Monthly Archives: January 2013

How often do you build a Commander deck and once your list is set, you never change it again. For me this happens a fair amount. It is time consuming to keep up with the ever-changing meta-game, adjusting your decks accordingly. The most common time that you see people adjusting their decks is when they are new. This is certainly important, as you have to have played the deck to see how it works at all, but for many people it ends once they have identified the glaring errors in their new decks and then fix them. It is really important to continually be reviewing your card choices, how your hands and board states are affecting the game, and so on, throughout the life of your deck. You must be vigilant in watching for cards that don’t have enough effect on the board, that can’t stand up to your opponents’ board state, and that sit in your hand without ever being cast. Not only that, you have to constantly be thinking about what cards you need to make the deck better, and not necessarily what cards, but what kinds of effects. If you always have an idea of what you want your deck to be doing, and it’s weaknesses, then you can more easily determine if any given card can fill in any weak spots in your deck.

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I have a couple of ideas to talk about this morning. The first is a card that I heard on CommanderCast’s 100th episode. First let me say that CommanderCast has been one of my top podcasts to listen to for a while now (it didn’t hurt that I got to guest host an episode!) and I am very sad to see Andy leave the show. I understand the reasons, and I look forward with anticipation  to the future of CommanderCast. Good bye Andy, and good luck in all of your future endeavors.

So here’s the card:

The downside to this card is that it only reacts when your non-creature cards are destroyed, which is a pretty big downfall when you consider that most decks are roughly one-third creatures. Hmmm, I seem to recall some deck of mine that doesn’t have any creatures in it… of course, I’m picking up one of these bad boys and it is going right into my near-creatureless Sharuum the Hegemon deck! All I have are non-creature permanents, and if someone decides to take out a mana rock of mine, then they lose a land… or a creature, because the reaction of the enchantment isn’t limited by the non-creature clause of the trigger. I can take out your creatures in response to you taking out my artifacts, enchantments, or lands. The deck needed more removal anyway. Muahahahaha!

My other idea for today revolves, of course, around the spoilers for Gatecrash. I was listening to The Mana Pool on the way to work this morning and they were going through the spoilers… and as they were I was getting ideas for decks. After a while I realized that all of these deck ideas had one thing in common. I started thinking more specifically about that particular thing, and I realized that I could base a deck around one idea…


that’s all your getting because half of my play group reads this blog, so I can’t spoil every surprise that I have in store for them. Again, Muahahahaha!


With Gatecrash right around the corner, it should go without saying that any Simic deck will get a nice boost from the new cards in that set. When you are finally excited about building a new deck however, sometimes you just can’t help but wait for the previews to start to rolling in. Here are some of the preview cards that I find particularly exciting!

Experiment One not only generates his own +1/+1 counters, but when he has them, it allows Experiment Kraj to regenerate himself!
Fathom Mage is just value, especially when you have ways to put counters on her other than her Evolve ability!
  Urban Evolution is a great card draw spell. It is true that it is a little bit expensive to be used for ramp, but being able to go from five mana to seven mana on turn six is a pretty nice jump.
 The Zameck Guildmage slots right into the Experiment Kraj deck. Like most of the guildmages from RTR, this guy appears to be a home run in the right build!
   The next best thing to getting to activate someone else’s ability is to do it twice.
 So, Stolen Identity is a Dimir card… big deal. My Kraj deck is all about two things, activated abilities and copied creatures. The ability to make a copy every turn is amazing, especially if I encode it onto something like Invisible Stalker!

Just in case you can’t tell, I’m going to be working on an Experiment Kraj deck in the coming few weeks. My hope is to have it nearly ready when Gatecrash lands. That way I can go get what I need and start playing it right away!

Happy Preview Season!

Welcome back from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Whatever you celebrate, I hope that it was enjoyable.

Now, on to the important stuff. Gatecrash previews have started. I know that everyone is probably drooling over Gideon 2.0, or perhaps trying to break the newest three-mana Planeswalker, but I’m looking forward to re-vamping one of my oldest Commander decks for the new age of Ravnica… Experiment Kraj. I played Kraj online last night and most people expect a combo deck of some type… but that’s not how I play Kraj. I play Kraj much like I play Ghave, Guru of Spores. I like creatures, I like to make copies of creatures, and I like to put tokens on creatures. Kraj facilitates that very nicely with some of the interactions he can get into, but let’s look a little closer at one of those statements. “…I like to make copies of creatures…” which leads me to the card that once I saw it, I absolutely knew that I was resurrecting my Experiment Kraj deck.

Most of the time when I played Kraj my objective was to swarm the opponent with a well timed Overrun, but this gives me the option for a nice alternate win condition. If I have a mere twelve mana, something that shouldn’t be hard to do in a Simic deck, then I can cast the Biovisionary, along with one of my favorite little cards, Rite of Replication, kicked. You get the idea. Of course, the rest of the deck will mostly be geared towards making copies of creatures, pumping them all up and swarming the opponents. If you’ve seen my Ghave deck list then you know that this is something I enjoy doing quite a lot. In fact, I’m wondering if I can’t figure out a way to just combine the two decks. Sadly there are no four-color generals… but I love the idea of Ghave, Experiment Kraj, and Cathar’s Crusade!