Wednesday, 5 October 2016

MTG: Kaladesh Nicknames and Knick-Knacks

While Kaladesh may not have inspired me to do as much deck-building as previous sets, it has inspired me in another way: Flavour.


Much like "Robopup", for Filigree Familiar, there are other cards that I will likely refer to by their new nicknames. Here are some that I've either come up with, or seen elsewhere (or both! great minds think alike).


Aerial ResponderVampire Nighthawk

Makes sense...


I'm sure this resemblance to Ripley fighting the Alien was no coincidence

Visionary Augmenter
Image result for Get away from her you bitch


Ceremonious Rejection

She is a rebel and a traitor! Take her away!


Prakhata Club Security

I didn't want to go to your stupid club, anyway!


Wily BandarImage result for jim carrey grinch

I guess it is hard to do a "Cat Monkey", but c'mon...


Image result for soup naziKambal, Consul of Allocation

"No non-creature spell for you!"


Narnam Cobra
Much easier to remember.


Inventor's ApprenticeKird Ape

The newest 2/3 for one red mana.


Dhund Operative

The card that comes with its own soundtrack!


I don't usually like criticising art and artists, especially since it is a subjective medium.

Still, there are a few cards in Kaladesh where the art has me scratching my head...and it's not from my dog's fleas.

Curio Vendor

Not only is Curio Vendor a terrible card, but this might be the worst Magic card art in some time... the face just looks off.

Syndicate Trafficker

"They call 'em "fingers," but I never see 'em fing. Oh wait, there they go."

Quicksmith Genius

The "I did it!" expression looks a bit goofy, and how the hell is this guy a 3/2?

Do you even lift, bro? Of course not. This guy hasn't lifted anything heavier than a jar of peanut butter in his life.

Ghirapur Guide

Would you like some candy? Just come this way to my van!

Diabolic Tutor

Yes, this looks like Liliana telling Chandra, "It was me who farted!"

Dramatic Reversal


I hope you enjoyed this lighter look at Kaladesh. Maybe I'll make it a regular thing. Maybe I'll just be lazy and not.

Monday, 3 October 2016

MTG: Casual Cogitations on Kaladesh

Image result for KAladesh
While I usually do a post about the 10+ intriguing casual cards from the new set, Kaladesh just hasn't inspired me as much. Strange, given that this is the set of inventions.

The vehicles and energy feel a little gimmicky to me, to be honest, but I am loving the India-inspired atmosphere of the set AND appreciate the fact we're not facing more big tentacle monsters.

Although life has been busy and I haven't been in a brewing mode, there are still some cards that casual players will definitely want to keep an eye on, and a few cards that have piqued my interest


One thing I've noticed from this set is how many cards are similar to past casual all-stars. These are the sorts of cards that can fit into many decks I own.

Let's see what clones Kaladesh has brought us.

Torrential Gearhulk / Snapcaster Mage

Torrential GearhulkSnapcaster Mage

Torrential Gearhulk does a great imitation of Snapcaster Mage. Granted, it costs four more mana, and gets only instants, but the gearhulk DOES allow you to play any instant from your graveyard at no additional mana cost.

Noxious Gearhulk / Nekrataal

Noxious GearhulkNekrataal

There have been a few different Nekrataal-type creatures over the years, but one that GAINS you life and is a big beater? This was one of my prerelease MVPs.

Arborback Stomper / Thragtusk

Arborback StomperThragtusk

Stompypoo, aka Baby Thragtusk, might not leave behind a kid when it dies, but it does have trample and a bigger butt!

Cloudblazer / Mulldrifter


Mulldrifter belongs to my Top 10 cards of All Time list, and Cloudblazer is smoking it own path to valuetown.

Now, Mulldrifter is common (pauper!) and can be evoked, if need be, so it will almost always win out. Cloudblazer does have the nice life gain tacked on, and why not have four of each on your deck? *cackle*

Filigree Familiar / Solemn Simulacrum

Filigree FamiliarSolemn Simulacrum

Robopup is the cutest card in the set, and is built to be used in the same way EDH-MVP Simulacrum is... in almost every single bloody deck!


After opening a box and attending a prerelease, a few cards caught my eye and will have to find their ways into my grubby hands. Here is my Top 5:


Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Could it be? A Chandra with four different abilities?

Card advantage? Ramp? Protects itself?

What makes her intriguing is how hard it is to know just how good or bad she will be, and what kind of decks she can fit into best.

Some planeswalkers are definite build-arounds (Nissa Revane) and others are just good all of the time (Jace, the Mind Sculptor). Chandra's flexibility suggests that she'd be good in a variety of decks, but is probably most at home in a mid-range creature-heavy strategy.


Metallurgic Summonings

The most build-around of build-around me cards, this converts any instant or sorcery, good or not, into a useful creature.

Turning a 5-mana Tidings into a 5/5 on top of drawing four cards? Cute, but I want more.

Imagine packing this into a blue-red storm shell?

Combo off with your mana producing spells like as Seething Song and Manamorphose, create an army of tokens, and then use the mana to get back all of your spells and do it again?

ManamorphoseSeething Song
Rite of FlameBrainstorm


The one downside of playing a board-stabilizing Wrath effect is that you are probably already down a big chunk of life, and your opponents have first crack at filling up the board with more threats. If I wrath the board, and am down to 5 life, I am still teetering on death, and have just delayed the inevitable. 

Thankfully, Fumigate solves that problem. 

Getting to clear the board AND gain back some life will really help against the most aggressive decks. In a multi-player game? Sure, I'd love to gain about 10 life on top of my spring cleaning.



What better way to get more value out of your value cards than getting twice the value? VALUE!

Cloudblazer? Draws me four cards and gains me four life.

Primeval Titan? Sure, I'll go and fetch four lands out of my deck.

This card requires very little effort and asks only that you play creatures that you are already playing with. I expect this will see extensive EDH and casual play in any deck with creatures utilizing 'enters the battlefield' triggers.


Aetherflux Reservoir

I used to have a deck that did almost nothing but gain life. The 'win' condition was Storm Herd and Felidar Sovereign.

The deck was great at gaining thousands of life, but then my win conditions would be dealt with before I could actually bloody win the game! I took apart the deck because it really never did much but turn me into a big meatsack.

This card, however, has me contemplating rebuilding that deck and taking out multiple opponents with the thousands of life I've stored. Just imagine the look on their faces when you whip this out and 50! 50! 50!


These are just some of the Kaladesh cards I will likely tinker with. What cards are sparking the creativity in your head?

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

MTG: 13 Intriguing Casual Cards from Eldritch Moon

"Not another bloody Eldrazi set!" I thought, when Emrakul was announced as the big baddie for Eldritch Moon.

Thankfully, the set seems far more interesting than Battle for Zendikar. I can appreciate the Lovecraftian Eldritch horror theme, and this set is far from another Allies vs. faceless menace we had in the last block. Rather than facing off against waves of drones, we see how Emrakul has twisted an already dark plane into further madness.

This set is also a home run in terms of intriguing cards for us filthy casuals. I had a hard time narrowing down the list.


This card is just asking to be abused.

What better way than to combo it with Devastating Summons. Float all of your mana, sacrifice all of your lands for a couple of large tokens, and then get all of the lands back. Easy peasy.

If you want to be a total jerk, you could also combo this with Armageddon or Jokulhaups. Who needs friends, anyway?


The Emerge mechanic is something I'd love to build around, and this common gryff is a decent flyer that replaces itself. This poor man's Mulldrifter is fairly easy to slot in any blue creature-based decks, and will also be a very popular draft/sealed card, as well as a possible pauper staple.


This annoying plant spirit(?) is a nice rattlesnake creature that will cause all sorts of headaches in free-for-all games. In one pre-release game, we ended up with six copies of this bugger.

When your opponent plans on bringing in the massive beats, their big dude will turn into a copy of this little dork, causing them to think twice about their attacks. *sad trombone*

While this is no Deadly Recluse (aka The Green Doom Blade), it's a solid one-drop for those who want to be left alone in the corner.


As far as discard outlets goes, this is one of the very best. Turning any card into a 2/2 zombie, and then allowing you to draw even more fuel, will break open many stalemates.

Of course, this is yet another card that combos so well with Gravecrawler.

"Discard me, please!"


A rather unique card that allows you to flash in equipment and auras (both pumping and removal), and it only costs one mana!

The bigger text is the one that allows you to have equipment attached to a creature for free. Equipping a creature always sucks up a lot of mana and leaves you open to removal spells. Why not flash in a Loxodon Warhammer or an Argentum Armor?

Sigarda sends her regards.


Another great card for pauper decks, and for Emerge decks, the Sentry leaves behind a solid horror token upon its death, and can even be a powerful 4/2 if you pull off delirium.

There are a few Emerge enablers, but I like this for decks that want to sacrifice creatures for other benefits.


We have the winner for the "Most misread card in the set", as the card is a little confusing, at first read.

To be clear, the creature being targeted does not need to be controlled by the player getting the zombie tokens.

I got pwned by this at the pre-release, and it is a great mana sink/removal spell for black decks. Heck, if you already have three zombies in play, and need to kill a 3/3, just cast it for one black mana and you have a cheap removal spell.

I love spells that scale, and this plays the role of 2-for-1 nicely. While it is definitely best in Zombie decks, it still works in any black deck that loves value.


My black-red madness deck needs some oomph, and this card might be the one to finally do it. If you can get this out early, and then connect, you set yourself up nicely for some card advantage. Playing this off of a turn one discard outlet, such as Insolent Neonate, is the best case scenario.

I like how the Occultist has trample, so that even that sliver of one damage will allow you the benefit of Stromming into the red zone.


There is a reason why this card is already seeing Standard play and selling for about $15. The oblivion ring for spells is an efficient creature that can really quell your opponents' plans.

They want to play a big 4-mana creature? SUCK IT!

They have a removal spell for your key piece? STUFF IT!

They want to counter your spell? STICK IT!

Yes, the opponent can get the spell back, but they have to work for it. If you manage to quell a Counterspell, chances are it will be dead for them when they get it back.


I promised my wife that I would play this against her first, if I ever get one :)

Although The Promised End is not nearly as busted as the original Emrakul, the fact that she is protected from many removal spells, and can wreck your opponents' plans, makes this a card truly worthy of the name.

Imagine casting this for just 8-9 mana?

3, 2, 1... BRISELA!!

Yes, I am cheating here a bit, but given my love for Angels, I want all three of these cards.

Despite the fact that BRISELA sounds like a lame celebrity couple name, this is one of the scariest mini-combos you could pull off. I love how Bruna resurrects her sister, and then they become ...

:O Wow, that is bloody scary, creepy, and a little sad. Imagine being melded to somebody like that? As much as I love my wife, I need my space.

Part of me wishes that the meld was a 'may' ability, because putting all of my eggs in one basket is a risk I'm somewhat loathe to take.

Still, Brisela is immune the many of the common removal spells, and will win you the game if not answered quickly.

While I try to avoid simply jumping on the mythic bandwagon, it's hard not to be totally gobsmacked by Brisela and Emrakul. There have simply never been cards like them.

What Eldritch Moon cards strike your fancy?