ArchGenius's picture
By: ArchGenius, Marcus Rehnberg
Nov 03 2011 9:42am
Login or register to post comments







Frequently Asked Questions

So, what exactly is the premise of PNN? PNN is a fake newscast comic strip based on the fantasy multiverse of Magic the Gathering.  Think about what would happen if Saturday Night Live - Weekend Update or The Daily Show were crossed with Magic the Gathering.  Magic fiction has a bunch of over-the-top arrogant characters that need to be poked fun at.

So why is Jace the host of the newscast?  I'm not really sure.  Maybe he needs money.  Maybe he's trying to rebuild his reputation after being banned almost everywhere.  Maybe it's part of a bigger plot to fight Nicol Bolas, the Eldrazi, or the Ovinomancer because he is really evil.

Where can I find the first comic?  Right here.  

How nerdy are you?  Very nerdy, thank you very much!





Sliders was one of my favorite tv shows.  At least it was for the first two seasons.  Then it got dark, the actors and writers started fighting, it got moved to another network, and everybody just seemed to stop trying.  But it started out really good.  Sliders is a story about a group of explorers traveling between parallel worlds.  The premise has a lot of similarities with the planeswalker stories in Magic the Gathering.  Well, except for the whole "Magic" and "Fantasy" things.  Magic and sliders both deal with people exploring new worlds on a regular basis.  Many of these worlds have a theme or concept behind them.  Sliders had a world where Women controlled the world, a world where Dinosaurs still existed, a world where winning the lottery was easy, and a whole bunch of worlds that were about to be destroyed by a natural or unnatural disaster of some sort.  Magic has a world based around Japanese myth, a world based on Lovecraftian Horror, a world based on multiple worlds colliding and a whole bunch of worlds that were about to be destroyed by natural or unnatural disasters.  

One of the problems with a story that is based on characters who travel from world to world is that it's hard to gain any tension or long term interest in those worlds.  Who really cares if this world is about to end, we can always go to another one tomorrow.  Sliders developed a few gimmicks to keep the tension going.  First they broke the world transporting devise so that it only worked at random times.  Second, that devise was constantly stolen, which would trap our travelers on the world of the week until they could get it back.  Lastly, they developed a species of villains who could travel between worlds and hunt the good guys.  Magic fiction hasn't really developed many of these gimmicks.  Most of the time it feels like whenever a world is about to be destroyed the planeswalkers just shrug their shoulders and move on to the next world.  Agents of Artifice was the novel that dealt with this issue in the best way.  Jace had numerous problems walking away quickly enough, leaving a non-walker behind, being put into a magic nullifying prison, etc.  I believe that's why it remains one of my favorite Magic novels.  Agents of Artifice didn't have to threaten entire planes of existence to make itself interesting.     

For me, I would like to see more interesting worlds to visit that aren't on the verge of destruction.  Magic is still building its multiverse.  Planeswalker stories are ultimately more interesting when they have several choices of where to visit.  At the moment, it looks like planeswalkers can Ravnica, Kamigawa, the Mad Max post-apocalyptic Dominaria, or someplace new.  Visiting new places is always fun, but so is revisiting worlds we've seen before.  

Maybe I'm just envisioning a time when WotC can make some sort of Planeswalker role playing video game where you could travel to the worlds of the multiverse and discover what's new with Kamigawa and Ravnica.  It seems wasteful to throw so many worlds away after just one set.  I know Mirrodin had two sets, but WotC had to massively rewrite the original Mirrodin story to make that happen.  If they had stopped the world from ending in the first place, they wouldn't have had to rewrite the original ending.


What I've been playing.

So last weekend was the Halloween special tribal event.  Only horror themed tribes were allowed.  This is the list of playable tribes.

Faerie (black, including multicolor, only)
Rat (non-Kamigawa only)

You may notice something about this list.  Most of the really powerful tribes are black.  My top four tribes from this list are Zombies, Vampires, Horors, and spirits.  Three of the four tribes are almost exclusively black.  Therefore my initial thought was to build a deck filled with these guys

Chameleon Colossus Phantom Centaur

But where would the fun in that be?  Better to avoid the obvious meta-game choice and get into the spirit of the game.  So, lets look at what kind of strong decks are out there.


There are so many quality zombies out there that you can pretty much do everything with zombies.  

Lord of the Undead Unholy Grotto Nameless Inversion 

These three cards are the principle source of card advantage and endless removal.  Add in your favorite zombies with enter the battlefield effects and you have a machine of a deck that will slowly grind its way to victory.

Buried Alive Haakon, Stromgald Scourge Vengeful Pharaoh

When Buried Alive first came out there weren't that many ways to abuse it.  Basically it put a creature in your graveyard so you could reanimate it.  Now days you have a bunch of cards that do something from the graveyard.  Bloodghast is my favorite but there are tons of other cards that break Buried Alive.  Others include incarnations such as Anger, unearth creatures, and Reassembling Skeleton

Thraximundar Grave Titan Rotting Rats

 I suppose if you just wanted to reanimate something big that ends the game quickly, you can do that too with zombies.

Glissa, the Traitor Tidehollow Sculler Executioner's Capsule

Glissa and Executioner's Capsule is a very nice combo, however it's not that useful if you expect a room full of black creature decks.  That's the main reason I avoided it for the Halloween event.

Shambling Remains Putrid Leech

Well, if you want the simple aggro approach, you can do that quite nicely with zombies.  It's not as tricky or resilent as the other strategies, but it gets the job done. 


Phyrexian RagerPhyrexian ObliteratorDeathbringer LiegeDark Ritual

There are some nice horrors, but let's not kid ourselves.  If you're playing horrors for the win, you are playing them for Phyrexian Obliterator.  With Dark Ritual it can consistantly come down on turn 2.  The rest of the Horror deck can be filled with the usual gambit of card advantage creatures and creatures that act like removal.  The main problem with Horrors is that most of the good ones are expensive, which means you need to be able to hold off faster decks until you can actual get your creatures out.


Kalastria Highborn Bloodghast Buried Alive

This is my favorite series of card interactions.  With a sacrifice outlet and Kalastria Highborn, you can drain away your opponent's life without declaring a single attack.  This kind of combo is resistant to sweepers and most targeted removal spells. Also a graveyard filled with bloodghasts make Bloodline Keeper and (Malikir Bloodwitch) much more dangerous.

Vampiric DragonDrana, Kalastria BloodchiefCabal Coffers

With Olivia Voldaren, and some serious mana pumping, you can create a vampire deck that is great at stealing your opponent's creatures.  Of course you can add a Basilisk Collar if you just want to start killing creatures. 

Vampire Lacerator Pulse Tracker Gatekeeper of Malakir

I really dislike the straightforward strategy of playing cheap creatures and attack, but Vampires do enable this type of deck as well.


TallowispAngelic DestinySovereigns of Lost Alara

Tallowisp is one of my favorite forms of card advantage.  You can grab removal auras such as Arrest or you can grab recursive auras such as Angelic Destiny and RancorTallowisp is one of those cards that is extremely versatile.  Then there is Sovereigns of Lost Alara which is basically used to get the Eldrazi Conscription.  If you're going this route, don't forget to include those Academy Researchers to just be able to play a really undercosted Eldrazi or 6/6 Angel with Angelic Destiny.

BloodghastDemigod of Revenge Buried Alive

Bloodghast is a spirit vampire, which means that it can easily fit into both Vampire decks and Spirit decks as a target for Buried Alive as well as a sacrifice outlet.  I'm still finding a use for it with Skirsdag Cultist however Blasting Station or Goblin Bombardment are still the obvious choices.

Karmic GuideKarmic GuideBlasting Station

Two Karmic Guides and a sacrifice outlet can give you infinite amounts of anything you need.  If I wanted to make a Birthing Pod deck for Tribal I would probably use these two cards.  Birthing Pod a creature into Karmic Guide is just wrong on many levels.

Harbinger of Night Melira, Sylvok Outcast

This is not really all that competitive, but it's fun to make a horrible card like Harbinger of Night into something useful.  Of course protecting both of these creatures from removal is probably more trouble than the combo is worth.  Still, it makes me smile.


So, this is the deck that I played to a 4-0 first place finish in the Halloween tribal event.  The main strategy is to use Buried Alive to get 3 Bloodghasts into the graveyard and then use sacrificial effects to burn through your opponents life faster than Valakut.  After playing this deck in the tournament, I was very surprised at how powerful Bloodline Keeper has been for me.  I originally threw it in for variety's sake, but it ended up winning me two games when I was able to flip it with the help of a couple of Bloodghasts. You may be wondering about the Stromkirk Nobles.  They are mainly there to give me a nonblack vampire that is decent in the early part of the game.  In the games that I would get one down first turn, they would usually hit for about 3 points of damage before meeting a removal spell or trading with another creature.  They could easily be replaced by Bloodline Keepers.  I'm really loving that guy now, especially with Anger as a Buried Alive target. 

The Phyrexian Arenas are there because the 1 life a turn is an insignificant price to pay when your vampires are already gaining you a ton of life a turn assuming you don't run out of gas.   

My prediction of the decks that would show up were pretty accurate.  There were lots of Horrors, Vampires, Spirits, and Zombies.  Overall, my matches weren't all that interesting.  Most of the time my opponents didn't have an answer to (Bloodghasts), even though I saw several Bojuka Bogs when I was watching other matches. My favorite part of the tournament was blocking a Phyrexian Obliterator with a Stromkirk Noble just so I could sacrifice a Bloodghast and get another 2 life from Kalastria Highborn.  That was a reasonably close game.   


Vampire Bombardment
Tribal Apocalypse deck for Halloween event by NemesisParadigm
Malakir Bloodwitch 
Viscera Seer 
Gatekeeper of Malakir 
Kalastria Highborn 
Vengeful Pharaoh 
Extractor Demon 
17 cards

Other Spells 
2 Falkenrath Noble
3 Stromkirk Noble
1 Bloodline Keeper
Buried Alive 
Phyrexian Arena 
Goblin Bombardment 
Dark Ritual 
12 cards
Volrath's Stronghold 
Blood Crypt 
Blackcleave Cliffs 
Verdant Catacombs 
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 
Undiscovered Paradise 
Bloodstained Mire 
Polluted Delta 
Lavaclaw Reaches 
Graven Cairns 
25 cards




 So, I hope you enjoyed my little comic strip.  Feedback and ideas for future strips are always welcome.  

Marcus, NemesisParadigm on Magic Online.