Commanding on a Dime: Lovisa Coldeyes

Welcome back,

I was looking through the legendary creature list, looking for something to work on this week, and I just found this little one. I never really heard [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c] before this, and she seemed really straightforward and interesting. Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t see her pop up more at my local game store. Her ability is crazy powerful, and pretty much builds the deck by herself. She may be nothing flashy or make for interesting lines, but she gets the job done. Lets take a look at what Barbarians, Warriors, and Berserkers we can rally together with [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c].

 

1113_lovisa4

She’s blunt, straightforward, and powerful. She’ll get the job done, no matter what.

[d title= “Lovisa Coldeyes (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Lovisa Coldeyes

Lands

1 Ghitu Encampment

34 Mountain

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Spinerock Knoll

[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Anger

1 Archetype of Aggression

1 Ash Zealot

1 Atarka Pummeler

1 Bloodmark Mentor

1 Boldwyr Intimidator

1 Brighthearth Banneret

1 Cyclops Gladiator

1 Falkenrath Marauders

1 Flamerush Rider

1 Goblin Wardriver

1 Inner-Flame Igniter

1 Kamahl, Pit Fighter

1 Kargan Dragonlord

1 Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs

1 Lightning Berserker

1 Lightning Mauler

1 Manic Vandal

1 Ogre Battledriver

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Scab-clan Berserker

1 Tahngarth, Talruum Hero

1 Taurean Mauler

1 Zurgo Bellstriker

[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Beacon of Destruction

1 Burst Lightning

1 Chain of Plasma

1 Chaos Warp

1 Comet Storm

1 Dead // Gone

1 Fated Conflagration

1 Grab the Reins

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Magma Jet

1 Pyrokinesis

1 Seismic Strike

1 Shard Volley

1 Smash to Smithereens

1 Stoke the Flames

Sorceries

1 Exquisite Firecraft

1 Magmatic Insight

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Roast

1 Rough // Tumble

[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Berserkers’ Onslaught

1 Flameshadow Conjuring

1 Outpost Siege

1 War Cadence

1 Warstorm Surge

Artifact

1 Dragon Throne of Tarkir

1 Hall of Triumph

1 Hammer of Purphoros

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Obsidian Battle-Axe

1 Skullclamp

1 Sol Ring

1 Thran Dynamo

1 Wayfarer’s Bauble

1 Worn Powerstone

Planeswalkers

1 Chandra, Pyromaster

1 Koth of the Hammer

1 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

[/d]

Prices

MTGO: 38.69 TIX (Note that this does not contain the prices for the cards in Magic Origins)

Paper: $89.86

Not bad, especially for its price. Its a pretty straightforward aggressive deck. Nothing too fancy or anything, just play your creatures and turn them sideways. Unlike most aggressive decks, we can make some bigger plays and actually have stuff to do in the end game with our handful of mana sinks. Like I said earlier, [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c] pretty much builds the deck herself because of her static ability. Its such a great one though that its hard not to build around it.

Lovisa’s ability, while restrictive, is extremely powerful. Its only as good as the creatures that are in the deck though, which there are plenty of good Warriors, Berserkers, and Barbarians in red to make a viable deck. The tribal synergy may not be as strong as say, an [c]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/c] or a [c]Krenko, Mob Boss[/c] deck, but her ability makes up for that lack of synergy by making your creatures bigger than everybody else’s. Its not like there aren’t any synergies here, we have [c]Boldwyr Intimidator[/c] that can make almost every creature in this deck unblockable for one mana per opposing creature. [c]Brighthearth Banneret[/c] makes things just a bit cheaper, and [c]Bloodmark Mentor[/c] gives everybody first strike. This band of brothers will end up playing together quite well actually. If not, most of them are just solid creatures on their own.

For removal, out side of a couple of spells, we pretty much just have a pile of burn. You won’t be able to kill big creatures outside of blocking them or attacking into them for the most part. Since we are red, we wont really be interacting with enchantments either outside of [c]Chaos Warp[/c], one of the best removal spells in the format.

Since we can’t really deal with super large creatures outside of smashing into them or blocking, we will try to simply go around them. [c]War Cadence[/c] can wreck combat for your opponent. It will help end board stalls and allow your team to sneak by and crash in for huge amounts of damage. As mentioned earlier [c]Boldwyr Intimidator[/c] also does some much needed work in this department as well. [c]Chandra, Pyromaster[/c] can help out a bit, but she isn’t as effective as the other two.

Overall, this deck is pretty solid, and a lot of fun. Its on the cheap, easy to play, and can hold its own with relative ease. In terms of upgrading it if you want to put more money into it, the creature base is pretty much l0cked in. For burn spells though, there are some more efficient ones, they just cost a bit more money. It wouldn’t cost too much to make some good changes, but if I were to add anymore to it, I couldn’t exactly call it a budget deck anymore.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below. I apologize for not having anything last week, my internet went out again. Hopefully it shouldn’t happen again, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. See you next time my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Zurgo Bellstriker

Welcome back,

For this week, I decided to get away from the slow ramp decks and control decks for something lean and mean. [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] is about as lean as it gets. A 2/2 for one is pretty solid in other constructed formats, so why not in this one? We can definitely make this work in this wonderful format we call Commander.

Last time we saw Zurgo, he was the man in charge. He was the leader of the Mardu, charging them into battle. He was a master of war, dominating his foes on the battlefield. Things have changed since Sarkhan went back in time. Now, he rings bells and serves Kolaghan. He is Kolaghan’s personal attendant, and essentially a punching bag. When Kolaghan wishes to go to war, its Zurgo’s job to ring the bell and rally the troops together. Before this time shift, Sarkhan and Zurgo were enemies. Sarkhan wanted nothing more than to take vengeance on him, but now that he has saw how low his enemy has fallen, he decided against it. It seems that Zurgo’s fate was worse than what Sarkhan had planned for him.

[c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] lends himself to a super lean aggressive deck. In terms of constructed formats like Standard, he fits square into these hyper aggressive red decks that focus so much on curving out perfectly. This format is no different. The deck’s focus is about curving out and utilizing your mana effectively, while squeezing out every last point of damage you can from each spell you cast. Lets take a look at what troops [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] can rally up for us.

cardart_qtcpFTe09Z

He may have lost his power, but he sure makes up for it in speed and efficiency

[d title= “Zurgo Bellstriker (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Zurgo Bellstriker

Lands

1 Bloodstained Mire

1 Mutavault

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Scrying Sheets

1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

28 Snow-Covered Mountain

1 Strip Mine

1 Tectonic Edge

1 Wooded Foothills

[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Anger

1 Ash Zealot

1 Avalanche Riders

1 Chandra’s Phoenix

1 Diaochan, Artful Beauty

1 Dragon Whisperer

1 Eidolon of the Great Revel

1 Fanatic of Mogis

1 Firedrinker Satyr

1 Firefist Striker

1 Flametongue Kavu

1 Foundry Street Denizen

1 Frenzied Goblin

1 Goblin Guide

1 Goblin Heelcutter

1 Goblin Rabblemaster

1 Goblin Wardriver

1 Grim Lavamancer

1 Hellrider

[/d]

[d]

Creatures Cont.

1 Hero of Oxid Ridge

1 Ire Shaman

1 Kargan Dragonlord

1 Legion Loyalist

1 Lightning Berserker

1 Lightning Mauler

1 Magus of the Moon

1 Manic Vandal

1 Mardu Scout

1 Monastery Swiftspear

1 Ogre Battledriver

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Satyr Firedancer

1 Stormbreath Dragon

1 Thundermaw Hellkite

1 Urabrask the Hidden

1 Vexing Devil

1 War-Name Aspirant

1 Zealous Conscripts

[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Chain of Plasma

1 Falter

1 Fireblast

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Magma Jet

1 Price of Progress

1 Pyrokinesis

1 Searing Blaze

1 Searing Blood

1 Stoke the Flames

Sorceries

1 Arc Lightning

1 Blinding Flare

1 Chain Lightning

1 Goblin War Cry

1 Harness by Force

1 Hordeling Outburst

1 Magmatic Chasm

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Wheel of Fate

1 Wheel of Fortune

[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Aggravated Assault

1 Goblin War Drums

1 Heat Stroke

1 Sulfuric Vortex

Artifacts

1 Hall of Triumph

[/d]

Price: Paper = $201.42 | MTGO = 154.9 TIX

The MTGO price does not include [c]Goblin War Cry[/c]. I would recommend replacing it with another [c]Falter[/c] effect like [c]Ruthless Invasion[/c], but this slot is up to you.

This deck is pretty much hellbent on beating your opponent’s face into the pavement. This is the most aggressive deck I think I’ve ever seen or built. It’s creature dense, packed with burn and [c]Falter[/c] effects, and some card draw to keep the pain train coming. It does one thing, but it does that one thing extremely well.

The biggest draw to this deck is its curve. I’ve done the best I can to make the curve as good as possible. This deck has been in the works for at least a month now, so I’ve had a lot of time with it. The deck tends to curve out supremely, and usually has some way to use all of its mana in the turn cycle. I skimped a little on the one drops, because our turn one play is usually just [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c]. We do curve up to five drops, or six drops if you include [c]Pyrokinesis[/c] and [c]Fireblast[/c] though you usually won’t be casting it for its mana cost, so that we can maximize the pressure on our opponent during the early game.

Most decks in the format take some time to set up, which is where we do the most of our damage. We curve out to some of the best aggressive five drops printed in recent memory with [c]Stormbreath Dragon[/c], [c]Thundermaw Hellkite[/c], and [c]Urabrask the Hidden[/c]. These hasty threats will be able to close out the game in short order.

If we do end up going into the long game, our smaller creatures will probably get outclassed. So to mitigate this, we have a handfull of [c]Falter[/c] effects. They will allow us to blow out our opponent and shove tons of damage through. I hope your opponent doesn’t plan on blocking often, because that’s not going to happen.

On top of these effects, we also have some mana sinks to help us utilize our mana in the late game. Cards like [c]Aggravated Assault[/c] will give us extra combat steps, which lets us utilize [c]Falter[/c] even more. If one combat step where their creatures can’t block was bad, two seems like a death sentence. [c]Blinding Flare[/c] also acts like a mana sink when we get to pour mana into its strive cost. We can even refill our hand with [c]Wheel of Fortune[/c] and [c]Wheel of Fate[/c] so that we never run out of gas.

Our early game aggression, compounded with our late game mana sinks, lets us consistently keep the pressure on our opponent. This deck will never let up, and will punish any misstep or stumble from our opponent. Most of our creatures may be small, but it’s unwise to underestimate their potential. Who said red was the worst color in EDH? Zurgo would beg to differ.

Overall, this deck is tons of fun if you like turning cards sideways. It borrows its core concepts from the red decks of yore, focusing on curving out instead of shear power. In a format known for durdeling around in the early game, this deck doesn’t mess around. Its quick and unrelenting nature will turn any opponent to a pile of ash. Zurgo is ringing his bell. Will you answer the call to war?

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for a future commander, or topic you wish for me to discuss, let me know in the comments below. Next week, we will take a visit to Ravnica once again to meet the head of the [c]Church of Deals[/c]. I’ll get to testing that deck, as soon as I stop watching Kung Fury. Seriously, go watch that movie. It’s radical.

-Steven Gulsby

 

Tribal Fun in Modern #5: Fiery Elementals

incandescent soulstoke

This week we I have yet another fun tribe for you. Although this deck may not be quite as competitive as the last, it is an extremely fun aggro deck. So, here is the list.

[d title=”Elementals in Modern”]
Lands
3 Cavern of Souls
18 Mountain

Creatures
4 Ball Lightning
3 Coal Stoker
4 Nova Chaser
4 Spark Elemental
4 Flamekin Harbinger
4 Incandescent Soulstoke
3 Fulminator Mage

Instants and Sorceries
2 Fling
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lava Spike
3 Rift Bolt

Sideboard
2 Ingot Chewer
2 Smash to Smithereens
2 Molten Rain
4 Rending Volley
3 Blood Moon
1 Dragon’s Claw [/d]

So, the deck looks a bit like some very strange Red Deck Wins. Following tradition, I am going to give you the run-down on card choices, strategy, play style, matchup and sideboarding guide, and some different versions of the deck.

Card Choices

The lands are pretty self-explanatory. The deck is aggressive so the list only runs 21 lands and wants to play all of its burn so it doesn’t run the full playset of [c]Cavern of Souls[/c].

Going down the list, a large portion of the creatures are simply meant to be aggressive creatures that are also elementals. These include [c]Ball Lightning[/c] and [c]Coal Stoker[/c] who can allow very explosive turns. We also have [c]Spark Elemental[/c], and then [c]Nova Chaser[/c], who can champion[c]Flamekin Harbinger[/c] for an extra tutor.

After those there is [c]Flamekin Harbinger[/c] who obviously tutors for an elemental, [c]Incandescent Soulstoke[/c], who is the one lord in the deck and also allows for you to play some of your other creatures that already are going to die at a slightly cheaper cost, and [c]Fulminator Mage[/c] who does an amazing job at destroying man-lands, punishing greedy mana bases, and just general land destruction.

The instants and sorceries are a fairly straightforward burn package. The [c]Fling[/c]s synergizes well with the high power / low toughness creatures ([c]Fling[/c] plus [c]Nova Chaser[/c] could be game).

Flamekin Harbinger

Strategy

The strategy is much like any other aggro deck. Play all of your creatures, attack with them, burn the face or a threat. The only thing to note really is that [c]Nova Chaser[/c] can champion [c]Flamekin Harbinger[/c] for an extra tutor.

As well, the play style is much like a RDW. There is significantly less burn and of course it doesn’t splash white, but the feel is generally the same. As well, although the deck is quite aggressive, it isn’t that aggressive as the average RDW or Boros Aggro deck.

As I mentioned earlier, the deck isn’t horribly competitive. Its very fun to play with, don’t get me wrong, but the results from testing don’t exactly show me that this is going to win the next Pro Tour. In general it beats most control decks. It can have some trouble against Tron. The deck has survivable matchups against Abzan, Affinity, and Merfolk and generally loses against most forms of aggro and fast combos (RDW, Boros Burn, Infect, Twin, etc.) and basically everything else.

This is finally a sideboard that I am fairly happy about. The [c]Ingot Chewer[/c]s and the [c]Smash to Smithereens[/c] are both for Affinity, the [c]Molten Rain[/c] is for Tron and other greedy mana bases, even Abzan (it can replace [c]Fulminator Mage[/c] if he isn’t working), [c]Rending Volley[/c] is for Abzan, Twin, and anything else in the colors, [c]Blood Moon[/c] can be a good sideboard backup plan for Abzan, Tron, the mirror, and many other decks, and [c]Dragon’s Claw[/c] is good for the mirror and against other aggro decks.

The variants are when things get even more fun with the deck. As I said earlier, for the $150+ spent on [c]Fulminator Mage[/c]s and [c]Cavern of Souls[/c], the deck isn’t up to par on competitiveness. For that reason, here is a simple budget fix (including the sideboard).

mtg-morph-art

[d title=”Budget Elementals in Modern”]

Creatures
4 Ball Lightning
3 Coal Stoker
4 Nova Chaser
4 Spark Elemental
4 Flamekin Harbinger
4 Incandescent Soulstoke
3 Spark Elemental

Instants and Sorceries
2 Fling
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lava Spike
3 Rift Bolt

Lands
21 Mountain

Sideboard
2 Ingot Chewer
2 Smash to Smithereens
2 Molten Rain
4 Rending Volley
1 Dragon’s Claw
3 Searing Blood [/d]

And there is the deck for less than $100, and still basically just as good (especially if you are playing this at your kitchen table). A [c]Malignus[/c] or two could be added to the deck to spice things up a bit too.

As well, the other major change that could be made is to make it a 5 color [c]Horde of Notions[/c] deck. This would be a major revamp of the deck, so I am not going to talk about it in detail (if you would like I can discuss more in the comments) but here are two good decklists and deck techs for 5 color [c]Horde of Notions[/c] decks:

5-Color Elemental Blitz

Elemental Awareness

That’s it for this week. Again, feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments and I can talk with you about them.

Thanks! -Dylan

The Most Free Wins in Modern: Red

through the breach

Hi all,

This article series is for the trolls.

Sometimes we admire the topdeck wars, the bluffs, the Jedi Mind Tricks, and the bait. Sometimes we admire watching someone wallow in their helplessness. We drop a bomb, then watch them untap, draw, and concede.

We save a screenshot of their rage quit.

Red is not a very interactive color. Its permanent destruction is limited mostly to artifacts and lands, and the latter only serves to prevent interaction. Red can kill creatures of toughness lower than five in most cases, but these same spells that the red mage would use to kill those creatures are generally targeting the opponent instead.

That being said, some bombs create more free wins than others.

The Candidates For Best Free Wins In Modern Red

All of these cards require some conditions to be met, and some of these conditions are easier than others. Below are a lot of cards that are difficult to interact with successfully in Modern-legal Red.


8) [c]Stone Rain[/c], [c]Molten Rain[/c], [c]Fulminator Mage[/c], [c]Avalanche Riders[/c], and [c]Boom[/c].

Conditions for a likely win upon resolution:

  • It isn’t the first one you resolved.
  • Your opponent took a mulligan.

No one feels good after losing to land destruction. One of the beauties of Modern is that so far this archetype hasn’t hit the critical mass or quality permanent-based lock components necessary to be a format fixture. Modern players do not have to deal with [c]Smokestack[/c], [c]Trinisphere[/c], and [c]Wasteland[/c]. Still, if you are able to cast a few of these on an opponent, especially when they are already stumbling, you have taken a few giant leaps down the road to victory.


7) [c]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/c]

Conditions for a likely win upon resolution:

  • Your opponent is playing Storm, Eggs, Jeskai Ascendancy combo, or another deck that requires the resolution of a lot of spells.
  • You are ahead in board position when he resolves. In particular, it is very difficult to defeat him if you are up two creatures to zero.

The infamous red Eidolon said to have ruined the Legacy metagame and threatened to make Burn a short step away from Vintage playability is often a free win, but he’s not too shabby at Nickel-and-Diming the opponent either. His ability to grind out a game and win upon impact make him a big contender.

eidolon of the great revel


6) [c]Boil[/c]

Conditions for a likely win upon resolution:

  • Your opponent is playing Islands and has no counter available.

Now, this seems like a steep pair of conditions, but Islands are represented in a huge percentage of the Modern metagame. Even without decent counterspells, blue is a dominant color. When facing Scapeshift, Twin, Esper Control, Cruel Control, Merfolk, and many others, [c]Boil[/c] can outright win the game. Your opponent may not realize it upon resolution, but after the game, they can trace it back to this moment.

The other reason that [c]Boil[/c]’s conditions are not too demanding is that it is an Instant. It seems very unlike red to have such a powerful effect at this speed, and that is why it will stay in Modern sideboards for a long time.


5) [c]Anger of the Gods[/c], [c]Firespout[/c], [c]Pyroclasm[/c], and [c]Volcanic Fallout[/c]

Conditions for a likely win upon resolution:

  • Your opponent is playing an aggro or tempo deck.

Any symmetrical effect that you can build your deck around in order to break the symmetry is going to be back-breaking when its conditions are met. Each of these cards have their place in the top seat in certain metagames. During the Delver-Cruise era? [c]Volcanic Fallout[/c]. When Naya Zoo is popular? [c]Anger of the Gods[/c] and [c]Firespout[/c]. In Tron? [c]Pyroclasm[/c]. These effects are so often equal to [c]Hymn To Tourach[/c] in Legacy where instead of picking two cards at random, you are getting to look at their hand, pick the threats you need to remove, and still require them to spend turns and mana on them as well.

anger of the gods


4) [c]Through The Breach[/c]

Conditions for a likely win upon resolution:

  • You have successfully built up to five mana without your opponent being able to discard it, counter it, or interact with the creature put into play.
  • You have a [c]Protean Hulk[/c], [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c], [c]Griselbrand[/c], or [c]Primeval Titan[/c] in your hand.

These conditions, unlike the ones for [c]Boil[/c], are definitely steep. This card is a tall order. Still, the instant speed once again salvages the card into something extremely destructive, and there are very few times that it resolves without a handshake.


3) [c]Faithless Looting[/c]

Conditions for a likely win upon resolution:

  • Your opponent isn’t playing graveyard hate.
  • Within the 8 other cards you’ve seen by turn one, you hit one of your dredgers or reanimation targets.

This one comes from left field, I know. Still, graveyard hate is so rare in Modern, and the fact is that [c]Faithless Looting[/c] sets up the future [c]Goryo’s Vengeance[/c] or [c]Unburial Rites[/c] to create a win that is difficult for your opponent to interact with. People even play the infinitely inferior [c]Ideas Unbound[/c] and [c]Izzet Charm[/c] for the same effect. [c]Faithless Looting[/c] isn’t a fast win, and it isn’t immediate, but it is definitely the reason you are going to win the majority of the times that you cast it.

faithlesslooting


2) [c]Form of the Dragon[/c]

Conditions for a likely win upon resolution:

  • Your opponent does not have [c]Lingering Souls[/c] tokens with [c]Intangible Virtue[/c] and [c]Honor of the Pure[/c] on the battlefield.
  • Your opponent isn’t playing Enchantment hate.

Ah, here is a very specific pair of conditions that are unlikely to be the case. Enchantment hate, like Graveyard hate, is seen seldom in Modern. Only when [c]Slippery Bogle[/c] rears his head around 2% of the winning metagame do people even seem to consider boarding in enchantment removal. It is much more difficult to get to 7 mana to cast [c]Form of the Dragon[/c] or [c]Enduring Ideal[/c], but how beautiful it is to watch a squirming opponent when you do!

And the winner for the most rage-inducing Red card in Modern is:


Wait for it …

… almost there …

… and the winner is …

1) [c]Blood Moon[/c]!

Conditions for a likely win upon resolution:

  • Your opponent is not on Merfolk, Soul Sisters, Burn, Martyr Proclamation, Mono Blue Tron, or Affinity.

This looks like it’s a lot of decks, but we’re still talking about a huge chance to win when playing against 75% of the Modern metagame. If not for the prevalence of Burn and Affinity, I think I would exclusively play [c]Blood Moon[/c] decks. In the current environment of people realizing that [c]Amulet of Vigor[/c] and [c]Summer Bloom[/c] are good, [c]Blood Moon[/c] is quite possibly Modern’s only hope to defeat it reliably.

So many mana-bases are full of greedy decisions and so devoid of fetchlands. No card in Modern causes as much suffering and anguish as [c]Blood Moon[/c].

blood moon

Conclusion

A few of these cards, including the winner, are worthy to be played in the maindeck and built around.

Red is one of the easier colors to explore in this regard. White is by far the easiest to find easy win cards, but it will be the hardest to choose only a few to highlight. Nevertheless, I will take it upon myself to provide you all this service.

I love trolls.

-drinkard

Commander Corner: Borborygmos Enraged

Welcome back,

For this week’s article, I decided to play a deck that is a bit outside my comfort zone. I decided to play a deck with green in it. And not just a tad bit of green for some utility, like in [c]Roon of the Hidden Realm[/c]; this deck has a huge focus on green.

It focuses all around lands, whether it be pulling them into your hand, playing extra lands a turn, or sacrificing them. This type of strategy isn’t something I normally do, but I will have to admit, I had a lot of fun doing it. This build has an engine built into it. It constantly recycles the same lands so that our angry general can throw them at your opponent or their creatures, and it was very amusing indeed. It plays like no other deck I’ve ever played before, and it was an interesting experience. Let’s take a look at what [c]Borborygmos Enraged[/c] can throw at our opponent this week.

Borborygmos-Enraged

Arguably the biggest general that will ever be featured here, he gets your opponent dead and fast. You just have to put in the effort to get there.

[d title= “Borborygmos, the Land Chucker (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Borborygmos Enraged

Lands

1 Centaur Garden

1 Dormant Volcano

1 Dryad Arbor

1 Dust Bowl

1 Dwarven Ruins

1 Evolving Wilds

10 Forest

1 Ghost Quarter

1 Gruul Turf

1 Hall of the Bandit Lord

1 Havenwood Battleground

1 Jungle Basin

1 Lotus Vale

7 Mountain

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Naya Panorama

1 Petrified Field

1 Strip Mine

1 Tectonic Edge

1 Terramorphic Expanse

1 Thawing Glaciers

1 Wooded Foothills[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Avenger of Zendikar

1 Azusa, Lost but Seeking

1 Balefire Dragon

1 Bloom Tender

1 Borderland Ranger

1 Budoka Gardener

1 Cartographer

1 Civic Wayfinder

1 Dragonmaster Outcast

1 Gatecreeper Vine

1 Greenseeker

1 Groundskeeper

1 Hornet Queen

1 Inferno Titan

1 Liege of the Tangle

1 Lotus Cobra[/d]

[d]

Creatures (Cont.)

1 Mana-Charged Dragon

1 Oracle of Mul Daya

1 Rampaging Baloths

1 Realm Seekers

1 Sakura-Tribe Elder

1 Sakura-Tribe Scout

1 Satyr Wayfinder

1 Scute Mob

1 Solemn Simulacrum

1 Steel Hellkite

1 Sylvan Ranger

1 Tilling Treefolk

1 Titania, Protector of Argoth

1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

1 Xenagos, God of Revels

1 Yavimaya Elder[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Beast Within

1 Destructive Revelry

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Lightning Storm

1 Realms Uncharted

1 Searing Blaze

1 Sprouting Vines

Sorceries

1 Cultivate

1 Explore

1 Green Sun’s Zenith

1 Journey of Discovery

1 Kodama’s Reach

1 Land Grant

1 Life from the Loam

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Rampant Growth

1 Seek the Horizon

1 Summer Bloom

1 Sylvan Scrying[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Abundance

1 Elfhame Sanctuary

1 Exploration

1 Lignify

1 Song of the Dryads

Artifacts

1 Crucible of Worlds

1 Firewild Borderpost

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Khalni Gem

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Sol Ring

[/d]

I think that it’s plain to see what this deck does best. It ramps you out and fills your hand with lands for later when you get [c]Borborygmos Enraged[/c] out. At that point, the deck goes into overdrive as you’re able to make use of the lands you have been stockpiling in your hand for the entire game. Then you get to recycle those lands and start flinging them at your opponents or their creatures. Once you get this engine going, it’s gonna be hard for your opponent to turn the game back around.

The main cards that will keep you going throughout the game are [c]Life from the Loam[/c] and to a lesser extent [c]Groundskeeper[/c]. These cards will let you keep going through the entire game and provide an engine on their own. [c]Life from the Loam[/c] in particular is an all-star in this deck. In tandem with [c]Strip Mine[/c], [c]Dust Bowl[/c], and other various lands that sacrifice themselves, [c]Life from the Loam[/c] is fantastic. It pretty much is its own engine. [c]Groundskeeper[/c] is a great card, but only if you have [c]Borborygmos Enraged[/c] out for it to work at its best. It’s solid with [c]Dust Bowl[/c], though, which is very good at keeping your opponent from stabilizing and developing their resources.

While keeping your hand filled with lands, this deck also will ramp you out as fast as possible. Cards like [c]Lotus Cobra[/c], [c]Azusa, Lost but Seeking[/c], [c]Exploration[/c], and [c]Summer Bloom[/c] will make sure that you get out as much lands as possible. The faster you can get out Borborygmos or any of the other huge threats such as [c]Balefire Dragon[/c] or [c]Avenger of Zendikar[/c] the better. This deck sometimes will stumble around sometimes, as it can take a bit to ramp up into your end game. [c]Strip Mine[/c] and [c]Dust Bowl[/c] should help you keep your opponent from developing a higher amount of resources while you develop yours. Once you can get into the late game and cast Borborygmos, the game is pretty much over.

This deck is an interesting one. [c]Borborygmos Enraged[/c] lends himself to a different style of deck, which is why I think I liked this build as much as I did. This engine style deck that throws land after land at your opponent is fun and interesting. Having a deck that is actually looking to flood out a bit is something that not a lot of decks are looking to do. It’s a cool feeling when you throw down a hand full of lands at your opponent and deal them twenty one points of damage to win the game. If you’re looking for a unique deck or like to utilize your lands to their fullest potential, then this is the deck for you.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any recommendations for a commander that you want me to take a look at in the future, let me know in the comments below.

Next week, we bring back the dead. See you soon my friends.

– Steven Gulsby

Commander Corner: Feldon of the Third Path

Happy Holidays,

Feldon was one of the most influential mages on his plane. He formed the Third Path, an alliance of mages, artificers, and other intellectuals, on a mission to defeat the Brothers during the Brothers War. During the formation of the Third Path, he met a wonderful Argivian woman named Loran. They fell in love with each other, but were then separated once the Brotherhood of Gix betrayed them.

This betrayal led to the destruction of the Third Path, lead by the powerful artificer Mishra. His juggernauts and other machinations laid waste to all that stood in their path, but some managed to flee. Hurkyl managed to dispach the menacing machines, saving the surviving wizards. These wizards took up Hurkyl’s teachings in a effort to protect themselves, Feldon among them.

During the two lovers’ separation, Loran sought to get the Golgothian Sylex to safety, but was captured by Ashnod. She was tortured and beaten until she gave up information about the Sylex. Afterwards, she managed to escape Ashnod’s clutches. She reunited with Feldon, and they lived together in a small cottage outside of the Ronom Glacier.

Ashnod later used the information she acquired from Loran to use the Sylex. She gave this information to Urza, who used it to deal with Mishra. The blast was the most powerful force in the plane’s history. The activation of the Sylex led to the Ice Age on Dominaria.

During the Ice age, Loran, weakened from age and from the cold, coupled with the wounds she sustained from her run-in with Ashnod, passed on. Feldon fell into madness, fueled with grief over the lost of his love. He tried everything in his power to bring her back to life. He even built an automaton in her image, but then dispatched it, as he was displeased with his work. He knew that this was not the Loran he fell in love with. He made the manikin into a statue over her grave.

Over many years, Feldon sought help in resurrecting his love. He met many mages, each one unable to help him. Finally, he met a white mage who gave him the ability to create a copy of Loran using his memories. After he created a copy of her, he said his goodbyes, and let her go. He decided that closure is all he really wanted in the end. Feldon spent the rest of his days happy, allowing people to use his library, along with his own knowledge for magical research.

[c]Feldon of the Third Path[/c] is a card full of potential and flavor. The card encapsulates a moment in his life when he was searching for a way to bring back his love, Loran. He works exceptionally well with any card with an ETB or death trigger. The ability to abuse him with a few untap effects and the powerful interactions between him and [c]Sundial of the Infinite[/c] can create an unstoppable army of artifacts to beat your opponents into dust. Let’s take a look at what Feldon will bring back to you.

feldon of the third path

“She will come back to me”

[d title=”Feldon of the Third Path (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Feldon of the Third Path

Lands

1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

26 Snow-Covered Mountain

1 Smoldering Crater

1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

1 Scrying Sheets

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Miren, the Moaning Well

1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

1 Forgotten Cave

1 Flamekin Village

1 Deserted Temple[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Zealous Conscripts

1 Wurmcoil Engine

1 Spitebellows

1 Solemn Simulacrum

1 Rummaging Goblin

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Precursor Golem

1 Pilgrim’s Eye

1 Myr Battlesphere

1 Mogg War Marshal

1 Mindclaw Shaman

1 Manic Vandal

1 Mad Prophet

1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

1 Keldon Firebombers

1 It That Betrays

1 Ingot Chewer

1 Inferno Titan

1 Flametongue Kavu

1 Firemaw Kavu

1 Duplicant

1 Burnished Hart

1 Beetleback Chief

1 Balefire Dragon

1 Avalanche Riders

1 Academy Raider[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Smash to Smithereens

1 Skred

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Lightning Axe

1 Incinerate

1 Fling

1 Firestorm

1 Comet Storm

1 Chaos Warp

Sorceries

1 Vandalblast

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Gamble

1 Faithless Looting

1 Chain Lightning

Enchantments

1 Warstorm Surge

1 Vicious Shadows

1 Pandemonium[/d]

[d]

Artifacts

1 Thran Dynamo

1 Thousand-Year Elixir

1 Sundial of the Infinite

1 Staff of Domination

1 Sol Ring

1 Skullclamp

1 Sensei’s Divining Top

1 Rings of Brighthearth

1 Nevinyrral’s Disk

1 Mind Stone

1 Magewright’s Stone

1 Helm of Possession

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Gauntlet of Power

1 Feldon’s Cane

1 Extraplanar Lens

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Commander’s Sphere

1 Caged Sun

[/d]

With some looting and plenty of enter the battlefield, deals combat damage, or death triggers, this deck is at its best with Feldon in play. The deck can run by itself, but kicks it into high gear when Feldon is on the battlefield. Being able to use this [c]Kiki-Jiki[/c]-esque effect after your threats are dealt with is extremely powerful, forcing your opponent to commit more resources to dealing with a card they already dealt with before. There are downsides to this style of deck, as you will be running sub-optimally without Feldon in play.

The standard gamut of creatures that one would expect to see with this style of deck are [c]Wurmcoil Engine[/c], [c]Precursor Golem[/c], [c]Myr Battlesphere[/c], [c]It That Betrays[/c], [c]Inferno Titan[/c], and [c]Balefire Dragon[/c]. These creatures will be able to take control over the game and really do a number on your opponents. The plus for this deck is that a creature is never really dealt with unless it’s exiled. I would argue that having the ability to make a creature token based from a creature in the graveyard is more powerful then making a token copy of a creature on the field. Even after your opponent spends a card dealing with the threat originally, they still have to deal with it when you bring it back with Feldon’s ability each turn. There are also various looters to help fuel your graveyard while providing some card advantage.

One card that most lists don’t take full advantage of is [c]Sundial of the Infinite[/c]. This bizarre card is actually exactly what any Feldon deck is looking for. Being able to end the turn at any time during your turn is a powerful interaction with Feldon, as you get to keep the tokens you make with him. This combo can easily overwhelm your opponent with your powerful creatures. It’s going to be hard for any opponent to come back after having to deal with an army of [c]Balefire Dragon[/c]s or [c]Wurmcoil Engine[/c]s. This deck takes some time to set up, but has a snowball effect, since you’re going to be generating so much advantage out of each creature you play.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you guys or gals have any suggestions for a new commander you want me to take a look at, let me know in the comments below. Next week, we build a toolbox. See you next week my friends, and happy holidays.

-Steven Gulsby

Threat Evaluation, Part Three: Mountain, Go.

The order of these Threat Evaluation articles is listed by historic power level. Grixis will always be the most powerful combination of colors in Magic in my mind because of how long the game existed before Tarmogoyf. Control Slaver and The Perfect Storm are two format defining decks in the most powerful format: Vintage.

All that aside, what are we up against if we see a Mountain, pass? Burn. You’re up against Burn, and you are 25% done with game one.

For this period in time, the article could end there. [c]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/c] has gotten everyone all shook up, and time will tell whether it is just a flash in the pan. In fact, stay tuned for an article about how it shakes up the game, not just the format.

Nevertheless, if we’re being fair, there are lots of other options. As we did in the Swamp, Go article, we will similarly ignore the lists we have already posted.* First, let’s cover the mono-red lists. It is interesting to see once again that there are more mono-red options than mono-blue.

*- I have realized that there are already omissions in previous articles of decks that I have missed. These will be covered in the final article six, and the first five will be edited to include them for easier reference.

Bringer of the Red Dawn

A look at the mono-red decks in Modern.

Burn

Or, how this same effect is reaching critical mass, this is distinguished from Red Deck Wins by fewer creatures and the inclusion of [c]Lava Spike[/c] or any other card that targets the player only.

Tell-tale signs: [c]Spark Elemental[/c]. Other than that, trust me, you’ll know.

Red Deck Wins

Here the player is using burn to remove blockers but still bringing the heat with [c]Goblin Guide[/c], [c]Vexing Devil[/c], and [c]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/c].

Tell-tale signs: [c]Mogg Fanatic[/c] is used here and not in Burn. Also, maindeck [c]Molten Rain[/c], [c]Blood Moon[/c] and/or [c]Shrine of Burning Rage[/c] may show up.

Skred Red/Snow Control

This deck is perfect in the right meta, and today’s meta is not it because of all the combo. Any deck trying to beat Skred Red with creatures is going to have a tough time: it has mass removal with [c]Pyroclasm[/c] and [c]Blasphemous Act[/c], the best spot removal with [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] and [c]Skred[/c], and [c]Boros Reckoner[/c]. Dragons will come to clean house at the end of the day.

Tell-tale signs: Unless some Burn player is being cute, [c]Snow-Covered Mountain[/c] without any source of Green mana lets you know what you’re up against.

Goblins

Well, the thing is, this is a pretty consistent turn four aggro deck against a goldfish. Some decks function as goldfish for four turns, so sometimes Goblins gets there. It loses so much in the port from Legacy, though, that it can’t consistently compete.

Tell-tale Signs: [c]Foundry Street Denizen[/c], any spell that puts a 1/1 Goblin token into play are used here and nowhere else.

Red Sun’s Zenith

The decks listed in this category are seen frequently and not mono-red but also do not include blue or black.

Gruul Scapeshift

Omitting the blue element for [c]Primeval Titan[/c], Gruul Scapeshift has the combo kill or a potent beat-down plan with giants and [c]Polukranos, World Eater[/c]. The deck is required to play a significant amount of Mountains for the [c]Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle[/c] kill, so the double green mana costed beaters can be awkward.

Tell-tale signs: If it looks like [c]Scapeshift[/c] but plays [c]Khalni Heart Expedition[/c], [c]Magma Jet[/c], or [c]Explore[/c], don’t breathe a sigh of relief thinking your opponent is screwed off blue.

Zoo

Once again, a deck has cards that include “Mountain” in their text, and this time it’s the once-banned [c]Wild Nacatl[/c]. Now we’re left scratching our heads as to why it was banned. Variants include [c]Tribal Flames[/c] Zoo that splashes blue for [c]Geist of Saint Traft[/c] and [c]Snapcaster Mage[/c] or little zoo with [c]Loam Lion[/c], [c]Kird Ape[/c], and even maindeck [c]Gaddock Teeg[/c].

Tell-tale signs: Looking at a Naya-colored mana-base, you may be tempted to think you’re up against Kiki Pod, but that deck doesn’t play [c]Tarmogoyf[/c], burn spells, or [c]Ghor-Clan Rampager[/c].

Boros Angel Twin

This midrange combo deck eschews [c]Pestermite[/c] and [c]Deceiver Exarch[/c] for [c]Restoration Angel[/c] and [c]Palace Guard[/c]. Alternatively, some flickering brews combine enter-the-battlefield effects such as [c]Blade Splicer[/c] with [c]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/c] and the angel.

Tell-tale signs: [c]Rugged Prairie[/c] is not played anywhere else. Also a Boros mana-base with any creatures that have a hint of Death and Taxes give the heads-up.

Norin The Wary

Here’s a very rarely seen deck in dailies that is seen quite frequently in the 2-man queues. Part Human aggro, part Soul Sisters, part EDH-level triggers, this deck is all fun, if underpowered.

Tell-tale signs: [c]Champion of the Parish[/c] is a good indicator, and this deck packs the Soul Sisters with red mana sources. [c]Norin the Wary[/c] and [c]Genesis Chamber[/c] are sure bets.

Red Scarab

Like a red scarab, you won’t see these as often, but they do happen and include Mountains.

Gruul Beats

This was a thing before the un-banning of [c]Wild Nacatl[/c]. Some players use [c]Faithless Looting[/c] and [c]Vengevine[/c] with all of the 1-drops, while others combine cards like [c]Burning-Tree Emissary[/c] and [c]Priest of Urabrask[/c] with [c]Myr Superion[/c] or [c]Storm Entity[/c]. These topped out at about $20, which is significantly less than the $1k Zoo decks of today.

Mono Red Storm

Here is a budget storm deck that skimps on sources of blue mana for purely monetary reasons.  Cards like [c]Goblin Electromancer[/c], [c]Desperate Ravings[/c], and the efficient draw package are replaced by [c]Empty the Warrens[/c], [c]Reforge the Soul[/c], and sometimes [c]Young Pyromancer[/c]. Some players run some number of [c]Burning Inquiry[/c], [c]Goblin Lore[/c], and [c]Locket of Yesterdays[/c]. The [c]Pyromancer Ascension[/c] and [c]Past in Flames[/c] engine is still the same.

Tell-tale signs: In the early game, you may see [c]Fungal Reaches[/c], [c]Wild Guess[/c], or a discarded [c]Increasing Vengeance[/c] or [c]Reforge the Soul[/c] without any blue sources. These cards aren’t used anywhere else.

Garga-geddon

The Mountains are essential for the turn 1 [c]Greater Gargadon[/c]. The player builds his resources with the Borderpost cycle while building up for a crippling [c]Restore Balance[/c] from a cascade spell.

Tell-tale signs: It’s easy to see this in the early game with the above mentioned cards. Other suspend spells may see play such as [c]Riftwing Cloudskate[/c].

Dragonstorm

I mean, who can resist? [c]Stormbreath Dragon[/c] and [c]Thundermaw Hellkite[/c] are played on their own and quite hard-castable, and there are a host of other dragons that finish the game quite well when combined with [c]Dragonstorm[/c].

Tell-tale signs: A [c]Lotus Bloom[/c] is not used in UR Storm, but it will see play here. Also you may see a [c]Cavern of Souls[/c] combined with what otherwise looks like a storm deck.

Rumbling Crescendo

You can observe that these articles are getting smaller. We have precious few lists that are Green or White without including the other three colors. Fortunately, some of these decks are my favorites, so maybe I can flourish the descriptions up some for you all. In the meantime, here’s a Modern Silverblack brew with Mountains.

[d title=”Modern Silverblack Skred Red”]

Land

20 Snow-Covered Mountain

Creatures

4 Spitemare

4 Stormblood Berserker

4 Vulshok Refugee

Other Spells

2 Into the Maw of Hell

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Molten Rain

4 Pyrite Spellbomb

4 Pyroclasm

4 Pyrohemia

2 Shrine of Burning Rage

4 Skred

Sideboard

4 Aura Barbs

1 Boil

4 Cryoclasm

2 Shrine of Burning Rage

4 Smash to Smithereens[/d]