Game #175: Rakka Mar (Azula)

Game #175: Rakka Mar (Azula)
Date: 2015-06-10
Location: Family Game Store, Savage, MD
vs. Ihsan (pauper), Sidisi
Result: Fun Loss.

Rakka MarvsIhsan's Shade, Magic, HomelandsSidisi, Brood Tyrant, Magic, Khans of Tarkir

To follow-up Avatar Korra, I played a new Rakka-Mar deck (featuring Azula from The Last Airbender). I started with a Leyline of Lightning in play and followed it up with many mountains.  Sidisi dropped Parallel Lives again as well as a Coling Oracle, and Ishan started with a Soldevi Adnate, Phyrexian Rager and Moriok Replica.

I played Rakka and dropped an Elemental.  Next turn I used Arc Lightning to kill a morph and made an elemental. Sidisi played a Wurmcoil Engine and Foster. I Ihsan used Pestilence to wipe the board. I played a Hateflayer and a Thornbite Staff, but I was wiped out by Sidisi’s ever growing army of Wurms.

About the Deck: This deck is a Lightning/Elemental deck. Almost no Fire spells in the deck and pretty much anything with Lightning in the title makes the cut. A small Elemental Subtheme, but avoiding firey ones unless they are 3/1. Hostility is a favorite card in there.

Game #174: Karona, False God (Avatar Korra)

Game #174: Karona, False God (Avatar Korra)
Date: 2015-06-10
Location: Family Game Store, Savage, MD
vs. Gisa, Sidisi
Result: Neutral Loss.

IMG_0459vsGhoulcaller Gisa, Magic, Commander 2014Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, Magic, Khans of Tarkir

I started out with a Forbidden Orchard, followed by a Tundra and a Plains. Gisa started with a Nighteyes, Blood Ghast and a Skull Clamp followed up with a Nirkana Revenant. Sidisi had Parallel lives and was making lots of Snakes via Patagia Viper. Gisa responds with a Lashwrithe, Scarecrone and a bunch of other things (like a Caged Sun). Sidisi tries to recover with a bunch of copies of Coiling Oracle, but gets Dark Pact-ed for 36 and I get swarmed by 18 3/3 zombies. All I managed to get down was Mako (+1-ed) and I had just cast Three Dreams.

I played another game with Korra, and I think it went much better for me (may have even won!) Either way the deck is super cool and special.

About the Deck ( ) As a going away present, my friends from the Family Game Store wednesday night crew pooled their resources (okay, one bought a Karona, and the other did the kickass alter) to hook me up with the general for this deck.  The deck had been an idea we’d been talking about for a long time, and, having recently finished watching Legend of Korra, I decided to be the one that built it.

It was originally going to be totally creature-less, but then I decided that thematically appropriate walls could be created via bending, so I allowed those in.  The rest of Team Avatar is represented by planeswalkers (and I did some customs on MSE for them as well)

Tenzin the Sojourner Mako the Firebrand Bolin Worldwaker Asami Transcendant

Along with them were a complement of Fire, Water/Ice, Earth and Air themed spells either to pump Korra or to deal with threats.  It’s pretty strongly themed, though there are a few non-theme choices to make the deck work.

My Five Cents On… Color Faction Names.

<Scene: An LGS Near You>

New Magic Player (Citadel Castellan):  Wow, Magic is a cool game. Five Colors, each with it’s own philosophy and play-style.  I like Blue for its emphasis on knowledge (Oh Jace… he’s so Dreamy… and just exactly like me), but Red really gets the job done.  I think I will make a “Blue-Red” deck.

Less New Magic Player (Hazduhr): Oh, we’re not supposed to call it a “Blue-Red” deck.

Castellan: Okay, “Red-Blue” then.

Hazduhr: No, that won’t work either. They have special names you’re supposed to use.

Castellan: Well, if it’s not “Red-Blue or “Blue- Red”, What is it?

Hazduhr: Yes.

Castellan: Yes It’s what?

Hazduhr: Izzet!

Castellan: That’s want to know (I’m a Blue Mage). What is it?

Hazduhr: Exactly!

Castellan: Now I’m getting Angry (I’m a Red Mage). You’re not messing around with me, are you?

Hazduhr: RU? That’s not okay either.

Castellan: Am I? I’m not the one doing anything wrong here. You are!

Hazduhr: UR? Not okay. Izzet!

Castellan: No. It’s not okay. I asked a simple question, and you’ve given me nothing but lip. I quit this game. Get bent!

Hazduhr: Bant? that’s three colors…


First, let me say, that I LOVE the flavor of the different factions. I thought Ravnica was amazing with the Guilds expressing one aspect of the color-pairs, and I was overjoyed with Tarkir as one expression of the Wedges.  I think that’s GREAT and I want to see more creative expressions of the color groupings.

What I don’t like is that the Faction Names have been mandated as non-flavor expressions of those colors. Here’s why:

  1. The Color Pie is great, and the 5 Colors of Magic are important.  And by not naming them when they are combined, it’s saying they’re not to be in the forefront.
  2. The Flavor of the Guilds and Shards and Khanates/Dragonates aren’t the only expressions of those colors, and therefore limit new creative exploration. If we continuously hear those terms they will become the important and default ones and we will more highly value them.  It’s like the Availabilty Heuristic in action.
  3. It is confusing/unclear to people who don’t care about flavor. Magic has enough terminology that I don’t see how adding 20 more terms to describe something that could more easily be communicated using combinations of 5 terms that are the fundamental core of the game is helpful.
  4. It is confusing/unclear to people who DO care about flavor.  I hate when I see a deck posted as “Jeskai” Control and there’s not a single Monk or creature with Prowess in it at all. I like that Khanate a lot so I get excited when it seems like it’s getting some play, but then the deck just happens to be nothing but RWU.  Does a “Temur” Delver deck even have any Temur cards in it?
  5. The Slippery Slope:  now that they’re “doubling down” on (humanoid, easily castable for screen and stage) Planeswalkers’ stories,  I fear the day when the colors get permanently “branded” with the walkers.   “The final round  of the Pro Tour featuring [Some Pro] piloting her ‘Chandra Deck Wins‘  vs [Some Pro] and her ‘Gideon Weenie‘”  or  “This is an Island.  It taps for one “Jace” mana in a game of Jace: the Jacening.”    Okay, it’s not that bad (and that’s the topic for another chunk of change).