Category Archives: Magic: the Gathering

Playing for Prizes and Some EDH Advice

I'm chargin' my laser

I received an e-mail that I would like to talk about.

Yo i was wondering if you had any tips on what i should be expecting at an event during GP Washington DC.  i play edh casually but im worried about speed and unfairness of players when prizes are on the line.  i want to have fun but i’d like a chance to win as well.  i play scion the ur dragon so color is not a problem.  what hate should i pack for a more cut throat event?

This is actually brings up 2 legitimate questions and something you’re always going to have to deal with. First, I’m a big fan of EDH being a casual format and any time you add a prize incentive to beat the other opponents it goes from a fun format to a more cutthroat one, and that’s a slippery slope. There have been some people clammering for Pro-Tour type event for EDH but I am firmly against that. I joked on Twitter that I don’t want to play against “Flores Uril” and “Flores Azami” to which Mike Flores replied he’d play Vendilion Clique and it all went downhill from there.

Anyway, with Grand Prix: Washington D.C. and some of the Star City Games events they’ve got going on, side events have included EDH matches where you do 4 person Chaos battle (everyone against everyone) and the winner gets packs. For GP:DC, you get 10 packs for winning. While 10 packs may not be a lot to some of you for others it brings in a good number of cards for trading or upgrading your EDH decks if you don’t buy all that often. Also, there’s a tournament for a From the Vault: Exiled and Top 8 prizes, so there’s enough incentive there.

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The Really Big Rise of the Eldrazi EDH Review

And boom goes the dynamite

Grab a Snickers, find a comfy seat and put your feet up; you’re not going anywhere for a while.

New set, new review, new awesome cards heading our way.

You know how it goes: Wizards prints up a new set and we, as players, take a look at all of the goodness they dropped in our laps and we drink it up. That’s right, we drink their milkshake. What flavors did they leave for us this time? Let’s see what we’ve got.

Yes, EDH is the format where we take what the Pros deem as “Slow” and “Win More” and turn it into our gold. Sure, we might have some of the same spells that our formats jointly like, but we don’t care if something is 7 mana, we still play it anyway.

As you know, for the first time ever there has been true colorless spells printed. Any of these colorless spells can be put in any EDH deck and for the first time Karn (and the new Eldrazi Generals) can finally play an instant spell. Not only will those cards be good for those decks, but really, almost any EDH deck. What does all of this mean? One of the best EDH sets ever; certainly one of the top two I’ve ever reviewed for this blog.

Magic the  Gathering Links for this WeekPlease remember, almost any card in the set can be used for EDH; these are the ones that I feel will impact your playgroups and decks the most. As always, you’ll get my Top 10 of the set at the end. I didn’t really focus on some of the tribalish cards such as the Merfolk and Elf Levelers because if you’re playing those decks, you’re going to put them in there anyway; they’re no good to you in Goblin decks.

Lucky for you guys I went and made every new ROE card linked to a new tab/window; click away with joy now.

And, without further ado, the reviews. Continue reading

ROE EDH General Review – Livala, Keeper of Silence

Doug Beyer gave us the last Legendary creature out of Rise of the Eldrazi, and boy will it make an impact when it hits play.

While it isn’t a complete bust like Tuktuk was, there will be very few people who will actually play this as their General. For the people who do, let me give you this message:

You’re a sick, sick person.

Let’s take a look at what she says:

Activated abilities of creatures your opponents control can’t be activated.

A quick primer in case you forgot what activated abilities are: If you see an ability in a text box that has a colon ( : ), that’s an activated ability. In other words: “Cost: Effect.” Example: Llanowar Elves have an activated ability that reads, “T: Add G to your mana pool.”

So, Linvala shuts down a huge majority of creatures. Remember that triggered abilities have the words, “At” “When” and “Whenever” and Linvala doesn’t do anything about that.

But why would you pick her as your General?

Because you’re a jerk.

Yes, in certain play circles there are combos that require activated abilities (actually, change certain to most), so she will be a great part to any deck. Yes, she’s a really great card, but as your General? Maybe that’s a little overkill. Yes, White control decks can be good and certain shut down decks, but maybe this is a little much.

As a General.

Having her in your deck against other decks is not so much a jerk thing, but building up defenses to shut down your opponents decks. There’s not a whole lot that combos with her (Doug suggested turning all your opponent’s lands into creatures so they can’t tap for mana). If you want to do that, you’re gonna have to play a different color than White, which means you need to go in another color.

Final Word: Yes, she’ll see play. While most likely she won’t be a General unless you need to teach your playgroup a lesson, she will see play in decks she can go in. Doran will love her, Crovax will certainly use her, and other Generals will be glad to draw her. I would suggest you go pick her up and teach those combo players a lesson.

Site News: You’ll get one more post before the ROE Prerelease (I encourage you to go if you weren’t planning to already), then the big ROE EDH set review. Also, I’m in the process of showing all of your requests for EDH deck clinics to some of the other writers on this site since they’ve shown interested in helping out as well. We’ll get to some of your decklists in the next couple of weeks.

ROE EDH General Review – Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief

Just don't look at her in that way, she can tell

Another Vampire Legend. Sigh, really?

Alright, this one we kinda knew. In what has got to be a good start, Drana was actually featured on the front of an intro pack. You know what that means?

That’s right, if you buy the Invading Spawn intro deck, you get your foil General.

I’ve been asking this for a while and it seems like either Wizards listened, or they realized it just seemed like a good idea. Score one for EDH players and a big thumbs up to Wizards; let’s hope we continue to see this trend. But, that doesn’t matter if she isn’t a very good General. Let’s see what she does.

XBB: Target creature gets -0/-x until end of turn and Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief gets +X/+0 until end of turn.

Ah, yes. very nice. A 4/4 for 3BB and a very Black ability? I think I might like her.

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ROE EDH General Review – Tuktuk the Explorer

So good, they named it twice

Doug Beyer just gave us our first non-Eldrazi Legendary creature for EDH. Tuktuk, a great name, with a fun ability, looks like it could be an awesome General. He doesn’t cost that much (really, not many Goblins do), he’s got haste (which so few Generals do), and he’s got an interesting ability. I mean, he makes Legendary tokens! How cool is that?

Let’s take a look at the text box:

When Tuktuk the Explorer is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, put a legendary 5/5 colorless Goblin Golem artifact creature token named Tuktuk the Returned onto the battlefield.

You have to admit, that’s pretty awesome flavor: there’s another token of him when he goes to the graveyard. Goes to the graveyard? Aw, man.

Whenever a General would go to the graveyard to gets exiled, you may put it in the Command Zone instead; graveyard triggers do not trigger, it’s a replacement ability. So while his ability triggers once, you can’t get it over and over again. He’s a single-serving General.

If Tuktuk was Green, or Black, or even White then this would be a completely different story. Those three colors have ways to bring Tuktuk back from the graveyard. Red has one card to bring Tuktuk from the graveyard to your hand or onto the battlefield (remember it has to be Mono-Red because he’s the General): Search for Survivors. Good luck with that.

Final Word: Look, he’s a cute card, and I’m sure he could see some fun in a deck that constantly recurs creatures (this is why Recurring Nightmare is banned). Yes, he’s very flavorful and I see why they did this and it’s a great design. As a General, Wizards really missed the ball on this one. I’d rather have Norin the Wary than Tuktuk leading my guys into battle.

Note: This also uses up 2 more instances of Legendary in the Orb of Insight: 5 out of 7. Two more possible EDH Generals to go.

ROE EDH General Review – The Problem with Eldrazi

With the three Legendary Eldrazi finally spoiled, I feel like I need to say something about them. I’ve heard people go on and on about how wonderful they are and how they should go into every EDH deck they have. Some of the people say they’re going to build EDH decks with them as their Generals. I have to ask them one simple question:


Listen, I’m all in favor of them being printed, and the fact that they’re colorless is actually kinda awesome. Yes, they can fit in every EDH deck, but I’m not starting out my list with these three at the top of the list. There are some very simple things you got to keep in mind. Sure, they aren’t bad, but they aren’t amazing.

Blasphemy? Well, they are Gods.

Consider this your General review for all three.

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Guest Post: Competitive Casual – Fear the Reaper

Needs more Cowbell

Editor’s Note: Jake from Competitive Casual has graciously allowed 99EDH to repost another one of his EDH articles. After a little formatting to get the article to fit this blog, it’s up. Enjoy! (And, since I love so much, my favorite Reaper King related comic.)

This deck is my first five-color deck I can remember making, and certainly my first in EDH. I’ll explain what the deck is trying to do and the different types of cards I’ve chosen to include in a minute, but first go ahead and check this bad boy out…

Now, Wizards of the Coast has printed quite a few five-color legendary creatures over the years: Karona, False God; Horde of Notions; Child of Alara; even Scion of the Ur-Dragon. Any of these would have made fine Generals for this deck, and allowed me to use any color of cards that I wanted. So why Reaper King?

Other Scarecrow creatures you control get +1/+1.
Whenever another Scarecrow enters the battlefield under your control, destroy target permanent.

Well, the reason I chose the hulking Scarecrow lord rather than any of these other fine gentlemen (or gentle-women… wasn’t trying to exclude you, Karona) may not be what you think. It really boils down to this card, a little-used mythic rare from Alara Reborn:


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99EDH Deck Clinic – Rafiq of the Many

Editor’s Note: I apologize for the lack of card tags in this article. At the moment of this printing, I have to do all the card tags myself, and I figured that it was more worth while to have the article up then keeping you waiting even longer. I apologize for the inconvenience, and recommend having up on a tab or new window to look up the cards you don’t know. I am currently trying to find something that works. Thank you for understanding.

Welcome to the inaugural 99EDH deck clinic where we help you with your EDH deck problems. This took a little longer then I thought, but finally we’re here. Not really this much else to say, is there? Let’s get right to it.

Billy chimes in with his problem (and suddenly I feel like Casey Kasem).

My name is Billy, and my general is Rafiq of the Many. I want to have my deck be the subject of a deck clinic because I’ve found that my EDH games are very non-interactive, linear, and predictable. My EDH games go from 1v1 to 6 or more people, so I try to be versatile in the face of a metagame that involved token (Rhys), general damage (Uril), prison (Hokori, Numot) and combo (Sharuum, Blue Braids, Niv-Mizzet) strategies.

My favorite type of EDH game involves lots of bickering and vying for control of the field, and I found that my games are usually a Reveillark combo or a Strip Mine lock, and is overly dependent on a few spells like Intuition. It seems like my deck has 20 or more cards devoted to combo and 20 to tutoring them. My deck is so linear that I frequently play Pithing Needle naming Relic of Progenitus before one is even in play because my deck doesn’t do anything without graveyard recursion.

I have trouble making room for dramatic, fun, social effects like Twincast, Bribery, and Pheldagriff, and even basic utility cards like Path to Exile. I also find myself scrambling for my 1 answer to a specific threat. Card availability is not an issue but has one caveat: I am hesitant to spend money on cards that aren’t a rock solid investment like Force of Will. In short, I’ve got 99 problems and a too linear deck is one.

Yes, the final line sold me.

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Good News Everyone! I’m on an Internet Podcast (and More Good News)!

Try reading the rest of this post in his voice

Earlier this week I participated in the heavily EDH friendly “MTG Radio” podcast. I was the featured guest on episode #27 I Prefer Pecan (a joke which I don’t get and was chosen before recording but found out the answer here). I would highly recommend you check it out. You actually get to hear my voice which is why Professor Farnsworth is on here (and to the chagrin of  Adam Styborski, the writer for Serious Fun on It’s always different to hear someone’s voice after reading their writing, because you have a different tone for what they sound like. Of course, no one likes the sound of their own voice and you think you sound more mature than you actually do. I picture my voice with more of a Zapp Brannigan type of voice, but I know that’s not the truth.

And with three references to Futurama in three posts, I think I’ve reached my limit. Back to the podcast and why you should listen.

  1. I’m in it.
  2. We talk about their new segment: hidden EDH gems. We all throw out some cards that people have overlooked in EDH play (my top pick: Tainted Pact). This is something I too shall be doing in due time (more on this later).
  3. I talk about my Sygg, River Cutthroat deck. it was (spoiler) the EDH General of the week! (/spoiler).

It was a very good time and was a whole lot of fun to do. With the weekend here, I’m sure you can take a hour and listen to it when you’re doing something else (listen to the show and you’ll know what I mean).

But the good news doesn’t in here folks:

Next week, your EDH decks will start to get the help that you want!

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An EDH Review of Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs The Coalition

Flex those muscles!

Now that the entire list of the new Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs The Coalition has been released (here and here), it’s a good time to take a look and see what goodies it holds for EDH.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. Why should we care? I mean, it’s not like the put anything good in those decks anyway. It’s just for noobs, right?

Wrong! Not only is it good for getting old cards in the new frames (which can help with the “pimp” factor), it also helps if you weren’t playing much in those days. Yes, Urza’s Saga and Invasion were over 10 years ago. Yes, that makes me old.

Let’s see what each deck has to offer for EDH. Now, while these decks are meant to be played together against each other, not all of the time will you keep them together. There might be a good portion of you who do, and that’s great, we’re here to see what would happen if you tear it apart and add or create to your EDH decks. A chance to buy 4 Generals, some awesome never before printed cards in new frames, and to get your hands on a couple new foils, might be worth the $20 MSRP (hint: yes it will be).

We will look at the Coalition’s deck which was first chosen randomly in alphabetical order.

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