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By: HydraLord, Charles Sutphin
Jan 13 2008 12:26am
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The title of this article underplays the number of things going on in it. I'm actually to talk about myself and EDH in general before I talk about the actual deck. The titles of these sections will be big and bold, so you can skip them if you want. I promise, I won't be hurt. Or at least, I won't know.

First, my magical history. I've been playing since the release of Portal, and playing in tournaments since Mirrodin block. I joined Magic Online last year, though I haven't invested that much into it. At this point, I simply don't have the money. Which is why I'm writing these articles instead of doing homework. I don't have many objective achievements in Magic, though I've made Top 8 of a couple of PTQ's. Not recently though. This is sounding awkward, so....

Now I'm going to talk about a few of my favorite things, by category.

Favorite Decks

5)  Meandeck Tendrils. I like this deck for a number of reasons. First, it is quite difficult to play optimally. I can't claim to do so, but I think that I get closer than a lot of people. Part of this is that, being a math and statistics major, I can get deeper and more accurate values for the odds of things happening. This is incredibly important for success with the deck. The other part is that I have played the deck a lot. A. LOT. That helps, since it lets me save time because I just know how some things come out. That lets me spend my time thinking about hard decisions.

4) Kuroda Style Red. I love red decks. I love control decks. I really love red control decks. This deck had so much edge over other decks. It was really unfair when your opponent slammed down the Worship to go with their Auriok Champion. They're thinking, "I'm so smart. That stupid red deck can't beat this." Then you play Culling Scales. Awkward. We're not even going to go into the Fireball sideboard, which is one of my favorites of all time. Some people didn't like it, but I loved it.

3) Dredge. This is the only deck on the list that I built. I'm not talking about dredge decks with Narcomoeba. I'm talking about running Dredge at States last year. I'm talking about BennieSmithDredge version 2.0. I fell hopelessly in love with the mechanic when I first cast Life from the Loam for Svogthos, the Restless Tomb, Mouth of Ronom, and Golgari Rot Farm. We're talking Richard Gere in "Pretty Woman". Was it good? Not really. But it was awesome, and so glorious when, on occassion, it won.

2) Greater Gifts. In case you haven't figured it out by now, I love a complicated deck. This one was so frustrating to play against. You think that you're going to get there...they're just sitting and fiddling with a Top. And then you never untap again. I also love this deck because it has a million cards I like. Sakura-Tribe Elder, Kodama's Reach, Gifts Ungiven...what's not to love?

1) Red Deck Wins. Any incarnation, but I really love Shuhei Nakamura's Columbus Finals deck. It's basically the first deck I try to recreate, for any format. I can't really say why I like it so much, but if I had to play one deck with my life on the line, it would be this one.  No, I wouldn't run Meandeck Tendrils. Good though I may be, how stressed out do you have to be if your life is on the line? Sounds like trouble.

Beacon of Immortality

Ok. Other favorite things. Bands?
5) The Who
4) Kamelot
3) Flogging Molly
2) Nightwish
1) Iron Maiden

That was a much shorter list. One more. Top five movies:

5) Pulp Fiction
4) Suspiria
3) No Country For Old Men
2) The Princess Bride
1) The Blues Brothers

Really, those change all the time though. Ok. That's enough

Thoughts on Elder Dragon Highlander
I've played this format for a while. I really enjoy building decks in the format. Here are some deckbuilding principles. None of them are hard and fast rules, but they're somewhere to start.

1) Use your general. I don't always do this, but its usually a good idea. Its a creauture that can be cast over and over. You don't necessarily have to abuse the fact that it can be cast over and over again - it doesn't have to be Kagemaro, First to Suffer - but it should be something. Kataki, War's Wage is probably subpar. Consider Jareth, Leonine Titan or Gerrard Capashen for your mono-white deck. Ironically, the deck I'm listing today doesn't do much with it's general, but you really don't have a lot of choices for a black/white deck.

2) Have multiple game plans. This is pretty self-explanatory. You're playing multiplayer with giant singleton decks. Sometimes things just don't work out the way you want them to. Try not to be totally shafted if your opponent casts Morningtide. That's bad.

3) Be able to answer things. I always aim to be able to deal with as many potential problems as possible. You never know what kind of infinite loop your opponent is going to try to run out. Do you want to die to something cheesy like that? I didn't think so. So run that Altar's Light. It might just deal with something awesome. On the flip side of this, be aware that people are going to (or should be) packing disruption for your plan. In particular, creature removal. This reinforces the idea of multiple game plans. So do it!

4) Have fun! This is ultimately a casual format. You can build decks that do wonky things. It might not beat that five color Oath-Stax deck, but it will be a helluva lot more fun. Run splahy cards! Unleash your inner Timmy/Johnny, but leave Spike at home. Mostly.

The Orzhov Deck

Pinpoint Creature Removal (16)
Crib Swap
Swords to Plowshares
Dregs of Sorrow
Rend Flesh
Cruel Revival
Profane Command
Slaughter Pact
Nameless Inversion
Eyeblight's Ending
Drain Life

Mass Removal (6)
Wrath of God
Akroma's Vengeance
Austere Command
Decree of Pain
Final Judgment

Men That Do Stuff (9)Eternal Dragon
Twisted Abomination
Exalted Angel
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Yosei, the Morning Star
Undead Gladiator
Avatar of Woe
Desolation Angel

Graveyard Hate (3)
Tormod's Crypt
Leyline of the Void

Miscellaneous (4)
Weathered Wayfarer
Decree of Justice
Journeyer's Kite
Grim Harvest

Aura Package (5)Faith's Fetters
Cage of Hands
Pillory of the Sleepless
Three Dreams

Disenchant Effects (2)
Altar's Light

Card Draw and Tutoring (6)
Ambition's Cost
Skeletal Scrying
Dimir House Guard
Diabolic Tutor
Sensei's Divining Top

Demon Package (4)
Blood Speaker
Reiver Demon
Cairn Wanderer
Kagemaro, First to Suffer

Artifact Mana (5)
Mind Stone
Prismatic Lens
Coalition Relic
Orzhov Signet
Charcoal Diamond

Lands (40)
Secluded Steppe
Barren Moor
Unholy Grotto
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Godless Shrine
(Orzhov, Church of Deals)
Orzhov Basilica
Dreadship Reef
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
16 x Swamp
15 x Plains

Ghost Council of Orzhova






I like this deck quite a bit. It does lots of cool things. First, it's got about DI (For those of you not in the know DI is short for infinite.  I actually think it is slang for Der Infinite, but I am prolly wrong.  Editor Out!) creature removal. That's good. Most decks run lots of creatures, so being able to kill them is good. This comes in the form of both pinpoint removal and board sweepers. Further, it has an answer for every permanent type. Also, it has some neat tricks.
Spot Removal

Not many real interesting things here, though note that Nameless Inversion and Crib Swap can both be recurred with Unholy Grotto or searched up by Blood Speaker. Cruel Revival can bring them back, or it can bring back things like Twisted Abomination. I also try to run some amount of political removal, like Oblation. Yeah, so you don't have you Akroma. Have two cards. We square now? Several of these cards have restrictions - it's hard to kill a black creature - but I can live with that. You can change this section up, but I wouldn't make it much smaller. Killing things is important.

Mass Removal

These are like the panic buttons of the deck. Sometimes there are too many insane things in play and they need to die. Wrath and Damnation are the worst of these, which tells you something. Decree of Pain is my favorite of them. Gogo drawing cards! Final Judgment is really good. It answers dangerous things like Darksteel Colossus as well as elimating recursion. Another excellent, recent update is Austere Command. It's like Akroma's Vengeance, but doesn't have to screw you if you don't want.

DudesThis part of the deck is all over the place. Eternal Dragon, Twisted Abomination, and Undead Gladiator help increase the consistency of the deck. The legendary dragons and Exalted Angel put a clock on your opponents. Shriekmaw and Avatar of Woe serve as extra removal. Avatar is really pretty ridiculous...getting it out for two mana is pretty easy. Lastly, Desolation Angel is your most devastating endgame strategy. Your opponents will have trouble winning with no lands. It's especially savage when you've got a Coalition Relic in play. Be careful though...people will be pissed when you drop this bad girl.

Aura Package
This is probably my favorite part of the whole deck. Resolving Three Dreams is a total beating. Its at least as good as three removal spells - Enslave and Cage of Hands often work better than that.
Card Draw and Tutoring
You're a control deck. You want to have more cards that your opponents. You want to have more access to specific things. House Guard fetches
Nekrataal, Wrath, Leyline of the Void, Altar's Light, Diabolic Tutor - in case you really want something else, Blood Speaker, and Decree of Justice. Brainspoil finds fewer things, though they're still good. Particularly Desolation Angel.

Demon Package
This is another cool thing. Blood Speaker finds not only 'real' demons, but also Cairn Wanderer. You know that guy says all graveyards, right? Yeah. Gas. It also gets Crib Swap, though remember that casting that does not bring back Blood Speaker. I always wanted to play with demons in Constructed, but it never worked out. Also, yes, you can play Kuro, Pitlord. But I don't like him.
The rest of the deck is pretty self explanatory, so I won't keep yapping about it.

That's all I've got for today. Are people really interested in EDH? Or not? Let me know.

charles dot sutphin at gmail dot com


by Reaper9889 at Mon, 01/14/2008 - 10:10
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From my pow you are playing far to many pin point removel spells. You got a gerneral that gives life AND you got 40 allready - so you can proberly get to your mass removel spells - which I would then up a bit (kitar's wrath, damnation eg.).

Personly I would toy around with a bit more karoo lands - eg. the GB and so on (it helps abit for wayfarer and let you cheat slightly on land count) and Thawing Glaciers - free card draw (Glaciers + karoo lands = mana accel + card draw which isn't that bad either).

And yes I would agree that a good EDH deck will try to do something broken (usually its one of a subcatagory of cards + general = some wierd combo - eg. Jhorio + mass remove every thing (there are 4 or so in red and proberly some fetch in blue - eg. gifts) + some expensiv win con (eg. dragon storm or some random dragon or something else))

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 01/13/2008 - 14:10
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It's a really nice deck if you want to play a 3 hour game, but I don't. It seems that all EDH decks suffer the same problem. They just try not to lose, instead of having a deck that can win. Yes this is safe, but it's also boring, defeating the purpose of casual.

I'd have played a lot of threats and a lot fewer removals, especially when the general is one that actually needs creatures to feed like orzhova. Try some token generators like skeletal vampire and the other white one that gives you 3 tokens in LOR (forget the name). they should help your general.

by iceage4life at Sun, 01/13/2008 - 14:33
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I gotta disagree with the other comment.  Playing lots of threats in EDH is the perfect way in my view to loose.


If you want to win and not have 3 hour games you have to make a deck that does some very broken things.

As far as the article I liked it but the top 5 lists seemed to have nothing to do with the bulk of the article.

Dreadchip reef is illegal by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 03/18/2010 - 11:02
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Dreadchip reef is illegal because it has a blue mana symbol and kokusho is on the banned list

wrong on Dreadship Reef. It by ShardFenix at Thu, 03/18/2010 - 11:13
ShardFenix's picture

wrong on Dreadship Reef. It is totally a legal card that just cant make blue mana. Its just like the bounce lands of ravnica. ex in monoblack dimir aqueduct makes one colorless and one black

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sdass by patriciabrown at Tue, 11/28/2023 - 03:27
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