tectonic edge

EDH Deck Tech: Hokori, Dust Drinker

[you can see every deck tech here]

Hello & welcome to this weekly deck tech! This week we’re exploring EDH with a very fund (for the person who plays it) deck: Hokori, Dust Drinker.

Now, it’s to no one surprise that I love Stax & Attrition archetypes, so this commander, in my opinion is very fun and super cool to play. For those who don’t know what Stax is; the archetype revolves around making it near impossible for your opponents to play anything. You use effects that attack them from every angle, just to prevent them from doing stuff. Most of the effects are symmetrical, but you build your deck around ignoring those effects. By going over the different types of cards you need, you’ll understand.

Keeping Things Tapped

Let’s start off with your commander’s effect: making sure things stay tapped. By this mean, your opponents can’t really play anything, since none of their lands untap (well, just one, but whatever). Other cards like Static Orb, Tangle Wire, Mana Web, Storage Matrix, Marble Titan Meekstone & Crackdown are amazing at making sure that your opponent’s things stay tapped at all time.

Tapping Things

Now that we’ve seen how to make sure nothing untaps, what about tapping them in the first place? You have so many options in White, with cards like Kismet, Loxodon Gatekeeper,  Thalia Heretic Cathar, Imposing Sovereign, Orb of Dreams, Yosei the Morning Star, Icy Manipulator & Scepter of Dominance. Now you’ve effectively tapped everything and are making sure that everything stays like that.

When Tapping isn’t Enough

Sometimes you need to get rid of things, that’s just part of life. You have different ways of destroying stuff and they’re all really fun cards! Stuff like Oblation, Return to Dust, Austere Command, Wrath of God, Day of Judgment, Terminus, Swords to Plowshare & Path to Exile are obvious ones, but you can also play some fun cards like World Queller, Elesh Norn, Michiko Konda Truth Seeker, Archon of Justice, Tragic Arrogance, Cataclysmic Gearhulk, Smokestack, Karmic Justice & Martyr’s Bond. With those cards you have that extra Attrition that makes the deck so much fun. Oh, you can also play lands like Ghost Quarter, Strip Mine, Wasteland, Tectonic Edge, Dust Bowl & Encroaching Wastes, paired with Sun Titan & Crucible of Worlds just to screw with your opponent even more.

They Gotta Pay the Tax

Part of what makes a Stax deck is the Tax part. Just put a big old tax on everything! Go nuts! Play cards like Aura of Silence, Thalia Guardian of Thraben, Lodestone Golem, Vryn Wingmare, Sphere of Resistance, Magus of the Tabernacle (you can also play the Tabernacle at Pendrall Vale if budget is not an issue), Leonin Arbiter, Spelltithe Enforcer,  Glowrider, Chancellor of the Annex, Kataki War’s Wage, Suppression Field, Trinisphere & Defense Grid. Now your opponent has to pay extra to play & keep stuff, their stuff keeps getting tapped, doesn’t untap and some of it just gets destroyed all the time. You might think this is enough, but no, it’s never enough.

Straight-Up Nope

Sometimes you just got to say Nope. Play some cards that literally prevents them from doing things. Stuff like Silence & Orim’s Chant paired with Isochron Scepter. Or other things like Stony Silence, Leyline of Sanctity, Aegis of the Gods, Nevermore, Ethersworn Canonist, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Grand Abolisher, Aven Mindcensor, Containment Priest, Eidolon of Rhetoric, Angelic Arbiter, Phyrexian Revoker, Pithing Needle, Iona Shield of Emeria, Angel of Jubilation, Sanctum Prelate, Chalice of the Void, Linvala Keeper of SIlence, Ward of Bones, Grafdigger’s Cage, Cursed Totem & Rest in Peace. You have many, many ways to just deal with most situation by just saying “you can’t do that”; white has answers to most things. Also, cards like Torpor Orb & Hushwing Gryff in EDH are plain insane, you should play them.

Building a Castle

This goes in the same vein as taxing; if ever your opponent is able to keep some stuff on the field, make sure it doesn’t attack you basically. White has access to so many Pillowfort effects; stuff like Ghostly Prison, Windborn Muse, Archangel of Tithes, Peacekeeper, Magus of the Moat (and Moat if budget is not an issue), Norn’s Annex & Sphere of Safety are amazing at making sure no one can attack you.

What About My Mana?

We’ve made it clear that everyone is getting screwed by your cards, even you. So you have to find ways to make it less sucky for you. Easy, just make sure you have non-lands mana sources, ways to untap things & stuff like that. Play cards like Aether Vial, Gilded Lotus, Land Tax, Marble Diamond, Hedron Archive, Mind Stone, Thran Dynamo, Gold Myr, Knight of the White Orchid, Solemn Simulacrum, Burnished Hart, Palladium Myr, Sword of Feast & Famine, Everflowing Chalice, Darksteel Ingot, Worn Powerstone, Unwinding Clock, Pearl Medallion, Mana Vault, Fellwar Stone, Caged Sun, Basalt Monolith, Grim Monolith, Coldsteel Heart, Commander Sphere, Mana Crypt, Coalition Relic, Khalni Gem, Thought Vessel & Clock of Omens. You’ve got plenty to choose from, just make sure you have enough non-land mana producers and some ways to untap them!

Being Extra

Here are some cards that don’t really fit any of the previous categories that can really help a deck like this: Gideon Jura, Gideon Ally of Zendikar, Elspeth Knight-Errant, Elspeth Tirel, Elspeth Sun’s Champion, Scroll Rack, Sensei’s Divining Top, Eight-and-a-Half-Tailes, Mother of Runes, Platinum Angel, Emeria Shepherd, Stoneforge Mystic (to grab that sweet sword of Feast & Famine), Mentor of the Meek, Recruiter of the Guard & Enlightened Tutor.


That’s it for this week! I hope you guys enjoyed this deck tech as much as I did. If I missed anything let me know. I’ll see you guys next week for a Standard deck tech!

Topi’s Daily Card #1000:  Gaea’s Cradle

I have to admit, Gaea’s Cradle is probably the most valuable card I own outside of Judge Promos, and with it on the reserved list, I’m unlikely to trade it away anytime soon.  But let’s talk about the card itself.  It’s easy to compare this card to Tolarian Academy, a banned card in EDH.  But unlike Tolarian Academy, Gaea’s Cradle is much less likely to be broken in half on turn one.  With Academy you could drop zero mana artifacts and suddenly have 6+ mana on the first turn.  Gaea’s Cradle is more of a mid and late game boost, and if you have it, it’s exceptionally powerful in token decks.  Ulasht, Rhys, Ghave, anything that wants tons of creatures out will make this card crazy powerful, even more so than the Academy at points.  A simple wrath or sweeper can reset the Cradle’s power as well, and artifact sweepers are less common for Academy’s power level.  It’s lands like these that remind me that sometimes a Tectonic Edge or Ghost Quarter is a fine inclusion in EDH, because sometimes the lands are worth destroying.  Gaea’s Cradle isn’t a must have for commander, but when you have it, it’s mighty tempting to use it to its most broken extent.

One thousand cards means I’ve apparently been doing this blog for 2.7 years now.  Here’s to one thousand more.  :)

simic-initiate  asked:

Three favorite uncommons in EDH!

Swords to Plowshare: It’s a Path to exile I can afford! Also all the of the arts pertaining to it are amazing.

Tectonic edge: Screw you and the infinite mana you might have…or Celestial Colonnade. If you cannot afford a Strip Mine, Tectonic edge is a great alternative.

Krosan Grip. Infinite combos bothering you? Do any of them have an enchantment or artifact behind them? Say no, with the ability of “Your opponent can’t say no”. If you’re running Green, this is almost always an Auto include.

As always, thanks for the question!

Topi’s Daily Card #18: Tectonic Edge

Ahh, Tectonic Edge. The ‘fixed’ Wasteland. Then they fixed this one with Encroaching Wastes. Tectonic Edge is pretty darn good. Trying to come up with a way of dealing with nonbasic lands without making a feel bad situation. Love this card though, I still throw it in commander decks from time to time to deal with utility lands like Academy Ruins and the like. Just a solid card and a staple for multiple formats where Wasteland isn’t legal.

Commander of the Week

Hokori, Dust Drinker 

I’m all about having fun in commander, but this is a commander for those times when you just want to watch the world burn, for when you’re just tired of being Mr. nice guy. Hokori, Dust Drinker is a Mono-White creature from Betrayer’s of Kamigawa and he’s up to no good. At 2/2 for 4 mana and an ability that stops all but one land from untapping on each player’s turn, he is definitely a member of the fun police. 

Slowing things down

As well as putting a limit on the amount of lands that untap each turn, there are cards that mean other permanents can only untap one at a time or others that force things to enter tapped. Orb of Dreams forces all permanents to enter tapped, which goes well with Hokori’s ability. Blind Obedience forces your opponents creatures and artifacts to enter tapped which will slow down aggro strategies. Imi Statue slows artifacts to one a turn, which will limit the amount of mana rocks. Older cards such as Winter Orb slow down lands untapping too. Creatures such as Ethersworn Canonist and Eidolon of Rhetoric limit the amount of spells that can be played each turn too. You may need an Amulet of Vigor and a Pearl Medallion to allow you to gain the upper hand though. 

No, you can’t do that.

I don’t know about you, but my group has a lot of sac outlets which make exile removal nigh on impossible. Don’t worry, you can stop activated abilities with cards like Damping Matrix and Linvala, Keeper of Silence. ETB effects can be stopped with Torpor Orb. Grafdigger’s Cage can stop reanimator strategies which is also common at my group  Ward of Bones prevents other players from playing certain cards if they control more of that type than you, which will help keep a level playing field. Spirit of the Labyrinth may also be a useful addition to such a deck to slow card draw.

Everyone hates taxes 

Over the years, cards with abilities that make things more expensive have been released. They go perfectly in this deck to put more pressure on. Lodestone Golem makes non-artifact spells 1 more to cast. Thorn of Amethyst and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben put taxes of 1 mana on non-creature spells. Aura of Silence puts a tax of 2 mana on Artifacts and Enchantments that opponents attempt to cast. Defense Grid and Grand Abolisher prevent instant speed responses by making them more expensive or prohibiting them all together. Chancellor of the Annex has another taxing ability that makes all spells 1 more to cast. Of course then there are the taxes on attacking you with cards like Sphere of Safety, Ensnaring BridgeNorn’s Annex and Ghostly Prison.  

Must Relieve the Pressure 

So now you’ve put taxes on just about everything. Everything is entering tapped and things aren’t going anywhere. The other players are going to start coming at you to relieve the pressure. To protect yourself, you may have put taxes on attacking, and hopefully there are also taxes on removal too so the wall will hopefully hold. But what if it doesn’t?  What if a straggler or two gets through your wall. Fog abilities can help here. Kami of False Hope is a good start since he is a one drop. Ethereal Haze, Pollen Lullaby and Holy Day are also good for quick damage prevention. Crawlspace limits the amount of creatures coming at you. Cheap permanent removal such as Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Oblivion Ring and Dispatch are definitely going to be needed too. Board Wipes such as Phyrexian Rebirth and End Hostilities can be used as a last resort to hopefully buy you some time to recover.  

And Finally… 

 I have noticed that common lands to have in such a deck include Strip Mine, Wasteland, Tectonic Edge and Ghost Quarter. I may eventually use such lands. but for now I think the deck is mean enough and have decided on Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Drifting Meadow, Secluded Steppe and Buried Ruin for artifact recursion. I unleashed this deck recently and I can say it isn’t fun to play against. I do hope you find this deck useful and until next time, Happy Deck Building.

Are You Cereal?! - More Strategy & Deck Lists for Mono-Green in Modern!

I’m a bit surprised how adamant some of the people in the Magic community are concerning the legitimacy behind my ability to play Magic, let alone build decks. I guess people assume my gender and sexual orientation plays such a huge role in this! (/sarcasm) As much people assume I’m a casual Magic player, I’m actually not.

If I could compete, hangout and travel at GPs, Opens, etc, I would, but due to my relationship with Wizards of the Coast (LINK), it’s likely I’ll never go. They have my home address (LINK), so I’m open to patch up our relationship, but as it stands, I’ll won’t be attending any events.

That doesn’t mean I can’t pass on and teach others. Sharing my experiences with you guys and the fans. Such as the first introduction of this deck (LINK)

Anyway, I posted my thoughts concerning about the parallels of how fighting games and Modern are so similar that the idea of designing decks with such a huge discrepancy of match-up weaknesses and strengths should be accounted for. If you haven’t read it, here’s the (LINK). 

So the concept is simple:

  • Know your metagame
  • Identify your deck’s core
  • Build around the core and attack your metagame

First, recognize your local play area. Are the casual players using budget decks? Do they lean on aggro or combo? Who are the best players in this area? Are they winning your FNMs week-in, week-out? Observe and list out the types of decks your area plays and the player’s habits if you haven’t noticed already. Examples would include if they’re bad at bluffing, do they get careless and over extend a lot, or do they miss a lot of triggers during their upkeep. Things like that.

Second, how do you win with the deck? With this specific Green deck, you’re winning because not many current decks use actual board sweep spells, such as Wrath of God, Damnation or even Hibernation. The most popular ones right now as of Summer 2014 is Anger of the Gods. So you see, your vanilla guys just quite frankly outclass most of Modern’s flashy creatures (Snapcaster Mage, Restoration Angel, Goblin Guide). While Zoo is more “recognized”, it has a lot of weaknesses, partially due to Anger of the Gods. Most importantly, Blood Moon ruins the deck. Not our Green deck though!

What makes the deck so surreal that it works is that the mana-base is so simple. Most popular decks in Modern are dual/tri-colored, so the reliance on Fetchlands/Shocklands also puts them as a life disadvantage. Whereas the Mono-Green deck, only loses life if it needs a desperate removal with Dismember or Mutagenic Growth. In addition to that, some of your creatures also act as “hate bears” against popular strategies using the graveyard. Not to mention, granting instant Hexproof is a thing to dodge common spells like Abrupt Decay. 

Third, after identifying your metagame and how your deck functions, build your sideboard to fight against the popular decks in your local area. Use “Gatherer” on Wizard's official site to find new and unique sideboard cards that can help trash these decks. There’s always new things to discover about the game! Be the first!

Find powerful sideboard hate cards that can synergize with your deck, without desyncing it too much. It’s like bringing in Stony Silences in a deck with Aether Vials in it for example. So these are some of the key things you should be aware of when you find a list on the internet. It might have won said tournament, but since it’s no longer under the radar, people are going to adjust their decks to beat it. So there’s this escalation of power, as well as weaknesses decks will develop. 

This is why the Mono-Green deck actually works. The current metagame is not prepared for 4/5 vanilla beaters on the third-turn, not to mention the 3/3 creature the turn before, nor the Experiment One currently growing into a 3/3. 

For more, click on “read more” below since deck-lists tend to be wall-of-texts. 

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