Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Eldrazi vs Lions

Truely terrifying...but how many lions can they kill?

I get a lot of questions here:

What do you think of X?

How do you beat Animar?

Why is Solemn so shitty?

But the most important question I've gotten is

Who would win in a fight between the Eldrazi and One Million lions.
(What the fuck am I even saying)

I know what you're thinking; "What a great question! Who would win!"

Now it's important to note that we need to measure both the strength of every Eldrazi and then Lions.

There are currently 138 Eldrazi tokens.

Which means that every Eldrazi on average needs to take out 7.246 Thousand Lions

Holy shit. How can an Eldrazi kill 7,246 Lions by themselves? I'm not sure they can so let's just see how much fire power the Eldrazi have and how many Lions they can kill themselves before succumbing to roars and bites.

Now taking a look at every Eldrazi and just stapling them together into one super big fucking Eldrazi gives us this.

Emrakul has nothing on HSEC

So if we staple all the Eldrazi into one terrifying abomination we have 

Holy shit, the Eldrazi Clusterfuck

First Strike, Lifelink, Trample, Haste, Menace, Vigilance, Indestructible, Flying

When Holy Shit, the Eldrazi Clusterfuck does it's thing:
Destroy 3 lions (Thanks Ulamog)
Sac a creature (4 dead Lions and we haven't even attacked yet)
Take an Extra turn
Gain control of Lions next turn

Annihilator 26
Whenever Lions are Sacrificed gain control of that Lion
Create 41 Eldrazi tokens

The real reason Scar kills Mufasa

So right away we have a creature that could bitch Slap Marit Liege and BFG into pauper. On top of that we gain control of two Lions and 41 extra Eldrazi tokens. That's a total of 44 bodies.

Not to mention that whenever Holy Shit, the Eldrazi Clusterfuck (HSEC) attacks they gain control of 26 lions thanks to it's gene's from It that Betrays.

 On top of that thanks to some bitch named Emrakul we have two combats before the Lions get their own. And thanks to some other bitch named Emrakul HSEC has control of the Lions before they get to attack for really the first time.
Now you may wonder why HSEC attacks first.
Well if Pokemon has taught me anything it's that stronger things attack first. And if you still want to argue that just be aware you're debating if Eldrazi or Lions can win a fight, chill out a bit ;)

Now let's see just how tough Lions are.
Very relevant for all your lion slaughter needs
There are almost as many Lions are there are Eldrazi in magic. A solid ten Lions to gather our information. If we average out their own power and toughness we have 2.4/2.6 on the Lions.

Now we could round this to 2/3 but that would change to much and we want to be as accurate as possible on our borderline insane question that literally no one should care about.

So FINALLY we need to see how many lions HSEC could kill before the Lions will get a chance to do anything.

 So we're looking at HSEC, 41 4/2 power Eldrazi scions (Broodwarden pumps up our jerks and other small pumps) and we have our own 2.4/2.6 Lion betrayer.

So now let's get to the good part.
HSEC, Lion, and 41  4/2's attack.

Now we obviously want as much carnage on our hands so let's assume lions are dumb animals and will block in the worst way possible to ensure that we can cause more mass extinction.

582 divided by 2.6 gives us 223 rotting corpses
The Annihilator adds another 26 lions dying right off the bat and joining the happy team and
41 x 4 + 2.4 power gives us 166.4 power, divide that by 2.6 again to get 64 more dead lions...

So after our good friend HSEC attacks this is our tally, don't forget we have another turn thanks to Emrakul(s)

4 dead lions off the bat
223 dead off attack
26 off Annihilator
64 off tokens

That brings us to 317 lions and we haven't even started.

Now we have our good friend HSEC + 27 lions + 41 tokens.
When we attack we also gained 582 tokens off Rapacious One. They're normally 0/1 but thanks to our anthems they're solid 4/2's

That makes 623 tokens plus 27 lions and good old HSEC and most importantly 317 lion coats.

Not only relevant in Xenagos but
relevant in stupid internet questions

Now the best part about murder is doing it again so let's see what happens on attack two.

HSEC gives us another 223 kills plus 26 off Annihilator. (We have 53 lions now)
The 27 Lions we have times 2.4 gives us and divided by 2.6 adds another 24 bodies

And with 623 tokens attacking times 4 power divided by average lion toughness gives us another 958 piles of death.

317 dead lions in the beginning 
223 of HSEC
26 Annihilator
24 Traitor lions kills
958 off the tokens 

1548 lions so far and now the Eldrazi also gained another 582 tokens

So finally the Lions can avenge themselves with their own attack...but they're being mind controlled for this first attack and they're coming into:

53 Lion friends
1540 Eldrazi tokens

We add up the total power of these and get 6869
Divide that by 2.6 and you get another 2641 lions that had dead happen to them.
No actual lions were harmed in the making
of this experiment

That brings our total up to 4189 lions 
Now the lions are free to attack again and take out the Eldrazi but in their own attack it's likely that the same amount will die off in the attack. Add another 2641 and our FINAL dead lion total is


Not quite the million we were looking for but a solid .7 percent. That's a bit more than I was expecting honestly. 

Well that's the end of that guys, thanks for giving it a read
Do you agree or disagree?
And more importantly why? This is dumb and all in good fun. Come on and lighten up a little.

If you want something more serious then take the time to vote on the best and worst lands in commander here:

If you enjoyed this article please visit my Patreon. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future.

And as always, thanks for your time.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Crafting a manabase

What would we do without lands? We would be playing deformed decks with every 0 mana rock and let's be honest, that would be bad and no one wants to play Jeweled Amulet (Right Andrew?!)
Hey look a land you should play

Let's take a look at what you want your manabase to be and how to optimize it.

Before we start with the lands I want to stress how important it is to have more ramp in early game. You want to play your stronger spells as soon as you can and a turn one mana dork can make all the difference on whether that spell wins the game or gets countered.

Green includes:
Llanowar elves
Fyndhorn elves
Elvish Mystic
Birds of paradise
Bloom Tender (If your general is 3+ colors)
Avacyn's Pilgrim (If your deck is white)
Elves of deep shadow (If your deck is black)
Deathrite shaman (If your deck is black)
Carpet of flowers

Starting with those guys first, matters a bunch and can allow you to play super strong the following turn.

If you're not playing green you absolutely abuse mana rocks. I want to stress how important they are because they will allow you to lower your land count in the deck down to 29-33 while helping you cast your big spells the following turn.

Rocks you should use:
Mana crypt
Sol ring
Mana vault
Coalition Relic
Gilded lotus
Mox Opal (Artifact heavy decks)
Grim Monolith
Chome Mox
Mox Diamond

Obviously drowning yourself in mana sources isn't healthy. You want a good amount but using every single one will lead to a ton of flooding and hellbent players with 12 mana and nothing to do with them. Depending on your deck I can see any number from 7 to 12 mana sources working well.
Of course, this isn't for every deck, you can also work it out with less and work it out with more but I think that's a good start. With 12 ramp sources, you should be getting 1/2 in an opening hand and play stronger spells turn 2.

If your deck has lands you should start
with this one
This is how I would prioritize them:

If you can play these:
Mana crypt
Sol ring
Birds of paradise
Deathrite Shaman
Carpet of flowers
Bloom tender (If your deck is 3+ colors)
Mox diamond
Chrome Mox

Other powerful options
Mana vault
Llanowar elves
Elvish Mystic
Fyndhorn elves
Avacyn's Pilgrim
Elves of deep shadow
Grim Monolith

Also good:
Frontier siege
Coalition relic
Gilded lotus

If you think you need all of them then go for it. It's not hard to cast four drops turn two with enough of them and if you have enough card draw sources then they're perfectly viable.

Anyway, now let's get into the manabases.

Two colors!
Duals + Shocks + 7 fetches. That comes to nine lands off the bat
Pain lands, Check lands, Command tower, Filter lands and that brings us to 13.
Adding Ancient tomb and strip mine brings us to 15 to start with.

Another staple here

These are cards you should consider as well:
Academy ruins (Heavy artifact decks)
Ancient tomb (Everything)
Ancient Ziggurat (Massive creature decks)
Bazaar of Baghdad (Reanimator and decks that need draw and don't care about card advantage) Buried ruin (Artifacts but not super needed)
Boseiju, Who Shelters All (Combo decks)
Cabal Coffers (Mono-black mostly)
Cavern of souls (Tribal)
Cephalid Coliseum (Reanimator and card draw decks)
City of brass
Command Beacon (General centric decks)
Crystal Vein
Command tower (EVERYTHING)
Deserted Temple (Pair it with cradle)
Dryad Arbor
Dust bowl (Land destruction)
Eldrazi Temple (Eldrazi heavy decks)
Exotic Orchard
Eye of Ugin (Eldrazi)
Flagstones of Trokair (Nearly all white decks)
Forbidden Orchard
Gaea's cradle (If your deck has green then you likely want it)
Gemstone caverns (Combo)
Gemstone Mine
Grove of the burn willows (2nd Taiga)
Hall of the bandit lord (General centered decks)
High Market (Good sac outlet)
Homeward path (If your creatures matter)
Horizon Canopy (2nd Savannah)
Inkmoth Nexus (Voltron/Infect)
Inventor's Fair (Artifact decks)
Kessig wolf run (Green/Red creature decks)
Kher Keep (Red decks likely want it)
Kor Haven
Lake of the dead (Mono Black decks)
Mana Confluence
Maze of ith
Minamo, school at water's edge (Untap decks like Arcum and Roon)
Miren, the Moaning Well
Mishra's Workshop (Artifact decks)
Reliquary tower
Nykthos, shrine to Nyx (Often 1/2 colors but with lots of permanents)
Oboro, palace in the clouds
Phyrexian Tower (Decent sac outlet)
Riptide Laboratory (Wizard decks love it)
Serra's Sanctum (Have tons of enchantments. 15+ at least)
Shizo, Death's Storehouse (If you want unblockable creatures often)
Spire of Industry (Heavy artifact decks)
Strip Mine (If you're playing magic cards)
Wasteland (Super good but can be cut in 3+ colors)
Tarnished Citadel
Volrath's Stronghold (Creature heavy)
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale (Stax)
Urborg, tomb of yawgmoth (Pretty much every black deck)
Yavimaya hallow (Heavy creature deck)

With that, you should have a good amount of lands. Throw in at least five or six basics so your fetch lands don't miss and make sure you have around 30-34 lands afterward. That should be a good start for two color decks.

At three + colors it's far easier to optimize manabases

Let's start with duals/shocks/and nine fetches. That brings us to 15 lands.
If you're not in green you may want to add at least one of each basic. That way you at least have nine targets for fetches.

Depending on how your color balance is then you may want to do multiple of certain lands and exclude others.

Throw in Ancient tomb, Command tower, City of brass, mana confluence, exotic orchard, and tarnished citadel and that brings our grand total to 24 lands.
Now we only need 6-8 more lands. The other list on top can easily bring you up to 30+.

If you need more substitutes then you can easily swap in pain lands in place of duals or fetches.

Finally....4+ colors six duals/shocks and ten fetches right away brings us to 22 lands.
Ancient tomb, Exotic orchard, Command tower, City of Brass, Mana confluence, and Tarnished Citadel brings us to 28 lands and it should be fairly easy to add either Urborg or Gaea's cradle to get you to at least 30.

Like before if you need subs for duals or fetches you can swap in pain lands or other lands from above. It's important to note that with three or more colors you shouldn't run many colorless lands. Ancient tomb and Homeward path come to mind first but other than that it's hard to justify other lands.

Well, that's about it for manabases. I think having between 29-33 lands is best and having plenty of mana sources to make sure you can play big spells afterward helps.

If you guys have any questions or think I'm dumb let me know. ;)

But let me know by doing this survey here so we can rank all the lands together:

If you enjoyed this article please visit my Patreon. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Help me rank the lands in commander

Hey guys, I'm starting another ranking much like the planeswalkers but I'm going to do something different.

The rankings will be determined by you, that's right instead of me being wrong about placements it will entirely your opinion.

We're gonna look at the manabases in commander, the lands specifically and ranking all of them.
Now we're going to be doing something a little different since a lot of these guys fall into cycles, you'll see what I mean in a second.

Basically, I've taken a look at all 577ish lands and taken the relevant ones for commander and what I need you to do is rank them.

Here are your candidates:
Yavimaya hallow
Mouth of Ronom
Murmuring Bosk
Evolving wilds/Expanse
Nykthos, shrine to nyx
Oboro, palace in the clouds
Phyrexian Tower
Reflecting pool
Riptide Labotory
Serra's Santcum
Academy ruins
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Sliver Hive
Spire of Industry
Strip Mine
Tarnished Citadel
Temple of the false god
Thespian's stage
Volrath's Stronghold
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
Urborg, tomb of yawgmoth
Alchemist's Refuge
Ancient tomb
Ancient Ziggurat
Bazaar of baghdad
Buried ruin
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Cabal Coffers
Cavern of souls
Cephalid Coliseum
City of brass
Command Beacon
Crystal Vein
Command tower
Deserted Temple
Dryad Arbor
Dust bowl
Eldrazi Temple
Exotic Orchard
Eye of Ugin
Flagstones of Trokair
Forbidden Orchard
Gaea's cradle
Gemstone caverns
Gemstone Mine
Grove of the burn willows
Hall of the bandit lord
High Market
Homeward path
Horizon Canopy
Inkmoth Nexus
Inventor's Fair
Kessig wolf run
Kher Keep
Kor Haven
Lake of the dead
Mana Confluence
Maze of ith
Minamo, school at water's edge
Miren, the Moaning Well
Mishra's Workshop
Reliquary tower

On top of the singleton lands there are plenty of cycles:
Duals  (Underground sea)
Fetches (Scalding tarn)
Shocks (Steam vents)
Pain lands (Brushland)
Check lands (Glacial fortress)
Temples (Temple of Abandon)
Bounce lands (Golgari rot farm)
Basics (Island)
Fitler lands (Sunken Ruins)
Battle lands (sunken hollow)
Sac lands (Dwarven ruins)
Shadow lands (Port town)
Hideaways (Mosswort Bridge)
Cycling (Forgotten cave)
Man lands (Creeping tar pit)
Fast lands (Inspiring vantage)
Storage lands (Molten slagheap)

Artifact lands (Seat of the synod)
Tainted lands (Tainted isle)
Tribal lands (Auntie' Hovel)
Triple lands (Opulent palace)
Panorama (Band panorama)
Blighted (Blighted fen)
Vivid (Vivid grove)

So with that many options finding ten shouldn't be that hard. What may be hard is putting them in order. Put the one you think is best in commander first and so on until you have ten. You can also put down five, three, whatever, point is put down up to ten cards in order you think is best.

First place gets 10 points
Second gets 9

And so on with 10th getting one point.

I'll add these up and rank them according to how the community votes

Please make sure to put them in order because that will make it much more clear which lands stick out for you.
If you feel like I forgot a land worth mentioning then right it in and I'll add it to the poll as well

Have fun and may the best manabase win


If you enjoyed this article please visit my Patreon. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

2DH storm with Zada. (Under 50 dollars)

Hey guys, I'm here with another deck to discuss but we're doing something a little different. We're still going to optimize but with a Budget...let's say...oh every card has to be under two dollars.

For a shiny quarter this guy
can draw you so many cards
Why that? Well, sit on down and let Uncle Doomblade weave you a story...

Long long ago this super cool guy was beating all these people at his local gaming store, so naturally, after months of abuse, they decide to make their own format where every card cannot be over two dollars. Makes sense, this stupid format has been a success for years now and has got people playing all over.
And I'm only insulting it because I know the people who started it (Hi Joel <3), I actually think it's pretty cool.

Anyway with the rules that every card must be under two dollars let's see what we can build...

The basic idea of this deck is simple.
Play some token makers, play Zada, play a draw spell on Zada, draw a ton, play ramp and more draw, kill everyone with something.

Let's start at the beginning,

1x Forgotten Cave
1x Foundry of the Consuls
1x Hanweir Battlements
1x Kher Keep
1x Mirrorpool
1x Mishra's Factory
24x Mountain
1x Spawning Bed
1x Springjack Pasture

Pretty simple here, all the lands either are mountains or give us tokens. There are a few exceptions but more or less that's the goal of this deck. Often you aren't wanting to make tokens off Foundry of the Consuls because you can win the same turn but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Often will net you 8-12 Gobos

Zada is four mana but before we cast him we need a few cards to make sure we can abuse his ability.

Token makers:
1x Dragon Fodder
1x Empty the Warrens
1x Hordeling Outburst
1x Krenko's Command

1x Mogg Alarm
1x Molten Birth
1x Beetleback Chief 
1x Emrakul's Hatcher
1x Mogg War Marshal
1x Siege-Gang Commander
1x Young Pyromancer
1x Goblinslide 

1x Hanweir Garrison

 Pretty simple here, you play these guys before Zada so you can draw even more cards with his ability.

 So we made 4-6 tokens and cast Zada, cool now let's make sure we don't run out of mana for spells

1x Infernal Plunge
1x Mana Geyser
1x Rite of Flame
1x Helm of Awakening
1x Battle Hymn
1x Brightstone Ritual
1x Desperate Ritual
1x Pyretic Ritual
1x Seething Song

1x Hedron Crawler
1x Manakin
1x Millkin
1x Plague Myr
1x Burnished Hart
1x Iron Myr
1x Treasonous Ogre

A lot of these cards will either net you mana for the turn or act as dorks for you to cast Zada the following turn so you can draw even more cards off of them.
MVP from all of these has to be Treasonous Ogre, he lets you exploit the life as a resource to the max and will often win the game if unanswered.

Sweet, so now let's get to the massive draw spells you need to close out the game
Nothing quite like gaining 7 mana in one turn

Draw all the cards:
1x Cathartic Reunion
1x Faithless Looting
1x Fiery Gambit 
1x Reforge the Soul
1x Magmatic Insight
1x Tormenting Voice
1x Renegade Tactics
1x Aleatory
1x Accelerate
1x Wild Guess
1x Skullclamp

1x Boiling Blood
1x Crimson Wisps
1x Commune with lava
1x Expedite
1x Chaotic Strike
1x Balduvian Rage
1x Panic
1x Stun
1x Outpost Seige

 With the targeted spells on Zada, you can net a card for every other creature on the field. You can easily amass 40+ cards in one turn since there is plenty of ramp spells in the deck to make sure you never run out of mana to cast these cards.
Sweet, so now your hand is so big cards are falling on the floor, well you don't want to look silly and not kill people with that many cards so let's discuss the kill spells

Death from above:
1x Heat Shimmer
Budget combo allstar

1x Dualcaster Mage
1x Twinflame
1x Aetherflux Reservoir
1x Grapeshot
Reckless Charge 1x Invigorated Rampage
1x Soul's Fire
1x Impact Tremors

 Not all kill conditions are created equal in here.
Heat Shimmer/Twinflame + Dualcaster mage is the primary win con as it will create infinite creatures with haste to kill the table.

 Plan B is Aetherflux Reservoir, cast a ton of spells then blast the table for 50

 Plan C is Aggro out opponents, you have Zada plus a bunch of tokens. Reckless Charge and Invigorated Rampage pump up the whole team netting you 30 extra damage in combat.
Finally, we have a bunch of slots left over so let's throw in some various crap

Pew pew pew
1x Chaos Warp

1x Pyroblast
1x Blasphemous Act
1x Recoup
1x Past in flames

1x Red Elemental Blast
1x Titan's Strength
1x Goblin Chirurgeon
1x Skirk Prospector
Most important card here is Past in flames as you can easily net another dozen mana off your ritual effects then draw into another twenty cards for easy wins. The rest of the choices are fairly self-explanatory, they're protection and recursion for if the deck doesn't go off the first time. Lots of the time flashing back a Recoup to make sure you can draw some more off an Expedite or whatever will be enough to draw you into more gas and win the game.

The deck is light on answers to other threats, however. It's meant to win fast between turn 3-5 but there are chances for opponents to mess up the game plan. With everything being under two dollars there are some restrictions but that doesn't mean that this deck cannot win against other stronger decks. I've piloted it for a little over a week now and already have beaten 3,000 (No exaggeration) decks with it. That is so satisfying.

So if you want to build a storm deck for 40 dollars then give Zada a try, he's surprisingly fast and consistent and I'd recommend it to plenty of players on a budget.

Full Decklist:

Things I'm considering:
Increasing Vengeance
Goblin Dark-Dwellers
Inner Fire
Priest of Urabreask
Grinning Ignus
Inventor's Fair
Cultivator's Caravan
Heart of Ramos
Hedron Archive
Indomitable Creativity (Does this work?)

If you enjoyed this article please visit my Patreon. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Spike Me #3, Rakdos, Lord of Riots

Poor Rakdos, he's always been one of the more interesting cards to brew around but with all his restrictions he hasn't really been viable in commander. I'm going to try and change that. He has a similar ability to a certain tier 1/2 general called Animar, not sure if you guys have heard of him but basically, he allows you to cheat in creatures and in certain cases combo. While Rakdos isn't as fast or consistent as good old Animar he follows a similar idea.

Another thing to note is Rakdos has access to black which makes comboing out with him far easier. Also, he has decent plan B and C for if things don't work out. Anyway, enough of that, let's get started with the list.
Just look at this adoreable fella

Piranha Marsh
Blood crypt
Cavern of souls
Command tower
City of brass
Mana confluence
Dragonskull summit
Smoldering marsh
Foreboding Ruins
Sulfurous Springs
Graven Cairns
Urborg, tomb of Yawgmoth
Sanctum of Ugin
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Rogue's Passage
Eye of Ugin
Polluted delta
Wooded foothills
Bloodstained Mire
Verdant catacomb
Scalding tarn
Marsh flats
Arid mesa
Phyrexian Tower
4 Swamp
3 Mountain

 Not much out of the ordinary for lands. If they tap for black and red they likely made the cut. Piranha marsh also enables Rakdos to enter by itself so it's worth a slot. There are quite a few Eldrazi lands in here as well like Eye of Ugin. I'm not 100 percent certain on Eye gives you tutoring for Eldrazi for finishers and the two extra mana can't hurt.

Of course, Rakdos is difficult to cast with all colored mana so let's look at.....

Even better than Sol ring.

No...not really
Mox diamond
Chrome mox
Talisman of indulgence
Rakdos signet
Cryptolith Fragment
Leaden Myr
 Iron Myr
 Crypt Ghast
 Sol ring
Mana crypt

Sadly we don't really have much mana sources here but we really only need to get to four mana. Once Rakdos is cast we're usually able to swing and do degenerate things and there really isn't much more ramp we can add that gives us colors.
It's important to note that Cryptolith Fragment can also enable Rakdos to be cast....speaking of which

Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Retreat to Hagra
Nettle Drone
Plague Spitter
Lobber Crew
Shephard of rot
Heartless hidetsugu

It's important to note that I went with Quality over Quantity. There are plenty of subpar pingers like Chandra, fire of Kaladesh or Goblin Fireslinger. All the Enablers we have here damage all the opponents.
Retreat can drain for 6 in total so Rakdos can cast pretty much any creature afterward easy. Nettle Drone untaps on all Eldrazi and is a combo piece. Lobber Crew also untaps with Rakdos entering so that's another easy 6 damage and Heartless will make all Eldrazi/Colorless creatures free and pretty much everything else super cheap.
It's important to have one of these early (I like Lobber Crew or Retreat with fetches) to make sure you have Rakdos out early and consistently.
Speaking of Consistency, what's a black deck without...

Rune-Scarred Demon
Sidisi, Undead-Vizer
Conduit of Ruin
Demonic Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Grim Tutor
Imperial seal

Pretty self-explanatory here, if you need an enabler you can easily get it with one of these. You can also get combo pieces if you have Rakdos on board. Rune-scarred and Sidisi also come in at a discount via Rakdos so they're often two mana tutors as well.
Well with all these enablers and tutors I should probably mention some sort of...

Nettle Drone (Again)
Cloudstone Curio
Ancestral Statue

Probably the most important card in the deck
So Nettle Drone is the main thing in this combo, every time you cast a colorless spell he untaps allowing you to do more damage to players. With Rakdos + Curio you can cheat in Eldrazi for free, bounce another Eldrazi and ping players for 1. Recast that Eldrazi, untap the drone and repeat for game. You also can do Drone with Statute and skip curio entirely. As long as you have done at least 4 damage he's free and will bounce himself and untap the drone. The beauty is drone can do damage himself so he will often be free or super discounted at first. You can easily kill the table with Drone, Rakdos, and Statue with just one mana open.

So what happens if the combo doesn't work out? Let's look at Plan B

Void Winnower
Ulamog, the Ceaseless hunger
Kozilek, butcher of truth
Ulamog, the infinite gyre
Emrakul, the Promised end
Artisan of Kozilek
Sire of Insanity
Sneak Attack

These guys can end games by themselves and with Rakdos + Enablers they can easily cost close to nothing. Emrakul can often kill a player by having them necro or toxic deluge for their own life total. The rest are just really good and work well with Rakdos.

 So in a deck that wants to play things as soon as possible and try and combo out we need tons of draw, and tons of draw we have

Disciple of Bolas
Sandstone Oracle
Dragon Mage
Knollspine Dragon
Night's Whisper
I always pictured the Eldrazi making
similar sounds to the Reapers in
Mass Effect
Faithless Looting
Read the bones
Phyrexian Arena
Reforge the soul
Wheel of fortune

This may be too much but I'd much rather have too much draw than too little. Sandstone, Dragon Mage, and Knollspine all are decent things for Rakdos to cheat in as well and Disciple works very well in a deck with massive creatures. The rest are fairly self-explanatory.

And finally since we're running a deck that wants to combo out or swing with fatties it's important we need answers.

Red Elemental Blast
Magus of the moon
Blood moon
Rakdos Charm
Toxic Deluge
Fire Covenant
Lightning greaves
Swiftfoot boots
Chaos Warp
Phyrexian Reclamation
Go for the throat
Animate dead
Look at this like a preemptive counterspell

This may seem like a ton of cards to run for defense purposes but this deck is fairly fragile already. Without the general it's not likely you can win so we're running both red counters and the three black single discard spells to make sure the way is clear.
Blood moon and Magus just go in red decks (Much like every one I've published here)
Rakdos charm and Chaos Warp give you a range of answers.
Deluge and Fire Covenant give you controllable board wipes.
Greaves and Boots protect Rakdos and allow you to do more damage.
And finally, Wildfire and Ruination will often win you the game when you have Eldrazi on board, simple as that.

And I believe that brings us to 99 cards for Rakdos, other things you can consider are Lightning Bolt, Kolighans Command, Mass Hysteria, Dance of the dead, and more lands but I've been decently happy with how the list fairs in testing. It's not hard to get Rakdos out turn 3/4 with the ramp and tutors. After you use the enablers to either combo out or cheat in creatures. Use counters/discard to protect them and you can win from that.

Here's a full decklist:

 Let me know what you would like to see in the future for Spiking and I'll see you guys next time.

If you enjoyed this article please visit my Patreon. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My top ten

Hey guys, it's your friendly neighborhood doofus with another list. Because people love lists.

Nothing special this time, just something that means something to me. My personal top ten cards in magic.
Most of them are commander related but obviously not all of them. I just thought this would be a fun discussion and maybe you can give your own top ten in the comments below. As you will see I adore stax effects so don't hate me too much ok? Also Land destruction....and kicking puppies
Also if Red is your favorite color...I'm sorry.

Honorable mentions

Narrowing it down to ten was real hard but twenty was too many so these wonderful cards had to be put to the side for now.

Vraska, the unseen - Personal favorite walker art. When she was spoiled I had to have her to the point I traded a Liliana of the Veil for a foil one, Whoops. Even still while she doesn't impact formats that art is fucking beautiful and I have an unnatural bias towards golgari colors.

Mental Misstep- There is nothing better than surprising a player than a Mental Misstep on turn one. Knocking out someone's turn one Sol ring or mana vault before you even draw is so satisfying.

Time Walk- One of my favorite pieces of art and one of the most exciting trades I've ever done. When your trade for a single card takes an hour and has people walking by saying wow you know you did well. I love the trades I had for power but Time walk specifically makes the cut because I love the effect and that art.

Doomwake Giant- Probably the weakest card on the list but my god have I grown to love it in my Enchantress deck. With the right cards it leads to one sided board wipes and when paired with another card on the list things get very spicy.

Master Transmuter- Another art card but I adore that effect. The ability to surprise people with anything ranging from Clock of omens to Mindslaver makes this card so much fun. She also can protect herself by bouncing herself.

Kederekt Levithan- My favorite card from Reanimator. Pair it with enchantment reanimation and you have mass bounce over and over. Pair it with necromancy and you'll never be hit again. It's so satisfying.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite- That phyrexian judge foil art makes me just grin. Took forever for myself to get one and it was well with the time.

Knight of the Reliquary- Probably placed 11th on this list. Love the art and the effect is so good and fun to use in a lands deck, the ability to ramp yourself with Knight or search up any utility land and then surprise players for 8+ damage is great for three mana. Helps that Knight was the main attraction in my first legacy deck years ago.


I love making players Hellbent. I don't care if I'm included in that because I exploit it to the max in my enchantress deck. There's nothing quite like sneaking this guy in and saccing him while he has a Pattern of Rebirth of skullclamp on him. He is ripe for abuse and one of my favorite things to see in my hand.

Favorite Moment:
Opponent has Omniscience on the board, I have Mindslicer and casts he casts Time spiral. We both draw, he casts armageddon and in response I Nature's claim the Omniscience and Crop rotation out a land to get Phyrexian tower and sac the Mindslicer. He's left with no lands, hand, or Omniscience and dies to my mana dorks turns later.

Forget Ward of Bones, this is where it's at. Having players abandon land drops after a wipe is so satisfying. This card is fantastic for abuse since you can ramp via mana dorks or artifacts and play plenty of land destruction to bring everyone down to 0 lands. Now you have mana via dorks and rocks while opponents have pretty much nothing and no way to ramp. They better already have rocks or dorks on board because the game will be unwinnable otherwise. Of course, the deck that runs this will likely have plenty of ways to deny players from that as well.

And before you ask, yes hell is quite nice this time of year


Fun fact, at one point I had over 80 of these guys. Not because of speculation or whatever, but because I fucking love this card. I traded almost all of them by this point in my trades for power so I just have my foils but they're a beauty to behold. Return to Ravnica really made Golgari shine for me and this was the main card. That beautiful art, that unique ability, and the work it does in legacy made this card rise to one of my favorites very quickly. Not to mention you're insane if you're running any Green/Black variant in commander and not running this card. Have you read what it does?!
The first one mana planeswalker and still one of the best.


Nothing quite like dropping this card on turn one or two and seeing people sweat to remove it. Sure it's eating your resources too but you can control when it ticks up, can sac first then tick it up so you never sac more than opponents and you're the deck abusing this card, you have plenty of resources to get rid of.

Favorite moment:
This guy was bragging about how his deck was so good and wanted to play. I look at my hand with plenty of ramp and a vamp tutor. I play a land and vamp tutor for smokestack. He plays a land and passes. I play a land, mana crypt, and then smokestack. He reads it, looks at me, reads it again, then looks at me. He plays a land and a signet. I sac 0 and tick it to one, then strip mine his land and vindicate the signet. Pass.
Oh, my was he upset.

You can really only get so far based on art but my god...look at that art. I actually own art for this card because of how sweet it is.
I also traded for it a while ago (Before 93/94 magic was a thing thankfully) and I think it's the only card I own that I have no intention of ever playing. He's not broken in much but with art like that, it's hard for me to not want it.

I've also gotten insane offers on my copy that Mark Tedin signed and I refuse them all. There is no way I'm parting with this masterpiece.

(Yeah I know he's not a masterpiece card shut up)

This list is probably not too surprising to those who know me well. I love casting these cards. There is nothing quite like ramping with creatures and rocks and then dropping these to end the game. Playing them after a Boundless Realms followed by bitter ordeal or even playing it then dropping a tabernacle. It's so satisfying and leads to plenty of free wins because of it


Probably the oddest card on the list to the people who know me but yeah I love this card. The art is fantastic and when I first started playing the game I wanted to make decks around this card. I even took a terrible 140 card deck with elvish pipers, Progenitus, Rite of Consumptions and natural orders to a legacy event and somehow went 3-1. This was far before I even knew what legacy really was and the best part was during the event I had JTMS ultimate against me while I had a piper on the board. I shuffle my hand in and draw Progenitus and then kill him the following turn with it.

I know a lot better know but still having that moment and remembering it fondly makes me adore this card even more. I own foils, Russian versions, and original art for it.

Another land wipe but that's not all it does. Taking out extras of people's artifacts and creatures and leaving them just one of each is brutal against certain decks. Follow it up with the fact that you likely will have extra mana floating to remove those threats makes it even better. Drop it when you have a Bloom Tender and a Gilded lotus and you can easily go to town ahead of other players by 4-5 mana.

Not to mention this just obliterates all the planeswalkers on the board. With Atraxa, becomes more popular and superfriends decks popping up everywhere this is my favorite card to play against them. It does so much for a tiny mana cost.

 A lot of my friends expected this card to be number one and I don't blame them. I've messed around with it in commander before it was banned (RIP) and as a general when people don't care what I play. I love smokestack but putting it on a creature that can be searched up easily and removed easily whenever I feel like it makes it much better.
Plus again, look at that art. Helena Bonham Carter is taking out your lands and resources with that big grin and satisfying doesn't even begin to describe it.

I don't think it could have been anything else. My favorite card in my favorite deck is clearly number one. It does so much for such a simple effect and works so well with all the other cards I love.
Play it, now fetch lands can't search the same turn because of summoning sickness, they're pretty much worthless.
Pair it with Pattern of rebirth on a land that sac's itself to get Elesh Norn or Doomwake.
Pair it with Gravepact and every sac land is now an edict (General is also Ghave)
Pair it with Humility and now lands are just generic 1/1's that can't tap for mana.
There is so many interesting things this card can lead to and plenty of brutal kills for your opponent. It was fairly tough to narrow down my top ten in order but there was no doubt in my mind that Living Plane was number one.

Well, there you have it guys, my personal top ten. What do you think? Anything surprising? Anything too evil?
Let me know your own personal top ten and let's start a discussion.

Until next time

DoomBlade, signing out.

If you enjoyed this article please visit my Patreon. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Should competitive EDH be a thing?

Hey all, I've been thinking a bit on our results on ban lists for EDH and cEDH and how they differed and I've come up with this question? Should Competitive EDH be it's own format?

Now we all know that people will play at different levels of commander, we all know that different folks have different interests so naturally, there will be a bit of discussion on whether or not anything should be done.

First let's start with a history lesson, because naturally when you're online you want to learn things.

This look familiar? That's because it's from the Duel Commander official website.
For a while, I always thought that Duel Commander and Regular were made at the same time but no, Duel commander actually  got its origins from Level 5 Kevin Desprez, who brought the initial idea of Elder Dragon Highlander to France from the USA, before it spread across Europe and now gains over the rest of world. The main difference is that players build decks with an eye toward 1 versus 1 duel rather than multiplayer. The game is played by two opponents only, starts with 20 health points, and obeys the same rules as a regular Magic The Gathering game, one commander (or commanders with Partner ability) plus 99 (98) cards in the starting library. The mulligan system is the same as for sanctioned formats, and the construction rules follow the same color identity rule as the multiplayer version does. The rules and updates are currently published on a Facebook page using notes.

On a totally unrelated topic don't you guys just love Wikipedia?

But seriously, why hasn't this been done to make cEDH more of a thing?
Duel Commander has been successful for nearly a decade now and shows no sign of going away. For as long as I can remember there have been commander players who build decks not in "The spirit of EDH" but to absolutely dominate tables.

Both methods are totally fine but don't exactly interact well with another. I'm sure casual players won't miss the Brago stax deck or Ad Naseum combo deck in the meta and the competitive decks obviously don't care about playing against Pirate Tribal.

Now there are some things I need to address as well.

There are formats and fads. Formats like Legacy, Standard, Commander, and Duel have been around a long time and show no signs of stopping.
Fads like Tiny Leaders and Frontier (Oh shots fired, I'm totally kidding) are cool for a month or two but die out. Competitive EDH has been around long enough that I think making it a real thing would be better for the players.

Now I'm just some handsome, Smart, and Perfect fella but I can't really say how to get this started or who should be put in "Charge" of bannings or whatever but I can say that if we never try we won't get anywhere. I can't begin to tell you how often I see people get riled up (Usually around bannings) and talk about making their own thing, but you know what? It never happens. Usually, because no one wants to take charge and really start going forward. I can't say I'm much different honestly, all I'm doing here is going rabble rabble rabble and not really suggesting much, why not, though? The popularity is there, the ideals are there, and the players are definitely there.

We already know that the regular EDH committee doesn't tailor the format towards competitive players, and that's totally fine. It's their baby and if they want to build it towards their own ideals then more power to them. However, there is no reason that another format couldn't be built with different ideology.

So let's get into it. I've whined about the same thing for a few paragraphs now. If we were to start the format today what would we need? Well a committee firstly, we need dedicated players (Looking at you Competitive EDH Reddit) to make their own ban list and rules. This really wouldn't change much. Maybe reduce the life total to 30 so Ad Naseum and Necro aren't as broken and aggro can have a breather of a chance (Probably not).
I did a poll on which cards should or shouldn't be banned in commander and Competitive. I think looking at that again with more competitive players in mind and getting more ideas on which cards are safe to unban and maybe look at a few competitive offenders (Hermit druid, Ad Naseum, Necro, Mana crypt).

Granted that isn't too much to start with but remember that Duel commander started with the same ban list as regular and evolved into it's own thing from there.
They had the passion (Check), the people (Check), and the decks (Check) to make it happen.

Finally, there will be people that will argue that the demand for this isn't there and to those people, I say this:

If there wasn't interest then why is there a tier list?

There is so much discussion there on which generals are competitive, Optimized builds, and how to improve other generals.

Not enough? How about a Reddit page

On top of this, there are constant remarks on regular EDH Reddit on players who want to improve their decks and they ask the competitive players for input. There are plenty of times where I get messages from people asking "How can I make X better?" or "Can you help me improve against Y?"
Now if people weren't interested in making their own decks better than why would this be the case?

Finally, you could argue that these people are in the minority, that's likely the case. I can also say that Modern players outnumber Legacy players.
Does that make Legacy any less of a format? Of course not. The issue with money can be daunting when most competitive EDH lists are thousands of dollars but there are always fantastic budget options.

Not to mention the entire 2DH community which optimizes decks for turn 5/6 kills with cards that are ALL under 2 dollars.

I'll leave you with this.
The cards are out there, the people are out there, the passion is out there.
Why are we so lazy and haven't done anything yet?


(Note, I don't want people to think it's about segregating the players, I just think having both extremes tailored to would help a lot)

DoomBlade, Signing out.

If you enjoyed this article please visit my Patreon. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Spike Me, Episode 2: Depala, Pilot Exemplar

When I asked you guys last week which generals you'd like to see optimized there was a clear winner.


"Do Boros!"

"I really want to see Boros!"

"Do you think Boros is viable?"

"You're dumb!"

"Please I want to play Boros competitively"

I went through tons of commanders from Tajic, to Iroas, to Aureila.

I was almost ready to write up a post on Aureila control or aggro but it didn't quite fit. While Boros was ok in 1 v 1 I couldn't help but think it wouldn't work in multiplayer so I scrapped it and went back to the search.

I really wanted to go the easy route and do Boros eggs but let's be honest. Sharrum and Breya already do eggs miles better than any Boros general could so what would be the point?

That was until I found one decklist that really stood out.
(Big thanks to reversemermaid for this decklist and putting my woes away)

That's right guys...Depala, Pilot Exemplar is the Boros general we're going with.
(Assuming you didn't read the title for whatever reason)

While the list hasn't been an update in a bit you can easily see how it works out. I made some tweaks to it myself so let's start with the basics.

Mishra's Workshop
Eat your heart out Gisela
Bazaar of Baghdad
Ancient tomb
Cavern of souls
Inventor's Fair
Rugged prairie
Sacred Foundry
Clifftop Retreat
Battlefield Forge
Buried ruin
Flooded Strand
Bloodstained Mire
Wooded Foothills
Scalding Tarn
Arid Mesa
Marsh Flats
Windswept Heath
Strip Mine
8 Mountains
4 Plains

You can easily sub out Mishra's Workshop and Bazaar for other basics if budget is an issue. They're obviously not going to be as good but in a deck, with very little tutoring you can't expect them to land that often. And with that, we have our 32 lands ready. Once again we have a "low" amount of lands since we want the curve to be low, and we will have a shit ton of....

Boros Signet
Sol ring
Mana crypt
Mana vault
Mox diamond
Chrome Mox
Lion's Eye diamond
Mox Opal
Fellwar stone
Basalt Monolith
Krark-Clan Ironworks
Helm of awakening
Cloud key
Foundry inspector
Grim Monolith
SpringLeaf drum
Treasonous Ogre

Fifteen pieces of ramp here. A vast majority can be cast turn one or two so we can get Depala out early and use her ability. But we don't want to use her ability just willy nilly. Where we're going we need.

Nothing fair comes from this card

Lion's Eye Diamond
Mox Opal
Basalt Monolith
Rings of Brighthearth
SpringLeaf Drum
Krark-Clan Ironworks
Auriok Salvagers
Myr Retriever
Junk Diver

With these guys, you can assemble either infinite colorless or infinite colored. With that, you tap Depala (preferably without attacking) using Springleaf drum or any vehicle to crew it.

Rings of Brightheart + Basalt Monolith = infinite colorless

 Auriok Salvagers + Lion's Eye Diamond = infinite colored

 Auriok Salvagers + Mox Opal + Krark-Clan Ironworks = infinite colorless

 Myr Retriever + Junk Diver + Krark-Clan Ironworks + Helm of Awakening/Cloud Key/Foundry Inspector = infinite colorless

So cool, you have infinite mana and you crewed Delpala, let's take a look at what you can get

Vehicles to get:
Mirror Entity
Ovalchase Dragster
Fleetwheel cruiser
Cultivator's Caravan

That's a big Dwarf

Yup, Mirror Entity is a dwarf here.
Play the Cultivator's Caravan and tap it for white mana so you can cast Mirror Entity (You can skip this if you gained colored mana)
Play Mirror Entity, Ovalchase Dragster, and Fleetwheel Cruiser.

The Cruiser will become a creature with haste right away.
Crew the Ovalchase with entity and use his ability to make them infinite sized to kill off two players. As of right now unless you play a mass haste spell or give someone else haste if you want to kill off more than two players. We will get to that soon though

Plan B:
Let's say you have infinite mana but no access to Delpala for whatever reason

Impact Tremors
master Trinketeer
Purphrous, god of the forge

With infinite colored mana, you can kill all players with Trinketeer making infinite triggers for tremors or Purphrous. If you have haste for your little friends you don't even need Purphy or Tremors. Just go nuts with Trinketeer.

Now assembling a combo isn't easy when you don't have too much in the way of tutors. Let's look at what we have for card selection.
Draws cards and gets back artifacts.

Imperial Recruiter
Recruiter of the guard
Kuldotha Forgemaster
Memory Jar
Magmatic Insight
Wheel of fortune
Enlightened tutor
Faithless looting
Tormenting voice
Wild guess
Cathartic Reunion

While a majority of these are simple draw two effects there is a good amount of redundancy in this deck to make sure you draw what you need when you need it.

Since we want Boros to be competitive (Right?) we need answers to make sure our combo goes off without a hitch. Here are a few answers

Magus of the moon
Blood Moon
Yeah, we need all the answers we can get
Goblin Welder
Junk Diver
Myr Retriever
Scrap Trawler
Restoration Specialist
Ghirapur Aether Grid
Red Elemental Blast
Mana tithe
Lapse of Certainty
Swords to plowshares
Path to Exile
Trash for Treasure
Ravages of war
Scrap Mastery
Chaos Warp
Daretti, Scrap Savant

As you can see we're running a massive amount of answers. With a plan that's this fragile, there need to be a ton of answers in case something goes wrong. I put in plenty of artifact retrieval, tons of mana base hate and a few just general answers to make sure that if there is something on the board that's a problem you can kill it. Sure we only have access to four counters but if you play right that should be just enough

That last of the goods:
Sensei's Divining top
Crucible of worlds
Smuggler's Copter
Plus you get sweet bling like this
Thopter Engineer

That last few slots I went with these guys. Top and crucible work very well here since there are plenty of fetches and land destruction so you can make sure to not miss land drops and shuffle if your top three aren't to your liking.
Anger and Engineer give haste to your vehicles making it very possible to kill a whole table with your combo and copter is a card draw engine on top of something that can tap Depala.

And there you have it. That's the 99 I think would work best at making Boros viable in competitive groups. While this doesn't hold a candle to tier 1 decks it has been a nice surprise to see a deck that's both cheap to make and fairly decent.

With red gaining more looting effects in the years it's entirely possible that this can improve and maybe hit tier two one day with the right cards releasing. The main problem is the consistency. You very much so need to combo out to win with this deck and against a player with answers that will be very hard to do.
With that said I am happy to see a Boros deck that came out overall good. Nothing crazy but pretty good.

Here's a finalized decklist:

Well, what do you guys think of Depala? You think this is viable or another boring aggro commander? Let me know what you think and let's get a discussion going.

Decklist for Depala:

Until next time,

DoomBlade, Signing out

If you want to support the blog please visit my Patreon for more. Every little bit helps a ton and allows me to make more content for you guys in the future