December 29, 2015

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Five EDH resolutions for the New Year

Good day all! To begin I’d like to thank all of you for reading and, of course, Dave Tellier for providing me this comfortable part of webspace to rant and imagine on the topic of my favourite format, Elder Dragon Highlander, AKA Commander. As is the custom as we approach the New Year, resolutions are made for self-improvement. If you’ll allow me, part of this tradition may date back to January’s source being Janus, ancient Roman god of transition and gates. Looking forward and backward as he did, we take stock on our successes and failures and move forward, emboldened with energy, ideas and purpose.

Since everyone is going to state that they’re going to better themselves as a player, yada yada yada, but with my EDH meta being very tight knit, my main preoccupation will be winning the four-player pods #AtTheTower. And by winning I mean surviving a handful of castings of Terminus and other mass sweepers while stopping T(ynin) from overwhelming the table with too many Sand tokens. So, in the spirit of being oh-so-original, here are my top five resolutions for my EDH New Year:

5) I resolve to kill Prophet of Kruphix and Deadeye Navigator with fire:

I am so, so done with these cards. No amount of Ben being friendly or other friends saying that no, really, it’s chill because my deck has Craw Wurm variants and I use DEN to save them! will cause me from unleashing every removal spell at my disposal at these two losers. Be warned you two, the days of my being “reasonable” are long past. Welcome to a snowy grave.
While we’re on the topic of these two cards, what are the odds that PoK is finally banned in a week or two? I place it at about 35%, only because I’m an optimist. The realist in me puts it closer to 15%, because we need to police ourselves. Yeah, and gingerbread houses just came out of my class.

4) I resolve to try to pimp out at least one EDH deck:

Horobi, Death’s Wail is nearly done, with a handful of janky rares to go. I could try to foil out Karametra, God of Harvests but this is looking like the time I tried to foil out Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant and then decided to take it apart a week later. I’m terrible for this sort of thing and though I do eventually plan on pimping this deck out, I feel it needs a certain amount of degeneracy for it to happen, which brings me to resolution next...

3) I resolve to make my Karametra, God of Harvests as blusterously grotesque as possible while still being modestly playable at my usual tables.

This needs to happen. I want this deck to be the equivalent of going from Chinese water torture (slow, grueling and seemingly without end) to being thrown down a bungee jump, rescued at the halfway point by a mob of Justin Bieber fans, stuffed full of Skittles and then run over by a stampede of maladroit emus. There will be at least one time when a certain combination of cards are played that veins will pop out of people’s heads, but vain calls for me to curb my munchkin tendencies will flutter away as through a (weather)vane.

2) I will honestly, really, truly attempt to help new EDH players improve their decks, without forgetting their wishes for their pet projects:

The latter part is key. It’s all too easy to see someone’s deck and want to turn it into something you’d play, forgetting they might just want to hang out and pass some time in a big group game. That said, I’ll always suggest better card choices, offer to donate stuff or trade from my boxes to help top up a deck or just make some friendly suggestions. That’s just a reasonable expectation from a community though, so we’ll see how that goes. Recent events (well, we have a lifetime’s worth of sample sizes here folks...) have shown that scaling down the suggestions to fit needs isn’t only helpful, it’s needed.

1) I will build a Memory Magic Commander deck!

For the uninitiated, Memory Magic (or Mental Magic), involves playing cards in your hand as if they were any other card with the same converted mana cost. The ever cool Nathan lent me his Damia, Sage of Stone deck the other day so I could practice this (to be fair, I started playing his deck while he was at another table, but he was quite easygoing about my impertinence) against Ben, but it quickly degenerated into no banned list Vintage highlander. Still to be figured out, whether the Commander remains the same or if you need to choose a new legendary commander each time it’s cast. It makes some sense that it should be kept it as is, but we’ll see.

With that, I’d like to thank you all for reading and keeping my interest in the format alive. Special thanks again to Dave Tellier for giving me a platform to impose my will, err, publish my views on a weekly basis and additional super thanks to Kenneth Gallagher for being a constant source of cardboard, vehicular transport and great political discourse. Thanks as well to Robert for being Robert (and reviving my interest in Rush), Ben for never, ever, ever pretending to be casual and to the various EDH tables in Ottawa-Gatineau who have tolerated my silliness over the past year. I hope to see you all in many games to come!

Until next week, may your future footsteps be marked on the fresh snow as they would on a new deck’s canvas.