Tag: magic-the-gathering

Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 29, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Drana and Linvala!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, another team-up card I think is cool as hell but will absolutely ruffle feathers at any table – Drana and Linvala!

For 1WWB, Drana and Linvala are a Legendary Creature – Vampire Angel 3/4 with flying and vigilance. Look at this textbox:

“Flying, vigilance  

Activated abilities of creatures your opponents control can’t be activated. Drana and Linvala has all activated abilities of all creatures your opponents control. You may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to activate those abilities.”  

It’s a fun mash-up! Linvala, Keeper of Silence is a Flying 3/4 Legendary Angel that says “Activated abilities of creatures your opponents control can’t be activated.” That’s most of the card! Drana brings the vigilance and the ability theft to the card. This can either do a lot or nothing at all, but ultimately, the commander screams stax.

So let’s talk stax. First, what is stax? Stax is a playstyle that derives its name from Smokestack. A card like that should tell you all you need to know. It’s about resource denial. It’s a permanent-based control deck. It’s a prison deck.

A few things to remember:

  1. D&L only shut down activated abilities. Of creatures. Your opponents control. Activated abilities have a cost and involve a colon (:). Take Llanowar Elves for example. That textbox is “T: Add G.” This would be stopped by D&L if your opponents controlled the Elves.
  2. D&L get all the activated abilities of creatures your opponents control. Drana and Linvala will be a mana dork a lot of the time!

Here are some cards I’d put together in a Drana and Linvala deck.

  1. Locking Down

There are ways to get your opponents to slow down. This is a big deal in stax. Stuff like Authority of the Consuls makes your opponents’ creatures enter tapped and boost your life to shoulder the brunt of whatever attacks you’ll be receiving. Blind Obedience does the same with creatures, but also your opponents’ artifacts. The Extort ability on Blind Obedience can make the difference in the long run. Make sure you keep using your mana to drain the table! Need a creature to have your back with this effect? Thalia, Heretic Cathar and Archon of Emeria are solid inclusions.

Deafening Silence can be backbreaking against spellslinger decks and be a boon for you if you’re going more for of a creature build. Same goes for Ethersworn Canonist if you’re more of an artifact build. Similarly, Eidolon of Rhetoric restricts everybody’s ability to cast multiple spells a turn, just like Rule of Law. Don’t want things to untap? Winter Orb is hated big time for a reason.

Spirit of the Labyrinth restricts card draw to just one a turn. Containment Priest stops pesky reanimate decks from doing their thing (or worse, like Winota). Phyrexia: All Will Be One gave us one of the craziest versions of a Praetor in Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines – shutting down ETB triggers and doubling yours.

Okay, this one is a little messed up: Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Kormus Bell. Using this combo with your commander out means that your opponents can’t tap their lands for mana and you get to use any of the abilities from those lands with D&L. And if anybody plays a board wipe, that’s an Armageddon for everybody.

  1. Tax Season (Kambal, Sheoldred, Vito, Archivist of Oghma, Spelltithe Enforcer, Liesa, Shroud of Dusk, Mangara, the Diplomat, Rug of Smothering, Smothering Tithe)

Everything your opponents do against a stax deck costs a little extra. Smothering Tithe turns their card draw into a Treasure for you unless they pay two. It gets out of hand quickly and there’s a reason it’s one of the all-time best white cards.

Do your opponents want to crack a fetch land? Deep Gnome Terramancer, Archaeomancer’s Map, and Archivist of Oghma get you lands or cards.

Kambal, Consul of Allocation and Liesa, Shroud of Dusk makes spells cost life. Spelltithe Enforcer tells your opponents to pay up or sacrifice a permanent.

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse gives you life when you draw and your opponents drawing their cards costs two life now.

You want to attack me with two or more creatures? You want to cast two spells? Gotta pay the Mangara, the Diplomat toll and I’ll draw a card! One of my recent favourites is Aerial Extortionist – exile a non land permanent on ETB or combat damage to a player and when your opponents cast spells from anywhere but their hand, you get a card.

Damping Sphere and Rug of Smothering make storming off a lot harder to do and turn spellslinger decks into an expensive affair. Aura of Silence makes artifacts and enchantments cost two more and can be cashed in to get rid of a strong artifact or enchantment when it does land. God-Pharaoh’s Statue puts another clock on the game while making everything your opponents cast two more mana. Painful Quandary makes their spells cast an extra card or five life. It adds up!

  1. Board Control (Board Wipes, Sphere of Safety, Windborn Muse, Archangel of Tithes)

You need to control the board by diverting attention. Sphere of Safety, Ghostly Prison, Windborn Muse, and Archangel of Tithes make attacking you cost mana or impossible altogether. Deter them more with Cunning Rhetoric which lets you have one of their cards if they attack you.

You’ll need spot removal and board wipes. Cleansing Nova, Austere Command, Farewell, Damn, Swords to Plowshares – there is so much removal in the format. Pack a Shadowspear for your commander and use that activated ability to get rid of pesky cards making things difficult for you.

  1. Making Friends?

You don’t want to make everything a bad time. It’s time to make some friends.

Loran of the Third Path allows you to blow up an artifact or enchantment when she ETBs but can also tap to snap cards for you and an opponent you like. Cut a Deal is a draw three for three that gives your opponents a card too. Secret Rendezvous does the same but give the three cards to a single opponent. Maybe they’re going to die soon anyway! Forbidden Orchard can give a creature to an opponent. Hunted Horror does the same while adding a 7/7 to your board.

Turn an artifact an opponent controls into a creature with Karn, the Great Creator so you can use artifact activated abilities with your commander.

If you really want to make friends, give them your commander! Assault Suit on your commander means that they’ll be able to use everybody else’s creatures activated abilities and their opponents won’t be able to during their turn. Goad D&L with Parasitic and Martial Impetus. This should put a solid clock on the game.

  1. Winning

We talked about Extort with Blind Obedience but it’s worth mentioning with Crypt Ghast and Pontiff of Blight. Life Insurance does double duty as it turns aristocrat decks into further fuel for your decks.

Exsanguinate, Debt to the Deathless, and Torment of Hailfire are X spells that are perfect for all the mana you’ll have saved up to end the game. Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a massive drain on legs with its ETB draining for black devotion. If that’s not enough to kill your opponent, you should have enough life for Aetherflux Reservoir to finish the job. Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose and Sanguine Bond turn all your life gain into life loss for your opponents. Exquisite Blood paired with either of these turns either of those last two cards into an infinite combo win.

That does it. Let me know if there’s a commander you’d like covered! @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 22, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Heliod, the Radiant Dawn // Heliod, the Wa...

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, a card that has been on my mind since it has been spoiled – Heliod, the Radiant Dawn // Heliod, the Warped Eclipse.

Heliod, the bad guy god from Theros, has been compleated! What does that look like on a card? Heliod, the Radiant Dawn is a 4/4 Legendary Enchantment Creature – God for 2WW. Let’s see that first textbox:

“When Heliod, the Radiant Dawn enters the battlefield, return target enchantment card that isn’t a God from your graveyard to your hand.  

{3}{U/P}: Transform Heliod, the Radiant Dawn. Activate only as a sorcery. ({U/P} can be paid with either {U} or 2 life.)”  

Activating Heliod is what makes him so interesting because he becomes Heliod, the Warped Eclipse which is a 4/6 Legendary Enchantment Creature – Phyrexian God with a crazy textbox:

You may cast spells as though they had flash.  

Spells you cast cost {1} less to cast for each card your opponents have drawn this turn.” 

What a fascinating card!

Things to remember:

  1. Unlike his previous iterations, Heliod is not indestructible.
  2. Unlike his previous iterations, Heliod’s colour identity is white and blue.
  3. Heliod, the Radiant Dawn’s enters the battlefield ability is not optional, so if you have a non-God enchantment in your graveyard, you have to return it to your hand.
  4. You’re going to want to transform Heliod because the back side is the most interesting, so depending on your build, consider that Heliod is like a seven mana and 2 life costing commander.
  5. Transforming is only at sorcery speed.
  6. The cost reduction only reduces colourless mana and is the total amount of cards drawn by opponents that turn. So make use of that flash speed wisely!

Here’s what I’d put in a Heliod, the Radiant Dawn list.

  1. Everybody Gets a Piece

Having Heliod, the Warped Eclipse in play means that you’ll want your opponents to draw a ton of cards so you can cast things for cheap. Of course, you’ll want symmetrical draw effects like Dictate of Kruphix, Howling Mine, Font of Mythos, Well of Ideas, and Kami of the Crescent Moon for extra draws per turn.

You can activate some cards to draw cards and give some away. Loran of the Third Path is a Reclamation Sage that can draw you and an opponent cards. One mana discount is still a discount! Kwain, Itinerant Meddler gives your opponents the option to draw cards while Temple Bell doesn’t give them that choice. Lore Broker gives the table a loot. Otherworld Atlas can build for a continuous burst like an overcharged Bell.

My favourites for this deck are Folio of Fancies, which doubles as a discount machine as well as a potential wincon. Forced Fruition tacks a draw seven to each of your opponents’ spells meaning that while, yes, you’re filling their hands up, you’re also getting a discount and pushing the decking wincon plan. Want to benefit from that card draw? Psychic Possession one of your opponents and get cards when they do. All this will trigger stuff like Minn, Wily Illusionist and The Council of Four. And obviously Smothering Tithe.

  1. Colourless – Solemn Simulacrum jk Eldrazi

Let’s say an opponent draws three cards, you get three mana off of all the spells you cast this turn. That’s a Commander’s Sphere. But that’s not all: you can cast your The Celestus, Arcane Signet, Chromatic Lantern off of that alone.

A free Solemn Simulacrum is fun no matter what. Of course, when anybody talks about colourless cost reduction, people think Eldrazi. Ask Rakdos, Lord of Riots and Belbe, Corrupted Observer. But Heliod doesn’t just reduce creatures. Keep an eye on stuff like Portal to Phyrexia, Meteor Golem, and Spine of Ish Sah. I think Ingenuity Engine in a deck that can get opponents to draw seven mana can be so much value.

  1. X Spells (Prosperity / Fascination / Skyscribing / Blue Sun’s Zenith / Stroke of Genius / Secure the Wastes)

Not just colourless spells, but X spells! Specifically X spells that can win you the game or keep the discounts coming. If you’ve got enough mana or reduction, Secure the Wastes can get the right amount of creatures into play to make a huge swing. Pair that with Altar of the Brood in this deck and it’s a mill, baby!

Classics Blue Sun’s Zenith and Stroke of Genius kill players outright when they’re big enough. Prosperity, Fascination, and Skyscribing keeps everybody’s hands filled.

  1. Wheels

They have so many cards, it’s time to churn them out. Windfall can end a game if you’ve gotten opponents’ hands stacked. What’s better than Windfall? Repeatable Windfall in the form of Jace’s Archivist. Teferi’s Puzzle Box makes sure you start every turn with a big discount.

But… what now?

  1. Wincons

Psychosis Crawler damages your opponents every time you draw. Psychic Corrosion mills for each draw, just like Teferi’s Tutelage and Sphinx’s Tutelage. Your mana reduction can make a huge Walking Ballista for you to shoot your opponents with.

Alandra, Sky Dreamer can put a bunch of Drakes into play and with how many cards you’ll be drawing, you’ll be able to smack opponents for plenty in the air. Chasm Skulker gets big as hell and makes islandwalkers when it dies. Toothy, Imaginary Friend gets huge and draws you so many cards when he goes away. Body of Knowledge is as big as your hand is and hurts big time.

Diviner’s Wand can make a creature equipped with it huge and evasive. Shabraz, the Skyshark does it without the wand. Drawing gets Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim up to an easy 12 without trying and threatens to Cyclonic Rift a player every turn.

Loot away your Omniscience and Mind’s Dilation, get them back with Heliod’s ETB, and make sure you cast them for cheap.

Alternate wincons your thing? Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and Laboratory Maniac win you the game when you draw after you’ve run out of cards in your deck.

Thanks for reading. If there’s a commander you’d like me to write about, message me at @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 16, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Tom Bombadil!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, a new card previewed for the upcoming The Lord of the Rings set coming out this summer – Tom Bombadil!

Disclaimer – I suspect with Jin-Gitaxias being spoiled, as well as Tom’s existence altogether, we’re going to be getting a whole lot more Sagas than we have now at the time of writing. So know that I’m going with the information I have at hand.

Let’s party.

For WUBRG, Tom Bombadil is a five-colour 4/4 Legendary Creature – God Bard with a textbox that has a lot of Saga lovers salivating. Here comes the textbox:

“As long as there are four or more lore counters among Sagas you control, Tom Bombadil has hexproof and indestructible.  

Whenever the final chapter ability of a Saga you control resolves, reveal cards from the top of  your library until you reveal a Saga card. Put that onto the battlefield and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. This ability triggers only once each turn.”  

Now you get why I’m talking about Sagas so much.

Here are things to remember:

  1. Tom will have Hexproof and Indestructible as long as you have four lore counters across your Sagas. If you have four Sagas, Tom will have Hexproof and Indestructible unless somehow there are none on it.
  2. Tom’s second ability triggers only once each turn and as the final chapter ability resolves. That means that if the final chapter ability triggers, even if you bounce the Saga to your hand, you will get Tom’s trigger.
  3. Sagas are weird. You only get the chapter ability from adding the corresponding lore counter. If you remove a counter, you don’t get that chapter’s ability (if I take a counter off and go from 2 to 1 I don’t get the 1’s ability).
  4. Sagas are weeeeird. Adding the counter happens in your draw step. The sacrifice of the Sagas is a state-based action, but if there’s an ability that goes on the stack, you can respond to it. If you have an instant speed way to respond to the final chapter and remove a counter,  you get to keep the Saga around to retrigger the final chapter.  

Let’s get into some cards.

  1. Hex Parasite and other instant counter removal tricks Power Conduit / Glissa Sunslayer

Taking counters off of your Sagas to stagger them from going off on different turns to maximize Tom Bombadil’s second ability is going to be a pretty popular way to approach this.

Glissa Sunslayer upon combat damage can restart some Sagas all the way. Power Conduit taps and removes a counter from anything you have to put counters elsewhere at instant speed. Thrull Parasite removes counters for tap and two life, but lets you extort every time you cast a spell. Not bad for one mana. Chisei, Heart of Oceans asks you to remove a counter from a permanent you control at your upkeep, which is before your draw step, which means that you get to retrigger a Saga chapter you like every turn while also including a card with the funkiest art in the game. Vampire Hexmage targets a single permanent to remove all counters, resetting any Saga you control or being able to neuter a +1/+1 counter heavy creature. Thief of Blood does the same but all at once. Got a huge board of Sagas? Reset them all.

My favourite is Hex Parasite. For XpB, you can remove X counters on target permanent. There’s no tap symbol. It’s not gated that way. You can pay two life instead of a black mana. It can be done at instant speed. It can be used to mess with your opponents. Hex Parasite is going to be a fun one to see.

  1. Instant Proliferate

How do you trigger your Sagas abilities? Get counters on them. Get to the final chapter and Tom triggers. How so you do that?

Proliferate. We’ve talked about Proliferate a lot lately, so I’ll make this section quick. Here’s a bunch of cards to keep an eye on for this deck!

Inexorable Tide, Atraxa Praetor’s Voice, Brokers Confluence, Cankerbloom, Contagion Clasp, Contagion Engine, Experimental Augury, Whisper of the Dross, Flux Channeler, Karn’s Bastion, Staff of Compleation, Tezzeret’s Gambit, Throne of Geth, Viral Drake, Volt Charge, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician.

Ichormoon Gauntlet technically does not proliferate but it can get another lore counter on a Saga you control when you cast a noncreature spell.

  1. Good Sagas

As of writing this, there are 85 Sagas in Magic and I assume this includes Jin-Gitaxias as well. That’s a lot. We can afford to not run all the Sagas in the game, in fact, we shouldn’t run all of them.

Elspeth Conquers Death is a fantastic removal spell, stax piece, and it can reanimate something useful for you as it ends.

Binding the Old Gods is a fantastic removal spell and ramp.

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker is amazing ramp, card selection, and then gives you a cool Kiki-Jiki-esque creature when it flips over.

Looping any of Kiora Bests the Sea God’s abilities can be backbreaking. The Kami War turns into a beefy beater after disrupting the board and your opponents’ hands. The Phasing of Zhalfir is a board wipe that can protect whatever you need. When you’ve got your engine set up without needing lands anymore, you can loop Fall of the Thran to Armageddon every time.

  1. Saga Support

Sagas are historic spells that can be cast at instant speed thanks to Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage. Historian’s Boon gives you tokens for Sagas entering and final chapters going off.

Like a specific trigger? Weaver of Harmony can copy an enchantment’s trigger for cheap. The previous de facto Sagas commander Satsuki, the Living Lore is a must include in the deck. Being able to mass trigger Sagas from one activation and then getting value from her dying all for two mana is pretty amazing.

  1. Enchantress stuff

Let’s be real, Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin gave us the best Shrine commander and players have been playing it like an enchantress build with a Shrine sub theme. Go check out cards for GSoLO on EDHREC but to save you a look here are some good ones.

I really like Estrid’s Invocation for this deck specifically. You can use the upkeep to flicker Invocation and choose another Saga or if it’s about to get cashed in, save it.

Mass reanimate with Open the Vaults, Replenish, Calix, Destiny’s Hand, and Estrid, the Masked. Single target reanimate with Ghen, Arcanum Weaver.

Sanctum Weaver and Serra’s Sanctum for mana acceleration and Cloud Key or Jukai Naturalist for mana reduction.

Enchantress card draw has a ton of options – Sythis, Harvest’s Hand, Setessan Champion, Eidolon of Blossoms, Satyr Enchanter, Argothian Enchantress, and Mesa Enchantress.

That does it for another edition of A Seat at the Table! With more spoilers coming please keep coming back to The Bag of Loot for more Commander goodies. If you have a commander you’d like covered, message me @mikecarrozza on Twitter or Instagram!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 15, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Ghalta and Mavren!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk  about what I’d include in the 99. This round, a new card from the March of the Machine preview and coming to us in April – Ghalta and Mavren.

This is the most Selesnya card to ever Selesnya out of Selesnya. It wants you to go wide and go tall. It makes lots of creature tokens and/or big creature tokens.

For 3GGWW, you get a Legendary Creature – Dinosaur Vampire 12/12 with trample and a textbox that token players are going to love:

“Whenever you attack, choose one –  

Create a tapped and attacking X/X green Dinosaur creature token with trample, where X is the greatest power among other attacking creatures.  

Create X 1/1 white Vampire creature tokens with lifelink, where X is the number of other attacking creatures.”  

It’s time to point out that Ghalta lost her Elder type line but gained a whole swarm. She loses her cost reduction but gains Mavren’s ability to make an army.

Here are things to note:

  1. “Whenever you attack” means you don’t need to attack with Ghalta and Mavren to get what you want from this ability. You can play G&M and swing with a creature to get your big token or your little tokens.
  2. You choose the mode as you attack.
  3. Your commander costs seven mana and is a big threat with trample. Your opponents will be watching you.
  4. The Vampire tokens don’t enter attacking.
  5. Both kinds of tokens have keyword abilities.
  6. The Dinosaur token creation cares about the greatest power among other creatures attacking and the Vampire token creation cares about the number of other creatures attacking. Other is doing a big job here. It’s saying you need more than your commander to attack.

I have to stress that this is going to be how I would approach this deck. I realize that there is a Voltron build here, but I’m interested in this idea I’m presenting. Let’s dive in.

  1. Token Doublers and Creators

I would love to stress that it has never been more obvious was white and green’s thing is: creature tokens.

Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, Anointed Procession, Mondrak, Glory Dominus, and even Primal Vigor. These will double your token production. All of them are pretty expensive, but can be worth it if that’s what your deck wants to do.

Not just that, but Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice and Rhys the Redeemed are classics for a reason.

A great card in the sweet spot for this deck is Adeline, Resplendent Cathar. She gets bigger the more creatures you have which feeds the Dinosaur creation, she makes a bunch of tokens which is great for the Vampire tokens creation. You’ll have to stack your triggers accordingly of course, but this card will do work. Leonin Warleader and Hero of Bladehold make a couple little guys and gives a buff so you’re either making three Vampires or a 3/3 Dino. If you’ve got a deep graveyard, Kessig Cagebreakers can make a ton of tokens for Vampires. Not bad. Combat Calligrapher serves a similar purpose if you’re swinging at multiple opponents.

Another two cards that I think are automatic inclusions are Rabble Rousing and Nactal War Pride. Rousing gives you a bunch of little guys and potentially a free cast, while War-Pride goes as wide as your opponents do.

I promise to add extra tech for the Dinosaur creation side of this.

  1. Draw!

Much like with Yargle and Multani, you’ll have lots of power matters cards that can be good here. Sacrificing your big Dinosaurs to Greater Good gives you the kind of selection we all dream of. Return of the Wildspeaker and Rishkar’s Expertise both are very solid here as well. Toski, Bearer of Secrets is the Garruk, Primal Hunter that can’t be destroyed and always has to attack, so you’ll always get a Vampire or Dinosaur.

Huatli, Radiant Champion is a fun in a deck like this. She gets big if you tick her up on a good turn, she can pump a creature for a big Dinosaur turn and that ultimate emblem stack, and counts for each creature entering.

Garruk, Primal Hunter can draw you 12 cards when he comes in, and if that isn’t worth five mana, I don’t know what is.

  1. Ramp

You’ll want all the ramp goodies because your commander is huge. But you’re also in green, so you’re fine! Jaheira, Friend of the Forest turns all your little Vampires into Llanowar Elves and Cryptolith Rite turns them into Birds of Paradise. Tendershoot Dryad gives you a bunch of little guys if it sticks around and then they can tap for mana too. Give your team vigilance with Heliod, God of the Sun or Brave the Sands so you can attack with them and then get that mana. Traverse the Outlands empties a ton of basic lands onto the battlefield if you’ve got your commander out. You’re going to be casting your commander probably once or twice, but to do that and get more out of your turn, you’ve got to have a ton of mana, so eat your veggies!

  1. PUMP IT!

Pack your deck with creatures that anthem or change power to add a little mystery to your decision. Vigor lets you swing without fear of damage because it’ll only make your creatures bigger. And once they have those +1/+1 counters, Mirror Entity can make them even bigger. Elder of Laurels can pump a single creature equal to creatures you control whereas Jazal Goldmane gives all attacking creatures a boost. Pathbreaker Ibex is the star because your commander doesn’t even need to attack for them to boost the team by 12. Speaking of not attacking and boosting by 12, Dragon Throne of Tarkir allows your commander to sit back and pump your board of lifelinkers or give you ever increasingly powerful Dinosaurs.

  1. Commander Cost Matters – Majestic Genesis, Tangleweave Armor, Visions of Glory

I love when there’s a big commander worth playing because it gives us a chance to look at cards like Visions of Dominance and Visions of Glory a little more seriously. Reducing their Flashback cost by seven is a solid discount.

Tangleweave Armor is a four mana 7/7 in this deck and can equip to buff another creature whenever you want to make a Dinosaur with an extra seven to tack on.

My favourite entry here is Majestic Genesis. It’s essentially commander cost Genesis Wave. Pay eight mana and then put all lands and permanents from the top seven of your library into play. Assuming you’ve used up your ramp spells in the early game, this should all be gas and should get your mana’s worth.

That does it for another A Seat at the Table. Let me know if there are any commanders you’d like me to cover! @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 14, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Gandalf the Grey

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This round, a new card previewed by IGN for the upcoming The Lord of the Rings set from this summer – Gandalf the Grey!

I’d like to say off the bat that I don’t care about the The Lord of the Rings franchise, books, anything. I don’t know enough to contribute any Vorthos insight or flavour anything. But I will point out things that correspond to Magic: The Gathering information. So let’s take a look at the latest legend spoiled coming to us soon!

For 3UR, Gandalf the Grey is a 3/4 Legendary Creature – Avatar Wizard with a cool textbox that is pretty dope.

“Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, choose one that hasn’t been chosen –

You may tap or untap target permanent.  

Gandalf the Grey deals 3 damage to each opponent.  

Copy target instant or sorcery spell you control. You may choose new targets for the copy. 

Put Gandalf on top of its owner’s library.”  

Wowza! Now that’s a commander! Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell you must choose either Psychic Puppetry, Sizzle, Increasing Vengeance, or Gandalf dips out.

Here are some things to remember:

  1. You can choose each mode only once per Gandalf. If you blink or flicker him, reanimate him, cast him again, put him into play in any way, that resets the count.
  2. This isn’t a “may” ability. You must choose one. This means if the last ability hasn’t been chosen yet, Gandalf is hitting the top of its owner’s library.
  3. His ability is not Magecraft and therefore does not trigger off of copied spells.

Let’s talk the 99!

  1. Blink

Alright, let’s cut to the chase: we don’t want Gandalf to hit the top of your library. That means you want to reset Gandalf before you trigger the final available ability triggers. To get the full list of abilities, you’ll want to cast a blink spell as your third spell unless you have another way to reset it. If you cast Blur for example as your fourth spell, this will trigger Gandalf returning to  your library which resolves before the spell can. Essence Flux is probably the best of the crew of cards, but Blur, Displace, Ghostly Flicker, Planar Incision, and Illusionist’s Stratagem are excellent inclusions to keep Gandalf going.

You can also reset Gandalf with an end step flicker with Thassa, Deep-Dwelling and Conjurer’s Closet. Just make sure you don’t cast four instants and sorceries! It’s also not a big deal because you can cast him again or if you want to use Future Sight, he can be waiting for you in the extended hand!

How do you just not worry about it altogether? There is an answer and you’re going to love it. It’s adorable. It’s Displacer Kitten. Every instant or sorcery you cast has the potential to reset Gandalf if you really need it to.

  1. Stuff to Untap – Arcanis the Omnipotent / Magus of the Bazaar / Otherworld Atlas / Beguiler of Wills / Jace’s Archivist (Brallin Glint-Horn Buccaneer) / Vexing Puzzlebox

What about cool stuff to untap? Depends on what you want.

Mana? Lands in general, but specifically Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, are all great targets. Empowered Autogenerator keeps getting bigger and bigger. Glittering Stockpile does the same to cash in for a big payout. Nyx Lotus is Nykthos on a rock. Alena, Kessig Trapper needs creatures to enter, but is worth it for mana twiddles. Chromatic Orrery and Coveted Jewel are big mana with different upsides – Orrery can draw some cards by activating and Jewel can be blinked instead of Gandalf when Displacer Kitten is out. Galazeth Prismari turns all of your artifacts into mana rocks for instants and sorceries. Got a big amount of mana, Doubling Cube can make a ton more. And my favourite mana rock for this is Vexing Puzzlebox, which can tutor up an artifact to play.

Card draw is fun when you can untap Arcanis the Omnipotent, Temple Bell, Magus of the Bazaar, and Otherworld Atlas. Azami, Lady of Scrolls can tap itself and your commander, maybe other Wizards for cards. What about Galecaster Colossus who can tap Wizards to bounce creatures you don’t control. Take control of those creatures instead by tapping Beguiler of Wills.

My favourite is Jace’s Archivist. Cast a couple of spells, empty your hand, then Archivist for Windfall. Refill your hand. Maybe you have Glint-Horn Buccaneer and Brallin, Skyshark Rider. That’s a lot of damage. How about some more?

  1. Damage dealers

You’re going to want to deal some damage when you cast noncreature spells or instants/sorceries. Here’s a quick list of my favourites –

Trigger damage on cast: Electrostatic Field, Firebrand Archer, Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch, Pink Horror, Guttersnipe, Kessig Flamebreather, and Lambholt Raconteur.

Thermo-Alchemist and Chandra’s Incinerator are different but worth a look. Thermo-Alchemist untaps when you cast and instant or sorcery to activate, but can also be Gandalf’s target for untap. Incinerator takes all the noncombat damage you control dealt to opponents and does that much to a target creature or planeswalker, getting rid of problematic critters.

That’s a lot of damage, how about some more? Wait, did I say that already?

Here are cards that double damage or add damage. They’re self-explanatory, but this article’s getting long! Gratuitous Violence, Solphim, Mayhem Dominus, Insult // Injury, Goblin Goliath, Fiendish Duo, Furnace of Rath, Dictate of the Twin Gods, Mechanized Warfare, and Torbran, Thane of Red Fell.

  1. Magecraft

Why not some extra triggers for casting but also copying those spells?

Zaffai, Thunder Conductor is a commander I love but here he can scry per spell or copy, but also sometimes give you a 4/4. Deekah, Fractal Theorist also makes tokens for you to swing or defend with. Veyran, Voice of Duality doubles triggers for casting and copying instants or sorceries. Storm-Kiln Artist is one of the best Magecraft abilities out there. It makes a Treasure every time. The second strongest is Archmage Emeritus, drawing you a card for every Magecraft trigger.

You should copy more spells like with Double Vision, Thousand-Year Storm, and Swarm Intelligence.

Level up Sorcerer Class to deal some damage and use those aforementioned tokens for mana. Use Sentinel Tower and Aetherflux Reservoir to dole out some more damage while using Hullbreaker Horror to control the stack and board.

  1. Cost reduction

You’re going to want to cast a lot of spells, you’ll need to make them cheaper. Wizards of Thay is an overlooked gem I find myself thinking about more and more. Rowan, Scholar of Sparks // Will, Scholar of Frost have some extra upside, but no matter what it will reduce spell slinging by 1. Primal Amulet // Primal Wellspring does the same before flipping to be a spell copying land. Mindsplice Apparatus, Jace’s Sanctum, Haughty Djinn, and Font of Magic all have their advantages, but ultimately will reduce your instants and sorceries to pips.

Bonus: Flashback and one mana spells!

Arcane Infusion, Faithless Looting, Artful Dodge, Devil’s Play, Flaring Pain, Galvanic Iteration, Increasing Vengeance, Mass Diminish, Otherworldly Gaze, Scour All Possibilities, Secrets of the Key, Think Twice, Strike it Rich, and Deep Analysis are all cheap and replayable from the graveyard! Cackling Counterpart, Echo of Eons, Ignite the Future, Memory Deluge, Mystic Retrieval, and of course Past In Flames are all solid inclusions.

That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table! Let me know what other commanders you want me to cover in the next one!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 8, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Yargle and Multani!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, a new card from the March of the Machine preview coming to us in April – Yargle and Multani.

This might be a difficult one to brew for me because it goes against what I enjoy in my creatures, but I think it’s time to give it ago. For 3BBG, Yargle and Multani are a Legendary Creature – Frog Spirit Elemental combining some of the game’s most popular beaters for a whopping 18/6, a stat line we have never seen.

Let’s see that textbox.

And that’s it. Y&M are a VANILLA 18/6! How do we work that to our advantage? Let’s find out.

  1. Draw!

Luckily for us, there’s a lot in green that care about a creature’s power. For card draw, for example, you’ve got amazing burst draw that wants you to have big creatures. Something like Hunter’s Insight and Soul’s Majesty are pretty straightforward. Rishkar’s Expertise and Return of the Wildspeaker are the same, but offer a little bit more.

Are Yargle and Multani okay with death and the cycle it provokes with life? Mask of Griselbrand gives them evasion and lifelink so you can pay 18 life and draw 18 cards should your commander head to the graveyard. Doom Weaver while Soulbonded with Y&M can net you 18 cards should they die. Greater Good means you need 15 cards on a sacrifice outlet. Disciple of Bolas, Shadowheart, Dark Justiciar, and Momentous Fall follow suit, sacrificing your big boys for more cards.

  1. Removal Fight (Bite Down / Band Together / Corpse Lunge / Dead Reckoning / Halana, Kessig Ranger / Infectious Bite / Nature’s Way / Ram Through / Rabid Bite / Mandate of Abaddon / Ulvenwald Tracker)

Where else does green want you to have big creatures? Overrun effects like Pathbreaker Ibex, of course, but what about some removal?

Bite and Fight spells are great for this deck to take down problem creatures. Of course in black you have more straightforward responses, like Infernal Grasp or Go For The Throat, but where’s the theme in that? You want Yargle and Multani to Band Together against creatures.

Halana, Kessig Ranger turns every ETB into a bite for two mana. Infectious Bite gets the poison counter party started. Nature’s Way grants vigilance and trample before a bite. Corpse Lunge makes use of your commander hitting the graveyard – maybe after sacrificing it to Disciple of Bolas. Or you can recur your commander and take out a threat with Dead Reckoning. How about a board wipe? Mandate of Abaddon kills all creatures with power less than Y&M which means that everything else is going away most likely. Ulvenwald Tracker is one of the earlier repeatable fight spells and can do its thing every turn if you’ve got a Seedborn Muse out, too.

No creatures are safe. What about life totals?

  1. Rite of Consumption / Essence Harvest (plus recursion and Undying Evil, Supernatural Stamina, Feign Death, Malakir Rebirth, Undying Malice)

The closest thing that black and green have to a Fling are Rite of Consumption and Essence Harvest. Rite requires a sacrifice, but Essence Harvest is just clean, target a play and dome them for 18. Golgari burn, anyone?

You have many ways to recur cards in green like Regrowth, Gaea’s Will, Eternal Witness, and Timeless Witness and Black has ways to play things out of the graveyard like Yawgmoth’s Agenda, Magus of the Will as well as a myriad of reanimation spells. I want to turn your attention in this case to Sins of the Past, a card I never see, but now that I’ve found it, I am all about it.

Another thing to consider if you want to reuse Rite of Consumption or have so many things tied to your commander’s power is to make sure they stick around. Reanimation spells like Necromancy and so on are great, but how about Undying Evil, Malakir Rebirth, Feign Death, and many other cards of the like?

We don’t just want to protect the big boys, we want them to get through…

  1. Evasion (Rancor / Tyvar’s Stand / Thunderfoot Baloth / Nylea, God of the Hunt / Charge Through / Trailblazer’s Boots / Shadowspear / Prowler’s Helm / Commander’s Plate / Vorrac Battlehorns / Whispersilk Cloak)

Mask of Griselbrand is already mentioned in the article, but how about some other equipment that can help get the beef through. Shadowspear grants trample and lifelink in the most absurd powercreep over Loxodon Warhammer. Commander’s Plate grants protection against the colours your commander is not. Vorrac Battlehorns gives reverse-menace, requiring a single blocker be declared, rendering multi-blocking impossible. Prowler’s Helm, Trailblazer’s Boots, and Whispersilk Cloak grant unblockabilty either outright or in a niche way.

Creatures like Thunderfoot Baloth grant a boost to the team and trample. Nylea, God of the Hunt pushes trample to the team with a repeatable pump effect to threaten commander damage.

Rancor is a classic that keeps coming back. Tyvar’s Stand is a new classic that pumps and protects. Charge Through replaces itself. All in all, there are a lot of ways to end a game when your commander has so much power.

Maybe there’s another way to get through…

  1. Ruxa, Patient Professor / Muraganda Petroglyphs

Ruxa, Patient Professor is full of surprises. Creatures with no abilities, aka vanilla creatures, get an anthem of +1/+1 and can assign combat damage as though they weren’t blocked, essentially telling – nay DARING – your opponents to block only if they’re okay with losing some stuff. And when your commander goes away, Ruxa can pick it back up and put them back in your hand by entering the battlefield or just attacking. A sweet bear like this has a lot to offer.

Muraganda Petroglyphs gets an obligatory mention because this is a green deck with a vanilla commander. It anthems vanilla creatures for +2/+2. It’s not amazing, but it makes Y&M a 20/8.

Bonus: Ramp (Ruthless Technomancer / Selvala, Heart of the Wilds / Traverse the Outlands / The Great Henge)

You’ve got all the ramp in the world in green, but here are some absolute bangers that get better in this deck: Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, Traverse the Outlands, The Great Henge, and my personal favourite of the bunch, Ruthless Technomancer.

That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table. Let me know which commander you’d like covered in the series @mikecarrozza on Instagram and Twitter!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - March 3, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Katilda and Lier!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, a new card from the March of the Machine preview and coming to us in April. Another mythic pairing from Innistrad, Katilda and Lier.

Katilda’s previous Selesnya iteration cared about Humans. Lier made spells uncounterable and gave instants and sorceries in your graveyard flashback. Now, combined, you see their history represented. For Bant (Green/White/Blue), Katilda and Lier are a 3/3 Legendary Creature – Human with quite a transformative ability. Let’s check out the textbox!

Whenever you cast a Human spell, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)”  

Yowza! While K&L don’t turn your Humans into Snapcaster Mages outright (Snappy is an “enters the battlefield” ability), they give you a snappy trigger on cast. And there’s also some cool stuff to do with that.

Here are things to remember:

  1. You need cards in your graveyard to give flashback, so you’ll need a balance of Humans and instants/sorceries to get this deck humming.
  2. These colours are unconventional for both humans and spellslinging strategies, so there’s going to be some discoveries made over time. Keep your eyes peeled for more things to support this commander.
  3. Any noncreature with Changeling or the creature subtype can trigger Katilda and Lier.
  4. Giving a sorcery flashback on an opponent’s turn won’t give it Flash.
  5. Humans are everywhere in Magic and they are very flexible. You’ll be doing a lot of balancing in this deck.

Here are some cards I would include in my Katilda and Lier deck. I have to admit, this is one of the trickiest commanders I’ve had to build around!

  1. Magecraft – Archmage Emeritus / Quandrix Apprentice / Deekah, Fractal Theorist / Jadzi, Oracle of Arcavios

I think with all the spellslinging of instants and sorceries, I wanted to find humans that specifically care about those card types, and found that we have a few Magecraft cards that will work very nicely in this deck.

Magecraft is an ability from Strixhaven that triggers whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell. Meaning that if you cast Archmage Emeritus, giving Sevinne’s Reclamation in your graveyard flashback (equal to its mana cost, I know it’s already got flashback), you’ll have spent seven mana for a great creature, two cards, and then two copies of Sevinne’s Reclamation to resolve. Pop Swarm Intelligence into the deck and Twinning Staff and your hand will never be empty.

Jadzi lets you ramp or play a card from the top for a single mana, which is super easy to pay when you’ve got Katilda, Dawnhart Prime out with humans hanging around. Deekah gives you Fractals and a way to get them through for damage. Leonin Lightscribe is the temporary pump anthem that can make for a huge turn of damage. Quandrix Apprentice makes sure you don’t miss your land drop while also costing two for cheap flashback with the commander out!

  1. Humans

There are 1848 Human creatures currently printed in these colours for Commander. Additionally, there are 35 Changeling creatures that can be played in this deck too.

It is up to you to decide what you’d like to play, but I have a few cards I like a lot.

Cathar Commando is great utility and with flash, it’s one of the easiest inclusions for me. I think Chulane, Teller of Tales was a mistake, but there’s no mistaking that power. Cast a Human, give a card flashback, draw a card, then put a land into play. To top it off, you can bounce a creature you control to your hand again. Chulane is stupid busted for this deck.

Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy is a great looter (a type I recommend you use, like Lore Broker, Magus of the Bazaar, Thought Courier, etc.) who also flips to enable flashback.

Eternal Witness is a Human despite me (and I know I’m not the only one) thinking it’s an Elf. Cast it, flashback on a spell, but return a creature to hand – that’s some value! Wizards of Thay allow you to cast sorceries at instant speed and give you a discount, especially when they’re attacking. The OG, Snapcaster Mage, might be worth an inclusion here. And ultimately, one of the best cards for a deck like this is something powerful and efficient: Esper Sentinel is a Human. A card that will net you some cards, but also is a snappy for one mana in this deck. Hopeful Initiate, Mother of Runes, and Benevolent Bodyguard are one-drop Humans that add a lot of value to your game. Speaking of one drop Humans…

  1. Dorks and Ramp

Noble Hierarch and Avacyn’s Pilgrim are mana dorks that come down for one mana and will help you pay for more while in the late game and maintain utility in their synergy with Katilda and Lier. I’d even include Magus of the Candelabra if you’re running lands like Gaea’s Cradle or Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Mikaeus, the Lunarch can be an anthem or a flexible creature to play, but he can even come down for one mana just to give a spell flashback and in this deck. That can be powerful.

Weathered Wayfarer used to be one of the best cards white has to offer. I’m still of that thought! While you are in green and likely will be pulling ahead on lands, there’s still a chance that your opponents will be neck and neck with you. And if not, you still get to use it for flashback.

Speaking of Katilda, Katilda, Dawnhart Prime is perfect for this deck. Are you going all in on Humans? Here’s a Human Cryptolith Rite with Gavony Township stapled onto it.

Of course, the spells worth casting from the graveyard are ones that will pull you ahead, and what better way to do that than to amass a ton of mana. Green’s ramp package is astounding: Rampant Growth, Nature’s Lore, Three Visits, Farseek, Kodama’s Reach, Cultivate, and many more.

  1. Spells

According to Scryfall, there are 2999 instants and sorceries in Bant colours. I find that number oddly low considering there are 24,431 legal cards in Commander.

That said, here are a few stand outs. Rite of Harmony nets you a card draw when creatures or enchantments enter the battlefield under your control. Particularly amazing if you run the token creation route here.

Got a board full of humans? Double it with Kindred Summons. It’s expensive, but it’s an instant and the next time you cast a Human, you can play it again, doubling your double. Is this all the Humans in your deck? Could be!

Repel the Abominable is a nice little fog that will allow you to block well and surprise your opponents who block arrogantly. Of course, there are a lot of Humans in Magic, so sometimes this won’t work out amazing, but it’s on theme!

Beast Within and Generous Gift are A+ removal, as are Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile. Cards like Genesis Wave, Ancestral Memories, Commune with the Gods, and Fact or Fiction let you draw into your Humans while binning the spells you need to cast from the graveyard. Don’t forget your Secrets of the Dead to keep your hand fuelled while you cast your spells from the graveyard.

  1. Changeling creatures and instants

Crib Swap does double duty in this deck, being a Human spell and an instant. The same can be said for Ego Erasure, Shields of Velis Vel, and Wings of Velis Vel.

There are some great changelings in this colour that are worth a second look. Unsettled Mariner gives your permanents Ward 1 for cheap. Realmwalker lets you cast Humans from the top of your deck. Moritte of the Frost is a great clone card that came out in recent years. But most importantly, Mirror Entity is a game closer. Amassing your Human army and just swinging knowing you can turn them into 7/7s or something can be a big deal.

That does it for this edition of A Seat at the Table. If there’s a commander you’d like covered, please let me know @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

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Mike Carrozza Mike Carrozza - February 28, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Thalia and The Gitrog Monster!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. This week, a new card from the March of the Machine preview and coming to us in April. A mythic team-up card featuring two beloved characters from Innistrad. This week, it’s time to brew Thalia and The Gitrog Monster. Let’s see what they can do.

Thalia and The Gitrog Monster combine their colour identities and become an Abzan 4/4 legendary creature Human Frog Horror for 1WBG. Their textbox is very enticing.

“First strike, deathtouch  

You may play an additional land on each of your turns.  

Creatures and nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.  

Whenever Thalia and The Gitrog Monster attacks, sacrifice a creature or land, then draw a card.”  

Hot damn, now that’s a textbox! Here are things to remember:

  1. First strike and deathtouch means that you’ll likely be able to attack into anything without worrying about it. The combination of these two abilities might as well mean unblockable except by indestructible or first/double strike creatures.
  2. There’s an Exploration on this commander! Make sure to pack your deck full of lands, so you can keep playing more and more.
  3. Your opponents’ creatures and nonbasic lands come into play tapped, which means that your commander remains difficult to block. It also means land bases using few basic lands will have a hard time with the tempo set back. All their nonbasics are taplands!
  4. Whenever Tee and The Frog go swinging, you must sacrifice a creature or a land then draw a card. This is not optional.

Let’s get into some cards.

1) Crucibles / Explorations

Crucible of Worlds is the first instance of a static ability that allows you to play lands from your graveyard. A three mana artifact that says, cleanly, “You may play lands from your graveyard.” What an incredible line of text. Simple. Having these effects while your commander allows you to play additional lands means that you can keep a fetch land parade running.

Since its printing, we have seen more iterations on this idea. Ramunap Excavator is often called Crucible on legs. Conduit of Worlds is a green four-mana version of Crucible with some added upside in the event you want to replay a nonland permanent from your graveyard as your one spell on your turn. Ancient Greenwarden is a big beefy Crucible that doubles your Landfall triggers. Perennial Behemoth is a five mana Crucible with Unearth GG in case you need a Crucible for a single turn – although I think Behemoth is better suited as a second to Crucible of Worlds in five colour decks. Zask, Skittering Swarmlord is a new Insect lord legend who also lets you play lands (and Insects) from your graveyard.

One of the most interesting and flexible effects of this sort is Serra Paragon. Sure, you’ll lose the cards to exile if they leave the battlefield again, but it’s a small price to pay for the flexibility on this Angel.

There are a bunch of cards that let you play additional lands per turn. The sneakiest one is Kodama of the East Tree. If you play a land from your hand, you can put another into play. If you play a Sakura-Tribe Elder, you can put a land into play. This card is monster busted!

Here are some of my favourite Exploration style effects: Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, Oracle of Mul Daya, Exploration, Wayward Swordtooth, and…

2) The Gitrog Monster

Why am I only highlighting one of the team-up’s original cards? Because The Gitrog Monster is one of the most busted legends out there.

Every time a land goes to your graveyard – whether they were milled, sacrificed, tutored to your graveyard, discarded, destroyed – you draw a card.

If you control The Gitrog Monster and your commander, sacrificing a land to their attack trigger nets you two cards and you have three lands to play for the turn. Pair this land density with Braids, Arisen Nightmare and you’ll likely be drawing even more cards because opponents won’t want to sacrifice lands!

There is a reason The Gitrog Monster was a boogie man of the format in its heyday and remains a second tier cEDH commander. You’ll want to pair The Gitrog Monster with…

3) Flagstones of Trokair / Krosan Verge

Fetch lands of all types. Fetch lands like Windswept Heath are a staple of Landfall decks because it’s essentially double dipping on triggers. However, cards like Krosan Verge and Myriad Landscape will leave you up on lands.

One land in particular makes me excited to brew around it: Flagstones of Trokair. By sacrificing Flagstones of Trokair, you then get to tutor up a Plains to the battlefield. Not a basic Plains, any Plains. Go get your Triome, your shock lands, your Kaldheim common snow duals, your Battle lands, your DMU common lands, Mistveil Plains, and Idyllic Grange. You can also still just go get your basics. Either way, when you think you’re down a land, you’re up a land!

4) Landfall / Augur of Autumn / Courser of Kruphix

Landfall is an extremely popular strategy. Just by searching Landfall on EDHREC in these colours, you’ll find insane cards like Lotus Cobra, which gives you a mana when a land enters, or Tireless Provisioner which gives you your choice of Treasure, Clue, or Food to create when a land comes into play (you’ll mostly make Treasures, if I had to guess). You’ll also find Retreat to Hagra, a three mana modal black enchantment that will likely mostly be used to drain your opponents when you have lands enter. Emeria’s Shepherd and Trove Warden are great recursion pieces while Admonition Angel clears the way and Ob Nixilis, the Fallen chips away at your opponents’ life totals.

I highly recommend Courser of Kruphix, Augur of Autumn, and Oracle of Mul Daya to effectively extend your hand size by one. Playing stuff from your library and getting a peek at what’s next can really set you up for your game plan.

There’s one last facet of the Landfall strategy I want to cover and that’s…

5) Tokens

Making Tokens with your lands! Felidar Retreat, Scute Swarm, Maja, Bretagard Protector, Zendikar’s Roil, and Emeria Angel all focus on making smaller tokens when your lands hit the field while Rampaging Baloths, Titania, Nature’s Force, and Greensleeves, Maro-Sorcerer make bigger ones. Titania, Protector of Argoth makes big creatures when your lands go to the  graveyard instead while Avenger of Zendikar makes Plants equal to how many lands you have while pumping those Plants when more lands come under your control.

Having a token doubler like Doubling Season or Parallel Lives is great in this kind of deck, especially if they double as ramp thanks to Cryptolith Rite or if they’re straight up Forests because of Awaken the Woods or Staff of Titania. Throw in Teysa Karlov to gain a ton of life and keep your tokens on defence too, and you’ve got a very scary game position.

That’ll do it for this edition of A Seat at the Table! Let me know who else you’d like covered @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!

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