jylichan  asked:

If it's not too soon for another request, please make a Geist of Saint Traft featuring one of those strange, wonderful angels of yours. :)

Here you go!

And here he is in hi-res, to soak in all those lovely details:

His backstory is amazing, he deserves a much cooler pose than just kneeling.

A lot of my weird angel ideas come from Peter Mohrbacher’s project of illustrating all the weird angels he can think of, which I highly encourage you to check out. He’s done some great stuff for Magic too, and I love seeing him get cool, high-profile commissions.

Enjoy beating down with your faithful Avacynian cleric!


Spectral Apparitions: Ghosts and Spirits of the Magic multiverse

Geist of Saint Traft by Daarken

Obzedat, Ghost Council by Svetlin Velinov

Soulsworn Jury by Zoltan Boros and Gabor Szikszai

Strangleroot Geist by Jason Chan

Belfry Spirit by Daren Bader

Blessed Spirits by Anna Steinbauer

Visit the Archives for more themed posts.

What Could Frighten a Devourer of Worlds?

OK, so years and years ago there was a big event in Marvel comics where Galactus, Devourer of Worlds came to Earth, and every single Marvel superhero worked together to bring the big cosmic baddie down. (Well, except for Spider-Man and Daredevil. They just grabbed some popcorn and watched the show.)

One of the biggest moments in the battle was when Doctor Strange cast a spell that caused Galactus to see the ghost of all the trillions of people he had ever killed. (Devouring planets adds up quick.) This caused Galactus the Eternal I-Don’t-Give-A-Crap to actually SCREAM. It was a big deal.

Why does all this matter? Because there is a fair chance that Emrakul could show up on Innistrad this year.

We’ve seen Eldrazi shrug off vampires, demons, and beasts of incredible strength. But you know what they never had to deal with on Zendikar? GHOSTS.

Now, am I saying Geist of Saint Traft could singlehandedly take on Emrakul? Of course not. I’m just saying we’ve got some cool spooky vs. spooky action to look forward to, and I’d say that’s worth getting excited about. :D

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 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 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.


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 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 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!

Magic Easter Eggs

Now and again, Wizards R&D hides an extra bit of flavor in the cards they design. Let’s look at a few.

Just your average spirit, but wait, there’s more..

As an acronym, Geist of Saint Traft becomes G.o.S.T. (Ghost)!

And here is another from Dissension.

Check out that mana cost!

Green / Blue / Blue becomes G/U/U or Goo! Isn’t that fitting?

What other Magic the Gathering easter eggs have you found?


#14: Ephara, God of the Polis (f*ck da polis!)
Alright! Sorry I’ve been gone, I had to take a break for various tests and schoolwork but I’m back to start the two color generals! It’s going to be fun featuring all sorts of things you wouldn’t expect! And stay tuned because I’ve heard rumors all over the place about a very interesting possible rule change! So here we go, Ephara! (Warning, there is a card that has been spoiled but not released)
Yay! Card draw! Yay flicker motivation! Ephara is a beautiful God(des? It doesn’t say that on the card so it isn’t sexist.) She inspired me to really change the way I think about playing the game and it’s led to some interesting things. First of all, the Combo of the day is right in this picture set! It is dead-eye navigator (who is not banned, I quadruple checked) and great whale! This allows you to tap seven lands over and over and over! Also it’s in mono-blue (wow, blue doesn’t see any combos I know! (Sarcasm)) because of the nature of our commander the tendency is going to be towards flickering. This allows reliable card draw and other effects that you can mix in such as +1/+1 counters, life gain or whatever! Wheee! Also, white blue is excellent at control so I suggest that you check out a few cards such as detention sphere (not shown) which will eliminate your opponents tokens and is great emergency removal. Also, you’ll notice people in Ephara like Brimaz (not shown) or Geist. This is because they give you a free creature and therefore card draw when you attack! I’d Also definitely recommend Psychosis Crawler (not shown) to turn that card draw into damage! Have fun with Ephara guys! She’s awesome!

Tier: 5

Card of The Day #1 - Modern - Geist of Saint Traft

This card is brewing a huge storm through modern right now! 3 CMC for a 2/2 Hexproof that also creates a flying 4/4 when it attacks?! This Guy essentially swings for 6 total on turn 4! 4 of that damage is flying which will usually go through right away! The hexproof on this guy is just priceless too! With all the spot removal that is ever so popular in modern (Path to exile, Lightning Bolt, etc.) This guy manages to protect himself from all that! Most people would argue that being 2/2 is a hug turn off, but if played smart and with the correct card combination, this card is a force to be reckoned with!

American Midrange.

75 cards, 15 sideboard
1 Mountain
1 Island
1 Plains
3 Clifftop Retreat
3 Glacial Fortress
3 Sulfur Falls
3 Steam Vents
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Hallowed Fountain
23 lands

4 Legion Loyalist
4 Skyknight Legionnaire
4 Invisible Stalker
3 Geist of Saint Traft
3 Tajic, Blade of the Legion
2 Thundermaw Hellkite
1 Aurelia, the Warleader
21 creatures

4 Searing Spear
4 Spectral Flight
2 Legion’s Initiative
3 Boros Charm
3 Azorius Charm
16 other spells


1 Boros Charm
1 Azorius Charm
2 Rest in Peace
2 Supreme Verdict
3 Syncopate
3 Pillar of Flame
3 Render Silent
15 sideboard cards

So this is the American midrange I came up with. I like most of the main board but I think I need help with the sideboard for sure. Any and all suggestions are welcome.