Hello everyone!  I hope everyone out there celebrating the holidays had good times with friends and family this past Christmas extended(ish) weekend.  Today marks the last official GDC update of the year, as New Year’s Eve falls on next Monday and thus will be a day off for us in the same way Christmas Eve was. 

Looking forward, next Thursday marks the beginning of the new year for us here.  There’s a lot of exciting stuff happening, starting immediately with the Gatecrash spoiler season, and we’ve got some solid topics to touch on already, in addition to some other surprises that will be revealed as we get there. 

It’s going to be a fun year, and we’re really looking forward to what it brings.

THANKS ARE DUE…

Before we get going here today, I just wanted to shoot out a quick ‘thank you’ to everyone who has been a part of GeneralDamageControl.com over the past year.  From the guest writers and contributors to the regular readers, people who respond to the polls and submit comments in response to the articles (and we LOVE comments, folks!), fans on Facebook and Twitter and people who send emails directly…I owe you all a sincere thanks for helping me get this little blog off the ground and making it what it is today.

Shout-outs are in order to the rest of the community as well, in no particular order:

-Our brothers and sisters in the blog game – Imshan, Andy, Jud and the rest of the Commandercast.com crew; Thaumaturge (The Command Zone); Viperion (MisadventuresinMagic); And anyone else I may have missed…we’ve got a great community going here.  I’m looking forward to discovering more of what’s being written out there this year.

-Jonathan, Jason, and the LegitMTG.com crew – thanks for having me aboard.

-Lauren, Sean, and the StarCityGames.com team – Thanks again for making me a part of the family.

-Sheldon Menery and the Commander Rules Committee.  Keep up the good work.

-The cast and crew on the MTGCommander.net Official Forum.

-Thanks to Conley Woods and the DailyMTG crew for getting so many of my decklists featured on the mothership this year.  I appreciate it! 

On a personal level, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a very heartfelt thank you to my co-conspirator in all things Magical, Patrick (a.k.a. Mr. P)  Thanks for coming onboard here; this is yours as much as it is mine, and I appreciate everything you do (here and elsewhere!)

Here’s to next year, everyone.  Thanks again!

COLORS

Here are the results from the “What Is Your Go-To Color In EDH?” poll last month:

30% – Green

23% – Red

22% – Black

17% – Blue

 5% – Colorless

 3% – White

I can’t say I’m shocked at green coming in first.  Ramp and color-fixing are the bread and butter of EDH, and you’re not playing the game if you can’t reliably cast the cards.  Likewise, I’m also not too shocked to see black and blue coming in mid-pack; I know there are some die-hard Dimir devotees out there, but my experience tends to be that people like the tutors, removal and recursion as an added utility to the primary game-plan of a given deck, and not necessarily as the main focus.  Your mileage may vary, I suppose, but it looks about right to me.

The shock here is seeing red near the top of the heap.  Isn’t red supposed to be the “worst color in EDH”, after all?  I guess not.  It seems like there are a lot of devotees out there who appreciate what red brings to the table; as a primary source of haste, I’m often looking to add red to decks as quickly as I add green for color fixing.

And then there’s white.  I want to be offended, but…well, this is exactly where I’d put it too.  Move over, red…there’s a new contender in town looking for your title.

GATECRASH GUILD MECHANICS (So Far…)

If ever there was a reason to publish on Friday to catch the last of the official “gift” spoilers from Wizards Of The Coast this week, this would be it.  Dimir is up tomorrow, and looking back at the original Ravnica block, the ‘transmute’ mechanic is likely the one I use the most in my EDH decks to date.  Let’s hope it doesn’t get the “Convoke -> Populate” treatment…

Credit on the images below goes to StarCityGames; check out their running “Holiday Spoilers” page here.

(Disclaimer – This is a “quick and dirty” treatment.  Hit up the ‘Comments’ to explain what I’ve probably missed here…)

GRUUL: “Bloodrush”

Rubblehulk looks to be the spiritual successor to Rumbling Slum.  I’m really trying to get excited about ‘bloodrush’ as a mechanic; it’s a decent value-add, giving you something to do with extra un-needed creatures in a pinch.        In this specific case, I’m sure there’s going to be a few blowouts following the turn that someone plays Boundless Realms.  But overall, the mechanic just seems like one designed for limited formats.  How often does Giant Growth see play in EDH, when it’s far stronger to just play Overwhelming Stampede instead?  And even if this read, “Attacking creatures you control” in the same way the Orzhov mechanic looks at multiple players, is it still any better than any of the pre-existing pump spells out there? 

I kinda think we’ve hit critical mass in this category.  For me, the most exciting thing this card has going for it is the lands-matter size component.  But where’s the trample for an aggressive beater in these colors?

BOROS: “Battalion”

Seems like a fitting mechanic for Boros.  ‘Battalion’ will love play in green-base token decks, but otherwise it seems like it could fade into ‘incidental’ status fairly easily in EDH due to the team requirement.  Still, free Lightning Bolts seem good, and I’m interested to see how this one is scaled to fit rarity.

ORZHOV: “Extort”

I love that there’s a guild mechanic in this block designed more or less with multiplayer in mind.  Wizards is really stepping up in this area as of late, and this is just good design; the effect in unchanged in a one-on-one game, and it gains power (and likely makes itself actually feasible as a result) in multi-player formats.  The templating sadly doesn’t look scalable in the same way ‘battalion’ does, however.

Again, the most exciting thing here is the rest of the card.  It’s a nice blend of color abilities that can scale to the current need, and it encourages attacks.  Maybe this is the card that finally allows someone to get Debtors’ Knell to stick around long enough to trigger…

SIMIC: “Evolve”

I’m currently really up in the air on this one.  Graft isn’t that good in EDH for the most part, and this doesn’t look to be much better.  It’s nice that your little creatures get a little bigger instead of just sharing counters like last time, I suppose.  It seems like ‘evolve’ in EDH may only really function to power the ability of the card it is printed on, as it does here.  (And there are far better blue draw engines at that…) 

I guess it plays nice with Doubling Season…

  

On that note, thanks again for taking time this year out of your busy schedules to drop by and hang out with us a couple times a week.  We’ll see you all next year.  Happy holidays!

àCass