This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Community Contribution

Slivers. Meathooks. Tiny worms of compressed evil and doom or beautiful, natural expressions of the creativity of the wild? It all depends on your outlook, and frankly, which side of the Sliver deck you happen to be sitting on. Building this type of deck isn’t for everyone – Slivers aren’t the most powerful of themes out there. They can be somewhat easily disrupted and can crumple like paper to repeated wrath effects. That said, Slivers and the fast-paced, all-in, ultraviolent, smash-your-face-in style it takes to run the deck can provide you with hours of entertainment and a vastly different game experience from other decks.

There are generally three Slivers used as Generals for EDH, and two different archetypes. Sliver Legion, Sliver Overlord, and Sliver Queen are the three Legendary Slivers and are almost always used to captain Sliver decks. Any one of the three can be used to create either a beatdown, aggro-style Sliver deck, or a card advantage driven combo deck. Legion and Overlord tend to lend themselves more to the straight-up beats than the combo due to their abilities (Coat of Arms for Slivers and searching for Slivers, respectively) pumping Slivers a little more directly rather than finding combo pieces. Sliver Queen, on the other hand, with her “Pay 2 colorless mana and put a 1/1 colorless Sliver token into play” ability, is definitely a combo piece waiting to happen and is overwhelmingly used as the general leading a combo deck to merciless victory.

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This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Community Contribution

By DAVID aka kraus911
I’m coming up on a year of playing Magic, mostly pauper format on MTGO and Commander with real cards. I do alright in pauper. It’s one versus one and the computer keeps track of a lot of the details. But Commander is dizzying to a fairly new player, and as much as I love the format, I’m slow and not very skilled. As you know, there are hundreds of well-designed decklists and cleverly written articles about Commander all over the internet. I can’t offer anything like that. What I can offer is the story of my growth as a Magic player and the results of applying the wisdom of others to my own foolish enterprises. I think there is knowledge to be gained from witnessing someone struggle through the learning process, which is the main reason I’m recording my misadventures here.

I shuffled my cards somewhat clumsily, excitement making my fingers tingle. It had been almost a month since I’d last played Commander, and I was sitting down to a duel using the Karador, Ghost Chieftain deck I’d been working on. I had a secret plan to alter it and give it a ‘Batman’ theme: Karador would be my Bat-Signal, my graveyard would be the Batcave, and I’d cast various Batman characters from the Batcave. More on the theme later, but for now let’s just say I was psyched to see my baby in action. Read the rest of this entry »

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Community Contribution

By GIBSON aka KaipaLin
Hey guys! In case you missed the previous article, this is the second in a series of articles about the Nephilim, those wacky four-color guys from Ravnica who really should be legendary. Since they’re not actually legendary, but are interesting and unique both in flavor and mechanics, we’re exercising our house-ruling powers and making them playable anyway. A quick disclaimer for this series as a whole: in order to play with these non-standard generals, you absolutely must have your group’s agreement. Of course, the best way to convince any would-be naysayers is to have a strong reason for playing them in the first place; “I wanted to make a five-color combo deck but red is stupid” generally won’t cut the mustard. Instead, try focusing on building an interesting, unique deck, based around what your Nephilim does mechanically (for Melvin) and/or its color identity and flavor (for Vorthos).

Enter today’s Fallen: the Dune-Brood Nephilim. Eschewing the color blue, this guy spits out tokens based on the number of lands you control when he hits an opponent. Right off the bat we know several things about how to maximize this Nephilim’s monster of a saboteur trigger: the more lands we can get into play, the better, evasion-granting abilities are going to be very important, and anything that works well with tokens is going to love us a lot. So how does the color identity and flavor inform the deck design? Obviously broods, swarms and all types of infestations are going to comprise our token armies; bonus points for any of those names involved in the actual cards. Sand is a bit more difficult to incorporate, and this deck will for the most part ignore it.

As for color identity, the Dune-Brood Nephilim is defined by its rejection of the blue mindset, mind being precisely what we are concerned with here. The blue/nonblue conflict is rooted in the dilemma of thinking versus acting. Blue is the color of contemplation and meticulous planning, and given an infinite amount of time, it would quite likely never act, preferring instead to plot, chart, and formulate plans until every infinitesimal scrap of data was accounted for. More than any other color, blue wants to avoid any obstacles to its success, even going so far as to cancel its opponent’s plans with countermagic rather than compete on the battlefield. This desire for competition is shared by red, white, green and black. Green likes to compete, white wants concrete victory against its foes, black is perfectly happy to prove that it’s better than you, and red is in it for the thrill. Only blue would rather sit in a tower sipping tea and then defeat you at a stroke, before you ever knew there was a competition. So how do we go about channeling the flavor text of Sudden Impact? By emphasizing permanents which sit on the board generating presence and more permanents, and by building a deck that creates forward momentum. The Dune-Brood races. It attacks, it grows, it recycles and bounces back. Eventually, it overwhelms opponents with vigor, passion, action. So let’s quit philosophizing and get on with it! Read the rest of this entry »

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Community Contribution

By DAN aka chaosorbFTW
When does synergy become combo?

I was walking home from school one day when a man standing outside a comic book store asked me if I wanted to learn how to play a new game. I quickly thought about all the lessons my parents and teachers had told me about strangers, paused then and said “Sure, why not?” That was my introduction to Magic, and my first purchase was a crisp, beautiful Chronicles pack containing an Arcades Sabboth. It was almost as if the fates were pushing me towards EDH from that first day.

Fast forward many years, and I had stopped playing Magic entirely. I just didn’t have the motivation to grind out competitive tournaments, play-testing, and FNMs anymore. I sold everything and walked away, convinced I was done. I happened to run into an old friend at work one day, and we spent some time talking about games we had played like a pair of war vets; remembering when every weekend day meant a new tournament and format to prepare for. Then he mentioned he had been playing EDH. I nodded and thought that must be a new deck type or card name, but never asked until many days later what exactly EDH was. As he explained the rules and game play, I felt that excited tingle coming back about deck construction and game play. Not long after Wizards released the Commander product and I was hooked again, thinking about lines of play and deck tech with most of my spare time. Read the rest of this entry »

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Community Contribution

By DAN aka chaosorbFTW
I started playing Magic when I was 13, and I’ve had a lot of learning experiences with the game over the years. However, no matter what strategy tips, deck building ideas, or playtesting epiphanies I’ve had, no lessons have been more important to my game than my “Big 3” revelations:

1) Lands don’t get sacrificed once you use them (it was early in my development, and once I figured this out the game made a lot more sense).
2) My decks would probably be a lot better if I added some rares into the piles of commons I was playing.
3) More information leads to better decisions, and better decisions lead to more wins.

I have always loved Type 1, and originally whet my teeth in the format playing a version of Keeper. It wasn’t until a few months after I started playing that I realized why the deck had become so popular: it could answer almost anything, as long as you knew what you were up against and made the correct decisions. It had silver bullets for almost any strategy, just enough counter-magic to control the game, a handful of disruption spells, and a few solid win conditions that were difficult to deal with. It was not the most broken or degenerate deck of it’s time, but in the right player’s hands it was exceptionally hard to beat. What made that deck really tick was it’s controllers ability to make the right decision at the right time. Read the rest of this entry »

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Community Contribution

Preface: For those of you unaware about how Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are printed, as of when I played, there were five rarities. They were common, rare, super rare, ultra rare, and secret rare. Each level added something shiny to the card. Commons were just ink on cardboard, rares had silver card names, super rares had foil art, ultra rares had gold card names and foil art, and secret rares had fancy shiny sparkly card names and sparkly foil art. I have no idea what’s been going on in Yu-Gi-Oh! for about five years.

Let me give you a brief history of me and CCGs. I started playing Magic way back during Odyssey block. A few friends had some cards and taught me to play. Their interest in Magic quickly waned and I hopped around in a few different groups of friends that played until no one I knew really cared about Magic anymore right around the release of Mirrodin. However, several of my friends had been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! for a year or so and we had been waging war trying to recruit each other.

Trust me, this article will say something useful about Magic eventually. Read the rest of this entry »