Gemstone Mine - Building an Engine (Episode 100!)

Scrap Trawler is John's favorite Magic card, because it's the heart of a *lot* of different engines that he's built over the years. From mono-white Scrappy Cat to Rakdos Artifact Aristocrats to 5-color Reaper King Combo, he's explored the ins and outs of this particular engine, and now we're going to look at the lessons […]

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Gemstone Mine - Evaluating Setup Costs

Sometimes a new card is spoiled and the internet just breaks. Calls for pre-bannings, that a card is going to "destroy the format", a demand to "send WotC a message" ring out across the Commander universe. Most of the time, these are hyperbolic, and things tend to die down once people actually get their hands […]

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Gemstone Mine - The Commander Curve

A common pitfall in deckbuilding is to try to make the conventional wisdom with ramp fit into every deck you build. I mean, isn't 2-mana ramp good and 3-mana ramp unplayable? Depending on your commander and your strategy, things might not be as simple as they first appear. This week, we take a look at […]

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Gemstone Mine - Mastering the Stack -- Lessons from cEDH

Priority. The Stack. Active Player / Nonactive Player. When you hear the judges at your local events throwing around these words, they sound big, intimidating, and scary. And when the local rules guru in your Commander group starts talking about how passing steps and phases work, it can make your head spin. That all ends […]

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Gemstone Mine - Laelia, the Blade Reforged -- Polishing Gems

There can be a lot to learn from how different players with different perspectives build their decks. Someone else's preferences for a Commander you never even considered could introduce you to the *perfect card* for your *favorite deck*. This week, listener Benjamin asks for help with his Laelia, the Blade Reforged Deck, and John learns […]

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Gemstone Mine - Anatomy of a cEDH Deck -- Lessons from cEDH

It's time for the big question, one that a lot of curious players find themselves asking: what makes a deck into a cEDH deck? Is it the dual lands? Is it Mana Crypt? Is it Force of Will? Demonic Tutor? Thassa's Oracle? The truth is a lot more complicated, as cEDH decks are brutally-efficient and […]

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Gemstone Mine - Responsible Removal -- Lessons from cEDH

A common mistake that less-experienced players make is to spend their removal on the first target which presents itself, firing off a counterspell or a "destroy target creature" spell the first chance they get. We've talked about threat assessment in the past, and today we take it one step further, discussing how to be responsible […]

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Gemstone Mine - Touch the Spirit Realm -- Hidden Gems

There were a lot of powerful cards printed in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, but some were overshadowed by others. Touch the Spirit Realm isn't just another Oblivion Ring, and may deserve another look as a piece of responsible removal in your deck! - Our background music is "Maze" by Bio Unit licensed via Creative Commons - […]

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Gemstone Mine - Okotoberfest 2022 Tournament Report

What happens when you bring a fringe deck 2-color deck with a Commander-centric combo to the largest in-person paper cEDH tournament in US history? John breaks down a round-by-round recounting of Okotoberfest 2022, where he piloted an Azorius Vhal, Candlekeep Researcher deck to a top 16 finish! Want to hear how this fringe deck managed […]

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Gemstone Mine - Tutors & Card Access Part 3 -- Wedges, Shards and High-Color Decks

Closing out our series on Tutors and Card Access, we finally get to the higher-color decks: shards, wedges, four-color and five-color! There are some really interesting things we can find as we broaden our color base, creating new and interesting lines to get from a particular tutor to the final card type that you want. […]

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