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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Mar 14 2014 12:00pm
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First, I apologize for not having an article last week.  The family went on a 4 day vacation, and then work started blowing up, etc.  You guys know how it goes.  So I decided to whip out all my old Dimir decks and talk about the legends associated with them.  People seemed to enjoy the Selesnya Review so this seemed like it would be fun.

The first thing to keep in mind with Dimir is that it generally has a tough time with enchantments and artifacts.  Normally this isn't too much of a problem due to the existence of stuff like Oblivion Stone and Nevinyrral's Disk.  However, now we have Gods running around, which are pretty hard to get rid of once they hit the table.  Of course, Blue has countermagic and bounce, so there are ways of dealing with them.  And there's always All is Dust.  It's just not as easy as it used to be.

Aside from that problem the Dimir color combination is pretty powerful.  Blue has tons of card draw and broken plays, while Black can bring tutors, beats, and graveyard manipulation.  This is pretty potent when put together and in the right hands.  Of course, not all of the legendary creatures are all that powerful.  Let's take a look.

nebuchadnezzar princess lucrezia ramirez depietro ramses overdark riven turnbull sivitri scarzam 

Legends, being an old goofy set, brings us a lot of goofy creatures.  Princess Lucrezia and Riven Turnbull are big fat beats that tap for 1 mana each, which is really counterintuitive.  Ramirez DePietro is a hero to all pirate lovers, but really just a common, along with Sivitri Scarzam.  Then we have Nebuchadnezzar, who despite his cool artwork, is just too mana hungry to use in a mulitplayer setting.  I guess he could be ok in 1v1, but he's just bad, especially since you have to have some knowledge of your opponent's hand.  Poor Ur-Drago has a cool name but is considered so lame he didn't even make it into any of the Masters Edition sets.

That leaves good old Ramses Overdark.  His ability to kill enchanted creatures isn't bad at all since there are a decent amount of tools to work with out there.  Unfortunately he costs 6 mana, which is a whole heck of a lot.  I actually made a fun deck around this guy, but you can't go all in on him because you never know how long it'll take to cast him, especially without copious amounts of ramp.

skeleton ship  sygg, river cutthroat vela the night-clad wydwen, the biting gale

Our next group here is sort of the random group that doesn't really fit together thematically with the rest.  Obviously Skeleton Ship would have no shot in hell of being made in modern times, but it's still super goofy.  Sygg, River Cutthroat doesn't really demand a theme but obviously works as passive card draw and gets better with more players.  Vela is interesting in providing all your creatures a form of evasion, and if you can sacrifice guys a lot you can eventually drain the board.  Finally, Wydwen, the Biting Gale seems like she would actually be pretty good in 1v1.  Being able to dodge removal cheaply and having a respectable body isn't bad at all.  I have to admit that I've never seen her used in a multiplayer game though.  My guess is that she just doesn't bring enough to the table.

Dralnu, Lich Lord Lazav, Dimir Mastermind Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker phenax, god of deception szadek, lord of secrets wrexial, the risen deep

Now we come to a big portion of what Dimir is really known for:  Milling and graveyard abuse.  With six legends falling into this theme, and each of them playable, you know that Wizards is definitely pushing this as the identity for the color combo.  Mirko Vosk, Phenax and Szadek all fall solidly in the milling pile.  Although they each bring slightly different strengths to the table, once you see them you know exactly what you're in for.  Lazav and Wrexial operate slightly differently, appreciating having things going into your opponents' graveyards.  While the payoff for Lazav is more immediate, he usually gets better with active milling.  Wrexial, meanwhile, can take his time to let people fill up their own graveyards, then use his evasion not only to beat down but to get the specific instant or sorcery he needs.  Finally, Dralnu, Lich Lord is the epitome of high risk/high reward.  People tend to fill Dralnu with extra turn effects, or figure out ways to get stuff into their own graveyard.  You should always be aware that Dralnu won't play nice with the rest of the table if you see him.

Circu, dimir lobotomist Oona, Queen of the Fae

Circu and Oona are slightly different because they exile instead of mill.  Whil Circu is pretty underpowered for Commander, Oona is not.  All you need to do is make a bunch of mana (usually through something like Power Artifact and Basalt Monolith) and you can exile everyone's entire library.  Eldrazi can't really get around this problem.  Even if you can't make infinite mana, you can still just get a bunch of faerie tokens to beat with or play defense. 

grimgrin, corpse-born

Finally we have our fun zombie lord, Grimgrin.  He's great in that he can act as removal and as a free sacrifice outlet.  There are a bunch of zombies that appreciate having things die, and ways to play zombies for free (Rooftop Storm) so you can really take advantage of him.  Or you can just shove a bunch of zombies into a deck and watch him beat down. 

Ok, now on to some games.  Actually, one of my favorite decks is my Sygg, River Cutthroat deck, which you can find HERE.  Unfortunately not a single one of the replays saved for this deck.  I had like 4 games that I played over the weekend that were pretty decent and they all popped up with an error that said the game was no longer on the server.  That was a brand new screw up to me.  So sorry, no Sygg.  Sad times.

Here we have Grimgrin, Corpse-Born in a 2HG game, deck list found HERE.  I'm teamed up with Sigarda, going up against Sedris and Zedruu.  Unfortunately, my teammate is mana hosed the whole game.  Sedris gets and early Nin, the Pain Artist, which he uses on his teammate's Commander to help out with card draw.  Sedris also uses Praetor's Counsel to grab my Cyclonic Rift.  In the meantime I've got Havengul Lich in play, but every time I try to get an advantage it's dealt with.  Win I cast Army of the Damned, Sedris uses the Rift.  Shortly thereafter my teammate concedes, but I try and fight the good fight by using the Lich to take stuff like Sepulchral Primordial and Diluvian Primordial from Sedris.  Still, it's not enough, as Zedruu gains a ton of life and is about to donate Illusions of Grandeur to me while I'm at 27.  I concede.

The deck, like most of my Dimir decks, has problems with Gods.  I think that I would probably take out Soul Manipulation for another tutor, and maybe try and fit in Capsize somewhere.

Wrexial was my very first Dimir deck, which you can find HERE. Although the average CMC of the deck is over 4 it still did pretty well.  Kaalia starts off fast here, bringing out threat after threat, while Teysa answers her with various Wrath effects.  Karametra gets hit with Rakdos the Defiler which sets her back a little.  Eventually I use Roil Elemental to steal a bunch of opposing threats, and Aurelia from the Kaalia player.  Teysa manages to Strip Mine Kaalia's only source of Black mana and get her Commander out, then plays Exquisite Blood.  This means that if I attack Teysa I lose my creatures, but if I attack the other people Teyas gains life.  I decide to just take out the other players.  In the meantime, Teysa plays a Grave Titan.  I decide to target the Titan with a kicked Rite of Replication to flood the board, and tutor for Mana Drain back up.  That's enough to seal the deal.

The deck's average CMC is high, so again, I would take out some of the higher CMC stuff for Capsize and Cyclonic Rift.  I might actually include a couple more Counterspells as well.

Ramses has a build around me feel, but you can't exactly build around him for the most part.  You can find the deck list HERE, and it focused on card advantage and creatures that tapped to do stuff.  Here I'm teamed up with Rubinia Soulsinger, and although I don't draw any auras I do draw a ton of card advantage.  Luckily Talrand's Caged Sun is handled by Rubinia's Capsize until he can blow it up with Terastodon.  Things are bounced several times.  Finally, I manage to get out Bloodgift Demon to help my teammate draw, with Avatar of Woe and Rings of Brighthearth to deal with opponents' creatures and Harvester of Souls to draw cards.  Eventually our opponents concede.

I don't know if I would really change anything about this deck.  It's pretty solid, and even has a few ways to temporarily deal with Gods.  I really like it.

So there you go, a look at Dimir!  It's pretty versatile and can do a lot of stuff.  Aside from dealing with enchantments and artifacts.  But still it's a lot of fun.  I personally don't like the mill aspect, but there's plenty of that here for you guys if you want.  Anyways I hope you guys enjoyed this.  Until next time!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com
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So replays are down on MTGO. by Leviathan at Fri, 03/14/2014 - 13:39
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So replays are down on MTGO. This really hoses me and this column in a lot of ways. I don't really have the ability to do live recordings most of the time. I can't even do my old school reporting of turn-by-turn game play because I used replays for that. And based upon how Wizards is about this kind of stuff I can't depend on replays coming back any time soon.

So a couple options:

1. I can do a deck tech video of new decks, and then do 1 paragraph recaps of a couple of games just based off memory. Not really sure I like this, mainly because my memory is bad, and there isn't really a whole ton of info conveyed in a paragraph without actual game play.

2. Deck doctoring. Yes, I know this is pretty much exactly what the Dear Azami guys do over at Starcitygames. But I have done a little bit of it in the past, and I'm more than willing to do it again. This would mean that people would actually have to send me decks, so that's up to you guys.

3. I can write about Commander related stuff that you guys are interested in! I have 1 or 2 ideas already in the hopper, but I need additional thoughts and ideas. If there's something about Commander that you want help with, or have questions about the format, let me know!

4. Go on hiatus. Booo, no one likes that option.

Of course all of this becomes moot if replays come back, but as I said, I doubt this will happen. So help a brother out and let me know what you want to read!

I would take copious notes by Paul Leicht at Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:28
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I would take copious notes whilst playing and then wing a report from there. This isn't the first time they've knocked replays out.

Deck clinics can be fun (Sean is certainly not the only one who does that sort of thing) but then you may need to figure out what the goal and scope of such an article is. Are you tuning a deck for tourney play? Is it for 1v1? How will the changes help in multiplayer? Etc. Which in the end may be more work. And you need a setup article as you indicated with some rules for submissions (trust me you want a few rules via Attachments etc)

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