Vengevine Promo

vengevine promo

It’s been a while old friend

This is the new World Cup Qualifier Promo. It will be given out to all participants of the World Cup Qualifier. TheTop 8 players will also receive an exclusive playmat.

MAG_WCQ_INT_4C_Blk_Sm_V2

500 points required if you’re in the USA or Canada

World Magic Cup Qualifiers will occur over the course of three weekends: April 6–7, 2013, April 20–21, 2013, and June 1–2, 2013 across 71 countries and the format is Standard.

 

mtg top 8 wcq

That’s one fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine playmat!

RG Aggro aka.Frog in a Blender

rg aggro gatecrash

by Steve DDT Giannopoulos

The deck name ‘Frog in a Blender’ comes from the imagery of something that would be Red and Green mixed together. Yeah, kinda gross but nonetheless it stuck as the nickname used for Red/Green Aggro decks in Magic: the Gathering. The deck is almost purely red with a green splash and is a great deck for anyone looking for something quick to play and not too expensive.

Here’ s the list:

Creatures (28)
4 Ash Zealot
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Flinthoof Boar
4 Hellrider
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Stromkirk Noble
Spells (12)
4 Searing Spear
4 Pillar of Flame
4 Rancor

Lands (20)
12 Mountain
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Stomping Ground

The sideboards are pretty varied but the main gameplan is always the same: get them from 20 to 0 ASAP. There exists builds with 18 lands instead of 20 as they run Lightning Mauler over Hellrider. I am not personally a fan as I think Hellrider is just too awesome not to play.

hellrider VS  lightning mauler

                                                       Which do you prefer?

The deck does insane turn 2 plays thanks to Burning-Tree Emissary. Even if you only combo it into a rancored Rakdos Cackler, it’s fine. The Lightning Mauler version cna be attacking for 6 as of turn 2 if you go Burning-Tree Emissary into Lightning Mauler and pair them.

The Green mana is so minimal that there are no basic forests. Flinthoof Boar checks for Mountains, so we need Stomping Ground.

Here’s a decklist with the Lightning Mauler and 18 lands:

10 Mountain
4 Stomping Ground
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Ash Zealot
4 Boros Reckoner
4 Flinthoof Boar
4 Lightning Mauler

4 Volcanic Strength
4 Rancor
2 Madcap Skills

4 Pillar of Flame

Sideboard

4 Reckless Waif
4 Mizzium Mortars
1 Madcap Skills
4 Skullcrack
2 Thunderbolt

I have also seen version running Ghor-Clan Rampager. This guy is a beating although he is almost always used exclusively as a Giant Growth. He’s much better than that if you are recovering post Supreme Verdict. Or if you pair him with Lightning Mauler and attack immediately. I am not a fan of Madcap Skills maindeck, so I would probably cut those for a pair or Searing Spears or Rampagers in the above deck list.

ghor clan rampager

One of the better Gatecrash uncommons

The deck focuses on a steady stream of damage over small bursts as a ‘Burn’ deck would. Both are quick but the RG Aggro deck is more ‘consistent’ in that its sources of damage stay in play. Pillar of Flame will often clear the way for your attackers rather than burn your opponents. Same goes for Boros Reckoner damage. You will most often want to kill an extra creature in play than just dome your opponent for 3 or so damage (unless it’s lethal).

Sideboarding Tips

I think the only card in the side you cannot overlook and must play four of is: Skullcrack

skullcrack big

The quote on this card is awesome

This card is just awesome versus the decks you will be siding it in against (ie: decks with Thragtusks and or Sphinx’s Revelation). Do it in response to their lifegain and you’ve effectively ‘counterspelled’ it. The big part of the cards mentioned against you is that they gain your opponent life. The 5/3 creature and the extra cards are a ‘bonus’ . I know that sounds odd, but you absolutely do not want them gaining life back. If you are in the position where they have gone back up to 20+ life, you are definitely not winning that matchup.

skullcrack

Draw as many as you can post sideboard

Basically a Flames of the Blood Hand at reduced cost, it also stops the infinite life gain combo of Exquisite Blood and Vizkopa Guildmage. It will cause the Sphinx’s Revelation players to keep 1-2 mana up in order to bluff a Negate or a Dispel.

If you like to go for cigarette breaks in between your matches or do not possess the biggest budget for a Magic deck, I highly recommend this deck for you. It will make for quick games either way and will give you extra time to trade/smoke in between rounds.

FNM Promo for March 2013

farseek fnm

Type 2 represent!

So this coming month’s FNM promo is one that many many decks will be happy to include in FOIL form: Farseek ! It’s been running rampant in decks such as Jund and Bant Control. When it was released in M13 it began the speculation of Shocklands being in the Return to Ravnica block.

So go forth and conquer an FNM event near you! Or just participate, they are also available as random door prizes.

FNM_logo

The best night of the week! If you’re into Magic: the Gathering

From the Vault : Twenty

ftv 20

20 years already?

This new edition of From the Vault is boasting 20 cards over the usual fifteen which is great for everyone as most of these cards are in high demand for most of the casual formats. However, this specific set is featuring 20 cards that have been an integral part of tournament winning decks past. Of course, they will be abiding by the Reserve List. No Moxes, Lotuses or Dual Lands in this one folks!

The preview art has of course sparked some discussion over what card it is. I for one am convinced that it is none other than Mother of Runes. Some people have guessed that it is a counterspell of sorts, but I highly doubt it. The blue aura around her hand would indicate that she indeed countered something, but keep in mind that Mom’s ability also counters things like targeted removal spells. Another clue that would indicate it being a creature is that the creature is the main subject of the card. I read a few article a while back that explained how the art direction department at Wizard of the Coasts operated. The art is clearly pointing towards the female character and the ‘importance’ that she is old. Well, the regular art on Mother of Runes shows a middle-aged woman, but there is no reason that this can’t be the same woman years later.

mom art ftv

Mom? Is that you?

Of course there are nineteen other cards in the set and we can be sure to get a few ‘Troll’ cards in there from Wizards of the Coast. Something that would have been feature in a really old tournament winning deck back in the day but is now all but obsolete. Probably something like Ernham Djinn. It will surely be fun to keep an eye out for any further updates and see how the rest of the spoilers develop.

You can reply here or post on our facebook-logo-small page.

Release Date: August 23, 2013

UW Flash

uw flash

by Steve ‘DDT ‘Giannopoulos

There have been many new decks brewed with the advent of Gatecrash into the Standard format. People are experimenting at local FNM’s trying to figure out what the ‘Next big thing’ will be. This is a good time to put those decks to the test. Playing a deck that has proven itself in the previous Standard format will help us to improve upon it as well as teach the greedier decks a lesson.

I introduce to you: Blue/White Flash , again!

The core of the deck has not changed much, because let’s face it: who plays this? Well, I for one, do play it. I like to use it at FNM’s since I don’t have that much free time to concoct something these days. Maybe I have time down the line, who knows… For now, UW Flash is what I choose to duel with. One of the prime reasons that drove me to this conclusion was that the RB Aggro decks are getting less numerous and that is great news for this deck. Cavern of Souls + hasty dudes equals Our doom!

cavern of souls + hellrider = skull and crossbones

Simple enough right?

Yeah, seems that no actual removal and counterspells that don’t counter aren’t effective versus RB Aggro. The good news is that most decks right now save for humans don’t really play Caverns. Or at least, not efficiently. On top of that, a lot of brews I have run into do not really have hasty dudes (save for Monored decks). This allows us to be pretty well positioned in this metagame (at least before the next Pro Tour)

pt gatecrash

Currently going on in Montreal (my hometown)

For the time being though, playing this deck is somewhat safe. It often does really well and has done its fair share of earning me numerous boosters packs and other prizes. Most of you are undoubtedly aware of the ‘tech’ behind the deck, so I’ll try to be brief.

The deck basically tries to cast everything on opposing turns, hence the ‘flash’ part. Most of our cards provide us with card draw and allow us to dig for things in order to eventually finish of our opponents with spirit tokens, Restoration Angel or something attached to a Runechanter’s Pike. If it gets really nasty, we have our one-of Angel of Serenity to bail us out. It can actually 3 for 1 an opponent if paired with an Unsummon. In response to the ‘enters the battlefield’ trigger we return it to our hand with Unsummon. Its leaves play ability will go on the stack. The stack will resolve on a last in/first out basis and this will result in up to three creatures being exiled for good.

angel of serenity

Oh my! it’s been a while!

The deck also has 2 Supreme Verdicts maindeck, something that was not always there in the previous versions. We want to punish our opponents for overextending and we want them to fear the card. The best way to achieve this is to actually pack it in our deck, right? I notice a lot of the newer players always just try to spam more threats unnecessarily, even though they are winning. This is just plain greedy as you do not get bonus points for winning more. We also have McSnapington to recycle those Supreme Verdicts in case the lesson was not learned the first time.

snapcaster mage

Oh Snap!

While it’s obvious that it’s in there and will not really ‘surprise’ anyone, its presence will force your opponents to play more carefully. He obviously works really well when he’s doing overtime thanks to cards like Restoration Angel and Unsummon. He even manages to attack a few times or make nice sacrificial blocks.

One such example is when your opponent is attacking with say, a Loxodon Smiter and paired Silverblade Paladin. This pair boasts a total of 12 damage! That’s 60% of our life total. It is rather hazardous to our health. Suppose be flash in a Snapcaster and flashback our Unsummon (that we probably used on an Avacyn’s Pilgrim in response to our opponent targeting it with Rancor). We would bounce back the mighty pachyderm to our opponent’s hand and then block the now ‘regular strike’ Silverblade Paladin.

pach·y·derm (pk-dûrm)

n.
Any of various large, thick-skinned, hoofed mammals such as the elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus.
We proceed to trade with the Silverblade and set our opponent back a turn as he needs to recast his Loxodon Smiter and wait the following turn to attack with it. That’s quite a lot of time we bought ourselves not to mention the damage we saved.
I could go on forever about Restoration Angel, but I’m sure you have all witnessed how awesome this card can be. It resets our ‘Enter the battlefield’ dudes. It can be Unsummoned to save it from a removal spell and recast on the same turn. It has the extra point of toughness making it resilient to cards such as Searing Spear and attackers like Firemane Avenger. It usually ends up doing a huge percentage of our damage output and will often times take down planeswalkers in a few swings.
resto angel cropped
Still the best she is at what she does
Here’s the current deck list I run. While it can probably be improved, I find this is a fairly good configuration right now.
UW Flash Remix

rapid hybrid

Uh, what?

Yes, this is really in the decklist. I have no gone mad, I just got mad. Mad at peering across the table at this:

obzedat

Oh! How I dislike thee!

While I am not a huge fan of this creature, I will admit it’s one hell of a card! It is beyond frustrating to deal with and is usually not counterable in decks such as Esper Spirits that have been popping up. I wanted to stay in the same colors to not further aggravate my mana base and needed a card to deal with him. Obviously, the card needed to be playable at instant speed. I stumble upon Rapid Hybridization and decided to try it. It was fun to play and kill people with a Frog Lizard Token.

frog lizard token

Isn’t he adorable? Who wouldn’t want him as a pet?

Then as the games went by, I started to realize how versatile this card was. It even kills hardcore nuissances such as the might and much hyped, Boros Reckoner.

boros reckoner

Leading the charge and slowly becoming the new face of Standard.

For those of you that pre-ordered them, I congratulate you. While it was obvious it would be a good card, not many people jumped on the bandwagon early on. The card is currently sitting at around 25-30$ with good reason. It’s insane!

UW Flash however, simply bounces him around and eventually kills him with Supreme Verdict or turns him into a Frog Lizard. I could say that sometimes you are turning your own creatures into 3/3 Frog Lizards, but those are dire times indeed. You almost never really want to do that unless your creatures are tapped and you need a blocker from the token and another blocker from Moorland Haunt.

Deck Update

With the post Gatecrash Standard taking shape, this deck is becoming somewhat less effective. The main changes are 2 Blind obedience main deck to deal with hasty creatures. The other change lies in the sideboard, with 2 Jace, Memory Adept to defeat control decks.

Esper control seems to have taken over for most of what this deck does as its removal is slightly better but sometimes the mana is a bit rougher. In the end, it’s a matter of personal preference. The Flash build still wins via creatures whereas the Esper build can go the planeswalker route.

Duel Deck: Sorin vs. Tibalt

SVT_logo

Awwww Yeah!

Only about a month away until the release of this product on March 15, 2013 ! The only confirmed cards so far are the two paneswalkers:

sorin vs tib promo

It hardly seems fair ,right?

Right off the bat, Sorin Lord of Innistrad gives us the impression that his deck will crush Tibalt’s almost inevitably madness-based deck. Still you never know, they might come up with some really interesting possibilities for the Red deck. The item itself should sell really well as Sorin currently sells or about that MSRP of this bundle (19.99$)

Bubbles the Glowstick

bruna edh

by Kory “Skyfolk” Pelletier

                You ever just look at a card and have an overwhelming urge to build a deck around it? Well that urge is basically what defines the Commander format and led me to make a Commander deck of my own. I went through a few different decks before I settled on one but I quickly tired of building each of them. Then one day (about 4 months ago) I was at my local card shop and I was given the extra oversized pre-release Bruna, Light of Alabaster card they had lying around.

bruna

Affectionately called “Bubbles”

                Now, when I originally saw Bruna I thought she was nothing special.She was just another big flashy angel, boring after the initial coolness. However, something clicked in me when I got that card, I read it and thought “Hmm… I could probably make a pretty cool Commander deck out of this…” and from then it’s all history.

From the moment I started designing the deck I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to focus on taking out one player at a time and my initial build (that I no longer have a list of) did that quite well. The only problem is that without Bruna I was totally vulnerable and I would quickly lose game after game. It was then that I realized I was using the two best control colours in the game and started scouring the Gatherer for everything I could use. To be honest the number of cards I could use was overwhelming at first, but in test after test of my initial bad build I started to notice patterns, main issues and from there I could fix them.

Bruna has some obvious weaknesses that needed to be addressed and dealt with if I were to ever have a deck I could be proud of. I categorized each one and found answers for them quite handily.

The Issues:

  1. Creature Control – What can you possibly do when you lose your primary damage engine?

oblation murder

  1. Aggro/Rush – How can one big creature possibly consistently stop an army of creatures, big or small?

rhys the redeemed  mayael the anima

  1. Consistency – What happens when I don’t always get enough auras to push through hard with Bruna?

jester's cap  leyline of the void

The Solutions:

  1. Creature Control – Simple, make sure she can’t be touched. Shroud, hexproof, counterspells, indestructibility, damage prevention and deterrents help keep Bruna nice and cozy on the battlefield.

alexi's cloak  indestructability

  1. Aggro/Rush – More creatures and creature removal. Sweepers, big dudes and dudes that love to be enchanted, that way I can win even without Bruna’s help.

divine reckoning  sovereigns of lost alara

III. Consistency – Tutors and draw spells help Bruna stay relevant and consistent.

breakthrough  idyllic tutor

So now, without further adieu, the list (with a short explanation for each card):

Commander: Bruna, Light of Alabaster

Enchantment (30)

1x Alexi’s Cloak – Instant-speed shroud is never bad.

1x Angelic Destiny – Big self-recuring boost.

1x Auramancer’s Guise – Huge boost, usually +6/+6 or more.

1x Battle Mastery – Double the damage, double the fun.

1x Celestial Mantle – For those long, long games.

1x Copy Enchantment – Two things are usually better than one thing.

1x Corrupted Conscience – Because 21 damage is too much.

1x Eldrazi Conscription – Do I even need to explain?

1x Enchanted Evening – Shenanigans!

1x Ethereal Armor – Like a mini-Guise.

1x False Demise – Can’t have Bruna dying now, can we?

1x Flickerform – Woah where’d she go?

1x Frozen Aether – I don’t like you being able to do things.

1x Ghostly Prison – Pay the toll.

1x Greater Auramancy – Can’t touch these.

1x Indestructibility – Nobody wants to die.

1x Inviolability – Comet Storm all you want, nobody can save you now.

1x Karmic Justice – An eye for an eye.

1x Leyline of Anticipation – Because saying “I flash in Bruna on your end step” never gets old.

1x Leyline of Sanctity – Oh you wanted to target me?

1x Propaganda – Oh you thought that was the only toll?

1x Rhystic Study – “Gonna pay 1?”

1x Righteous Authority – Big hand, big fun.

1x Sphere of Safety – You thought you paid all your dues?

1x Spirit Mantle – What, you wanted to block?

1x Steel of the Godhead – Mmm, good ol’ commander damage.

1x Unquestioned Authority – I like my protection to come with cantrips.

1x Vanishing – Don’t even think about it.

1x Vow of Duty – Political card that can also push that last bit of damage through in a pinch.

1x Vow of Flight – ^

Creature (12)

1x Aura Thief – Remember those shenanigans we talked about?

1x Azorius Guildmage – Control engine all on her own.

1x Grand Abolisher – Makes sure my turn goes uninterrupted.

1x Grand Arbiter Augustin IV – Think twice before you play that.

1x Kor Spiritdancer – Bruna’s first understudy.

1x Leonin Arbiter – Just call me the tax man.

1x Meddling Mage – Insta-ban.

1x Mesa Enchantress – Card advantage what?

1x Mother of Runes – Mother is very protective.

1x Sovereigns of Lost Alara – Total synergy with Bruna, perfect.

1x Sun Titan – Bruna’s second understudy.

1x Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir – What can you say about Teferi other than “amazing”?

Sorcery (11)

1x Austere Command – Situation sweeper, not many better.

1x Breakthrough – Total brain bomb.

1x Cataclysm – Advantage: me.

1x Cleansing Meditation – Hey look even more shenanigans.

1x Compulsive Research – If you’re lucky it’s like drawing 3 cards and playing them all at once.

1x Divine Reckoning – Voltron staple.

1x Idyllic Tutor – The best fetch.

1x Mind Spring – More card advantage.

1x Three Dreams – The best..er fetch.

1x Trade Secrets – I draw 4 when you draw 2, everybody wins!

1x Winds of Rath – More sweepers because of sweepers.

Artifact (7)

1x Azorius Keyrune – I don’t think mana rocks need justification.

1x Azorius Signet

1x Coalition Relic

1x Darksteel Ingot

1x Lightning Greaves – Sometimes auras aren’t all you need.

1x Sol Ring – Superior mana rock.

1x Swiftfoot Boots – Same as Greaves.

Instant (6)

1x Blue Sun’s Zenith – Instant-speed self-recuring card draw… Wow.

1x Faith’s Reward – Sweepers? Whatever.

1x Hinder – Counterspell that tucks generals? Wow.

1x Return to Dust – Necessity and Who doesn’t love exiling 2 things for the price of one?

1x Spell Crumple – Counterspell that tucks generals and itself? Double wow.

1x Thirst for Knowledge

Land (33)

1x Adarkar Wastes

1x Azorius Chancery

1x Calciform Pools

1x Cephalid Coliseum – Emergency draw on a land, nice.

1x Evolving Wilds

1x Glacial Fortress

1x Hall of the Bandit Lord – Hastey Bruna, away!

1x Hallowed Fountain

8x Island

1x Maze of Ith – I don’t like it when you attack me.

1x Mystic Gate

1x Nimbus Maze

8x Plains

1x Reliquary Tower – Sometimes having a big hand can save you from rough spots.

1x Sejiri Refuge

1x Serra’s Sanctum – Whole lot of mana.

1x Terramorphic Expanse

1x Thespian’s Stage – Don’t need to explain, I’m sure.

1x Vesuva – I should not need to explain this one.

There, now that we’ve gone through the deck, how about we take a look at some of the synergies going on here?

Some of the most notable synergies are :

corrupted conscience  battle mastery

celestial mantle  eldrazi conscription

 

While two of these are game-enders, Celestial Mantle gives me tremendous survivability, and paired with Battle Mastery, it gets just plain silly.

 aura thief  sphere of safety

serra's sanctum  enchanted evening

 

Making everything enchantments can be very beneficial in a deck where enchantments matter, and with these three card, Enchanted Evening‘s value is high.

cataclysm  faiths reward

Blowing everything up and getting all your own stuff back usually means game, or or can mean coming back from a potential loss. Either way it’s a devastating combo.

thre dreams  bruna

With Bruna on the board, unanswered, Three Dreams can end games simply by grabbing Alexi’s Cloak, Corrupted Conscience and Battle Mastery.

sovereigns of lost alara  bruna

Sometimes you’re missing that one important aura to get the job done, and when that happens, Sovereigns helps you get just what you need.

                There are a lot of effective plays you can pull off in the deck, most are fun to do and can turn games around rather quickly, spelling doom for your opponents. A few fun plays are casting a Sun Titan with a Hall of the Bandit Lord, returning a Battle Mastery from the graveyard and attacking, returning a Vow of Flight and hitting in for 16 damage; or Attacking with a Kor Spiritdancer and triggering Sovereigns of Lost Alara, searching for an Eldrazi Conscription and hitting in for at least 13 damage. Even if you find yourself without creatures you can enchant an opponent’s with Corrupted Conscience and something else, hopefully hitting your opponent for lethal.

ulamog

Nobody wants to stare down a poisonous Eldrazi

                This deck has fared well against many-a strategy, I’ve beaten countless archetypes, from 5 Colour Control, to Monogreen Goodstuff, to Reanimator and Ghave. With how I’m taking it up, you might think the deck is a bit too competitive for a casual format, but it really isn’t. It’s almost a glass cannon, though the deck can survive without Bruna, it’s fastest with her. If she gets answered too many times then I’d be hard pressed to beat decks like Mimeoplasm, Riku or Karador. I believe I’ve struck a good balance between a competitive and a casual deck, and I’m rather proud.

the mimeoplasm

riku

karador

There guys are like the big bad bullies of Commander

                Remember, you never stop building a Commander deck. You will never have a “final build” as long new sets keep coming out and you’ll never stop refining the deck. Commander is a very dynamic format and I urge all players both new and old to try their hand at it. Get a few friends together and help each other build, 4 player games can be a blast and you can always try new things. Now go out there and pick a Commander!

If you wanna comment on this deck or contact me, check out http://tappedout.net/users/Skyfolk/