Spreading the Love - Turning Trash to Treasure
One Person's Trash...
Hey everyone, Kya here!
I hope everyone is doing well! It's already August. Is it me or is this year going by way too quick? Orlando GP is coming up soon, as well as our yearly Orlando EDH Scavenger Hunt (more details on that coming soon). I know my Magic collection has gone bonkers because of all the great sets that have come out lately. As a general cleanse, I often routinely get rid of my unused cards by either selling, quickly trading, or even giving out my cards to friends in need. Everyone views Magic differently, but I've never concerned myself with housing a large collection to gather dust. My closet thanks me for this mindset, as my Magic collection at any time can be stored up in my dedicated Commander deck backpack and/or purse.
Now, with the newest commander set, Commander 2018, I can't say I'm overly zealous on what I saw. More importantly though, one of my newer female EDH players wanted to go hard on an artifacts deck, but was disappointed in the newer set; our local meta can be a little hardcore, and the newest decks didn't feel up to the challenges our meta would present. How can anyone stand watching a cute girl sulk for long though?
...Is Another's Treasure!
These are some older cards I was getting rid of. (Ignore the Sacred Cat, she looks just like my cat so it's in the binder.) I had a few copies of some of these artifacts from old Daretti, Scrap Savant and Breya, Etherium Shaper brews. Eventually these decks were scrapped for my colorless Eldrazi deck, since the mana rocks for Eldrazi are quite demanding. So, being a friend, we pooled together some extra cards to make her a sweet new artifact deck to borrow!
The Goblin King
Daretti is the true artifact king in my book. I was extremely excited when Breya, Etherium Shaper came out, but I found her personally underwhelming simply because this particular Goblin had already spoiled me. I don't blame Breya herself for my quick disappointment; I had even expected to play her, and for her to play similarly to Daretti. However, Daretti's strategies are not the same for the queen of Etherium. She's obviously great on her own merits, but that doesn't make me like Breya more, cuz I just love the Goblin's style!
I honestly think Daretti was one of the best Commander decks ever released. Not because he was disgustingly good in and of himself, but because the deck he came in was actually rather well put together. In fact, you'll still see remnants of a few of his precon cards still in my upcoming decklist below. Daretti's was one of the few decks you could truly upgrade from start to finish, without removing his main purpose. For most precons, lots of folks just take the commander and a handful of cards and build a completely new deck with that commander at the helm. This practice seems like it's becoming more common, in fact. People buy precons only to rip it apart for scraps.
However, as mentioned before, Daretti stayed true to what he does best, pushing out artifacts and Faithless Lootings (or Faithless Rummagings, I guess) as quickly as possible. His strengths remained the same, as did his weaknesses, throughout my deck's progression. The spells were all super solid. For the most part, the only things I upgraded were the artifacts for him to shuffle and scrounge through in his scrapyard. I felt like a treasure hunter, adding treasures to my collection. Ironic I know, considering I don't like to have big collections of Magic cards overall.
Let's look at what some of these treasures do together, shall we?
Let's start off with some basic but very fun cards! Blightsteel Colossus brings a frighting power to the field. It's got a high mana cost, and it can't be reforged from the graveyard with Daretti, but it can be tutored into play for free with Kuldotha Forgemaster. Pair the Colossus with Lightning Greaves and out of nowhere you'll quickly have a defeated player on the other side of the table! Not the best combination, but my favorite by far!
We all know of it, we all suffered through it, and now my friend can enjoy the horror on her opponents' faces! By copying the untap ability with a Rings of Brighthearth, it's easy to to create infinite mana with either Grim Monolith or Basalt Monolith. Once you've gone infinite, you can take off with either the Staff of Domination or Comet Storm for the win!
This is a lightly lesser-known combo. Using Mycosynth Lattice, turn everyone's lands into artifacts. Then activate Karn, Silver Golem's ability and blow up your opponents' lands by turning them into creatures with power and toughness equal to their mana cost - which is 0/0! A very mean and random way to put a stop to the game. Seriously, Mycosynth Lattice is such a darn good card!
Infinite turns? Yes please! Prototype Portal can copy your Ugin's Nexus, which you can sacrifice any number of ways to take an extra turn. Don't have both of these cards in hand? That's okay, they're both very good in their own right, with Prototype making permanent copies of awesome artifacts and Ugin's Nexus either mimicking a Time Warp or preventing others from player their own. (Take that, blue players!)
Just because we're helping put this deck together for a friend doesn't mean we can't have sick value. Like I said, our meta is pretty intense. Crucible of Worlds gives us the ability to recur not just artifacts in the deck, but lands too, which opens up more land hate to deny enemies what they love most! What's great is that Daretti doesn't need a lot of lands himself, since he cheats things into play, so there is no suffering in recurring Strip Mine or Wasteland.
I think Darksteel Forge, Nevinyrral's Disk, and Mycoynth Lattice is one of the most common of the older artifact combinations. Turn everything into an artifact and blow it all sky high! Of course, because of Darksteel Forge you don't have to worry about such things. Remember, Disk doesn't sacrifice itself, so you can perform this trick again and again! Or, if you popped Daretti's ult off, it doesn't really matter if your stuff dies now, does it?
Treasure Nabber, the one card I look forward to from the newer Commander decks. They really didn't think this one through when they made Treasure Nabber. You know how we've been turning everything into an artifact? Even lands? Did you tap your artifact lands for mana? Why thank you! Don't mind me while I nom-nom-nom them all with my Krark-Clan Ironworks!
Of course the deck brings in a lot more than just the above, despite it being an unoptimized mess at the moment (don't judge me). Sometimes you just get excited with a group of EDH enthusiasts and just jam every goody you have into a newer players hands!
Trash to Treasure
I hope you enjoyed this journey through the junkyard! I wasn't sure what to do for this month's article until this recent event with my friend's search for a new deck, and it was a blast to help her brew with pieces from my old collection. It brought back memories of when I first started playing Magic, where several of my friends pooled their extra cards together to make me an "OP" deck to contend with everyone else. I remember the joy (and bashfulness) of watching everyone try so hard to show me a good time. Although I think I've done my fair share of helping newer players and expanding my playgroup, this was a unique opportunity to truly pass the torch on with something that I was given with in my "younger days" as an EDH player.
If this something your group has not experienced, I strongly encourage it. Of course Magic cards have value, but if you got them sitting around collecting dust, why not use that as an opportunity to make someone happy? Who knows, maybe that person you surprise might become a lifelong friend... which in the end I think is worth slightly more than cardboard.