Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Long Time Gone: Commander 2016, Deckbuilding Cube, Duel Decks, Legacy, and more!

Commander 2016

Atraxa, Praetors' VoiceYidris, Maelstrom Wielder

The Magical Christmasland Gods have been good to the playgroup this year. Commander 2016 has given us the Atraxa deck (Breed Lethality) and the Yidris deck (Entropic Uprising). These decks play very differently from each other, but both are powerful and fun. The thing I'm most impressed about is how consistent the mana is for casting the four-color commanders. I only remember one game where Atraxa was stuck in the command zone past turn 5. More commonly, Atraxa was on the board on turn 3, 4, or 5! Ydris' Oprah-like granting of cascade to all your spells after he whacks someone makes for some crazy, crazy turns.

Commander Deckbuilding Cube / Aether Revolt

Brago, King EternalGrenzo, Dungeon Warden

The more I mess around with this idea of a Commander Deckbuilding Cube, the more I like it. I played with the Brago deck for a while. It does some impressive stuff when it gets going! But, as usual, I wanted to switch it up. Boom, enter the deckbuilding cube. I stripped Brago for parts, reached into the box, and slapped together a BR Grenzo deck with artifact-graveyard shenanigans and scrying. Oh, man. It's a whole different kind of fun when it works. There's not much like swapping Scuttling Doom Engine and Spine of Ish Sah with Darreti and Goblin Welder.

Scuttling Doom EngineSpine of Ish SahDaretti, Scrap SavantGoblin Welder

We also got the full Aether Revolt spoiler to look at and woah, there are tons of great cards in there for Commander. I added them to "the waiting list," but in a new section. Here's to crossing my fingers that the prices will come down when the cards (Robots!) eventually rotate out of Standard. Patience, padawan.

Duel Decks / Planeswalker Decks

Nissa, Voice of ZendikarOb Nixilis Reignited

I try to live a simple life. I get it. Friends and family aren't sure what to buy for me. My birthday is mid-October and then there's Christmas. The good news is, Target sells pre-constructed decks. So, that makes it easy. This year, I was blessed to get the Ob Nixilis vs. Nissa duel deck for my birthday and the Chandra planeswaker deck for Christmas. That's a lot of planeswalkers to join my collection of duel decks! We put those decks to good use, facing off against planeswalker decks of Christmas past. Kiora is always a favorite.

Drafting Conspiracy

Kaya, Ghost Assassin

Finally, finally after a couple of years of half-hearted planning and missed appointments, I had a chance to actually meet up with some of the guys from work to draft. One of the guys bought a box of the Conspiracy: Take the Crown set, so we did a multiplayer draft. I didn't pull anything too crazy, but good times were had by all. I also had the chance to play some co-op Horde Magic while I was there, and we even fit in a game of Commander. If you haven't tried Horde Magic, you should check it out!

Brian Weissman

Nin, the Pain Artist

Shout out to Brian for posting some more Commander videos. Check out his channel on YouTube to watch him wreck people with Nin, the Pain Artist, one-on-one and multiplayer this time.


If you want to watch more Magic action online, Season 6 of the Vintage Super League is up and running, too. Watch the first two weeks of play-in tournaments on YouTube, then tune-in live every week. If you are a fan of drawing three cards for one blue mana, I can't say enough good things about the VSL series. Watch it!

Legacy Reanimator / Delver / GP Vegas


If the fates are kind, I plan to travel to GP Vegas this year with some friends to play some competitive Legacy. I will likely play Reanimator again because, well, you know, Griselbrand! Good old Scoop Hands himself! But, I've had a chance to play a few games with Grixis Delver, and hope to do some more testing between now and then.

Wow! That's a lot of Magic.