focus on decks

tarot 101

you shuffle the cards to:

  • connect and focus your energy to the deck’s
  • make the deck imprint on the topic at hand (if you pull a card without shuffling it might be like what did you ask though)
  • make sure no energies from previous readings linger

you connect to the cards by:

  • using introduction spreads
  • bringing them with you to where you think will awaken them even more (ex: ocean deck, bring it to the beach. cosmic deck, take it out at night.)
  • treating them well (whether to you this means to use them until they look well-loved, or to keeping them impeccable)

you can cleanse the cards by:

  • throwing them in the air (…filled with incense?)
  • organizing them in the original order
  • placing them near crystals or other energy sources
  • placing them outside (under the moon, sun, stars, etc)
  • …and so much more

ileuadd-deactivated20151007  asked:

Hi! I was wondering if you could tell me a bit more about your 'getting to know you' spread for a new deck? It probably sounds silly but my new deck feels a bit 'reluctant' compared to my previous one, if that makes sense, and I was wondering if you had any pointers 😊

Hello! First off, you don’t sound silly at all. Some decks, just like some people, are a little shy or reticent when they meet someone and need a prompt to open up. Which is where Deck Interviews, like my Getting to Know You spread, come in. 

The standard deck interview, which I first came across quite a few years ago, is a six card draw. However, as I’ve worked I’ve expanded on that and my current spread is a nine draw. Yes, this is because I’m quite attached to the magical significance of 3x3 but also because I’m one of those people who can’t resist tinkering to make things personal. 

Caveat at this point to say everyone should please feel free to change this in anyway that feels right to you.

So, the spread itself:

The five cards in the bottom row focus solely on the deck:

1. What is your nature? Basically tell me about yourself, give me an idea of your character.

2. What are your strengths? Tell me what type of readings you’re going to excel at.

3. What do you like doing best? Which may at first glance look like a repeat of question 2, but it isn’t. I have observed that, again like people, some decks may not always enjoy doing the thing they are best at - I’m brilliant at maths but I get much more joy out of reading tarot and writing (which I’m good at but not as good as I am at maths).

4. What are your weaknesses? Tell me what type of readings you’re going to struggle with.

5. What do you not like doing? Again, like people, the thing your deck might like least may not correspond to what it is weakest at.

The three cards in the middle row focus on the immediate relationship between you and the deck:

6. How do you feel about me? (no explanation needed)

7. What do you think I need to learn? Tell me what you’ve come into my life to teach me/help me understand.

8. How can I work to achieve that? Tell me what you want us to focus on first.

The final card on the top row is looking ahead at the relationship between you and the deck:

9. Where do you see us going together? Tell me which path we’re on, in this journey we’re about to take together!

I hope that helps. If you do use it, or create your own deck interview spread from this, please do share the results!

Blue-Eyes White Dragon
————————————————
‘This legendary dragon is a powerful engine of destruction. Virtually invincible, very few have faced this awesome creature and lived to tell the tale.’
————————————————
Can Be Found In: Starter Deck: Kaiba Evolution (SKE-001), Dark Beginning 1 (DB1-EN098), Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon (LOB-EN001), Forbidden Legacy (FL1-EN001), Anniversary Pack (YAP1-EN001), Duelist League 2010 (DL09-EN001), Duelist Pack: Kaiba (DPKB-EN001), Legendary Collection (LC01-EN004), Dragons Collide Structure Deck (SDDC-EN004), Gold Series: Haunted Mine (GLD5-EN001), Saga of Blue-Eyes White Dragon Structure Deck (SDBE-EN001), Starter Deck Kaiba - Reloaded (YSKR-EN001), Premium Goild: Return of the Bling (PGL2-EN080), Duelist Pack: Battle City (DPBC-EN016), Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Movie Pack (MVP1-EN055), 2016 Mega-Tins (CT13-EN008), Legendary Decks II (LDK2-ENK01), Structure Deck: Seto Kaiba (SDKS-EN009), Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Movie Pack Gold Edition (MVP1-ENGV4, MVP1-ENG55), Duelist Saga (DUSA-EN043), 2017 Mega-Tins (CT14-EN002), Kaiba’s Collector Box (KACB-EN001),  Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories (DDS-001), Starter Deck: Kaiba (SDK-001), 2002 Booster Pack Tins (BPT-003), Shonen Jump Vol. 1 #1 (JMP-001), 2003 Booster Pack Tins (BPT-009), Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos: Kaiba the Revenge (PCK-001), Duel Terminal - Preview Wave 1 (DTP1-EN001), Dark Legends (DLG1-EN002), Duel Terminal - Previe Wave 2 (DTP1-EN001), Duel Terminal 1 (DT01-EN001), Weekly Shonen Jump March 2014 (JUMP-EN068), Jump Pack 2014 Issue 2 (JUMP-EN068), WSJ Jump Pack Spring 2016 (JMPS-EN002), Swedish Shonen Jump 2004 #3 (JMP-EN001), Retro Pack (RP01-EN001)

One main feature of the card game and the franchise overall is how it keeps old yet famous creatures having a prevalent use among many Decks. With more than 20 years in the market starting only as the OCG, keeps fan favorites on the spotlight no matter how much the game changed by introducing new rules and mechanics. From obtaining counterparts to compensate the original’s weaknesses to gaining an entire archetype of its own, if a card is famous enough among the fanbase soon or later will keep gaining new options to keep the pace against current strategies.

“Blue-Eyes White Dragon"is undoubtly the most famous monster in the entire franchise, staying on the peak of its kind as the strongest Normal Monster in the game for two decades. Due its iconic status in both the series and the card game "Blue-Eyes” keeps its prevalence right from its debut, starting back when all the game had to offer was Normal Monsters to the present where most builds focuses on Extra Deck setups. This is thanks to the constantly growing number of options “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” can work along with, making it a flexible creature able to cover both offense and all sorts of setups as a material of costs and bigger setups. While not seem much different to other old school monsters like “Dark Magician” and “Red-Eyes B. Dragon”, “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” has several privileges that makes it a valuable creature regardless if is the main focus of the Deck or is supporting other themes with its pressence.

Almost every year “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” gains at least a pair of new tools to work along with and become available right from our very first turn, pretty much becoming the most supported creature in the whole game by a massive margin. Starting from searching effects to add “Blue-Eyes” into our hand by “The Melody of Awakening Dragon” and “The White Stone of Legend” among others, while “Paladin of Felgrand” will instead equip “Blue-Eyes” on himself to later on be revived. Despite the high Level of “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” there are several ways to summon it straight from the Deck without any effort, ranging from disposing “The White Stone of Ancients” to Eyes of Blue monsters targetting each other with effects to bring out “Blue-Eyes” in the process. Alternatively “Blue-Eyes” can work along the Hieratic archetype, monsters that by tributing themselves will summon Normal Monsters for their Xyz Summons and other purposes. But “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” will really stand out once hits the Graveyard, not only doing so by milling effects like “Dragon Shrine” and “Elemental HERO Prisma” but also by the dozens of revival options at our diposition. Several copies of “Silver’s Cry”, “Return of the Dragon Lords”, and “Swing of Memories” will constantly bring back “Blue-Eyes” and any other copies turn after turn, Traps like “Birthright” and “Call of the Haunted” can answer the opponent’s actions with its sudden pressence, and monsters such as “Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon” and “Divine Dragon Lord Felgrand” will bring it back to work together under their respective circumstances.

While “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” has an archetype of its own, due the several tools arround it we can fit it in all sorts of builds and have an important role depending of the situation on the Duel. “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” easily becomes the main cost of “Trade-In” to draw cards with in many Decks, specially due “The White Stone of Legend” searching for it after taking the same purpose by the effect of “Cards of Consonance”. As any Normal Monster “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” easily can work as material for all sorts of setups, using its high Level for Rank 8 Xyz Summons and expensive Synchro Summons. Obviously that includes its own counterparts, working along Fusion options and/or being banished from the Graveyard by “Dragon’s Mirror” to bring powerful Fusion Monsters such as “Neo Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon” and “Blue-Eyes Twin Burst Dragon”. The same goes for Ritual Summons, not only with “Advanced Ritual Art” using “Blue-Eyes” right inside our Deck but also “Chaos Form” using it in our Graveyard as material for “Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon”. Obviously as a Normal Monster with many ways to be summoned from early to late game and its high ATK, we can work along cards like “Skill Drain” and “Heat Wave” to restrict common strategies while cards like “Honest” cover us against any stronger enemies.

From simply providing drawing support to taking a classic approach with its high stats, “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” remains a powerful creature by two decades of gaining effects with sinergy and exclusive cards to create its own archetype. Starting the first years as one of the main targets for “Monster Reborn”, the current “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” is a flexible creature that takes all sorts of purposes with zero effort required in all kinds of themes and builds to work along with. One turn can be the core material for big summons including its several counterparts, while in other will take advantage of the many Special Summons at its disposition to keep the pressure even in the worst scenarios. Obviously as any Normal Monster “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” is extremely dependant of the cards assisting it on its many objectives, but even when compared to other classic monsters with support of their own is very rare for the most famous monster in the game to not have a chance to come to the field for any goal we’re aiming at the moment. As technically the mascot of the whole franchise, “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” remains prevalent no matter what Decks or new strategies must face against.

Personal Rating: A+

+ The strongest Normal Monster in the game
+ The most supported monster in the game with many summoning options and an archetype of its own
+ All sorts of purposes depending of the situation and the Deck is working with

- Completely dependant of other cards to work efficiently

Commander 2017 - A Guide - Vampiric Bloodthurst

Vampires are easily among the most popular creatures in all of magic. With each set since Shadowmoor/Eventide containing at least one vampire. They are prolific to the ethos of Magic. However, until now they has lacked a lot of effective tribal support. Make no mistake, there has been a lot of vampires printed in the nearly 10 years since then. However they have been extremely messy and all over the place. Lords printed in 2 colours, while the best legendary creatures were in 1. Cards like Vampire Nocturnus being outrageously powerful inclusions in a deck, but ultimately limit their effectiveness by being tied to one colour. 

Commander 2017 reunited Vampires across all colours, and shifted them into high gear by offering us three new commanders, each in the Mardu range of colours. All varying from heavy Vampire tribal, to fun and goofy shenanigans; Vampires have finally seen the revitalisation they’ve always needed, but have never had. And with several white vampires having been spoiled for Ixilan, the reasons to build Mardu vampires has only grown. And although this deck does not offer a fourth, off colour Legendary Creature, the cards that it pulls from in creating the decks are some of the best Vampires ever printed.

Edgar Markov

Finally, it’s ya boy. Edgar Markov, fresh off the print run with a new card. And with it he brings a cavalcade of abilities. Right off the bat, like all of the headlining Legendary Creatures in commander 2017, he has Eminence. A triggered ability that doesn’t mind whether they are in play or in the command zone. Much to the bane of every playing who forgets their triggers. However, this ability isn’t something you want to miss, as he will happily poop out Vampires for you. 1/1 black vampires to be precise. That’s right. Buy now and get two vampires for the price of one. And as is also the case all of the others, his following abilities get stronger as the first ability is used. As he attacks, you must put a +1/+1 counter on each Vampire you control. Which is amazing. And yes, he puts it on himself. And yes, he does have both haste and first strike, so he’s basically a 5/5 the turn he comes into play because there is never a world where you don’t attack with him first chance you have. And with Eminence triggering from the Command Zone, by the time you do play him, you should have something akin to a small army. Note: He won’t trigger Eminence on himself.

Edgar hits hard and fast, and will likely want to fill out a aggressive Vampire deck. People may be turned off by his high cost, reaching 6 among 3 colours. However, due to the raw power of Eminence, he will make up the difference. Doubling your board state, the preparing the game for his inevitable arrival. At which point it’ll be a quick race to the end. However if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, perhaps his token generation will give you the board support to build a Mardu combo deck. However, I would strongly recommend Vampires to be at it’s core. That is what he cares about most.


Licia, Sanguine Tribune

It’s pretty straight forward that life gain will be the focus of a Licia deck. At least, more than just Vampires. She can come down as early as turn 3, with enough support, and immediately starts posing a threat. Paying 5 life into an attack for 7 with lifelink is powerful. And the fact that she has lifelink makes up for the life paid, and the limitations of the ability to give her counters. You can’t do it constantly, but creating a life divide with that life gain makes the difference. In other words, creating a life total divide of 47 and 33 is far better than just 40 and 33. The fact she also has first strike means that she’ll likely never come up against a creature she can’t deal with.

The only concern is whether paying for 5 life is worth it. For example, although you can’t attack the turn she comes into play, you can activate it. Meaning she’ll be able to swing for 10 the turn she can attack. However that cost may be too great, because you may pay the 5 life, only to see her die to removal. So there is a great deal of risk and reward. If you can swing, it’ll pay off. But if you can’t it may be worth holding off a turn.

That said, if you can cast her for 3, it means you’ve already gained at least 5 life this turn. Meaning that cost will result in, effectively, no loss to you

The decks that will want her are ones already heavy in lifegain that can afford 5 life without hassle. Failing that, a Mardu Voltron deck may just have a new powerful Commander to ride him to victory. The lifegain she provides, plus first strike, will make her very hard to deal with in combat. And a handful of protection spells will mean she’ll never die. 


Mathas, Fiend Seeker

Perhaps the most unique Commander to come out of the entire product line, Mathas will consistently change the way a game is played. And it’s not complicated either. All it does it add one small mechanic, a Bounty Counter with an ability. At the beginning of your end step, Marthas will ‘brand’ an opponent’s creature with a bounty counter. With it, it’ll give the creature the ability “when this creature dies, each opponent draws a card and gains 2 life.”. This ability even after Mathas dies. As a result, the power to put a bounty on a creature’s head will make any political EDH player salivate. Suddenly, you control who lives and who dies. 

There are two things that really make this ability interesting. The first is that you are forced to drop a bounty counter at the end of each of your turns. So, in a sense, you are offered a sort of plausible deniability. You gotta do it, and it can’t be your creature, so it’s more reasonable to just drop a counter on a creature than if it was a choice. The other is that the death effect that comes with the bounty counter affects everyone by the controller of the creature. As a result, no one but the one targeted player will feel the victim. Moreover, because of the nature of this effect, it’s likely you won’t be the one killing the creature. Just making it a nice target. Realistically, you do nothing. But will always reap a reward. This brings back to the plausible deniability as you can continue to mess with the game all you want, without being the one actually changing the game.

Mardu boasts the widest range, and the most powerful range, or targeted removal in Magic. Mathas is tailored to that, and so a spot removal heavy deck will go a long way to help mess with the game. Because it is through that removal, that you can take control of the politics. You can deem which creatures live and die, and when. 

Marthas is the kind of commander that will offer you no clear method of winning. Instead, it’ll offer you a way to mess with your opponent’s and take control of the game. Whether you win will be determined by how you approach him. But while you are in the game it will be a very strange and unusual one. Which is exactly the thing a lot of people want. 


The Commander 2017 deck, Vampiric Bloodthirst offered more than just a series of Mardu coloured Vampires. It offers 3 unique Mardu Vampires that vary wildly in how their decks will function. From a complete Vampire Tribal Commander, to a political powehouse, Commander 2017 is continuing to provide unique Commanders we wouldn’t see anywhere else. Each leading a deck I would personally love to build one day.

—Max, @commandtower-solring-go

FAQ

Fate Fatale

A Fate Grand Order Tarot Deck

 Fate Fatale is a collaborative tarot deck with a general theme of “Deadly Beauty”.  Any medium or style is welcome to apply and we are really looking for unique interpretations of Fate characters and their designs.  Each artist will be assigned one character / card combination.  Knowledge of Tarot is not required, but is appreciated.


APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

 For applications, we will require your basic information and a portfolio.  Your portfolio must include (a) artwork of people and (b) finished pieces (not just sketch blogs).  So please keep this in mind when applying.  We will not be expecting your portfolio to be just Fate characters or for you to be an expert on Tarot.  But some knowledge of both will be appreciated for those applying.  The best way for us to look at your portfolio would be as a folder of images on deviantart or google drive or pinterest or wherever it’s easiest for you to coalesce your best group of illustrations into one easily flipped through folder.  WE AREN’T ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS YET. LOOK FOR THEM IN JANUARY. 


WHAT CHARACTER GOES ON WHAT CARD?

 I will be taking character/ card requests from artists at the time of application. The focus of this deck will be Servant characters, preferably one per card.   I will try my best to match preferred characters/cards to artists who have requested them.


 WHAT WILL BE ON THE CARDS

 Each card will include the Tarot card name, number, and the character name. The artist name and copyright will also appear in the corner of each individual card.  


 CAN I DRAW SABER??? WILL EVERY CARD BE SABER???

 We aim to have a variety of characters.  There are enough characters in FGO that we don’t want too many repeats.  That said, different versions of characters (i.e. Alters, Lilies, etc.) can each have their own card. I will be asking for your preference of Major Arcana characters and Minor Arcana characters at during the application.  Major Arcana cards will be reserved for 4* and 5* characters only.


PROJECT SPECS

  • 78 cards including both Major and Minor Arcana
  • If there aren’t enough applicants, we will do the 22 Majors only
  • Standard tarot size (2.75 x 4.75 or 700mm x 1200 mm)
  • Full color
  • Silver Foil Back
  • Matching Tuck Box


Project Deadlines

 These are still TBA, but for your reference:

  •  January 13:  Applications open
  • January 31 11:59pm:  Applications Close
  • February 7: Artists Notified
  • March 12:  First Check In
  • April 9: Final Art Due

     Preorders will follow about two week after art is due and last for one month. I’m still waiting on confirmation from the printer, but I hope to have a sample deck printed before preorders start.  Once preorders are complete and the decks have arrived to me, artists will be paid.


    Compensation Information

    •  This is a for-profit project.  All profits made from the preorder, minus printing and shipping, will be divided among the artists involved.  Artists will earn a percentage for each card that is completed.
    •  If there are drop outs, I may offer interested artists to do an extra card.  Each artist will be paid accordingly.
    •  Both organizers, @storyofthedoor and @cinnasketches will receive an 8% cut out of the total profits as compensation for organizing, handling orders, and shipping out decks. 
    • All artists will receive a digital copy of the deck. Artists may get free decks if there are enough profits.
    •  Artists will be able to order decks at production cost before the general preorder.  You can sell these decks at cons or shows at your discretion.  
    •  If an artist participates in creating bonus merch, they will receive some extras as compensation.
    • All participating artists are free to make and sell prints of their finished pieces and any bonus merchandise.  The copyright of the final image will belong solely to the artist.



    For questions, please leave a note in the ask box.  Thanks!

    Originally posted by seieiryu

    anonymous asked:

    so i just bought a tarot deck, but i know i read somewhere that you should try to connect with your deck (by sleeping with it and other stuff). what are some ways one could connect with a new deck?

    Hello! Congrats on your new tarot deck! It’s always an awesome feeling. My gods you’re making me want to buy a new deck myself… xD

    Firstly, I suggest cleansing it just to make sure any external energies are out of it, like those of people who packaged it or distributed it. You can do this by leaving it out in moonlight, smoke cleansing it, leaving it in a ring of salt with a white candle lit by it… You can use your own energies to expel and push out any other energies that may be in it, and that is a great way to imbue more of your own personal energies into the cards too, which can also be a good way to bond with it!

    Shuffle it. Honestly. Just, like, watch a movie or something and shuffle it the whole time you do so. Just having it in your hands and doing something with it will help get your energies into the cards and solidify a bond.

    If you can, carrying it with you and keeping it as close to you as possible is good as well. The close proximity can help strengthen the energetic and emotional connections you make with it. I guess this is where the “sleep with it” thing comes in to play too, though I don’t recall hearing that particular piece of advice myself.

    Meditating with the deck in your hands can prove beneficial as well, if you are apt at doing so. Hold onto the deck, relax yourself, focus on the deck, and see what you get from it - any images, ideas, “intrusive thoughts” that don’t feel your own, etc.

    Doing practice readings with it are a great way to connect to it too. You can do these for yourself - I did a lot of practice readings online for Tumblr people, and let them know I was new and to take what I read with a grain of salt.

    Something you can do is try this [Deck Interview Spread] - this can help determine what kind of deck that you have, what it can help you with, what you can learn from working with it, etc. Alternatively, there is this [Getting to Know You Spread]. This can help you figure out how well you will work together, as well, if you’re compatible. Also, just taking the time to get to know it will show that you actually care about the deck itself, and why would it not appreciate that?

    Drawing a card a day to see if your deck will have any advice or insight about your own state and how your day may be like is a good option. It will get you used to reading on a regular basis, too, and make you more comfortable doing so.

    Along the same line as drawing a card a day is keeping a tarot journal. I see this recommended a lot. Every day, draw a card, and study it. Spend some time looking at it, meditating over it, feeling its energies, etc., and write down what you get. How does the card make you feel? What do you see when you look at the card, and does this draw any questions? Write down the meanings of the card, and explain how they relate to the imagery of the card, and if you completely agree with them or not.

    Something to try would be a sigil like “my bonds with my tarot cards are strong” and charge it with your own energies and put the sigil with your tarot deck, in its box, or wherever else you may keep it.

    You can’t get to know a new person without some conversation, so, if you don’t feel too weird doing so, try talking to it as you do readings. You can do this mentally, it doesn’t have to be vocally, but I do all my talking to my decks out loud. I talk to my decks all the time - I even kiss Gansey hello and good-bye - and I feel so close with my decks. I thank them after every single reading, and ask the people I read for to do so as well, to show the decks I care about them as more than just objects - they’re my friends and partners. I know that isn’t for everyone though. Christ my sister thought I was crazy for doing it. xD

    Honestly, the best way I bonded with my decks was not treating them like just an object, not just a deck of cards, but like a being, a friend, something that had its own personality.

    I hope that helps you, and good luck with your new deck! :D

    Dark Paladin
    ————————————————
    “Dark Magician” + “Buster Blader”
    Must be Fusion Summoned. When a Spell Card is activated (Quick Effect): You can discard 1 card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it. This card must be face-up on the field to activate and to resolve this effect. Gains 500 ATK for each Dragon monster on the field and in the GY.

    ————————————————
    Can Be Found In: Dark Revelation Volume 1 (DR1-EN160), Duelist Pack: Yugi (DPYG-EN016), Legendary Collection 3: Yugi’s World Mega Pack, Yugi’s Legendary Decks (YGLD-ENC41), Millenium Pack (MIL1-EN041), Structure Deck: Yugi Muto (SDMY-EN043), Legendary Dragon Decks (LEDD-ENA34), Magician’s Force (MFC-105), Duel Master’s Guide (DMG-001), Duel Terminal 3 (DT03-EN034)

    Even if a monster belongs to a specific theme or archetype, nothing really stops us for trying mixing them up with all sorts of Decks. A monster’s stats or effects might be fully functional on the build was designed for by default, but by experimenting with other options it can bring interesting or even more efficient results arround them. Since the card game has many liberties compared to others, either support monsters or leading cards can offers lots of possibilities if we try to think outside the box.

    “Dark Paladin” is a quite famous Fusion Monster due being the combination of two well known classic monsters, “Buster Blader” and “Dark Magician”. Restricted to only being brought by Fusion Summon, “Dark Paladin” tries to combine two abilities based arround his materials to becoming a pressuring threat. During any turn, “Dark Paladin” allows us to discard a card to negate and destroy the activation of a Spell Card. Taking the effect of “Buster Blader” and improving it, “Dark Paladin” ATK will increase by 500 for each Dragon in the entire field as well every Graveyard. While these abilities have the potential to reach their peak under proper management, the true potential arround “Dark Paladin” comes by the fact that its two materials are some of the most supported monsters in the game and therefore providing us all sorts of shortcuts and mechanics to achieve incredible results arround this monster.

    With “Dark Magician” as one of the most supported Normal Monsters and “Buster Blader” having his very own archetype, the arrival of “Dark Paladin” is much easier compared to its debut many years ago. With cards like “Emblem of Dragon Destroyer” and “Magician’s Navigation” looking for their respective targets and more open options like “Fusion Conscription”, soon enough we will have both monsters ready at hand to be combined by a simple “Polymerization” or alternatively “Destruction Swordsman Fusion” which can be retrieved from the Graveyard. Obviously we can take some shortcuts when gathering these monsters, like “King of the Swamp” being a replacement or “Elemental HERO Prisma” taking their name. The latter can also make the summon more cheaper if we focus our build arround “Dark Magician”, as thanks to “The Eye of Timaeus” we only need “Prisma” or the original monster on the field to bring out “Dark Paladin”. “Buster Blader” on the other hand can rely on “Destruction Sword Memories” during late game, a Trap Card that let us use materials from the Graveyard to summon “Dark Paladin” when needed.

    The efficiency of “Dark Paladin” will completely vary depending of how we focus our whole Deck and both materials. “Dark Magician” gets the cheaper summons thanks to “The Eye of Timaeus” and therefore allow us to keep a solid hand to negate Spell Cards with, and combined with cards like “Royal Decree” further shutting down the opponent’s options and “Ojamagic” refueling our hand we can create powerful lockdowns. On the other hand “Buster Blader” has the support of Destruction Swords, small Dragons that while assisting the archetype will also fuel “Dark Paladin” stats in the process. Both monsters also provide a key tool to finish off the opponent with, with either “Diffusion Wave-Motion” targetting a Spellcaster to allow him to attack all enemies or “Destruction Sword Flash” letting us banish all opponent monsters. Don’t forget that “Dark Paladin” will gain ATK when confronting a Deck involving Dragons, but if we play arround them and on the least discard them to negate Spell Cards soon enough we will assure a powerful creature able to finish the opponent on his own.

    Although rarely reached a competitive status on all these years, “Dark Paladin” is a fan favorite with all sorts of resources arround him to become a threat to confront against. With two of the most supported monsters in the game as materials, “Dark Paladin” obtains a variety of options ranging from his Fusion Summon to the full efficiency of his two effects. Negating Spell Cards might require proper hand management and the ATK boost will need a Deck with Dragons without depending on the opponent’s, but with the cheap summons of “Dark Magician” and/or the sinergy arround the cards of “Buster Blader” is quite simple to manage his full potential under many circumstances. Overall “Dark Paladin” requires a Deck of his own, but with the flexibility his two materials will offer is quite easy to not only summon him but also cover any of his weaknesses while improving his strengths.

    Personal Rating: A

    + Allows us to discard a card to negate the activation of a Spell Card and destroy it
    + Gains ATK for each Dragon on the field and every Graveyard
    + Greatly supported due his two materials and the options arround both effects

    - Can only be brought by Fusion Summon
    - Requires proper hand management to use his negation effect
    - Needs a Deck of his own for a peak performance

    Pauper Deck Tech: Slivers

    [you can see every deck tech here]

    Hello & welcome to this weekly deck tech! This month I decided to do something a bit different. Seeing as the new standard set doesn’t come out until the end of the month and that I haven’t done a Pauper deck tech in a very long time, I thought I’d turn this month into Pauper Month. So the next 4 deck techs (including this one) will be Pauper ones. This format is amazing for people who want to play on a budget, and if there is a local meta of pauper in your area I would really recommend joining them. The format is really fun and different, as well as being very very cheap. Sadly there isn’t pauper players everywhere so it can be a bit hard to find people to play with. In any case, let’s get started on this deck tech with one of the most infamous tribes of mtg! Slivers don’t need much introduction; they all have the same template of giving an ability to every Slivers. The decks tend to play mostly creatures with very few other cards since they already offer utility through those shared abilities. In the pauper versions, you lose some of the great ones, but you still have enough to make a very solid and aggressive deck. Let’s go over the ones you want to play and see why they’re so good.

    Big Booty Slivers

    Costing only 1cmc and turning all your little slivers into 1/2s (yeah most slivers are 1/1 by default) is pretty good in a format filled with small creatures. You can now block effectively as well as offering bad blocks for your opponent. If you can get a few of those down your slivers will get a crazy amount of toughness and will be hard to deal with.

    Buff Slivers

    This little guy is the main focus of your deck, you want to make your slivers huge. Like I previously said, most creatures in the format are small, so if you can get a few pumping effects like this down, there is not a lot of decks that can deal with this.

    More Buff Slivers

    Yeah, this is the big strategy of the deck, having as many lord effects as possible. Now you have 8 of them that you can play, making sure you will always be able to pump up your team! These cards have massive board impact.

    Even More Buff Slivers

    Now bringing the count up to 12 lord effects, you are ASSURED to have a few on the battlefield and make your team HUGE. Seriously, if you’ve ever played against a pauper sliver deck you’d understand how problematic these cards are. It’s near impossible to deal with a board that has a few of these, especially since the format has near to no mass removal spells, especially vs big creatures.

    Vigilance Slivers

    Not much to say here; giving vigilance to your team is really impactful and will make sure you can be as aggressive as possible while still being able to protect yourself. Very few are the decks that can deal will an army of attackers & blockers that grow larger & larger each turn.

    Flanking Slivers

    This card is ridiculous. Not only does it almost always make combat favourable for you, it straight up kills most potential blockers. Like I said, the format is filled with small creatures and this makes sure no 1/1 can ever block your slivers. If you can get 2 of them on the field then no 2/2 can block your stuff either…it’s just crazy!

    Poisonous Slivers

    Before infect, we had this. Even if your sliver is a 5/5 it still applies only 1 poison counter, to which you might think is terrible but you’ be wrong. You see, the goal of the deck is to have a BUNCH of slivers. Let’s say you have 6 of them on the board, well now they can apply 6 poison counters/turn, so that’s good, you got them on a 2-turn clock! I know, normal damage might be faster, but the good part here is that it stacks. If you have 2 of those on the field, ALL your slivers will apply 2 poison each. Yes, it’s stupid like that. Now, until they make an errata saying that instances don’t stack, this card is just insanely good in here, especially in a format where there’s quite a few lifegain decks.

    Stirring the Hive

    Topping up your curve with this neat little card. Granted, it doesn’t add any other effects to your slivers, but it offers 2 bodies in 1 card. I’m not personally a big fan of this card, but every sliver deck I’ve seen plays it so I had to mention the card. I’ll go over some other options at the end of the article.

    Communication is Key

    The deck has one major flaw: it runs out of gas. You will empty your hand very quickly since your cards are cheap and your goal is to swarm your opponent. But what then? If your opponent isn’t dead for some reason then you have to play in top-dec mode…this is why this card is great, it let’s your filter your draws and make sure you have something to play.

    Staple Removal

    Funny enough, this card is one of the staple removal spell from the format. Only costing 2cmc and exiling any creature is great! Depending on your meta you might not even need this though as the deck out-pressures most others in the format. It’s really good vs Tron or other Big Creature decks though so it’s good to have on hand.

    Other Slivers

    There are a few other options that I’ve seen being played here & there. I’m a fan of Gemhide Sliver instead of the Hive Stirrings, but that’s just me. There’s also Talon Sliver that gives your guys First Strike, Quick Sliver that gives them Flash & Spinneret Sliver that gives them Reach. So yeah, those are some nice options.

    Wrap-Up

    That’s it for this week! I hope you guys enjoyed this deck tech as much as I did. I’m not a pauper expert, so I might of missed a few things, if I did let me know! I’ll see you guys next week for another pauper deck tech.

    Commander 2017 - A Guide - Grixis Wizards

    Wizard’s of the Coast’s final Commander product has finally been dropped. Under the name Commander 2017, we find things we’ve never seen before. A focus on Tribes, rather than colour combinations. Each with a unique look at tribes we all know and love. And only 4 decks, rather than the typical cycle of 5. With these changes come new places to look. New cards to enjoy. New mechanics designed for Commander to explore. And new cards that could never have seen standard play. 

    It goes without saying that these decks are powerful. They always have been. But CMD17 takes the cake, I believe, for the most powerful cards printed in the pre-con decks. Or, at the very least, with the strong focus on tribal synergies, the decks feel more powerful and coherent than anything we’ve seen before. Are they perfect? No. Many have messy, and needlessly complicate mana bases. Or have lots of ways to deal with weak threats (such as the decks heavy focus on artifact/enchantment spot removal). But these things take little more than a few tweaks to resolve. In this article, I want to break down each deck, and hopefully offer some insight into ways they can be improved, and paths one may head down with them. This isn’t every way you can go with the decks. But it’s a start. 


    Inalla, Archmage Ritualist

    Inalla is the headlining Commander for our first tribe of the season, Wizards. Ready, with the new mechanic Eminence she proves useful no matter where she is. This mechanic alone, calling back to Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, changes the rules of the game, to set you above your opponent. The ability may seem small, but offering a free body is wonderful. Just be careful, as about than 1/3 of the creatures in this deck are legendary creatures. Ultimately making this ability useless with them. Following this, she has one another ability, that make practical use of Wizards as a tribe. Tap 5 Wizards: Deal 7 damage. Well, technically, it’s loss of life, but you get the point. Suddenly Inalla becomes an orbital laser. Your opponent’s will thank their lucky stars you don’t have access to the Green curse.

    This deck will want to push for a heavy focus on creature based combos. Ways to get lots out quickly, and also ways to abuse the power of Eminence. Not only does the copy make for powerful magic, but the fact that the token haste makes it a lossless attacker. Suddenly Etherium-Horn Sorcerer becomes extra powerful and Magus of the Mind is pushed beyond what storm could do alone. Maybe even throw in a Mirror Gallery for maximum value, as you don’t need to juggle Inalla and the Gallery on the field together.


    Along for the ride too are three new commanders. Kess, Dissident Mage, Mairsil, the Pretender, Taigam, Sidisi’s Hand.

    Kess, Dissident Mage

    Kess puts forward an obvious advantage. To always have extra cards in your hand, by way of instants and sorceries in your graveyard. Only during your turn, but being able to recast anything is a powerful advantage. Especially on such a cheap creature, that can hold it’s own in combat. Most Legendary Creatures would call for you to deal combat damage before such an ability would be online. But, without that restriction, Kess will always do work for you.

    But what kind of work, is a question that may come to mind. To some, this will be a very obvious pick for a Storm deck. Recasting a spell for free is a great and powerful method of getting your storm count up. Or even reusing a storm card that failed to quite go off entirely. Or pumping your mana pool reserves. However, some may be stifled by the limit of one card per turn, and being limited to instants and sorceries. Which is fair. When cards such an Yawgmoth’s Will and Magus of the Will exist, by comparison more ‘fixed’ cards can seem underwhelming.

    But I stand by the use of Storm as a core strategy. What Kess offers is access to, objectively, the three strongest colours for storm. With tech from Red/Blue Storm in Modern, and Blue/Black Storm in Legacy. All of this, with a Grixis commander that actually aims to directly contribute to Storm. You see, Grixis has been notorious for having no (that’s right, no) storm support among it’s Legendary Creatures. At best, you have Jeleva who isn’t consistent enough, or Nekusar who cares more about just drawing cards than playing spells. So, although Kess herself isn’t the most busted Storm general, she offers accessibility to it in colours it wouldn’t otherwise have.


    Mairsil, the Pretender

    Mairsil offers untold potential. Making him, one of the most interesting Commanders I’ve ever seen. With the ability to steal activated abilities, and keep them after he dies, anything can happen. To a degree, this may hold Mairsil back. Although his potential is high, the expectation for fast, and consistent games with him are small. Magic’s history is enormous, and the number of activated abilities is even greater. The best abilities can be found on creatures held back a little too much. And so, the pickings become creatures that may not be able to hold their own. That much freedom can be intimidating. And can mean that you deck is filled with mediocre cards, because the hope of caging one of them means your deck can go off. 

    As such, heading down the path of consistent, and powerful activated abilities is vital. Especially ones that allow you to circumvent drawbacks that aren’t part of the activated ability. For example, caging Phyrexian Devourer circumvents it’s ‘bury’ clause, allowing for massive growth. Burnished Hart gives you a way to kill Mairsil, as well as ramp yourself into being able to cast him again. The number of things you can do is staggering. Because of this, though, Mairsil will always have a target on his back.

    I guess to do fun things, you need to take risks. 


    Taigam, Sidisi’s Hand

    Taigam feels the most ‘99′ of all the new Legendary Creatures in the Wizard’s deck. Offering ways to modify the game, and stabilise the board, rather than aim towards a win condition. As if someone took Necropolis Fiend’s ability, and Sultai Ascendancy, and stapled them together. And there is nothing wrong with that. They are powerful abilities. But ultimately they serve more to add to a pre-existing deck than define their own.

    However, if, despite that, you still want to create a deck lead by Taigam, Sidisi’s hand, Hard Control, into reanimate, seems the way to go. Every turn, being able to look 3 cards deep, ensure you’ll never draw your big boys. And increase your chances of drawing murders, wraths, or counter magic. Keeping the revealed cards hidden is a perfect touch. And being able to kill things is wonderful. Opening the board to your powerful finisher. A great way to win a game. Stand by though, as the more players in a game, the harder this will be!


    I hope this can help people decide on which deck to choose. Wizards are powerful, and present great synergies. And even, for the Legendary Creatures alone, the deck may be worth buying as a jumping off point. As the only thing better than a powerful Commander deck you can buy cheap, is one that can be retooled when found boring. 

    —Max, @commandtower-solring-go

    Cryptic Commander #7: The Talrand Principle

    The very first Cryptic Commander talked about Insidious Will; and, at the time, I mentioned that I was interested in doing a piece focused entirely on using counterspells in Commander. Well, the time has come. Let’s talk about Counterspells.

    Counterspells can be a bit of a sore subject in Commander. There are a good number of people who think they’re boring, that they’re against the spirit of the format (a bit of a non-argument in my opinion since Commander isn’t just one thing), or, the age old argument, they’re just plain not fun to play against. I could get into the merits of these individual arguments, but I feel like that wouldn’t get to the heart of the issue people seem to have with counterspells: Counterspells keep people from doing what they want to do. It’s true, that’s how they’re designed. It’s a part of the game, and I think that’s fine in moderation. Having answers available in a color that doesn’t have certain removal options (ie. artifacts, enchantments…basically anything that isn’t a creature) is valuable for the game…but there is a bit of a problem. What happens when people take things too far?

    A good number of you have probably played against the deck I’m about to describe. The commander is Talrand, Sky Summoner. Your opponent resolves their general and then passes the turn with mana up for the rest of the game. You attempt to cast a spell on your turn and they counter it, making a drake. They untap, draw, attack for two air, and pass the turn with all of their mana untapped. Rinse and repeat until you can finally resolve something to help you win the game or you die to a swarm of flying drakes. Alternate scenario in which you’re playing with multiple people. The Talrand player sits back and strategically counters the things that will disrupt their game plan of building up a flying army and picking players to death. You try to bide your time and resolve something to turn the tides in your favor, only to be surprised by a Pact of Negation or Force of Will that puts them over the edge and firmly in control of the game. This won’t always happen, but even when the Talrand player doesn’t end up winning, the structure of their deck is capable of shaping the flow of the game. People tend to shy away from casting their spells if they think it’ll just be countered, and if your deck contains a lot of Counterspells, then that fear is usually pretty legitimate. So, how do we play counterspells without ruining other people’s fun?

    I don’t think the answer is to just never play counterspells and let people do whatever they want. A healthy amount of fear is good for keeping other players off your back long enough to put your game plan together. Similarly, the other players at the table may look to you as the Blue player to keep someone who has gotten too far ahead from dominating the table. Counterspells have their uses and it is worth including some number of them if you are playing Blue. But, normal old counterspells run the risk of being straight up boring, not to mention they can end up stuck in your hand as another player goes off on the board. So, what types of counterspells do we include. When I wrote the piece on Insidious Will, @sarpadianempiresvol-viii pointed out that flexibility is key. Cards like Cryptic Command, Insidious Will, Izzet Charm, and Ojutai’s Command (by no means an exhaustive list but a good enough start) are usually not dead in your hand because they do more than just counter a spell. Building a deck with counters like these allows you to take their other modes into account and use them for more than just protecting a combo or ensuring your victory. They give you options, and that is one of my favorite things to have in Commander. Yes, they do counter spells, but they are capable of doing so much more than that. Ojutai’s Command gives you the option of focusing your build on smaller value creatures while still giving you an Essence Scatter should you need to counter that pesky Craterhoof Behemoth. Izzet Charm can always be a double loot if the other modes aren’t useful. Cryptic Command kind of speaks for itself, really. You get the idea. There are Counterspells that give you options outside of countering spells.

    Like a lot of issues in Commander, the problem with Counterspells often rests squarely on the shoulders of the players who abuse them. On average, I include about 3-5 counterspells in my Blue decks. That varies based on the focus of the deck. For instance, I think Gisa  and Geralf only has 2 (Insidious Will and Soul Manipulation) while Melek, Izzet Paragon has 7 (Most of them being more conventional Counterspells, but Melek kind of needs them to function). Sometimes the counters fit the theme of the deck, like Mystic Snake and Draining Whelk in Roon of the Hidden Realms. And, it is perfectly fine to play no counterspells whatsoever. I’m not going to make you put counterspells in your Blue deck, but hopefully introducing some more interesting options will get you to rethink your stance a bit. That’s all I ask.

    And there we have it. A very abridged conversation on playing Counterspells in Commander. I’m pretty pro-Counterspell in moderation, so I can appreciate that mileage may vary for the rest of you. So, where do you fall on the ongoing Counterspell debate? Are they an abomination that has no place in Commander? Are they an essential part of a healthy metagame? Are they fine in moderation? Talk about it, and let me know!

    Robert Burrows

    Request: Can I have a Shay x reader where the reader is also an artist? And maybe she doesn’t have a sketchbook and just draws on whatever parchment she can find,so Shay feels like this is his chance to admit his feelings for her?

    Your name: submit What is this?

    Y/N huffed in annoyance, unable to focus on the deck of the Morrigan, listening to the crew around her sing and laugh while she started making her way to the captain’s cabin. She knocked on the door quickly then opened it, stepping inside of the cluttered almost office area.

    Shay looked up after hearing the door open then close, smiling at the girl. “Is my crew driving you mad?” “You know they are, Captain Cormac.” Y/N replied, Shay laughing and motioning for her to come to him. "Tell me about it.” “I’m not telling you anything, you’re the one who scrapped this crew together.” Y/N replied, walking to Shay’s desk, running her hands over the old map that lay on top of it- covering the surface completely. Shay smiled softly and watched the girl, nodding. "Aye. They’re a fine crew, though.” He then said, keeping his eyes on the girl in front of him, her eyes drifting to the map underneath her hands.

    “Do you still need this map?” Y/N sheepishly asked, looking at Shay with an old map in her hand. The man only smiled at her, shaking his head. “No. We were finished with it long ago- I don’t know why I kept it. You can use it.” Shay then replied, standing up from the chair at the desk in his captain’s quarters, motioning for Y/N to take his place.

    A small ceremony for the two, in a way.

    “You know… Normally, I wouldn’t give up my chair so willingly, but… There’s something different about you. It may be because I get to see your pretty face change so fast- like when you mess up a line and your eyebrows furrow together before you huff out a sigh of frustration.” Shay started, grabbing Y/N’s attention as the girl smiled, looking up at him. “You notice all those things, Shay?” She then asked, keeping her smile as her eyes met his. Shay smiled, nodding. "I do, lass. They’re just a few of my favorite things I notice about you when you’re working on a picture. The others are when you get excited about finishing one, then when you realize your hands are covered in ink and you’re just… Frustrated. And now that I have your attention… I think I’ve fallen for you.” Shay then said, watching Y/N for a reaction.

    Y/N’s eyes widened in surprise, then she smiled, Shay’s face relaxing.

    “Took you long enough to say something, Captain.”

    This spread I created for my channeled runic deck, the Kalemun, a series of 72 symbols I received over the past decade in my mystical pursuits, but the spread can easily be used with a Tarot or Lénormand deck… my guides asked me to share. :3

    How It Works— You start by cleansing the space in front of you.. you smile at your recipient, or to yourself, and focus on the cosmos… as you will be invoking the presence of ancient, millions of years old entities and wise beings. Focus on benign intention, removing any stress or blockage of the day– deep breaths.

    Then, you will shuffle the deck, letting your recipient, or yourself, hold the deck in attentive meditation for a brief moment– they will be praying to the deck for peace, guidance, predictions, information, answers, whatever. Then, you will fan the deck in your hand or on the table, and they will pick one card. This will represent their higher mind, what they’re all about– it’s the 1st card. Then, you will shuffle, focus, and then place the deck on the table, and cut the deck, revealing the card on the bottom of the now halved deck in your hand, that representing their more egotistical nature and darker drives.

    These are the first two cards, then you will shuffle again, focus, and cut, arranging the cards in order, reading as the spread intends, minding extrapolations, elementals, and so on. ♥

    1. Higher Self: The Bright Soul Mind.
    2. Sub-Psyche: The Darker Ego Mind.
    3. Fire: The Psyche’s Disposition.
    4. Water: The Method of Response.
    5. Earth: The Responded Action(s).
    6. Air: The Direct Result(s) of the Action(s) Taken By Whom.
    7. Spirit: The Long-term Result(s) of the Action(s) Taken By Whom.
    8. The Confirmation: What Lies Ahead as an Obstacle to Whom.
    9. The Affirmation: What Keeps the Sojourner Ever Focused.
    10. The Big Picture: Who or What will Benefit the Decision.

    Other spreads.

    Kill Bill Explains the Five Deck Archetypes of Magic

    Are you a relatively new deck builder? Do you feel like when you step into an FNM that your deck ideas are just, well, not working out like they should? Do you feel like the decks of other players are just way beyond yours?

    It’s probably because your deck is lacking focus and identity. Every deck, no matter what format it is in, can basically be boiled down to one of five major archetypes. Identifying what you want your deck to do, and what cards you need to do it is an important part of becoming a better deck builder. Let’s look at the breakdown, shall we?

    AGGRO

    Aggro wins by sending wave after wave of threats at the opponent immediately into the game. The individual threats are small, but together they create a pressure that soon exhausts not only the opponent, but the opponent’s ability to answer your threats, as well.

    In order for this approach to work, your threats need to be cheap but of good quality: Goblin Guide; Wild Nacatl; Squadron Hawk. Even still, there will be times an opponent will have more answers than you have bodies. That’s when you bring out the big guns.

    But not too big! You still want to be fast! The point is to keep moving, keep pushing! It’s called aggro for a reason! BE AGGRESSIVE!

    TEMPO

    Tempo is a bit like aggro in that it also seeks to apply continual, unrelenting pressure. However, where aggro does this through sheer numbers, tempo uses one or two potent but efficient threats, and then keeps them alive and untouched through a combination of deflection, evasion, and disruption.

    Tempo threats are an elite bunch: Geist of Saint Traft, Delver of Secrets, Truename Nemesis. The spells utiltized by tempo decks primarily exist to keep their threats stable, rather than halt the opponent’s charges. But be careful! If you don’t play tight and lose footing, well…

    And that’s bad, because you lack the force to overwhelm if you aren’t one step ahead.

    MIDRANGE

    Rather than spending their early game attacking, midrange decks focus early turns on accruing additional resources or destabilizing the board plans of their opponents. Doing so ensures that they either accelerate into their mid-game options early or reach them when the opponent has yet to do so— hence the name “midrange”.

    This is all just a fancy way of saying one thing: when the actual fight begins, you will be bigger, you will be stronger, you will be tougher.

    If you choose, you can rip your opponent’s arm off, and they’ll be more or less powerless to stop you. Midrange enjoys a wide range of threats, like Thundermaw Hellkite, Spiritmonger, and Thrun, the Last Troll. Midrange affords such luxuries either by employing mana acceleration or by strafing the early board with potent removal. However, it has to be careful: dirty tricks and overwhelming early pressure both can make their efforts moot.

    COMBO

    Combo decks do not play by the rules. They forsake getting their hands dirty in lieu of killing the opponent in one swift (often complex) blow. Even in small formats like Standard, there are thousands of possible card interactions, and combo players look to exploit the most degenerate.

    Combo decks require (at least) a bit of system mastery, and a LOT of ways to ensure consistent execution. Your entire deck is a threat; your success will often come down to the pieces that allow you to dig up the right pieces, like tutors and card draw, and cards that prevent your opponent from stopping you. And be prepared to explain, in detail, how your deck works— and to feel like a rock star when everything goes right.

    But don’t be like Elle and lose sight (badumching) of your priorities, and be prepared for things to backfire! A B plan is your best friend, so sideboard accordingly!

    CONTROL

    Control decks are the paragon of defense and forethought. It may look like not much is happening in a game against control, but these games are among the most intense and interactive. Control entirely forgoes early and midgame aggression, and seeks to answer each threat until the opponent has no more.

    This is made possible by gaining lots of card advantage— a technical term that basically means you are getting the most mileage out of each card in your deck— while simultaneously halting the opponent in his rude endeavor to kill you. Control all-stars are rarely creatures, but instead are efficient utility pieces like Wrath of God, Cryptic Command, and Vindicate. Eventually, control wins by dropping an inevitable threat that the opponent just cannot answer, like Baneslayer Angel, a planeswalker, or just Celestial Colonnade.

    Control players should be advised, though:

    Their methods aren’t particularly beloved. Also, their matches can go to the clock a lot, so it is worth their while to work at sharpening their critical thinking so they don’t wind up with a lot of useless draws on their record.

    And there it is! Identifying what you want your deck to do, and how you should do it is a vital part of deckbuilding. Control doesn’t want or need small, fast creatures, and aggro doesn’t want 6 mana angels and dragons! Each archetype is huge, and each color and combination of colors has countless ways to support all five; so experiment and see what works! Just remember to stay focused, and kick lots and lots of ass!

    1dream-ech0  asked:

    Yay! Aca-awesome to know! Ok AU Prompt of badass Chloe and preppy smart (maybe even a cheerleader?) Beca. They've known of each other but never crossed paths before. Until one day, a guy was harassing Beca and Chloe steps in and decks him in the face. And then from then on, Chloe is like Beca's guardian angel...who will punch anyone in the face who messes with Beca. (Kinda like that insta pic of Brittany and Anna during their Back To School party). And again, your writings--- looooove!! :)

    She’s seen her before. Red hair hidden under hoods and smoking on the bike-rack outside of school, she had a way of slipping into the background of Beca’s everyday. Like when you lose something even though you feel like you’ve seen it in the same spot a hundred times before losing it. She was red and black and hints of grey, and it was just enough for Beca to know that, in some capacity, she’d seen her everyday. 

    But now, with blood on her knuckles, she is red and black in an entirely new way, and Beca thinks that she’s never really seen her before at all. 

    Keep reading

    The Grand Opening of Word of Commander

    Hello, I am a long time magic player who  started off in Urza’s Saga and used to play competitive Legacy. Since the format had died down I have found myself playing Commander as my go to format. All the years of playing in Legacy have shown me a variety of interesting interactions that I now employ in my EDH decks. In this blog I hope to explore the commander format and help others with deck construction. While the main focus of this blog is Commander feel free to ask questions about other formats as well. I have played everything from Vintage and Freeform to Momir Basic and Prismatic Staircase.

    With that I leave off with the first peice of wisdom I would like to share;

    The key to building a great deck is to find focus and synnergy. If the deck itself does not know what it wants to do then how is a player expected to pilot it? Don’t think this means decks are meant to be narrow. One of the best forms of synnergy is cards that cover each other’s weaknesses. 

    You need to find the goal of your deck, whether it be control the board, assemble some sort of combo, generate overwhelming card advantage, or simply reduce your opponents to 0 life in the fastest way possible. Then, once you do that, find cards that both help you acomplish your goal and prevent others from stopping your goal. Make the deck adaptable but do not lose your original purpose in doing so. 

    Look at current constructed decks and you will see this philosophy put into practice; the Hurkly’s Recall in Vintage storm that can either reset Moxen for storm count or get rid of a Sphere of resistance that prevents them from going off, the Reclamation Sages in Modern Chord decks that can both remove problematic permanents but still attack and provide a body for more convoking, or even in Standard where running Nantuko Husk has found its way into the Black Blue Sacrifice deck as both a sac outlet and a combo kill with Whirler Rogue. These cards are flexible and while not always obvious inclusions in a deck they work towards the goal of the deck from a different angle at times.

    Now those are all 60 card decks. In commander you have 100 cards, and very wide cardpool that is not restriced by playability like in vintage or time of printing like in standard. Almost every card is viable and every strategy is viable as well. This wide variety not only makes deck construction more interesting but requires even greater flexibility than those 60 card decks because you will never know what you can run into. Despite all these differences the philosophy of deck construction still remains. Figure out what you want to do, then find out how you can do it.

    I will go into more detail about this when we start discussing commanders and you start bringing me decks to look at. For now, good luck and have fun!

    Removal Over Innistrad

    Shadows Over Innistrad has a ton of cool themes and archetypes available in it: Five different tribes, Investigate, Madness, Delirium, Mill, and multiple combinations within those archetypes. However, Shadows Over Innistrad Limited is still Limited, which means for all of the fancy bells and whistles, it can’t avoid the one constant across all Limited formats: removal is the key to winning. It doesn’t matter how nice your curve is if your opponent has all of the answers. It doesn’t matter how crazy your synergy deck is if your opponent kills your engine pieces. To understand a Limited format, the first step is to understand the removal.

    In my mind, there are about five different levels of Limited removal. Each one corresponds to how highly I pick the cards in Limited, and how much the cards influence my decision to play their color (or colors) in Limited. Here are the five “tiers” I use:

    • Tier 0 – The best removal spells available. Usually reserved for board wipes and cheap, unconditional removal. See: Planar Outburst, Hero’s Downfall.
    • Tier 1 – Solid removal spells. Either expensive and unconditional or close-to unconditional. Commons in this category are judged against most Rares for first-pickability. See: Oblivion Strike.
    • Tier 2 – Fine removal spells. Usually good to have one, may avoid a second. Expensive removal. See: Stonefury, Flatten.
    • Tier 3 – Fairly poor removal spells that should generally avoid being played. Very conditional or too expensive. See: Seering Light.
    • Sideboard – Hyper-conditional removal spells that only hit a subset of creatures. See: Plummet.

    Of course, each category is flexible, and is relative to the rest of the removal spells in the format. Sometimes Flatten is fantastic, but if, say, Hero’s Downfall is available in the same format, Flatten is going to be in a lower tier. Shadows Over Innistrad is loaded with removal spells, so let’s dive into what spells I believe fit in each category.

    Tier 0

    Descend upon the Sinful, Anguished Unmaking, Nahiri, the Harbinger, Sorin, Grim Nemesis

    All of these are fantastic cards that you should absolutely play when you can, and should absolutely first-pick them when you have the option. You’ll notice most of these are “more” than removal spells: Descend upon the Sinful can make a creature and Nahiri and Sorin are planeswalkers. Anguished Unmaking makes it because it answers anything.

    Tier 1

    Kindly Stranger, Murderous Compulsion, Sinister Concoction, To the Slaughter, Moonlight Hunt, Rapid Bite, Avacyn’s Judgment, Fiery Temper, Inner Struggle, Lightning Axe, Sleep Paralysis, Arlinn Kord, Avacynian Missionaries, Angel of Deliverence, Angelic Purge, Bound by Moonsilver, Declaration in Stone, Silverstrike, Archangel Avacyn

    This may look like a lot of cards, but there are a lot of removal spells in this format. Some of these, like Kindly Stranger, Avacynian Missionaries, Angel of Deliverence, Arlinn Kord, and Archangel Avacyn, are creatures (or a Planeswalker) that double as removal spells with a bit of setup. These should definitely be prioritized as “more than removal spells.” Some would be Tier 0 as removal spells, but they do take some setup, keeping them from such a high rank. Murderous Compulsion, Fiery Temper, and Angelic Purge are super-efficient, and I expect them to be first-pick worthy cards that Rares are weighed against to determine their power. Sleep Paralysis is the best removal Blue has going for it, and Rapid Bite is the classic “fight” card (except this one is one-sided) that often appears as the best Green common.

    Several of these uncommons have conditions that turn into upsides with mechanics like Delirium and Madness. Lightning Axe and Sinister Concoction both require you to discard a card, which you can use to your advantage to get out a fast Madness card or to turn on Delirium for your other creatures. Plus, Sinister Concoction is an enchantment, filling out the “four card types” with a type that can be difficult to get into the graveyard. Finally, cards like To the Slaughter, Moonlight Hunt, Avacyn’s Judgment, Inner Struggle, Bound by Moonsilver, and Silverstrike are all efficient, strong removal spells. Declaration in Stone is my one “iffy” card, though this is likely where it belongs.

    Every removal spell in this list should be in the running for first-picks in every Draft pack, and they should pull the player into their colors in Sealed. Rule #1: play your removal spells.

    Tier 2

    Explosive Apparatus, Throttle, Tooth Collector, Dead Weight, Burn from Within, Dissension in the Ranks, Geistblast, Reduce to Ashes, Humble the Brute, Puncturing Light

    These removal spells are much less powerful, but still good and should be played when they come up. Explosive Apparatus gets a big nod as not only a colorless removal spell, but also an artifact to fuel Delirium. Throttle, Reduce to Ashes, and Burn from Within are strong but expensive (although Burn from Within has the outside bonus of being a Fireball for your opponent, so it’s a little better than most Tier 2s). Dead Weight and Puncturing Light find themselves here by virtue of being early-game removal, but Dead Weight is an enchantment, meaning it can fuel Delirium, so it certainly deserves consideration.

    There are a few cards in this Tier that I’m uncertain about. Humble the Brute is the Smite the Monstrous-type card, and that kind of card fluctuates between “fine” and “eh” depending on how the format plays out. Geistblast is super over-costed for two damage, but in exactly a Blue/Red deck it could be very potent when pulled out of the graveyard, so in that context it may go up in Tiers. Dissension in the Ranks looks insane on the surface, but all the setup required makes me less than enthusiastic about it. Finally, Tooth Collector is here as a creature with a pseudo-removal ability that’s so narrow, it’s more of a cripple than a kill.

    Tier 3

    Gone Missing

    Right now, I only have one spell in Tier 3, and it’s really barely a removal spell. One thing we may notice as the format evolves, though, is that some of the lower-power Tier 2 removal spells will settle down to this level, because something has to be better than anything else, and something has to be worse. Gone Missing is just a lot of mana to blank a draw and super-bounce a creature, which slows down an opponent but doesn’t answer the threat permanently.

    Sideboard

    Clip Wings, Biting Rain, Dual Shot

    These are the cards that come in for games two and three against opponents with lots of targets for them. Biting Rain should only come in against low-toughness decks when you can avoid getting too caught by it. Clip Wings is great against all of the Spirits flying around in Blue and White, and Dual Shot cleans up small creatures and tokens quite well. None of them really belong in the main deck, but should be good to have in the sideboard. Note that this Tier isn’t so much a “bottom tier” but more of a “side tier” to the other sections.

    Final Thoughts

    This format is extremely removal-heavy at all Rarities: expect every player to have multiple answers for your best cards. When that is the case, it’s often best to focus on have a strong deck “on average,” meaning your overall card quality is good, rather than having mediocre creatures and a few bombs. This can set up a synergy format quite well, and I’m excited to see how well the synergies work together for Shadows Over Innistrad.

    In closing, here’s a quick look at my ordering of all of the common removal spells, for your viewing pleasure:

    1. Angelic Purge
    2. Murderous Compulsion
    3. Fiery Temper
    4. Rapid Bite
    5. Reduce to Ashes
    6. Throttle
    7. Puncturing Light
    8. Dead Weight
    9. Explosive Apparatus
    10. Gone Missing
    11. Clip Wings
    12. Dual Shot