Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Soulflayer:I am You"

"Soulflayer:I am You"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

As a Necromancer the only thing I could think of while looking at Soulflayer were Angels , mainly Akroma , Angel of Wrath...

Flying , First Strike , Vigilance , Trample , Haste...Yup , all except the Protection from Red and Black will be absorbed by this Sultai Demon when Akroma is a part of its Delve cost. The 6 to cast demon with is one of the latest creatures to come out of Fate Reforged that has me thinking of Sultai enhancements and other delve power ups. The latest twist is that this creature would acquire specified creature attributes like the one I stated above with Akroma. I believe that unlike other creatures from the past Magic is limiting the things that this creature siphon off from the creatures in the graveyard. 

I recently came up with a Teneb , The Harvester  EDH deck that I felt was missing a certain something in it. Soulflayer just might be that one thing. 

In the meantime here here is what I would call an ideal scenario , with 5 mana you could easily cast Buried Alive , Put Akroma , Avacyn and Sigarda, pay 2 black Mana and Delve for the 4 colorless mana with all those cards in your graveyard(including the Buried Alive that you just cast). The end result is a Flying , First Strike , Vigilance , Trample , Haste , Indestructible , Hexproof 4/4 demon. Yup ,Angels and Demons and in this instant Demons devouring Angels for breakfast. I like the imagery.

One could argue that these Angels would be much better reanimated but hey I am talking about the Soulflayer here and how it could achieve its full EDH potential. The great value of Soulflayer as a finisher when you have these guys in the graveyard and not a single Reanimation spell in your hand.  I am glad that they made this card , slightly weaker in power level but its delve cost gives it great potential as a powerful creature on your side of the battlefield. I mean a bad ass creature for the price of 2 black mana!

Soulflayer  , I am so glad I got you in my PR pack! Time to make this work. Thought  about any other creature that you would love Soulflayer to Grave imprint? Leave me a comment below and thanks for reading!

"Temporal Trespass:I see..."

"Temporal Trespass:I see..."
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

There are cards that hint at greater things when one is perceptive enough...so when I found myself opening a booster of Khans of Tarkir and getting what appears to be a trash rare in Ugins Nexus , I found myself asking the question , what card in this block is Ugins Nexus countering , which card would give an extra turn? Would it come out in Fate Reforged or Dragons of Tarkir.

Temporal Trespass answered all those questions for me.And many players saw other things in the card as well.

Players who have Narset as a commander in EDH was happy to see this card as well. They didn't even look at the 11 mana cost or the 8 mana that they need to delve. All they saw was the extra turn and maybe the lady with the large breasts and small armor to match it with. 

People who play with Keranos/ Riddle of Lightning decks however saw another thing...11 points of damage for 5 mana at the end of an opponents turn. A possible end to a long controlled match or if the turn wasn't enough  , the  Temporal Trespass could provide you an extra turn since this is the next card that you would be drawing. Maybe even enough to finish what that 11 point damage started.

Others saw that it was a Delve version or Timewalk , the next thing that players the world over would build decks around to abuse after Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. Mono Blue Commander decks which usually pile on spells in the their graveyards now have an added extra turns for their shenanigans. 8 cards is easy enough to build into in decks that are in it for the long haul. 

Ah Temporal Trespass you have managed to rock our world with your Timewalking ways....

"Scytheclaw: Half of it gone"

"Scytheclaw: Half of it gone"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

There have been very powerful creatures that seem to suck the life force of an opponent in an instant. Creatures like Ebonblade Reaper for example manage to halve an opposing players life when it deals damage to him or her(he also halves your life as well). Now it is a bit sad that not all of your creatures could be a threat this way nor could Ebonblade Reaper connect with your opponents on a consistent basis.

But what if I told you that you could have a hexproof creature that is unblockable with this life force sucking power who doesn't suck your life too? That guy sounds like Invisible Stalker from Innistrad! And you would be right but how could he have this power you ask?


Syctheclaw is a nod to the Germ tokens and the Phyrexianized equipments from the Scars of Mirrodin block. It could literally give this awesome power to any of your creatures but I guess it would be best to give to something that doesn't die from doomblade right? In the event that Invisible Stalker is not available any 1/1 flying creature or unblockable creature like Benthic Infiltrator who can deal damage unmolested and doesn't die all that easily to burn spells because of it's 1/4 build. Not bad for a 3 mana creature right?

Since we are playing in an EDH setting Trailblazers boots would also come in handy to make your creatures unblockable. Cutting an opponents life total in half for each attack is worth putting on those old boots from the original Zendikar block don't you think? This becomes equally important because if you don't have any other creatures to equip this awesome artifact to then you could just have the germ token that comes with attack. Hopefully it would have a Trailblazers boots on for this particular trick to work.

To say that I am excited is an understatement. So what other methods would you want to use to give your creatures evade? Is cutting an opponents life total in half worth all the trouble or do you prefer going in for the kill in other ways? Leave me a comment and thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Blade of Selves: Sharing a Myriad of you"

"Blade of Selves: Sharing a Myriad of you"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

My very first EDH deck was Relentless Rats deck that spewed out more and more rats over time to eventually overwhelm any opponent. The More Relentless rats on the battlefield the stronger each creature becomes. So I thought to myself how can these particular rats get even stronger?

Well by abusing the Myriad mechanic from Commander 2015 of course. At this point there are several creatures that have the mechanic already built in and I was salivating at the thought of an artifact that you could equip on your creature and actually give it Myriad. Then I came upon the blade of selves that cost 2 colorless mana to cast and 4 colorless mana to equip.

"Daga , Daga"
By the way Myriad allows you to put a token of the  attacking creature with Myriad into the battlefield , tapped and attacking. The count is based on the number of opponents(other than the opponent you just attacked). If you have 3 opponents then you put 2 tokens. Or in this case 2 Relentless Rat tokens! Unless you attacked each your opponents and then you end up with Zero tokens. Don't do that ok?

So let us say you equip a single Relentless Rat and you attack with it and put 2 tokens that are exactly like it into play and since it gives a +1/+1 for each other Relentless rat in play you end up giving your ratties a +2/+2 stat bump that makes them all 4/4! Assuming they all hit an opponent that is 12 points of damage! And that is just from a single , equipped Relentless Rat! Crazy! 

"More Sacrifices , Less Blockers"
Things also get much better if you equip this on creatures with extremely good Enter the battlefield abilities like Fleshbag Marauder(opponent sacrifices creature!) , Eternal Witness(retrieve cards from graveyard) , Solemn Similacrum (land fetch) or Acidic Slime(goodbye enchantment , artifact or land). All in 2 copies(at least)! And these are just the low powered creatures that attack in the early turns. 

An added bonus will be Thragtusk which not only gives you an extra pair of 3/5 attackers and gains you 10 life points in a pinch. When you exile the 2 Thragtusk tokens created by the Blade of Selves , it leaves you with 2 3/3 beast tokens as a parting gift! I love you too Thragtusk.

Now , Imagine equipping the Blade of Selves on a Titan or a Primordial! 2 extra copies of a Sun Titan or Primeval Titan! I am just beside myself with excitement. Imagine the headache of dealing with  2 Sepulchral Primordials landing on the battlefield! That is a lot of graveyards to go through.(and I promise not to complain as I root out the best creatures out of my opponents graveyards!) 

Blade of Selves will also be extremely good attached to Non-Legendary Tribal Chieftains like Lord of the Undead or Elvish Champion which has the potential to make them 3/3 each on every attack! Not to mention the other member of that particular tribe already in play. Bloodmoon+Goblin King+ Blade of Selves seems like an equation that will send your opponents in the red in no time at all. If you catch my drift.  

I am guessing that this would be the hottest Equipment coming out of this batch of Commander decks. And why wouldn't it be. Just remember to equip it on non-Legendary creatures with ETB or Tribal stat pumps and you are all good! 

Have you thought of another way to abuse Myriad and Blade of Selves? Is your palms getting all sweaty as you wait for Commander 2015 to come out?(like me?) Leave me a comment below and thanks for reading!

Monday, November 9, 2015

"Illusory Gains:Infusing a little Chaos"

"Illusory Gains:Infusing a little Chaos"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Illusory gains is one of those cards that makes you scratch your head. Is this good? Or is this not good? Today we explore some of its possibilities.With a little control we will try to bypass Illusory Gains weakness and maybe, just maybe come out on top.

So first off why is this rare card good? For 5 mana you can enchant any creature(except for the Hexproof and Shroud Ones) and you are now able to control it. Stealing a big creature away from an opponent and possibly smashing him or her on the face with it. Wow right? You would be pretty happy with this result am I correct?

Normally anyone would by Illusory Gains is a "Sick" Card. I say that because if you decide to take their biggest creature and they decide to play let us say , Raise the Alarm , the weakness of Illusory Gains will be exposed. When a creature comes into play under an opponents control you need to attach Illusory Gains to that creature or in this case you need to choose between that 2 1/1 Soldier tokens that just arrived on the battlefield. In effect you are letter go of the big creature you just captured and replacing it with something that could easily die while not giving you much of anything. Could be worse , it could have been a 0/1 Kobold. Which reminds me. Never play this card against Prossh decks or anything with Avenger of Zendikar or Tokenators. The amount of creatures your opponents are able to spew on the battlefield render it absolutely worthless.

So why should I play it if it is such a horrible card? Well. Like Joker once said ,"Introduce a little Anarchy , upset the established order and everything becomes chaos". This card will matter because it will make opponents hesitate while casting key cards. While there is a probability that you would get a sucky , weak creature there is also a possibility that this card will stop opponents from casting their Commanders in EDH. Imagine taking Hold of Kaalia of the Vast when it comes into play? Or Any Angel , Dragon or Demon that she would drop if you are not able to control her and she attacks. Chaos.

Always remember that you have at least 3 opponents in your EDH games and the chaos that Illusory gains creates will surely confuse at least one of them.And hopefully you are in the middle of that confusion ready to take advantage of it all.

Illusory Gains for as long as it is in play will surely check your opponents. They would hesitate casting Commanders , they would hesitate Reanimating that big creature or even using that card that summons a Craterhoof Behemoth since you could control that creature.

Take note that its apparent weakness attaches this card and does not target so it bypasses Shroud or Hexproof. Imagine being able to control a Narset!

Illusory Gains is certainly an evil card in the right situations. I am looking forward to adding this to one of my EDH decks. So how do you plan to infuse chaos in your EDH playgroup? So you Illusory gains in your immediate future? Leave me a comment below and thanks for reading.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Ripping Out a New One:Torrent Elemental"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

When you read the word torrent a couple of things instantly come to mind. You usually associate it with the word Download and then those ads in the side of the page that have girls wiggling their butts. Don't deny it. We all have seen the page.

Today's blog is not about downloads or wiggly butts. It is about a creature that hasn't seen much love as the whole Battle For Zendikar Craziness has fallen on all of us. I was browsing through the cards of Fate Reforged and came upon Torrent Elemental.

All I could think of is that this Mythic Rare Elemental is angry and that it should be in Black or Red somehow but it manages to be a Sultai hybrid of sorts and its main color is blue. It also is probably angry because it seems no one wants to field it on their EDH teams. Well I want to play with you Torrent Elemental and I am sure that you will be an asset.

Now checking on the stats of this creature. 3/5 for 5 mana is pretty good in the EDH setting. I can even say that this guy given the right chance can win the whole table for you. I mean it can attack for 3 damage each turn , that is easy. The only other thing you need is an army on your side of the board. You see Torrent Elemental has an activated ability that allows you to tap all creatures that a defending player controls. All of them. Imagine no Indestructible or Hexproof creatures ruining your plan of attack.

Think about it. Torrent Elemental + Blightsteel Colossus. The Colossus is basically unblockable and hits for 11  points of Infect! Good Game Sir! Hand shakes all around! And then you observe your opponents silently boarding in a lot of spot removal.

Speaking of Removal Torrent Elemental is one of those pesky critters that won't quit on you even if it is exiled. Check out its second ability. You could pay 3 colorless mana and any combination of Black/Green mana to put Torrent Elemental back on the battlefield Tapped. The catch is that you could only do this any time you could cast a sorcery. So you basically pass a turn of attacking and hope that your opponents wont be able to deal with our angry elemental here. Even if they could exile him again this is still to your advantage since this is a creature that does not come from your hand or your library. It actually comes from the exile zone and for a measly 5 mana could come back to lead your next attack.

It makes me wonder though....if the Torrent Elemental has a really strong gustiness to it then why isn't he affecting your creatures too? My guess is that he is aiming all that wind towards the opposing side so that all those creatures become unable to resist your next attack. They become blinded or simply just fall to the ground. 

Either way without any defenders expect the Torrent Elemental to lead a Rout. Speaking of Rout you better hope that your opponent doesn't have one in hand or it is going to be a bad turn of events.

So there you go. Much love for this Mythic Rare that isn't getting some lately. Have you already thought of a way to abuse this card? Ready to go Sultai aggrro? Leave me a comment below and thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Milling or Swinging: Dread Summons"

"Reminds me of that time I had to wake up..."

"Milling or Swinging: Dread Summons"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Sometimes I don't really want to see the end. With Dread Summons however it is kinda hard not to. It is either an opponent empties out their entire library(Milling) or they die to a horde of shamblers(Swinging). I am getting way ahead of myself though so let  me pull back just a little bit.

Commander 2015 has continued the tradition of coming out with great cards that would soon separate you and your cash. Dread Summons is one reason why you should get excited. A win condition is seldom this cheap to cast. 

Two Black Mana and an X cost. Each player mills his or her library for the X amount of mana that you pay to cast this sorcery. So let us assume that you have one of those decks that love to churn up ridiculous amounts of mana and decide to max out your win condition by Milling everyone on the table for 100 mana to the X (although by the time you are able to pull this off opposing players may have much less than that). 

"Throw your tentacles in the air and wave em' like you just don't care" moment. Yeah!
But wait! This card affects you too! Well it doesn't have to be like that. All you need to do is have an Ulamog , The Infinite Gyre( so you don't run out of cards to mill) , Blightsteel Colossus or Darksteel Colossus in your deck and you won't accidentally deck yourself out because these cards will just automatically go back to your deck the moment they hit the graveyard. Now that we have that particular concern out of the way. Let us continue.

So what happens when your opponents have the same Undeckoutable deck?
Well this is how all those Undead will be put to good use. You know , all those 2/2 Undead that was created each time a player milled a creature into his or her graveyard. With at least 3 other players and your own library I see a good zombie count of over 20. All the better to swing with.

Around this time I will look into an opponents eyes with this look:

"So you survived my Milling? Let's see you survive an all out Zombie Assault...On my next turn...and hopefully you didn't already have a mass removal spell in your hand before I so foolishly pissed you off by emptying your entire library to the graveyard.I also hope you don't have something as silly as a pyroclasm in your hand...Or a Rakdos Charm.That would be really really really bad for me."

Dread? I am actually looking forward to add this to my existing Unlimited Zombie Tokenator Sultai EDH deck.So what victory condition do you prefer Milling or Swinging? Leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading.