Game #236: Elenda, the Dusk Rose

Game #236: Elenda, the Dusk Rose (or Vona, Butcher of Magan)
Date: 2018-01-30
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
Vs. Glissa; Etali; Talrand
Result:   Unfun Loss

Due to Backlog, and temporal distance, these recaps will be brief.

Recap: Glissa scooped to a ruination, Talrand had a long Doubling Cube turn. I played some Vampires, but everyone died to Paradox Engine

About the Deck

Vampire Tribal, Ixalan Block Constructed (with some land fixing help). Either Elenda or Vona can be the boss. Though when I build an Elenda deck, Vona will get this one.

Game #231: Kambal, Consul of Allocation

Game #231: Kambal, Consul of Allocation
Date: 2017-06-13
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
Vs. Kraum/Vial Smasher; Titania; Teneb
Result:   Fun Win

Due to Backlog, and temporal distance, these recaps will be brief.

Recap: Despite a few board wipes and close calls, I ground out a win with Urborg, Karma, and Stern Judge.

About the Deck

This is pretty much a bleeder deck that does some Swamps Matter in a Bad Way tricks

Game #217: Ravos/Tymna

Game #217: Ravos/Tymna
Date: 2016-12-13
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
Vs. Atraxa +; Vial Smasher/Silas Renn; Tymna/Ludevic
Result:   Neutral Loss

(Tymna the Weaver, Magic, Commander 2016/ ) vsAtraxa, Praetors' Voice, Magic, Commander 2016(Vial Smasher the Fierce, Magic, Commander 2016/Silas Renn, Seeker Adept, Magic, Commander 2016) (Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist, Magic, Commander 2016/Tymna the Weaver, Magic, Commander 2016)

I started with a Windbrisk Heights (hiding away an Enduring Renewal).  I played Tymna on turn 3 and a Keening Apparition on turn 4.  Atraxa started with a Hardened Scales and also cast Manifold Insigts. T/L played Blind Obedience. A Reforge the Soul shuffled up our hands.  I played some small creatures (Herald of Anafenza, Tithe Drinker, etc) and an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. I got my Enduring Renewal on turn 11 and cast Fleshbag Maruader several times, until Atraxa Mortified my Renewal.  Vial Smasher smashed me pretty hard a few times, and then the board was wiped.  I cast Ravos and rebuilt my board a bit, but a giant Atraxa cast an Overloaded Cyclonic Rift (a card I am definitely starting to HATE), and there wasn’t really much that could be done after that.  I did some fun stuff in the game, but the ending was anticlimactic.

About the Deck ( (This link may change, as it is still being built)

Mostly the plan is to have a lot of small creatures, have Ravos pump them and bring them back for value, and attack a lot. Tymna helps draw more stuff. I’m glad to have a W/B deck that isn’t basically a Lifegain deck (even if Tymna does like some lifegain).

Game #192: Selenia, Dark Angel

Game #192: Selenia, Dark Angel
Date: 2016-03-15
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
Vs. Ayli, The Eternal Pilgrim; Mayael the Anima; Mogis, God of Slaughter
Result: Fun Loss

Selenia Dark AngelvsAyli, Eternal Pilgrim, Magic, Oath of the GatewatchMayael the Anima, Magic, Commander 2013Mogis, God of Slaughter, Magic, Born of the Gods

Back to Back W/B decks (albeit separated by 2 weeks).  I kept an awkward 3 land hand that lacked white mana, though I did play a Seraph Sanctuary early on. I got 1 white producer on turn 4, and played an Ashnod’s Altar. On turn 5 I missed a land drop, and sacrificed a Vampire Nighthawk to play a Talus Paladin for strategic reasons.

Mogis had built up a Phyrexian Arena, Mogis himself, Repercussions and Tainted Remedy, those plus Mayael’s Lurking Predators mean that I had to Merciless-ly Evict all enchantments on turn 6.  Ayli was mostly harmless. Mogis returned with an Underworld Dreams.

My 7th turn I played two more Vampire Allies, though one got Fight-ed by a werewolf.  Mogis was threatening with a Sarkhan in dragon form. Ayli wiped the board but it led into Mayael getting a Godsire, which smacked Sarkhan.  Ayli drained us with an X=3 Debt to the Deathless. On Turn 10 I was able to March From the Tomb three of my Allies,  sacrifice 2 to get the mana to cast a kicked Blood Tribute, halving Ayli’s large life total and bumping me from 17 to 41.  Meanwhile I had cast Selenia and bounced her once. I had to cast her a second time from the command zone (I eventually bounced and recast her 3 more times).

Ayli wiped the board again. Mogis uses Palace Siege to continue to grind us, and Praetor’s Grasped away a Vampire Impostor from me.  On turn 12 I try to Congregate for big life, but only end up with 12.  Ayli now has a Debtor’s Knell. Mayael is hanging on with an Elderscale Wurm, and other big Wurms (Novablast, Worldspine!) but can’t mount an offensive. Ayli continues to reanimate a Godsire via Puppeteer Clique, attack me, get a token, and sacrifice the Godsire for life. Mostly I just block and bounce Selenia.

Mayael is hanging on with 1 life and has to kill Mogis before the Siege kills him.  On turn 14 I play a Retreat to Emeria, play an evolving wilds that gets an Island, and gives me 2 tokens and my second White mana…

I try for a Defiant Bloodlord on turn 15 but by this point Ayli has a mess of a board and kills us all.

About the Deck:  This one also grew out of the “Build Karlov, Rebuild Vish-kal, Build Ayli” project.  When I realized that I basically had every other BW commander built (assuming I use old Ghost Dad as backup-general for my Teysa #2 deck), I knew I had to build Selenia.   Ayli had to have the B/W Allies cut, and they found a home here, cementing the Unlikely Alliance of Angels and Vampires that make up this deck.  It’s a deck that benefits from life-gain, but is not a Life deck (the life is really to stabilize and let me bounce Selenia).  Seal of the Guildpact is a star, along with the one that does the same thing for life.  This one isn’t really a reanimator deck either, aside from the Allies sorcery.


Game #191: Ayli, the Eternal Pilgrim

Game #191: Ayli, the Eternal Pilgrim
Date: 2016-03-01
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
Vs. Mizzix of the Izmagnus; Horde of Notions; Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Result: Mostly fun Win.

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, Magic, Oath of the GatewatchvsMizzix of the Izmagnus (Oversized), Magic, Oversize CardsHorde of Notions, Magic, LorwynIsamaru, Hound of Konda, Magic, Champions of Kamigawa

I kept a 4 land hand, all of which entered the Battlefield Tapped (my Tainted field tapped for colorless the bulk of the game). I played Ayli on turn 3 and Sigil of the new Dawn on turn 4. Isamaru came out early and had an Umezawa’s Jitte, which spent most of the game on a flying double striker and got as high as 15 counters on it. Mizzix was ramping and Horde of Notions was color fixiing. I didn’t play another spell until turn 8, when my Rhox Faithmender got countered by Mizzix. I responded by Ashes to Ashes-ing Mizzix and Melek out of spite. I was down to 23 life, having been hit for 6 by the doublestriking Jitte-holder a few times.

Mizzix stole Isamaru. On turn 9 I cast Serra Avatar. I looked around to make sure it was good, and went to sacrifice it to Ayli when Mizzix said he was killing Ayli in response to the casting of of the Avatar. I rarely argue about timing and stuff, and I’m usually pretty chill about Takesies Backsies (though I did turn down the opportunity to take one earlier in the game), so Ayli died, but not before I shuffled my Avatar and went back up to 46. On turn 10 I played a Vizkopa Guildmage and a Nomad’s Assembly for 7. I was setting up to win via a Congregate/Guildmage next turn, but Isamaru cast rout, and my Assembly failed on the next turn. Mizzix was able to exile the Jitte, though Isamaru gained 24 life from it. Turn 11 I cast a Whip of Erebos and a Disciple of Griselbrand, and then someone Cyclonic rifted. Turn 12 I played down my Whip, Sigil and Disciple. Mizzix had 5 Bringers of the Red Dawn thanks to Horde of Notions and a Rite of Replication.

After a Windfall, I amazingly got my Serra Avatar back in hand, though I lost some good stuff. I replayed Ayli and started doubling my life (using Sigil of the New Dawn to beat Avatar’s shuffle trigger). Mizzix was doing Shenanigans with his army of bringers (and thankfully Ayli can’t sacrifice herself to herself). A Curse of the Swine was aimed at Horde of Notions board and followed up with a Contagion engine that gave Swine Flu to all of the pigs.

I doubled and redoubled up to 264, patiently waiting to get to 15 mana. I was amazed that there was nothing stopping me. I hit 15 mana on turn 15 which was enough to cast the Avatar, Whip in the Guildmage, activate it and sacrifice the Avatar to Ayli, putting me up to 528 and everyone else down by 264. In a game where everyone was playing really good stuff, and I only cast 3 spells in the first 8 turns, it was a fun surprise to win.

About the Deck: This deck was in the works as soon as I reconfigured my Vish-Kal deck to scavenge cards for a Karlov deck. Since that one was about incremental life gain, I had many big-gain cards left over. Ayli was announced, and I knew what I needed to do.

This one has a bunch of life-doublers, and the goal is to get a big life total and use it for value or for winning. As it was being built, I realized that it needed some token creatures to make use of Ayli’s second ability, so I rethought it a little bit.  It plays Boonweaver Giant and 2 combo auras (Shade’s Form and the other one), because I love Boonweaver.  It initially had a B/W allies theme to it, but there wasn’t room for that, and in building this one the rest of the cards that didn’t get used spilled over into a Selenia, Dark Angel deck that is nearly complete.


Game #186: Karlov of the Ghost Council

Game #186: Karlov of the Ghost Council
Date: 2016-01-12
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland, OR
vs.: Nath of the Gilt Leaf; Surrak Dragonclaw; Mizzix
Result: Fun Loss

Karlov of the Ghost Council, Magic, Commander 2015vsNath of the Gilt-Leaf, Magic, LorwynSurrak Dragonclaw, Magic, Prerelease CardsMizzix of the Izmagnus (Oversized), Magic, Oversize Cards

I had a 4-land hand and played Profane Memento on turn one, with Karlov coming out on Turn 2, followed up by Unspeakable Symbol, Greed (drawing more lands) and Obzedat. I built up a 10/10 Karlov and was swinging aggressivley.

However the Nath player made an infinite elf/mana combo with Sword of the Paruns or Umbral Mante and had a Skullclamp to dig for a finisher. Despite losing on turn 7 to infinite shenanigans, my deck did what I wanted it to be doing, so it was still fun.

About the Deck:  I took my Vish-Kal deck, which was a B/W big lifegain deck and refigured it as a medium life-gain deck built more around the general, then I took most of the small incremental life-gain cards and turned them into this deck (and set aside other cards for an upcoming Ayli deck to be about big-life gain).  It’s not a super original deck, as most Karlov decks seem to be about maximizing incidents of life-gain.  I do love Unspeakable Symbol’s synergy in this deck.

For the record, though, as Teysa Karlov’s #1 fan, I almost didn’t build this deck on sheer principle.

Game #180: Daxos the Returned

Game #180: Daxos the Returned
Date: 2015-11-24
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland, OR
vs.: Anafenza the Formost; Karlov of the Ghost Council; Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
Result: Neutral Loss

Daxos the Returned, Magic, Commander 2015vsKarlov of the Ghost Council, Magic, Commander 2015Anafenza, the Foremost, Magic, Khans of TarkirOloro, Ageless Ascetic, Magic, Commander 2013

A battle of everyone is BW! (the best color combination!).  I had a two land hand but no white mana, I drew a plains on turn 3 and cast Daxos, but he didn’t survive to my turn as Oloro wiped the board to kill Daxos, Karlov and something else with a Toxic Deluge.  For fun, and Oloro-hate, Karolv played Tainted Remedy.   My deck wasn’t big on life-gain, but every card in my hand that I could cast happened to be something that involved life gain.  Anafenza played Athreos and Nissa (legendary).

On turn 5 I played an Underworld Coinsmith and an Attrition.  On turn 8 I finally hit 5 mana to cast Daxos again (who died to an Oloro Supreme Verdict before I could do anything).  In the mean time Oloro kept losing life and Karlov had a Grave Pact and Butcher of Malakir.  Also our graveyards kept getting wiped due to a Salvaging Station/Nihil Spellbomb interaction.

Then Oloro dropped Ugin. Wiped our boards, had the mana to drop Planeswalker Karn, and then slowly went crazy with Planeswalkers (Elspeth, Ashiok, Tezerret, Chain Veil). Eventually we all lost, but I stopped paying attention as to how.

Anafenza was also doing Enchantress-y things, but suffered from Mana issues as well (and also graveyard hated issues).

Total Experience Counters with Daxos: ZERO.   It wasn’t so miserable to be rated “unfun” but it was close.

About the Deck:  Daxos is by far and away my favorite of the new C15 legends. I was super pumped to have another option for W/B that plays differently than my other decks (which are reanimation/lifegain based).  I started building this deck the day Daxos was spoiled.  Several cards (obvious ones) were in the pre-con already.   I had a stack of about 150 cards to sort through to build the deck. I briefly considered trying to go All-Enchantments as a restriction to breed creativity, but I realized that there were enough key cards that weren’t natively enchantments that I wanted in the deck to invalidate that path. I settled on “if it can be done via enchantment, then it will be” as my guiding principle. So the removal is all Enchantment based (except for the one instant/sorcery that destroys all non-enchantment creatures), and the additional creatures all deal with enchantments in someway.

The main goal is to generate a lot of experience counters, so there are quite a few recurring enchantments (Gossamer Chains, Despondency, Flickering Ward).  It does have some life gain, mostly to offset Carnival of Souls. I opted against most +1/+1 counters generation because it’s too much to keep track of.  Bestow creatures also do double duty of suiting up Daxos or just being guys in their own right.

The Decks Files, Part 7 : Black White

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

*I am alternating Ally/Enemy WUBRG pairs for two colors.

Commander:Teysa, Orzhov Scion #1Teysa-sleeve
Name:  Teysa Token Craziness; Teysa Number One
Style: Tokens, Combo
Want to play?: 5
“Good?”: 5
Like?: 5
Deck Notes: This is my favorite deck. It’s the one I put the most care into, and the one I’m most interested in keeping updated. It’s pretty competitive (it can win on turn 3 with a god draw), and can win in a few different ways: token swarm, board clearing, combo-ing off. Most of the cards are in Russian, and I finally acquired a Foil Russian Teysa last year or so (the most expensive card I’ve ever purchased).  There are probably a few Goodstuff ways it could be better, but I still keep a few pet cards like Nip Gwillion in there.


Commander: Vish-Kal, Blood ArbiterVish Kal Blood Arbiter
Name:  Vishing you a Good Life
Style: Lifegain
Want to play?: 3
“Good?”: 3
Like?: 3
Deck Notes:  This deck is about gaining and spending lots of life. It started out with a few other W/B tricks, but they migrated to other decks.  It can also win through alpha-striking with Vish-Kal. Some of my highest life-totals have come via this deck.  It can be slow, though, and it used to share several cards with Teysa (mostly lands) that made it a pain to re-assemble.


Commander: Obzedat, Ghost Council — GUILDObzedat, Ghost Council, Magic, Gatecrash
Name:  Orzhov Guild
Style: Guild Wars
Tribe?: Orzhov
Want to play? 4
“Good?”: 4
Like?:  4
Deck Notes: Unsurprisingly, this is probably my favorite of the Guildwars decks. Obzedat is pretty strong, and it just grinds out wins with removal and bleeding (like the Orzhov should)


Commander:Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
Name:Teysa Alone
Style: Creatureless
Tribe?: Teysa
Want to play?

Deck Notes: Also, unsurprisingly, I love New Teysa as well. While there were creature-d versions of the deck I considered playing, I decided that she was just too good for other creatures. It’s a combination of attack diversion and Voltron Teysa. My favorite card in the deck is Thrull Retainer (for flavor and style), but I also bought a Force Field for it as well. The only problem is board wipes and her casting cost. I have a foil Korean version for the general (no Russian… yet)

Commander: Teysa, Orzhov Scion #2Teysa-german proxy
Name:  Spirit of Discard
Style: Tribal, Discard
Tribe?: Spirits
Want to play? 2
“Good?”: 2
Like?:  3
Deck Notes: Teysa is too awesome to just have a single deck. This one is more focused on making and having lots of spirits than comboing out or exiling your team. It also plays more to the tribal aspects.  Discard is the sub theme, often tied to Spirits. The Foil German Teysa leads this one.

Commander: Atheros, God of PassageAthreos, God of Passage, Magic, Journey Into Nyx
Name:  House of Black and White
Style: Tribal,
Tribe?: Clerics
Want to play? 3
Good? 2
Like?:  3
Deck Notes: I have a Black Cleric-Demon deck (Ob-Nixilis) and a White Cleric-Angel deck (rotating cast of commander), this one plays both colors of clerics to take advantage of Edgewalker and many many Shadowborn Apostles.

 CommanderTriad of FatesTriad of Fates, Magic, Theros
Name: Counter Factual
Style: Counters
Want to play? 2
Good?: 2
Like?:  3
Deck Notes:  This deck plays as many different flavors of counters as possible (except +1/+1 counters!… I tried to skip Charge counters too, but it was too hard). It’s mostly for silliness (Frankenstein’s Monster!), but it ended up being pretty fun in it’s debut. I dream of having many individulized counter tokens to use with it.

Game #148: Triad of Fates

Game #148: Triad of Fates
Date: 2015-02-04
Location: Family Game Store
Vs. Gisa; Karona (dragonlord); Horde of Notions; GrimGrin
Result:  Fun Loss

Triad of Fates, Magic, TherosvsKarona, False God, Magic, ScourgeGhoulcaller Gisa, Magic, Commander 2014Lazav, Dimir Mastermind, Magic, GatecrashHorde of Notions, Magic, Lorwyn

Lazav was being Grimgrin again, and a different Karona deck was being played (this one was super dragony post Fate Reforged. I was playing a deck that might not have had a win condition.

I started with a 3 land hand and a Quest for the Nihil Stone and Serra’s Hymn.  Gisa came early with a Gauntlet of Power, but I think it got destroyed.  Grimgrin’s pet Crypt Rats came out and did their thing. Then Gisa had Necropotence and a Caged sun.

I spent a lot of time playing with counters. I had Power Conduit and a Astral Cornucopia for 3.  The big play came when Horde of Notions Reforged the Soul pumping my Quest up to 22 counters (and thus fueling the Power Conduit for a long time).  I also built up a Time Bomb to 4.  And was using tricks to use Magistrate’s Scepter every other turn (I have since added Clock of Omens, which is a flavor fit AND would let me have a janky infinite turns machine).   I was also playing lots of Will of the Council  with Coercive Portal and Brago’s Representative.

Gisa was doing things with a Lashwrithe and 1000 year elixir and a caged sun and building up guys, Karona had stuck some pretty dangerous dragons like Utvara Hellkite, possibly thanks to a Dragonstorm for 2.

I had moved on to playing with Eye of Doom (everyone picked on Gisa) and was building a Darksteel Reactor up  (I think I got up to about 12, and had the board not mostly wiped, could have maybe won with it on the next turn(s) via tricks and magewright stone, 100 year elixir and Coretapper (who got killed)). But I had to get on offensive defense and start using Triad to exile creatures and also use Parallax Wave.

I had to blow up the world with Oblivion Stone (saving a few of my things), and I totally cast Frankenstein too, but ultimately couldn’t hold on.  However, I got to do lots of things with random counters, have several Votes (which unfortunately always went my way) AND cast Frankenstein. so it was fun.

About the Deck (tapped out someday)

The plan for this deck was “All of the Counters except +1/+1 or Charge.” But, as I was building it, I realized that it couldn’t be done in any sort of playable way with out at least Charge Counters.  We’ve got Page, Quest, Time, Fate, Verse, Doom, and more. Technically Frankenstein can have +1/+1 and so can Spike Cannibal, but the former will always get +2/+0 counters on my watch, and the latter is there to punish those who play with the dreaded +1/+1.     I wish Giant Fan were black bordered.

This deck was under construction for a LONG time.  When it needed a last bump, I realized that Will of the Council was good in W/B and a good flavor fit as well.  Lastly I added in some flavorful filler like “Doom Blade” and will also add in “Clock of Omens” for synergy and flavor

Game #132: Athreos, God of Passage

Game #132: Athreos, God of Passage
Date: 2014-05-28
Location: Family Game Store
vs. Balthor; Captain Sisay; Arcades Sabboth
Result: Neutral Loss

Athreos, God of Passage, Magic, Journey Into NyxvsBalthor the DefiledCaptain Sisay, Magic, From the Vault: LegendsArcades Sabboth, Magic, Legends

I was excited to try this deck out on my last regular Wednesday game for awhile. I had a very landy hand including the first Cavern of Souls (cleric) I had ever put in a deck. Liliana (of Balthor) was making people Discard, and Sisay fetched up a Tolsimir and started building up an army of other legendary thigns, but then Balthor Decree of Pain-ed. I cast Obzedat’s Aid to get back a discarded Treasury Thrull and had a Harvester of Souls, but I stalled out at 5 lands. Balthor got pretty messy with Candelabra of Tawnos and Yawgmoth’s Will (that got him back two tutors, one of which got a Coat of Arms). Balthor killed Arcades and left Sisay at 1. I was at a large life total (And I banishing light-ed the Coat of Arms), but I could’t hold off his Akroma’s Memorialed army, and I lost.

I played the deck again immediately afterward, but I didn’t record the game (because the first game wasn’t bad enough to warrant a re-do, and also because I wanted to focus on playing). I do remember that I got to looping some Shadowborn Apostles with Edgewalker, and that Athreos actually did quite a bit of general damage before I lost the game.

About the deck (no TappedOut yet)

I was initially bummed about Athreos because it didn’t fit right in to Teysa, but then I decided it would actually make a fun different BW strategy. I had first thought of making it a “Seventh Seal” deck with a Grim Reaper and then making it Chess themed with black and white knights and clerics etc, but eventually I decided I didn’t want to be that theme-y with this build. Several people online had posted Cleric/Shadowborn Apostle based decks, which I liked. I have a “divine” cleric deck (Heliod/Avacyn/etc.. ultra mono white) and a Demonic Deacon deck (with Nefarox, 13 demons and Shadowborn apostles), so I decided to make a BW cleric deck as well (Becasue I’ve always wanted to try Egdewalker).
In building the deck, it also kind of became a Constellation deck and took on a heavy Enchantment theme. There’s at least one Enchantment creature cleric that is free with Edgewalker. This deck started from a huge pile of cards. I enjoy playing it, but I’ve found that mostly people let me recur things rather than taking damage.