Game #221: Ravos/Tana

Game #221: Ravos/Tana
Date: 2017-01-10
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
Vs. Atraxa +; Omnath Locus of Rage; Kynaios and Tymna
Result:   Neutral Loss

NOTE: due to a baby, I’m way behind in updates, so  I’m not going to write a full game write up initially. Also, due to me playing this game almost 4 months ago, I don’t remember the details from my notes as well

Ravos, Soultender, Magic, Commander 2016/Tana, the Bloodsower, Magic, Commander 2016vsOmnath, Locus of Rage, Magic, Prerelease CardsAtraxa, Praetors' Voice, Magic, Commander 2016Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis (Commander 2016), Magic, Oversize Cards

  • I had an Ant Queen and Eldrazi Monument
  • I cast Ravos twice, but he only lived a turn each time, due to Board Wipes
  • Died before turn 10 to a huge army that included a 150/150 selfless squire that Kynaios gave trample somehow. Also Omnath vomited out like 30 elementals all at once with Scapeshift.
  • I didn’t make as many tokens as I planned to.
  • This was the very last game to fit into “The Book of Orzhov,” the purple moleskine that I keep my game write-ups in.  Time to get a new book!

About the Deck

Ravos is my favorite partner, and Tana makes 2/2s when he’s around. This deck is mostly about making tokens and swarming.

Game #156: Feldon of the Third Path

Game #156: Feldon of the Third Path
Date: 2015-03-25
Location: Family Game Store
Vs. Gisa; Daxos of Meletis; Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Result: Fun Loss

Feldon of the Third Path, Magic, Commander 2014vsGhoulcaller Gisa, Magic, Commander 2014Daxos of Meletis, Magic, TherosJarad, Golgari Lich Lord, Magic, Return to Ravnica

I recently decided that Feldon would be more fun as a Real commander than a Tiny Leader, so I added 50 cards to this deck to bring it up to the big leagues (keeping the TL core so I could revert back if I wanted to).

I started the game with 2 lands and a Thornbite Staff in hand, but drew some lands and played an early Hissing Iguanar followed by a Phyrexian Soulgorger. Gisa started with a Sol Ring AND Ancient Tomb. Daxos came down with a Thada Adel soulbound with Elgaud Shieldmate as well as a Battle Mastery for double strike. Dax took a Howling Mine and Sol Ring from Jarad, before coming after me (taking Bosh and Perilous Myr).

I played Feldon, reanimated the Soulgorger, gave it double strike, and sent it at Daxos do force a block and kill the Shieldmate. Daxos came after me again to take Illusionist’s Bracers and Ashnod’s Altar. Jarad had Boundless Realms’ed for 7 with a Lotus Cobra, and then cast an Eternal Witness to get back Boundless Realms (and also had some big creatues).

At some point I had played an Altar of Dementia and sacced a token Soulgorger to mill myself (too many reanimator decks), and I noticed that I had a Priest of Urabrask in the ‘yard AND a Thornbite Staff and Sac Outlet. I waited patently for my turn, tried to combo out and realized that I was one mana short (I needed to use the first Priest Mana to equip the staff). Daxos wiped the board before I could do it again, and Gisa hit me big (no blockers) with a WurmCoil Engine for the life. Jarad’s Vorinclex was countered, but he had the ability to sac something to Jarad to make us all lose 14 life. I was at 14.

Two other players were waiting for a game, so I went and played with them. This game took a while to finish, but I think Gisa won.

About the Deck (TL version: )
Feldon is the centerpiece. It has the ability to combo, usually involving Priest of Urabrask. When I added in 4+ CMC cards I focused on big Red creatures, cool ETB effects, and Mill things. Self mill to fill my graveyard, but also as a potential win condition.

Game #123: Nemata, Grove Guardian

Game #123: Nemata, Grove Guardian
Date: 2014-03-36
Location: Family Game Store, Savage Mill, MD
vs. Sisters of Stone Death; Nekusar the Mindrazer
Result: Fun Loss

Nemata, Grove Guardian, Magic, PlaneshiftvsNekusar, the Mindrazer, Magic, Commander 2013Sisters of Stone Death, Magic, Ravnica

For the last game of the evening, I decided to try out this recently thrown together deck. I had a good land hand, plus some ramp spells and an opening play Essence Warden, followed by a Pendelhaven Elder. I paid into the Join Forces ramp spell that Sisters of Stone Death played. Nekusar had an early Anvil of Bogardan and was soon also playing his general and two other draw-into-damage guys on us. I continued to have rad draws though and was able to un-morph a Thelonite Hermit after playing Doubling Season, with a Cradle on the table. Sister’s had an Urborg and a Mana Reflection, I had some enchantment/artifact removal and a lot of choices. I decided to kick out the Anvil because I didn’t want an extra draw and discard, and Nekusar was the bigger current threat.

Thanks to Urborg, my Spreading Algae had a lot of targets, but I should’ve put it on Cabal Coffers instead of trying to limit Nekusar even more. I had a pretty strong board presence and my life was high and played my General with enough mana to make another 10 saprolings. I had 8 that could attack (they were 2/2 thanks to the hermit) and decided to swing at Nekusar, he asked if I was just going to kill him, but I was honest and said that I hadn’t intended to use Nemata to pump my guys (because I forgot about that power) so he just took the damage. He played an Overloaded Cyclonic Rift before my next turn came around. Looking back, I could have killed off Sisters that turn (both of them, if there weren’t an impending rift).

I was able to come back from the Rift though and actually restored my entire board state (minus the general) thanks to 1-drops and the Cradle (Spreading Algae on Coffers this time around, but it was also vesuva-ed). Pendlehaven Elder saved my non Saprolings from a Cycled Decree of Pain. Then Gorgons played Hythonia and went Monstrous in one fell swoop. Nekusar was attacked and taken out of the game. Then Sisters played a Twilight’s Call that, thanks to some massive discarding caused by Nekusar, set up a Gray Merchant/Nim Deathmantle soft combo that basically destroyed me. The best part: I had given him the GM for his deck, only to have it destroy me.

About the Deck (no TappedOut yet)

This is Saprolings and Fungus Matters green.  It’s got the doublers and most of the ways to make Saprolings, also most of the Thallids.  It also plays a few Mold or Algae based cards. Mold Adder and Spreading Algae (thanks to ubiquitous Urborgs) are smart and thematic (and possibly tasty) meta-game choices. I picked Nemata because she was always my favorite Treefolk.  This deck was one that was just one that I decided to throw together.

The Rest of the Evening

Two other games were played before this one.   The first game I played creatureless Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts against Balthor, Sisters of Stone Death, Sakashima and Sidar Jabari (Knights),  I had a good start, but scooped after Sakashima took 20 minutes to play through 5 straight extra turns without a win condition, and then generated 5 more extra turns. I was bored.  The rest of the table stuck it out though on the assumption that if boring blue hadn’t won by then, it probably wasn’t going to  (I had hoped to just start a new game).  That game went on for a lot longer (a 6th player had shown up), one another player died, we started another 3 player game (the first one was actually won by the Knights!)

The second game of the night was Sisters, Purpuros (goblins) and I played my Karador “everything costs 3cmc” combo deck.  I had a good start, but Sisters of Stone Death had a ridiculous start and we just got dead from it.

Game #108: Rhys the Redeemed

Game #108: Rhys the Redeemed
Date: 2014-02-05
Location: Family Game Store
vs. Arcades Sabboth; Balthor
Result: Loss

Rhys y Rhai GwaredolvsBalthor the DefiledArcades Sabboth, Magic, Chronicles

I started with 3 lands and a Sylvan Library. I played a Wirewood Hivemaster and followed it up with Rhys and a Wellwisher. Balthor started with a Candelabra, Graveborn Muse, the trio of lands of evil (Urborg, Coffers, Deserted Temple) and a Pontiff of Blight, then a Soulless One and a Carrion Feeder. I eventually got to 5 lands (where I stayed, with a hand full of good stuff at 6 mana) and played a Doubling Season, but all it did was give me an extra set of Snake/Wolf/Elephant off Bestial Menace.

Arcades had an Akroma, but I’m pretty sure we died to Extort and beatdown.

About the Deck
Thing #1 it is not pronounced “Riss” or “Rizz” or “Rice” or “Rise”. It is Welsh (thus the poorly translated proxy above) and pronounced Rees, and I want to punch your face if you get it wrong. That said…
This was my first “mono-green” deck ever. Technically Rhys is also white, but there is nothing white in the deck. It’s goal is to produce a whole bunch of different kinds of tokens. I don’t play it a lot because I haven’t finished making tokens for it and it can get complicated to remember which is which.

On Teysa

On Teysa: A Love Letter to my Favorite Commander

I have many decks, this is true, but one deck stands out as my very most favorite deck:  Teysa, Orzhov Scion (#1).*

Teysa Orzhov Scion

Foil Full Art, Alt-Art Proxy I made for her (from found art)

When I first met Teysa, back in the days of Ravnica (when I was reading about things on, but not actively playing), I wasn’t that impressed by her and her big ugly friend.  I hadn’t yet fallen in love with the idea sacrificing my own things for fun and profit.  But when EDH came on to my radar, she reentered my life (tagging along with 15 or so other legendary creatures I won in a bulk ebay auction), and I took another look at this forgotten Badass Goth Lawyer  Advisor Advokist, and realized what I had been missing.

This was one of the first 10 decks I built back in the summer of 2010, and it has probably gone through the most modifications and updates of any deck that I have.  Along with Animar, it’s the only deck I actively ask “What does the next set have for the Deck?”.  It is also one of the only three decks (of 110) that I have in Sleeves (Because they are Teysa Sleeves).

teysa-russian foil

This is the holy grail: a Foil Russian Teysa. It took me years to find and came to me from Italy via Finland. Only 100 Euro.


The first versions of the deck were a mess of cards, there was a lot of reanimation, and discard effects, but also a bunch of just random cards (Auspicious Ancestor!).  Eventually I started tuning it towards Token Making and Reanimation, but it was still kind of sloppy (and it still is!).  Certain cards that are just plain bad (Nip Gwyillion — cheapest creature that is both black and white. Blood Pet, because she had Thrulls and it sacs itself) but they stay in the deck because I like them.


I don’t buy “sexy anime” sleeves, but sometimes cards show up in them. This “sexy lawyer” one seemed to fit Teysa both in color and theme, so the Russian one lives there.

The current version of the deck, if given enough time, can get pretty ridiculous. It has a number of infinite loop combos, but they’re not easy to set up or protect (with a God Draw and no Interference, it fits the “Can Win on Turn 3” requirement)**.  It can also get by with a massive Token swarm  (also having exiled most enemy blockers).  It can sometimes gain tons of life.  It doesn’t do any of them super efficiently though.


Teysa-german proxy

Before I tracked down the Russian one, I got a Foil German one. The creature type – “Mensch, Berater” is one of my favorites of all time.


As this is an early deck, it has a pretty small land-base (~34 Lands). I should probably increase it.  My hope is to some day have enough Russian Alara #238 Swamps for it.  I haven’t picked the plains yet, but I have 8 Russian ones for now.


Alara Swamp #238 (NEED RUSSIAN ONES) and Random Russian Plains

The non basics include most of the W/B duals, though I haven’t slotted in Temple of Mystery yet.  I think all of the Ravnica lands are Russian (though not the foil guildgate), Godless Shrine, as well as the Caves of Koilos. Volrath’s Stronghold is helpful recursion, and the requisite Coffers/Urborg is in there for extra Mana.  Strongly considering adding: Phyrexian Tower and maybe Mistveil Plains.

teysa-nonbasics2 Teysa-nonbasics1

Other Mana Production:

Both Altars are great Sac Outlets, Sol Ring (while not in all my decks) is requisite. Black Market can make for huge turns, and Scuttlemutt has the added bonus of making a creature both White and Black (because Painter’s Servant is still banned).  I could probably use a Signet or some other Mana Rocks or accelerants, but I don’t know what to cut.  Blood Pet is hiding with the creatures.



The Rune-scarred Demon is a Russian one. My only Diabolic Intent is here. I might group Academy Rector here as well.  Liliana is on the block. She does tutor twice (theoretically), but she might be better as a land.



Bodies that bring Bodies back are key components to this deck. Reveillark/Karmic Guide and another white weenie can make for a board wipe with Teysa.

Graduated: Adarkar Valkyrie, Doomed Necromancer

On Probation: Reya Dawnbringer, Coffin Queen, Apprentice Necromancer

Absent: Gravecrawler (deck doesn’t do Zombies), Mikeaus (he’s in enough other decks)


The Nim Deathmantle can do recursion tricks with the Altars, and since it makes the creature black, it can produce some little White Tokens. With Archon of Justice it can eventually exile all of the things.  Cauldron Haze is on the way out, and the other Russian spell (Immortal Servitude) might be too, since it’s narrow in what it brings back. Animate Dead could be any number of other things, but it’s been there since the beginning, and it’s also Sun Titan-able.  The rule for pimping the deck is Russian>Foil, so the Debtors’ Knell is no longer shiny.


For Fun and Infinite Recursion (during the Upkeep only): Hell’s Caretaker and Thornbite Staff.  Ashen Rider is their new best friend.



Bodies that bring friends to the Party

Creatures that generate tokens are helpful in this deck.

Wearing out their Welcome: Cloudgoat Ranger is probably becoming Captain of the Watch again (1 more mana, but the deck would rather have buffed soldiers than kithkin ones).  Requiem Angel doesn’t trigger on Spirits going to the ‘yard.

Getting an Invite: Captain of the Watch, Abhorrent Overlord (many black tokens!).

Life of the party: Twilight Drover (need more dice!) and Darien plus pain-lands  (or Darien, plus a token, plus Blasting Station plus Soul Warden for a do-nothing loop).

Waiting in Line: Ophiomancer.  Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts (I don’t get to control the token production, even if they are w/b)


Other spells that bring buddies

Waylay says: 2W: activate Teysa.

Bitterblossom: is Russian AND Rebecca Guay

Mobilization:  the russian version is in a R/W Soldier deck right now, comrade.

Lingering Souls isn’t that great, but the art is pretty. Spectral Procession is Slow. Murder investigation is relatively new, and hasn’t happened yet.

Beckon Apparition makes a W/B token!

Field of Souls doesn’t trigger off token deaths, but lots of regular creatures die too.


Other Planeswalking Friends:

I never seem to do well with Elspeth, K-E. I may switch her out for the New Elspeth. She costs more to cast, but makes a full Teysa activation with her +1. Sorin is relatively new.




The Life Gainers of the Party

Since a lot of creatures are coming in to play on my side, it’s nice to gain life. Soul warden also neutralizes Bitter Blossom.


And For your Combo-Victory Needs

These plus Teysa, plus another creature = damage to infiinity and beyond.


Other Stuff

Theirs’ is not to Question Why…

Mass Destruction or Worse: Angel of Despair, Archon of Justice, Necrotic Sliver

Fodder: Nip Gwyllion, Blood Pet

Graveyard hate: Puppeteer Clique

Possibly Irrelevant Old Man: Academy Rector (though it does grab Darkest Hour, it’s not much for being recurred)

teysa-todie The Sac-Pack:

If I die, you die too: Grave Pact, and Butcher of Malakir, Victimize

All your not-exiled by Teysa’s are belong to It that Betrays (hooray for reanimation)

Sac Outlet or one-hit-winner: Fallen Angel (plus lots of tokens)


Boring Protection or targeted removal. 


The Most Recent Additions/Swaps

Cauldron Haze: out, Abhorrent Overlord: in. CH was too situational

Grave Betrayal: out, Ashen Rider: in.  I only want to steal via creatues (ItB, Puppeteer Clique).  The Rider fits more along the lines of the clear-a-path for tokens strategy, and is way better with Hell’s Caretaker.   teysa-newadds

My relationship with Teysa is a complicated one.  There are things that I want to stay the same forever, and there are exciting changes I hope to make.



*I also have a Spirit Tribal/Discard Theme  Teysa, Orzhov Scion Deck (because the Foil German one needed a deck to rule) and a Creatureless  Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts (Because she is also pretty bad-ass, even if she doesn’t quite fit in this deck).

**  Turn 1: Plains, (W)Sol Ring
Turn 2: Swamp, (b/w)(2)Blasting Station, (b/w) any 1 CMC creature
Turn 3: Swamp, (1bw)Teysa, (b)Darkest Hour: sac the now-black creature to the station, Teysa makes a now-black spirit and station untaps. Repeat.

Game #76: Angus MacKenzie

Game #76: Angus MacKenzie
Date: 2013-11-03
Location: Friend’s house in Baltimore
vs: Thromok the Insatiable

Angus MacKenzieVS.Thromok the Insatiable

After having played a few games with the new Commander 2013 decks, my friend and I got in one regular EDH game before it was time to play Star Trek Catan.

Thromok got a quick start with a Nest Invader (which always makes me think of the “Bed Intruder” song).  I start with a Rhox War Monk followed by my General (who gets Chaos Warped).  My start was pretty slow, being stuck at 4 lands, but eventually I start drawing lands and a bunch of Landfall cards like Rampaging Baloths, Lotus Cobra, etc as well as lands like Ghost Town and tricks like Fathom Seer.  Finally a Tradewind Rider (with an active Quest for Renewal… or what ever the untapping quest is) let me deal with threats and continue to draw cards off of Fathom Seer.   The game ends with huge attack from a Nacatl War-pride.

About the Deck (

This is a deck to play with landfall and make tokens.  Fun tricks include trying to get bazillions of Doppleganger-ed Mirror-Sigil Sergeants, or doing crazy mana tricks with Amulet of Vigor and Patron of the Moon (similar to my Moonfolk deck, but with white and green for more fun like Lotus Cobra).  Angus is nice to ward off attacks, and there are ways to untap the general frequently if necessary.

Game #73: Talrand the Sky Summoner

Game #73: Talrand the Sky Summoner
Date: 2013-10-10
Location: Family Game Store
Vs: Balthor; Emmara Tandris; The Mimeoplasm

Talrand, Sky SummonerVSBalthor the DefiledEmmara TandrisThe Mimeoplasm

I decided to go for a Token Based strategy as well in the second game of the night. I started with a Sol Ring, which was cool, and a Rune Chanter’s Pike.  I started building up a squadron of drakes via Opt, Brainstorm, Gitaxian Probe and Oona’s Grace, but they fell to Balthor’s Oblivion Stone.  The Mimeoplasm was loading up the graveyard to a massive extent and Emmara called upon Trostani and Garruk to start building a giant army and life total.   Balthor summond Geth who stole a lot of things including an It That Betrays (which I polymorphed into something or other).  I am able to kill Balthor before we all die to bazillions of giant tokens.

About the Deck (

This deck is about playing Talrand, and then as many cantrips or other cheap spells as possible. There are a few other Instants and Sorceries Matter creatures in the deck. Oona’s Grace is a favorite, as is Whim of Volrath.  I took out Omniscience and replaced it with the new Sphinx that draws cards on flyers doing things.

Game #36 : Ghave, Guru of Spores

Game #36 : Ghave,  Guru of Spores
Date: 2013-07-09
Location: Friend’s house in Duluth
vs: Talrand, the Sky Summoner; Teysa, Orzhov Scion; Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer
Result: Neutral Loss


Ghave, Guru of SporesVS Teysa, Orzhov ScionTalrand, Sky SummonerJor Kadeen, the Prevailer

After a somewhat disheartening early-exit (and some binder shopping) I decided to play a recently re-tooled Ghave deck.  I had a strong opening hand with 3 lands, Cultivate, Forgotten Ancient and Pollenbright Wings.

Teysa had an early Land Tax and Reveillark, Jor Kadeen had a shadow creature and Talrand was mostly “non-threatening” (at least on the board).  Like most games, there were Swords of Stuff and Things littering the board.

There was, not, however, much creature removal.  A PollenBright Forgotten Ancient got me about 14 or so Saprolings over the course of two attacks, until I had to slow down due to a Soul Wardern. The Forgotten one himself got up to almost 30/30, but by then the Wings had been disenchanted.  Ghave hit the board, as did a Black Market, and I was pretty pumped to be able to start doing some tricks with Ghave, the Ancient, and also a Hunter of Eyeblights.

I would not get another chance to do so. Talrand worked himself into a multiple(but not infinite) extra-turns chain and built up a large squadron of Drakes (and a Grand Architect).

Talrand cast Innundate (a spell I’d never seen before). Teysa scooped, Jor Kadeen had turned around to attend an important “World of Tanks” practice on his computer (but he’s, like, nationally ranked at the game, so it was legitimately and important practice).  I sacrificed as many tokens as I could afford, to bump up my Black Market, hoping to draw something big and at least have a chance to hang on. Then I peeked at my next draw, saw that it was inconsequential, and conceded.

It was a game with a lot of promise that ended with watching a Fishbowl (Drakebowl?). To Talrand’s credit, he only needed 3 extra turns to build up for a beatdown victory.

About the Deck: (

I recently re-did this deck. The things I pulled out, to make it slightly less combo-tastic/centric, are in the “Sideboard” on tapped out.  They were pulled to make room for cards from Return to Ravnica block.  I am considering putting Geralf’s Messenger back in as a combo piece (because, dang if I don’t love me my Ashnod’s Altars).

Ghave is a good centerpiece in the deck. The fact that he can manipulate counters on creatures other than himself is one that I sometimes forget.  Forgotten Ancient, Mr. Babycakes himself, is another favorite card in the deck.  Other notable cards in it include the Foil Promo Doubling Season (because Ghave deserves it), and one of my least favorite cards ever: Aura Shards.

I like this deck, but don’t play it often due to the amount of token and counter bookkeeping.