Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fellwar Stone

When I first started playing magic, the best source of mana acceleration was hands-down Sol Ring.

The world of Magic was moving in a less-powerful direction, although none of us knew that then. The Moxes were far distant machines of myth. And soon Sol Ring would be "restricted" in the various ad-hock playgroups around my high school and a vacuum would be created.

It originally was not uncommon to see Sol Ring tapped to cast…another Sol Ring. That was a part of the game, and we accepted it. But with the restriction of Sol Ring, we looked around for other sources of easy artifact mana.

The best I could find was Fellwar Stone. Not quite as good as a Sol Ring, but still one mana that you could accelerate further into off a tapped Ring already in play. The color of the mana seldom mattered.

What were people accelerating into? Faster Wrath of God, Faster Armageddon, Faster Serra Angel. Or perhaps drawing more cards with Aladdin's Lamp?

Today, we still have Fellwar Stone. My version is from The Dark, which must have cost me an valuable card in trade at one point, because packs of The Dark were then already selling for $8 a pack. Fun fact: the game store up the hill from here (the one that smells like my sweat) just got a box of Worldwake shipped in from locations unknown. How much are they charging per pack? That's right, $8. Overpriced for both!

We come to the modern age, and Fellwar Stone is now available in most of the new Commander Decks. It still has the awesome quote from "Mairsil, called the Pretender." Is there some reason he wasn't made into a card during Time Spiral block?

Evaluated from the perspective of multiplayer commander brings some impressive points.

1) The more players in your game, the greater chance the mana color produced will be relevant to your deck
2) The more colors in your deck, the greater chance the mana color produced will be relevant to your deck
3) Fellwar Stone is one cheaper than Darksteel Ingot, and it will still be one mana cheaper than the new Manalith being printed in M12 Core Edition.

4) If you have a wedge-colored General, Manalith is functionally identical to any of the Shards of Alara Obelisks.

The majority of my decks fall into the 2-color band of commanders, however, and I must unfortunately wonder if this card is still "good enough".

1 mana of acceleration is trivial, isn't it? For a 2 color deck, there is always one of the Ravnica Signets, ex. Rakdos Signet. For more color fixing, 2 colored Allied decks have the Alara Reborn borderposts, ex. Veinfire Borderpost.

What Fellwar Stone ends up being is somewhere in the middle. Slightly faster mana, with a less dependable mana fixing ability.

In more modern magic, the equivalent artifact "mana stone" is Mind Stone. The mana color is completely chucked out the window in favor of a colorless mana combined with possible card draw.

Is the color important? Definitely. So maybe its good enough. And the art is really cool. That's all I can come up with.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The World is Not Enough…Slayer

In the surprise reprints department, apparently World Slayer is coming in July.

I am quite excited to get a chance to hopefully play with this card. I have read about the insanity that happens should someone get World Slayer and an indestructible creature together on the board at the same time. But it might be a pretty good piece of board wipe on its own, especially in a multiplayer game.

I think a World Slayer might have a more innocuous board presence than other board wipers like the Disk or Oblivion Stone. At least until you use it a couple times.

Almost as easy to activate, since you just need a creature and one opponent who can't block. And it gets everything! If you are facing some unkillable combination of permanents on the other side of the board, what better way, really. Hopefully I have my Greater Gargadon suspended at the same time!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Spellfight: Tainted Strike vs. Exsanguinate

In one corner…Tainted Strike. A formidable game-ender I remember fondly from my Scars of Mirrodin prerelease game. (Yes, all the way back then!)

Until Scars of Mirrodin came out, the most powerful poison-counter creature available was arguably Swamp Mosquito (because of flying). Highest poison counters delivered at one time was whoever you attached Snake Cult Initiation to. Then infect came out and you could staple poison on anything for super-powerful killing potential. In a normal game of Magic, infect is not much better than normal damage, unless you build your entire deck around it.

But when we move to Commander (aka EDH) poison warrants some serious discussion. Have you had the talk with your Magic group? There's nothing in the Commander rules about poison counters, so the default rules are the original magic rules…10 counters and the infected player loses. This equates to some QUAD-damage to any player unlucky enough to get hit.


In the other corner…Exsanguinate! A formidable game ender I remember fondly from my Scars of Mirrodin prerelease event. (Is there an echo?)

A fiendish cross between Drain Life and Syphon Soul. Ramps pretty well in multi-colored decks since it uses any color mana to fuel the X. With enough mana, Exsanguinate can hopefully slug out the whole table, leaving you with a fairly arbitrary life total (because everyone else has zero).

Here are the points I have come up with so far:

1) Tainted Strike is much easier to deploy, casting at instant speed with only 1 mana.

2) The downside is that you need a sufficiently large creature to cause 9 damage on its own. Because you can't count on any other sources of poison to show up to the table.

3) The upside to Exsanguinate is that it creates a bigger life swing between you and your competitors. And while it doesn't kill any one particular player any faster, if people have been playing well it will probably kill the weakest among them.

4) The  life gain is significant. In a 4 person game, a 7 mana Exsanginate would gain you 15 life, practically another turn of damage, unless things haven gone truly…terribly…against you. But I like to see more of a 15 mana Exsanginate, draining 13 from each and netting 39 life. You can't go wrong with that.

Right now, my gut is leaning toward Exsanguinate. The last couple games I played saw a substantial increase in board wipe. Bigger creatures either win the game on their own or perish a quick and fairly unavoidable death. Plus there is a hidden cost to playing Tainted Strike with successful, ultra-poisonous results. Your group is bound to make some sort of house rule (usually while you are in the bathroom) raising the poison limit to some more reasonable figure like 15 or even 20. I'm sure there are many Skithiryx players out there who know this scenario well.

If you have any input yea or nay for either card, please let me know. I received a lot of feedback (including 1 phone call!) over my last fight between Eternity Vessel and Mindslaver. The response was mostly that I was completely nuts for picking the Slaver. Perhaps I'll have to do a mailbag with reader responses for these types of things.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Love Reassembling Skeleton

I heard about the bannings and couldn't think of a single thing to say about it. I don't play standard, I really don't play anything except for prison-rules dining room table magic. And the only thing slowing that format down is when one of the kids starts crying in the other room and you have to call a time-out until you figure out who sat on who.

I know nothing about Stoneforge Mystic. But do you know what I DO know about?

Reassembling Skeleton.

I. Love. Reassembling Skeleton.

This is the card that Drudge Skeletons was trying to be, but never quite succeeded.

And it will be in the new M12 Core Set!

Second row, first on the left.

Look at that! With improved flavor text.

"They may show up with the wrong thigh bone or mandible, but they always show up."
-Zul Ashur, lich lord

If you are in your game for the long haul, there is no better creature than Reassembling Skeleton. As long as you have drawn at least one, you will always have at least one. Two mana gets easier and easier the longer the game progresses, until you are bringing that guy back again for almost free.

Who better to sacrifice to just about anything? Goblin Bombardment. Spawning Pit. Necrosavant.

After a big Wrath of God, there's nothing more disheartening (ok there are probably a few things) than seeing a lonely Reassembling Skeleton standing amongst the wreckage, twiddling his finger bones.

Give him some equipment, and watch a few turns later as you re-integrate his bony countenance wrapped around that very same artifact!

Truly the most amazing creature ever printed. I want ten of them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spin into Myth Revisited

I am slowly processing the complex game of Commander I played last night. There were a number of observations that must be dealt with.

Among them:
1) My Malfegor deck is woefully short on land! I am embarrassed to say it, but there's no getting around the fact that this poor concoction has come up mana screwed on no less than 3 occasions.

2) The Zedruu pre-constructed Commander deck is far too DEFENSIVE. I enjoy a few walls like anyone else, but the deck seems to currently be built from the standpoint of making sure you never lose, instead of might win. There are seriously about 3 cards you can realistically attack people with, and one of those is Arbiter of Knollridge. Nothing like playing a Commander game for 2 hours and having all the players still be at 40 life! And they can't attack me through all my walls.

But forget all that! I saw something last night I never thought of before. The Niv-Mizzet player in our game needed to wrath the board again with Ixidron, who was standing around on the battlefield in his typical Ixidron way. We were starting to run out of 2/2's to be honest. He cast Spin Into Myth on the Ixidron at the end of my turn, then fatesealed ME Jace-style to make sure I drew no gas when it came around to me again.

There's probably people reading this who do such things all the time. It hadn't occurred to me, and I found the interaction very interesting.  Sometimes all you need is a bounce effect!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Commander watch…what's in the BOX!

The contents of a Commander box set:

- the whiff of fresh plastic, host to countless airborn toxic substances
- 3 oversized, foiled commander cards, which are actually not super-exciting (but they had to put something on the front of the box)
- huge commander-sized precon deck box…probably will not fit with sleeves on cards
- 100 card highlander deck
- "How to Play Magic" insert
- "How to Play Commander Magic" insert

The Commander insert is actually pretty nice. Not only do you get the official Commander additions to the rules, but they have a neat little block of background info on each of the commanders.

For instance, did you know that Ruhan of the Fomori is blind? That's right, he's the Ray Charles of red/white/blue giants. Also, when he is not waging war Ruhan is a dedicated contrarian, much like the character Younger Bear in Little Big Man.

Nin spent some time originally as a character actor in a well-known daytime soap opera before eventually turning her eye to the pain artistry business.

Zedruu is actually a licensed pharmacist in the state of Illinois.

What they DO NOT have is any information on Numot. Who, even after being in print since Planar Chaos, is still just a big dumb dragon with a convenient color identity.

"Me Numot! Me sit on Spire! Me watch out for SPIDERS!"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Top 10 Awesome Commander Things

Tomorrow, I am going to leave on my lunch. I'm going to run down the street and then up a very steep hill. I will arrive, drenched in sweat, at my local card store.

I will spend 15 minutes catching my breath and fogging up all the glass surfaces.

The reason…the new Commander decks!

1. Riku of Two Reflections

2. Collective Voyage

3. The Mimeoplasm

4. Command Tower

5. Mana-Charged Dragon

6. Syphon Flesh

7. Zedruu

8. Chaos Warp

9 Ghave, Guru of Spores

and most importantly of ALL

10. Acorn Catapult

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

CMDR Video Podcasts

I am a total sucker for deck videos. Every time a CMDR deck gets posted I am all over it like a rash.

Some real interesting and odd ball commanders, particularly Adun Oakenshield and Rasputin Dreamweaver. If you haven't seen any of these before, go here and watch 'em now.

Artifact Fight! Eternity Vessel or Mindslaver?

Time for another Artifact Fight.

Background: I've been working hard on my Malfegor deck. In fact I should probably repost the list at some point since the current web version is horribly out of date. I would say about 20% of the cards listed here are actually still in the deck.

So with almost zero qualifying information, let it be known that a battle for dominance has erupted between two 6-mana-cost artifacts. Both are contenders, only one will emerge as the champion.

They are:

Eternity Vessel!



An interesting battle, since the two artifacts are nothing alike, apart from the casting costs. Yet they are both equally bound by a rule passed down from on-high…a COMMANDER deck must contain exactly 99 cards plus 1 Commander. So something's got to give.

Not a light decision to bring these two fine cards into the deathmatch ring. I'm sure some clever mind out there would be willing to slip back down slippery slopes to ask if there are other cards I could cut to keep both in. That is a direction I do not want to go! That is the path to madness.

So here are some preliminary observations.

Eternity Vessel!
1) Hopefully you are in good shape when you cast Eternity Vessel. Because then, going forward, you can return to your previous idylic condition by simply playing a land. And you do tend to keep drawing land as the game wears on.

2) Eternity Vessel gets more value out of the land you play, an awesome benefit provided by any card with the "landfall" mechanic. As the turns go by, I might not get too excited to draw my 6th Mountain. If, however, that 6th mountain resets my life back to 30 or so I would be much happier.

3) This deathmatch takes place in the arena of a red/black Commander deck. There are very few life gain effects, and MANY life loss effects where I pay my own life in exchange for other resources like cards. So regardless of my opponents, the longer I go the lower my life is going to get.

1) Mindslaver sits on your battlefield like a puffer fish, extruding waves of danger towards anyone who might catch your attention.

2) Mindslaver scales in power with the interactivity of your opponent's deck. If they have a sac outlet (which is normally a useful thing) suddenly someone else taking one of your turns looks like the ultimate nightmare. If they have removal in their hand, suddenly its used on their own stuff. And If they have a tutor in their hand? 3 Words…Fail To Find.

3) Again, this is my red/black deck. Mindslaver is vilified in many circles for its ability to be recurred again and again with cards like Academy Ruins. While one stolen turn might be fun…stolen turns every turn are apparently a problem. Parting the veil of the future, I cannot see a time when I will have more artifact recursion than Beacon of Unrest. Certainly, the temptation would be strong to locate a Goblin Welder, however this would be a difficult process due to its rarity and price. And I still have to get the Beacon of Unrest.

You can probably tell which direction I'm leaning.

Another big pro for Eternity Vessel is you can use the ability on a regular basis, without sacrifice and without any mana activation.

Yet I keep coming back to what Eternity Vessel actually does. It resets your life, which by definition is delaying the game and creating a stalemate.

The only person who benefits from Eternity Vessel is me. I'm gaining life and no one else. Mindslaver helps me mostly, but it also helps the other players (besides the guy I'm targeting with Mindslaver) by improving their board positions.

Mindslaver accelerates the game towards a final resolution. One player is going to be damaged, and I will probably lose my killer artifact in the deal leaving me more vulnerable to attack.

Finally, Mindslaver creates a lot of ill-will. But at least it does it all at once. Eternity Vessel creates a much smaller amount of ill will, but it accumulates over turns and is doled out equally to all of your frustrated opponents.

So despite the fact that Mindslaver seems like  kind of a jerky card, I am leaning towards using it.

Will I actually use it? I better do a Malfegor deck round-up soon to figure it out. But right now Mindslaver seems to be winning the match.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Random Card of the Day: Taste of Paradise

There were millions cards stretched across the sets of Alliances, Ice Age and Homelands. Most of them were mediocre, and most of them were forgettable.

Taste of Paradise is one such card.

I could say nothing about Taste Of Paradise, only perhaps that it is a "little" taste of Paradise at best. But the other interesting thing is that this card appears to be a direct predecessor to the Multikicker mechanic, seen in much more successful cards of the Worldwake set.

Which card would you rather have in your hand, with a bunch of land ready to tap?

Monday, June 13, 2011

4 Ways to Get Artifacts Out of Your Graveyard in Mono Black

The title was originally going to be "5 Ways." Then I couldn't find a 5th way…so here we are.

The black slice of the color pie is normally filthy with recursion. Unfortunately this is limited mostly to creatures and not permanents of other varieties.

Limited does not, however, mean zero. There are 4 spells I have found that help get you more bang out of your trinkets and gew-gaws

I shall order them last to first, in order of usefulness to me alone.

4)Least useful! Moriok Scavenger. The Sanctum Gargoyle of black. Only it doesn't fly or recur itself for crazy Sharuum interaction. Oh WAIT…and its only an artifact CREATURE. So this is actually strictly worse than Gravedigger unless you are building some kind of rogue tribal deck.

Note: Remember kids, he's a Gravedigger, not a Grave Robber. Gravedigger is gainfully employed by The Cabal in their corpse/undead relocation division. He has insurance, vacation time and a generous retirement package. He worked hard with a shovel to get to where he is today, and by no means could be considered some type of thief.

3) Scrounge. Scrounge is a Bribery-type spell that grabs a valuable artifact out of your opponent's graveyard and puts it into play under your control. A good spell to use if your play group plays a lot of big, powerful artifacts. Usually they have to be blown up first, but black is also pretty good at milling so you might be able to catch a lucky break. I would much rather depend on my own artifacts however, since they tend to mesh better with the rest of the cards in my deck.

2) Geth, Lord of the Vault. Geth is pretty awesome in most ways. In fact, if this were a list of overall usefulness, Geth would definitely be near the top. He only grabs stuff out of opponent's graveyards again, but he can do it over and over again. And the ability is glued to a big stocky body you can swing in and attack people with. I am currently on the look-out for a copy of him.

1) Beacon of Unrest. Woo Woo! Works on both creatures and artifacts! Grabs 'em out of any graveyard! Puts 'em directly into play. Shuffles back into your library to use again and again! After a quick look around the Internet, it appears Beacon of Unrest is used in just about every black EDH deck every created. And its easy to see why. So the Beacon gets slapped into my search list as well. And with printings in Planechase, Archenemy, Tenth Edition and Fifth Dawn, there has to be a copy laying around somewhere.

Edit: And I see now that fully half of my card selections don't actually recur anything from YOUR graveyard, just opponents. And then Moriok Scavenger doesn't really count either, because he sucks.

So really, the title of the post probably should have been "Beacon of Unrest has a unique, powerful artifact returning ability in mono-black." There is no other solution!

Friday, June 10, 2011

At the Bottom of the Well

So Wizards decided not to reprint Hinder in Commander. Instead they printed the super-Hinder, Spell Crumple.

I like this counterspell. It's classy, to be sure. Not only do you get a hard counter, but you also get to see which player in your group is best at getting cards out from the bottom of their library. Hint: It's you!

I love the Beacons. I love the Zeniths. Really, Spell Crumple is almost in the same category, requiring only a couple of deck shuffles before showing up in your hand again, hopefully when you need it most.

While my blue/red deck might be light on recursion from the graveyard, it does have a few ways to draw cards. I or anyone else would have a hard time believing otherwise when the color blue is in use.

The one card I would worry about is Tunnel Vision. Nothing unfun or unfair here. If you are going to be playing with tuck spells, you better have some plans to deal with the consequences.

And now, more than ever, we must all also prepare for piloting our decks with the Commander on extended vacation. Because it's happening!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You've triggered my Nemesis Trap

Found a gem in the uncommon bin of the local game store.

What a great card to be used in a format where creatures have so many triggered effects. A few observations:

1) Nemesis Trap only works on attacking creatures. So unfortunately you will not be able to get rid of utility creatures willy-nilly. Unless your opponent decides to attack you with an Eternal Witness just to be funny. Which he will probably only do once.

2) The clone Nemesis Trap creates lasts exactly one turn. There is no way to use the "end step loophole" to sneakily get it for more than one turn and attack your opponent with his own creature. It's just not going to happen.

3) Nemesis Trap is best used against powerful(important) creatures, or creatures with powerful enter-the-battlefield effects.

4) The target creature is EXILED, so it does end most recursion, unless you are hitting their general.

In my mind, the most effective targets will be Titans and Slivers.

In particular with Slivers, I will probably be facing an onslaught of attackers…and Nemesis Trap will be just what the doctor ordered. The biggest Sliver will be destroyed, while the next baddest Sliver in line will face a copy Sliver just as big.

Unfortunately, the remaining Slivers will still get pumped by my token Sliver…so who knows, maybe I will die anyway!

Vow of Fun

I have awoken, as if of a deep, dreamless sleep, and the Commander spoilers are coming fast and furious.

I have written before about my love for Leaden Fists. The short version being that the best place to hide an opposing commander is right on the battlefield. Recursion is a fact of life we must all deal with. So if a big, nasty, monster is going to get popped right back into play, make your opponent do the killing, not you.

Beyond Leaden Fists or Ice Cage, now we have an entire CYCLE of "Vows" which are all somewhat similar in effect.

Vow of Duty, Vow of Flight, Vow of Malice, Vow of Lightning and Vow of Wildness all basically do the same thing…buff a creature (usually an opposing creature) and prevent it from ever attacking you again. A much more "political" option since you don't deprive your opponent of the joys of his creature, but you do prevent him from inviting you to that particular pain-party.

And what an effortless, risk-free way to help out the guy at the table who's running out of gas! He'll never be able to attack you. And one of his creatures might just get bumped from chump blocker to worrisome board threat! The Vows are not only a sound tactical decision, but they actually increase the fun quotient!

Probably the only thing Leaden Fists has going for it is flash. But how crazy would these Auras be if you could also use them as combat tricks?

I also see Red has gotten its very own version of Beast Within, entitled Chaos Warp. For 1 Red and 2 colorless, the enterprising red mage gets:

"The owner of target permanent shuffles it into his or her library, then reveals the top card of his or her library. If it’s a permanent card, he or she puts it onto the battlefield."

Note that unlike say Polymorph, they only get the top card of their deck. There's a good chance it will be a land or spell and you will have made a pretty good trade-off. Additionally, since you want to save your one-to-one removal for the most heinous thing in your opponent's deck, regardless of what your opponent pulls up it will no doubt be better. Unless they pull exactly the same card, which will certainly happen the first time I cast this no matter how astronomical the odds.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Avoiding Quicksilver Fountain

You haven't lived until you've played a 3+ person game of Magic where one guy is playing Quicksliver Fountain.

I guess the game needs cards like this. If only to make you remember why your decks used to pack so much artifact removal when no one was playing artifacts. Beacause these things come in cycles, and now finally we have traveled past the end and back to the beginning. You look at your cards and realize you can do nothing.

Now lets talk about the 3-way action.

When it's just you, your opponent and Quicksiler Fountain together in the same cozy room, things are hard enough. But with each new player the time for the Fountain to reset gets substantially longer. You might sit with all Islands for several turns while another player puts down one more emergency swamp or plains to cast that very important creature he's been holding.

A few notes I've come up with that everyone else probably knows.

1) If you are playing a 3 color "zoo" deck, you are probably completely hosed. You might as well start heating up the gravy boat.

2) Yes, the counters keep dropping until every land is an Island. Someone, anyone, drops one mountain, and the whole process goes around another turn.

3) It targets all non-Island lands, so even a Soaring Seacliff or Academy Ruins is not safe.

4) If Quicksilver Fountain is removed from play, the counters remain and the countered-lands still remain Islands. Much like lands continue to "burn" after Obsidian Fireheart leaves the table, so too do these lands remain "wet".

I suspect in an EDH game, a properly constructed mostly blue deck could have a field day with this card. Assuming the rest of the table restrained themselves from conducting an unrelenting vendetta of aggression against your defenseless form.

The deck I faced was a casual constructed beast, filled with 4 Fountains and 4 ever-hungry Giant Oysters to slow the game down even further.

In Tribute to this horrible artifact, my new "Lowlander" Deck is going to need some serious blue or non-colored power for the late stages of the game. Instead of turning over tri-colored spell after tri-colored spell I can't cast, I want the BIG BOMB waiting to be inevitably drawn once the Fountains and Oysters lock down the board.

And so looking through my collection there are 2 cards I can see sneaking in.

1. Emrakul the Aeons Torn. Fresh out of my Niv-Mizzet deck, since the loose central authority of the Highlander community decided to "ban" it. What a bunch of complainers. Except when they are doing ace preview commentary. But back to the ban-list…there will be no such high-handedness to disturb the perfect deckbuilding mastery of my "Lowlander" deck.

2. Eldrazi Conscription. Picked this baby up at the Rise of the Eldrazi pre-release. Never got to cast it then. In fact, I've never got to cast it period. So now its going in.

I'm going to have to come up with some low-cost threats to round out the rest of the deck. Things to do before I get to 8 or 15 mana. But that shouldn't be hard. 58 more cards to come!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reprints All Around Us!

So the new Commander decks are seeing reprints of both Lightning Greaves and Sol Ring.


Well, actually the reprinting of Sol Ring is pretty astounding. I was standing around during my lunch break at the local card store about a week ago and the kid behind the counter swore up and down that Sol Ring was coming back in a big way in the Commander set.

I had restrain myself from crawling over the top of table and calling him a liar. That's the most preposterous thing I had ever heard!

And now here we are.

Sol Ring was just recently re-printed in the very-limited "Vault" edition. Usually they save these sets for cards that won't see the light of day otherwise. Now almost the same card (only without the foil) is apparently showing up in ever pre-built Commander deck.

Except…crap, they put Thunder Dragon in the Knights vs. Dragons set! Super rare cards are coming out of the woodwork! Apparently I have no idea what I'm talking about.

But let's move on.

Sol Ring, before the price sky-rocketed to…$18…American dollars?…crazy amounts of money, was a card you saw every day.

I originally had 4, and played with 4. So did everyone else. I remember people casting Sol Rings off of Sol Rings. And those decks ran White Knight! Chaos!

Now we live in a different age. I have 2, and traded the other two to a guy for some sweet, sweet Ravnica Shocklands. Then the extended format changed, and the bottom kinda fell out of the shockland market. But now apparently the same thing will happen to Sol Rings, so I probably got a good deal.

But that leaves the question…what would I do with another Sol Ring?

Make a "Lowlander" deck! What is a Lowlander deck? I just invented it, bear with me.

Here are my restrictions:

1) Anything in vintage is fair game, provided I own a copy. This includes Sol Ring and Strip Mine, but excludes any of the crazy stuff. And yeah, people used to play with 4 Strip Mines as well. They were exciting times, back in the day.

2) I will restrict myself to 1 copy of any card (except for basic land). This gives us the name, since Lowlander is similar to Highlander only with less cards. Kind of like this.

3) Lowlander has less cards. How many cards? 60. Maybe 61. Richard Garfield had this part right, I would even take it down to 40 if I thought I could get away with it. A person likes variety, but 100 cards is sometimes just plain annoying to shuffle. Especially with my lobster-claw paws.

4) It has to beat every casual deck I face off against on a fairly regular basis. This means the foul Quicksilver Fountain deck that occasionally rears its ugly head on my kitchen table. And I do mean foul. I will talk more about this mind-destroying card one of these days.

5) It can't be "too" good. I'm not trying to win any pro tours here. So there has to be a lot of fun built into that deck, and lots of crazy interactions. In this way, it will also hopefully be like a Highlander deck.

Can't wait to get started!