Game #201: Gisa and Geralf

Game #201:  Gisa and Geralf
Date: 2016-10-04
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
Vs. Scion of the Ur-Dragon; Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
Result: Neutral Win (kinda)

Gisa and Geralf, Magic, Eldritch MoonvsScion of the Ur-Dragon, Magic, Time SpiralTrostani, Selesnya's Voice, Magic, Return to Ravnica

The first game in week one of the “Super October Frightfest of Cereal Box Monsters.”

I kept a 3 land hand, played Crow of Dark Tidings on turn 3, Gisa and Geralf on turn 4, and Rooftop Storm on turn 5 (via a Temple of the False God) after having Buried Alived somehow.  Trostani cast a Nevinyrral’s disk, while I had a board that included Undead Warchief, Diregraf Captain, and a bunch of other Zombies. He popped the disk the turn after I cast Diabolic tutor to find Zombie Apocalypse.   Trostani was having mana troubles and scooped, and when I attacked Scion with my zombie hoard, he just figured it was the end for him and didn’t block.

About the Deck

The deck is mostly about loading the graveyard with zombies, and then being able to cast the zombies via Gisa and Geralf.  If I were a rich man, there’d be more Zombie lords.  Ashes of the Fallen is in there to get back just Gisa, just Geralf, Liliana and Nighthowler.

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.



Game #162: Sakasilazavumgarima (Dragonlord Silumgar)

Game #162: Sakasilazavumgarima (Dragonlord Silumgar)
Date: 2015-04-01
Location: The Family Game Store
Vs. GrimGrin; Daretti, Scrap Savant
Result: Neutral Win?

Lazav, Dimir Mastermind, Magic, GatecrashvsGrimgrin, Corpse-Born, Magic, InnistradDaretti, Scrap Savant, Magic, Commander 2014

My plan for this April Fools Day was to play this deck (that’s not all that foolish, just fun). I played the whole night with the same two guys (from the Exava game).  I had many lands in my opening hand, and a Cemetary Puca (which died to a Fleshbag Marauder). Daretti started building up some artifacts – mostly Myr, because that’s how he rolls, but my Master Thief stole a Pristine Talisman.

Grimgrin countered one of Daretti’s creatures and also (thankfully) destroyed a Steel Overseer. Silumgar came into play and stole a Diregraf Ghoul.  The game slogged along, (for 6 consecutive turns I attacked GrimGrin with his Ghoul, and Daretti with Silumgar, putting him in range for a commander damage kill).  I had also Taken Possession of Daretti’s Unwinding Clock, so I was gaining lots of life tapping the Talisman for mana.

I’m pretty sure I ended up winning this one, though I think we ran out of time.


About the Deck ( is pretty close to what it is now)

This is the Silumgar version of SakaSiLazavumgarima.  It runs 25 blue cards that are all about Stealing stuff and 25  Black or Gold/Hybrid UB cards that are all about Stealing or copying stuff, and a package of 12 artifacts/spot removal (like the Monkey Maker and Curse of Swine).   The idea for the deck came from an old (circa 2002) Extended deck my friend and I made with a fully Transformative Sideboard (it started out as a combo deck, but you’d board’ 15 and make it a Counter Sliver deck, and you could board the combo back in in game three and play it AND counter silver).

The deck Originally was my Thada Adel deck, but I took out the merfolk to make a Tiny Leaders deck. I started rebuilding it as Sakashima, but partway through also got the bug to make a Lazav deck. They were fighting eachother for cards, so I thought “why not just make the decks share?”   When Silumgar was spoiled, I realized it had to be a Tripartite General deck.     Sakashima is the Blue Copy and Blue Steal packages, Lazav is Blue Copy and Black/Gold steal/copy pagage, Silumgar is Black/Gold and the Blue Steal package.

Game #131: Skeleton Ship

Game #131: Skeleton Ship
Date: 2014-05-18
Location: Friend’s House in Baltimore
vs.: Thelon of Havenwood
Result: Fun Loss

Skeleton Ship, Magic, Ice AgevsThelon of Havenwood, Magic, Time Spiral

Pirates vs. Plants (Because the zombies were off fighting the ninjas) was the second game of the afternoon. I played an early Merchant Ship, and he played an early Thelon, along with an Ashnod’s Altar and a Sol Ring and a Worldly Tutor for Verdeloth. Meanwhile all I can muster is a Reef Pirates and a Coastal Piracy. He matches my Merfolk Looter and Bane Alley Broker with a kicked Verdeloth and a Verdant Force (and other things to give him spore counters). I’m doing everything I can to chump block and stay alive. Eventually I get to a Deepchannel Mentor, but it just helps my Reef Pirates get through.

I’m on the brink of a creeping death by non-seaweeds when I’m able to cast a Knowledge Exploitation via Prowl and get Death Mutation to kill off Verdant force and have some blockers. However I’m at 2 life and I’m one blocker short. I manage to hold of death again, though, by bouncing Verdeloth and negating his Saproling Pump. The one plant gets through for 1. I cast some creatures as a last ditch effort, but I’m not able to do anything to hold back the saprolings.

About the Deck (TappedOut maybe someday)
I’ve been considering the obligatory Pirate deck for a long long time. Ramirez Di Pietro was one of the very first Legends I ever owned (after Jasmine Boreal), and he’s interchangeable with Skeleton Ship as a general for this deck. It, of course, plays all of the pirates, but I supplemented the pirates with other Rogues, giving me access to Prowl, and some neat Inspired cards in UB. The deck also plays Bribery/Acquire and a number of other things to represent conscription/theft/kidnapping etc. I think I’m going to add in Grappling Hook for flavor also. I added King Macar, because pirates love gold, and he can give them their letters of marque.

I briefly considered making it a Pirates of Dark Water theme deck, but I decided I didn’t want to spend too much time matching things up with it.

Each island in the deck is foil and different. I considered getting the Euro lands, but this deck isn’t one that I want to invest too much more into. The lands are warped and shuffle poorly, so this one is going to get sleeved (and probably foiled, someday) in House Greyjoy kraken sleeves.

The ultimate goal, of course is to go “Caw Blade” by equiping a Ensouled Scimitar to either Storm Crow, Rainbow Crow or Giant Albatross. Because that would be absolutely awesome.

Storm Crow, Magic, 8th EditionEnsouled Scimitar, Magic, Fifth Dawn

Game #79.1, 79.2: Oona, Queen of the Fae

Game #79.1, 79.2: Oona, Queen of the Fae
Date: 2013-11-13
Location: Family Game Store
vs. Balthor the Defiled  (80.1)

Oona, Queen of the FaeVSBalthor the Defiled

I played basic lands on each of my first 4 turns “ramping” into a Knacksaw Clique  (that exiled but did not cast a Yawgmoth’s Will  and played a Marsh Flats (for an underground sea)).  Balthor went.  Turn1: Candelabra of Tawnos, Turn 2: Demonic Tutor, Turn 3: Urborg, and Beseech the Queen, Turn 4: Coffers, Turn 5: Vesuva,  Turn 6: all kinds of big zombies that kill me dead.

By this point more people showed up, and since I was feeling the Faeries, I gave it another go.

Game #80.2

VS Balthor the DefiledEmmara TandrisKamahl, Fist of Krosa

This game didn’t go that much better for me.  I played a Shadwomage Infilitrator early and drew a few cards off of it. This time it was Emmara that had the ‘If this were a tournament for money or prizes*, I’d swear the deck was stacked and call a judge” hand.  Mirari’s Wake followed by Doubling Season and Parallel Lives, followed by a Phyrexian Rebirth followed by Parallel Evolution (and Flashed Back) for about 72 5/5 creatures.   I had a ton of fun in my hand (Denying Wind, Dusmantle Guildmage, other fun cards) but all I managed was to Oona-away the Mirari’s Wake (that had been top-of-the-libraried). Then we all died horribly again.

About the Deck (Tapped Out: Coming Some Day)

This is a mill/ exile library deck.  It can make tokens, it has some discard (but most of the discard is incidental now, as I re-tooled it to be more Mill when I built Gwendlyn). I don’t love resource denial that much, so I don’t play this one often, but I do have some cool Faerie Rogue Tokens to play with it, and it’s also got a few pretty foils.

Game #64: Vela, the Nightclad

Game #64: Vela, the Nightclad
Date: 2013-09-25
Location: Family Game Store
Vs.: Jaya Ballard; Ruric Thar, the Unbowed; Balthor

Vela the Night-Clad VSJaya Ballard, Task MageRuric Thar, the UnbowedBalthor the Defiled

I start with 3 lands and an Augury Owl. Balthor has an early Fleshbag Marauder.

I start building up some decent stuff like Cloud of Faeries, Puppet Conjurer, a Dopplganger, Sengir Autocrat, Ashnod’s Altar and Thopter Squadron, but I have a really hard time keeping Vela on the table because Jaya Ballard can just kill her for R.  Ruric sends some General Damage my way, Balthor plays a Gray Merchant, but Jay Infernos everything and then we all die to the Red Women (the theme of the Jaya deck).

About the Deck (

The decklist in the link is an early version of the deck, and may not reflect its current state.  The goal of the deck is to have creatures leave the battlefield  (my favorite way being looping Su Chi with Ashnod’s Altar and Nim Deathmantle for the added bonus of infinite colorless mana), OR to have a lot of cool artifact creatures with Intimidate.



Game #48: Lazav (Dimir GUILD)

Game #48: Lazav (Dimir GUILD)
Date: 2013-08-08
Location: My Childhood home in Duluth
vs.: Aurelia (Guild); Trostani (Guild)


Lazav, Dimir Mastermindvs.Aurelia, the WarleaderTrostani, Selesnya's Voice

My brother and fiance were both down to play a guild deck game again, so we gathered ’round the dining room table. I had a 4 land hand, but very few swamps. I played Bloodletter’s Quill (which is  a silly card).  Lazav came out on turn 5.

the Boros guild (fiance) had a Viashino Firstblade, and brother Selesnya had a Phantom General.  An Armada Wurm ended up in the graveyard, so Lazav became it and so did a Dimir Doppleganger.

The Boros  swung at me with Tajic, Firemane Avenger and something else to hit for 12.  I Hex away most of the board and Lazav becomes a Phytohydra.

Aurelia swings at the Selesnya (who have a Trostani’s Summoner and some tokens), with Aurelia, Tajic, Agrus Kos and another dude, but Kos gets killed. Trostani is down to 10 and has 18 general damage.

Lazav and the Doppleganger are now both Giant Adephages. Trostani regains some life, and convoke Exiles the Doppleganger-adephage, and Razia joins Aurelia. Then they kill Trostani.

I Mind Grind for 7, but I  think it gets Frontline Medic-ed. So I kill the Medic and use Codex Shredder to get back Mind Grind, cast it for 8 and win via Mill.

About the Deck: This is a Guild deck. All the cards are from Ravnica sets, and are either Dimir Stamped or un-guilded.

Game #4: Ramses Overdark

Game #4: Ramses Overdark
Date: 2013-03-17
Location: Family Game Store, Savage, MD
vs: Niv Mizzet (which one?); Karador, Ghost Chieftain
Result: Unsatisfying Loss

Ramses Overdark vs


I kept a hand with a lot of lands, and looked to be a good one.  Karador came out hard with an Urborg, and some really big drops off of a Lurking Predators. I don’t really remember what Niv Mizzet was doing in this game.  Ramses made it on to the board, with a Dragon Wings to take care of large creatures, and a Genju of the Fens to pick off lands (which are all Swamps, thanks to Urborg) if necessary. I started to set up for some offense with an Inkfathom Infilitrator and a Quietus Spike, but, by this time Karador was in position to just grind everything away slowly with  Archon of Justice, Terastodon, Eternal Witness, Karmic Guide, Rune-Scarred Demon, etc… Ramses died to something, and by then it was clear that I wasn’t keeping anything on the board at that point, so I opted out of the rest of the game.  Had this game not followed three other really un-fun games, it might have felt worthwhile to keep trying, and it might have been a fun loss, but I was pretty worn down at this point.

About the Deck ( )

This deck was born of a Facebook conversation. I’d never thought about Ramses as a card, but I had wanted to do something with Rogues/Prowl and Assassins, and this sort of fit the bill. Because I am Bad At Magic, I really like auras, and it was fun to build a deck that was about using/reusing auras on something other than my own general (because already had 2-3 decks that did that). There are a bunch of tap-to-kill-something creatures and a few ways to get dead things back, and of course it’s an excuse to play with War Barge/Merfolk Assassin.  War Barge is also a lot of fun to crush with Despotic Scepter after handing out Islandwalk to select enemy creatures.  This is one I’m looking forward to getting to play again.