Scars of Mirrodin is here and we have 4 new generals to play with! Let's just dive straight in!
An Elf Overrun Lord - Ezuri, Renegade Leader
[This is some unobservant shit right here! Regenerate from a Terror? For shame! Read "Doom Blade" in that last sentence and you get the idea!] Keep that active Priestess open and Ezuri is going to regenerate your entire team if someone foolishly chooses a boardwipe without a "no regeneration clause". The only slight disadvantage is that he can't help himself, only other Elves.
His second ability is where Ezuri really shines. One of the disadvantages of Elves is that while they can swarm pretty well, there's not been an Elf Legend that can really push their damage potential over the top. The afforementioned Coat of Arms, Kamahl, Fist of Krosa or Overrun are generally included in the hope that they will become available at the right time and each has it's own drawback: Coat will also pump opponent's creatures; Kamahl is not an Elf, probably isn't your general and costs 10 to cast and activate his second ability; and Overrun is a Sorcery (still not an instant, Marc!) in a colour that doesn't really have a cheap way to tutor for it when necessary. Ezuri as your general gives you this ability built in and freely available from the General Zone to bust out a bunch of dorks and turn them into a force that will put a dent in any life total.
Do not underestimate the ability to protect your army and have repeated Overruns on a stick. He's cheap and he ticks all the right boxes. Straight to the top of the Elf Legend queue, Mr. Ezuri!
A Zombie Dragon - Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
What pushes Skithiryx over the top is the new key-word "infect". Infect is a mix of Wither and Poison: You deal wither damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and Poison damage to players. The advantage of dealing poison counters to players is that it only takes 10 to kill a player making Skithiryx what in normal damage terms would essentially be the equivalent to an 8/4 when unblocked. Two and a half hits just with this bag of bones and you've won the game and that's without pumping him in some manner. If he tackles a bigger beast than he is, well that beast isn't going to be bigger much longer with all the -1/-1 counters he's handing out. He regenerates to be able to stick around to do it again next turn too so all in all this is a nice creature to have on your side. All that taken together is what pushes him over the top in EDH.
In EDH we have 40 life, 21 general damage and 10 poison counters as means of winning the game (There's decking and a couple of "I win" cards but essentially the first three is what we're focusing on.) Poison was pretty much the forgotten child up until now but with Scars of Mirrodin and the two subsequent extensions, that's about to change. Skithiryx is the first huge step in that change. Where a normal general is looking to get in for 21 general damage, Skithiryx is looking to get in for 21 general damage or 10 poison counters, whichever happens first. Anyone who's any good at math can tell you that 10 is most likely going to happen before 21. Should you use Skithiryx as your general, you're announcing that you intend to win in half the time another 4/4 general would usually require. Add in Unholy Strength, Howl from Beyond, Hatred or any other boost effect and you can cut the time it takes you to win down even further. Look at all the support cards that Scars is offering the Infect mechanic, especially the other new Scars keywords "Proliferate", and it's entirely possible that you're not using Skithiryx as a two hit general, rather that you're intending to win once he connects even once as some smaller minnions have gotten in there already to start the infection and he's just the coup de grace.
A new, very aggressive black aggro-poison strategy is now available in EDH and it's got Skithiryx front and center. Dust off your leeches and fight the infection! [And check the comments below for how to die to general damage (not poison counters) from Skithiryx !]
Edit: Nah, you don't really want to read all that stuff up there! ;o) As was pointed out in the comments, Geth's reanimate ability is not just for artifacts, a card type that, along with Enchantments, Mono-B usually has a little more trouble than most handling once they have resolved. It also targets creatures which is a card type that Mono-B generally has very little trouble dealing with, thankyouverymuch! So what does that change? His ability can target two very common card types in EDH and is self sustaining. He can start the ball rolling in-colour and, as such, is potentially very effective as a mono-coloured general. If an opponent doesn't have the means to automatically re-shuffle his/her graveyard into their library, you've got the upperhand in the resources game because you're depriving him/her of potential cards in hand and thus solutions to deal with your Geth.
There is a small downside to giving your opponent an increased number of cards in his/her graveyard, that's a resource he/she can mine too, however I think that here the advantages outweigh the disadvantages given that it's now your resource pool too and you have a means to play repeated, targetted Beacon of Unrests at instant speed while your opponent has to use a new card each time to benefit in the same way. You're using your opponent's resources to win the resource war and, in doing so, fuel the pool.
I mentioned the Eldrazi Legends above and I'd like to come back to them. Unlike Darksteel Collossus, who has a replacement ability and never goes to the graveyard, Geth can yoink an Eldrazi Legend out of your graveyard in response to the ability going on the stack. In fact, should this ever happen, if you listen carefully, you will actually hear a tiny >YOINK!< noise as Geth's ability resolves. The grumbling noise you will hear just afterwards is your opponent grinding his teeth.
So, am I sold on Geth now? I'm not sure. Yes, it's a lot better than I had originally thought and he can head up a very focused type of Mono-B EDH deck. I still think 5B is a hefty price to pay for your general, though it's true that we see Invasion and Planar Chaos Dragons quite frequently so a cmc of 6 is not strictly "too much". I think I'll have to see Geth in action to fully appreciate his power.
Edit: Ok, I'm halfway through our first Draft and I got passed a foil Geth as a second pick/first pack. The player to my right preferred the 7/7 green dude who blows up blockers. I take it all back.
Geth is insane.
A Kitty with a Rack - Kemba, Kha Regent
What about the ability trade-off? I'm sure everyone would just love a straight discounted Raksha but you can't have everything. Instead of granting your cats Double Strike, Kemba gives you free 2/2 cats for each equipment attached to her. One equip: one 2/2. 5 Equips: five 2/2s. Realistically you're not going to get a huge number of equipments onto her any any one time, but there are quite a few juicy ones that would make it worthwhile. Konda's Banner springs to mind. Kemba herself doesn't gain anything but she'll be whelping 4/4s, not 2/2s, if she's holding the Banner.
Monday, 27 September 2010
Thursday, 2 September 2010
|alter by http://www.cardkitty.com/|
Ok, probably. Sometimes. More than likely. I mean, who doesn't love some hot, hardcast Emrakul goodness on turn 3?
What's that? "No-one"? Kill joys, the lot of them. :(
I had put my Thada-Adel "Taa-Daa" deck down for a while some time before Archenemy came out. As most of the cards are either deck specific or I have in doubles, it's one deck that I generally don't dip in and out of for cards to make other decks. This makes it quite simple to just leave untouched until the urge to wind up the robots takes me again. One change had to be made for sure and that was the exclusion of Tolarian Academy for something (which ended up as Oboro, Palace in the Clouds for no other reason than it was the card I replaced in my binders) after the last ban-hammer slammed down on the powerful legendary land. Despite the fact that I really enjoyed playing with Academy and obviously didn't want it banned, it can't argue with the RC when they did because it was a key component in powering up both tame Thada Adel decks (kidding) and broken Sharuum decks (totally not kidding).
As I live in France, we have players who choose to build their decks following the French 1v1 ban list rather than the multiplayer list we get from the EDH RC. If you clicked the link, you'll notice that Tolarian Academy does not feature on the French list. When it was banned on the multiplayer list and there was still grumbling about my use of Sol Ring (which is banned in France), I gave the team an option as to how I built my Thada Adel list: Either I play the multiplayer version with Sol Ring and there's no more grumbling or I change the deck to conform to the French 1v1 list, lose Sol Ring but gain Tolarian Academy. The pause was significant and deep as the potential of 2 colourless mana for 1 on a fragile artifact against, well, possibly the most broken land in the history of Magic was carefully considered. The mature consensus was that Sol Ring was a mere Camel's twizzle in the face of the location that almost destroyed the multiverse. Academy is out of our playgroup and Sol Ring is here to stay.
So I've tinkered with the list I had before to the one below. There's an Echoing Truth that I'm looking to squeeze in due to an increase of tokens in my metagame, though most of the obvious candidates to take out are flavour cards that I'm loath to cut. It looks like Sundering Titan is currently the most likely to be out because I'm not ever happy casting it.
Thada Adel, Acquirer
Maze of Ith
Eye of Ugin
Seat of the Synod
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
Sensei’s Divining Top
Tezzeret the Seeker
Emrakul, the Aeon’s Torn
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Karn, Silver Golem
Magus of the Future
Fact or Fiction
Thirst for Knowledge
Rite of Replication
|Not an instant, Marc!|