This entry is part 7 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam
You know what? This hasn’t been a fun week, AT ALL.

Writing a weekly column about flavor can be awesome…when you actually have ideas for it. So what do I do? I end up spending over half a day diving through old “Savor the Flavor” articles looking for inspiration. And boy did I find it.

Planeswalkers as commanders? Creatures unique to commander? Sure! Why not? I could even write about why we start with larger life totals. I’m sure there’s PLENTY of yarn I can spin off of this stuff! Hell, I’ve got a secret project I’m working on involving people I like to call “Tommy” and “Bob” that could be the next breakthrough in target demographics for Wizards! (Think something along the lines of Timmy, Johnny, and Spike)

But now I’m two days away from my deadline, so all of these awesome ideas need to pushed back so I can flesh them out properly. I even stopped working on an article that was almost finished for this one, just because I didn’t feel it was up to snuff, and I’m tired of putting out a half-baked articles that receive little to no feedback.

But when will I get a chance to get to it? I work a 36-hr shift from Saturday to Monday, so I only have the two days before my deadline to actually work on the meat of these stories.

Even then my computer screen keeps flickering in the most obnoxious way. It keeps me from reading anything I need to read to write my article, AND it forces me to type blind. It’ll clear up for a couple of hours afterwards, but 20 mins of non-stop flickering is a part of my life that I will NEVER get back. Instead, I spend it clenching my hands at the screen like a mystic, trying to WILL it to settle the static down and conform to my eyesight. Sometimes it even works.

I’m still relatively inexperienced too. I’m perpetually losing in my regular playgroup, and I’m tired of living through the growing pains that come with trying to get better. I refuse to make the generic good decks that are required to win in my group, and when I DO win with decks I built myself, I can’t enjoy it because of the sour mood everyone else gets in. I want to win, and win NOW! Not to mention- DAMN IT, STOP FLICKERING, YOU GOD DAMN SCREEN!!!

All of this just keep piling on, and on, and on. It’s too much to take in stride. Thinking about it just makes me so…so…ANGRY! It just makes me want to…to…AAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This entry is part 8 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam

Okay….I’m back. I know I bugged out last week, but my screen seems to have stabilized AND I just bought a new external hard drive to back everything up. I’ve taken to leaving my laptop on with a fan on it at all times. I figure the less I jostle the screen, the less chance it has to start acting up. Here’s hoping. Wait…Griselbrand got banned?


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This entry is part 9 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam

When you’re a beginner, there are cards that can be scary to play against. Some can leave a lasting impression on how you play the game. They can awe and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before.

As I begin a new season here at Commandercast, I’m reminded of how our experiences shape who we are and how we do the things we do. Of course, playing Magic fits into this like a hand and glove.

I was just a newbie when I started playing Commander. My scope of what the multiverse held was limited to what was found in Zendikar, and what were the beginnings of Mirrodin’s impending war.

In those days, Rith, the Awakener was my only general, and I was having fun playing one-on-one games against a friend and his Reaper King deck. When I eventually got Kaailia’s pre-con, I had a pair of decks that used big creatures and were very aggressive. To me, that was the only way to play.

Later that summer, I made a good friend (henceforth referred to as “Gary”) during the M12 pre-release, and got invited play Commander at his apartment the week after. I went over with my wide-eyed youth and a deck full of creatures that were bigger than life itself.

When our group finally sat down to play, I looked over curiously at Gary’s general. There were still tons of cards I hadn’t seen before, and Merieke Ri Berit was one of them. I asked if I could read the card. When I had, I knew I wasn’t going to like where the game was going.

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This entry is part 10 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

“Body and spirit are sworn enemies. They will take any excuse to be rid of each other.”
—Tariel, Reckoner of Souls


Last week, when I wrote about Merieke Ri Berit and Olivia Voldaren, I compared the two generals and how I tried to emulate one with the other. For the most part, I feel like I succeeded. Olivia steals creatures like Merieke does, and she can control the board while continuing to be a fun card to play with.

But what I haven’t done yet, is let the deck evolve to support itself if something were to happen to Olivia.

According to Gary, he started the deck with cards specifically with Merieke in mind, but they eventually got pushed out for cards that were better on their own, like Consecrated Sphinx. It eventually got to the point where he could win without relying on Merieke. She became specialized spot removal rather than the focus of the deck.

He had created a deck that no longer “needed” to cast his commander to be effective, and he would go on to do the same thing with his current take on Hazezon Tamar.

Anyone who’s more than casually interested in EDH wants their deck to be the best it can be, but is it wise to relegate the flagship of your deck to accessory status?

Well, that depends.

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This entry is part 11 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam

 “Don’t laugh. It works.”
-Armadillo Cloak

When you listen to Commandercast long enough, you start to hear about cards you’ve never played before. When you hear a few you like, you start putting them into your deck. When you starting putting them into your deck, other people start to see them. When people start to see them, sometimes they make fun of you. When people make fun of you, you start beating them over the head with their own chair. When you beat people with a chair, you go to jail. When you go to jail, you meet a man named John who wants ‘to pass you around like currency’.

Don’t let a guy named John pass you around like currency. Don’t cave to those who tease you who tease you about secret tech. Show them what’s what by showcasing the power of those cards in the best way possible.

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This entry is part 12 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam

“An advisor once asked the Western Paladin how much gold would be enough. “I have no need of fools who can imagine ‘enough,'” he told the advisor’s corpse.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a problem. Not a problem with the game mind you, but a personal one that the game enables. I have an addiction, and it’s really been digging into the time that I need for other things. School, sleep, even writing the actual Commandercast articles.

Even when I’m actually getting work done, all I can think about is the next time I’m going to do it. I get crazy thoughts, and delusional fantasies start playing over and over. Lord knows how much my wallet’s taken the hit for it. I was able to pay for college this semester, but sometimes I worry that won’t be the case if this keeps up.

Yes, I have an addiction to deck building. I know I’m not the only one either. Andy’s got his fair share of decks, and I’m sure that plenty of you have more decks than you can plan in a single night.

It’s all well and good, and nobody should slight you for it. But are all of those decks doing more harm than good?
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