Monday, 19 November 2012

Crack Arse

Sup guys,

Had an interesting past 24 hours. Sprained my ankle at indoor soccer (we have a magic player's team: Myself, Dan, Neeman, Isaac, Paddy and others). So I've been scooting around the house on Dan's computer chair. Sucks that I can't walk but I also couldn't go to work so it's been refreshing. Also! recently on my trip to the Auckland GP I got fined $400NZ by NZcustoms for not declaring a couple apples in my bag which I'd forgotten about...but today they emailed me to tell me they revoked the fine, which was pretty nice :)

Anyway, this is a highlander blog so let's get on topic:

The most interesting (and my favourite) points change to happen in a while is the pointing of Karakas. The card is not particularly powerful or annoying to play against so it wasn't pointed for traditional reasons. It was pointed because it singlehandedly made about 50 good highlander cards close to unplayable.
Karakas will still see a little but of play as a 7th point throw in card but it'll go from being in 70% of decks to about 5% of decks. A quirk of this is that targetable legends will now start getting played and so Karakas will ACTUALLY get to bounce more legends than it did before!

I went through Gatherer and compiled a list of Legends which I can imagine myself playing thanks to Karakas being pointed: (I didn't bother to get the 'hover links' going, I do like them though)

Mikaeus, the Lunarch Radha, Heir to Keld
Gaddock TeegRofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Skullbriar, the Walking Grave Saffi Eriksdotter
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Animar, Soul of Elements Glissa, the Traitor
Doran, the Siege Tower Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
Jenara, Asura of War Mangara of Corondor
Linvala, Keeper of Silence (Side) Melira, Sylvok Outcast
Olivia Voldaren Teysa, Orzhov Scion
Rakka Mar Arcum Dagsson
Rakdos, Lord of Riots Akuta, Born of Ash
Rafiq of the Many Braids, Cabal Minion
Talrand, Sky Summoner Brion Stoutarm
Wydwen, the Biting Gale Commander Eesha (Side)
Horde of Notions Ghost Council of Orzhova
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
Meloku the Clouded Mirror Hokori, Dust Drinker
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon Kamahl, Pit Fighter
Urabrask the Hidden Sharuum the Hegemon
Crovax, Ascendant Hero Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Thraximundar Jeska, Warrior Adept
Iona, Shield of Emeria Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
Godo, Bandit Warlord Krenko, Mob Boss
Akroma, Angel of Fury (Side) Ashling the Pilgrim
Akroma, Angel of Wrath

There's a lot of writing material in that list!....hmmm will people stop reading if I go through every one of the legends?....I kind of want to....a bit unnecessary though. The main idea of this blog entry is to make people aware of all these sweet legends that they may have forgotten about or haven't seen before. If you don't know some of these cards, it's worth looking them up just so you can keep them in the back of your mind.

Maaannnnn that's a sweet list.

Putting a point on karakas was like wizards printing a whole new set.

Midrange gets some help with this points change. Midrange has a really tough time in highlander due to U decks having access to good counters. I'm grateful that Highlander is not a midrange f**kfest like every standard format in the last few years, but midrange is very under-represented in highlander.

I've already chucked Jeska into monored. I'll give you some feedback on how that goes in my mono-red blog post that I intend to do (I realise in my last post I mentioned that this post would be the mono-red post).

Pointing Karakas made reanimator a little better. Isaac had a red hot go at building reanimator a little while ago, the deck was really good but he ended up playing Kurgan instead (the deck that got karakas pointed, hehe).

Pointing Karakas makes survival of the fittest better! that card's been needing some love. The most powerful thing you can do with Survival is tutor for iona/griselbrand/emrakul, discard it to tutor for loyal retainers and reanimate your bomb....which used to get bounced by karakas.....

Pointing Karakas makes channel better! no longer will emrakul get bounced by karakas.

So many tier 3 decks got better :)

  • format slightly more balanced
  • more diversity in cards = more fun
  • points change making a difference
  • +'s everywhere!
If you remember anyone saying "why did karakas get a point?" or "karakas doesn't deserve a point", please direct them towards this blog post.

Anyway, I'm frickin hungry and need to stretch as I've pretty much been sitting on my arse all day due to sprained ankle (except for the few hours where Neems was an awesome pal and took me to chemist to get crutches and then to the doctor to get med certificate for my sneaky sick day...Neems waited an hour with me at the doctor's, what a guy. He studied and I watched Macgyver lol) {was going to say I went to the GP to get a med certificate but in context you guys would've been "wtf, the GP was a couple weeks ago?"}

Ok the foods, catchyas

Friday, 9 November 2012

Return to Ravnica Highlander Playables!

Sup people,

Haven't posted in ages. Just read my last entry and I think the month of August was mentioned in future tense.
Anyway, I really like the idea of getting on teh computer at the end of the day and reading a regular fun article, so I'll try provide that service here from now on. I'll set a target of posting every wednesday :P

So a bunch of ideas for entries backed up in my head. 1st and easiest off the top is Return to Ravnica playables in highlander (there's a lot) (I'm not mentioning reprints):

Angel of Serenity
Huge effect. There are better reanimation targets but this is not unreasonable to cast.

Fencing Ace:
I'd try this out in White Weenie if I built it again. You really want a bunch of ways to pump him to at least 2 power (skull clamp counts). They've printed heaps of awesome soldiers since I won my first mox (pearl) with that dreadful soldier deck. Maybe I'll look into it again. The only playable Soldier tribal cards are probably cavern of souls, auriok steelshaper, pre-eminent captain, stonyrush banneret?

Precinct Captain (speaking of soldiers)
A very well rounded creature. The double W casting cost is tough, probably only goes in 2 colour decks or mono.

Rest in Peace
Sweet proactive sideboard hate. Better than Faerie Macabre and Surgical Extraction against storm and loam rock decks but worse against Hermit and Flash.

Faerie Imposter
I fooled around with esper aggro a few weeks ago, I think I went 3-1. This guy would go into that deck, bouncing the zero cost guys and triggering erayo (one day I'll break you bitch).

Jace Architect of thought
Like most planeswalkers, play a bunch of cheap removal/tempo spells to defend your walker and it'll win the game for you.

Sphinx of Chimes
Another card for the relentless rats deck that I dream of playing one day. If anyone reading this has any relentless rats, please bring them along for trade next thursday for highlander (melbourne, games lab).

Pack Rat
Only playable if you can combo it with Training Grounds :P Training ground is too card to tutor for to make a deck around it though. There might be a couple more cards that make creature activated abilities cheaper but cbf checking.

Shrieking Affliction
Another rack :) I've tried the discard deck a few times. It really wants cards like this but all the other decks are getting cards from new sets at an equal or greater rate so I still don't think discard is playable.

Ultimate Price
Solid removal. Probably the next best black removal behind snuff out, dismember and Go for the Throat.

Ash Zealot
An awesome addition to mono red. Return to Ravnica was very kind to mono red, hence I've been playing mono red a lot more these days. I'll probably put up my mono red list for the next article.
Other inclusions to mono red from return to ravnica are:
Rakdos Shred Freak, Gorehouse Chainwalker and Rakdos Cackler. Hopefully there's a few more when Gruul and Boros represent in Gatecrash.

Probably a good sideboard card for storm

Mizzium mortars
Forgot to mention this one in my monored paragraph. It's not maindeckable but it goes in sideboards vs aggro if you can support the tripleR.

Brush strider
This guy's only playable if you've somehow managed to cram your deck full of removal. Lots of removal is fine as long as it's versatile removal which is not dead vs control.

Urban Burgeoning
This card has huge potential. Much more likely to be broken outside of highlander. If you have a deck with heaps of activated abilities then this could be sweet. It's a little bit like Braid of Fire and Thran Turbine.

Worldspine Wurm
Mostly just good with Flash. It's like a weaker Protean Hulk. The effect is good enough to win the game early that's for sure.

Detention Sphere
This goes in any UW non combo deck. Great card.

Hussar Patrol
Another card for Caw Blade. However you really want consistent access to equipment to make this guy good.

Judge's Familiar
Another great card for equipment heavy decks which are low on disruption. This card is much better than cursecatcher cause the flying allows it to survive combat while holding equipment.

Lyev Skyknight
A little bit like Flickerwisp which I loved in White Weenie. Shuts off random mana sources and planeswalker s for a turn which is plenty value. His low toughness isn't that bad cause there are barely any fliers played in highlander.

Sphinx's revelation
I'm not a big control player but this might be good in those super grindy control decks.

Supreme Verdict
Another wrath. If a swarm deck gets popular there are definitely enough wraths printed to shut it down easily. Poor Elves.

Epic Experiment
Much much worse than mind's desire but still food for thought for storm player's

Goblin Electromancer
A very power effect. A very wacky deck is the deck that plays this card. Steven Campbell could break this card.

Izzet Charm
Awesomely versalite. I imagine any UR noncombo deck would play this.

Izzet staticaster
Good sideboard card for UR creature decks against creature decks. Narrow but worth keeping in mind.

Nivmagus Elemental
U control decks with lots of instants and sorceries could board this in against the mirror. That's the only application I can imagine for this card.

Another 'play in any colourXcolourY deck' card. Nice versalite removal.

Rakdos Charm
An obscure versatile sideboard-only card

Abrupt Decay
Another 'play in any colourXcolourY deck' card. The best mentioned in this article yet. Kills timevault, equipment, dudes. Just really good.

Deathrite Shaman
you can probably only play 10 lands that will die for value early (9 fetch + wasteland) so deathrite shaman isn't a consistent mana guy. His other 2 abilities are relevant and probably make up for it. The exile a creature from a yard ability can be crippling vs some decks.

Dreg Mangler
A solid aggro card. Much like ram-gang.

Jarad's Order's
There's definitely a pair of creatures that you can find that let you go turn 4 jarad's orders, turn 5 untap win. Closest I can think of on the spot is probably Body Double + Griselbrand. Super slow but there might be something there.

Lotleth Troll
I think I'd like this guy most in some kind of natural order deck. A solid guy that can pitch progenitus.

Treasured Find
If your deck plays regrowth and black then you could also play this. It'd shine most in a deck with A-call and Timewalk as it's points.

I imagine this isn't good enough but it's worth mentioning until someone tries her out to confirm

Armada Wurm
Another titan, 6 mana nearly win the game

Collective Blessing
Another overrun for that tokens deck I keep mentioning

Dryad Militant
Great card for aggro decks. More much needed disruption vs combo. This guy is awesome, really hurts storm and snapcaster shinanigans. She might effect your goyf and lavamancer but she's probably worth it.

Loxodon Smiter
Really really solid card. Every GW dude deck should try this guy out.

Selesnya Charm
Another 'play in any colourXcolourY deck' card. many frickin playables in Return to Ravnica, so much typing. Very hard to not just say "good card" for every card.

Gonna take a break from listing endless playables from Return to Ravnica for a sec...To set the scene it's a Saturday Morning, I'm sitting on the couch in my cricket whites killing a couple hours before I go play cricket. My cat Mario is incessantly trying to get my attention, clambering over my phone, knees and keyboard. Sitting in front of the screen etc. Was about to say it's a beautiful day but it's Melbourne and I can see stormclouds in the distance. I hope they don't wreck my cricket game :(

Anyway, back to cards....

Sundering Growth
Another good sideboard card

Golgari Keyrune
I can see this in some kind of ramp deck. Pretty difficult to build a ramp deck and still be decent against control. Same for Rakdos and Selesnya Keyrune. Azorius and Izzet keyrunes don't have good enough bodies attached to them.

Grove of the Guardian
Another good card for tokens...just tokens though

Volatile Rig
I have a workshop aggro deck that I've tried a couple times. I would play it more but it suffers from inconsistency of not drawing a mana accelerator. But yeah this guy would get in there. His trample is great with the sword of dick and balls equipment cycle

Ok, too much typing, food time before I head off.

Was going to mention an underplayed highlander card like I always do but then I realised I just mentioned about 50 of them.

See you next thursday at highlander!!! (if you live in melb)

Also, mad props to NZ for having a highlander a the GP. Really disappointed I couldn't play to support it. I mad the top 8 of a sealed so i played that to get minimum 12 packs instead.

ok, catch!