Friday, 25 February 2011

EDH - Doran Rock

Here is the current configuration of my EDH/Commander deck

General/Commander 1

Doran, the Siege Tower
The main card. The deck is built more around the power of his colours than his own ability, but having a General that is a 5/5 for 3 mana is pretty good on it's own. Five succesful swings kills anyone. I use a foil one currently, though I am searching for an affordable full-art foil.

Creatures 18

Serra Ascendant
A cute one drop. Played early, he is huge,evasive and his lifelink helps keep him that way. Played late, he is a little disappointing, but I like to live the dream. Plus, he often eats a removal spell so stops something else dying later on. I've only got a normal one of these.
Nissa's Chosen
A recursive early drop, that I can tutor up with his Planeswalker. He rarely gets permanently dealt with, and with all the shuffle effects in the deck he often comes back without tutoring. I use a full art promo one from the game day.
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Dead snake guy :) An early chump blocker who happily heads to the graveyard to fetch me a basic land. Turn two him can often mean turn three Doran. It's like a better Rampant Growth. I use the FNM foil promo.
Necrotic Sliver
This guy is awesome. I run enough recursion that some games I can just make this guy every turn and Vindicate a permanent. That can put me far ahead in the long term. Outside of that he can often as a one-off just deal with something annoying. He also gets better when others are playing Slivers :) I use a foil one from Premium Deck Slivers.
Eternal Witness
She gets me back any other awesome card I have used, then either chump blocks or goes on the offensive ( for a mighty 2 damage a swing). She is awesome for three mana. I use a foil FNM promo.
Chameleon Colossus
Pro-black, pumpable, all creature types, cheap-ish to cast. This guy does it all. He's a Sliver when I need it, protected from some removal and when I have lots of mana, can win the game on his own. I just use a standard one.
Masked Admirers
Four mana for an ok body. When it comes in to play I draw a card. If he is dead, I can pay double green as I cast another creature spell to get him back in my hand. That's a lot of cards drawn if a game goes long enough. I use a foil one.
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
This lady flies and shuts down opposing creature abilities. This can slow down other decks or stop certain Generals. She's also good against Slivers. I use a normal one.
Acidic Slime
Deathtouch and kill an annoying non-creature permanent. This guy is really good. I use a foil one.
World Queller
This guy can stop other decks getting out of hand, killing something every turn. He often gets killed before his first upkeep, but he can clear the board pretty well after a few turns. I use a normal one.
Oversoul of Dusk
5/5 for 5. Protection from 3 annoying colours. Awesome. I use a normal one.
Primeval Titan
He fetches me two lands when he comes him, and then if he gets to swing I get two more. He thins my deck and accelerates me, while being a Trampling beatstick. I use a normal one.
Netherborn Phalanx
He is expensive for a rubbish body. However he makes my opponents lose a life for each creature they control, so sometimes he just wins the game. However he truly shines with his Transmute, allowing me to tutor for my more powerful six drops. I use a foil one.
Eternal Dragon
Plainscycle him. Return him to hand from the graveyard. Repeat. Deck is thinned and then I can just make him as an evasive guy. I use a normal one.
Grim Poppet
He shrinks other creatures, and Proliferate lets him get out of hand really quickly. I use a normal one.
Woodfall Primus
A large Trampler who kill something annoying when he comes into play. If he is killed, Persist lets him do it again. I use a normal one.
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
She is the embodiment of Awesome. Flying, First Strike, Vigilance, Trample, Haste, Pro Black, Pro Red. She can be such a beating for certain decks. And she always puts Jack on Tilt :p I use the foil one from Duel Deck Divine Demonic.
Reya Dawnbringer
She may be expensive, but if she lives to see and upkeep I start getting my other creatures back. I use a normal one.

Planeswalkers 4

Garruk Wildspeaker
My favourite Planeswalker. He helps with mana, makes me creatures and casts Overrun. What isn't there to love? I use a normal one.
Nissa Revane
She gets me her Chosen every turn, gains me a small amount of life, and her seldom used ultimate finds me the small amount of Elves in the deck. So, I generall just use her for the first one, but the others crop up occasionally. I use the foil Duels of the Planeswalkers promo.
Liliana Vess
My second favourite Planeswalker (despite my love of Elves). She makes an opponent discard, she tutors up stuff for me and she can animate all graveyards for me. I use the Duel Deck Garruk Liliana foil promo.
Sorin Markov
The dark horse of the deck. People always seem to forget he exists. He can gain me life, kill annoying small creatures, set an opponent to 10 life or Mindslaver someone. He is feared like real vampires should be. I use a normal one.

Instants 9

Wordly Tutor
I run few creatures, and the ones I do run are mostly for utility. This allows me to find the one I need, when I need it. I use a normal one.
Vampiric Tutor
For the cost of two life, I can tutor up any card to the top of my deck. Yes please. I use an Italan one.
Realms Uncharted
It pulls four lands out of my deck, at instant speed, and puts two of them in my hand. Given that I often search for four Fetchlands, it effectively pulls six lands out of my deck. I use a normal one.
Krosan Grip
Split Second Enchantment/Artifact kill. Always useful. I use a FNM foil promo.
Kill a creature or an Artifact. Again, always useful. I use a full art promo.
Kill a creature or an Enchantment. It's almost like I've seen this spell elsewhere in the deck. I use a full art promo.
Exile a creature. Can stop really degenerate creatures from coming back. I use a full art promo.
Consume the Meek
This instantly kills swarms of tokens and leaves the big boys to play. I use a foil one.
Fracturing Gust
So I get to destroy all Enchanments and Artifacts at instant speed. That's kewl. Oh, and I gain two life for each one? Can I cheat and run two please. I use a normal one.

Sorceries  20

Using Crime I can steal the best dead creature or Enchantment. Using Punishment I get a Ratchet Bomb-style effect. Using this card, I get my choice of either when I need it. I use a foil one.
Dwell on the Past
I can either use this to get dead cards back into my deck, or occasionally use it to get scary recursion targets away from the graveyard. I use a foil Asian one.
Gets me a card back. Simple recursion. I use a normal one.
Gaea's Blessing
Anti-Mill insurance. If I draw it I can use it like Dwell and draw a card. I use a Time-Shifted one.
Demonic Tutor
The best tutor, two mana gets anything straight to your hand. I use the alternate art one from Duel Deck Divine Demonic
Maelstrom Pulse
My favourite removal spell ever. I use a normal one.
Chain of Acid
I love this. Destroy something annoying, then see if the controller wants to destroy something else. Thus far no one has sent it onto another target, so it usually just functions as spot removal. I'm waiting for the day that it kills everything :) I use a foil one.
Simply four mana, draw three cards. Never a bad thing. I use the full art promo one.
Wrath of God
Destroy all creatures. Okay, if you insist. I use the full art foil promo.
Deja-vu. Even down to using a full art foil promo.
Day of Judgment
And again. Though they can Regenerate from this one. Still use the full art foil promo though.
Diabolic Tutor
For when you can't run two Demonic Tutors. I use a normal one.
Primal Command
My favourite command. Gains life, puts away something annoying, puts my graveyard back and/or tutors me a creature. I love it. I use a foil one.
Rebuking Ceremony
Some Artifacts refuse to die due to Darksteel. This gets them out of the way temporarily. I use a normal one.
Akroma's Vengeance
Sweep the board or Cycle. This card is really good. I use one from the Planechase decks.

All is Dust
Because sometimes regular sweepers aren't good enough. I use a normal one.
Praetor's Counsel
This card is insane. So it puts your graveyard into your hand and removes your maximum hand size? By the time you can afford to cast it, that's Ludacris. I use a normal one.
Profane Command
My second favourite Command. It usually finshes games, or at the worst kills something annoying. I use a normal one.
Genesis Wave
With a little mana acceleration, this is insane. It can flood the board with stuff and put me miles ahead of the competition. Sometimes it can miss though. I use a normal one.
Death Cloud
I use this to end games. Main plan is to get into a position where I'm so far ahead I can either cast this to win, or cast this and put everyone else to virtually dead. I use a normal one.

Enchantments 10

Mirri's Guile
A free Top every upkeep sounds like a plan. I use a normal one.
Bloodchief Ascension
This can happily sit there doing nothing, but then suddenly become active and put opponents in a precarious position, which can lead to me winning. Works well if it is active and I use Death Cloud too. I use a foil one.
Prismatic Omen
This fixes my mana, brings Emeria online and makes me weak to Landwalk creatures. I'll take that downside for those upsides. I use a normal one.
Cream of the Crop
It rises to the top. It never eats a pig cause a pig is a cop. Or better yet a Terminator like Arnold Schwazenager, here to play me out as if my name was Sega. I use a normal one.
Oblivion Ring
Spot removal. Might be permanent, might be temporary. I use a FNM foil promo.
Phyrexian Arena
Draw an extra card every turn. What else is forty life for? I use an original one.
Pernicious Deed
The threat of sweeping can often be enough. And it sweeps what I want it to sweep. I use a normal one.
Mirari's Wake
Doubles my mana and pumps my creatures. Allows me to get pretty silly pretty quickly. I use a normal one.
Mana Reflection
Makes my mana silly, especially with the Wake. If I get both out I should be in a ridiculously good spot. I use a normal one.
Debtors' Knell
If I see an upkeep with this in play, I get the best dead creature back on my side. Consequently, it rarely survives a round. I use a normal one. 

Artifacts 7

Sensei's Divining Top
You know this card. Everyone runs it. I use a foil From the Vault Exile one.
Voltaic Key
Untap my more powerful artifacts for one mana. Leads to awesome stuff. I use and original one.
Relic of Progenitus
Nukes all graveyards. There are often people doing sillier stuff with thiers than me, so I'm happy with that. I use a normal one.
Contagion Clasp
It might kill a creature. But Proliferate is uber-powerful, especially with Planeswalkers. I use a normal one.
Lux Cannon.
If this starts getting active, things start dying. Proliferate gets it active quicker. So does Voltaic Key. I use a normal one.
Contagion Engine
If Proliferate is uber-powerful, then what is double Proliferate? I use a foil one.
Because just having Sorin do it isn't enough. This is awesome fun to do. I use a normal one.

Lands 31

Murmuring Bosk
Doran's home, taps for all three colours. I use a normal one.
Dual Lands
I only use a Scrubland. It's a French revised one.
Ravnica Dual Lands
I use Temple Garden, Overgrown Tomb and Godless Shrine. They are all normal ones.
Gilt Leaf Palace
It usually comes into play tapped, but it taps for two of my colours, so it is fine. I use a normal one.
Filter Lands
I use Wooded Bastion and Twilight Mire. They are both normal ones.
Pain Lands
I use Brushland, Llanowar Wastes and Caves of Koilos. They are all normal ones.
Fetch Lands
I use Misty Rainforest, Arid Mesa, Polluted Delta, Verdant Catacombs and Marsh Flats. They are all normal ones.
Basic Lands
I use three Forests, three Swamps and 4 Plains. They are all foil.
Terramorphic Expanse
This is for extra basic fetching. I use a foil one from Premium Deck Slivers.
Emeria, the Sky Ruin
If I get this active, my creatures are near immortal. It also taps for white mana. I use a normal one.
Volrath's Stronghold
My main Necrotic Sliver engine, shame it's Legendary. I use a normal one.
Miren, the Moaning Well
Good with the Stronghold out, also gains me life and can save creatures from exile. I use a normal one.
Mystifying Maze
It may cost more mana to activate than Maze of Ith, but it taps for mana and it also blinks the creature which is great with Taurean Maulers and other creatures with counters on them.

There is my deck and reasons behind my card choices.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Valentine's Rage

So, the tournament only had 2 players due to Uni schedules and sickness. Still this allowed me to get in two games with the Red Lantern Corp.

To remind you:-

Atrocitus 202
Guy Gardner 110
Mera 85
387 Red Lantern Corp theme team.

One player was running late, so Round one I played the other (he walked in just as we started)

Larfleeze 202
Lex Luthor 160
362 point team

The Orange Lantern Corp need 400 points for you to play them both, but then refuse to theme. That's pretty exasperating. Also, both pieces need to be used carefully as our game attested to.
We fought on the Hawkworld map and the game was over pretty quick. Gardner shot Luthor when he came into range, then Atrocitus Charged him with a Heavy Object to finish him off. A couple of turns later I caught Larfleeze with a Charge from both Atrocitus and Mera.

Round 2 they played each other to see who won Gleek.

Round 3 I played the winner:-

Dr. Strange 149
Green Lantern 145
Detective Chimp 62< Jason Blood 44
400 point Mystical team

This one took longer, and illustrated the weak defenses of the Red Lanterns. The new Alan Scott is pretty good and he threw Atrocitus a kicking. Dr. Strange fell to the combined effort of the team, but Gardner single-handedly took down Green Lantern with a well timed Charge after a fumble had put him on his second click (to be fair, the attack that fumbled was targeting Jason Blood, sohe would have been on that click if I had succeeded). Then, after a few turns chasing him down the conveyor belt, his final attack knocked Green Lantern onto his final Regeneration click. Luckily, I rolled doubles and the was knocked back into the edge of the map for the kill. My opponent then scooped, as he felt Detective Chimp and Jason Blood couldn't deal with my Guy Gardner on their own.

All in all, I feel that the Red Lantern Corp are a great team at 400 points. They can deal out a lot of damage between them, so their only fear is Super Senses, as Atrocitus' trait deals with Impervious. However, their dwindling defense values mean that as they take damage, they are going to take more damage. Use carefully, and don't get swarmed.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Heroclix Valentines Tournament

Tomorrow I'm running a Clix tourney on Valentines day. The format is simply 400 points modern age. I tried looking at Titans, but couldn't find a build I was happy with in the short time I was allowing for building. I only play during the bye and my matches only count towards personal pride. So I built the following instead:-

Atrocitus 202
Guy Gardner 110
Mera 85
387 Red Lantern Corp theme team.

Shame I had no room the the Red Lantern special object. The plan is simple; hit things until they die from it. Gonna try and hold Gardner back as a cannon for his few shooty clicks before sending him in to support the other two monsters. All three are starting attack 11, damage 4. Add Atrocitus's trait and this could be an awesome team.

Equally, it could get out-manouvered and shot to pieces. I'm hoping theme bonus gives me the map choice, which will allow the Hawkworld map to really shine. An all flying team should let me choose where and when the fights happen.

We shall see...

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Road to Worlds

This current weekend is Magic Weekend
It's being held in Paris, France and sees back to back both a Pro Tour and a Grand Prix. It also held the play-off for last years Player of the Year race (spoiler alert - Brad Nelson won)

That coincides with the announcement of the local Nationals Qualifiers, and Plymouth's one is in 6 weeks. This means the next few posts will largely be dedicated to my quest for Magic fame and stardom.

Step 1 - qualify for the GB Nationals
Step 2 - qualify for the World Championships
Step 3 - Win and bask in the glory :D

While my chances of qualifying via rating look pretty good, I'm still going to enter the local qualifier as it is practice. It's pretty high risk/reward though.
If I qualify, then I don't have to worry about my rating between now and Nationals, allowing me to find more events to play in for practice.
If I fail, then the high value of the event could devastate my rating, making it harder to get it back up via WNM.

Still, no risk, no reward.

I will detail playtesting efforts as and when they happen :)

Comparing the Lanterns - part three

Better late than never, here is  the artist formally known as Ion:-

Kyle Rayner

Crisis gave us Rayner at Rare. DC75th also gave us Rayner at Rare. This made them both relatively easy to get within their respective sets. Fans of the character will probably have both versions by now, allowing them the choice of which one to field, if like me they care about Highlander during team building.

Both figures are ranked as Veteran. The Crisis version represents Rayner as Ion, while the DC75th version is once again Rayner during the Blackest Night storyline, like many of the lanterns in the set.
This gives neither much of an edge in themery, as both seem to be Rayner not really doing anything specific.
Like with Sinestro and Gardner, this only denotes two important things about the pair. You can run multiples of either figure, and you can't run them in Rookie-only tournaments.

Both figures have the following Keywords; Green Lantern Corps and JLA. This allows you a choice when fielding thematic teams with either of these keywords. Equally, they are the only keywords they have. This continues to make them seem equal and can put them in direct competition when looking for that last figure to go in your team.

Crisis Rayner is 182 points. DC75th Rayner is 169.
This is only a differance of 13 points. Interestingly, this is the same amount as the two Gardners. It's not much of a clincher when deciding which one to fit in a team. So the decision, if not based on Keywords, comes down to capability.

Both figures are Fliers with one lightning bolt, range 8 for DC75th, range 10 for Crisis. They also both have the Green Lantern Corps team ability. DC75th Rayner has two advantages. Firstly he is Indomitable and secondly he has a trait;

The Artist Once during your turn, if Kyle Rayner has no action tokens, he can use Telekinesis (option 2) as a free action.

This allows him to act two turns in a row without pushing, which is a hallmark of the current Green Lanterns. The trait allows him to reposition friendly figures or objects whenever you can meet it's conditions. This is a powerful ability when used properly as he can make sure your figures are where you need them when you need them there, all by planning ahead a little.

On his starting click, Crisis Rayner is the more powerful. Move 10 is paired with a special ability;

Ion Kyle Rayner can use the Quintessence team ability.

This makes him immune to Outwit and lets him push for no damage, negating his rivals Indomitable advantage.  Attack 11 Telekinesis (Power Ring expect a lot of this name again), Defense 18 Impervious (Ion) and Damage 3 Perplex (Torchbearer).
He has no move and attack but makes a very good static cannon. He can fire team mates at your opponents force or he can shoot opposing figures directly with decent attack and damage, augmented by Perplex. This is a fine starting click for any team to have on it. The special power is what really makes it stand out, and gives you a reason to try and keep him there, as it's the only place it appears.

DC75th Rayner's starting click is more normal by comparison, though they both lend to the same purpose. Move 12 Phasing/Teleport (Green Lantern of Sector 2814.4), Attack 10, Defense 18 Energy Shield/Deflection (Green Aura) and Damage 3 Perplex (Lingering Ion).
Again no move and attack ability, and lack of soak can be a problem, though it is ofset by a high defense. Again, he is a static cannon, filling the same role as his counterpart. It's only the Quintessence and soak that make the other one better.

Crisis Rayner loses Ion and switches to Running Shot for two clicks, then has no power for two clicks before Phasing appears on his last three clicks. The value slowly drops til it hits 7.
From his second click, he gains Energy Explosion (Power Ring) for two clicks before switching back to Telekinesis for two clicks. He then has Incapacitate for his last 3 clicks. His values steadily drop to 8 though.
His second click brings us another special power;

Constructs Kyle Rayner can use Barrier. Any opposing character adjacent to a Barrier terrain marker placed by Kyle Rayner that attempts to move (or would be moved by a power, ability, or effect used by another character) must attempt to break away; this effect ignores powers, abilitys and effects that allow a character to break away automatically.

This is an interesting power, as it can trap opposing figures where you want them for a turn. However, it gives Rayner no defensive options. It lasts for 3 clicks before 2 clicks of Toughness (Power Ring) and finally 2 clicks of Energy Shield (Power Ring) end the dial. His values drop to 17, have a mid dial return to 18 before rapidly dropping to end on 15.
Perplex stays for 3 clicks, before being replaced with Ranged Combat Expert (Power Ring) for 2 clicks. Then there are 2 more clicks of Perplex and a final click of Ranged Combat Expert. His values stay 3 for a few clicks and then remain 2 for the rest of the dial.

 DC75th Rayner switches from his second click to 3 clicks of Running Shot (Defend the Power Battery) before 2 empty clicks and a final click of Phasing. His move drops slowly, never dropping below 9.

His only attack power is on his forth and fifth clicks; Incapacitate (Giant Green Lasso). His values fluctuate wildly, going as high as 11 before ending on a 9.
His two clicks of ranged defense become three clicks of Invulnerability (Honor Guard) then two clicks of Regeneration (Unexpected Return) making him quite resiliant. His defence stays at 17 until his last two clicks which are 16.
He keeps Perplex for three clicks, with values switching between 3 and 2 at various points.

The Crisis version has an extra click of health, but the Regeneration on his counterpart can give him more life on the table top. Their values are pretty comparable down the dial, again, both figures appear to be built to do the same job. I guess that's what Rayner does in the comics.

In summary, I believe that the DC75th version is slightly superior down the dial, with better defense powers and values. However, don't discount the Crisis Ion click. If you can keep him there, he might do enough heavy work that youur other figures can do the rest.

I think both figures are good, and would play either based on points left. They are so close that if I wanted a team with a Kyle Rayner in, I would leave choosing which one until I have built the rest of the team and then choose which ever one complements the rest of the team best.

Sorry for the gap between updates, I'm a busy man. Will continue to try to post as often as I can.