Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Mogis' Minotaurs:The Promise of Pain and Death"

"Mogis' Minotaurs:The Promise of Pain and Death"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Mogis the God of Slaughter has finally emerged in Born of the Gods and with him comes the hope that the Minotaurs as a tribe would again rise to power.They are one of Magics Iconic tribe after all.

I have a decklist that might not be a twist on the usual Chicago Bulls deck but it does look at the great possibilities and downfalls when it comes to making the Minotaur tribe in standard. 

Minotaurs: Death and Fire

4 X Temple of Malice
4 X Blood Crypt
10 X Mountains
8 X Swamps 
22 X Lands

4 X Rage Monger
4 X Boros Reckoner 
4 X Fellhide Brawler 
4 X Deathbellow Raider 
4 X Rageblood Shaman  
2 X Kragma War Caller
2 X Fanatic of Mogis
24 Creatures
2 X Mogis , God of Slaughter  
4 X Magmajet  
4 X Lightning Strike  
4 X Mizzium Mortars  
14 spells

4 X Act of Treason
4 X Bile Blight
4 X Hero's Downfall

Right off the bat and Minotaur deck certainly comes with a lot of Brute Force. You have your 3/3's , Inspired fo 4/3 monstrosities. Magic has enablers here to in the form of Rageblood Shaman which make other Minotaurs have a +1/+1 stat pump and trample. I mean what is the point of all that power without the damage being blocked by a measly 1/1 token right? As if that stat pump is not enough , you also have the Kragma Warcaller which gives a +2/0 and Haste to any Minotaur landing on your side of the battlefield.

The problem with all this power comes at the price of mana. The deck only has 2 creatures at the 2 mana cost slots. They could be aggressive on their own but the deck really shines when all 
the other big Nastys are able to land on the battlefield around turn three. Rush decks may have a field day before the big Bulls ever get to see play or get swallowed up by bigger guys like Poly K in the latter turns.

Born of the Gods introduced the Rage Monger which made of Bulls a bit smaller in the mana department. You could cast them for far less and assuming that that the Rage Monger survives you could win by sheer power alone. I mean another Ragemonger would come into play for a measly 1 colorless mana and a Kragma Warcaller , well is just a 3 colorless mana. Big savings on the mana department right?

The real problem though is that since Mana Acceleration is literally none-existent for our Bull tribe the answer comes in great creature removal.Delay the opponents creatures from overwhelming you before you could overwhelm them. When the Mana isn't there yet you simply have to turn to Death and Fire. Burn anything that moves with Mizzium Mortars , Lightning Strike and Magma Jet. If things get much larger then there is always the dependable Hero's Downfall and Bile Blight for all those pesky tokens.

Mogis the God of Slaughter also has a lot to say about this matter. I mean he gives your opponents a choice between Death and Fire as well. 2 Damage or the sacrifice of a creature. If he isn't a creature yet you could just get by with this awesome ability and when he does become Creature Manifest then you could go to town with his 7/5 Indestructible frame. Even if your tribe is wiped out by a well timed Supreme Verdict chances are your opponents will have a hard time recuperating from their loss or even build up a good amount of creatures with Mogis remains in play.

The aggression that the Minotaurs pose may not be as fast the Goblins or Elves of the past but their threat and power is real. Take the deck for a spin and see for yourself. Make your opponents choose from being burned or being gored to death.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Songs of Magic AKA songs blurted out during games...

"The Hills are alive with the sound of...."
The Songs of Magic AKA songs blurted out during games...
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

I play with a bunch of crazy people. We love the same game and though we have less sleep and less time to eat we just have to play. Sometimes in the gaming tables in the office , in tournaments or at home there are certain songs that come out automatically when a spell is cast. Here are a few of those songs. Maybe you are your play group have heard them too...

1) "I'll catch a grenade for you..."

Right after throwing 5 points of damage at an opponents face with Goblin Grenade.

2) "Sowap if I'm drunk , Sowap I smoke weed.."

After casting sword of War and Peace or when equipping it to a creature...

3) "What a journey it has been..."

After casting Journey To Nowhere on an opponents creature...

4) "Lakas tama...ako'y nawawala..."

After firing off a Lux Canon...Ang Lux kasi niya eh...

5) "It's where my demons hide...Its where my Demons Hide..."

After playing a Rakdos Guildgate or Blood Crypt...

6) "Boom...Here comes the...Boom..."

Before declaring an attack that is assumed to be a finishing blow...especially in EDH...

Honorable Mention:

One of my opponents cast a Squadron Hawk...he takes out his phone and plays the Babylos theme from Shaider as he looks for more blockers( he has been hammered down to 2 poison counters and was relieved to have a creature)...

He was so happy that he got 4 Squadron Hawks , cast another one immediately that he totally forgot that I just had to target that Livewire Lash attached to my Glistener Elf with a Giant Growth to kill him. The intro was so impressive that I didn't have the heart to disturb him...


Writers Note: This is a half finished blog. The rest really is up to you guys. I am sure there are a lot more songs that I may not be able to recall or add here...

"12 Swords: Boros Aura Deck 2014"

"12 Swords: Boros Aura Deck 2014"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Every set brings with it different possibilities.Things that were simply not possible and the inevitable escalation that comes with new cards.

One of the things that I wanted to write about was the new 1 drop cards that would surely make a splash in Standard Pauper. An all common format is limited and easy to get into especially for beginners. The budget aspect of the deck is appealing too. If you could build a kick ass deck that could also compete then that surely would be icing on the cake.

So the 2 cards that got my attention was the Nyxborn Shieldmate and the Nyxborn Rollicker. One White and One Red. Together would make a Boros Enchantment deck possible.Enter the 12 Swords.

9 X Mountains
9 X Plains
4 X Boros Guildgate
22 Lands

4 X Hopeful Eidolon
4 X Nyxborn Rollicker
4 X Nyxborn Shieldmate
4 X Observant Alseid
4 X Keening Apparition
2 X Auramancer
22 Creatures

4 X Lightning Strike
4 X Pacifism
4 X Ethereal Armor
4 X MadCap Skills
20 Spells

4 X Celestial Flare
4 X Electrickery
4 X Mugging
3 X Last Breathe

The name of the game is still Fire and Blood.The early one drops of this deck is really murder as the race for lifepoints literally starts on turn two. And consider for a moment that most of the creatures here are Aura Creatures. A turn two Ethereal Armor on any of the 12 one drops could mean a massive 3/3 creature on the 2nd turn. Potentially getting bigger as the turns progress. 

Imagine a Madcap Skills on any of those one drops as well , giving a 4/1 or 4/2 Threat.Honestly , how many decks in pauper already have 2 creatures on your  2nd turn? A low probability and this makes this deck even more deadly. 

Early attacks that draw blood might go unanswered would spell doom but there are ways of dealing with a deck this aggressive.And there are abundance of creature removal available. The 2 Auramancers are there to make sure that you get more of the same from these deadly enchantments.  

I would also like to add that Nyxborn Rollicker and Nyxborn Shieldmate have relatively low Bestow costs.So they could attach as Auras , have a their host creatures die and then become a threat all in themselves. Especially if you have been holding on to a couple of Ethereal Armors and Madcap skills in your hand( which you should , being greedy isn't worth it). 

When you have the upper hand in creatures do not be too hasty to put all of your powerful auras on one creature since a single swift blow could dash your dreams. Be patient. Keep the pressure. Rethreaten when your threat is killed. All will wither. The 12 Swords are here.