Thursday, December 27, 2018


The first few games with Dirge went along the lines I expected them to: eking out wins but feeling as though if I didn't get that turn two ogre down, things were going to go badly.

And then I played against one of Jason's mill decks.

Dirge vs GRW Dinos
Playing against decks that have zero interaction with each other is always an interesting exercise in focus and patience.

Where are the holes in this deck that keep me from advancing my game plan? Are there holes in the other that I can exploit? At what point do you quit? It's questions like these that I have to keep asking in order to not beat my head against the wall while being defeated.

And in games when I was facing down three copies of Propaganda and a Mesmeric Orb, with no way to remove either, it's time to cut my losses.

So what do I know? I know that Dirge is not a Jason deck: It would require hand disruption in order to fulfill this role, or, lacking that, artifact-based board wipes like Nevinyrral's Disk.

I also discovered that having Nameless Inversion was useful because of its interaction with Blood Speaker-being able to get some removal on command isn't bad.

But, after running the deck through the analytics, I realized something:

My paper deck and my online deck did not match.

The biggest change was that instead of Yukora the Prisora, Xathrid Demon took the place of the heavy hitter. That isn't nothing though; the mana cost between those two cards is significant. But the downside to Yukora is too high, leaving me with the low end ogres and nothing of my more frightening demons. I'd replaced it and forgotten to make the change in the digital world.

The other line of play that Xathrid Demon gives me is a way to win when combat is no longer an option,especially if I've been able to get in for some early beats.

In addition to the Xathrid Demon, there was one less Raving Oni-Slave and one more Swamp. These are not insignificant deals.

So first I have to update the deck so I'm playing the same thing everywhere, and then I really do have to take out the Ghostly Changelings for something better. One thing Fuz has suggested: Demon of Dark Schemes, which is a pretty crazy take but...maybe?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Sorry everyone, I tried to get some content squared away's Christmas!

Happy holidays.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Growth Spiral

Right now, I think this is the most important card in Ravnica Allegiance.

"That's a bold strategy, Cotton-"

It sure is. However, for two mana it effectively Time Walks you as an instant.

I am having difficulty thinking of another card that has that kind of power in Standard, or even Modern. Coiling Oracle comes close and has the bonus of being a body but I'm convinced that the ability to get ahead a card and a land on my opponent's turn is probably one of the best turn two plays I can make.

In addition, this effect has value even in the mid or late game, when building up resources is important and Growth Spiral gives you two of the big three resources in the game! (Land, Cards in hand, and Life total would be the three I'd identify).

This card is a big deal and I think it's going to have an impact across multiple formats. And if it doesn't make a big splash in Pauper, I will be stunned.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018


It's been a long time since I've done a mono-black deck, so let's fix that!

I present, Dirge, taken from the Transformer of the same name.
3 Hasran Ogress
3 Scourge of Numai
2 Yukora, the Prisoner
3 Ghostly Changeling
1 Grinning Demon
3 Raving Oni-Slave
2 Kagemaro, First to Suffer
3 Blood Speaker
4 Ogre Marauder
2 Gutwrencher Oni

3 Mark of the Oni

4 Lose Hope
4 Nameless Inversion

3 Polluted Mire
20 Swamp
Built during Kamigawa block, Dirge is using the synergies between ogres and demons to try and get a leg up on the game. Previous iterations had equipment to buff my creatures, but I decided that Mark of the Oni was a better use of the card space.

The biggest difference is that now we have a LOT more demons to pick from and truth be told, there is probably little reason to keep Nameless Inversion in the deck since there are many, many options for removal and the creature type aspect isn't relevant. Lose Hope is a nice trick, and there might even be more to add in that vein, since card selection in this deck isn't the strong suit.

There might even be better ogres! Aside from wanting to stay close to the Ogres and Demons theme, there's a lot of room to play around. Should be fun!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Transformers Interview

My friend Jason pointed me towards this very cool interview with the brand manager of the Transformers game and I think you'll dig it.

Sorry I can't link it directly: I'm far away and I don't have my full toolset!