Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Black Sunshine

In this photo, I'm facing a Doran Commander deck piloted by Noah. He's clearly got the upper hand on me and that isn't going to change.

The game before, which I was so involved in I forgot to get a photo of, had me losing because I couldn't do anything about Primeval Bounty. I certainly tried, casting Geth after getting the ultimate on Liliana.

You can take a whole lot of goodies with that amount of mana, and I did. Going from 14 life to 66 life after stealing a Rhox Faithmender was pretty good times. 

But Geth died and I couldn't get him back to take Noah's Qasali Pridemage, so eventually I was just overrun by beast tokens.

However, this matchup taught me a few important things:

While my love for playing weird and underused cards is part of my Commander philosophy, I need to know when too many of those ideas have piled up in a deck, causing it to break down. In this case, it was the presence of Bad Moon and Gallowbraid and the ideas the represent.

Gallowbraid is a challenging card to play. Solid back in the days of Weatherlight, he was even part of a winning deck called the Brothers Grimm...which quickly faded from view. With the improved creature base of modern Magic, Gallowbraid just doesn't have a home. So naturally I need to play him. The upside though is that his drawback isn't so bad in a format where I start at 40 life, and trample is good almost anytime.

The problem with Bad Moon is a bigger one: it is actually a good card in the right deck and what better than a Mono-B one, right? However, most of the commanders people play with are multicolor ones and people especially love three-color generals. The popularity of the Commander decks Wizards makes helps promote three color decks too and impact of those decks means there is a very narrow group of commanders who don't have black in them. This means that I'm much more likely to give my opponents an advantage off of Bad Moon than I might be in other formats.

So something has to give: I can keep in the neat flavor but bad cards of things like Gallowbraid and Morinfen or I can keep in Bad Moon and Nocturnal Raid and try to shore up my weaknesses there. At this point, I'm going to keep the Brothers Grimm in and take out the cards that enable other people's decks, because the latter challenge is far beyond what I am willing to dedicate resources to.This means:

-Bad Moon, Nocturnal Raid and Cabal Ritual
+ Rune-Scarred Demon, Abhorrent Overlord and Baleful Eidolon. Which is going to come out for some graveyard recursion (getting Geth back would have saved me the game) or mass removal (ditto Infest or Nivenyarrl's Disk.)

Finally, this seems neat. It's a little too late for me to get involved but perhaps someone else can--and for next year, ,maybe I can work something out.

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