This entry is part 19 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam Olivia Voldaren
 “In Rakdos-controlled neighborhoods, everyone is part of the show.”
           -Dreadbore
Welcome boys and girls, to my very own little piece of Commandercast treasure as well as our season finale. I am Olivia Voldaren, and I shall be your host on this evening after the glorious night of All Hallow’s Eve. Oh, I do hope you all enjoyed your sweets. I know I will. <3

Last week, William got a challenge to create a circus-themed Rakdos deck. Of course, I had to persuade him otherwise, and by “persuade”, I mean I asked him to chop an onion for me and the acid blinded him.

 

I thought they were tacky anyway.

Since he won’t be able to see anything for at least a week, I kindly volunteered my services to pen the article myself. Aren’t I a sweet thing?

Besides, he’s got too many deck to know what to do with right now. He doesn’t need another one, especially when I’m already here. Although the aggressive power that Rakdos, Lord of Riots offers IS intriguing, I’m of the (highly regarded) opinion that he’s much too quick and blunt with his victims to have any real fun. True connoisseurs, such as yours truly, prefer to slowly indulge in the suffering of others. Grinding games and forcing your enemies to lose their hands one card at a time while slowly pecking at their life really runs the blood, if you know what I mean~<3

But since William’s already taken the liberty of sharing my story, I thought I would treat you all to a little story. Today might be the day after Halloween, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give you a good scare now, can’t I? Mm?

What scares you the most when you’re playing a game? What makes you panic? What makes your trigger finger sooo itchy that you just have to pull it?

Is it the combo player who needs all of three turns to kill everyone on the table? Such games might seem scary, but they’re over so fast that there’s no savoring the fear. It’s a lot like a roller coaster: The build-up is what gets you, but once you’re actually on the tracks, it’s over in the blink of an eye. You might dread playing against someone’s storm deck, but trust me dear, that’s far from the scariest thing out there.

Perhaps your personal Boogie-man is one of the generals at the table? Do you fear Jhoira of the Ghitu the way that some people fear the bees? Does that ominous presence eat away at you? Does it make you sweat every turn that someone’s not paying attention to it? Do you feel a lump in your throat from the simple action of tapping a pair of lands as they suspend something from their hand?

It’s not just restricted to Jhoira either, is it? Zur the Enchanter, Rafiq of the Many, and Uril, the Miststalker all stare at you and make you feel smaller, don’t they? It’s not an unfamiliar feeling. While I don’t fear her, even I have problems dealing with Sigarda, Host of Herons.

But these fears are conquered when the group rises against those who would oppress them, such is the nature of those who find solidarity with their brethren against a common threat. But there’s still more things that hold you frozen in their grip, like the elk before the werewolf.

You fear lockdowns. Combinations of cards that keep you from doing anything of consequence. Mind Slaver locks are one such method. No longer in control of your own fate, you can only watch helplessly as you’re forced to order your own creatures into a blazing suicide, as your resources are squandered without purpose or care. There are Azusa, Lost but Seeking land locks that prevent you from using any of your mana. Without mana, there can be no spells to play.

What makes these strategies especially delicious is the added ingredient of deck destruction, or so I’ve heard. William’s shared many stories of games where he could do nothing but watch his deck get whittled away bit by bit. Unable to attack, defend, or anything that could get his opponent to fight him on his terms. As I’ve mentioned, I prefer to change things up a bit.

You see darlings, the essence of fear is hope. You need to destroy enough that they panic and start making mistakes, but it’s necessary to leave just enough that they continue to walk on glass, if only to make it to the end of the tunnel. By forcing them to discard, you not only get the pleasure of watching them torment themselves with decisions, you get to watch their faces as they slowly realise how few options they have left. When all they have left is the top of their deck, they start feeling trapped. Their board can only maintain itself for so long, after all. Can they draw the answer they seek in time?

If the tension were any sweeter, I’d swear that I’d just bitten a diabetic.

But there’s one thing that always seems to scare players…particularly the dear little “Timmies” out there. The theft of creatures.

Oh I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how many people have called for my head on a stake, and all because I glamoured their Primeval Titan, or their Consecrated Sphinx. Even ‘biting’ someone’s creature’s gotten more than a few worried looks, and it’s simply marvelous!

Merieke Ri Berit does it so much more easily than I do though. Everytime I watch a new player read her ability, I smile and enjoy the sudden panic that crosses their face. It’s made all the better when I start using Threaten effects, particularly the instant ones. Act of Aggression always catches them by surprise, always makes them panic, when they watch their best creature come over to my side. What am I going to do with it? Where am I sending it? Are they ever going to see it again? Sometimes I even offer their creature back, unharmed before yanking it back and sacrificing it the grand Phyrexian Tower. Oh my word, the look on their faces!

I know, I’m a broken record when it comes to the faces, but really sweeties, that’s where the money’s made. If you ever want to scare the newbies, that’s the place to watch. But of course YOU don’t want to scare them. You want them to keep playing, right? You don’t want to traumatize them from the beauty that is Commander, do you?

Well I’m the type of girl who revels in it. Remember, their pain is my gain and do enjoy causing players all sorts of pain~<3

As always, darlings, if you have any comments, questions, or ideas for William, feel free to leave some comments down below. You might want to try tweeting his account @BlueRam1409, or send an email to his inbox at Wiehernandez(at)gmail(dot)com. He has no life what-so-ever, and it gets dreadfully dull around here. Maybe I can entice you to help spice things up a bit, Mm?

It was great talking to you, kids. We really MUST do lunch sometime.

Until then, DO remember to eat a little garlic butter every now and then. I enjoy the seasoning. <3

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