April 10, 2013
February 27, 2013
Posted by ‘KARSTON’ aka ‘TOPANDGO’
Its Wednesday again, and that means its time to tackle another deck on The Other 99. Today we take a look at a deck submitted by a viewer named Chris Hawkins and featuring a green and white vanilla creature from Legends — Jasmine Boreal. Ms. Boreal doesn’t even break even with her converted mana cost of 5 as a 4/5, so what the heck is this deck about? Well the deck is certainly not a combo deck disguised with a vanilla general. No, it is actually a theme deck.
What is that theme? As Chris put it, imagine Jasmine as the princess in a castle, and you, the pilot of this deck, are the people trying to keep her from being rescued by Prince Charming… or Mario. Therefore this deck plays a heavy turtle and life gain strategy in order to weather out a game until you are able to find a card and win with it. This opens the deck up to some pretty interesting card choices, including getting to play a fairly underplayed creature type in Commander: Walls.
Another great thing about this deck is that unlike a lot of theme decks, this deck really does a great job of being both a theme deck and a good deck. Most theme decks that I have seen have compromised playing strong cards with cards that are flavorful and fit the theme. When building these decks, it can be very hard to strike that balance, but I think that Chris did a pretty good job doing so when he built this deck.
February 20, 2013
Posted by ‘KARSTON’ aka ‘TOPANDGO’
Hey everybody and thanks for watching another episode of The Other 99. Today we tackle some mono-black goodness in the form of a Seizan, Perverter of Truth deck. Now most mono-black decks that I have seen and played against have been pretty boring, featuring some variation of an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers ramp plan into a massive “X mana” spell, such as Exsanguinate.
This deck actually does run all three of the aforementioned cards, bu this deck’s strategy is completely different. This deck plays with an archetype that I think may be a little bit underestimated in Commander: Pressure. Ever have games that just seem to drag on forever, or have playgroups filled with control decks that stall the game? Well pressure decks exist to speed up games by putting every player at the table on a clock that they either have to outrace or lose. Sometimes this means that the pilot of the pressure deck ends up losing to his own clock, but the deck is usually built to try to bolster the its defenses against itself.
I personally think that this archetype deserves a little bit more love. I personally have built a Zo-Zu, the Punisher pressure deck that I feel is a ton of fun to play. Have you built a pressure deck of your own?
December 19, 2012
By Imshan AKA Sinis
For the most part, I’ve left my personal life out of my articles; I like to write about groups that I’ve played with, decks I’ve tried and seen others play, and about individual cards more abstractly. Today, we’ll shift off course a bit. For the readers who don’t know me personally, I’m a father of two girls, ages four and one at the time of this writing. My older daughter, Maggie, can read (though, not very quickly), likes games, dinosaurs and space (especially space travel, and celestial bodies).
After a few times watching myself, my wife and friends play Magic, Maggie decided that she wanted a Magic deck of her own, and it was only natural for me to want to build her a Commander deck, themed around dinosaurs. Young children, of course, only have the vaguest of notions concerning formats, creature subtypes and the like, so the project was as much my own desire to see her happy with one of my hobbies as it was for Maggie to have a deck she could play with. Of course, the problems with creating a dinosaur-themed deck for a child are numerous, and we didn’t quite reach the finish line as a result. Read the rest of this entry »
December 12, 2012
On and off, I hear suggestions about ritual effects in Commander. Dark Ritual sees very little play, and reasons are usually related to the advantage being ephemeral; you’re two turns ahead in terms of mana for one turn, and one card behind for the rest of the game. Yet, I see many deck lists with its closest analogue, Mana Vault, including mono-black ones without Dark Ritual. If you take a look at The Real Top 50, – a database with statistical information on what cards people play in decks posted online – Mana Vault is number 62 on the all time most popular list, where Dark Ritual doesn’t appear at all, not even when considered in mono-black decks where it is most likely to show up, given the narrowness of remaining options compared to other decks.
A quick look through my own decks shows that even I follow this trend; I love to play in the Grixis colours, and none of my decks with black – Rakdos, Lord of Riots, Grimgrin, Corpse-Born, and Ob Nixilis, the Fallen – contain it. Yet, from those decks, both Ob Nixilis and Grimgrin have Mana Vault. Should more players be running rites? Maybe; read on. Read the rest of this entry »