I was looking back at the list of Magic expansions, and realized that I started playing EDH somewhere in between Planar Chaos and Shards of Alara. (I know this based on my first two general choices of Intet, the Dreamer and Sharuum the Hegemon.) That means that I’ve been slinging 100-card decks for somewhere between five-and-a-half to seven years. Time really files.
That made me think about GDC. It turns out that the inaugural post – “We’re Here. We Ain’t Going Nowhere. We’re Moving Right Next Door To You” was posted about 28 months back. (And no…Ice-T hasn’t sued us yet. Fingers crossed!) Pretty cool…we’ve been bringing the content for over two years, and we’re still going strong. I’m pretty proud of that.
In going back through the archives, I came across “Desert Island Deck Construction”, which was one of my early defining posts. Back in those days, I was far more whimsical, and I seemed to really love coming up with odd-ball angles like this. Still, I think it was a pretty cool idea, so much so that I revisited it again in 2012.
Nothing gets the old wheels rolling like a trip down memory lane, so I decided that I ought to take another trip back to see how well I’ve aged. (Comments to yourselves, please.)
Without further ado, let’s hit the beach.
. . . . .
You hacked into Travis Woo’s Twitter account and “leaked” a hot tip related to your new Emmara Tandris-fueled Modern deck. This caused a massive price spike and a rush by the @MTGFinance crowd to buy out every copy available. Once Travis revealed what happened, prices on Emmara tanked, and now the whole internet wants to kill you. You have no choice but to quickly throw a few cards into a bag, steal a boat, and head for the open sea to escape certain doom.
Sadly, you suck at sailing, and you wreck on a deserted island. Luckily for you, there are a group of monkeys living on the island that play EDH. (One plays a green ramp deck featuring Ancient Silverback and Gorilla Berserkers, another plays a Zoo-inspired deck with Kird Ape for beatdown and Simian Spirit Guide for ramp, and a third plays a spiked out five-color Hermit Druid combo deck.)
You resolve to show these monkeys what the “social contract” is all about. Fortunately, the deck you brought features some of your favorite all-time choices from each card type, so you’re in a great place.
What cards are in it?
Here’s how it plays out for me:
General – Angus Mackenzie
For me, it’s gotta be a Bant general, since white, blue and green are my favorite colors to play. It needs to be as old-school as possible, since I need to show these monkeys some style. It’s gotta be cheap to play and replay, and the ability has to be relevant. Angus is the best fit for the job.
Artifact – Darksteel Plate
This seems to be my new go-to artifact across the board. Everyone knows how hard it is to get rid of the Theros gods due to the indestructibility keyword, and this is something that I want to have on tap at all times to keep my creatures relevant.
No joke – I play this in more decks than Sol Ring at the moment.
Sorcery – Austere Command
As far as I’m concerned, this is the best removal spell in the format. Nothing does a better job of being strong enough to remove anything it needs to, while also being flexible enough to allow you to protect your own assets.
Instant – Sphinx’s Revelation
These monkeys need to learn about card value, and I need to keep the card advantage rolling. Revelation provides multiple resources, including all-too critical card draw, and the life gain is a vastly underrated thing in EDH. Best yet, it’s at instant speed, and it’s completely scalable. I’m never sad to draw this card.
Enchantment – Fable of Wolf and Owl
My god, I’m getting serious mileage out of this card lately. I’ve actually found space for it in two different decks, and I absolutely love it. Running this out allows me to perform a bunch of different roles with passive ease, from providing chump blockers that cover the ground and air to potentially representing a win condition on its own. Pair with Cathars’ Crusade and Skullclamp, and you have a heck of a deck already.
Planeswalker – Venser, the Sojourner
This is a harder category for me, as I’m not a huge planeswalker fan in general. If I had to pick, though, Venser is the one in this color combination that I’ve played and enjoyed the most in the past. I’m sure my deck is going to contain some juicy enters-the-battlefield effects that I can capitalize on with his plus-2 ability, and his minus-1 is a potential game-ending combat trick. And if I can get the ultimate off…
Land – Thespian’s Stage
My new all-time favorite land. It’s anything and everything you want it to be, from a protection (Maze of Ith) to acceleration (Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx perhaps?) to a win condition if I remembered to pack my copy of Dark Depths. Better yet, it changes up at the drop of a hat to be whatever you need it to be at any time. This has panned out in other formats, but I’m positive Thespian’s Stage was designed with 100 cards in mind.
Creature – Bane of Progress
This is my favorite thing to come out of the Commander 2013 pre-cons. It’s a great spin on Fracturing Gust; it wipes the board of all the problem artifacts and enchantments (and those that aren’t problems…), and provides a pretty solid clock at the same time in this format. Again, it’s that dual functionality that I love. You can’t go wrong here.
. . . . .
What cards are you bringing to the island, and why? Hit us up below to let us know.