Turning Data into Decks part 2 — Creating Chaos!
Hello my fellow mad scientists! Kya here again!
I'm overjoyed with the response and feedback across the net about my first article. There are definitely those who have strong opinions about both Net Decking and Group Hug. I expected Net Decking to turn a few heads, but the real surprise was those against the concept of Group Hug.
So, being the absolute monster that I am, lets push the envelope even further! If Group Hug makes your stomach turn...you probably don't want to read further.
Joining the Hive
Still here? In my first article, we discussed finding fun deck ideas through the Theme section of EDHREC. Despite the constant changes, I think it's safe to say most know how to navigate the site easily. I did want to point out another important aspect of EDHREC. Information on just a single card! This isn't hidden by any means, but I think many fail to consider the reverse side of gathering the information needed to create a player's new dream deck.
Not sure what I mean? Well why don't you just ruminate, while I illuminate the possibilities with a personal story of how I created one of my favorite decks.
One day I was playing in a group at my local game store and a soon to be good friend played a Hive Mind out of nowhere. Lets look at this reality altering card for a second.
I admit, the text of the card seemed simple and harmless at first. Only after spells started to fly did I grasp the shenanigans that would follow. I quickly found out how little I knew on how to handle complex triggers and the ever increasing stack. My world of Magic flipped on its head, and I was entranced. Like the hive, my mind linked with every mad scientist Magic player before me. Our goal? Creating chaos across the multiverse with our horrors.
So what does this story have to do with EDHREC you ask? Well like an addict, just one taste from Hive Mind wasn't enough. Kya needs her candy. Sure, to their annoyance and fear, my friends helped compile a list of SOME chaos cards...but it wasn't enough. Nowhere near enough.
So I went to EDHREC! Here precisely. Scrolling down I found other cards just like it. Look at some of these cards!
Of course just the one page wont find all the chaos I need to complete the deck. But it was a starting point for me to go through page after page of other chaotic cards. Being able to pick and choose what cards I deemed worthy of my new deck was a joyful experience. I was able to learn about so many chaos cards I would have never heard of or seen if it wasn't for EDHREC. I quickly ordered my cards after and awaited my new deck.
After playing my new deck I quickly discovered the absolute nightmare of combining some cards I never thought of when I looked at it on paper. Especially with other players' interactions. It's because of a lifetime's worth of watching the world burn that I warn you my new Mad Scientists in training...be careful what you ask for.
Let's look at an example of a horrible combination, the likes of which no just God would allow:
Author's Note: I bet some readers scoffed earlier that these two were not immediately added to the initial chaos examples. Oh ye of little faith. I was just saving the best for last.
Too much text? Well I'll simplify it. Say you have Eye of the Storm already out then you make the "mistake" of casting Scrambleverse. Every instant or sorcery cast gets a Scrambleverse free of charge! Plus whatever else Eye of the Storm managed to get it's hands on. Isn't Magic fun?
And this is one of the many possible nightmares that could transpire if playing recklessly...which is how these decks should be played.
Laboratory Maniac University
So now you've seen some cool cards and think you have what it takes to be a mad scientist. Well it's not all fun and games! Well it is... but still!
As I mentioned before, such nightmare decks must be played only by those who understand the stack and how their triggers work. So here is a small quiz for those who think they got what it takes. It's okay if your brain hurts doing this, but your exam must be completed before Professor Kya allows you to graduate into a true maniac!
Say you have multiple instances of Scrambleverse about to happen. Why is it important to play out each instance and not be lazy?
You decide to abandon all hope of kindness and Fractured Identity one of the following examples that you played the turn before. Write out what would happen with multiple copies of the following:
You've finished! If you think you have all the answers, feel free to comment on this article or let me know at my Facebook Page: The Girl with the Lotus Tattoo
Submit those answers yet?
Congratulations! You've officially failed my exam!
A true mad scientist does not conform to any standardization of test taking! They simply jam random components together and if they survive they become all the wiser! Shame on you who failed...
But wait, isn't my broad statement as an authority figure about the lack of any standardization, a standardization within itself? So would taking my exam not automatically constitute in failure by that logic? Oh god how does this stack?? JUDGE!!!!
Chaos, the Shifting Options
Anyways, or all those who are still conscious, I shall impart onto you my group's five-color chaos deck list. Before I do so though, a few great alternatives to creating Chaos decks
He's a beauty, Izz-et he? Nothing hits the spirit of chaos better then going the colors of our favorite group of wacky scientists. Going Izzet works perfectly, as you'll notice the vast majority of chaos cards are in red or blue. For those with budget concerns, he is a fine choice. Of course he isn't a mad scientist himself, so you still have Mizzix of the Izmagnus to roll with. I prefer Arjun however as his wheel effect hits that chaos vibe more then anyone else. I know many go Jhoira of the Ghitu, but I advise strongly against it for two big reasons. First, it's not very chaotic if people see it coming. Second, good luck convincing people your Jhoira deck isn't packed full of Eldrazi nightmares!
Cascading into Chaos
It's Yiddie! If anyone knows anything about our silly ogre, it's that he has the true spirit of madness. What's better then cascading into Hive Mind after casting Eye of the Storm? Plus the access to green helps with much needed ramp for your giant spells. That and green can be very...tempting... due to a special kind of wurm that we saw in my last article. That and let's not forget Oath of Druids! The addition of black helps expand your options with a few fun cards as well, such as Cruel Entertainment, Endless Whispers and Lethal Vapors.
The Light, it's Blinding! Oh God! It's Blinding!!!!
So why am I adding white to the mix? White isn't known for being very chaotic... well there's just a few must haves that I cannot ignore. Plus it's a perfect excuse to make a five color deck that's super cheap!
Now these are some amazing spells! Nothing says "I'm done" more then casting Enduring Ideal and grabbing your nightmare enchantments out of your deck every turn. To the other players planning to counter your madness after this is cast, I wish them luck! Next is the true prize, a recent addition to EDH in the last set. Fractured Identity! They were not thinking of me when they made this. You don't like Eye of the Storm? Fine get rid of it! But now you all get one instead! Wahahahaha!
All My Children
So what five-color commander should you choose? Well you have a few good options, so really it's up to you. Karona, False God is a nice option lore wise. However she's not that great to actually play without a deck dedicated to her, which chaos doesn't do. Unless you add the various vows, but then you're taking away from chaos! So this is who we chose as our mascot of chaos!
Another shout out to the Maelstrom! Nothing more chaotic in MTG lore then what transpired in that madhouse of several shards merging into one. Fun fact of this article, Child of Alara is the manifestation of the Conflux itself! What better commander to represent the bizarre experiences your deck is going to share with others? Also it's effect is nice. Of course playing chaos will cause some hate, so what's a better defender then your chaotic baby? If the board becomes to chaotic or people are being too mean, your child will drag and claw all your haters to the blind eternities with it! That'll show them for trying to keep some small hope of sanity in your game! Yes, it can only hit the graveyard once and then you can't get it back without help, but you should only need one reset in the game if you're playing right.
Without further delay, below is the list. It might look familiar to my group's deck on tappedout, but I tweaked it to be a little better 😉
The Conflux of ChaosView on Archidekt
*Deck Notes: I argue with my boyfriend often about if I should eventually bump up the lands. It's a budget deck, so please feel free to up the lands and ramp to make it move faster.
Like Group Hug, I want to stress the importance of moderation when it comes to playing Chaos. If you have groups like mine that like to see how bonkers the table can get, this is the deck for you. However you know the people you play with and if they don't have the same mindset and don't appreciate this sort of thing, be respectful. After all, they're not wrong for having their preferred method of play style. Although I would ask those who don't appreciate Group Hug or Chaos to share the same respect. After all, EDH and Magic in general was created first and foremost for people to have fun. It's up to the individual and their groups to define what is "fun" for them. No one should have the right to take that opinion away or dictate how Magic should be played.
I hope everyone enjoyed my little series. I hope some readers learned some new aspects about using EDHREC and opened their minds a little to different ideas. If not, comment or message my Facebook page and come fight me. I know how to use a spear and I'm not afraid to use it!
Lots of love,