Monday, May 30, 2016

[Legacy] Planar Birth in a Reanimator Shell

I came across Planar Birth and I thought up a fun reanimator shell for it. This is a casual deck, and it can be effective! I am pleasantly surprised. Legacy's depth is really awe-inspiring.

Here is an instructive loss. This deck seemed to come out of nowhere. I jotted down all the cards for future reference:
Ivory Crane Netsuke (2 mana) (At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have seven or more cards in hand, you gain 4 life.)
Orb of Dreams (3 mana) (Permanents enter the battlefield tapped.)
Font of Mythos (4 mana) (At the beginning of each player's draw step, that player draws two additional cards.)
Static Orb (3 mana) (As long as Static Orb is untapped, players can't untap more than two permanents during their untap steps.)
Iron Maiden (3 mana) (At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, Iron Maiden deals X damage to that player, where X is the number of cards in his or her hand minus 4.)
Meekstone (1 mana) (Creatures with power 3 or greater don't untap during their controllers' untap steps.)
Ebony Owl Netsuke (2 mana) (At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, if that player has seven or more cards in hand, Ebony Owl Netsuke deals 4 damage to him or her.)

In this loss my opponent used their Animate Dead on my Iona naming White as the color I couldn't cast. I never recovered... ouch!

In this loss, by the time I could have gotten going, it was 'death by Slivers.'

Here I lost against a hand disruption deck (and mostly because I didn't land a single Swamp).

Here is another instructive loss:
Glaze Fiend (1B) (Flying Whenever another artifact enters the battlefield under your control, Glaze Fiend gets +2/+2 until end of turn.)
Cranal Plating (2 mana) (Equipped creature gets +1/+0 for each artifact you control. BB: Attach Cranial Plating to target creature you control.)

Turn 4, and I was dead... ouch!

Now, the wins. Here I drop a bunch on lands on my graveyard.

And then I drop them all on the battlefield using Planar Birth.

My opponent made me sacrifice my Wurmcoil Engine and enchanted one of my lands with Nettlevine Blight (4BB) (Enchant creature or land Enchanted permanent has "At the beginning of your end step, sacrifice this permanent and attach Nettlevine Blight to a creature or land you control.")

I finally placed the offending enchantment on a creature I did not mind sacrificing.

Here I lose a Steel Hellkite.

And another... sigh.

I came close to losing, but my opponent did not remove my Reya Dawnbringer with a graveyard full of strong creatures... that was a mistake.

I slowly built an enviable position.

And swung for the win.

Here is another win. Planar Birth takes a lot of setting up, and the reason why you will probably never see it again outside of this one-time experiment, but this one-trick pony sure has a great trick. I am forced to play only basic lands, which means I get mana-screwed out of one of the three colors I am running too often, but when it works, boy, does it!

After that land windfall I could hard cast Iona. Do you want to guess what color I picked?

Here is a win against another reanimator deck. I was heart-broken when I lost my Reya Dawnbringer, but then I could Animate Dead my opponent's Projenitor Mimic naming Reya Dawnbringer....nice!

For the win.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Eternal Masters Set Review

Eternal Masters Set Review: White

Eternal Masters Set Review: Blue

Eternal Masters Set Review: Black

Eternal Masters Set Review: Red

Eternal Masters Set Review: Green

Eternal Masters Set Review: Multicolored

Eternal Masters Set Review: Artifacts and Lands

Eternal Masters Set Review: Artifacts and Lands

With so many broken artifacts in Legacy, this selection is very tiny, yet understandable. The new sets from Wizards need to support the ten guilds of Ravnica as Limited archetypes. Every now and then Wizards will work in a Blue/Artifacts deck as it did with M15 (Ensoul Artifact), but most of the time every set obeys this basic rule. That means we can't have sets with many artifacts, which is sad because I love artifacts. Oh, well.... let's finish this review.

Ashnod's Altar: not bad since you can keep doing it.
Chrome Mox: Not Mox Diamond (its on the dreaded Reserve List) This seems more like a Modern Masters reprint. Still a money card I would want, though.

Duplicant: great card. Another Modern Masters-like reprint.
Emmessi Tome: don't know why this card is in this set.

Goblin Chabelcher: sensible reprint, the main piece of a specific deck.
Isochron Scepter: great reprint. I wish it had been at uncommon.

Juggernaut: another card that makes this set remind me of a core set. I don't know why this card is in this set.
Millikin: nice for the reanimation deck.

Mana Crypt: one of the money cards, and like Necropotence and Balance, it is banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage. Put in for pack estimated value, I guess.
Mindless Automaton: feeds the graveyard. Could be useful.

Nevinyrral's Disk: the Oblivion Stone of Legacy, nice include.
Prismatic Lens: great to splash a color, especially in Limited.

Pilgrim's Eye and Relic of Progenitus: workhorses. Pilgirm's Eye is the cure for mana screw, and Relic of Progenitus protects against graveyard shenanigans.

Sensei's Divining Top: sick, and one of the few cards that deserved a rarity bump. In Limited, this card as an uncommon would be really painful. A great card, and an awesome include. Miracles didn't get any reprints, though, and that is the deck in Legacy that this card sees the most use in.
Winter Orb: great in a control shell. I have never played it and want to.

Ticking Gnomes: I want to see it in play. It reads Limited, but it could be fun.
Worn Powerstone: you need to come up with a way to untap it, and then its a solid mana rock.

Karakas: great card. A one-of in a deck.
Mishra's Factory: a cheap man-land, who doesn't want that.

Maze of Ith: very good card. Want to play it.
Wasteland: I hope it goes down in price! I pulled one out of a Tempest Remastered pack:

Eternal Masters Set Review: Multicolored

Now, here is a range that is a brilliant idea from Wizards. Every set should have at least one card in one of the ten guilds of Ravnica, hopefully at uncommon. I have so much fun with these ranges, building deck after deck, one for each guild. Thank you, Wizards!

Armadillo Cloak: great uncommon. A classic.
Baleful Strix: another classic and a great pull out of a pack, even out of a $10 pack. "draw a card." Enough said.

Bloodbraid Elf: needs no introduction. Its a miss that Stoneforge Mystic is not in this set... for another, later Eternal Masters installment, of course. I am OK with that.
Brago, King Eternal: cool effect. Conspiracy reprint. A nice include.

Dack Fayden: great include. Hello, not-so-old friend!
Extract from Drakness: a fun uncommon. I dig that! Must build around it to see it work.

Flame-Kin Zealot: it does gain Haste, right? I need to play it to see how good it can be.
Goblin Trenches: "sacrifice a land" sounds painful.

Glare of Subdual: junk rare from Ravnica block. Many much more fun cards could have filled this slot.
Shaman of the Pack: so glad it didn't get a rarity bump. When I first saw this card in Origins, it was love at first sight. Here's a Standard deck for it:

Maelstrom Wanderer: because EDH is a thing.
Sphinx of the Steel Wind: great reanimation target.

Shardless Agent: great re-print. I want to play this bad.
Thunderclap Wyvern: solid uncommon from Origins. Flash and Flying are great. Here is a deck:

Trygon Predator: only good if your opponent is playing a very specific deck. Sideboard.
Vindicate: solid rare, want it.

Void: seems like a devastating effect if played right. I would play something else before that let me look at my opponent's deck. I want to try it.
Wee Dragonauts: a surprising reprint, and not in a positive way....why?

Deathrite Shaman: no introduction required. Broken, and awesome, just like JTMS.
Zealous Persecution: another Ravnica include. It's all-right.

Giant Solifuge and Call the Skybreaker: OK, I guess we need junk rares.

Torrent of Souls: great artwork. Heavy casting cost for Legacy. Another 5 mana reanimation card.

Eternal Masters Set Review: Green

Ahhhh, Green. It has awesome elves, and in Limited will be a blast with the black elves in this set.

Abundant Growth: hello, old friend!
Ancestral Mask: I am so glad I have learned about this card. I really, really want to play it. Now I want to pair it with Ethereal Armor.

Argothian Enchantress: I wish it was rare, but oh, well. Its all part of having non-blue/non-artifact mythics.
Civic Wayfinder: solid card, and not just for Limited, but not a Legacy pick. More like a casual Modern card.

Brawn: a cool effect, and one of the few non-money uncommons in this set that are really interesting.
Centaur Chieftain: another cool uncommon, but not nearly as cool as Brawn.

Commune with the Gods: great for the White/Green enchantments deck.
Elephant Guide: solid aura. Want to play it.

Elvish Vanguard: great addition to the Black/Green elves deck in Limited, and also in casual Constructed.
Emperor Crocodile: Limited.

Gaea's Blessing: solid uncommon. I want to play it.
Flinthoof Boar: another Innistrad helper.

Fog and Harmonize: hello, old friends!

Green Sun's Zenith: nice inclusion. A great tutor.
Heritage Druid: originally issued at uncommon. This up-shift does make sense. Black/Green elves is already very strong without this card in Limited. A great rare to pull out of a pack.

Honden of Life's Web: Shrines!
Imperious Perfect: another great rare to pull out of a pack. The designers of this set clearly set out to make elves viable in Limited and to help Constructed elves as well.

Invigorate: seems all-right, but not as an uncommon in a money set.
Llanowar Elves: hello, old friend!

Lys Alana Huntmaster: yeah, elves in Limited, looks like a ton of fun.
Natural Order: nice tutor. I would get Worldspine Wurm (11 mana 15/15 from Return to Ravnica).

Rancor: hello, old friend!
Nature's Claim: Limited.

Nimble Mongoose: great card, and a crowd favorite. An auto-include in a Threshold deck.
Regal Force: wow! That can be a ton of card draw!

Roar of the Wurm: reads weak for an uncommon but can be put in the graveyard and only cast from there. That's pretty good: a 6/6 creature for 4 mana.
Roots: Limited.

Seal of Strength: reads very useful. I want to play it.
Sentinel Spider: hello, old friend!

Silvos, Rogue Elemental: that's a really cool creature, and in green, there are ways to ramp to it.
Sylvan Library: an interesting classic. Great inclusion!

Sylvan Might and Thornweald Archer: Limited.

Timberwatch Elf: oh, that is one awesome uncommon. Must play!
Xantid Swarm: interesting denier creature. Still, a junk rare.

Werebear: solid creature. Gets a boost, and it can even be a mana dork while it waits for Threshold. Very nice!
Wirewood Symbiote: great combo to untap another elf. The elf effects in this set are awesome.

Yamivaya Enchantress: one of the best commons in the set. Simply awesome.