Author Archives: MTGColorPie

Stone Cold Commander of the Century (Of the Week) – Mannichi, the Fevered Dream

New year has come and gone. Let’s get you caught up. This is still happening. Even though I moved my Commander posts over to ManaNation (articles here), I finally figured out what to do with this blog. What’s going to appear here:

  • Reviews of Sets. Unless Trick wants anything in particular, I think I’ll keep them over here. Yes, Derfington did a great job last time but I’ll work time into my busy schedule to work it in (hopefully). Did you know Derfington’s writing about Commander on QuietSpeculation? (articles here) Yep, we be spreading out.
  • Talking about upcoming Commanders. Yes, Glissa 2.0 has been revealed and I’ll get to that shortly (before Mirrodin Besiged gets released). Again, not as long, but that will be the focus.
  • Random things. I want to do some charts on this site, such as what you can tutor up with Trinket Mage, etc. All in due time.
  • And now, introducing today’s column, once a week.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you the “Stone Cold Commander of the Century (Of the Week)”. Where does this come from?

Yes, an Adult Swim video about football with Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Listen, I know I’m not the only one that loves MTG, and football, and Adult Swim (but I don’t like ATHF, don’t like the humor). And, I may be the one or two that love the “Charlie Whitehurst in a living nativity scene” joke, but we’re rolling with it. After all, I live in the Seattle area, and I still haven’t lived down the excitement of Lynch going full on “Beast Mode” to seal the game.

Alright, enough Football talk. Yes, you’re getting a weekly column where I write some notes about a Commander chosen randomly from Magiccards.info. Yes, completely random (only I won’t repeat them if I’ve done them in this context before). Hope this will give you some good ideas for decks if you’ve been thinking about building around them. If you already have, make your comments below about what you’ve done with him/her.

And yes, this is all completely random. You have seen who the Commander is in the title, but as of this I have no idea. Ready?

Oh, fun.

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December 2010 Commander Bannings

Editor’s Note: While I haven’t written on here since the big change in the format, it will be addressed. I have talked about it over on ManaNation, and eventually they will be linked over here. But now is not the time nor the place for that discussion.

Good news, everyone!

The scourge of all that is unfun in EDH/Commander is finally over. Yes, let’s take a look at the announcement and bask in all of it’s glory:

BANNED
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

This is one on which we listened heavily to what the community was saying, and nearly without exception, everyone hates Emrakul. It’s a card that makes the game devolve into a war over a single card whenever it hits the table. Add to that the fact that its combination of abilities made is seriously unfun to play against. We had already had our eye on it, and when the community spoke, we listened.

Ding dong the witch is dead, the witch is dead.

Alright, seriously. For the two of you that are crying about this move (don’t worry, you’ll like the other announcement then), Emrakul was a bad card for EDH. It’s unfun and it was practically the only card you had to prepare yourself against in any metagame. “But there are ways to get rid of it!” Yes, But with the culmination of all of it’s abilities, it was just too unfun for 99.9% of EDH players. It could go in any deck, which made it worse. For my GDS2 entry, it was that one card I said shouldn’t have been printed because it was unfun. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Be glad it’s gone so we can focus on the next bit of news:

RULES UPDATE
Color Identity (which will be added to the Magic Comprehensive Rules)

Rule #2 is amended as follows:
When building a Commander deck, the mana symbols in the text box are just as important as those in the cost of a card. The Commander’s color identity restricts what cards may appear in the deck.

* The color identity of a card is the colors of all mana symbols on the card, along with any color defined by a characteristic-defining ability (CDA) in the card’s rules text.

* Cards in your deck may not have any colors in their color identity not shared by your Commander.

* Mana you produce of colors that are not in your Commander’s color identity is colorless instead.

* Mana symbols in reminder text are not part of color identity.

The major impact here is that there are a few Legendary Creatures who no longer invalidate themselves as Commanders: Memnarch, Bosh, Iron Golem, Thelon of Havenwood, Daughter of Autumn, and Rhys, the Exiled. It means that you can have these creatures as Commanders, and you can generate mana of their color identity (so if you’re playing Memnarch, you can generate blue mana, or if you’re playing Thelon, you can generate black and green).

The RC spends quite some time considering the needs of the format itself and the voices of the format’s player base, making an effort to strike the balance that while keep the format strong and healthy for a long, long time.

While it’s great that they’re finally listening to us, here’s the big deal: Finally you can play with the Generals/Commanders he mentioned (All of the ones are in the picture above). So, while you players lose Emrakul, you can now play with Memnarch (I’m finally glad that Tolarian Academy is banned). Basically all of the other rules are the same, only that color now applies to mana symbols in the entire card. Some other changes:

  • Transguild Courior is now only legal in 5 color decks (it also means it’s now a 5 color Pauper Commander).
  • The Kobolds are now Red decks only (if you really wanted to put them in a deck for a combo or something).

Apparently color identity doesn’t mean the card is changing colors, but just the overall feel of it. I got a little excited with some of my ideas, but was cooled down by the Twitter crowd. Make note of this people.

Putting on my MTGCP Magic designer cap, what this means can be very exciting in the future. If you noticed, there hasn’t been too many Legendary Creatures that have been printed off-color recently. Why? Because they couldn’t be used as Generals/Commanders and a large part of WotC guys play EDH/Commander. Why print something if players couldn’t use them in that format? So, I guarantee that in the future there will be off-color Legends that will be printed. Why? No idea, but that opens up a whole lot of design space to play around in.

So, tell all your friends about this change. Knowledge is power. These rules take effect December 20th. The EDH/Commander Banned List has been updated.


Big Surprise Time – I’m Writing for ManaNation

Yes readers, I am now a published writer on one of the big Magic sites. Huzzah! Right?

I’ll answer a few questions that you may have. Yes, you in the back.

Is this the end of 99EDH?

No, it’s not. I’m still going to write here now that I’ve more of a set schedule (more on that in a minute). I’m currently working on editing the SOM EDH review that Derfington wrote and that will be up Monday or Tuesday. Seriously, I’ve blocked time off and everything to finish it. PLUS, several submitted posts that people have sent in will finally see the day of light.

Trick (who’s the main editor at ManaNation.com), wants me to write the same stuff that you’d see here. There will be some more stuff on 99EDH that won’t appear on ManaNation simply because I don’t think that they’re long enough to be an article worthy length. Think “How to Non-Lethally Get Rid of a General” and its ilk.

While this does change some of the ideas I wanted to do with 99EDH, maybe I’ll just get to them in a little while.

How does this benefit me (the reader)?

Very good question. What you’ll get is a weekly column by me. Yes, no longer waiting to see if I post something every few weeks as been the case lately. By having someone to report to that hold me accountable, I will have to meet a deadline. It’s not like the guilt of you guys leaving me comments asking me when the next post wasn’t helping; I had to fit it into my life when I could (You’ll see a post about that on MTGCP this week, hopefully). This way, it forces me into writing it for you. It’s like when you have a personal trainer, you need someone to help push you. Trick is going to do the same thing for me.

Every Monday, when you head into another awful workweek, you can sit down at your office and read a new post of mine.  No more complaining, you’ll just get it. Awesome, right?

You’ll see the intro paragraphs here, like you normally would. But, if you want to read the rest of it, you’re gonna have to head over to ManaNation.com. I can’t post the whole thing over here for obvious reasons.

Bonus: Since I love you guys so much, you can help dictate what you want written over there. While I have some ideas, you’re free to suggest some here. If there’s something you would like tackled that you haven’t read before, suggest it. I’ve been meaning to talk about a 1v1 banned list, multi-player politics, etc. I’m not saying you didn’t have an ear before, but now you can suggest stuff and see your name in a big time Magic site.

As always, you can e-mail me (mtgcolorpie_AT_GMAIL_DOT_COM) or find me on twitter (@mtgcolorpie). I’m always open to your feedback.

So, now we’ll get back to some regular posting. I know you’ve missed it; I’ve missed it too. You guys have certainly grown on me. After all, last week was the 1 year anniversary of 99EDH and we didn’t celebrate it. But we’ll get back to normal around here soon enough.


The Inside Outside World of 99EDH

Hey everyone.

Yes, I know that 99EDH hasn’t been updated in a while. I can’t apologize enough for that. Like everything, things got busy, posts were half written and life happened. Let me tell you this: something exciting is going to happen soon. I can’t let it out of the bag just yet, but I think you’ll be happy with the results.

As for new content, Derfington has stepped in and written the Scars of Mirrodin EDH review that I’m currently editing and adding my own thoughts. If I don’t get it up tonight, it will be up Wednesday or Thursday (due to real life events that you know if you read mtgcolorpie.com).

So, please just hold tight a little longer. I promise it will be worth it.

– Robby


SOM EDH General Review – Geth, Lord of the Vault

Certainly not Lord of the Dance

A few days ago, Doug Beyer (who always gets the Legends. Why? He’s a Flavor guy) finally brought to us a missing Legend from the last time we were on Mirrodin. We had Geth’s Grimoire, and that’s it. Hey, Completetis what to know all about him (and have most likely read the novels and know a little more).

If you read that post, you can find out that his undead head was attached to a Phyrexian body and, wow, really? I thought it was because of all the steroids. Maybe they were influenced by Dr. Quinn’s Robot chainsaw hands. Who makes this stuff up? Oh yeah, the flavor guys. I think it’s time for their monthly CAT scan WotC.

Alright. On to Geth, who just so happens to be the second Mono-Black Mythic General with evasion to be revealed in the first week of previews. Let’s see what he has in common with his little book.

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SOM EDH General Review – Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

I dare you to say his name three times fast

With the release of Scars of Mirrodin about a month away, it’s about that time to start seeing previews of this new (hopefully) exciting set. Like always, I don’t talk about a card on here unless it’s been officially previewed or is on the DailyMTG.com visual spoiler (at the time of this printing, that wasn’t up).

Today, Mark Rosewater decided to show us a really awesome General. As you can see it’s a Dragon, the first Dragon General that’s been released since the start of this blog. There was some question if Poison was going to be relevant in EDH and today I think we go our answer. Plus, even if he didn’t deal with Poison, I’d still think he’d be great. Maybe not that Mythic rarity, but still a pretty good dragon.

Oh, and I’m not writing Skithiryx a hundred times; I’m calling him Blighty.

As with everything, if you don’t want to actually spoil anything for the set, I would recommend not to read past here, though again, I’m only talking about cards that have been officially previewed.

So, let’s meet Blighty.

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Guest Post – Deathkeeping It Real

By the power of Grayskull, I HAVE THE POWER!

Editor’s Note: I love getting articles from people, and I love posting them if they’re really good. This is a guest post by a Mr. Max Kautsch, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I love EDH.  Who doesn’t?  I love using cards I’m too cheap to have more than one of.  I love using one-ofs from my collection that have never before seen play.  I love the staggering deckbuilding possibilities inherent in over 7,000 card choices.

One thing I do not love: the way multiplayer games bog down as each player tries to build up for an alpha strike that will defeat one or more opponents while not leaving himself exposed to a deadly counterattack.

My solution?  A deck that will end the game quickly one way or another.  Kill or be killed.  None of this interminable posturing and politicking.  A deck like that would probably have to involve some devastating combo that can just win the game.  So what, you say, kill combos have been done ad nauseam.  Ok, maybe so.  But by that logic, all control and aggro strategies have “been there done that.”  So I think the question becomes, what would be a unique, not-too-broken way to combo out against all your opponents at once in EDH?

When I Gathered (I’m going to use Magiccards.info for the links. Why? Because I’m the editor, that’s why – MTGCP) for possible combolicious generals, I couldn’t help but notice that the rules text for Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper beings with the word “whenever”.  As all good Johnnys know, “whenever” can be the key to going infinite.  So why not give it a shot?

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Tarmogoyf is a Pair of Bad Idea Jeans

Even though it's over I'm going to tell my wife about the affair.

There’s an old Saturday Night Live sketch called “Bad Idea Jeans” (Link here on Hulu, sorry to those out of the country who can’t see it). Basically the gist is it’s a parody of 90’s jeans commercials where the actors in the ad say a bunch of, you guessed it, bad ideas:

“Hey, we’re gutting our apartment. Ripped the floors, pipes, wiring, having everything completely redone.”

“You’re renting, right?”

“Yeah!”

See, that’s a bad idea since you’re wasting money on something you don’t own. The whole ad had the men spout out such ideas to promote the brand “Bad Idea Jeans” much like if you’re going to advertise a perfume called “Whisper” you have the people in the ad whisper. What does this have to do with our friend Tarmogoyf? Well, we’re going to be talking about EDH deck construction today.

In EDH, he’s a pair of Bad Idea Jeans.

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Format Variant – Peasant Dragon Highlander (PDH)

The only 5 color General in the format

It came to my attention (I believe through Trick Jarrett at Mananation.com) about a new EDH variant called Peasant Dragon Highlander (PDH). For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of Peasant, it’s the idea of not using rares to build your deck so it’s much more budget friendly. I know that some people complain about some of the rares such as the Revised Duals being way too expensive for use in EDH (I kinda agree to that). If you’re looking for a more wallet friendly option, but still love the idea of EDH, I might suggest giving this format a chance. This idea is even making me consider building one of my own PDH decks.

Here’s the thread from Reddit explaining how this works:

I would like to introduce to you a format that I’ve been playing with my friends for the last couple of months. It was created by the card dealers at Frank and Sons in SoCal, who had way too much time and commons/uncommons on their hands.

We wanted to create a format that was both afforable and presented a variety of different strategies. I’ve found out that the fact that the format is afforable allowed us to build more decks, contributing to the discovery of new strategies and creating a heathly metagame.

Anyways, here are the rules for Peasant EDH:

  • 99 Card Deck 1 General
  • No rares (promos such as Mana Crypt are considered rare)
  • Your general can be any non-rare non-promo creature.
  • Anything that was ever rare is considered rare regardless of previous or current rarity (Hypnotic specter was uncommon in ealier sets, now it is rare.) Other examples include: Serra Angel, Loxodon Warhammer.
  • Exception: City of Brass (We’ve found that manafixing for 3-4 color decks was sparse)
  • You start with 30 Life/ 21 General Damage = Death
  • Dueling (1v1) Format

Suggested Banlist:

Fast Mana Effects:

  • Sol Ring
  • Mana Vault
  • Ancient Tomb

Powerlevel/Price:

  • Force of Will
  • Library of Alexandria
  • Mana Drain
  • Counterbalance
  • Thopter Foundry

Watchlist:

Keep in mind, these are only suggestions. We’ve banned any card over 30 dollars (FoW, Mana Drain) as a general house rule because those cards tend to be promblematic in powerlevel as well.

Yes, this format is intended not to be multiplayer, but it could be exciting. While Sol Ring is banned (a favorite and rumored to be in the From the Vault: Relics set coming out in August), there are still plenty of good commons and uncommon cards to make a deck. There are still different ideas but same concept decks that you can do since only very few variables changed (Life, rarity, 1v1, banned list). Tinker is still allowed (Most powerful artifacts are rare) and Channel is still okay (very few Eldrazi).

I’ve heard of Jonathan Media of MTGMetaGame.com (Now DoublingSeason.com) building a Rhox War Monx deck. I’m seriously thinking about wanting to build a few of these to let other people that haven’t played EDH before get a chance at the format without letting them play with my expensive cards (I don’t know how people shuffle and I’m sacred sometimes of them ruining my cards). Plus, it’s another chance to play different cards that I wouldn’t because they wouldn’t make the cut in a regular EDH deck.

Let me pose you guys these questions: A) Are you guys interested in this format as a change of pace and B) would you like some coverage here on 99EDH?

Share your thoughts either on twitter (@mtgcolorpie) or down below.


Competitive Casual – Mama Said Knock You Out

With a face only a mother could love. Wait...

Editor’s Note: It’s the time again. Fan favorite Jake Kessler is back once again with a new EDH post. This was originally seen on the highly recommended Magic Deck Vortex and on Jake’s on blog, Competitive Casual, and is being published here with permission from both of them. I kept wanting to write the title as Mana Said Knock You Out.

I have a few EDH decks together at any given time; I think at present I have about five or six. This time, my general is a real mother.

I’m certainly not the only person ever to make a Wort deck, and there are several clear directions a deck builder might run with her. But let’s do something a little differently for this article. Rather than break down the deck, let’s first break down the general.

So what sort of card, exactly, is Wort the Raidmother?

#1 – She’s a Mirari

Perhaps the flashiest aspect of Wort is her conspire ability. Players have always been excited by opportunities to copy spells, from Fork in Alpha all the way up to Echo Mage in Rise of the Eldrazi. This is especially true in EDH, where longer games and multiple opponents mean really big spells have the potential to be truly powerful.

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