Y’know, I was thinking…
Category: Cass (Page 1 of 5)
We’re taking it way back today. Here’s the recommended homework first:
Welcome back to the Island. Grab a hammock and a Mai Tai.
SEASONS IN THE SUN
When last you met your intrepid author, he was in the process of hiding from the MTGFinance community (over an Emmara Tandris buyout gone bad) and schooling a bunch of primates on the art of the Social Contract. After trading a copy of Jace, the Mind Sculptor for a tiki hut full of Fallen Empires commons with the monkeys, I used guano from a nearby cave to glue them all together into a boat and set off into the ocean to find civilization.
…with predictable results. If anyone is interested in purchasing 50,000 waterlogged Thallids, give me a holler.
So we find ourselves washing up on a new deserted Pacific island. Since I’m about to run out of batteries on my iPhone, clearly the important thing to do is to check Twitter to see what’s going on.
As the screen goes blank and darkness closes in, I gather up a makeshift blanket of palm fronds and fall fast asleep, dreaming of my all-time favorite tribal cards
THE CREATURE– Radiant, Archangel
It’s no secret that I don’t particularly like tribal theme-decks. I’ve always felt that the ones I’ve come up with – and against – are either underpowered in the face of other dedicated strategy-first EDH decks, or else are goodstuff decks in sheep’s clothing. (Go ahead – explain to me again how Craterhoof Behemoth is in any way on theme in an elf deck?)
That said, the one theme deck that I have enjoyed the most and had the best luck with over the years is a mono-white Radiant, Archangel deck. It never broke down the walls of innovation, but it seemed to perform well and maintain a slightly-stronger power curve than most tribal offerings. It also ticked off the “old-school unobtanium” box – pulling down a foil Urza’s Legacy copy is still going to be a $30-$40 endeavor.
…Unfortunately, all those results were strictly realized only in Emperor games. The deck got absolutely hammered in regular FFA games, and was summarily disassembled three times over.
Still, as far as tribal generals go, Radiant is my first stop. If I have to stop.
THE ENCHANTMENT – Shared Animosity
Oh, Hazezon Tamar. You used to be so awesome. You used to do so much work, confusing new players with your delayed sand warrior creation trigger and dropping a hilarious “Gotcha!” moment on people, exiling their entire team in response to removal with a well-timed Shields of Velis Vel.
Now, people just drop Purphoros, God of the Forge and ping the table to death instead. Yawn.
Anyway, here’s to the good old days, when playing Hazezon on turn seven meant attacking with him for lethal commander damage on turn eight.
THE ARTIFACT – Cryptic Gateway
Yeah, yeah. Coat of Arms is a thing. I get it. All you cheeky Sliver Queen players know the real deal is instant-speed uncounterable summoning.
Wait…that’s pretty low-hanging too.
Azami…Krenko, General Tazri…
Oh good lord. Never mind. At least Coat of Arms requires you to actually attack. Forget I said anything here.
THE SORCERY – Wrath Of God
The original. Often imitated, never duplicated.
Why is it tribal? Well, it’s a great way to kill all the slivers, goblins and wizards the people playing Cryptic Gateway are crapping out onto the battlefield.
THE INSTANT – Tsabo’s Decree
Did I mention that I don’t particularly like tribal? This should make it pretty abundantly clear.
THE LAND – Springjack Pasture
The reason this land makes the list is all in the art. Most people are like, “Oh…a field of goats! Make a goat! It’s so friendly! Whee! Gain some life?”
Not many people stop to think about the story here.
And even fewer notice the bloody axe sticking out of the chopping block in the bottom right corner. Now, that’s what I’m talking about.
THE PLANESWALKER – ???
Seriously…are there any that really care about tribal? I guess Elspeth and Ajani make tokens that are kinda tribal, but that’s so easy. Sarkhan can make dragons and then hit himself in the face with them…that’s pretty funny.
Who knows. Probably Chandra of some variety? Preferably, one of the ones that blows up (tribal) creatures.
HOW’D I DO?
Yeah…there’s a prevailing theme here. But I realize that I’m in the minority. How do you get down with tribal? What are your fave tribal cards of all time? Join Team Cass – what are your favorite anti-tribal cards of all time?
Hit up the comments below. Thanks very much for reading!
Editor’s Note: Erik’s choice this week. We’re taking it way back. Anyone else remember me referring to myself as “DJ”?
. . . . . .
Hello, loyal readers, and welcome to GDC. Just as a quick FYI, I’m giving thought to moving the regular Wednesday update to Thursday in order to be able to better leverage reporting on my regular mid-week games. (I *could* save the reports for Friday, but I’m old, and if I don’t type up results as soon as they happen, I’ll end up leaving out about 90% of what happened. No bueno.) What say you all? Let me know in the comments if you absolutely can’t go without a regular Wednesday fix.
Anyway, the coffee has kicked in, so let’s do this!
Welcome to MTGO Fundamentals – a new series that I’ll be updating here and there as I document and navigate my new existence as a primarily-Online Commander player.
Long-time readers of GeneralDamageControl.com are no-doubt really confused by that last statement. For you people – and to new readers who will not understand at first why this is a big deal – I’ll explain.
Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on January 11, 2013. We’re flashing back to some of our best from the past several years every Friday, because what’s old is new again. Cass hasn’t been posting much, but we’re all getting hyped for GenCon (in approximately infinity months) so why not pose a bunch of questions to you, per Cass’s “Market RESEARCH”?
It also got me thinking. I enjoy speaking my mind when it comes to EDH (and I have to assume that you all enjoy reading it to some degree), but I’m as guilty as the next guy of falling into the “ivory tower’ syndrome. I have a pattern of beliefs, and I like to complain loudly when someone steps on my poor little toes.
So, then…the Blightsteel thing. This is important.
The reason that I posted the questions stems from a conversation I was having with my co-conspirator here at GDC, Patrick. I’ve been starting to dive in again to the “metagame-breaker” deck theory-crafting that drove my GenCon exploits last year. I’ve got a two-part article in the works for LegitMTG.com that will get into very specific details about developing such a deck, what it should expect to face, and how it should be built and played to overcome the gauntlet of an ‘EDH-for-prizes” event.
Long story short, I was trying to figure out how to win with a deck designed to shut down the infinite combos that permeate environments like that without succumbing to the dark side and just playing them myself. After all, that’s the point – break the broken metagame with a deck that stays true to the core of the “social agreement” at the heart of EDH.
The problem I had last year was that my Riku deck was designed to say, ‘No!”, but it didn’t know what to do from there.
That’s about when I stumbled onto the foil copy of Blightsteel Colossus I had in a box.
I managed pretty quickly to justify One-Shot Robot as a legit win-con. It was a creature, and it still had to attack in order to defeat an opponent. The specs of the card just meant that it probably only needed to attack once. But really, how different is this from swinging with Kresh the Bloodbraided? Or Moldgraf Monstrosity? Or Mons’s Goblin Raiders one-hundred or so times in a row?
Patrick called me an ass (in so many words) for playing a card that I’ve professed to hate for so long. He pointed out that this is essentially joining the dark side anyway.
So I posted the question to you, the dedicated readers of GDC. In my (thick) head, I still thought I was going to get some justification for doing what I was planning on doing.
That clearly didn’t happen. Most of you hate the damn thing as much as Patrick, and some of you think it’s worse than combo. I learned something about you all in the process, and that’s that there’s a whole world out there that I need to learn a little bit more about.
That’s what I think I want to do today.
QUESTION THE ANSWERS
Below are a series of situations and questions.
What I hope each of you will do is to read through them, and find one (or two or all) that resonates with you somehow. Head down to the ‘comments’ section, and answer the question.
While you’re there, see what others are saying. If those thoughts resonate, comment there too.
Patrick and I will be doing our best over the next several days to drop in some replies and engage in some good, solid EDH conversation. We may drop in some answers for ourselves as well…who knows.
Either way, you know who we are, and we want to see the world out there. Show us who you are.
1. Blightsteel Revisited
You know have the context that you didn’t have on Monday. You’ve sleeved up your blue-base control deck and jumped a flight to Indianapolis, ready to lay waste to the field at the Thursday night EDH Constructed Championship Qualifier. You’re planning on seeing Hermit Druid combo. There’s going to be some Temple Bell-Mind Over Matter action. Someone is going to use Palinchron to make a boatload of mana to hit you with a Stroke of Genius big enough to kill you.
You’re not concerned, because you have answers, but you do need one final, solid win-condition for the deck. You find the Blightsteel Colossus in your binder.
Knowing that your main plan is to ‘take the high road’ against the combo decks you’ll face, do you play Blightsteel Colossus?
2. When Is The Game Really Over?
This is an example from this past Wednesday that I’m trying to wrap my head around, if for reason other than I still feel conflicted about my feelings, and the other player is a regular reader and good friend. I’d love to clear the air and see what the feeling is here.
You’re playing in the regular Wednesday shop game. Buy-in is five dollars; you get a pack for participation automatically, and play for ‘points’ that determine a pick order at the end of the night.
The prize pool to pick from is an additional pack for every two people (so half of the field will get a second pack), as well as a selection of foil promos; the difference between coming in first for two packs or last for a pack and a promo card is pretty negligible. It’s a really flat payout to promote fun games.
You’ve killed off another player and amassed five points, enough to guarantee that you’ll get a second prize pack no matter what happens. Suddenly, the player across the table cranks out a series of cards that will kill you on the spot. You can’t save yourself. He’s about to deal you exact damage, which will net him three points; one for eliminating a player, and two more for doing so with exact lethal damage.
You have a Goblin Bombardment and a creature in play.
Knowing that you’re getting a prize pack no matter what, do you sacrifice your creature to Goblin Bombardment to deal yourself one damage, preventing the player who is about to kill you from getting two extra points for the exact damage kill?
3. Pick Your Poison
Rank the following cards from best to worst using any criteria you want:
- Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
- Rite of Replication
- Time Stretch
- Boundless Realms
- Myojin of Night’s Reach
4. Duck, Duck, Duck…
You sit down at a table to play a game of EDH with four other players. You’ve never met any of them before in your life, and you have no idea what the actual contents of any of the decks are. The other four generals are Kaalia of the Vast, Zur the Enchanter, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, and Omnath, Locus of Mana.
You’re the first person to find a creature. Furthermore, no-one else has a creature in play when you untap on the following turn. There are no blockers, and you move to your attack step.
Who do you attack? Why?
5. A Simple Question
When I resolve a kicked Tooth and Nail, I put _____ and _____ into play.
6. A Loaded Question
The game is winding down. You have no cards in hand, and one left in your deck. You untap and draw. It is Banefire. You can deal thirty damage with it before you lose the game. Who do you target?
- The slow player who takes fifteen-minute turns every turn.
- The player who killed you off first in the last game for no good reason.
- The rules lawyer who openly critiques your plays during the game.
7. Enough Is Enough
“Goddammit! If I never see that ever again for as long as I play EDH, it’ll still be too soon!”
What was “that”?
8. Judge, Jury, And Executioner
As a part of the promotion for the 2013 Commander Pre-Cons, you enter an arm-wrestling competition with Sheldon Menery at one of the release events. You manage to beat him in a close best-of three match, and the prize is that you get to ‘protect’ any one card ever printed from being on the EDH Banned List. It can never be banned for the rest of eternity, and if it’s already on the list, it immediately comes off and is legal for play.
Name that card.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
We have a lot to be thankful for at GDC.
To get in that spirit, here’s a list of some of the greatest hits from Pappa Cassidy, the cardfather of General Damage Control.
Thanks for bringing this motley umlaut of misfits together, Cass.
1. Post number 2 in the entire history of GDC is Cassidy plugging himself guest-posting in Sheldon Menery’s old Star City Games column, Embracing the Chaos. OMG This fills me with Lols. Go read some wisdom from “DJ Catchem.”
2. In which three bogies that have persisted for five years all rear their well-loved heads: Poor threat assessment, Cassidy being the victim of said, and “The Mr. P effect.” Serendipity
3. Oh Man these old bits are SO GOOD. Cass tells us which is his favorite card of each type, if he were marooned on a desert island. Weird premise, shockingly revealing selections.
5. The Sharuum Community project holds a close place in my heart because participating as a reader is how I got to know and eventually join GDC. There are lots of parts. One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight
This is really just a dip of the toe in the water, and you can find more here (in reverse chono).
Sometimes, a walk down memory lane and a bit of gratitude is all we need.
@MdaveCS and the rest of team GDC
Everyone loves a happy ending. Good guys win, bad guys lose, the hero gets the girl and rides off into the sunset, and so on and so forth.
This isn’t one of those stories – not yet, anyway. I’m currently stuck somewhere in the middle of act two – the “facing impossible odds and trying to figure out how to fight my way back” part.
“Kill you, you, and you, do 28 damage to you?”
. . . . .
Just for the hell of it, I’m not going to complain about things this week.
Okay, that’s not totally true. I’m absolutely going to still do that. So…yeah.
Let’s try this again from the top.