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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Shas aia Toriia's Avatar

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    May 2007
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    Default Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Yet another Magic thread by me, Shas'aia Toriia! 'Cause I'm sure you weren't sick of looking at me yet!
    All art by Uncle Festy. Worship him for his god like art skills.
    Also, he takes requests. Sometimes. Usually he bites your head off if he isn't in the 'art' mood.


    It's the 5th official Magic: the Gathering thread on Giantitp forums!
    This is a the place for everything regarding the game - rules questions, your own card creations, decks, reports, rants about recent sets/cards/rules changes, the storyline, favorite cards/colors/sets/characters/pros/articles, the absolute glory terrible creation that is Elder Dragon Highlander [Joking, joking. You can put the bats down now. Hey guys? Guys? ], whatever you can think of.
    And definitely don't be shy if you're new to the game or think about starting. We're pretty casual players around here anyway. (Except, you know, those of us who play in tourneys.)

    If you want, you can post decks and have them placed here in a list similar to the one below! Just, you know, tell me. Perhaps Definitely multiple times if because I will forget.
    The Deck Gallery:
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    Shas'aia Toriia's RDW Flamekin
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    That deck focuses on getting the kill as fast as possible, and is an extremely simple deck to play - I gave it to my mom, and she managed to beat me with it, twice out of three games. The other one was multiplayer, and did manage to take down somebody else before I did the same to her.
    It has a very good record, wins most games it plays and consistenly trounces my Faerie deck.

    Start the game off by playing Flamekin Harbinger to tutor up either Nova Chaser or the Soulstoke, depending on what you need more. Then play Smokebraider for some cheap mana. Play Incandescent Soulstoke turn three, and up to 3 Nova Chasers through the Soulstoke's ability turn 4 for the win.
    If they somehow survive this, just champion Flamekin Harbinger, fling your Nova Chasers and Changeling Berserkers at the opponent. When they do, search up a new one and do it again! Vengeful Firebrand is great end game. He'll likely have haste from one of the many warriors in the deck, and his firebreathing effect quickly escalates from Smokebraider's ability.


    Conspiring Ultimatums, a truly magical, non-budget deck by tgva8889
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    2 Maelstrom Archangel
    3 Wort, the Raidmother
    4 Birds of Paradise
    4 Sprouting Thrinax

    1 Cruel Ultimatum
    1 Violent Ultimatum
    1 Conflux
    1 Spitting Image
    1 Din of the Fireherd
    4 Naya Charm
    4 Fertile Ground
    3 Garruk Wildspeaker
    2 Lavalanche
    4 Maelstrom Pulse
    1 Cloven Casting
    2 Rupture Spire

    4 Vivid Crag
    4 Vivid Grove
    4 Reflecting Pool
    3 Mountain
    2 Swamp
    5 Forest

    Gameplay:
    When playing this deck, it's important to survive the early game. Once you get into the late game, any deck without an abundance of counterspells will suddenly be faced with an onslaught of powerful spells. Between the 5 game-winners, one being a repeatable spell, the 4 Naya Charms, and the 3 Primal Commands and 4 Cone of Flames to control the game a bit, this deck should have no problem pushing through a late-game backbreaker. Maelstrom Archangel is there to help you push through some spells; after all, it's not very likely you'll be able to play two Ultimatums in one turn, is it?

    In terms of your early game, the key to surviving is to play Sprouting Thrinax, Naya Charm, and Cone of Flame as much as possible to slow down your foe. In addition, don't be afraid to take a bit of damage; you can afford to go down to 10 or even 5 before you're really in dire straits. The Primal Commands can gain you some important life early on, and it's not uncommon to be casting Maelstrom Archangel on turn 5 if it's in your opener, so the Angel can act as a last-ditch blocker if need be. Garruk's Beast tokens are also extremely helpful in surviving to your big guns, and Garruk himself provides you some acceleration that can get you there faster.

    Naya Charm is truly your ace in the hole. Acting as Regrowth, Lash Out, and a fourth of Cryptic Command is truly something amazing. However, don't be afraid to spend Naya Charm early on. If you get Wort up and running, you can recycle your Naya Charms with your other cards extremely easily.

    Remember, the objective with this deck is to conspire ridiculous spells for ridiculous fun. If you're about to lose, don't be afraid to Conspire Conflux and show off your deck in a glorious fashion. It's all about making big explosions, after all!


    Mirrinus' "Norg'
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    Creatures:
    4 Cloud Sprite
    4 Spellstutter Sprite
    4 Pestermite
    3 Thieving Sprite
    3 Latchkey Faerie
    4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
    2 Okiba-Gang Shinobi

    Instants:
    4 Mana Leak
    4 Agony Warp
    3 Rend Flesh
    2 Condescend

    Lands:
    4 Terramorphic Expanse
    7 Swamp
    12 Island

    Sideboard:
    2 Mistblade Shinobi
    3 Echoing Truth
    3 Negate
    3 Remove Soul
    4 Peppersmoke

    The basic strategy is to play evasive creatures with nice CIP abilities, then bounce them with ninja to replay them again, gaining tons of card advantage. Save the instant counters for things you can't handle, like high cost spells that Spellstutter Sprite can't hit, or board-wiping spells. The deck has lots of disruption and can usually play pretty aggressively. Nearly every spell can potentially 2-for-1 the opponent, giving me control of the game thanks to my strong card advantage. It's a very cheap deck to build due to being made entirely of commons, yet I find that it's still a solid deck to play in other casual formats as well. Its biggest weaknesses appear to be board-sweeping spells and pingers, so my sideboard is built to accomidate either of those threats. Peppersmoke handles most pingers and can decimate casual aggro decks. Remove Soul is also good against aggro, while Negate is for control decks that have been popular lately. Echoing Truth is to stop pauper storm decks based on Empty the Warrens, and the Mistblade Shinobi is for keeping midrange creature decks off balance.


    Mirrinus' Pauper Mono White Control
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    Deck: Sarutabaruta (or just call it Pauper Mono-W Control)
    Format: MTGO Pauper Classic

    Creatures
    4 Order of Leitbur
    3 Shade of Trokair
    4 Noble Templar

    Instants
    4 Judge Unworthy
    3 Dawn Charm
    3 Holy Light
    4 Fire at Will
    4 Unmake

    Sorceries
    1 Cenn's Enlistment

    Enchantments
    4 Oblivion Ring
    2 Faith's Fetters

    Lands
    20 Plains
    4 Secluded Steppe

    Sideboard
    4 Circle of Protection: Red
    1 Circle of Protection: Black
    4 Kami of Ancient Law
    1 Holy Light
    1 Cenn's Enlistment
    4 Relic of Progenitus

    (Note: the circles of protection were common when printed in 7th edition, so they're legal for pauper.)

    Anyway, I realized that most decks for pauper are creature-heavy, due to the lack of mass removal. So I built a deck designed to crush aggro strategies. I run a wealth of removal spells, some of which can earn card advantage. My creatures are few, but are versatile and are great both early and late game, oftentimes utilizing my excess mana to the fullest. The Kami of Ancient Law in the sideboard is mostly to switch in against creature-light decks as an early beater, or to replace Holy Light against white decks. I figure that if a deck is playing white, it's likely to be playing white enchantment-based removal like Oblivion Ring or Temporal Isolation, so the Kami would be great at keeping my other creatures clear of these answers.

    What I'm still considering, though, is the removal suite. I like Fire at Will for its potential for card advantage, particularly against weenie swarms like Slivers. Unmake is also great simply for the lack of the attack/blocker clause. The Dawn Charms are there mostly for versatility, as I can usually think of a good use for it. I'm not sure if I should be maindecking the Holy Lights, though. So far, they've only been useful against pinger decks, Empty the Warrens, and certain elf builds. However, given that Storm may be one of the best pauper builds, Holy Light affords me with my best chance of trumping Empty the Warrens. But most of all, I'm debating Judge Unworthy. On one hand, having 8 removal spells that require attacking/blocking is kind of restrictive; on the other hand, it's my cheapest removal spell, and my only removal option for turn 2. The Scry is oftentimes a toss-up; getting rid of excess land is great, but I've had instances where I needed to draw another land, but can't put a land on top of my deck with Scry if I want to kill a creature. I guess Temporal Isolation is a possible substitute, but it's pretty lousy in the Silvers matchup, which is perhaps the most common deck played in the pauper casual room as of late.

    I'm still debating whether Relic of Progenitus should be in the sideboard; perhaps I could use more aggro options to switch in against creature-light decks, even though those tend to be fewer in number for this format.


    Mirrinus' Mirror Sheen Combo
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    Format: Extended, preferably for 2HG

    Creatures
    4 Drift of Phantasms
    4 Plumeveil

    Enchantments
    3 Mirror Sheen

    Instants
    3 Swerve
    4 Hinder
    4 Electrolyze
    1 Oona's Grace

    Sorceries
    4 Compulsive Research
    3 Conflagrate
    2 Cone of Flame
    1 Walk the Aeons

    Artifacts
    4 Izzet Signet

    Lands
    4 Vivid Creek
    4 Vivid Crag
    4 Izzet Boilerworks
    1 Mountain
    10 Islands

    So, what does this deck do? At its core, this deck is made to abuse Mirror Sheen with various effects that can target me. Beneficial effects like Compulsive Research, Oona's Grace, and Walk the Aeons can be spread to both myself and my teammate, especially in MTGO 2HG, where turns are taken separately. Meanwhile, burn spells like Electrolyze, Cone of Flame, and Conflagrate can spread their damage to point just 1 damage at me, allowing me to copy them as well.

    My plan is to lay down some beefy blockers and control the board with versatile burn while building up mana and drawing cards for both me and my partner. Lots of card drawing spells plus Drift of Phantasms allows me to quickly find Mirror Sheen, while Hinder (my counterspell of choice in extended) and Swerve protect me and my flagship enchantment. With Mirror Sheen on the board, most of my spells become super-charged. Eventually, I will seek to win the game with a huge, crazy turn. Most commonly, I'll flashback Conflagrate for just 2 mana, discarding my hand of 7-8 cards and targetting myself with just 1 point of its damage, then pump all of my mana into copying that huge Conflagrate. With 8 mana available and 7 cards in hand, that's 20 damage divided as I choose, perfect for eliminating all blockers for my partner's alpha strike, or just sending it all to the dome. Or I can copy Walk the Aeons (and buy it back) before this too. Either way, my other goal is to supercharge my partner's deck, which I hope will make the game very fun for both of us. Most players appreciate being given extra cards and turns, right?

    I still have no idea what I would do for the sideboard, as that doesn't usually come up for 2HG, but it might matter if I take the deck out for a spin in 1-on-1 duels, where it'd play more like a combo deck with heavy control elements. I'm also not sure about a few individual choices. Should I run cheaper burn that can't synergize well with Mirror Sheen? Are more board sweepers necessary? Do I have enough defense to avoid being run over in the early game? Is my mana base stable enough to support UUU for Plumeveil and RR in Cone of Flame and Conflagrate, or should I cut the Cone of Flames? Is Cone of Flames even worth 5 mana? Is Swerve any good at all? (It can counter counterspells by changing their target!)


    Mirrinus' Game of Life
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    Format: Extended, both duels and FFA

    Creatures
    4 Leonin Squire
    4 Trinket Mage
    1 Auriok Salvagers
    2 Magus of the Disk
    3 Mulldrifter
    3 Shriekmaw
    3 Twilight Shepherd

    Artifacts
    4 Chromatic Star
    1 Voyager Staff
    1 Sunbeam Spellbomb
    1 Æther Spellbomb
    1 Wayfarer's Bauble
    1 Executioner's Capsule
    1 Dispeller's Capsule

    Instants
    4 Momentary Blink
    3 Makeshift Mannequin

    Lands
    4 Terramorphic Expanse
    4 Flagstones of Trokair
    1 Mistveil Plains
    1 Azorious Chancery
    1 Orzhov Basilica
    7 Plains
    3 Island
    2 Swamp

    This deck is built around my personal favorite creature, Twilight Shepherd. It started out as a simple WUB blink deck, but then morphed into a toolbox-style deck revolving around 1-mana artifacts. Nearly every single card syngergizes with Twilight Shepherd. Any of the sacrificed artifacts can be returned to my hand with the angel's ability, evoke becomes absurd when the angel activates, CIP creatures play nicely with her, and wiping the board with Magus of the Disk tends to be rather one-sided when all my stuff comes back to me, including the Magus himself! But the star of the deck is Voyager Staff combined with Twilight Shepherd, which basically lets me pay 3 mana each turn to ensure that any permanent that goes to my graveyard that turn gets returned to my hand. That includes lands like Terramorphic Expanse and Flagstones of Trokair as well (hence the high number of basic lands to fetch). Mannequin and Momentary Blink both ensure that my angel is never rid of permanently, and Trinket Mage tutors for the Staff right when I need it, or for any other silver bullet artifact. The sideboard includes stuff like Relic of Progenitus, to hose even more strategies. Lack of artifact lands is due to anti-synergy with the Magus. It's a fun deck with an insane amount of resiliance, as that angel is almost impossible to ever get rid of permanently, thanks to the massive amount of blink and recursion in the deck.


    Mirrinus' Countersliver
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    Deck: Pauper UW Countersliver
    Format: Extended Pauper

    Creatures:
    4 Azorius First-wing
    4 Bant Sureblade
    4 Deft Duelist
    4 Ethercaste Knight
    4 Esper Stormblade

    Artifacts:
    4 Fieldmist Borderpost

    Enchantments:
    4 Temporal Isolation

    Instants:
    4 Mana Tithe
    4 Mana Leak
    3 Remove Soul
    3 Hindering Light

    Lands:
    4 Terramorphic Expanse
    7 Island
    7 Plains

    Countersliver is a classic and effective Magic deck archetype that seeks to win by playing a few cheap, efficient threats to take the early game lead, then using permission and light removal elements to prevent the late-game from coming as you press your advantage. The archetype is named after the original version, which played Crystalline Sliver as its flagship creature.

    Countersliver is a good example of an effective aggro-control deck. Your creatures are weaker than your opponent's best aggro creatures, and your removal and card advantage suite isn't nearly as strong as a dedicated control player's. What you do have, though, is tempo. You have superior early-game creatures to all but the best aggro decks, and you'll be shaving pieces off your opponent's life very quickly while trying to maintain your board advantage. Countersliver especially likes to prey on slower decks. Compare a Countersliver deck to a normal permission control deck. Against a mid-range deck, both are able to stall for several turns with their counterspells. However, while the permission deck is just buying time to play a big finisher, Countersliver will have a guy in play by turn 2, and attacking the opponent relentlessly while stalling for time. In other words, it has a tangible clock in play, which will likely win before the late-game hits.

    Countersliver is normally weak against fast aggro decks with superior creatures. However, my personal build contains a few elements that help that matchup. First is the high number of first-striking creatures. Bant Sureblade and Deft Duelist make formidable blockers, easily dispatching lots of popular aggro creatures with high power but low toughness. Deft Duelist is also impossible to burn out of the way, making it a particularly impressive defender. Of course, both are also rather nasty on offense as well. Another nice card in the aggro matchup is Ethercaste Knight. 3 toughness means it can handle many early-game opposing creatures with ease, and it can lend power to my offense without ever having to tap. My favorite starting plays with this deck involve Esper Stormblade on turn 2, followed by Ethercaste Knight on turn 3 with one land up for Mana Tithe. I get to swing for 4 points of flying starting on turn 3, which can lead to a turn 7 win. With Ethercaste Knight blocking on the ground and a slew of countermagic and removal, I'm likely to win a damage race with just those two creatures.

    The key to playing this deck is to not overextend with your creatures, and to keep mana open for counters available as often as possible, even if you aren't actually holding a counter. Exalted lets you finish games quickly without having to play many additional creatures. I prefer my fliers for attacking while keeping the first strikers back for defense to win the damage race against aggro. Of course, if you have a clear creature advantage, by all means attack en masse! Just be sure to have countermagic on hand in case they drop a big creature or removal spell. The good thing about this deck is that practically every single spell costs just 2 mana or less (I don't count the borderposts, as I usually pay their alternate cost), which means by turn 4 you can feasibly drop another threat and still have Mana Leak or Remove Soul ready. The deck desperately wants to hit UW by turn 2 (an opening hand that can't do this should be mulliganed), but with 4 Terramorphic Expanses and 4 Borderposts, that shouldn't be too hard to do, at least in my testing thus far.

    If you want a sideboard, I would recommend trying out Steel of the Godhead. Against decks light on removal but heavy on aggro, this card is a total beating that almost ensures victory in the damage race. Just keep in mind that you can't enchant your Azorius First-wings or Deft Duelists. In such a matchups where I'd want Steel of the Godhead, such as against aggressive red decks, I'd probably swap out the griffins for Vedalken Outlander.


    Graymare's Ella Enchanted
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    Creatures:
    Dowsing Shaman X2
    Gatherer of Graces X4
    Gruul Guildmage X1
    Flaring Flame-kin X4
    Slith Firewalker X1
    Spikeshot Goblin X1
    Thran Golem X1
    Yavimaya Enchantress X4
    Verduran Enchantress X1

    Enchantments:
    Ancestral Mask X2
    Beastmaster's Magemark X4
    Crown of Flames X1
    Exoskeletal Armor X1
    Fencer's Magemark X4
    Fists of Ironwood X1
    Lightning Talons X2
    Treetop Bracers X1
    Uncontrollable Anger X1
    Web X1

    Instants:
    Grab the Reins X1
    Naturalize X2
    Vitalize X1

    Land:
    Forest X10
    Mountain X10
    Skarrg, the Rage Pits X2


    Oh Lawd, my now seasoned Magic: The Gathering (tm) mind cries when it sees all of these X1's! As some people can guess, this isn't the most... stable of decks.

    But, boy howdy, is it fun to play! The creatures it can manufacturer are always loaded with power. This is mostly from all of the synergy. My enchanted creatures make other enchanted creatures more powerful (and in the case of magemarks, give them extra abilities!).

    Plus, it's fairly fast. Personal clicks can attest to its ability of bringing out big baddies in a relatively short amount of time.

    However, I could always do with making it faster. In fact, this deck is in dire need of optimization, so I will acquiesce to your greater abilities playground if you would deign to help me.


    SoD's Naya Deck
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    Little Creatures:
    Bloodbraid Elfx1
    Druid of the Animax2
    Naya Hushbladex3
    Stun Sniperx4
    Wild Nacatlx4 (1 foil)
    Big creatures;
    Hamletback Goliathx1
    Mossbridge Trollx1 (1 foil)
    Mycoid Shepherdx1
    Mycolothx3
    Spearbreaker Behemothx1
    Spellbreaker Behemothx
    Vigorx2
    Wooly Thoctarx4
    Artifacts:
    Behemoth Sledgex1
    Mage Slayerx2
    Enchantements:
    Happy Songx1
    Oblivion Ringx1
    Instants;
    Path to Exilex2
    Volcanic Falloutx1
    Sorcer...Sorcery's? Sorceries? Sorceri? Sorceri, yeah. That sounds good. Sorceri:
    None.
    Planeswalkers:
    Ajani Vengeantx1
    Lands:
    Fire-Lit Thicketx1
    Forestx4
    Jungle Shrinex4
    Mountainx4 (2 foil)
    Naya Panoramax1
    Plainsx3
    Wooded Bastionx1
    Vivid Cragx2
    Vivid Grovex1

    Fun Combinations; Double Vigor. Need I say more? Happy Song (Mayael's Aria) (at begining of upkeep, stuff, then win the game if you control creature with power 20 or greater) combined with Mossbridge Troll (tap a bunch of creatures, Mossbridge Troll gets +20/+20 til end of turn.
    Mycoloth.
    Another Mycoloth.
    Spellbreaker Behemoth's to stop your big things from getting countered.
    Spearbreaker Behemoth to stop them getting killed.
    Vigor to make them tougher.
    Hamletback Goliath+Mycoloth. I spawn more Saprolings. My Hamletback gets bigger.

    I'm trying to work out what to remove for a Windbrisk Raptor and a Rage Reflection. Any suggestions?
    And secondly; Foily Noble Hierach.


    Narkis' Dastardly Devour Deck[/COLOR]
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    Flame Master Axel's RBW


    Shas'aia Toriia's Orzhov Control
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    Creatures (13)
    4x Divinity of Pride
    4x Graveborn Muse
    2x Shimian Specter
    3x Oriss, Samite Guardian

    Artifacts (1)
    1x Sword of Light and Shadow

    Instants (4)
    4x Mortify

    Planeswalkers (2)
    2x Liliana Vess

    Sorceries (16)
    4x Demonic Tutor
    4x Vindicate (substituting in a couple Oblivion Rings until I can afford a playset)
    4x Gerrard's Verdict
    2x Wrath of God
    2x Damnation

    Land (24)
    4x Godless Shrine
    4x Fetid Heath
    4x Caves of Koilos
    1x Shizo, Death's Storehouse
    1x Eiganjo Castle
    2x Orzhova, Church of Deals
    3x Flagstones of Trokair
    2x Forbidding Watchtower
    2x Swamp
    1x Plains

    To start off with this deck, you want to either strip their hand away with Gerrard's Veridct or search for something good with Demonic Tutor. Once you have Graveborn muse in play, just start accumalating card advantage. If they try to attack, prevent the damage with Oriss, or block with Forbidding Watchtower. Finish off the game with Liliana Vess or Divinity of Pride. Above all, though, don't be afraid to Wrath often. With 4 wrath effects and 6 tutors, you can always get more.

    Lastly, there is a soft lock in this deck. See if you can find what it is.


    MountainKing's UBR Elemental Shenanigans:
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    Creatures:
    Supreme Exemplar x2
    Mulldrifter x3
    Mournwhelk x3
    Shriekmaw x3
    Spitebellows x3
    Inner-Flame Acolyte x3
    Stingscourger x3

    Artifacts:
    Proteus Staff x3
    Cauldron of Souls x3
    Cloudstone Curio x3
    Armillary Sphere x3

    Sorceries:
    Heat Shimmer x2

    Instants:
    Peel from Reality x2
    Turn to Mist x4

    Lands:
    Basic Swamp x6
    Basic Mountain x7
    Basic Island x7

    Sideboard (aka the Experiment Pile):
    Thrumming Stone
    Coalition Relic
    Cruel Ultimatum x3
    River Kelpie x2
    Heat Shimmer
    Mana Echoes x2
    Dawn of the Dead
    Tar Fiend x2
    Footbottom Feast x3

    The basic premise of the deck is to use the triggered come into play or leaves play effects on creatures, repeatedly, in order to bring about an effective soft lock on the game through denial. This is achieved through taking two keywords abilities (Evoke and Persist)... and breaking them soundly over your knee.

    The core of the deck is the interaction between Cauldron of Souls (the only card in the deck that gives creatures Persist) and Elemental creatures with Evoke alternative casting costs. In response to the Evoke's triggered effect, you tap Cauldron of Souls to give the Evoked creature Persist. It leaves play, then returns to play, causing its triggered come into play ability to go on the stack a second time, for no additional mana cost.

    Example: If I evoke a Mulldrifter for 2U, when it comes into play, I draw two cards. Since I paid the Evoke cost, the triggered effect goes on the stack. I give it Persist via Cauldron of Souls, and when it comes into play a second time, I draw two more cards.

    Example 2: The interaction between Spitebellows and Cauldron of Souls is fundamentally the same, except that the creature's ability triggers when it leaves play, rather than comes into play. However, when Persist brings Spitebellows back into play, it has a zero toughness courtesy of its -1/-1 counter from Persist, sending it cheerfully back to the graveyard a second time, allowing for either 12 damage to be done to one creature, or 6 damage to be done to two separate creatures.

    The typical play of the deck leaves it feeling like its ramping a little slowly. Turns 1-5, you'll probably only have played an Armillary Sphere, Cloudstone Curio, Cauldron of Souls, and land. ***NOTE*** This deck likes its mana, and digging up lands with the Armillary Sphere is crucial.

    Once turn 6 hits, however, you'll be causing some serious hurt, having surprisingly rapid, effective tools at your disposal during your turn. Mournwhelk empties your opponent's hand, Shriekmaw and Spitebellows tear down your opponent's creatures, while Stingscourger stalls out their creatures. Supreme Exemplar is the only huge beater in the deck, though clearing the opposing board, casting a Spitebellows (not Evoking), and then giving it +2/+0 and Haste via Inner-Flame Acolyte (if not +4/+0) can give you a suitable beater as well. Otherwise, your damage comes from lightweight, evasive creatures like Shriekmaw and Mulldrifter.

    This deck isn't especially meant to play against terribly competitive players, but it *can* perform against moderately fast decks. The difference is that it moves slightly slower, and loses out on creatures, because instead of holding on to your Evoke creatures, you'll be playing them in to deal with threats on board. I've got a list of cards that I personally intend to use to tinker with the deck even further, but I'll leave the deck *as is* for the purpose of posting it. I want people to be able to tinker with it, and the deck *does* work well in its current form.

    The deck also has a number of specific weaknesses, none of which should be terribly worried about. It's meant to be a fun deck... for you. It won't be fun for them.


    Please include lots of info on how to play the deck so that people who don't understand your brilliance can bask in its true glory.
    Also, it should be noted that this list was maintained by tgva and Johnny Blade before me. I don't think I could have done it on my own. Except, ya' know, for the part where I did. Take that, copy paste!
    Last edited by Shas aia Toriia; 2010-01-21 at 07:43 PM.
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    Avvies by Z-Axis, now bearer of 3 divine rank.
    So you may have heard of Lord Herman. Well, he's pretty awesome.
    Chief Arial Commander of HALO
    Through hostilties, Leader of AMEN
    Annoyingly Androgynous Elf
    Larger Avvies:
    Shas aia Toriia (under constuction)
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Shas aia Toriia's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Atlantic Ocean

    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Past topics since the first post takes up too much space:


    List of MtG-related websites put together by Johnny Blades and probably some other people:
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    The official site. From here you can reach:
    The page for Magic Online, if you want to give it a try. Note that, while you have to pay/trade for cards, there are bots who give them away for free. I don't have any experience with this, but there are people posting in this thread that do.
    The DCI, for organized play.
    Gatherer, WotC's card search.

    magiccards.info, another place to waste lots of time browsing through cards. It doesn't have the user ratings and comments of Gatherer, but lists the prices of several online vendors and, surprisingly, has more card images. The interface is also better in my opinion.

    MTGSalvation. That place has a lot of stuff, including a wiki, a huge forum, and many articles of varying quality. They also spoil all the cards of the next set well in advance, so this is where we'll usually get future cards from.

    StarCityGames - they make you pay for much of their newer content, but what you can get for free is certainly good enough.

    Elder Dragon Highlander, the official page. Very...Spartan design, but that means functionality. Always up to date and it has a forum about this popular variant multiplayer format as well.

    Le Bestiaire, an online draft simulator. It gives you some pretty odd ratings sometimes, but at least there is actual feedback.

    Magic Workstation, a program for...a lot of things, including collection management and online play. Supports more TCGs than just Magic. There's a freeware version available.

    Deckcheck, where you can see which decks have tournament success. The decks are essentially named by the people who play them, and if you're looking for, say, Legacy decks, you'll soon find out that not all tournaments are really at Pro Tour level, but this is still an invaluable site for anyone who wants to keep up with the tournament scene.


    Also, for those who don't get the title, it's a reference to a well known movie () called Snakes on a Plane. Ophidian is a rather well known snake from the Magic universe.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Is the guy on the left Urza? I know the girl on the right is Akroma

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    Is the guy on the left Urza? I know the girl on the right is Akroma
    Yes. 10characters

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    I guess I'll be the first to post a list in this iteration of the topic.

    Sens Buskwackers
    // Lands
    3 [ZEN] Mountain (7)
    4 [ZEN] Plains (7)
    4 [ZEN] Arid Mesa
    4 [ZEN] Marsh Flats
    4 [ZEN] Scalding Tarn
    4 [ZEN] Teetering Peaks

    // Creatures
    2 [M10] Elite Vanguard
    2 [ZEN] Goblin Bushwhacker
    4 [ZEN] Goblin Guide
    3 [ZEN] Kor Skyfisher
    3 [ZEN] Plated Geopede
    3 [ALA] Ranger of Eos
    4 [ZEN] Steppe Lynx.
    4 [CFX] Hellspark Elemental

    // Spells
    4 [ZEN] Burst Lightning
    4 [M10] Lightning Bolt
    4 [CFX] Path to Exile

    // Sideboard
    SB: 3 [M10] Baneslayer Angel
    SB: 4 [CFX] Celestial Purge
    SB: 4 [M10] Harm's Way
    SB: 4 [CFX] Volcanic Fallout

    General strategy
    The deck's general idea can bu summed up in 3 words: turn guys sideways. This is the fastest deck in the format by a decent margin, and your best chance to win by far is just to deal 20 damage before they can stabilize.

    Creatures
    Goblin Guide is the most efficient beater in the format, and if all goes according to plan, the odd draw he gives your opponent won't come into play early enough to help them. The information he gives you the rest of the time helps you play around an answer on the top of their deck.
    Lynx. and Geopedes are better than they should be if you can drop a land every turn, and just unfair with fetches.
    Hellsparks almost always provide 6 damage to the face for 2RR. Blocking them or using removal on them means card disadvantage for the opponent, since they come back.
    Skyfishers are great as a 2/3 flyer for WW without much disadvantage. With the ability to bounce a land to enable Landfall, they become excellent.
    Bushwacker is a finisher. Play it with a bunch of guys and turn sideways.
    Ranger fetches Bushwackers (or rarely Goblin Guides).

    Removal
    Burst Lightning and Bolt either remove a blocker or go to the face to provide that finishing damage. Burst in particular deals 5 damage to finish off an opponent who may have stabilized.
    Path is a 1-mana removal that deals with 95% of the format. The extra land doesn't often come into play, due to the speed with which this deck deals 20 damage if unopposed.

    Sideboard
    Baneslayers come in over Paths against stuff like UWR Control, since they don't have any targettable creatures anyways.
    Harm's Way comes in over Burst against decks that have early blockers or Lightning Bolt, since it's strictly better than Burst if the opponent is doing 2 damage to you or your creatures reliably.
    Purge comes in vs Jund/Vamps/RDW. Usually over Path, but sometimes over Burst.
    Fallout sometimes comes in versus Mono-White, since they often have mass token generators.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Oh, you used my suggestion for topic name. Cool!

    Spoiler season is so much fun. Hurray for new common spell-lands! (that are even better than Zendikar's)
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    if this card were constantly in effect in real life I'd be dead by now http://magiccards.info/al/en/241.html in case you cant tell I lose a lot of lands.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2010-01-21 at 10:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by SensFan View Post
    I guess I'll be the first to post a list in this iteration of the topic.

    Spoiler
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    Sens Buskwackers
    // Lands
    3 [ZEN] Mountain (7)
    4 [ZEN] Plains (7)
    4 [ZEN] Arid Mesa
    4 [ZEN] Marsh Flats
    4 [ZEN] Scalding Tarn
    4 [ZEN] Teetering Peaks

    // Creatures
    2 [M10] Elite Vanguard
    2 [ZEN] Goblin Bushwhacker
    4 [ZEN] Goblin Guide
    3 [ZEN] Kor Skyfisher
    3 [ZEN] Plated Geopede
    3 [ALA] Ranger of Eos
    4 [ZEN] Steppe Lynx.
    4 [CFX] Hellspark Elemental

    // Spells
    4 [ZEN] Burst Lightning
    4 [M10] Lightning Bolt
    4 [CFX] Path to Exile

    // Sideboard
    SB: 3 [M10] Baneslayer Angel
    SB: 4 [CFX] Celestial Purge
    SB: 4 [M10] Harm's Way
    SB: 4 [CFX] Volcanic Fallout

    Why are you running 23 lands in a deck where most of the non-land spells cost one mana? I think you want less land and more beats.
    Last edited by Bucky; 2010-01-22 at 01:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    Why are you running 23 lands in a deck where most of the non-land spells cost one mana? I think you want less land and more beats.
    If anything, I would add a 24th land.
    Not only do the lands feed my Landfall beats, but turn 4 Ranger can win a game on its own. Not to mention that cutting a land means cutting a fetch, since I'm already flirting dangerously by running 12 fetches to 7 basics.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    Why are you running 23 lands in a deck where most of the non-land spells cost one mana? I think you want less land and more beats.
    Because land is very relevant in the deck. I've lost playing Bushwhacker because I didn't draw the land for Steppe Lynx and Geopede.

    Personally, I'd -2 Elite Vanguard, +1 Plated Geopede and +1 Ranger of Eos (or maybe Kor Skyfisher, because they're both more efficient, in my eyes.



    Also, with Worldwake, who thinks that a manland EDH deck could be possible?

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    Actually, it doesn't matter at all: Godhead of Awe occurs in Layer 7B, while Overrun occurs in layer 7C. No matter what order they resolve, all my creatures would be 4/4s.
    You see? This is why I hate layers...

    I assume this would still apply if I Flashed in Godhead during the Assign Blockers phase? It seems counter-intuitive to me, but that's how the rules work I guess.

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Doesn't actually matter when the Godhead shows up: It always applies in layer 7B, and Overrun always applies in layer 7C. So even if you flashed it in during blockers, I'd still have 4/4s.

    Alternatively, if I had an 8/8 Figure of Destiny when you played your Godhead, timestamps would indicate that my Figure would become a 1/1, because Godhead's ability happened latest. Of course, I can always just use Figure's last ability again, since it's still a Kithkin Spirit Avatar.

    That is how it works. Is it weird? Yeah, probably. Welcome to Magic.

    A manland EDH deck won't be possible for a while because there still aren't enough manlands. Even if you play a 5-color General, you still only have about 15 actual lands that become creatures, and even with 15 or so enchantments that can make your guys creatures, you're going to be hurting for ways to get it done. Plus, most of the ways to make your lands creatures are pretty god-awful. I wouldn't play Animate Land, for example. It also sucks that you don't have a general that even begins to support this plan, unless you convince your playgroup that Genju of the Realms is a viable general.

    I'm skeptical about some of the new cards that are listed, but I think they're interesting, to say the least. I will say that I'm definitely going to try to play Quest for the Nihil Stone in Standard.

    Edit: Holy crap. Abyssal Persecutor is amazing for politics in multiplayer. "I'll keep you from losing the game if you help me beat down these other guys."
    Last edited by tgva8889; 2010-01-22 at 03:01 AM.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    And he can create some mind-breaking situations. Let's say an opponent is at minus, or dangerously close to that and you reveal a lightning bolt from your hand. What does he do then? He definitely can't attack you with anything bigger than a 2/2, or he'll lose. And yet he must attack and kill you before you draw that second bolt. (Two bolts to kill your own creature are the best thing to do. Must be a first in Magic) What a fun card!

    I'm also excited about the Amulet of Vigor. Two cards in play in any combination of this, unbender tine, fatestitcher or Garruk, and you can go infinite with Magosi! By turn 5 at the latest! This'll definitely be the first deck I'll build after the release.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    Doesn't actually matter when the Godhead shows up: It always applies in layer 7B, and Overrun always applies in layer 7C. So even if you flashed it in during blockers, I'd still have 4/4s.
    It's worth noting that this changed lately. Before, only static boosts were applied in a different layer and effects like Overrun and Godhead were applied in Time Stamp Order. Now "size-setting abilities" are all applied before everything else. This throws a lot of people off since many only vaguely knew how it worked and now that it changed, they still think it worked like how they vaguely knew it worked before.

    For reference, relevant section from pre-M10 Comp Rules (418.5):
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    The values of an object’s characteristics are determined by starting with the actual object, then applying continuous effects in a series of layers in the following order:
    (1) copy effects (see rule 503, “Copying Objects”)
    (2) control-changing effects
    (3) text-changing effects
    (4) type-changing effects (which includes effects that change an object’s card type, subtype, and/or supertype)
    (5) all other continuous effects, except those that change power and/or toughness
    (6) power- and/or toughness-changing effects.
    Inside each layer from 1 through 5, apply effects from characteristic-defining abilities first, then all other effects in timestamp order. Inside layer 6, apply effects in a series of sublayers in the following order:

    (6a) effects from characteristic-defining abilities
    (6b) all other effects not specifically applied in 6c, 6d, or 6e
    (6c) changes from counters
    (6d) effects from static abilities that modify power and/or toughness but don’t set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value
    (6e) effects that switch a creature’s power and toughness.

    Within each sublayer, apply effects in timestamp order. Note that dependency may alter the order in which effects are applied within a layer or sublayer.


    And post-M10 (613):
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    The values of an object’s characteristics are determined by starting with the actual object. For a card, that means the values of the characteristics printed on that card. For a token or a copy of a spell or card, that means the values of the characteristics defined by the effect that created it. Then all applicable continuous effects are applied in a series of layers in the following order:

    613.1a Layer 1: Copy effects are applied. See rule 706, “Copying Objects.”
    613.1b Layer 2: Control-changing effects are applied.
    613.1c Layer 3: Text-changing effects are applied. See rule 612, “Text-Changing Effects.”
    613.1d Layer 4: Type-changing effects are applied. This includes effects that change an object’s card type, subtype, and/or supertype.
    613.1e Layer 5: Color-changing effects are applied.
    613.1f Layer 6: Ability-adding and ability-removing effects are applied.
    613.1g Layer 7: Power- and/or toughness-changing effects are applied.

    613.2. Within layers 1–6, apply effects from characteristic-defining abilities first (see rule 604.3), then all other effects in timestamp order (see rule 613.6). Note that dependency may alter the order in which effects are applied within a layer. (See rule 613.7.)

    613.3. Within layer 7, apply effects in a series of sublayers in the order described below. Within each sublayer, apply effects in timestamp order. (See rule 613.6.) Note that dependency may alter the order in which effects are applied within a sublayer. (See rule 613.7.)

    613.3a Layer 7a: Effects from characteristic-defining abilities are applied. See rule 604.3.
    613.3b Layer 7b: Effects that set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value are applied.
    613.3c Layer 7c: Effects that modify power and/or toughness (but don’t set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value) are applied.
    613.3d Layer 7d: Power and/or toughness changes from counters are applied. See rule 120.
    613.3e Layer 7e: Effects that switch a creature’s power and toughness are applied. Such effects take the value of power and apply it to the creature’s toughness, and take the value of toughness and apply it to the creature’s power.


    So the primary change is that instead of only static modifiers (á la Crusade or company; basically, bonuses from effects in play) being applied always after P/T setting abilities, now all bonuses including temporary bonuses are always applied afterwards. Before, you could e.g. Ovinize a Giant Growthed creature into 0/1; now it's still 3/4.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    So the primary change is that instead of only static modifiers (á la Crusade or company; basically, bonuses from effects in play) being applied always after P/T setting abilities, now all bonuses including temporary bonuses are always applied afterwards. Before, you could e.g. Ovinize a Giant Growthed creature into 0/1; now it's still 3/4.
    So a Holy Strength on a Sworn Defender allows it to kill anything it blocks/blocked by, as its ability sets its P/T in 7b, then the Holy Strength is applied in 7c?

    I also notice that counters are applied in 7d, so would a -1/-1 counter essentially kill the Defender whenever its ability is used (conversely, a +1/+1 would allow it to kill anything it blocks/blocked by)?

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    A manland EDH deck won't be possible for a while because there still aren't enough manlands. Even if you play a 5-color General, you still only have about 15 actual lands that become creatures, and even with 15 or so enchantments that can make your guys creatures, you're going to be hurting for ways to get it done. Plus, most of the ways to make your lands creatures are pretty god-awful. I wouldn't play Animate Land, for example. It also sucks that you don't have a general that even begins to support this plan, unless you convince your playgroup that Genju of the Realms is a viable general.
    If not, I was thinking Child of Alara, mostly because it doesn't really hurt me that much. But Genju would be pretty sweet general (maybe taking out the return to hand bit, because that's probably too strong)

    Also, 15, plus how many are in Worldwake. There's at least 6 so far. Plus Gargoyle Castle kinda counts (but wouldn't be a first choice), and there's a bunch of land pumps. I'd have to wait until after Worldwake comes out, I'd imagine.

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    So a Holy Strength on a Sworn Defender allows it to kill anything it blocks/blocked by, as its ability sets its P/T in 7b, then the Holy Strength is applied in 7c?

    I also notice that counters are applied in 7d, so would a -1/-1 counter essentially kill the Defender whenever its ability is used (conversely, a +1/+1 would allow it to kill anything it blocks/blocked by)?
    Well, yea. That's how it'd work out. The Defender's ability is always 7b so basically everything else applies after it.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Just so everyone is aware, you cannot use the word "lynx " (the space is important) on GitP. Just figured I should post a reminder, given Steppe Lynx.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by The Extinguisher View Post
    Also, 15, plus how many are in Worldwake. There's at least 6 so far. Plus Gargoyle Castle kinda counts (but wouldn't be a first choice), and there's a bunch of land pumps. I'd have to wait until after Worldwake comes out, I'd imagine.
    Not really. I can only think of the 5 Urza-Block ones, Mutavault, Blinkmoth Nexus, and Mishra's Factory right now, and maybe Stalking Stones. So that's a total of 16 as far as we know. Plus the 5 Genjus, the 5 Zendikons, and I suppose various other land-animating cards...your deck would be absolutely terrible.

    Gargoyle Castle isn't the same. It doesn't get Earth Surge benefits, and it doesn't become indestructible with the new card.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    For manlands: Nantuko Monastery and Svogthos, the Restless Tomb.

    There's a lot of instants and sorceries that turn lands into creatures, several of which are permanent.

    Life // Death
    Hunting Wilds
    Natural Affinity
    Rude Awakening
    Verdent Touch
    Vivify

    And creatures/artifacts that turn lands into creatures, many of which don't last until end of turn:

    Thelonite Druid
    Quirion Druid
    Jorael, Empress of Beasts
    Awakener Druid
    Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
    Lifespark Spellbomb
    Mishra's Groundbreaker
    Soilshaper (probably wouldn't work in this context)
    Spike Tiller
    Woodwraith Corrupter

    And of course, lots of enchantments like Life and Limb. Notice that nearly all these cards are green. Don't forget Darksteel Garrison!

    If you're running black, then make sure you're packing Eradicate. Use any one of your many land animating spells to turn an opponent's basic land into a creature, then Eradicate it to wipe out all of that basic land from their deck. This can cripple a mono-color (or even 2-color) EDH deck if done early enough.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    The problem is that most of these are weak; you end up with a bunch of 3/3s or 2/2s in a world where not only do people play Wrath of Gods, but they also play much larger creatures or more efficient creatures. Might it be fun? Possibly. But I'm not saying it would be that successful. And for playing 5 colors, there are many people who would frown upon it.

    Also, Eradicate is just mean and no one should ever play it in that context.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    So I just got back from an M10 draft at a local FNM that probably made history. A Baneslayer was passed pack 1 pick 1.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    Not really. I can only think of the 5 Urza-Block ones, Mutavault, Blinkmoth Nexus, and Mishra's Factory right now, and maybe Stalking Stones. So that's a total of 16 as far as we know. Plus the 5 Genjus, the 5 Zendikons, and I suppose various other land-animating cards...your deck would be absolutely terrible.

    Gargoyle Castle isn't the same. It doesn't get Earth Surge benefits, and it doesn't become indestructible with the new card.
    This is something I am okay with.

    And yeah, Eradicate is pretty horrible used that way. I love it.

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Well, yea. That's how it'd work out. The Defender's ability is always 7b so basically everything else applies after it.
    Reading the old comp rules you posted, it's apparently always worked that way, as the P/T setting is classed as "everything else" in 6b and static effects are applied in 6d.
    You learn something new everyday.

    I might have to squeeze in my Sworn Defenders back into my decks again...

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by SensFan View Post
    So I just got back from an M10 draft at a local FNM that probably made history. A Baneslayer was passed pack 1 pick 1.
    I've seen that happen before. A foil Baneslayer was chosen over it.

    Still, I could imagine if someone didn't know it's money value and was new to drafting so didn't value it correctly.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Zocelot View Post
    I've seen that happen before. A foil Baneslayer was chosen over it.
    This implies that this person opened a pack with both a baneslayer and a foil baneslayer. Did you remember to rub your unopened packs on him for good luck?
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    My comment on Eradicate is more "EDH is a fun format, that usage of Eradicate is not fun for whoever you target with it. They will hate you, and you will possibly lose friends."

    Quote Originally Posted by Zocelot View Post
    Still, I could imagine if someone didn't know it's money value and was new to drafting so didn't value it correctly.
    I dunno, even if you're new, something that's a 5/5 should be pretty cool. I mean, come on, 5's a pretty big number when there's lots of 2s and 3s, right? Plus, Baneslayer Angel's art looks pretty cool.
    Last edited by tgva8889; 2010-01-23 at 03:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    My comment on Eradicate is more "EDH is a fun format, that usage of Eradicate is not fun for whoever you target with it. They will hate you, and you will possibly lose friends."



    I dunno, even if you're new, something that's a 5/5 should be pretty cool. I mean, come on, 5's a pretty big number when there's lots of 2s and 3s, right? Plus, Baneslayer Angel's art looks pretty cool.
    Not to mention it is rare, so more people are likely to go for it. Weird.


    Also, I guess Eradicate is a jerk move. My EDH playgroup is pretty forgiving in that manner, but I'm not sure how forgiving.

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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    It was someone who apparently pretty much just plays casual with friends, and "doesn't like White." I suppose that's one reason for taking an Enormous Baloth pick1pack1 over a Baneslayer...
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    Default Re: Magic: the Gathering V: Ophidians on a Plane

    Could someone reccomend some tweaks for my new standard deck? Here's what I have at the moment.

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    Sumerian Control (Points to anyone who figures out where I got the idea for the name)

    Lands x24
    4x Terramorphic Expanse
    4x Crumbling Necropolis
    5x Mountain
    11x Island
    (Yes, I know Scalding Tarn would go great in there. I'm on a budget)

    Creatures x3
    3x Sphinx of Jwar Isle

    Enchantments x8
    4x Spreading Seas
    4x Convincing Mirage

    Sorceries x4
    Divination x4

    Instants x 21
    4x Negate
    4x Double Negative
    4x Essence Scatter
    4x Lightning Bolt
    4x Burst Lightning
    1x Twincast

    Sideboard
    4x Flashfreeze
    4x Pyroclasm
    4x Into the Roil
    3x ?


    A couple things occur to me with this deck-

    1) I kind of wish I could maindeck 'clasm. I've been in a lot of situations where it would've saved my behind.
    2) What should I use in the final sideboard slot?
    3) I really with there was more room for aditional twincasts and swerves. Is there something I could sideboard in?
    4) Do I need more finishers? Perhaps Aether Figment?
    Last edited by Squark; 2010-01-23 at 05:16 PM.
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