December 6, 2012

 

 By William aka BlueRam

By Jhoira (avatar by PolishTamales)

“Day 31: I finally succeeded i my time reversal experiment!
“Day 30: I might have a problem here.” ~Journal of the Prime Izmagnus
-Inspiration

 

 

Foreword


The following has been translated from near-indecipherable handwriting. At this time it is unclear if the original author knew what he was doing, or if he was just touched in the head. I’ve done my best to transcribe the records for your enjoyment, in their entirety, without misrepresentations. I would ask the original author what some of these notes meant, but unfortunately I was unable to track him down for comments. As such, I will provide commentary and translator’s notes when appropriate to explain certain references or to take an educated guess at what’s going on.

So for what it’s worth, I hope you enjoy this series of experiments concocted by one, William aka BlueRam.

Much regards,
Jhoira of the Ghitu

From the Journal of William

 Day 1: Just finished Imshan’s article. Good stuff. Actually has me thinking about making my own Izzet deck for Commander. Not sure who to run (Jhoria’s definitely out). Not interested in Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius right now. Design seems lazy + uninspired. Must rebel against the authority. Have the Duel Decks: Izzet Vs. Golgari to use as a base…hmmm….spell-based Izzet deck sounds interesting. Different from usual creature-based strategies. Should probably include lots of copy effects. U/R’s pretty good at that. Riku seems feasible general for the job. Built in copy ability. Would like to see doubled Stolen Goods. Second ability will be nerfed since only splashing green to copy *utility creatures.This deck must be built….FOR SCIENCE!!!

Jhoira’s Notes

It would appear that while inspiring “Magical Science”, Imshan also inspired William to explore his Johnny side a bit himself. Although Imshan’s article resolves mostly around Epic Experiment, William doesn’t mention the card at all until near the end, implying that he built the deck with a different purpose, one that I can only guess at: Experimenting with a bunch of fun, open-ended cards to see what sort of interactions show up and, of course, for science.

The “Duel Decks” came with a surprising amount of Commander/EDH playable cards in them, including Isochron Scepter, Djinn Illuminatus, and Life from the Loam (that last one being from the Golgari side of the product). William states his intentions to use the Izzet portion as a skeleton of sorts for what the final deck will look like, revolving mostly around spells to win rather than creatures.

Although I take personal offense to not being in the discussion, the choice of Riku of Two Reflections is an interesting one, since he’s running a pure U/R deck sans some possible ramp spells.

*(see: Snapcaster Mage, Guttersnipe, and Goblin Electromancer).

Day 2: Found many “junk rares” to use in new Izzet-based deck. Lunar Mystic turns all instants into cantrips for the mana that the Electromancer reduces them by. Arcane Melee also helps.

Discount effects should help when attempting to flashback Increasing Vengeance. Chandra, the Firebrand finally home after bouncing from deck to deck. ‘Ping’ removal possibly relevant. Dual Casting has neat interactions with Gelectrode and new Blistercoil Weird.

Plan to use Duel Deck’s Scepter for project. Pleased it already came with Fire/Ice (alternate art is very nice as well). Scepter will be good with other small effects. Brainstorm could be innocuous enough to sneak by. Small enough value that being exiled forever won’t hurt if scepter is removed. Izzet Charm is another modular spell. Very nice. Makes me feel like an actual wizard with a magic wand. Magma Spray also came in DD. Was included because of the Golgari deck. Gives reusable graveyard hate. Blustersquall can’t be overloaded, but turns into a psuedo Dominance.

Jhoira’s Notes:

Both of the ‘weirds’ being used in the deck untap when an instant or sorcery is cast. With the trigger on the stack, tapping them to either draw a card or copy a spell (provided they have the appropriate enchantment equipped) lets them untap when the trigger resolves. In theory, once the trigger resolves they can then tap again to get another activation. This has the potential to copy a single spell no less than two times, more so if another instant is played before the last copy resolves.

The ‘scepter’ William mentions is, of course, the Isochron Scepter. Although it carries the risk of losing one of your spells forever should it be bounced, destroyed, etc, it can turn a quant one-shot effect (such as Brainstorm) into consistent card advantage that flies under the radar. Scepter of Dominance’s effect is better replicated with Fire/Ice, rather than Blustersquall, with the added bonus of being modular for burn and drawing cards.

Day 10: Finally obtained cards from Return to Ravnica. Most of deck gathered. Found Eye of the Storm in dollar bin. Snap purchase. Talrand will enjoy it. All-in-One-Super-Fun-Mizzium Transreliquat-9000 is ESSENTIAL. Sol Ring? Top? Worldslayer??? Why not ALL of them?! Goldmage nearly impossible to find though…

Draw/tutor needed. Azami x Kaho could be a thing. Counterspells needed. Negate’s cheap. Seems good for Jace to be in too. Three to use, all “draw” cards.

Possibility of deck-out likely with draw power and speed of dumping hand. Mnemonic Nexus and Reminisce are in. Double bonus: graveyard hate.

Jhoira’s Notes

Eye of the Storm was one of the premiere cards in Imshan’s original article, so its only natural that William would want to give it a try too. The card hints at all sorts of game-ending shenanigans under the right conditions. Only time (and the rest of the logs) will tell if William can use it properly.

Mizzium Transreliquat is a nifty utility card that copies anything and everything in sight. It’s possible that with the focus being primarily on spells, William couldn’t find much room for artifacts outside of the bare essentials (those pertaining directly to spells, such as Sphinx-Bone Wand perhaps).

The Izzet are heavy on wizards, so Azami, Lady of Scrolls is a natural fit to draw into more spells to cast. Kaho, Minamo Historian, however, is a wild card. The ability to cast any of the cards exiled with her effect (the actual card, not just a copy of it, mind you) is very unique to Kaho and turns her into a one-wizard spell machine but, just like with Isochron Scepter, she carries the risk of losing those cards forever. One must never forget that science and exploration always carries the potential to fall flat on your face.

With “The Mind Sculptor” on record as being the Damia Omniscience deck, we can only assume the Jaces William plans to use are Jace Beleren, Jace, Architect of Thought, and Jace, Memory Adept. He certainly fits the theme of knowledge and learning here.

Day 12: Rewatched Karston’s video for new ideas for Foresight. Must reevaluate tool box. Not enough at 3-spot.

Found very entertaining video to watch while building deck. Very appropriate for my goals.

Jhoira’s Notes

Firemind’s Foresight is a very powerful utility card, provided you’ve build your deck accordingly. Counterspells are available at all costs, as well as Isochron targets. With enough mana open (or enough discount effects in play), casting the tutored instants in response to attackers or must-stop spells is a possibility.

As for the Bill Nye video…well, I did enjoy his show when it was on and I’m glad he’s still around.

Day 15: First testing scored too high + too low. Sever mana issues congested spell casting in first test, making deck ineffective and inefficient.

Second test, however, accidentally combo’d all over myself. Azami+Insurrection+Eye of the Storm only gets crazy w/ Omniscience in play. Wizard army helps. Tap, draw, cast, triggers, untap, tap, draw, cast more copies, more triggers, untap again, lather, rinse, repeat as desired.

Discovering accidental combo felt good. Must fix mana issues to make smoother. Riku out, NM 2.0 in.

Jhoira’s Notes

“Combo’d all over myself” indeed! Omniscience is the true culprit here, but it engineered, if I may say, the “perfect storm”. The “triggers” could have been anything from Guttersnipe dealing 2 damage for every spell and every copy cast, Talrand, Sky Summoner who Azami could also tap to draw an additional card while he made armies of Drakes that were granted haste due to Insurrection. Nivmagus Elemental is also a possibility since he could exile the copies after the triggers were set off (triggers that require casting, not resolutions, to activate).

This is also where we see him switch the deck from U/R splashing green to get “value” from Riku to being a dedicated Izzet deck with Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius at the helm.

Day 31: First day testing at LGS. NM2 turned out to be a versatile draw engine. Officially love New-Mizzet. But much rage inducing was to be had. Dracogenius combo despises lock-down decks. Linvala will burn. Deck had little interaction, Cyclonic Rift nonwithstanding. Needs more burn. More draw needed to cover for NM2. Awesome counter-war won by cheaper cards FTW. Overloaded Cyclonic Rift to wipe out pillowfort. Snappy would’ve been for Negate, original counter for Cryptic w/ replicated targeting Mana Drain.


Counter Wars: Episode VII was announced by Disney just this month
Jhoira’s NotesAlthough the design may seem “lazy” or “uninspired” at first, Dracogenius is a VERY powerful draw engine, especially late game with an empty hand and plenty of mana to dump into “New-Mizzet” at instant speed. However, cards that shut down the mana base with Winter Orb shut down X cost spells, and Linvala, Keeper of Silence shuts down New-Mizzet’s ability cold. All of this puts a huge stifling on Izzet decks that lack answers, hence William’s call to add in more kill spell, probably in the form of burn and countermagic.The above counter-war is interesting in that William notes that he replicated Counterflux instead of overloading it, since overload would have countered both the Cryptic Command AND the Mana Drain for less mana than it took to replicate. One can theorize that William was playing the odds that his opponent had a third counterspell available. Replicating Counterflux and pointing each copy at two different targets makes one more counterspell irrelevant.

Day 42: New tech added to modify deck. Arcanis for power draw, Psychosis+Spitfire to be more aggressive. Dispel as combo saver/Forethought target. Oona’s Grace to filter+get triggers. Comet Storm searchable + kill spell. Brand new wand triggers and copies when attacks go through. Yay!

Held off on Epic Experiment for while. Finally added in. Unknown elements make me tingle.

Jhoira’s Notes

William seems to be making changes that interact with New-Mizzet more easily. Chandra’s Spitfire becomes very strong, very easily when the Dracogenius is pinging people and drawing cards. All of those cards drawn also turn Psychosis Crawler into a life-draining horror machine…more so than it already was.

It took much searching to figure out what this new “wand” he mentions is, but it is my theory that he meant the Spellbinder. This is VERY powerful effect and allows the deck to be more aggressive, since the payoff could be a repeatable Stolen Goods, Thoughtflare, Prophetic Bolt, or half of a replica of Fire/Ice’s sword.

The last part is what’s indicative of William’s intent. It’s after all of this time that he’s finally added in the previously premiered card.

Day 70: New article by Imshan. Niv-Mizzet likes. A LOT. Will add and try deck tomorrow.

Day 71: Punched in face at LGS today. Worth it.

Day 75: Success with Izzet deck has given me the insight needed to begin other endeavours, particularly where the duel decks are involved. Closing the book on this experiment for now to do others. It’s going to be a dredge.

Jhoira’s Notes

Although the idea of the author getting punched for achieving a level of ridiculousness is amusing, the key information here is the indication of his next project. The other deck in this Duel Deck series involves the Golgari swarm, and their dredge/scavenge mechanics.

I’m not sure where William is right now, but chances are that he’s concocting something as crazy as this deck is implied to have been. Dredge is already a pretty powerful mechanic, so one has to wonder just how far he’s going to take it.

If you want to reach William (as I’ve been unable to do), you may email him at Wiehernandez(at)gmail(dot)com, or follow him on twitter @BlueRam1409. You can also comment in the section below. You’ll probably have a better chance of reaching him than I did.

Next week’s article will probably be one he left lying around in case he went missing, so I’ll have to try and dig that up for him.

Until then, remember to take your penmanship classes seriously! It’s a pain in the ass to tell the difference between a ‘G’ and an ‘E’ sometimes.