Something, something, something, lifelink...
Okay, so as of recently I have been spending a considerable amount of time playing EDH on MTGO. However MTGO’s form of EDH is not called Elder Dragon Highlander, it is instead called “Commander.” There are some significant differences between Commander and EDH that one needs to be aware of when designing a deck around the format.
First off, in Commander games are played between three to four players. The Client is unable to properly understand commander rules unless you play a three or four player game by choosing the Constructed || Commander Game Type and the Commander Play Structure. Unfortunately this means that you have to play in the Casual — Multiplayer Room and can’t play the game anywhere else in the client.
In EDH you cannot play a card unless it matches your Generals casting cost 100%. This means that it cannot have any mana symbols rules text or casting cost section that do not match what is in your Generals casting cost. This means that cards such as Thelon of Havenwood are illegal as Generals. However, in Commander, you are allowed to run a card that has mana symbols in their rules text that do not match your Generals casting cost, so long as their casting cost matches the Generals casting cost. This means that you can run any of the 5 of the Bringer’s in an appropriately colored mono, dual, or triple color deck, where as in EDH you would only be able to play them in a 5 color deck. Continue reading
Black has various ways to ramp up mana. However it is relatively difficult to find ways to ramp lands. However this task is not all together impossible. One of the most fun decks I have come across to date, at least for multi-player, is a deck whose General is the only General at the current time with the Landfall mechanic.
Building around the Landfall mechanic in mono-black is extremely difficult to do. You have to be willing to add in cards that may be sub par in many other decks. However these additional cards are generally what make the deck run extremely smoothly. It isn’t at all unlikely in this deck to see the General on exactly turn 4 or 5, and then to proceed to kill not just one, but two players simultaneously with the General thanks to his ability which has an interesting ability which I will get to in a moment. First however I need to cover a special note about General Damage: General Damage can only be caused by Combat Damage. As such this General’s ability, which causes life loss cannot cause General Damage as it is neither damage, nor combat damage. Now as for that ability, it reads as follows:
Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may have target player lose 3 life. If you do, put three +1/+1 counters on Ob Nixilis, the Fallen.
The beauty of this ability is that if you can find a way to make Ob Nixilis unblockable, he can easily become a 12/12 creature in less than two turns. Further, even on the first trigger, if an opponent burns out Ob Nixilis with something like a Lightning Bolt, the primary trigger still occurs. That opponent will still lose three life before Ob Nixilis is killed. However the +1/+1 counters do not get put onto Ob Nixilis until after the Lightning Bolt has resolved, thus it is impossible for the creature to survive the Bolt that way. Alternatively, if an opponent goes to burn out Ob Nixilis, and you respond by using something such as a fetchland to trigger his Landfall ability, he will survive the bolt due to the way the stack resolves.
Now, Landfall is a mechanic that requires a very specific category of mana ramp. That is ramp that instead of generating as much mana as possible, instead puts as many lands as possible into play from either the deck or your hand in either a single turn or over the course of multiple turns. So… lets take a look at some of the better cards that generate such forms of land acceleration available to Black: Continue reading
Much Scarier then the Disco King
In the first few articles in this series I am going to try to explain the thought processes I went through when I designed my EDH decks.
An EDH deck is supposed to be a work of love in my opinion. These decks are perhaps the single most customizable decks in all of the various formats of Magic the Gathering combined. This is because the pool of cards one has access to when designing one of these decks is so large that they have a nearly infinite supply of cards from which to draw from, with very few exceptions.
The deck I am going to be discussing in this first article, was my first and is currently one of my favorite EDH decks I have put together. This deck is my Sedris, the Traitor King, Elder Dragon Highlander deck. One of the most important things to realize when designing a Sedris EDH deck, is that the majority of Sedris decks are going to be reanimation based decks. Those that aren’t just aren’t using their General’s ability to its fullest potential and probably would be better off using Garza Zol or another Legend as their General. The text on Sedris that makes him perfectly suited to reanimation is as follows:
Each creature card in your Graveyard has Unearth 2B. (2B : Return the card to play. The Creature gains Haste. Remove it from the game at the end of turn or if it would leave play. Unearth only as a sorcery.)
Now, when one designs a Sedris deck there are a variety of things one has to consider. The first thing one has to consider is the overall strategy that one is going to follow as outlined below: Continue reading