Game #173.1 173.2: Gilder Bairn (Pauper)

Game #173: Gilder Bairn (Pauper)
Date: 2015-06-10
Location: Family Game Store, Savage MD
vs. Ihsan’s Shade. (then also Axlerod Gunnarson)
Result: Fun Loss, Fun loss

Gilder Bairn, Magic, EventidevsIhsan's Shade, Magic, Anthologies,Axelrod Gunnarson, Magic, Legends

Ihsan (piloted by Gisa’s player) started out with a Stinkweed Imp and a Vault Skirge, and later an Abyssal Gatekeeper. I stared with a Cloudfin Raptor and an Ironshell Beetle for some +1/+fun. But despite a Grazking Kelpie and a Thrumming Bird, Ihsan was able to equip a Cranial Plating and a Whispersilk Cloak and kill me in 3 shots.

Then Axelrod Gunnarson showed up. I lost this one too (Axlerod did some tricks to kill me), but the highlight was having 33 lands in play due to Gilderbairn and Fertilid tricks. Also there was a Lesser Werewolf, which counts for something.

About the Deck: This deck was born of discussions we had in previous weeks about potential other non-legendary Pauper Commanders. As Gilder Bairn was 1)in the best colors, 2) involved doubling things, and 3)had the most creepily adorable art ever, it became clear that I had to build this deck. It’s mostly (obviously) centered around things with +1/+1 counters to be doubled. Especially Graft and Evolve creatures.

Game #172: Prime Speaker Zeganna

Game #172: Prime Speaker Zeganna
Date: 2015-05-27
Location: Family Game Store, Savage MD
vs. Gisa; Shauku Endbringer
Result: Fun Loss

Prime Speaker Zegana, Magic, GatecrashvsShauku, Endbringer, Magic, MirageGhoulcaller Gisa, Magic, Commander 2014

I had a Tap land to start, followed by Wingcrafter, Nightshade Peddler, Parallel Lives, Karametra’s Acolyte, and the Hornet Queen (with 8 babies). Gisa had a Top, Whip, and Necropotence. Shauku Sorin’s Gisa down to 10 and kills a Crypt Ghast. It gets Whipped back with Strata Scythe attached. Shauku wipes my board with Pestilence and tutors up two cards with Increasing Ambition. Gisa Damnable Pacts Shauku to death, does a bunch of other stuff and then Gempalm Polluter-s me to death.

About the Deck
This one will probably become a Momir Vig deck (because I can just tutor for Zeganna if I want her). It’s based on Soul Bond and also trying to get things to SoulBond to themselves with Dual Nature.  There’s a tiny theme of growth that also could benefit other players, but not to the extent of being “Group Hug.”

The Rest of the Night: I pulled off a combo win with the RGW Wooly Thoctar, and a win with my RG Pauper Lady of the Mountain. I played the Nextwave deck as well.

Game #171: Woolly Thoctar (Pauper)

Game #171: Woolly Thoctar (Pauper)
Date: 2015-05-20
Location: Family Game Store, Savage, MD
vs. Sister’s of Stone Death; Ulasht, the Hate Seed; Gisa
Result: Fun(I think?) loss

Woolly Thoctar, Magic, WPN PromosvsGhoulcaller Gisa, Magic, Commander 2014Ulasht, the Hate Seed, Magic, GuildpactSisters of Stone Death, Magic, Ravnica
I start with 2 forests and a hand full of Red and White Cards. I discard, then draw a karoo-type land. Finally I get to cast a Yavimaya Elder, and throw a Rancor on a Llanowar Knight. Sisters plays a Xathrid Gorgon. Ulasht has Fires of Yavimaya and a Primal Hydra. Gisa has Night-Eyes and Maze of Ith.

I play Commander Thoctar with a Scourge of the Nobilis and get a few shots in at Ulasht, who also has massive stuff like Hamletback Goliath, Kalonian Hydra and others. Sisters of Stone Death whiffs with Genesis Hydra, Ulasht plays an Avenger of Zendikar and then Sisters hits a Boundless Realms. Gisa is doing Phyrexian Dreadnought tricks (and Hamletback get HUGE, before Sisters has a giant meal of it). I try to kill the Avenger of Zendikar, but the Fires saves it. In the end, I think there’s a Gravecrawler loop that makes us lose.

About the Deck
I needed another RGW deck, and I also read about some really fun pauper combo decks in that color, so I put this together. The combo to try to get is Impact Tremors/Midnight Guard/Presence of Gond.  Lots of other stuff to help the Thoctar beatdown if necessary.

Game #170: Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury

Game #170: Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury
Date: 2015-05-13
Location: Family Game Store, Savage, MD
vs. Rhys the Redeemed; Shauku, the Endbringer; Horde of Notions
Result: Neutral Loss

Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury, Magic, Commander 2014vsHorde of Notions, Magic, LorwynShauku, Endbringer, Magic, MirageRhys the Redeemed, Magic, Shadowmoor

I started with 2 forests and drew into a Myriad Landscape, and play a few decent elves. Rhys started early with an Essence Warden, Skullclamp and other stuff into an early Kozilek, Horde of notion gets a 5-0 Fact or Fiction split, and Shauku wipes the board and uses Sorin to put Rhys down to 10.

All of Shauku’s lands get destroyed and he scoops. Horde of Notions pounds me down to 1. Rhys tries some tricks, but Horde has a stupid Craterhoof Behemoth (or something like that) on a Hideaway land, and I can’t do math, and scoop.

About the Deck: (tapped out someday)
I started building another deck and ended up cutting the Elves from it and they ended up here. I didn’t want to play a dumb elf general, and I liked the idea of Freyalise as a non threatening value generator. I think there is a combo in there with -1/-1 counters.  Kaysa is the alternate general for this deck because of her Rebecca Guay art.

The Decks Files, Part 8 : Blue-Black

Having so many decks means that it’s REALLY time consuming to keep decklists updated. Not every deck is on, and many that are have changed significantly. That said, IF YOU WANT A DECKLIST: leave a comment or send me a message and I will find time to fix, or create, the decklists on TappedOut.

Here’s the Quick Rubric I’ll use for some of the questions.

How often do I want to Play it? How “Good” is it? How much do I like it?
5=  More than once in a Row  I’d play it against “Competitive decks” or if I actually want to try to win  One of my very favorites
4=  Often  It can hold its own  I really like it
3=  Sometimes  It might win under special circumstances  It’s okay
2=  Under certain circumstances  Just for Fun  Something’s not quite right
1=  Rarely / have to be in a certain mood  Winning would be a miracle I might actually take it apart… maybe

Commander: Oona, Queen of the FaeOona, Queen of the Fae, Magic, From the Vault: Legends
Name:  The Faerie Mill
Style: Mill
Tribe?: Faeries
Want to play?: 2
“Good?”: 2
Like?:  2
Deck Notes:  This was my first UB deck. It started as a combination of Mill and Discard, but the discard melted out into other decks. It’s also Faerie tribal, but mostly because I wanted to try to play Bitterblossom. I don’t play it much, mostly because I don’t enjoy milling people all that much, but I do really like Oona as a card.


Commander:  Lazav – GUILDLazav, Dimir Mastermind, Magic, Gatecrash
Name:  ????? (the Dimir do not exist)
Style: Guild Wars
Want to play?: 2
Like?: 2
Deck Notes: The Dimir are also pretty much about Milling, which is stronger in an all-ravnica environment. Lazav is pretty fun as the general, though any of the other Dimir leaders could be played.


Commander: Vela, the Night CladVela the Night-Clad, Magic, Commander's Arsenal
Style: Aggro with Combo back-up
Want to play?:3
“Good?”: 3
Like?: 3
Deck Notes: This is a deck that I always think I want to play, but never end up playing.  There are lots of recursion combos as well as plenty of blinking and self-bounce effects.  It also plays a bunch of artifact creatures due to the mass-intimidate ability (I might add a Thran Lens for even more fun).


Commander:  Ramses OverdarkRamses Overdark
Name:  Assassins!
Style: Tribal
Tribe?: Rogues and Assassins
Want to play? 3
Like?: 3
Deck Notes: Ramses has a pretty fun effect to use with enchantments that return to your hand when the creature dies.  The deck mixes that ability with a few tap abilities (for Royal Assassin) and some Prowl effects. This is another one that I always feel like I want to play, but rarely actually do.  There are some Ninja in the deck, but I might split it into a different deck for Ninja assasins.


Commander: Skeleton ShipSkeleton Ship, Magic, Ice Age
Name:  Pirates of Dark Water
Style: Tribal Theme
Tribe?: Pirates! Ships!
Want to play? 4
“Good?”: 2
Like?: 4
Deck Notes: This was also a spin-off from Ramses.  Ship is such a silly creature type, but also awesome, and Skeleton Ship has adorable art.  There are all of the Pirate creatures, plus a variety of theft-based spells (I need to add Hedonist’s Trove and Piracy).  All of the Islands are Foil, and each one is different to represent all of the places the pirates have plundered. The foilness of the islands means the deck doesn’t sit quite right, so this one actually gets some House Greyjoy Kraken sleeves (that don’t shuffle well).  This deck is total silly theme, but I really like it.


Commander: Sakashima /Lazav / SilumgarLazav, Dimir Mastermind, Magic, Gatecrash
Name:  $akaSiLazavumgarima
Style: Theft, Copy, Theft/Copy
Want to play?:2
“Good?”: 2
Like?: 4
Sakashima the Impostor, Magic, Saviors of KamigawaDeck Notes: This started out as one deck that had splintered off from Thada Adel (eventually replacing it). I wanted to do a theft/copy deck mono-blue, but had an idea for a UB one as well that used most of the same cards. I figured I could just make two versions of the same deck with a little swapping of cards.  Then Silumgar was announced,Dragonlord Silumgar, Magic, Dragons of Tarkir and I wanted to build a deck around him.  The way it works is Sakashima has 25 blue copy effects and 25 blue steal effects, lazav drops the blue steal effects and adds in black  theft effects,  Silumgar drops the blue copy effects and adds in black theft effects, and there are 10-12 utility artifacts that play in all three. All of the versions are fun to play, but it’s a pain to swap around.



In Search of Commander / EDH group in Portland, Oregon

  •  I’m Moving to Portland Next Week.Weird Harvest, Magic, 9th Edition

    36yo player (MTG since The Dark)  ISO a fun, regular EDH/Commander group.  165+ EDH Decks and counting.  Just left a fantastic group in Ellicott City, MD (The Family Game Store).

    If you want to read more about my EDH philosophy, check here


  • Casual Play,
  • Social Contract/friendly games,
  • relaxed (non-sculpting) mulligans,
  • deck variety,
  • placeholder proxies (only cards I own),
  • 2-5 player games,
  • standard Commander rules (with occasionally expanding/modifying the format — Tag-Team Commander, Pauper, GuildWars etc)


  • play for prizes,
  • play for points,
  • leagues,
  • tournaments/ “pods”,
  • hyper-competitive games,
  • games consistently ending before turn 10,
  • combo-only games,
  • house-bans,
  • anti-social players,
  • optimization.

    Not sure what my availability will be just yet.  Letters of reference available on request.  Contact me via this blog (cross posted at