Things are slowly getting back to normal in GDC land today.  Power came back on last night in time to be able to hand out candy to the massive hoard of kids that show up in my neighborhood.  Pleasant surprise there.  Other bonuses include, but are not limited to:

-A hot shower
-Ability to flush toilets

You know…the little things.  Tuesday is looking up all around.

Moving on, I’ve got a few things in the works that I wanted to drop a line on before giving y’all some actual content today.  I want to make good on my promise to really piss some people off, so I’ll be tackling a few hot-button topics in the coming days; in no real order, I’ll be hitting the dreaded “Tuck” ability, why I’ve decided the command zone is a terrible thing, and general douchebaggery in EDH.

For today, though, we’re ordering ‘lite faire’, so I thought I’d introduce my current decks.  Stay tuned at the end for a few chances to do my heavy lifting for me help me with a pair of problem builds. 

Without further ado (and now with 110% bad NFL references)…

The ’72 Miami Dolphins (The Perfect Season)

Teysa, Orzhov Scion

I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting Teysa to come in at the top of the heap, but after looking at the current crop of decks, I discovered that she was the only undefeated deck I have.  Created to be a decent contender for normal games, the deck is a top-down design based on the fact that Teysa exiles things.  This is the top of the heap as far as what I look for in a general (followed closely by ‘hard to kill’ and ‘hasty!’)  In practice, I discovered that black and white offered me a fantastic blend of top-notch removal and a decent helping of tutor/draw.  It’s all about tokens, and features the machine-gun Darkest Hour combo.

The ’76 Pittsburgh Steelers (The Steel Curtain)

Venser, Shaper Savant

Also known as “Douchebag Blue”.  I was on an ‘instants rule!’ kick, which intersected with a Perfect Storm of an intersection of losing to a really obnoxious Geth deck and the whole GenCon Erayo debacle I detailed here.  The result is a totally potent, completely boring and obnoxious control deck packed with counters and steal effects.  It’s just designed to run defense and shut down other dominant decks.  (It’s also an excuse for me to play my copies of Mana Drain and Timetwister.  Hey…I’m nothing if not shameless.)  Important note: it makes Patrick announce every card he plays with “Permission to play XXX?”  Even lands.

The ’08 Detroit Lions (Goose-Egg, Baby!)

Radiant, Archangel

I won’t beat around the bush…this deck sucks.  It’s a throwback to a moment where I decided that I needed to A) build a theme deck, and B) feature only old-school obscure foil generals.  I can’t help but feel that I’m doing a great disservice to this poor lady every time I shuffle the deck.  It just flat-out loses even low-powered fun games.  Still, I’m a softie at heart, so it somehow has managed to avoid the axe several times.  Fun Fact: I’ve never been able to play the copy of Baneslayer Angel in the deck I yanked from a pack at the M10 Prerelease.  I think it’s because she’s too embarrassed to come into play.   

The ’85 Chicago Bears (The ‘Fridge In The Endzone)

Kresh the Bloodbraided

This is a bit of a barn/tribute to Sheldon’s infamous Kresh build.  It’s a strong good-stuff build that is designed to have the correct answers to the right threats at the right time, and then be able to Fling a enormous Berserk-ed Kresh or Vulturous Zombie at someone’s head for lethal at an opportune moment.

And no…it’s the foil Shards version, not the new FTV art.  No…hell no.

The ’04 New England Patriots (The Sum Of Its’ Parts)

Intet The Dreamer

Near and dear to my heart due to it being the first general I ever built around when I started playing the format.  I’ve deconstructed and rebuilt this deck several times over; the original build was heavy on cards that I have learned to frown on, like Sundering Titan and Wildfire.  Now, it’s kind of a good-stuff pile of role-players like Acidic Slime and Dominus Of Fealty that aren’t superstars on their own, but come down and do the right thing at the right time.  I find myself frustrated repeatedly that the deck doesn’t seem to do much and doesn’t have a closer, but I’m not sure what to do with it, and it seems to continue to work well in spite of all of this.

The Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and Houston Texans (The Expansion Teams)

There are four decks that have recently or are in the process of springing up out of new additions to my collection:

Kaalia Of The Vast

The only deck of the four to see action as of yet.  I hate to say it, but it’s a fairly linear build.  WBR control based around Kaalia’s ability to vomit huge dragons and powerful demons onto the battlefield.  Oh, and maybe an angel if my draws suck.  She doesn’t break new ground, but I just wanted a red-zone deck, and she’s a blast to play.  Fun Fact: I lose any semblance of self restraint when I play this deck, shoot the moon as soon as possible, and nearly immediately establish myself as the overwhelming dominant threat at the table.  Can’t help it.  It’s like crack…I know it’s terrible to do, but I keep going back for more as soon as I can.

Hazezon Tamar

I fully blame Patrick for this one.  We were discussing the pricing on the old Legends generals, and Hazezon came up.  I thought for some reason that he had been reprinted in Chronicles.  Patrick corrected me, and I developed an instant uncontrollable urge to add another old-school general to my stable.  That, and I realized that it was a great way to finally make use of the foil Doubling Season that had been sitting in my binder for a long time.  The last cards are showing up in the mail, and I intend to kick the tires as soon as possible.

Angus Mackenzie

This deck is currently Angus in a red sleeve, followed by 99 empty black sleeves.  But goddammit, I needed a way to put a leftover Tundra, Tropical Island, and Savannah to use, and goddammit, it’s another old obscure general.  An expensive, old, obscure general.  Seriously…it’s a freaking Fog stapled to a Grizzly Bears.  Why the hell is this worth a $20 bill-plus?

I need to get over this OCD-can’t-handle-having-unused-duals-lying-around crap I’m suffering from.  And then take that money and invest in Google…

Sisters Of Stone Death

This one is only a few cards more fleshed out than Angus, but I’m excited about it.  For one, I love the art, and I’ve been dying to build another two-color deck.  Most importantly, she adheres to ‘DJ’s Rule Of EDH General Selection’.  (No, not that one.  Or that one.  Or that one.  Yup, the “Exile” one.  Man, I need to revise my rules here.)  Besides, red-zone generals are never bad.

Look to follow along as the build for this one materializes.  I’ll be asking for help and guidance along the way, so here’s your chance to guide me towards the promised land.

Here’s your *other* chance, and my last deck:

The OaklLos Angel…er…Oakland Raiders (Whatever.  You love to hate them, no matter what they’re called, right?)


*This* is the deck that’s going to get our attention as a group first.  I’ve had it together for a while now, and it has seen play, but I can’t for the life of me make it run worth a damn.  I wanted to put together a red-zone deck that leaned toward removal and focused on playing and using the general, but had some serious staying power; kind of my Kresh build, but one that actually, you know, attacked.  And before anyone asks, yes…this was Tetsuo Umezawa good-stuff before it became what it is now.  Of course. 

The main problem is that it just doesn’t seem to do a damn thing.  It kind of ramps, kind of draws some cards, and leans on a minor sacrifice theme.  Sometimes it gets in for some damage and makes someone sacrifice a dude.  But most of the time, I find myself staring at an uninteresting hand and an uninteresting board position, and I end up feeling very unfulfilled.  I feel like this deck and this general in these colors should be straight-awesome; as it is now, it’s just like the Raiders; a place where former role-players go to die, and a deck that just ends up being disappointing.
Next time, I’ll post a deck list, some background and theory, and I’d love for some input from anyone out there who feels like getting in there.  In fact, I may make it interesting and put up a little something for the person who can turn this list around for me.  Let me see what I can do there, but it’ll be worth-while.

Until then…