Magic: the Gathering (back in the saddle)

This is…strange.

It’s a weekend.  I checked my calendar…definitely Saturday.  Yet I woke up in my own bed.  I even slept in.  I think…I think this is what rest feels like.

So here I am at home.  I don’t have to go to work.  I’m not on the road.  What shall I do?  Write, of course.  Play SWTOR?  I could…

Dr. David Burger, who contributes to this lovely blog, is an absolute pro at Magic: the Gathering.  He and Emily Has Books play online via a program called cockatrice.  They’ve recently suckered me into playing again.  If you guys play MtG, you should download cockatrice and let me know in the comments.  Maybe we can get some WWJTD games going.  :)

I don’t generally build decks to win.  Dave taught me well.  I build decks to try and be creative.  As long as people smile and say, “Oh!  That’s a neat idea!” then I’ve done my job.

Here’s a deck I threw together last night.

Auriok Champion x4
Essence Warden x4
Soul Warden x4
Soul’s Attendant x4
Varchild’s War-Riders x4
Weathered Wayferer x3

Sanguine Bond x4

Dispel x4
Krosan Grip x3
Harmonize x4
Sylvan Scrying x3

Forbidden Orchard x4
Vesuva x4
Plateau x4
Savannah x4
Taiga x4

The idea is to give my opponents lots of little critters with my Forbidden Orchards (with and Vesuvas which will become Orchards) while gaining a metric shit ton of life.  I hope this will make them less interested in hitting me (since I’m helping them) and, even if they do swing at me, I’m gaining life by mana burning every turn.  :P

Then I just hang out and wait to drop my Sanguine Bond.

Anyway, I think I’ll create some decks today.  I’ll share when done.

Tonight at 4pm EST I will make a room on Cockatrice title “no moral compass.”  The password will be “deliciousbabies”.  The format is legacy.  Hope to see you all in there!  :)

We might also play a few games of commander, since I’m really loving that format.  Here are the rules for commander via Dr. Dave.

short version:
99 cards, no duplicates other than basic land, + 1 legendary creature
as your “general”

Your deck may only have mana symbols in it that are on your legendary
general. ie: a sliver queen deck can be all 5. a teferi, mage of
zhalfir can only have blue cards (and artifacts)

that’s the basic idea. there’s a very short banned cards list on that site.

the only other rule is that if you take 21 points of combat damage
from a general, you lose (it’s like poison, sorta)

start at 40 life.

if your general would be exiled/removed from game, or sent to
graveyard, you have the option of putting that card into your “command
zone” (it’s just an outside the game zone)
you may cast your general like it was in your hand for it’s regular
cost + 2mana for each time you have attempted to cast it prior.

So, if you were using Isamaru the legendary puppy, who costs W -
First time you cast him, he costs just W

he dies, you put him in the command zone. if you want to cast him
again, it costs W + 2
next time, W + 4

The winner of the American Freedom Defense Initiative's draw Muhammad contest is, well, great.
Disproving Evolution - Part 3
Atheist vs. Theist Magic Set, Week 1
Playing Magic: the Gathering is kind of like selling drugs.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • ‘Tis Himself

    I won a Civilization IV deity level (Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn mod) game this past week.

    I don’t play Civ V for three reasons:

    1. It’s still buggy;

    b. I refuse to have anything to do with Steam;

    iii. It’s actually a step back from CivIV.

  • Natalie Reed

    Um… what happens if they remove the sanguine bonds from play? Then you just a have a REALLY long, tedious game. Sure you don’t want some counterspells or whatever in there to help protect the sanguine bonds?

    • JT Eberhard

      See those four dispels? ;)

  • Daniel

    Stop distracting me from my homework with your posts about video games and MTG. Damn you JT!

  • Tomas DeSantiago

    I’d play with you. Never used this program before, but I configured the deck I most often find myself playing.

  •!/VeritasKnight VeritasKnight

    I’ll play. Are we playing standard or legacy? My current decks irl are all legacy.

  • Jaytee Starr

    I remember playing this deck years ago (a variation of it). It’s fun when it goes well. Just a note, they got rid of Mana Burn in 2010.

  • Andy, uncultured Brit

    You are aware that mana burn was removed from the game as of Magic 2010, right? Or do you simply prefer to keep it in?

  • Andy, uncultured Brit

    Hah, scooped while I was writing that comment!

  • Adam Lee

    Oh man, this takes me back. I haven’t played MtG in years and years, but I still have my old decks around here somewhere. I should definitely check this program out!

  • JT Eberhard

    See the update at the bottom. :)

  •!/VeritasKnight VeritasKnight

    OK, but nobody’s going to play stupid decks with like infinite combos and turn 2 wins and crap, right?

    • JT Eberhard

      Hell no! That is douche-tastic.

      •!/VeritasKnight VeritasKnight

        OK good. Now to recreate my Empire Stuff deck in cocatrice!

  • cswella

    Did you see the new card “exquisite blood”? Perfect for a deadly combo.

  • Fabio García

    Such a Warden-based deck actually did decently on a Pro Tour a few years ago, when the two white Wardens were legal. They called it Soul Sisters.

  •!/VeritasKnight VeritasKnight

    Wait, now I need to toss together a commander deck? Damn.

  • suzysalaksartok

    I used to play the crap out of MTG, but lately its all been pretty meh, a lot of stupid new rules, cheesy cards, and the Duels of the Planeswalkers or whatever game they released recently is crap. (horrible interface, limited deck editing, just overall annoying.) I tried looking for a computer based version to play, but never ran across Cockatrice somehow.

    Hopefully its good, at least as good as the MTG: Shandalar they released way back, thats how you do MTG on a computer, IMO.

    Is it too cheesy to use red burn decks? I used to have a real stupid one, bunch of crappy goblins that self destructed, and some card where you sack all your land to make like 2/1 cat tokens that can attack that turn, remember almost winning a game once in a tournament with that…except they pulled a fog and I had no land after that (and it was my last ditch move cause I was screwed otherwise) lol.

    • JT Eberhard

      Red burn ain’t cheesy! White has the medicine. Come play with us! :)

    • F

      Any game where rules, etc., are not hardwired into the game mechanics (like an unmodifiable digital game), you can always, by convention, play your own way. Enjoy!

  • anteprepro

    Moar deck ideas. Love this one (though I couldn’t make it IRL because I have no sanguine bonds, which I bet I could make very good use of). I’ll have to figure out cockatrice at a later date. Could be useful when I’m bored.

    As for Commander format? Pfft. I will always prefer Emperor . Because at least you don’t need to make ridiculously large decks specifically for that format.

  • ACN

    Fall down the vortex!

    Download mtgo and start drafting again. Limited has improved by leaps and bounds in the last several years.

  • Sophia Dodds

    Aww… Magic: the Gathering, what my husband and I did on our second ever date. You know, before the other things we did.

    First date – bad sci-fi movies. <3

  • M Groesbeck

    The last time I came up with a “to win” Magic deck was in…2000 or so. Two of my friends had come up with looping exploits; one of them could have 300+ life after one round, the other could come up with 100+ creature tokens. After they (the friends) banned those exploits, they made the mistake of letting me use Unglued — and I came up with my “Burning Cinder Fury of Crimson Chaos Fire” + “Ultimate Nightmare of Wizards of the Coast Customer Service” + “Chaos Confetti” + “The Cheese Stands Alone” strategy for winning without controlling any creatures or dealing any damage. All three of us quit playing seriously (well, not that I honestly ever had — I mean, Unglued) after that.

  • John-Henry Beck

    I don’t think I’ve played M:tG since, like, ’99 or so.
    I’m sure I’m woefully behind on changes and rules. But it might be fun to try anyway.

  • Metaphysical Ham Sandwich

    God damn it, I’m trying so hard not to get back into playing M:TG competatively. I feel like a junkie.