Wow…it’s been a while since I last wrote here!

As with Cass and Dave, I had to let Real Life(™) take the front seat some time towards the end of last year, although mine was more because of positive developments. I bade bachelorhood a fond farewell last December, but the real tedium came in the months prior to that. The wedding preparations themselves had already taken a toll on my attention; throw in the responsibility of having to oversee the renovation work for our future nest, and all game time got thrown out of the window.

The last time I signed off (late June last year), Pro Tour Magic Origins (Spoiler: this has something to do with what I’m going to write about today!) hadn’t happened yet. Now, look what we have (and don’t)!

The Vancouver Mulligan

Alright…back when I read here  about an upcoming change to the mulligan rules, I immediately thought about its possible application in the realm of EDH. Specifically, I thought about how feasible and format-breaking it would be to tack on a ‘scry 1’ to the then-existing Partial Paris mulligan variant, and Dave helped me put up an article to sound it out for you readers.

Since then, I’ve convinced my group to adopt this variant of a variant, and here’s a long overdue summary of the feedback I gathered from my friends:

It made no difference.

You see, my group is pretty casual, and (I think) we’re all responsible adults who know how to exert great control over the tremendous power that we wield. As Sheldon Menery would say, “It’s much harder to not break the format.” This one line acts as the principal guideline behind how we build our decks. As such, none of us are racing one another to see who can win on turn 0; I exaggerate, but even then the idea is still there: when there’s no need to consistently execute a game-winning combo, scrying one card deeper to reach an optimal state becomes a luxury.

That said, having a ‘scry 1’ was viewed as useful because it can dig you out of potential mana screws – this was unanimous among the group.

With the recent announcement, we talked about adopting the official ‘Vancouver’ mulligan going forward. It took us all of ten seconds to decide that we liked the Partial Paris well enough (how much of it being due to inertia I can’t tell…) to stick to it, and the ‘scry 1’ addition helped to cut down the number of games being un-fun due to mana screw.

Tl;dr – We’ll still be sticking with “My Variant”. Go me!

Removal of Rule 4 – aka The “Tap Birds of Paradise to Produce {C}” Rule

Two words sum up my sentiments about this change – good riddance.

Now, I’ll readily admit that I’m not anal-retentive when it comes to EDH deck flavor. I’m a solid Melvin when it comes to deck construction, with just that teeny-weeny touch of Vorthos – no Eldrazi Displacer in my General Tazri Allies tribal deck, for instance. As such, I welcome this rule change with all my heart, as it banishes the inelegance and counter-intuitiveness of having a card that’s capable of producing any color of mana churn out one crystal-clear drop of condensed magical energy instead.

As a side note, I regret not picking up a foil copy of Sen Triplets when it was affordable. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all, I guess. (Apparently I bought in about ten minutes before prices exploded – ED)

Prophet of Kruphix, Squished by the Banhammer

I present to you this young lady’s portfolio in my organization (of decks):

• A stalwart Ally in my Tazri deck mentioned above
• An Elemental in disguise in my Horde of Notions deck
• A cheap beater in my Edric, Spymaster of Trest deck
• An indispensable cog in my Damia, Sage of Stone lands engine
• A flash enabler in my Rafiq of the Many morph deck (my kingdom for a foil Winding Canyons!) and my Riku of Two Reflections clone deck

I was a vocal advocate against banning the prophet, and there I was, powering her out left, right and center. In my pet Tazri deck, I’d consistently tutor for her with Green Sun’s Zenith or Chord of Calling, her importance secondary only to Harabaz Druid. Inwardly, I resented this, but I convinced myself that it was all for the good of forwarding my game plan. Truth be told, I was silently counting down to the day when I’d finally take her out for someone more…flavorful, and less omnipresent.

I’m sad to see her banned, but I’m also glad for the excuse to remove her from my decks. It was about time.


To close this post, I’d like to sketch out my writing direction coming into the new year:

While it’s true that I took a lengthy break due to real life commitments, a significant reason was also because I encountered a severe case of writer’s block. Maybe it was due to how I overly constrained my content, but I found myself unable to keep up with producing noteworthy content.

As such, I’m going to remove the limitation I placed on myself.

I’m still going to be the resident judge within the team, and I’ll still cover any interesting rules interactions and developments. That said, I’ll also find time to write about other things less rules-specific – perhaps I’ll devote one article solely to rave about my pet Tazri deck. (I should, seeing as how I name-dropped her every now and then…)
See you all soon!

“Before I was a judge, I was a player.”