multiplayer tagged posts

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 Commander & Multiplayer Review: Red

It’s weird to say it, but at my heart I’m still a red player through and through. So while burn might not be the most effective method of winning in multiplayer, there’s nothing quite like going out in a blaze of glory to take someone down. I may not use my mono-red burn deck often but I certainly adore it to this day.

But my love of burn transcended into Commander as a format and I’m one of the few people I know who are foolish enough to still run a mono-red deck under Jaya Ballard, Task Mage. So for me, Innistrad is full of amazing red spells to really mess with people.

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

Ancient Grudge

If you’re in red-green, this is strictly better than Shatter… but so is Shattering Pulse which is still my go-to artifact destruction.

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Innistrad Commander & Multiplayer Review: Blue

With Innistrad finally released, I’ve gotten a chance to play around with the oddities after multiple drafts, some sealed games and a terrifying round of Winston-Pack Wars multiplayer. The big thing about this set that I’ve noticed is how weird it is. Half the cards feel like limited fodder, a quarter of the cards are going to quickly disappear and the last handful around going to stick around a long, long time at kitchen tables.

Like the White review, we’re going alphabetically down the list of blue cards.

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

Armored Skaab

The self milling subtheme in Innistrad is interesting, but in multiplayer I’m not sure how sustainable it is. It seems like far too many people in my playgroup take milling as a terrible offence and get very upset, so they probably won’t ever experience the joy of this card. As an enabler, any Johnny is going to be excited about the potential of this zombie. Some Commander reanimators may want to consider this in twisted decks, but he doesn’t do a whole lot on his own.

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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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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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