edh tagged posts

Dragons Rock Commander Deck & Dragon Bites Recipe

Castles and Cooks is proud to welcome back our first guest writer on the site – Bill O’Dell! A long time player of Magic, Bill loves what we’re doing here and offered up a new deck idea along with a corresponding recipe or two! Welcome back! – Jesse the Baker

Most of us fantasy fanboys will hands down say that dragons are the coolest creature in all of the mythic lore. Whether we’re talking Smaug or Draco, Eastern or Western, dragons have always captivated people – in some cases for centuries.

And yes, I will admit, I love dragons. While I liked the classic Shivan Dragon, what I truly loved were and are the legendary dragons, specifically starting with the Elder Dragon Legends – you know the original heavy hitters – Nicol Bolas (before Planeswalker status), Arcades Sabboth, Chromium, Vaevictis Asmadi and Paladia-Mors.

These were THE dragons to have, to hold, to crush your opponents with their combolicious goodness!

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Multicolor, Artifacts & Lands

Whenever a set isn’t about gold or multicolor as a theme, the few and far between gold cards really help bring the set together. And Dark Ascension certainly does that – unless you happen to like Green-White. Well, then you better enjoy some artifacts and none of the lands either.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Diregraf Captain

It took years, but Wizards seems to have realized lords are better when they’re easier to obtain. Making the shift so a bunch of them are uncommon is a genius move since it makes it so much easier for players to get a hold of them. But what I really like is that they are gold. Diregraf Captain is a great way to tie together black-blue zombies.

On the surface, this Captain reminds me a lot of Dralnu’s Crusade but it goes so much deeper. Having deathtouch makes him a pricey target to trade with in combat. Then he pumps everyone in a great way. And then Wizards gave him the ability to eat away at your opponents’ life totals! This is an amazing lord and I can’t wait to build some black-blue zombies.

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Green

I don’t know why, but it seems like Dark Ascension is jammed packed full of green two-drops.  But the rest of the set provides some fascinating cards that green usually doesn’t get access to and I am very excited whenever green gets more card drawing.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Briarpack Alpha

I remember when this card was called Briarhorn and it was a lot better. Still, it’s a neat combat trick.

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Red

There is probably something wrong with me because I absolutely love playing mono-red in Commander. Sure, it’s probably the weakest color, but over the last few years a lot of new and unique spells have been added to the red mage’s arsenal. And then promptly taken by the nearest Izzet player.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Afflicted Deserter & Werewolf Ransacker

The first round of werewolves in Innistrad didn’t wow me, but it seems like R&D has figured out what to do with them – make people do everything in their power not to flip them. Recursive removal is a great thing and Commander is the one format where there is almost always an artifact worth destroying.

But the politics of this card are amazing. If someone doesn’t cast a spell, an artifact gets destroyed. If a player wants to screw over someone else, they just need to cast two spells and suddenly it’s like a game of Hot Potato only someone ends up getting bolted.

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Black

With a name like Dark Ascension, is it really a surprise to anyone that Black seems to get some of the best toys in this set?

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Black Cat

This card is adorable! Sure, I would have loved if it was more involved with luck (though the random discard is a nice touch). Most easily compared to Ravenous Rats, Black Cat isn’t a bad card but in multiplayer this kitten just doesn’t do enough. Unless you happen to have some great recursion engine…

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Blue

I hate blue mages when they’re being predictable. Draw-Go may be one of my least favorite deck types ever, but even I can’t help but be excited when blue is given a bunch of odd toys to make wonky combo decks. Thankfully, Dark Ascension provides just that.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Artful Dodge

This is a card I see having use two different ways. First, is any deck involving Kiln Fiend. He loves getting spells cast on him and loves being unblockable even more. This is a fine addition alongside Distortion Strike. The other way this can be used was brought to my attention by Mark Rosewater as an anti-werewolf measure. It’s not easy casting two spells in a single turn to transform a werewolf back to a human, but being able to pay UU to do it can be great. Personally, I would prefer Defy Gravity as it is an instant, but it is nice knowing the tools exist.

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: White

Now that Dark Ascension is fully spoiled, it is time to really look at the cards and try to find out where they work the best. If you’re looking for a captivating analysis of the Standard environment, this isn’t place. But if you want to find out how to make use of almost every card in Dark Ascension at the kitchen table or while editing your Commander deck, look no further! Following my own absurd precedence, I will be starting with white.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Archangel’s Light

I don’t know why the first card of every set is often an odd one, but I’ve seen this happen before. There’s no denying that Archangel’s Light is the worst mythic in the set. Yes, this card can simultaneously help you against mill and beat down decks but the casting cost is way too high for it to ever get much use. If this card cost half as much, it might be okay but as it stands… I’m sorry for when you get this in a booster pack.

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Innistrad Multiplayer & Commander Review: Green

If there is a color I love player more than Red, it’s green. The mana ramp alone makes me adore Green’s ability to cheat the game. While Innistrad didn’t give any new toys like Primeval Titan, it did completely change the way green gets to play with tokens.

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Lands

Ambush Viper

I’ve been a huge fan of green’s pseudo-removal of late. Deadly Recluse, Death-Hood Cobra and Thornweald Archer are all classic staples in my casual decks because they work so well at either deterring attacks or drawing out removal spells. Ambush Viper continues that trend well and while I don’t see this guy taking over EDH tables, a green instant that basically says “1G to destroy target attacking creature without flying” is something green can really use.

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Innistrad Multiplayer & Commander Review: White

Whenever a new set comes out, everyone seems to flock to the splashy rares and terrifying mythics, but when you’ve got a set as full of flavor as Innistrad every card is worth looking at! So for the casual and Commander players, here’s a set review of Innistrad starting at the beginning: white!

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Lands

Abbey Griffin

Maybe if you’re making some odd griffin themed Commander deck, you could find a place for this winged beast. But for only one more white mana, you get a Serra Angel. This is a depressing way to begin.

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Multiplayer Oddities: Hidden in the Dark

After rummaging through the past with Alliances, I figured it was only natural to see what gems I could find hidden in the Dark. As a set best known for providing the horribly annoying Maze of Ith and originally allowing red mages to win with Ball Lightning, I’m astounded at how many cards in the set are downright weird, and sometimes even worth playing.

Since the old set order started with Black, that’s where I’ll be starting too.  If there is one thing Black can’t ever seem to do well, it’s destroy artifacts. When they’re in a player’s hand, they’re easy but the second they hit the battlefield, that’s a different story. Going back to the original days of Magic, Black has always had trouble beating the artificially created gems. To this day, the only black spell with “Destroy target artifact” is Phyrexian Purge – which isn’t exactly a bargain.

The Dark offers black necromancers at least an attempt at artifact control through Curse Artifact. Not the most creative name, but at four mana this aura at least offers some attempt at getting a pesky artifact out of your hair for a little while.

For the Johnny players out there, Eater of the Dead is just begging to be toyed with. The ability to untap a creature simply by exiling a creature card in a graveyard seems like it should be doing something. It stops reanimation strategies and seems like the kind of card a Commander might be interested in. For you tribal fans, he’s now a Horror – not an Eater.

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