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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Sep 16 2010 12:20pm
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I.  Introduction:  Something Different

After looking over the Wrexial deck that I made last week, I realized that I was in a bit of a deckbuilding rut.  Building decks is obviously a creative endeavor, and I try to bring something new to you guys every week.  However, just as readers would probably get bored seeing the same story or photograph week after week, you guys probably don't want to see Graveborn Muse and Gilded Drake again and again and again.  What I really wanted was to work on a deck that had cards that I did not typically use, something outside the box. 

I was going through some old Bennie Smith articles when I saw that he had a deck based around Experiment Kraj a few years ago.  I also had someone write me specifically about Kraj, showing me a list.  Both seemed like fun.  Lots of activated abilities and cards that I would not typically use.  So I decided to dive in with gusto.

II.  The Deck: Almost like a brain in a jar!

Here is the big guy in all his glory:

Experiment Kraj

Large and squishy.  Seems like fun!  Obviously he really likes creatures with activated abilities.  He also like +1/+1 counters, so grafting seems like it will have a place in the deck.  This makes sense, as it was the primary Simic mechanic in Ravnica block.  However, the color combination has some problems, such as creature removal and problems with mass destruction.  I am sure that we can try to work around those though.

My first shot at the deck had a ton of graft creatures in it.  This seemed like a good idea at the time, but it almost made my head explode.  Having to deal with the graft triggers each time a creature came into play was a huge pain in the ass.  Having two graft creatures out was horrible.  And if you were playing against token decks, it was exponentially worse.  So I cut back on the graft creatures, even if they would have made the deck better.

vigean Hydropon
Not worth the headache.

After taking out some of the graft guys, I still had a ton of creatures with activated abilities.  However, I had little removal and not much protection.  So some of the guys with activated abilities had to go.

karn, silver golemsporeback trollanthroplasm
Sorry guys, maybe next time.

After messing around with the deck some more, adding some protection for Kraj, adding some answers and making sure that I had ways of spreading around counters, this is what I came up with.

Experiment Kraj
A Commander Deck

Creatures
1 Acidic Slime
1 Arcanis the Omnipotent
1 Bramblewood Paragon
1 Chameleon Colossus
1 Cytoplast Manipulator
1 Cytoplast Root-Kin
1 Devoted Druid
1 Duplicant
1 Elvish Aberration
1 Eternal Witness
1 Experiment Kraj
1 Fertilid
1 Forgotten Ancient
1 Genesis
1 Gilder Bairn
1 Horseshoe Crab
Jodah's Avenger 
1 Krosan Restorer
1 Morphling
1 Murkfiend Liege
1 Mystic Snake
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Plaxcaster Frogling
1 Pygmy Hippo
1 Rainbow Efreet
1 Sage of Fables
1 Seedborn Muse
1 Simic Guildmage
1 Sphinx of Magosi 
1 Spike Weaver
1 Thornling
1 Triskelion
1 Trygon Predator
1 Vigor
1 Wickerbough Elder
1 Woodfall Primus
1 Yavimaya Elder
37 cards

Other Spells
[Artifacts]
1 Cauldron of Souls
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Helm of Kaldra
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Rings of Brighthearth
1 Simic Signet
1 Sol Ring
1 Thousand-Year Elixir
[Enchantments]
1 Defense of the Heart
1 Doubling Season
1 Lurking Predators
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sylvan Library
[Instants]
1 Evacuation
1 Krosan Grip
1 Strength of the Tajuru
1 Voidslime
[Sorceries]
1 All Is Dust
1 Primal Command
1 Recurring Insight
1 Rite Of Replication
1 Sylvan Scrying 
1 Spitting Image
1 Tooth and Nail
24 cards
 

Lands
1 Breeding Pool
1 Deserted Temple
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Faerie Conclave
1 Flooded Grove
9 Forest
1 Halimar Depths
6 Island
1 Llanowar Reborn
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mosswort Bridge
1 Mystifying Maze
1 Novijen, Heart of Progress
1 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Strip Mine 
1 Temple of the False God
1 Tolaria West
1 Treetop Village
1 Vesuva
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Grove
1 Yavimaya Coast
39 cards

 

morphling

 

Oh yes, a deck where Morphling is valuable.  Let's take a closer look at the cards.

Card Draw  
Sage of fables

recurring insightsage of fablesarcanis the omnipotentsylvan librarysphinx of magosi
Recurring Insight, Sage of Fables, Arcanis the Omnipotent, Sylvan Library, Sphinx of Magosi:  This is not a huge amount of card draw, but it is all useful and the creatures can have their abilities copied by Kraj.  Sylvan Library isn't technically card draw, but can work in a pinch. 

Another card for consideration is Novijen Sages.  However, I did not include it as there is already a card the removes counters for this effect in Sage of Fables, and Sphinx of Magosi adds counters for the same effect, which is more desirable.  It costs a little more, but it's worth it.  Plus, the Sphinx can work as a large beater.  If you want more card draw, though, feel free to add the Sages.

Kraj Protection  
Thornling

helm of kaldralightning greavesmorphlingthornlingrainbow efreetplaxcaster froglingcauldron of souls
Helm of Kaldra, Lightning Greaves, Morphling, Thornling, Rainbow Efreet, Plaxcaster Frogling, Cauldron of Souls:  Once Kraj starts getting a bunch of abilities, he will have a large target on his head.  The equipment are both useful in that you can put them on any creature, while the 'lings can give either indestructibility or shroud.  The Efreet introduces an interesting form of evasion with the ability to phase out with the right mana available.

The Cauldron is pretty sweet, in that it can save your whole team.  It is actually pretty important, as you are going to have to overextend to get the most out of Kraj.  If you use its ability while having out Novijen, Heart of Progress of progress, your creatures are almost indestructible.  Speaking of the ability to add counters...

Adding Counters  
novijen, heart of progress oran-rief, the vastwoodstrength of the tajurunovijen, heart of progressforgotten ancientvigorsimic guildmage
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood, Strength of the Tajuru, Novijen, Heart of Progress, Forgotten Ancient, Vigor, Simic Guildmage:  Aside from the graft creatures and Kraj himself, we have to have a few ways to spread around counters so that Kraj can copy abilities.  The graft creatures aren't bad at handing out counters, but you usually want them to remain large.  Out of all of these, the most consistent ways to make sure your creatures have counters are the lands.  The easiest way to get the lands, though, is to tutor them up...
Tutors  
tolaria west

Sylvan Scryingtolaria westdefense of the heartprimal commandtooth and nail
Sylvan Scrying, Tolaria West, Defense of the Heart, Survival of the Fittest, Primal Command, Tooth and Nail:  Two of these tutors are specifically for fetching the counter adding lands.  Primeval Titan would also be good in here, but I don't own one yet.  The remainder are for helping you find the creatures you need to get ahead and stay ahead.  This is a creature heavy deck, so you should usually be able to find something you need to help you out.  Fabricate is another worthwhile tutor that should be considered, as there are several artifacts that are extremely helpful in here.

If Survival is to expensive for you, feel free to use Fauna Shaman.  She fits in well with the them of the deck, even if you can usually only use her once a turn.

Removal  
trygon predator acidic slimeduplicanttrygon predatorwickerbough elderwoodfall primuskrosan grip
Acidic Slime, Duplicant, Trygon Predator, Wickerbough Elder, Woodfall Primus, Krosan Grip:  There is actually a decent amount of non-creature removal in this deck.  Creature removal comes in the form of the lone Duplicant.  I went with Wickerbough Elder over Indrik Stomphowler due to the combo with Devoted Druid.  Get +1/+1 counters on both of them with Kraj out, and you can wipe out every artifact and enchantment in play.  There are a couple of artifacts that can hurt you, such as Damping Matrix.   Sword of Body and Mind is something you definitely don't like seeing either.
Mass Removal  
evacuation

all is dustevacuation
All is Dust, Evacuation:  Sometimes you just need to reset the board.  The Eldrazi are pretty good at doing that, as you can tell.  Evacuation is great because it can reset the creatures on the board at instant speed.  If you really want to, you can include Nevinyrral's Disk and Oblivion Stone as well.

Mana Help  
pygmy hippo simic signetgilded lotusyavimaya elderpygmy hippoyavimaya elderoracle of mul dayakrosan restorerfertilidelvish aberrationdevoted druid
Sol Ring, Simic Signet, Gilded Lotus, Yavimaya Elder, Pygmy Hippo, Yavimaya Elder, Oracle of Mul Daya, Krosan Restorer, Fertilid, Elvish Aberration, Devoted Druid:  Obviously if you are going to be playing all these activated abilities, you are going to need mana to do so.  I did have one game where I had Forgotten Ancient out with Fertilid and spent some early rounds pulling out a bunch of basics, and that was nice.  Pygmy Hippo is a nice little piece of tech that I stole from themonkey, another writer on this site.  It is awesome early on, and isn't all that bad late game either if you have an open opponent.

So the deck is very dependent on Kraj.  However, if you manage to get Kraj out and keep him out, while getting counters on some of your guys, there are a ton of little interactions and combos out there.  Some of the more memorable ones:

Krosan Restorer + Minamo, School at Water's Edge + Threshold + Kraj = Inifnite mana.  I did not include any ways to really abuse this, but it's worth knowing about.  There are variations of this with Horseshoe Crab as well.

Wickerbough Elder + Devoted Druid + Kraj = Destroy all artifacts and enchantments in play.

Gilder Bairn + Elvish Aberration + Triskelion + Kraj = Wipe out the entire table.  You can do the same thing with Gilded Lotus, Gilder Bairn and Karn if you want.

Cauldron of Souls + Novijen, Heart of Progress = Almost indestructible team.

There's a bunch of other interactions as well.  Honestly though, this is more of a fun, casual deck.  Since it is so dependent on Kraj, you can't always compete against the big boys.  But if you get going, it is pretty fun.  Let's see how it does. 

III.  The Game:  Fight!

Here are my opponents:

Uril, the MiststalkerHanna, Ship's navigatorsharuum the hegemon

Is Hanna shooting lasers from her wrists?  What the heck is going on there?  Hanna is a little different, with an obvious emphasis on artifacts and enchantments.  Blue/White is usually a pretty controlling combination, so I expect card draw and destruction.  I've seen Sharuum decks focus on artifact recursion, and I've also seen them focus on creature and fatty recursion as well.  It's usually pretty powerful either way.  Everyone knows what to expect from Uril.  I win the roll.  My opening hand:
 
 
Not enough land. I ship it back.  Here's my second hand:
 
 
A little risky in that it only has one colored land, but I keep due to having the Elder and the Ring.  As usual, U = Uril, the Miststalker, H = Hanna, Ship's Navigator, and S = Sharuum the Hegemon
 
Round: 1
Me: Draw Treetop Village and play it.
U: Mountain, SDT.
H: Island, suspend Ancestral Vision.
S: Tolaria West. At least I’m not the only one that did not have a first turn play.
 
Round: 2
Me: Draw Island. Play Island, Sol Ring.
U: Jungle Shrine.
H: Plains.
S: Darksteel Citadel, Mind Stone.
 
Round: 3
Me: Draw Forest. Play it and Yavimaya Elder. U spins his Top.
U: Rootbound Crag, Taurean Mauler.
H: Urza's Factory, Wall of Denial.
 
Wall of Denial
Great defense.

 
S: Coalition Relic, Mauler gets bigger. Then Dimir Aqueduct bouncing Tolaria West.
 
Round: 4
Me: Draw Faerie Conclave and play it. Definitely no mana problems for me right now.
U: Stirring Wildwood. Attacks S with the 4/4 Mauler, but S casts Path to Exile, targeting the Mauler. U searches up a Forest. Then Stoneforge Mystic, searching up Sword of Fire and Ice, which should be good with everyone he is facing playing blue. 
H: Sol Ring
S: Marsh Flats. Cracks it (39) for Plains. Cycles Glassdust Hulk. Then casts Gideon Jura, and decides to make U attack him next turn.
 
 
Round: 5
Me: Draw Acidic Slime. I don’t see anything real threatening yet, but I know that Sword of Fire and Ice is probably coming out soon, so I hold onto it. Play Temple of the False God.
U: Activates Stoneforge Mystic to put Sword of Fire and Ice into play. Then plays Skullclamp, equipping the Mystic.
H: The last counter comes off of Ancestral Vision, and H draws an additional 3 cards. Ghostly Prison, Mystic Remora, then Azorius Chancery, bouncing an Island.
S: Shimmering Grotto. Transmutes Tolaria West for Everflowing Chalice, then plays Sculpting Steel, copying the Coalition Relic, obviously ramping up the mana. H draws from the Remora. S then uses Gideon to take out the tapped Stoneforge Mystic, and U draws 2 after activating his Top.
 
Round: 6
Me: Draw Lurking Predators. Play Forest, Lurking Predators, letting H draw from the suckerfish. I’m only going to mention if I hit with the LP, because even in a deck with 37 creatures, it is going to hit less than half the time. I attack Gideon with my Yavimaya Elder, knocking him down to 4 loyalty.
U: Mountain, then Primeval Titan, searching up Miren, the Moaning Well and Serra’s Sanctum.  Gotta love the ramp.
 
primeval titan
Play him if you got him.
 
H: Pays the upkeep for the Remora. Island, then suspends Aeon Chronicler with 2 counters. Discards Karn, Silver Golem to get to 7 at end of turn.
S: Uses Gideon to make U attack him next turn. Casts Everflowing Chalice with 3 counters. H draws from the suckerfish. At this time, U says he has to leave for a second. S concedes in response.
 
 
Round: 7
Me: Draw Plaxcaster Frogling. Play Novijen, Heart of Progress, then Acidic Slime, taking out U’s Sword of Fire and Ice
U: Path to Exile on my Slime, so he can attack me with the Titan and not lose it. H draws from Remora. I still haven’t hit with LP. I search up an Island. Attacks me with Primeval Titan (34), searching up Exotic Orchard and Temple Garden. Then Verduran Enchantress
H: Pays upkeep for Remora. Transmutes Tolaria West for Reliquary Tower and plays it, as he currently has 11 cards in hand. Tries to cast Brittle Effigy, but LP finally hits with Mystic Snake, which counters the Effigy. At the end of his turn, I add a counter to the Snake with Novijen, and sac Yavimaya Elder for an Island and a Forest, drawing Rainbow Efreet.
 
Round: 8
Me: Draw Mystifying Maze, play Island. Cast Arcanis the Omnipotent as I'm going to need to fill my hand up soon, adding a counter with Novijen. U spins his Top. 
U: Casts Prismatic Omen, drawing a card from the Enchantress.   H draws from the fish, and I put Jodah's Avenger into play with LP. Equips Enchantress with Skullclamp. Then casts Flickerform on Primeval Titan.
 
Flickerform
Underplayed, great for "enters the battlefield" effects.
 
H draws another card, and I use LP to put Triskelion into play. Attacks H with Primeval Titan, searching up Kjeldoran Outpost and Reflecting Pool. H blocks with Wall of Denial.
H: Aeon Chronicler comes into play, and H lets the Remora go. Island, then attacks U ith the 12/12 Chronicler. U blocks with Enchantress, drawing 2. U tries to activate Flickerform, but H casts Capsize, with buyback, targeting the Titan, getting rid of the enchantment. My LP hits Pygmy Hippo.
 
 
Round: 9
Me: Draw Oran-Rief, the Vastwood. Activate Arcanis to draw 3, getting Krosan Restorer, Simic Guildmage and Llanowar Reborn. Play Reborn, then attack U with my team, giving the Avenger double strike. U says he feels ganged up on, and concedes after getting knocked down to (25). I understand where he’s coming from, but I didn’t want to pay the Ghostly Prison tax, and my deck has a real hard time against Uril. Like most decks, actually. Plus, the Titan can ramp him up a ton.  I then play Rainbow Efreet, grafting the Reborn counter onto her. H Brainstorms.
H: Plains, then Totem-Guide Hartebeest, searching up Confiscate
 
totem-guide hartebeest
Another nice tutor.
 
So he's going to steal something, but I wonder what.  LP hits Spike Weaver. I add a counter with Novijen.
 
Round: 10
Me: Draw Woodfall Primus and try to play it to get rid of the Ghostly Prison which is holding me back, but H has Hinder, putting it on the bottom of my library. Play Mystifying Maze.
H: Island, then Inkwell Leviathan. Maze won't stop that guy.  LP hits Vigor. At the end of his turn, activate Arcanis, drawing Cytoplast Manipulator, Tolaria West and Primal Command. The Prison is going to keep me from winning with combat damage, so I have to have another way to win.
 
 
 
Round: 11
Me: Draw Island. Play Forest, then Primal Command, putting H’s Ghostly Prison on top of his library and searching up Gilder Bairn. I attack with Vigor, Jodah's Avenger, Triskelion and Pygmy Hippo, with Vigor making me lack caution.  Looking back, this is even doumber than I first thought, as Vigor would have been killed anyways by the Chronicler. I pay for my foolishness, though, when H Condemn’s Vigor (40), and kills the Hippo and Avenger with blocking. Triskelion lives, as it was blocked by Wall of Denial. I then play Elvish Aberration, discarding Tolaria West at the end of my turn.
H: Plains, Ghostly Prison, then Confiscate on my Spike. I move one of the counters onto the Aberration, then remove another to Fog. Then Dance of Many, targeting Arcanis. 
 
dance of many
Cheap Clone effect, but upkeep is a pain.
 
I forget to draw with Arcanis before he gets legend ruled out.  That's just sloppy play on my part.
 
Round: 12
Me: Draw Bramblewood Paragon. Play Island, Gilder Bairn and Kraj. Add counters to both with Novijen. 
H: Island. Moves both of the remaining counters on Spike Weaver onto the Chronicler so I can’t Fog with Kraj. I didn’t even think about this until after H told me about it. That's the thing abou Kraj, there are always a ton of options with im.  Attacks me with Inkwell Leviathan (33). Then plays Fatespinner.
 
 
Round: 13
Me: At this point, I have the combo to put as many counters on Triskelion as I want with Gilder Bairn and Elvish Aberration with Kraj. He tries to Capsize Kraj, but since it’s all at instant speed, it doesn’t matter, and I win.
 

IV.  Conclusion

The game I really wanted to show was where I went up against Zur, Sharuum and Azami.  Needless to say, I was outclassed, but I did come in second.  Sharuum managed a turn 3 Iona, naming blue, then started beating on me.  I thought it was strange that he didn't go after the Zur player first, but it turns out they were a team.  After figuring this out (both Zur and Sharuum used Wastelands on me to keep me behind), I teamed up with Azami, who played Vedalken Shackles and stole an Akroma, Angel of Wrath from Sharuum to help me beat Sharuum down with my green creatures.  Zur conceded a turn after Sharuum was out.  Azami soon buried me under a sea of card advantage, but I was happy with how it turned out.  Unfortunately the replay crapped out on me.  Oh well.

So if you want to download or buy the deck, you can find it HERE.  The deck somes out to around $180.  That is sort of expensive for something that is not extremely powerful, but there are some easy substitutions.  In addition, there are plenty of personal preferences in here.  A Kraj deck is very customizable.  If you want, you can go more combo oriented to try and abuse the infinite mana possiblities. 

I think most of you that play Commander know that Momir Vig, Simic Visionary is a much more competitive general in these colors.  The ability to draw and tutor just for playing a spell is hard to beat.  Kraj is fun, but you won't have the best winning percentage with this deck.  However, if you get Kraj out there with some protection, you can start doing some silly stuff.

Now, I started this deck before knowing just how big the counter theme was going to be in Scars of Mirrodin.  I had already started the deck when I found out about the Proliferate keyword.  However, there are plenty of cool cards coming up that will help this deck.

Yes this will definitely be good in this deck.  It's an activated Doubling Season, essentially.  I'm sure there are going to be more cards out there for you to try and abuse, so feel free to change the deck up.  Will Proliferate make the deck into an all-star?  Probably not, but it will definitely help.

Special thanks this week to themonkey, who got me started on the deck and helped talk me through some of my early issues, as well as providing a jumping off point.  Also, to Zahey, who saw me playing early on and helped with some additional ideas. 

Hope you enjoyed this look at a fun general.  Until next week!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com

11 Comments

Just a comment on one card : by this isnt the n... at Thu, 09/16/2010 - 16:23
this isnt the name i chose's picture

Just a comment on one card : Pygmy hippo.
Its a vanilla 2/2 that says if opp doesnt block he taps everything before combat damage step. You will never ever get mana off of hippo (unless your opps are first day scrubs) because there is no mana burn and people just tap down everything if they cant block it. Completely worthless card=pygmy hippo

It's funny how often people by Leviathan at Thu, 09/16/2010 - 17:02
Leviathan's picture

It's funny how often people forget about the lack of mana burn though. On top of that due to the amount of text, people don't read the whole thing and think that it has to deal damage before the ability kicks in. Basically what I'm trying to say is that I have gotten mana off of it, and the few times it has seen play and attacked, no one has been smart enough/even thought about tapping out before it hits. In addition, with a couple of creatures out people spend more time worrying about what Kraj can do than the hippo. I'll admit that it was only about 4 times total, but when it does work it's very nice.

However what you are saying is true. So feel free to change it up for mana reflection or something. Obviously not everyone reads my articles but I'm sure that more people will be aware of what hippo does now.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, it will also tap people down. So they often won't be able to counter stuff or pay for abilities. So not entirely useless.

I don’t know if anyone has by Flippers_Giraffe at Thu, 09/16/2010 - 16:38
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

I don’t know if anyone has tried it but it would be interesting to see a deck built around compiling Kaldra, but that could be something for when Scars comes out and we have a big influx in aritfacts.

I hate to say it but I'm by JustSin at Thu, 09/16/2010 - 17:05
JustSin's picture

I hate to say it but I'm disappointed in the choice, I've seen a lot of UG decks and theyre always Kraj

It was great talking to you by themonkey at Thu, 09/16/2010 - 21:24
themonkey's picture

It was great talking to you as you put your deck together. You're right, there are so many different ways to go with this commander. I know I got a lot of ideas just talking to you, but still our decks play very differently even though they both focus on Kraj picking up abilities and being able to put +1/+1 counters on creatures. Even the price points are very different, with my current build at about $37.

If anyone is interested in seeing my take on the deck and how it changed from talking to Leviatian my decks can be found in the deck section of MTGO Traders.

Before is Exp Kraj Commander
Current is themonkey kraj

My deck does pretty well, it doesn't win a lot, but I usually reach a point that I'm enough of a threat that it takes the combined effort of two players to take me out. Last night I was one turn away from defeating one player (Malfegor) before the other (Darigaaz, the Igniter) destroyed my Ice Floe holding Malfegor's Ink Eyes. After that the Malfegor player had too strong of a board position and won the game.

Again, thanks for your input, it was great talking to you. Maybe sometime we'll meet in the game.

I can't believe you didn't by Paul Leicht at Thu, 09/16/2010 - 22:13
Paul Leicht's picture

I can't believe you didn't include Snakeform. By the way I am totally with you on Pygmy Hippo. It isn't as bad as 'this isn't the name I chose' states. It's not playable in any tourney setting but EDH isn't a tourney setting and has plenty of wiggle room for casual cards like hippo. Also as you said, being that it is a casual format not everyone who plays it knows all the cards. The tapping out in response thing does not matter as much as the not being able to counter anything afterward (well unless you are holding a Daze, FoW or Fade.)

I have only played against a by Leviathan at Fri, 09/17/2010 - 09:34
Leviathan's picture

I have only played against a Kraj deck once. I have seen momir a bunch though. Strange that our experiences have been so different. I just wanted something different from my usual aggro-control route and this deck did the truck.

Thanks again monkey for the discussion and advice. It was very helpful.

My first article had a deck that was equipment based and had the kaldra set but I never got them all out. We will see how much equipment search is in scars.

As for the hippo and snakeform obviously I don't always use the optimal choices. I definitely appreciate the conversation and suggestions though.

"As for the hippo and by Flippers_Giraffe at Fri, 09/17/2010 - 13:33
Flippers_Giraffe's picture

"As for the hippo and snakeform obviously I don't always use the optimal choices"

I'm the same with my commander decks I like each one to be as individual as possible so try and keep them different by using cards you don't always see.

Wait, what? You see Snakeform by Paul Leicht at Fri, 09/17/2010 - 13:56
Paul Leicht's picture

Wait, what? You see Snakeform all the time? I would have assumed UG decks in general were not THAT popular since the color combination lends itself to combo and or control which both are frowned on by many players. (Oh not! Not the mindslaver, (eternal witness for redundancy), academy ruins lock! again?)

Sorry, let me clarify. by Leviathan at Fri, 09/17/2010 - 14:47
Leviathan's picture

Sorry, let me clarify. Although I have seen snakeform, I don't see it all the time. However, there are a ton of cards out there, and I don't hit them all. I actually think Snakeform is a great combat trick. I know Momir players love it.

Pygmy Hippo is so worth it. by themonkey at Fri, 09/17/2010 - 17:19
themonkey's picture

Pygmy Hippo is so worth it. If you read the text: "you may have defending player activate a mana ability of each land he or she controls and empty his or her mana pool." Unless they have something to spend their mana on right away any unspent mana will be drained out of their pool even if they tapped the land before the Hippo's ability triggers.

Even if you don't get the mana (because they spend it before the Hippo triggers) it will still keep you safe from most counters and can mess up an opponent's timing.

And it's a 2/2 creature for CMC 2 that's a Hippo!