Monthly Archives: March 2012

This morning’s Idea Log comes to me from Commander Cast #62, Season 5, Episode 10. The guys were talking about board position and it was said “the best way to win is to look like you are always in second place.” This really stuck with me, and while not always relevant, it is a strategy that could benefit you when playing Commander.

It makes perfect sense. If you have three more lands in play than everyone else and several creatures while the opponents only have a few, then you are a threat, and your opponents will make you the target. If you instead have slightly less threatening cards in play than one of the other opponents, then the remaining opponents will see that one as a threat and attack them instead of you.

This will not always work of course. If you are like me and your group consists of the same four guys every week, then they get to know you and the decks that you play, so they know what to look for when assessing the threat level of the table.

The real lesson here is to be flexible. Like most things in life you don’t want to go into anything with one set plan and be unable to cope with things that happen to disrupt that plan. So, if you have a decent board position, but one of your opponents is the current threat, then maybe it won’t be such a great idea to drop that planeswalker or Doubling Season (in my decks these tend to be the target generators.) It all depends on what becoming the target will mean, so ask yourself, “can I withstand the whole table ganging up on me and still come out ahead?” If the answer is no, then hold off.

On the way to work this morning I was listening to Monday Night Magic and they were talking about a card trick in Legacy where you use a land called Tower of the Magistrate to give a creature protection from artifacts which causes equipment to fall off! I think that’s an amazing thing that could be done in Commander! Sadly most of my usual opponents don’t really use that much equipment, so it is more of an idea for people to use against me and my Dakkon Blackblade deck! Thanks MnM for the idea!


Since the first slivers were released back in the days of Tempest, Slivers
have been one of my favorite creature types. They were an awesome hive-mind type creature where each one took on the abilities of all the others on the board. Because of that you could play several small creatures and they would suddenly all be big or have great abilities. Their biggest drawback is that they give their abilities to ALL slivers, so if your opponents get wise, then they side in some slivers or changelings to fight you. Read More

I know, I know, this is a Commander blog, and while I typically don’t play anything but everyone’s favorite singleton 100, I occasionally get the itch for something else, and lately that itch has been big tournaments. I last went to GP San Diego and had a great time, even though I didn’t do very well as far as the tournament was concerned. So, I’ve been keeping my eye on the schedules and found that for some reason, GP Salt Lake City caught my eye. Maybe it’s the chance to win a piece of The Power 9, or maybe just the fact that it is the only standard tournament in the near future that is standard. GP Los Angeles which is MUCH closer to me is block constructed, and that is appealing to me as well, but this one in Salt Lake is just calling to me for some reason. There also happens to be a Star City Games open in Phoenix, AZ, and I may try going to that one as well, but we’ll see.

Sadly, the road to GP Salt Lake City is paved with expenses. For me to fly is too expensive. Driving by myself would be even more expensive, and it’s a 12 hour trip! So I wracked my brain and finally came up with the idea that I could drive… as long as I have some people join me to share the cost of gas. I did some maths and came up with a figure.

So here’ my pitch:

I’m selling rides to and from Salt Lake City, UT for the Magic: The Gathering Grand Prix on May 30-April 1, 2012. We will be leaving from the Beaumont/Banning area of Southern California on Thursday May 29th in the evening, and we will return early in the morning on Monday April 2nd. This puts us at the GP site from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon/evening. Once on site each individual is responsible for their own lodging and transportation. I realize that the transportation part may cause some issues, so we could maybe work something out, but personally I don’t plan on being anywhere other than the GP site and hotel. The cost for this ride is $75, and it is very cheap. I can do it this cheaply because I have a vehicle that seats 7, and I have 5 seats open in that vehicle. If you fly it will cost more. If you drive, even with another friend or three, it will probably cost more… unless you drive a hybrid or something. This is a 1400 mile round trip and will take roughly 12 hours one way.

My costs are so tight on this that if I don’t get a full boat, I don’t think I’ll be able to go at all.

So, please spread the word, and if you are interested, please contact me and we can work out a deal. I am also entertaining the idea of trading the ride for cards that I need, and here’s a list along with what I’m willing to give in value towards the ride:

Sunpetal Grove$2
Woodland Cemetery$5
1 Spellskite: $6
2 Surgical Extraction: $7
Isolated Chapel$8
2 Gideon Jura$8
Garruk Relentless$14
Elspeth Tirel$18
Liliana of the Veil$30
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad$30


Like many, I pass my vast commuting hours listening to podcasts. Primarily those podcasts are on the topic of Magic: The Gathering. Just FYI, my favorites include Horde of Notions, Commander Cast, The Mana Pool, Monday Night Magic, and so on. While listening to these I tend to get ideas for decks, commanders to use, interesting combos, or just things that I might want to try out. Sadly, as I’m in the car on the freeway when I hear these things for the most part, I don’t get the chance to write them down or remember to look them up when I get where I’m going.

Well, I started this blog as a way to help me hash out ideas and go over my methods, and to share that information in the hopes that it may help someone else as well, so I thought I would add a segment to my posts called the Idea Log! Essentially, these will be short posts with me stating the ideas that I get and maybe a bit of fleshing that idea out.

Today on the way to work I was listening to The Mana Pool and one of the hosts mentioned that he was building a Ruhan of the Fomori deck. They got to talking about how political it could be to say “I’m sorry, but if I didn’t have to attack then I wouldn’t, and it was the die that made me attack you! This got me to thinking about making a completely random deck. A quick search for the word random in this commander’s colors reveals approximately 66 cards. Many of those are “discard a card at random” effects, but some of the others might fit the mold. Searching the same colors for the word “coin” gives us 53 cards. Sadly searching “dice” only came up with one non-“un” card, and it just had “Dice” in the title. The word “Die” is used too many times in the context of creatures going to the graveyard rather than the context of “roll a die” to be an accurate gauge of what we could build this kind of deck out of.  Other cards to look for would be things that force you to attack every turn, a-la Juggernaut. We’ll see if I ever get around to actually trying to make a deck like this work, but it’s a fun idea!


The dark mage stood tall upon the hill, his billowing robes silhouetted in the setting sun, shimmering with green, black, and blue. He calmly awaited the lone attacker as it charged up the hill, a small, insect-like, wood elemental. It was a nothing creature, sent to irritate him at best. It was an insult to his strength by the neighboring mage. He put no defenses in place, this would be but a minor pin-prick compared to what he would do to his neighbor. He thought of the darkness that he had waiting in the depths of the graveyards that would utterly destroy his enemies while these minuscule threats uselessly attacked him.

The elemental raced towards the enemy, leaping for the attack at the last second. As its splintery limbs connected with its target, warm blood seeped into the bark covered cracks in its body.

The mage laughed off the tiny attacker that was now pulling back. It hunched over as if in pain. “Ha! Such a miniature creature sent against me! And look,” he gestured at its doubled over husk, “it is weakened by the mere effort of bat…” The last word trailed off as the creature started to grow in size. It’s wooden form shuddered and a split formed along its middle, and suddenly, two of the little wood elementals were circling him, thirsty for more of his blood.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out which creature I’m talking about, particularly if you check out the deck list in Part 3. That’s right, it’s Spawnwrithe, and it can be a super star!

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