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Bringing Magic to Life — EDH Archenemy!
Hey Everyone, Kya Here!
I thought this week we could do something a little different. While all my previous articles were based on decks I own or experienced, I figured it would be a blast to dive into some of my dream decks! If money wasn’t an option, what would Kya do with her new found wealth? Well in this week, we’re going to find out!
One big thing I always strive for is making EDH fun for my friends in the area. We have various decks set aside for guests so they can play even if they can’t afford decks of their own. We’ve gotten to the point that we also set up a fun EDH cube for those who come over. This cube is nothing special, but is jammed packed with awesome EDH staples. However a cube can take some time to set up and draft, so I always wanted a quick and different alternative for everyone. As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, I view EDH like playing a board game. I’m always looking for ways to make our gaming experienced more centered on that idea.
Commander Anthology was a good alternative, but as someone who had most of the decks already, it wasn’t worth picking up. I might pick up the next one however as having a set of pre-cons for everyone to play is an absolute blast. We have a few friends who still have the older EDH decks unedited. I have to say those games were some of the best games I’ve had. However I feel like we need to take it a step further…so how do we do that?
So one thing that I fell in love with recently was the Hour of Devastation story. Well, let me be more accurate, I fell in love with Nicol Bolas wrecking the plane! I always wanted to make a fun Nicol Bolas deck but sadly already have too many Grixis decks to do it. Also a recent product came out that I really wanted from Wizards, Archenemy. I always loved the idea of a team of players going after one person. However it wasn’t built for EDH sadly, and I’m a girl who enjoys her EDH! So why not expand on it and craft it into a version for us EDH players???
So what is Archenemy?
Archenemy is a game mode where players can group up to defeat an over powered foe! How overpowered is this Bolas player? Well so powerful that their might can’t be contained with just a standard EDH deck! Armed with various “Schemes” like above, these adversaries can cause massive destruction on the field! These players can’t be taken down alone, so it’s up to a group of brave heroes to put a stop to their shenanigans!
These Schemes are chalk full of goodies, being free to draw and cast from the deck by the Bolas player on their precombat main phase. These effects are either one time uses or static abilities.
With the addition of Scheme cards, the Bolas player also has twice as much life! And boy is that person going to need it if they’re going to face at least 3 other players! Because EDH starts with 40 life normally, the Bolas player will start with 80. If you find that is not enough, of course feel free to increase as needed. As mentioned before, I’m not lucky enough to have this kind of EDH set.
The DM Gone Mad
So now that we got the basics out of the way, lets get straight to my favorite part… the decks! Now were going to need to first build Nicol Bolas. This deck can only be piloted by those deemed the multiverse’s most powerful! Now this deck has to be somewhat stronger then the rest, but without play testing it, we’ll have to get some input to see how well people think this will go. I went a little overboard with the flavor in some of these decks, but I just couldn’t resist. Any cards that perfectly reference Bolas and his glory had to go in! I stayed away from infinite combos, as this is a casual set:
The Victims…er Participants
So now that we got Bolas out of the way, it’s time to build the Gatewatch decks! I know that the original Archenemy box only gave you 3 options, but that’s not how that fight went down! I wanted to make all 5 decks from each Gatewatch member! Its up to you if you want to add the rule that only 3 at a time can face Bolas, or to scale Bolas up to the number of players. However I thought it would be awesome if people could pick and choose their Planeswalker Commander as they wanted. I also added a lot of flavor for each Planeswalker within the deck, trying to make the deck focused around the character’s traits. Of course every deck has 5 Planeswalkers of their character, as well as their flip variant!
First off is Jace. As with Bolas, I chose a legal commander as well at 5 Jace Planeswalkers. Of course, I went overboard with flavor as well. Anything about Jace, it’s in there! Because he’s the blue player, of course he is going to have plenty of instants. However one theme of Jace is that he loves his illusions! So for creatures I thought it would be fun to make it illusion themed as well. I was careful about the counters as I thought it would be too unfair of Bolas.
Next up is Chandra! I can’t say I was too crazy about the build, as Chandra is fairly simplistic to begin with, being my spirit animal and all. When angry, blow things up! The thing is she’s still fairly frighting, being able to bolt constantly. Yes a bolt deck doesn’t do much alone, but with 2 other people gunning for you, it can get rough quick. Despite being lazy about the land base, I did add in a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle for fun! It might be a bit too much… but that’s Chandra…
Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite white knight! And by favorite… I mean almost no one. Of course with Gideon, Soldiers and Knights are the theme, along with some equipment. He was known for his motivational speeches after all. Of course having a Planeswalker that can also smash face is fun as well! Since he’s white, adding in the newer Planeswalker tutor cards was an obvious choice. I also added in a lot of enchantments that buff the soldiers, as it seemed fitting when building an army.
I think it was at this point I gave up going for theme and went a little too far with power. I have a feeling of all the decks, this one might need to be toned down. I went only slightly with elemental and woodsy monsters. Creatures powered by lands was a small theme as well, which seemed fitting. If I had more time I’d probably find more green elemental to really fit her better. I wouldn’t want to be Bolas with her across the table…
Okay, so THIS is the commander I fell in love making. I wanted to add in a deck that hurt her team as well as hurt Bolas. After all, Liliana doesn’t play well with others. I was tempted to make it soooo much worse, but settled for this list. Of course I went zombie theme, where if she over runs you with zombies, it’s game over! Added a lot of zombie lords in here, which can get nutty quick.
I hope everyone enjoyed the idea! For those who have large collections, please live my dream for me! The above decks are not great by any means, but I always wanted a set of decks that were flavorful to an important moment in Magic history. Alas despite having most of the cards in general, they’re busy supporting my real EDH decks. One day, when I win the lottery. Until then Poor Bolas is going to have to just swing at candles until that happens.
I apologize for the lack of 3D prints in this article. I’ve been doing some Warhammer prints and Cosplay items so I’ve been busy! But I made up for it with having several deck lists in this article opposed to my usual 1 or 2!
Any particular deck sets that you have for you and your friends? I’d love to hear some ideas! I’m really, super tempted to make an EDH Dungeon Dice Monsters game for fun… just not going to be fun to model 30+ creatures …
Lots of Love,