This entry is part 10 of 23 in the series (Social) Contract form Below

By Nole Clauson AKA MtGNole

90x90 noleHello everyone and welcome to another addition of (Social) Contract from below. I want to try something a little bit different this week, in that this is going to be a two part article. This week I am going to present an issue that I am honestly on the fence about, we will discuss it in the comments, and I will revisit it (with my newfound insight) next week (or possibly the week after next, depending on where I am on the Ruric Thar deck we are building). Like all really fun issues, this stems from someone inadvertently breaking the social contract. This time however, that someone was me.

When the commander precons came out. The most exciting thing about it for me was the fact that there were two new B/W/R generals and I always wanted to play those colors but was not that fond of Oros. This stems from the fact that I love playing control, specifically mass creature wipes. When the new generals were spoiled, I immediately ignored Kaalia as she was too linear (note to all the Kaalia players who are seething at the mouth because I didn’t like their pet general: being linear is not a bad thing and I don’t want to have the argument about power level in the comments. Play nice people!) but was enthralled with Tariel, Reckoner of Souls(I know, who?). My plan was to cram as many wraths as I could into a deck (almost every block has a wrath variant or two), some targeted graveyard removal, and the reanimate the most powerful creatures my opponents have. I built that deck and while it was somewhat powerful, it was miserable to play against and not that much fun for me either. I became “the WoG guy” and would be hated out just so that the other people could play their game. In hindsight I realized that this was a violation of the social contract and I took the deck apart.

I have a complicated relationship with board wipes. While I have learned that there is such a thing as too many (read, all of them). There are other times when I find myself quietly praying that someone at the table other than me has one as I have used all of mine. So the question for the comments (or other social media this week) is this. Where do you guys draw the line for mass creature wipes? How many is too many? Is it a set number or is this a “I know it when I see it” type of thing? Give me your opinions (I also plan on hitting my LGS with a wrath heavy deck to get some real world data and I’ll reexamine this in two weeks. With that out of the way let’s talk about our other project. The Ruric Thar “My First Commander” deck that we are as a community building.

This week in Ruric Thar:

First off, if you would like to see the up to the minute list of Ruric Thar, you can see the Goggle Doc at the following link: I’ll be posting some musings about the deck on there as well so I encourage you to check it out.

Recap from last week: I had a bunch of sweet ideas that I immediately dumped into the decklist. There were also a few that, while cool, I chose not to for complexity reasons. Survival of the Fittest is the exact type of card this deck wants, except that it is a tutor function that I am keeping to a minimum. The Licids are cool cards, however they do weird things with the rules of the game by changing from creatures to auras. While I myself find these interactions cool I know that the second I hand it to a new player the inevitable layers questions will arise and I do not want someone who has never played commander to think that’s what this format is about. Finally, I really wish I had a Maze of Ith to throw in this deck to protect Ruric, however I don’t have one to spare. I though in its stead that I will add Rogue’s Passage as a way to get Ruric into players without him dying to Acidic Slime.

So this week, the article talked about removal, specifically mass removal. While we will not want much mass removal (with our deck being so many creatures a wrath effect would hurt us more than our opponents), we still need some ways to deal with pesky creatures. Specifically, we can plan on bringing hate on flyers as well as things that come with pyroclasm effects as most of our creatures will survive them. Remember that we want to run as vew non-creature spells as possible (so we can avoid double bolting ourselves) so if the spell comes stapled to a creature even better. For example, Scourge of Kher Ridges and Hammerfist Giant should get your creative juices flowing.

As always, hit me up with cool ideas for Ruric Thar, comments about my article, or just general ramblings either in the comments, on twitter @MtGNole, or on email at If there is some social contract issue you’d like me to cover then by all means let me know (This series is way more fun for all of us if I’m helping you guys). I’ll see you all next week.

Series Navigation<< (Social) Contract from Below 9- More than just a color(Social) Contract from Below 11- Yes, let the hate flow through you (the one where I talk about force teaching a player about the social contract, talk about Sheldon Menery accidently writing an article for me, and write a really long title so I can take back my longest title belt from Brian) >>