Leviathan's picture
By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Jun 02 2010 3:56am
3.5
Login or register to post comments
5526 views


I.  Introduction

This week we are going to look at a blue/white deck that relies on flyers to win.


He was blue and white, and he flew!  Get it?  Yeah?  Ah well.

The good thing about this kind of deck is that you can bring control elements, along with your large beaters, to make sure that the board is in the state that you want it.  This is a pretty good color combination, and just the fact that you are playing blue means that people will be wary of you.  So let's see what we got.

II.  The Deck:  I like big butts and I cannot lie!

Let's see what we have for our general:

Isperia the Inscrutable

So the first thing that pops out is that when you get to use her ability, Isperia allows you to search up a flyer and put it into your hand.  That's pretty sweet tutoring right there.  However, before we get to that sweet, sweet tutoring, two things have to happen.  First, Isperia has to damage an opponent.  Luckily she has built in evasion, but we can help her out with things like Whispersilk Cloak and Swords to make sure she gets through.  Second, you have to be able to guess a card in your opponent's hand.

Now, the card guessing thing is tricky.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  The first is to make people reveal their hands:

PeekTelepathyTrapfinder's TrickZur's Weirding
How to tick people off.

I'm not a big fan of this method.  These cards don't really do a whole lot on their own, except the Weirding I guess.  In addition, people get really, really upset when you make them play with their hands revealed.  It just seems like you would want better cards in your deck than these.  Another way to make sure you know what is going to be in someone's hand is by bouncing their stuff.  Things like Boomerang, Unsummon, and Capsize could all do the trick.  You could even put one of them on an Isochron Scepter for repeatable bounce.  But I don't like this method either, again because I would like to play with spells that are typically more powerful.  Instead, I am going to go with the "educated guess" system.  This means paying attention to your opponents and figuring out what may or may not be in their hands.  Pay attention when they search and tutor for things, look at the type of deck they are playing.  If all else fails, pick a basic land, as occasionally people like to sandbag them to make it seem like they are keeping their options open.  If you whiff on your first guess, you should know what's in that opponent's hand so that you can hit them the next turn.

Next, we have to decide what flyers we are going to use.  There are a ton of options, but here are a few that didn't make my cut:

Blazing ArchonPlatinum AngelEmrakul, the Aeons TornTidespout TyrantWindbrisk RaptorSoramaro, First to DreamAkroma, Angel of WrathPride of the Clouds
Sorry people, maybe next time.

Each of these guys brings something different to the table.  I like playing a lot of creatures, but I just couldn't fit these people in.  Because you still have to cast the flyers after you tutor them up, casting cost is an issue.  Many of them cost too much, bringing up the average mana cost of the deck too high.  Cutting Soramaro made me sad because I almost always had a bunch of cards in hand and I really liked him in the Sakashima deck I made, which you can find HERE in case you missed it.  Cutting it down was tough.  But let's see what I did go with:

Isperia the Inscrutable
A Commander Deck
Creatures
1 Azorius Guildmage
1 Commander Eesha
1 Deathless Angel
1 Draining Whelk
1 Duplicant
1 Eternal Dragon
1 Exalted Angel
1 Gilded Drake
1 Glory
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
1 Isperia the Inscrutable
1 Keiga, the Tide Star
1 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
1 Magus of the Moat
1 Mulldrifter
1 Sakashima the Impostor
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Sower of Temptation
1 Sphinx Ambassador
1 Sphinx of Magosi
1 Spirit of the Hearth
1 Stonecloaker
1 Windborn Muse
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
25 cards

Other Spells
1 Azorius Signet
1 Expedition Map
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Journeyer's Kite
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Loxodon Warhammer
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mind Stone
1 Mind's Eye
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Talisman of Progress
1 Whispersilk Cloak
1 Future Sight
1 Hoofprints of the Stag
1 Land Tax
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Marshal's Anthem
1 Moat
1 Rhystic Study
1 Teferi's Moat
1 Condemn
1 Dismantling Blow
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Hinder
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Path to Exile
1 Return to Dust
1 Austere Command
1 Bribery
1 Catastrophe
1 Hallowed Burial
1 Recurring Insight
1 Time Spiral
1 Wrath of God
37 cards
 
Lands
1 Academy Ruins
1 Adarkar Wastes
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Boreal Shelf
1 Coastal Tower
1 Emeria, The Sky Ruin
1 Faerie Conclave
1 Flood Plain
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Hallowed Fountain
7 Island
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Mystic Gate
1 Nimbus Maze
11 Plains
1 Prahv, Spires of Order
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Sejiri Refuge
1 Sejiri Steppe
1 Thawing Glaciers
38 cards

 
Deathless Angel

 

Let's take a look at some of the cards:

Moat Effects
Moat
Magus of the MoatTeferi's MoatMoat
Magus of the Moat, Teferi's Moat, Moat:  Almost all of the creatures in this deck fly, so you might as well take advantage of the fact.  Sometimes Teferi's Moat gives you a tough decision to make, in terms of the color you chose, but it is always worth it.  Each of these are pretty precarious, though, so don't rely on them completely.  This means that it's perfectly fine to Wrath even if you have Teferi's Moat out holding back a horde of Green tokens, because you don't know if they are going to draw Indrik Stomphowler the next turn.
Destruction
Hallowed Burial
Austere CommandOblivion StoneHallowed BurialCatastropheWrath of God
Austere Command, Oblivion Stone, Hallowed Burial, Catastrophe, Wrath of God:  You need ways to wipe the board clean, and these provide the ability to do so.  Austere Command is great, because it provides choices.  Hallowed Burial can get rid of Commanders for a while as well.  Catastrophe is actually an experiment.  I generally frown upon land destruction, but the possibility of using a card that helps you when you are behind, and keeps you ahead when your board position is good was too good to pass up.  I saw it at mtgotraders for .50, and decided to give it a shot.
Removal
Stonecloaker
Path to ExileReturn to DustDuplicantStonecloakerDismantling BlowCondemn
Path to Exile, Return to Dust, Duplicant, Stonecloaker, Dismantling Blow, Condemn:  Sometimes you just have to get rid of that annoying itch.  It might be in play, or it might be in the graveyard.  Return to Dust has the benefit of exiling the offending artifact or enchantment, and Condemn is a good way to tuck offensive Commanders.
Counterspells
Draining Whelk
HinderDraining Whelk
Hinder, Draining Whelk:  When you don't want something to hit play.  Whelk has the ability to be tutored up with Isperia, so he's doubly good.  I know that there are only two counterspell effects, but this is usually enough to make people honest.  Based on the colors and the deck type, people are going to expect you to play counterspells, so why not let them keep up with that thought process.
Card Draw
Sphinx of Magosi
Rhystic StudySphinx of MagosiMulldrifterFact or FictionTime SpiralDismantling BlowSword of Fire and IceMind's EyeFuture SightRecurring Insight
Rhystic Study, Sphinx of Magosi, Mulldrifter, Fact or Fiction, Time Spiral, Dismantling Blow, Sword of Fire and Ice, Mind's Eye, Future Sight, Recurring Insight:  Drawing cards is good.  Sphinx of Magosi has the added benefit of being attached to a flying body that gets larger while you draw.  Time Spiral can also handle people's graveyard shenanigans, as well as give you mana to play the spells you draw after it is cast.  Future Sight isn't technically card draw, but pretty much acts like it.  Recurring Insight has never drawn me less than 8 cards, and will sometimes draw up to 14.  That's not bad for an investment of 6 mana, and I definitely recommend it.
Mana Help
Eternal Dragon
Talisman of ProgressAzorius SignetGilded LotusLand TaxMana CryptEternal DragonJourneyer's KiteMind StoneExpedition MapThawing Glaciers
Talisman of Progress, Azorius Signet, Gilded Lotus, Land Tax, Mana Crypt, Eternal Dragon, Journeyer's Kite, Mind Stone, Expedition Map, Thawing Glaciers:  After you search up your big flyers, you are going to need the mana to cast them.  These will help you get there.  Typically I will search out Plains first.  There are a couple of dangerous creatures out there with Islandwalk, such as Thada Adel, Acquisitor and Inkwell Leviathan.  So if you can produce blue mana without using Islands, I wouldn't try to get more.  Plus, the more Plains you have, the better chance you have of getting Emeria, the Sky Ruin active.
Equipment
Whispersilk Cloak
Sword of Fire and IceSword of Light and ShadowLightning GreavesWhispersilk CloakLoxodon Warhammer
Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Light and Shadow, Lightning Greaves, Whispersilk Cloak, Loxodon Warhammer:  All of these help Isperia get through to damage your opponent.  Obviously they are all pretty self explanatory, and help out a ton.  The Swords keep going into practically every Commander deck I make.  If you are starting this format and wondering what to buy first, you can't go wrong with them, and since they are artifacts they can go into just about every deck you play.  Well worth the cost.

Protection
Spirit of the Hearth
Commander EeshaGloryDeathless AngelKira, Great Glass-SpinnerSpirit of the HearthWindborn MusePrahv, Spires of Order
Commander Eesha, Glory, Deathless Angel, Kira, Great Glass-Spinner, Spirit of the Hearth, Windborn Muse, Prahv, Spires of Order:  These guys all provide you or your creatures some measure of protection.  One of the problems I have with Glory is remembering that I can use its ability when it is in the graveyard.  Something about having to see it in front of me causes the problem.  Windborn Muse can slow down token swarms, and Commander Eesha causes problems for players with only one big beater.

Recursion
Marshal's Anthem
Sword of Light and ShadowMarshal's AnthemAcademy RuinsEmeria, the Sky Ruin
Sword of Light and Shadow, Marshal's Anthem, Academy Ruins, Emeria, the Sky Ruin:  Not a whole ton of recursion in this deck, but there's enough to be useful.  The Sword is obviously the most consistent form of recursion in the deck.  It can be difficult to get enough Plains in play for Emeria to start triggering, but when it works, it's awesome.  Marshal's Anthem can bring multiple fatties back from the grave at the same time, and the stats boost is just a bonus.  Finally, a card that I wanted to use was Death or Glory.  This seems like it would be awesome in a creature heavy deck, in that it could get multiple guys back from the graveyard at the same time.  Unfortunately, I just couldn't find room.  By the way, does anyone like the art in Marshal's Anthem?  Because I think it looks like crap.
Token  Enchantments
Luminarch Ascension
Hoofprints of the StagLuminarch Ascension
Hoofprints of the Stag, Luminarch Ascension:  Everyone knows that an early Ascension is tough to deal with.  And if you have a Moat effect out, you have a good possibility of getting it active in the mid-game as well.  People don't find Hoofprints nearly as threatening, unless you start drawing a ton of cards.  But it's nice to be able to pump out a few large flyers when you can.

Utility Flyers
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Exalted AngelSphinx AmbassadorSower of TemptationIona, Shield of EmeriaGilded DrakeLinvala, Keeper of SilenceYosei, the Morning StarKeiga, the Tide Star
Exalted Angel, Sphinx Ambassador, Sower of Temptation, Iona, Shield of Emeria, Gilded Drake, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Yosei, the Morning Star, Keiga, the Tide Star:  These are all good creatures that have useful abilities that haven't been mentioned yet.  Obviously Sower and Gilded Drake are great for stealing other creatures.  Linvala is awesome for shutting down opposing Commanders with activated abilities.  And mono-colored decks usually weep when they see Iona come out to play.  Finally, the Kamigawa dragons are usually pretty good deterrents to large beaters.  People don't usually want to give up their untap phase or their best creature.

The final card I want to mention is Azorius Guildmage.   This is a great overall utility card, that can tap down Eldrazi before they attack, or turn off Mayael the Anima's activated ability for a turn.  This is probably one of the most underrated cards in the game.  And obviously Baneslayer Angel would be good in here, but I don't own one.

So the idea is to survive the early rounds, then get some big flyers and hopefully stick a Moat effect.  Then use the tutoring ability of Isperia to help keep your guys on the table and find some answers.  Unfortunately I didn't really put in much more graveyard hate other than the Stonecloaker.  I think it may be worth it to put in a Tormod's Crypt or Relic of Progenitus.  You would also have the ability to recur them by using Academy Ruins.  If you are really worried about combo, Rule of Law and Arcane Laboratory will slow people down.

This deck has difficulty with fast, aggressive decks.  Be especially wary of Omnath, Locus of Mana decks.  Omnath can get real big real quick, and if you aren't set up to deal with him, you can be dead by turn 6.  And this deck needs some time to set up.  I was playing against an Omnath deck where I used Mystical Tutor to find Condemn, basically showing the Omnath player that I would tuck his general if he attacked me.  The next turn, he cast Aspect of Mongoose on Omnath.  I was dead two turns later.  Creature swarms can be tough as well, but if you get a Moat effect you should be ok for a little while.

Let's see how the deck does in a game.

III.  The Game:  Fight!

Let's take a look at my opponents:

Rafiq of the ManyIntet, the DreamerHorde of Notions

The only significant thing about these opponents is that Intet typically plays "big" spells, hoping to hit with Intet and get a "free" Time Stretch or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.  So if you are trying to decide which opponent to hit with Bribery or Knowledge Exploitation, hit the Intet player.  Rafiq wins the roll.  My first hand:
 
 
Only one land in the hand, that is obviously not going to cut it.  I ship it back.  Here's hand number 2:
 
 
This looks much better.  Yes, I know I need to pick up some fetch lands that don't suck, and drop Flood Plain.  As usual, R=Rafiq of the Many, and H=Horde of Notions.  However, having I=Intet, the Dreamer is going to be annoying, so I will refer to that player as Intet.
 
Round 1
R: Miren, the Moaning Well.
Me: Draw Eternal Dragon, play Flood Plain.
I: Forest.
H: Savage Lands.
 
Round 2
R: Oran-Rief, the Vastwood.
Me: During my upkeep, I sac Flood Plain for a Plains. Draw Island, play Hallowed Fountain.
I: Misty Rainforest.
H:   Forest, Epochrasite.
 
Round 3
R: Island.
Me: Draw Thawing Glaciers, play Island, Whispersilk Cloak.
I: Scalding Tarn.
H: Mountain.
 
Round 4
R: Island.
Me: Draw Catastrophe, play Island, Solemn Simulacrum. Search up a Plains to put into play.
I: Hall of the Bandit Lord. At the end of his turn, H cycles Krosan Tusker, getting an Island.
 
Krosan Tusker
Don't do what I sometimes do, and forget to add basic lands when playing this.
 
H: Plays Island, suspends Ancestral Vision. Attacks me with Epochrasite (39), probably hoping that I would block. 
 
 
Round 5
R: Forest.
Me: Draw Recurring Insight. Attack Intet with Simulacrum (38). Play Thawing Glaciers, then Bribery targeting Intet. I figure the Intet would probably be playing big spells that go well with his dragon's ability. As I’m going through this replay, I realize he has Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in his deck, but I completely missed it during the game. Instead, I get Pathrazer of Ulamog, which is good enough for my purposes. 
 
Pathrazer of Ulamog
Not as good as Emrakul, but still not bad.
 
Note regarding the Eldrazi:  Be prepared for them.  Everyone is packing them now, and sometimes you will see them earlier than turn 5.  That means that you may have to start playing more pinpoint removal like Path to Exile or Swords to Plowshares or Doom Blade, or more things to stop the Eldrazi in their tracks such as Faith's Fetters and Prison Term.  Notice that many of these answers are white, although black has several outs as well.  Emrakul, the Aeons Torn takes more specialized cards to deal with it, but things aren't impossible when it comes out to play.  If you are really worried about Eldrazi, do not play a three player game, and always wait for 4.  More people playing means that there are possibly more answers out there.  If you are playing with Eldrazi, be aware that people will concede if they can't handle one.  Finally, if you are playing a deck the uses blue, always add Bribery.  You might as well take advantage of the fact that everyone out there is playing Eldrazi.  Seriously, don't leave home without it.
 
Now, I know that there are a lot of players out there that are frustrated by the Eldrazi, especially since an early Eldrazi generally means game over for at least one player.  I've heard people calling for them to be banned.  However, this will not happen.  Changes to Commander ban list generally match those of the EDH ban list.  Unless Sheldon Menery and the rest of those guy feel that Eldrazi are truly warping the format, the Eldrazi are here to stay.  And from what I've been able to tell from reading Sheldon's articles, he doesn't seem to have a problem with them.  Just make sure and pack some additional hate, mass destruction, and Oblivion Rings.  If you really, absolutely don't want to see Eldrazi, but still want to play Commander, start your own table and label it in big letters "NO ELDRAZI."  When people enter, ask them if they have Eldrazi, and tell them the table rules.  I think you'll be waiting a long time for the table to fill, but that's your choice.
 
I: Rootbound Crag. Sacs Misty Rainforest (37) for Island, then Scalding Tarn (36) for another Island. Then casts Mind's Eye, but has to use Bandit Lord mana (33) for it.
H: Jungle Shrine. Attacks R with Epochrasite (39). 
 
Round 6
R: Forest, Joiner Adept. Pumps the Adept with Oran-Rief.
Me: Draw Talisman of Progress and cast it. I then attach Whispersilk Cloak to Pathrazer of Ulamog, and attack R with Simulacrum and H with Pathrazer.
 
 
With Pathrazer's annihilator ability on the stack, H concedes. R drops to (37). 
I: Casts Acquire, using Bandit Lord mana (30), targeting me. R Twincasts it. R gets Oblivion Stone, and Intet gets my SDT. I use Thawing Glaciers for a Plains. Intet plays Breeding Pool untapped (28).  With the O-Stone out there, I figure my Pathrazer is gone soon.  
 
Round 7
R: Forest, plays Serra's Blessing, then Azusa, Lost but Seeking. Then adds a counter to Azusa with Oran-Rief. Doesn’t leave up enough mana to use Oblivion Stone, which is strange.
Me: Draw Minamo, School at Water's Edge. Attack Intet with Simulacrum (26) and R with Pathrazer (28), who sacs Serra's Blessing, my Oblivion Stone and a Forest. We are all a little confused about what he did with the O-Stone, but R doesn't say anything about why he sac'd it. I then cast Isperia the Inscrutable, and play Thawing Glaciers. Intet spins the Top at the end of my turn. 
I: Acidic Slime with Bandit Lord mana (23), destroying my Whispersilk Cloak
 
Round 8
R: Mind Control on Pathrazer. So that's why he didn't blow everything up?  At the end of his turn, I cycle Eternal Dragon for a Plains.
Me: Draw Gilded Drake. I attack R with Simulacrum (26), and Intet with Isperia (20). I name Indrik Stomphowler, but whiff completely. Intet’s hand consists of the following:
 
 
Cryptic Command can be annoying, and I want to play my Recurring Insight without it getting countered.  But first things first.  I Wrath of God, to get rid of Pathrazer. I draw an Island for Simulacrum going to the graveyard. Intet spins the Top at the end of my turn.
I: Nothing.
 
Round 9
R: Intet draws with Mind's Eye. R plays a Forest. At the end of his turn, I use Glaciers for an Island.
Me: Draw Adarkar Wastes, and Intet draws as well. As I said, I want to draw with Recurring Insight and I’m worried about Intet’s Cryptic Command. So I decide to cast Catastrophe to draw out Cryptic Command, and then try to cast Recurring Insight the next turn. In a completely unexpected move, Intet lets Catastrophe resolve.
 
Unexpected.
 
Luckily, I still have a ton of land in hand. I play Thawing Glaciers.
I: Nothing. Discards Lorthos, the Tidemaker and Bogardan Hellkite to get down to 7 cards.
 
Round 10
R: Exotic Orchard.
Me: Draw Prahv, Spires of Order. Play Island.
I: Forest.
 
Round 11
R: Nothing. I use Glaciers for a Plains.
Me: Draw Luminarch Ascension. Play Adarkar Wastes, then the Ascension. Intet uses the Top.
I: Nothing. Ascension gets counter #1.  Discards Chord of Calling.
 
Round 12
R: Nothing. Ascension gets counter #2.
Me: Draw Loxodon Warhammer. Play Plains, then Warhammer. Intet spins the Top.
I: Mountain. Ascension gets counter #3.
 
Round 13
R: Intet draws with Mind's Eye. R does nothing. Ascension becomes active, and I create an Angel.
Me: Draw Spirit of the Hearth. Play Minamo, School at Water's Edge. Attack Intet with my Angel (16). Intet spins my Top at the end of the turn.
I: Plays Raging Ravine. Rampant Growth for an Island.
 
Round 14
R: Concedes. I generate 3 more Angels, but Intet concedes as well.
 
IV.  Conclusion
 

After the game, I contacted the Intet player and asked why he didn't counter Catastrophe.  He basically said that there were some interesting cards played, he wanted to see what would happen, and he didn't expect me to recover as quickly as I did.  He probably thought the Top would help him out as well.  This basically goes to show you that you cannot count on your opponents doing what you expect them to do.  I admit, this win made me feel a little dirty.  I'm not a proponent of land destruction generally.  But Catastrophe is an underrated card that can help you when you are ahead and when you are behind, and is a card you should consider.

Unfortunately, this deck never felt quite as powerful as it should be.  The deck definitely did well, just not as well as I thought it could.  I felt like sitting it down and giving it a long talk about "living up to your potential."  Although there is a decent amount of card draw, sometimes I didn't feel like I was drawing into enough action spells.  Two cards this deck could definitely use include Enlightened Tutor and Idyllic Tutor.  Both of these can get one of your Moat effects, and Enlightened Tutor can even grab the appropriate Sword.

There are still problems with fast creature rushes.  And of course, if someone hits you with a turn 6 Emrakul, you are going to have a tough time.  But it is a fun deck that tries to control the game through the use of flyers.  Feel free to offer suggestions and make it your own.

V.  Bonus Decklist:  From someone who knows more about what they are doing than I do

As a closing note, after making my deck I found this deck by Tempesteye online.  With his permission I am presenting the deck to you as a different look at this General. 

 

I think the list is one card short, so add a land I guess.  Although there is some decent overlap between our decks, there are significant differences.  Tempesteye went with a more controlling route, with less creatures and more counterspells in the form of Faerie Trickery, Cryptic Command, Force of Will and Desertion.  He also has some blink effects with Momentary Blink, Otherworldly Journey and Narrow Escape.  He has some different library manipulation with Portent and Reminisce.  Interestingly, he completely eschewed any Moat effects.  One card that he does use that I should definitely consider more often is Reverse the Sands.  This card can help you out a ton when you are behind, and can help out with board politics as well.  In addition, Righteous Aura is another Forcefield effect that does not target, and can deal with Uril, the Miststalker.

I had a brief discussion with Tempesteye about the deck, and he pointed out that the list you see above hasn't really been updated since shortly after Zendikar came out.  He also noticed that he currently finds himself facing decks that are much more focused on powerful synergies and permanents, and that this deck is more of a deck full of stuff he thinks is fun.  However, it's always cool to look at another deck from an experienced deckbuilder and look for ideas.

That concludes our article.   Thanks for reading!  Until next time.

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO

17 Comments

Wait what happened to H? Or by ShardFenix at Wed, 06/02/2010 - 15:58
ShardFenix's picture

Wait what happened to H? Or did he drop after the cataclysm?

H conceded after I attacked by Leviathan at Wed, 06/02/2010 - 16:13
Leviathan's picture

H conceded after I attacked him with Pathrazer, which isn't uncommon when hit with an Eldrazi that early in the game. I didn't want to attack Intet because I wanted to keep the Eldrazi as long as possible.

Adam_the_Mentat's picture

The only way that picture of superman could represent the nineties more is if he was beating up Ravage 2099.

:D

I know. Isn't it awesome! by Leviathan at Wed, 06/02/2010 - 16:12
Leviathan's picture

I know. Isn't it awesome! Ravage 2099, so bad, lol.

Karmic Guide? by OCPunisher at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 08:41
OCPunisher's picture
2

Two Isperia lists and zero mention of Karmic Guide? That can't be good.

Another good one that didn't get mentioned was Glen Elendra Archmage.

I would probably cut Hoofprints of the Stag and Luminarch Ascension to make room. The Ascension in particular will draw a lot of hate from other people, and you said that your deck needs time to get setup.

Hey OCP- Unfortunately, by Leviathan at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:28
Leviathan's picture

Hey OCP-

Unfortunately, Karmic Guide isn't in the list because it isn't available online at the moment. However, I think people will be happy when Urza's Legacy comes out online in a little while to add the card.

Glen Elandra Archmage is one that I probably should have mentioned in the section about counterspells. However, I'm not a big fan of counters, and don't even own the Archmage, so that's the main reason it wasn't included. I think it definitely is worth being in the deck if you like that kind of card though.

Luminarch Ascension has proven very valuable when playing online. I've managed to get it active early, mid and late game. It doesn't bring overwhelming hate like playing land destruction or Eldrazi does. I wouldn't recommend removing it.

Hoofprints can go out though. Takes longer to get multiple tokens, higher activation cost and can only be done at sorcery speed.

So when Legacy comes out, I would take out Hoofprints for Karmic Guide. And if you like Archmage, take out Commander Eesha for it.

When you say you aren't a fan by Paul Leicht at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:36
Paul Leicht's picture

When you say you aren't a fan of counters do you mean all counter magic or just the really unfair counters? Is it a matter of it being commander and counter magic not fitting in?

No, I just don't like having by Leviathan at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:42
Leviathan's picture

No, I just don't like having to worry about doing stuff on other peoples' turns. Here's a paragraph from my first article explaining my style:

"I don't tend to play many combos. You won't see me go infinite, at least not on purpose. I don't really use Counterspells, mainly because I would rather press F8 to speed things along during an opponent's turn. I avoid playing blue. As a matter of fact, I also noticed that a lot of my decks lack instants, or at least have very few. That's just my style, so that's what you should expect."

I don't really have a problem with others playing them though, and I definitely think they have their place.

Oh ok. I am a blue mage by Paul Leicht at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 12:03
Paul Leicht's picture

Oh ok. I am a blue mage though I tend to not play counters because of the adverse reactions they get. I go for the softer or weirder ones since they raise less objections.

agree with both of you by Adam_the_Mentat at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 12:15
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

I find myself avoiding blue more and more these days because there's a connotation that if I put out an island it means I'm playing control-- and thus, I can just hear the groans over the Æthers of the internets.

I also prefer to hit f8 or f6 to speed things along, and try not play counters too often. When I do play blue, I try and play wacky decks that aren't what you normally expect from a bluemage, like random doppelganging and playing a sphinx tribal deck..

i find blue tediously boring by ShardFenix at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 12:53
ShardFenix's picture

i find blue tediously boring to play with or against most times. Unless its an aggro deck or tutoring for a combo/draw, i avoid blue.

I apologize...I don't play by OCPunisher at Fri, 06/04/2010 - 08:47
OCPunisher's picture

I apologize...I don't play online, so I did not know that Legacy was unavailable.

@Archmage: I like to think of her as a means of protecting yourself. She does a great job of warding off other people's removal spells, and sometimes you really need to prevent someone from Time Stretch-ing or Tooth and Nail-ing.

Legacy actually comes out by Leviathan at Fri, 06/04/2010 - 13:14
Leviathan's picture

Legacy actually comes out later this month. Lots of new goodies to be had!

Oh and this might not be a by Paul Leicht at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:37
Paul Leicht's picture
5

Oh and this might not be a 5/5 but it is certainly better than a 2/5.

also just wondering.. by Adam_the_Mentat at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 12:23
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

Were there too many card choices to factor in Gravitational Shift in a flying-matters deck? When I play a white/blue fliers build, whether it's tribal-birds or an unspecific but chock full o' fliers deck, I usually am grateful for drawing Gravitational Shift.. just curious if you even considered it.

When I first saw by Leviathan at Thu, 06/03/2010 - 13:16
Leviathan's picture

When I first saw Gravitational Shift, I considered it more of a Gaea's Anthem/Glorious Anthem type of card. Sort of a win more card that wasn't entirely necessary. Most of the flyers in this deck are big and can hold their own without the bonus, even the tokens created by Ascension and Hoofprints. I guess the best use for it in this build would be to slow down weenie hordes, but the Moats do just a good a job. I know that people like the card in Isperia builds, but I just wanted to fit in some other cards as well. So I considered it, but discarded it pretty quickly. Maybe too quickly considering how popular it seems to be.

The Shift by Felorin at Fri, 06/04/2010 - 01:02
Felorin's picture

Seems like it would be fun to try since it's not only a win faster card, but also a "beat me to death slower" card. (Except against opposing flyers!) Would go well in a deck where running Emeria Angel and Pride of the Clouds, too. Not to mention an awesome old favorite of mine - Battle Screech!