All Creature / Creatureless project

As a sub project of this deckbuilding endeavor, I like to sometimes hold myself to specific restrictions. They have included Ultra-Mono (no non-lands outside color identity), CMC Restrictions (all non-lands either have that CMC or can be played for that cost in a non-X way), or All Permanents.

The restrictions I’ve followed most often are the All-Creature deck, and the “Creatureless” deck. Creatureless decks are allowed to create creatures, and have creatures as generals, but play no cards with the Creature type in the 99.

While I doubt that I will ever complete this grid, I am interested in filling it out over time.

Color All Creature “Creatureless”
 White  Commander Eesha
 Blue  Azami, Lady of Scrolls  Soromaro, First to Dream
 Black  Lim-dul/Geth/Chainer,  Nefarox 2.0
 Red  (almost Kiki-Jiki)  Slobad/Kurkesh/Daretti
 Green  Thrun, the Last Troll
 W/U  Daxos of Meletis
 U/B
 B/R
 R/G
 G/W  Karametra, God of Harvests
 W/B  Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
 U/R    Niv-Mizzet, the FireMind
 B/G
 R/W  *tbd
 G/U
 WUB  Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
 UBR
 BRG
 RGW
 GWU
 WUR  Narset, Enlightened Master
 UBG
 BRW
 RGU  Animar, Soul of Elements
 GWR
 WUBRG
 C

Highlights from the Longest Game ( or, “Geth Doesn’t Discriminate)

Highlights from the Longest Game I’ve Ever Played, Featuring Geth.
Date: 2016-2-23
Location: RedCastle Games, Portland OR
vs: Ayli the Eternal Pilgrim; Iroas; Karlov
result: 3 hours of pretty fun

Geth, Lord of the Vault, Magic, Scars of MirrodinvsAyli, Eternal Pilgrim, Magic, Prerelease CardsKarlov of the Ghost Council, Magic, Commander 2015Iroas, God of Victory, Magic, Journey Into Nyx

This is not an official game, since, while I’ve never played Geth as a general before, it’s just my Lim-Dul/Chainer “Creaturless” deck. I realized Geth could be a another Ulitmate General, and I was also inspired by a friend saying “Geth Doesn’t Discriminate,” which made me think “… between the Sinners and the Saints, He Takes and He Takes and He Takes” (because I’ve been listening to and reading “Hamilton” way too much recently, and Geth would make a good Aaron Burr”.

Anyway…

I didn’t record the game because it wasn’t official, but it was, at just close to 3 hours long, the longest 4-player game I’ve ever been a part of at any store, or at someones home. Ayli and Karlov are both about big life and sacrificing, Iroas was all about suiting up a creature and hitting hard, and my deck was all about killing things and taking them from other people. Here were some of the highlights or key moments:

  • I got to use Lake of the Dead 5 times
  • I had a Staff of Nin all game
  • I got to effectively use Black Market, Grave Betrayal AND NO Mercy (though only the latter lasted more than one turn);
  • I stole a Crypt Ghast more than once, and also had Caged Sun (and later a Cabal Coffers with 20 Swamps).
  • I cast Life’s Finale, followed by Rise of the Dark Realms on the same turn (though couldn’t win, as my 40/40 Karlov got Deflecting Palmed and had to die in response
  • Ayli played a Arbiter of Knollridge, with a Sanguine Bond out, when he was down to 4 life while Karlov was at 80. It set me to 4, and everyone else to 80.
  • Miraculously I lived to my next turn, though at 1 life.
  • Necromantic Summons trying to get back the Abiter, but it was exiled. Instead I Beacon of Unrested to get back a Resolute Archangel
  • All told, Geth was cast 5 times, and wore Darksteel Plate, and Lightning Greaves more than once, but never got to have Shade’s Form
  • Geth reanimated a Tainted Sigil, which later was used to gain me 70 life (more, had I been patient).
  • Ultimately I died to Commander Damage from a 23/23 boots, double swords-ed Karlov. I was at 85 life

All in all it was a very swingy game. I did almost nothing for the first 8-10 turns, as no creatures were really dying. Ayli lived through early game mana screw, and Iroas had a tough time getting to creaturehood. I was happy how Geth Worked out (and with how much Mana was happening).

Updated NextWAVE Superfriends

This is the updated Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. “superfriends” collection.  I made a few adjustments, from the previous one.  Ajani wasn’t working as random  splash page sabertooth white-tiger, so he became Howard the Duck.  I also dipped into Runaways for a few planeswalkers, and did up a few Lands and other key cards (I really like my Doubling Season and Command Tower).  I’m also pretty psyched to have Devil Dinosaur as Ugin and I like the BabyMODOK/ElvisMODOK as Baby Jace/Big Jace (and Jace as Number None/Modok in general).  Not every one of these guys made it into the current deck, but they are still cool.

New Decks in the Works, 2015

150 isn’t enough, so I’ve got several new decks in various states of construction.

Scion of the Ur-Dragon, 2:  Takhisis/Dragonlance themed — black knights, Viashino Draconiana, Dragon Highlord Legends,  Mono colored Dragons (okay and the FRF legendaries too).    Oh how I wish that WotC let MTG and DnD cross the streams… Dragons of Tarkir have the WRONG breath weapons.
STATUS: needs lands, and utility cards

Zuberi Golden Feather: Griffin tribal because.
STATUS: needs lands and cards other than griffins

Rosheen Meanderer: The Joy of X. Hydra tribal and X-Spells
STATUS: just needs lands

Asmira, Holy Avenger: Voltron and/or combo (to make Asmira bigger).
STATUS: needs lands and some final cuts

Sakashima the Impostor (Lazav, Dimir Mastermind): Formerly Thada-Adel. Copy, Borrow, Steal, minus merfolk. This one’s also meant to be “Transformable” between a Mono-Blue deck and a Blue Black one.
STATUS: Have to figure out the “Swaps” between the two versions.

Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch: Either a +1/+1 matters deck, or a Bad Girls deck. Also really want to try Bazaar Trader/Hivestone/Plague Sliver somewhere
STATUS: still deciding on Cards

Latulla, Keldon Overseer: Phoenixes and discarding for profit.
STATUS: still deciding on cards

Feldon of the Third Path: Red Mill. This deck is meant to be a “Convertible” deck between Tiny Leaders and a Regular EDH. It will have a TL shell that I can add 50 other cards (of any CMC) to make it a real deck. (and who knows, I might not play much more TL…)
STATUS: Still deciding on the final 50

Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker: SHHHH it’s a Library. Mostly library themed deck (all of the “Book” or “Scroll” artifacts, and other theme-y things) plus some convoluted ways to take advantage of Michiko’s ability. Already made some proxies of Michiko, Masako the Humorless and Linvala Keeper of Silence as the Page Sisters from the Jack of Fables comics.
STATUS: Still in acquisitions mode.

Hilary Page, Research

Hilary Page, Research

Priscilla Page, Acquistions

Priscilla Page, Acquistions

Robin Page, Security

Robin Page, Security

 

Intet, the Dreamer #2: I wanted to build a RUG Dragons deck and also play with my favorite combo engine of Aluren/Horned Kavu. This one is Kavu, Kobolds and Dragons and maybe a Dragon Storm. Tarkir makes me build more Dragon decks. Intet is just for the colors. I suppose it could be Yasova or Surrak too.
STATUS: still building

Lady Evangela: has been sitting with a rad proxy and wanting to be a Color-matters deck for almost two years
STATUS: just a twinkle in my eyeLady Evangela

Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest: either a Prowess deck or Prowess/Heroic, with maybe Jeskai Ascendancy combo and Sunforger funtimes thrown in. I had lots of possible ways to go with him, still not sure. I considered a RW deck with a Blue general (with only enough U to cast Shu Yun), or a Creatureless build, or Monk Tribal, or having two Shu Yuns (See below)
STATUS: waiting for a few pieces and lands

(Numot the Devastator (Gwafa Hazid/Norin the Wary tag-team): This is human tribal, and most people don’t play Tag-Team rules. Considering letting Shu Yun be the new Commander here)

OTHER DECKS THAT MIGHT GET OVERHAULS (OR JUST HAULED OFF)
(Ramses Overdark): considering splitting it into tow decks: a Ninja/Assassin deck and a Rogue/Evil Aura deck. Not sure though.

(Tariel the Reckoner): Considering letting Alesha Who Smiles at Death be the new boss here since she looks kinda Samurai-ish (conflating pseudo-Asian cultures though… and my Tariel proxy is pretty cool)

(Oros the Avenger): Oros Hates Balthor Graveyards is less fun now that Balthor is no-more. Maybe re-configuring it somehow, or scrapping it for parts.

(Xira Arien): Eldrazi Tribal might get scrapped for parts (there’s a real dual in there, plus a Phyrexian Altar that is collecting dust)

My 5 Cents On… Tiny Leaders

Tiny Leaders is all the rage right now out there on the internet and the world.  I’ve built decks (because that’s what I do), played it some, and on the whole, I think I like it okay.

Why I like Tiny Leaders:

  1. It plays quickly, and you can get in a game while the Commander game you just lost is finishing, while you’re waiting to join the next one, or if the store is closing in 20 minutes but you don’t feel like you’re done playing.
  2. You can play Gaea’s Skyfolk and not be called a Bad Player. Lots of other cards that I, as an EDH-only player, normally wouldn’t use are also available, and so is Recurring Nightmare
  3. There’s no Social Contract*, so it’s okay to be mean and play Poison/Mill/Discard and/or pretend like I can win really fast (which is NOT how I like my EDH games to be).
  4. It reminds me of a song my brother wrote (“Little Tiny Superheroes (Swimming in my Diet Coke”)
  5. It’s another, different, way to build Singleton decks, and I like building decks a lot and with different restrictions.

Why I DON’T like Tiny Leaders:

  1.  I’m bad at it.  My brain doesn’t work well in fast, cutthroat play and with competetive/optimal deckbuilding , and I keep wanting to have themes or do “Fun” things that don’t win (and TL, as Legacy w/ a commander mostly relies on the idea that winning is fun).
  2. Miracle-Gro** doesn’t work as well without Gush/Force of Will.
  3. It’s another format competing for time with EDH. I already have to contend with people who like to Cube, and sometimes (always) I mostly want to play EDH.
  4. It’s an expensive format.  Smaller decks plus faster games plus competetiveness means that, in order to do well, things like Fetches and Legacy Staples are much more important.  When I look at decks that have 17-19 unique different lands, it makes me sad.  Spending money on fetches isn’t fun, and Evolving Wilds/Terramorphic Expanse are kind of  “slow”***
  5. I Mana-Flood too easily.  Whereas in EDH, despite 38-40 lands, I’m always mana-screwed. This is probably just karma and not a feature of the game. I played one game where, out of 23 cards that I saw in the game, 16 of them were lands.

Some Neutral Thoughts about Tiny Leaders

1. Differences from EDH need to continue to be highlighted. There was a big discussion on the TL Facebook group that started with a player complaining about how the format is too Spikey.  The general impression I got from the comments was that “NO! UR DOIN IT WRONG. THIS IS NOT 50 CARD EDH, IT IS  SINGLETON LEGACY FOR WINNERS WITH A GUY.”  Which I actually agree with. It’s not Little EDH, and it shouldn’t be treated as such. It’s a different format with two, albeit kind of important, similarities.  This is also why I struggle with it sometimes, since “Fun First, Winning… ?” is kind of my motto.

2. However, as with any format like this, people are going to play it how they want to.  My group doesn’t do sideboards and plays it multiplayer (we’re considering Emperor if we have 6 tonight) instead of only head to head 2 out of 3.  Even 1v1 last week two guys ended up playing it as 2-Headed Giant, each piloting two Tiny Leaders decks.

3. I’m thinking of making Expandable/Convertible decks.   Making Tiny Leaders decks that have 50-card Expansion Board that transforms them into EDH decks.  There are enough  <3-CMC Legends for whom I haven’t build 100 card decks for that I also either have or want to try as Tiny Leaders (Yasova, Alesha, Feldon, Glissa, Lady Evangela, etc).

I think I’m going to build an Expansion for “Able without Cane” (  this Feldon list  ) soon.   There are also EDH decks that could be adapted to have TL modules in them, which I might do to things like  Balthor the Stout  (because I’m sure that  Dwarf Tribal is OP in TL).

Or, even cooler,  build two TL decks that can be slammed together to make a Tag-Team EDH deck…  oooh, the ideas… . It’s like taking 1v1 2HG to another level.

4. I’m happy for the people that came up with the format, and I’m glad it’s really caught on and is getting press and recognition.  It gives me hope that Tag-Team commander will maybe be revitalized.

5. I hope it stays cool long enough for Wizards to put out a summer product for it, (Preferrably NOT as a replacement for a fall commander set), but I worry that if they make it good, it will have too many reprintable Legacy cards in it and cost  WAY too much.   A $35-40  TL “Event Deck” would be cool.

So there are my 3 nickels worth of thoughts on Tiny Leaders.

 

*: I pretty much  play only-EDH because I love the Social Contract, but every once and a while it’s nice to play a game where you don’t have to care about “interaction” or your opponent’s enjoyment of the game at all.

**: The only time I was ever “good” at Magic, or “Won” games was back when Miracle-Gro was awesome in Extended (R.I.P, Extended).

***: But I totally play both of them. To be honest, I mostly still just play basic lands and proxy in for my Revised Duals and maybe play some ETBT duals.  In the “hell-freezes-over” scenario where I played a real tournament, I’d use the real copies of the duals.

All The Decks (January ’15 Edition)

Snow Days (in Maryland.  In Minnesota they’re just called “Days”) afforded me time to do a bit of a Deck Inventory. So here are all 148, with Pictures.

MONO

Mono Colored Decks (41)

Mono Colored Decks (41)

ALLY

Allied Color (26)

Allied Color (26)

ENEMY

ENEMY (22)

ENEMY (22)

GUILD

GUILD (10)

GUILD (10)

SHARD

SHARD (17)

SHARD (17)

WEDGE

WEDGE (18)

WEDGE (18)

4-COLOR

4-COLOR (TAG TEAM)

4-COLOR (TAG TEAM) (5)

WUBRG

5-COLOR

5-COLOR (9)

Coming Soon…

Some Works In Progress

Some Works In Progress

News: Little Tiny Superheroes…

Thanks to GatheringMagic.com, I discovered the Tiny Leaders format.  It’s like EDH (Highlander, a “General”) but Tiny (50 cards, Nothing with CMC>3 ) and I think it sounds AWESOME.  It has a modified ban-list, and is meant to be played 1v1, but it’s not “French” EDH.

There are a lot of cards that I have that I’d like to play with, but don’t really do much in the Big Mana, Big Dudes, Big Games realm of traditional Commander, and this format makes them worthwhile.  It’s also something that can be played quickly, and a format where I wouldn’t feel bad trying to win fast (or play poison or counterspells).

Obviously I’m not giving up on EDH — I should be to 150 decks sometime in the next few months — but I have a feeling that I’m probably going to build 25 (one for each color combination)  or so Tiny Leaders decks as well.

I’ve already built  Soraya the Falconer as bird tribal (in honor of Kangee, Aerie Keeper, my first EDH deck), and Nin the Pain Artist as an instants/sorceries/prowess deck. Also, for my wife, I resurrected a modified version of my Animar Slivers deck.   In the works,  I’ve also got  Rhs, the Exiled  (Elves),  2 competing ideas for Glissa the Traitor (Poison or Artifact Combo),  Thada-Adel (merfolk tribal).

For those who may be missing my regular-EDH game reviews, I have a few more to write up, and I also intend on having decks starring Nahiri (Kor Tribal),  Ghoulcaller Gisa (zombie-less zombie tribal), Titania (lands dying).