Spreading the Love - Returning with a Bang
Hey Everyone! Kya here once again! I can't believe it's already almost September. I'm going on a fun road trip here soon to head over to Dragon Con, and I hope to see many there! Although I'll be doing a lot there, I'll be bringing my decks if anyone wants to play!
Now, while I'm looking forward to these great many things coming in the near future, I have to admit that I keep thinking about the distant past. It's been a long road since I began playing EDH, and I've crafted a lot of decks since then. I'm sure those who've read my articles about helping new players learn EDH will also want to know how I myself started.
Well... the start of my EDH career was a bumpy one, so this article will be centered around what NOT to do to get someone to start playing Commander! I would argue that anyone who wants to help others learn to play will need to remember what it was like when they first started. A while back, when I showcased my Skittles deck, I mentioned it was one of my first decks. Although Skittles was the first commander I built on my own and entered tournaments with, my first actual deck was a Sen Triplets Flicker deck. This was the deck my friends made for me as a perfect starting EDH deck.
Yeah... if you're confused on what a Sen Flicker deck is, don't be. You're right to think it doesn't make any sense. Let's take a look at her, shall we?
Can you believe those jerks? THIS is what I started out with!? No experience playing Magic the Gathering, no clue what my cards were, yet here I was trying to figure out everyone else's cards!?
Sen Triplets is a fun and amazing card though. Can't believe how expensive she has become; I remember picking her up for hardly a few dollars. I can't see why she went up in price, since she's a bit of a rarity, not seen in many EDH groups or even any other formats. More importantly, I told you that this deck was all about flicker effects, and as you may have noticed, Sen Triplets has NOTHING to do with flicker! On top of this, all the spells in my original deck, while devastating, took an insane amount of mana to cast! I swear, when my friends gave me this deck, I was set to fail...
Oh, speaking of fail... since we're looking into the past, I should mention that in my last article I made a slight jab to the new Commander 2018 decks. Now, I'm still not sold on the new sets and their unexplained price increase, but I figured I would give them a chance. Connecting the past with the present, I thought of a fun way to revamp my OG Esper garbage - I mean - Esper flicker deck! We'll use the new Esper Aminatou, the Fateshifter deck (which of course is the one precon deck that is an absolute nightmare to try to find in my home city right now).
I have to admit, when this card was first spoiled, I fell in love with her art. I love dark themes and this hit it perfectly. However, since my EDH beginnings had left me with a bad taste for flicker, when I saw her abilities I wasn't too ecstatic. A single blink effect and a non-card-advantage draw ability... yay?
That said, the ultimate did give me a quick chuckle. I know many missed it originally, but the choice of her wording made things very nasty. You basically shift everyone's cards around and then slowly take everything for yourself! Why? Because when you flicker, it states that you can exile cards you own, not control! So even if Bob the Fort Builder has my creatures, I can just flicker them back on my side and keep everything of his that I just received! Of course, one flicker at a time would be too slow and boring... and it would take a LOT of Aminatou's -1 abilities to get anything good off. So let's add in some real flickering shenanigans and kick it up a notch!
Flick of the Wrist
My original flicker cards. I still remember the suffering of trying to afford four whole mana and getting to combat to make Galepowder Mage useful. Might not seem too hard to you lot, but keep in mind I started out with jerks. Great thing about Galepowder is that it simply says "another creature." This means you can flicker back your creatures from Aminatou's ult and get them back! Now let's find some cards worth flickering!
I broke it down to 3 levels.
Let's start small, shall we? Nothing wrong with getting some extra draw and lands from ETB right? Anyone can do that without any bad push back... but what happens when you do it over and over? Well then, you get some ramp quick! Plus it's always fun to keep Path to Exile spamming over and over by blinking your Archaeomancer!
Some more flicker shenanigans. Grave Titan was one of my favorite cards starting out because he made Zombies! I still love him to death and he'll always be worthy of a slot! Merieke Ri Berit is a nightmare within herself, as you can keep stealing and then blowing up everyone's creatures when you're done with her! I actually ended up trying her out as my commander after a while. Fun times! Anyways, these will cause a slight annoyance, but nothing too huge... so what do we have for level 3?
This is where we end the game. True to the title of this article, these cards return with a bang! This was always stupid for a new girl to try and pull off... but when I got the mana for these ladies, it was game over. Of course, playing against tuned decks, the game would have been over much quicker by then, because it took so darn long to ramp up! Sorry, sorry... old memories. Don't worry, I've learned from my mistakes and put a lot of ramp in this deck. Plus, the idea of putting everyone's life at 10 always puts a smile on my face!
The Flicker That Never Came Back
Of course you need plenty of "zaps," as I used to call it. This takes a while to rev up the engine before taking off, so we need to slow everyone down a bit! Tragic Slip has always been a fan favorite, so in my mind it belongs in almost every black deck. After all, what's more spiteful?
The End of Times
For those paying attention, this is where my thirst for Mass Land Destruction started. Massive, horrible, board wipes! My original deck had all of them, to my friend's dismay. Although I started with one or two, I quickly demanded that we put in even more, as I enjoyed taking everyone down with me. This spiteful immaturity is admittedly not something I grew out of though...
Anyhoo, now that we've got the main idea, let's see the full decklist! You'll be proud, there's not much insta-win, like most of my decks. I have to say this is a mid-tier deck, if that...
Those are the basic tips I'm going to start rolling with to give this new set a chance. It'll be interesting knowing how my skill improved as my deck now isn't too much different then it was before. Who knows, maybe I'll pawn this complicated Esper flicker deck off on a new player just to keep the initiation going... muahahaha!
Anyone else still have and play their original decks after so long? Either for a skill gauge or for nostalgia purposes? Even better, have you passed your decks along to newer players to see how they'll perform? I would love to hear your stories!
See you all at Dragon Con!