Monday, October 17, 2011

Tournament Report - NH States 2011

Allow me to start by saying that this year's States was the least prepared I ever was for a tournament, even to go so far as saying I didn't even know if I was going to enter when we got there. and in the end, I almost didn't. I was still missing some cards and had only played four matches with the deck, for that matter a different build of the deck, not to mention that I haven't played aggro in standard since years before I was doing this site, so this was a really risky venture for me. Without further ado, here's the list I submitted (but technically, didn't bring to) States 2011:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Card of the Day - October 6th 2011

What is it with the randomizer and green cards? Anyways, today I have a nice modern treat for you all in a card that only saw print a few weeks ago.

From the design perspective, I love this guy. It just makes sense that the human with leadership experience would carry that over to his werewolf half. Plus, a straight human lord or straight wolf lord would always be doing nothing half the time. This transformer pumps your team, day and night.

At the same time, I'm very disappointed that there's no straight-up human lord in white. Aside from Adaptive Automaton, this is the best we have. Of course, I understand why, and it's the same reason why humans as a tribe have never had a lord before. Humans historically have been simply too diverse, as well as being the crutch for development. If a card is too strong for x tribal deck, just make him a human! Easy, right? Which is exactly why the Mayor exists. Humans are simply too hard to balance properly for the sake of all formats. The tribe has everything from Hero of Bladehold to Grim Lavamancer to Noble Hierarch to AEther Adept to Royal Assassin. Although much of human history is in white, they're simply too diverse to balance accurately. The automaton was a great way to test the waters in this field, and it appears that no massive stack of humes has taken any events, so we may be in the clear for a straight human lord by the end of the Innistrad block. However, making human tribal will forever change the future of magic design. It's doubtful that we'll ever see a full human lord (with playability).

Now then, back to the Card of the Day.

The mayor has been a big talking point lately, especially for token decks that have been sprouting up. The human side pumps a team of soldiers from a Hero of Bladehold, Elspeth Tirel, or Shrine of Loyal Legions, while the wolf side makes some minimum 2/2s himself. That way, when he flips back, the wolves and humans will be just the same size.

Expect this card to see plenty of play for the next year.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Card of the Day - October 5th 2011

I wish some of the scrubs at FNM would take one of these.
Wanderings is pretty simple, so I'll get right down to it. The base effect is nothing more than a bad Cultivate or Rampant Growth, so if you're looking for some acceleration it's best to go elsewhere. This card would be completely useless were it not for the existence of Commander.

Commander is unique for being the only format where every deck wants more mana, even after the point in the game where you'd have threshold. Unfortunately, this card only pulls basics, but three basics for one spell is pretty damn good. You also get huge points if Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle is in that very same deck, or any landfall cards like Lotus Cobra (making Far Wanderings free) or Khalni Heart Expedition (fetching you an additional two lands).

That's it for today's CotD. Wander far, my brethren.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Card of the Day - October 4th 2011

I had a different kind of blast in my pants.
It's obvious that this card was and is amazing. I can only imagine what this would be like in standard as an option for kuldoltha red decks back in the days of Goblin Bushwhacker. Yeah, I know, that was about a week ago, but whatever. The point is big brother Artillerize just didn't cut it, and for the most part, neither did the return of Goblin Grenade.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Card of the Day - October 3rd 2011

Bounce chicka wow wow.
The first thing that came to my mind is effects that play cards off the top of the deck. You can recycle landfall triggers with Oracle of Mul Daya, shut off an opposing Vampire Nocturnus, or stop a counterspell coming off a Magus of the Future.

Fallow earth can also reset opposing manlands, for some taking them up to two turns to reactivate. Earth also does a good job of resetting Dark Depths when Vampire Hexmage isn't there to boost it.

Lastly, Earth excels at disrupting blue's host of Brainstorms, Preordains, Jaces, etc. Often, the blue mage plans according to what their next draw is, since more often than not they know it. Fallow Earth can put one more turn between them and the answer they need, which all too often is one turn too late.

It's worth noting that the sheer power of denying a player their draw for turn in green is a potent effect indeed. This card can be relevant in more ways then the above few situations. Try it out in your next game of EDH. You may be surprised.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Card of the Day - October 2nd

Card of the day or flavor of the week?

Vastwood Animist is an ally, so like all allies, nobody wants to talk about him. The Zendikar tribe is like the Voldemort of magic, speaking the name is like saying it has relevance, but no more. Because the Animist is today's card of the day.
He just had a brainstorm. Or he just found out that Dumbledore was gay. One of the two.

As much as I love me some Vastwood, this one is pretty lackluster. He doesn't have a large body himself, he doesn't have an etb trigger, and the dude he makes isn't even an Ally. This is one of the few allies that doesn't just autowin off a resolved Rite of Replication with kicker.

What he does have is ANOTHER fatty, because all to often allies don't have any at all. All your biggest guys come from white, like Hada Freeblade, Talus Paladin or Kazandu Blademaster, and they take time to build up. The animist needs a board that's already developed in order to shine, but to win he doesn't need to come down as soon as possible on the curve like his white brethren. For that reason alone, he's much more useful than first glance.

So love allies or hate them, just like the transform cards, they exist, so deal with it. That's what the rest of the world has done with Charlie Sheen's drug issue, and we're much better off for it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Card of the Day - October 1st

"I know where you sleep."
Today's card is the Dream Stalker, an annoying little dude from Time Spiral with a lot of powerful interactions. By himself, a 1/5 on turn two at the cost of a land drop is a pretty good way to put a damper on aggressive strategies in the pre-dismember days. Not that it matters, since that's not what he'll be used for.

Oh shi-
A unique and uncommon pauper strategy, but a strong one nonetheless, relies on powerhouse Ninjutsu creatures, like Mistblade Shinobi. The idea is that the the ninja will replace the Stalker and then the Stalker will come down and reset the ninja. The strategy is potent as monoblue with Call to Heel, Sea Gate Oracle, Mulldrifter, and a handful of other cards, but has a great support in white in the form of Momentary Blink and Kor Skyfisher. The former will reset a stalker, Mulldrifter, etc., while the latter serves as a second Dream Stalker while providing an evasive body for the ninja at the same time.

When I first started playing EDH, I had a bad straight blue bounce deck with Linessa, Zephyr Mage, designed to profit as much as possible from bouncing the table and ways to bounce the table as often as possible. Aformentioned staples like Mulldrifter and the Dream Stalker made the cut alongside cards like Thalakos Seer, Cryptic Command, AEthersnipe, Capsize, and Evacuation. It didn't win much and was built more to have a good time (as Commander should be), and that's what it did. And the Stalker let that happen. So a shoutout to this crappy common is well deserved.