Author Archives: MTGColorPie

Starting a Commander Deck – Gahiji, Honored One

Gahiji, Honored One((Brushes dust off everywhere))

Hello. Is this thing still on?

Welcome, young and old, to the new 99CMDRProblems. Just so happens to be the old They both direct here now.

Anyway, I’m getting the itch to write about Commander again. With the new Commander 2013 decks coming out, I know that everyone is excited for them. To be honest, I’m more excited for this product than I was for Theros. Commander runs deep through my blood and it’s the only format I have at least one deck built for. But that’s the problem, as a Johnny, I want to build all the decks.

Building decks gives me greater pleasure than playing.

Finally, after deciding it wasn’t going to be manageable to build every deck possible, I mapped out what decks I actually would play. Rather than just a novelty deck that I could go “hey, that was fun” deck and take it apart, I came up with 18 decks. Obviously, there are more than 18 Commanders. So what to do with those spare ideas?  I was thinking, “Hey, I could create a Tumblr about this. Get some reblogs, and it could all be groovy.” Then I was like, “Wait, I have a Commander blog I can write on. Why don’t I do that instead?” And that’s how this ended up here instead of Tumblr. (It’s not that I don’t hate Tumblr, but this is most likely the best place for this style of column)

Once in a while (knowing my schedule and everything else going on), I’ll write a deck idea out here. Not the whole deck, mind you, but just enough to have something to start with. I still don’t like the idea of the full 99 down on paper and have people take that as the only way to do it, however a place to get people started with a certain Commander seems good to me. These aren’t going to be a complete primer of how to play the deck or anything, just how I would build the deck. There’s some train of thought thinking here and it’s really just the first draft of a deck; just enjoy the ride.

Enough about the backstory. You want the deck. Let’s get to it… Continue reading

Mint, in Box

Collecting stuff is pretty much an common theme when it comes to hobbies. In fact, CCG means collectable card games. I was raised on collecting baseball cards, and I’m not totally afraid to admit that I have played Pokemon once or twice (Only the old school Red/Blue on the original Gameboy). We, as humans, want to collect things.

But the funny thing about collectable card games is that they are games as well. You play games. Having a stack of baseball cards does nothing, as you can look at them through the plastic pages in your binder, but there’s nothing really that you can do with them. Magic, being a game, means that you can collect and play them at the same time. You can fill your decks with treasures that you open or trade for. That’s part of Magic’s appeal, you can do both.

Yesterday WotC released the newest From the Vault series where it’s all Legends. By having all 15 special foiled cards be Legends, we can use them to build our decks around. This naturally would be amazing for Commander since we love to pimp out our decks as much as possible. Personally, I’m not going to open my box.

This is a huge disappointment to me. I’m not trying to short the market by having fewer copies of the product around, I just don’t see the value in opening them up. I really wanted to play with these cards too, so it’s not like I’m trying to jump on a bandwagon here. With reasons I get into in my next GatheringMagic piece, I just don’t see this as a good meshing between the concepts. Not because I only have one of those Commanders in my Highlander Collective (We’ll get to that in September), but because I feel that WotC didn’t take full advantage of the situation.

The product was created to help bring back high level collecting to Magic. I’ve got some weird things in my Magic collection: unopened Mirrodin Besieged Faction packs, the old Duelist abacas counter, a print copy of The Sideboard from the Summer of 1998 and about 100 copies of Madrush Cyclops. Looks like I’ll be adding an unopened From the Vault: Legends, still in its white protective box, to that collection.

I wanted to have it to complete my collection of my FtV purchases. It’s not going anywhere. Right now it has the same play value as my Baseball cards.


If You’re Not Having Fun, You’re Not Doing It Right

If you’re curious about the whole “99 Problems” issue, I would direct you to my MTGCP post and Sean’s post describing the situation (To be fair to both sides). If you’re looking to comment about that, please keep it in one of those two areas, anything left on here will be heavily moded. This thing could go on forever if we let it, but my wife looked at me this week and made one simple observation:

“It doesn’t look like you’re having fun with your ‘hobby’.”

And she’s right, I wasn’t.

Writing about Magic isn’t a full time job for me, hence why posts on here and come at random times. I’ve now got a weekly series on Commander over at GatheringMagic if you want a normal weekly column. As anyone who has ever met me, or possibly even read some of my work, knows I’m not really normal. I write parodies of movies and put them as Magic characters/personalities; Aaron Forsythe has told me that it’s a little odd to see a fictional version of himself and tried to explain it to other people.

But this isn’t a blog about writings, or anything like that. This is a Commander blog, so let’s talk about Commander.

Continue reading

Fixing the Back of the Commander Boxes

A card that makes Pegasi? Count me in!

When I was opening up my Commander product boxes and getting out the new yummy cards, I noticed something disturbing on the back of the Counterpunch deck box.

Each of the decks have a blurb on the back of the box that quickly explains the format and what you can do with the deck. This is normal marketing stuff that you see with everything. But, one of the great things about Magic is that you can actually use the product to sell. If people aren’t seeing awesomeness with the large foil Commanders on the front, they can see what else might be in the deck by looking at the back. Let me set it up for you if you haven’t paid attention or haven’t picked up your Commander product yet.

On the right side there are seven cards from the deck. They all share a pattern: You’ve got all three wedge Commanders, the new enemy colored Commander, Sol Ring, and a new card and a reprint that only exclusive to this deck. The five you can’t change, nor should you, but I have to question the choices for the other two cards.

Now, seeing how you almost can’t find these anywhere at the moment, this argument almost becomes a moot point. After all, this is a product that could be packaged in a plain white box and people would still buy this in droves. This product is still going to be on the shelves a year from now like Planechase and Archenemy before that. Maybe some players who haven’t played in years are looking at what these cards do, or someone just getting started in Commander.

I would have to believe that Wizards did market research for this product and what I could be saying could be against all evidence. But even with the Johnny/Spike/Timmy model, there are some strange choices here. I’m going to look at each of them from the standpoint of selling the product. The obvious rule I should say is that I have to use existing cards from the deck, I can’t add or change those at all.

Continue reading

Commander Night at Card Kingdom

If you live in the Seattle area, and are free tonight, I would highly recommend heading to Card Kingdom to play some Commander. I helped start a Commander Night that had a successful launch two weeks ago with 18 people (not bad for a first time event). Now, this is something that Card Kingdom is doing every other week, so if you don’t make it this week, come out in two weeks on the 19th. I won’t be there this time because something about my wedding anniversary being tonight and Wife is putting her foot down not wanting me to go play cards.


(That was just a joke, ladies. I’ve said plenty of times I do pay a huge amount of love and affection to my wife, um, what’s her name.)

Anyway, the situation that we’ve got set up is very simple. We’re looking for casual decks and players who just want to have fun and come out. You’re gong to be put into Pods of 4 and play. At the moment, we don’t have a league going (only our second time around), and there’s no points system to keep track of yet. If people are interested in doing something like that, we can talk about doing it in the future. If you have Planechase or Archenemy and want to see if your pod’s interested bring those along too.

We all had a ton of fun last time and I got to meet some nice new people. It’s unsanctioned so you don’t need a DCI number to play and, hopefully, won’t find a bunch of Spikes trying to kill everyone early to try and get prizes. Speaking of prizes, there will be some given out randomly so there’s no need for your Hive Mind/Pact turn 4 combo deck. There were plenty of people wanting to play more games after the first round, it looked like the games went about 90-120 minutes, and plenty of trading opportunities.

This is a great place to try out the new Commander Deck you just bought or test out your re-worked deck against unsuspecting people. They follow the Official Commander banned list (Found here). The entry fee is $5, and that’s only to help pay for the staff overseeing it and for prizes. They’re going to start around 6:30, and you can give them a call to reserve a spot (206-523-9605). Get there early, or stay late to grab a bite to eat and a drink (if you legally can) at Cafe Mox. If you do go, let me know either here or on Twitter (@MTGColorPie) how everything went.

June 2011 Banned List Update – Welcome Back Worldgorger Dragon

Nom Nom Nom

Sheldon releases another one into the wild:

We don’t unban cards lightly, but it’s time for Worldgorger Dragon to get out of the penalty box. It is no longer a particularly strong example of unwelcome, format-warping, combo-play style, but simply another infinite-combo piece. Those applications are narrow enough that it should not cause problems for social players, and the type of player who wants to play this kind of infinite combo isn’t going to play a more fun deck because Worldgorger Dragon is available. Thus, since it’s a goal to keep the list as short as possible and focused on more fun-oriented games, we believe it can come off the list.

If you don’t know the combo, it’s Animate Dead enchanting the Worldgorger in your graveyard. The Dragon enters the battlefield exiling everything you own, including your Animate Dead. With the aura gone, the Dragon heads back to the graveyard returning everything back onto the battlefield untapped, including your Animate Dead. Then you target your Dragon again, but tap all your land for mana. Keep repeating until you get as much mana as you want (plus whatever enters the battlefield/leaves the battlefield effect) and do whatever you want with that mana.

While people were wishing the other Dragon would come off this list, I find this one to be somewhat acceptable. It’s not the only two card combo on the list: Lion’s Eye Diamond is also there. Is this a card I’m going to shove in any of my decks? Most likely not. If you’re playing this, I’m going after you.

The Banned list has been updated (as well as that bug issue where the Banned Commanders were showing up as banned in decks. I didn’t see that issue and it’s now fixed).

The Top 10 Proliferate Cards for Commander

Everybody and their mother now sees +1/+1 counters and other counters on a new card and they instantly go to everyone’s favorite new mechanic: Proliferate. So, here’s my list of the top 10 cards that have Proliferate for use in the Commander format. The way I wrote that, makes it sound like it was an Oscar category announcement.

Honorable Mentions:

Core Prowler –

Running into a 2/x creature would kill it. But it’s basically a wall or kills an opponent’s token as it just sits around waiting to be killed.

Grim Affliction –

Because let’s give one creature a -1/-1 counter. For 3 mana. Yeah, that’ll be amazing in Commander. (Yes, I know technically it would give 2 -1/-1 counters, but that still isn’t enough for 3 mana).

Thrummingbird –

Great in the early game when you have nothing to Proliferate. I want to see it get past my Dragon turn 6.

Steady Progress –

Well, at least it’s instant speed. It’s got that going for it, which is nice.

And now, the Top 10:

Continue reading

Paying Two More Mana – Yes, I’m Back

In Every Commander Deck

I did decide to play the two extra mana to recast myself for resuming this blog. Most of you don’t really need a reason, and that’s fine. I’ve done some growing up since a few months ago (the list time I wrote here) and I would just like to say a few words and let you get ready for Monday.

No, I’m not leaving (Formally In fact, let me be the first to tell you that I’m no longer going to be published on Mondays. Trick (My main editor and head honcho over at GM) is actually moving me to Thursdays; Monday will be my last Monday there. I would really encourage you to check it out as there is a pretty neat surprise. Does it have to do with the upcoming Commander product? It just might.

But starting this blog up again I can do some silly and fun things that I couldn’t do over at GM. It’s not that Trick is mean or anything, but I bet he would’ve been less than amused at my foils piece that I did Wednesday without some writing to go along with it. Yes, I will do some small stuff like that and some extra notes about what I’ve written about over on GM. No matter what I write, and how long I’m given, I always think of stuff to add later, and this will be a perfect spot.

Continue reading

26 Scars Block Foil Cards You’ll Want a Year From Now*

*Obviously we’re going to ignore the Commanders.

Yes, I’m back. For the full story, come back Friday.

It’s Something Unpredictable, But in the End It’s Right

If you ever went to one of those end of the year school assemblies, you might recognize the title from a certain song’s lyrics. I’m just partly wondering if they even do this song anymore, or if its too old for today’s generation.

Yes, as of today, I’m not looking to create original content for

Don’t don’t be sad, it’s not all bad news. Here’s some possible questions that you might have:

Really? Why are you shutting this blog down?

If you’ve noticed that there has be little content on this blog recently. It’s not because I don’t love you guys. I just can’t create content for this blog as often as I’d wish.

So, you’re not writing about Magic anymore?

Whoa, that’s not true at all. For those that don’t know, I started the blog (hence my name), years before this one. After I started to fall in love with EDH/Commander, I started another blog (where you’re currently at) about the format. So, for over a year, I was managing 2 blogs about two separate Magic topics at the same time, where this one accepted user content as well. That’s when a new variable entered into my life:

I’ve been writing for ManaNation about EDH/Commander.

For those keeping track, I’m also writing for part time on and in discussion to write for another website for which I can’t talk about just yet. MTGColorPie is continuing as well (a new post should come in the next day or two for those that are wondering). As I’m planning out articles and topics, 99EDH was the one that always got shafted because of the overlap with ManaNation. Anything I would want to write for this site kept getting pushed back and put in the pile “I’ll get to it next week.” When people asked where I wrote, this blog was starting to get left out of my locations. Not because I didn’t love it, it was just getting too much to keep track of. I didn’t want to write about Commander for ManaNation and then do the same thing for this blog as well. I had been holding back in both places afraid to step on toes.

And I’m afraid it was hurting my work.

Now I won’t hold anything back for when I write for ManaNation.

But the other thing good for you is that except for a break when I was on the Magic Cruise, I’m writing every week over there. You were lucky to get one every other week on here. That’s great for you, since you’re actually getting content on a regular basis, and great for me, since I won’t feel like I’m trying to spread things too thin. Because you’re getting my Commander thoughts there, this blog has really become redundant.

But what about stuff like Stone Cold Commander of the Century (Of the Week)?

I’ve got a ton of ideas. I don’t have the time nor the energy to do them all. I thought that I could do something fun and easy to keep this blog going. We know how well that went. So, I’m taking my talents to ManaNation where I might be talking about things like that every once in a while. SCCotC(OtW) seems like a nice thing I might tack onto the end of posts every once in a while, so it’s not going to disappear.

What happens to this site?

I’ve paid for the domain name until later in the year. I’m not deleting this blog at all so if you keep coming back here you’ll find the same stuff. I was struck earlier this year about how has now gone down and is gone for us forever. While I may or may not keep the domain name, I’m keeping the blog up for reference.

Listen, I’m not saying that stopping this blog this is a bad thing. This blog has helped launch my work for and Derfington’s at with both of us writing about Commander. You’re still getting Commander content, it’s just not going to be here.

I hope you guys understand that, and respect that. It’s been great giving you my thoughts on this blog, I wish you’re with me for the next step at where I’m continuing the adventure.

Thank you for the fun times at