Sunday, January 31, 2016

Standard - UR Prowess

Now that Oath of the Gatewatch has come out, one of the more exciting cards I noticed (and I'm sure many many others noticed as well) was Stormchaser Mage. This little 1/3 with Flying, Haste and Prowess for 2 CMC seemed too good to be true. To me it's like the older brother to Monastery Swiftspear. A lot of the decks I like to brew are aggro mainly because that's what I'm comfortable with. I also enjoy a good control shell as well, the past two standards I mainly played control but the KTK - BFZ era I've found myself back in aggro.

Look at it, isn't it wonderful? It's the perfect tempo drop if your previous turn was a Monastery Swiftspear, now you drop Stormchaser Mage and you can start applying some serious pressure to your opponent. Let's go over a decklist I've been working on for UR Prowess. I've been really excited about this deck and it's possibilities about where it can go. 

So let's talk about the deck a little bit. Listed below is the decklist I am currently using. It's a decklist that was used at a Starcity Open and so far I'm pretty pleased with it. One complaint I have had about it is it feels like too few creautres as your opening hand is very important, more so than most decks it feels like. Once you do get a creature of two out, you're ready to rock and roll and abuse that prowess ability.


Abbot of Keral Keep: A 2/1 with Prowess by itself is not bad. Abbot's extra ability with exiling the top card and you have the chance to play it makes it better. Normally you do not want to play this turn 2 unless you absolutely have too.

Jace, Vyrn's Prodigy: What more can be said about Baby Jace? Is he a must in this deck? With this variant I would say so. His ability to flashback spells once he flips is invaluable for your creatures.

Monastery Swiftspear: This card is a must. Probably the best one drop we've seen in standard in awhile (in my opinion at least).

Stormchaser Mage: The newest kid on the block and has abilities that Monastery Swiftspear can only dream of (mainly just flying). This card was the one that made me decide to build this deck.


Dispel: While normally not a mainboard card, but running one isn't too bad. Not only does it prevent instant kill spells or counters it still buffs your prowess.

Expeditie: If this was just a one mana give creature haste card it would be very meh. The fact it lets you draw a card makes this card go from meh to yea, not bad!

Fiery Impulse: For a long while I've been going back and forth between Wild Slash and Fiery Impulse. At first I couldn't stay away from Wild Slash but Fiery Impulse, especially in this list, proves it can wipe creatures out easier than slash. With it getting spell mastery much easier than some other decks, this card was a no brainer.

Roast: Does it kill Siege Rhino? Check. Can it kill most ground creatures that are played? Check.

Slip Through Space: First reading this card it's interesting. You'll definitely want to cast it on your ground creatures more than anything. Plus you draw a card, there's never anything wrong with drawing cards!

Temur Battle Rage: Yes, give me all the double strikes.

Titan's Strength: That which doesn't kill your opponent, only means you need to do more damage. This helps you achieve that goal quicker.

Treasure Cruise: With all the spells you play in this deck, this card essentially becomes Ancestral Recall for you. Need I say more?


Boiling Earth: I found this pick interesting. With Token decks becoming more apparent, this card definitely fits a small niche, though it does depend on your meta also.

Disdainful Stroke: Don't want your opponent casting big spells? Stop them with this!

Dispel: I would definitely bring this in for the mirror. While prowess will still go off for them, at least it can prevent more damage for you.

Duress: An overall good card, with no Thoughtseize in Standard, this is your next best bet.

Murderous Cut: If you have to bring this in, take a treasure cruise out.

Painful Truths: Still a good card minus the life lost. Side this in against the slower decks, aggro would be no good.

Pia and Kiran Nalaar: Chandra's parents have definitely been seeing more play, not just in Standard but in Modern as well. One of my favorite Origins' cards. If your games are looking to go mid to late, side this in to help you out.

Roast: Need to kill an extra Rhino? Get this in.

Wild Slash: Just more burn, I may put this in if I just need that extra damage to my opponent to help kill them quicker.

Overall the deck is fairly fun. I'm not sure if it is well positioned in the current meta though, with 4 color rally and CoCo decks running rampant as well as ramp and Atarka Red running around the deck is definitely second tier. What about when Shadows of Innistrad comes out? We will have to see. We will lost Swiftspear as well as the fetchlands and other spells, if SOI brings any good support cards along with it, it may stay alive.

Bring it to an FNM or your LGS for practice and see how you like it. So far the deck is pretty fun and can be pretty explosive. It does feel very glass cannon like if/when your board is wiped. It doesn't feel as fast as Atarka Red though so against Atarka you'll just have to be faster and the better player.

Thanks for reading! I'm planning on doing more write ups on other Standard decks I am currently running and doing a weekly Modern Report where I report how well I did at Monday Night Modern and where I am at in the game.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Magic Duels - BG Elves Deck Showcase

Today we're going to be discussing one of my favorite Magic Duels decks, BG Elves. While the Duels meta has shifted away from this archetype I still like to mainly use it for grinding gold when I tire of my red aggro deck. I've felt particularly inclined to build this deck as I also played Atarka Elves in Standard and I also pilot Elves in Modern as well. If you haven't noticed, Elves is probably my favorite tribe in Magic, followed very closely by Slivers.

Like most Elf decks, the goal is to swarm the board and hit hard. The only Elf Lord we have access to is Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen and Dwynen allows us life gain if we swing with her. The real winner of this deck I feel is Shaman of the Pack (as long as it doesn't get countered). That card just wins games for you. Another good card I've found myself that has saved me multiple times has been Jagged-Scar Archers. Especially if you're able to swarm your board that card is a powerhouse.

While the deck is missing some key pieces that makes the deck closer to it's Standard and Modern counterparts, it can still be viable while grinding for gold or even 1v1. Will it get you to the top of the ladder? Most likely not. It's still a fun deck though and something worth trying out.

If you'd like to see it in action in one quick game against the AI, please check out my video below I have listed. My next deck showcase may be UR Thopters or Ramp. Stay tuned though!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Magic Duels - So you want to grind gold?

If you've gotten the itch to play Magic on the go or even on your computer and you don't feel like dropping a lot of money on it, Magic Duels is an awesome alternative. Not only is it similar to previous Duel of the Planeswalker games but it will also continue to add sets as they release. It's not perfect but it's definitely a good alternative.

Magic Duels gives you the ability to either buy packs with real money or grind for gold by either completing the campaign missions or by winning duel games either by AI or real people. It costs 150 gold to buy one Pack and you also receive daily quests to complete every day to help you get gold faster. You do have a 400 gold a day cap that you can grind for by dueling in AI and multiplayer battles.

So you've decided to get into Magic Duels and you don't really want to drop money to buy packs to get the cards you need? Well, no worries! What I will showcase today are two decks you can build to help you grind for gold fast! The best way to do this is to go up against the Hard AI as that nets you 15 gold each time you win. Why the Hard AI? Well the Hard AI isn't the fastest and neither is the AI very smart, so why not exploit that to help you get that gold fast?

The first deck I will showcase are all cards you can use right away! If you don't want to complete the campaign and rather just grind for gold now this deck will be perfect for you. I do recommend to at least complete 1 or 2 of the campaigns as they net you a decent amount of gold and you can buy a few packs which can help with your goal to collect all the cards.

As you can see there are a lot of creatures in this deck. The starter cards you get aren't chocked full of spells, so we need to make due with what we have. Red has always been known for fast so we're sticking with it here. When I was grinding with this deck I always found Foundry Street Denizen and Flaring Flame-Kin to be my go-to cards. They were particularly of value and always netted me decent damage to the opponent.

You'll want to play this deck very fast and use spot removal when you have it. Starting off with one land is tricky but doable, make sure you have at least two lands. Once you get the hang of it and start buying some Origins or BFZ packs you can start replacing cards with the deck I currently use now for grinding gold as seen below.

There are a lot less creatures in this iteration and 2 fewer lands but more spells. The prowess ability on both the Abbot's and Mage-Ring's are extremely helpful. This has become my main go-to deck for when I am in between rounds on MTGO draft's and want to grind some gold in the meantime or even if I want to get a quick game of MTG in. I've been able to win by Turn 4 consistently with this build, even if I decide to do 1v1 against someone.

So there you have it. Two decks to use if you want to grind gold fast in Magic Duels. I plan on showcasing some more decks from Magic Duels in the future. I find the game pretty fun and hope Stainless and Wizards continues to support it. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Standard - RB Eldrazi Aggro

After having played many 3 to 4 colored decks in Standard since Battle for Zendikar has dropped, I started to miss some of the simplicity that 2 colored decks can provide. I've already done one write up about Boros aggro but it does splash green. Today's deck is purely a 2 colored deck and one that I've found to be quite fun.

I've done quite a bit of testing with this deck and I've found it to be quite fun. It may not be as fast and explosive as Atarka Red but it has the possibility of swarming the board. So let's go over some of the creatures in the deck and against some of the common match ups you may face.


Dominator Drone: A 3/2 for 2B? While not that great as a vanilla creature, what makes him an addition to this deck? The fact that we're an aggro deck and the only thing we care about is killing the opponent as quickly as we can, dealing 2 damage as soon as it resolves just helps us further that goal of winning. It won't always deal the 2 damage but there is a high probability you will have another colorless creature out.

Dust Stalker: While a 4 CMC is not a typical creature you like to see in an aggro list, this guy was just too good to let go. I'm still experimenting with using 2 instead of 3 but a 5/3 haste which may also return to your hand in case your board was wiped the previous turn isn't that bad. It's never fun taking 5 damage if you're on the receiving end.

Eldrazi Obligator: I wasn't too sold on using this little guy at first. A 2R 3/1 with haste but also has the ability to steal an opponent's creature for a turn for 1<>? It was sold for me the moment I was able to steal my opponent's Siege Rhino or [insert big creature here]. You won't get 5 mana on the field that often so don't rely on his ability too much.

Flayer Drone: A 3/1 3CMC with First Strike is ok but I liked the added ability of opponent's taking 1 damage whenever another colorless creature enters the battlefield. It's just another way to get your opponent's life down faster.

Forerunner of Slaughter: This is the card that sparked the brewer in me. I love that is gives haste to other colorless creatures and just for 1 mana. I feel this card is a must in any RB Eldrazi Aggro shell.

Sludge Crawler: Our only one drop creature in the deck and not a bad one. With it's ability to ingest and also be pumped, he's more than meets the eyes.

Vile Aggregate: At first I was not even considering this creature when I was first building the deck but after playing with it more, I'm sold. It's easy to get to Siege Rhino power and it can take a few punches as well. The Trample and Ingest sold it for me as well.

Wasteland Strangler: This card has the potential to be a good 2 for 1. If you were able to ingest your opponent you also have the ability to destroy one of his creatures after casting this guy.


Ghostfire Blade: Ever since Khans of Tarkir has dropped, this has been one of my favorite equipment's throughout it's whole standard. Only costs 1 to play and with our deck, 1 to equip. It was a no brainer to include this in the deck.

Murderous Cut: This is our only removal spell in the deck if you don't count Wasteland Strangler since he is not guaranteed to remove a creature.

Titan's Strength: Too good of a pump spell to pass up and with it's scry ability, it only further helps us. Not much else to say.


Duress: Knowing is half the battle isn't it? Put this card in if you suspect or know that your opponent is going to be playing a board wipe spell.

Murderous Cut: Sometimes adding in 1 or 2 more Murderous Cut isn't bad. Especially if games can draw out longer and you need to kill some of those big creatures of their's. Adding this is a safe bet.

Rending Volley: A burn spell that can't be countered is never a bad card.

Roast: Need to kill those pesky Siege Rhinos? This is the card you want!

Self-Inflicted Wound: This card is pretty useful if they have one creature on the field but if they have multiple, not so much.

Transgress the Mind: I would mainly board this in against Eldrazi Ramp as that is getting more and more popular.

Ultimate Price: Once again a solid kill spell if your opponent plays a lot of mono colored creatures.

I feel like this deck shines pretty well in Game 1. In all my testing I have done, game 1 usually goes without a hitch. Game 2 and 3 is where it can be tricky. Depending on the type of deck you're up against will determine whether you still need to go fast and kill quickly or stay back a little bit and control the board a bit.

This deck is a perfectly good and fun deck to take to your LGS for FNM. I doubt it would do well above that level. It's also relatively cheap to build. If you can't afford the fetches in it I would replace them with Evolving Wilds and one more basic land of your choice.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more brews! I'm working on a U/R Prowess one next for Standard!

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Experience of Losing

We've all been there, we've all been on that losing streak before. It's never fun, especially in a higher stakes tournament where each loss keeps you away from that 1st place prize. Everyone likes to win, no one likes losing, so what can you take away when you go on a terrible run in a tournament?

This past Saturday I attended my first Modern IQ and while my expectations were not overly high of myself, I did hope to do slightly better and possibly make better plays than I actually did. This will not be a tournament report going over each round and what I did wrong but let me tell you, I was ready to quit after round three but kept on going.

I am still fairly new to the Modern format so I had that going against me walking into this tournament. I'm still learning the meta game and what all the popular decks can and can't do. The decks I faced up against were ones that I never tested against and my sideboard was ill prepared. I'm currently playing Elves and while most rounds I could take a game off of someone it was still not good enough. It was five rounds before it cut to Top 8 and at the end I managed to go 1-4.

So what can I take away from all this?


Definitely practice and more playtesting. Having only done one paper modern event before this IQ, I definitely was not familiar enough with the meta as my only other means to practice are on Cockatrice and that program sometimes isn't sufficient enough.

Not only will it help decide whether or not I should keep the hand I have, it will also help knowing when to mulligan down. There were definitely some opening hands I thought were good enough until it ran out of steam quickly or were answered sufficiently.

The old adage, practice makes perfect is one to follow.

Study the Format

Not only does practice help you out a lot, studying the format you are playing helps just as much. Knowing the deck archetypes and possible sideboards you will face helps tremendously. I was ill prepared with my sideboard as well as opponent's sideboards as well. Reading articles and watching videos will aid in your studying.

Don't Give Up

When I was 0-3 I wanted to quit the whole tournament and just go home. It is never fun to be that low on the scoreboard and know there is no chance of winning or making a top 8. When I hit 0-4 the feeling intensified. I didn't quit though, I was determined to keep going just to get more experience. I didn't come to this IQ with expectations of winning the whole thing but I did expect better of myself to not misplay as badly as I did or keep bad hands that I shouldn't have.

Just like anything in life, knowing you will eventually fail is an important lesson. Pushing through and persevering is what divides you and everyone else who doesn't. My intentions with Magic are not to become to best and beat everyone but to become better than I was yesterday.

So where do I go from here? I'm going to keep trucking along and grinding the format at my local game store as well as try to go to any IQ's, PPTQ's I can. The best thing I can do is learn from my mistakes and push forward.

Thanks for reading.

My Dive into Modern

Like many others who dive into constructed formats, they first get introduced into Standard. Somewhere along the way you get to discover other formats that are just as fun, such as EDH, legacy and then there is Modern. My dive into Modern has been an exciting one so far, with my play being limited to freebie programs such as Cockatrice, it took me awhile to decide what deck I first wanted to build. Elves was it, and Elves is what I will be sticking with for awhile.

It took me almost a year to fully form my Elf deck, as some of the pieces were a bit costly and while in the grand scheme of things the deck is fairly cheap, having a wife and kids, sometimes you can't just splurge on an entire deck at once. So with my deck being fully formed as you can see the list below, I decided to take it to my first little local tournament. This tournament was mainly as some practice and to get some paper modern experience in preparation for a Modern IQ that's happening this Saturday 1/9. 

The turnout was fairly small as my LGS is still new to hosting Modern as they have been mainly a Standard and EDH shop but there has been interest shown in Modern. I was the only Elf deck there and while some of the top tier decks were showing up I was hoping to do decent still.

Round 1 Elves vs. Grixis Twin

Come to find out, Elves is not a good matchup against Grixis Twin. At least in my experience so far against the deck. Luckily Cavern of Souls was allowing me to get my Elves out but my opponent had many a Lightning Bolt and Repeal. Game 1 consisted of him killing my elves constantly and then he got the Twin combo out.

Game 2 was a rather grindy game as we both got mana flooded but he managed to win in the end as none of my sideboard cards came to fruition. I sideboarded in Fracturing Gust, Kataki's War Wage, and Beast Within but no luck. So I went 0-2 during that round.

Round 2 Elves vs. U-Tron

Admittedly I was a little excited to play against Tron as it has been one of my favorite decks to watch at tournaments. So when I saw the first Tron piece go down in Game 1 I got a tinge of excitement. The game was over rather quick as I was able to dump out my hand pretty early. Turn 1 was a Forest + Heritage Druid and then Dwynen's Elite on Turn 2 and then an Elvish Archdruid as well. My opponent was just overwhelmed and had to go to game 2.

For Game 2 I sideboarded in Choke which turned out to be extremely effective against U-Tron as well as Fracturing Gust and Kataki's War Wage. I had a very slow opening hand even after mulling down to 5. My opponent assembled Tron and had a Mindslaver combo and was able to kill me from there.

Game 3 ended much in the same way as Game 1 so this was my first true paper modern victory and I was excited. I couldn't wait to see what I would be playing against next as there was some Affinity, Burn, and Zoo decks out there as well.

Round 3 Elves vs. Rakdos Deathtouch

So this being the last round I wasn't expecting to go up against such a homebrew. The homebrew was interesting as it played a lot of little deathtouch creatures to help stave off against aggro and then he would drop a Mogis and Palace Siege to drain my life. Had to say it was interesting but a bit too slow against Elves.

Game 1 was over pretty fast with Heritage Druid and Ezuri coming out quickly and Game 2 was very similar to my second game against U-Tron where I had to mull to 5 and kept drawing land. Game 3 was the same as Game 1.


So overall I went 2-1 for the night and was pretty happy with how it turned out. I still have a lot to learn about Modern and the only way to learn is to keep playing and learning from my mistakes. As I mentioned before this Saturday 1/9 there is a Modern IQ by me and I will attend in hopes of getting more experience.

It's a strange new world for me in Magic and I can only be excited to dive deeper. Thanks for reading!

Duel Decks for Kids - Elves vs. Goblins

If you're like me and have little planeswalkers of your own, you know eventually you'll want to spread the love of magic to them. After having already played a bit of the free intro 30 card decks that most LGS's hand out with my little ones they've begun to get bored of those. While the 30 card decks have been a great introduction to the basics of Magic, I wanted to create a little something more to fuel their excitement a bit more. Thus I have been developing my own set of Duel Decks for them, beginning with Elves vs.Goblins.

As you can tell from the decklists, they are fairly simple decks. My youngest planeswalker is currently 6 and while she understands the main basics of the game, such as. Untap, upkeep, and draw and play a land per turn and attack she still has yet to learn the importance of the finer details in Magic. These include; sorceries, instants, life, and knowing when to attack and block.

I spent about a week on the decklists in hopes of trying to make them as balanced as possible. Many variations and builds later what you see above is the final product. I playtested the two a lot and for awhile Goblins were far stronger than Elves and then the tables turned towards Elves being too strong but the lists above have shown it's somewhat 50/50, but in the eyes of a 6 year old it's all about learning.

I hope to slowly teach my little planeswalker the difference in the colors of Magic as she progresses but for the time being playing these decks with her has been a wonderful tool in expanding her vocabulary as well as helping her basic math skills. We try to play a game or two every night and she has beaten me once legitimately (I mean, all her wins are legitimate right?) with Elves, I got severely land flooded that game, my shuffle skills need work.

Our next duel deck won't be for a little while as we're still enjoying this one but we're sticking with mono colors for now. The next one might be Vampires vs. Humans perhaps? We shall see! Be sure to leave a comment below and tell me what you think! Thanks for reading!

Standard - Boros Aggro

In the current standard, 3 colors and even 4 colors have been reigning supreme and rightly so. Fetches allow the mana fixing you need and the new dual lands definitely help out with that allowing you to splash that much needed third or fourth color. Today we're here to discuss a new deck tech I've been messing around with which I have named Boros Beatdown.

Aggro decks in this current standard so far have been dominated mainly by Atarka Red and Gruul Landfall. They are very fast and explosive but can lose steam quickly if the game is prolonged. Spot removal and life gain slows down the aggro game tremendously. I've always been a fan of token decks so this list takes some of the best cards in Atarka Red with some common token cards.

Monastery Swiftspear is a must in any aggro deck right now with it applying pressure to your opponent on turn 1. In my experience so far with the deck Hangarback Walker has been more of a defensive creature to help stave off aggro decks with their explosive energy. Seeker of the Way helps out as well with the prowess trigger to help not lose so much life quickly against the aggro matchup. 

So what are some things this deck can do? For one, it does have the possibility to beat down quickly in a non mirror aggro matchup. If and when board wipes occur you can quickly get a board presence again. I do notice the deck tends to fall apart against decks that play the bigger creatures or flyers. I've experimented adding in Temur Battle Rage and Titan's Strength but all that did was turn this deck into another Atarka Red splashing white. I felt that going wide and swinging and having an Atarka's Command in hand can definitely shift things in your favor.

The sideboard is where this deck can change from a beatdown deck to a more midrange style with lots of spot removal. Silkwrap and Suspension Field are both great for exiling both small and big creatures respectively. Rending Volley and Radiant Purge to get rid of some of the bigger pesky creatures. I'm still on the fence between Radiant Purge and Valorous Stance

Is this a tier 1 deck? Definitely not. It is a pretty fun deck to take to an FNM and play. You could also make it a budget deck as well, I would just get rid of the Fetchlands, the Commands and add in Titan's Strength and more basic lands along with some Evolving Wilds. The creatures are cheap enough to get except for Hangarback which could be replaced with Zurgo or Lightning Beserker. Let me hear your thoughts on how you would improve it, the decklist is below and as we all know, no decklist is ever truly complete.

Standard - Atarka Elves

Today I'm here to talk about one of my favorite tribal decks in the current KTK - BFZ standard. Dubbed Atarka Elves. While it may not be a top tier performing standard deck, nor is it much of a budget build it sure can be a fun deck to play. 

Currently as I am writing this, Standard is mainly comprised of Dark Jeskai, Abzan, Atarka Red, and Esper. All four have variations within each of them but the meta right now feels stale. No longer am I seeing at my LGS different builds or variety as I was during THS - KTK standard. Most people now are running whatever is popular, aka Good cards.dec. This is only a small sample of my area so other LGS meta's may vary so take my words with a very small grain of salt.

I currently play Elves in Modern and starting to build Elves in legacy so why not try and do the same in Standard? When Magic Origins came out my elf senses were tingling and thought, finally! Elf tribal is a thing! While I tried and failed with elf tribal before BFZ came out, it wasn't until the fetchable duals did the addition of red allow the deck to play Atarka's Command consistently.

So how does one pilot the deck? The deck almost plays like an aggro deck but you don't want to get rid of your hand all at once. Languish and Radiant Flames are very real threats to the deck as well as Crux of Fate. While board wipes are expected, that's why I would normally hold back a few elf cards in my hand once I had 3-4 elves in play, as it is easy to get a board presence again. Especially against midrange and control decks you'll have to be mindful of what mana they have open and if they have a counter coming your way or a kill spell.

VS. Dark Jeskai

With my experiences against Dark Jeskai, I noticed you want to be fast and aggressive and make sure to have an Atarka's Command in your opening hand if you can get it. I've seen most decks play Fiery Impulse or Wild Slash and once they get a flipped Jace, it may be very hard for you to come back. If they are playing with a Mantis Rider variant that becomes a real threat to your deck as well. Radiant Flames is another killer to the deck. So what can we do against such threats?

If you're lucky enough to win game one, you may want to sideboard in Rending Volley, Self-Inflicted Wound, and Ultimate Price or Duress. Your style will have to change to be a bit more reactive as to not dropping all your creatures at once. You can sideboard out the Thornbow Archers and 1 or 2 of the Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen, I'll also take out some of the Sylvan Messanger as well.

VS. Abzan

Abzan can be a real hit or miss with Elves. Once they start getting Rhino's out it can be pretty tough to combat it. Most Abzan decks I see have a really good tempo now. I typically see, Turn 1 Warden of the First Tree, Turn 2 Heir of the Wild, Turn 3 Anafenza, and Turn 4 Rhino. None of those creatures are easy to deal with for elves. The best thing to do is to trade as much as you can and hold back attacking sometimes so you can kill their creatures. Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen can be very good against this deck as it let's you gain life that you most likely lost against Siege Rhino anyway. Atarka's Command can at least stop the opponent from gaining that life and doing 3 damage in the process.

Now what do we sideboard in? It will most likely be something similar to Dark Jeskai. Rending Volley, Self-Inflicted Wound, and Ultimate Price. I would suggest taking out once again, Thornbow Archers and Sylvan Messanger. In my experience Abzan was never a good matchup against Elves.

VS. Atarka Red

This matchup seemed rather even in my experience. It really came down to who gets to go first. If I go first I have a higher chance of winning than if they go first, which seems to be true for most aggro match ups. However, when it comes to sideboard. I highly recommend putting in all the Eyeblight Massacre you can muster. Take out Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen as by Turn 4, you may not have a lot of life left anyway. I've seen Eyeblight Massacre do some heavy duty work that can stall their board. Duress and Ultimate Price put in their due diligence as well. Overall the matchup seemed 50/50.

VS. Esper Control

I have not had much experience with this match up as I have had with the others. It can be a difficult matchup if you cannot kill them quickly. Once they start building up more mana they continue to just counter everything you put out. Languish and Crux of Fate are real downers with this matchup. So what can you do overall? Sideboard in Duress to begin with to try and disrupt any counters or board wipes. Self-Inflicted Wound and Rending Volley for any creatures that come out in play. Honestly it's really up to your ability to get out creatures and get them down quickly.

So overall, the deck can be quite fun. I managed to take 2nd place during BFZ gameday and have placed a few FNM's with it. Would I take this to a bigger event other than FNM? Most likely not. If Languish and Crux of Fate and Radiant Flames suddenly disappeared from the meta, this deck would be positioned better then.

I've been asked before if there is a budget version of the deck and while you can build a budget version, without the main piece of Atarka's Command it just becomes a regular Golgari Elves build. The Atarka's Command is the piece that really allows you to swing in fast and kill them quickly. Collected Company is a must have as well but you may get away with not having it. It helps to flood the board with more bodies but with Elvish Visionary and Sylvan Messanger they can at least help pick up some slack.

So if I had to make a budget build I may have it look something like this:

The biggest loss is Atarka's Command obviously as well as Collected Company. You can do without Nissa, though she can be helpful just getting you more land which is where Llanowar Empath and Seek the Wilds helps to do here and without fetches you really only have Evolving Wilds to help you for land. I still kept in Llanowar Wastes as those are relatively cheap to buy, I did not include Jungle Hollow as you really don't want lands coming in tapped, 4 is enough.For the sideboard we obviously had to cut Rending Volley and so I put in Murderous Cut instead. This budget list isn't final and may change.

So to end with, where do we take the deck from here? With Languish, Crux and Radiant Flames being really good board wipes I feel there isn't much else to do as of yet. Maybe Oath of the Gatewatch will have some new tools for this deck to utilize and if it does I'll do another write up to see how it fares. 

Questions? Comments? Feel free to drop one and thanks for reading!

EDH - The Bank of Kruphix

Personally, EDH for me is a relaxing way to enjoy some Magic. The stress of tournaments and the high intensity of Standard or Modern can be taxing. EDH, for me, brings back the essence of fun to Magic with it's crazy combos and sometimes whacky interactions. Of course this talk may be sacrilege for others who take the EDH format seriously but to each their own.

Today I'm here to talk about my personal favorite EDH deck which I have dubbed the Bank of Kruphix. Listed below is the latest iteration of the deck and I wanted to go over it a little and explain some of my thinking of why I chose what I did. This is the first EDH deck I ever built and it's reaching 2 years old soon and it's gone through many changes.

To begin with, let's discuss the commander. Kruphix. This 4/7 enchanment creature allows you to not only have no maximum hand size but also allows you to keep your mana after your turn is done. Thus I dubbed it the mana bank while I play. Being indestructible helps out a lot as well. When Kruphix was first spoiled he quickly became my favorite God out of all of them in the Theros block. I had never really played EDH before Theros block so when Kruphix was spoiled I suddenly had the urge to build my first EDH deck. The Timmy in me was all giddy and excited to play some big creatures.


The first few iterations of my deck consisted of nothing but big creatures and wipe/bounce spells and draw spells. The big creatures were mainly hydras from all sets as, at the time, I thought they were fun to play. Hydras such as, Vastwood Hydra and Protean Hydra were among of some of my favorite one's to play at the time. The only hydra's to survive my many iterations have been Genesis Hydra and Hydra BroodmasterManagorger Hydra has been a recent addition to the deck and has won a few games if I get him out early and it goes unanswered.

Now it comes down to gameplay and how I play my deck and what I plan for. Everyone's meta is different in their LGS. My LGS' meta can be a bit competitive but still a fun atmosphere, when it comes to EDH. As soon as I slap my commander down most people know what my deck is about and what it can do. I do get a lot of questions as to why I don't run Helix Pinnacle. I personally just don't see the fun in that card. Sure, I have a lot of ways of getting to 100 mana quickly and can win, I would just rather win my own way.

My first goal, like many other's, is to get as much mana as I can, as fast as I can and get to 5 mana quickly to get Kruphix out. Usually I'll need some ramp spells and mana to do that. As long as no one at the table is a big control player I normally get the lands I need out quickly. Once Kruphix comes out on the field the bank officially opens for business.

Now it becomes a game of collecting mana and getting the spells I need and just wait and sit back and watch the development of the board. I'll come across my tutor spells and get a Cyclonic Rift or Genesis Wave, but what happens if I get into the dreaded top deck game? Hopefully I can figure out a way to shuffle my deck with a ramp spell to make the chances of top decking something better. This is where the weakness of my deck comes into play.

I know I can put in better spells such as BrainstormSerum Visions, or Ponder for the draw spells. I did have Rush of Knowledge in the deck at one point but it was taken out for Blue Sun's Zenith. I have thought about the Enter the Infinite and Laboratory Maniac combo to win some easy games but to me that's no fun again. I say that because for me, EDH is not always about winning but more for having some good old fun magic. 

So what are some fun combos or interactions the deck can hold? First off there is the Wonder and Stormtide Leviathan combo. If I can't counter my own Wonder when I cast it or use my Bow of Nylea, I'll sometimes use Redirect if someone has a kill spell they try and cast. Once I get Stormtide out I'll give him the boots as well. Also how fun is it to cast Genesis Wave? I used to have Ward of Bones in the deck but that would always get hated and proceed to make me a target. Casting a Progenitor Mimic and having it copy a Dungeon Geist is always fun as well.

Now that I think about it, this deck doesn't have that many combos or interactions. It's full of good stuff and fun stuff. It is very weak to fast aggro decks and can be quite dangerous if left unchecked. It's not the greatest EDH deck but it sure is a fun one to play at least.

I hope to write about more decks I have created soon! Maybe EDH or some other constructed decks such as Standard or Modern? Who knows, we'll soon see! Thanks for reading!

The intro to Zuby

For the past few weeks I've been wanting to start a blog to contribute to the MTG community. I've been wracking my brain about what I could do to contribute. Write some deck guides? Experiences at tournaments? I feel we have so many of those already and it wouldn't do much. I just want to be able to give something back but I'm still unsure of what exactly.

A little about me. I've been playing Magic since Urza's Destiny came out and one of my favorite cards I remember pulling was a foil Pattern of Rebirth.

I played until Mercadian Masques and didn't come back until Kamigawa came out. Then I stopped playing until Innistrad came out and have not stopped playing ever since. It wasn't until when Theros came out that I decided to venture out to a LGS and play at a FNM. You see, growing up we didn't have game stores. I bought my magic cards from a guy who sold baseball cards and Magic was just a tiny shelf. It was the only place to buy it in my town from what I remember. At first I was just primarily interested in draft and had tons of fun doing so. Having won a few drafts, a friend of mine started getting me interested in standard. I didn't start standard until M15 came out and I was immediately hooked. Now having survived my first real rotation (When RTR rotated, I invested very little into that set), I've begun to look at Modern and even some Legacy.

So now here I am. I've only ever done one huge tournament and did terribly at it. I play plenty at FNM and my goal each time is to learn to play better and really learn from my mistakes. I've come a long way since then. That brings me back to what I've been asking myself, what can I do to contribute?

Sure I can write some deck techs and run downs on some tournaments/FNMs. Heck maybe I'll get creative again and start bringing homebrews to standard FNM and write about how they went. Who knows, but I would like to keep this going if I can. I can't say when I will post as my life is pretty chaotic and busy. If you read this, thank you!