.

Lets meet the team.

The Boss

is totally Swamp Thing.


The Lands

The Basics are  badass White-border “Tap to add” lands from Unlimited.


Some duals and filters are important since colored mana is the only kind I plan on spending.  As soon as I feel like taking apart my circa 2002 Miracle Gro deck, I’ll put in the real Tropical Island. For now it’s Sharpie placeholder.


Utility Lands that can be swapped for other cards are key, since un-needed lands are this decks second least favorite thing after board wipes. Oran-rief and Llanowar Reborn are great for speeding Animar’s growth.  The Alchemists refuge is on the block now that Prophet of Kruphix exists.


Ancient Ziggurat is a 2nd command tower, Opal Palace, despite being slow, is pretty great for later turn Animar-ing.


The Not-Lands (aka, The Creatures)

Guys that tap for mana. Birds makes for faster Animar. Myr are usually Free.


Guys that get more lands or otherwise accelerate, since the land count is low in the deck, and I don’t want to really draw more than 8 or so lands. I like to untap them, and i prefer to  play more than one per turn (especially off the top of the deck)


Animar’s favorite friends always give him the plusses. Hunting Moa is so rad it got a nod on the Mothership. 


Haste makes for not-waste. Wraths’ happen, and waiting out summoning-sickness sucks.


Things that play well with +1/+1 counters, either by supplying Animar with them, or helping out with extra abilities. If Experiment Kraj weren’t so color intensive, he’d join too.  Kalonian Hyrda is just dumb.  There are also a few X creatures that usually are huge, and Storm Entity can also get large in a hurry.


Some of the newest additions are the Gods. Which are totally allowed because Animar makes them cheaper, and are all really good in the deck. Purphuros can steal Ani’s thunder and become the kill. Thassa means Animar is getting in for that lethal commander damage, and that maybe I won’t draw a crappy land that I don’t want.DSC04306

Protective pals to keep Animar alive and un-targeted. Or to do crazy things (Progenitor Mimic)


Disruption and distruction on a body. Ruric Thar and Nullstone Gargoyle are particularly mean cards in a deck like this. There’s not a lot I can do against board-wipes, but Rage Thrower helps.


Sometimes (most of the time) my hand is empty or is just lands. These guys help to re-fill the hand or keep the bodies flowing. Sages of the Anima is a tricky play, since it’s tough to get any lands after it, but it puts a lot of cards into the hand.DSC04301

The Big Guns. Kozilek used to join Ulamog, but got evicted for not being indestructible and also for having Annihilator (which I dislike using).  20/20 Indestructibles are a better way to win.    DSC04308

I’m sure this deck will go through more changes as new things come out. Brutalizer Exarch is already threatening to oust Edric.