Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Balancing Act

Out: Vow of Duty, Cobra Trap, Attrition, Doom Blade.

In: Behemoth Sledge, Font of Return, Ashen Rider, Nighthowler

I just couldn't find a proper slot for Elixir of Immortality but it's early so full card evaluation is still a ways away.

I wanted to add more creatures-hence Ashen Rider and Nighthowler- and, as much as I like the Vow cycle of enchantments, my creatures are there to die so adding at least one piece of equipment is a good idea, because it'll stick around if the creature dies. I didn't want to take all of the Vows out though, because they are useful and in multiplayer games, the political element can be very helpful.

This is also my reasoning behind Nighthowler: it'll be a huge body most of the time but if I can hold off to use the Bestow ability then I'm creating the kind of resilient problem that makes for good Magic decks. I've been fairly reluctant to get on the Bestow wagon but Commander feels like a perfect format to really take advantage of it. Because of Commander's openness, it's a given that creatures, while still the best victory condition, will be killed often.

What I really need is something to give my graveyard hexproof. It's not lethal if Karador's graveyard is removed from the game but it is definitely bad. I'm relying on a host of recursion to try and give myself an overwhelming advantage: without it, Karador has to play far too fair.

I managed to get two games with Karador, post changes, both with Noah who was playing Toshiro Umezawa.

Game one I lost because I am dumb. I had out a Lightning Greaves and failed to remember that the equip cost was free, because I'd covered it up with the awesome Behemoth Sledge. My thinking: I have to equip Sledge before Greaves. What happened instead was I kept leaving creatures vulnerable to removal (which, unsurprisingly, Noah had plenty of) and couldn't keep any proper board presence. Having an untargetable Karador might've given me the opportunity to mount a defense.

Game two went for 90 minutes. A long, nasty, grinding game where he must have killed Nighthowler seven times and Karador the same. When your commander costs an additional twelve to cast, that's a hell of a stretch. I was fortunate to have nine creatures in my graveyard by then to take the sting off. I won the game-which included me going to 64, Noah dropping to 15 and then coming back UP to 40 and the all star useage of Eternal Witness, allowing Karador to go to the graveyard and, awesomely enough, a timely use of Font of Return!

But we didn't play a game three.

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