Ender’s Game: Introducing EDH + T2 Goodie

This week has been pretty relaxing because of the lack of tournaments to prepare for. Although I would love to have some new tech for the Standard PTQ season in full swing, the truth is that I am not working on the format. My next PTQ is August 2 which I may not even end up going to. In addition to that, M10 will be legal which will probably shake the format up like Conflux and Alara Reborn did. Given that, I am interested in talking about Elder Dragon Highlander since I have spent the majority of my time researching and building my deck.

Stan first introduced me to format after he read Patrick Chapin’s article covering Grand Prix-Barcelona which included his experience with EDH. For those that don’t know here are the rules

-You pick a Legendary Creature to be your General. Your deck can only contain cards that share colors with your General. You also cannot play cards that have mana symbols that are not in your General’s colors. Your deck must be 100 cards (including your General) and contain only one of any card except for basic land. Beyond that, there is a Banned list which can be found here http://edh.truespace.ca/EDH_Forum/viewtopic.php?t=261

-At the beginning of the game your General is put into the Exile zone (These zone names are actually cool once you get used to them). Over the coarse of the game you may play him/her as if he/she were in your hand. If your General would go to the graveyard you have the option of Exiling him/her instead. Every time you cast your General it costs two more to play than the previous time. For example, if my General was Gaddock Teeg, the first time he costs GW. Then if he is killed I can Exile it and replay for 2GW, 4GW, and so on.

-All players start the game at 40 life. In addition to normal ways of dying, a player dies if he/she is dealt 21 combat damage by one General. Players also get one free mulligan.

Since I simply love playing blue my first instinct was to build a deck with Azami, Lady of Scrolls as my General. I bought/proxied all the cards that I needed then we started playing some games. Stan chose Vorosh as his General to have access to blue and black for good spells and green for acceleration. After playing about five games Stan called it quits because he simply could not beat my deck. The thing is that when you are countering or Commandeering your opponents spells (Commandeering a Gifts Ungiven is unreal) they are not having very much fun at all. The entire purpose of playing EDH was gone at that point. After that we stopped playing for a while since we had increasingly less time and Stan wasn’t having much fun.

Then Grand Prix-Seattle rolled around. After a very lackluster performance on Saturday I registered for the mammoth PTQ on Sunday and went 0-2 drop. At that point I was not very happy at all with Magic. To my knowledge that was the first time I have ever gone 0-2 drop at a PTQ. I ended up deciding that I needed to just have some fun playing Magic and started looking at the casual events. As luck would have it they were running an EDH tournament. After some scrambling around for cards the tournament finally started. I thought that the tournament would be regular one-on-one but it turned out to be four player pods. That turn of events was bad for my blue deck but I was there to have fun.

I ended up losing first round and getting knocked out but I learned a lot about EDH. The biggest thing I learned was about politics. After casting a Teferi I found out very quickly that players at the table will start gunning for you. The combination of another Azami player using Rishadon Port to tap my Maze of Ith led to my death by a horde of goblins. Fortunately I had Platinum Angel but the fourth player had Kagemaro, First to Suffer in play. After a brief deal where he wouldn’t kill me by killing my Platinum Angel, I unleashed everything that I had at the blue player and eventually killed him. I eventually lost, but the important thing is that I had fun.

After the PTQ last week I decided to revisit EDH since I would have time to build a new deck. Although I enjoyed playing Azami, Stan did not; Azami is also a weak General in multiplayer games. I still wanted to play blue but it was time to add some flavor. After looking through every Legendary creature that was blue, I decided to build a deck with Sharuum, the Hegemon as my General.

After looking at the EDH forums for ideas and playing a couple games here is the list that I have come to.

General: Sharuum, the Hegemon

Lands and Accel
1 Sol Ring
1 Azorius Signet
1 Orzhov Signet
1 Dimir Signet
1 Coalition Relic
1 Arcane Sanctum
1 Strip Mine
1 Watery Grave
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Polluted Delta
1 Sunken Ruins
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Orzhov Basilica
1 Godless Shrine
1 Windswept Heath
1 Dimir Aqueduct
1 Mystic Gate
1 Tundra
1 Scrubland
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Flooded Strand
1 Fetid heath
1 Underground Sea
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid marsh
1 Flood Plain
1 Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
1 Seat of the Synod
1 Plains
1 Island
1 Ancient Den
1 Vault of Whispers
1 Petrified Field
1 Urza’s Factory
1 Tolaria West
1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
1 Temple of the False God
1 Academy RUins
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Vorlath’s Stronghold
1 Miren, the Moaning Well

The cool broken stuff
1 Arcbound Crusher
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Memnarch
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Sent Triplets
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Meloku, the Clouded Mirror
1 Bribery
1 Sanctum Gargoyle
1 Mindslaver
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Crucible of Worlds

The fuel for the Car
1 Esper Charm
1 Aeon Chronicler
1 Future SIght
1 Jace Beleren
1 Compulsive Research
1 Deep Analysis
1 Careful Consideration
1 Mulldrifter
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Thirst for knowledge

Go directly to jail, Do not pass go, Do not collect $200
1 Commandeer
1 Pact of Negation
1 Cryptic Command
1 Force of Will
1 Counterspell
1 Misdirection
1 Mana Drain
1 Glen Elendra Archmage

You get what you paid for
1 Sphinx Summoner
1 Liliana Vess
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Trinket mage
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Mystical Teachings
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Intuition
1 Imperial Seal
1 Vampiric Tutor

Why creatures are no good
1 Mortify
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Slaughter pact
1 Sudden Death
1 Pithing Needle
1 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Control Magic
1 Martial Coup
1 Neginyrral’s Disk
1 Treachery
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Capsize

For those of you that are still convinced that EDH is not worth playing consider the following. I am really not a fan of casual in the kitchen table top sense but still love EDH. To me playing casual means playing for fun rather than for prizes. Often times I find myself wanting to play Magic after a PTQ season has just finished but having no format to play. I could play the PTQ season format but after playtesting for hours it just loses its appeal. EDH is perfect for times like that. It allows for players to play with their favorite cards and colors from Magic’s history while providing an almost unparalleled variety in games. In the game that I played last Saturday during a BBQ at my house, I had my Fact or Fiction Commandeered, played multiple spells from Sen Triplets, had my Sharuum, the Hegemon Gather Specimoned, Mindslavered Stan into fighting a counterwar, and finally killed Kyle (one of our friends) with a Googolplex/Googolplex Arcbound Crusher (10^100^10 for all those wondering) and Mindslaver locked Stan. All this happened after Stan and I had spent both our Mana Drains, Force of Wills, Cryptic Commands, Misdirection, and Pact of Negations. The swingy nature of the game also makes it a great group game with plenty of good laughs (I.E. Commandeer and Gather Specimens in that game). I encourage you to give EDH a try because I guarantee that you will have a blast with it.

That being said, there is one topic in Standard that seems interesting at the moment. I know, I know, I said that I wasn’t spending time on the format but I don’t think FNM really counts. The FNM after the PTQ I decided to go back to Five Color Control like I did for Seattle (where Stan Top 16ed with Five Color). After playing aggro for a while it was definitely a nice change of pace. For those with PTQs in the near future, give the deck a try because the power level of the deck is unrivaled in Standard.

4 Vivid Creek
3 Vivid Grove
3 Vivid Crag
2 Vivid marsh
4 Reflecting Pool
2 Island
1 Cascade Bluffs
1 Twilight Mire
1 Fire-Lit Thicket
2 Sunken Ruins
2 Mystic Gate
1 Exotic Orchard

4 Kitchen Finks
4 Mulldrifter
4 Bloodbraid Elf
2 Shriekmaw
1 Nucklavee

4 Cryptic Command
4 Esper Charm
2 Jund Charm
2 Cruel Ultimatum
2 Bituminous Blast
2 Hallowed Burial
1 Primal Command
2 Maelstrom Pulse

SB
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Hallowed Burial
1 Volcanic Fallout
1 Primal Command
1 Path to Exile
1 Celestial Purge
1 Shriekmaw
3 Anathemancer
3 Thought Hemorrhage
1 Wydwen, the Biting Gale
1 Sen Triplets

The Main is very solid; the place to make changes is the sideboard. To iterate my point, when I go to tournaments I usually carry my deck plus about twenty to sixty cards that could be my sideboard (All in a Dragon’s Egg of course). For example, here is what I would be carrying around for this deck

2 maelstrom Pulse
2 hallowed Burial
4 Volcanic Fallout
1 Primal Command
4 Path to Exile
3 Celestial Purge
2 Shriekmaw
4 Deathmark
4 Anathemancer
4 Thought Hemorrhage
2 Wydwen, the Biting Gale
1 Sen Triplets
4 Meddling Mage
2 Jund Charm

With that combination of cards I could create a sideboard to adapt to almost any metagame. The concept really extends on the 75 card deck as opposed to the 60 card deck. After sideboarding your mentality shouldn’t be what you take out and what you put in. Rather, you shuffle your sideboard in and you take the 15 worst cards out. The same goes with this extended sideboard idea, you pick and choose the best 75 for the tournament.

Much like last week any comments or suggestions are welcome especially on whether or not you like me covering topics like EDH.

Pedro “Ender” Rodriguez

Deck Builder Radio

2 thoughts on “Ender’s Game: Introducing EDH + T2 Goodie”

  1. pedro! Good to see another EDH adherent. There’s a combo you need to know about for every deck that can a.) use black mana and b.) tutor for cards:

    It’s a two-card combo. The first card is either planar void or leyline of the void. The second card is helm of obedience ( http://magiccards.info/ai/en/163.html )

    Voila! Insta-deck your opponent. Works well considering all the demonic tutors, vampiric tutors, enlightened tutor, tezzerets, etc. in your deck already.

    Good stuff, mate.

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