Courtesy Wizards of the Coast

Playing the Commander/EDH format of Magic: the Gathering is always interesting, to me. It’s also somewhat frustrating whenever I run into one of those infinite mana combos, but that’s a personal preference sort of thing. I mean, I used to run a deck built around [mtg_card]Arcanis, the Omnipotent[/mtg_card] combined with [mtg_card]Mind over Matter[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Psychosis Crawler[/mtg_card] so I know the smug satisfaction that can come with getting the combo going, but it’s simply not worth the wrath of my fellow players. I play to have fun. While winning is nice, I can count a loss as a good game if I enjoyed myself, felt truly challenged, or both.

To that end I’ve been re-examining my decks and working on some new ones. To keep things a bit more organized I’ve taken to naming them similar to the planetary names in Homestuck. …Yeah, I’m that much of a nerd.

Jaya’s Deck of Mountains and Flame

Not wanting to be excluded from future fun when my family goes for mono-colored decks, I decided to play against type a bit. I tend to lean towards decks that exert control of the game in some way, shape, or form, rather than going for the jugular in terms of direct damage. As much as I don’t usually play this way, though, I can see Jaya’s deck being a great deal of fun.

[mtg_card]Jaya Ballard, Task Mage[/mtg_card] has a ton of great abilities on her, and pairing her with something like [mtg_card]Magebane Armor[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Darksteel Plate[/mtg_card] means she won’t be accidentally removing herself. [mtg_card]Blood Moon[/mtg_card] combined with [mtg_card]Koth of the Hammer[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Doubling Cube[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Mana Flare[/mtg_card] will provide plenty of fuel for things like [mtg_card]Comet Storm[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Banefire[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Disintegrate[/mtg_card]. I’m looking forward to trying this one out.

Sharuum’s Deck of Machines and Cunning

Little has changed with this deck, but it’s been a while since I’ve played it. Sadly, I’ve decided to bench [mtg_card]Zedruu the Greathearted[/mtg_card]. The deck she commands is simply too slow and passive. There also isn’t much in it I can give away to take advantage of her abilities. I may revisit it later, but I’ll feel more confident having a reliable standby ready. [mtg_card]Sharuum the Hegemon[/mtg_card] is always interesting and fun to play, and while she too can be a bit on the slow-to-start side, it only takes her a couple turns to stabilize and start cranking out Myrs, damage, and extra turns. I’ve considered adding a [mtg_card]Lux Cannon[/mtg_card] to her arsenal, as it’s another artifact that can take advantage of the [mtg_card]Bloodletter Quill[/mtg_card]/[mtg_card]Power Conduit[/mtg_card] combo.

Karthus’ Deck of Jaws and Marshes

This deck is getting some mana acceleration. Considering things like [mtg_card]Dragonstorm[/mtg_card], the Tyrant of Jund needs all the mana he can get. It’s given me cause to pick up my first [mtg_card]Primeval Titan[/mtg_card] along with [mtg_card]Mana Reflection[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Rites of Flourishing[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Mana Flare[/mtg_card]. I’m hoping this will speed the deck up significantly and make it a heavy hitter instead of a Johnny-come-lately to large multiplayer games.

Sedris’ Deck of Blood and Knowledge

This deck will be getting a major re-tooling in the months to come. As I move away from a vampire tribal deck in Standard, it occurs to me there’s plenty for the bloodsucking fiends in previous sets. I also feel that blue and black together can lend the deck to some pretty significant card advantage if constructed right. To that end, [mtg_card]Sedris, the Traitor King[/mtg_card] will no longer be commander of a legion of zombies, but instead shall be working with the likes of [mtg_card]Olivia Voldaren[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet[/mtg_card], the [mtg_card]Malakir Bloodwitch[/mtg_card], and of course [mtg_card]Sorin Markov[/mtg_card].

Ghave’s Deck of Forests and Legions

Speaking of Sorin, my main Standard deck is likely to become a token-based affair (more on that next week). At some point, though, it will on longer be viable for one reason or another, and I will have [mtg_card]Sorin, Lord of Innistrad[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Elspeth Tirel[/mtg_card], and various other cards of token generation looking for a home. It will be time at last for [mtg_card]Ghave, Guru of Spores[/mtg_card] to come back from retirement. Some additional tutors and counter management may be required to make the most of the deck, but I still think it’ll be a bit more potent than previously once those resources are freed up.

Jhoira’s Deck of Wands and Clockwork

I’d love to pontificate on this upcoming deck, as mucking about with time may just be my favorite thing to consider in any form of magic, but my future self came back in time to tell me it’ll be a few months before it really starts to come together, and I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.