edh tagged posts

Multiplayer Oddities: Secrets in Alliances

It is often said that any card can find a home in multiplayer formats like Chaos, Star and, of course, Commander. But with Magic just having celebrated its 18th birthday, there is a long history of cards that deserve a second look in these casual formats that rule the kitchen table.

Inspired by Seedborn Muse’s tour of card cycles, I began thinking about which weird cards have been abandoned over the years and forgotten. What most people forget is that some of Magic’s long history is downright weird. So I did what seemed like the most rational approach to this subject: I clicked “Random” on MagicCards.info until a card showed up that I had never seen before (and for those of you who know me, you know this is a very, very rare occurrence). The card was Ritual of the Machine.

Go ahead and be honest, how many of you could tell me anything about this card before clicking the link. For those of you too lazy to click, here it is:

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Magic 2012 Commander & Multiplayer Review: Green

In multiplayer, there probably isn’t a color that’s as fun as green. Giant creatures trampling around without any of the mess of white and blue telling you what you can and can’t do, Green is a blast to throw down at the kitchen table and Magic 2012 provides plenty of new toys.

Magic 2012 Reviews
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifact & Land

Arachnus Spinner

I’m still not sure what to think of this card. Being a 5/7 with reach means it will keep you safe from plenty of dragons and angels, but it won’t be killing as many of them as I would like. As for searching for Arachnus Web, that’s awesome when you can run 4 of them but in Commander, this giant spider isn’t worth it.

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Magic 2012 Commander & Multiplayer Review: Red

Half way down with the Commander and Multiplayer review of the latest Magic set – Magic 2012! And like most core sets, there are some great gems hidden here once you rummage through all the rubble in Red.

Magic 2012 Reviews
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifact & Land

Blood Ogre

In a color that burns all it can as quickly as possible, bloodthirst feels right at home in red. Blood Ogre is simple and as far as I’m concerned reads “3/3 first strike for three.” Plus thanks to those odd lords from Morningtide like Bramblewood Paragon, this warrior can get big. Even tossing in some proliferation like Volt Charge makes me think this guy, while simple, can easily find a home.

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Magic 2012 Commander & Multiplayer Review: Black

The colors keep coming and so do the reviews, luckily Black seems to actually be fun for the casual player when it comes to reprinting classics and providing new spells to get black mages ready for battle.

Magic 2012 Reviews
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifact & Land

Bloodlord of Vaasgoth

Vampires are getting a lot of love as the new Black tribe (sorry Zombies!), and the Bloodlord is exactly what Commander vampires are looking for. I mean, there are now four Vampire lords! What most people seem to be missing is that on his own, this is a 6/6 flier for only five mana! But the ability to essentially give all your new vampires +3/+3 can quickly turn the tide in your favor.

Also keep in mind that multiple instances of Bloodthirst are cumulative so Bloodrage Vampire gets Blooodthirst 1 and Bloodthirst 3 for effectively Bloodthirst 4!

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Magic 2012 Commander & Multiplayer Review: Blue

Just like White, there are some diamonds in the rough when it comes to great gems hidden in Magic 2012. While a majority of the cards are limited fodder, a few of them really get me excited for deck building. Except Amphin Cutthroat.

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands

Amphin Cutthroat

This guy is a salamander and that’s kind of awesome. Are Amphin the new merfolk? Almost definitely not and this is a terrible way to kick off this review.

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Magic 2012 Multiplayer & Commander Review: White

With a new Magic set just about to be released, it’s time for my multiplayer and commander review! Much like Commander decks, this series will mostly focus on brand new cards. As someone who plays Magic almost exclusively at a table of between two and five other players, it’s always fun to get new toys to play with while shaking up the chaos a bit.

The review will be in alphabetical order so I don’t have to try and rank them all by my favorite or most interesting. Hint: my favorite isn’t War Horse.

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands

Aegis Angel

This card has some genius political design to it. Sure, most of the time you’ll just make one of your other angels indestructible (and she’s fantastic in Heavenly Inferno), but when the table is getting tense is where Aegis Angel shines. The ability to turn a soon-to-be ally’s permanent indestructible is something worth considering.

Worst case, she targets any permanent so if you need a 5/5 flier in a pinch, you can target a land of yours instead of something much more dangerous an opponent controls. Sadly, she’s useless when targeting a Planeswalker. And if you stop controlling her, the target is no longer indestructible.

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Magic the Gathering Commander Review: Political Puppets

Magic: the Gathering Commander Decks Reviews
Counterpunch
| Devour for Power | Heavenly Inferno | Mirror Mastery | Political Puppets

As of the writing of this, if you look at the secondary market values of each of the Commander decks, Political Puppets would be number one. If you look at the decks as a whole, it pains me to say it but I think this deck is the bottom tier. As someone who plays a lot of multiplayer Magic, politics plays a huge role in what people do or don’t do. So when this deck got described, I thought it was going to be awesome.

Make allies early by giving gifts that grant life and knowledge! With Zedruu the Greathearted as your commander, your foes will curse you as your friends grow stronger. Explore your inner puppeteer with a game-twisting masterwork of maniacal manipulation.

Then I played it and quickly realized how easy it is to get overrun by opponents with this deck and that all the political talk in the world isn’t going to stop a horde of demons, dragons and angels from crushing my skull like an overripe grape. So while the deck straight out of the box doesn’t impress me, there are bits and pieces of it that I still adore.

The dragon legend is Numot, the Devastator. Of all the Planar Chaos dragons, he’s the least exciting. Being able to nuke two lands can be useful, especially if they’re controlled by a different player, but in Commander that kind of recursive land destruction is frowned upon. He’s a big dragon, but his ability never does anything cool.

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Magic: the Gathering Commander Review: Mirror Mastery

These Commander decks have me really impressed. Against each other, they’re fairly well balanced but Mirror Mastery has the potential to be a powerhouse much like Heavenly Inferno with just some minor changes. While all of these decks have great potential, this one really struck a chord with me.

This review is only about the cards, to read what I think about the packaging, oversized cards and deck boxes, check out my Counterpunch review.

Why play a great spell once, especially when you have a deck of 100 awesome cards? Riku of Two Reflections gives you twice the fun as you confound and dazzle your foes into oblivion with a barrage of Riku’s mirrored magic.

Of all the Planar Chaos dragons, Intet, the Dreamer is one of my favorites because of how absurdly powerful his ability is. For only 2U, you get a long term Temporal Aperture! Exiling cards face down is powerful and being able to play them for free is even more impressive. Of the dragons, Intet is right up there with Teneb as the best.

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Magic the Gathering Commander Review: Heavenly Inferno

With Counterpunch and Devour for Power out of the way, I’m finally getting onto a deck that isn’t black and green! Heavenly Inferno is an interesting deck designed around summoning demons, dragons and angels and then beating people to death with them! It sounds good in theory until you realize a few parts of this deck really don’t play well together.

Kaalia of the Vast alone holds the forces of Angels, Dragons, and Demons within the palm of her hand. Watch her toss each bone-crushing creature onto the battlefield with merciless glee while your horrified enemies are sliced, diced, and then deep-fried

Oros, the Avenger is the time-shifted dragon legend who really isn’t that exciting. With the ability to burn non-white creatures, he can work out as being some awesome sweeper but in Commander, you’re playing black and red already so his utility isn’t so great. Plus most boards I play on are covered with things bigger than a toughness of 3.

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Magic the Gathering Commander Review: Devour for Power

The second Commander deck to review is Devour for Power! The Green-Blue-Black wedge that loves graveyard recursion almost as much as Counterpunch, Devour for Power is full of great cards to augment any Commander deck. To keep this review somewhat reasonable, I’ll be doing a card breakdown. Much like the other decks, this one includes a card box that is too small, some oversized cards that serve little purpose and some fantastic new singles.

When The Mimeoplasm becomes your commander, death becomes your friend. Opponents will watch in helpless terror as you devour creatures from one graveyard to help you pound creatures into another. It’s a fiendish carnival of cadavers, and you’ll be the ringmaster!

First up are the potential commanders! Vorosh the Hunter is the dragon reprint and the only legend in these colors up until now. He still plays well with proliferate and loves killing off players permanently with Commander damage. But he’s old – onto something exciting!

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