JustSin's picture
By: JustSin, Dave
Mar 10 2010 1:33am
Login to post comments

The Magic Blues Week

Hey everyone!  Welcome to Anything But, the article that takes a look at casual forms off Magic.  This week we're taking a look at the last color in our Magic color-wheel, blue.  Not to mention two decks that will have our opponent's singing the Magic Blues.  Blue offers us several good options for enchantments, but it seems that the mass of them are focused on the same things.  Ok perhaps that wasn't said very clear.  When you look at blue enchantments you'll see many cards in these groups.

Card Draw

Ior Ruin Expedition Compulsion Trade Routes Honden of Seeing Winds

These enchantments offer us any number of ways to draw extra cards and gain hand advantage over an opponent.  This is a strategy that is very well known to blue mages and definitely one of my favorite things.  Some of these enchantments offer us straight and simple ways to get extra cards, but other provide us with a complexity that allows us to get creative in how we draw.  For example Hatching Plans offers you the same amount of draw you'd get from Standstill, but it's harder to get going.  Some decks had used Hatching Plans in combination with Claws of Gix to draw and even combo.  Also we've recently got Archmage Ascension, which feeds off of card draw to become a tutor.

Counter Control

Counterbalance Decree of Silence Hesitation Ice Cave

Counter control is another feature of blue that is well known, but enchantments don't counter spells pretty easily.  Things like Decree of Silence or even Dovescape are incredibly powerful counters, but come at a heavy casting cost.  Hesitation is a great option because it works as Standstill does, but acts as a Counterspell.  Even better then Standstill you have control over when Hesitation goes off.


Threads of Disloyalty Biting Tether Carry Away Steal Enchantment

Playing another person deck against them is one of the more disliked aspects of blue.  Things like Bribery and Acquire have plagued players forever and enchantments make no exceptions.  Instead I do believe enchantments offer the best possible options for this strategy.  Everything from lands to creatures to artifacts can be taken from your opponent and played against them.


Dragon Wings Phantom Wings Shimmering Wings Aboshan's Desire

Now while these aren't usually used in... um... any deck, they are available in quantity.  I guess some of these had some merit in limited formats.. maybe, but they're there either way.

In addition to these there are some other cool things going on in blue enchantments...

Web of Inertia - Web of Inertia has become a recent favorite of mine because it can be paired with things such as Gravestorm in order to get some pretty cool effects going in exchange for an empty grave.

Collective Restraint - Collective Restraint is a more powerful Propaganda that I use all the time in Prismatic.  When you have all land types in play you force an opponent to pay 5 in order to attack.

Future Sight - Future Sight has been used in a couple of different decks including one that used it as a win condition.  (Don't ask me what it was because I'm blanking and not having luck tracking it down).

Standstill - Standstill is one of the draw enchantments, but it has to be mentioned because it's in a class of its own.  This card shuts down an opponent and really makes them think about what they are playing and whether or not it's worth the three cards to play.

Reality Acid - Reality Acid has been used in several casual decks as a way to continually kill creatures through an enchantment.  Something blue isn't usually known for.  This can be used in combination with Paradox Haze (another favorite of mine because it's a great addition to suspend decks) to speed up the vanishing process.

Leyline of Singularity - Leyline of Singularity is a card that I've seen several times in a multiplayer environment where it has a greater chance to affect a deck when there are more of them.  This has also been used in combination with Empress Galina in order to steal anything and everything.  Combos aren't uncommon to blue because you also can use Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and Curiosity/Helm of the Ghastlord/Ophidian Eye to create a damage loop for the win.

There are several other different forms of blue enchantments including the forever illusive Battle of Wits and the popular sideboard choice, Chill.

The first deck that I put together was based off of one of these alternative ideas.  When building the deck I decided that I actually had some fun playing the Extended format so I wanted to give it a second try.  So I started by filtering out all the non-Extended enchantments and took a look at what was available.  Frankly there wasn't as much as expected.  However, one newer enchantment did stand out to me as a fun idea.

Memory Erosion

There had been a couple of articles in the past month that talked about decking strategy and there have been several newer cards that really seemed to encourage the idea.  Hedron Crab for example just called to me!  So I figured what the heck.  Here's the deck I put together....

Miller Blues
A Deck By: JustSin
2 Ghastlord of Fugue
4 Hedron Crab
6 cards

Other Spells
3 Gaea's Blessing
4 Into the Roil
3 Ior Ruin Expedition
3 Memory Erosion
3 Memory Plunder
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Remand
4 Sanity Grinding
3 Traumatize
31 cards
4 Faerie Conclave
1 Forest
12 Island
4 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Tolaria West
23 cards
Memory Erosion


Ok so I had a few hesitations about this deck.  First off here is my usual criteria about decks I have built for the mono-colored examinations.  First it has to contain only cards that contain that color with the exception being artifacts.  Second it has to really feature the enchantment and work around it.  Now the second part I've been a little relaxed on, but this also tends to push against the grain on the first part.  Because I wanted to use Mesmeric Orb without consequence I added Gaea's Blessing and in order to make it a little less clunky I added a Forest so I could cast it out of my hand and eliminate the dead card.  So I debated and decided that as a compromise I'd write this article containing two decks, but first things first.  Here's how the games went for this deck.

Wind Drake Cobalt Golem Fabricate

Game 1
Opponent: PerlDragon
Deck Type: UW Fliers

Opening Hand:
Ghastlord of FugueIslandTolaria WestIslandHedron CrabGaea's BlessingFaerie Conclave

It's always a good start to have a turn 1 Hedron Crab.  On the draw I get a Ior Ruin Expedition, which I play on turn 2.  On turn 3 my opponent plays a Wind Drake.  My turn 3 sees the draw of a second Hedron Crab so I make sure I put it into play before I made my third land drop.  I'm a little stuck on turn 4 because I have two lands in hand that come into play tapped so I can't really make a play, but I don't miss the drop and the opportunity to mill off 6 more cards.  With the three lands I do have open I transmute Tolaria West to grab a Terramorphic Expanse, which will allow me two landfall triggers in one turn.  The Terramorphic Expanse also lets me use my Ior Ruin Expedition and gives me Traumatize plus Mesmeric Orb.  With two crabs and a Terramorphic Expanse I'm able to mill off 12 cards from my opponent's deck.  Instead of playing the Mesmeric Orb I decided to leave the four mana open for using Into the Roil to remove the drake.  After that's removed my opponent uses Fabricate to fetch Cobalt Golem, but it's turn 6 and he's still stuck on three lands.  On my turn 6 another Terramorphic Expanse mills off another 12 cards.  After the mill my opponent is stuck with only 8 cards left in his deck and he decides to concede.

Final Deck Total: 8 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 1 - 0

Essence Warden Doom Blade Jhessian Infiltrator

Game 2
Opponent: kwphotos
Deck Type: BUG

Opening Hand:
Mesmeric OrbSanity GrindingIor Ruin ExpeditionIslandFaerie ConclaveInto the RoilTolaria West

Well it's an O-K hand, but the tapped lands do make one worry a little.  My opponent starts the game with a Essence Warden and I respond with a turn 2 Ior Ruin Expedition.  On turn 3 I draw a Hedron Crab, which I play before my land drop so I can start milling.  On turn 4 I use Sanity Grinding, but it only manages to hit on 8 blue symbols mainly because there was a Memory Plunder, but it revealed a bunch of lands.  My opponent plays a Jhessian Infiltrator on his turn and has a good opportunity to damage me out before I can mill him.  My only save is an Into the Roil to save a turn of damage.  On turn 5 I'm able to drop not one, but two Mesmeric Orbs and then debate over playing the Tolaria West or transmuting it... in the end I decide to drop it so I can draw from Ior Ruin Expedition.  The orbs start to trigger and they are taking off two cards for each permanent that my opponent controls that untaps.  The orbs are triggering just as much if not more for me, but on every turn from here out it runs into a Gaea's Blessing and thus saving me from decking.  On my opponent's turn 6 I'm able to play a kicked Into the Roil to bounce the Jhessian Infiltrator and draw into a second Into the Roil.  Then my opponent follows up with a Doom Blade that kills my Hedron Crab and slowing my mill by quite a bit.  On turn 7 I have so much mana that I'm able to animate and attack with a Faerie Conclave in addition to having enough left over to play a kicked Into the Roil again.  On turn 8 I get a Memory Erosion into play and attack again with a Faerie Conclave.  The damage won't be enough, but I do it any ways.  On my opponent's next turn the Orbs mill off 8 cards leaving my opponent with 6 in his deck after his draw.  With no solution my opponent decides to concede.

Final Deck Total: 6 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 2 - 0

Legacy Weapon Farhaven Elf Exploding Borders

Game 3
Opponent: dvrosahr
Deck Type: 5c Legacy Weapon

Opening Hand:
IslandGhastlord of FugueIslandTraumatizeGhastlord of FugueTolaria WestIsland

This wasn't a fantastic hand, but it has land and I had hopes of drawing into something better.  I draw a Remand turn 2 and since it's my only play I use it on a Farseek during my opponent's turn.  On turn three I draw another play in the form of a Mesmeric Orb that starts the mill.  On my opponent's turn 3 he taps out to play Farhaven Elf and grab a Mountain.  Then on his turn 4 he uses Exploding Borders, doing 5 damage, and getting a Swamp.  Then turn 5 comes and I get to play my first Traumatize, knocking my opponent's deck to 23 cards.  It would have been 21, but I hit two Legacy Weapons and they get shuffled back.  I'm a little concerned because its hard to deck someone when they shuffle back cards, but if it comes down to those being all that's left in his deck then he has to draw something so shortly after this is the case I have the game.  On my opponent's following turn he taps out to play Legacy Weapon and attacks.  I play Ghastlord of Fugue trying to give my opponent a new threat to remove instead of more important things like lands or the Mesmeric Orb.  The Ghastlord of Fugue also gives me the opportunity to remove the Legacy Weapon from my opponent's hand if I draw an Into the Roil.  My opponent loses a lot of cards next turn when untapping 8 permanents on his 6th turn, leaving him with only 8 cards in his deck.  Things slow down with the Legacy Weapon up and running as he removes the Mesmeric Orb right away and then the second one that I played the following turn.  Things go a bit stale, but on turn 9 I draw a Sanity Grinding and with only 2 cards left in my opponent's deck (and I'm guessing a Legacy Weapon or two in hand) he concedes.

Final Deck Total: 2 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 3 - 0

Lost Auramancers Oblivion Ring Return to Dust

Game 4
Opponent: Heyyouguys
Deck Type: White Enchantments

Opening Hand:
Terramorphic ExpanseSanity GrindingTraumatizeRemandTerramorphic ExpanseHedron CrabIsland

This is a great opening hand because you have an Island for the turn 1 Hedron Crab and can follow it with not one, but two Terramorphic Expanses.  This went pretty well so I'm going to break it down.

Turn 1
Hey: Plains
Sin: Draw Island, Island, Hedron Crab

Turn 2
Hey: Plains
Sin: Draw Forest, Terramorphic Expanse fetching Island milling 6 (46 cards)

Turn 3
Hey: Plains
Sin: Draw Tolaria West, Island milling 3 (42 cards), Sanity Grinding milling 11 (29 cards)

Turn 4
Hey: Plains, Lost Auramancers
Sin: Draw Sanity Grinding, Terramorphic Expanse fetching Island milling 6 (22 cards), Sanity Grinding milling 6 (16 cards)

Turn 5
Hey: Plains, attacks with Lost Auramancers (17 life)
Sin: Draw Memory Erosion, Forest milling 3 (12 cards), Traumatize milling 6 (6 cards)

Turn 6
Hey: Oblivion Ring targeting Hedron Crab, attacks with Lost Auramancers (14 life)
Sin: Draw Traumatize, Memory Erosion

Turn 7
Hey: Lost Auramancers dies with nothing to fetch, Plains, Return to Dust targeting Memory Erosion milling 2 (2 cards), Remand targeting Return to Dust
Sin: Draw Ior Ruin Expedition, Into the Roil kicked targeting Oblivion Ring returning Hedron Crab, Tolaria West milling 2 (0 cards)

Well most opponents don't hang around when you get them to 0 cards, but I'm glad someone did.

Final Deck Total: 0 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 4 - 0

Vedalken Mastermind Prodigal Pyromancer Swerve

Game 5
Opponent: The Blue Knight
Deck Type: UR Pingers

Opening Hand:
TraumatizeMemory PlunderInto the RoilSanity GrindingIslandMesmeric OrbTolaria West

Well unfortunately I have to start by using the Tolaria West instead of keeping it for a Terramorphic Expanse later in the game.  On turn 2 I get the Mesmeric Orb into play and my opponent starts with a Vedalken Mastermind on his turn 3.  I do manage to top deck a land on my turn 3, but it's a Faerie Conclave so I have to pass a turn without a play.  On turn 4 my opponent plays a Prodigal Pyromancer and this would be the center point of his deck.  Finally my land is untapped and I can use Sanity Grinding and putting my opponent's deck to 37 cards.  On turn 5 my opponent plays Lightning Greaves to protect his Prodigal Pyromancer.  For a couple of turns I have very little to do so leave my lands untapped for a Into the Roil or Remand.  When my opponent doesn't make a play I kick a Into the Roil to bounce the Vedalken Mastermind, but it gets Swerved towards my Mesmeric Orb.  Instead of replaying it I use Traumatize, but this too is met with Swerve and Gaea's Blessing shuffles my grave.  Another Prodigal Pyromancer hits the field and the burns keep coming.  The bonus to facing the pingers is that they tap to do damage so they add extra triggers for my Mesmeric Orb.  I replay it and my opponent is at 25 cards on his turn 8.  With only one Lightning Greaves in play I'm able to use Memory Plunder to cast my opponent's Echoing Truth and returning both pingers.  The game goes on and the pingers keep doing their stuff.  I slow things down with a couple Into the Roils and Remands along the way.  On turn 10 and 11 I get Hedron Crabs, but won't see land for awhile.  On turn 12 my opponent is at 7 cards in deck and I only have 6 life remaining.  Thankfully I topdeck a Terramorphic Expanse and use it to remove the remaining 7 cards.

Final Deck Total: 0 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 5 - 0

Tarox Bladewing Commandeer Browbeat

Game 6
Opponent: WarWizardRahl
Deck Type: UR Counter Dragons

Opening Hand:
RemandMemory PlunderHedron CrabGaea's BlessingIslandTerramorphic ExpanseIsland

This hand has one of those ideal openers with Hedron Crab and Terramorphic Expanse.  Then on turn 2 I draw Sanity Grinding and by the end of turn 3 my opponent has already lost 21 cards.  On my opponent's third turn he finally gets his first Island in play and counters a Ior Ruin Expedition.  After that I'm stuck for a few turns on three land and can only Remand a Browbeat.  The second time the Browbeat is cast I decide to let it through since it helps me deck my opponent faster.  On turn 7 my opponent casts Tarox Bladewing and I try to Remand it, but get Remanded in return.  Then he discards a second Tarox Bladewing in order to swing for 8.  Luckily I had drawn a Faerie Conclave the turn before so on my turn I'm finally at four land.  With my opponent tapped out I'm able to cast a Memory Plunder on Incinerate to kill Tarox Bladewing.  On my next turn I make an attempt at Traumatize, but I correctly assume that my opponent has a counter.  Luckily for me he makes an error and uses Commandeer to retarget it.  The Traumatize hits a Gaea's Blessing and all that happens is that I get back all the cards I had already lost, not to mention the fact that he pitched Rune Snag and Remand in order to do that.  On my tenth turn I play Mesmeric Orb and my opponent attempts to Cancel it, but I still have Remand in hand.  A couple turns pass with nothing happening until turn 12 when I cast Memory Erosion and me opponent decides to concede.

Final Deck Total: 6 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 6 - 0

Seedborn Muse Storage Matrix Draining Whelk

Game 7
Opponent: ubdu
Deck Type: GU Counter Control

Opening Hand:
RemandSanity GrindingRemandMemory ErosionInto the RoilIor Ruin ExpeditionIsland
Mulligan to 6:
Memory PlunderInto the RoilIslandFaerie ConclaveMesmeric OrbTerramorphic Expanse

Not a very promising start, but after my turn 1 Faerie Conclave things get a little better because I top a Hedron Crab on turn 2 and can combo it with Terramorphic Expanse.  Things get worse.  On my opponent's second turn he has 6 cards in his grave and what happens?  He casts Gaea's Blessing.  Crap.  So yes I'm running a decker against a deck that contains the ultimate anti-mill card.  I try to put up a fight and use early damage off of Faerie Conclave instead of casting my mill spells.  Even a Storage Matrix can't hold me back because my creatures are lands.  My opponent continues over many turns to just draw cards and I think it's kind of working to my favor if I can get those Gaea's Blessings into his hand.  Things get worse when my opponent plays Seedborn Muse, which is his counter piece for Storage Matrix.  This game goes for awhile, but here's the short version.  The Hedron Crab continues to deck off of lands and hits Gaea's Blessings.  A few things I try to cast are met by Draining Whelks and in an attempt to bounce Seedborn Muse a second one gets played.  Eventually the Draining Whelk can't be contained and I'm damaged out.

Final Deck Total: 37 Cards
Winner: ubdu
Record: 6 - 1

Well this is the kind of risk you take when playing a deck that is entirely focused on a single win strategy.  It's like running a combo deck that gets shut down when it tries to go off.  Not to mention the many times you'll encounter decks that are over 60 cards.

Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers Silence Aspect of Mongoose

Game 8
Opponent: maintain
Deck Type: GW Aggro

Opening Hand:
ForestRemandMemory ErosionIslandGaea's BlessingIslandHedron Crab

Well I had a bit more work to do in this game because my opponent is starting off with a deck that's 69 cards instead of the usual 60.  Of course I start off with the Hedron Crab.  On my opponent's turn 3 I Remand a Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers and then I play Memory Erosion.  On turn 4 the Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers comes back into play and then I kick an Into the Roil in order to bounce it in response to my opponent's Aspect of Mongoose during his fifth turn.  My turn 5 is Silenced so I simply Remand a Qasali Pridemage during my opponent's turn.  On turn 6 I cast Traumatize and after playing a land my opponent concedes.

Final Deck Total: 16 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 7 - 1

Necroskitter Murderous Redcap Noxious Hatchling

Game 9
Opponent: Myrk Cordial
Deck Type: UB Wither/Persist

Opening Hand:
Terramorphic ExpanseRemandTerramorphic ExpanseMemory PlunderRemandTraumatizeIsland

To throw things off I start by grabbing my Forest through Terramorphic Expanse, but my first play is Memory Erosion on turn 3.  My opponent starts with Necroskitter followed by a Murderous Redcap, which I return with Remand.  On his next turn my opponent attempts to cast River Kelpie, but I use my second Remand to stop that from happening.  On turn 6 instead of casting Traumatize I decide to, instead, cast Ior Ruin Expedition followed by Terramorphic Expanse in order to get two counters and then Sanity Grinding.  The following turn my opponent casts Noxious Hatchling, but without running green the counters will come off much slower.  Finally Traumatize get's its chance on turn 7 and then a Memory Plunder from my opponent brings it back targeting me.  Well we know how this plays out... want a hint?  Gaea's Blessing.  I'm sure with that failure my opponent isn't happy and when I play two Mesmeric Orbs on turn 8 my opponent chooses to just concede.

Final Deck Total: 11 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 8 - 1

Soul Warden Nightguard Patrol Veteran Swordsmith

Game 10
Opponent: Darkmoot
Deck Type: Soldier Weenie

Opening Hand:
Into the RoilIor Ruin ExpeditionForestMemory PlunderSanity GrindingTolaria WestTraumatize

The land in this hand isn't very good at all.  If I want to have two land in the worst case then I have to play Tolaria West on turn 1 instead of something better.  Not to mention that on turn 3 I don't have the mana to play Sanity Grinding.  The one high point is that my opponent's turn 1 consists of Plains followed by Soul Warden.  This will be his only land for many turns.  The Soul Warden beats down a couple of times, but being stuck with so many cards I wait until end of turn and use Into the Roil  on the Soul Warden forcing him to discard two cards instead of one.  Finally on turn 6 he gets a second land and replays his Soul Warden.  On turn 8 I finally get my third blue land and can cast Sanity Grinding.  The game goes on and I use two Mesmeric Orbs to continue to mill out my opponent.  Things start to struggle when Crossbow Infantry, Veteran Swordsmith, and Nightguard Patrol keep the beats coming.  Thankfully I have lots of draw through Ior Ruin Expeditions and Remand to keep bouncing things with Into the Roil.  A Traumatize and a Hedron Crab get my opponent down to 5 cards in his deck before my turn.  If I don't beat him this turn then he's going to beat me down with his Nightguard Patrol.  The Magic gods are with me and I top a second Hedron Crab.  Once it's in play I drop an Island and remove the last five cards.

Final Deck Total: 0 Cards
Winner: JustSin
Record: 9 - 1

So the deck worked pretty great, but there are several instances where it could run into a counter deck.  For example the one game I lost where my opponent was running Gaea's Blessing or if you face one of the many decks that are over 60 cards (though these decks are more often seen in Classic formats).  On average my opponents ended the game with 8 to 9 cards in their deck, which seems like a success to me.  There were definitely people out there who were a little unhappy playing against the milling strategy, but this next deck brought about more anger.

So first off I knew I wanted to build another deck that might fit my requirements a bit better then the mill deck.  This time however, I opened up the card pool to the Classic format.  The first thing that caught my eye was this...

Auramancer's Guise

I put together a deck that was full of some blue enchantments, but outside of Auramancer's Guise there really weren't any good options for pumping creatures.  I did find some options in Ghostly Wings and Unstable Mutation, then paired them with creatures like Academy Researchers, but things didn't work as expected.  Without Auramancer's Guise my creatures weren't really big enough to do much and it was just overall a clunker.  So I went back to the drawing board.  When browsing through my cards two things really started to bring around a direction.

Annex Standstill

So the first thing I noticed was Annex and the fact that I own 4 foil copies of this card.  For the life of me I can't figure out how that happened or why I would ever want four Annex outside of a pimped CoreVore deck, but hey I'll go with it.  Then I saw Standstill.  If you've been following my articles from the start you'll remember that since the beginning I was a little shy about Standstill.  I know how powerful it is, but often worried about putting myself in a bad situation because of it.  After doing research for my Legacy article I realized how strong it could be and knew I wanted to use it.  So this is where I started.  I decided I was going to use things like Annex to control my opponent and Standstill to bring about a strong card advantage.

I knew there were several options for using an opponent's deck against him and decided on adding in Persuasion (not that you care, but I originally had Mind Control, which is the same thing, but since I only had three copies I had to add Persuasion instead to get four... then I decided I only wanted three copies... it's a busy life).  While I was at it I knew I wanted to use Trinket Mage to be able to land fetch if needed and that brought about the second part of the deck.

Sensei's Divining Top Counterbalance

As many know this is a powerful combination that can bring about powerful shutdown.  Now I didn't want this to be as brutal as it can be in some tournament decks that are really focused on the strategy, so I cut back the count to three Counterbalance and two Sensei's Divining Top.  I rounded out the control with Propaganda and put in three Copy Enchantments because they are stars in a deck like this that is so enchantment heavy.  Here's how it looked...

Enchantment Control
A Deck By: JustSin
4 Solemn Simulacrum
4 Trinket Mage
3 Willbender
11 cards

Other Spells
4 Annex
3 Copy Enchantment
3 Counterbalance
4 Man-o-War
3 Persuasion
3 Propaganda
2 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Standstill
22 cards
2 Academy Ruins
1 Halimar Depths
11 Island
2 Reliquary Tower
3 Seat of the Synod
4 Terramorphic Expanse
23 cards


Now the land is a bit short, but I'm taking a chance on the fact that because I'm only running one color any land I get will be good enough to cast.  Also you'll notice the one of Halimar Depths.  There's two reasons for this.  First off is that I only own one copy.  Second off I wanted to give it a go and see how it performs.

So I start up and the first game is against edmcfly.  On turn 2 I cast Counterbalance without a Sensei's Divining Top.  On my opponent's turn 2 he casts Night's Whisper and my Counterbalance reveals Willbender to counter.  He adds a frown in chat and concedes.  It's gonna be a long 10 games.

Bramblewood Paragon Howling Mine Lys Alana Huntmaster

Game 1
Opponent: ghostface78
Deck Type: BG Elves

Opening Hand:
Copy EnchantmentIslandPropagandaMan-o'-WarWillbenderAcademy RuinsTerramorphic Expanse

This was a pretty nice opening hand, or so it seemed.  I of course start off with Terramorphic Expanse to Island to Academy Ruins to Propaganda, but I get stuck on those three land for quite a bit.  My opponent opened with a turn 1 Skullclamp and turn 2 Howling Mine.  Yes even with the extra card draw on Howling Mine I still get stuck at 3 lands.  On turn 3 my opponent casts Hunting Triad and I use Man-o'-War in order to kill one.  On turn 4 my opponent is able to drop Wolf-Skull Shaman and Bramblewood Paragon as well as using Skullclamp to kill some elf tokens and draw some cards.  Seeing the onslaught that I'm about to face I drop a second Propaganda so that an attack will cost 4 mana per creature.  The next turn, turn 6 I draw two more Copy Enchantments and start creating more Propagandas.  Finally on turn 7 I draw Trinket Mage, which I use to get Seat of the Synod.  Suddenly my three Propagandas start getting eaten by a tutored Naturalize and a Recollect to use it a second time, but now I have land.  Now I'm in the game.  So I start getting more land by dropping Solemn Simulacrum, but it's a slow process.  My opponent uses another Recollect to finish off my last Propaganda and I kind of wish that I had used the other Copy Enchantment before it was gone.  Oh well. In order to get my mana going faster I use Annex on Golgari Rot Farm instead of casting another Solemn Simulacrum.  On turn 10 my opponent uses Barter in Blood to wipe the board.  In order to slow my opponent's attack I use Persuasion on Bramblewood Paragon and cast Man-o'-War to bounce my opponent's only creature, an elf token.  Next turn sees a Lys Alana Huntmaster and I use Copy Enchantment to steal it.  With my remaining land I have enough to cast Willbender and Standstill while having the 2 left to un-morph.  This works out because my opponent tries to Terror the Lys Alana Huntmaster and I redirect it to my Willbender instead.  *Enter the angry rantings in chat*  In his final move he drops a Heedless One, but thanks to the Howling Mine I get another Persuasion.  After my attack my opponent is at 7 life, throws out more insults to my sexual orientation, my skill level in the game, and other curses, then concedes.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 1 - 0

Nip Gwyllion Architects of Will Inkfathom Infiltrator

Game 2
Opponent: DoomFist
Deck Type: 5c Auras

Opening Hand:
Man-o'-WarIslandIslandWillbenderSensei's Divining TopPersuasionStandstill

This was a great starting hand because it's got early plays in addition to early control.  I start with a turn 1 Sensei's Divining Top and use it to put Counterbalance on top for turn 3.  My opponent starts with Nip Gwyllion on turn 2 and I get my turn 3 Counterbalance in play with one land open for the top.  When my opponent doesn't make a play I use the top to put an Island on top so that I can play Willbender morphed and have a land open for using the top next turn.  On my opponent's turn he casts Edge of the Divinity on his Nip Gwyllion and swings for 4.  With Sensei's Divining Top in play I only have one other card in my deck with a 1cc so I search through the top, but I know my odds of getting this countered are slim.  Thankfully I use Man-o'-War on turn 5 to bounce the Nip Gwyllion and destroy the enchantment.  With two creatures on the board in addition to Sensei's Divining Top and Counterbalance I know it's a safe time to put out Standstill.  On my opponent's turn 5 he breaks the Standstill by casting Architects of Will.  This seems a good target to take so on my turn I steal it with Persuasion.  On turn 6 my opponent recasts Nip Gwyllion and then tries to play Inkfathom Infiltrator, but I find Standstill using Sensei's Divining Top to counter it with Counterbalance.  With three creatures in play on my side of the board and a Standstill soon to come my opponent just concedes.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 2 - 0

Gate Hound Veteran Swordsmith Demystify

Game 3
Opponent: billydaman
Deck Type: White Weenie

Opening Hand:
PropagandaAnnexCounterbalanceMan-o'-WarSolemn SimulacrumAnnexTrinket Mage
Mulligan to 6:
Solemn SimulacrumTrinket MagePropagandaCopy EnchantmentCopy EnchantmentHalimar Depths
Mulligan to 5:
PropagandaSeat of the SynodIslandMan-o'-WarTrinket Mage

Well this was a very bad start for the deck, it's never a good sign when you have to drop to 5 cards out of the gate, but I was hoping the draw power of the deck would bring it back up.  I miss my land drop on turn 3, but draw Sensei's Divining Top that I can use to put a land on top.  By turn 4 my opponent is also stuck at two lands and hasn't made a play outside of Rest for the Weary so I think it's a good time to play Standstill.  In an odd move my opponent plays Solemn Offering on turn 4 targeting Standstill allowing me to draw the cards for free and avoid the life gain.  I start to get land online over the next couple of turns and use Propaganda to slow the advance of my opponent's two Veteran Swordsmiths.  On turn 7 I cast Trinket Mage to not only act as a chump blocker, but to grab me a land as well since I missed my drop this turn.  Followed by the same play next turn using Solemn Simulacrum this time.  Now I have enough mana that I could use Persuasion to steal a Veteran Swordsmith on the next turn.  On turn 10 I bonce my opponent's Gate Hound and since it was his only creature I drop Standstill.  When I attack the Standstill is broken by Divine Verdict removing Trinket Mage.  In order to avoid this happening again I cast a morphed Willbender and when I attack it becomes useful right away and I redirect a second to remove the Man-o'-War instead of the Veteran Swordsmith.  Things go on for awhile with my opponent getting back his swordsmith through using Demystify on the Persuasion and I get another draw off of Standstill number three.  On turn 13 I use Sensei's Divining Top to draw out a Persuasion and take back the Veteran Swordsmith.  After I bounce the Gate Hound a couple of times I'm able to swing through for the win.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 3 - 0

Forest Essence Warden Forest

Game 4
Opponent: TS_girl_n_California
Deck Type: Unknown

Opening Hand:
WillbenderAnnexReliquary TowerIslandIslandTrinket MageTerramorphic Expanse

This was a quick on so I'm going to break it down for you turn by turn.

Turn 1
TS: Forest, Essence Warden
Sin: Draw Annex, Terramorphic Expanse fetching Island

Turn 2
TS: Attack with Essence Warden (19 life)
Sin: Draw Solemn Simulacrum, Reliquary Tower

Turn 3
TS: Forest, attack with Essence Warden (18 life)
Sin: Draw Persuasion, Island, Trinket Mage (21 life) fetching Sensei's Divining Top

Turn 4
TS: No play
Sin: Draw Island, Annex targeting Forest, attack with Trinket Mage (19 life)

Turn 5
TS: Attacks with Essence Warden (17 life)
Sin: Draw Island, Island, Annex targeting Forest

So for those following along I've now stolen my opponent's only 2 lands.  This is the point where he/she concedes.  I know it's a brutal thing to do, but you have to take control opportunities when they come along with this deck.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 4 - 0

Swamp Terror Swamp

Game 5
Opponent: dilly
Deck Type: Vampires

Opening Hand:
Man-o'-WarWillbenderCopy EnchantmentSolemn SimulacrumIslandPersuasionAnnex
Mulligan to 6:
StandstillStandstillPersuasionMan-o'-WarCopy EnchantmentSolemn Simulacrum
Mulligan to 5:
AnnexCopy EnchantmentWillbenderAcademy RuinsIsland

So this was another horrible start having to drop to 5 cards, but again I have no choice, but to play it through.  No my opponent plays a Swamp on turn one and doesn't play a second until turn 5.  The whole time he's complaining about mana screw.  I had to drop to a 5 card hand to get land I don't see why he's bothering to complain when he kept the hand with only one land in the first place.  On my turn 3 I'm able to morph a Willbender and protect it with a Standstill on turn 4.  After my opponent drops the second land on turn 5 he plays Terror to kill my Willbender.  Thanks to Standstill I draw a fourth land and Annex one of his Swamps.  Given the chance I had two Copy Enchantments in hand and I would have taken the remaining land to keep him without mana.  Before I get a chance he concedes in response to Annex.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 5 - 0

Now I totally understand the irritation when someone is playing anti-land strategies, but to sit there and complain about not getting land when you kept a one land hand is just silly.  Sure I could have made other plays here to keep the game going, but my goal isn't to play a long game, my goal is to do what I can to control my opponent's tempo of play and hopefully win the game in doing so.

MrLancelot sits for what I expect to be game 6 and quickly mulligans to 0 and quits.

Goblin Chieftain Goblin Warchief Goblin Lackey

Game 6
Opponent: Masticore
Deck Type: Goblins

Opening Hand:
Man-o'-WarCounterbalanceIslandPersuasionReliquary TowerSeat of the SynodWillbender

Ok so I'm going to try and make this one quick.  First off my opponent was playing a goblin deck that is typically seen making top showings in tournaments... what that same deck was doing in the casual room is beyond me.  Of course his first play is a turn 1 Goblin Lackey.  I try to slow things the best I can by playing Counterbalance on turn 2.  Now that the Goblin Lackey is online things get crazy.  He hits for one and puts Goblin Ringleader into play, which reveals Goblin Warchief and Siege-Gang Commander.  He then follows this with a second Goblin Lackey.  Great.  I get a bit of a great top deck in Propaganda because it slows the goblin attacks to one Lackey per turn.  On his next turn, after playing Goblin Warchief, he drops Goblin Recruiter and searches out 3x Goblin Warchief, 2x Goblin Chieftain, Goblin Ringleader, Mad Auntie, and 2x Warren Instigator.  I slow things down a bit with a Solemn Simulacrum blocker and then use Persuasion to steal a Goblin Warchief.  Then I get a lucky counter on Mad Auntie through Counterbalance.  More goblins come and I use a Sensei's Divining Top to find another Persuasion and steal Goblin Chieftain.  At this point my opponent concedes.  I won't speculate on why he conceded, but I will say that a large army of goblins is great until you're facing Propaganda with only three lands.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 6 - 0

Wild Growth Rampant Growth Living Hive

Game 7
Opponent: Lost646
Deck Type: Green Beef

Opening Hand:
IslandCopy EnchantmentSolemn SimulacrumAnnexStandstillSeat of the SynodPersuasion

This was a decent starting hand so I was feeling pretty good going into this game.  My opponent starts on turn one with a Wild Growth and then another Wild Growth on turn 2 followed by Rampant Growth.  This can't be good for me.  I do manage to draw a third land on turn 3 so I don't miss the land drop, but I'm without play unless I drop a Standstill.  On my opponent's turn 3 he plays a Llanowar Druid that allows him to power out a turn 4 Living Hive.  All I can do in response is to play Solemn Simulacrum to fetch the last land I need to use Persuasion on the Living Hive.  I figure I'm pretty well off, but Accelerated Mutation shows me otherwise.  My opponent tramples over for 12 damage and makes 12 insect tokens.  When the Solemn Simulacrum dies I'm left with Ghostly Prison and I'm faced with an option.  I can play Ghostly Prison and Copy Enchantment to stop the army of tokens, but then the Living Hive kills me... or I can use Persuasion to stop the Living Hive threat and die to the tokens.  Either way its game.

Winner: Lost646
Record: 6 - 1

Shambling Remains Blazing Specter Ashenmoor Liege

Game 8
Opponent: BuzzardBlaster
Deck Type: RB Discard/Aggro

Opening Hand:
PropagandaIslandPersuasionSeat of the SynodTerramorphic ExpanseCopy EnchantmentMan-o'-War

So I make the first play of the game by casting Propaganda.  Until this point my opponent had played just Mountains so I figure burn/aggro is heading my way.  On my opponent's turn 3 he draws into a Swamp and puts Shambling Remains onto the field.  I decide that instead of using Trinket Mage to get me a fourth land I'll play Man-o'-War to stop the Shambling Remains.  Then instead of replaying the remains he casts Blazing Specter and I'm glad I have Propaganda to give me a bit of breathing room.  I don't draw a fourth land and again decide to hold off on the Trinket Mage replacing it this time with Copy Enchantment to give me a second Propaganda.  Now my opponent has to choose to tap out in order to attack me.  To my surprise he's ok with this idea and does so until turn 7 when I have the land to use Persuasion to steal the Blazing Specter.  On my opponent's turn 7 he drops Ashenmoor Liege, but has no answer to block Blazing Specter.  To his advantage he does use he discard as an out for discarding the Shambling Remains, but again its useless when he doesn't have the land to bring it back and attack through Propaganda.  I hold things together with a Standstill, which gets broken when my opponent plays a now 4/4 Blazing Specter.  To my joy the Standstill gives me a second Persuasion that I use to steal the Blazing Specter and swing for the win.

Winner: JustSin
Recourd: 7 - 1

Hellspark Elemental Bloodghast Life from the Loam

Game 9
Opponent: TXMadden
Deck Type: Aggro Loam

Opening Hand:
IslandPersuasionCopy EnchantmentReliquary TowerMan-o'-WarAcademy RuinsTrinket Mage

I keep what looks to be a promising hand, but my opponent gets an early start with a turn 2 Hellspark Elemental.  I know this is going to come back turn 3 so I use Trinket Mage and grab a land to make sure I'll have enough for Persuasion when turn 5 comes.  On turn 3 he does bring back the Hellspark Elemental and I throw Trinket Mage in the way.  I think I'm at an advantage because my opponent misses a mana drop and simply put Sensei's Divining Top in play so I can stay ahead of the game.  Next turn sees the third land for my opponent and puts Bloodghast into play.  Since I know it's going to keep coming back I decide that taking it is a good answer so I use my Persuasion, but my opponent responds with Devastating Dreams.  This kills the Bloodghast and two lands, which is no problem for him because he cast Life from the Loam earlier.  In order to slow down the oncoming aggro I cast Propaganda, but with Life from the Loam the Bloodghast is going to keep coming back.  Now on turn 6 I played Halimar Depths and it showed an Island, a Propaganda, and a Standstill.  I put them back thinking Standstill is on top.  So I think I'm good.  I play Man-o'-War to bounce Bloodghast and use my Sensei's Divining Top to draw, but instead of Standstill I get Propaganda.  Crap.  So my opponent continues to dredge the loam and bring out Bloodghasts while using Sickening Dreams to kill the Man-o'-War.  Next turn I'm eager for some card draw and to make up for the error so I make another error in my haste.  I draw the Sensei's Divining Top and right away use it to draw the Standstill off of the top of my library.  I put it into play and pass the turn.  On my opponent's turn he plays a land and the two Bloodghast come into play from the graveyard.  Yep by playing Standstill I made the one mistake I always hoped to avoid, I put myself in a spot where I have to give my opponent card advantage to stay in the game.  The Bloodghast attack and I use another Propaganda, but it's too little to late.  Not to mention the extra cards I gave my opponent through Standstill.

Winner: TXMadden
Record: 7 - 2

Oona's Blackguard Morsel Theft Inkfathom Infiltrator

Game 10
Opponent: atax
Deck Type: Esper Rogues

Opening Hand:
WillbenderStandstillStandstillAnnexWillbenderAcademy RuinsPropaganda
Mulligan to 6:
WillbenderCounterbalancePropagandaCopy EnchantmentTrinket MageSolemn Simulacrum
Mulligan to 5:
Academy RuinsHalimar DepthsAnnexTerramorphic ExpanseWillbender

Ok so a really bad start and not a great start with 5 cards and three lands, but I'm not going to chance going any lower.  My opponent gets things started with a turn 2 Oona's Blackguard and I'm a little disheartened.  I have to admit in lots of casual tribal games I've played recently I've faced rogues after rogues after rogues and am a little tired of it.  But the show must go on.  With my turn 2 Halimar Depths I see two Man-o'-War and put them on the top to keep bouncing creatures.  With only three land my opponent makes an interesting move in playing Frogtosser Banneret followed by the Oona's Blackguard.  This works to my advantage because none of the creatures have counters and therefore I avoid the discard ability.  Since I'm looking at two 1/1s creature that aren't much of a threat I play Annex on a Arcane Sanctum instead of bouncing a creature with another Man-o'-War.  This pays off because my opponent drops Inkfathom Infiltrator that will cause discard and the Man-o'-War has it covered.  With my extra land I also put out Counterbalance, which manages to counter a Morsel Theft without using Sensei's Divining Top on the following turn.  The game goes on with me slowly doing damage through the jellyfish and Solemn Simulacrum.  When the Inkfathom Infiltrator gets back underway the only thing in my hand is a second Academy Ruins that I'm happy to get rid of.  After attacking my opponent attempts to play another Morsel Theft, but this too is countered without using Sensei's Divining Top.  The Man-o'-War eventually beat down my opponent before he can get anything else going.

Winner: JustSin
Record: 8 - 2

So I have to say that from the start I figured that being a single colored deck maybe I could get away with only 23 lands.  This is perhaps not the case, especially when two of those lands are colorless producers.  In fact after playing through I have to say the Reliquary Tower is useless.  I had intended it to be a hand helper with all the cards from Standstill, but frankly with only 4 of them providing draw for the deck it really isn't an issue.  Also the Academy Ruins aren't worth it really either.  The only thing you'd be able to bring back would be Sensei's Divining Top and odds are you can save that on your own through the draw ability.  These can easily be replaced by Islands, but I'd even add perhaps another Halimar Depths or two.  Now the deck certainly isn't perfect, but it was kind of fun to try blue control a different way.

I hope you all enjoyed the glance through the color wheel and have gotten a chance to try out some of the decks.  Next week we're doing a grand finale to the Enchantment Cycle!  Enchant-a-palooza!  We're going to do a quick review of what the other 9 weeks covered and much more!



forgetting by Ryan5309 (not verified) at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 14:18
Ryan5309's picture

i think you forgot to mention one of the most powerful blue enchantments, especially when running into decks using gaea's blessing. you need to look at forced fruition.

the way it works is:

whenever your opponent casts a spell, they draw 7 cards.

if you get that out, the odds they draw the gaea is god for you.

true that card is a killer to by JustSin at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 14:42
JustSin's picture

true that card is a killer to play against, but the mana cost is a little heavy, if i was going to run it I'd only include it perhaps as a 2 of

counterbalance top in the by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 17:56
Anonymous's picture

counterbalance top in the casual room huh. And a mill deck that all it does is counter and be uninteractive. If you are going to make decks for the casual room, you might want to rethink what is in those decks. You made 2 decks that all they do is not allow the opp to play a game. Not fun for them, and since it is the casual room, all it means is that you ruined some games for others. You didnt show that you made good decks, you just made decks that are gonna run rampant through the casual room.

lol hi 'thanks' for the by JustSin at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 18:09
JustSin's picture

lol hi 'thanks' for the trolling, but I don't think that I'm going to reopen the debate over what is casual

Aside from the trolling Anon by Paul Leicht at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 18:20
Paul Leicht's picture

Aside from the trolling Anon has a point. I mean your fan base is what? In the millions? At least half of those are sharks who love to beat on defenseless johnnies and timmies for the fun of it. Also how can you dare play in casual with a deck everyone is going to want to netdeck? I mean seriously, save the innovation for the PT. AMIRIGHT? :p Nice article btw. Oh and check out the hand painted sign at the entrance to the site. It says "Don't Feed the Trolls!"

lol thanks for the comment by JustSin at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 18:30
JustSin's picture

lol thanks for the comment and I will say one thing on my behalf, it's one article where the theme was blue and thusly (sp?) translated into making other players blue.. the color really has strength in these irritating effects and that cannot be helped, as I said I tried some other things out that didn't work well at all and I wouldn't want to be showing a deck that went 10+ losses

You guys immediately by me, myself and i (not verified) at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 18:51
me, myself and i's picture

You guys immediately dismissed the earlier comment as trolling, but i agree with anon that countertop has no business in the casual room. regardless of whether the deck is casual or not, playing with combos like that makes people quit. Whats the point? It would be better if you had just made a good countertop deck and gone into tourney practice room.

Disagree by Katastrophe at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 23:00
Katastrophe's picture

4x Duress
4x Doom Blade
3x Blightning
3x Damnation
4x Lightning Bolt
3x Blood Moon
3x Rakdos Pit Dragon
2x Manabarbs
2x Kaeverek the Merciless (fancy Manabarbs!)

I just built an Extended deck off the top of my head with a unique theme that keeps my opponent from playing his game. What do you expect? I should just let my opponent run me over? I want to play a 7 mana legend! If I don't play my best black and red disruptive spells then I'll never live to see that turn 7. Your average and obvious casual solider/elf/goblin tribal deck still goldfishes on turn 4.

I think you're just looking at Counterbalance + Top and freaking out because it's a programmed response. Like in a "OMG CounterTop is banned in casual because it just is" sort of way. CounterTop is good in Legacy because every card in everyone's deck costs 0, 1, or 2 mana. But in the casual room CounterTop is much weaker because everyone plays with cards that have cmc 3 and greater. Try it!

But regardless of how strong CounterTop proves to be in the casual room, look at the deck as a whole, not one combo. I could put Tendrils of Agony in a mono-black deck with 4x Dark Rituals and that would be totally fine as long as the rest of the deck contained Sorceress Queen, Icy Manipulator + Royal Assassin, etc. It would be just like one of my Revised-Ice age era decks, actually, with the 2x Drain Life replaced by 2x Tendrils. And yeah, once in a while I'll do the final 6 damage with Ritual -> Ritual -> Tendrils, but that's Magic. It's not like my black deck will ever Tendrils for 20, and CounterTop is not at all a lock in the casual room.

thanks for the response, by JustSin at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 23:27
JustSin's picture

thanks for the response, everyone is allowed their opinion on casual, but I think you've put it well there is a lot of focus on that combination, but there is more to the deck then that and if you read the reports CounterTop was pretty much useless and the few counters I got from it were without the Top.. so just Counterbalance shouldn't be used in casual??

counter-top by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 03/10/2010 - 23:29
Anonymous's picture

Counter-top is a legacy level successful deck. It does not belong at the kitchen table or in the casual room online. It isn't interactive; it doesn't let the opponent play their game. It isn't fun for the other person, and is also extremely strong.

If you are writing casual articles, please steer clear of tourney-level combos. Sure you'll get a 80%+ wins, there's a reason the combo top 8's in real life legacy events.

At least the mill deck was sort of interesting.

im calling the by ShardFenix at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 00:32
ShardFenix's picture

im calling the waaaaaaambulance

Every comment page where by me, myself and i (not verified) at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 15:15
me, myself and i's picture

Every comment page where people dont agree with you is filled with insults and negative comments toward that person. In this comment section we have 3 different people who feel that countertop is not something to be used in the casual room, and we have shard fenix mocking them, paul leict calling them trolls, and justsin ignoring it.

You might want to rethink your attitudes towards the readers and other players.

I'm not ignoring it, but I've by JustSin at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 17:13
JustSin's picture

I'm not ignoring it, but I've been through the fight about "what is casual?" in my article with a deck using planeswalkers that some anon. thought wasn't casual, I'm mearly trying to avoid an argument no one will win because everyone's definition of casual is different, what more can you ask? would you rather I restart the argument?

Sorry if my comment about by Paul Leicht at Fri, 03/12/2010 - 05:52
Paul Leicht's picture

Sorry if my comment about trolling was taken seriously, I was trying to add some levity to this discussion. Also Leicht not leict thanks for trying though. :)

As for whether or not counters/combos are or not appropriate for casual play (to beat a dead horse even further into the ground) isn't that up to the individual players? If so then who are you or anyone else to declare it unfun for everyone? I totally agree that it can be unfun to play against such cards/decks but casual means nothing is on the line, so quit or quit and block if it really bothers you.

As a tribal wars player I see a lot canned decks (Slivers, Treefolk, Elves, Goblins, etc) and when I do I sometimes cringe a little. Not because my jank decks can't win against tried and true strategies. (Sometimes they do, sometimes not so much.) But because they are so prevalent I know THEIR decks better than they do. It is really a waste of time to see turn 1 sentinal turn 2 birchlore, some other elf, then 3 more elves, turn 3 overrun or the like. Yet it is NOT my place to tell people not to bring such decks. Occasionally I do comment. But that is as far as it should go.

I truly believe this "topic" has wound upon itself and is eating its own tail. As for the mockery and insults of others, I can't speak to that except that I can see where people would be getting heated on both sides of the issue, and the speech of the first poster seemed to me to be fairly inflammatory in it's criticism. Perhaps it isn't possible to have reasonable discussions about unreasonable subjects in a public forum.

We don't need to rehash any by Raddman at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 17:54
Raddman's picture

We don't need to rehash any discussion about what is casual lol. I gotta agree though that counterbalance has no place in the casual room, only because the majority of players there tend to find the card unfun.

This is the exact reason why I stopped playing in the casual room.
If I had one more person tell me what I can or can't play with using the cards I purchased, I might of grabbed my Monitor and kicked the dog with it.

I bought em, I can play with em......if they concede so what, move onto the other 500 casual games in the queue.

I believe Anon has a very by Flippers_Giraffe at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 18:07
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

I believe Anon has a very good point

"If you are writing casual articles, please steer clear of tourney-level combos. Sure you'll get a 80%+ wins, there's a reason the combo top 8's in real life legacy events."

As a general question directed towards the readers when building casual decks do you pull in the top combos or do you use other cards to pull off the same effect to make your decks more interesting?

From my personal casual point of view I like to use cards that are not well known to give other players something to think about and build deck ideas from.

I agree with Flippers, when I by Raddman at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 18:32
Raddman's picture

I agree with Flippers, when I do venture into the casual room, it is usually to mess around with cards that don't see much play out of my binder. This still goes back to the horse beaten what is casual debate though. Will people concede because I played remand? The answer is yes, not because its tourney level anymore, but because way back when it was in a certain successful dragonstorm deck.

Heck I even hate playing against CB/Top in tournaments, let alone casual.

Should he be playing counterbalance in casual.....probably not
Will he draw concessions.......most def
Should he care.......not really
What should he do then? Move onto the next game and hope your opponent has some sense of what the entire game is about. If you can live with the concedes, then I say go on with your bad self!

I'm not denying that I pushed by JustSin at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 20:18
JustSin's picture

I'm not denying that I pushed the definition of casual to the limit with the use of counterbalance, but two things... first I don't feel the use of counterbalance should be banned just because its casual... why should a card be banned from play just because it has been abused in tournament decks, not that it is in the current deck, but because of the potential... second what I was trying to do here is show off the power of blue enchantments and I wanted to fill a deck with enchantments that would get people to understand what blue offers from all angles.. yes again I pushed the limit of people's patience and perhaps I shouldn't have, but my other choice was to bring this deck into the tournament room and get crushed by oath/storm/zoo/etc and then its not worth it

I really think Shard should by Willythenilly (not verified) at Thu, 03/11/2010 - 20:24
Willythenilly's picture

I really think Shard should not do that. I have players do that to me when I express my opinions all the time. We believe in free speech and that includes opinions you do not support.

correction you believe in by ShardFenix at Fri, 03/12/2010 - 14:52
ShardFenix's picture

correction you believe in free speech. We assumes i also believe in free speech. Which i dont. Honestly too many people use the concept of free speech to be able to be derisive or spread hate. And they hide under the free speech in case anyone raises a question over it. also, I really think willythenilly should not worry about what Shard does.

Hey now. Can't have your cake by Paul Leicht at Fri, 03/12/2010 - 19:36
Paul Leicht's picture

Hey now. Can't have your cake and eat it too. If you say something critical you can expect people to respond. If you don't want the response your choices are a) to not make the criticism b) fight the responders in kind. I am for c) let everyone say what they want and let any consequences fall where necessary. The thing about freedom of speech like any freedom, is that it requires an equal measure of responsibility to ensure it's existence. Without that balance then no one gets to say anything meaningful.

Freedom of speech is by Anonymous (not verified) at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 00:59
Anonymous's picture

Freedom of speech is ballanced by the intellect of the listener. Other wise, how is it freedom when something determines a defined criteria on what is allowed so a ballance is achieved. Any limitation on freedom of speach, is an attempt to ballance speach to the limiting parties sense of what they feel ballance is. If someone is a troll, it is the reader who determines that based on their sense of "troll". As am example, I think that calling out trolls is worse then the person acused of trolling. As they are adding the equivalent to a troll, but are also insulting the intellegence of the reader by assuming a troll would go undetected and need to be pointed out. I wouldn't want to limit anyone from doing so, even if I feel it's worse. Because the way the person must look to those who share my view is punishment enouph. That's the ballance of free speach, the ability of the reader to form a negative opinion.

Also, without limits or ballance, it's not that meaningful things don't get said, on the contrary is is more likley that something meaningful will be said. it's just that it's harder to hear.

Aside from some of the funny by Paul Leicht at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 06:40
Paul Leicht's picture

Aside from some of the funny phrasing I think I pretty much agree with most of that except that when I call someone a troll my purpose isn't to point it out to everyone else: "Hey guys found a troll! watch your toes!" But to remind the person I think is trolling that we are onto them. That they are not getting to play their instigate and hide games free of charge. But yeah everything said can be viewed in a negative or positive light depending on the mental framework of the viewer/listener. Also a lack of understand isn't necessarily a lack of intellect. Some people have cultural or linguistic blocks to some words/ideas.

well you started off ok, but by JustSin at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 10:59
JustSin's picture

well you started off ok, but it went downhill from there.... speEch

Really...no need to criticize by Paul Leicht at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 12:45
Paul Leicht's picture

Really...no need to criticize someone's typos. I mean he did spell it right elsewhere so it was just a mistake.

just joking around not by JustSin at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 13:13
JustSin's picture

just joking around not everything has to be taken so serious lol we're all talking about a game, games are meant to be fun, sometimes I think people forget that

The casual debate. by grapplingfarang (not verified) at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 01:29
grapplingfarang's picture

I usually say that as long as someone is playing something for fun, than it belongs in casual. The only thing wrong is that you wrote, "Ok so I'm going to try and make this one quick. First off my opponent was playing a goblin deck that is typically seen making top showings in tournaments... what that same deck was doing in the casual room is beyond me." Goblins are a much worse classic deck than counter/top, and he even had some changes in it beyond what is used in tournaments (Mad auntie and Warren Instigator from the write up alone.)

thank you very much for by JustSin at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 11:03
JustSin's picture

thank you very much for recognizing that, I was wondering why everyone is getting so irritated about a small piece of countertop but not caring about the fact that you can see goblin decks like that.. sure it wasn't quite the tourny deck, I realized as I played on, but multiple lackeys etc that's not quite casual...

Too me countertop is fine. by RCueva at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 11:46
RCueva's picture

Too me countertop is fine. Sure its annoying to play against but if you don't like it all you have to do is concede. I'm the type of person that doesn't mind playing against decks like this whether it be discard, LD, or anything really. Well elves, more like stupid wellwisher, do get under my skin but all of these decks have there weaknesses and can be beaten. Justsin's deck seemed ok but it wasn't a great deck that was gonna smash you into the sidewalk. An 80% win ratio isn't really all that impressive in the casual room, so you really can't use that to say it was a tournemant like deck. I guess through this rambling I am just trying to say let him play what he wants. He wrote an article about blue enchantments and he used some of the better ones. Is there really anything wrong with that? Just cause he's playing casual doesn't mean he has to use the worst cards. Does it?

I agree. No need to eliminate by Paul Leicht at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 12:48
Paul Leicht's picture

I agree. No need to eliminate the top cards in a color just because they happen to gather usually in top decks.

thanks that is more what I'm by JustSin at Sat, 03/13/2010 - 13:14
JustSin's picture

thanks that is more what I'm trying to convey, just better worded lol