Boggartsnipe

Decklist

Today I have a red combo deck that doesn’t involve blue. Instead, I am making an interesting goblin combo that will (probably never) win games.

The deck is based around one simple interaction:

Casting Boggart Birth Rite to return a second Boggart Birth Rite lets you turn one black mana into 2 damage. The rest of the deck is based around sacrificing goblins to let you have a target for your first BBR while tutoring goblins to get the three pieces you need.

The deck is a tad on the slow side, so I don’t actually expect this to win any real modern games. That said, if yo have a less than stellar meta for modern this could be funny to play once.

If you have any suggestions on how to make this viable, feel free to give suggestions. I would love to make this much better.

-TSP

Advertisements
Posted in Modern | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lady Evangela’s Janky Cleric Combo

Decklist

Commander:

While I have no real problem with combos in EDH I know some do. Today I hope the combo I am presenting is funny enough for even those people to enjoy.

This is deck that disguises itself as Cleric Tribal or Shadowborn Apostle until a very stupid combo takes place. I’m not going to lie, it is pretty terrible. That doesn’t stop it from being hilarious if it ever works.

With these four run a ton of tons of 1 drop Clerics, Clerics that cost BW, and 0-cost spells. If the combo successfully goes off every permanent your opponents control is either in their graveyard or hand at this point and you have a massive army of Clerics (and probably a Coat of Arms) to maul them to death with. Mana Severance helps make sure you have a much higher chance of actually drawing into bunches of Clerics in a single turn.

Note that Omnisicence is simply better than Edgewalker for this (it does not require you play white, does not make demands on 30+ card choices, and is all around really good in EDH), but Edgewalker makes for a more entertaining show for the other players to watch, and is all around just really funny.

Luckily for this combo Lady Evangela is in the colors of tutoring, card drawing, counterspelling, and time walk effects.

Note that Cyclonic Rift becomes absolutely backbreaking with Warped Devotion out.

Shadowborn Apostle:


The next (fairly large) section of the deck is a Shadowborn Apostle strategy. Shadownborn Apostle is a 1-drop cleric so it is cleric combo compatible and is a combo all on it’s own. This section of the deck sports a Thrumming Stone and various demons to grab. One important one is Rune-Scarred Demon since he can grab you combo pieces. Rotlung Reanimator (a cleric!) is also really nice with Shadowborn Apostle.

I may one day decide to build this glorious deck. It looks really fun to play, simply because if it ever works you will know the true meaning of living (not really).

Posted in Commander | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BG Pestilence

Decklist

Back when I started playing Magic my best friend made a big deal about a card called Pestilence. At the time I didn’t understand what the big deal was, but over time I learned you are supposed to make its effect unfair. Here is the method I actually bothered make in real life:

The deck also sports Vampire Nighthawks to get the lost life back and Fungus Slivers so that Rite of Passage isn’t required to draw.

Honestly the deck itself is pretty terrible, but is a good casual combo deck to play with casual players whose decks aren’t usually that good to begin with.

Posted in Casual Combo Corner | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Halimar Combo Mill

Decklist

Have you ever wanted to play an Ally deck that was a wannabe elves deck? TO BAD! You get one anyway.



The basic idea of the deck is to get a Harabaz Druid and Sea Gate Loremaster out with either an Intruder Alarm or Thousand-Year Elixir, ideally with a Beck active. With Thousand-Year Elixir you will simply start by cloning the Druid and Loremaster until you draw an Intruder Alarm. With Intruder Alarm each new creature you play untaps the Druid and Loremaster, giving you more cards and more mana to cast said cards. The goal is to get as many Halimar Excavators out (clones or real ones) as possible and play many many allies, milling the opponent. The combo is not infinite, so it is far more satisfying when it actually works.

The deck is slow and the payoff isn’t assured, so this is more of a casual modern deck than anything else.

In the future I hope to find other fun Ally uses. Until then, au revoir!

Posted in Modern | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Good and the Bad of Magic

In my time as a Magic player I have come to form opinions on the game. I don’t claim for these opinions to be the most learned opinions, but they are what I have formed over the years.

What I love:

Magic is whatever you want it to be.
It can be “that one game” you play at times, kinda like how most people play board games. It can be what your group of friends does every weekend. It can be something to be competitive over. It can become your career.

Magic can be played however you want.
There are so many formats and philosophies to the game that you can pick and choose want you want to do with the game. Duels, multiplayer, EDH/Commander, budget, pauper, cube, draft, constructed, etc. Hell, I’m sure there are some people out there who have a metagame of only using pre-con decks (that would be very interesting to try out).

Customization.
This is what got me into the game. You can design your deck however you want, with whatever theme you want, in whatever colors you want. The restrictions on mana and costs force you to be even more creative in your choices.

Variety.
Each block comes out with new mechanics and has a new point of view on old ideas. There are so many different cards in magic (over 13,000) that there is probably something you’ll like.

Flavor.
The game isn’t just a pile of mechanics. There are tales about the characters in the cards. You liked Mikaeus, thought he was a cool guy? You’ll be disappointed then.

Mechanics.
Magic is just a game afterall. Even if a video game has good graphics, wonderful story, and deep characters if the gameplay is simply unplayable none of that matters. The same is true for card games. I think Magic’s system is wonderful (other than explaining the stack to new players).

What I don’t like:

The monetary cost.
It’s an expensive hobby. It is hard to describe to people why $5 is cheap for Mana Vault, or why Black Lotus costs $6000. They are just pieces of cardboard after all. This said, I still buy a fair amount of cards each year, I just dread how empty my wallet will afterwards.

The process of teaching new players.
I love getting new blood, but the sheer depth that Magic has can make it complicated to teach a new person. They might find some things intuitive while others completely stupid (again, the stack is one of those things to some).

I also feel a tad guilty when I basically get people hooked on the cardboard-crack that is Magic (some people I’ve helped along quickly spent over $100 on cards. I even saw a guy who bought the entire High Tide deck within two weeks of starting the game… wasn’t sure how to feel about that).

What I hate:

Magic is whatever you want it to be, and can be played however you want.
Yes, I did list these in the “what I love” section as well.

People come from different points of view on the game, thus their understanding of cards is mixed. At times you will hear complaints that a card is bad when it isn’t, or hear that a card is good when it is terrible. This is usually from the casual crowd, probably the largest demographic of Magic players. And who can blame them? It is not required that just because you find the game fun you must read every single article there is on magic, study the process that R&D makes cards, and learn how to analyze cards in respect to the format they are printed in and other cards that came before it. That said, this can be annoying to people at times who do do such things.

People also have their own philosophies on the game. I have heard of someone being proud they only buy individual cards for decks they want to play (to saving money), while I have heard another disliking anyone who builds decks out of anything but random packs. People like to make up their own rules for the game (a pet peeve of mine), such as changing poison damage to 15 or making Emrakul counterable and only have Annihilator 4. The definition of what “casual” means is a massive topic of debate. Because of all of this it can be hard to find new people to play with and even frustrating to talk about the game with others.

Even when playing a specific format with agreed rules you can find people who get pissy about how others’ decks are created. The power level disparity in casual is a problem. Many look down on netdeckers. Someone even got mad at me for using the Rats’ Nest  deck (with Umezawa’s Jitte removed) of all things, saying tribal was overpowered (this was within the first three turns of me using the deck).

~

I know people out there will disagree with something I’ve said here, but that is to be expected. The variety of opinions is Magic’s greatest strength and weakness.

Posted in Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

YMTC4 Uses

I am of course referring to this card. I will not make any decks for this until they release the finalized mana cost. I’m guessing it will be 3BB if they are going on the safe side, BBB if they want it to be awesome, or 3B if in between.

Outside of simply using Hymn to Tourach a bunch this card has some combo potential. I like what the card can do when you force the opponent to discard their whole hand. I also like what it can do if you make them do that multiple times a turn.

Looping Wheel of Fortunes does this. This forces them to discard their hand, giving you bunches of black mana, 2/2s, and drawing extra cards on top of what you started with, hopefully giving you another Wheel of Fortune effect.

Wheel of Fortune is a tad expensive, and banned/restricted, so I will be using alternatives. Windfall is a decent replacement since combos require lots of blue mana anyway. Sunken Ruins, Gemstone Array, and Mycosynth Lattice can help with this, as can infinite mana combos (but then why would you need another combo to win if Exsanguinate and Increasing Confusion are already a viable options in these colors?).

Repeated Discard:


Mystic Retrieval is interesting if you are running red. Otherwise stick to good ol’ Snappy.


Snappy helps here too while other untapping effects can replace Cerulean Wisps.

Ways to Win:

Milling:

You will be drawing many many cards looping Wheel effects. Jace’s Erasure makes sure they are losing their deck faster than you are while Psychic Spiral ensures you won’t mill yourself. Increasing confusion can burn off the excess mana generated by YMTC4 and can be cast from the graveyard, a place it will likely end up, at double efficiency.

If you want to put the zombies to use, Undead Alchemist is your friend.

Milling is the most directly related wincon to the wheel loop combo so it is probably the best. Nonetheless, there are other options:

Fireball Effects:

And anything with an X is its cost. This is less likely to work than the milling since this requires them to be running a fair number of creatures.

Beatdown:

Doubling Season can replace Parallel Lives while Fires of Yavimaya, Urabrask, Anger, Sarkhan Vol, and probably many others can replace Fervor. Admittedly this turns the deck into a four-color deck, and thus less viable.
And yes, I am saying that YMTC4 combos with doubling season. It had to happen at some point on TSP.

Sacrificing the Zombies:
There are way too many options to list here, and they probably will relate to an earlier option anyway. For example, Ashnod’s Altar helps out the Fireball effect strategy while Fallen Angel is a beatdown strategy (although weaker than just using fervor).

YMTC4 undoubtedly has many other uses and I’ve probably only scratched the surface here. In the future I will create a decklist for it (most likely a UB mill deck). I am excited to see what formats will use this card, if any.

Posted in Casual Combo Corner | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mill Will

Decklist

Today’s combo draws inspiration from the Shuko + Daru Spiritualist + Starlit Sanctum infinite life combo that was shown to me last year.

The obvious win-con is Laboratory Maniac, but I also like that with Psychic Spiral as an option you can win by milling either player. Shuko, Cephalid Illusionist and Laboratory Maniac have a perfect curve going for them. If your opponent is not playing disruption or destruction of any kind wins can be had very quickly turn four.

Jace’s Archivist is interesting here since it mills both players, gives me more chances to find my combo, and can activate Laboratory Maniac’s ability. Lonely Sandbar does the last one as well, but is also uncounterable.

The deck is basically a draw-go strategy, mainly because I’ve never made a deck like that before.

I decided to go the silly route and emulate the interaction between Brainstorm and fetchlands with Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse to keep the deck budget. If I was using fetchlands I’d use two of each blue one.

Posted in Casual Combo Corner | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carnival Curio

Decklist

My my how Cloudstone Curio fascinates me. Today I have a mono-black deck that also features Carnival of Souls.

My favorite part is that it uses the one of the crappy Darksteel lifegain cards!

The combo can be tweaked to give different results. Using two Priest of Gix’s will net you infinite mana to cast an exsanguinate. Two Maggot Carriers will kill whoever has the lowest life total. One of each will net a bunch of mana and lower each players life total. Two Demon’s Horns can be used to get infinite life. Multiple Carnival of Souls and Demon’s Horns can make Maggot Carrier give bunches of mana. Sadly each of these need Cloudstone Curio to function though.

Since this deck is very suicidal Death’s Shadow gives you more options than hoping for the combo.

Ebony Charm is useful to raise your life just enough to Maggot Carrier your opponents to death, get Death’s Shadow through, and kill any graveyard shenanigans they may be doing.

I like that this deck uses weird card choices in a weird way. I really want to kill someone with a couple Maggot Feeders flipping on and off the table.

Posted in Casual Combo Corner | 1 Comment

Netdeckers

So I found a Youtube comment that actually made me think about an opinion I’ve held, and it changed. I have no idea how many times hell froze over. The comment was by TehFoamy on this video.

I’ve always disliked netdeckers. The comment made me realize that playing the game and building a deck are two different skills, even if they do help one-another.

Many people who go pro use decks that are not strictly of their own design. There may be tweeks to a netdeck, it could have been designed by a team, or it could have been ripped from a winning decklist, but none of that matters for the tournament. Those that win often are good players.

Don’t get me wrong. Winning with your own deck does mean more, it means you are also a skilled deckbuilder.

This is most likely to be an issue at FNMs since some will say they are meant to have a more casual feel. Playing against $300+ decks can feel unfair to some. However, Friday Night Magic is a good way to improve your skill if you don’t have a dedicated group to play with, or if your group regularly plays at FNMs. For those people FNMs are the only place to improve their skills as a player, which may happen to involve a netdeck.

In short, I no longer think badly about netdeckers. Can it be unfair to to face someone who has a better deck than you? Not in a tournament sense. Competitive play is about trying to win, and there is no reason to sabotage your own chances at winning.

But whatever you think magic isn’t about one thing. It’s meant to be played how you want it to be played, just make sure you are not making your friends have less fun in the process.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Five-Color Cascade Progenitus

Decklist

Commander:

Prog is one of my favorite decks. It sits around not doing much for a good 5-6 turns and then suddenly starts throwing down massive threats. The deck has no instant-win combos, but it does have a couple ways to make one single opponent lose. The first is pretty obvious, but the second isn’t.

On the endstep before your turn you Congregate at dawn putting Maelstrom Wanderer on top of Magister sphinx and Angel of Despair. On your turn the Wanderer cascades into both flyers. Magister Sphinx sets the opponent’s life total to 10, Angel of Despair removes one thing that may be in your way, and with haste they have a total of 10 flying power. This is dependent on four spells not getting countered and them having (at most) one thing between you and them dead, but I have killed many players with this setup. Sometimes I replace Angel of Despair with Enigma Sphinx, just to get even more value.

My third way to cheese someone to death is just a plain old Insurrection.

Both Wild Pair and Maelstrom Nexus are super dumb. Most spells I cast give me more free stuff on top of what I was already getting.

Strionic Resonator:

This card is silly in this deck. Cascade is a triggered ability, as are ETB effects, upkeep triggers, Wild Pair, Consecrated Sphinx, and Maelstrom Archangel‘s abilities. This and Maelstrom Nexus grants a spell two instances of cascade beyond what it already had. Basically this card combos with the deck (20+ of the cards), and I love it.

Shockland Synergy:
Since I have all 10 shocklands I want to make full use of them. I do this through the M10 lands, Farseek, Nature’s Lore, Ranger’s Path, and Shard Convergence.

Future Edits:
Replace Ranger’s Path with Skyshroud Claim. Pretty obvious why.
Replace Liliana Vess with Liliana of the Dark Realms. Shockland synergy, removal, and possible ramping.

Weaknesses:
Ruination and other non-basic hate.
Curse of Exhaustion

Otherwise I can’t think of much to say since the deck is pretty self-explanatory. You ramp early-game then cast threats that gain card advantage late-game.

As a last note I will give a funny story. For a year nearly all cards that I got were traded away to get the mana base. Sometimes I got lucky though in pulls and didn’t need to trade, such as the time I pulled the Stomping Grounds and Watery Grave (foil) in one pack.

Anyway, go play some magic.

Posted in Commander | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment